estorilm
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India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:20 pm

http://www.janes.com/article/79457/india-withdraws-from-fgfa-project-leaving-russia-to-go-it-alone

Wow, I never post threads on here, but there's lots of breaking news today.

Russia will be forced to continue their "5th generation" SU-57 alone, after over a decade of trying to work it out with India to secure crucial funding needed to reach IOC.

The IAF believes that the Sukhoi Su-57 (T-50 PAK-FA) fighter, which India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) designated the Perspective Multi-Role Fighter, does not meet its requirements for stealth, combat avionics, radars and sensors.


Zero surprise to me, given the lack of funding required for such an aircraft design, the idealistic design targets initially set by Russia, and an ongoing inability of Russia to produce a reliable, compact, powerful, and efficient 5th-generation turbofan engine.


Time to jump on the F-35 bandwagon with everyone else :)
 
P1aneMad
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:28 pm

It was more than obvious that Russia only involved India in order to finance the jet's development with Indian money.
And at the same time keep all the technology patents and source codes for itself.
I think India should have negotiated a much better deal than the one it got.
It is too late now though and there is no point crying over spilled milk.
 
LMP737
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:29 pm

P1aneMad wrote:
It was more than obvious that Russia only involved India in order to finance the jet's development with Indian money.
And at the same time keep all the technology patents and source codes for itself.
I think India should have negotiated a much better deal than the one it got.
It is too late now though and there is no point crying over spilled milk.


After the mess they experienced with the INS Vikramaditya I can see why India was a bit hesitant to sink more money into it.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:53 pm

India doesn't have money for anything. I read they forgot to include taxes in their defense budget. So if Russia thought India will finance this project, they better drop the entire project or find some other partner.
 
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Slug71
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:26 am

No real surprise really. I think many expected this to happen. Unfortunately they just couldn't seem to come to terms. Does look like India is low on funds with another failed purchase. The Rafale deal is hanging by a thin thread too.
 
Ozair
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:45 am

estorilm wrote:
http://www.janes.com/article/79457/india-withdraws-from-fgfa-project-leaving-russia-to-go-it-alone

Wow, I never post threads on here, but there's lots of breaking news today.

Russia will be forced to continue their "5th generation" SU-57 alone, after over a decade of trying to work it out with India to secure crucial funding needed to reach IOC.

The IAF believes that the Sukhoi Su-57 (T-50 PAK-FA) fighter, which India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) designated the Perspective Multi-Role Fighter, does not meet its requirements for stealth, combat avionics, radars and sensors.


Zero surprise to me, given the lack of funding required for such an aircraft design, the idealistic design targets initially set by Russia, and an ongoing inability of Russia to produce a reliable, compact, powerful, and efficient 5th-generation turbofan engine.


Time to jump on the F-35 bandwagon with everyone else :)


While this news is no surprise given the rumours that have been coming out of India for a number of years I don't see this as the end of the Su-57 in Indian service, it just ends the FGFA deal. I think the chances of India still operating the Su-57 at a later date are high, especially as a phased replacement for the Su-30MKI fleet in 10-15 years time. That gives Russia the time to perfect the jet and India the time to determine that their own stealth AMCA won't be available within their time expectation.

It does increase marginally the chances of the F-35 in India but the arrangement would have to be a government to government purchase with some interesting conditions. At the moment the focus on the new fighter deals for the Air Force and Navy are the most pressing and need to happen before India considers F-35. Being mindful as well that the F-35 will be in production until at least the mid 2030s and planned for the USAF to continue receiving aircraft until 2042 so India has plenty of time to consider.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:16 am

Will Russia be able to fund and develop the Su57 on their own? Seems quite ambitious.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
Ozair
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:18 am

Dutchy wrote:
Will Russia be able to fund and develop the Su57 on their own? Seems quite ambitious.

I don't see why not, they are almost there anyway.

If I recall correctly the first serial production jets will enter service next year while the new engine is probably 3-5 years away from operational use. Russia aren't in a hurry to acquire them, having only ordered an initial twelve, but that is also consistent with how they ordered and subsequently built up the Su-35 fleet.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:52 pm

Ozair wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Will Russia be able to fund and develop the Su57 on their own? Seems quite ambitious.

I don't see why not, they are almost there anyway.

If I recall correctly the first serial production jets will enter service next year while the new engine is probably 3-5 years away from operational use. Russia aren't in a hurry to acquire them, having only ordered an initial twelve, but that is also consistent with how they ordered and subsequently built up the Su-35 fleet.


If that is the case, why is India walking away right now if they are so close? That is throwing a lot of cash away near the finish. Something doesn't add up here.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:12 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Will Russia be able to fund and develop the Su57 on their own? Seems quite ambitious.

I don't see why not, they are almost there anyway.

If I recall correctly the first serial production jets will enter service next year while the new engine is probably 3-5 years away from operational use. Russia aren't in a hurry to acquire them, having only ordered an initial twelve, but that is also consistent with how they ordered and subsequently built up the Su-35 fleet.


If that is the case, why is India walking away right now if they are so close? That is throwing a lot of cash away near the finish. Something doesn't add up here.


Because current administration has no clue about defense projects, finances, accounting, national security or anything else related to running a government. All they are good at is media management.
 
angad84
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:12 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Will Russia be able to fund and develop the Su57 on their own? Seems quite ambitious.

I don't see why not, they are almost there anyway.

If I recall correctly the first serial production jets will enter service next year while the new engine is probably 3-5 years away from operational use. Russia aren't in a hurry to acquire them, having only ordered an initial twelve, but that is also consistent with how they ordered and subsequently built up the Su-35 fleet.


If that is the case, why is India walking away right now if they are so close? That is throwing a lot of cash away near the finish. Something doesn't add up here.

Russia needs outside funding to accelerate the programme. Right now they're not too keen on doing it all on their own, hence the leisurely rate of development and testing – it allows them to spend the minimum amounts needed each year to keep the lights on. They're asking India to pay $6-7bn ostensibly for "joint development" but most of the groundwork is already done. The money is therefore little more than a 'buy in fee' for India, and essentially takes a lot of financial pressure off the programme. Actual production aircraft for India would be paid for separately, as would local CAPEX toward establishing/improving production facilities. There are no industrial guarantees on the table for India and no global market for the jet that India can tap into (equivalent to, say, the F-35 programme).

It was poor value, correctly assessed as such, and dropped. The geopolitical door remains open down the line (notice the careful wording). I don't think anyone is really surprised here.
 
salttee
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:51 pm

Seven billion would buy a lot of F-35s. And as far as I can see, that seven billion doesn't buy a single Russian jet.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:45 pm

angad84 wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I don't see why not, they are almost there anyway.

If I recall correctly the first serial production jets will enter service next year while the new engine is probably 3-5 years away from operational use. Russia aren't in a hurry to acquire them, having only ordered an initial twelve, but that is also consistent with how they ordered and subsequently built up the Su-35 fleet.


If that is the case, why is India walking away right now if they are so close? That is throwing a lot of cash away near the finish. Something doesn't add up here.

Russia needs outside funding to accelerate the programme. Right now they're not too keen on doing it all on their own, hence the leisurely rate of development and testing – it allows them to spend the minimum amounts needed each year to keep the lights on. They're asking India to pay $6-7bn ostensibly for "joint development" but most of the groundwork is already done. The money is therefore little more than a 'buy in fee' for India, and essentially takes a lot of financial pressure off the programme. Actual production aircraft for India would be paid for separately, as would local CAPEX toward establishing/improving production facilities. There are no industrial guarantees on the table for India and no global market for the jet that India can tap into (equivalent to, say, the F-35 programme).

It was poor value, correctly assessed as such, and dropped. The geopolitical door remains open down the line (notice the careful wording). I don't think anyone is really surprised here.


Ok, that makes sense. India had a contract only to pay and nothing else? No industrial participation, not part of the researched?
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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Slug71
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:33 pm

If a article I read a few months back was accurate, I'd say Russia must be a little more than displeased. India's version was to have some 40 odd changes over the T-50. Some of the changes was said to be in the final development frames and early production frames. One of those changes was engines. Which is likely a big part of developing the id30.

But I agree with Ozair. I also think the SU-57 will still find its way into Indian service eventually.

salttee wrote:
Seven billion would buy a lot of F-35s. And as far as I can see, that seven billion doesn't buy a single Russian jet.


While this increases the chances for the F-35, it's still highly unlikely.
 
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Slug71
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:55 pm

angad84 wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I don't see why not, they are almost there anyway.

If I recall correctly the first serial production jets will enter service next year while the new engine is probably 3-5 years away from operational use. Russia aren't in a hurry to acquire them, having only ordered an initial twelve, but that is also consistent with how they ordered and subsequently built up the Su-35 fleet.


If that is the case, why is India walking away right now if they are so close? That is throwing a lot of cash away near the finish. Something doesn't add up here.

Russia needs outside funding to accelerate the programme. Right now they're not too keen on doing it all on their own, hence the leisurely rate of development and testing – it allows them to spend the minimum amounts needed each year to keep the lights on. They're asking India to pay $6-7bn ostensibly for "joint development" but most of the groundwork is already done. The money is therefore little more than a 'buy in fee' for India, and essentially takes a lot of financial pressure off the programme. Actual production aircraft for India would be paid for separately, as would local CAPEX toward establishing/improving production facilities. There are no industrial guarantees on the table for India and no global market for the jet that India can tap into (equivalent to, say, the F-35 programme).

It was poor value, correctly assessed as such, and dropped. The geopolitical door remains open down the line (notice the careful wording). I don't think anyone is really surprised here.


Not entirely true as far as I understand it. The PAK FA was to be Russia's own. The FGFA / PMF would have had 40+ changes over the PAK FA and be India's. The $6-7bn was the cost to design, develop, certify, and set up production of India's version (which would have involved input from india). And maybe include a number of production frames.
As I said above, I read a months back that Russia implemented some of those changes into the final development frames of the T-50 and early serial production frames.
India also (understandably) wanted a technology transfer, which seemed to be a major hurdle in the deal. As far as I understand, it seems they (India) wanted the technology transfer to include information beyond their own version. Which of true, Russia was rightfully against.
So the $6-7bn was basically a deposit for commitment for the FGFA / PMF, which I don't think was a unreasonable request.
Especially given Indias flip-flopping and significantly reducing their order.

Like with anything, the higher quantities you purchase, the bigger the discount. India seems to think that they can significantly cut orders, but receive the same discounted price (like they also did with the Rafale).
Along with expecting the perks of being a primary partner but not committing as such.

India needs to quit shopping for a while and re-evaluate what their needs are and what they can afford.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:47 pm

$7B for development of a fifth gen plane is nothing. Can India do on its own? NO. Is any other nation invited India to be a partner of their fifth gen program? NO.

When you have nothing to offer you pay cash.

This is pure dumbness while China is loitering around with checkbook, writing checks to everyone around India. India lost Nepal, Iranian port, Sri Lankan port, the Maldives to China to name a few.
 
Ozair
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:06 pm

angad84 wrote:
Russia needs outside funding to accelerate the programme. Right now they're not too keen on doing it all on their own, hence the leisurely rate of development and testing – it allows them to spend the minimum amounts needed each year to keep the lights on.

Not sure why you consider the dev of the Su-57 as leisurely? Russia has manufactured 11 prototypes, which is below F-35 and above J-20 prototype numbers. The Su-57 has a reasonably similar first flight to squadron service timeframe and like the J-20 probably lacks an ideal engine to meet performance expectations. It is harder to identify how far along the avionics and sensor testing is, which is the same issue as for the J-20, but PR efforts aside, the airframe was mature enough to take to Syria for a few days and fly a couple of operational sorties.

Slug71 wrote:
Not entirely true as far as I understand it. The PAK FA was to be Russia's own. The FGFA / PMF would have had 40+ changes over the PAK FA and be India's. The $6-7bn was the cost to design, develop, certify, and set up production of India's version (which would have involved input from india). And maybe include a number of production frames.

India long ago accepted less modification to the design to achieve FGFA, including only single seat aircraft. While Russia may have made a few modifications to the design to accommodate India I think those are very few in number. The question is how much India wanted to modify the design with western or indigenous systems, as with the Su-30MKI, and whether these modifications and the associated access to the systems would be permissive under the agreement. It appears to me that US$6 billion was the buy in cost for that access.
 
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Slug71
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:28 am

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Not entirely true as far as I understand it. The PAK FA was to be Russia's own. The FGFA / PMF would have had 40+ changes over the PAK FA and be India's. The $6-7bn was the cost to design, develop, certify, and set up production of India's version (which would have involved input from india). And maybe include a number of production frames.

India long ago accepted less modification to the design to achieve FGFA, including only single seat aircraft. While Russia may have made a few modifications to the design to accommodate India I think those are very few in number. The question is how much India wanted to modify the design with western or indigenous systems, as with the Su-30MKI, and whether these modifications and the associated access to the systems would be permissive under the agreement. It appears to me that US$6 billion was the buy in cost for that access.


You could be right. The article I read may have had old information in it, despite being a newer one(or I misread it). I do recall reading an article or more(a long time back) that Indias version would include some Indigenous sensors. But I agree the money was probably for a buy-in cost. I don't think it's an unreasonable cost considering the changes (even if half of the 40+) and it's a fresh design.
 
angad84
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:43 am

India has a wealth of experience dealing with a similar programme – the Su-30MKI. They've taken that experience, held it up against what they've seen so far with the Su-57, as well as what is being promised. Then decided to drop it.

There appears to be a concerted effort being made here to actually extract value from big ticket purchases, and I am all for it. Also, the industrial angle cannot be downplayed. This government is chasing jobs. A couple of billion spent on Su-57s doesn't add any, it merely keeps the existing staff at HAL Nasik employed. If keeping employment static is the goal, then extending Su-30MKI production is an easier and cheaper way of doing it. Adding jobs is done by plugging into a global supply chain for thousands of aircraft, not licence building a hundred-odd.
 
estorilm
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:16 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Will Russia be able to fund and develop the Su57 on their own? Seems quite ambitious.

I don't see why not, they are almost there anyway.

If I recall correctly the first serial production jets will enter service next year while the new engine is probably 3-5 years away from operational use. Russia aren't in a hurry to acquire them, having only ordered an initial twelve, but that is also consistent with how they ordered and subsequently built up the Su-35 fleet.


If that is the case, why is India walking away right now if they are so close? That is throwing a lot of cash away near the finish. Something doesn't add up here.

These are kinda my thoughts on the whole situation - not a specific reply to your post BTW, but I don't think they're close at all - just because it's flying doesn't mean anything. The complicated stuff is to follow, and honestly it's a little ridiculous how nonchalant people are about them casually coming up with a 5th gen engine as if it's a given - they've been blowing up their flagship engines since early in the cold war, and they're only better now because nothing is pushing the envelope - which they'll need to do big time with this aircraft. The engine technology is the key to true 5th gen performance (at least, as far as the program being a technological leap for Russia) and they don't seem too close.

My point is - how are they going to pursue flight envelope expansion and software / control surface fine-tuning and such if the aircraft isn't even near its target thrust or speeds? The engines are a huge deal, maintenance and range are probably severely limited as well.

As far as India is concerned, I'd imagine they can draw the same conclusions we can about less-than-ideal RCS performance, especially from the rear, bottom, etc. Fit & finish seems poor (imagine that) lines, hinge points, joints, panels, etc Okay they're prototypes, but this stuff should have been ironed-out on a computer screen yet it's in flying config now. It's just not going to be an aircraft with the perfected design/construction and stealth elements of the F-35, much less the uncompromising F-22.

They seem to hint at avionics and sensors as being a major issue, which is easily a possibility. Based on the way Russia tries to do things (especially given the propaganda spin they've already been having fun with regarding the aircraft) it's possible that sensor, targeting, and general avionics are FAR behind schedule/budget and they just wanted to get the thing into the air. I doubt they've been able to provide India with anything ON PAPER that says they're in the right direction. Obviously not performance yet, no RCS data either (even w/o the metal cowls there still doesn't appear to be RAM yet) - I don't think they've tested any weapons bays, trapeze launchers, etc. There's a LOT of new stuff to figure out.

Lockheed not only leveraged their own experience with advanced S/A-friendly cockpit design and ergonomics, but they've got countless sub-contractors out there providing key components for their 5th gen aircraft and (for better or worse) a nearly unlimited budget. I'm sure Russia can achieve similar success eventually, but it's going to be a VERY long process, and the ability of the SU-57 to provide and receive tactical battlefield information, decipher it in real time, relay it to appropriate elements, etc - in a sensor-fused manner may never be achieved to the degree of the F-35. In order for the aircraft to be effective, the cockpit and avionics need to function in an "organic" manner, which is another 5th generation design element that will be difficult to match.

In this day and age, the flexibility of the F-35 and the information it's able to deal with and provide in a dynamic battlefield environment is really becoming a key marketing point for Lockheed. I think most would agree that it's unlikely any aircraft will approach it in those aspects for decades. That could be a major SU-57 turn-off for India, though they have less to integrate with in the first place I suppose. From my point of view, the SU-57 has always been somewhat of an interceptor (Russia's favorite type of plane!) Yes it has a large payload, ground attack capability, and 3D vectoring.. but IMHO an all-around 5th gen plane needs all-around stealth. I don't really think India needs a big expensive twin engine plane optimized for BVR head-on stealth engagements, they need a modern swiss army knife (like everyone else right now!) Russia didn't design the SU-57 to be a hot-selling export, they built it to counter US 5th gen based around their own needs, and "pride" of having something that looks better on paper.

Plus could you imagine the maintenance, parts, software, and other logistical issues that would plague India if they were the ONLY ones outside of Russia operating the type? Meanwhile the F-35 has complex integrated parts networks spanning the entire globe and it's already largely IN PLACE.

Yeah the F-35 is expensive, but there's a reason why everyone seems to b!tch and moan publicly for months or years then buy it anyways. :white:
 
Ozair
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:43 pm

estorilm wrote:
These are kinda my thoughts on the whole situation - not a specific reply to your post BTW, but I don't think they're close at all - just because it's flying doesn't mean anything. The complicated stuff is to follow, and honestly it's a little ridiculous how nonchalant people are about them casually coming up with a 5th gen engine as if it's a given - they've been blowing up their flagship engines since early in the cold war, and they're only better now because nothing is pushing the envelope - which they'll need to do big time with this aircraft. The engine technology is the key to true 5th gen performance (at least, as far as the program being a technological leap for Russia) and they don't seem too close.

My point is - how are they going to pursue flight envelope expansion and software / control surface fine-tuning and such if the aircraft isn't even near its target thrust or speeds? The engines are a huge deal, maintenance and range are probably severely limited as well.

As far as India is concerned, I'd imagine they can draw the same conclusions we can about less-than-ideal RCS performance, especially from the rear, bottom, etc. Fit & finish seems poor (imagine that) lines, hinge points, joints, panels, etc Okay they're prototypes, but this stuff should have been ironed-out on a computer screen yet it's in flying config now. It's just not going to be an aircraft with the perfected design/construction and stealth elements of the F-35, much less the uncompromising F-22.

They seem to hint at avionics and sensors as being a major issue, which is easily a possibility. Based on the way Russia tries to do things (especially given the propaganda spin they've already been having fun with regarding the aircraft) it's possible that sensor, targeting, and general avionics are FAR behind schedule/budget and they just wanted to get the thing into the air. I doubt they've been able to provide India with anything ON PAPER that says they're in the right direction. Obviously not performance yet, no RCS data either (even w/o the metal cowls there still doesn't appear to be RAM yet) - I don't think they've tested any weapons bays, trapeze launchers, etc. There's a LOT of new stuff to figure out.

Lockheed not only leveraged their own experience with advanced S/A-friendly cockpit design and ergonomics, but they've got countless sub-contractors out there providing key components for their 5th gen aircraft and (for better or worse) a nearly unlimited budget. I'm sure Russia can achieve similar success eventually, but it's going to be a VERY long process, and the ability of the SU-57 to provide and receive tactical battlefield information, decipher it in real time, relay it to appropriate elements, etc - in a sensor-fused manner may never be achieved to the degree of the F-35. In order for the aircraft to be effective, the cockpit and avionics need to function in an "organic" manner, which is another 5th generation design element that will be difficult to match.

In this day and age, the flexibility of the F-35 and the information it's able to deal with and provide in a dynamic battlefield environment is really becoming a key marketing point for Lockheed. I think most would agree that it's unlikely any aircraft will approach it in those aspects for decades. That could be a major SU-57 turn-off for India, though they have less to integrate with in the first place I suppose. From my point of view, the SU-57 has always been somewhat of an interceptor (Russia's favorite type of plane!) Yes it has a large payload, ground attack capability, and 3D vectoring.. but IMHO an all-around 5th gen plane needs all-around stealth. I don't really think India needs a big expensive twin engine plane optimized for BVR head-on stealth engagements, they need a modern swiss army knife (like everyone else right now!) Russia didn't design the SU-57 to be a hot-selling export, they built it to counter US 5th gen based around their own needs, and "pride" of having something that looks better on paper.

I hear what you’re saying and to a certain extent agree, there is much that is unknown about the Su-57, and the J-20, so on some points we have to critically assess and others take the program at face value.

From a systems integration perspective, there is some decent evidence that the Su-57 has had some work integrating avionics and sensors into one given we have seen radar and other systems gradually installed over time. I am certainly not expecting a platform that equals the F-35 in systems capability but I have seen enough from the program to demonstrate that Russia has made enough progress to be comfortable with the platform. The same design team probably did a lot of the ground work on the Su-35 and if we see the Su-57 as improving on that then the risk is lower of them screwing up.

I also agree on the RCS being insufficient but that is less of a worry, RAM can be applied at later stages, the overall planform appears good enough and Russia can continue to modify the design as it matures. Not great for overall long term sustainment but goods enough for what Russia wants from the program.

India obviously has some concerns and these are almost certainly valid and I think India assessed they had lost the ability to influence the design and that became one of the reasons for their withdrawal.

angad84 wrote:
India has a wealth of experience dealing with a similar programme – the Su-30MKI. They've taken that experience, held it up against what they've seen so far with the Su-57, as well as what is being promised. Then decided to drop it.

There appears to be a concerted effort being made here to actually extract value from big ticket purchases, and I am all for it. Also, the industrial angle cannot be downplayed. This government is chasing jobs. A couple of billion spent on Su-57s doesn't add any, it merely keeps the existing staff at HAL Nasik employed. If keeping employment static is the goal, then extending Su-30MKI production is an easier and cheaper way of doing it. Adding jobs is done by plugging into a global supply chain for thousands of aircraft, not licence building a hundred-odd.

There is only one program producing thousands of fighter aircraft into the future and it also offers the 5th gen capabilities that India is seeking. India could gain industrial participation or at the very least generate parts for Indian aircraft as the Japanese are doing and eventually participate in long term sustainment contracts. Lots to play out before that happens though.

In the short term perhaps acquiring an existing American fighter aircraft and beginning domestic production will be the bridge to link India to an eventual F-35 acquisition.
 
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Balerit
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:29 pm

India wanted the all the test data and other propriety information which Russia wasn't willing to give away. Russia then said that they could have certain of the information and technology for an extra 7 Billion, I think, and this is why India balked and decided to walk away. I think the same applies to the F35, the US won't allow a transfer of propriety information. I also think Russia wasn't too pleased when India allowed the Yanks access to an ex Russian warship, just can't remember the details right now.
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:01 pm

Balerit wrote:
India wanted the all the test data and other propriety information which Russia wasn't willing to give away. Russia then said that they could have certain of the information and technology for an extra 7 Billion, I think, and this is why India balked and decided to walk away. I think the same applies to the F35, the US won't allow a transfer of propriety information. I also think Russia wasn't too pleased when India allowed the Yanks access to an ex Russian warship, just can't remember the details right now.

True - but they need to accept the fact that there's only a few companies in the world capable of building the aircraft they seek, and even fewer options capable of producing such engines. The proprietary information obtained by these defense contractors over the years on design, integration, materials sciences and manipulation (titanium, composites) tooling etc is IMMENSE and simply invaluable. No one will ever hand over that kind of thing for $7bn, though obviously they'd end up spending more than that on the program presumably.

It's slightly comical actually, like pride is preventing them from just showing up to the checkout counter with some cash and buying some planes. Nah, they want to say they built it themselves?

The more I think about it, the more I think Russia is probably slightly relieved this happened - though obviously they could have used the cash. Or maybe not, as some have said they weren't going to go out of their way to modify to aid in any of India's requirements or concerns anyways most likely :lol:
 
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:58 am

estorilm wrote:
Balerit wrote:
India wanted the all the test data and other propriety information which Russia wasn't willing to give away. Russia then said that they could have certain of the information and technology for an extra 7 Billion, I think, and this is why India balked and decided to walk away. I think the same applies to the F35, the US won't allow a transfer of propriety information. I also think Russia wasn't too pleased when India allowed the Yanks access to an ex Russian warship, just can't remember the details right now.

True - but they need to accept the fact that there's only a few companies in the world capable of building the aircraft they seek, and even fewer options capable of producing such engines. The proprietary information obtained by these defense contractors over the years on design, integration, materials sciences and manipulation (titanium, composites) tooling etc is IMMENSE and simply invaluable. No one will ever hand over that kind of thing for $7bn, though obviously they'd end up spending more than that on the program presumably.

It's slightly comical actually, like pride is preventing them from just showing up to the checkout counter with some cash and buying some planes. Nah, they want to say they built it themselves?

The more I think about it, the more I think Russia is probably slightly relieved this happened - though obviously they could have used the cash. Or maybe not, as some have said they weren't going to go out of their way to modify to aid in any of India's requirements or concerns anyways most likely :lol:


Also the Ruble has strengthened and Russia has already got the new engine flying and I guess you are right, Russia might be relieved. I also think a lot of companies are wary of this technology transfer for free. Take Denel here in South Africa with China pretending to want to develop our Rooivalk helicopter and one of our missiles. When they looked again the Chinese had walked away with the blue prints and info and started building their own equipment.
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:43 pm

Balerit wrote:
estorilm wrote:
Balerit wrote:
India wanted the all the test data and other propriety information which Russia wasn't willing to give away. Russia then said that they could have certain of the information and technology for an extra 7 Billion, I think, and this is why India balked and decided to walk away. I think the same applies to the F35, the US won't allow a transfer of propriety information. I also think Russia wasn't too pleased when India allowed the Yanks access to an ex Russian warship, just can't remember the details right now.

True - but they need to accept the fact that there's only a few companies in the world capable of building the aircraft they seek, and even fewer options capable of producing such engines. The proprietary information obtained by these defense contractors over the years on design, integration, materials sciences and manipulation (titanium, composites) tooling etc is IMMENSE and simply invaluable. No one will ever hand over that kind of thing for $7bn, though obviously they'd end up spending more than that on the program presumably.

It's slightly comical actually, like pride is preventing them from just showing up to the checkout counter with some cash and buying some planes. Nah, they want to say they built it themselves?

The more I think about it, the more I think Russia is probably slightly relieved this happened - though obviously they could have used the cash. Or maybe not, as some have said they weren't going to go out of their way to modify to aid in any of India's requirements or concerns anyways most likely :lol:


Also the Ruble has strengthened and Russia has already got the new engine flying and I guess you are right, Russia might be relieved. I also think a lot of companies are wary of this technology transfer for free. Take Denel here in South Africa with China pretending to want to develop our Rooivalk helicopter and one of our missiles. When they looked again the Chinese had walked away with the blue prints and info and started building their own equipment.

Exactly, China is another deal entirely as I think few would doubt their capacity to reverse-engineer and produce such projects effectively at a fairly quick rate.

Also, the newER engine is flying, but I don't believe this to be the supercruise-capable engine yet. Given its size and some recent reading I did on the F-22 development regarding supercruise, I have large doubts that the SU-57 will be capable of supercruise for many years to come (I don't think the current prototype aircrames are aerodynamically-capable of it.)
 
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:00 pm

The SU37 can supercruise, what makes you think the new engine can't?
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:42 pm

Balerit wrote:
The SU37 can supercruise, what makes you think the new engine can't?

Can you cite that source? I have NEVER heard that claim, even with the AL-41 engine on the SU-37. The entire airframe, engine, inlet ducts/ramps, etc need to be designed for a specific type of flow. Furthermore there are VERY specific details to the fuselage that can prevent supersonic efficiency required to achieve supercruise.

In one of the old documents I was reading regarding the final design selection of the F-22, they went through countless iterations of the design and even though it was very near being frozen, it wasn't till one of the very last modifications (and USAF's elimination of a thrust-reversing capability) that Lockheed was able to trim and reposition elements at the rear of the fuselage to a degree where efficient supercruise was possible. Then again the USAF refused to back-down on other program goals including ideal VLO and all-aspect supermaneuverability, requiring larger double-tails and a relatively large wing - the SU-57 design doesn't appear to be "limited" by these constraints speed-wise.

The Izdeliye 30 certainly looks promising, but is still in prototype stages and seems to be about 1,500lb-ft thrust short of where the F119 is (dry thrust, not sure if this negligible or not).

The main concern I have, and many others mention as well, is the understanding of core temperatures and their long-term effects on the core materials within the engine. I can't imagine current Izdeliye 30's have a very long time between tear-downs at the moment.

Then again the F119 was first ground-tested 26 years ago, so it seems logical that a similar engine can be fielded by Russia for the SU-57 program.
 
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:40 pm

It appears India is hedging on the fact that no country can invade and rule another country with 1.25B people. Why waste money on defense hardware when there are statues to be built.
 
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:07 am

Maybe India isn't the only partner that changed its mind on the collaboration.

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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:19 am

keesje wrote:
Maybe India isn't the only partner that changed its mind on the collaboration.

Like the vast majority of military procurements Russia has made with India Russia will happily take the cash and sort out the details, quality and delivery timeframes later.
 
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:46 am

My personal opinion here is that we are talking about India.

They can change their minds 20 times in a one year timeframe. They will not get anything better for the price they are willing to pay. Russia won't suffer from this either as some earlier posts mentioned. India wants Russia to heavily modify the PAK-FA (Su-57) for India, and then wanted Russia to buy a quantity of these aircraft, just like with the BraMos missile. So the Su-57 program will not be effected.
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Sat May 05, 2018 3:47 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
This is pure dumbness while China is loitering around with checkbook, writing checks to everyone around India. India lost Nepal, Iranian port, Sri Lankan port, the Maldives to China to name a few.

True, and facts are stubborn things. China has had 20+ years of rapid growth so has a huge checkbook which buys a lot of influence and a big military. China's currency is pegged to the dollar and Chinese save money like crazy and still buy US bonds so US can still write big checks. India needs to find its growth vehicle, whatever that may be, otherwise they can't afford to keep up on the development side and also can't buy their way in.

angad84 wrote:
There appears to be a concerted effort being made here to actually extract value from big ticket purchases, and I am all for it. Also, the industrial angle cannot be downplayed. This government is chasing jobs. A couple of billion spent on Su-57s doesn't add any, it merely keeps the existing staff at HAL Nasik employed. If keeping employment static is the goal, then extending Su-30MKI production is an easier and cheaper way of doing it. Adding jobs is done by plugging into a global supply chain for thousands of aircraft, not licence building a hundred-odd.

Sure, and that's why LM had the multiple tiers of participation in the F35. If you want to be able to supply parts you need to buy in at a pretty steep price. Other vendors also aren't going to give away participation now that the model is established.

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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Mon May 07, 2018 1:42 pm

angad84 wrote:
Adding jobs is done by plugging into a global supply chain for thousands of aircraft, not licence building a hundred-odd.


But if you chose the right manufacturer to license that odd hundred frame, you would have a big foot in the door to get those thousand aircraft contract. I recall 10 years back when I visited India to evaluate two new potential supplier for our aircraft. The contract was not big, 6 ship sets with potential for more. We needed the supplier to offset the industrial participation requirement. It was a military contract so the quantities was not large. However, the two suppliers managed to complete the contract satisfactory. And having learned how to deal with us and work with our internal processes, they proceeded to obtain from other part of our company, including the more lucrative commercial aircraft side.

So no doubt the 100 odd aircraft may be a pittance. But once completed, you have the facility and the technical expertise to say become a mod center or major sub-assembler for commercial aircraft. . . and the real money.

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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Mon May 07, 2018 5:32 pm

Lets not forget, that India needs weapon platform, not 5th generation airshow group. And Su-57 is a weapon platform with not that many modern weapons.

No perspective air-to-air missiles, excepts R-77 that's struggling to get in full production from 15+ years, and it's not match for Meteor. No cheep ground attack GPS/Internal weapon/kit. Only the big, expensive( > $100 000) and short-legged KAB-500S. We even don't know if Kh-58 fits internally. All special shaped weaponry designs intended for Su-57, are either mockups for the air-shows, or brave ideas living in the CGI world.
 
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Mon May 07, 2018 6:10 pm

BT, I'm not sure what Russian practices are going to help today that we haven't already been (un)able to leverage since we started licence production of Soviet fighters in the 1960s.

What you're talking about applies to western supply chains, and there we have seen some real success. From giants like Tata, to relative small fry like Dynamatic – they have benefited from being part of a larger ecosystem (Boeing, LM, Sikorsky, Airbus, the list is long!). The Russians don't source from us that way, so any investment made in India to build a Russian product will have to be amortised by Indian domestic orders only.
 
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Mon May 14, 2018 4:56 pm

So called private sector giants are building only static structures, nothing else. No FAL experience. HAL successfully delivered complete systems. Accepting Falcon wings as offset on Rafael deal was another dumbest move.

Anyway, India will end up buying fly away condition Su-57s at list price after dilly dollying for another decade.
 
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Tue May 15, 2018 1:52 am

estorilm wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Ozair wrote:
I don't see why not, they are almost there anyway.

If I recall correctly the first serial production jets will enter service next year while the new engine is probably 3-5 years away from operational use. Russia aren't in a hurry to acquire them, having only ordered an initial twelve, but that is also consistent with how they ordered and subsequently built up the Su-35 fleet.


If that is the case, why is India walking away right now if they are so close? That is throwing a lot of cash away near the finish. Something doesn't add up here.

These are kinda my thoughts on the whole situation - not a specific reply to your post BTW, but I don't think they're close at all - just because it's flying doesn't mean anything. The complicated stuff is to follow, and honestly it's a little ridiculous how nonchalant people are about them casually coming up with a 5th gen engine as if it's a given - they've been blowing up their flagship engines since early in the cold war, and they're only better now because nothing is pushing the envelope - which they'll need to do big time with this aircraft. The engine technology is the key to true 5th gen performance (at least, as far as the program being a technological leap for Russia) and they don't seem too close.

My point is - how are they going to pursue flight envelope expansion and software / control surface fine-tuning and such if the aircraft isn't even near its target thrust or speeds? The engines are a huge deal, maintenance and range are probably severely limited as well.

As far as India is concerned, I'd imagine they can draw the same conclusions we can about less-than-ideal RCS performance, especially from the rear, bottom, etc. Fit & finish seems poor (imagine that) lines, hinge points, joints, panels, etc Okay they're prototypes, but this stuff should have been ironed-out on a computer screen yet it's in flying config now. It's just not going to be an aircraft with the perfected design/construction and stealth elements of the F-35, much less the uncompromising F-22.

They seem to hint at avionics and sensors as being a major issue, which is easily a possibility. Based on the way Russia tries to do things (especially given the propaganda spin they've already been having fun with regarding the aircraft) it's possible that sensor, targeting, and general avionics are FAR behind schedule/budget and they just wanted to get the thing into the air. I doubt they've been able to provide India with anything ON PAPER that says they're in the right direction. Obviously not performance yet, no RCS data either (even w/o the metal cowls there still doesn't appear to be RAM yet) - I don't think they've tested any weapons bays, trapeze launchers, etc. There's a LOT of new stuff to figure out.

Lockheed not only leveraged their own experience with advanced S/A-friendly cockpit design and ergonomics, but they've got countless sub-contractors out there providing key components for their 5th gen aircraft and (for better or worse) a nearly unlimited budget. I'm sure Russia can achieve similar success eventually, but it's going to be a VERY long process, and the ability of the SU-57 to provide and receive tactical battlefield information, decipher it in real time, relay it to appropriate elements, etc - in a sensor-fused manner may never be achieved to the degree of the F-35. In order for the aircraft to be effective, the cockpit and avionics need to function in an "organic" manner, which is another 5th generation design element that will be difficult to match.

In this day and age, the flexibility of the F-35 and the information it's able to deal with and provide in a dynamic battlefield environment is really becoming a key marketing point for Lockheed. I think most would agree that it's unlikely any aircraft will approach it in those aspects for decades. That could be a major SU-57 turn-off for India, though they have less to integrate with in the first place I suppose. From my point of view, the SU-57 has always been somewhat of an interceptor (Russia's favorite type of plane!) Yes it has a large payload, ground attack capability, and 3D vectoring.. but IMHO an all-around 5th gen plane needs all-around stealth. I don't really think India needs a big expensive twin engine plane optimized for BVR head-on stealth engagements, they need a modern swiss army knife (like everyone else right now!) Russia didn't design the SU-57 to be a hot-selling export, they built it to counter US 5th gen based around their own needs, and "pride" of having something that looks better on paper.

Plus could you imagine the maintenance, parts, software, and other logistical issues that would plague India if they were the ONLY ones outside of Russia operating the type? Meanwhile the F-35 has complex integrated parts networks spanning the entire globe and it's already largely IN PLACE.

Yeah the F-35 is expensive, but there's a reason why everyone seems to b!tch and moan publicly for months or years then buy it anyways. :white:

This is simply a fantastic post. Agreed on the F-35. As much as everyone loved to hate on it, it just scored 22-1 kill ratio at Red Flag exceeding everything the USAF and USMC expected from it. The F-22 remains in a league of its own and will until replaced with 6th gen replacement in which case I expect the rest of the world to still be ironing out their 5th gen technology/integration.
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Re: India calls quits to 5th-gen FGFA collaboration with Russia after 11 years

Tue May 15, 2018 2:00 pm

angad84 wrote:
What you're talking about applies to western supply chains, and there we have seen some real success.


Exactly, those of us who are military-centric often just think of military power purely from the technical hardware stand point. But the true military power of a country lies in the industrial base to which the military depends. And such industrial base can not rely on building military hardware alone. Setting up a fighter FAI is only a foot in the door to that commercial industrial base. Building the industrial base by becoming a supply chain to Boeing or Airbus commercial operation will build your wealth and technical knowledge to which you can pull the skills to design/build future military hardware. That is why I feel this contract will go to either a US or European country. And the more seamless the interaction between the military and commercial aspect of the winning company will speed up the progress of any Indian participant into becoming an aerospace powerhouse.

If you look at the latest Chinese stealth fighter, what do you see? Mostly a fighter in line with Russian technology? Perhaps. But I bet the manufacturing know-how is probably base on the decades of building parts for Boeing and Airbus, Ford, Caterpillar, Mercedes, Apple etc .

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