Monday, May 3, 2010

MiG-35's new pics, interpretation

Since a number of new important articles were published in Russia at last I come back for posting  most interesting of them. The strange lack of information about MiG-35 participation in MMRCA competition was solved by the publication in 'Take-Off' journal. They informed that two new MiG-35 prototypes were built in 2009: №961 and №967. The last was built on the base of MiG-29KUB №947 . It's in addition to the first prototype (MiG-35 №154). It  confirmed too, that both new planes took participation in flying tests in India in October, 2009. Then, they turned to Russia where Zhuk-AE radar was installed on MiG-35D (№967). This spring both planes followed the testing in Zhukovsky. Different loads and flying systems were tested during these program.

Interestingly, both plane was made in Lukhovitsy, where MiG-29K\KUB program successefully started early. Other potential MiG-35 manufacturer - Sokol' plant - was not involved in the building. The pictures show regular nozzles without TVS. All these facts push to conclusion that MiG company stakes on maximal unification of the offered MiG-35 with the serial MiG-29K\KUB for Indian Navy. Probably it reflexes the wish of the Indian side too. If MiG-35 wins the tender, the total Indian fleet of last gen MiGs will reach 126+45=171 units. In such case the logistic burden would be significantly reduced, and the investment in RD-33 engine manufacturing in India would be justified. Also it allows to limit the manufacturing base to Lukhovitsy and not ti wait three years when 'Sokol' plant will be ready to MiG-35 production, if needed. Indeed the Indian tender conditions suppose production of only 18 planes abroad and the remained will be produced in India anyway.


More pics:

109 comments:

  1. Any news or rumor regarding the target date for the flight of Mig-35 with 11 hard points?

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  2. Methinks they are directed towards maximal unification with MiG-29K. I feel IAF too doesnt want the differences which can comlicate the project or make it more costly. If the MiG-29K airframe will be chosen, it means no 11 HP, no TVS, basicly MiG-29K avionics with only difference: Zhuk-AE radar. OLS could be common with MiG-29K too. Personally I can see little rational in efforts to make a plane for IAF (MiG-35) more advanced then the carrier based MiG-29K. It's against purchase logic: if you have money you rather put it for carrier based aircrafts improvement, then for regular air forces. Am I wrong?

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  3. привет igorr,
    great to have u back after a long break,, recent awst story states that indian test pilots have witnessed test firings of rvv-ae,,, when will be rvv-sd or rvv-md test fired from mig -35 and when will the production version of zhuk-ae [180km range] be tested

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  4. hi saptarshi!
    in next post I have a good interview with 'Tactical weapon corp' chief, he has many good news about new Russian AAMs, wait...

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  5. igor welcome back!!!

    You know somehow I can't help thinking the MRCA is a giant tech grabbing exercise for the Indo-Russian MIC.I mean the operational needs of the IAF can be easily met by ordering additional Su-30mki and indeed hardly a year goes by without 40-50 additional orders.

    I think the basic rationale of MRCA is to augument Indian tech base built alongside the partially successful LCA program so that it can
    1.Be reused in Indian PAK FA variant
    2.Applied to the MCA program.

    Which is why I feel the chances of Mig-35 are average because thee is precious little tech we will get in Mig-35 that we won't get in the Su-30mki program anyway.

    Interesting news though apparently the Japanese ATD-X program has solicited infoemation about the GTRE Kaveri!!! (As per Flight Global) and speculation is rife that the full scale Mitsubishi ATD-X may be jointly developed with India into MCA!!

    It would be an interesting triple entete India,Russia,Japan.

    As our chinese friends would say 'we live in interesting times'.

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  6. to anon May 4, 2010 2:24 AM:

    Hi!
    The rational of ATD-X team interest to Kaveri may be only one: for pressure Americans to transfer technology of f414 for them. The engine engineering is too specific area for a joint development. Maximum they can combine a ventilator of partner-1 with a gas-generator of the partner-2, but highly experienced partners are needed for such tricks, that it's not a case. With excepting engine all technologies needed for 5th gen fighter may be bought on the market currently or as of-the-shelf products for starting. The problem is to combine them in ready final product. For example, no program for RCS computing can be buying on the free market, so the programs for engine geometry computing. BTW Russia will not be teaming with Japan coz the territorial issue.

    About MMRCA: all the competitors are 4-4+ gen fighters. THe single non-MiG skill and tech which could be 'grabbed' by India, is the 5th gen engine on EF2000, but I very doubt they sell it.

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  7. Igorr can you confirm if T-95 project is cancelled ?

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  8. The Japanese tender for engines which was reported to also have been extended to GTRE's Kaveri is only for the TEST engines, which are to outfit a roughly 2/3rds scale model. Any final engine would be higher thrust and likely a new development. Perhaps there may be some scope for merging ATD-X and MCA, but the choice of test engine for a scale model of a fighter (with no concrete in-service schedule) doesn't seem relevant to the final engine. Dassault flew early Rafale develoment planes with GE's 404 yet how did that show up in the final product? Further, Japan hasn't asked for 414, they have asked for 404s because that is in line with the thrust needed for their REDUCED SCALE MODEL. There is no information suggesting they want tech transfer out of this, they just want a reliable, mature engine to use for a test program so they can focus on their own design work. I don't associate the word 'mature' with Kaveri.

    Any info on the T-95 story would be interesting. I had previously (2009) seen that T-95 was going to comprise a new external-stores remote-operated turret and various other upgrades to T-90... which is what we now hear is going to happen "instead" of T-95. Upgrades, including controls/sensors/networking, seems liable to get 80% of what a clean-sheet design would get. The existing T-90 fleet would need upgrading anyways, so being able to upgrade the entire existing fleet makes the most sense. Starting a new program would have heavier demands on production capacity, with conflict for exports, so an upgrade program seems most flexible. Hopefully "T-95" will compare well to SKorea/Turkey's Black Panther/Altay.

    Getting personnel and organizational issues in order seems the #1 immediate priority, along with keeping an eye out for at least future compatability with distributed networks able to handle surveillance, targetting while enabling command and autonomous units.

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  9. To clarify, I see the chances for ATD-X and MCA to merge as very slight.

    Japan just doesn't really care enough about the normal things (read: cost) to split development of components. Even if they did find some split that was agree-able, the large Japanese share would make any such project much more expensive than India would likely be able to stomach. Co-operation on certain sub-systems seems the most likely to happen at all.

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  10. igor:

    Japan has its own engine program for ATD-X its called IHI XF-5 and its undergoing testing.

    I think we may see a partnership for MCA on the full scale variant of ATD-X.

    Japan is in deep economic trouble with 200% debt and a declining population recently it is considering a law to lift the ban on exports.

    Recently there was a Japanese delegation in India investigating possible areas of collaboration.

    Though between Russia and Israel we are pretty much covered militech wise. But it never hurts to keep your options open...

    items that should interest India for joint cooperation:
    1.Soryu class SSK
    2.Type 10 MBT
    3.ATD-X specifically engine tech IHI XF-5 for Kaveri 2.
    4.P-X tech supposed to be as advanced as P-8I.

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  11. to Austin: yes T-95 variant 'index-195' for RuArmy was canceled at 2009 end, and possibly will be declassified and offered abroad. The Army reworked the requests for it towards lighter and more mobile platform.

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  12. Lighter Tank ? The US Army is moving towards heavier M1A3 tank as its future tank.

    Can you check the 'Armoured Vehicles Discussion Thread" at BR and provide some answers on Russian Ammo and T-90M/Burlak program ?

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  13. Hi igor,
    Could you please clarify status of fifth generation engine.
    What happened to Al-41F which flew on MFI 1.44 and is considered YF120 class i.e variable cycle.

    Why is an upgunned Al31 (117S) being used instead of Al 41F.

    Also is the new fifth generation engine an updated Al41F or a clean sheet design(S)?

    Thanks in advance
    And good to see you back!

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  14. to Austin:

    They concluded, that the importance of tanks is reduced over the world , and no sense for a totally new development in this weight class, only modernization. For the rapid reaction forces the medium FCS class vehicles will be designed and for anti-insurgent purpose - MRAP class vehicles will be further developed , partially on the cooperative basis with Germany and French counterpartners. BTW, Russia has relatively vivid serial production of new mine-steady vehicles, like 'Tiger' and 'Vystrel'.

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  15. to anon May 4, 2010 7:43 PM:

    Al-41 is a true 5th gen engine, but unfortunately is too big for PAK FA. Due to the fact that PAKFA 15% lighter than MFI 1.44, the same reduce in engine dimention was needed. So they have used Al-41 technologies on Al-31 basis and 'index-117' was born.

    The 2nd stage engine for PAKFA will be a totally new engine, it's obviousely.

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  16. oh ok but what is the realistic possibility of licence production of this brand new engine in India?

    You think Russia will allow co production in India of gen 5 engine or give India a choice between production of 117S in Indian PAK FA and engine being flown in from Russia for integration in India.

    Your views please.

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  17. to anon May 4, 2010 9:13 PM:

    Hardly can forecast, a long time will be over till the question of such licensing production could become actual. They said repeatedly that in 2015-16 the 2nd stage engine will NOT be ready. I think the production of 'index-117' or '117S' engine in India is much more actual, especially when the Al-31FP will be made fully in India starting from next year.

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  18. Hi Igor,
    glad to see you back!
    What is your lucky guess for MiG35 about his chances for MMRCA ?
    Will that plane be able to recover some of lost MiG's reputation (Algeria)?
    Any possible article on MiG's UAV program or Russian UAV projects in future in general(not very optimistic at the moment)?

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  19. Thanks for the interesting responses Igor, regarding that last post above, I have seen mentioned a few times that the Russian military wants a high flying recon aircraft, and was wondering about the Sukhoi S-62, if there was any progress beyond the model stage.

    Also what sort of weapons would Russian UCAVs use to hit point targets from long distances.

    HERMES looks a bit big and Ataka probably lacks warhead weight for some targets.

    Now that GLONASS is becoming more operational would there be much chance of a new sat guided bomb based on the FAB-50 with internal carriage and maybe optional laser/IIR seeker for accuracy?

    Ie a Short and fat bomb instead of a small diameter bomb as internal carriage means no drag instead of low drag.

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  20. to PakFa fan:
    Hi!
    The MiG-35 chances in MMRCA tender I still estimate as good since this aircraft fulfill in best way the initially purpose of the tender: to fill for IAF the gap between 4th and 5th generations. Of course, if somebody believe that the MMRCA tender became now in 'technology grabbing', he would estimate this different. Methinks India nothing can do with MMRCA technologies beyond what it already has from different current programs (Su-30MKI, M2K , MiG-29 modernisations). A limited excepts like J200 engine 5th gen technologies - probably would not be sold to Delhi even with planes. AESA technologies India can buy from Russia and Israel as well, so no rational to buy for this the overpriced fighters. A lot of money may be spare and then spend in Indian true 5th gen projects.

    As about MiG UCAV, the Russian ambitions in this sphere are growing so expect further growing in spending for UCAV project in Russia. Now they say need much more air support and much less armor. However there will be a unified line of UCAVS for all UAC. So the independent MiG projects will be merged with Irkut and Sukoi's efforts.

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  21. What modernisation are they planning for T-90 if the existing T-95 is cancelled , T-90M and Burlak ? Are they cancelled as well ?

    Is T-90M and Burlak capable to deal with M1A2 or Western Tanks ?

    Do you know which variant of T-90 are they offering to India for lic production , is this Burlak on offer ?

    Who are they offering T-95 to IA ?

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  22. Hi
    What about klimov VK 10 basically will russia be making anything in the EJ 2x0,F414 mk 3 class for future UCAV and/or twin engine Mig 35 replacement.

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  23. @Austin
    As far as I know T-90M is not canceled(I think it's export version upgrade of T-90)
    India will be probably interested...
    I've read in some forum that Russia will use Burlak upgrade for domestic use (I would like Igor to confirm this cause I'm not sure about that info)

    Question for Igor ; Is Burlak program started as modernization program made for T-80 and later adapted on T-90 also or was created later only for T-90?

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  24. to Austin:
    They are follow Burlak program. T-90M is following too but without state support and promise to introduce it in service, i.e. as primary export variant.

    to PakFa fan:
    Yes, initially they started in Omsk OKBM a program for T-80s upgrade, based on 'Black Eagle' technology. Then in 2008 after the first tests in Kubinka near Moscow the Army was disappointed about 'index-195' results (dont know what exactly) and showed the interests for Omsk's programs. Now they have started preparing all the future Russian tank fleet for modernization (the number which is remained) based on the common turret\weapon Burlak design.

    However, I expect this program too will not go to really mass-production, since the Weapon department did no show consistency of its arguments. I feel, that their current position is transitory and will be changed in near future. They still try to build the prospective figure of the armored forces.

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  25. hi igor,
    We Indians consider Russia to be our best friend among big powers.You may have notice this by the number of comments on youtube and other similar sites.
    My question is do Russians atleast those who are interested in militech,geopolitics etc also consider Indians to be their closest ally or are they largely indifferent ?

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  26. Regarding the Mig-35s chance in the Indian MRCA competition, I would expect it would be pretty good because of where the Russians are.
    Right now the Americans make their own AESA components and probably don't want to hand that technology to India.
    The Russians on the other hand could probably do with Indian assistance in the production of transmit receive components to mass produce them and make them smaller.
    This will drive down the cost of Russian AESAs faster than if they just made them for their own aircraft simply because of the volume that needs to be made.
    Right now the only Russian aircraft that might have AESA T/R modules are the 90 or so Su-35S and Mig-35S and maybe 50 T-50s.
    Making them for 126 aircraft for India means larger production run which should lower the cost of individual elements.
    Perhaps some of the Mig-31s might get AESAs too for their role, but it would depend on how long the Russian AF intends to keep them operational as to whether such an upgrade is viable.

    Also regarding the Su-30MKI as an alternative to the Mig-35, the MRCA program is supposed to replace all the Mig-21s in service... replacing them with Su-30MKIs or even with cheaper Su-30Ms to reduce costs would be like withdrawing the F-16s and F-18s from US forces and replacing them with new upgraded model F-15s and F-14s.
    Expensive and overkill for most missions.

    Thanks for your responses Igor.

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  27. GarryB , The MMRCA program is not essentially to replace Mig-21 aircraft in IAF but to make up for rapid depleting squadron strength caused by decommissioning of Mig-27/23 and aging of other IAF fighter aircraft.

    Right now the squadron strength is some where around 31 to 32 squad compared to the needed 38 squadron.

    The LCA or Tejas will replace the Mig-21 but MMRCA is also an hedge just incase Tejas does not come in the numbers that IAF is looking for.

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  28. Quite right Austin, it is more of a stopgap for the introduction of the LCA, my mistake.

    They will end up with 126 very capable medium class multirole aircraft that should eventually probably replace the Mig-23/-27 and Jaguar in their fighter bomber roles as LCAs replace Mig-21s.

    I am quite surprised that India has taken so long with the LCA, I expect they want to get it right as a matter of pride, but considering most aircraft enter service before they get their full capability anyway that putting it in service with less than optimal parts would have been a better idea with new parts being added as they became available.
    For instance the engine seems to be an issue with the LCA so why not put an existing model even if it is under powered into it and then put the proper engine in when it is ready.
    Most aircraft go through an engine change during their lifespans so it is something they need to be able to plan for too.

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  29. @ Igor

    "The MiG-35 chances in MMRCA tender I still estimate as good since this aircraft fulfill in best way the initially purpose of the tender: to fill for IAF the gap between 4th and 5th generations. Of course, if somebody believe that the MMRCA tender became now in 'technology grabbing', he would estimate this different. Methinks India nothing can do with MMRCA technologies beyond what it already has from different current programs (Su-30MKI, M2K , MiG-29 modernisations). A limited excepts like J200 engine 5th gen technologies - probably would not be sold to Delhi even with planes. AESA technologies India can buy from Russia and Israel as well, so no rational to buy for this the overpriced fighters. A lot of money may be spare and then spend in Indian true 5th gen projects."

    I can't agree with you point of view, because I think the chances of the Mig are very low. Just think about what it really offers, what IAF already has and then compare it with the other contenders!
    The Mig is a upgraded Mig 29 with AESA radar, new OLS and TVC as main features, but all these features are already available in IAF through upgraded Mig 29 and Su 30 MKI. Be it Russian weapons, radars, OLS or TVC, all already present, which might gives advantages in commonality, but don't add more capabilities.
    Also compared to the other MMRCA conteders it lacks weapon stations, A2G capabilities and most likely should have one of the biggest RCS. If you keep in mind that the MMRCAs should be in service for the next 2 - 3 decades, a low RCS should obviously be very important.
    Another point that is often given for the Russian fighters are low costs and although it should have the cheapest unit cost, it's doubtful that it can compete the single engine fighters in maintenance.

    So neither does the Mig offer advantages in performance, nor does it offer many new techs (imo nothing apart from AESA), or is the most cost-effective solution.
    For IN it might be a good solution now, but not for IAF!

    I also do believe that this MMRCA competition is mainly about getting new techs and capabilities and that's why I prefer the European contenders. The EJ 200 engine is one of the best in this class and they offer it with ToT even for the LCA Mk2, so no doubt that it will be available for EFs too. But more interesting imo is the offer to integrate Kaveri-Snecma engine into Rafales, no other fighter offers that much integrateion with Indian techs.
    The Europeans offers clearly the best when it comes to ToT, new weapons and techs and very low RCS, but of course that all has it's price. If MoD/IAF are ready to pay for it, Rafale, Gripen NG, or EF would be the best choices.

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  30. @ Austin and GarryB

    The Mig 23 and Mig 27 are already, or will be replaced in roles and numbers by Su 30 MKIs. The good multi role capabilities of the MKI and the advantage of using the same weapons gives big advantages here in logistic and training of pilots.

    The initial aim of the MRCA competition was to replace a part of the Mig 21s, because the Tejas project was too delayed. That is also why the initial competition had mainly single engine light class multi role interceptors only (Jas Gripen, Mirage 2k-5, F16), besides the Mig 29. The MMRCA has still the same aim of replacing a part of the Mig 21s in numbers, but now has more capable competitiors. Keep in mind that Rafale, EF and F18 don't entered because IAF wanted them initially. Things turned that way and imo now they simply want to get the most benefits out of this competition, because any of these fighters exeeds the requirements.

    Regarding LCA, it's not that they wanted it to be fully ready before entering service, they just wasn't able to do it all alone as they wanted. Nearly in every part of the project they now need foreign help, be it weight reductions, engine, or radar developments. Not to forget delays because of sanctions and so on, but HAL/IAF/... wanted too much too early.

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  31. to Sancho @ Austin and GarryB:

    I think the people often overestimate rational component in Indian military equipment programs. After starting any big program, be it LCA, MMRCA or MKI , live an independent life, and sometimes happen, the government plans do reflex not a rational conception but a struggle of vested interests. Want to be wrong, but sometimes my impression from the events is just so. As an example I can adduce the LCA engine issue: it's out of any rational the decision to install on it a totally new foreign engine. As a result the same plan in IAF will fly with 3 different engines (if include the future Kaveri). What a logistic disaster! Or this plane is made not for war at all?

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  32. to Sancho about MiG-35 chances in MMRCA:

    RCS reduction is worthless without internal bay. More exactly: a MMRCA fighter RCS cannot be less than the summary RCS of all its missiles and external fuel bays. So there are no any practical difference between MiG-35 and any other contender in battle effective RCS.

    The EJ200 - is indeed an excellent engine, but whether it is absolutely needed on a 4th+ gen fighter? What chance of India to get its technology? I think it's close to zero. About you speculation of Kaveri-EF installation: it's look like a welcomed step which indeed has low chance of being happen and problematic effectiveness for military. I can expect rather vice versa direction: the EJ200 substitutes Kaveri on LCA forever...

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  33. Russia., india and china, and many european countries aswell must pool their resources to defeat the angloamerican evil in the world.
    ""Khrushchev, of course, abused Bhutto and said should Pakistan look towards India or Afghanistan, the Soviets would take our eyes out. He (Bhutto) told Khrushchev not to get angry: Pakistan was ready to quit the pacts (South East Asia Treaty Organisation and Central Treaty Organisation)." -quote from zee news(april 21st ,2007) about ayub khan diary of 1960.

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  34. Thanks for the further correction Sancho.

    I always liked the idea of the LCA and hoped it would be successful.

    It is funny, but I think the best way to design a modern aircraft seems to me to get something as small and cheap as you can make it into service and then improve it with stuff you find you need.

    Give it lots of hard points, and a reasonable but not amazing radar and a good reliable engine... sort of a 21st C A-4 Skyhawk. Small and light means cheaper to fuel and operate. Lots of pylons means flexibility with targeting pods, fuel, ESM pods and of course weapons.

    It doesn't need a super radar though a small RCS would be an advantage.

    Simple and cheap to operate it could form the backbone of an AF for many roles including advanced jet trainer, bomb truck, interceptor during peacetime.

    The problem to avoid is to try to make a light fighter into a medium fighter or a heavy fighter... but this is all my opinion.

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  35. Hi

    Is there any chance of Zhuk AE AESA Radar being integrated on Mig29K for either Russian Navy or Indian Navy latest Mig29K order or any future orders?

    Why was Mig29K given preference instead of Su33 by both Russian Navy and Indian Navy? Isn't it logical to have a carrier aircraft with longer range, more load (even 2-3 Tonne cruise missiles, though I am not sure if modified Su33 can take off from a carrier with these)?

    Thanks
    H.D.

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  36. to H.D:

    1) In future AESA will become an universal platform for radars. Just they must become cheaper, lighter and less energy-gorge. Now Zhuk-M satisfy them, but in 10-15 years the ungrade is needed.
    2) The most important limitation for carrier-based aviation is a number. MiG-29K allow higher number and less operative cost, than Su-33 needs. In addition; Su-33 will not be retired but keep on service together with MiG-29K's.

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  37. To Igor

    I do agree that Zhuk AE(or future variant) AESA technology will be quite developed in 10 or so years in Russia and that will be the best time to upgrade Mig29K with it.

    On your 2nd point, does that mean Russian Navy will operate both types from Kuznetsov at same time(logistics problems etc.) or Su33 will be shifted to some land base?

    Thanks
    H.D.

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  38. to H.D.
    It will be mixt group with air-dominance\recconance Su-33's and predominantly strike\training MiG-29K. They will move out the Su-25KUB, so the burden of logistic will not be changed significantly.

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  39. "As an example I can adduce the LCA engine issue: it's out of any rational the decision to install on it a totally new foreign engine. As a result the same plan in IAF will fly with 3 different engines (if include the future Kaveri). What a logistic disaster! Or this plane is made not for war at all?"

    That's not correct, Kaveri engine at the moment is speculated with an afterburner thrust, less than what the GE 404 offers in LCA MK1 and IAF/MoD don't wanted to fit an unproven engine into MK2. So taking an ready and proven engine as an alternative, that won't cause more delays in the project is very rational to me. LCA MK1 seems to come in 2 squads, or 40 fighters and up to 150 MK2 could be ordered with the 2nd foreign engine, which means no 3rd version with Kaveri engine is needed to replace the Mig 21s.
    As far as I see it, MoD has delinked Kaveri engine from LCA and tries to upgrade it with foreign help to use it in later MCAs, while LCA will use proven foreign engines, that might offer commonality to MMRCA and gives even more capabilities.
    EJ 200 for example is offered with slightly more thrust and the possibility of TVC, which would be a huge advantage for LCA in terms of manouverability. As I said before, EADS that are consulting the LCA project, as well as Eurojet that offers the EJ 200 engine, has officially stated to provide ToT with this engine deal and that it is delinked from the MMRCA competition.


    "RCS reduction is worthless without internal bay. More exactly: a MMRCA fighter RCS cannot be less than the summary RCS of all its missiles and external fuel bays. So there are no any practical difference between MiG-35 and any other contender in battle effective RCS."

    That would be true if the wingload would be the only factor that could in-, or decrease the RCS of a fighter, but the design of a fighter itself makes a big difference too. The size of it, the use of composite materials, ducted air intakes and even the wing design can make a big difference in this field. The EF and the Rafale for example are designed from the start with low RCS in mind and has these features, that's why even a fully wingload, they will have a lower RCS than a fully loaded Mig 35.
    For IAF this is very important, because with the Su 30 they already have a fighter with big RCS, which will be a big problem now that PAF has AWACS support too.

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  40. Igor, those who who are of the opinion that India should not opt for Mig 35 should remember that apart from structural similarity between Mig29K or Su 30MKI there is very little similarity between the two. Mig 35 is class apart and should not be considered as an advanced variant of Mig 29K as has been reported in Indian Media. Just like F16IN Super Viper which shares very little with its predecessor.
    Hence I think Mig 35 stands a very good chance in the MMRCA. Also Russia is a natural ally and both India and Russia are jointly developing the 5th Gen fighter aircraft.
    Igor, what do you thnk.

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  41. It is probably easier and cheaper to deal with enemy radars than to try to turn 4th gen fighters into stealth aircraft.

    Regarding why the Mig-29K was selected by both the Russians and Indians, well the Su-33 is not in production any more, so starting production would cost money. The Indians wanted aircraft for the Gorshkov which is too small for Flankers to operate safely from without catapaults and the cost of inventing catapaults or buying them from the west would make the cost of the Mig-29Ks look almost free.
    Because the Indians have orders for Mig-29Ks the Russian Navy put in an order, first of all the Mig-29K is a fully multirole fighter whereas the Su-33 was a Su-27 with folding bits and a tail hook with heavier undercarriage.

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  42. I think Mig35 makes sense if chosen simply because of its price. Look at prices of western jets (Grippen excluded), how will Indian MoD justify the price to finance Ministry when there are other jets such as Mig35 and Grippen which meet all criteria and were still not selected.

    To Sancho

    IF we assume EF or Rafale RCS be smaller than Mig35, remember these are not stealth designs so difference wont be that much (I dont have a figure) when there are weapons hanging externally and and AWACS argument goes against EF and Rafale as well.

    When PakFa/FGFA is coming(after few years from MRCA) which will definitely perform front line air dominance role, what is the point of spending more than $100 million/piece on planes which will be inferior to PakFa/FGFA anyway. Instead we can save few billions and better spend it on FGFA numbers. India should actively pursue FGFA program with rissian side so that it comes on-line on time. I think it is more important since world is going towards 5th gen fighters. And we should also concentrate on our own MCA program and fund it properly instead wasting money on super expensive MRCA 4th gen jets.

    Thanks
    H.D.

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  43. to Sancho:

    1) Kaveri is still promoted as an engine for future LCA modification. This is why I have written, that I cannot understand the rational behind 3 totally different engine on the same aircraft in one fleet. If the plans in reality are different, I'm sorry.

    2) The Indian MiG-29K RCS is already reduced 4-fold in comparison to the regular MiG-29 taken in frontal projection. So it could be as 0.75 m2 or even slightly lower. The summary RCS of the standard MiG-29 payload including fuel tanks I would estimate as 0.75-1.0 m2. So, it may be 1.5-1.75 m2 in summary. If this calculations are even close to reality, there are no any rational in further reducing of MiG-35's RCS, or the externally suspended missiles\tanks must adopt stealth features by themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  44. to H.D.

    "how will Indian MoD the price..." The same way as they did in the tanker competition with more capabilities!
    The IL 78 tanker is 3, or even 4 times cheaper than the A330 MRTT, but is by far not as capable. Same can be said about Mig 35 and EF/Rafale too. EF and Rafale are clearly more expensive, but also offer clearly more capabilities. Be it in 4+ to 5 gen techs like AESA, Supercruise, Spectra, low RCS, or latest weapon systems like Meteor, AASM, Scalp/Taurus.
    The Mig can only compete with AESA radar here, which makes, so MoD would pay less and get less in return.

    Regarding FGFA, don't forget that it is a heavy class fighter like the MKI, so will be expensive in maintenance too and is meant mainly for air superiority. I think strikes will still be done mainly by MMRCA and MKI, even with FGFA around.
    But as I said before, the main point for MMRCA now is getting as much advantages as possible, from a good fighter, over ToT and co-developments, even political benefits are possible reasons. The time that this was only a simple replacement is long ago.

    ReplyDelete
  45. To Igor

    "The Indian MiG-29K RCS is already reduced 4-fold in comparison to the regular MiG-29 taken in frontal projection...
    ...If this calculations are even close to reality, there are no any rational in further reducing of MiG-35's RCS, or the externally suspended missiles\tanks must adopt stealth features by themselves. "

    I know that they have reduced the RCS, but RAM coatings alone can't equalise the design benefits right? For example, the Mig has to carry all weapons on wing stations, the EF instead carries 4 BVR missiles, directly attached to the fuselage, without the need of any extra pylons. This will reduce the RCS in comparison of course and is only one feature of the design that had low RCS in mind.

    The figurs that I often found on the net were 5m2 for a Mig 29, so possibly 1-2m2 for Mig 35. EF and Rafale with ducted intakes, high amount of composites and RAM materials, as well as designs especially to reduce the RCS are estimated at 0.5m2 for Rafale and even less for EF. If these figures are realistic, they have half, or even less the RCS of the Mig and obviously will be detected by enemy radar way later.

    The importance of low RCS in future will be evident, if you see the development of radars too. Older multi mode had specs against fighters with a RCS of 5m2 or bigger. Latest PESA, or AESA radars are against fighters with a RCS of 3m2, or less. So the the radars are improving more and more, it the RCS of the fighters must be smaller too of course. Especially if the fighters are intended to stay in service till 2040, or longer!

    ReplyDelete
  46. ==possibly 1-2m2 for Mig 35. EF and Rafale with ducted intakes, high amount of composites and RAM materials, as well as designs especially to reduce the RCS are estimated at 0.5m2 for Rafale and even less for EF. If these figures are realistic, they have half, or even less the RCS of the Mig and obviously will be detected by enemy radar way later.==

    - I dont think the sentence 'detected way latter' reflects the situation right. As it is broadly known, the detection range is proportional to 4th degree root of RCS.

    For example, the 16 fold decrease in RCS is reflected in only 2 time decrease in detection range. BTW I have bit different information about standard MiG-29 RCS which is more close to 3 m3. So Let's calculate it in the case of MiG-29K with compromising RCS = 1m2 and Rafale with RCS = 0.5m2. From the proportional rule the difference in detection range (by a similar radar) between MiG-29K and Rafale is only 19%.

    The detection range of Zhuk-AE is as twice longer than RBE-2, isnt it. Considering much more advanced radar with bigger diameter for further grow, MiG-29K with ZHuk-AE wins Rafale with RBE-2 lay down in duel situation, doesnt it. It's despite lower RCS of Rafale.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi Igor

    "I dont think the sentence 'detected way latter' reflects the situation right."

    Lets compare it in a possible situation for IAF then. Mig 35, Rafale, or EF are heading to PAK airspace, that is secured by AWACS now. Rafale with half the RCS of Mig 35 (I also take 1m2) and according some infos on the net the EF has even 1/10 of that RCS.
    So shouldn't the European fighters have a clear advantage here and will be detected later?

    Same if we compare a 1 on 1 fighter situation (just when these fighters will be detected). PAFs F16 B52 head on head to Mig 35, Rafale, or EF. Again the Mig should be detected first right?
    And this would be the situation now, but as I said the MMRCA fighters will stay in service for decades and even by 2015 they might have to fight JF 17/J10 with AESA radars also, which will make it even harder for the Mig to remain undetected.


    "The detection range of Zhuk-AE is as twice longer than RBE-2, isnt it. Considering much more advanced radar with bigger diameter for further grow, MiG-29K with ZHuk-AE wins Rafale with RBE-2 lay down in duel situation, doesnt it. It's despite lower RCS of Rafale."

    Twice the range? These are the specs of the early Zhuk AE version with around 600 T/R modules.

    http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4484/zhukaemj2.jpg

    A2A detection range for targets with a RCS of 3m2 = 130Km
    tracking of 30 targets and engaging 6 at the same time

    According to an earlier article of you, the RBE 2 AESA has a tracking range of 110-130Km against targets with a RCS of 1m2 , detection range must be even higher.
    It has 1000 T/R modules, can track 40 targets and engage 8 of them.

    http://igorrgroup.blogspot.com/2009/08/aesa-radars-for-fighters-brief-review.html

    And if the following report is true, even the improved Zhuk AE might only be on par, or slightly better than the RBE 2 AESA right?

    http://kuku.sawf.org/News/60169.aspx

    However, radar performance was not my point, because with Bars AESA in MKI soon and the new AESA in Pak FA/FGFA IAF don't need another long range AESA radar. More important imo is a very low RCS and good passive detection capabilities, to be a good match alongside of MKI and later FGFA. Imo just for these performance reasons alone there are better options for IAF than the Mig and I could add not to put all eggs in one basket, or better upgrade prospects for the western fighters. We have to keep in mind that India would be the biggest and sole operator of these Migs, be it in IAF as well as IN and, who will pay for future upgrades if not even RuAF will use these fighters in numbers?
    I am not against Russian fighters in generall, only against the Mig in MMRCA, because it has way more disadvantages, than advantages for IAF.

    ReplyDelete
  48. According to recent reports, it looks like there is no way India can buy Rafale or EF for the budget of 11 billion or so, with any meaningful ToT. With the price of EF or Rafale one can buy almost(assuming) 2 Mig35s or Grippens or maybe even F16s. Although Rafale and EF do bring some capabilities but these capabilities are not that GREAT(lack pure stealth) to justify that price. The same role can be performed with Su30 for now and FGFA in future.

    Remember these are still 4th gen jets and we are yet(2014) to induct them. By 2020 we will still be inducting these jets when many countries in the world will be inducting F35. Maybe China will be inducting J-XX(5th Gen). FGFA should be our priority and we should avoid getting into a situation where in 2018-2020 or something when FGFA is supposed to enter service, we are funding MRCA program (buying $100 million+ plane), when clearly FGFA will exceed MRCA jets capabilities.

    MRCA should be a plane which is affordable but still capable enough. Finally IAF and GoI will decide which candidate is chosen and I hope they dont increase the budget or delay it further.

    Thanks
    H.D.

    ReplyDelete
  49. to Sancho:
    ==And if the following report is true, even the improved Zhuk AE might only be on par, or slightly better than the RBE 2 AESA right?==

    - No, it's wrong. According to last info the 1064 MMICs variant is already installed on MiG-35 and IS under testing in Indian tender (look the next article in my blog). It has even officially 200 km detection rang, but my early information from personally Kashchenko conversation with, has said - 250 km range is naturally for final Zhuk-ME version. So, it's about as twice better than RBE-2 has...

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Igor,

    Once again, by your own specs RBE 2 AESA has a TRACKING range of around 130Km, DETECTION range must be close to 200Km then and if the official specs for Zhuk AE say also 200Km DETECTION range, where do you see twice the range?
    Also the Rafale might have a slightly smaller nose, but don't forget that it also has 1000 T/R modules, so it should be doubtful that the will offer that much lower performance.

    ReplyDelete
  51. To H.D.

    "Remember these are still 4th gen jets and we are yet(2014) to induct them. By 2020 we will still be inducting these jets when many countries in the world will be inducting F35. Maybe China will be inducting J-XX(5th Gen)"

    Actually you pointed out here why we SHOULD take one of the European fighters, because they already offer capabilities that only 5. gen fighters will have. They have AESA radars, can Supercruse, or latest avioinics like the Spectra EWS and NG DDM in Rafale, that offers similar to comparable systems in the F35.
    The Mig, F16 and F18SH are only upgraded older designs (new radar, slightly more thrust and RAM coatings) and non of them can offer comparable features. So if we want a fighter that will be leathal for the whole lifecycle of 2-3 decades, we must buy one of the European fighters.

    Just think about later upgrade possiblilities and you will see that the Mig and the F16 already reached their final stage.

    ReplyDelete
  52. To Sancho

    Rafale and EF or any others MRCA wont stay lethal for next three decades simply, these jets will have problems against complex SAM networks in enemy airspace as well as enemy next gen fighter, AWACS etc. After a decade of service or so MRCA will most likely only perform defence roles (Indian Airspace) or strike when air superiority is achieved. So these are only frontline for maybe 15 years give or take depending on enemy capabilities. Now we have already WASTED 10 or so years on this I am afraid MRCA is becoming even more STOP-GAP (year by year). Stop gap solutions should be affordable but still capable enough and Mig35 pretty much fits here.

    Grippen NG is pretty good as well, it has one disadvantage - American engine. And Sweden(i could be wrong), infact most Western countries will be anti-India if we test Fusion reaction in near future. On the other hand Russia is time tested, and most likely support India or stay neutral.

    Thanks
    H.D.

    ReplyDelete
  53. to Sancho:

    With all my respect to the French, the RBE-2 AESA is planned to be ready only in 2012. Rafale came to the MMRCA tender with RBE-2 PESA, and a comparison with it is worth if we take MMRCA in mean, isn't it. And the range characteristics of RBE-2 PESA are as twice as worse then of MiG-35 currently flying in Indian sky .

    ReplyDelete
  54. upd. to Sancho:

    And if we're starting to speculate, what would can be after 2012, when RBE-2 AESA is ready, the possibility of S-wave AESA radar on MiG-35 must be taken into consideration. Generally Russia is still goes a step ahead of the Europeans in military radar development, and no signs the situation can be changed in near future.

    ReplyDelete
  55. to Sancho^

    ==they already offer capabilities that only 5. gen fighters will have. They have AESA radars, can Supercruse, or latest avioinics like the Spectra EWS and NG DDM in Rafale, that offers similar to comparable systems in the F35.==

    - Spectra EWS and NG DDM can be on MiG-35 too, if India's AF wants it ultimately. The different offered MAWS on MiG-35 doesn't make it inferior as a platform. As about the supercruise, no officially claims for this feature from the F-35 officials. I guess in reality F35 has no super-cruise capability, the rumors about this totally lack ground. Here look they even said it openly, F-35 HAS NO supercruise, period:

    "Does the F-35 supercruise?
    No, neither the F135 or F136 engines were designed to supercruise." http://www.jsf.mil/contact/con_faqs.htm

    - So, your assertion, that supercruise is something, that is obligatory needed for a 5th gen fighter, is probably wrong. As about the EF and Grippen, they probably have very limited battle-worth super-cruise characteristics due to the high drag from external weapons.

    Indeed, the most acceptable definition of supercruise is the ability to fly on 1.5 Mach without afterburner during at least half hour. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are no evidence about EF or Grippen could fly 'on-dry' faster, than 1.3 Mach.

    As about Rafale, this plane is not claimed as supercruise-capable. This can be changed with a more powerful engines on the horizon, but the same can be said about MiG-35...

    ReplyDelete
  56. upd to Sancho:

    About worthlessness of EF supercruise, the Indra Dhanush exercises gave pretty much records:

    "Unlike the American F-22A, the Typhoon's supercruise capability for sustained speed above Mach 1 relies on the aircraft being 'clean', with no external weaponry or fuel tanks mounted." http://www.domain-b.com/aero/july/2007/20070720_indra_dhanush.htm

    - so let's refer to their 'supercruise' gimmick with a pinch of salt.

    ReplyDelete
  57. upd 2 to Sancho:

    About the EF\Grippen\Rafale RCS, let's not overestimate this reduce. For example, BAE themselves claim only 4- folds reducing in RCS relatively to the legacy planes:

    "More recent comments from BAE seem to indicate the radar return is around four times less than the Tornado". http://typhoon.starstreak.net/Eurofighter/structure.html

    - It's just the same, what MiG's guys claim about MiG-35: 4,5 times reduce in RCS relatively to the classic MiG-29.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi H.D.

    Stop gap for what? If that would have been the aim, IAF simply bought more Mig 29 SMT, or Mirage 2000-5 through the initial competition and everything would be done by now. But simply the requirement of AESA radar shows that they want something that can last longer, otherwise they could have done it like IN now. Simply buying Mig 29K with Zhuk ME only and later upgrade them with AESA, but that is not what IAF wants and needs.
    FGFA will of course have advantages with stealth, but won't be able to do all roles, not to mention the higher operational costs and MCA is nowhere near to be real.
    As I said, the Mig will lose most of it's advantage pretty much around the same time when the first MMRCA should be inducted, because PAF and PLAAF will get J10Bs at the same time. So why buy a fighter that won't give us a clear advantage? I would prefer the Gripen over the Mig any time, because it is cheaper in the overall costs and offers even better performance, but for the longer term and for less dependance on the US, the Rafale is clearly the best choice for India.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi Igor

    "With all my respect to the French, the RBE-2 AESA is planned to be ready only in 2012. Rafale came to the MMRCA tender with RBE-2 PESA, and a comparison with it is worth if we take MMRCA in mean, isn't it."

    That is not correct, the Rafale that came to India already came with the AESA radar, that was reported several times. That makes the Rafale the only contender besides the US fighters, that entered the trials with full features. Also for export customers the radar will be ready by 2012, yes, but French forces even induct it by next year and that is even earlier than the Russian forces will get Zhuk AE right?
    For India that should get the first MMRCAs by 2014/15, that is good enough and will give time to let the techs mature. Not sure if EF and Gripen can offer a mature radar by then.

    Generally I agree with you about Russian radars and to be honest, the radar is the only real advantage that I see at the Mig 35, but that is not the most important point in MMRCA, because all the offered radars should still be inferior to Bars AESA, or the FGFA AESA right? So although AESA radar is a requirement in the competition, it don't have to be the best that will win.

    I didn't said the F35 would supercruse, I said that some MMRCA conteders offers features of 5. gen fighters (F22, F35, Pak Fa...)like supercruise, or latest avionics like Spectra. I mentioned F35 only in relation to Spectra, because it has comparable systems.

    Regarding supercruise of EF and Gripen, hehe, of course you can decide for yourself how much importance you put on that, but so can IAF. They could easily check it with different weaponloads in the trials and find out the realitiy about it. But even if they achive only mach 1.2 with weapon load it is a clear advantage, be it in terms of fuel consumption, or less IR signature.
    There are claims that Rafale can also supercruise, but as long as Dassault doesn't confirm it officially I don't take that yet. But yes, several reports hints that it will get this capability with the engine upgrade to 90kN (don't forget that the Kaveri-Snecma engine should get the same thrust and is offered for integration in Rafale).
    The same could be CLAIMED about the Mig if it would get a higher thrust engine, but the fact is, the RD 33MK with 90kN is already the ugraded engine. So this is only speculation, while the upgraded M88 is already doing test flights.

    Regarding RCS, mate we both said that our figures are not official, but maybe reliable estimations. The point is, EF and Rafale was designed to have a low RCS, whereas the Mig had only some RCS reductions. We can go on an speculate about if the Mig has 1m2, or 2, but the fact is, it has a bigger RCS then those European fighters and in the long term, this will be a big disadvantage for IAF against their opponents. So this a clear point for them and against the Mig, just like in the fields of latest techs, A2G capabilities (except the EF possibly), or new weapons and capabilities for IAF. The only fields where the Mig can point are costs and possibly radar, but that's it. However, we already are the biggest operator of Mig 29Ks and might order new MKIs, so Russia will get big orders anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  60. 1) ==The point is, EF and Rafale was designed to have a low RCS, whereas the Mig had only some RCS reductions.==

    - It's just wrong, I have shown a source claim the reduction level related to the legacy fighters is just the same om Mig and EF.

    2) Is AESA is actually on the tested Rafale? - I still want to see a source! According to what I know it's only planned to be there.

    3) As regards to the supercruise - on EF it goes only without the load, period! So no practical sense for it, only the advertising gimmick.

    ReplyDelete
  61. EF can has been proven to supercruise at M 1.2 with 2 drop tank and all A2A missile payload.

    EF mentions it should be able to supercruise at M 1.3 with useful payload.

    So its not just advertising mimmick.

    The Su-35S was suppose to supercruise as well , any information on it ?

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  62. Su-35 has shown the dry supersonic during the tests without the payload. See the interview with the test pilot. No further details about this were published. As regards to EF, I still would ask the source which said about SC with payload. What I read in Internet says the opposite.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Lucy

    http://businesseshome.net

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi Igor

    "It's just wrong, I have shown a source claim the reduction level related to the legacy fighters is just the same om Mig and EF."

    Legacy fighters like the Mig 29 with a 4th gen design, not like 4+ fighter designs like EF, or Rafale with composite materials, ducted intakes and so on. As I said before, you can reduce the RCS from legacy fighters like early Mig 29, F16 or F18 Hornets through coatings and redesigns to the level that the Mig 35, or the Super Hornet now has (between 1 and 3 m2 possibly), but these are only reductions and not low radar cross designs (Gripen NG, EF and Rafale RCS instead are expected between 0.1 and 0.5 m2).

    From the official Mig site:

    "Main technical and technological innovations, applied on the MiG-29K/KUB fighters are the following:
    - improved airframe with about 15% composite materials application..."

    http://migavia.ru/eng/military_e/MiG_29_K_KUB_e.htm


    Now compare that to the EF for example (translated):

    "70% of the airframe and 40% of the inner structual parts are made of composite materials"

    http://www.eurofighter.ch/1024/de/eurofighter/materialien/materialien.html


    You can't deny that this is a big difference and this is only one of the new features that the older fighter designs like the Mig 35, F16IN, or the F18SH can't offer.


    2) Is AESA is actually on the tested Rafale? - I still want to see a source! According to what I know it's only planned to be there.

    You mean in the trials in India? Yes:

    "...Officials said the Rafale met all the air staff qualitative requirements sought by the IAF and that Dassault was prepared to transfer all the technology that was required by the Indian side. They pointed out that the Rafale had a functioning Active Electronically Scanned Array radar."

    http://www.hindu.com/2009/09/26/stories/2009092655470500.htm

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hi Igor

    "It's just wrong, I have shown a source claim the reduction level related to the legacy fighters is just the same om Mig and EF."

    Legacy fighters like the Mig 29 with a 4th gen design, not like 4+ fighter designs like EF, or Rafale with composite materials, ducted intakes and so on. As I said before, you can reduce the RCS from legacy fighters like early Mig 29, F16 or F18 Hornets through coatings and redesigns to the level that the Mig 35, or the Super Hornet now has (between 1 and 3 m2 possibly), but these are only reductions and not low radar cross designs (Gripen NG, EF and Rafale RCS instead are expected between 0.1 and 0.5 m2).

    From the official Mig site:

    "Main technical and technological innovations, applied on the MiG-29K/KUB fighters are the following:
    - improved airframe with about 15% composite materials application..."

    http://migavia.ru/eng/military_e/MiG_29_K_KUB_e.htm


    Now compare that to the EF for example (translated):

    "70% of the airframe and 40% of the inner structual parts are made of composite materials"

    http://www.eurofighter.ch/1024/de/eurofighter/materialien/materialien.html


    You can't deny that this is a clear difference and this is only one feature of this new design, that neither the Mig 35, nor the F16IN, or the F18SH can offer.



    2) Is AESA is actually on the tested Rafale? - I still want to see a source! According to what I know it's only planned to be there.

    You mean in the trials in India? Yes:

    "...Officials said the Rafale met all the air staff qualitative requirements sought by the IAF and that Dassault was prepared to transfer all the technology that was required by the Indian side. They pointed out that the Rafale had a functioning Active Electronically Scanned Array radar."

    http://www.hindu.com/2009/09/26/stories/2009092655470500.htm

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  66. Sorry for the double post!

    ReplyDelete
  67. I wouldn't confuse stealth with composite materials Sancho, they are not the same thing.
    If making an aircraft from materials that are not metal then the Mosquito should have been invisible to radar because its structure was mostly wood.
    Many composite materials reflect radio waves just like metal does.
    What the French said was that the Rafale had a functioning AESA, it doesn't mean it is in service anywhere at the moment. They might make 2-3 radars for the Indians to test like Mig will with the Mig-35. In practical terms both are future models that will not likely be ready for mass production for some time yet.

    ReplyDelete
  68. We can pretty much take stealth out of picture here. All MRCA planes hang weapons outside. None are shaped for stealth. All manufacturers claim RCS figures only for clean airframes only. It can be assumed that final product (any one of these) in IAF service will have RAM either as paint or some material. Any of these jets (loaded with weapons, fuel tanks) won't give winning advantage in actual practical scenario just because of their (claimed) stealthiness in environment where their are opposition AWACS, ground radars etc.

    I think stealth in not even the criteria that IAF will give much importance while selecting. There are other (not so glamorous) factors that will be important such as Politics, Cost (initial and operating), reliability (availability while in service), Amount of ToT manufacturer or country can offer, willingness to integrate other weapons systems and of course fear of future sanctions do apply as well. In all of these mig35 leads except operating cost (debatable anybody??) and reliability (But IAF looks like is pretty satisfied with Su30MKI program, orders keep on coming).

    Thanks
    H.D.

    ReplyDelete
  69. ^^^ Added to above...

    I think and hope those days are already gone when Mig spare parts and maintainence were a problem.

    This problem is almost equal to sanctions.

    Thanks
    H.D.

    ReplyDelete
  70. to H.D.

    Cannot agree with you more regarding the MMRCA tender. It's in no way a competition of stealthiness. To the contrary there is no stealthiness claim in RFP (as it's deduced from the open source analysis), and they said very clear: 'no points for add-ons'. So, the eurojets can be totally invisible, it will change almost nothing for their chances to win. I too think about the accent on reliability, compatibility, serviceability and ToTability in this competition.

    ReplyDelete
  71. To GarryB

    "I wouldn't confuse stealth with composite materials Sancho, they are not the same thing."

    I know, that's why I didn't use the term stealth in my post right? What I said was, that that is one feature of 4.5 gen designs to reduce the RCS, compared to 4. gen designs like the Mig.

    "What the French said was that the Rafale had a functioning AESA, it doesn't mean it is in service anywhere at the moment. They might make 2-3 radars for the Indians to test like Mig will with the Mig-35. In practical terms both are future models that will not likely be ready for mass production for some time yet."

    Igor asked me for a source that the Rafale had the RBE 2 AESA in the trials in India and that's what I provided. It is reported that the French forces will get that radar by next year and export customers by 2012, so I don't see any problems of delays and unlike the Mig 35, or the Gripen NG, Rafale F3 is already operational.

    ReplyDelete
  72. To H.D.

    "All manufacturers claim RCS figures only for clean airframes only..."
    Yes, so it's logical to say that a fighter with a bigger RCS like the Mig, or the F18SH will have an even higher RCS fully loaded and that's why low RCS (not stealth!) are important.

    "There are other (not so glamorous) factors that will be important such as Politics, Cost (initial and operating), reliability (availability while in service), Amount of ToT manufacturer or country can offer, willingness to integrate other weapons systems and of course fear of future sanctions do apply as well. In all of these mig35 leads except operating cost (debatable anybody??) and reliability (But IAF looks like is pretty satisfied with Su30MKI program, orders keep on coming)."

    Yes, besides the performance of each fighter that we were discussing, factors like these will be important too. But even here the Mig is clearly not leading!
    Actually Mig (Sukhoi is a different point) has not a good reputation in IAF when it comes to reliability. Recently there were rumors that the Mig 27 must be phased out earlier too, because of problems with the engines, which were a reason why the whole fleet was grounded a few weeks ago.
    Also the operating costs of Russian fighters are higher than of western counterparts.
    Integration of different weapons should be led by the Gripen NG, which offers, US, European, South African, Brazilian, Israeli and if IAF wants even the integration of Russian weapons.
    Even at ToT Russia have no advantage, Rafale and EF are offered with full ToT, source codes and no EUM, which is the same that Russia can offer, only that ToT of EJ 200 engine, Spectra EWS, or other avionics should be more interesting to IAF than RD 33 ToT.

    As I said before, the Mig 35 offers way too less to be a good fighter, or package (only the Zhuk AE and maybe TVC that would be interesting). Not because it's generally a bad fighter, but mainly because it is just an upgraded version that offers nothing IAF already have through MKI and FGFA.
    The European fighters instead offer more diversaty of weapons, techs and capabilities + high ammount of ToT, reliability..., their main downside are the costs (at least for Rafale and EF), but if the packages are worth it, it would be a good choice to pay more.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Sancho, you said the percentage of composite materials used in the the Eurofighter was greater than the Mig or the SuperHornet as if it was something that was important.
    You do know that the F-117 have very few composite components in it and it is considered the first true stealthy combat aircraft?
    Composite materials just reduce structural weight, but introduce their own potential problems.
    I remember in the early 1980s that composite materials were all the rage in boat building... stronger than steel and lighter than wood they said. Miracle stuff. Only problem was that they didn't age very well and through repeated use there started to be problems like delamination where layers of composite materials that should have stuck together came apart. You can't repair it with a few welds, you through the section out and made another one.
    Composites are tricky to get right, and the consequences of getting it wrong can be fatal.

    "I know, that's why I didn't use the term stealth in my post right? What I said was, that that is one feature of 4.5 gen designs to reduce the RCS, compared to 4. gen designs like the Mig."

    The Mig-35 is a 4+ gen fighter. I would suggest that whoever is determining generations of fighter doesn't live in the real world, because despite their primative computing power in the 1980s it was high offbore sights and helmet mounted aiming systems that made the Mig-29 and the Su-27 more capable than any western fighter in WVR combat. Adding ARH missiles would have completed the new generation for me, though western fighters got that first.

    "Yes, so it's logical to say that a fighter with a bigger RCS like the Mig, or the F18SH will have an even higher RCS fully loaded and that's why low RCS (not stealth!) are important."

    You are either stealthy or you are not. Modern high power AESA radars, which will be in service when the Indian MRCA will be operating will see low RCS aircraft at long range so any advantage there might have been with having a lower than 3m RCS is lost when loaded up with weapons. It is not the case that the smallest RCS wins, it is a case of is your RCS small enough that the other guy can't see you first and with a larger radar apature they can.

    Regarding the diversity offered by European fighters, is that really what you want? Do you suggest the Indian Army buy M16s and FAMAS and some Steyr AUGs so they can have a bit of diversity, some flexibility for operating in lots of different environments? Or would the number of different types of rifle all offering similar levels of overall performance but with separate components and addons just end up being more expensive and confusing.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Sancho,

    about what 'unreliable supply' of MiG-29 spares in 90th you say, if 2/3 American radars suplied to India RIGHT NOW, just dont work! http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Army-chief-warns-against-govt-to-govt-deals-with-US/articleshow/5970446.cms

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  75. Rafale price (Brazil offer): $172 million per fighter (Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4485090)
    126 aircraft(aircraft only) will cost $21.69 billion
    With this amount 500 Mig29K (price from Indian Navy deal) or 700 LCA (assuming 30 mill per plane) can be bought, Just to keep things in perspective

    I think Eurofighter wont be far behind Rafale in terms of price. These planes are insanely priced for what ever little capability they bring over Mig35 or even Grippen.

    Even PakFa is supposed to be around $100 million.

    Igor, Do you have any data for cost per flying hour for Mig35 and Su35BM?

    Thanks in advance
    H.D.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I don't have hard figures but the SMT upgrade for the Mig-29 was supposed to reduce operational costs by 40% simply by changing the overhaul procedures so that parts are examined and tested, whereas before they were simply thrown away and replaced after a set time. The addition of internal testing and monitoring equipment also makes maintainence cheaper.
    I remember the cost of operating the Mig-29 bog standard model was something like $10,000 per hour, compared with $5,000 for the Mig-21.
    With more modern testing procedures and more modern parts I would expect the Mig-35 to be comparable to the Mig-29SMT at about $6,000 per hour to run. AESA radars are expensive to buy but you can simply not bother to maintain them for several years and then replace the failed transmit receive modules. This would save a lot of money too.
    I don't know about the Su-35, but would expect a slightly higher fuel bill simply because it is a larger aircraft and would need more fuel to push it around the sky.
    If India chooses the Mig-35 I would expect the Russians might let the Indians join them in developing a new model of the RD-33 engine in the 12 ton thrust class they were always talking about. I think at one stage they were calling it an RD-45 or something.

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  77. " about what 'unreliable supply' of MiG-29 spares in 90th you say, if 2/3 American radars suplied to India RIGHT NOW, just dont work! http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Army-chief-warns-against-govt-to-govt-deals-with-US/articleshow/5970446.cms "

    Expect more such news if and when the reality of US agreements such as EUMA sets in.

    H.D.

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  78. Thanks for info GarryB

    H.D.

    ReplyDelete
  79. to GarryB

    "Sancho, you said the percentage of composite materials used in the the Eurofighter was greater than the Mig or the SuperHornet as if it was something that was important.
    You do know that the F-117 have very few composite components in it and it is considered the first true stealthy combat aircraft?"

    Once again, I said composite materials are ONE FEATURE of 4.5 designs to reduce the RCS, just like ducted air intakes, weapon stations that are directly attached to the fuselage like the EF has, or design elements all over the Rafale to scatter radar waves.
    The point is, these features are integrated into the design right from the start, with the aim of low RCS. Re-designed 4. gen designs can't offer most of these and simply try to use some composites and RAM materials for reduction. That helps, but is obviously not equal!
    Your example with the F117 is mood, because it was completely designed for stealth at first and that was achieved by shaping the airframe, not by using latest high tech materials. Just look what the US use now for F18SH, F15SE, F22, or F35 and you will see the clear difference.


    "The Mig-35 is a 4+ gen fighter."

    You misunderstood it again, I said 4.5 DESIGNS, not 4.5 fighter. The latter will be defined by techs and capabilities like AESA radars, advanced avionics and so on, where as I meant that the design was aimed for low RCS.

    "It is not the case that the smallest RCS wins, it is a case of is your RCS small enough that the other guy can't see you first and with a larger radar apature they can."

    I explaind the relation between low RCS fighters and loads twice before, just go through my earlier posts.
    Regarding the statemant above, that is not completely correct. Even if you have a long range AESA radar, it depends on the RCS of the traget when you can detect it. So even if your opponent has less radar range, it might detect you pretty much at the same time, when you have the bigger RCS.
    Also it must not be a fighter radar, what about AWACS? An EF, or Rafale should come closer to an AWACS before they will be detected than a Mig 35, F18SH, let alone an MKI. The longer radar range of these fighers don't give you any advantage in this situation right?

    "Regarding the diversity offered by European fighters, is that really what you want?"
    I don't want to go to that army example, but of course I want diversity, because no matter how good the Russian arms are, an over dependance on them is not good. That's why India is trying to develop as much as possible alone now too. To come back to IAF, diversity is more than needed, if you keep in mind that over 230 Flankers and most likely the same number of Pak Fa /FGFA for the same roles and with the same weapons will be in service for decades. To add Mig 35 that offer nothing than the same capabilities and weapons, would give IAF no advantage at all. Going by European fighters instead gives new options of European and even US weapons, which was an important point during Kargil war and the IAF did not forget that.

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  80. to Igor

    "about what 'unreliable supply' of MiG-29 spares in 90th you say"

    Not sure what you mean, I didn't say anything like that.

    ReplyDelete
  81. To H.D.

    What you forgot is that Brazil wants only 36 fighters and low numbers means higher unit costs. The 24 x F18SH for Australia costs $191 million each, but it should be clear that they won't be so costly for India right?
    Rafale an EF still will be the costliest in MMRCA, but also offer the most advantages for Indian forces and if they simply want a cost-effective solution the Mig has no chance against the Gripen NG!
    I hope that IAF clears the 42 additional and upgraded MKIs, as well as the FGFA development soon, but Mig 35 is simply not a good option.

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  82. @Sancho
    If you meant 4.5 generation designs had stealth features built in to them then that would get your point across better.
    Saying Eurocanards were somehow better because their percentage of composites was higher than older fighters was a weak arguement. Plenty of Gliders are almost all composite, but that doesn't make them stealthy or 4.5 generation fighter designs.
    My point is that currently LO makes a difference because current radar use will probably be minimised to avoid giving away too much, but in the next few years as AESA radars come on line with LPI modes where they can search without giving themselves away their power will mean LO is of little use anymore and true stealth will be needed to delay detection far enough to be useful.

    Yes you explained the the relationship between LO and non LO aircraft with and without loads, but I disagree there too. Going back to the F-117 a single screw on the F-117 left sticking out and the RCS is suddenly huge. Waves that would normally be deflected away from an emitting radar are suddenly reflected right back and give a strong signal.
    The suggestion that all the weapons carried on the LO aircraft suddenly become stealthy because they are on a LO aircraft is silly.
    Fitting fuel tanks to the little Euro canards or LGBs will dramatically effect their radar signature... why else would real stealth aircraft bother with internal bays?

    And detection range depends on a lot of things, and one of them is radar frequency. The L and N band wing mounted AESA radars on the Su-35S will be near useless at seeing the shape of an aircraft because the wavelength is too long, the whole aircraft will reflect the signal in all directions making shaping to deflect the signal away from the emitting radar useless.
    It is the whole point of long wave ground based anti stealth radars. The main problem has been antenna size requirements, solved by using an antenna the size of a Flankers wing.

    BTW why would you want to get close to an AWACs aircraft without it seeing you?
    If you want to destroy it fire an R-37M from a Mig-31BM. If you want to scare it away then you want it to see your aircraft.

    Detection range is a function of radar apature, radar frequency, and radar power. Change these and the detection range will change.

    Adding Mig-35s to the existing soup of aircraft types makes sense because you have Mig-29s in service, which can eventually be replaced by the Mig-35s when this stopgap of a purchase is no longer needed.

    Do you personally use Apple and IBM compatible computers because that should give you a variety of options you can't get with just one or the other?

    My understanding of the MMRCA program was a stopgap purchase till the Tejas is ready. After that you will be looking for something to do with these aircraft. If they are very expensive eurocanards you will presumably have too much variety unless you want to replace the Flankers with the Eurocanards, the Mig-21s will be gone, are you going to really replace the Eurocanards with Tejas?
    Sounds to me like a purchase of Eurocanards might just kill Tejas.
    Or you could replace the Mig-29s with the Eurocanards, which will probably require another purchase of Eurocanards to replace them all, which will be expensive.

    What a mess.

    But I am sure the logistics and training for M2Ks, Eurofighter, Flankers, Fulcrums and eventually PAK-FA and Tejas will all be very similar and easy to integrate!

    Unless you are in a conflict with the Chinese I think having US equipment will be useless.
    When the US imposes trade sanctions on India in a conflict with Pakistan you might regret buying British or US gear. Not like it hasn't happened before. Russian stuff isn't perfect, but they have never told you what you can or cannot do with stuff you have bought from them.

    The Mig-35 offers a 4+ generation aircraft that meets the specifications put out by the Indian military.
    If India don't want it that is OK.

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  83. to Sancho:

    I think, it's mistake to say, that the composite structure of the Eurocanards is aimed for low RCS. Indeed, it's the mean for the weight reducing. There is few physical prepositions to think that composite-rich airframe have significantly lower RCS then a regular metal.

    First of all, the contemporary composite structures have metals in their body for strength. So, in case they are transparent for radar waves, the metal inside still reflects the radar beam back. THe only way to significantly reduce RCS on the Eurocanards is a usual radar absorbing coating. Then they can not to be significantly different in this aspect from MiG-29K\MiG-35.

    Yeah, they have curved ducts, but it means something in VERY narrow frontal angle only. From other aspects MiG-29K can be even less radar-visible, then the Eurofighter. For example: the Eurofighter has a big vertical fin, evidently adding bulk RCS from the lateral aspects,, while MiG-29 has two slightly deflected fins like 5th gen F-35 has too.

    ReplyDelete
  84. to GaryB

    "If you meant 4.5 generation designs had stealth features built in to them then that would get your point across better."

    Mate, that's what I said all the time, compare my post from May 23, 2010 2:58 PM for example:

    "Legacy fighters like the Mig 29 with a 4th gen design, not like 4+ fighter designs like EF, or Rafale with composite materials, ducted intakes and so on. As I said before, you can reduce the RCS from legacy fighters like early Mig 29, F16 or F18 Hornets through coatings and redesigns to the level that the Mig 35, or the Super Hornet now has (between 1 and 3 m2 possibly), but these are only reductions and not low radar cross designs (Gripen NG, EF and Rafale RCS instead are expected between 0.1 and 0.5 m2)."


    "My point is that currently LO makes a difference because current radar use will probably be minimised to avoid giving away too much, but in the next few years as AESA radars come on line with LPI modes where they can search without giving themselves away their power will mean LO is of little use anymore and true stealth will be needed to delay detection far enough to be useful"

    That's true but think about it once again, if LO designs like EF, or Rafale will give a little use, what will non LO designs like Mig 35 give? Exactly, nothing and that is the point!
    These fighters will be in service for the next 2-3 decades with latest radars and stealth fighters posed against them. If they want to give at least a little use for this timeframe, it has to be LO designs.
    Also where do you see more prospect for further upgrades that will reduce the RCS again, with several hundreds of Eurocanards in service for the same time, or with hardly 80 Mig 29Ks, because Mig 35 will have no other operator and older Mig 29s will be phased out soon.


    "The suggestion that all the weapons carried on the LO aircraft suddenly become stealthy because they are on a LO aircraft is silly.
    Fitting fuel tanks to the little Euro canards or LGBs will dramatically effect their radar signature... why else would real stealth aircraft bother with internal bays?"

    I never said that the external loads will become stealthy, so please don't put words in my mouth.
    But it is a simple calculation, lets say the Mig has a RCS of 1m2 and the EF 0.1m2 in clean config. Both will get a centerline fuel tank, a BVR and a WVR missile on each wing. Lets also say this load will double the RCS for example of both, which one will have a lower RCS?
    Right, still the EF, because the same load will have the same RCS, but the lower RCS of EF will still give some more advantages.

    See and there you went wrong, because you compared LO RCS with the Stealth of F117, but the correct comparison would have been LO Eurocanards vs non LO designs and the answer must be clear.


    "BTW why would you want to get close to an AWACs aircraft without it seeing you?
    If you want to destroy it fire an R-37M from a Mig-31BM. If you want to scare it away then you want it to see your aircraft."

    I am always seeing it from IAF point of view! If they would go to war with Pakistan, or China they must be able to shoot down the enemy AWACS, or to do preemtive strikes. Both is not possible with the present fighters, because the MKI with its big RCS will be detected even within Indian airspace (IAF don't have Mig 31 so we don't have to discuss about it) and right here MMRCA come into the game.
    A Rafale instead would get much closer, or at least cross the border without beeing detected, which gives a clear advantage in these missions.
    The Mig 35 on the other side is the least capable fighter in the competiton when it comes to A2G capabilities (least payload with Gripen NG, least numbers of weapon stations, no long range stand off, or cruise missiles...), so won't be useful for these roles either. This means, IAF will depend on Mirage 2000, or even on 3. gen Jaguars for such important roles, if they don't choose an MMRCA with LO RCS and good strike capabilites.

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  85. to GrayB part 2

    MMRCA is mainly a split to replace the Mig fleet, because LCA couldn't be ready in time to replace all. Now LCA will replace one part, MMRCA the other, but this will be mainly a replacement in numbers only, not a 1 on 1 replacement in the same class, or level anymore. The competition is now way beyond a simple stop gap and is to add quality, capability and also very important ToT.
    Forget about the old Mig 29, Mirage 2k, Mig 27, or Jaguars, because they will only be in service for 10-15 years. MMRCA will mainly be in service alongside Pak Fa / Su 30 MKI in the heavy class and LCA in the light class, which means it will fit perfectly in between if you take a western medium class fighter, with different capabilites, techs and weapons. And if you already have main air superiority fighters and low end interceptors, you will try to fill the gap with a medium fighter with good strike capabilities.


    As I said before, for other countries, with different needs, the Mig 35 might be a good choice, but clearly not for IAF! The only real advantage it has over the other contendors is the commonality to Mig 29SMT and Mig 29K, but that does not equal all the downsides.

    Btw, I agree with you about US parts during sanctions, but just like Russia, France was also reliable during those times too. This and all the advantages the Rafale offers, makes it to the best choice for IAF.

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  86. to Igor

    I think the available figurs on the net (although not always 100% reliable), clearly shows that these design improvements + RAM coatings of course too, indeed makes a clear difference and that the Eurocanards have advantages over legacy fighters like the Mig here and I think I said enough about it.
    The only point that I want to comment on was:

    "From other aspects MiG-29K can be even less radar-visible, then the Eurofighter. For example: the Eurofighter has a big vertical fin, evidently adding bulk RCS from the lateral aspects,, while MiG-29 has two slightly deflected fins like 5th gen F-35 has too."

    This is not correct, the Mig 29/35 has 2 big vertical fins that are not like those of 5. gen fighters, because they are not angled to scatter radar waves. This means if the one vertical fin of the EF reflects radar waves, the 2 vertical fins of the Mig will reflect even more!
    No matter from which point you see it, the Mig has clearly no chance in this field against 4.5 gen designs, but I am not saying that alone will decide who will win, imo it will be the best package that will win.

    If the trials are over and all facts are evaluated, they normally must cut it to 3, or 4 contenders that will enter the final stage and I don't see the Mig 35 as one of it.

    The most cost-effective choice is the Gripen NG, the best choice for political advantages is the F18SH and the best package of advantages is offered with the Rafale. No other fighter can offer so many advantages in different areas and the only downside are the costs.

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  87. @sancho
    Composite material, no matter what fraction of the design by weight, does not effect RCS, it effects overall weight by making the aircraft lighter. This alone is often a good thing as it reduces fuel costs and improves performance, but it does not effect RCS. The An-124 had composite material too, it is not LO or stealthy.

    @sancho:
    #That's true but think about it once again, if
    #LO designs like EF, or Rafale will give a
    #little use, what will non LO designs like Mig
    #35 give? Exactly, nothing and that is the
    #point!

    But Rafale and EF are 4+ designs, which cost a significant amount more. There are costs in money and in flight performance to reduce the RCS.

    @sancho:
    #These fighters will be in service for the next
    #2-3 decades with latest radars and stealth
    #fighters posed against them. If they want to
    #give at least a little use for this timeframe,
    #it has to be LO designs.

    Why? At the moment the vast majority of in service aircraft are not stealthy and seem to be able to perform their intended role.
    Besides, you might want to have bait for your traps.

    And there aren't that many Euro canards actually in service, the Gripen got a few orders but it is hardly mass produced and thriving. The Typhoon would be subject to sanctions, and the Rafale... well what sort of export success has it had... it is not a relatively new aircraft like the Mig-35 and had been offered to many countries in the past without success. Not suggesting this makes it bad, but if its prospects don't change then it might be no better than the Mig-35, which does have some Russian AF orders.

    #But it is a simple calculation, lets say the
    #Mig has a RCS of 1m2 and the EF 0.1m2 in clean
    #config. Both will get a centerline fuel tank,
    #a BVR and a WVR missile on each wing. Lets
    #also say this load will double the RCS for
    #example of both, which one will have a lower
    #RCS?

    Interesting maths but nothing to do with reality.
    Lets make it a centreline fuel tank and 4 AAMs, and lets hang them externally from a B-2.
    Lets assume the B-2 has a clean RCS of 0.001m.
    Your assumption is that this load will change the B-2s RCS from 0.001m to 0.002m while the same load for the Typhoon would change its RCS from 0.1m to 0.2m. The exact same load will change the Mig-35 from 1m to 2m presumably?
    If a B-52 carried that load externally will its RCS change from 100m to 200m?
    First of all similar loads will have similar effects, and the effect will be WORSE for an aircraft the more stealthy it is. The effect on a B-2 would be horrendous, the effect on the B-52 might be barely detectible.
    The same applies to the Typhoon and the Mig-35 and the net result will be that a Euro canard with weapons will have no practical advantage over a Mig-35 with weapons. And either without weapons is not much use at all.

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  88. Part 2
    Regarding the attack on an AWACs aircraft I would think RCS has nothing to do with it, simply because aircraft with RCS larger than a marble should be detected at extended ranges anyway and as part of its role is to direct fighters to threats then the best aircraft to attack an AWACs aircraft is as many as you have armed with as many AAMs and you can carry to overwhelm the defence.
    Sounds to me like a Flanker job, but I would use everything I had in the chess game to get an AWACs aircraft. It is an important piece.

    Regarding the Migs performance, it has optical and laser equipment built in so no external aiming pod is needed. Modern air to ground aircraft will carry external tanks for loiter capability, maybe 2 precision guided air to ground munitions like LGBs or TV or IIR guided bombs or missiles or satellite guided weapons and a couple of jamming pods and a couple of AAMs. A Mig 35 can easily carry that.
    When was the last time an F-16 went into combat with 7 tons of external stores... and the answer is never. That Israeli raid they might have had a capacity load with one or two bombs and all the rest fuel and a couple of AAMs, but that was using a tack hammer to drive a 6 inch nail into concrete.

    Regarding the purpose of the MMRCA, I think it is an unusual time for India to want to be able to build its own light fighters. I would think that the 10 billion the MMRCA will cost could be put into getting the LCAs problems ironed out and into production even if some of the solutions are simply bought.
    The next gen after 5th gen will likely be unmanned and probably a better place for India to start with indigenous developments, no disrespect meant in any way of course. Developing aircraft is hard, not everyone can do it and even fewer do it well.

    #This means if the one vertical fin of the EF
    # reflects radar waves, the 2 vertical fins of
    #the Mig will reflect even more!

    Bad logic. A single fin needs to be large to reach up above the disturbed air generated by the nose. Twin fins often are placed (as in the Hornet and the Mig-29) to be positioned in the energised air coming off the leading edge (wing) root extensions.
    Having two tails makes them more effective because at high angles of attack they are out of the messy air coming off the nose and positioned in the energised air vortexes coming of the LERXs. Having two stabilisers means they can be smaller than a single fin. They might create double the physical area but from the front they are just edges that angle reflections up and directly from the side one tail surface hides the other tail surface.

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  89. If you go by tender process that lowest bidder wins, then Mig35 wins as it satisfies all criteria. They should have known better that most likely Mig will win it fair and square if actual tender process(lowest price) is followed. If western technology was the goal than what is the point of inviting Mig into it. And now that they have done it they just cant sideline it. Russia is a trusted partner in Delhi and if some other jet other than Mig35 is chosen then some other deal will be signed with Russia, could be more Su30MKI or Mig29K/SMT or even something totally unrelated.

    RCS figures especially for under 5th gen jets are nothing more than marketing stunts and dont give the real picture.

    To GarryB

    LCA as in current configuration (foreign engine, every thing else more or less pretty much satisfied) will most likely be in IAF service by latter half of 2011. Only 40 are ordered yet if some sources are to be believed. Even in this configuration although foreign engine, it is a pretty good bird, especially for point defence, escort roles etc. Its only fighter that can replace IAF Mig21 1 for 1.

    Thanks
    H.D

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  90. to GaryB

    "Composite material, no matter what fraction of the design by weight, does not effect RCS, it effects overall weight by making the aircraft lighter."

    It does, simply because it replaces material that does reflect radar waves way more (mainly steel parts), that's why it is also used in upgrades of older fighters like Su 35, or Mig 35 and so on. The combination of composites instead of steel for example, with the addition of RAM materials is the reason why the RCS of the Mig 29K can be reduced by 4 times and once again this is a 4th gen design!


    "Why? At the moment the vast majority of in service aircraft are not stealthy and seem to be able to perform their intended role."

    Yes at the moment, but as I said, they are meant for decades, so good performance at the moment is not enough.


    "And there aren't that many Euro canards actually in service..."

    EF on order - over 500
    Rafale on order - 180 for France only, under evaluation at the moment in Brazil, UAE, Swiss, Kuwait, Oman and even the Dutch shows interested again
    Gripen - 200 already in service, or on order

    Please provide a source for RuAF orders of Mig 35, but even if, the orders will not even come close to those and I think that says enough about the upgrade potential of these fighters in comparison.


    "First of all similar loads will have similar effects, and the effect will be WORSE for an aircraft the more stealthy it is. The effect on a B-2 would be horrendous, the effect on the B-52 might be barely detectible."

    I can't understand how you come to that conclusion, if your figures are 0.002m for B2 and 200m for B52. You said exactly what I said too, similar loads will have similar effects and
    the B2 in your example still has cleary a lower RCS, just like the EF in my example, so what is the horrendous effect on LO RCS aircrafts?

    Even an F35 in the anti ship role with external harpoons, will be clearly stealthier than a F18 with the same load. The load will reflect the same, but the F35 will less than the F18.


    "I would think RCS has nothing to do with it, simply because aircraft with RCS larger than a marble should be detected at extended ranges anyway"

    Wrong, although the AWACS have powerful radars, just like at fighter radars the lower the RCS of the target the later will they detect it. Which means, no matter how many AAMs a Flanker can carry, it doesn't give him an advantage, because way before it comes even close to missile range, it will be detected and engaged by escorts, or other enemy fighters.


    "Modern air to ground aircraft will carry external tanks for loiter capability, maybe 2 precision guided air to ground munitions...and a couple of jamming pods and a couple of AAMs. A Mig 35 can easily carry that."

    Even the Gripen NG can carry those missiles, 2 x fuel tanks, but also 2 x 1000Kg PGMs + a targeting pod. Don't forget that is the lightest fighter in the competition, not to mention F18SH, or Rafale which are in a totally different league when it comes to A2G.


    Regarding fins, you explained the way they work, but that wasn't the point. I just pointed out that the Mig also has vertical fins and not angled like F18, or F35, so does not help to reduce RCS from the side like Igor said.

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  91. to H.D.

    "then some other deal will be signed with Russia, could be more Su30MKI or Mig29K/SMT or even something totally unrelated."

    29 more Mig 29Ks were already ordered (total of 45 now, RN in contrast only 24), there are rumors of 42 more MKIs, but that will be finalised only when the upgrade is clear too.
    Of course Russia is and will be a trusted partner, but the Mig 35 is just not a good choice for IAF, for numerous reasons.

    - not a cost-effective choice, because of maintenance costs, or additional cost for avionics

    - no political benefits, because Russia is already a close partner

    - no new weapons, techs or capabilities that IAF did not get anyway

    - least upgrade potential together with the F16IN

    - least A2G capabilities

    - only ToT of the radar, or TVC would be useful

    - still under development and available as a prototype only, production can only start by 2013/14


    As I said before, it simply has way more disadvantages for India than advantages.

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  92. to Sancho:

    ==The combination of composites instead of steel for example, with the addition of RAM materials is the reason why the RCS of the Mig 29K can be reduced by 4 times and once again this is a 4th gen design!==

    - I would say the opposite: the metall may be even better for RCS reduce, then comopsites in some circumstances, because the metal surfice reflects the radar waves only in one direction. The compozites are a problem, since they reflect the incoming wave in all directions.

    According to my knowlege MiG-29K reduced RCS is due to RAM and cage glass metallization. Otherwise, if it was composites, the cage would made with plexiglass, but indeed it's coated by the metall.

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  93. @HD,
    Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of LCA, but I really worry that India is making a mistake.
    The LCA looks like more than just a LIFT, it is a legitimate fighter bomber and its purpose should be to be the numbers fighter for the Indian AF.
    The purpose of the hi lo fighter mix is to have numbers and quality, though not in the same aircraft. What I don't understand is where the MMRCA fits, why bother with a slightly bigger aircraft that is much more expensive to buy than the light fighter yet will not be as capable as the Hi fighter. Seems to me it would make rather more sense to go for whatever gap they perceive will be left, whether it is heavy strike or heavy interceptor.
    Or are they saying the LCA is just too light to be effective as the low in a high low mix?

    They put French and Israeli stuff in the Flanker, why not just buy all the bits and pieces in the Rafale, like radar and avionics and weapons and put it in the LCA. Individually each LCA can't match the Rafale for payload, but you will never use one fighter on its own anyway. For the cost of 10 Rafales you could put up 20 LCAs and cover the cost of the French Rafale components in the LCA and to be honest having 20 pilots working together with 20 radars and 20 loads of weapons etc, it would be much more formidible threat than 10 Rafales.

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  94. @ Sancho,
    I think you will find that the increased use of Composite materials on the Mig-35 is to reduce weight. The reshaping of the structure also reduces the RCS like the leading edge root extensions now have a sharp edge as opposed to the smooth edge on the older models.
    It is not composites that reduce RCS it is edge management and reshaping various parts and applying RAM to hotspots that reduces it.
    Otherwise the solution to make stealthy aircraft would be easy, simply make light all composite material aircraft.
    WWII fighters made of wood were not invisible to radar either. The German flying wing design was very difficult to spot on old radars but that was because of its shape rather than the materials it was made of.

    All of the existing non LO designs are not going to disappear over night.
    You say LO will dominate, well I say Stealthy will dominate and LO will not survive better than non LO.
    Like anything else that is in service for a long time non stealthy aircraft will get upgrades and will be used for roles where stealth is not an issue.

    At MAKs last year there was an order for Su-35s and Mig-35s and a change of policy away from upgrading older stuff and producing new stuff.

    #I can't understand how you come to that #conclusion, if your figures are 0.002m for B2
    #and 200m for B52. You said exactly what I said
    #too, similar loads will have similar effects and
    #the B2 in your example still has cleary a
    #lower RCS, just like the EF in my example, so
    #what is the horrendous effect on LO RCS
    #aircrafts?

    Sorry, I was hoping you would see how absurd it would be to suggest that an external fuel tank could have a Radar cross section of 0.001 on a B-2 and a RCS of 100m on a B-52.
    A fuel tank and 4 AAMs will have a head on RCS and it will NOT be multiplied by the existing airframe, but added. With their little radar antennas and fins a fuel tank and 4 AAMs will have a front on RCS of about 1m. That means with and without figures are:
    B-2
    1.001 and 0.001
    B-52
    101 and 100
    Rafale
    1.1 and 0.1
    Mig-35
    2.0 and 1.0

    What I meant and what you can clearly see from these figures is that a fuel tank and AAMs on a B-2 totally destroys its stealth... it becomes the same as a clean Mig-35!
    The B-52 it has not effect on because any radar that can detect a 100m target is probably limited to the radar horizon from detecting it further away so an extra 1m RCS will make no difference at all.
    Look at the effect of the RCS on the Mig and the Rafale... you will say the Migs RCS doubled, but the Rafales increased by 10 times!

    #Even an F35 in the anti ship role with
    # external harpoons, will be clearly stealthier
    #than a F18 with the same load. The load will
    #reflect the same, but the F35 will less than
    #the F18.

    Wrong. RCS suffers from the laws of diminished returns. It is easy and cheap to go around an existing non stealthy aircraft and make a few shape changes and apply RAM in hotspots to reduce RCS by a significant amount. But once you have done that getting further reductions becomes harder and more expensive and the results are less and less.
    The result is that it makes more sense to start from the design phase to create a stealth aircraft. The problems are that almost anything will ruin all that design and planning and all that money will be for nothing.
    The F-35 has external weapons capability when stealth doesn't matter. That means that when it carrys external stores it is NOT stealthy.
    Not as bad as it sounds because the USAF has been taking on countries for years without stealth fighters, but to suggest that a stealth design remains a stealth design when it breaks the rules of stealth is wrong.
    External stores are not stealthy.
    It is like a sniper wearing camouflage but carrying a bright shiny polished rifle above his head.

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  95. Indeed AWACs have powerful radars, but they are also large slow low manouver capability aircraft that would be a sitting duck without the fighters they direct.
    Unless you want to send in unarmed Rafales the AWACs is going to detect the threat so when it sends fighters in and calls up more to defend against the threat you had better have a fighter up there that is able to fight and has a few missiles to fight through waves of enemy fighters.
    You are not going to take out a priority target like an AWACs simply by sending a few Rafales in because they are small and might not be noticed.
    You are going to need a large scale coordinated attack from several directions at once.
    The value of the target makes it worth the loss of a few aircraft, but then they might try to do the same to you.

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  96. Regarding the Migs chances, Mig have a proven record in India and the aircraft on offer could be used as a basis for a later upgrade of existing Mig-29s in service.
    Mig products will not be subject to sanction no matter what India does.
    Purchase of the Mig-35 could easily lead to a joint venture on a light 5th gen fighter that Mig are starting development on once the PAK FA is fully ready for service.
    Personally I think some here are underestimating the performance of the Mig-35.

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  97. If the Gripen could not carry such a load then it really would be useless, and no one is suggesting it is. This is a realistic combat load. In other words it is important, unlike the max payloads given for an aircraft which really mean nothing at all.

    Regarding fins, to achieve directional stability (which is the purpose of the vertical fin) it needs to be tall enough to reach undisturbed air. A single finned fighter needs a tall single fin so that the aircraft can still maintain stability at high angles of attack where the nose is high. On a twin finned aircraft the fins dont need to reach the air above the nose, they just need to reach the air from the wingroots so they don't need to be as tall. The F-18 has fins that lean out because the body of the F-18 is quite narrow with its engines basically together so the fins need to be angled out to reach the vortexes created by the LERX and has nothing to do with stealth.
    Of course as the F-35 clearly shows even in single engined aircraft where is single fin would be lighter and cheaper twin fins are clearly more stealthy in the sense that there are four stealth fighters that have been revealed so far and all three have no canards and all three have twin vertical tails.
    (In order, YF-22, YF-23, F-35, and PAK FA).

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  98. To GarryB
    As far as MMRCA is concerned, it was supposed to be a swing role, medium to light weight fighter. And this is how it should be because the way things are going, lets say in 8 years time Su30-a heavy fighter will form biggest part of IAF and these will go until 2040. Then there is PakFa, add 250 of these heavy fighters. Just for these two platforms operating costs will be huge, which requires this MRCA to be not expensive and cost effective(including initial cost). Although Indian economy is doing quite good, there is lot of poverty in India which has to be dealt with. I was reading somewhere French are worried about there own induction of Rafale due to its cost.

    One important reason that MMRCA exists is that what if LCA cant be inducted in large numbers due to various reasons. In that case squadron strength will be saved somewhat with MRCA.

    As far as putting French and Israeli components in LCA is concerned, its main goal is to use as much as possible Indian stuff and there is an important strategic advantage in that. But engine problem exists.

    One other point regarding Hi-low mix: Most planned air-dominance or attack missions will consist of Hi-Lo fighter mix or just Hi fighters but many other times there is a good chance that your low fighter will be up against enemy on its own, so it should be capable enough. Because of LCA range it will be deployed on forward border bases on western side(likely) so it will need all important goodies such as jammers, good BVR weapons, good radar, good engine thrust. IAF wont deploy a half cooked bird. That is one of the reasons for its delay.

    Thanks
    HD

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  99. to HD:

    Methinks LCA - is one of the World best and authentic 4th gen design, combines the unique aerodynamic features, like anterior ailerons, with extremal minimalism and lightness.

    It's the true successor of the famous MiG-21! It's very very hard to make a full capability fighter in such low weight! Kudos for Indian engineers!

    I understand why the American (and I believe now the Europeans too) do all to bring LCA program to crash. It's because this fighter potentially is the most dangerous competitor for 4th gen single engine planes like F-16 and Grippen on the Third World market due to its low cost & low maintenance cost potential.

    If was a decision maker I would even try to design a 5th gen platform in LCA weight class, keeping one engine and anterior ailerons unchanged, but with 2-fins. Oh, dreams...)

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  100. @HD
    The whole purpose of the LCA is mass production and large numbers and with adequate quality for most roles.
    In any hi low mix the low needs to be cheap and available in large numbers... that is its purpose.
    Regarding the multirole medium capacity of the MMRCA that is part of its title, but it should also be a stopgap in the sense that having three main classes of fighter bombers, well actually more because they will have the LCA, the Mig-29, the MMRCA, and the M2k and of course the Flanker and the future T-50.
    What a mess!
    If in the future they wanted to save some money then at the outset they should have just decided on either the Mig or the Mirage. The Mig has the Mig-35 growth path and the M2K could have had Rafale bits added to it, though less easily because they are really different aircraft.
    Instead except for the Mig-35 they are really looking at introducing a new aircraft type into service which makes training more expensive and logistics more complicated than it was before.

    Regarding foreign components on the LCA, Sancho seems to think the more different types of equipment in the Indian AF the better, though I disagree, simply because although it will make countering them more difficult, it also makes integration difficult, and maintainence more expensive. Different fuel grades for different engines, different electronics to plug in to different flight computers, different radars and engines and weapons. An emergency landing at a runway that operates a different type can be a real headache, because you either have to stock parts and support equipment for every type at every airfield no matter what aircraft operate there and of course have personel trained on all types, or you shunt that plane to the side of the airfield till a truck from a nearby airfield that operates that type can bring both the parts needed, some fuel, and the specialists needed to do the maintainence so it can fly back to its normal airfield.
    Or the truck will carry the plane back to its normal airfield after it has been dismantled... in a week.
    Amusing in peacetime, potentially fatal during a war.
    My comments regarding integrating foreign components into LCA would mainly regard future joint ventures to develop AESA radars or new engines etc, so while not wholly Indian, it can be Indian influenced and also Indian paid for, so you can call it Indian, which seems to be very important to some.

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  101. If India values being able to use what it buys without interference, then Gripen (US engine), F-16, F-18, and Typhoon (UK) have the problem of potential sanctions that may make use of their products difficult or impossible. This really leaves the Rafale and the Mig-35.
    Ironic that it means the replacement for the M2k competes with the replacement for the Mig-29, to replace the Mig-21!
    If you look at the offsets and all the BS and the fact that the winner of the contract is only making 16 airframes themselves and HAL is building the rest you kinda get the feeling that it is going to end up like Baretta selling the US armed forces their Model 92F pistol in the 1980s. They probably earned enough to get a nice lunch out of it.

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  102. To GarryB
    Regarding aircraft types in IAF: To their credit they have managed it quite well so far, not really a big issue. Of course having lesser types of aircraft will definitely help. But nothing really can be done about that. Mig29, Jaguar and Mirage will be operational for some 20 more years, Mig21(Bison) 10 more years, Mig27 10-15 more years and for all these jets and for Su30MKI infrastructure is there. LCA being Indian jet wont be a problem. Now one of the reasons that India can operate so many types is the licence production in India itself, which makes things a bit easier - maintainence wise.

    You do have a point regarding emergency landing at different airfield that operated different type and I more or less will agree will that. It will be true for any country that operates a few types of aircraft. And especially during wartime high priority will be given to keep aircraft in air as much as possible.

    "If you look at the offsets and all the BS and the fact that the winner of the.........."

    Well, this is how it works in India.

    H.D.

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  103. The airfield problem can of course happen anywhere... a Helo forced to land at the airfield of a forward deployed fighter squadron for example. Or even a fighter landing at a civilian airfield.
    Maybe 5-10 years ago they could have bought all the tooling for the M2K so they could continue to make those and buy sensors and weapons upgrades that France develops for the Rafale and fit them to their M2Ks, but at the end of the day they can save a lot of money and simplify their logistics simply by following through with certain plans they had.
    For example the LCA should be able to replace both the Mig-21 and the Jaguar and Mig-27 on short range operations. Now that they have been told they can't have any more M2Ks and they have to buy Rafales then they need to decide whether they want a few Rafales now as MRCAs or if they could just buy Rafales when they retire the M2Ks, or whatever France is flying when the M2Ks need to be replaced. With the Mig-29s I think it makes perfect sense to either pick the Mig-35 or a mix of Mig-35s and Rafales. Gripens look nice, but adding a whole new type from an independant plane making country doesn't seem to add much for India. Adopting the Mig-35 offers commonality with existing aircraft and a further upgrade path for existing types (perhaps even development of a 5th gen engine to replace the RD-33 in navy and AF service with 10 tons thrust or perhaps even 12 tons thrust depending on how much you want to spend).
    Local production of the Mig-35 will also be beneficial if you can eventually unify parts with the Navys Mig-29Ks and the Airforces Mig-29s. A 10 or 12 ton developed engine could also be used in the LCA for further advantages in commonality.
    There is really only two reasons to diversify your suppliers, and that is reliability in war time, and Russia has shown it has no strings attached like France has (but unlike the UK and US), and the second reason is to get technology that you might not otherwise get access to... which would be nice but under what terms will you get access to that technology.
    I am sure the UK and US behind closed doors will give the green light for even an invasion of China if that was what you wanted but with Pakistan I doubt you will get permission to use their technology at all.
    It remains their technology.
    Personally I think joint ventures with France and Russia make more sense than any deal with the US or UK for that matter.

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  104. I do agree with the fact that any thing other then Mig-35 will be a new type and logistics challenge for IAF , considering the fact that IAF is already a circus with the different types and numbers they operate

    The IAF already operates 60 plus Mig-29 which is going through upgrade and IN plans to operate 45 Mig-29K which means a fleet of more 105 plus Mig-29.

    Adding Mig-35 will stream line the logistics and reduce the types that IAF operates , plus there is a great deal of commonality in weapons in IAF fleet and integration of Indian weapons like Astra and 3rd party weapons if need be is easier done.

    It will be very difficult for the IAF and Financial Planners to over look the advantage that Mig-35 brings on the table.

    The other aircraft like Typhoon , Rafale though are very good but expensive bird and we really do not need another heavy fighter when MKI is available.

    The F-16 and F-18 are combat proven aircraft but IAF has not operated a single US fighter type till date which means they have to spend a huge amount building logistics from scratch , agree to US CISMO and other slave type agreements , while the threat of sanctions always exists.

    Another good fighter to look at is Gripen its really a capable ,single engine fighter cost effective to operate the only down point is it has a US engine.

    But MMRCA is more of a political decision then a choice to buy capable platform , the IAF will give the Government its top 3 or 4 choice and let the Government decide which one to opt for.

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  105. MMRCa became like a jewellry which a prostitue wears to attract customer htisis what elite of idnia and this americna agent harami manmohsn ingh bastard is doing with tender-enticing americans to be gracious towrds idnia while india feels secured that it will get high quaility plane from Russia anyway-in other words take for granted russian.

    Have you ever noticed that during last 17 years the ministry of defence protfolio was one which not many coveted because defence was not considered glamourous unlike finance and besides defence ministry was under thumb of PMO office not to proceed with tests and hardware acquitions because the then PM and today;s pM was afraid to hurt american sensiblity!
    now the blame being put on PM is being diverted to all persons and organisations.



    janaury,2007

    Indian anglophile class -especially indian english language media -is a race of Coolies and traitors.
    the same class of indians who are doing propaganda agasinty china today are the same people who forced rajiv gandhi in 1987 to make friendship with china(and recognise tibet as part of china) why-? because the usa had ben friend with china since 1984 and wanted india tobe friend too as opposed to russia.-therefore the indian parasite class foll=made the Indian foreign policy viz china not to suit india but to suit american interests-it is doing the same but in revere direction this time because their anglo-american masters want them to do so.the same indian elite class (for example the president of ranbaxy one MR. Singh,, chairman of FICCi at the time in 80s was vehemently opposing any defence increase or of of buying of defence equioments while asking for freidnship with china as desired by usa ain 80s). the same FICCi is making propaganda agasint DRDo and(with 6% of defence budget) and indian scintisits saying it has not kept the develpopmnet of innovations and kept the 50 yurs old mig 21 not in shape!.) These same indian traitors want india to buy 40 yrs old arms (like junk f16 and f-18) from america knowing fully well that it comes with a heavy conditions unlike almost condition free and better arms(new mig-35) from russia.-but then thse elites are agents of angnlo american interests -so no surprise here-it is high time that thse elites are killed or kicked out of india-these are allwais(iraqi traitor) of india.• Russia is already supplying India with the Sukhoi-30MKI, an advanced "fourth generation" warplane that consistently defeats its Western counterparts, such as the frontline US fighters, the F-15C and F-16. Versions of the Su-30 are also being sold to China, Venezuela, and Malaysia.



    June 1998.

    Congratulations to pakistan also for having exploded atomic bomb like India rightly did!

    History is
    full of nations much poorer, improving themselves first by making themselves militarily victorious
    ,by fair or foul means,over much richer and superior civilizations. That is exactly how
    a race of pirate turned shopkeepers that is England and America made themselves rich.That is also why these pirate race of anglo-americans want to keep the ill gotten advantage by denying othersany means to get power or independence.That is the philosophy of nato.Who bothered about America before it stole Nuclear Technology from Germans?

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  106. Hello Any update of MIG 35 on MMRCA ?????

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  107. The model of the Mig-35 shown at AeroIndia 2011 had 10 hard points on its wings and one of the weapons depicted on the inner wing pylons was a laser guided KAB-1500 1,500kg laser guided bomb, and under the other inner wing pylon was a Klub air launched cruise missile.
    Thinking about it now it was fairly obvious that such heavy weapons should be possible as the Mig-35 has been described as capable of carrying the new 1,900 litre drop tanks which must weigh about 2000kgs full anyway.

    This suggests a capacity at the very least of carrying two 1,500kg guided bombs with the centreline fuel tank plus 8 spare wing pylons for pods and jammers and AAMs and smaller fuel tanks which means the Gripen has no armament advantage at all.

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