Wednesday, 6 January 2010

India to develop 25% of fifth generation fighter



Left: A speculative drawing --- one of the many on the internet --- of the FGFA, or the PAK FA





Right: An aerial photo, from the internet, of what purports to be an aircraft facility at KnAAPO. The authenticity is unclear.



(Concluding article of a two--part series on the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft)

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard 6th Jan 2010

Scrutinising the Sukhoi Corporation’s work on the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) — a project that India will soon sign up to co-develop — gives one an idea of Russia’s size, and its aerospace expertise. During daytime, in Moscow, the Sukhoi Design Bureau conceptualises FGFA components; by 10 pm the drawings are electronically transmitted over 5,000 kilometres to a manufacturing unit in Siberia. Here, at KnAAPO (Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Organisation) — seven time zones away — it is already 5 am next morning. Within a couple of hours, the drawings start being translated into aircraft production.

Having designed over 100 aircraft (including India’s Su-30MKI), built over 10,000 fighters, and with 50 world aviation records to its credit, Sukhoi understandably regards Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) — its partner-to-be in designing the FGFA — as very much the greenhorn.

But the newcomer wants its due. Bangalore-based HAL has negotiated firmly to get a 25 per cent share of design and development work in the FGFA programme. HAL’s work share will include critical software, including the mission computer (the Su-30MKI mission computer is entirely Indian); navigation systems; most of the cockpit displays; the counter measure dispensing (CMD) systems; and modifying Sukhoi’s single-seat prototype into the twin-seat fighter that the Indian Air Force (IAF) wants.

India will also contribute its expertise in aircraft composites, developed while designing the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Russia has traditionally built metallic aircraft; just 10 per cent of the Su-30MKI fuselage is titanium and composites. The FGFA’s fuselage, in contrast, will be 25 per cent titanium and 20 per cent composites. Russia’s expertise in titanium structures will be complemented by India’s experience in composites.

With India’s work share almost finalised, the 2007 Russia-India Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) to build the FGFA will soon evolve into a commercial contract between Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and HAL. Ashok Baweja, until recently the chairman of HAL, told Business Standard: “When HAL and UAC agree on terms, they will sign a General Contract. This will include setting up a JV to design the FGFA, and precise details about who will fund what.”

This contract will mark a significant shift in the aeronautical relationship between India and Russia. For decades, HAL has played a technologically subordinate role, assembling and building fighters that Russia had designed. Now, forced to accept HAL as a design partner, the Russians have negotiated hard to limit its role.

The reason: Russia is sceptical about India’s design ability in such a cutting edge project. In June 2008, Business Standard interviewed Vyacheslav Trubnikov, then Russia’s ambassador to India, and an expert on Russia’s defence industry. Contrasting the Su-30MKI with the Tejas LCA, Trubnikov pointed out snidely, “I know perfectly well the Russian ability. But I don’t know what contribution the Indian side might make. So, one must ask the question to the Indian designers, to HAL…what is their claim for building a fighter of the fifth generation type? Either avionics, or engine? What might be India’s contribution? To be absolutely frank, I don’t know.”

For long, the UAC argued that HAL could not expect a major role in the FGFA because Sukhoi had finished much of the work while New Delhi dithered about joining the project. UAC asserts that 5,000 Sukhoi engineers have worked for five years to design the FGFA. Such claims are hard to verify, but it is known that the Sukhoi Design Bureau has about 8,000 engineers, distributed between many different programmes.

With Sukhoi ploughing on alone, Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju admitted to Business Standard: “The longer India waits to join the project, the lesser will be our contribution. But, we are not sitting idle. Through the defence ministry’s existing programmes [such as the Tejas LCA] we are building up our capabilities.”

Most Indian officials agree that India has not lost much. Even if the FGFA makes its much-anticipated first flight this year, it is still at a preliminary stage of development. Ashok Baweja assessed in early 2009, “The FGFA’s first flight is just the beginning of the programme. My understanding is that the Russians are going ahead (with the test) to validate the FGFA’s “proof of concept” (conceptual design). Whatever composite materials they have now, they’ll use. But, because the composites will change… the FGFA will keep evolving for a fairly long time.”

A top ministry official estimates, “It will take another 4-5 years to develop many of the FGFA’s systems. Then, the aircraft will undergo at least 2000 hours of certification flying and, possibly, some reconfiguration. The FGFA should not be expected in service before 2017. And the twin-seat version may take a couple of years longer.”

With just a 25 per cent share of design, South Block policymakers still believe that the FGFA project is a vital step towards India’s emergence as a military aeronautical power. “Developing 25 per cent of this fighter is far better than just transferring technology to build it in India, as we did with the Su-30MKI,” points out a defence ministry official.

Ashok Baweja puts the project in context. “India can only (develop the FGFA) by partnering with Russia. They have so much experience. It’s not just the design… you must also have materials… maraging steel, titanium, composite alloys, and the industrial base to convert these into high-tech components like gyros, sensors and optics. The FGFA will give us important experience for building fighters hereafter.”

38 comments:

Vijay said...

25% is better than 0% , we have a long way to go before we can gain the kind of independence that USA and Russia enjoy in development of their defence products.

But, what I don't understand is whether inspite of developing only 25% of the FGFA would we still have to pay 50% of the 8-10 billion cost?

Thank You, for the great article, again.

Anonymous said...

$8 -$10B investment will make a great flushing sound if HAL doesn't heavily involve the private sector.

Tejaswy said...

Well this will give 25% is a lot, this will help HAL to catch up and to prove to everyone if it is really worth spending tax payers money on.

The R&D gained from this will be helpful in Tejas MK2 and the MCA program.

May be it will some how show its effect on
Kaveri "the sorrow of Indian R&D"

Munish said...

@vijay

yes we have to pay 50% since russians has upper hand into it.

joydeep ghosh said...

Ajai sir

may be I ask 2 many questions but my questions relevant. If u please can answer my querries. While ur todays article answers some of my querries to the querries I put up yesterday, but still if u can answer these I will b thnakful.


Q1. PAK FA prototyped Sukhoi T-50 when fully developed is intended to replace the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker in the Russian inventory. What abt India, which aircraft will it replace in India.

Q2. It will be a stealth aircraft with ability to supercruise, carry NG air-to-air, air-to-surface, n air-to-ship missiles, advanced AESA radar?

Q3. Will the Indian FGFA will be similar but will it have Thrust Vectoring Control (TVC)

Q4. Will the Indian FGFA will carry a heavier payload and probably will have longer range with mid air-refueling.

Q5. Ajai Sir u said

“Sukhoi’s FGFA prototype, which is expected to make its first flight within weeks, is a true stealth aircraft, almost invisible to enemy radar. According to an MoD official, “It is an amazing looking aircraft. It has a Radar Cross Section (RCS) of just 0.5 square metres as compared to the Su-30MKI’s RCS of about 20 square metres.”

[That means that while a Su-30MKI would be as visible to enemy radar as a metal object 5 metres X 4 metres in dimension, the FGFA’s radar signature would be just 1/40th of that.]

This means that the Sukhoi-30 MKI built by India will be at a distinct disadvantage, and in case of combat when both Sukhoi-30 MKI and India’s FGFA will fly, the Sukhoi-30 MKI will be like easy target. How can we improve Su-30's chances?

Q6. Sealth aircraft like F117 had very small payload, whats the FGFA payload factor. Will internal bomb bay come into use?

Q7. Ajai sir
will India develop 25% of FGFA or 25% of PAK-FA?

Q8. What is the % of carbon composite?

Anonymous said...

While it is nice to build up a technical base I believe that it is futile to learn how to build manned combat aircraft at this point in time. The F-35, the FGFA and the Chinese analog are likely to be the last major manned fighter development programs ever. The ongoing sea change in the USAF and its drone force shows that the way forward will likely be armed drones which are cheap, can be built in enormous numbers and have some level of autonomy to allow human operators to multitask. With the hundreds of billions of dollars poured into the F-35 and F-22, the USAF could equip itself with somewhere in the region of 10000-20000 extremely capable unmanned platforms. Like in India, political compulsions trump strategic sense and the US taxpayer is probably going to be left hanging.

Anonymous said...

Qn.... do we get access to the other developmental works on the aircraft, so that our scientists get the experience, or will the work be done in isolation.

Also, are we talking to them for 100% ToT? This is one big area of concern.

Anonymous said...

You can buy US products and get a 1% or less participation in US developmental efforts.

Be grateful that you are allowed to participate because of the Russian need for Indian $. Just because you have $ to buy does not mean you have the knowledge to develop a system.

Anonymous said...

250 airframes @ 100 million each is a huge number. If we are paying them 5bn, do we pay the other 20bn on delivery or is there a negotiated price in place that would reduce this price? :-)

Nitish said...

Every veteran was once a greenhorn.These r the opportunities for HAL to grow on its experience and incorporate better technologies. This might help in developing the MCA.

But here's a question Mr. Shukla..
Q.Will the FGFA have a system like DAS(Distributed aperture system) as is there in the F 35?

Thank you for the article

Wish's said...

Thank you for the articles..i have been waiting for a long time to hear some news about the FGFA !!

Some of my questions have also been answered.

su30 said...

Good, India may gain some work experience.
Russia has not offered this partnership to china .

1. Reverse eng work will be started by china
2, Russia has not trusted china fully .

Anonymous said...

SU 30

who said they did not ask China to join in?

Karupaswamy said...

1. Since indian tax payers are footing 50% of the development cost will india get 50% of the export revenue from FGFA / PAK FA (whatever name they call it).

2. Is the 25% work share done by India, done here in Indian Labs?

3. Typically the cost of the plane includes its development cost, the more the numbers of planes built the cost comes down. So if we pay 50% of the development cost will the cost of the planes that India buys come down? or is $100 million the cost of the export ver of the plane which includes the share of development cost in it.

Daanish said...

why does everyone here bat for the private sector i mean come on guys give some sarkari kaam some little credit where it deserves it the jumps that have had to be made to make the defense products like the tejas are so ambitious for a first genuine in house try that it boggles the imagination that the entire setup does work admirably. Given we have a long way to go the way forward is to encourage university level research and lots of r&d funding. These projects are extremely well executed first tries. An as an addendum the private sector is also not as adaptive as it wants you to belive because it does not adapt and flourish all the time, it "conditions" the situation to suit its advancement.

suresh said...

1.25% of FGFA development work is not enough for developing the MCA Aircraft. we are lacking in Engine technology. As per article, HAL will do same thing what it did in Su-30mki engine. we should take part in that engine technology.

2. we have implement this same composite material for further LCA and Su-30mki.

riyaz said...

thnx 4 ur article
i hav sum questions with regards to lca and mmrca pls if u can answer-

EADS is helping tejas,ej 200 is competing for tejas engine,typhoon is competing in mmrca and the consortium has officially offered patnership to india.
I personally believe that looking at all the above points typhoon should win mmrca and ej 200 the engine battle,thus we would get a better fighter,a good new generation engine and a patnership that would open new jobs india and also profit from further typhoon sales.
though it would come at big costs(as EF 2000 costs 127 millions per unit+cost of spares and infrastructure) also it would open an export market for the tejas in europe.The members of the consortium can buy tejas as force multipliers and with ej 200 it could provide common factor with the typhoon and thus it would also help marketing tejas in brazil,israel and other south american countries bcoz greater production would help in the other nations to trust tejas.
though IAF has ordered only 20 aircrafts,another 20 will be ordered and has commited to 140 aircrafts it has seen potential in tejas and is suggesting upgrades and it would buy it in more nos. like 250-300 to replace migs.
i would like to know your views on this.
would appreciate ur reply,thank u.

su30 said...

To, Anon 20:04,
This offer is not offered to china,Russia is not willing to give the tech details to china, russia knows on next minute itself china will start to create fake / reversed eng tech of it and they will spoil the original project.

Broadsword said...

Vijay: you'll still pay 50%. You're buying the fighter that is produced, aren't you?

Joydeep Ghosh: The FGFA will be the successor to the Su 30MKI.
Q2, 3, 4: Yes to all, probably.
Q5. The Su-30s won't be any easier targets than they already are.
Q6. FGFA payload is planned to be a lot more than the F117. It might come close to that of the Su-30.
Q7. These are names for the same aircraft.

Anonymous 20:04: Why the hell would the Rusians ask the Chinese to co-develop an FGFA, given their experience with CHinese reverse engineering?

Karupaswamy: When you set up a 50/50 joint venture, the income is shared 50/50. And when the economies of scale kick in, prices fall for everyone. The laws of economics don't change for this fighter.

Riyaz: Interesting argument. Perhaps, once the Tejas Mk II comes on stream and the fighter gets a bigger international reputation, this kind of "you buy mine and I'll buy yours" deal could be struck. Not for now, though! But you're clearly a marketing man...

Anonymous said...

anon @ 20:04

I wouldn't be surprised. During the economic crisis last year, Russia was in big trouble. China pumped in billions of dollars into Russian economy. Its not like the Chinese are big on charity.

Chinese have learned to talk after the mission is accomplished. India seems to not mind "Analysis Paralysis" forever.

If you are looking for complacency then look no further than this - "Most Indian officials agree that India has not lost much."

suresh said...

Two Question:
1.Any information about MCA Aircraft? hoping that MCA project is parallel to FGFA and get's rollout around 2019.
2.mahindra company and TATA Company jump into aviation tech. whether these companies contribute in MCA project?.if so, does it help to complete the project soon.

Vijay said...

19:35 anony,

You sure do get only the Glorious children of god stories from news outlet dont you?

China has been so busy "helping" others that after the Dubai meltdown China is expected to fall next? How about that? Did you get that news on CCTV?

Anonymous said...

To Su30 ...

Russia don't trust China? What makes you think Russia trust India in the first place?

Indian technology development have so far been too much of plans and asperations; unfortunately little of anything to show for. What R&D in India needs are clearly defined scopes, AND stick to them!

Sure technology might become outdated before R&D is completed, but constant changing of scope doesn't result in better technology; it just mean a few high profile unfinished projects.

If India want better technology, then new projection for projects should be review first. If you think all these are too expensive, then don't do it in the first place; spend the money on the economy first. The Chinese did that and look where they are now; a head.

The current generation of Indian should be prepare to live without the title of "superpower" for the sake of the next generation, not the other way round.

If defense is so important, and India cannot spend on both economy and military, then it should have been the duty of politicians and diplomates to ensure the safety of the nation. The argument that without a strong military, diplomacy doesn't work well for India is just a lazy excuse; or worst.

Karupaswamy said...

Broadsword : "When you set up a 50/50 joint venture, the income is shared 50/50. And when the economies of scale kick in, prices fall for everyone. The laws of economics don't change for this fighter."

Me : I really wish so and I hope MoD has not compromised the national interests of our nation by writing a substandard contract like they did in Brahmos joint venture.

Take the case of Brahmos where Russians in spite of taking our tax payers money didn't share the most crucial technology like Ramjet engine with us and they had a parallel cruise missile for international buyers at a much cheaper cost. Since they jacked up the cost of their components so exorbitantly, The MoD much touted defense JV and the so called finest Brahmos cruise missile so far has not bagged even a single export order.

How sure are we that the Russians wont build a 5.5th gen fighter using R&D base funded by indian tax payers and launch it as a parallel competitor for the FGFA/PAK FA for international buyers. Did your contacts in HAL have any idea about the kind of agreement that the MoD has signed. Why is there no transparency on such dealing, Why should we trust the MoD given their track record in all their earlier defense contracts.

Sushil said...

Valid skepticism from the Russians going by the state of our LCA program...we really don't have much to show for our capabilities

richin said...

To all the posters who seem to suggest that 25% is a big deal: Any middle income or developing country (big or small) with very limited experience in aerospace engineering can build 25% of a 5th generation aircraft! The factor everyone should be concerned about - What constitutes that 25%... nuts, bolts and tires? Or components that are really critical in nature.

And the argument about Russia offering a variant of the PAK FA to India and not to China: Perhaps even the Russians know about the sheer imbecility of Indian officials who negotiate contracts, which is why they comfortably offer to "co"-develop products, while retaining all core technologies – to add, our defense R&D structure and capabilities simply do not allow absorption of cutting edge technologies (especially with frivolous laws that act as a disincentive to any serious players who might help capability building). Only if you can make an aircraft, can you make a better aircraft…

Abhiman said...

I fully agree with richin's view. He has hit the nail on the head. The FGFA basically constitutes only Indian nuts-n-bolts ! India is simply bankrolling much of the project, and in return Russians agreed to customize the PAK-FA for India.

Mr. Shukla, please use your good offices and networks to answer the following questions :-

Q1) In the FGFA, will the advanced radar be Indian ?

Q2) Will the engines be Indian ?

Q3) Will the weapons be Indian ?

Q4) Will the stealth technology be Indian ? (things like active radar cancellation and the like).

Q5) Will the flight control system be Indian ?

Q6) Will the electronic warfare package be Indian ?

Q7) What is the benefit of merely replacing the Russian mission computer on PAK-FA, with an Indian one on FGFA ?

Q8) What is the benefit of replacing Russian navigation systems and software on PAK-FA, with Indian ones on FGFA ?

Q9) If all the above components won't be Indian, is the Indian contribution really as much as 25% ? Or closer to 8% ?

and the last but not the least :

Q9) Why is the IAF going for 2 fifth generation fighter jets, the FGFA and the indigenous MCA ? Is it clear about what it wants ?

As Karupaswamy rightly pointed out, the Russians denied the technology of the ramjet engines working to India in the Brahmos JV. Only the assembly was licenced to Indian facilities. DRDO officials are on record saying that they had to glean the technology by observing it very closely.

It's not to say that Russians are "bad". It is just that no nation -- not even India -- will ever whittle away it's core technologies to junior partners for any sum. The moral of the story is, that there is no shortcut to indigenization.

riyaz said...

thnx for ur reply.
i recently read an article on MCA on shiv aroor's blog where it stated that the specifications are still not fixed but it also states that the project is going on and the air force has given ambitious wishlist and wants an indigenous aesa radar on MCA.it also mentioned that ADA,HAL,IAF are relying on kaveri-snecma engine and no other alternative has been thought of as yet,wouldnt it be sensible to go for AL-31F 117 S engine that IAF and HAL has choosen for its FGFA.also it states that LDRE reported to DRDO in june 2009 that it had enough R&D to develop a reliable aesa with the help of BEL and two other private companies,if so then why is it patnering with ELTA for tejas radar?
would like to know your views on this.

su30 said...

To, Anon 08:39,
Most of countries don't trust china , its has good of coping others products , india is getting high tech weapons which has been refused to china by many countries .
Drdo is not strong in result oriented projects, but chinese companies are very good in syping no one can beat them .

P.K.Chaudhuri said...

Sir.
It is more prudent to expand the horizons of success already achieved than to venture into the unknown. The ALH, DHRUV and the LCA, TEJAS are two cases of success even if limited, for DRDO and HAL. Efforts must be made to make the status and level of these successes more pronounced.

For this purpose, production of DHRUVs must be increased to sixty to seventy per annum and export around twenty five of them every year. Within a couple of years there will not be any ambiguity regarding the level of success of the product as well as the limitations of the helicopter. This will provide tremendous confidence to DRDO and HAL for future activities. It is required to expedite the development of the different variants and special purpose models (e.g. Ambulance) of the helicopter for further success.

DRDO must develop a larger capacity helicopter on the identical platform and technology of DHRUV. The probability of success of such a helicopter will be higher.

DRDO has limited but confirmed and significant level of success with respect to the LCA program also. It is very important to complete all balance testing as quickly as possible and arrange speedy induction of the first batch of the LCAs in IAF. The key to success is to hand over four to five training version of the LCAs initially to IAF. Additional efforts are also required to expedite the development and handing over of the Naval variant of the LCA. Presently, time is the most important factor for the success of the LCA program.

Further, the finalization of the specifications of Tejas Mark II, engineering and development for the same may be carried out in a time bound manner. It is also to be noted that LCA program can never be fully successful unless it is powered by KAVERI engine.

Lot of efforts and money has been spent on programs like IJT and PTA, Nishant. The ‘Nishant’ program is almost thirty years old. Partial success also has been achieved on these programs. These are the programs, which should have more priority. It is also important to examine the level of commercial success and returns provided by all these products. DRDO must take additional partners like BHEL for productions of various products being developed.

The above does not mean that we should not initiate the program for development of the FGFA or the MCA / MMRCA.

P.K.Chaudhuri.

Broadsword said...

Karupaswamy:

You have a fundamentally incorrect idea about how co-development works. Broadly, each side has a work-share and that is what they produce. No side is obligated to share technology with the partner, unless specifically contracted. In the Brahmos, the Russians were under no obligation to transfer technology to India.

Of course the Russians will eventually build and field a Gen5.5 fighter. Are you suggesting that India only co-develops with countries that sign agreements to halt all R&D relating to that platform? Reminds me of Shah Jehan cutting off the hands of the artisans who built the Taj Mahal… those days are gone, Karupaswamy!

You ask: why should we trust the MoD. Great question! The answer is: because it is the MoD. You have a better alternative?

Abhiman:

You’ve really lost it here. Who has told you “The FGFA basically constitutes only Indian nuts-n-bolts”?

You say, “Russians agreed to customize the PAK FA for India”. That’s simply incorrect. According to the work share negotiated, India will do the re-design for converting the single-seater into a twin-seater.

Your questions:

Q2) Will the engines be Indian?
India doesn’t make engines.
Q3) Will the weapons be Indian?
India doesn’t make weapons
Q4) Will the stealth technology be Indian?
India doesn’t do stealth technology at Gen5 levels
Q5) Will the flight control system be Indian?
Maybe for the eventual FGFA. The current prototype (which will dramatically change over time) already has a FCS
Q6) Will the electronic warfare package be Indian?
Don’t know. Maybe.
Q7) What is the benefit of merely replacing the Russian mission computer on PAK-FA, with an Indian one on FGFA?
To get Indian work share and get better systems support when the fighter is deployed
Q8) What is the benefit of replacing Russian navigation systems and software on PAK-FA, with Indian ones on FGFA?
Same as above.
Q9) If all the above components won't be Indian, is the Indian contribution really as much as 25% ? Or closer to 8%?
It will be 25% or more.
Q9) Why is the IAF going for 2 fifth generation fighter jets, the FGFA and the indigenous MCA?
Obviously it is going in for the FGFA to learn certain skills and for the MCA to implement those in an entirely indigenous aircraft.

Riyaz
Who has told you that any options are closed on the purchase of a foreign engine. That can be done at any time if an indigenous programme stumbles.

By the time the FGFA is close to fruition, India (in my opinion) would have developed AESA technology. We’re talking close to a decade here.

Abhiman said...

Your answers are as follows :

Q2) India doesn’t make engines.
Which I take as a No.

Q3) India doesn’t make weapons
Again, a No.

Q4)India doesn’t do stealth technology at Gen5 levels
A No.

Q5) Will the flight control system be Indian?
Maybe for the eventual FGFA. The current prototype (which will dramatically change over time) already has a FCS

But the draft agreement doesn't say that. Besides, don't you think it is pointless to make an FCS all over again to replace a fine working one, merely to thrust a made-by-India jab ?

Q6) Will the electronic warfare package be Indian?
Don’t know. Maybe.

Again, no mention in the draft. Once again, is yanking out a 5th gen Russian EW suite only to replace it with an Indian one, really worth the effort ? Or, is chest-thumping that important ?

Q7) What is the benefit of merely replacing the Russian mission computer on PAK-FA, with an Indian one on FGFA?
To get Indian work share and get better systems support when the fighter is deployed.


Q8) What is the benefit of replacing Russian navigation systems and software on PAK-FA, with Indian ones on FGFA?
Same as above.


To your answers of Q7) and Q8), then can you tell us, how exactly is the
FGFA -- touted as a "joint" effort -- any different from the licence production of Su-30 MKI ? The latter too has an Indian mission computer, Indian radar processors, and a customized EW suite (a lot of it Indian).

Q9) If all the above components won't be Indian, is the Indian contribution really as much as 25% ? Or closer to 8%?
It will be 25% or more.


No engines, no radar, no weapons, no stealth tech, no airframe design, maybe no EW & FBW also. Sir, this list itself is well over 90% of what constitutes a fighter jet, don't you think ?

15% composites and a mission computer, not a 25% make. To give you an example, Yakovlev contributed it's STOL technology to the JSF, and BaE contributed it's landing gear consultancy. And they don't claim percentages, though by any stretch, it is far, far greater a percentage than composites 'n' mission computers.

Q9) Why is the IAF going for 2 fifth generation fighter jets, the FGFA and the indigenous MCA?
Obviously it is going in for the FGFA to learn certain skills and for the MCA to implement those in an entirely indigenous aircraft.


ADA already knows composite tech, courtesy LCA et al. (they've also sold it to Airbus), and DRDO knows mission computer technology, what with MKIs, Tejas, and Jaguars. How is re-implementing all this in the PAK-FA going to hone it even better ?

Sir, US Congress is seriously considering scrapping the JSF, because they don't see the need for any more 5th gen. fighters beyond the F-22. China, whose land-mass is thrice India's (and Air Force too) is also pursuing a single 5th gen. project. So is Russia. So is Australia, which is a JSF partner. Then what great insight has the IAF got to be so different ?

Abhiman said...

You say, “Russians agreed to customize the PAK FA for India”. That’s simply incorrect. According to the work share negotiated, India will do the re-design for converting the single-seater into a twin-seater.

Sir, I can prove to you that India will NOT do the redesign of the single-seater into a twin-seater. It will be executed by Sukhoi; India will only licence-produce the same.

Karupaswamy said...

Broadsword : "You have a fundamentally incorrect idea about how co-development works. Broadly, each side has a work-share and that is what they produce. No side is obligated to share technology with the partner, unless specifically contracted. In the Brahmos, the Russians were under no obligation to transfer technology to India."

Me : If we are doing a co-development and doing 25% of the work, Why are we footing 50% of the development costs. as per some online articles I read that we are footing $5 Billion of the development costs which works out to 50% of the development costs.

Anonymous said...

I am not an expert on fighter jets, nor can I attest to the accuracy/impartiality of the presenter I'm linking to. The comments he made about the MIG-21BIS were interesting however. This Vietnam war era aircraft seemed to grab his attention due in large part to the radar and jamming upgrades the IAF determined were necessary. Why can't, let me rephrase that, should we be more like the Israelis and focus on the components going into fighters such as radar, jamming, BVR missiles etc.?

Seems this strategy would be cheaper; capital risk would be spread over multiple smaller projects, the indigenous Tejas would be greatly improved, and failure of a project would mean outsourcing for upgrades rather than inducting inferior aircraft or worse lacking the requisite fighters to ensure the security of India.

Here is the link.

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2008/11/usaf-pilot-describes-iaf-su30m.html

Disclosure: He may work for either the USAF or Lockheed Martin :)

Patel

riyaz said...

well ajai,
i didn't say that INDIA has closed all options to buy another engine.
i meant to say that after 7 yrs the NGFA prototype is ready and the kaveri engine is not, the project wont be delayed bcoz of no availability of engine like the Tejas is bcoz to the airframe has to be reworked to fit the new high thrust engine.
what i wanted to say is "precaution is better than cure".
and the article which i read said that LRDE reported to DRDO that it has all the R&D to develop an aesa radar in june 09 and it has not yet developed a radar for Tejas.

Anonymous said...

Um, Su-30 MKI has 30% titanium alloy, 45% composites

Perhaps you are confusing titanium alloy with PURE titanium?
Because the alloy itself only has a percentage of titanium, the rest is steel, carbon, aluminium and beryllium

PAK FA fuselage will be 45% titanium alloy (keyword: ALLOY, total PURE titanium composition is much less) and 30% composites with the wings being mostly composites and some structural alluminium alloy (no titanium)

I don't know who your sources were but I suggest you question them again

Anonymous said...

1. The India Air Force Will Get 5th Geration Fighter Jets Planes soon too! True! The Speeds are over (M)2.3 +crusing speed too!