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Best Plane for Indian MRCA 126 Deal

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posted on Sep, 15 2007 @ 01:14 AM
I wish to know more about the six contenders in Indian 126 MRCA deal.

IMHO the fight lies between Mig-35 abd Super Hornet.

Please don't get derailed from the topic of this discussion.

posted on Sep, 15 2007 @ 09:54 AM
I know a lot has already been discussed about this topic.

I want the experts to analyze this subject and try and give us a definite opinion about that. Many of the guys which post replies on forums are ignorant about requirements of IAF and specifications of each of the 6 planes.

So I think this topic still has a lot of potential to be discussed.

posted on Sep, 15 2007 @ 10:07 AM
Chances are pretty good that it will, in fact, be the MiG-35. It's pretty well-fit to the Indian standards (the idea was to replace the aging MiG-21 fleet with another light multirole), and is pretty nifty, too. It's got all the fixin's, 360 TVC, AESA, sex appeal. You name it!

One thing I would like to bring up is this particular article.

Why The Super Fries Is Better

One might ask why I would choose to select an article that supports the Super Fries. Well, the reason is that the article is completely and utterly wrong. What it's ultimately saying is that the E/F has AESA, therefore it's better than any other aircraft in the competition.
What is this? Not only is the E/F's radar still rather buggy (I know it'll be fixed in the future, but the contest is now and the purchase will be very soon), but the MiG-35 also has AESA. This was well known when it was put forward for the competition.

Currently, the only country in the world that has AESA technology is the US which acquired the technology after years of research and huge investments. The EU and Israel are reportedly next in line to acquire AESA, only because the flow of GaAs MMIC chips to these countries will not remain restricted for long due to commercial imperative. Under the circumstances, it is unlikely that Russia will acquire AESA for sometime to come.

Which is funny, because most likely by the time this article was written the Russians would have already had AESA. Anyway, read the article and have a laugh. But it does look like MiG-35 is in line to win.

posted on Sep, 15 2007 @ 10:19 AM
Thanks for the information

I would like some more detailed analysis on this topic.

Lets divide Requirements of IAF and Specifications of each of the planes.

The heading IMO would be:

1. Technology : subdivided into Software, Radar, Maneuverability, Range, Speed, Hard Points, Compatible Weapons, Training of Pilots

2. Servicability : Existing Infrastructure, Reliance on the country offering the plane

3. Costs : Value for money

4. International Scenario

What I think is there must be a very fair, dispassionate rating on all these factors and other factors which you all learned people might find good points to consider and we must reach to some conclusion.

Please refrain from the looks component. In defense of battlefields looks don't kill

posted on Sep, 15 2007 @ 06:22 PM
I have been looking for such kind of detailed analysis and the result of it.

I guess this forum has a lot of people with a lot of information for this analysis.

posted on Sep, 15 2007 @ 08:23 PM

Originally posted by vedas
I have been looking for such kind of detailed analysis and the result of it.

I guess this forum has a lot of people with a lot of information for this analysis.

You bet. I'm personally working to get together all the information for this, which is quite a lot for just the few aircraft in the competition. Expect to see replies from me in the next few days. By the way...

Please refrain from the looks component. In defense of battlefields looks don't kill

With HMS they can.

posted on Sep, 15 2007 @ 11:04 PM
I'll wait for your replies

With HMS looks can kill........

posted on Sep, 15 2007 @ 11:44 PM

Originally posted by vedas
With HMS looks can kill........



I'll get to work on these posts tomorrow.

posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 12:22 AM
Thanks for this info about HMS.

But JAS Gripen is a very small aircraft IMO

What do you think about that.

posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 12:24 AM
Sorry for my opinions..........We'll stay with the facts and rate on the points enumerated by me and then have a look at the results.

This is gonna be interesting

Looking forward for your posts

posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 01:06 AM
I look forward to your inputs Darkpro..

Personally I think the best bet would ahve been the Mirage-2000 MkIX.. but its not in contention!

posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 06:07 AM
I also think the MiG-35 will get it - for 1 main reason , the 50% offset the Indian governement want for local companies.

Russia sold them the SU-30MKI licence and it is in full production in India - the same will eventually be for the MiG-35 - as the aircraft is the result of listening to (believe it or not) the German airforce - fix the problems (radar, engines, range) and improve on the good points - using the Phazotron Zhuk-AE AESA set - shown at aero india 2007 and MAKS 2007 although i could see the Phazotron Zhuk-MFE with a 700mm antenna being used as well (again aesa).

posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 07:46 AM
Well the griphen does seem to be a nice lightweight fighter. I assume the mig 35 will win though because of reasons already stated. Most notable the 50% offset deal.

posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 09:36 AM
Sweden/SAAB are also offering smilar incentives..and more.
Same with the Americans.. dangling the F-35 carrot..

And infact the Gripen is quite popular amongst the pilot class in the IAF.

posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 06:24 PM
IMO F-35 bait won't work for America as India is not interested in just the plane but also the technology of 5th Gen fighters which can help them with the MCA development. And moreover India won't go for F-16 as Pakistan operates F-16 too and I guess India is looking for Air superiority over Pakistan.

posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 12:42 AM
I think India will better go for PAF FA........or has already gone for it......not officially joint development of 5th Gen Fighter.

America will never give the technology of F 35 to India. So F-35 IMO must not be considered by India

posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 01:34 AM
I do not think there is any active MCA design and development as of now.
As far as I know the 5th gen fighter is being sourced from Russia, PAK-FA, and active co-development of the same is in progress.

Pakistan has blk 15 and is going to get blk 52 F-16s whereas India is offered Blk 70 F-16s with AESA etc..
And currently India does have superior a/c w.r.t. Pakistan even on a 1-1 comparision basis.. for now..

posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 09:26 PM
Some info about MCA

I guess MCA is a serious project.

I just hope the deadlines are met in the stipulated time before the 5th gen technology becomes obsolete

posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 11:58 PM
SuperBug, MiG-35, Rafale, EF-2000 Typhoon,F-16(Block 70) and JAS39 Gripen

Alrighty. In our investigation today, we have...

Boeing F-18 E/F Super Hornet
Mikoyan MiG-35 Fulcrum F
Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon
Lockheed-Martin F-16, Block 70
Saab JAS39 Gripen

So let's get started. I'll be outlining the basic points on every aircraft. But first, let's have a review on what this contest is for so we know what we're looking for. The Indian MRCA is a competition for a contract of what was 126 aircraft (I think that may have since increased, I don't know off hand) in the role of a Light Multirole. This is to compliment their purchase of some Su-30 MKI's with a little brother in much the way F-35 compliments the F-22. So what we should be keeping our eyes out for are light multiroles here rather than focusing on the best possible aircraft as we usually do. I'll include a bunch of stats, but they'll be from Wikipedia because I'm a lazy (insert general noun here).

Boeing F-18 E/F Super Fries (Hornet)

General characteristics

* Crew: F/A-18E (1), F/A-18F (2)
* Length: 60 ft 1¼ in (18.31 m)
* Wingspan: 44 ft 8½ in (13.62 m)
* Empty weight: 30,564 lb (13,864 kg)
* Loaded weight: 47,000 lb (21,320 kg) (in fighter configuration)
* Max takeoff weight: 66,000 lb (29,900 kg)
* Powerplant: 2× General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofans
o Dry thrust: 14,000 lbf (62 kN) each
o Thrust with afterburner: 22,000 lbf (98 kN) each
* * Internal fuel capacity: F-18E: 14,400 lb (6,530 kg), F-18F: 13,550 lb (6,145 kg)
* External fuel capacity: 5× 480 gal tanks, totaling 16,380 lb (7,430 kg)


* Maximum speed: >Mach 1.6[37] (1,050 mph, 1,680 km/h) at high altitude
* Range: 681 mi (592 nm, 1,095 km) on hi-hi-hi interdiction mission with 4× 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs, 2× AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, and 2× drop tanks
* Combat radius: 150 nm (173 mi, 278 km) 135 min maritime air superiority mission with 6 AAMs and 3 drop tanks
* Service ceiling: >50,000 ft (15,000 m)
* Wing loading: 92.8 lb/ft² (453 kg/m²)


* Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1/A2 Vulcan cannon
* Hardpoints: 11 with a capacity of 17,750 lb (8,050 kg)

Good Points:
-It has AESA (and we all know that having an AESA radar means you can see things farther away, keep track of more of them, launch lots of missiles, battle Japanese city-destroying monsters, fix marriages, and dissipate flatulence in enclosed areas. Trust me. The sales brochure says so.)
-It's an upgrade of a proven airframe
-Taking the whole package, you also get proven equipment to go along with it, including AMRAAM, a few AIM-9's, and other fun toys.
-It's got 11 hard points and the carrying capacity for a lot of doodads, thingamabobs, and doohickeys.

Bad Points:
-This thing is the largest and heaviest in the competition by far.
-The Indians already have a really big fighter, they want a complimentary small one. This just isn't what they want.
-So far, AESA on the Super Fries is pretty spotty. I know, it'll be fixed in a future upgrade, but the competition is now.
-It's slightly smaller than the $45 million Su-30 MKI's and yet costs about 12 million more.
-It's not stealth. Apparently everyone in the 21st century needs stealth or the F-22 will destroy them from 500 km away. With a gun burst.

Final Word:
The aircraft is definitely useful, but ultimately it just doesn't fit the niche that the Indians are looking for. It's kind of like the one-and-a-half-hand bastard sword, it's a bit smaller than the Su-30 MKI's, but too large to be the small multirole that's the goal here. It does have the AESA radar, but that's not special since the MiG-35 is flying around. Also, there have been reports of the F-18's radar has been slightly spotty. I really think that this aircraft, although not a bad one, is just not the right choice here.

Mikoyan MiG-35 Fulcrum-F

General characteristics

* Crew: One or Two
* Length: 19 m (62 ft 4 in)
* Wingspan: 15 m (49 ft 3 in)
* Empty weight: 15,000 kg (33,069 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 22,700 kg (50,076 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× Klimov RD-33MK afterburning turbofans (90 kN of thrust)


* Maximum speed: Mach 2.5 (2,448 km/h, 1,521 mph at altitude)
* Range: 4,023 km, 2,500 mi (with external tanks 6000 km, 3728 mi)
* Service ceiling: 18,900 m (62,000 ft)
* Rate of climb: ~300 m/s (60,000 ft/min)


* 1x 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon with 150 rounds
* 8 (?) Hard Points

Good Points:
-It's a light multirole. This sounds familiar, possibly related to the idea of some competition?
-It's the other AESA-bearing aircraft, which is a big plus nowadays.
-It makes a really good airshow, which is the prime use of most aircraft nowadays anyway.
-It was originally designed to compliment Su-XX fighters, which conveniently the Indians have.
-That OLS is really cool. It can switch between TV mode, IR mode, or both. It's a pretty neat improvement on IRST.

Bad Points:
-It's only got 8 hard points. Fewer toys to play with.
-It isn't Low-Observability
-It's still just a stopgap until the next multirole. In fact, it was almost just a demonstration that Mikoyan is still alive and doing stuff since Sukhoi got the prime spot in PAK-FA.

Final Word
It's a strong choice. MiG-29 complimented Su-27, MiG-35 compliments Su-30 MKI. It's a pretty good deal. It also has the AESA radar, which is a pretty big plus. It fits the job of a light multirole alternative to the MKI's in the Indian Air Force. That fits my checklist pretty good. I'd say it is currently at the top of it (and so do a few news sources).

Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon:

General characteristics

* Crew: 1 or 2
* Length: 15.96 m (52 ft 5 in)
* Wingspan: 10.95 m (35 ft 11 in)
* Empty weight: 11,000 kg[48] (24,250 lb)
* Loaded weight: 15,550 kg (34,280 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 23,000 kg[48] (51,809 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× Eurojet EJ200 afterburning turbofans, 60 kN dry; 90 kN with afterburner (13,500 lbf; 20,250 lbf) each


* Maximum speed:
o At altitude: Mach 2[49][50]
o At sea level: Mach 1.2 (1,470 km/h, 915 mph)[citation needed]
o Supercruise: Mach 1.2[48]
* Range: 1390 km (864 mi)
* Ferry range: 3790 km (2,300 mi)
* Service ceiling: 19,812 m (65,000 ft[51])
* Thrust/weight: 1.18


* Gun: 1x 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon
* Air-to-Air missiles: AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-132 ASRAAM, AIM-120 AMRAAM, IRIS-T and in the future MBDA Meteor
* Air-to-Ground missiles: AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-88 HARM, ALARMs, Storm Shadow (AKA "Scalp EG"), Brimstone, Taurus, Penguin and in the future AGM Armiger
* Bombs: Paveway 2, Paveway 3, Enhanced Paveway, JDAM, HOPE/HOSBO
* Laser designator, e.g. LITENING pod

Good Points:
-For a PESA radar, CAPTOR is pretty impressive
-It is, in fact, pretty light. Which fits squarely into the requirements of which competition?
-It has supercruise. I don't think that any of the other toys in this competition have that.
-It's in full, reliable production. Order and they'll start shipping pretty soon.

Bad points:
-It has some RCS reductions, but still isn't stealth.
-The accompanying Meteor missile that's supposed to compliment it isn't quite out yet.
-How well would it mesh with the Su-30 MKI's systems?

Final Word
It's definitely a contender. It's been sold and is in full production for other countries, another order would definitely work for the Indians. It's a good performer and fits nicely into the niche. If the Indians can attach the weapons they've got and make it mesh properly, it could definitely work.

Tomorrow, The JAS39 Gripen and maybe the F-16 Block 70. It's really difficult to find stats on the new Fighting Falcon.

posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 01:21 AM

Originally posted by vedas
Some info about MCA

I guess MCA is a serious project.

I just hope the deadlines are met in the stipulated time before the 5th gen technology becomes obsolete

I'm not so sure it will have govt approval and funding.. not after the way the LCA went..
Also it is meant to be a dedicated 'strike' a/c.. Are we talking stealth bomber here?

This definitely does not overlap with the role the PAK-FA is intended to play..
So now we're looking at 2 different stealth designs? Bomber/'strike'(MCA) AND air superiority(PAK-FA)?

Very indepth Darkpro.
Will read and comment in due time.

[edit on 18-9-2007 by Daedalus3]

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