Friday, January 16, 2009

IAF leans towards A330 as its next flight refueller

Spoke to some senior officers in the IAF on January 15 at the Army Chief's reception at Army House, and it seems fairly clear that the IAF is inclined towards the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) as its follow-on fleet of mid-air refuelling tanker. The IAF seems mighty impressed with the fuel capacity and "logistical agility" of the platform compared with the Ilyushin-78M that the IAF currently uses. In fact, the IAF is completely smitten with the idea of a tanker that has optimum fuel capacity and still does not interfere with the space in the main cargo deck -- which means the A330 can refuel, deliver men and equipment in a single compound sortie, giving logistical planners a huge amount of operational planning flexibility. It's still early days though.

If anyone thought it would have been sensible to simply buy three more Ilyushins to add to the three already flying with 78 Squadron in Agra -- and thereby abstain from disturbing inventory problems -- the IAF is convinced that adding a new aircraft to even a specific inventory like in-flight refuelling would be viable if the technology and operational value-adds it brought outweighed the savings of inventory economy. The IAF is also apparently mighty impressed with the fact that the A330 (teamed with Northrop Grumman, designated KC-45) won the US Air Force's 179 new refueller contest -- a solicitation that has since been cancelled, following Boeing's protest. But the point hit home. A company considered an enemy to American industry in the old days managed to convince the USAF that its tanker was better than old faithful Boeing's 767. That alone has endeared the plane to customer around the world.

It would be interesting to see if Boeing jumped into the fray as well. Except we here ain't buying anything close to 179 aircraft, so it may not be half as exciting.

Oh, and from the horse's mouth (though this happened a couple of days ago!), the Phalcon hasn't arrived yet. And neither has the Gripen been eliminated in the MMRCA tech-eval "downselect". As a matter of fact, all six contenders have apparently made the grade and moved onto the next phase -- flight evaluation.

34 comments :

Bobs said...

c'mon shiv everybody here @ HAL airport ,B'lore saw it!!!!!!!!!! how can u say that phalcon has not even arrived? don't u know that a gag order has been enforced? coz we don't want to be seen as providing support to "oppression" ,by the islamic nations at this crucial juncture.

Shiv Aroor said...

i really hope you're right bobs! i truly wish this is a cover-up (that's why i said "horse's mouth"). but i'm still trying to figure out one thing. why? why a cover-up over something that's already known about and expected. i can imagine the govt flooding the ATV's dock without any fanfare, but the Phalcon? seems a bit irrational to fly it in silently, don't you think? please find people who've taken photos. and we can lay this thing to rest. or march when the IAF will anyway officially unveil the phalcon.

Moneesh said...

I think the surprise is being kept for Republic Day Parade......Just my speculation!!!

Sparsh said...

Shiv,

It is very much possible that that first Phalcon is in India but has not been officially handed over to the IAF yet.

Installation of sensitive equipment and software such as that for voice and data links, IFF etc. followed by a final series of checks can be expected to happen in Bangalore before the Phalcon is officially handed over to the IAF.

This would neatly explain all the stories going around. In any case, we will get to definitively see her in a few weeks time.

Anonymous said...

IAF leans towards A330 as its next flight refueller!!!

Strange that the IAF has adopted such a cavalier attitude towards diversification of inventory in a single support platform... Such leeway towards the TEJAS would be commendable but out of character. In the MMRCA context, cross out the Eurofighter and the Rafale right away, maybe even the Gripen- when you don't want the TEJAS, there's no hope for the Gripen either. Safely rule out the F-16IN since even the Yankees are phasing theirs out. The options narrow down to the Boeing Super Hornet and the MiG-35. Since the RPF was "delayed" to give the Yanks a "fair playing field", the MiG's get the shaft. Thus,the Super Hornet is the last man(or BUG?) standing, conveniently compensating Boeing for any future A330 FR deal with EADS-Northrop. Considering the Navy's sudden interest in the Super Hornet, this is the "logical" scenario. The only jarring note is this- with Boeing already securing the Navy's LRMR contract, will the GoI be naive enough to gift Boeing as lavishly?
Now let us see who wins and who loses- Well, everybody wins; obviously the Americans win big time; the Europeans will get the LRMR deal and probably the future 155mm/52cal motorized & SP howitzer (BAE-Bofors and/or Nexter) deal as well as the 155mm/39cal "light" artillery deal(BAE), the Russians will get the deal for supplementary
MiG-29K/KUB as well as the "JOINT DEVELOPMENT"(of what? The Ruskies have already decided on the design parameters) 5GFA (which they'll most likely sell to the Chinese). The Israelis win since they'll get most "interface"/"allied"/"support"
contracts. Lastly and hopefully, the 3 Services get what they want. But one question keeps popping up in my mind- does the IAF really NEED the MMRCA?

For anybody expecting/hoping to see a considerable number of TEJAS LCA in the IAF inventory, by now you would know the obvious outcome- UNLIKELY.

shrivatsa said...

Are they waiting for jan 26th or aero India to surprise all of us

Anonymous said...

Shiv, I respect and read your blog regularly. Your info is incorrect. I am anonymously writing this blog. Also, I am working on the project at Vayu Bhavan as a civilian contractor who had worked for Boeing and LM before in Australia before migrating to India. Huma's article was correct and Gripen is out of the comp. Airbus is being considered and eventually will win against the 767 and 78. The decision for MMRCA will be by Diwali this year and seriously only SH, Raf and F16 are in the fray with the single engine fighter well ahead of the rest. BTW, the Kitty Hawk story was not a rumor!

Shiv Aroor said...

last anon: thanks for the tip. appreciate it!

sparsh: what you say makes a lot of sense. yes, the phalcon could be at ASTE for testing. i really hope they include her in the 26 jan flypast!

Anonymous said...

Shiv, just watched your take on the Army not being ready for war post 26/11. Spicy, very spicy indeed. Adding to the frenzy? I think Manoj Joshi & you should do a 5 year stint with the Army. Cold start does not mean you get up on a cold wintry morning, dust your spurs, mount up and charge into the fray. Battle fields have changed from the jousting days of yore.
In ’71 the Army Chief asked for 6 months before he went into war and decapitated Pakistan. Cold start does not mean the Army launches strikes at the behest of a ballot phobic government. After Kargil the cold start doctrine just stated that the military would revamp its strike corps strategies and not that it goes into war at the drop of a hat. A lot of ground work goes in before war. Intelligence gathering, aggressive patrolling etc which takes time. Joint Army, Navy and AF war discussions are held after the political leaderships spells out its ultimate objective. Joint war plans are spelt out to be disseminated to subordinate formations. So, if the Army was not ready, the country was not ready. You can’t have the Air force going in and telling the others “Catch you later folks”. This time the political leadership had no objective other than whipping up frenzy. Think about it. Misplaced patriotism apart was 26/11 reason enough to go to war.
Do we have a polity that is so immature to mock war?
The primary task of the AF is interdiction of the battlefield and the Navy strangulates the sea routes. The Army goes in and fights for each inch of ground which is bartered by our politicians at a later stage for electoral gains.
Manoj and your source of information for the news article may have been some MoD Babu who may have been an expert on good sanitation in rural areas but ignorant on matters military.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

There are a number of reasons why the A330MRTT is the principal contender, notwithstanding its multi-role capability. As much as the IAF would like to acquire the IL-78MKI-90 for obvious reasons, the main problem is the on-going spat between Uzbekistan and Russia regarding the aircraft's co-production status and unless Russia is able to commission its alternate aircraft production facility in Voronezh in the very near future, one can bid a definite goodbye to follow-on IL-78MKI-90 orders from India. Let us not forget that a deal struck between Russia and China more than three years ago for 38 IL-76MFs and four IL-78MKKs has yet to be fulfilled. Now, coming back to the A330MRTT, what needs to be outlined or revealed is why exactly is it being favoured? Is it because it has both types of on-board aerial refuelling systems (boom, & probe-and-drogue) and therefore will be compatible with all existing and PROJECTED combat aircraft inventories of the IAF? And as a consequence of this, can one automatically assume that the the to-be-selected M-MRCA will have an aerial refuelling system compatible with the A330MRTT's aerial refuelling probe? If that's the case, then one can safely assume that the Super Hornet and F-16IN Block 60 are the only two shortlisted contenders? Of course, it can also be argued that by procuring the A330MRTT the IAF can safely preclude the need for deploying dedicated air transportation aircraft (like the IL-76MD) during expeditionary air exercises like the RED FLAG series, with the A330MRTTs acting as both aerial refuelling platforms as well as providing aerial logistics support. Finally, the unavailability of new-build IL-78MKI-90 airframes from Russia poses another interesting question: which platform will be selected for meeting the IAF's follow-on requirement for four PHALCON AEW & C systems? Will it be ex-Russian Air Force IL-76MD airframes that will be re-lifed and re-engined, or will it be Boeing's E-767s (like the ones in service with Japan) which, again, can be refuelled in mid-air only by probes of the type found on board the A330MRTT or Boeing B.767-300ER?
A final clarification: The IL-78MKI-90s in service with the IAF are of the QC-type, meaning they can be quickly converted into air transportation aircraft if required, as their twin on-board fuel tanks can be 'slid-out', or can retain one single fuel tank, while taking out the other tank and using the space available for aerial logistics. In addition, unlike the A330MRTT, the IL-78MKI-90 has a rear-loading/unloading bay, which is far more beneficial than a side-mounted cargo bay door.

Shiv Aroor said...

anon@9.40am: i'm well aware of what the cold start doctrine implies, so your sarcasm is misplaced. the main issue is modernisation and the politicisation of modernisation. secondly, you swing towards a side that doesn't ask any tough questions and therefore abets the stagnation. either way, please point out to us how many of post-Parakram recos have actually been carried out? if you don't know the facts, do spare us your "opnion". and incidentally, the story doesn't blame the army, it blames the executive.

Karl said...

Prasun K Sengupta, of the MRCA contenders only the F-16 can use the boom refueling method. LM has also talked about CFT's for F-16 whith a fixed probe on it for refueling.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

There are several factors that m favour the Pakistan Army vis-a-vis India. Firstly, there is the 'Jihadi factor'--a state of affairs reinforced by Gens (Ret'd) Pervez Musharraf and Mirza Aslam Beg throughout the 1990s when the Pakistan Army formally embraced India-specific Jihad as being an instrument of state policy. This consequently led to two perfectly rational and undeniable inferences: one, the Jihadis (be they from POK or Pakistan or the international Jihadi diaspora) were from then on an integral part of the Pakistan Army's ORBAT and as such were tasked with rear-area subversive/sabotage operations via sleeper cells (no one knows exactly how many of them have been pre-located inside India to date); and second, this development has made Pakistan and its Army, since the mid-1990s, the world's first official rogue state and rogue Army.
Now, turning to the balance of military power in the subcontinent, it will be foolhardy and unwise to indulge in comparisons of military hardware assets or ORBATs for the simple reason that Pakistan has clearly chosen to indulge in assymetirc warfare rather than conventional warfare. Simply put, this means mobilising up to 10,000 Jihadis (by the ISI, which explains what Musharraf said recently when describing the ISI as being the first line of defence [or offense] in case hostilities commence) against the Indian Army in times of hostilities and using them to relentlessly disrupt the lines of communications, and using 'terror weapons' like conventional warhead-carrying ballsitic missiles to attack India's vital economic installations (like South Mumbai and petrochemicals commplexes in Jamnagar). This is exactly what Pakistan Army COAS Gen Kayani was referring to when he stated that if attacked by the IAF, Pakistan would respond in 5 minutes. What tilts the military balance completely against India now are two things: unlike the Pakistan Army which takes ALL decisions (strategic and operational) pertaining to waging war (and is consequently quicker to make them), the Indian armed forces cannot as they are constrained by political decision-making which is very much slower and often almost indecisive as the political establishment has no idea of or inclination for appreciating or understanding the true virtues or applications of overwhelming military prowess (hence its feet-dragging on matters like the need for a Chief of Defence Staff, Integrated Theatre Commands, and single integrated operational plans); and the absence, thus far, of a credible ballistic missile defence system which is expected to be available for protecting India's vulnerable economic centres of gravity only by 2012.
But the greatest hindrance to India's military force modernisation efforts is the compulsive and criminal adherance by the MoD's Dept of Defence Production & Supplies on the policy of procuring the critically required force-multiplier hardware like Gen 3 night vision devices and communications systems from only defence PSUs like BEL, etc. The problem here is that defence PSUs are unable to autonomously raise financial capital from the stock markets in order to finance their industrial production capacities and are totally reliant on the MoD's annual budget for such efforts. The result: production capacities are unable to meet the spurts in demand for vitally required hardware. Unless this dysfunctional state of affairs is immediately rectified, all well-intentioned force modernisation plans and long-term perspective projections for force modernisation will be mere paper exercises! Therefore, instead of dwelling on a make-believe world, the MoD without any further delay must undertake financial divestment of entities like BEL, HAL, OFB, all MoD-owned shipyards, and BEML and make them publicly listed industrial entities, with the MoD owning only golden shares in such industrial entities. It is only by undertaking such strategic divestments that will enable these existing DPSUs to quickly forge strategic industrial partnerships with their foreign counterparts and only then will true and genuine direct/indirect industrial offsets begin to proliferate. If anyone expects the existing defence offsets policies to become success stories in the midst of an existing dysfunctional setup that seeks to perpetuate state ownership of India's military-industrial entities, then the concerned persons are only living in a fool's paradise. And the ultimate price will be paid by India's armed forces as their force modernisation goals will never ever be realised in a time-bound manner. That's the writing on the wall. Hope the Hon RM and Hon NSA take note of this inglorious strategic inevitability.
PS: In January 2002 when OP Parakram was successfully staged, the then COAS Gen paddy Padmanabhan asked the Govt of India's executive Arm to clear and precise instructions about the aims and objectives (higher directions, or strategic directives) of initiating a limited war campaign, since more than 60% of the Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force were deployed north of the Shakargarh Bulge (as Pakistan then was expecting a limited war instead of all-out war). But it was the Cabinet Committee on National Security that blinked then and decided against taking the operational initiative for the simple reason that no matter how much intellectually endowed or politically competent they may be, when it comes to military matters, the current generation of political decision-makers in India do not have any understanding whatsoever of military power and how such power can go hand-in-hand with economic prowess. Consequently, they live in a make-believe world, while India's armed forces are at the exact opposite end, indulging in realistic wargaming and field exercises!!!

Anonymous said...

"Gripen is out of the comp"? I just read a Gripen Executive in India-defence.com saying this is a rumour and Gripen is set to be called to the field trials and is very optimistic with its chances because they would complement the Tejas.For me, I think the safe bet for IAF would be to go for both MMRCAs, Super Hornet & Mig-31 may be 76 SH & 40 mig 31 with a further 40 Mig 31 options.Indians need to break from the Russian technology but at the same time the support structure is already there.SH is not only good but having the US interested in commercial gain would provide a buffer between China and Pakistan because don't forget Pakistani sabre rattling is sponsored by PRC which is the number 1 sponsor of global terrorism through covert supplies of logistics and armaments.Given the size of the nuclear test Pakis conducted, it is no secret that it was a Chinese equipment probably couriered into Pak.

Anonymous said...

Wow, we not only have a MMRCA short list, we also have a winner well before the TEC and the Evals... ?

Anonymous said...

Shiv has a way of words to escape the criticism, many of which he doesnt publish. Shiv, claims to know what is Cold Start. Really.

And Manoj, another self proclaimed expert, a.k.a, Prasun Sengupta, thinks his wisdom of 20 years back is still poignant.

Indeed their source is a MoD babu only. And Manoj's source is a retired Army officer, whom he met in the Army Chief's house on Jan 15 at Deepak Kapoor's army day reception.

Look at the headline, "Was the army ready for war", as if they knew of 26/11 and even if they did , have they ever been ready? Its a political decision, only after which some preparations start.

INS Virat has just been zipped up after a year.

They were never ready in Kargil, in 1971, or before that also.

Is it exclusive info or really a page 1, to be followed by a sister channel.

So many issues need attention, Deepak Kapoor always takes permission before speaking at press confrences. He was trained to say all that. He's eyeing post-retirement benefits, Antony is eyeing elections/ticket/Ministry/photo in Kerala newspapers.

IAF pulverises only after which the army moves and actually fights and wins the war. So IAF and navy even if they are not ready, its ok with them.

Remember Kargil?

Shiv, just because you have to do a story to show that your working (which you are actually not), doesnt mean you'll lap up any shit Manoj and others will dish out.

And publish this, if your not a coward.

Varun Gupta said...

Hey I really liked your article.It's an interesting topic. I have also tried to write same thing on Indian Republic Day, 26th Jan hope you will approve it and your comment will be really appreciated.
I would be also glad to exchange link with your blog.

Regards,
Varun

Anonymous said...

personally, the A-330 is pathetic compared to the KC 777 LR, the Boeing 777 will win the USAF tanker deal b'coz it has a much longer range and much higher off-load ability, plus it too can carry troops, equipment and other stuff. secondly, the USAF contract is massive and will cost billions, to keep costs low and spending within the country, the USAF will go for the KC-777 hands down as Mr. obama is under pressure to keep jobs going and cut imports. KC 777 is the ideal choice even for the IAF, we should order it now and become the first export customers for it now just like the P-8I. screw the A-330 french shit.

Anonymous said...

Shiv,
No sarcasm meant. What we are essentially discussing is not whether the Indian Army was ready for war post 26/11 but something which is evident in militaries the world over. This Relative Military Stasis, (RMS) in technology, at least, has a range of causes: the end of the Cold War, bureaucratic changes, political cultures, scientific limits, cost inflation, a focus on new characteristics that cannot be so easily measured. Some have gone so far as to call the contemporary strategic environment “global chaos.” A cursory look at some of the futurist projections of defense analysts shows that many expect such world altering trends to strengthen in the future, creating an unstable and dangerous world full of asymmetric threats, international crime, and extremism-fueled terrorism. In such an environment, it is not merely equipment that can become obsolescent, but also
mindsets, exemplified by planning to fight the last war, rather than the next.
The causes of RMS are threefold of which changes in governmental culture and structure is one. In most of the world, the government controls the military, and in turn determines the direction of military research and development to a greater or lesser extent. Governments provide funds, which determine which systems will be developed and procured: whoever controls the purse strings controls the programs. As such, as governments change their internal structures, especially in the case of defense bureaucracies, there will be effects on the rate of development. A change in structure that streamlines procurement will speed up development; a change that makes procurement a
lengthier process will slow down development. The bureaucracies have often micromanaged budget items, focusing on cost rather than strategy. The services, in turn, have often fought to establish their own influence in the process, often trying to take away the central power. Lower levels of the bureaucracy have subverted attempts by
senior officials to implement reforms. Often, bureaucratic actors have been content with
stasis, preferring to protect their own turf rather than embrace risk. This “safety first” attitude has been furthered by the funding system. In response, groups within defense have resorted to satisficing in order to retain some day-to-day stability,
rather than worry about long-term issues. Narrow interest groups have dominated acquisition plans, believing that budget growth will solve all defense problems. These interest groups have usually been service-based, leading to accusations by some that
the uniformed military had too much influence at the highest levels of policymaking. Governments, and by extension, procurement bureaucracies, have swollen in the past 60 years, lengthening development processes. Defense budgets around the world have generally increased in raw terms since the end of World War II, albeit with brief downward curves during the peace dividend period of the early post-Cold War era. Since 2000, however, defense funding has tracked upwards in the major innovating countries, including the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom. If the price of military equipment, measured per “capability unit,” had stayed the same, then military evolution would have occurred at the same rate or even accelerated in recent times due to the increase in raw money. Partly, this has not occurred because funding has gone to other elements of the military budget than research and development. More important, however, is inflation. As development timelines have lengthened, the costs of military equipment have skyrocketed in a manner that is disproportional to their performance and disproportional to inflation in other areas of the economy. This can be partly explained by the “80:20” rule, which states that for any given item of military
equipment, an item with 80 percent of the capability of the best item can be obtained for 20 percent of the cost of that item; it is the final 20 percent of capability, the leading-edge and innovative aspect, that inflates the cost. Estimates of the level of inflation of military
equipment, while high, may only constitute a “lower bound on the true cost.”


PS: You need not put this onto the web as this is not my original but some inputs for your story and quite outside the topic. The Cold Start doctrine is one of the strategic answers to RMS or RMA (Revolution in Military Affairs). The Russians actually started it in the early 80's with the prototype "RMA" That was a legacy of seeing that huge forces were unwieldy and cost prohibitive. The US looked at the Russian RMA model and began developing it in 1989. By 1999-2000 they had it in substantial place.
China has dramatically changed it's force structure since assessing the US approach to Kuwait, the Gulf War and Afghanistan (which showed how SFs could be used in a surgical masse manner)
The UK, Australia, France, Germany are all going through force restructure.
And the Pakistan Army has had quite some time to analyse this Cold start doctrine and have a counter move for it.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@2:02PM: You have conclusively proven that just like the Executive Branch of the Govt of India you too live in a make-believe world and can't tell the head from the toe. Consider the following: Shiv's story was about a probable OP Parakram-2 and whether India is capable of revisiting the OP Parakram-1 scenario. Secondly, the Indian Army has NEVER used the terminology COLD START to describe any of its warfighting doctrine. The warfighting doctrine post-OP Parakram is officially known as PRO-ACTIVE STRATEGY. In conclusion, therefore, do conduct an enlightened appreciation of what Shiv, Manoj and I have tried to highlight before exposing your severe 'self-proclaimed' intellectural deficiencies.

mirza said...

leg fro south
hand from east
eyes from north
Ear from west

which topic i should comment on MMRCA,Tankers, Kity hawk, Awacs or About COAS.

COAS:- i think government should banned at least 2-3 years for retiring official from joining any politics.

Kitty hawk would come virtually free with Hornets MY honest Guess.

Tanker [Better think should be choose].

MMRCA My Award Goes to
1- Rafales[Based on quite new tech]
2- Hornets[just good sea and air asset only if his kitty is full of candys]
3- Mig 35 old work horse need fine tuning Plus More think req. other than just TVC

Awacs -if they work 8 hour than due date is one month if they can work 18 hour than we have it 13-14 days so it is may be true. final touch and training for indian technician is going on here 2plus advantage

Just view.
what you both have to say.

one more thing our CISF staff in Delhi metro have very dirty INSAS in there hand a serious mater of maintenance as well

I think INSAS is use less in such spaces these gun quite bulky and long we need shorter guns like Uzis and zithraa

Anonymous said...

To Prasun K Sengupta and Shiv Aroor:
Please checkout this issue of CodeoneMagezine
http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/2008/articles/jul_08/f16-evolution/images/f16_evolution_29.jpg
Its pretty obvious that the F-16IN has the prob and drogue in-flight refuelling system instead of the boom type being used on te USAF F-16's. Which other aircraft in the world other than that operated by USAF use the boom system?? Even the US Navy uses the probe and drogue syste,

Anonymous said...

Prasun, you're too full of yourself to even understand anything. Read again anon at 2.02.

And by the way whats your contribution?

And I know Manoj better than anyone, so don't profess what he meant or you and Shiv can or want to mean. Shiv ofcourse is a little kid, besotted by aircraft. He doesnt know anything about military affairs and policies, which is evident from his stories and blog.

And I am not an executive, but a journo like you all, with a little more experience as I come from within the system, therefore have seen both sides.

Thankfully Manoj gets some visibility and does some work, otherwise all he does is try and push down others' stories and keeps brainwashing Bharat about his stupid ideas.

Leave Deepak Kapoor, he's a spineless General, incapable of leadership. You talk of yourself

Anonymous said...

Ro Anonymous@1:58 PM:Correction I meant Mig-35 not mig 31 and some shortlisting can be done from commonsense because unless evaluations prove otherwise the Eurofighter and Rafale are costly;Gripen is similar to the LCA; F-16IN no matter how tailored to India's need is known to the Pakis and also phased out of the USAF;this just leaves the Super Hornet and Mig-35.The fact US does not consider as an ally YET, and the Russians are keen on dash for cash to balance it out a two variety induction will calm waters and meet the immediate need.
To Prasun:Agree with you totally but wish China could be dislodged!India needs a plan not ad hoc decisions.One can't attempt to be a global power without a global plan which is lacking in India.When I was in India last the newspaper said for the first time Pakistan was ahead of India in access to hygiene and sanitation i.e. more people had access to sewerage etc in Pakistan!Before India springs on "blue water" and "global capability" I think powers that be require to develop a strategic thinking capability in the national interest not political interest. After all Ibrahim Lodhi lost to Babur even though he had the largest army. That was due to a simple equipment Babur had : cannons. Likewise, if Indian leaders don't come up with a definite resolve, sitting on the fence will only result in someone one day knocking the fence down.

Anonymous said...

Shiv, the first Phalcon arrives in May this year and all three will be in by the end of this year.

Gripen is not out. TEC report has not even reached the authority for signature and approval, for anyone to be thrown out.

Dont know from where fools come here to mislead , the already misled and brainless people here.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.01PM: What makes you say I'm a journalist? Did we ever meet before? Have you ever seen me in any press conference in India thus far? Have you ever spotted me covering any media-related event before? Do you have have access to my CV? Do you know whether or not I have a military background? Or whether I was a commissioned or non-commissioned officer? You are being far too presumptuous my claiming that your're from within the syetem. What and which system? As it is, your comments have not offered anyone anything constructive and therefore, as Shiv would concur, thanks for your trolling and now go back to your knitting.

Frontier India said...

Mr. Shiv Aroor,

Can you pls sent me an email on frontierindia [at] gmail dot com.

Best
Chacko Joseph

Anonymous said...

Heard that Paki AF is in plans to procure 4 of the IL-78's, would that be a reason why INDIA tilted towards Airbus???

Anonymous said...

i would say that if v could not get f16,18 when these aircraft first came out in 1978,81 then y v need these aircraft now when they approach their end of life

both rafale provide better performance and mig35 comes at lower price and both these aircraft come without hinderances like TOT,when and how to use them

a330 tanker going to b lot more costlier than il78mki

Armchair Grumbler said...

Dear Senior Defence Journalist,

A Phalcon cannot be hidden inside a hangar even in the HAL airport. News would have leaked out and photos too, if it was in the HAL airport that ASTE uses. So stop speculating. It is still four months away. If you want to see it go to Tashkent or Kiev or Israel.

Who ever is that civilian contractor who came across the Straits is talking through his bush hat! The short-listing will be after the actual performance of each type is done in the Hot & High trials and avionics upgrades seen. Just stop filling space in your blog with incorrect information.

Anonymous said...

i was a AIRBUS 330/340 pilot and upgraded to Boeing -777-300ER last year(and got grounded for a while too :), thanks to the slowdown and bad performance by me thanks to the A 330s) trust me Airbus 330 is not at all more Manuverable than any other aircraft. There are strict bank angle limitations(thanks to the high-tech software, which is an impediment in itself)and
there have been times when we had to be in the air for more than one hour over Delhi during the Summer's hail/dust-storms because we couldnt simply change course for last minute adjustments as the software becomes 'agitated', and then you see(hear of) a rickety old t-tailed IL 76(not an IAF but some chartered) behind you changing its course(in severe wind shear) , turning to change its course and making a perfect landing, whereas the controller instructs me to join the queue of other international inbound aircraft, and landing 40-60 min late.
this was the senario in a regulated and controlled environment just imagine the a330's working in a war like senario- even if they operate 500 km off the battle field, it will have to make un- precidented or off-limit manuevers. offcourse its modified for military use, but the computers cant be changed as it is based on old 1980s techonolgy(airbus speaks of lots of modification that can be done but the critical aspects of navigation etc can not be changed and is based on a primitive processor) ite feel that you get when you fly the aircragt is a artificial Q feel and the aircraft cant even bank more than certian level which is good for civilian use but wont fit in as a refueler or even as a transport aircraft. its takeoff charecterstics are however better than than IL 76's, not to forget low noise.

the boeing aircrafts both 767 and 777 based refueler would be the best for IAF if offered as they have all round better capablity than all the other aircraft specially the 777.

and by the shiv, the 3rd delhi runway(11R/29L) which u had covered for HT for the opening landing etc is never used when its neccessary(when there's low visiblity or rain), which means everythings not fine with it(dispite the fact that ground navigation radars arent installed), the international traffic of 11pm and afterwards(whenever i flew) was usually directed to the the former primary runway(10/28) which is useful for domestic flights as they dont have to taxi a lot after landing, but for internationals dont make a difference. and anyways there is'nt much traffic but then a new facility should be available for use all the time and approach to the the new runway is easier, & if certain restrictions are removed then there's nothing like it, Mumbai cant even think of something like it.

Anonymous said...

i was a AIRBUS 330/340 pilot and upgraded to Boeing -777-300ER last year(and got grounded for a while too :), thanks to the slowdown and bad performance by me thanks to the A 330s) trust me Airbus 330 is not at all more Manuverable than any other aircraft. There are strict bank angle limitations(thanks to the high-tech software, which is an impediment in itself)and
there have been times when we had to be in the air for more than one hour over Delhi during the Summer's hail/dust-storms because we couldnt simply change course for last minute adjustments as the software becomes 'agitated', and then you see(hear of) a rickety old t-tailed IL 76(not an IAF but some chartered) behind you changing its course(in severe wind shear) , turning to change its course and making a perfect landing, whereas the controller instructs me to join the queue of other international inbound aircraft, and landing 40-60 min late.
this was the senario in a regulated and controlled environment just imagine the a330's working in a war like senario- even if they operate 500 km off the battle field, it will have to make un- precidented or off-limit manuevers. offcourse its modified for military use, but the computers cant be changed as it is based on old 1980s techonolgy(airbus speaks of lots of modification that can be done but the critical aspects of navigation etc can not be changed and is based on a primitive processor) ite feel that you get when you fly the aircragt is a artificial Q feel and the aircraft cant even bank more than certian level which is good for civilian use but wont fit in as a refueler or even as a transport aircraft. its takeoff charecterstics are however better than than IL 76's, not to forget low noise.

the boeing aircrafts both 767 and 777 based refueler would be the best for IAF if offered as they have all round better capablity than all the other aircraft specially the 777.

and by the shiv, the 3rd delhi runway(11R/29L) which u had covered for HT for the opening landing etc is never used when its neccessary(when there's low visiblity or rain), which means everythings not fine with it(dispite the fact that ground navigation radars arent installed), the international traffic of 11pm and afterwards(whenever i flew) was usually directed to the the former primary runway(10/28) which is useful for domestic flights as they dont have to taxi a lot after landing, but for internationals dont make a difference. and anyways there is'nt much traffic but then a new facility should be available for use all the time and approach to the the new runway is easier, & if certain restrictions are removed then there's nothing like it, Mumbai cant even think of something like it.

Anonymous said...

il78 can carry upto 110 tons of fuel and this is not bad at the price il78 comes\

a330 has no rear ramp but il78 has and fuel tanks in fuselage can b removed and il78 becomes il76

UK is paying $ 20 billion for 14
a330 aircraft to operate them for next 10 years so it is around
$ 2 billion a year for 14 aircraft to operate

Anonymous said...

Tsk, Tsk!! Such ludicrous arguments and counter arguments. Each one seems enthralled by himself placed on virtual pedestals, possibly thinking he is the last word on military affairs.

For the uninitiated and those self professed experts, I may like to clarify one very basic fact as far as Aerial refuelling is concerned. Both boom type and probe-drogue type of refuellers are used the world over.

Probe and drogue systems are suitable for single seater or light aircraft (read fighters) whereas the boom type is suitable for heavy to medium or heavy to heavy class of aircraft. Refuellers may have only probe and drogue or Boom type of capabilities or a combination of the two making it more versatile. The boom type may further be modified with an adapter to allow probe-drogue type of operations. The advantages of a boom is that it allows high transfer rates as compared to the probe-drogue variant.

I also read a bit of an article of a Boeing 777 pilot before abandoning it halfway.... My dear friend, a refueller does not need the kind of maneuverability that you talk of. The hi-tech software you talk about is actually called FBW (Fly by wire)...which rings me to think whether you really are an airline pilot as you claim to be or just a trainee pilot on a Cessna with some reading of Handling the Big Jets or the 'Getting to Grips" series on aviation.

I do hope I have been able to contribute gainfully to those reading through these posts.

Regards.