Lockheed Martin F-16 (Block 70)
*These stats are taken from the Block 60 since the 70's stats are hard to find and supposed to be pretty close*
Engine: One General Electric F110-GE-132 turbofan, rated at 19,000 lb.s.t. dry and 32,500 lb.s.t. with afterburning.
Performance: Maximum short-endurance speed: Mach 2.02 (1333 mph) at 40,000 feet. Maximum sustained speed Mach 1.89 (1247 mph) at 40,000 feet.
Dimensions: wingspan 31 feet 0 inches, length 49 feet 4 inches, height 16 feet 8 1/2 inches, wing area 300 square feet.
Weights: around 22,000 pounds empty, 29,000 pounds normal loaded (air-to-air mission), 46,000 pounds maximum takeoff.
-Hey, it has AESA as well. It's even what appears to be a later model than that on the Super Fries.
-It's a proven airframe
-It is indeed in the realm of the desirable for the Indians. It's a light multirole.
-It's an old airframe and is not even close to Low-Observability. And you guys thought I was insane saying that Su-35 BM was made to be a little
closer to the stealthy side.
-It's an airframe that is going to be very quickly made obsolete by the F-35. Upgrades on an older fighter won't take it past a totally new airframe
destined for the same roles. If they want something like the F-16, it'd be wiser to just beg for the F-35.
I love the F-16. It's a cool, sexy plane. But the problem here is that it's getting to the point where you have to let it go. The F-16 is going to
get replaced by what is pretty widely accepted as a superior aircraft, the F-35 (just because I hate it doesn't mean I get to negate fact). Also, the
infrastructure for the F-16's is simply not there for India, regardless of how cool we think it'd be to see F-16's and Su-30 MKI's in formation
together. It's just not the choice for India.
Saab JAS39 Gripen
* Crew: 1–2
* Length: 14.1 m (46 ft 3 in)
* Wingspan: 8.4 m (27 ft 7 in)
* Wing area: 25.54 m (274.9 ft)
* Empty weight: 6,620 kg (14,600 lb)
* Loaded weight: 8,720 kg (19,200 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 14,000 kg (31,000 lb)
* Powerplant: 1× Volvo Aero RM12 (GE F404) afterburning turbofan, 54 kN dry, 80 kN with afterburner (12,000 lbf / 18,100 lbf)
* Maximum speed: Mach 2
* Range: Combat radius 800km, (500 miles), (430nm). ()
* Service ceiling: 15,000 m (50,000 ft)
* Thrust/weight: 0.94
* 1 × 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon
* 6 × Rb 74 or Rb 98
* 4 × Rb 99, Rb 71, MICA or Meteor
* Rb 75, KEPD 350, or various other laser-guided bombs, rocket pods.
* Rb 15F anti-ship missile
* Bk 90 cluster bomb
-One of the coolest features: It is made for really fast turnaround. It is supposed to land, rearm, and get back up with a 5 man crew in ten minutes.
It can even land on public highways.
-It can do some very short landings and takeoffs. It's made to work in less than 800m.
-It's tiny. Really tiny. So tiny, in fact, that it'll be taking the spot of the HAL Tejas aircraft currently in development by the Indian Air Force.
-It's expensive. For such a small aircraft it is unbelievably expensive. 45-40 million per unit. Ouch.
-It doesn't have AESA, TVC, or really many of those whizz-bang features we all love
-It's not capable of handling a lot of current armament. It's best armament would probably be the Meteor, which has yet to come out.
The JAS39 is an awesome mini-plane. If you want something unbelievably light for duty, this would be it. Unfortunately this conflicts with the HAL
Tejas that the Indians have going, so its purchase is not very likely or useful. Disappointing since Saab makes some of the coolest planes.
* Crew: 1–2
* Length: 15.27 m (50.1 ft)
* Wingspan: 10.80 m (35.4 ft)
* Height: 5.34 m (17.4 ft)
* Wing area: 45.7 m² (492 ft²)
* Empty weight: 9,060 kg (20,000 lb)
* Useful load: 9,500 kg (21,000 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 24,500 kg (54,000 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× SNECMA M88-2 turbofans
* Maximum speed: >Mach 1.8 (2,130 km/h, 1,320 mph)
* Range: 1,800 km (970 nm, 1,100 mi)
* Service ceiling: 18,000 m (60,000 ft)
* Rate of climb: >305 m/s  (60,000 ft/min)
* Wing loading: 326 kg/m² (83 1/3 lb/ft²)
* Thrust/weight: 1.13
* Guns: 1× 30 mm (1.18 in) GIAT 30/719B cannon with 125 rounds
+ MICA IR/EM or
+ AIM-9 Sidewinder or
+ AIM-132 ASRAAM or
+ AIM-120 AMRAAM or
+ MBDA Meteor or
+ Magic II
+ MBDA Apache or
+ SCALP EG or
+ AASM or
+ AM 39 Exocet or
+ ASMP nuclear missile
-It's definitely in the weight spectrum that the Indian Air Force is looking for.
-It has that nifty SPECTRA electronic survival completely integrated with the airframe. It's not like having complete all-aspect stealth, but it does
have some accompanying passive sensors for signature control.
-It's pretty expensive, at what looks to be like about 60 million US each.
-No AESA, and not much integration with the accompanying Indian inventory, the MKI's.
I really don't consider the Rafale a particular contender here. It was made with France's defense in mind since they refused the Eurofighter deal.
Although not a bad fighter and having some genuinely cool stuff, I don't think it's quite leading the pack here.
I think that we've got some serious competition up here. There's some serious hairiness about but I think it's pretty clear for me. If I were the
Indian Air Force I'd be taking the MiG-35 or the EF-2000. Even then, I'd have to say that the MiG-35 would take the cake as it was made directly to
compliment the heavier Sukhoi fighters (several of which India operates and manufactures). This gives it the ability to use existing infrastructure as
well as perform its mission without infringing on the roles of others, fitting well between the Tejas and Flankers.
I'd give it to the MiG-35. And it looks like I'm not alone.
But a question I would like to ask: How would this competition be changed if other aircraft were entered? What about the F-35? How about the J-10?