Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New UAC chief interview

Russian UAC's chief Pogosyan interview in SPIEF-2011 video. Many interesting words about PAKFA, cooperation with India etc. Highly recommended for view! The video for downloading.

Building Russia’s Creative Capital
Mikhail Pogosyan, President, United Aircraft Corporation JSC
Mr. Karachinsky,President of IBS Group, opened the session with an introductory speech
about Russian businessmen who have cooperated with the Russian Government in developing
the aircraft industry. He pointed out that Russia once had a very strong aerospace and aircraft
industry, but things have changed. Mr. Karachinsky outlined the priority to return to how it
once was, and move even further. Mr. Karachinsky introduced Mikhail Pogosyan, President of
United Aircraft Corporation JSC, who has had success in cooperating with the Government in
the Russian aircraft industry.
During the past 20 years, Russia has developed only two new types of aircraft, the Sukhoi
Superjet 100 and a new 5th Generation Jet Fighter, which is mostly attributable to the efforts
of Mr. Pogosyan. The current task is to increase the volume of production by 4 to 5 times.
The development of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 began in 2005, when a contract was signed with
Aeroflot. Total investments in the Sukhoi Superjet 100 amounted to 1.5 billion Russian
roubles. Mobility, safety and comfort are the main goals they looked to achieve in developing
the Superjet 100. The airplane has been highly rated by pilots as well as passengers. Superjet
International, a company that sells the Sukhoi Superjet 100 on the foreign market, has been
established in cooperation with Italian partners.
The subject of fuel efficiency came up during the session and Mr. Pogosyan noted that
Superjet is 10% more fuel efficient than its competitors.
Mr. Pogosyan also talked about the international team of highly qualified professionals who
worked together and who were responsible for creating the Superjet 100. He also mentioned
that the company can combine its resources to design both military and civilian aircraft, but if
they want to be successful on the market they have to meet consumer expectations.
Mr. Pogosyan pointed out that nowadays the Russian aircraft industry is being rebuilt almost
from scratch. He remarked that it is very important that manufacturing capacities and
engineering facilities be maintained. Today only two countries – Russia and the USA – posses
the potential to construct fifth generation jet fighters.
In conclusion, Mr. Pogosyan said that the Russian aircraft industry must change from
predominantly military production to civilian aircraft production. Today there is a need to
launch the production of transport aircraft, which have not been produced for the past 10-20
years. The development of aircraft construction determines to a large extent the level of the
country’s technical development. The aircraft industry may serve as a factor that redirects
Russia from commodity to technological development.
The views expressed are those of certain participants in the discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of all participants or of the St.
Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Copyright 2011
No part of this material may be copied, photocopied or duplicated in any form by any means or redistributed without the prior written
consent of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
17 June 2011


  1. The Mig-AT and Yak-130 count as aircraft developed after the end of the cold war...

    and besides what post cold war aircraft is in service in the west?

    The JSF and F-22 and the Eurocanards all have their origins in the 1980s or earlier too.

  2. Russia again with "very strong aerospace and aircraft industry" like it was before...That is much more reasonable, realistic objective in "modernizing" Russia than creating some "Silicon Valey" from the scratch specially be cause it is only "personal project" of the President not really linked with the Russian reality.
    Not that "Silicon Valey" is not needed... but sometime it is wiser to know oneself limitations & qualities to choose more realistic objectives as consequence...

    Hi Igor,
    hi GarryB

  3. to PAKFA:
    Hi! Glad to see you here again. In reality it was even more strange: Medvedev took the idea from one popular Russian blogger Maxim Kalashnikov , which send a letter to him, Medv. confirmed it, and initially it was called like a mythology 'town of future' the 'Sun City':) . Naturally the idea was close to Bangalor center or the Soviet secret scientific towns, but after the starting the lobbing activity transformed the initially good project to a commercially el-dorado for foreign capital, for our regret.

  4. The electronics and high tech science potential of Russia is huge... they have the scientists and specialists... what they lack is the link between theory and prototypes to mass production and sales and commercialisation of their ideas.

    Such a centre might form after a few decades... in fact if you look you will likely see areas all over Russia where high tech has pooled together and the presence of a few factories and centres has encouraged other businesses to form nearby that feed into or out from such centres.

    By starting from scratch and working with a focussed design I think their new Silicon Valley will be rather more than just Silicon Valley. It will combine all sorts of technologies and spheres and therefore be more robust and hopefully productive.

  5. @Igor
    "Medvedev took the idea from one popular Russian blogger"
    All that is President's publicty stunt.
    A stunt of the politician turned to the electorat in creating image of the "reformator".
    A reformator that has chosen West as an option to "modernize" Russia (Peter the Great style)...

    Except this is not the same Russia (of Peter the Great) but post-Soviet Russia that was already "modern" during Soviet times in many scientific areas...
    All that was needed is to repare 20-30 years of neglect and non-finacing of state of the art Soviet tech or at least those areas where Russia still has competitive edge in the world, like "aerospace and aircraft industry".
    Starting Silicon Valley ("initially good project") that turns into a "commercial el-dorado" just shows lots of political "do-good-ism" mixed with no real projects on one hand and neoliberal philosophy on another...On top, with no real solutions how to introduce ANY scientific project to the stage of realistc production models (within present capabilities of Russian industry).


    I honestly like you as person Garry be cause I've read plenty of your comments here and there (wish that more Western people are like you)
    but sometimes you sound to positive and to optimistic...(excuse me to say that) almost like boy scout :)

    I love Russia and I would love that I am wrong and that your expetcations (predictions) come true...
    Starting Silicon Valley from the scratch is absurde when Russia still has competitive (NEGLECTED!)"aerospace and aircraft industry"!
    All they need is to modernaize industry in that domain,
    poor lots of money in new projects and Russian
    "aerospace and aircraft industry" will shine again (even though as you know still shines throgh for example S-500(SELF FINANCED PROJECT by Almaz-Antey!) PAKFA, Superjet 100, etc. despite the Russian non-finacing over the decades...)

    The problem is that Russian "focussed design" in Silicon domain, does not really exist (except one or two Soviet chips maybe..
    Russian brains are arround the world (in Silicon Valley also)
    They are working for much more money than they would ever get in Russia.
    Russian industry in general is in shambles...
    Russian silicon chip industry is non-existant...
    So even if there would be some "focussed design"one day,
    WHO is going to produce it?!?
    Is it really necessary to create "Silicon Valley" be cause Russia has some Soviet-era chip porototype in their hands?
    I'm not saying that any Soviet era high-tech should be neglected all I say is that ther is NO NEED to insist on areas where Soviets were NOT so good and neglect other areas where they were the best and which can be continued with less effort and less money, than starting "from the scratch"...
    And what are you goint to put in?
    Which hardware & software giants there?
    N-Vidia, ASUS, maybe or how about big boys AMD & Intel, Google, Yahoo, Windows?
    I know, you will put the Russian (famous) Kaspersky antivirus in Russian Valley and sit and wait for others to come!
    Well in that case good luck to you cause you gona need it !

    All this "Silicon" trip is just mishmash of the very vague ideas and impotent political voluntarism in good old "houra" Soviet style.
    The problem is that there is nobody arround to say that emparor (President) doesn't have close and his (blogger's)idea is empty without any rally competent scientific analysis of that problem from the begining.

    Sorry for the spelling (if there are any errors)
    It's really pleasure talking to you Igor and you GarryB.

  6. CORR.* "poor" - to pore

    to pore lots of money in new projects and Russian
    "aerospace and aircraft industry" will shine again

  7. If you have any information on Superjet NG (130 seat stretch) and it`s engine I would be very interested. Engine is what makes Superjet NOT `10% more efficient` to it`s competitors, because that number is only counting legacy E-Jets, not Bombardier`s new CSeries with P&W PurePower engines. Since the NG is taking the place of the MS-21 `shrink`, it seems likely that the NG will be fitted with PurePower as well (2 engine choices probably makes less sense for a smaller plane, and given SaM is already half-`foreign`, it makes as much sense to go with the most marketable engine... P&W seems willing to sub-contract production so local industry could still benefit). I assume there is an exclusivity agreement with SaM, but I also wonder what are the chances of the smaller Superjet seeing new engine choices, along with wings and avionics drawn from SSJ-NG and MS-21 in a future upgrade...? That is the product that is a world-beater.


    About chip industry... It`s function to supply Russian military industry is working. To go beyond that means commercial success on the world market, which is not a simple thing... Pursuing niche specialties is the surest best there in the short term. The world-wide chip industry is actually very heterogenous, including both fabrication and design specialized companies... Rusnano`s strategy is actually somewhat coherent in pursuing acquisitions and partnerships across a spectrum of the industry (including offshore companies founded and run by Russians), from fab-less design houses to focused fab capacities, including tech such as plastic ICs and MRAM.

    The thing is, it would be an utter waste of money to try and unilaterally pursue replicating every aspect of the IC supply chain indigenously... And the nature of the beast is that most everything about it will change in 15 years, so throwing money at achieving 45nm or 22nm fabs will be mostly irrelevant when optical and quantum processors can take over from silicon lithography. Look how much money the US military wastes at programs aimed to achieve the `apex` of technology, when that isn`t actually needed, and everybody else will achieve essentially the same thing for half the money or less when the technology and techniques are more mature and known world-wide.

    Cooperation with South Korea and Singapore seems to have as good as prospects as you get in the industry. (IMHO, South Korea in general offers many opportunities for Russia to pursue if it wishes) For now, Russia has been content to let TSMC fab it`s designs, whether there exists rationale for JVs including Russian production and development/research sites depends on many factors which dependon info I don`t have access to.

  8. GarryB,

    Indeed I see you last post was lost on the board, but has come to my post account. Sorry, I donno why it happens, but have change the password already. So I put you text here now:

    You are quite right about me being a bit naieve and optimistic... I refuse to apologise for it :)

    If Russia wants to move forward and progress it needs a positive attitude too.

    Don't sit and whine about problems and issues holding you back, find the problems and deal with them and think about what you can do if you work together.

    There are people who do and people who criticise. The people that criticise never do anything wrong because they never do anything.

    I think the point of the Silicon Valley program is to start from a clean slate areas that need attention. Electronics is one thing... you listed lots of impressive stuff like S-400 and S-500, but when the digital controller chips being used in systems are Texas Instruments chips there is something fundamentally wrong.

    By making their own hardware the Russians can ensure there are no trojan horses in their systems plus they reduce the amount of Russian defence dollars heading overseas.

    Read this article:

    As he points out he is sceptical because Russia has not done this before. Before Yuri took that flight no one had flown into orbit either.

    The Silicon Valley is about more than just controller chips it has 5 main focus areas of development. IT, Space, Bio, Nuclear, and Energy.
    These are basic technology areas and can be used by existing industry to fill current gaps in technology.
    Think of an aircraft designer like Mig... they have their own wind tunnels of course but the IT sector could develop a super computer design for all the major design companies to greatly speed up design and model testing... with a wind tunnel they could test a few dozen models. With a super computer they could test thousands of design shapes.
    The point is that this is not just silicon valley, it is a technology centre that commercialises ideas and cooperates with Russian and international companies.
    This silicon valley will not replace space and aerospace companies in Russia it will support them with Russian based tech.

  9. second part of GarryB post:

    Russian industry might be in a shambles... which is perfectly understandible... western industries are in a poor state too with much manufacturing work outsourced to China or Mexico.

    The fact is if they do nothing then nothing will change.

    You need to have a strong economy and good industry if you want to join the WTO and not have all your companies and businesses crushed by powerful international companies.

    The Russian Silicon valley will not be a silicon valley. Silicon valley is what happened largely by accident in the US. If they US government had planned it it would have failed because Americans simply don't work that way.
    Russians however do, so I think if it can succeed anywhere it is in Russia.

    BTW my friend to poor/pore money is to pour money into the industry... and putting it into a centre that will help existing companies and new companies being created is an efficient way to use money. Giving money to Mig so they can buy more computers helps Mig... but they will buy foreign computers because of their performance. Giving money to the Skolkovo IT centre could lead to new technology in computer design that might benefit all Russian companies... new and existing.

    I agree that closer relations with countries like South Korea and Singapore make a lot of sense... especially if it can be made two way trade where you get them to produce electronic components and you sell them something in return.

    A lot of generic components that are widely used like Texas Instruments chips in new Russian Active radar homing air to air and surface to air missiles could be produced in Russia... either under licence or of domestic design.

    I agree Russia doesn't need to spend trillions to be on the bleeding edge of technology, but in some areas where high tech offers potential for low cost high performance systems like QWIP technology then it is money well invested.

    Posted by GarryB to Defunct Humanity at June 25, 2011 3:27 AM

    IgorDjadan PS: may be it happens because your post was too long? Only 4096 characters are allowed for each post.

  10. to GarryB:

    Regarding your reference I agree with Vivek Vadhwa scepticism about Russian new 'Silicon valley' prospects. You sure will smile if I say you that I wrote a critical article about Skolkovo project and it was published in one Russian online newspaper ( ) only a day after V.Vadhwa article in BW (indeed I have not read him then). Unfortunately it was he who was invited to Global Policy Forum in Yaroslavl, not me ha-ha-ha...

    Although my arguments are mostly political and different from Vadhwa, now I can agree with him that 'pointed' development does not give the answer for Russia's tech-economical problems. This country needs a solution when ALL its people or at least the most will have benefited from the reforms. Skolkovo - is a step in otherwise direction, for more elitist development when the very little decide who will have the preference. What they want it's to keep the preferences of the current ruling class for their children, by building places for them like Skolkovo. But the people want more opportunity for everyone, but they (the top class) dont want to allow it in practice. And the president I think just go after his milieu. Thus I am very pessimistic about results of Skolkovo prospect, however I m rathe 'optimistic' about the 'results' for those lucky men, who rope it ha-ha -ha...

  11. GarryB has left a new comment on your post "New UAC chief interview":

    @Igor I don't think the length of my posts is the problem... I have been writing long posts for a while and when I try to post them I get an error warning that the post is too long... so I post half and then the second half as a separate post.
    These posts that were rejected post as normal like short posts and it displays the post at the bottom of the thread with the comment that it is subject to being approved/censorship/whatever, and then the next time I log in to look at the blog it is not there... :(

    The fact that they invited this guy to talk and actually listened to him tells me they want this to succeed for Russia, and not just for it to be an old boys club of free money falling from the skies from government to their pockets.

    The truth of the matter most cities around the world have their "tech centres" that got so far and then stopped. Mostly they stop because the politicians lose interest when it starts costing lots of money and without the investment of money it stagnates and fails.

    Personally I hope such centres are supported around Russia with Skolkovo as a hub that communicates and feeds other centres all over Russia and that the focus is to take new ideas and innovation from the academic structures and give them a place where investment and business knowhow can turn ideas into real products that earn income.
    If they were only listening to yes men I would say they will fail too, but they are listening to nay sayers too... not the sky is falling Russia is evil nay sayers, but nay sayers like you Igor and PAKFAN who want Russia to succeed and are just sceptical at the moment.

    Posted by GarryB to Defunct Humanity at June 27, 2011 3:18 AM

  12. to GarryB:

    yes, I see the problem with you post is quit different, I'll ask the admins about that. Try keep posting however, with sending mail to me at undissolved_at_gmail_dot_com in parallel. I will put your posts in right thread anyway.

    GarryB, the most active people in Russia want more political dynamics and more open public discussion between two mainly candidates on next presidency. Now it's not happen and I see as good to remember for Putin and Medvedev about this needs. Without more dynamical political life it's too hard to expect economical progress since competition need not only for workers but also for highest managers. I remain optimistic however about prospects of Russia as a whole, due to people like Pogosyan.

  13. Igor , quite a nice and long interview.

    From the interview it is clear that the stress in the next 15 years will be on Civilian Aircraft development which the military aircraft development takes a back seat.

    They want to gain a foot hold in Global Civil Market which accounts for 70 % of all aircraft developed as he says it.

    Pogosyan also emphasis on the safety aspect of Superjet which he says is higher then 787 dream liner besides being 10 % more fuel efficient compared to its peers.

    On PAK-FA he stress that India will be equal partner and will contribute to its development and similar words for MTA

    I think the next 15 years will see the development of 3 aircraft form UAC

    Superjet 100 SSJ Business Jet and SSJ 130
    MS-21 Single Aisle Aircraft in MS-21-300 and 400 version
    New Wide Body Medium Range Aircraft.

    The idea is to capture 10 % of Global civil market by 2025 with these 3 types.

    It will be very competitive but UAC will grow better with competion

  14. Besides indigenous programs, is there any plans for participation in Western programs, either airframe/components or engines? That would be a diversion of resources to some extent, but that actually addresses the problems with funding redundant domestic design/production resources. SaM has not been an amazing story to date, but mistakes offer the best opportunity to learn. It seems like Western engine and sub-system houses have become more familiar with Russian capabilities between JVs and consultation on the latest Russian programs, and so could accept certain involvement in programs.

  15. TsAGI Lab is used as a research center for joint European program for prospective engine. They said make good progress.

  16. Igor and GarryB,

    Has the West stolen a march over Russia in Beyond Visual Range combat by virtue of developing better AESA radars ?

    The feeling here in India among defense analysts is that India will opt for the Eurofighter primarly because it will help India in a BVR combat with China and also Pakistan . China has more SU 30s than India has and so can easily overwhelm our SU 30s and Pakistani F 16s have AESA radars that will give them an egde in BVR conflict.

    - Sujoy

  17. For some unknown (I guess technical) reasons the posts of GarryB are desappearing sometimes, so I put his answer, that came to me via e-mail:

    Hi Igor,

    I posted a message to this thread “New UAC chief interview” dated “Wednesday, June 22, 2011” but it seems to have disappeared, so here is a replacement post… if you would be so kind as to post it for me.

    The development of equipment and systems goes in cycles and something that shows this best is air to air doctrine.
    Check NATO doctrine during the 1980s and it was all about dog fighting maneuver capability… turn rates wvr missiles etc.
    Then they got access to early model Mig-29s with helmet mounted sights and high off boresight AAMs (R-73) and all of a sudden they realised they were dead in dogfights because even if you launch your weapon first as long as the other guy launches his weapon before your weapon hits him there is a chance you will be taking a parachute ride to the ground and in all likelihood because he just has to look at you to get a lock he is probably going to be the one shooting first. I don’t mean in Iraq or Kosovo, I mean in a NATO vs Warsaw Pact fight where NATO simply doesn’t have the ammo or the aircraft numbers to seriously degrade the enemy air defence network to any significant level before air combat begins.
    Trading planes for planes would have been lethal for NATO in hours if not days so they were forced to radically change their focus to BVR combat which was a huge economic and political boost to AMRAAM. In comparison ASRAAM took decades to develop because the focus was BVR first and then match the Soviets/Russians with helmet mounted sights and high off boresight missiles like AIM-9X and IRS-T and ASRAAM etc.
    You ask about AESA radars giving the west the edge, well first of all the US has experience with AESA while the rest of the west seems to me to be bordering on parity in terms of fighter aircraft radar with AESA with a clear advantage to Russia in experience with PESA radars.
    In a fully functioning air defence network you don’t win because you have the best radar, stealth aircraft are a real problem but LO aircraft can be detected by a powerful radar. The radar set being fitted to Su-30MKIs at the moment is a very powerful radar that in many ways is as good in performance terms as most AESA radars. A very good PESA has most of the advantages of AESA like electronic scanning and thin accurate beams with hard to detect sidelobes (which ARMS home in on). The thing is that the Russians have continued and expanded their sensor set to include longer wave L band AESA radars in wing leading edges and they have continued to develop IRST sensors too, which in combination with long range radar and IR guided missiles seem to me to keep them in a good position until further developed systems come on line like AESA X band radars etc.

  18. PART 2

    India probably has more R-77s in service than Russia does, but the new missiles being developed for the PAK FA will likely be used by all their new and upgraded aircraft and most likely made available to countries like India first.
    Eurofighter is a plane made by several countries any one of which could decide to impose sanctions on India… how are your Sea Kings going at the moment?
    For the cost and delay of the MMRCA program India could have spent 2 billion and bought 100 Mig-29s upgraded to the same standard as their current force of 63 Migs and to bring their systems and technology into line with the Indian Navies Mig-29Ks and then spent the remaining 8 billion on joint ventures with Russia to develop AESA radars and long range scramjet powered models of the R-77 and other bits and pieces they wanted.
    I am certainly biased of course, but diversity is normally a means to avoid being left in the lurch if someone suddenly imposes sanctions and cuts you off so it really doesn’t apply to Russia because they have a clear track record of not doing that.
    Russia has clearly made its intentions of moving to high tech and upgrading its military… a joint venture with India… even if it included another country like South Korea to make the best AESA transmit and receive modules that are the smallest and most efficient and relatively cheap… well work it out for yourself. A single fighter would use between 1,000 and 2,000 modules. One of those huge radars for the S-400 system would use 10,000 to 20,000 modules each. All those smaller SAM systems and all those Ship based AESA radars the demand for modules will be in the trillions and joint development with India might have created module production work for Indian companies… even just for the Indian market making your own AESA antenna arrays.

    I can understand you wanting to simply buy technology… it is often simpler and to a degree cheaper, but you don’t really own it till you make it yourself, with joint ventures you learn as much from your mistakes and you do from your successes. Indian engineers, Russian engineers, and South Korean engineers are not fools and it is during that development phase that new and even better solutions to problems can be tried and tested.
    China might have more Su-30s but they are not the same aircraft as the Su-30MKI. If China wants to move all its Su-30s into one area to create local numerical superiority… well that is where you use tactics like have your aircraft retreat over a SAM trap… Su-30s that are hunting Su-30MKIs are hardly likely to be armed for air to ground combat and radar and radio silent SAMs could be a big surprise when they light up and start firing. The fact of the matter is that the aggressor gets several advantages because they initiate things. They should always get local superiority in numbers unless they are incompetent and they should also get the choice of where and when combat starts. The defender has to deal with that with tactics.

    Without a decent BVR AAM a fighter with an AESA has limited advantages unless it is a stealth aircraft. AWACs supported fighters should know where F-16s are at all times so their ability to sneak around with LPI radar modes is very limited.

    Very simply a Flanker can get target data about the F-16 and accelerate to high speed and climb to altitude and fire off 3-4 missiles and then turn away and increase the distance between the two… if the missiles get a kill… then great, if they don’t that is OK too because the Flanker still has lots of fuel and missiles and can try it again. The F-16 on the other hand is dealing with missiles and is burning fuel. If it then tries to accelerate and climb to give its BVR missiles max reach it will likely burn up too much fuel. It can’t fly as fast or as high as the Flanker so the boost in range it gives to its missiles is not so good.


  19. GarryB,

    I agree with a couple of your observations , however I beg to differ on a few other observations.

    Under what circumstances the Govt.Of India is about to purchase the Eurofighter , an aircraft that has no proven ground attack capability is something that the Govt.only knows. Media here says it is coz of the Eurofighters BVR capability. Infact I would have hoped that India purchases at least 2 squadrons of the SU 35s as it has all the salient features of the SU 30 MKI plus it's RCS is reportedly 1/10th of the SU 30 MKI.

    Some politicians here have stated that India was forced to purchase from Europe / US coz there were in-ordinate delay in the supply of spare parts from Russia which forced India to turn towards a few shady suppliers from Poland & other Warsaw Pact countries who supplied inferior spare parts for Soviet aircrafts like MIG 21 that caused a number of these to crash.

    I am not sure if South Korea will be the ideal partner for the development of AESA radars as the US can easily arm twist South Korea.However, with the easy availability of Gallium nitride- (GaN-) coupled with COTS I hope Russia will be able to produce state of the art AESA in the lines of the APG 77 .

    Regarding China we Indians are hoplessly outnumbered . China has 2500 fighter aircrafts ( I understand some are obselete) compared to our 600 fighter aircrafts. Also the SAM trap will work better for China as it has established a multi layered , over lapping SAM network . A Chinese HQ 19 ( S 400 ) missile travelling at Mach 10 can very easily shoot down any of our fighters that flies at Mach 1.5.



  20. So it is pretty clear that India needs to take spare parts and support contracts as seriously as it takes the big ticket item purchases.
    It seems India is keen to spend 10 billion on new "extra" fighters that need to be of a new and diverse type yet they wait till they need them before talking about spares support for the equipment they operate... not a good way to run a military.
    Obviously it is not only Indias fault and I am not suggesting it is, but you buy lots of toys for Christmas but forget to buy batteries for any of them and come Christmas morning your kids suddenly have all the toys they wanted but no batteries included and no shops open till December 27th... of course there will be tantrums.
    The thing is that if you bought 100 Mig-29s upgraded to the level of the 62-63 you already have then it would be easier to justify a spares, service and support centre in India that could maintain and support Indias Migs plus Indian Navy Migs and of course other Mig users in the region.

    Buying a large pool of spare parts when you purchase the products initially and maintaining that spare parts pool is also important too.

    Regarding RCS the Eurofighter is NOT a stealth aircraft. Even if it had measures that reduced detection ranges by half the Flanker could still detect it at extended ranges without AWACS support. The Eurofighter has excellent acceleration and climb characteristics but at the end of the day you will always be able to fit bigger radars and bigger engines and more missiles on a Flanker based fighter.
    The Eurofighter is a dead end fighter and will likely never get decent air to ground capability because its users are short of money and are mostly buying F-35s.
    The Flanker can be continuously upgraded with components (radars engines weapons) India and Russia are developing for the FFGA.
    You are already spending money on the FFGA there is little point in spending more on the same thing.
    Regarding South Korea, the Russians have gotten a lot of their electronic components from the South Koreans and generally have a good relationship with them. South Korea is building a new shipyard in Russia and the Russians are helping the South Koreans with space technology.
    South Korea has already developed a SAM together with Russia that uses AESA radars and that system will be further developed by Russia and likely put into Russian service where it will be called Vityaz. It is based on the small S-400 missiles.
    BTW only one country in the world has S-400 SAM systems and that is Russia.
    As shown by the Serbs in Kosovo a SAM network needs to be mobile and flexible.
    The Arabs have been using similar equipment against the US and Israel for years and their results are completely different because they did not use their equipment properly.
    Regarding being outnumbered... the Chinese vastly outnumbered the Japanese in the 1930s when Japan occupied most of China and Manchuria. The Chinese had an even larger numerical advantage when it decided to attack Vietnam during their border conflict last century.
    BTW a Mach 10 SAM certainly can easily shoot down a mach 1.5 fighter... but a mach 0.5 fighter can turn much harder than a mach 1.5 fighter and with warning from good ESM equipment is in a much better position to evade a very fast missile...

  21. @GarryB

    "Not a good way to run a military" ...ask any one of us and we will tell you that India doesn't need a miracle to survive , it's a miracle that India survives .

    Anyways, contract that India had entered with USSR clearly stated that spare parts would be provided as and when required and the USSR kept it's promise. The problem started after the disintegration of USSR .

    Even today these problems have not been addressed. Last week Medvedev himself expressed his dissapointment with the Russian Military Industrial Complex and stated that the Russian army should procure weapons from overseas.

    I do not understand why Irkut or UAC do not open a production facility here in India , when they can have facilities in Germany.Given the fact that relations with China are deteriorating because of China's desire to dam a major Indian river a small scale war with China can always break out and Pakistan will take full advantage of it .India will have to fend for itself.

    Also, China does have the S 400 , which they call the HQ 19 . It is a watered down version of the S 400 which they stole from Russia. The HQ-19 system uses the same missiles, sensors, battle management and launch vehicles as the Russian S-400 Triumf.

    China produces HQ 19s in such huge number that even the PAK FA won't be able to penetrate such a theatre , given the fact that Russia is not compromising on manoeuvrability for stealth.

  22. igor-if india opts for eurofighter than it woudl only be because the liar british people woudlhave armtwisted indians and bribed idnian through Be system tio buy rotten british input product-just like previous british craps that india got for poloitical reason. besides uneellcted prime misnter of india manmoahns ingh is a british and american agent for last 30 years-he is out there to sell idnia to usa -so what do you expect from indian?my country india is doomed and russia msut not trusty indians now

  23. @Sujoy
    The problem is that the USSR was hemorrhaging money to support friendly states in non viable agreements that probably cost them rather more money than it earned them.
    During the cold war it was all about ideology, which is what bankrupted the USSR then and the US continuing to act like it is the cold war spending big on military and using funds to buy votes is now bankrupting the US.
    New agreements need to be put in place and they need to be rather more realistic.
    Russia no longer has a political system or ideology to push and can’t afford to have that sort of relationship any more… with anyone.

    Medvedev is not looking into the real problem of the Russian MIC.
    The real problem is that they (MIC) are still thinking in socialist terms... which I think is a good thing.
    Big business with morals rather than a profit focus.
    The US has already been through it where towns that are “one company” towns suddenly disappear or become ghost towns when the factories close because the factory was supporting the local economy.
    Russian factories do even more in their little factory towns or even big factory cities... they often pay for a lot of things in the area including education and healthcare that central government drops the ball on.
    Shock horror... when supporting a whole town because most of the people living there work for you is expensive and there is no way such a company after 20 years of desperate struggle with no or few orders and sales can suddenly be competitive with international conglomerates that locate their factories where cheap third world labour is plentiful and no labour rights means minimal costs and you can work them 24/7 because in those places union is a dirty word.
    Russia is going high tech and high tech is expensive.
    The irony is that Russia is considered a corrupt nation by most in the west yet it is the high tech area where corruption really finds its home.
    You can't skim much money from a $300 AK sale… maybe $50-60, but with a $1,500 AR you can make a fortune... $300-400 per rifle, so it is only likely to get worse rather than better.
    For India... who else is prepared to share their 5th gen fighter technology?

    Regarding Russian production factories in India... AFAIK India wants to make its own stuff on its own. Even the MRCA aircraft program will see 16-18 aircraft built by the winner and the rest of the 108-110 odd aircraft are to be assembled in India by an Indian company.

    How did China steal an S-400? China doesn't even make a decent S-300 and yet it can make S-400s now? Wonder why Iran was so upset about Russia cancelling its sale of S-300s when China can make them so easily. Why would it even buy Russian weapons in the first place when China should be able to make them cheaper?

    China can't even make RD-33 engines with the gearboxes shifted (ie RD-98s).

  24. Hi GarryB,

    I agree with your assessment . I will however, add a few sentences of my own.

    Russia should not try to compete with the US right now , because the USSR lost the Cold War not because they were lagging behind US militarily but they were lagging behind US economically . The US economy was twice the size of the USSR. What Russia should do therefore is buy it's time , just like what China did in the 80s and 90s. Russia has one unique advantage . Employment is rampant in Europe and there is a shortage of skilled labor in Russia in hi tech areas. I am no expert on immigration , but Russia can get hold of skilled labor from Europe. Just to give you an example Russia is importing the Pods for the SU 35s from Thales. These can be manufactured locally in Russia if high skilled European labors are available.

    Corruption is rampant here in India as well . India is more corrupt than Russia . The US has realized this and is taking full advantage of this with a little arm twisting and the rest with the gift of the gab. Russia CANNOT afford to loose the Indian defense market,and to this effect it has to invest in India just like US and European companies who are tying up with Pvt.Cos in India. Infact EADS is rebuilding cockpits of Russian aircrafts in Bangalore.

    India lacks the ability to produce fighter aircrafts . The LCA project is a failure. Even if the 110 MMRCA aircrafts are produced in India,just like Mig 29s and SU 30 MKIs are India won't be able to produce a decent Fighter in the near future.This is where Russia comes in . By setting up an export oriented plant in India it will help Indians develop skills as well as cater to the markets in SE Asia who are now being solicited by China.

    China has mastered the art of stealing technologies. How did they obtain a prototype of the SU 33 and convert it into the J 15 ? They paid an Ukranian pilot to fly that aircraft to China.So it is not hard to imagine how they might have stole S 400 from Russia.

    One last thing. Russia should also realize that a number of countries that are purchasing arms from China are doing so because they produce cheap arms , not necessarily the best arms. It is this market that Russia needs to capture. Indians can help Russians because we can produce goods in huge volume at very competitive rates obviously because India has a far larger labour force than Russia.



  25. @Sujoy
    I very much agree that Russias focus should not be to fight the US or NATO, their focus should be to find new business partners around the world and simply do business where it benefits both parties.
    Russia no longer has an ideology to spread... let the west impose political systems and fight wars, if a country doesn't want to fight for its own political change it is not Russias position to do it for them.

    The Russian focus should be to take advantage of the fact it is no longer under serious political and economic sanction and to buy new technologies and start developing its own technologies too.

    It needs a technology focus, but it also needs to change and generate income through that technology so they need to learn how to promote small businesses to take new tech and make it into a product that can be sold. They need a link between the intellectual structures and the checkout counter that includes support for proper investment and development and mass production.

    This technology can spill over into their military but the big market is consumer items. China has the cheap end of that market covered, Russia needs to aim for the "high quality" value for money end of the market.

    Russias nukes are sufficient to deter NATO or the US, but a smaller, mobile, high tech, efficient military is something they really need to ensure stability and security of the largest country in the world.
    Their new frigates have the fire power of Soviet destroyers... new technology means their new forces can be several times more capable than their old coldwar stuff.

    Russia should not import foreign engineers, they should train and create their own and simply buy or steal the technology they need... just like any other western country does.

    Regarding EADS doing work on Russian aircraft in India... I think you will find that EADS is a shareholder in a Russian aircraft company... I think it might be Sukhoi off the top of my head.

    India wants diversity... they made it clear when they rejected the Mig-35 which passed all the tests. How much will Russia invest in such an environment. They are happy to work with India on joint ventures but why risk setting up something on their own that India might reject at a time when they need to invest in their own economy too.

    End Part 1



  26. Part II
    The Chinese have a reputation of copying... which is really quite funny because no body designs anything completely from scratch... the wheels on all american aircraft are round and their engines all suck air in and then blow it out the rear.
    It is one thing to copy the design of a rifle, it is another to copy the design of very modern items that require very high tech materials and where production quality is critical to the final item.
    The Chinese had Su-27s in production. An Su-33 is an Su-27 with folding bits, a tailhook, and canard foreplanes, and strengthened undercarriage. Even an Su-27SM is much higher tech and the Su-30MKK is way better except in terms of operating from a carrier.

    S-400 is a generation ahead of the S-300 which they still can't copy properly despite trying really hard.

    Your last point raises a huge issue.

    Russia lost most of eastern europe as a market simply because they are now NATO oriented and are politically not interested in Russian military equipment. Most of the remaining market the Russians held was made up of poor countries looking for a hand out that had been rejected by the west or in conflict with the west, or were BRIC type countries that didn't really want to be part of that east west crap of the cold war if they could help it.
    The problem is that as Russia goes high tech it is also going more expensive, which most of its former clients can't really afford. Potential new clients still see Russia as the bad guy in the last "conflict" and anyway the ones that have the money to spend on the higher tech stuff are part of the west or vulnerable to western intervention if they appear to turn. Look at Libya.
    Russia has plenty of old stock in service... with an upgrade you could get 70% performance compared to high tech for maybe 30% the cost for the less wealthy clients.
    The real issue is to lure some of the richer countries away from the west and places like central and south america where America considers is its back yard and it has been neglecting its back yard...


  27. Hello Igor ,

    Did you ever get a chance to take a look at Carlo Kopp's website ? He is giving elaborate description of Russian Weapons especially PAK FA . This is giving succor to our enemies ( China and Pakistan).


    Anil Kumar

  28. Here is Carlo Kopps's link , about PAK FA


    Anil Kumar

  29. Carlo Kopp is Australian and is only working from publicly available information and his own technical knowledge. His conclusions and assessments all have the same goal... to convince the Australian government that there are only two things that will save Australia from the Asian hordes bent on invading Australia... a super upgraded F-111, and more and more now a large purchase of F-22s.
    He has a rather low opinion of the F-35 compared with Flankers let alone Pak Fas.

    I personally enjoy reading his articles as the technical information is very good, the problem is that his conclusions are biased away from F-35s and towards F-22s.

  30. Hi GarryB,

    What is of concern to me is that Carlo Kopp makes all these information available at one place , so Pakistan /China will not have to do much work to get some vivid insights about our SU 30 MKIs.

    I agree with your assessment of F 35s . I recon that the F 35 is sporting a Direct Energy Weapon. This weapon will fire a laser at incoming missiles ( Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground). I believe therefore that the Flankers will be outmatched by the F 35.


    Anil Kumar

  31. Lasers are incredibly inefficient weapons right now and are barely even considered for ships let alone planes.
    Lets just say that if a laser could be fitted to an aircraft the size of the F-35 and was able to actually shoot down missiles, as opposed to DIRCMS like MANTA that just dazzle optical and IR guided missiles then you have to wonder what the US Navy is doing wasting its time with SEA RAM and Phalanx. A ship has a lot more space and a lot more available power to support laser defence systems yet they don't seem to be working on them... because they are incredibly inefficient in terms of energy use.
    At great distances lasers are not really good at destroying things because laser beams diverge over distance. The lasers they point at the moon to determine its distance are kilometres across when they hit the moon and you need an enormous array to detect the few hundred photons that return from custom designed reflectors placed on the moon specifically for the purpose.

    Carlos has no access to anything that is classified, most of his guesses and assumptions are just that, and could be made by any real professional in the business.
    The only effect he really has is making the information available for amatuers like us that can be used as ammunition in out little Russiastrong or USAstrong ot Pakistrong or Indiastrong battles playing out all over the internet. It has gotten to the point where I don't read comments on Youtube anymore.

    Also I would say that only US F-35s would be fitted with any laser defence system if it exists and if it really works.

    Equally the level of laser technology in Russia suggests to me that if the US comes up with a system the Russians will examine all they can find out about it and make a better one in a fairly short period of time.

    It is one thing using ABL to shoot at ICBMs... ICBMs are pressurised thin metal shells containing a huge amount of explosive material. To destroy an ICBM you could cup a ball point pen in your hand and punch it through the side... the fuel blasting out will trail back to the enormous flame out the back of the missile and what happened to Challenger will happen to that ICBM.
    Remember the nose of an AAM is already designed to absorb heat as it travels so fast through the air it is heated by friction to well over 300 degrees C at mach 2.5.
    Ablative screens and light filters... even clear glass with a coloured liquid inside would stop a laser beam because the beam would pass through the glass but not the liquid so all the energy of the laser would be used up boiling the liquid.
    We read a lot about things like HAARP and laser air defence weapons in development yet 122mm calibre rockets still fall on Israel.

  32. Igor and GarryB,

    Why are Russian aircrafts inferior to US aircrafts?

    On the eve of the MAKS air show next week,Russian Air Force chief Gen Alexander Zelin said that the SU 35S is inferior to F 18 Super Hornet and F 15 Strike Eagle .



  33. He actually said the ESM suite of the Su-35S is not up to US standards.
    In other regards the Su-35S is far better than either US aircraft and is a serious threat to F-35.

  34. A better question to ask is why is the Su-35S so good compared to US fighters when the US spends 100 to 1,000 times more on defence every year than Russia has in the last 20 years combined.

  35. GarryB,

    But without a great ESM suite how will the SU35s take on the F 35. In hostile airspace an ESM suite is the best guarantor of survival. The F 35 already has the state of the art DASS ESM suite.

    So if the SU 35S does not have a great ESM suite,it has already lost half the battle.This is inspite of the fact that the Su 35s is the most comprehensive redesign of the T-10 Flanker series of fighters .



  36. 20 years without buying a single new aircraft means the only planes Russia has made for the last two decades were for export... that is hardly going to promote top quality ESM suite development.
    Zelin said the ESM suite was not up to US standard, he didn't say it was useless.
    The F-35 is not in service and nor is the Su-35.
    The F-14A entered service with all sorts of problems... a new engine and a few electronic upgrades and it was a pretty good final product.
    What I am saying is that all aircraft have weaknesses and over time during their period in service lots of changes can be applied to the design to help solve those problems or minimise the effects of those problems.

    For an export customer the solution could be as simple as putting an Israeli system in instead of Russian one.
    Not an option for the Russians who will perservere and work on using new technology to make it better.

    For the F-35 I don't know what they can do to solve the problems of lack of weapon payload in stealth configuration and a lack of range and speed... these are much more difficult problems to deal with.

    Worst case they could simply transplant the system they are working on for the T-50 to the Russian Su-35Ss and for export they can offer French or Israeli options depending on who the customer is.

  37. GarryB,

    Two things in this regard

    IMHO , Russia should not go for French / European or Israeli avionics as there is every possibility of a Trojan been hidden.I understand that the Su 35s has a French Thales Damocles targeting pod. In joint exercises in the US , French aircrafts have tailed Indian Sukhois to eavesdrop on them.

    Second , RAND conducted simulations ( shortly after Cope India)where SU 30 MKI were pitted against F 22 and F 35 . The results as per RAND were that for every one F22 lost 10 SU 30 MKIs were shot down and for every one F 35 lost 5 SU 30MKIs were shot down.So the US is comfortable with the range, speed and armaments of the F 35.



  38. You misunderstand, I meant French or Israeli systems for export Flankers, not Russian use.
    Russia will just have to look at newer hardware and smarter software... no one will share this sort of stuff to a standard that is better than what the Russians can already do... it is just a question of spending some money and buying new hardware and developing it themselves.

    A new self defence suite with new antennas and equipment for the entire Russian fleet of aircraft is needed and worth spending money on.

    Regarding the RAND simulations, the very first Flanker prototype was designed to have an x level of edge over the F-15 and during simulations proved to have that edge... till they created the prototype and found that rather than an edge in favour of the Flanker, it was actually an edge in favour of the F-15 because the estimates for the F-15 were wrong.
    The Flanker design was completely redesigned to redress the balance.

    If it was possible to determine the results of war with a simulation then the Iraq conflict would have lasted weeks rather than years... a simulation will only simulate an enemy that will act and operate the way YOU expect.
    In the real world that almost never happens.

    At the start of WWII the US was happy to go up against Japanese fighters because Japanese fighters were made if rice paper and couldn't be flown in the rain...

  39. BTW I see that the Russians are going to reveal an export model of the R-37 AAM.

    Now how many aircraft would it make sense to carry such a weapon...

    My guess is that Mig-35, upgraded Mig-29s perhaps, Flankers almost certainly could carry this 300km range weapon.

    Of course it is the export model so it might have a range of 200km or 250km, but I would think that for India they might sell the latter if it is wanted.

    An ideal anti AWACS missile because an emitting AWACS platform can be detected from very long range so missiles could be fired without being able to scan the target with the aircraft's radar. The first long range test of the original R-37 used an Su-30M to track the target and pass target data to the Mig-31M launch platform because the Mig didn't have the ZASLON-M radar fitted at the time. Missile flight distance was 300km to the target.
    The R-37M has a range of 400km and uses a solid rocket booster stage.
    Both it and the KS-172 were designed for the 400km range requirement to shoot down AWACS and JSTARS type platforms, as well as large troop carrying aircraft.

  40. GarryB,

    Shortly after the Kargil Conflict India ordered 2000 R 77 (RVV-AE) BVR missiles from Russia. However, in Indian conditions these missiles developed " Homing In "problems. Subsequently Russian engineers had to come down to rectify the problem.So , R 37 AAM will have to be test fired in India , if India intends to purchase them.

    In the meantime India is augumenting the capability of the Astra BVR missile that has a maximum range of 80 km in head-on chase and 20 km in tail chase. This will be fitted in the SU 30 MKI once Project Super 30 is completed , under which Russia is replacing the PESA radar with the AESA radar.

    More importantly India needs to collaborate with Russia to develop a 9K720 Iskander type missile that can perform evasive maneuvers in the terminal phase of flight and release decoys in order to penetrate missile defense systems. This will hold India in good stead , since China has a far better , dense , overlapping SAM systems in place than India and also the number of artillery units they have is 3 times more than that of India.

    What I see these days is US / European Companies are actively marketing their products in India and also setting up JVs with India Cos. Russia cannot afford to fall behind , it has to aggressively pursue a marketing plan in India and be more pro active in selling weapons rather than be re active .



  41. Contd...

    BTW if my memory serves me right I think Take Off Magazine editor Andrey Fomin had mentioned that a "modularized" version of the R 37 AAM will be fitted in the PAK FA . So India will get this missile anyway.

    Therefore , I think it makes sense for India to equip the SU 30 MKI with the Novator K 100 , since India is a party to the development of this missile .

    The only concern that I have is that India's extreme ( hot and humid )climate (that has few parallels in the world) might cause problems with the functioning of these missiles.



  42. Surely India tests everything it buys.

    India has some unique conditions and new systems need to be proven first and that always requires modifications and tweeks to the design.

    BTW Iskander already performs evasive manouvers and can carry jammer and decoy packs as well as its payload.

    India has clearly shown it wants diversity, and Russia should respect its wishes and not try to sell every aircraft and every weapon it can to them. If India shows an interest, then by all means give them the info they need to make a decision.
    Russia needs to supply India with what it wants, but it also needs to diversify its markets too.

    The R-37 will likely be part of the weapons options for the PAK FA, but whether India chooses it or to develop the KS-172 is up to them.
    The R-37 is supposed to be compatible with all the new Russian aircraft from Su-35, Mig-35, through PAK FA.

    Problems with new systems can be identified and solved... whether it is a missile or a plane or a tank or whatever.

  43. GarryB,

    Probably I did not describe properly in my previous post . I understand Iskander performs evasive manouvers . I want India to either purchase this missile from Russia as Belarus is or go in for a JV .

    The only reason why India wants to diversify it's purchases is because getting spare parts from Russia has been an big issue. It is only recently that President Medvedev has personally taken it upon himself to ensure regular supply of spare parts to India .

    Correct me if I am wrong but KS 172 is the export name for Novator K 100. The Indian media uses the terms K 100 and KS 172 interchangeably.

    India does not have to worry about enemy AWACS as much as it has to worry about Chinese cruise missiles.Ever since Ukraine exported the KH 55 cruise missile to China , China has reverse engineered the same to come up with the DH 10 cruise missile . With this missile China can safely target most of Eastern and Northern India from deep inside China.

    An Iskander type missile will therefore give India some sort of an edge against Chinese cruise missiles.

  44. A joint venture to do what?
    The joint venture with Yakhont to produce Brahmos was justified because Yakhont was an anti ship missile, while India wanted a multi role missile that could engage sea and land targets, hense Brahmos has land attack capabilities too.

    Iskander is a mature operational land based missile that would be quite difficult to improve upon. Range and payload increases are out of the question because of the MTCR agreement, and accuracy is already pretty good.

    Perhaps instead of diversifying away from Russia and spending extra on going it alone that perhaps India should start taking spares and support as seriously as it takes it need to make everything itself. (ie either licence production or local assembly).

    Setting up support centres in India that produces the necessary spare parts for normal operation that could also be used to support Russian equipment used in Asia like perhaps Vietnam etc would be a much better solution than gambling on other sources.

    The best solution to deal with lots of incoming enemy cruise missiles is a layered defence, you don't want big expensive long range missiles for that... ideally you want small cheap missiles like AA-2 and AA-8 that can be used in large numbers.

    Iskander is not a counter to Chinese cruise missiles, Su-30MKIs with 14 AAMs is a counter to cruise missiles.
    Iskander would be what you use to start taking apart Chinese S-300 sites and air defences... once they are degraded then cheaper slower cruise missiles and UCAVs and aircraft can start to deal with ground forces.

  45. An alternative to spares and support centres is simply to buy a lot of spare parts when the products are bought.
    Then manage the spare parts pool so that if it takes 2 years to get spare parts that there is 5 years worth of parts in the pool.
    Parts are replaced as they leave the pool rather than waiting till the pool is almost exhausted till action to order is begun.
    Bulk purchases is the best way to reduce prices and costs.
    Buying from dodgy companies in Eastern Europe is not a good way to save money.

  46. GarryB,

    That's exactly what I am talking about . UAC/Irkut should set up support centers in India.This will address the problem of spare parts completely,in India and across South East Asia.

    There was no problem related to spare parts during the days of the Soviet Union. However, after the disintegration , some support centres went to Ukraine,Kazakishtan, Estonia and Lithuania. I am not trying to suggest that Indian defense Ministry is above board . It took them almost 2 years to locate these suppliers .

    In 2002 Russia has offered to sell India an entire factory and all the machinery to make spare parts for MiG-21 fighter aircraft, however since the MIG 21 were already upgraded to BIS in Moscow and were already been phased out , this deal fell through.

    I am suggesting that there is no harm for Russia to enter into JVs with Indian Cos to produce weapons , just like the US and Europe. US & European cos.know fully well that they cannot transfer tech to India but that doesn't prevent them to set up JVs in India. The idea should be to capture the market . Why should Russia fall behind.India should not depend too much on the US market for anything and neither should Russia depend too much on China.

    I understand the Russian Styx family of cruise missiles that China has succesfully replicated (C 611 Kraken) cannot be defeated by any defense mechanism. India might follow the Soviet example of deploying a huge number of MIG 30 , Su 30 ,S-300V mobile SAM batteries, and supporting assets but that won't be enough as China has more cruise missiles than any other country except the US. As Russia's leading missile manufacturer, Almaz-Antei said it will take Russia another 4 years to have an effective defense mechanism against cruise missiles. It's not that Russia doesn't have the capability know , but it is not cost-effective .


  47. But who is going to pay for it?
    You and I agree it is a good idea and will solve Indias spares and support problem, but I doubt UAC/Irkut can spend that sort of money on the off chance that India will go with the idea.
    You need a serious investment from India and serious support from India... it needs to be another joint venture, and with most of the spares production contracts from Russian companies India will likely need to put up the funding, though I would suggest that the production plants for spare parts in India would be good for India if you expand it to make all your aviation spare parts.

    When the Soviet Union existed everything was subsidised and spare parts making companies could be sure they would be paid whether the parts went straight on to planes or if they sat in a warehouse for ten years.

    Suddenly the rug was pulled and subcontractors disappeared into different countries that wanted hard US dollars up front.

    Why would the fact that Mig-21s were withdrawn from service in Russia make any difference?

    Did you want to get stuck with a spares making factory for the most widely produced jet fighter on the planet?

    Did you not think that with a few modifications that a plant that could make spares for Mig-21s could also make spare parts for other aircraft and that it would be a good basis for a spares and support centre for all your MIGs and Sukhois?

    Russia needs to break its glass ceiling and start selling to countries who wouldn't normally buy Russian products. It needs to diversify, but it also needs to keep its current customers happy too. What it doesn't need is the hard sell ram stuff down their throats whether they need it or not... nobody likes that guy.

    The Styx missile based Chinese missiles are not super missiles. Surprise cruise missile attacks are normally quite effective against primitive air defence systems (Libya) or in enormous numbers like in Iraq. Modern cruise missiles... the stealthy accurate ones... are actually rather expensive and the US actually ran short on several occasions. An alert enemy however is not so vulnerable to cruise missile attack as some might suspect although there is always a chance they will get through, the potential risk of retaliation generally makes it an all or nothing affair.
    As such nuclear powers rarely try it on because the risk is more than most will dare.

    A massive cruise missile attack by China on anyone will likely lead to international sanctions.
    I am sure the US will jump at any opportunity to crush the Chinese economy and of course Russia will support India in the UN. The Chinese can of course veto any international UNSC resolution, but any country can impose punitive sanctions and the US will likely be the first in line, and its allies close behind and including Russia it will really be more than China will want to risk.
    The next step for India could simply be to recognise the independence of Tibet and Taiwan... meaningless gestures of course, but steps that could snowball as an international protest at Chinas actions that China will very much not want to see.
    No China will not take such risks in my opinion.

    Russia is transferring its air defence components from the PVO as part of the air force to a new force structure called space and air defence because new weapons are gaining speed and height to the point where airspace needs to be monitored above air breathing heights. It will include satellite based air defence radars and monitoring systems... India has the advantage in this regard in that it is near the equator so a geostationary satellite could offer continuous coverage, unlike the higher latitudes of Russia which require a lot more satellites to cover the area 24/7.

    Russia doesn't need the capacity to stop a cruise missile attack, what it needs is the capacity and public willingness to hammer the perpetrator so hard with nukes that they will regret it and never try it again. If that is public enough there is likely to be no attack in the first place.

  48. Hi GarryB,

    India has committed $35 billion to the PAK FA program , I believe that's serious investment , don't you think so ? US has got orders for $6.5 billion and Lockheed, Boeing,Northrop are ready with JVs. BAE has not got any order , yet they have tied up with local Indian Cos.So is Israel.

    A tie up with Indian Cos. will also help Russia address the problem of shortage of skilled labor in Russia. Russian kids win most of the IT competitions held worldwide , yet there is a shortage of skilled labor in Russia. I believe that my observations fully corresponds to the Medvedev doctrine .

    As for US trying to save India by crushing the Chinese economy , it's never going to happen . The US is totally dependent on the Chinese economy . The US has started exactly from where the UK left . The US will only save countries that are predominantly White Anglo Saxon Protestant and that doesn't include India.

    Trade between Russsia & China is worth $60 billion and between Russia & India is less than $10 billion. Also Russia sees itself more as a European nation with strong links to Europe. A Indo China war is in no way going to effect Russia.There are tens of thousands of Europeans in Russia compared to a few hundred Indians.

    India will have to fight the joint forces of China , Pakistan and a few Islamic countries all by itself . And I am afraid the writing is on the wall.


  49. 35 billion is plenty to set aside for a program, but I really don't think the Russians themselves want to solve their lack of skilled labour by making their products in different countries.
    It has not worked for western countries and I don't think it will help Russia to give away work to other countries... even if the labour is cheaper.

    The US is not trying to save anyone but itself. It might help countries in doing that, but that will be beside the point.

    The Japanese invaded much of the Pacific and the US did very little till they were attacked directly at Pearl Harbour. They cared little for the plight of colonial europes Asian colonies.
    If the attack on Pearl Harbour had not happened I am pretty sure the US would have happily sat on the sideline and made money from Lend Lease.

    During the cold war the Russians were seen as the real potential rivals so despite the fact that China was and still is communist they were seen as a power that could be turned against the Russians to the benefit of the US... even though the Chinese are less white than the Russians... the best way to defeat a rival is to get them fighting someone else... China was nothing but offered the potential to be a good new enemy for Russia... despite the US fighting Chinese forces in Korea in the 1950s.
    A good example of this was the D-day landings... they took place in 1944 when the ground war in Europe had been decided already.
    They could easily have done it in 1943 and been in a much stronger position in the post war period at the cost of perhaps a couple of extra million allied casualties, but instead they waited for one side or the other to be ground down... it just happened to be the Germans, but it could just as easily have been the Soviets for all the western allies cared.
    The Soviets got lend lease to make sure they would not collapse and join the Germans instead.

    The Chinese own a lot of US debt and the US would be in trouble if they start demanding repayment. Playing India and Russia and China all against each other is a good way for the west to divide and conquer its perceived rivals... skin colour meaning little in this context.
    Not that the US is colour blind, but anyone that doesn't have a US passport can be tortured and sent to guantanimo without charge or rights...

    India is an important customer for the Russian MIC and Russia also has some border issues with China... Russia will not ignore a Chinese attack on India over borders or dams or oil or islands because it knows if it ignores China this time the next time it might be China doing this to Russia.

    Russia has always supported India vs Pakistan in the past and I really can't see that changing... unless India pushes Russia away.

  50. Igor and GarryB,

    Does it make sense for Russia , US to make expensive stealth aircrafts when in reality Russian and US satellites can very easily spot these aircrafts ? Stealth becomes redundant.



  51. Akhil,
    it's not easy think to provide information for missiiles for aircraft intercept. Who can do it in the world even in the future? Certainly not the country like Libia or Pakistan, who have no enough advanced sattelite group. The biggest countries like Russia, India or China is defended against possibly US attack not due to their anti-aircraft system but due to their nuclear weapon.

  52. Even assuming stealth aircraft could be spotted by satellite that is only half the problem... what are you going to do about it?

    The Germans could see with their own eyes the American and British bombers that dropped bombs on their cities, the Soviets watched the first few U-2 spy plane flights over their territory on their radar but could not do anything about it.

  53. There is no satellite capability for tracking, much less targetting, capacities against high speed jets (we´re talking around Mach 2 for F-22 and PAK-FA). Given Russia´s competences in SAMs, if they felt that satellite tracking+targetting would be capable against such targets, that would probably have been pursued. Targetting airbases is obviously well within means of satellites to provide targetting data.

  54. Hi Igor and GarryB,

    Is Russia taking any precaution to protect itself from the US Prompt Global Strike Programme (PGS) ?

    The exploring boost-glide technologies for the PGS system. In this concept, a hypersonic vehicle would launch aboard a solid rocket booster. The booster would not fly along the same track as a ballistic missile, but would follow a shallow trajectory, reducing the chance that it would be mistaken for a nuclear-armed ballistic missile. The hypersonic vehicle would then glide and maneuver to reach its target.

    Though the US says that it will be used against terrorists hideouts only , there is no guarantee that they will not target other countries .

    Thanks ,


  55. @Sujoy
    The Russians have started the process of combining what was the PVO as part of the Air Force, with the Space Defence forces tasked to defend from threats from space.
    The new force will be called Space and Air Defence forces and will be tasked with monitoring the air and the space above that over the Russia.

    ...and technically two rocket launched hypersonic precision guided weapons are already in service... called TOPOL-M and Yars, and the Russian policy is that any attack on the Russia... conventional or nuclear, will result in a strategic retaliation.

  56. GarryB,

    Thanks . However, TOPOL M and YARS are ICBMS. A launch of an ICBM will immediately trigger the Early Warning Systems of Europe and China .

    I would hope that Russia plans to launch Hypersonic cruise missiles like Brahmos 2 from a stealth platforms like the PAK DA given the fact that the US too is planning to arm the Next Generation Bomber with the X 51 hypersonic cruise missile.

    Your thoughts please ..


  57. Indeed they are ICBMs that can both be mounted on trucks and pretty much fired from anywhere.

    This American system, if it is to have global reach will need to be ICBM sized too.

    The Russian early warning systems are triggered by any foreign object... it doesn't check to see what its range is.

  58. In fact Global strike would need a range of over 5,500km otherwise it is an IRBM and is banned under the INF treaty.
    The treaty covers ballistic and cruise missiles.

  59. Ironically the SS-20 IRBM with a range of 5,000km and a three warhead payload would probably be the ideal basis for such a system... it can be deployed by An-124 and with a range of 5,000km could be strategically pre-positioned... one system in North Africa could cover all of North Africa, while a system in Turkey could cover all the Middle East... a system in South Korea could cover most of Asia.

    The problem is that Russia and China wont accept the global deployment of such systems.

    For more limited deployment the system needs longer range, and that means trading nuclear warheads for conventional warheads through the new START treaty which does not distinguish between conventional and nuclear warheads.

    (Note this is already a factor as strategic bombers are counted based on the number of cruise missiles they carry... though they could carry conventionally armed cruise missiles too).

    BTW Igor
    Have read recently... and I don't remember where, a article that talked about Russian AIP developments for their subs, have you heard anything new?
    I remember it mentioned it was different from hydrogen fuel cells, but it also mentioned development work on improving lithium ion batteries to improve their performance too.

  60. GarryB,

    4 years ago on BRF I discussed the prospectives of lithium-ion batteries for subs way before the first reports about this in Russian press. Obviously they do it.

  61. GaryB,

    Wouldn't it make sense to arm the TU 160 with Hypersonic cruise missiles ?

    Tu-160 represents a remarkable state-of-the-art Fly-By-Wire (FBW) platform with 10,000-km inter-continental range with extensive weapons load estimated on a mission profile of subsonic high altitude cruise, followed by transonic penetration at low altitude on internal fuel alone. Therefore, without the need to fly over its intended targets it can decimate them at will from stand-off distances.


    I recon the Tu 160 will serve India's need better than the Tupolev-22M3/MR .Any chance of the TU 160 being sold / leased to India any time soon ?


  62. Sujoi.
    Tu-160 sell/leasing to India is a philosophical question till serial production is established. Now only repairing is planned.

  63. Igor thanx.

    I am of the opinion that even if India places an order for a limited number of TU 160 say 3-4 ,this will really help start serial production. However, since the Tu 160 is supposed to be replaced by PAK DA , I doubt if serial production will start .


  64. Thanks Igor... this battery improvement is very very useful as the batteries in older subs can be replaced during overhaul and vastly improve their performance for minimal cost.

    Hypersonic cruise missiles will fly high and will be hard to disguise simply because of the IR energy they will be emitting.
    If they can be developed so they can fit internally in the Tu-160 then they make an interesting tactical weapon but I suspect a subsonic 5,000km range cruise missile would be more efficient in terms of bang per buck... remember by the time the Blackjack gets to its launch position the ICBMs and SLBMs will have done their worst so there will be few organised defences to stop the subsonic cruise missiles the Blackjacks and Bears launch.

    I would like to see the PAK DA as an improved, more stealthy Tu-160 that uses dry engine power to supercruise and moderate supersonic speed... say mach 1.6 or so all the way to a 8,000km target and back.

    For most non strategic roles it will more likely fly high than low as at 20,000m there are only a limited number of missiles that will threaten it and they are generally large missiles that are expensive to buy in numbers and of fairly low mobility and therefore easier to spot and deal with with a decent C4IR capability (which I hope the Russians will have by 2025).

  65. GarryB thanx. Hope the PAK DA project is a success though I believe it's success depends to a certain extent on the success of the PAK FA project.


  66. Not sure Tupolev will make too many mistakes with the DA, no matter how Sukhoi goes with the FA.

    The only potential problem is that Tupolev haven't designed many new planes recently and I think the average age of the designers might be getting a little high.

    I am confident they will do a good job in the end however... certainly they got the contract to design the aircraft... so someone trusts them.

  67. GarryB thanx .


    In the past have you written any article in your blog about the PAK DA ?



  68. Actually I also recall that Tupolev also are developing a program called Tank, which will be a HALE UAV and perhaps UCAV. The Sukhoi group will be developing the MALE UAV/UCAV with Mig and a few other partners.
    Now that all these design bureaus are part of one company there might be a lot more cooperation between them, which I think is good.

  69. GarryB thanx. I think it makes perfect sense for Sukhoi to design a UCAV , because in the near future a SU 35 or similar aircraft will have to work in concert with a UCAV. This is exactly what the Europeans are doing with their nEUROn project, where the pilot will have the ability to control squad flight in automatic mode from an advanced fighter like Typhoon, Rafael etc.

  70. Igor and GarryB,

    In order to counter the PAK FA and Russian L Band and VHF Radar the US is now asking Boeing to develop a stealth fighter with Top Mounted Intakes that will join the USAF by 2018.

    Given the fact that the PAK FA will remain in service with Russia , India among others till around 2040 , will the PAK FA be able to detect a stealth aircraft with Top Mounted Intakes.

    - Ramesh Mitra

  71. Top mounted intakes will not make a fighter aircraft more stealthy.

    It will actually limit its manoeuvre capability in that high angle of attack flight profiles will likely stall the engines or at least reduce available thrust by cutting off direct airflow.

    The Tu-22 Blinder had top mounted air intakes... along with top mounted engines.

    The design of the PAK FA has not been perfected yet and will change several times during its service to react to changes made by potential rivals. The sensors it carries will also go through similar changes.


  72. top mounted intakes are most relevant vs. ground/surface radar. they won´t change the RCS vs. other planes flying at similar altitudes (and will be worse if the other plane is flying at higher altitude). i´m not sure how important they are vs. ground radars even, if you consider that the entire engine can be blocked (line of sight) and the intakes themself can be radar-absorbent materials.

    also note that the US is NOT now asking Boeing to develop such a fighter with that profile... that is a Boeing design study. USAF may or may not decide to issue a tender for designs whose performance corresponds to that design, or they may request performance specs that disallow that design approach, e.g. high AoO and turning acceleration performance.

    i´m not surprised that they would be studying that configuration, but i don´t know if it´s any more than that: studying

  73. There was a fighter with intakes directly behind the cockpit the americans designed in the 50s or 60s. It was quite a good aircraft but was considered too radical so they chose a more conventional layout instead.

    As Anon points out, the best feature of engines and intakes on top would be to evade ground based defences, or simply to fly very very high and evade everything... the intakes and engines on top simplify the bottom and enable the designers to make the lower surface with less features that might reflect radar.

    If you wanted to fly around all day at high altitude with an F-22 in supercruise firing long range AAMs then engines and intakes on top probably would have been a better design.

    Of course when the supercruising and stealthy PAK FA and other stealth platforms get into service the AMRAAM becomes a WVR missile and the high and fast flight profile just becomes iffy.

  74. Igor,

    While developing the PAK FA is Sukhoi taking into account the fact that US is replacing the AIM-120 AMRAAM and the AGM-88 HARM with the ramjet incorporated Next Generation Missile . The NGM apparently can be fired from 200 miles away and has adaptable warheads that increase the lethal distance of the weapon, sensors that also serve as fuses for the warhead and reaction jet controls that allow the missile to intercept targets behind the launching platform.


  75. Shantanu,

    Ramjet propulsion makes the range longer, but is nowhere worth for aiming, which becomes the most problem for VLRMs. On such range the missile has too many chances to loss the target, more vulnerable for jamming. So better to engage closer and fire missile on a certainly. Also the ramjet doesn't 'like' high angle of attack, than the maneuverability of the ramjet missile on the end of trajectory must be a problem. It may be enough for targets like an AWACS, but not for a nimble enemy fighters.

  76. Igor,

    I think in order to ensure a hit at great distances adaptable warheads will be used along with state of the art sensors for course correction .

    Won't this ensure a hit even at long distances ?


  77. 200 miles means it will never be used against enemy fighters unless they are transport aircraft size... a 1m sq RCS aircraft would not be detected at that range let alone identified... unless you want to start shooting down Airbuses and Boeings by mistake.

    The longer the range the greater the distance the target will move between the time of missile launch and the actual intercept.

    Adaptive warheads and directional warheads are nothing new... the Soviets fitted their S-300s with them two decades ago.

    Very long range shots will require the launch aircraft to track the target because any change in speed or direction will lead to the missile not intercepting the target.
    All that datalink traffic will alert the target to the attack and it can simply climb and accelerate... a high and fast target is a very hard target to hit.

    The country with the most experience with ramjet powered weapons is Russia... several anti ship missiles, the Kh-31 anti radar and anti ship missile, and the SA-6 all use combined rocket ramjet propulsion. SAMs like the SA-4 also use ramjet propulsion with strap on boosters.

    With a range of 200 miles it would need to be a scramjet powered missile to have any chance of being useful.

  78. Igor,

    On-board antennas and radar systems are a major source of high radar visibility . It is obviously difficult to hide something that is designed to transmit with very high efficiency, so the so-called in-band radar cross section is liable to be significant. The other is that even if this problem is solved satisfactorily, the energy emitted by these systems can normally be readily detected.

    How will the PAK FA overcome this huge problem if it has to face the F22A or in our (India) case enter dense SAM belts inside China ?



  79. Modern ESA radar can use lower power beams with optimised frequencies over a wide frequency band using frequency hopping techniques... it is called low probability intercept or LPI mode.

    It is what the F-22 will also use to disguise its presence.

    A modern system with the sort of computer power the PAK FA will be packing it will be able to mimic the radar signals with a delay using much more energy so that its own radar reflection will be greatly diminished by shaping and materials, but the signal it sends will be interpreted as a real contact but much further away to distract the ground defence forces.