Indian Air Force Thread

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IAF's Rudra ALH-Mk4 details. The Rudra is especially popular in the Indian Army.

https://i.imgur.com/djr7q15.jpg

 

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IAF will overhaul its 3 Mi-26 helicopters to keep them flying for another 10-15 years. The 'Featherweights' squadron will then be flying both Mi-26 and Chinook heavy lift helicopters

[url=https://theprint.in/defence/iaf-mi-26-choppers-to-russia-overhaul/30093… Mi-26 choppers to be sent to Russia for overhaul[/ur]

 

New Delhi: The first of the Indian Air Force’s three iconic Mi-26 heavy-lift helicopters known as Halo, is set to fly to Russia in about six months to undergo extensive overhaul and repairs that is expected to extend its life by another 10-15 years, ThePrint has learnt.

The move will enable the IAF to operate the Russian-made world’s largest heavy-lift helicopters together with the American Chinook choppers that are being currently inducted, giving it an unprecedented tactical lift capability.

Once the process is complete, India will become the first country to have a simultaneous inventory of both Mi-26s and Chinooks.

Speaking to ThePrint, senior government officials said the Ministry of Defence finally cleared the file for the overhauling of the three Mi-26 helicopters in August.

To be serviced in rotation, sources said, the choppers are now being readied so that they are in a condition to fly to Russia.

Servicing each Mi-26 helicopter is likely to take anywhere between a year and a year-and-a-half. The second chopper would fly to Russia for the overhaul once the first one is back. Subsequently, the third one would be sent, said an official who did not wish to be named.

It would take each chopper about three weeks to reach Russia.

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4 more Apache AH-64E gunships landed in India to take the total to 12 in country

https://www.aero-mag.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Boeing-Apache-helicopters-2-2ps-1-1024x768.jpg

 

 

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Russian Air Force, Russian Navy and Russian Army begin tri-services INDRA-2019 exercises with India.

This time around, RuAF is bringing around 40 airplanes including 15 fighters to India.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ELgp4OZU8AAUTzc.jpg

 

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the IAF had a Russian pilot flying in the backseat of a Tejas trainer for Exercise INDRA 2019.

Twitter link


#INDRA2019 is the 2nd edition of this Joint Tri-Services Exercise between #Indian & #Russian Armed Forces which is being conducted from 10 Dec to 20 Dec 2019. Indian Air Force is undertaking joint missions during the exercise.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EL_pRt9U8AAPpyP?format=jpg&name=4096x4096

Twitter link

Today a pilot of the #RussianFederationAirForce (RFAF) flew in an Indian Light Combat Aircraft trainer. The sortie was a demonstration of the operational & avionics capabilities of the indigenously developed #LCA.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EL_pdzUUYAA0LNG?format=jpg&name=medium

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Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA): Gen-5 fighter on track, plan to fly by 2025

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-K-i_1jwAb8s/XfjpUKcoKMI/AAAAAAAAJUM/2ootPKpm-yIShg_F5_TOZqkrn2X1gjg8gCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/AMCA%2Bstructure.jpg

With the Indian Air Force (IAF) already operating the Tejas Mark 1 fighter, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) developing the Tejas Mark 2 and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) building the interim Tejas Mark 1A, there have been important breakthroughs in India’s most ambitious fighter programme: the futuristic Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).

Girish Deodhare, who heads ADA, the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) agency that oversees the Tejas and AMCA programmes, briefed Business Standard on the capabilities and development of the AMCA – a stealthy, fifth-generation (5-gen), medium weight fighter that is slated to be a match for any adversary in the skies.

“After eight years of design work, we have completed the stealth shaping of the AMCA. We are now building a full scale model of the fighter, in order to measure its ‘radar cross section’ (a measure of an object’s visibility to radar),” said Deodhare.

The ADA chief said the AMCA’s design is now mature and its internal systems are laid out. That clears the way for its detailed design, followed by metal cutting – the symbolic start of constructing a flying prototype.

“The AMCA’s first flight is targeted for 2024-25,” said Deodhare. “We plan to build five prototypes for a flight-testing programme that would take about four years. By 2028-29, we plan to begin series manufacture.

...

Deodhare said that while AMCA would be a 25-tonne fighter, it would have an “all-up-weight” (AUP) of just 20 tonnes in stealth mode, when it would carry just one-and-a-half tonnes of weaponry concealed in internal weapon bays. In “non-stealth mode”, another five tonnes of weaponry or fuel could be carried on external stations, under its wings. 

The AMCA would be able to carry up to 6.5 tonnes of fuel in internal tanks. While its operating radius remains secret, a back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates it can easily strike targets 1,000 kilometres away and return to base. 

In “non-stealth” mode, it can carry an additional 1,200-1,300 litres in its internal bays, with its weapons load mounted on external, under-wing stations, thus operating as a potent long-range bomber.

..

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2nd and 3rd IAF Rafales, RB002 and RB003 in France. These twin seaters are currently being used to train the first set of IAF crews before the planes arrive in India in May 2020.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EGb0j4PUUAAWPGH?format=jpg&name=large

https://editorial01.shutterstock.com/wm-preview-1500/10438894f/40269559/dassault-bordeaux-france-shutterstock-editorial-10438894f.jpg

 

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RB001, IAF's first Rafale

https://omnirole-rafale.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Didier-Durieux.jpg

image credit in the pic itself

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So, the final MiG-27ML 'Bahadur' has bid adieu to the IAF. Posting some images from the retirement ceremony as well as some nice MiG-27 images.

Twitter link

Farewell to the MiG-27. 14 Dec 1984 - 27 Dec 2019. Final formation flown by No.29 Sqn ‘Scorpios’, AFS Jodhpur, the last unit operating the type. Last Flogger CO of the IAF, Group Captain KU Rao, justifiably proud of his men and machines.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EM3DEiVX0AAZMmK.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EM3DEiTXYAAQwqu.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EM3DEiUXkAA5oH2.jpg

Group Captain KU Rao, CO of No 29 Scorpios Squadron, Indian Air Force

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EM3DEiUXUAAYtrQ.jpg

 

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I must admit, I'm still not sure what to think of this !?

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/if-developed-this-futuristic-variant-of-tejas-could-match-iafs-rafale-jets-2159016

https://twitter.com/Sandeep33036268/status/1213749963999498240

https://twitter.com/VishnuNDTV/status/1213740825135349761

 

But honestly, will India indeed scrap all Tejas Mk. 2 development and begin with a de facto clean sheet design? When will this be ready? in 2028+ ... and then a fourth generation type??

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There is absolutely no way that the Tejas Mk2 MWF development will be scrapped. I don't believe anyone even suggested that in the article. The MWF design was frozen last year, the prototype's metal cutting is to start in February 2020 and tenders are already out for mission simulators to be built. The Tejas Mk2 MWF project was FUNDED, which is a big deal, and the IAF has committed to acquiring those jets, citing ~ 200 units. The numbers may change, go up or down, but the project is not in jeopardy.

What happened is this-

  • Indian Navy wanted only a twin engine jet for its deck based fighter requirement due to payload and safety reasons
  • That meant that the single engine N-LCA Mk2 that was being worked on by the Aeronautical Dev Agency (ADA), had to be abandoned. And a new twin engine DBF program started
  • Now, the TEDBF's specs put it very much in the Rafale/ Typhoon/MiG-35 category weight, payload and fuel wise and so it became obvious that the IAF would be interested in such an indigenous Rafale equivalent fighter which would see suitable changes made for it to suit the IAF
  • IAF loves the Mirage-2000 which made it rather enthusiastic about a Mirage-2000 class 4.5 gen fighter in the Tejas Mk2 MWF. Much more sophisticated in terms of avionics but in the same weight and payload class. Extending that logic, the IAF loves the Rafale too- which would make it appear that the opportunity to drive the design and development of an indigenous Rafale class fighter would tempt the IAF a great deal. Hence the offer
  • And that is how an IAF specific variant (nicknamed ORCA) sprung up, which is probably HAL's brainchild - one giveaway is the term 'Omni' that HAL used for the Supersonic Omni-role Trainer SPORT trainer concept that it unveiled at Aero India 2019
  • This is now going to be discussed with the IAF, to see if the IAF would like to take it forward. Then the MoD gets involved, and then funding is sought for. This is a long winded process in itself and will take time. In the meantime, Tejas Mk2 MWF prototype build and development activities continue as funding is already secured
  • Parts/Software/Avionics/Radar/IRST developed for the MWF, would be used as much as possible for the ORCA and TEDBF, for maximum commonality between the 3 types. This will also keep development costs lower and timelines shorter and also reduce the testing cycle
  • The timeline for development and flight testing of the ORCA would be such that it would enter service (assuming it goes ahead) in 2032 or so
  • Around that time (2032 to 2035), all of the IAF's 120 Jaguars will be retired, as will the 69 + 21 MiG-29UPGs and the oldest of the 49 Mirage-2000I/TIs. That's over 250 fighters that'll need to be replaced. Tejas Mk2 MWF and AMCA will start to replace those jets with the AMCA taking over some of the Su-30MKI's roles as the oldest MKIs start to show their age.
  • AMCA will likely be more expensive to build and operate, given it'll be a 5th gen fighter. It also introduces compromises to the design to meet stealth needs, which every 5th gen design does. Given that the IAF is eager to introduce a 4th gen type like the Rafale in the mid 2020s and keep it in service for 40-50 years, I don't buy the argument about 4th gen types not being relevant in the sub-continental scenario just because they'll enter service in 2030 or so. Most of the MRCA won't even have entered service by then
  • If the 114 MRCA contest goes through (IAF will seek Acceptance of Necessity from the Govt. soon which will then lead to the RFP being issued), then the IAF may be hesitant to take on this ORCA program, given that it will compete directly with the MRCA in terms of class of aircraft and the IAF may see it as easier to order more of the MRCA from the assembly line that will be set up in India for the MRCA program

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Posting the images that Vishnu Som posted on Twitter

As pointed out by Grp Cpt HV Thakur on Twitter:

This coarse surface model was primarily for sizing purposes, to see if it would fit on the lifts of INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant, and to see how it would move around on the carrier deck. Also to see how it would fit in the existing hangars for the IAF

Naval deck based fighter with folding wings.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ENgaQuBU4AAy9pD?format=jpg&name=large

IAF version nick-named ORCA

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ENgaQuGUUAI9H5A?format=jpg&name=large

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ENgaQuGU0AAwpKb?format=jpg&name=large

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ENgaQuIUUAA9od8?format=jpg&name=large

We'll see more refinements coming through as more studies are initiated on the design.

 

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Interestingly, the 3 BVRAAM missiles that are shown hanging under the fuselage hardpoints, are based on the indigenous Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) program that has seen a couple of test firings and is in development phase. Can be confused with the Meteor BVRAAM.

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What engine is planned for this TEDBF/naval deck based fighter?
Clearly not F404/F414 engines, as those won't fit as shown by Deino on his Twittererer I think.

Also cool that the ORCA apparently doesn't require a main landing gear ;)

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I remember how you were scoffing at the position of the canards on the CFD model of Tejas Mk2 saying that it couldn't be positioned there. Even back then I had told you that the canards would be able to move within the range of motion planned given that it was part of CFD studies, but you were insistent that it couldn't be done. Obviously, the angles at which you look at them doesn't reveal all the details that a CAD model does to whoever is making them.

While this is very preliminary, rest assured that there are smart guys who're doing this and will account for such details that will obviously make a big difference to a design, such as where MLG will be placed and what it's kinematics will be like.

See the first rendering of the TEDBF on a deck. There's MLG. Those weapons that are hung off are purely representational and don't mean as much as to where the hardpoints and pylons will be eventually - what is being done with this model is to aid in studies for sizing the eventual design. Length,  wing span, etc.

There will be considerable refinements required to the wing-body blending on the underside and more details will be designed then. I even feel that the shape of the canopy and the region just aft of the canopy is different than on the MWF - which I would expect to remain the same on ORCA/TEDBF thanks to the fact that it took a lot of optimization studies to arrive at the new shape to improve the area ruling.

As Deino pointed out- if those are F-414s as TEDBF was supposed to have, then the nozzle size is off in relation to the length of the fighter. It is more like the M-88s on the Rafale.

So, just preliminary renderings and not too much should be read into it, other than the fact that there is some work going on for a twin engine 4.5 gen Tejas derivative fighter that will likely be a canard delta.

 

 

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Yes I pointed out the position of the canards. And indeed they added some structure to rectify that problem if you remember.

 

If this is again just some unrealistic visualization, why bother with that? Why not simply show a realistic concept?
OK,  to be fair I guess these renderings are intended for a different target audience. But still it makes it harder to take it seriously, and that is unnecessary imho.

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If anyone would like help clarify, I have lost track of the number of indigenous fighters that might be produced and engine / engine thrust requirements

40 Tejas Mk1 1 x GE F404

83 Tejas Mk1A  1 x GE F404

200? MWF 2 x GE F414

60? TEDBF 2 x GE F414

?? AMCA 2 x ??

Thanks for any responses clarifying last 3.