Ozair
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India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:34 am

India has reportedly scrapped the single engine fighter competition and is now looking to start a new process that will see both single and twin engined aircraft considered. Given the time previous competitions have taken to get started I think it is doubtful India can get their hands on a new jet in less than 8 years.

Govt scraps single-engine fighter plan, asks IAF to go for wider competition

The government has scrapped its two-year-old plan to produce 114 single-engine fighters with foreign collaboration under the “Make in India” framework, at an estimated cost of Rs 1.15 lakh crore (almost $18 billion), amid the political slugfest between BJP and Congress+ over the Rs 59,000 crore contract for 36 French Rafale jets.

Top sources said the defence ministry (MoD) has directed IAF, down to just 31 fighter squadrons (each with 18 jets) now when at least 42 are required for the “collusive threat” from Pakistan and China, to come up with a new proposal that will take both single and twin-engine fighters into account.

“The original plan placed an unnecessary restriction on only single-engine fighters, which limited the competition to just two jets (American F-16 and Swedish Gripen-E). The aim is to increase the contenders and avoid needless allegations later,” said a source.

Incidentally, F-16 manufacturer Lockheed Martin had joined hands with Tata Advance Defence Systems Ltd, while Swedish aviation major SAAB tied-up with the Adani Group in anticipation of the mega project to produce the fighters in India under MoD’s ‘strategic partnership’ policy, as was earlier reported by TOI.


Faced with a further two-year delay now, which will ensure the beleaguered force will not be able to reach its sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons even by 2032 as projected earlier, the IAF is now scrambling to finalize the new plan based on its operational requirements, the required transfer of technology and other aspects.

It was the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar who had advised IAF to go in for the single-engine production line because he said the country could afford only 36 of the twin-engine Rafales for meeting its “critical operational necessity” immediately. Single-engine fighters, of course, have a lower acquisition and operating cost even if there is a slight compromise in capability.


The 36 Rafales, ordered in “flyaway condition” by the NDA government after scrapping the original MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project for 126 jets initiated by the previous UPA regime, will be delivered in 2019-2022 under the 7.8 billion Euros contract inked in September 2016.

But they alone will not make up the numbers. With all the 10 existing squadrons of old MiG-21s and MiG-27s slated for retirement by 2022, it’s projected the number of squadrons will go down to 19 by 2027, and may further reduce to 16 by 2032, given the long delays in the indigenous Tejas fighter.

The new project to include both single and twin-engine fighters will, in effect, be a repeat of the MMRCA project first proposed by the IAF in 2001-2002. The formal tender or RFP (request for proposal) for the MMRCA project, under which the first 18 jets were to come in flyaway condition and the rest 108 being licensed produced by defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics, was floated in 2007.

While the F-16 and Gripen-E as well as the twin-engine Russian MiG-35 and American F/A-18 were rejected after exhaustive field trials, the Rafale in 2012 had emerged the winner over Eurofighter Typhoon after commercial evaluation. But the final negotiations were deadlocked for long before being scrapped in June 2015 by the NDA government.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ind ... 034958.cms

So what aircraft will be considered? Rafale, Gripen and Eurofighter should still be in production, as should the Super Hornet with recent US Navy intent to top up the fleet. Not sure about the future of the F-16 now there is no reason to move the production line to India. F-35 may be a consideration given recent reports coming from India but that may take a significant further improvement in US/India relations and perhaps India not moving forward with FGFA. I see no future for MiG-35 in India but perhaps Su-35 are a chance.

All up then we have a pretty busy international fighter market with India, Canada, Finland all selecting in the early 2020s and probably a few more.
 
P1aneMad
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:22 pm

Wasn't the Tejas supposed to form the backbone of the single engined fleet of the IAF?
What happened to this plan? I thought that the Tejas 2 (or some such) version of this bird with AESA radar and with a second assembly line would cover all the replacements of MiG and Jaguar squadrons.
Any more info from our Indian friends here?
 
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Aesma
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:14 pm

Does having 2 engines really makes that much difference cost wise ? I would expect the actual capabilities and overall size and complexity of the aircraft matter more.
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BawliBooch
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:40 am

P1aneMad wrote:
Wasn't the Tejas supposed to form the backbone of the single engined fleet of the IAF?
What happened to this plan? I thought that the Tejas 2 (or some such) version of this bird with AESA radar and with a second assembly line would cover all the replacements of MiG and Jaguar squadrons.
Any more info from our Indian friends here?


IMO the Tejas is being slowly killed off. We wont see more than a cursory induction of a few squadrons. A far cry from the orig plan of making the local design the backbone of the IAF.

As the Rafale Scam showed us, there is much more money to be made in international defense deals. Some things never change.
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kelval
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:20 pm

Can you develop the "Rafale Scam"?

On this side of the planet, it's being said that the MMRCA contract was dropped because of Dassault not being able to find Indian partners (quality problems).
And that India bought 30some Rafale off the shelf some time later. It would be interesting to have a cost comparison between India's deal and say Egyptia's or Qatar's.

Also what's up with India's RFP? Makes India look like they don't really know what they are looking for. They can't expect to pay Rafale or Eurofighters at the same price they pay F-16, do they? I thought they needed a high number of robust planes to be the backbone of their airforce?

As someone said, what's up with the Tejas? And if they aren't able to produce the Tejas in high numbers and with good enough quality, how did they expect to locally produce the Rafale without being disappointed by the final product?

Finally, seeing how long Indian RFP take to proceed, do they plan to fly their Mig 21 into late 2020?

Sorry that's a lot of questions, but they are genuine. I'm interested on knowing about the other side of the coin.
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:17 am

kelval wrote:
Can you develop the "Rafale Scam"?

On this side of the planet, it's being said that the MMRCA contract was dropped because of Dassault not being able to find Indian partners (quality problems).
And that India bought 30some Rafale off the shelf some time later. It would be interesting to have a cost comparison between India's deal and say Egyptia's or Qatar's.


The original partner on the Indian side was supposed to be the state owned HAL which was supposed to make 108 of the 126 Rafales planned in this phase. The new deal involves straight purchase of 36 aircraft in flyaway condition - will work out more expensive. The partner chosen now is Reliance Defense owned by Modi crony Anil Ambani, who has ZERO experience in the field.

HAL itself has over 80 years of experience manufacturing & supporting both local designs and foreign designs under license. From the Mig-21 down to Mig-29 and Su-30MKI's, From Hawker Hunters to Folland Gnats to Avro 748's. HAL has extensive experience in the field. Ambani has none.

Egypt & Qatar both bought the jets off the shelf. The original Indian RFP was for local manufacture of 108 of the 126 jets which should have been cheaper. But even then if you do a cost comparison the revised Indian deal for 36 Rafales still works out more expensive.
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Ozair
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:40 am

In the context of when and if India will go ahead with a new fighter competition it appears there is a renewed push for Tejas to replace more aircraft. While it was probably always the plan we are finally starting to see some production and improvements to the aircraft to make it a viable replacement.

I am a fan of the Tejas and would like to see India go all in although I am somewhat concerned by the reports of a significantly upgraded Mk2 that will feature close coupled canards amongst other things. I feel like the intent is to introduce too much complexity or performance to what should be a low cost multi-role aircraft.

Defence Ministry's major push to make LCA Tejas top priority

Looking to fulfill the combat aircraft requirements of the Indian Air Force, the first priority of defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman is the indigenously designed and developed LCA Tejas combat aircraft.
The Air Force plans to replace its Mirage 2000, MiG 29 and Jaguar fighter jet fleets with LCA Tejas. Sitharaman is pushing the indigenous combat aircraft programme hard at a time when global vendors such as America, Sweden, Russia and France are offering their planes for a Make in India programme where over 100 planes will be built in the country.
"The first priority of the defence minister is to push the LCA Tejas programme where she is looking to increase the rate of production of the LCA and LCA MK 1A projects and fasten the LCA Mk 2 project which will be an advanced version of the plane," a government official said.
The Air Force too is keen on the development of the advanced version of the LCA. "The specifications of the LCA Mk-2 would be providing us the capabilities similar to the Mirage-2000 aircraft with latest technologies, including an AESA radar and a very effective Electronic Warfare system and give us a boost against the adversaries," an Air Force official said.
Recently, Sitharaman had clarified that the government had not ditched the LCA Tejas programme in any way and it has in fact ordered for 123 planes. She also said the government is looking to give a massive push to HAL to scale up the production of Tejas not just for the Air Force but also to export it to countries that are interested in acquiring it.
At present, HAL is producing about six to eight of these fighter planes annually, Sitharaman had said, adding that the numbers need to substantially increase by expanding the production capacity.
The Minister is also looking at the possibility of using private sector companies which can be used by the HAL to assemble or integrate the plane to ramp up the capability to somewhere like 15-16 planes a year.

https://www.indiatoday.in/mail-today/st ... 2018-03-15

Getting to 16 aircraft a year, and perhaps beyond that when the Mk2 is ready for production, should go a long way to providing valid replacements for the current crop of aging Indian aircraft.

Looking ahead then for the new MMRCA competition, if it happens, the Rafale would likely be favourite given India are already inducting it, while there is, as posted in the F-35 news thread, ongoing speculation on India acquiring the F-35 and multiple other vendors interested in selling to India.
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:09 am

Ozair wrote:
In the context of when and if India will go ahead with a new fighter competition it appears there is a renewed push for Tejas to replace more aircraft. While it was probably always the plan we are finally starting to see some production and improvements to the aircraft to make it a viable replacement.

I am a fan of the Tejas and would like to see India go all in although I am somewhat concerned by the reports of a significantly upgraded Mk2 that will feature close coupled canards amongst other things. I feel like the intent is to introduce too much complexity or performance to what should be a low cost multi-role aircraft.


The problem with Indian R&D is that they have allowed the Air Force to dictate too much on specs leading to scope creep. The original Tejas was supposed to be a quick & cheap Gen2 replacement project for the Mig21 fleet. If done to original spec, the damn thing would have flying in the 80's. Instead the AF kept updating the requirements and the R&D groups kept updating the design leading to a 2 decade delay in first flight. The cycle continues till today.

The IAF/MoD is happy to let foreign designs sneak in. The defense contractors are a major source of revenue for the ministers and IAF officials involved with procurement.

I am convinced the Tejas will never achieve the volumes intended when the design was conceived. 70% of the IAF fleet with an Indian design? Forget it!
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parapente
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:00 am

Defence spending is as everyone knows one of the greatest wastes of money on the planet unless,sadly, someone really wants to have a war and start killing other people.
India really needs to invest in infrastructure not war toys.Who are they fighting?There is zero danger from Russia or China and certainly not Bangladesh.So we are back once again to Pakistan.Really???There has only ever been one meaningful dispute over Himalayan territory basked on historical partition votes over 50 years ago.
Instead of corrupt politicians lining their pockets perhaps they should get some honest ones to get down to resolving this one boarder dispute.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:04 pm

Not sure how well the SH will stack-up to the competition performance wise. However, from an industrial off-set stand point, Boeing is well on it's way.
They just opened up a facility with HAL to fabricate AH-64 fuselage. They just renewed contract with TAML on floor beams for the 787. With the combination of commercial and military contracts, they have slowly build up their manufacturing presence in India which will improve their chances for successfully building a fighter in-country.

Besides the major contractors like HAL, TAML and DTL, there are a slew of smaller machine and finishing shops that that have been qualified by Boeing to do manufacturing work for the big sub-contractors. We do not hear much about these smaller companies but they are necessary to establish an effective indigenous manufacturing base for a fighter program.

bt
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P1aneMad
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:23 pm

So which aircraft can we expect to participate in this contest? Is there a cap on cost per airframe?
If not both a Gripen and an F-35 can compete.
 
Ozair
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:49 pm

P1aneMad wrote:
So which aircraft can we expect to participate in this contest? Is there a cap on cost per airframe?
If not both a Gripen and an F-35 can compete.

The usual suspects, Rafale, Eurofighter, Super Hornet, Gripen and maybe Su-35. F-16 is unlikely while F-35 is a possibility depending upon on how US/Indian relations improve.

No other details on cost or numbers are available and I think it will be a while before further details are released.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:59 pm

Ozair wrote:
P1aneMad wrote:
So which aircraft can we expect to participate in this contest? Is there a cap on cost per airframe?
If not both a Gripen and an F-35 can compete.

The usual suspects, Rafale, Eurofighter, Super Hornet, Gripen and maybe Su-35. F-16 is unlikely while F-35 is a possibility depending upon on how US/Indian relations improve.

No other details on cost or numbers are available and I think it will be a while before further details are released.


Pardon me for ignorance, any reasons why F-15 is not mentioned as a possible contender?
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Ozair
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:05 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
Ozair wrote:
P1aneMad wrote:
So which aircraft can we expect to participate in this contest? Is there a cap on cost per airframe?
If not both a Gripen and an F-35 can compete.

The usual suspects, Rafale, Eurofighter, Super Hornet, Gripen and maybe Su-35. F-16 is unlikely while F-35 is a possibility depending upon on how US/Indian relations improve.

No other details on cost or numbers are available and I think it will be a while before further details are released.


Pardon me for ignorance, any reasons why F-15 is not mentioned as a possible contender?

Same reason as Su-35 but I did include above as a maybe. The tender is likely to be for a medium sized aircraft. India already has a large Su-30MKI fleet and are seeking a smaller aircraft that complements that fleet and will sit above the Tejas.
 
P1aneMad
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:09 am

Ozair wrote:
Same reason as Su-35 but I did include above as a maybe. The tender is likely to be for a medium sized aircraft. India already has a large Su-30MKI fleet and are seeking a smaller aircraft that complements that fleet and will sit above the Tejas.

Isn't Rafale's acquisition supposed to cover this need? So it is possible that they will introduce yet another mainline fighter to the fleet?
I don't know, it looks terribly inefficient to me.
 
angad84
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:06 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Not sure how well the SH will stack-up to the competition performance wise. However, from an industrial off-set stand point, Boeing is well on it's way.
They just opened up a facility with HAL to fabricate AH-64 fuselage.
...bt

The Apache fuselages are with Tata. They are not doing any more big contracts with HAL.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:09 pm

angad84 wrote:
The Apache fuselages are with Tata.


This makes more sense then. Boeing have had more success with Tata than HAL.

bt
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BawliBooch
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:50 am

Any big defense purchases will not happen before the elections in 2019. Infact it will be 2020 at the earliest.

The Indian MoD is now in full firefighting mode due to the Rafale Scam.
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Ozair
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:47 am

BawliBooch wrote:
Any big defense purchases will not happen before the elections in 2019. Infact it will be 2020 at the earliest.


I don't think anyone expects this to occur before 2020, not even the Indian MoD, and I would say 2021-22 is a far more likely timeframe. A lot can happen between now and then but how the competition progresses, if it progresses, will say a lot.

Questions I’d like to see answered include will India conduct a fly off again or simply evaluate on submitted bids as has happened the last few times in Europe? Will they limit the candidates to a select few given they are seeking a Govt to Govt deal? How much offset and/or tech transfer will they require?
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:37 am

Ozair wrote:
I don't think anyone expects this to occur before 2020, not even the Indian MoD, and I would say 2021-22 is a far more likely timeframe. A lot can happen between now and then but how the competition progresses, if it progresses, will say a lot.

AFAIR, F-18 production line is scheduled to run out of orders by 2020 or so (please correct me, if I'm wrong).
It was rumored, Indian Navy was interested in F-18; if purchase is delayed close to line shutdown -- I wonder, if this could turn into a new "additional C-17 acquisition" saga for Indian MOD (India expects to buy some C-17, line closes, drama ensues)
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bikerthai
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:52 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
AFAIR, F-18 production line is scheduled to run out of orders by 2020


This would not be a problem with the St. Louis line as production for any India F-18 final assembly would probably be in India anyway.

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Phosphorus
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:20 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
AFAIR, F-18 production line is scheduled to run out of orders by 2020


This would not be a problem with the St. Louis line as production for any India F-18 final assembly would probably be in India anyway.

bt


I wonder, how does that work, schedule-wise? I mean, there's still time pressure -- you cannot simply stop a line, put it in boxes for a possible transfer, and wait for a decision from a prospective customer. Even if you pay the staff for being idle, there's still skill loss. Some of the staff has ambitions beyond being paid not to work, as well.
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Ozair
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:20 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
AFAIR, F-18 production line is scheduled to run out of orders by 2020 or so (please correct me, if I'm wrong).

That is incorrect. The USN has essentially committed, in the latest budget documents, to approx 90 new SH aircraft over the next three years. That translates to delivery two years post the budget order date, meaning SH production will continue until at least 2022 and probably more likely 2023. The USN aim is to continue buying SH to replace classic Hornets which are struggling to meet readiness figures. The USN are also funding some of the SH Blk 3 enhancements including conformal tanks which should make the SH more competitive on the export market.

Phosphorus wrote:
It was rumored, Indian Navy was interested in F-18; if purchase is delayed close to line shutdown -- I wonder, if this could turn into a new "additional C-17 acquisition" saga for Indian MOD (India expects to buy some C-17, line closes, drama ensues)

I don't think we will see a C-17 saga repeat, at least for the next five years. The issue becomes if India waits to long to decide on SH it may actually bring the F-35A/C into contention (dependant on US/India relations and where they go with FGFA), which essentially blows the SH acquisition out of the water.
 
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Slug71
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:24 pm

India is not going to buy a US fighter.
 
Ozair
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:49 pm

Slug71 wrote:
India is not going to buy a US fighter.


Interesting that you make that claim given your previous advocacy for India to acquire a Chinese fighter, the probability of such certainly lower than the Indian acquisition of a US fighter. The evidence of closer US/India ties, especially around military equipment is considerable, and has certainly increased the chances of India acquiring a US fighter.

There was a significant change from the 2009 when India acquired the P-8, in 2010 ordered the C-17, was considering the F-16 and F-18 for the MMRCA until they, probably rightly, didn’t make the shortlist in 2011, ordered the AH-64 in 2011, ordered the C-130J in 2012. They operate the Tejas with the US manufactured GE404 engine and have selected the GE414 for later variants. In 2016 India ordered the M777 howitzer and is now going through the process to acquire Predator B drones. India went through the single engine fighter jet process last year before this new acquisition superseded it, with the two aircraft in contention being the US F-16 and the Saab Gripen E, powered by a US engine with additional US content.

Looking ahead India are very keen on the US EMALS technology for their new aircraft carriers which would clearly go hand in hand with a US naval aircraft, and may only be transferred if that order occurs.

None of the above indicates acquiring a US fighter is a certainty but the probability is far higher than it was fifteen, ten or even five years ago and a one line blanket statement doesn’t demonstrate a thought out, reasoned and logical argument against it.
 
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Slug71
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:10 am

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
India is not going to buy a US fighter.


Interesting that you make that claim given your previous advocacy for India to acquire a Chinese fighter, the probability of such certainly lower than the Indian acquisition of a US fighter. The evidence of closer US/India ties, especially around military equipment is considerable, and has certainly increased the chances of India acquiring a US fighter.

There was a significant change from the 2009 when India acquired the P-8, in 2010 ordered the C-17, was considering the F-16 and F-18 for the MMRCA until they, probably rightly, didn’t make the shortlist in 2011, ordered the AH-64 in 2011, ordered the C-130J in 2012. They operate the Tejas with the US manufactured GE404 engine and have selected the GE414 for later variants. In 2016 India ordered the M777 howitzer and is now going through the process to acquire Predator B drones. India went through the single engine fighter jet process last year before this new acquisition superseded it, with the two aircraft in contention being the US F-16 and the Saab Gripen E, powered by a US engine with additional US content.

Looking ahead India are very keen on the US EMALS technology for their new aircraft carriers which would clearly go hand in hand with a US naval aircraft, and may only be transferred if that order occurs.

None of the above indicates acquiring a US fighter is a certainty but the probability is far higher than it was fifteen, ten or even five years ago and a one line blanket statement doesn’t demonstrate a thought out, reasoned and logical argument against it.


Wasn't really "advocating" for the Chinese fighter, just somewhat surprised it hadn't been considered, considering it fits the bill in several ways. It was taken that way though.

I agree that India/US relations have improved and that the chances are probably higher now than they've ever been. The US has also cut some of the strings that came attached to their fighters in regards to weaponry (ie. Not US only, as MBDA products are being integrated on the F-35). But the C-17, C-130, and AH-64 don't contain any sensitive equipment. The P-8i has a lot of indigenous electronics and there are export restrictions on the sensitive stuff. The Predator B is also a non-weaponized version.

I do not think that any of the weaponry used by India can be used on the F/A-18, other than the Paveway and what is used on the P-8i. The MBDA Meteor will be integrated on the F-35 at some point though.
But thats where the complications lie, weaponry and export restrictions on the sensitive stuff. Especially when you factor in the ties with Russia (and to some extent China with BRICS).

Honestly, I don't expect much from India in general. They'll select another aircraft, kick the bucket down the road, some issue will come up, kick the bucket down the road some more, cancel the purchase, start a new competition, rinse and repeat.
 
parapente
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:35 am

Just buy the Gripen with manufacturing offset and have done with it.Could also use them on their aircraft carriers.But perhaps you can't bribe The Swedes so easily!No backhanders no deal it seems.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:40 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
I wonder, how does that work, schedule-wise?


I think Boeing has learned it's lessons with past project with India. If needed, they will duplicate any tooling needed in India. After all tooling is cheaper there and any cost could be rolled into off-sets requirements.

Slug71 wrote:
I do not think that any of the weaponry used by India can be used on the F/A-18,


Did they ever get the Harpoons they wanted with the P-8I's.

bt
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angad84
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:10 pm

They will require a pretty extensive weapons package if they go American. Or at least a weapons certification campaign, if they want to use existing stocks of Western weapons (Russian munitions are obviously a no-go).

bt, we have AGM-84s for our Jaguars and P-8Is, plus UGMs for our Type-209 subs. That part is the least of the problems. A2A and PGM will need complete re-doing, as will rockets (if any), dumb bombs (we use a different spec). The list of issues is long, and extends far past the type of aircraft selected.
 
Ozair
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:25 pm

Slug71 wrote:
The US has also cut some of the strings that came attached to their fighters in regards to weaponry (ie. Not US only, as MBDA products are being integrated on the F-35).

Not sure where this perception has come from. The F-16 has a large suite of non American weapons integrated, including missiles such as IRIS-T, Derby and Python 4/5 with the Israeli missiles operated by India. It also has the SOM and Penguin cruise missiles integrated. Classic Hornet has fewer missiles integrated such as ASRAAM (also operated by India) and the KEPD350.

The SH clearly has less given it has only one in service export customer, the RAAF, who decided to operate US weapons only with the limited number acquired. If it meant a 100+ sale Boeing would be very happy to work with India to integrate whatever weapons they want.

If relations improved to the point where the F-35 was on offer it brings UAI with Blk 4. That makes weapons integration very simple with only flight testing required. Already there are a number of foreign missiles looking to integrate including the JSM and SOM. India would have no problems integrating local weapons via UAI, potentially even Russian missiles (although not sure why you would bother).

Both the F-35 and F-16 will get UAI but I haven’t seen anything about the SH, not impossible given Boeing is a partner on the development. Some info on UAI here, http://www.iqpc.com/media/6729/4428.pdf ... e=4428.pdf

A2G weapons have less compatibility with current Indian stocks but are typically much cheaper and easier to integrate, and could also use UAI. Will a weapons buy be sizeable, yes, but with a proposed fleet of 100+ aircraft the investment is worth it. Just for the small 36 Rafale fleet India has acquired Meteor and SCALP aside the other integrations and specialized fitouts they specified.

Slug71 wrote:
But thats where the complications lie, weaponry and export restrictions on the sensitive stuff. Especially when you factor in the ties with Russia (and to some extent China with BRICS).

If India acquires a US fighter it will have few export restrictions and while India has ties to Russia, less today than they have been, they have essentially zero with China.
angad84 wrote:
They will require a pretty extensive weapons package if they go American. Or at least a weapons certification campaign, if they want to use existing stocks of Western weapons (Russian munitions are obviously a no-go).

India clearly don’t have a problem acquiring foreign aircraft and integrating local or foreign weapons.
 
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:21 pm

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
The US has also cut some of the strings that came attached to their fighters in regards to weaponry (ie. Not US only, as MBDA products are being integrated on the F-35).

Not sure where this perception has come from. The F-16 has a large suite of non American weapons integrated, including missiles such as IRIS-T, Derby and Python 4/5 with the Israeli missiles operated by India. It also has the SOM and Penguin cruise missiles integrated. Classic Hornet has fewer missiles integrated such as ASRAAM (also operated by India) and the KEPD350.

The SH clearly has less given it has only one in service export customer, the RAAF, who decided to operate US weapons only with the limited number acquired. If it meant a 100+ sale Boeing would be very happy to work with India to integrate whatever weapons they want.

If relations improved to the point where the F-35 was on offer it brings UAI with Blk 4. That makes weapons integration very simple with only flight testing required. Already there are a number of foreign missiles looking to integrate including the JSM and SOM. India would have no problems integrating local weapons via UAI, potentially even Russian missiles (although not sure why you would bother).

Both the F-35 and F-16 will get UAI but I haven’t seen anything about the SH, not impossible given Boeing is a partner on the development. Some info on UAI here, http://www.iqpc.com/media/6729/4428.pdf ... e=4428.pdf

A2G weapons have less compatibility with current Indian stocks but are typically much cheaper and easier to integrate, and could also use UAI. Will a weapons buy be sizeable, yes, but with a proposed fleet of 100+ aircraft the investment is worth it. Just for the small 36 Rafale fleet India has acquired Meteor and SCALP aside the other integrations and specialized fitouts they specified.


You're right, I forgot about the F-16. Israel didn't sell the Python (for export) until the early 2000's IIRC, and the IRIS-T also only went into service in the mid-2000's. By that time, the F-16 would only be available for the export market since the F-35 was already well into development and the USAF had ordered no more F-16's. The USAF received their last F-16 in early 2005 IIRC. Even then, doesn't mean you can only use the export weaponry. I've heard on several occasions from various serviceman that there are clauses that require the purchase and use of US weaponry with the purchase of US metal.

Depending on the code or information (and the sensitivity thereof) that needs to be shared to get weapons and systems implemented, Russia and/or the US might frown upon that. Not to mention even the classified flight characteristics that would be exposed.

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
But thats where the complications lie, weaponry and export restrictions on the sensitive stuff. Especially when you factor in the ties with Russia (and to some extent China with BRICS).

If India acquires a US fighter it will have few export restrictions and while India has ties to Russia, less today than they have been, they have essentially zero with China.


May be few, but they will be there. India will likely want some home grown equipment on there too. India also wants manufacture rights, which might be tough with the F-35. The F-35 that the export customers get, are not the same as what the US has. IIRC, even the RAM coating applied to the US aircraft is different from the export variants. The UK and RAAF might have the closest thing to what the US has though.
The ties with Russia may be (or seem) less, but they are still close. And they are not zero with China. BRICS nations (mainly Russia, India, and China) have made large investments in the New Development Bank, have plans for their own cryptocurrency, their own internet infrastructure....etc.
 
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:30 pm

Slug71 wrote:
You're right, I forgot about the F-16. Israel didn't sell the Python (for export) until the early 2000's IIRC, and the IRIS-T also only went into service in the mid-2000's. By that time, the F-16 would only be available for the export market since the F-35 was already well into development and the USAF had ordered no more F-16's. The USAF received their last F-16 in early 2005 IIRC.

F-16s have been exported since the Blk 5 was manufactured in 1979 and equipped with domestic weaponry shortly after.

Slug71 wrote:
Even then, doesn't mean you can only use the export weaponry. I've heard on several occasions from various serviceman that there are clauses that require the purchase and use of US weaponry with the purchase of US metal.

Of course they want to sell their own weaponry. In that case the added bonus for the customer is the weapons already being integrated into the platform, typically lower cost because it has large production volumes, is technologically advanced and through the FMS program has long term sustainment. Hence the overall cost is less but that hasn’t stopped nations from integrating domestic weapons onto respective American aircraft.

Slug71 wrote:
Depending on the code or information (and the sensitivity thereof) that needs to be shared to get weapons and systems implemented, Russia and/or the US might frown upon that. Not to mention even the classified flight characteristics that would be exposed.

There are two ways you can integrate, with the vendor and without. Depending on what you want to add to a platform depends on what level of access you need.

As for classified flight characteristics, that makes no sense. The country is operating the jet and operates the weapon, what is classified about putting the two together?

Slug71 wrote:
May be few, but they will be there. India will likely want some home grown equipment on there too. India also wants manufacture rights, which might be tough with the F-35.

Japan, a non F-35 partner, has their own manufacturing line that includes a greater use of Japanese manufactured parts. They have paid more for that privilege but the option is there.

Slug71 wrote:
The F-35 that the export customers get, are not the same as what the US has. IIRC, even the RAM coating applied to the US aircraft is different from the export variants. The UK and RAAF might have the closest thing to what the US has though.

Take the tin foil hat off mate, there is no physical different between a jet that is delivered to the US or to the RAAF or to Norway or to Turkey or to Japan or from those delivered from the FACO in Italy or Japan. This has been stated by the program so many times I cannot believe that there are still people trolling this obvious fallacy.

Where the difference does exist, is in the mission data files. Each nation has their own intelligence data they bring to the jet. The US has data files that are only theirs, the UK/AUS/CAN have data files that are only theirs, the Norwegians and Italians have data files that are only theirs etc. Clearly in a Coalition environment there is going to be some sharing of that data as well as data agreements that exist between nations so the actual delta between MDFs may be relatively small.
 
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:29 pm

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
You're right, I forgot about the F-16. Israel didn't sell the Python (for export) until the early 2000's IIRC, and the IRIS-T also only went into service in the mid-2000's. By that time, the F-16 would only be available for the export market since the F-35 was already well into development and the USAF had ordered no more F-16's. The USAF received their last F-16 in early 2005 IIRC.

F-16s have been exported since the Blk 5 was manufactured in 1979 and equipped with domestic weaponry shortly after.


Israel did not allow the sale of the Python 4+ until the early 2000's IIRC. So F-16's with Python 4+ and IRIS-T would not have been available for sale until after the US had already decided it wouldn't procure any more F-16s.

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Even then, doesn't mean you can only use the export weaponry. I've heard on several occasions from various serviceman that there are clauses that require the purchase and use of US weaponry with the purchase of US metal.

Of course they want to sell their own weaponry. In that case the added bonus for the customer is the weapons already being integrated into the platform, typically lower cost because it has large production volumes, is technologically advanced and through the FMS program has long term sustainment. Hence the overall cost is less but that hasn’t stopped nations from integrating domestic weapons onto respective American aircraft.


Agreed. Wasn't implying there was anything wrong with it. Just using it as substantiation. As to lower cost...can't speak on that as i've heard/read the opposite.

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Depending on the code or information (and the sensitivity thereof) that needs to be shared to get weapons and systems implemented, Russia and/or the US might frown upon that. Not to mention even the classified flight characteristics that would be exposed.

There are two ways you can integrate, with the vendor and without. Depending on what you want to add to a platform depends on what level of access you need.

As for classified flight characteristics, that makes no sense. The country is operating the jet and operates the weapon, what is classified about putting the two together?


Well, take the F-22 and SR-71 for example, where their speed is/was classified. There are handling/flight characteristics that could be classified and exposed during exercises. That is purely an assumption on my part, but it's not unheard of. Turkey is already raising concerns with their growing ties with Russia.

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
May be few, but they will be there. India will likely want some home grown equipment on there too. India also wants manufacture rights, which might be tough with the F-35.

Japan, a non F-35 partner, has their own manufacturing line that includes a greater use of Japanese manufactured parts. They have paid more for that privilege but the option is there.


Sure. Like I said, tough, but not impossible. Not sure the US/India relationship is quite there yet. The Japan/US relationship is long. I think it's likely that India will be allowed to use indigenous sensors etc. though, like Israel's F-35s.

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
The F-35 that the export customers get, are not the same as what the US has. IIRC, even the RAM coating applied to the US aircraft is different from the export variants. The UK and RAAF might have the closest thing to what the US has though.

Take the tin foil hat off mate, there is no physical different between a jet that is delivered to the US or to the RAAF or to Norway or to Turkey or to Japan or from those delivered from the FACO in Italy or Japan. This has been stated by the program so many times I cannot believe that there are still people trolling this obvious fallacy.

Where the difference does exist, is in the mission data files. Each nation has their own intelligence data they bring to the jet. The US has data files that are only theirs, the UK/AUS/CAN have data files that are only theirs, the Norwegians and Italians have data files that are only theirs etc. Clearly in a Coalition environment there is going to be some sharing of that data as well as data agreements that exist between nations so the actual delta between MDFs may be relatively small.


Might be a fallacy. It's hard deciphering threw the garbage that gets spread sometimes. But the source code on all F-35's is locked. All upgrades must be done in the US. Only the US and the UK can generate the operational codes for the users, or effectively make the hardware an expensive paperweight.
 
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:27 am

Slug71 wrote:
Israel did not allow the sale of the Python 4+ until the early 2000's IIRC. So F-16's with Python 4+ and IRIS-T would not have been available for sale until after the US had already decided it wouldn't procure any more F-16s.

I don’t understand your inference of a link between the ending of US acquisition of the F-16 and the export of the Python 4 nor how either of those relate to the integration of non US weapons on the F-16. Israel had already integrated Python 3 in the 80s, and subsequently did so with 4 and 5. Pakistan operated the Magic 2 on the F-16 starting the integration in 1989. Norway also integrated the Penguin 3 missile in the late 80s all while the USAF was inducting huge numbers of F-16s every year.

Slug71 wrote:
Agreed. Wasn't implying there was anything wrong with it. Just using it as substantiation. As to lower cost...can't speak on that as i've heard/read the opposite.

The cost savings come from the volume of weapons production that FMS customers can leverage. We see that even today, with US weapons typically 2/3rds or less the cost of their French/UK equivalents.

Slug71 wrote:
Well, take the F-22 and SR-71 for example, where their speed is/was classified. There are handling/flight characteristics that could be classified and exposed during exercises. That is purely an assumption on my part, but it's not unheard of. Turkey is already raising concerns with their growing ties with Russia.

The F-22 and SR-71 were never exported to anyone. During exercises aircrew are well aware of what they can and cannot do and who else is either participating in the exercise, or who might be watching the exercise.


Slug71 wrote:
Might be a fallacy. It's hard deciphering threw the garbage that gets spread sometimes. But the source code on all F-35's is locked. All upgrades must be done in the US.

No, not all upgrades must be done in the US. Other nations are able to integrate their own systems through the interfaces provided. The software architecture was built with that specific intent. When UAI arrives it will make that process even smoother.

Slug71 wrote:
Only the US and the UK can generate the operational codes for the users, or effectively make the hardware an expensive paperweight.

The UK does not have access to the source code. It like all the rest of the partners will use the same open architecture interfaces to work with the jet.
No other country is getting the so-called source code, the key to the plane’s electronic brains, Jon Schreiber, who heads the program’s international affairs, told Reuters in an interview Monday.
“That includes everybody,” he said, acknowledging this was not overly popular among the eight that have co-financed F-35 development — Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway.
The single-engine F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is in early stages of production. It is designed to escape radar detection and switch quickly between air-to-ground and air-to-air missions while still flying — tricks heavily dependent on its 8 million lines of onboard software code.
Schreiber said the United States had accommodated all of its partners’ requirements, providing ways for them to upgrade projected F-35 purchases even without the keys to the software.
“Nobody’s happy with it completely. but everybody’s satisfied and understands,” he said of withholding the code. It is also a rebuff to Israel, which has sought the technology transfer as part of a possible purchase of up to 75 F-35s.

[/quote]
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lock ... 1F20091125

As for the operational codes, I assume you are referring to the MDFS I spoke about earlier? The US has their own lab, the UK/AUS/Can have their own lab, the Norwegians and Italians are building their own lab and I expect some of the other partners will receive MDFs from the US that are sanitised for their use.

There is no switch or software code to render the aircraft useless. Can you imagine if that vulnerability were introduced into the aircraft but then that was identified by a near peer adversary. The risk of such a switch is so great it would never be implemented.

Back to the context of India. They have an established weapons integration history, especially as some of the weapons emerging now are very good and have some impressive features. I see no impediment to the Indians acquiring a US fighter if weapons integration is the concern. Nor do I see an issue with any acquisition of non-Indian armaments for whatever aircraft they chose, given as already indicated they acquired Meteor and SCALP for the relatively small Rafale fleet.
 
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:45 pm

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Might be a fallacy. It's hard deciphering threw the garbage that gets spread sometimes. But the source code on all F-35's is locked. All upgrades must be done in the US.

No, not all upgrades must be done in the US. Other nations are able to integrate their own systems through the interfaces provided. The software architecture was built with that specific intent. When UAI arrives it will make that process even smoother.

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Only the US and the UK can generate the operational codes for the users, or effectively make the hardware an expensive paperweight.

The UK does not have access to the source code. It like all the rest of the partners will use the same open architecture interfaces to work with the jet.
No other country is getting the so-called source code, the key to the plane’s electronic brains, Jon Schreiber, who heads the program’s international affairs, told Reuters in an interview Monday.
“That includes everybody,” he said, acknowledging this was not overly popular among the eight that have co-financed F-35 development — Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway.
The single-engine F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is in early stages of production. It is designed to escape radar detection and switch quickly between air-to-ground and air-to-air missions while still flying — tricks heavily dependent on its 8 million lines of onboard software code.
Schreiber said the United States had accommodated all of its partners’ requirements, providing ways for them to upgrade projected F-35 purchases even without the keys to the software.
“Nobody’s happy with it completely. but everybody’s satisfied and understands,” he said of withholding the code. It is also a rebuff to Israel, which has sought the technology transfer as part of a possible purchase of up to 75 F-35s.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lockheed-fighter-exclusive/u-s-to-withhold-f-35-fighter-software-code-idUSTRE5AO01F20091125


As for the operational codes, I assume you are referring to the MDFS I spoke about earlier? The US has their own lab, the UK/AUS/Can have their own lab, the Norwegians and Italians are building their own lab and I expect some of the other partners will receive MDFs from the US that are sanitised for their use.

There is no switch or software code to render the aircraft useless. Can you imagine if that vulnerability were introduced into the aircraft but then that was identified by a near peer adversary. The risk of such a switch is so great it would never be implemented.

Back to the context of India. They have an established weapons integration history, especially as some of the weapons emerging now are very good and have some impressive features. I see no impediment to the Indians acquiring a US fighter if weapons integration is the concern. Nor do I see an issue with any acquisition of non-Indian armaments for whatever aircraft they chose, given as already indicated they acquired Meteor and SCALP for the relatively small Rafale fleet.


Thanks Ozair, Can't find anything on what I had previously read. So most likely just more garbage.



In other news, Indian govt now questioning why a lower cost Eurofighter option was dismissed,

https://www.firstpost.com/politics/rafa ... 38075.html
 
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:30 pm

Slug71 wrote:
In other news, Indian govt now questioning why a lower cost Eurofighter option was dismissed,

https://www.firstpost.com/politics/rafa ... 38075.html

That's an article from 4 months ago, and the answer to the question in the headline is -- "because they are not allowed to do so under the MoD's procurement rules"
 
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:03 pm

The competition potentially moves to the next stage. No aircraft are currently excluded, so single and twin engine aircraft are up for offer, and the local tie ups continue.

MoD asks IAF to issue request for information for $15-billion order before DefExpo

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has asked the Indian Air Force (IAF) to send out the request for information (RfI) for a $15-billion order for 100 fighter aircraft before the DefExpo starting April 11 in Chennai.

Speaking to FE, an official said, “The MoD is keen that generic RfI is out before the DefExpo – this means there will be no specific mention of single- or twin-engine aircraft requirements. And, all types of fighters that participated in medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) tender of 2007 would be eligible for consideration again.”
Explaining the procedure of issuing the RfI, former deputy Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Nirdosh Tyagi, who had been directly involved with the MMRCA process, told FE, “The defence procurement procedure-16 clearly states that RfI is not a commitment for procurement. An RfI is not structured as a rigid document, unlike an RfP. The nature of information to be sought through an RfI is clearly stated in the DPP-16. Fighter procurement has been on the list of the IAF for long. If there is requirement to issue an RfI expeditiously, I am sure the IAF will be able to do so.”

Boeing Company’s F-18 Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-16 and Swedish Gripen, which had earlier lost out in field trials, would have upgraded their offerings by now to meet the qualitative requirements to be issued by the IAF shortly. French firm Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon and Russian Mikoyan’s MiG-35 aircraft are also potential contenders under the new requirements.

Rafale has already sold 36 aircraft to the IAF and is hoping to increase that order size as well as ensure commonality of fleet with the Indian Navy’s requirement of 57 aircraft.
US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, reportedly wants to shift F-16 production line to India. Indian Navy could look at its latest fighter machines – F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant and F-35C carrier variant. In 2017, the company had tied up with Tata Advanced Systems as its local partner and currently is in talks with several other companies to build up the supplier network.

Boeing Company, which has been pushing its F-18 Super Hornet for both the IAF and the Indian Navy, is expected to announce a tie-up with Hindustan Aeronautics and Mahindra Group during the DefExpo later this month.

Swedish Gripen has offered to build planes in India in collaboration with local companies as part of the Make in India and Skill India initiatives.
In spite of the sanctioned strength of 42 combat squadrons required by the IAF, this has drastically come down to 31 at present. It would plummet further over the next decade despite addition of some Rafales and Light combat aircraft. There is requirement of at least 200 more fighter aircraft to maintain minimal squadron strength and capability.

http://www.financialexpress.com/defence ... o/1119307/
 
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:55 pm

The RFI has now reportedly been released. The big surprise for me is the buddy refueling requirement. Not sure if that is a nice to have or need to have but I haven't seen a buddy refueling pod on the Gripen, Eurofighter or F-16 and buddy refueling for an F-16 would obviously require a probe attachment.

India issues RFI for 110 combat aircraft

India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a request for information (RFI) for the planned acquisition of 110 multirole combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) under New Delhi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The 72 page-long RFI has invited responses from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) by 6 July, specifying that the platforms, which are set to be acquired under the MoD’s Defence Procurement Procedure 2016, should be capable of performing air superiority and air defence roles. Moreover, the platforms will be required to conduct strike, reconnaissance, maritime and electronic warfare missions in addition to ‘buddy refuelling’ of other aircraft.

http://www.janes.com/article/79071/indi ... t-aircraft
 
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:01 am

Ozair wrote:
The RFI has now reportedly been released. The big surprise for me is the buddy refueling requirement. Not sure if that is a nice to have or need to have but I haven't seen a buddy refueling pod on the Gripen, Eurofighter or F-16 and buddy refueling for an F-16 would obviously require a probe attachment.

India issues RFI for 110 combat aircraft

India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a request for information (RFI) for the planned acquisition of 110 multirole combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) under New Delhi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The 72 page-long RFI has invited responses from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) by 6 July, specifying that the platforms, which are set to be acquired under the MoD’s Defence Procurement Procedure 2016, should be capable of performing air superiority and air defence roles. Moreover, the platforms will be required to conduct strike, reconnaissance, maritime and electronic warfare missions in addition to ‘buddy refuelling’ of other aircraft.

http://www.janes.com/article/79071/indi ... t-aircraft

The only aircraft that can currently do all of those missions in one type of airframe is the F/A-18 Super Hornet. The Su-30 and the Rafale can do buddy refueling, but don't have a offensive electronic warfare capability. I'm wondering what the Indians have in mind as their preferred candidate, as the roles being mentioned all lean heavily towards the Super Hornet as their preferred option.
 
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:43 am

Ozair wrote:
The RFI has now reportedly been released.


Some detail from the actual RFI is now available at the below twitter account.

https://twitter.com/manupubby/status/98 ... 6%2Fpage-6
 
angad84
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:44 pm

I've been saying this everywhere, why not here too?

This is just an RFI guys. No KPPs/RFP yet. Let's not get too excited just yet.
 
Ozair
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:18 pm

angad84 wrote:
I've been saying this everywhere, why not here too?

This is just an RFI guys. No KPPs/RFP yet. Let's not get too excited just yet.

I think we can get a good 7 years of excitement out of this competition... :duck:

Yes is early days but interesting to see how the RFI may shape future requirements.
 
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:27 am

More details including a strong commitment required by vendors for technology transfer and local production with the aim to release the RFP by the end of the year. Everything is leading to more commitment, and clarity of requirements and subsequent responses, to this compared to the previous MMRCA.

IAF seeks commitment from fighter vendors, will issue tenders only to those willing to transfer technology

Global aerospace manufacturers with huge stakes in India’s proposed procurement of hundreds of fighter aircraft, are struck by the level of detail the Indian Air Force (IAF) has sought in a Request for Information (RFI) issued on Friday.

The 72-page RFI, besides specifying the IAF’s requirement in minute detail, seeks a clear commitment from vendors of their willingness to supply sensitive technologies, documentation, training facilities and performance guarantees.

The level of detail in the current RFI contrasts starkly with the sketchy, one-page RFI issued in 2004 in the ultimately aborted contest to supply the IAF with 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA).

Last October, the IAF issued an even shorter, one-paragraph RFI, soliciting interest in supplying the IAF with 100-200 single-engine fighters.

“The latest RFI seeks to avoid the mistakes of previous procurements, especially the MMRCA tender. In those vendors were not pinned down to clear commitments about transferring technology. This time, the commitments demanded ensure that non-serious vendors would be eliminated at the RFI stage itself. Unwilling vendors may not even be issued an RFP (request for proposals), points out Air Marshal Nirdosh Tyagi, who managed the MMRCA procurement for several years.

The RFP is a formal tender that is issued to vendors whose response to the RFI meets the military’s key requirements. It will be issued after detailed scrutiny of vendor responses to the RFI, which must be submitted by July 6.

IAF sources hope the RFP would be issued by this year-end, but admit that the defence ministry’s track record makes this an optimistic time frame. In the MMRCA procurement, the RFI was issued in 2004; and the RFP eventually in 2007.

Another key difference from previous tenders is the RFI’s focus on the operational capabilities the IAF requires – incorporating details of “air superiority” missions that must be carried out at 6 kilometres (20,000 feet) altitude, Lo-Lo-Lo ground strike (ingress, strike and egress at a low altitude of 150 metres), anti-shipping strikes, and others. In the MMRCA tender, much of the emphasis was on flight performance, such as turning radius, climb rate, sustained turn rate, etc.

This time, the aircraft is treated as a combat platform, not just a pure flying machine. The RFI enquires into operational ability, such as the time needed for a fully-armed and fuelled fighter to climb, using full afterburners, to an altitude of 3 kilometres and separately to 10 km altitude. This would indicate to IAF evaluators a fighter’s ability to position itself dominatingly against rapidly approaching enemy fighters.

The October RFI, which specified “single-engine” fighters, effectively reduced the contest to two aerospace vendors – Lockheed Martin and Saab – since they were the only companies with high-performance, single engine aircraft: the F-16 Block 70 and Gripen E respectively.

However, the current RFI opens the doors to four more vendors with twin-engine fighters on offer. These include Boeing (F/A-18E/F Super Hornet), Russian Aircraft Corporation (MiG-35), Eurofighter GmbH (Typhoon) and Dassault, which is already executing a contract for 36 Rafale fighters, signed in June 2016.

A key gainer is Boeing, which is already well placed in the navy’s acquisition of 57 carrier-borne multi-role fighters. Boeing India’s chief, Pratyush Kumar, noting that the inclusion of twin-engine fighters would “make room for vigorous competition”, also welcomed the emphasis on “specific operational capabilities rather than over-specifying technical parameters [of the fighter].

So too is Dassault, with the IAF already having ordered 36 of its Rafale fighters. The company, which sees itself in pole position in the contest, declined to comment.

Eurofighter GmbH is another possible gainer, with the Typhoon fighter back in the fray. Along with the Rafale, the Typhoon was the only other aircraft to clear the MMRCA flight trails. However, Airbus, which owns a 46 per cent stake in Eurofighter (BAE Systems owns 33 per cent and Leonardo owns the remaining 21 per cent) stated only that it would examine the RFI.

Surprisingly, Lockheed Martin, which now faces enlarged competition, is the most upbeat of the vendors. Welcoming the RFI, the company states: “The F-16, including its unmatched export opportunities, remains the only aircraft program in this competition with the proven performance and industrial scale to meet India’s operational needs and Make in India priorities.”


Saab, a Swedish aerospace company, which similarly finds a two-horse field now expanded to 5-6, has reserved comment until it analyses the RFI. “We believe Gripen is the best choice for India and that Gripen will satisfy the Indian needs in the best possible way”, says a statement from Saab.

http://ajaishukla.blogspot.com.au/2018/ ... ghter.html
 
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Slug71
Posts: 914
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:17 pm

Almost seems tailored for the F/A-18 this time around.
 
neutronstar73
Posts: 728
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:57 pm

Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:07 pm

Slug71 wrote:
Almost seems tailored for the F/A-18 this time around.


News reports have stated the Super Hornet is the winner.
 
P1aneMad
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:05 pm

Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:08 pm

neutronstar73 wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Almost seems tailored for the F/A-18 this time around.


News reports have stated the Super Hornet is the winner.

What news reports actually say is that Boeing will be partnering with Indian manufactures Mahindra and HAL to make the aircraft in India in case they win the bid.
But the winner won't be decided for many, many years. And then it will take even more years for the direct negotiations between the Government of India and the winners to conclude, deposits to be paid and manufacturing to begin.

https://www.google.gr/search?q=Super+Ho ... 38&bih=808
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:39 am

My 2 cents on this. With the planned retirements, India needs around 150 fighters just to maintain the 40 squadron level. More if they want to get to the 46 squadron "ideal level" and ability to fight a 2.5 front war for 2 weeks.

Secondly, I am willing to bet that this fighter acquisition programme is NOT going to go ahead now.I expect a delay atleast till 2020 at the very earliest. It will be a new govt in charge by then.

Finally, Regardless of the color and shape of the new govt, I am willing to bet that a single fighter platform will be chosen for the entire requirement and that a European aircraft will be the eventual winner of the competition. US & India are closer today than in the Cold War days. But there are residual concerns in the Indian establishment about the reliability of the US as a defense partner especially in the time of conflict. Same reason why India will NEVER again buy a British platform for frontline defense. Too much residual bad blood from the Sea King/Harrier groundings 1998-2000. Russia & especially France are seen as reliable partners, and with good reason. US & Britain on the other hand are not.
L' Esprit de Mai 68
 
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bikerthai
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:43 pm

[quote="BawliBooch" Russia & especially France are seen as reliable partners, and with good reason. US & Britain on the other hand are not.[/quote]

Who would Russia side with if there was a shooting war between India and Pakistan? India and China?

Even with the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in the US, there is little back-lash against the Indian/American community who have a small but not insignificant representation in the US Congress and business/corporate community. And while both countries' democracies are not perfect, they are democracies. I would not say the same to Pakistan or China. So unless India's provocation is quite egregious, I do not the US will side with China or Pakistan above India.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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Phosphorus
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:38 am

Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:09 pm

Take it for what it's worth, but there seems to be a general feeling out there: "US and India are friends, but no allies. US and Pakistan are allies, but no friends."
Maybe that's behind the sentiment on this.
Plus a very real memory of US sanctions following nuclear tests.

bikerthai wrote:

Who would Russia side with if there was a shooting war between India and Pakistan? India and China?


In case of India and China? They'll sell to both, happily, with an auction for items in short supply.
AN4 A40 L4T TU3 TU5 IL6 ILW I93 F50 F70 100 146 ARJ AT7 DH4 L10 CRJ ERJ E90 DC-9 MD-8X YK4 YK2 SF3 S20 319 320 321 332 333 343 346 722 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 74M 757 767 777
Ceterum autem censeo, Moscovia esse delendam
 
dtw2hyd
Posts: 5882
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:11 pm

Re: India looks to start new fighter competition

Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:26 pm

India-Pakistan and India-China wars in future in just a myth. There will be warlike rhetoric synced with every election cycle for local consumption.

There is money to be made by MIC, why not?

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