Skip to comments.India rules out joining US in 5th gen fighter programme
Posted on 02/09/2011 4:16:48 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
India on Wednesday ruled out joining the US in developing the F-35 Lightning II fifth generation stealth fighter aircraft.
We have already entered into a partnership with Russia in developing our own fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), Defence Minister A K Antony said.
No other country has previously offered such technology to us There is no question of going back now, the Defence Minister told reporters during the Aero India 2011 which began in Bangalore on Wednesday.
Washington had recently offered New Delhi to join its Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme that would have ultimately led India to purchase the fifth generation F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter.
(Excerpt) Read more at brahmand.com ...
As usual, the incompetents in Washington close the door after the horse is out of the barn.
“India has no plans as of now to either join the US-led joint strike fighter (JSF) programme or buy the F-35 `Lightning-II’ fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) when it finally becomes operational.
“We cannot have two types of FGFA. We have already launched preliminary work for our FGFA after inking the $295 million preliminary design contract (PDC) with Russia last month,’’ said a top defence ministry official on Friday.”
The Indian FGFA will primarily be based on the single-seater Sukhoi T-50, the prototype of which is already flying in Russia, but will include a twin-seater version and a more powerful engine with greater thrust.
“Its complete design will be frozen by the end of the 18-month PDC. Six to seven of its prototypes should be flying by 2017. After that, there will be 2,500 hours of flight-testing over 25 months before the series production begins in 2019,’’ he said.
well, at least some Indian won’t be able to sell our secrets for ‘tea money’...
Considering the problems that the F-35 has been facing, it’s really not surprising that India would decide to sit this one out.
On the other hand, I have serious doubts about Russia’s ability to build the T-50 at anything like the numbers they envision, or that it will be as capable as advertised.
At least the horse is happy.
Don’t let Spetznaz see your post.
India rules out joining US in 5th gen fighter programme
Heck, why should they pay good rupees to the USA to participate.
Their kids that are grad students in many engineering departments in
universities of the USA will steal enough info to do the job
“on the cheap”.
As well as Russian students in the same engineering departments.
Like an old song by The Who: “My Baby Gives It Away, Every Day”.
That’s how moronic we’ve become.
Gee, nice guy you are! You tell me “don’t let him see it”, but you ping him to it.
You can’t buy something that’s not been officially offered. Unless remarks at a seminar are official.
I was only playing around.I thought there was a rule here in FR if we mention another poster in a post, we have to ping them. I do not want to break the rules right?
No worries. Heck, if he wants to argue the point, I’ll be glad to oblige!
With that said, totally agree with what you said Ronin. There is an obvious trade-off between prime capability and the numbers that can be built, particularly if cost optimizations are considered. If the US, with a significant technological and financial advantage, has had to limit numbers of apex equipment like the Raptor and SeaWolf due to cost/capability constraints, it is highly doubtful that the Russians (or any other lower tier country) would be able to make Raptor-analogues at SU-30 airframe numbers. The only way that would happen would be if the analogue was not as technologically sophisticated.
Which is why, on the T-50, I have always maintained that it is in no way as capable as the F-22 Raptor. That can be easily verified by checking any of my posts on the T-50 going back to its first flight, as well as some rather long ones around 6 months ago. Clearly stated that it is in no way comaprable to the Raptor (and listed the reasons why), and there are a key number of compromises that the Russians have had to make (it will be interesting if the Indian FGFA version makes the same, although I would bet that it also will - the real test will be when the stealthy flying prototype takes off in the next couple of months, since so far we have seen a static stealthy prototype in a single picture, and the avionics test bed flying a year ago). However, for what the T-50 is meant to be those compromises do not affect its mission ....unless, ofcourse, there is a air-war between India/Russia and the US. However, in the context of achieving aerial superiority against Chinese J-10/12/15/XX opponents, in the context of the T-50 not operating far from native SAM and network support. In such a context, with its limited stealth, great fuel fraction and supercruise, it will be better than any Gen 4.5 platform out there.
Thus, dear Ernst, I have never said that the T-50 is better than the Raptor (or that the Russians will build thousands of them, or that they will be silver bullets zipping about like some Slavic Superman). Thus I see no reason why I would not want to see Ronin's post (which I agree with). Now, if you want me (as we had discussed on that other thread) to simply say 'it is junk' in a one-sentence drive-by post, sadly it is not for what it is meant to be. Neither is the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Rafale, the Gripen, or any of the other planes you think I 'sell.' Unlike you, I logically look at the capabilities of the particular and the context of its use, and in the same way I would not say a F-16 is junk because a Turkish Viper got shot down by a Greek Mirage during one of their flare-ups, or how Pakistani Vipers had to flee from Indian Fulcrums (it would be stupid of me to say the Viper is 'junk' based on the performance of Vipers in the hands of foreign airforces, particularly in the Pakistani case when the Falcons in that specific case did not even have BVR ...and particularly when in the hands of the USAF and IsraeliAF the Viper has been the MOST effective air combat machine in their inventory), I will not also simply say 'all foreign equipment is junk' because some turd-world country flying planes without RWR/MAWs got walloped.
Anyways, all the T-50 is is an evolved Flanker. Ypu, read that right. However, the evolution gives it more LO (particularly in the frontal hemisphere, which makes sense considering that it is not supposed to be a deep IADS penetrator), better net-enabled operations, considerably better W/S and T/W, better higher altitude operations, significantly increased kinematics (in particular a> the ability to supercruise, b> sustained supersonic operations, as well as c> enhanced supersonic and subsonic agility), and the most advanced dispersed/integrated sensor suite outside the US and Western Europe. Thus it is an evolutionary and not a revolutionary design, but in its designed context it is perfect for the needs of the Indian and Russian airforces when viewed against a China scenario (even with China having the various JXX platforms ...the J-20 is one, and there is another I got a picture of called the Snowy Owl that is a Sino-F-35 basically). Against the Raptor it is junk, but against the current and upcoming threat spectrum India/Russia may face (i.e. a certain large neighbor) it is highly competitive to the point of denying ingress into their respective airspace, and better than any 4.5G platform. Not a Raptor, but not a turkey.
It's like the old saying goes “Cheap, fast or good — choose any two”.
I just do not think there is any chance that they are going to be able to produce that bird in the numbers they are talking about, in the timeframe they are talking about, unless they are going to spend a lot more money — and possibly not even then.
Factories are going to have to be built, engineers are going to have to be trained, scarce resources are going to have to be found, purchased, processed, etc., etc., etc...
To be effective, these things are going to have to be fabricated to the highest tolerances, and while they can and probably will, produce a number of them that meet specs, but not enough to be that big of a deal.
Then there is the whole issue of the claims they are making regarding performance. All we have seen is a couple of prototypes (T-50 and J-20). We have no idea how stealthy these birds actually are, we have no idea whether the avionics are going to do what they claim they will, we don't even have any idea if they are going to fly as far or fast as they claim.
All this stuff reminds me of the hysterics everyone was having when the MiG-25 first came out.
Looking at the T-50 design, for instance, it has normal nozzles that do not exactly do much for its rear IR and RCS observablity. There are three options that can arise: a) they remain the same (like in current 4.5 fighters, or the F-35 prototype), b) they get certain reduction measures (like the saw cut in later F-35s that are now going flight tests that have a zigzag design cut into the nozzle), or c) have F-22 style nozzles (and there is a SU-30 test-bed that was flying with a normal nozzle and a F-22 style 2-D TVC nozzle, thus it is something that has been looked at). What will the actual decision be? Well, we will know when the stealthy T-50 prototype flies, but I would put my money on option b since a will probably not be the case, and c has certain weight issues to it. Thus, that is one example of compromises being made.
As you said in that Project Diagram...you can have cheap, fast or good, but only two can be selected.
Thus statements of 2,000 PakFas/J-20s are simply not going to be the case, unless the resulting product is not going to be much better than a 4.5 generation. However, the biggest issue has been highly detailed analysis based on nothing but observation. Sure, a lot can be done based on that ....e.g. even one can calculate efficient speed/capability of supercruise based on wing-sweep (rough numbers, but they can give something), or projected agility based on the approximate wing-loading (and using thrust/weight ratios of current aircraft, e.g. later SU-30 for the PakFa), etc etc ....however that is only one aspect of the airframe. Things like avionics are impossible to tell for anyone in any forum (unless one has their own CIA unit), and it is ridiculous to claim (say) the J-20 is 'more advanced' than the Raptor when the Chinese cannot get their engines to have half the life of Als, and their planes do not even have avionics nearly as advanced as those of a SuperHornet. In terms of stealthiness, true supercruise speed (not rough calculations based on airframe maximums), altitude, fuel fractions (again, real values not calculated aggregates), avionics sophistication, etc ....it would be next to impossible to tell that from prototypes (and looking at the YF-22 and the F-22, there are design change possibilities present). Totally agree with you there.
As for the MiG-25 comparison ...also agree with that one, and more than just the hysterics. The hysterics were on this Soviet super-fighter once the pictures came out (and fortunately they made the US develop the F-15, which has a record that speaks for itself, and something I PRAY happens with all the chest-thumping on the J-20 ...that it will make the US re-open Raptor lines and upgrade them). Obviously once a pilot defected in one it was proven the Foxbat was no super-fighter. Thus I agree there. I would also add that there was a lot of projection of capabilities, with an ironic twist. The Foxbat was supposed to be an interceptor for the proposed XB-70 Valkeyrie, that never came to be, and thus for its given purpose it was quite good. Zoom out fast and high, even if that killed the engines, use its big PESA to target the Valkeyries, and shoot them down. So what if its engines were fried if it killed a plane that was carrying a nuke to some Soviet city? The Soviets ended up making a single-purpose plane (the Foxbat) for a threat (the XB-70) that never came to be, and the US ended up making a super-fighter that was everything the Foxbat had been feared to be but never was. Interesting how things play out, and I PRAY that is exactly what happens after all the talk of the Raptor being 'bait.'
It will take more than prototypes before those in the know (i.e. governments) can tell what the true capabilities are, which means it will take much longer for us forum types to really know the truth.
What we need to do is get rid of the law preventing export of the F-22. The Japanese would love to buy it, so would the Aussies.
That would help to bring down the price per copy and the Air Force could by more. Maybe even take another look at the Sea Raptor for the Navy, although I have my doubts on how practical that would be due to the corrosion issues the F-22 is now experiencing in a land based environment.
At sea, with all the salt water...
Isn’t the corrosion due to some ‘green tech’ primer?
I’m not sure, but speaking as a former carrier sailor, I can tell you that saltwater corrosion is a constant menace and plays merry hob on just about any kind of sensitive electronic gear. It has to be fought constantly. Practically everything electronic built for shipboard duty has to be “hardened” against it.
I just shudder to think of what they would have to do to make the F-22 carrier compatible, but it wouldn’t be cheap.