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    Indias options for new fighters

    Sujoy
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    Post  Sujoy on Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:59 am

    GarryB wrote:Adding one more type... the MiG-35 to replace the MiG-29S/SM/SMT/ and other models still in use including the naval KR models simply makes a lot of sense... especially when the single and two seat aircraft use the same airframe and are the same except number of seats/cockpit displays...
    The Indian Navy's Mig-29K is the naval variant of the Mig-35, isn't it?
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    Post  marcellogo on Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:00 pm

    Sujoy wrote:
    GarryB wrote:Adding one more type... the MiG-35 to replace the MiG-29S/SM/SMT/ and other models still in use including the naval KR models simply makes a lot of sense... especially when the single and two seat aircraft use the same airframe and are the same except number of seats/cockpit displays...
    The Indian Navy's Mig-29K is the naval variant of the Mig-35, isn't it?
    Of the Mig-29M2, Mig-35 has some feature of Mig-29K (i.e. more solid construction than MiG-29).

    Despite the name MiG-35 is an evolution of MiG-29. line, not a different plane
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    Post  Rodion_Romanovic on Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:17 pm

    marcellogo wrote:
    Sujoy wrote:
    GarryB wrote:Adding one more type... the MiG-35 to replace the MiG-29S/SM/SMT/ and other models still in use including the naval KR models simply makes a lot of sense... especially when the single and two seat aircraft use the same airframe and are the same except number of seats/cockpit displays...
    The Indian Navy's Mig-29K is the naval variant of the Mig-35, isn't it?
    Of the Mig-29M2, Mig-35 has some feature of Mig-29K (i.e. more solid construction than MiG-29).

    Despite the name MiG-35 is an evolution of MiG-29. line, not a different plane

    Yeah there should be later a naval version of mig35, but it could probably be seen also as MiG29K modernisation.


    If I am not mistaken it should be a similar evolution to the su-27 evolving later in Su27SM (up to the latest SM3) and finally in Su35 (the su30 is a different branch of development of the su27, even if the new modernisation of the su30SM will include engines and radar of the su35.. )

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    Post  Sujoy on Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:10 pm

    marcellogo wrote:Of the Mig-29M2, Mig-35 has some feature of Mig-29K (i.e. more solid construction than MiG-29).

    Despite the name MiG-35 is an evolution of MiG-29. line, not a different plane
    More solid construction than Mi 29? Are you referring to the changes in design?

    From the outside, Mig 29K looks similar to the Mig 35. The radars, sensors, weapons package are also similar. Both the Mig 29K and Mig 35 are yet to get an AESA radar. Mig 35 is probably plug-and-play. Not sure if that's the case with the Mig 29K.
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:05 am

    MiG made a little mistake with the first MiG-29s... they created two models... one a single seat and one a twin seat... the single seat models had lots of codes, but the twin seat generally had a UB in the code.

    The UB model only had a small ranging radar in the tip of the nose and could not do many of the things normal MiG-29s could do.

    Later models added R-27T and R-27ET, which, together with the IRST and R-73s meant it could be used as a day fighter, but its abilities were limited by a lack of proper radar.

    When it came time to give the aircraft a proper upgrade they corrected that mistake their new planes... MiG-29KR (the new naval MiG that is not the same as the MiG-33) and the MiG-29M2 and the MiG-35 all use the same airframe but the naval model has a slightly bigger wing with larger control surfaces for operating at lower landing and takeoff speeds. The single and twin seat models both have radar and are fully operational, with the same shaped canopy and forward fuselage... the main difference is that on the single seat model the extra cockpit and seat is removed and fuel and some electronics are put there extending range a bit.

    The point is that now they just build one airframe and the buyer can decide whether they want single seat or two seat models and even if they change their mind they can convert with little problem because the canopy is the same, the forward fuselage is the... the difference is one less crew and extra fuel or less fuel but an extra crewman.

    Because the fuselages are the same you can fit a tail hook and the larger wing and use any from a carrier if you want to... they said they were unifying the design of the MiG-29KR and the MiG-35, so essentially if the Navy wants more fighters it can buy and use MiG-35s straight from the factory producing them for the Air Force... so they could use them on land or at sea.

    I have suggested before that the MiG-29M2 is an ideal plane for India... it is fully networked, so can receive information from ground forces and other air platforms... they could probably buy 250 for the price of 36 Rafales, and then buy another 50 MiG-35s which are the same airframe but with totally upgraded avionics.

    After operating both types for 5 years they could decide what expensive parts of the MiG-35 are worth it and which are not and then buy those expensive bits and fit them to their fleet of MiG-29M2s. In 5 years time they probably have some requests for new features or upgrades with the MiG-35s so they could get together with MiG and develop a MiG-35M upgrade programme... so essentially in 6 or 7 years time they could have a fleet of 250 MiG-35s except the bits they didn't want, and 50 MiG-35Ms.

    They might decide a MiG-29M2 is cheap enough and good enough to replace the MiG-21 and MiG-27 and make some more of them to replace them and the 60 odd MiG-29UPGs they have in service.

    The point is that the naval MiG, the MiG-29M2 and the MiG-35 all have the same airframe and the difference is the wings and tailhook and fillings...
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    Post  Sujoy on Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:10 pm

    GarryB wrote:I have suggested before that the MiG-29M2 is an ideal plane for India... it is fully networked, so can receive information from ground forces and other air platforms... they could probably buy 250 for the price of 36 Rafales, and then buy another 50 MiG-35s which are the same airframe but with totally upgraded avionics.

    But India is going to procure 21 Mig-29s ( apart from 12 Su 30MKI) within the next few years.

    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/iaf-plans-to-buy-33-mig-29-sukhoi-30-fighter-jets/articleshow/70894263.cms

    Not much is known about the airframe of the Mig 29. I do not know if they will be Mig-29M2 but I understand they will be Mig 29UPG. I would hope the IAF asks for Mig 29s that have AESA radar and are fully plug and play just like the Su 35.

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    Post  Rodion_Romanovic on Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:34 pm

    Sujoy wrote:
    GarryB wrote:I have suggested before that the MiG-29M2 is an ideal plane for India... it is fully networked, so can receive information from ground forces and other air platforms... they could probably buy 250 for the price of 36 Rafales, and then buy another 50 MiG-35s which are the same airframe but with totally upgraded avionics.

    But India is going to procure 21 Mig-29s ( apart from 12 Su 30MKI) within the next few years.

    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/iaf-plans-to-buy-33-mig-29-sukhoi-30-fighter-jets/articleshow/70894263.cms

    Not much is known about the airframe of the Mig 29. I do not know if they will be Mig-29M2 but I understand they will be Mig 29UPG. I would hope the IAF asks for Mig 29s that have AESA radar and are fully plug and play just like the Su 35.


    MiG29UPG (upgraded) are old airframes modernised, like the MiG29 SMT.

    MiG29M/M2 are newly built..

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    Post  GarryB on Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:59 am

    Not much is known about the airframe of the Mig 29. I do not know if they will be Mig-29M2 but I understand they will be Mig 29UPG. I would hope the IAF asks for Mig 29s that have AESA radar and are fully plug and play just like the Su 35.

    One of the weapon systems tested in Syria that was not considered as good as it could be was the MiG-29SMT and that was mainly because it wasn't integrated into the air defence network fully like later aircraft and upgraded equipment is.

    If they only want 21 more MiG-29s I would suspect they would be the same models as the older platforms... MiG-29UPG is essentially a MiG-29SMT but with foreign components used...

    The MiG-29M2 is a fundamental redesign structurally, and is the same as the MiG-29KR (naval MiG-33) and MiG-35.

    It is easy to immediately tell the difference because the new aircraft have full sized radar and the large two seat canopy, though may have one seat or two.

    any news on Ka-60, Mi-38, and TVS 2DTS (An-2 replacement) havent heard anything for ages, i believe Mi-38 is a lot further along than the Ka-60

    Not heard much, but dare I say it... most are waiting on new all Russian engines...
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    Post  Sujoy on Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:54 pm

    GarryB wrote:

    The MiG-29M2 is a fundamental redesign structurally, and is the same as the MiG-29KR (naval MiG-33) and MiG-35.
    21 more Mig 29s mean an entire squadron. That means 21 Mig-21s can now be replaced.

    If I was Rosobornoexport I would have made this same offer that you just suggested. Procure more Mig 29M2 because this is a very cost effective solution. Even better if it comes with an AESA radar.
    This will help Indian Air Force to replace all their obsolete Mig 21s. 113 MiG-21s are known to be in operation in the IAF. 83 LCA Tejas are on order. This means there are still 30 more Mig 21s that will have to be replaced within the next 3 years.
    So Russia can try to export 30 Mig 29M2 to India. In addition to the 21 Mig 29 that they plan to sell.

    Is the Mig 29M2 plug and play like the Su 35?
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:13 am

    21 more Mig 29s mean an entire squadron. That means 21 Mig-21s can now be replaced.

    If I was Rosobornoexport I would have made this same offer that you just suggested. Procure more Mig 29M2 because this is a very cost effective solution. Even better if it comes with an AESA radar.

    As far as I can tell the current level of SMT for the UPGs includes a PESA radar already... so that gives them all the advantages of electronic scanning without to cost of an AESA radar.

    Also I would think for now they want all their land based MiGs to be of basically the same type so this batch of 21 and perhaps any other in the near future might be upgraded older designs.

    I seem to remember they had about 60 MiG-29UPGs so this purchase and another similar purchase would get them to about 110.

    Ironically I think the reason India wont go for MiG-29M2s over MiG-29UPGs is because MiG-29UPGs have foreign equipment and systems in them... and I also suspect because of this the M2s would probably be cheaper, and also therefore less desirable to some of the politicians getting kickbacks from foreign avionics suppliers...

    Is the Mig 29M2 plug and play like the Su 35?

    Yes. Fully networked and fully digital...
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    Post  Sujoy on Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:44 am

    GarryB wrote:
    Ironically I think the reason India wont go for MiG-29M2s over MiG-29UPGs is because MiG-29UPGs have foreign equipment and systems in them... and I also suspect because of this the M2s would probably be cheaper, and also therefore less desirable to some of the politicians getting kickbacks from foreign avionics suppliers...
    Yes, the bribe part is true. This is a country that runs on bribes. But then when it comes to defence procurement it works both ways. Russia, U.S, EU will pay bribe to win contracts and Indian politicians, military will ask for bribes to award them the contracts.

    But given the fact that Russia is doing business in India for the last 60 years they know the ground realities all too well.

    Rosoboronexport should let the Government of India (GoI) know that they can very easily integrate DRDO made weapons and sensors on the Mig 29, apart from highlighting the fact that the Mig 29M2 is fully plug & play . They are already planning an air launched mini BRAHMOS that can be carried by the Mig 29. Just to clarify, naming convention nothwithstanding, i.e Mig 29UPG or Mig 29M2, my point was Russia can sell another 30 Mig 29s to India. Obviously some of the salient features of the Mig 29M2 can be incorporated on the MIG 29s that they export to India. India's defence budget has been badly hit by a mindless policy called One Rank One Pension (OROP). Consequently, procurement budget will take a massive beating.

    Therefore, the most cost effective solution on the table to maintain force level is to procure at least another 30 Mig 29s

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    Post  GarryB on Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:44 pm

    Yes, the bribe part is true. This is a country that runs on bribes.

    If we are going to be honest... lets be totally honest... countries that turn their noses up at the third world... ie white countries RELY ON IT.

    But then when it comes to defence procurement it works both ways. Russia, U.S, EU will pay bribe to win contracts and Indian politicians, military will ask for bribes to award them the contracts.

    But given the fact that Russia is doing business in India for the last 60 years they know the ground realities all too well.

    I remember in the 1990s the Russians complained that western companies lied in their adverts for weapons and gave bribes and did all sorts of immoral things to get contracts... I am sure they learned to grease the wheels so to speak but they tend to rather let the customer try the product rather than tell them how wonderful it is so they haven't learned to lie.

    They just know their stuff works and it is rather unlikely their government will unilaterally impose sanctions and block arms sales.

    What western company can say that... (none regarding the former and the latter I would say...)

    Therefore, the most cost effective solution on the table to maintain force level is to procure at least another 30 Mig 29s

    The problem is that it is probably cheaper to keep the types uniform so kit going into one airframe can be exactly the same as that going in to the rest.

    It is probably easier to make them all old model MiGs... just buy them... if they are only going to be getting another 50 odd more in total it really isn't worth setting up a factory to make 50. If they wanted 250 then I would say build a factory and swap existing MiGs for new build MiG-29M2s... or if independent suppliers are important get Iran to set up a factory they could make 200 for themselves and 150 for India with a mix of Indian and Iranian and Russian bits...The problem is that everyone wants to make their own... but they still want to buy something someone else designed...
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    Post  Sujoy on Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:53 pm

    GarryB wrote:

    If we are going to be honest... lets be totally honest... countries that turn their noses up at the third world... ie white countries RELY ON IT.
    I get it, in the West bribery and such corrupt practices generally exists at high levels. But bribery in India is very petty and rampant. For example, the regular joe has to pay a bribe to get a job. When was the last time an ordinary citizen in New Zealand paid a bribe in order to get a job.

    GarryB wrote:It is probably easier to make them all old model MiGs... just buy them... if they are only going to be getting another 50 odd more in total it really isn't worth setting up a factory to make 50. If they wanted 250 then I would say build a factory and swap existing MiGs for new build MiG-29M2s... or if independent suppliers are important get Iran to set up a factory they could make 200 for themselves and 150 for India with a mix of Indian and Iranian and Russian bits...


    Probably there is no country in the world that will place an order with Russia (or any other foreign country)for 100+ fighter jets straight off the bat. So if India  decides to procure 50 Mig 29s, that is a sizeable number.
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:46 am

    I get it, in the West bribery and such corrupt practices generally exists at high levels. But bribery in India is very petty and rampant. For example, the regular joe has to pay a bribe to get a job. When was the last time an ordinary citizen in New Zealand paid a bribe in order to get a job.

    If it meant not having to go through hundreds of job interviews I might consider it.

    And actually ironically we do have bribes. For long term unemployed there are funds available to make them more attractive to employers to get them a job... for those out of work for years there are thousands of dollars available to buy a job for them.

    And the point is that corruption is everywhere... it is just hidden better in the west.

    Democracy itself is for sale...

    Probably there is no country in the world that will place an order with Russia (or any other foreign country)for 100+ fighter jets straight off the bat. So if India decides to procure 50 Mig 29s, that is a sizeable number.

    The point is that their long term need could include up to 250 aircraft in total... especially if their plans for that domestic medium 5th gen stealth fighter don't eventuate... If they were to decide that they want in the long term to have 250 new planes built in India of a design that can be easily upgraded and improved, but was already pretty good and certainly better than old models still being operated like MiG-21 and MiG-27 and Jaguar, then with that sort of production number adapting existing factories to make them makes sense and later on decisions about how many you upgrade to MiG-35 level can be made.

    Russia has patented a new way to launch missiles from aircraft

    Interesting... I always thought the idea of their twin barrel 23mm cannon used to launch flare and chaff rounds was clever and that a 30mm or 40mm model could be used to rapidly deploy chaff clouds and IR screens in clusters around the aircraft without needing to cover the surface with launchers that leave open hollow tubes that must magnify RCS issues...

    The weapon pylons with R-77 missiles use an arm launcher that throws the missile down and away from the aircraft before launch to ensure proper clean separation and clearance before the weapons rocket motor is started up.

    Conformal missiles like the R-37M also have similar structures to allow the weapons to clear the parasitic airflow that would push the weapons back up into the fuselage of the aircraft when the missile is released... potentially damaging the aircraft and the missiles control fins.

    Launching weapons upwards has been considered problematic because access is an issue... note a weapon bay that opens upwards and releases bombs and missiles upwards could double the internal capacity for weapons by better utilising available space but obviously there needs to be some way of pushing the weapons up with enough force that the slip stream slows them down and they fall behind the aircraft for unpowered weapons and for powered weapons their motors light up and accelerate them away from the aircraft without making contact.

    Imagine the small wing root mounted missile positions on the Su-57... imagine a dozen more on top of the aircraft body and a centre area where larger missiles can be loaded and launched... significantly increasing the number of internal weapons available to the pilot in combat...

    The doors would open and the arm would throw the weapon up and several metres clear of the aircraft and the motors on the missiles light up and away goes the weapon toward the target... weapon bay closes...

    For small weapons like 9M100 anti missile missiles with thrust vector rocket motors they could be facing forwards or backwards...

    The main problem is that it probably wouldn't work well with heavy weapons... most normal aircraft would not have the vertical depth to have a large weapon mounted angled up and a launch tube to fire it...

    For something like a MiG-41 it could have a section down the middle with vertically located but angled forward like the Granits on a Kirov with a very short burn rocket motor to effectively blow the 6-8 metre long missile up at a 45 degree angle out of the fuselage of the aircraft and clear of the aircraft and then the main rocket motors of the missiles fire and take them up nearly vertically to rapidly climb to thinner air for max speed perhaps with a scramjet motor benefitting from the high altitude and high speed launch to maximise range.

    During WWII some fighter planes had bombs vertically stored behind the pilots position to reduce inflight drag and centralise the mass near the cg so when they were dropped the aircraft didn't become unbalanced... They dropped them down obviously but the idea is similar in terms of increasing places where weapons are kept without external drag or using up limited available hard points...
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    Post  Sujoy on Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:01 am

    Rodion_Romanovic wrote:MiG29UPG (upgraded) are old airframes modernised, like the MiG29 SMT.

    MiG29M/M2 are newly built..
    Yes, that's true. Also, the air frame of the Mig 29M2 and the Mig-35 are the same.

    GarryB wrote:then with that sort of production number adapting existing factories to make them makes sense and later on decisions about how many you upgrade to MiG-35 level can be made.
    In a way we are already operating the Mig-35 in the form of the Mig 29K. So air frames will remain the same.

    Russia probably can offer an AESA-MMR radar during future upgrades and also given that Mig 35 is plug and play, weapons developed by DRDO like Astra BVR missile, SAAW etc can also be easily incorporated. I'm not sure as of now what are the other upgrades that Russia can offer.  Will be interesting to watch.
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:34 pm

    Yes, that's true. Also, the air frame of the Mig 29M2 and the Mig-35 are the same.

    But the real problem is that the Navy is operating the new airframes, while the Air Force has the old airframes... I am not sure they are interchangeable...

    They certainly wont share panels and components...

    If the Air Force decides to move forward and continue to use the MiG-29 platform with a view to upgrading to the MiG-35 in the future replacing the current MiG-29 fleet with MiG-29M2s would be a good start as that would make upgrades with MiG-35 equipment including AESA radar would be trival once it is ready, though you'd get 90% of its performance with much cheaper PESAs you are already using I suspect...

    If India insisted on AESA radars they will end up spending a lot of extra money to get them and will essentially be paying debug money for final development of the sets. They would get the radars first and I am sure the Russian AF would appreciate them paying for development like that... just like the Russian Navy appreciated the Indian Navy paying for tooling and production of the MiG-29KR to be set up so they could tack an order on the end of the production and save money tooling up and preparing production for the aircraft they bought.

    If I was India I would wait for the AESAs to be ready and buy the longer ranged AAMs that the newer MiGs can operate... which would impact performance rather more I would expect.

    In a way we are already operating the Mig-35 in the form of the Mig 29K. So air frames will remain the same.

    If the Indian Army modified their existing factories to make the new model MiGs the Navy could get domestically built Naval models... either the MiG-29KR like they already have, or MiG-35s with naval options (tail hook and enlarged folding wings).... they could combine orders and have the aircraft built from the same Indian factories... the Indian Navy could buy extra fighters and use them as land based fighters that can land on their carriers and operate from them if needed...

    Russia probably can offer an AESA-MMR radar during future upgrades and also given that Mig 35 is plug and play, weapons developed by DRDO like Astra BVR missile, SAAW etc can also be easily incorporated. I'm not sure as of now what are the other upgrades that Russia can offer. Will be interesting to watch.

    I would think the ideal solution for India would be to get in to the AESA technology business themselves and start a joint venture to make a family of AESAs that are scaled to fit the aircraft they intend to have in service... Tegas III, MiG-29M2 family, Su-30MKI... hell they could even make a model for the Mirage 2K and offer to sell it to current users... Twisted Evil
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    Post  Sujoy on Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:39 pm

    GarryB wrote:If the Air Force decides to move forward and continue to use the MiG-29 platform with a view to upgrading to the MiG-35 in the future replacing the current MiG-29 fleet with MiG-29M2s would be a good start
    IAF intends to use the Mig 29 for at least another 15 years, that's why they are interested in procuring another 21 Mig 29s from Russia.

    But how will IAF replace the current Mig 29UPG fleet with Mig 29M2? There is no buy back option. Therefore, what Russia might want to do is to push as many upgrades into the existing Mig 29UPG model. Upgraded engines, sensors, radar and perhaps even the weapon system.

    I hope this is something that is doable.

    GarryB wrote:If the Indian Army modified their existing factories to make the new model MiGs the Navy could get domestically built Naval models... either the MiG-29KR like they already have, or MiG-35s with naval options (tail hook and enlarged folding wings).... they could combine orders and have the aircraft built from the same Indian factories...
    Existing factories that HAL has do not have the capability to build Mig 29s. They are imported as Completely Knocked Down (CKD) units from Russia. They are simply assembled in India.
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    Post  mnztr on Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:26 pm

    GunshipDemocracy wrote:
    putting new tech in old frames makes little sense if you can have new tech in new frames.  That's why IMHO it depdned on expediency when more fighters are really needed. No immediate need ->"lets wait for new design".

    Are you kidding me? It makes all the sense in the world. What do you really gain from a new frame? A MIG 21 with an incredible radar and long range AAMs can take on just about any plane in the world. The frame is just a platform. As long as it has carrying capability, a good flight envelope and enough electrical capacity to power the latest sensors and weapons then its all good.

    Variants of the MIG-21 are still in production in China


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    Post  mnztr on Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:32 pm

    Sujoy wrote:
    Existing factories that HAL has do not have the capability to build Mig 29s. They are imported as Completely Knocked Down (CKD) units from Russia. They are simply assembled in India.

    I think this is why the Indians are allowing the SU-35 into the new competition. While on the face of it the SU-35 in a "light fighter"competition seems rediculous, the fact is, retooling costs and expertise from SU-30 operations will save billions. The additional capability of deploying more heavy fighters as China grows in power is highly desirable. In fact, with the latest developments on the Chinese border, the Indians really need to purchase 110 SU-35s and 100 SU-57s. They should also demand a "no China" clause with the SU-57
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    Post  Rodion_Romanovic on Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:01 pm

    mnztr wrote:
    Sujoy wrote:
    Existing factories that HAL has do not have the capability to build Mig 29s. They are imported as Completely Knocked Down (CKD) units from Russia. They are simply assembled in India.

    I think this is why the Indians are allowing the SU-35 into the new competition. While on the face of it the SU-35 in a "light fighter"competition seems rediculous, the fact is, retooling costs and expertise from SU-30 operations will save billions. The additional capability of deploying more heavy fighters as China grows in power is highly desirable. In fact, with the latest developments on the Chinese border, the Indians really need to purchase 110 SU-35s and 100 SU-57s. They should also demand a "no China" clause with the SU-57
    probably the last few posts are off topic and would fit better in the indian air force thread.

    Furthermore India is in no position to ask for any no China clause with any Russian product... and I find it as well ridiculous...

    Do you think it make sense that they could buy french and American equipment, but Russia should be limited in selling an aircraft they developed alone (India left the partnership before they did any contribution, and even in that case it would have just been about participating in expenses for improving some of the systems (like the case of a gulf country and the pantsir system).... just because india might buy a few dozen airplanes?
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    Post  mnztr on Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:31 am

    Rodion_Romanovic wrote:
    mnztr wrote:
    Sujoy wrote:
    Existing factories that HAL has do not have the capability to build Mig 29s. They are imported as Completely Knocked Down (CKD) units from Russia. They are simply assembled in India.

    I think this is why the Indians are allowing the SU-35 into the new competition. While on the face of it the SU-35 in a "light fighter"competition seems rediculous, the fact is, retooling costs and expertise from SU-30 operations will save billions. The additional capability of deploying more heavy fighters as China grows in power is highly desirable. In fact, with the latest developments on the Chinese border, the Indians really need to purchase 110 SU-35s and 100 SU-57s. They should also demand a "no China" clause with the SU-57
     probably the last few posts are off topic and would fit better in the indian air force thread.

    Furthermore India is in no position to ask for any no China clause with any Russian product... and I find it as well ridiculous...

    Do you think it make sense that they could buy french and American equipment, but Russia should be limited in selling an aircraft they developed alone (India left the partnership before they did any contribution, and even in that case it would have just been about participating in expenses for improving some of the systems (like the case of a gulf country and the pantsir system).... just because india might buy a few dozen airplanes?

    Well yes they can, it would have to be a substantial buy, at least 100, and the Russians are quite reluctant to sell to the Chinese anyway because of all the copying. The price of the SU-57 would reflect the quantity and investment India is willing to make in the platform.Russia is not stupid, they realize India needs to buy form several sources. Russia will know its a clause they can break if they really need to, if relations with India change dramatically (unlikely)
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    Post  Big_Gazza on Mon Jun 08, 2020 5:21 am

    mnztr wrote:..the Russians are quite reluctant to sell to the Chinese anyway because of all the copying.

    What do you mean ALL the copying?  You're paying too much attention to BS murican talking points intended to misinform and provoke. The Chinese reverse engineered a Soviet-era Su-33 from Ukropistan - so what?  The J-15 might be a structural copy of the Sukhoi but its engines and avionics and weapons are all indigenous.  They only built a few dozen and aren't going to export it in competition with Sukhoi, so its not like Russia has lost any significant sales. Instead of blaming China, why not blame the fucking Ukrainians?

    Name me just one other system that China has ripped off from Russia?  Chinese miltech (where not based on old Soviet-era articles from prior to the Sino-Soviet split) is distinctly indigenous in origin and are clearly not copies.  The Chinese are not about to illegally reproduce miltech purchased from Russian sources, so this is just distracting nonsense.

    Regarding the Su-57, I don't see the Chinese as being interested.  They will certainly want engine tech, and would salivate at any prospect at getting a deal on supply of izd30s, but they can build their own fighters and avionics and weapons. India on the other hand is a comparative basket case that can't even finish the Tejas (nearly 20 years after the 1st flight and they've managed to build only 33 units??   Razz ) and are in no position to make demands when they are on their knees begging for advanced tech from their betters.
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    Post  GarryB on Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:01 am

    But how will IAF replace the current Mig 29UPG fleet with Mig 29M2? There is no buy back option. Therefore, what Russia might want to do is to push as many upgrades into the existing Mig 29UPG model. Upgraded engines, sensors, radar and perhaps even the weapon system.

    There can't really be a buy back option for the old MiGs because there are too many foreign components...

    What they could do is replace all the foreign components in the UPG MiGs with Russian components from the MiG-20M2 but not all those parts will be compatible because of the different airframes... but of course even if everything fit perfectly the older MiG has a heavier airframe with less space for fuel and bits and pieces, so it will always be inferior to the M2... no matter how much you spend on it.

    Existing factories that HAL has do not have the capability to build Mig 29s. They are imported as Completely Knocked Down (CKD) units from Russia. They are simply assembled in India.

    Well if India insists on its policy of local manufacture they are going to have to spend the extra money to do so.

    Personally, while I understand why they have the policy I think they need to be smarter about it.

    Spending billions of dollars building a factory to make MiG-29M2s from scratch to then only make 200-300 of them is a terrible waste of money because odds are the export market in competition with MiG means that is about all they can make and a factory designed to make MiG-29M2s could be used to upgrade to MiG-35s, but you wont be able to make Tegas models of any mark or Sukhois either.

    I know it is not popular... but buying new MiG parts and assembling them in India means it is not so expensive and you can keep doing that with the new aircraft probably with no major or expensive changes and then spend the billions of dollars on an AESA radar joint venture.

    The ability to make your own AESA radars would be very important.... AESA radars can be used from everything like the seekers in missiles through aircraft (civilian and military), ground vehicles, naval vessels and platforms (civilian and military).

    Tanks and IFVs can use it for APS systems (active protection systems like ARENA and DROZD and AFGANIT and STANDARD), or just shooting at targets at night or bad weather... it can be used to check the trajectory of outgoing ammo for artillery and air defence guns, it can perform search and track functions on a ship and pass such data to all the weapon systems on board so SAMs and Guns don't need their own search radars each... and of course land or sea or air drones could use them in recon missions in all weather day or night.

    The applications are enormous and would be a serious force multiplier...

    You could focus on cheaper systems or more expensive and more capable systems, but I would suggest cheaper systems could be sold internationally and raise the game in a lot of areas.... imagine a shoulder fired MANPADS with an ARH AESA seeker that can lock on to aircraft sized targets at say 10km day or night... would make an excellent light weapon for aircraft dealing with a large cruise missile attack.

    Are you kidding me? It makes all the sense in the world. What do you really gain from a new frame? A MIG 21 with an incredible radar and long range AAMs can take on just about any plane in the world. The frame is just a platform. As long as it has carrying capability, a good flight envelope and enough electrical capacity to power the latest sensors and weapons then its all good.

    Variants of the MIG-21 are still in production in China

    I don't disagree, but keeping a MiG-21 flying is getting harder and harder... it is like trying to find a good reliable 3.5 inch floppy disk drive... most of mine are shagged from dust or just worn out... it is cheaper and easier to just buy a USB memory stick... the other problem is that there is no much you could fit on a 1.44 MB floppy disk these days.

    You can fit a decent radar and modern AAMs to a MiG-21 and replace all the electronics and equipment with new stuff but the MiG-21 was a limited aircraft.

    It was cheap to run but didn't have good range or payload.

    To be fair in a modern air force with AWACS support whether you are operating a MiG-21 or MiG-29 wont matter because both will have their radars off getting target information from the AWACS platform... but the MiG-29 can have a bigger better radar and can accelerate and climb faster to give extra energy to weapons being launched and its IRST and more sophisticated aerodynamics mean in close combat it should be superior to most older and some newer planes.

    That is why I like the Iranian F-5 programme... take a decent but cheap little fighter and give everything an upgrade without making it a medium fighter and therefore more expensive to buy and operate.

    The other way I can think of doing it is with the MiG-29M2 and MiG-35 sharing the same airframe... effectively what you are doing is having a medium fighter with all the best stuff you can afford in the form of the MiG-35, but also the MiG-29M2 as the bargain basement low cost model that is more capable than a smaller fighter upgraded, but not as expensive as the medium fighter with all the bells and whistles.

    Effectively the idea is replacing the light cheap fighter with a medium fighter that is cheaper... it wont be as cheap as a light fighter could be but has more potential for better performance and capabilities... remember as the technologies in the MiG-35 mature and get cheaper they can be transferred to the cheaper model and more exotic and more capable systems can be developed for the MiG-35... so you might have the MiG-29M2 as your cheaper numbers aircraft, and the MiG-35s as your premium aircraft... over time you will work out what in the MiG-35 is worth the extra cost and what is not and so after 5 years of experience you can upgrade your MiG-29M2s with the most effective parts of the 35 now that they are mature and proven, and after 5 years you should have new stuff you want in service so effectively your MiG-29M2s get upgraded to MiG-35s and your MiG-35s can be upgraded to MiG-35Ms... the MiG-35 becomes the cheaper numbers plane that is more capable than before, while the MiG-35M might have brand new technology fitted... new types of radar or engines etc...

    I think this is why the Indians are allowing the SU-35 into the new competition. While on the face of it the SU-35 in a "light fighter"competition seems rediculous, the fact is, retooling costs and expertise from SU-30 operations will save billions.

    But isn't that just repeating the same mistake again? The Rafale should never have been accepted in the last competition... there was never any possibility of the French selling them 126 Rafales for 10 billion dollars... it cost 8 billion for 36 Rafales... at that rate 126 planes would be 28 billion.

    I think if they just want another 50 MiGs then local assembly will have to do... especially if they don't want to give up the foreign components being used.

    In fact, with the latest developments on the Chinese border, the Indians really need to purchase 110 SU-35s and 100 SU-57s. They should also demand a "no China" clause with the SU-57

    If they are prepared to accept a no buying weapons from the US clause in the contract too... which I don't think they will.

    probably the last few posts are off topic and would fit better in the indian air force thread.

    Fair comment... I will move this soon.


    Well yes they can, it would have to be a substantial buy, at least 100, and the Russians are quite reluctant to sell to the Chinese anyway because of all the copying. The price of the SU-57 would reflect the quantity and investment India is willing to make in the platform.Russia is not stupid, they realize India needs to buy form several sources. Russia will know its a clause they can break if they really need to, if relations with India change dramatically (unlikely)

    Russia does not have bad relations with China like India does... they are not best buddies, but have no reason not to sell aircraft that were designed for exporting like the export model of the Su-57.

    India had the chance to get a more capable and sophisticated version that was to a degree customised to their specific needs and they backed out of that.

    I am not sure China would be interested in buying more than a couple of Su-57s which means Russia wont be interested anyway.
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    Post  GarryB on Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:49 am

    India on the other hand is a comparative basket case that can't even finish the Tejas (nearly 20 years after the 1st flight and they've managed to build only 33 units?? Razz ) and are in no position to make demands when they are on their knees begging for advanced tech from their betters.

    Not to mention the Indian habit of criticism.... they endlessly complain about having to pay 2.5 billion for an aircraft carrier and the aircraft that operate from it... sure it was only supposed to cost 700K and with the air component was going to total 1.5 billion, but after they ripped it open and looked inside at the guts they had to spend an extra billion replacing all the wiring and piping and basically replacing and overhauling the propulsion system... yet they have a ten billion dollar competition for 126 medium weight fighter planes and let France enter with the Rafale. In the end they pay 8 billion dollars for 36 planes but that gets no criticism at all... 36 planes for 8 BILLION DOLLARS... At that price the full 126 aircraft would have cost 28 billion... triple the price they wanted to pay... isn't that worse?

    With Tegas I think they need to get it into proper production and service and just deal with the problems as they come up.

    I don't mean F-35 type deal with them by pretending it is not really a problem that the oxygen system suffocates the pilot... because that is a problem on all the American fighters that use that faulty system... the fact that it is costing 1.5 trillion dollars and still isn't stealthy or supersonic...

    The US should pay the Chinese to look through the plans and see if they can fix it... the British got the Germans to fix their rifle, so what is the difference?
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    Post  Sujoy on Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:28 am

    mnztr wrote: I think this is why the Indians are allowing the SU-35 into the new competition. While on the face of it the SU-35 in a "light fighter"competition seems rediculous, the fact is, retooling costs and expertise from SU-30 operations will save billions.
    The competition has been scrapped. IAF will purchase 83 Tejas LCA within the next 5-6 years. And will purchase 100 + LCA Mk 2 within the next 15 years.

    The Super Sukhoi program (which is now in the back burner because of the financial crunch) will improve the capabilities of the Su 30MKI. The Su 30MKi will also get an AESA.  

    mnztr wrote:The additional capability of deploying more heavy fighters as China grows in power is highly desirable.
     Given the very high altitude in the Tibet, China will not be able to fly their fighter with a full payload. They will have to operate from the heartland. China depends on its massive cruise missile and TBM forces placed in Tibet to strike deep inside India.

    mnztr wrote:In fact, with the latest developments on the Chinese border, the Indians really need to purchase 110 SU-35s and 100 SU-57s.
    200 + Su 30MKI will do. IAF is purchasing an additional squadron of Su 30MKI.  However, Chinese S-400 SAMs in Tibet can knock off Indian Su 30MKIs within Indian air space. OTOH, India won't get the S-400 before December 2023.


    I suspect India will eventually purchase the Su 57 to replace the Su 30MKI.


    mnztr wrote:They should also demand a "no China" clause with the SU-57
    That will cause huge financial losses to Russia. Russia won't accept it. India and China both flies the Su 30 as well, albeit with some changes in specs.

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