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Indian Air Force : News, Pics and Discussion thread

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posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 01:52 PM
13-15% ? That sounds pretty optimistic ! I can't see any serious potential customer, except maybe Taiwan although we would probably bow down before China. Or should we guess from Edelstenne's statement that the RN is intersted ?

posted on Feb, 21 2006 @ 06:55 AM

Double post corrected.

[edit on 21-2-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Feb, 21 2006 @ 06:57 AM

With the Indian Air Force close to floating international tenders for acquisition of 126 multi-role combat aircraft, French defence major Dassault Aviation has offered to sell its latest fighters Rafale.

The French offer was made by Chacks Edelstenne, CEO of Dassault Aviation, when he called on the Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh here yesterday. The Deputy Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal AK Nangalia was also present.

"We are on the verge of closing the Mirage fighter assembly line and want to offer India a quantum jump in technology in the shape of upgraded new multi-mission Rafales", he said.

"Though India has not not floated the Request for Proposals (RFP), we have conveyed to India to supply 40 Rafale multi-mission fighters in single source deal", the Dassault CEO, who is currently here as part of French President Jacques Chirac business entourage, said.

And more ....

Dassult's surprise bid to pitch in its Rafale fighters for the IAF's multi-role combat aircraft project appears significant indicating that India could opt for two types of fighters in its moves to cover the shortfall in squadron strength.Rafale, along with Boeings F-18 , both of which have some of the features of the fifth generation fighters are expected to be priced higher.

During a closed door meeting with accompanying French Business delegation here yesterday, President Chirac is understood to have told them that Indian market was now highly competative and French companies would have to offer latest technology if they was to make deep inroads here.

So its officially in...most surely with an AESA radar package

And this is a real knee jerk ... Kaveri engine in the Rafale !!!!

And in a major move, French aviation engine giant, Secma, which is bidding for DRDO's joint collaboration project on the Kaveri engines, has offered to mount them in two Rafale fighters.
Snecma is already collaborating with public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on production of aero engines powering the Advanced Light Helicopters.

Full Article >>

Also it was only a fortnight back that Pratt & Whittney had described the Kaveri as a world class engine.

India's Kaveri fighter engine is world class : USA

New Delhi, February 5, 2006

Though India's maiden bid to develop a fighter engine has been caught in various hurdles, American experts have offered some encouragement, holding out a promise that Kaveri can be developed into a contemporary world class engine.

"We are ready to join in partnership with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to make Kaveri work," General William J Begert of the world's leading aircraft engine manufacturers, Pratt and Whitney, said.

DRDO scientists had kept the development of the Kaveri engine under wraps, exuding confidence that India had developed the technological edge to develop its own aircraft engine, so far confined to handful of developed countries.

American engine manufacturers had to pull out and fly in retired gas turbine engines as they, too, were intially foxed by the Indian Kaveri engine. Now they, too, believe that Kaveri is "truly a world class engine".

Here is the Kaveri engine displayed at Aero India '05
external image

The present new version has 90kN max thrust (20,000 lbs) at 2000 K TET.

More detials from a Flight International article >

The production Kaveri, with a reheat thrust of 20,200 lbs. (90kN), will be more powerful than the 17,000 lbs Snecma M88-2 now powering the twin-engined Rafale. It matches the output of the uprated M88-3.

GTRE says the version of the Kaveri will have a turbine entry temperature of 1850 degree C and single-crystal turbine blades being developed by GTRE with the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory.

The new variant, which India says will be at the technology level of the M88-3, will have a fan pressure ratio of 4:1 and an overall pressure ratio of 27:1. A new combustor will be shorter and lighter than the present unit.

The increased, dry thrust should allow the Tejas aircraft (which it will power) to supercruise (cruise supersonically without the use of reheat). Also under development is a thrust-vectoring nozzle, to enhance its agility, as well as a digital engine control system. The axisymmetric TV nozzle is planned to be flight tested on a later prototype. Plans are already under way for derivatives of the Kaveri : a non-afterburning version for an advanced jet trainer, a high bypass-ratio turbo fan based on the Kaveri core, as well as variants for other applications.

More ...

The Kaveri's FADEC :
external image

Cross section :
external image

Check out the Eurofighter's Rolls Royce EJ-200's stats ( ). The Kaveri will be upto the same tech level.

Considering that the Kaveri and the M88-3 are engines with similar specs., it seems one hell of an offer

[edit on 21-2-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Feb, 21 2006 @ 07:15 AM
Dassault and France have made a very smart move IMHO - 2 birds with one stone.

The Kaveri will be ready faster and the MRCA might be won by them as well.

I smell the Rafale's victory in the MRCA ... and guess what ? ..the best engine companies are bidding to partner with GTRE/DRDO to put the Kaveri into the Tejas by the earliest date !!!!

Surely this thing sudden and astonishing about "helping make the Kaveri airborne faster" is being used to leverage India in the MRCA tender. However it looks like France's offer of having the Kaveri's in the Rafale has gone off well.

Check this :

PARIS (Reuters) - French aero engine maker Snecma has won preferred-partner status to develop the Kaveri engine for the latest set of Indian fighter planes, French paper La Tribune reported on Monday.

It said that Snecma won preferred-bidder status over Russian rival NPO Saturn and U.S. group Pratt & Whitney.

La Tribune reported that French President Jacques Chirac, who is currently visiting India, was due to endorse Snecma's offer during his trip.

The Dassault CEO's statements about the Rafale's export prospects might well be true and India looks set to be the Rafale's first export customer as of now. However, i would'nt be surprised if the Eurofighter consortium make a similar offer as well. Remember that Rolls Royce is also bidding to partner GTRE on the Kaveri.

[edit on 21-2-2006 by Stealth Spy]

[edit on 21-2-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Feb, 21 2006 @ 07:43 AM
"we have conveyed to India to supply 40 Rafale multi-mission fighters in single source deal"

That was supposed to be the case, already, with the Mirage 2000. Wait and see...
It seems there's an intense buttlicking party going on over there...
That said, I agree with you, offering to mount the Kaveri on the Rafale is a smart move. At first it is for development, but from this, the next logical step would be to offer the Kaveri on the export Rafale, especially in a Rafale offer to India. That would be a major shift.

[edit on 21//2//06 by echoblade]

posted on Feb, 21 2006 @ 10:24 AM

Lockheed: 'Jet capabilities, not politics, should determine contract'

Lockheed Martin Corp, the biggest US defence contractor, on Tuesday downplayed the potential effect of Washington's political influence on India's planned purchase of 126 new fighter jets.

Lockheed is competing with an array of airplane makers, including US rival Boeing Co, Dassault Aviation of France, Sweden's Gripen-SAAB and Russia's Sukhoi, to sell jets to India in a deal worth at least $8 billion ($6.7 billion).

India currently has no American-made fighter aircraft, but its relationship with Washington -- which was tense during the Cold War -- is now rapidly warming.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Are they afraid they're losing this fight? They're offering India the F-16, even the Rafale is better than that, what are they thinking?

Here is a list of recent news about India's fighter purchase plans:

posted on Feb, 21 2006 @ 10:31 AM
A US corporation calling for politics to play no part in the decision? Surely not

posted on Feb, 21 2006 @ 11:05 AM
Continueing from the same article posted by Zion...

Asked whether improving ties between Washington and New Delhi might benefit Lockheed, Shrewsbury said the company believes it deserves to win the order on merit.

"We hope that the competition is based on the capabilities, the affordability, the industrial cooperation program that each contractor offers," she told reporters on the sidelines of the Asian Aerospace exhibition in Singapore. "We think that in that kind of competition, the F-16 would win hands down."

A key factor for India in choosing new planes is the supplier's commitment to share technologies to make spare parts, and to develop and produce aircraft in India.

Lockheed, which is based in Bethesda, Maryland, has previously said it hopes to collaborate with India's state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. on the development and co-production of fighter jets.

Ahhh....F-16 beating the Rafale, Eurofighter and Mig-35 hands down

And given the track record of US embargos to India following the 1998 nuclear blasts - denying spares/supplies on the F-404 engine, denying Honeywell laser ring gyroscopes as a stop gap (the indigenous one was delayed), denying atmospheric re-entry simulation units, ensuring that the Naval Sea King copter fleet was grounded by embargoing supplies - all that it had promised to give India earlier; one has to wonder about the logic in choosing an American supplier
- so much for lockheed's bickering.

These statements are being made in 'Singapore'. What irony

A completed neutron bomb & Surya ICBM is said to be due for testing. Now if ever they are tested out, is there any assurance that the US wont impose the same kind of sanctions/embargos ??

A DRDO official remarked about the US's trustworthyness given the history of embargos&sanctions it has imposed on India "If the US did it once - its the US's fault; if it is done again it is India's fault"

However having said that, Lockheed's offer of the F-16 block 70 is impressive as well ... check this >>

[edit on 21-2-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Feb, 21 2006 @ 11:17 AM
More aviation deals signed.

'Chirac lands, Airbus deal takes off'

New Delhi, February 20, 2006

The French aircraft manufacturer Airbus and domestic carrier Indian today signed an agreement for purchase of 43 aircraft by the latter worth $2.5 billion.

This deal has come after the controversy created by Air India's decision to buy 68 aircraft from its US competitor Boeing. Disappointed after Airbus Industrie lost Air-India's deal for 50 long-range aircraft to Boeing, France-based aircraft manufacturer got a major boost by huge orders for its flagship aircraft A320 by the Indian private carriers.

Private carriers had led the aircraft buying spree with Air Deccan ordering 32 A-320s, Jet Airways ten A-330s with a buying option for another ten, Kingfisher 15 aircraft including five double-decker A-380s and start-up airline InterGlobe placing orders for 100 A-320s, said Kiran Rao, Senior Vice President (Sales) of the European aircraft. European aircraft maker Airbus also increased its projections for the Indian market by over 40 per cent to 570 planes worth $55 billion by 2023 from its last estimate of 400, as against Boeing's 20 year prediction of 492 commercial airplane orders valued at $36 billion.

World wide, while Airbus claimed it had booked more orders than its rival in 2005 for the fifth straight year -- 1,055 Airbus orders compared with Boeing's 1,002 - it is estimated Boeing had 55 per cent of the market as measured by dollar value." target="_blank" class="postlink">Full Article >>


Indian low cost carrier Spice Jet orders ten Boeing 737s

Indian budget airline SpiceJet is to order 10 more Boeing 737s, including five of the extra seat capacity 737-900ER.

The airline announced during a press conference at Asian Aerospace in Singapore today that it has agreed to convert its 10 existing 737-800 options into firm orders. This will cover five more 737-800s and its first five 737-900ERs.

It has also placed options on 10 more 737-800s, which again can be switched to the -900ER. Deliveries of the newly ordered aircraft will begin in October 2007 with two 737-900ERs. The remaining aircraft will follow in 2008 and 2009.

Full Article (FI) >>

[edit on 21-2-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 11:12 AM

India on Wednesday sent 34 tonnes of relief material for people in a province of the Philippines hit by a devastating landslide that is feared to have killed up to 1,400 people.

An Il-76 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) left here on Wednesday morning for Manila with relief material including tents, medicines, blankets and packets of pre-cooked food.

Last year, the IAF had carried relief material to the US in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and to Pakistan after the earthquake of October 8 that had devastated Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Full Article >

posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 11:38 PM

Kaveri Engine - Reignited Hopes, Technological Edge?

New Delhi: India's maiden bid to develop a fighter engine has been caught in various hurdles, but American experts are holding out a promise that Kaveri can be developed into a contemporary world-class engine.

"We are ready to join in partnership with the Defence Research and Development Organisation to make Kaveri work," General William J Begert of the world's leading aircraft engine manufacturers, Pratt and Whitney, told PTI.

DRDO scientists had kept the development of the Kaveri engine under wraps, exuding confidence that India had developed the technological edge to develop its own aircraft engine, so far confined to handful of developed countries.

But after considerable in-house progress, with scientists even going in for a number of high-altitude proving tests in sites in Russia, the development almost came to a dead end forcing the DRDO to look for technology partne

India-defense. reliable - unreliable ??

[edit on 22-2-2006 by chinawhite]

posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 03:57 AM
All said and done, the Indians should NOT trust the Yanks. They have their own agenda.
A key factor for India is not in choosing new planes with the supplier's commitment to share technologies to make spare parts, or to develop and produce aircraft in India, but the RELIABILITY factor.
Where the US of A is concerned, it is ZILCH. They can pull the rug from under their feet on the slighest pretext. All in the name of 'National Interest'. It's happened before. It WILL happen again.

posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 10:53 AM
Maybe thats why we should take the Mirages/MiG 35/Rafale and the Pakistanis should take the J-10 over the F-16..
We'll all benefit!!

No.. Really..
Here's my guess..Succumbing to US political pressure the MRCA tender for 126 a/c will be split into two a/c.
And one of em's gonna be from the US of A..Probably the blk 70 F-16.
Call it intuition, call it reliable sources..

Remember.. you heard it here first!!

posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 11:36 AM

India's Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi's remarked that the Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to acquire more advanced fighters, sophisticated defence systems and smart long-range weapons, as the country's "strategic boundaries have been redefined" by its growing energy needs and participation in disaster management operations. Tyagi said the current scenario "necessitated a strategic reach to safeguard our national interests".

Tyagi acknowledged the effect that delays in the LCA Tejas fighter were having on India's force structure, but noted that India would react in a number of ways. His response touched on everything from AWACS and revised MiG-21 modernization numbers to precision weapons and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

One response, he said, would be to speed up the delivery of the 140 Su-30MKI jets being built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. A second component of that response, was to implement upgrade programs across India's fighter fleets.

Something on the Mig-21's as well

Tyagi also noted a modification to one of these programs - India's $630 million MiG-21 'Bison' modernization program would be expanded, following excellent performances of the upgraded interceptors in the COPE India exercises.

The Air Chief Marshal noted that the older MiG-21 T77 is already being phased out, the MiG-21 T96 will be used in training and operational roles untill 2012, and the upgraded MiG-21bis will "remain in service till 2022-2025". MiG-21bis numbers will now be enhanced by one squadron, from 125 to 145 aircraft. However three of these have been lost in crashes. This is not an uncommon problem for the MiG-21.

Hopefully the older crash prones types will get retired soon. Nepal and Sri Lanka are said to have expressed intrest in acquiring these retired jets, however it may be unwise to buy jets whose life span is more or less exhausted. Even if a sale does take place .. they'll surely be given at dirt cheap rates.

F-35 :

A third component involves foreign fighter jets. Chief Marshal Tyagi became quite specific here, noting that despite US invites to related events, his force "has not expressed interest" in the US-made F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which will begin entering service in 2011-2013. "For the present, the (126) Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCAs) we are seeking meet the current qualitative force requirements."

Not surprising at all, since India has several F-35 like proposals on the table in the form of the MCA and Russian 5th gen offers - and most importantly these will involve a greater deal of tech transfer than the F-35 would carry.

The fourth component is the induction of force multipliers like air tankers, AWACS, and precision weapons. The IAF currently has 6 IL-78MK 'Midas' air-air refuellers, and has ordered 3 of the related IL-76 "Candid" medium-heavy strategic transports fitted with the Phalcon AWACS system from Israel. India has also been in discussions with Northrop-Grumman around the Hawkeye 2000 carrier-capable AWACS aircraft, which is just beginning production for the US Navy.

India did not mention specifically which precision weapons it sought, but there are rumours that it is seeking an air-launched version of its medium range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in addition to its existing arsenal of missile weapons.

Full Article >>
Well the BrahMos on the MKI is almost an open secret now!

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 06:34 AM

New Delhi: India is likely to expand a proposal to buy multi-role combat aircraft from 126 jets at present to 180-190, with the additional aircraft going to the Navy.

The jets that are in the race for the deal include France's Rafale, the F-16 and F-18 of the US, Russia's MiG-35, Sweden's JAS-39 Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon, senior officials confirmed. The increase in the number of jets to be bought would significantly boost the cost of the deal to around $10 billion or even more, defence ministry officials told IANS.

The officials indicated that the Indian navy's plans to augment its strike capability and range to deal with "out of area contingencies" had delayed the defence ministry's request for proposals for the jets, over a year after the Indian Air Force (IAF) first publicly declared its intent to import 126 fighters.

Till recently, France's Mirage 2000-5 was also in the running but its manufacturer, Dassault Aviation, has informed the Indian government of its decision to stop making the jet. "We are on the verge of closing the Mirage fighter assembly line and want to offer India a quantum jump in technology in the shape of the upgraded multi-mission Rafale," Dassault head Chacks Edelstenne told Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh during President Jacques Chirac's visit to India Feb 19.

Dassault is believed to have informed the IAF - which operates around 50 Mirage 2000s - that the extensive Mirage repair and servicing facilities created at great expense by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd at Bangalore would need "limited modification" to accommodate the Rafale jet because this fighter has much in the common with the Mirage series.

The IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi had declared in November that the request for the 126 jets would be issued "within a month". But officials said this was in the process of being "reworked" collectively in light of the Indian Navy's requirement and in all likelihood it would be issued "soon".

The navy is poised for large-scale hardware acquisitions that include maritime reconnaissance aircraft, helicopters, submarines, frigates and two aircraft carriers by 2012 for an extended operational role in the Indian Ocean region."Elucidation on offsets has acquired immediacy as India is poised for a massive weapons buying spree that includes the new jets," a senior official said.

Full Article >>

So now more things are coming to light. In most probability its going to a split deal as speculated earlier.

The Gripen and the Eurofighter can be readily ruled out for the Navy's carriers. Consedering that the Navy is alredy getting ~20 new Mig-29K's for the INS Vikramadithya (which would saturate it), 8 more sea harriers for the INS Viraat(also saturated) and given that the presently 'in construction' indigenous carrier ADS is designed for exclusively Naval Tajas fighters, ~60 additional fighters will surely call for atleast 2 new carriers. As news reports suggest - the retired British Invincable and 2nd hand USN Nimitz class carriers (seemingly unlikely) are on the radar in addition to an additional indigenous "mega-carrier" (Nimitz calss equivalent) whose design is said to have been finalised. With France getting new carriers at the end of the decade, the to be retired de Gulle might be something to be considered as well ..

[edit on 26-2-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 06:48 AM
So something will happen "soon", hehe, I wonder when this "soon" happens.
About the Charles de Gaulle, it will not be replaced but rather complemented by the new carrier (just one is planned) we will be getting, so don't expect it to enter the "used carriers" market soon.
You mention that buying a Nimitz class carrier from the USA is being considered, but are they willing to sell ?

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 07:03 AM
I don't thionk you can 'rule out' the Gripen and Eurofighter, but only because they were never 'ruled in' to begin with. Hopes of India buying the Typhoon and Gripen rest squarely with the Air Force, not the navy.

Also, I question Dassaults claim about the Mirage 2000 facility. Its funny how the Rafale was 'completely different, all new' when it was being developed but now miraculously has 'much in common' when it is being offered to an existing Mirage 2000 customer. Whats the betting that, if Rafale wins the order, these facilities suddenly require much more alteration than was first thought?

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 07:49 AM
Stealth Spy:
Do you think India will buy Rafale or not?

posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 09:41 PM
Stealth: Any idea on what 126 indian MRCA will be? Ans when's the deadline for the IAF to pick their 126 MRCA's?

posted on Mar, 2 2006 @ 12:11 AM
My personal biased opinion is, go for the F-16. Its economical, and the block 70 upgrades should improve an already successfully battle proven aircraft. I know many one here may not like the F-16 here, or some just dont think you should touch American aircraft with a "barge pole." But the fact is, its battle proven, and with the block 70 upgrades it will continue to be successful for for anyone who pilots this versatile aircraft. I'm not saying theres any other aircraft that cant do the same job just as well, I'm saying that my personal preference would be the F-16, I just love the plane. I mean it can be configured for air to air combat, airstrikes, SEAD missions, and close air support and it can do all of these missions successfully. Just my take on it.

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