Indian Military Aviation; News, Updates & Discussions

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Boeing has joined other vendors in promising manufacturing in India. With India having already committed to 36 Rafales, one would think that gives them an edge but both LM and Boeing can be aggressive. A SH or Rafale purchase for both the AF and Navy would simplify the maintenance but I guess LM would have a cost advantage for the 110 jets the AF wants. Russia can probably undercut everyone but perhaps India has tired of substandard after sale support.

AERO INDIA: Boeing offers India futuristic Super Hornet factory
Maybe so, but the Indians will always buy western and Russian kit to avoid any political complications if one side or the other has a hissy fit with India over some perceived slight.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
So when does India get the other 35? And more F-21s?
Welcome to the forum @Waldo Pepper. We look forward to your contributions, however we do have some rules that you should acquaint yourself with, one of them being no one liners.

The Indians have not made any commitments let alone signed any contracts to acquire the so called F-21. It if fact is a misnomer because it was the IAI Kfir when it was used by the USN for their Top Gun adversary role. LockMart have just annotated it to the F-16 as a sales gimmick for the Indians. Indian defence acquisitions is an exceedingly long slow laborious excruciating process that can usually be measured in decades. It has many similarities to Canadian defence procurement. From memory, I think that they are into their second or third iteration of the MMRCA competition. Put it this way, odds on that my 6 year old grandson will probably be in receipt of his old age pension before they get it sorted. :D
 

Waldo Pepper

New Member
Welcome to the forum @Waldo Pepper. We look forward to your contributions, however we do have some rules that you should acquaint yourself with, one of them being no one liners.

The Indians have not made any commitments let alone signed any contracts to acquire the so called F-21. It if fact is a misnomer because it was the IAI Kfir when it was used by the USN for their Top Gun adversary role. LockMart have just annotated it to the F-16 as a sales gimmick for the Indians. Indian defence acquisitions is an exceedingly long slow laborious excruciating process that can usually be measured in decades. It has many similarities to Canadian defence procurement. From memory, I think that they are into their second or third iteration of the MMRCA competition. Put it this way, odds on that my 6 year old grandson will probably be in receipt of his old age pension before they get it sorted. :D
Thank you. Message received -- no distortion. I thought the LockMart contract to manufacture F-16 wings in India would have helped grease the tracks. Guess not. Modi also seems to be playing the field w/ several suitors calling day and night. If SIPRI numbers are accurate, 66.5 bn can buy lots of shiny toys...and new besties. But the burning question is will it have a Bollywood ending?
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Thank you. Message received -- no distortion. I thought the LockMart contract to manufacture F-16 wings in India would have helped grease the tracks. Guess not. Modi also seems to be playing the field w/ several suitors calling day and night. If SIPRI numbers are accurate, 66.5 bn can buy lots of shiny toys...and new besties. But the burning question is will it have a Bollywood ending?
No probs. SIPRI are usually fairly reliable. As an outsider looking in, it is my view that it's not so much Modi, but the bureaucracy itself. Indian bureaucracy is a law until itself and it's power is greater than any govts in New Delhi. An Indian govt can order and command as much as it wants to, but the bureaucracy are the ones who enforce and action those acts / commands. The Indian bureaucracy is notorious for its complicated methodology and adherence to regulations; large and small, exceedingly complex, obtuse, and arcane, so getting any acquisition from initial research to capability IOC is a very convoluted process fraught with more dangers than staging a song and dance finale from a Bollywood musical on a minefield.
 

Waldo Pepper

New Member
Interesting. And not a bad premise for a movie: While on location in Kashmir, the cast and crew of a Bollywood production find themselves trapped in a war zone. The director must battle delicate egos and deadly mines as danger lurks around every corner. Hijinks ensue!

On a more somber note, can one assume Pakistan is gonna want some Rafales to keep up the neighbours? Will the French play ball -- or is that not cricket?
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
The Indian Air Force has taken delivery of 8 Apaches with 14 more on order. Second batch of IAF Apache helicopters arrives in India | Jane's 360
Interesting. And not a bad premise for a movie: While on location in Kashmir, the cast and crew of a Bollywood production find themselves trapped in a war zone. The director must battle delicate egos and deadly mines as danger lurks around every corner. Hijinks ensue!

On a more somber note, can one assume Pakistan is gonna want some Rafales to keep up the neighbours? Will the French play ball -- or is that not cricket?
Pakistan is committed to its procurement of block 3, JF-17s to push back on India. The JF-17 is playing a major part in the defense of Pakistan’s skies, with six operational squadrons. During the PAF’s recent confrontation with the Indian Air Force, known in Pakistan as Operation Swift Retort, PAF Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan told AIN in mid-April, “The aircraft performed very well against the IAF Mirage 2000s and their Mica missiles, as well as the MiG-21 Bison and its R-73 Archer AAMs.

IMO, the French are also not keen to piss off the Indians by offering to sell Rafales to Pakistan.
 
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Waldo Pepper

New Member
Great info. Thank you. So we'll just have to wait for the next India v Pakistan border war to see how the Rafales match up. I've always wanted to visit Kashmir. Perhaps hostilities will eventually simmer down...probably around the same time Hell freezes over.

Will settle for listening to the Led Zeppelin version instead. Loudly.
 

Ananda

Well-Known Member

India AF Chief stated that the fund that will be available for MRCA will be diverted for More Tejas (and seems also the next development of Tejas Mk2).
This should be the logical choice for India from the start, rather than put their money on more Rafale/Shornet/Gripen/Mig 35 as this MRCA plan to do.

They already spend so much money on developing Tejas that from beginning was planned to replace Mig 21 and 27 as back bone of their AF. The Tejas problem development should not be used by some India politicians and brass on diverting resources from Tejas development on buying foreign Fighter.
Pakistan already build their domestic capabilities (even with the help from China) with JF-17 and realistically Tejas only need to provide quantity that can handle the swarm of JF-17, F-16, J-10 that probably come from Pakistan and China.

They still have 200+ Su-30 MKI for facing Su-27 families and their copies (J-11/15 families) that China can bring to the potential conflicts.
Perhaps the Economics sting of COVID 19 finally bring some senses on Indian MinDef and politicians to bring more resources to their domestic capabilities and what they already own.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
For the right price, the Americans are keen to shift the production and tooling of the F-16V or F18E block III production line to India and make money via engine and component supply (to an Indian production line). It remains to be seen if the Indians, in their infinite wisdom, can close the deal.

There is a reason why, New Delhi as the world’s third-biggest military spender, still have an air force, a navy and An army with select weapon systems and platforms (like the MiG-21 Bison), that are largely obsolete and yet still in service.
On 18 May 2020, the Hindu reported that the tender for 114 fighters to be built under Make in India, is on. As this tender is for a “different class” of fighter than the 83 LCA Mk1A which would be built in India (to replace their ageing MiG-21 Bisons).

“We will get the first LCA in Final Operations Clearance (FOC) standard likely by next week. We are targeting formation of the second LCA squadron at Sulur next week, before the end of the month. We have already done the resurrection of the squadron but induction of aircraft and inauguration got stalled due to COVID,” ACM Bhadauria said.

The IAF has so far ordered 40 LCAs that are in the IOC and FOC configurations. The IAF plans to buy another 83 LCA Mk-1A jets, taking the total number of Tejas variants ordered to 123.
 
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Ananda

Well-Known Member
On 18 May 2020, the Hindu reported that the tender for 114 fighters to be built under Make in India, is on. As this tender is for a “different class” of fighter than the 83 LCA Mk1A which would be built in India (to replace their ageing MiG-21 Bisons).
This will be interesting that Tejas Mk2 now being classified as Medium class and not LCA anymore like the Mk1.


Thus this can be result toward the question whether that 114 fighters under MMRCA will be use foreign design or home grown design of Mk2.
LM if not mistaken already team up with Indian partner (Tata group if not mistaken) for developing F-16V line in India.
This can developed on political issue between Hindustan Aerospace which is State Owned and bring domestic unproven design vs Indian Private company (but with political backing) team up with proven foreign design.
 

Projectman

New Member
Unless the new jets are stealth, India's defences wont improve markedly.
Instead of 114 4th gen new planes , better to target 40 stealth fighters. China , India's main threat would have improved their stealth fighter capabilities by leaps and bounds , by the time India receives these jets between 2025 to 2030. So after a decade again we would be playing catch up.
Also why have 7 different types of fighter jets with their attendant maintenance and spares issues ?
IAF has mig21, mig29, mirage2000, su30, Rafale, tejas mk1 and jaguar .
And we might go in for another new variant in this 114 medium class jet order.
Except for the mig21 the other jets would be in service for next few decades.
Also if anyone has any data on how the costing of modern fighter jets is done , with pricing of main components, that would be a help.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Unless the new jets are stealth, India's defences wont improve markedly.
Instead of 114 4th gen new planes , better to target 40 stealth fighters. China , India's main threat would have improved their stealth fighter capabilities by leaps and bounds , by the time India receives these jets between 2025 to 2030. So after a decade again we would be playing catch up.
Also why have 7 different types of fighter jets with their attendant maintenance and spares issues ?
IAF has mig21, mig29, mirage2000, su30, Rafale, tejas mk1 and jaguar .
And we might go in for another new variant in this 114 medium class jet order.
Except for the mig21 the other jets would be in service for next few decades.
To answer your questions do you have a couple of centuries to set aside so that can have Indian defence procurement explained to you? After that could you please explain it to the rest of us? It's an exquisite example of how not to do it. Their system is overly bureaucratic and extremely political within the bureaucracy. Decisions take an inordinate amount of time and what the IAF actually requires and what they end up receiving more often than not can be two totally different things.
Also if anyone has any data on how the costing of modern fighter jets is done , with pricing of main components, that would be a help.
I have answered this question already today when you first asked it in the Aircraft price thread.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Unless the new jets are stealth, India's defences wont improve markedly.
Instead of 114 4th gen new planes , better to target 40 stealth fighters. China , India's main threat would have improved their stealth fighter capabilities by leaps and bounds , by the time India receives these jets between 2025 to 2030. So after a decade again we would be playing catch up.
Also why have 7 different types of fighter jets with their attendant maintenance and spares issues ?
IAF has mig21, mig29, mirage2000, su30, Rafale, tejas mk1 and jaguar .
And we might go in for another new variant in this 114 medium class jet order.
Except for the mig21 the other jets would be in service for next few decades.
Also if anyone has any data on how the costing of modern fighter jets is done , with pricing of main components, that would be a help.
I think India’s options for stealth are pretty limited. For a time, a joint project was underway with Russia but this faltered. There Is the option of considering the Su-57 but it isn’t a true stealth jet. I am not sure if the US would offer the F-35 to India, certainly not with any technology transfers. They will have to go with the best 4th+ Gen jets for now and hope for some 5th Gen options later from future EURO, UK, and perhaps Japan projects.
 

Projectman

New Member
To answer your questions do you have a couple of centuries to set aside so that can have Indian defence procurement explained to you? After that could you please explain it to the rest of us? It's an exquisite example of how not to do it. Their system is overly bureaucratic and extremely political within the bureaucracy. Decisions take an inordinate amount of time and what the IAF actually requires and what they end up receiving more often than not can be two totally different things.

I have answered this question already today when you first asked it in the Aircraft price thread.
That's because defence expenditure in India is considered as a total unnecessary waste, though we have 2 hostile neighbors in Pakistan and China.
Before our loss to China in the 1962 border war , our 1st PMs favorite line was that we don't need a army , police forces are adequate for defence. And this inspite of newly created Pakistan attacking kashmir within 6 months after independence in 1947.
Even after the Mumbai attack of 2008 with 150 civilians dead , if you go to mumbai today , you will hardly see any armed police in such a large metro , all with bamboo sticks. It's like we entrust security to the good intentions of the attackers.
The army is totally subordinate to the civil services babus(officials). A case I know , a army officer approaches a IAS officer incharge of defense, to get approval for something .The IAS officer's reply - I will approve everything but first tell me what is a section, platoon, battalion, etc , I have just been posted from the Indian postal services ! And these are the same guys who have the power to delay or fully stall any procurement or modification in the defense forces.
 

Ananda

Well-Known Member

Indian Navy seems will go ahead with Twin Engine design based/developed from Tejas. This will be Indian domestic build replacement for Mig-29 carrier based version being used presently.

The design seems to answer the Tejas Naval Variant shortcomings as the Indian Navy assement.
This is good step for India domestic aerospace development, Tejas Mk1 as light fighter, Tejas Mk2 now consider as Medium Fighter, and this concept of carrier capable Twin Engine Tejas.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
In theory, a reasonable plan for the future but in practice, not so sure given recent program delays. With China cranking out new fighters now, India needs new jets flying soon. WRT naval fighters, the twin engined FC-31 is rumoured as China’s next naval fighter and it appears it will be flying soon (admittedly Chinese media is suspect). In any event, the Indian navy will be facing a modern naval fighter with some degree of stealth shortly. Then there is the actual carriers themselves.
 
This recent report of India buying 33 fighters from Russia 12 su-30's and 21 mig-29's sounds more like a attrition buy rather than building extra capabilities.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
This recent report of India buying 33 fighters from Russia 12 su-30's and 21 mig-29's sounds more like a attrition buy rather than building extra capabilities.
There has been talk about a stop-gap purchase of used MiG-29s to be upgraded to UPG as well as brand new Su-30MKIs for some time. With the Rafale purchase failing to meet the MMRCA requirement, the IAF is looking at a shrinking number of squadrons. This would offer a quick way to boost the numbers using existing platforms.
 
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