Monday, May 10, 2010

Jai hind!

Before I finish the long promissed translation of an article about new Russian AAMs development, some important news: the new issue 2, 2010 of new 'AirIndustry' journal  is mainly dedicated to Russo-Indian ties in this sphere. Most important facts from the issue:

1) An-148 - the negotiations with 2 Indian companies for 8 (+ optionally 11) for passenger and 10 - for cargo version. THe suppositional start of the supply is expected in the first 2011 quarter . The   partner of UAC in India in this program promotion is HindAvia Aeronautical Services Pvt Ltd.

2) India has a half of whole current Russian military export contracts ($16 bil from $32 bil).

3) Till 2007 India preferred the light PAK FA variant of RAC MiG, but then changed its position.

4)  IAF has already contracted 45 MTA with option for 45 more.

5) Il-38SD contract is fully realized. There is information about negotiation for 5-8 more planes, independently of P-8I purchasing progress.

6) They are sure that after 16 + 29 MiG-29K\KUB India will buy more 20 planes. Together with RuAF contract (24-26 units) it will be  as 90 MiG-29K\KUBs, so this plane becomes the world second after F\A-18 SH carrier based fighter.

7) RD-33MK on MiG-29K\KUB and F414 on SH have just the  same specific characteristics
RD-33MK:         980 kg,      5500\9000 kgf dry\wet thrust, 0.11 kg\kgf.
F414-GE-400:    1107 kg,    6690\9990 kgf dry\ wet thrust, 0.11 kg\kgf
but MiG-35 (Mig-29K too) is as 30% lighter, so its thrust\weight characteristics are much better, than on SH : 1.03 vs 0.92
By its weight and range the characteristics of MiG-35 and MiG-29K are most close to EF.

8) Zhuk-AE  with 680 MMICs, its TWS\attack number is 30\6.
however, the 688 mm 1064 MMICs variant is ALREADY INSTALLED on MiG-35 and went to Indian tender tests!

9) AN\APG-77 AESA radar on SH has only 20\8 in TWS\attack.

10) OLS-UEM 13SM-1 of UOMZ has 70 km detection range, can automatically detect and track the ground targets (something that SH cannot do), has range finder too. It can guide the missiles and the 30-mm auto-cannon. Is offered on MiG-35. Its weight is 60 kg only. SH AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR weights 190 kg.

11) Conformed OLS-K on MiG-35 can track a number of ground targets, no analog abroad Russia.

12) MiG-35 tack-off\landing distance is 500\550 m. The tack-of distance can be reduced to 200 m only with portable springboards.

13) Probably India will contracted more 9 A-50EI AEW&CSs based on Il-476 upgraded aircraft with better payload.


  1. igor:

    Some sources claim that IN Mig 29K is more advanced than the Su 30mki?
    Could you please explain why this is so.

    Also any defninitive news on Su 30mki mk 3 standard?
    Irbis AESA? 117S engine? Litening 3 etc etc

    Also it would be great if you could enlighten us on Russia's future AAM I mean the R-73/74 is growing v v long in the tooth.

    And R-77 is also not in meteor Aim 120D or even XAAM4(Japan) class,so what's vyempel or whatever its successor doing?

  2. to anon May 10, 2010 4:23 PM:

    I dont agree, that MiG-29K is overall more advanced then Su-30MKI. Although some its features are more advanced. For example, MiG-29K airframe is made with composites use, the RCS is significantly reduced (as 4 times relative to a regular MiG-29). But MKI's Bars is significantly ahead of mechanic scanning Zhuk-ME radar. However, I can agree, that with Zhuk-AE AESA and TVS engines MiG-29K would be more advanced, then Su-30MKI.

  3. "Till 2007 India preferred the light PAK FA variant of RAC MiG, but then changed its position."
    I do not understand this statement. PAK-FA was the only 5th gen a/c India was supposed to partner and it was always supposed to be a heavy category fighter. Could you please elaborate.

  4. PAK-FA variant of MIG was MIG 1.44 and it was not light. So are you talking about Mig LFI? But did not RuAF always wanted a "heavy" stealth a/c. So did India want to redisign the whole Russian PAK-FA for India and make it light? It nearly seems as much work as designing a whole new a/c. Or did it want FGFA to be totally unrelated to PAK-FA? IMO, both the directions do not seem practical.

  5. to GAur:

    From what i recall the issue was the PAK FA design was already complete with zero Indian input.

    Therefore the MoD wanted to partner with Mikoyan for a EF 2000 size gen 5 jet

    But Mig's dire fin situation + Sukhoi's offer for a custom Indian FGFA variant + MCA program(last chance to finally get a jet in the air without making an international laughing stock ourselves) made the MoD change its mine.

    The above is an oversimplification but basically the jist of it!

  6. to Gaur: the MiG's LFI ('light frontal fighter') project was in 2005 presented for Indians, despite the fact that this project has lost the Russian tender for PAK FA.

  7. It would make more sense for India to partner with Russia for the MCA as lighter complement FGFA, presumably taking on more design/workshare of the program AFTER inevitable indigenous progress and experience with PAKFA/FGFA.

    All the technology would then be in place to design such a lighter fighter with better technological maturity, which is important for lighter fighters that are supposed to offer an economic price/performance ratio. Such a fighter would be very exportable beyond India/Russia, and HAL would be better placed than it is re: PAK-FA which it joined only after the design was mostly known.

    So irregardless of Indian MoD's vague desires which never ended materializing (MiG LFI), taking the matured technologies developed for PAK-FA, including the new-gen engine technology, adding the latest Russian and Indian avionics as available when MCA is finalized seems the more efficient and realistic strategy in the long run.

  8. colin:
    Well tentatively the plan is this:
    1.get the LCA working properly by 2015 to a proper 4.5 gen standard.
    2.Build a stealth UCAV with Israeli help by 2020
    3.Customized variant of PAK FA to be built by HAL under UAC supervision which includes substantial redesign of fuselage and wing.

    When the above is well underway by 2015 only then attempt own MCA,rumors have it with Japanese help(We both LOVE China u see).

    Russia doesn't seem interested in small fighter aircraft because its a very big country and a single big fifth gen plane + stealth UCAV seems to be its policy kind of like France or Germany.

  9. to colin:

    SOme speculations...
    The best prospect on the world market will have in XXI the LCA\FC-17-dimention fighters due to their low cost\maintenance characteristics . If combine it with stealth, STOLV and unmanned options together, it would be unbeaten offer. So, would vote to LCA class stealth fighter with STOLV possibility and unmanned variants, highly unified technologically. The Russians with their experience with Yak-141 could be worth in engine and STOLV design. Most important, the Chinese have no chance to catch such Indo-Russian project, if started in time.

  10. MCA should NOT be a PAK FA type project.
    i.e one in which basically cooperation is:
    India= Money + some non essential donkey work
    Russia= Plane + Engine + Radar

    One good thing is target date for MCA is 2025 which is a realistic time frame.

    It should be an all Indian project with some Russia/Japanese/EU assistance.

    Don't get me wrong Russia is a very good friend but WE MUST BUILD OUR OWN ARMS!

    Indian Navy which is well on its way to building everything(90%+) on Indian territory by 2020 corvets thru nuclear submarines

    I don't know what's the matter with our army and airforce specially army these idiots still can't make howitzers!!!

    We can put a probe on the moon and nuclear super computers but can't make our own field guns!
    Incredible India!

  11. Anonymous, don't be so hard on India... a 5th gen fighter is a very high tech item, whether it is light, medium, or heavy.
    Even the US needed Russian help on the F-35 for the VSTOL version, and the main reason for the "international" spin on the F-35 is to share the cost of development with the lure of component production rights.

  12. The Indian Army is full of dunderheads who think spit and polish is equal to competence, and that the British were India's saviours in terms of how to behave with civilians. End result, local arms production is hurt and Army ends up importing junk.