Thursday, September 17, 2009

Indian delegation visited RD-33MK production plant

The Indian military delegation has visited in September, 15 a Russian 'Chernyshev' plant, where RD-33/RD-33MK engines for MiG-29K/MiG-35 are manufactured. The deputy Minister of Defense R.K.Singh and HAL's chief Ashok Nayak headed the delegation, 'Interfax-AVN' news agency reports. Two years ago India and Russia signed agreement for RD-33 ser. 3 engine license  production in India and ToT. Only the first 20-40 aircrafts will be produced with imported of the shelf GE404 engines. The current delays in development fully indigenous 'Kavery' engine for HAL's LCA fighter and the new IAF ambitions for better payload pushes Indian tops for seeking more powerful engine for upgrading LCA. The currently installed GE404 doesn't fulfill the IAF specification and isn't powerful enough for Navy LCA variant. According to the new request they need minimum 90 kN wet thrust for the strengthened LCA airframe and increased load. 

There are only three engines on the market fit this request: the American GE414, British-EU EJ200 and Russian RD-33MK. Between them only GE414 can be installed instead of previously used engine without big airframe rework, but US proved their political unreliability in the past when put embargo on India. Then India seemingly is careful to not repeat its mistake, two other engines have a chance to be chosen as the LCA mark 2 engine solution till 'Kaveri' is ready.

The strong side of RD-33MK engine is its unique in fly reliability: unlike other contenders it works well on any AoA. Thus non AoA limitation is needed. The options for thrust vectoring and the single engine configuration (RD-93) are ready too, - something what EJ200 have no yet. Also, if India chooses RD-33MK, it has a chance to achieve the long wished unification: the LCA fleet will have common engine logistic with MiG-29, MiG-29MK and possibly MiG-35s, while the serial production line for RD-33 class is already under construction in India. After paying ToT money for RD-33 ser. 3 there is no need for paying double sum for RD-33MK.   


  1. Hi Igorr,
    I am rather curious as to how you can put 2+2 together to reach a conclusion.From what you have written above
    " The deputy Minister of Defense R.K.Singh and HAL's chief Ashok Nayak headed the delegation,"

    1) Deputy Minister of defense and HAL's chied have visited the center . Where does it say the possibility of powering LCA with RD-33MK engines?
    2) Have you quoted the report or just made your own assumptions?

  2. 1) Nothing was said by the Indian side publicly. It only stresses the confidential character of this visit.
    2) Of course, I try to do some analytical work, not only translate Russian news.

  3. Hi Igorr,
    Can you post a link too(even if it is in Russian)

  4. to mukunda

  5. to igorr

    what is the total life hours of f414 and ej2000

    and it seems only rd33mk has proven TVC

  6. to anon September 17, 2009 4:02 PM :

    1) They say nothing publicly about f414 and EJ200 total life. May be coz they have nothing to proud. At least I don't know a reliable source for this . RD-33MK has 4000 h and it can be returned into the thrust if need, can be said into 2000 h total life with more than 90 kN thrust.
    2) Yes, the all dimension TVC nozzle can be a nice exclusive bonus especially for NLCA. RD-33MK is a navalized engine, to be mentioned.

  7. to igorr

    did russia give the technology for crystal blades,engine core and hot section of al31 and rd33-3 engines to manufacture in india

    was there TOT for overhaul and repair OF al31 and rd33-3 Engines in india itself rather than sending these engines to russia?

  8. to anon September 17, 2009 5:18 PM:

    For Al-31F it was full ToT including hot section and crystal blades, of course including repair. For RD-33 ser.3 it's still licensing only, but its technology isn't different overall, so no sense for payment twice. About RD-33 repair I can't remember this now, but probably yes.

  9. How long can Russia go on supporting and supplying India with the latest weaponary when the treacherous Indian elites want India to be an american satellite and use Russia only as a procuremnt place of last resort -usually when nobody else is ever going to give india the latest in weapon except Russia?
    we have an uneelctable man who cannot be elcted even as MP and who has been isntalled as PM on india just because he is an old american agent-that manmohan singh would have been killed long time ago fortreachery in any other country but we stupid Indian not only toeltrate such disease as manmohan singh but also try to see some cleverness chanaikya in that traitor.
    how long can Russia trust such people as Indians w3ho cannot safegaurd even their own country?

  10. to igorr

    the top most pic of rd33 engine seems that the frontal compresser blades are black

    is that radar absorbing material or its just shadow?

  11. to anon September 18, 2009 12:01 AM:

    It's shadow after pic's re-exposition. Anyway in no chance they demonstrate a secret radar-absorbing painting while anybody on the exhibition could take a probe for easy.

  12. dont worry my fellow India citizens, Russia will sell anything to you as long as you still have cash to pay, dont worry, haha...

  13. If the ToT was for the whole engine including the hot section, why do you think India hasnt been able to produce single crystal blisks for the kaveri yet?

  14. to anon September 19, 2009 9:19 AM:
    Suppose it yet has enough skill. The transfer isn't something instantenous. It's a process. n this case the agreement was included the process of learning personal, when the Indian workers would manufacturing the engines step by step. In the first stage they have assembled an engine and sent it to Russia for check. Then, they disassembled it and assembled again. THen they have started producing the details. All ToT program for Al-31FP in HAL's Koraput fascility has to finish in 2011 if I remember right.

  15. RD 33 has reached technological obsolescence and is design is not even in league with Al-31, leave alone more modern engines like EJ200. Even RD-33 series 3 still smokes! One can see it in JF-17 videos.

  16. to anon September 20, 2009 10:45 AM:

    RD-33MK doesnt smoke, at least much lesser than EJ200, which is heavy smoker... Saw MiG-35 on MAKS-2009 and must say - it was great! No smoke at all unlike what I saw on EF2k early videos...

    RD-33MK is still 4th gen engine, just like F414 F110 or Al-31F.

  17. The overall pressure ratio for f414 is 30:1 while that for RD-33 is 20:1.

    how does it effect performance?

    Also, how can we believe all statements about Russian equipment, when we are being forced to pay through our nose for the second hand, rusted aircraft carrier.

    Russia is not sticking to the contracts signed and is demanding money like we are just have to print it and hand it over to them. Also, we have heard of regular, repeated failures of Russian systems.

    Even now, Russia wants to buy a French Ship (which means it does not have confidence in its own industry)

    Why are Indians again ripped off?

  18. I think the Gorshkov issue is something very specific, I don't want to deny the fault of the Russian side in this case. If the sides now cannot achieve a new agreement Russia will pay penalty and take Gorshkov back with all MiGs, it's obvious.

    As to the quality of the Russian weapon , it's usually much more reliable then the funky shining toys of much Western vendors. It's a cause why many people including Indians love Russian weapon and buy it I think. And its a cause why this weapon is so hated by all kinda US lickers.

    Why do you ask about a 'pressure ratio' if you don't understand what it is for I wonder? :)

    Russia for now has no a decent project in this class of ships, so it ponders to buy from abroad a naked ship and put there its electronics and weapons. Many countries do the same, including Israel which many respectable countries including India buy many things from without many question about 'wata they're buying American ships blah blah...'.

    At least Russians have money to buy what they urgently need today for blue water capability and do some economy of time, while domestic shipyards can concentrate their efforts on other projects.

  19. Please stick to facts:

    1. Russia wants India to stick to contracts but itself tears it up, whenever it finds it inconvenient. This creates mistrust.

    2. I wanted your answer on "pressure ratio" as I do not know what exactly it measures and how it is useful. Can you explain me/

    3. Regarding reliability of Russian weapons, the IN refused to take delivery of refurbished subs until the CLUB missiles worked properly.T-90's failing in Indian desert conditions. Also, Algeria & Russia, where the MIG 29's were falling from the sky. This along with the Groshkov episode is depleting Russia of it's remaining well-wishers.

    4. Nowhere the Russian Govt said it will pay penalty. Get that commitment from Kremlin& return our money. We will take our money,elsewhere for a better offer.

    Instead it is bullying India by raising the prices, everytime India wants to settle the issue. We can understand problems; but one has to settle this in a spirit of give and take. In this, Russia, being in the wrong, is continually, asking India to Give , Give....

    5. Western weapons score over Russian weapons in accuracy, reliability (MTBF), ease of operation. The only redeeming feature of Russian weapons was ruggedness.

    But with poor after sales service and arrogant attitude, countries are looking elsewhere.

  20. to anon September 22, 2009 10:03 AM:

    1) Dont generalise, it's only one contract with such problems. I can show you a number of contracts between India and US with much more problems and intentionally broke agreements.

    2) Please read tech literature or google. I cannot lecture one about all kinda tech issues by his wish.

    3) All these problems were resolved in one or another way. In avarage such problems with Russian weapons are not more frequent than with US or Israel weapons sold around the world.

    4) At the end India pay to Russian weapon less than to any western contender with comparable characteristics. How much cost for India each M2K upgrade? Almost like brand new Su-30MKI huh...

    5) Are you really think your GoI is totally stupid since it follows buying Russian equipement? This includes aircrafts, radar systems, missiles, tanks, ships etc. I dont think so. I think instead your assertions are wrong but not their.

  21. Igor along with all Indian friends do visit my blog and post your valuable comments regarding rising military might of China vis a vis India.

    Igor you are simply great:)

  22. Igor ignore this anon-he is a troll working for american companies and is an usual indian traitor a coolie that you find in indian middle and elite class so foten. his job is to pimp the american and european goods so that he and his sisters and family can have good vacation in europe! such disgusting are the indian traitors.
    thse traitors are not even grateful to Russia for having given msiot advanced p=lanes of the time in worhtless rupees!
    and they want to buy aircraft carrier for less than 1.5 billions!

  23. Anon @12.38

    Have I used abusive language? I am only trying to verify the truth, from various articles published in India.Are the newspapers traitors to their country?

    If these are falsehoods, it is in Russia's & India's interest to clear this & establish the truth.

    You demean yourself when you do so. What you write about me applies to you only.

    Igor, I do hope that you remove the above blog, out of decency. I only have a different viewpoint that I want to clarify.

    Your President has accepted the mistakes made in the case of aircraft carrier.

    Ask any serving Indian officer regarding sourcing spares and support for existing Russian equipment. They went through the Russian Government approved channels and have faced horror stories. These are being slowly redressed.

    Today, everyone is talking about total ownership cost, a concept that Russia has also accepted. Hence, a high initial cost is offset by low running costs and higher reliability.

    Israel is today the largest supplier to India replacing Russia, due to this.

    There are JV with Israeli & European companies for SAM's, an area where Russian systems are acknowledged leaders.

    Please think through how this has happened.

    The Indian Govt is not stupid and has evaluated and taken the best decision for India. That is why there have been repeat orders for Krivak's from the IN. There have no repeat orders for Subs.

    When any user comes to you with complaints, try to see his side of things. In the long run, attending to him and serving him him, makes one's business prosper, as this user will become loyal and overlook some mistakes, provided care is taken to rectify the same.

  24. To Manish Kumar:

    Thanks bro!
    Will try take a participation in the followed discussion in ur blog. Just try to find more time...

  25. to anon September 23, 2009 12:38 AM :

    Of course I understand all the deepness of difference between Indians and the NRIs. Just try to give an answer if a question is common.

  26. to anon September 23, 2009 11:29 AM:

    I'm in no way a 'Moscow weaponry agent' or even 'Kremlin loyalist'. I'm only a blogger and an author of analytics in this area, besides I have friends in India and think I'm a friend of India too.

    I think now in India have grown a new generation of politicos and on other hands - goodwill mil officers who want something more assertive and ambitious aims for Indian nation. So they try to seek 'a new way' for all things.

    For example, In the mil cooperation they try more Israel and US stuff instead of Russian and French, ok. So they sometimes fell a prey of rationalization and unconscious bias towards 'new and promise' instead of 'old and checked'. Sometimes they prefer to be with new problems with Israel, GB, America (broken agreement, totally corrupted mediators, neglecting etc) instead suffer of old problems (Russian bad supply line etc).

    I don't know what is better. Say me please, how many time the Russians were cached on corruption in India and how many - the Europeans and the Israelis? May be the current success of Israel on Indian military market is a result of kickbacks? What you think about this? How can we exclude it when the known Indo-Hebrew corruption stories, published early, are not investigating publicly?

  27. Igorr,
    Please keep up the good work !

    India and Russia have a relationship that runs deep. Russia has never failed to help or stand by India in our times of need and we respect that.

    We have a lot of respect for the Russian partnership which has given India high quality equipment at sensible prices.

    Ask the Indian defence forces who still choose Russian equipement depsite being spoilt for choice - they know a good product when they see it.

    Please ignore the ignorant who comment on what they do not understand....