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Indian Air Force : News, Pics and Discussion thread

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posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 10:30 AM
gosh i hope they don`t get P3`s - there are better aircraft out there - and being honest tyhe UK`s Nimrod would be the ideal solution for ASW.

posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 10:59 AM
I was reading about the Nimrod recently and apparently BAE systems are unwilling to launch new airframe production because it is too costly and this was the reason BAE withdrew the Nimrod from the USN's MMA requirement that the P-8 was selected for. I wonder if the fleet cuts will leave enough surplus MR.2's to meet India's requirements? This would be an ideal way to extend the MRA.4 line if there are.

posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 12:10 PM

MOSCOW: India may get a share of a multi-billion defence package Russia has sealed with Algeria for the supply of combat aircraft, defence industry sources said. Russian aircraft manufacturers may source from India some key components for a large batch of jet fighters Algeria is buying from Russia, the sources said.

Under a record $7.5-billion defence package announced during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Algiers on Friday, Russia will supply 28 Su-30 multi-role, long-range fighter planes, 49 multi-role MiG-29SMT fighters, 20 Yak-130 advanced jet trainers, as well as S-300 air-defence systems and tanks.

"Algeria wants its Su-30 to closely match the Su-30MKI version India has procured from Russia,'' the sources told The Hindu. "The Su-30MKI has some Indian-made avionics and other parts, therefore Indian companies may be contracted to supply the same components for Algeria.'' India, which is building 140 Su-30MKI under Russian licence, is also involved in the manufacture of avionics and airframe parts for Su-30MKM jets Malaysia has purchased from Russia.

Russian experts said the Algerian contacts are improving Russia's chances of winning the tender for the supply of 126 multi-role combat aircraft to the IAF.

Full Article >

Funny how everything gets linked up with the 126 MRCA

[edit on 13-3-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 12:15 PM

After winning accolades in Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and Sri Lanka through its spectacular air shows, the Suryakiran Aerobatic team of Indian Air Force now plans to display its aerial prowess in China and Hong Kong.

Regarded as one of the best formation aerobatic teams of the world along with the Red Arrows of UK's Royal Air Force and Canada's Snow Birds, the nine-member team will lit up the skies with series of breathtaking manoeuvres with indigenously built Kiran MK II aircraft.

"We are now planning to go to China and Hong Kong," said Commanding Officer of the Suryakiran Formation Aerobatic Team (SKAT) Wing Commander S Bansal.

Full Article>>


[edit on 13-3-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 05:09 AM
Gees, who would have thought they'd do this

NEW DELHI: Faced with an unprecedented depletion in its fighter fleet and a possible delay in the contract for 126 new fighters, the Indian Air Force is proposing to buy 20 new Mirage fighters from France and overhaul its existing Mirage fleet.

The entire contract would cost over Rs7,000 crores.

Sources told DNA that the Ministry of Defence conveyed its proposal to the top brass of Dassault Aviation, manufacturers of Mirage, when French President Jacques Chirac visited India in February. The decision comes at a time when the government has slowed down the procedure to acquire 126 new fighters, contracts for which could be gifted to the US, if the US Congress approves the nuclear deal. DNA reported on Monday the government is toying with the idea of using the fighter contract as a leverage and reciprocity with the US.

Daily News & Analysis India

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Does this also indicate they don't want the Rafale, or am I now jumping to conclusions?

posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 12:07 PM
From the article they "would carry Israeli and Russian avionics and ammunition", wow ! Very, very, very, very surprising as there is no such version yet. I'm waiting for an official announcement to see if any part of this is real. After the Mirage 4000 story...

posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 10:16 AM
Well, the Russian and Israeli components are no surprise at all. India has been mixing and matching Russian, French, Israeli and indiginous werapons, avionics for years now....the Su-30 MKI and the Mig-21 bison are perfect examples of this. The Naval Sea Harriers are getting Israeli BVR missiles and radars. France has offered AASM's and Meteor missiles for the Mig-29!....the Mirage now getting customised is no surprise at all.

The new order for 12 to 20 Mirages is not a part of the 126 MRCA. This is a seperate aircraft purchase. The original plan was to buy 20 second habd Mriage-2000-5's from Qatar (check this) that were said to have "over 85% of their life left". However they cost quoted by the latter were prohibitively expensive in relation to buying the same new Mirages. The deal in the making thus fell apart and it appears that India has now decided to buy them from France itself...

posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 10:35 AM
Now since i am back, here are mose news stories

IAF Jaguar packs more firepower

Indian Air Force's Jaguars are all set to get more teeth, an extra set of 32 to be precise.

The Indian Air Force is now inducting twin-seater Jaguar fighters for more destructive firepower. The Indian Air Force Jaguar squadrons are now opting for twin-seater variants to add muscle to their deep strike capability. It is like two beasts rolled into one. The objective is to deliver bombs with deadly accuracy.

The pilot in the rear cockpit will be the weapon systems operator tasked with ensuring pin-point bombing. The other pilot will then be left free to steer the aircraft through dense enemy air defences. Indeed, the new cockpits are so crowded, and information overload so heavy that a second pilot is deemed a necessity on complex missions in well-defended areas. "Twin-seater helps you to share the load and delivger it more precisely because you have to not only worry about target but other aircraft closing on to you," Commanding Officer of 14 Sqn, Wing Commander RR Tyagi says.

Jaguars, both old and new, will be equipped with laser-guided bombs for accuracy. Pin-point precision attacks are the future of the Indian Air Force. And its Jaguars are being modified to strike the fear Of God and the Air Force in the heart of the enemy.

Full Article >>

Sea Harriers to be phased out in next six years

The Navy is planning to phase out its Sea Harrier aircraft by the next six years by which time it expects MiG-29s and the Naval variant of Light Combat Aircraft to be operational, Flag-Officer-Commanding in Chief (East), Vice Admiral Sureesh Mehta, said today.

"We will have the MiG-29 and the LCAs. The naval version of the LCAs will be ready in the next five to six years. Till then, the Sea Harriers will continue," he told reporters after the launching of the 'INS Airavat,' a Landing Ship Tank Large (LST-L), at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).

Full Article >>
Perhaps that means cold water has been poured on the new idea to buy 8 more second hand Sea Harriers that were just retired by the Royal Navy ( link )? ...scroll down..

In a strategic shift that would have a huge impact on the future of the Indian military, the government is seriously considering the purchase of American fighters for the Indian Air Force, sources told DNA.

The purchase of 126 Medium Range Multi-Role Combat aircraft, estimated to cost almost Rs27,000 crore has been delayed so that it can be used as leverage with the Americans
. Sources told DNA that the Request for Proposal to be issued to global military aviation giants for the fighters has now been delayed till US legislative bodies complete the process for the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Commenting on the strategy, additional director of the Centre for Air Power Studies Air Vice Marshal (retd) Kapil Kak said “defence relations between India and US are a component of a larger strategic partnership. I have no opposition to the proposal and it is an interesting line of thought in a complex process.”

If the government decides to use the fighter purchase as leverage, then New Delhi would opt for the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route, where the US administration would ensure India gets the fighters at the same rates as the US military.

Article >

So if that means the Super Hornets will cost India close to 85 million $
, then its surely a no contender.

Varuna-7 air/sea exercises: Charles De Gaulle to face Viraat

French multi-mission Rafale and Super Etendards naval fighters will lock swords with Indian Navy's Sea Harriers and Air Force's Jaguar maritime fighters in the Indo-French naval exercises off the west coast from Monday.

The ten-day exercises codenamed 'Varuna-7' will also involve the French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle and India's INS Viraat. The French carrier's task force for the exercises would include guided-missile destroyers Cassard and Montcalm, fleet-replenishment tanker Somme, nuclear-powered submarine Saphir and naval surveillance aircraft Altantique-II. Besides, Viraat, the Indian task force would comprise guided-missile destroyers Mumbai and Gomti, tanker Aditya and Submarine Shankul.

"The advanced exercises, the seventh of the series, would involve dissimilar air combat, fleet air defence, intermediate and advanced anti-submarine warfare and maritime interdiction operations," according to a Naval spokesman in New Delhi.
During the exercises, the Navy's Sea Harriers would operate sorties from the French carrier.

Now i am surprised that such things are possible without major changes.

[edit on 29-3-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 10:52 AM
And here is more..

Russia hardsells MiGs to IAF

Young IAF pilots prefer Mirages over F-16s. But the Mirage assembly lines are now being shut down. France itself is pushing the Rafale now.

"If not the much-cheaper Mirage, go for Rafale. At more than $70 million per jet, Rafale is no doubt very expensive but it's of the latest generation and packs a mean punch. If not 126, we can go in for a lesser number of Rafales," says a Wing Commander.

But what about the American jets? The US is even promising spin-offs from its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and F\A-22 Raptor programmes, as also the AESA radars, in the deal. Pilots do not seem too keen on F-16s, which they say haven't fared too well either "across the border" or in joint exercises with India. But they feel the much-more expensive F/A-18s, if equipped with AESA radars which make fighters much more lethal, could provide India with a decisive technological edge.

Russia, in turn, is also hardselling its MiG-35s. Russian PM Mikhail Fradkov's visit last week saw Moscow telling New Delhi that MiG-35s were "1.5 times cheaper" than new entrants in the race like Rafale. "Russians have their problems of delayed projects and unreliable spare supply but they give access to everything, unlike the Americans," says an officer.

In addition here is a news story's video clip of the new Jaguar DARIN-3's >>

posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 11:33 AM
Well, new-built Mirages with Israeli avionics is surprising to me. Especially for such a small batch. Unless their intent is to equip the whole fleet with the same package as a retrofit effort.

posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 01:53 PM
Here is a great analysis of India's Maritime Patrol Aircraft Competition

India's navy has now floated an RFP for 8 new maritime aircraft. Lockheed is invited to bid again, and so are several other firms. Under the Navy's RFP, the bids have to be made by end of April 2006, with price negotiations to be completed by 2007 and first deliveries to commence within 48 months. India's Ministry of Defence has extreme problems with announced schedules, but their existing fleet is wearing out, international requests for India's maritime patrol help are rising, and some action is necessary. DID reviews the situation, the current fleet, and the competitors....Successful procurement of these aircraft would certainly contribute to India's capabilities, as its naval responsibilities undergo rapid growth.

The Indian Navy currently relies on its fleet of around 20 Dornier 228 aircraft and Israeli Searcher Mark II and Heron unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor India's 7,516-km long coastline, 1,197 islands and a two-million square kilometer exclusive economic zone. Additional patrols and interdiction within and beyond that area are undertaken by its 8-10 ultra-long-range TU-142 Bear aircraft and its 3 remaining IL-38 May Maritime Surveillance Aircraft.

Flight International reports that India's navy has set a deadline this month to receive bids for 16-24 more anti-submarine warfare helicopters; but the manufacturers that were handed the tender (AgustaWestland, Eurocopter, Kamov and Sikorsky) are asking for an extension. Meanwhile, a larger buy is afoot for long-range maritime patrol aircraft.

The Competitors

The Times of India reports that India's 8-10 TU-142 Bear aircraft are being retired, after negotiations with Russia and Israel to retrofit them were called off. Invited bidders (and their relevant offerings) reportedly include:

BAE (Nimrod MRA4)
Boeing (P-8A MMA)
Lockheed (P-3C Orion)
Northrop-Grumman (Global Hawk, presumably)
EADS (AT3 Atlantique, a smaller twin-engine turboprop)
Rosoboronexport (IL-38 "May" and TU-142 "Bear", both currently in service)

A TU-142 can fly from Mumbai (Bombay) to Johannesburg, South Africa and back - without refueling. Bharat-Rakshak reports that 8-10 Bears remain in service with the Indian Naval Air Arm. Bharat-Rakshak notes that proposals had been floated to Russian and Israeli firms to significantly upgrade the TU-142 with the Leninets Sea Dragon common patrol suite, as well as other electronic enhancements useful for surveillance and even electronic warfare. Proposed Sea Dragon upgrades were rejected on cost and performance grounds, which led to discussions around an Israeli IAI Elta surveillance and communications package based around the AN/M-2202A radar used in Spain's P-3C upgrades. These upgrades may even have been installed on at least one aircraft.

BAE Systems' modernized Nimrod MRA4 program received consideration from the USA as a replacement option for its P-3C Orions, but pressures for standardization with the global civil air fleet and a desire for a "made in America" solution pushed them to adopt the 737-based P-8A instead. A British program was begun in 1996 to rebuild their existing Nimrod Mk2 fleet to the MRA4 standard with new wings, engines, internal systems, and mission systems. Unfortunately, that program has faced a series of budget cuts, stalls, and conditions. At present, the first Nimrod MRA4 isn't expected to enter service until around 2010. Given the cutbacks in the modernization program, however, some older Nimrod Mk2 and MR1 airframes may become available for sale and refurbishment.

The P-8A is not expected to be available before 2013. Nevertheless, The Times of India's sources in the Indian Navy believes that the P-8A would match the combined operational profile presently being executed by its existing fleet of Ilyushin Il-38 Mays and TU-142 Bears. Given the limited remaining lifetime of even the refurbished IL-38SDs, a long-term solution is understandably attractive.

India also considers its involvement in the Boeing MMA program a test of Washington's long-term military and strategic commitment to India. Significant distrust remains in the wake of the USA's 1988 embargo of military exports to India and Pakistan following underground nuclear tests - an embargo that was only lifted fully in September of 2004. While its timeline may pose problems, just having the P-8A offered and cleared for export may be the one of the biggest benefits India receives from this RFP.

EADS' offerings in this area include the twin-turboprop AT3 Atlantique as part of the SECBAT consortium with Dassault Aviation of France, Alenia of Italy, and SABCA-SONACA of Belgium. While these are capable aircraft, their range and payload limitations may make them a dubious contender to replace the TU-142.

Russia's IL-38 May is about the same vintage as the P-3C Orion, and only 3 aircraft remain in Indian service from the original set of 5, after 2 of the aircraft were lost in an airshow collision. Unlike the TU-142s, however, the status of their upgrades is clear. India Defence reports that the first of three improved Il-38SD maritime anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft has been delivered to the Indian Navy following upgrades in Russia. The cost to upgrade each plane is about $35 million.

The IL-38 upgrade does include the Leninets Morskoy Zmei (Sea Dragon) digital common patrol suite, which is designed to detect and intercept surface vessels and submarines as well as detect mines and carry out surveillance. Like the Israeli M-2202A, the suite can also detect airborne targets, and it can be linked to the Russian Glonass GPS satellite navigation system. India's Defence Research and Development Organisation has supplied the new IL-38SD's electronic intelligence system, electronic countermeasures station system, digital firing decoys and radio communication system.

The Times of India reports that another 4 similarly upgraded IL-38SDs will be delivered to the Indian Navy by early next year, bringing the fleet to 7. India also plans to mount the medium-range PJ-10 BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on this aircraft in the near future.

Analysis >

posted on Apr, 1 2006 @ 05:59 AM
IAF may phase out Canberra jets by 2007

Canberra Bombers, the pride of the Indian Air Force and which has a distinct record of having taken part in all the three wars of the country has fought since their induction 50 years ago, could see an early phase-out.

"Canberra Bombers have done their job. At the most, they would serve one more year in the IAF. The plan was to phase them out in 2009. However, now they could be phased out earlier, may be by 2007," Air Marshal P Mehra, Air-Officer-Commanding in Chief, South Western Air Command, told reporters in Pune on Friday.

He said this at an informal chat at the Golden Jubilee Union of veteran Canberra pilots organised by the city-based Canberra Bomber Old Boys Association. Asked if they could be continued in the IAF any longer, he said, "It all depends on the HAL. There is no problem with the aircraft as such; it is a wonderful machine. But maintenance of Canberra aircraft is not easy."At present, the IAF has one squadron of Canberra Bombers stationed at Agra base.

Hopefully they will be replaced by the Tu-22M3's

Is India the country that presently has the Canberra in its air force fleet ? When were they retired by the RAF ?

posted on Apr, 1 2006 @ 06:05 AM

Deciding to keep its deep penetration strike aircraft Jaguar assembly lines open, the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS) on Friday gave the nod to manufacture of 20 more upgraded versions of the planes by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Jaguars, which are being utilized by the Air Force for deeper interdiction as well as for maritime role
, would be built at a cost of Rs 2,340 crores, Defence Minister Pranab Mukurjhee told newsmen after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security held for the second day in succession.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and attended by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Finance Minister P Chidambaram besides Mukherjee, also gave sanction to full scale development of 20 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft at the HAL at a cost of Rs 2,439 crores.

Full Article >>

So the LCA's production has been cleared
and the new Darin-3 Jags will give the IAF some buffer when the Mig-27's will be put to retirement shortly (if the Russian offer to drastically modify/modernise them by making them single engined and add a MKI like custom avionics & weapons suite - with stuff from France and Israel is rejected)

[edit on 1-4-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 05:31 AM
One cant help but smile at the MRCA tender going out of control....Force Mag reports ...

From an Indian standpoint, the 13th edition of the Asian Aerospace (AA-2006) exhibition, held in Singapore between February 21 and 26 this year, provided some critical insights into the fierce on-going competition between Boeing, Dassault Aviation, BAE Systems and RAC-MiG to supply close to 200 medium multi-role combat aircraft (M-MRCA) to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The exhibition also provided a rare glimpse into the various guided-missile R&D joint ventures that were recently launched between India and Israel.

With Dassault Aviation’s Rafale Mk1 and BAE Systems Eurofighter Typhoon now entering the fray for the IAF’s M-MRCA competition, Russia’s RAC-MiG has quietly dropped its offer of the so-called MiG-35 derivative of the MiG-29M.

Instead, the company is now offering its I-2000 fifth-generation M-MRCA, for which RAC-MiG did significant R&D work throughout the 1990s under its privately-funded Logkiy Frontovi Istrebilte project.

In fact, a highly classified briefing on two distinct variants of the I-2000 was given to defence minister Pranab Mukherjee in Moscow last November following which he reportedly told Russian officials rather bluntly that the ministry of defence (MoD) would be more inclined towards co-developing the I-2000 with Russia rather than go for the MiG-35.

The I-2000 will have a blended fuselage and thick wing centre-section. To be equipped with fly-by-light flight control systems, an all-digital nav-attack system containing French, Indian and Israeli avionics, and powered by NPO Saturn’s twin AL-41FP turbofans with thrust vectoring exhaust nozzles, the tandem-seat I-2000 will be capable of supercruise (sustaining supersonic speeds without engaging the engine’s afterburners) as well as super-manoeuvrability. More than 50 per cent of the I-2000’s airframe will be built with composite materials, and the aircraft will have a gross take-off weight of 15 tonnes, and a weapons payload of five tonnes. Both Rosoboronexport State Corp and RAC-MiG have assured the MoD that first deliveries of the I-2000 would begin within 48 months of contract signature.

RAC-MiG and India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) would jointly build up to four flying prototypes and two pre-production flight-worthy variants for the I-2000’s accelerated flight-test-cum-airworthiness certification schedule, which will be completed by 2010.

Bloody hell ... this is the stealthy Mig I-2000 :

And the article is not a Mirage-4000 like hoax. The Indian Defence Minister, along with a technical commitee did visit Russia some months back and were geiven a presentation on the I-2000.

Here are some few months old news articles on the same event...

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee has invited Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC) MiG to present its concept of fifth generation fighter aircraft before the top brass of Indian Air Force even as New Delhi has expressed its desire to join the Russian project.

"MiG had presented its concept of fifth generation fighter aircraft when I visited them yesterday. I invited them to make a presentation in India for the IAF officers," Mukherjee told reporters before leaving for home tonight at the end of his three-day Moscow visit.

In the course of his press conference at the Russian Defence Ministry yesterday, Mukherjee had for the first time publicly acknowledged that India is keen to take part in the development and financing of the fifth generation fighter aircraft with Russia, which would rival the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) being developed by the United States.

Russia had for the first time made this offer to NDA government three years ago after successful completion of Sukhoi Su-30MKI project, which already incorporates some features of the futuristic super fighter plane.

Local defence experts have noted that China, a major buyer of Russian military hardware has not been offered stake in the project. France is the only other foreign nation, which has also been invited besides India.

Russian Air Force had identified Sukhoi Corporation as the designer of the fifth generation fighter aircraft, which has already made presentation in India. However, India seems to be in favour of a lighter aircraft, in which RAC MiG specialises.

India and Russia will also sign agreement on the joint development and production of 145 medium multi-role transport aircraft (MTA) of which IAF will get 45 aircraft for replacing ageing AN-32 fleet.

Defence sources said India was not happy with the heavier version of the fifth generation aircraft promoted by Sukhoi and New Delhi would like to compare it with a lighter plane offered by MiG.

India has not preferred Sukhoi's 5th gen heavier, higher tech PAK-FA fighter proposal (F/A-22 class) .. perhaps because of funding volumes that it would need (the F/A-22 programme has costed USA 40 billion $ alredy and it would need 40 billion more link .... India is obviously not prepared to shell out even half this amount for a fighter project)

The Sukhoi proposal for a F/A-22 class, high-tech stealth fighter (rejected by India) :

external image

Interestingly France has also been offered a part in this 5th gen project....Flight International says so as well... link

posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 09:56 AM

This MRCA bit gets weirder and weirder!

The invitation to the French seems surprising though. Inviting France for a 5th gen a/c to 'counter' the F-35? is really strange. Almost like the last time when the soviets sent thta first Frenchman up into space way back in 84! And why NOT China? Maybe China ain't interested.
This thread sure is becoming a stockpile of info on the IAF.


nav-attack system containing French, Indian and Israeli avionics

Will NO IAF jet go unscathed??!!

posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 11:50 AM
Well...China's glorious history of illegal copying wont inspire many to share technology on 5th generation jets, would it ?

As for France, well France has made some imoressive developments in low-observable and stealth technologies (Rafale and Neuron) that perhaps Russia would like to have. Additionally, the France-Russia-India trio have an excellent relationship when it comes to compiling their best technologies into an aircraft.

But the MRCA is sure turning out to be a joke. What next ? F-35 or will they drag the conceptual MCA into it as well ? Or some "advanced 5th generation" project that EADS has offered ?

Talking about the Mig-I-2000, here is a good resource :

Development of Russia's LFI (logkiy frontovoi istrebitel) lightweight tactical fighter has been dramatically accelerated after the Russian Air Force decided it's priorities for the next 10 years.

The I-2000 (Istrebitel [fighter] 2000), is also likely to become the leading export product of the Russian aircraft industry. Available information on the I-2000 indicates that it will be closely comparable to the US Joint Strike Fighter,operating in both air-to-air and air-to-surface roles.

The aircraft comes from a long line of Mikoyan lightweight fighters, such as the MiG-15 and MiG-21. It is about the same size as the MiG-21 (shorter by 1.3m but wider by 4.5m), but noticeable smaller than its immediate predecessor, the MiG-29. Take-off weight is estimated at around 12 tonnes; maximum take-off weight at about 16 tonnes.

The design requirements for I-2000 call for reduced radar and infrared visibility and very high manoeuvrability, as well as short take-off and landing. The aircraft will have a blended fuselage/centre wing and a thick wing centre-section, with curved leading and trailing edges. The unusual aerodynamic configuration and powerful thrust-vectoring engines should provide excellent agility. Take-off and landing runs are short thanks to a specially designed landing gear that permits approaches at high angles of attack.

According to official sources, single and twin-engined variants of the LFI are under consideration. The graphics show a twin- engined variant with an all-new power plant. No engines of the required thrust currently exist in Russia.

Hopefully Matej can throwgive us some more information on this jet.

[edit on 3-4-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 12:08 PM
Here is a impressive set of large open source technical documents on the testing of the Tejas, Saras and the Dhruv. There are also some cool case studies of radical aircraft types. This is a must see :


@ echoblade : The news of the 20 customised Mirage-2000's purchase is confirmed by (previously reported by DNA)>> India’s Defence Ministry has asked France’s Dassault about supplying 20 Mirage 2000-5 combat jets at $50 million apiece, even though the four-way, $5 billion contest to supply 126 Medium Range Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) is still under way, a ministry official said.

I read the full article (requires registtration) posted elsewhere and the part about Israeli and Russian parts is confirmed there as well.

Check this cool analysis out :
'Bears' to 'Blackjacks' – A Possible Logical Progression ?

The Indian Navy has been offered Tupolev-22M3/MR strategic strike platforms to replace their ageing Tu-142 and Il-38 MRW aircraft. A detailed analysis shows that the Russian Tupolev-160 “Blackjack” offers several advantages over the offered aircraft, and may be available as the Navy’s requirement is small and Tu-160 production has restarted and additional funds will be welcome. The Russians on their part have never been hesitant to transfer strategic platforms to India.

The Indian Navy acquired a strategic manned airborne dimension with the entry of Tupolev Tu-142M “Bear-F” Long Range Maritime Patrol/Anti-Submarine Warfare (LRMP/ASW) platforms in 1988. Powered by four KKBM Kuznetsov NK-12MV turboprops (each rated at 11,033-KW or 14,795-shp), with eight-blade contra-rotating reversible-pitch Type AV-60N propellers, the Tu-142M boasted a “near-conventional jet speed” of around 500-knots while still encompassing the whole Indian Ocean region from bases in South & Central India (INS Rajali and INS Hansa being more prominent) on internal fuel alone. Still an In-Flight Refuelling (IFR) probe is fitted above the nose and presently can summon the Indian Air Force (IAF) Agra-based Illyushin Il-78MKI IFR tankers of No.78 “Battle Cry” Squadron if situations arise.

While as primary sensors the Tu-142M platforms were fitted with the Korshun-K (Black Kite) automatic search and sighting system and MMS-106 Ladoga magnetometer to detect “stealthy” nuclear-powered submarines, the Indian Navy’s Tu-142M made foreign news headlines for its “Wet Eye” search and attack radar. The Australian Government presented strong reservations about the Tu-142M’s intended role in Indian Navy service, which to the Australian Government represented an Indian naval effort to expand its sphere of influence at the cost of Australia’s own. On top of these, matters did not help as rumours spread that the Indian Navy Tu-142M fleet represented a specialized variant, which in addition to LRMP/ASW gear and role retained sufficient gear to carry out a secondary heavy-bombing role.

This last mentioned aspect was never confirmed by Indian Navy sources and may or may not be a part of Island Continent’s political gimmick to enhance their own defence budget and spending. In any case a top speed of around 500-knots has only marginal effectiveness in penetration of well defended airspace yet integration of state-of-the-art Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCM) or Land Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) may transform the “Albatross” into a formidable attack platform without the need to fly over its intended targets and yet decimate them at will from stand-off distances. Negotiations were reportedly made for additional procurement of six to eight more Tu-142M platforms but apparently fell apart after the tragic mid-air crash of a pair of Indian Navy IL-38s in October 2002, with priorities shifted in more ways than initially anticipated.

Although various plans exist for upgrading the Tu-142M fleet to formidable LRMP/ASW platforms with Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) attributes, one platform presents an Israeli upgrade package that includes the proven Elta EL/M-2022A (V3) radar and associated ELINT, satellite communication and electronic warfare equipment. The Indian Navy was “looking beyond” LRMP/ASW platforms for effective operations in its sphere of influence and this was somewhat confirmed at the turn of millennium by persistent yet intermittent reports of the lease of Tu-22M3 (Backfire-C) multi-mission strike platforms, capable of performing low-level nuclear strike and conventional attack role both over land and sea alongside high-seed reconnaissance missions. In absence of official confirmation and shielded in misinformation or secrecy, the proposed airborne package as per Russian media reports includes leasing of three Tu-22M3 strategic bombing/maritime strike platforms, plus one Tu-22MR reconnaissance oriented platform with a giant Side Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) in what was previously the internal bomb bay to enable aerial reconnaissance from a great slant distance. Also the package reportedly includes one Tu-134UBL with each of the mentioned type from Russian Air Forces register.

During the height of the Cold War, the Tu-22M remained one of the most controversial airborne platforms and contributed considerably to breakdown of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) II due to arguments as to whether to classify it as a strategic platform or not. Two Kuznetsov NK-25 turbofan engines provided Tu-22M a range of at least 7,000-km-plus at high altitude on internal fuel alone, with further extension possible with IFR. To complicate matters further the maximum speed was reported to be 2300-km/h at high altitude with 12-tons of strike ordnance or an alternative load of a single air launched cruise missile carried in semi-recessed form to reduce drag. Thus it was logically deduced by the US Administration that if air bases were made available in then South or Central American Marxist influenced Nations, the Tu-22M acquires the “strategic dimension” by conducting “one-way over Artic” missions against the United States homeland and thus should be regarded as a strategic platform. This logic was outright rejected by the Soviets for few practical reasons ultimately leading to breakdown of SALT II.

However in Soviet Dalnaya Aviatsiya (DA) or Long-Range Aviation and AV-MF or Naval Aviation service the Tu-22M did represent a formidable strike platform with the radar speculated to be of the missile guidance ‘Down Beat’ family in conjunction with one of the most formidable contemporary avionics and electronic warfare suites and were feared and respected by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) adversaries. Most of the electronic warfare suites were “flush mounted” so as not to hamper aerodynamic performance. During the height of Cold War the Tu-22M “Backfire” achieved further notoriety in NATO eyes for repeated simulated launch of cruise missiles against the NATO Aircraft-Carrier Battle Groups (CVBG) and penetrating the formidable Japanese air-defence network at will. These were bound to be carefully planned ELINT/ferret missions and tactics to test and record NATO Strike Fleet and Japanese air defence tactics and procedures. Operating from forward bases in the European Landmass the Soviet Tu-22Ms were active over North Atlantic as far as Azores, encompassing the whole European Landmass and were considered a significant threat to NATO surface ASW barriers in the key areas such as Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK) gaps.

Yet a thorough evaluation puts the Tu-22M “Backfire” along with the Sukhoi Su-24 “Fencer” in the category of “Cold War relics” as these one-time formidable and fearsome platforms underwent only limited upgradations after the “Cold War” era in sharp contrast of United States Air Force (USAF) operated strategic airborne platforms like B-1B and B-52G/H. Prominently apparent are certain inherent drawbacks in the area of Radar Cross Section (RCS) as the Tu-22M fuselage lines are largely copied from earlier Tu-22 “Blinder”, basically a "historic" design prior to “stealth consciousness”. While slab-sided fuselage and engine intakes present prominent RCS, the positioning of engine intakes occupies significant fuselage space reducing internal fuel loads and thus reducing the otherwise potential range. Also perhaps the entire avionics and electronic warfare suite need to be replaced with contemporary equipment to ensure survivability of these technologically ageing platforms in present high-threat environments.

The “significantly small” Indian Navy requirement of strategic combined maritime strike and reconnaissance platforms, justified in light of their deployment restricted over oceans and need not over fly integrated hostile enemy Air Defence (AD) system and missile network over land, makes even highly sophisticated and expensive designs approachable if operational benefits significantly overlap the financial and technical investment. In this context perhaps the optimally suitable maritime strike platform for Indian Navy resides in the Russian Tu-160 “Blackjack” supersonic strategic bomber, the true successor of Tu-95/142 “Bear” and the pride of the Russian Dalnaya Aviatsiya since reorganized to 37th Strategic Air Army comprising of the 22nd Guards Red Banner Donbass Heavy Bomber Division and the 79th Guards Heavy Bomber Division in May 1998. Both high-profile Divisions posses a mix of five regiments of nuclear and conventionally armed Tu-95MS6/MS16 “Bear” strategic bombers, single regiment of nuclear armed Tu-160 “Blackjack” strategic bombers plus four regiments of Tu-22M3 “Backfire” conventionally armed medium range bombers. Tu-160s by themselves equip the 121st Air Regiment based at Engels Air Force Base at Saratov region.

Tu-160 in contrast to Tu-22M represents a formidable state-of-the-art Fly-By-Wire (FBW) platform with 10,500-km inter-continental range with considerable weapons load estimated on a mission profile of subsonic high altitude cruise, followed by transonic penetration at low altitude on internal fuel alone. The IFR option is available for further enhancement of range. Russian Air Force Tu-160s repeatedly displayed their capability to operate over Indian Ocean during Indo-Russian Naval Exercises (INDRA) from Russian homeland and Central Asian Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) bases striking down dummy or notional targets with cruise missiles. On conceptual level, if operated from Indian bases the Indian Ocean “will fall under scanner” in totality along with adjoining territories of West Asia and Far East.

In Tu-160 design, sufficient stresses have been given on reduction of RCS with the wing and fuselage gradually integrated into a single-piece configuration. The four NK-32 augmented turbofan engines, each providing a maximum thrust of 25,000-kg are installed in two pods under the shoulders of the wing with engine-intakes well shielded under fuselage to be screened from look-down radars. Measures were also applied to reduce the signature of the engines to infra-red and radar detectors. The Tu-160 avionics system consisting of navigation and attack radar and electronic countermeasures system will represent the pristine Russian technology after proposed upgradations, which are to follow alongside resumption of production lately for Russian 37th Strategic Air Army service. Even a limited export order for Indian Navy may evoke considerable interest as this is bound to “streamline” the re-opened production line to subsequently cater future Russian Air Force needs.

The Tu-160 in Indian Navy service may well be the perfect carrier (almost a made for each other) of the projected air-launched variant of supersonic (Mach 2.8) Indo-Russian PJ-10 BrahMos Anti-Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM) with smaller booster and additional tail fins for stability during launch, accommodating six of them on multi-station launchers in each of the two internal weapons bays. BrahMos ASCM is a joint venture between Indian DRDO and Russian NPO Mashinostroyeniya (NPO Mash) and inherits from its predecessor the Russian Yakhont ASCM, low RCS with an active radar homing seeker to facilitate fire-and-forget launch. Varieties of flight trajectories including sea-skimming or terminal pop-up followed by a deadly dive are meant to complicate the task of the adversary.

Mid-course guidance is inertial, developed and refined by Indian scientists. It is now an open secret that for further refinement of mid-course guidance the Indians are working hard at enhancing and refining the Inertial Navigation System (INS) with possible Israeli assistance that keeps track of the smallest change in velocity of the missile from its launch. In fact, if the warhead is nuclear tipped to cause wide-area destruction, the degree of accuracy delivered by INS is sufficient. Indians are believed to have obtained gyroscopes and other related items from European nations and are said to have successfully reverse-engineered them. Concurrently as a parallel development and as part of Alfa next-generation airborne reconnaissance and strike system, NPO Mash unveiled the Yakhont-M air-launched supersonic ASCM at the MAKS 2003 air show, which share elements with the Indo-Russian PJ-10 BrahMos. Armed with multi-sensor guidance, to engage surface ships and ground targets at up to 300-km, reconnaissance and target acquisition are to be provided by radar and electro-optical sensor equipped Kondor low-Earth-orbit satellites.

No wonder, BrahMos is rapidly emerging to be an enigma of sorts as numerous variants are being proposed or mooted simultaneously. The quest for a Brahmos LACM variant was hinted at in a test at Pokhran during December 2004, the missile being equipped with special image processing software for terminal homing and subsequently searched, located and destroyed a 50-cm thick concrete bunker with pinpoint accuracy. Although not officially stated, the special image processing software could well be a Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator (DSMAC) variant, which uses a zoom lens to collect images and matches them with the snaps of the approach to the target stored in the memory, to conduct precision strikes against an array of enemy counter-force and counter-value targets ranging from airfields to overland communications, command and control centres and powerful air defence installations.

There is considerable speculation that the ultimate BrahMos variant could emerge as tri-service sub-sonic or transonic LACM variant with an estimated range of 800-km to 1,400-km with Global Positioning System (GPS) guidance backup. Such a formidable missile system will offer considerable stand-off distance to every launch platform and will enable Indian Navy airborne LRMP/ASW and strike platforms to execute their operational roles without having to enter hostile airspace or engage enemy AD systems. Looking from a pure technological standpoint, Tu-160 “Blackjack” in Indian Navy colours will effectively eclipse other airborne strategic and sub-strategic platforms “in the vicinity” like Chinese Peoples Liberation Army-Air Force (PLA-AF) operated H-6 (Tu-16) bombers and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F-111 strike fighters and only be competitive with USAF B-2 Spirit platforms occasionally based in Diego Garcia.



Another cool piece :

Sea Harrier jets get new lease of life

[edit on 3-4-2006 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 12:39 AM

Originally posted by Stealth Spy
Well...China's glorious history of illegal copying wont inspire many to share technology on 5th generation jets, would it ?

illegal copying?

Stealth spy over these past months i have compiled a huge list of indian

I seriously dont understand why you constantly snicker. I dont do it, Daedalus3 doesn't do it. Maybe its got something to do with maturity and your social standards


Additionally, the France-Russia-India trio have an excellent relationship when it comes to compiling their best technologies into an aircraft.

I missed this one. What will india contribute to this again?. ......$$$

[edit on 4-4-2006 by chinawhite]

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 03:08 AM

Originally posted by Stealth Spy

Development of Russia's LFI (logkiy frontovoi istrebitel) lightweight tactical fighter has been dramatically accelerated after the Russian Air Force decided it's priorities for the next 10 years.

The I-2000 (Istrebitel [fighter] 2000), is also likely to become the leading export product of the Russian aircraft industry. Available information on the I-2000 indicates that it will be closely comparable to the US Joint Strike Fighter,operating in both air-to-air and air-to-surface roles.

Well it should read like this. Good that you cut out information (which you always do) and did not provide a link to your article
which you probaly sourced from WAFF or were you the one which posted the article

Not to mention the information is from 98
"(source: Jane's Defense Weekly, 04-15-98, 1998; Issue: PSA-2075; HEADLINES Section)"

"Development of Russia's LFI (logkiy frontovoi istrebitel) lightweight tactical fighter has been dramatically accelerated after the Russian Air Force decided its priorities for the next 10 years. Revealed here exclusively as the I-2000 (Istrebitel [fighter] 2000) project, the aircraft is due to become operational in 2005 as Russia's basic front-line fighter. It is also likely to become the leading export product of the Russian aircraft industry. Available information on the I-2000 indicates that it will be closely comparable to the US Joint Strike Fighter, operating in both the air-to-air and air-to-surface roles.

The aircraft comes from a long line of Mikoyan lightweight fighters, such as the MiG-15 and MiG-21. It is about the same size as the MiG-21 (shorter by 1.3m but wider by 4.5m), but noticeably smaller than its immediate predecessor, the MiG-29. Take-off weight is estimated at around 12 tonnes; maximum take-off weight at about 16 tonnes.

[edit on 4-4-2006 by chinawhite]

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 03:44 AM
Nice read, the Tu-160 bit..

Yeah more info on the I-2000 would be appreciated. Couldn't get much on google

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