Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MAIL TODAY: FGFA Not What It Seems

This was the only piece I saw in the papers this morning that sought to question the FGFA deal -- all the others were mostly gushing ones. Do stay tuned though. I'm onto some information on precisely what HAL will be contributing to the FGFA/PMF, and why the newspaper report above is probably pretty much bang on. Over three years ago, I posted here about the ludicrousness of calling the FGFA a "joint development". Soon, I'll tell you why.

Clipping Copyright Mail Today


Anonymous said...

manoj joshi is the ONLY intelligent man in this country.
He can single handedly design and make FGFA

How easy it is to write an article
Isnt it

MR JOSHI If India was to emulate China the FIRST of all; ALL journalists would be locked up and whipped daily

Anonymous said...

Of all the things made clearly visible, why is it that there are some fools in India like the one who made the first comment to this topic. Long way to go till we can beat ourselves, forget China or Pakistan.

indian defence forum said...

russia is a true friend of india.......these conspiracy theories are planted by american sponsored journalists, to change the perception among strategic thinktanks in favour of usa at the expense of patriotic indian will allow that to happen

russia zindabad

Russia zindabad

Sun Rise SUNIL said...

What Manoj Joshi said is true why we should pay additional amount for design and make FGFA ,already 3 prototype is developed , what is new design we going to do took 4 year to develop the design ....i think we paying good money to russia ....once it sucessfull the they will increase the price of the FGFA like they did it will su30 ...MR. JOSHI you r Right

Anonymous said...

Well the key question is whether the FGFA is going to be much better than the F-35/Rafale/Typhoon. The obvious answer is "yes ofcourse; that is the intent and exceeding the capabilities of these aircraft is a fundamental driver for the FGFA, at least from the Russian perspective". Again when we say better, we mean the whole package: technology offsets/transfers, reinvestment into related Indian industries for accessories and peripherals, no kill switches ;) etc.. etc.. Now since India cannot obtain the F-22 and at most hope to obtain the F-35/Rafale/Typhoon (two of which are already in the MMRCA) it becomes a much easier decision for the IAF and MoD to make. Whether it is daylight robbery or not, its an oppty to work with cutting edge tech which is not going to be available elsewhere anywhere for decades at best. A homegrown ability to achieve such feats is also decades away. The Russians know this. Now whether 35 bill USD was too much and 25 would've much better or 10 b USD would've been a bargain is all moot. Similarly, paying for development and buying at market-price is moot too. There is no competition and so anything goes. The best way to keep them on their toes (and prevent the 35b USD from inflating to 70b a la Gorshkov etc.) is to immediately select the Typhoon or the Rafale and keep the option for going with more as a fallback/bargaining chip if the FGFA budget inflates..

Anonymous said...

i have read other articles of manoj joshi.
most of them are well analyzed.

anyway, there is not much surprise that indian contribution will be minimal.
what is actually meant by joint development is - i hope - deep ToT.

by the way, this is bbc article which is interesting .

Anonymous said...

@anon at 10:53 . Stop grandstanding and mumbling gibberish. Cannot even make out if you have a point!

Sun Rise SUNIL said...

Russia zindabad for the cost Escalation & delay

Note : su30k was 30 million right know it 96 million …why

Carrier was some ware 900million + know it had ended up to 2 billion +

Mig 29k technical snug why they are delay

Russia's Kalingrad-based Yantar shipyard has told Russia's Rosoboronexport that it will need $100-million more to complete the construction of three stealth frigates

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Manoj Joshi has fallen into the same trap as several others have when he 'assumes' that the FGFA will in effect be the T-50 PAK-FA. This is a fundamental factual error that keeps on getting repeated. This is what IAF HQ said way back in mid-2005 about the FGFA in an exclusive interview to FORCE: "In early 2005, when Sukhoi OKB gave its first generic presentation on the T-50 PAK-FA FGFA to Indian Air Force (IAF) HQ, it was quite surprised to hear that the IAF wanted a twin-engined, tandem-seat 17.2-tonne aircraft that was at least 5 tonnes lighter than the T-50 PAK-FA. Going back to the drawing boards, Sukhoi OKB returned in mid-2005 to give Air HQ a limited technical proposal for a single-engined variant of the T-50 PAK-FA, which was rejected outright by the IAF as being over-ambitious and unrealistic in terms of both the R & D costs to be incurred and the project implementation timetable. This was followed in December the same year by a separate, detailed presentation being given by Sukhoi OKB on its twin-engined MFS/FGFA design (Sukhoi’s proposal featured forward-swept wings at that time). The proposal also offered a 50% workshare for the Indian R & D/aerospace industrial entities, as stipulated earlier by IAF HQ. It was following these presentations that India selected committed itself to furnishing Russia with an initial sum of US$300 million that was urgently required by Sukhoi OKB to complete the MFS/FGFA’s detailed design phase and begin metal-cutting".
The complete story can be read here:

Anurag said...

Well nothing new in article.Sukhoi is the original designer and FGFA will be based on it.HAL's contribution in Sukhoi FGFA will be slightly more than that in SU-30MKI but not much.As far as joint development is concerned,Russia never needed Indian specialist for PAKFA, rather they needed money and India has money.India needs Fighter jets and most probably will have status of co-producer and not co-designer.That's just my view because PAKFA is already flying,however it lacks Fifth generation engine and we all know that currently india can't make a fifth generation engine.

Russia has been the most reliable partner of India and no other country is going to give us access to some of the most sensitive technologies.However i think India need to make extraordinary efforts in indigenisation process while at the same time should figure out more areas of joint collaboration with Russia(other than defence) and increase trade.Otherwise either India will never be a true superpower or relation between India and russia would no longer be "priviledged and special".

AK said...

I cannot fault the Russis or HAL for this fiasco. Russis came to India in the 90s to partner in the 5th gen program. As usual the MoD was too busy having chai-biskut and other type of deals. By the time Indians understood the project, Russis had already finished all the design work and prototype on their own inspite of lack of money (that's called political resolve).

India's contribution to FGFA will be like the painter who come at the end of the building construction to do the final finishing. HAL will eventually do the work of assembling SKDs and painting the tri-color on the plane.

We can't even make a 4th gen plane on our own, how'd we think we can leap frog to the 5th gen.

Anonymous said...

if you think that the PAK-FA is not going to help Indian industry then why not be an evangelist for the AMCA instead ? most of India's media hardly seems to be terribly interested in the AMCA and how THAT fighter program is vital for India to actually maintain and grow its aviation industry. Maybe you can start by giving more coverage to the AMCA?

Anonymous said...

@ Indian defence forum....

based on your comment on various topics on this forum, I am getting a feeling that you are planted by russian mafia. Are you on their pay roll.

Anonymous said...

So Prasun,
The question is whether India should invest so much for "the FGFA"? Is it worth? BBC reported in its site as "so-called joint fifth-generation fighter plane." What does BBC mean by it?

Since Indian version of T-50 is very different, my next question is, who will do the bulk work on FGFA {not T-50}?

Hi Shiv,
Thanks for hosting this blog. Even though I addressed the questions to Prasun, you may also reply.
Thank you.

Mr. Ra said...

Russia was open from the very beginning in this matter, but India was naturally hesitant. So it was fault of the none. However that somehow keeps India with slight disadvantages.

Now where were other options. China and Paki were not providing the technology of JF-17 and J-10 and America was too secret with holding the secrets of F-22. So FGFA was an obvious choice which can be understood as a development over Sukhoi T-50.

For all the requisite ambitious indigenous developments sky is the limit and gates of Kaveri, Tejas-mk2 and AMCA are always exclusively wide open to incorporate all of them.

sanu said...

i dont know what to say but 'a bull mujhe maar(PHIR SE!).russia couldnt fed the R&D so fasaod new machli in tha pond INDIA!now when we r already got fasaod,what could b done?as primary financer we can demand the crucial techs we wanna obtain n there is an awfully long list of the technologies we haven't got yet,(example-brahmos missile seeker).We should start straight talkin.We wont invest if wer not given the xyz technology,we will buy the planes but wont invest.why we spend our money when we cant even get enouh fayda out of it.FRIENDSHIP is gud but there is no langotia yaar in business(they taught us that!eg:-goshkov,su30mki,mig29).
Share ur thoughts on it.

Manoj said...

Fist, this article is assuming the there is a PAK-FA which is significantly developed. Not true. The purpose of these prototypes was to create a ground for further development. Even India was reluctant to sigh any deal before these prototype came into existence. These prototypes are far away from being 5th gen.

Second, few days back, if I correctly remember, there were several reports from top brass of Russia that once the deal is trough, they will probably not develop a separate PAK-FA and there would be only FGFA.

Third, no single country can afford to develop a 5th generation fighter.

There is no intelligent defense reporting type of things exist in India, and therefore one should not give a lot of attention to this type of reports.

Anonymous said...

@anon 10:44 AM

You RATshaker.. What he speaks is the truth. Apart from funding and buying it, what experience do we gain from this program? I'm not saying it wont be a good addition to our armed forces, but we gain nothing in terms of design experience.

Anonymous said...

@Anurag, India has money? You gotta be joking. Worlds largest number of poor people live in India. Now we know why we are so dirt poor. First the colonial powers stripped all our riches. Now after independence, Con-I party and Bangur Langur Bhajpa are in race to see who can get highest kickbacks. All such shady deals with weak contractual obligations are being inked due to massive corruption in India. We have not come out of CWG scam, 2G scam is in it's zenith, and now this seems to be the next biggest scam. The problem is not with Russians but with our Indian chor mentality who will sell his mother for 5 rupees.
Shiv I know I have used strong language. But pls allow this comment as people need to wake up.

Anonymous said...

How old are you? Are you aware that in 1990s India pawned her gold with IMF as we had no money? You expect India to partner with a collapsing Russia to make "stealth fighters" when both are broke? It was this condition that forced the netas to open up the market to foreign competition which earlier was being monopolized by the babu-neta-baniya nexus (which also ensured few became super rich whereas vast majority remained dirt poor). Biggest enemy of India is our own Central Govt of India which has monopolized all powers. As they say absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Anonymous said...

Few days back the amount was 30 billion $ now within a week it has become 35 billion $? I didn't expect my prophecy to come true within a matter of few days.
If we partnered with Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Israel, UK, Germany and France (all having ambitions to develop a true 5th Gen fighter but constrained by budget), we would be getting a 5th gen fighter far better than F22 or Pakfa with higher learning and lesser costs. This just shows if you have thieves as your leaders, how easy it is for foreigners to enslave you.It's also amazing how there is dearth of honest patriotic parties. BJP is another chor like Con-I and CPIM less said the better.

Anonymous said...

What an intelligent excerpt by Mr Joshi. Why doesn't he be the one formulating Indian diplomatic policies?

GT said...

I would like to point out that never where scams, or defence scams in particular, as large or as common during the BJP's regime. All major political parties are corrupt, but there are different levels of corruption.

Now every major deal or contract stinks of scam or kickback without exception, and everyone in the UPA administration seems to be either corrupt or a spineless accomplice of the corrupt(I'm looking at 'Mr.Clean's like Manmohan and AK Antony).

Anonymous said...

hmmm... another doomsday conspiracy...
atleast by JOINT development well have a fighter that just doesnt FLY but fights as well... plus 3 decades on the TEJAS is still way below par and have no doubts would still be TEETHING when the fgfa will be ready to bomb pakistan to stone age.... we must accept one thing the soviets allowed us to manufacture migs.. in great numbers.. if we struggle today to build our own LCA.. how can it be their fault.. i fail to understand

Pratik said...

I was not able to read the whole thing because some para's in the image were not quite clear but I have a theory why India will buy the FGFA at market price(MP).
This is because a independent Indo-Russo body will be formed to make decisions on the FGFA. Thus both Russia and India make orders to this body at MP and than the profits generated by the body will be shared by Russia and India in agreed ratio (50:50). This is purely from business/partnership point of view.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the first comment criticizing Manoj Joshi and all the so called journalists WHO ARE GOD and know what is best for Indian SECURITY

many people have been pissed off I guess.

Can these stupid journalists do anything else BUT WRITE an article

Mr joshi why DIDNT you join DRDO

Our hard working and low paid scientists and engineers at DRDO have made many advanced weapon systems but we still struggling in many fields.

Due to our economic successes we can afford the latest weapon systems .

Technological success takes time and comes after a lot of hard work

Since we have to fight a 2 front war we have to get the BEST weapons.

If we can make them fine or else we have to buy them

Or else just give your land to your enemies and buy peace

Jayanta Sarkar said...

@sun rise sunil
Note : su30k was 30 million right know it 96 million …why

96million-Mr.Joshi wrote though but I think he did that in an alchoholic state-
That is in INR roughly-4320000000.
Is India mad to pay such amount for a single 4th gen airplane?Who is Mr.Joshi fooling?
All of you should get correct facts.Besides there are enough knoledgeble persons in the selection team with whom ofcourse Dr.Joshi cannot match atleast in aircraft matters.

Anonymous said...

What with our R&D is that, the sarkari babus they are just lazy as alzy as myself and all Indians... they are just interested in a monthly report to be filled so they get the usual promotions and perks... Many don't know what is the full form of R&D or even read it as they are "anguttachaps"... If you don't belive just go and find in our DRDO labs

Anonymous said...

I think this report is absurd. First of all we don't have all the information what the terms and conditions are. Of all the 30-35 billion number being thrown around, we signed deal worth only couple hundred million dollars.

I like the idea of incremental contracts, as the one signed now. You send scientists to Russia and learn along the way. If you are satisfied, then you further increase the scope and money. Unlike most other projects where India was buying fully developed versions, there was no such thing as leaning on the way. So half way if they jack up the prices we have nothing to resort to. This will be true for all countries, be it Russia, France or USA.

There just too much noise and these journalists are partly to be blamed..

Anonymous said...

Anon 7.41 PM,

What's the point in throwing billions of dollars in developing a jet that's already more than 90% complete and flown several times? Just to add another seat, you need several 100 million $ for it's "development"? We will pay billions for it's development but we will have to "buy" the product at the market price prevailing at that point of time which will definitely be more than 100 million $ which is the rough estimate of Pakfa today. By 2017 the price will definitely double. Russia will also sell the same jet to China which we are paying billions to develop. All this reeks of massive kickbacks to our babu-netas-sipahis. Otherwise no one will ink this contract so foolishly. I wonder how many such multi billion $ scams are in store during the rule of Con-I party?

Anonymous said...

This Pakfa deal will be mother of all Groshkov i.e. almost ten times more than the infamous Groshkov deal. When our politicians want to sell our country down the drain, why shouldn't foreigners take full advantage?

Anonymous said...

@ anon 3:22pm .

A noble thought in a joint 5th Gen program. But the proof is in the pudding: if these countries were really keen on building a 5th Gen a/c they would have pooled in resources and expertise right after they realized that the F-22 is no on the market and the F-35 is a white elephant. They are either hoping that the F-35 will work out or they have no ambitions in 5th Gen. Its not like they didn't get together because India didn't show up with the money.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.00PM

Fyi, Japan has already developed a prototype of 5th Gen fighter, Germany, Britain, France are concentrating on stealth UCAVs, Sweden has expressed interest to partner with India for AMCA. I am sure Israel is secretly working with India for AMCA.

Anonymous said...

I am not much surprised at this...It would be over optimistic for us to expect that HAL would design FGFA from the scratch...However we should hope that FGFA gives us the requisite expertise to design our own AMCA...

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.15 what "expertise" r u gonna gain from an A/c that's already been designed and delivered? For doing a la Su30MKI should we shell out 35 billion $s (which will also be sold to China eventually)?

Anonymous said...

To: 8:56 PM

Will you sell anything below market price? You don't get onions below market price, forget about things that we can't grow in our fields.

90% developed? You kidding me... They don't have the engines yet...I guess radar will take couple years to perfect....Adding a seat is not as easy as you suggest them to be. This will change complete aerodynamic of the plane and will require solving them again may be on computers and/or wind tunnels.

Only if we send right people there we can probably learn the art! If they start playing politics in selecting incapable scientist then it will be complete waste...

coolgeek said...

Yes. Agreed. But however right now the priority is to completely equip ourselves with a credible deterrence on an imminent chinese threat. For that we need PAK FA. we dont have much option. As long as we continue with the so called "Democratic" form of govt, we cannot expect anything better in near future. We cannot compare ourselves with most efficient and should i add jingoistic govt in the world.. read chinese !!! We will continue to limper from one crisis to another crisis...

Anonymous said...

@Anon 9.52 PM & Coolgeek

What was the price of onions 10 yrs back? What decisions are u going to take if you know after 10 yrs price of onions will be Rs.60/kg? You will still setup a factory that uses onions primarily as it's input?

Hence we all concede that we will be shelling out almost twice the quoted amount of 30 billion $s. Point is can a country like India which has the largest number of poor people in the world splurge 45-60 billion$ on jets for perceived threats? China's J10 is plagued with technical problems. They can't even manufacture a decent 4th gen fighter let alone 5th Gen.
Our defense exp and capabilities must be according to threats faced by India and not to chase chimeras like "superpower status" when 500 million people do not have basic needs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.05PM: The R & D funds committed now for the FGFA do not qualify as "so much" or exorbitant. To understand where the money will go and who will do what, we need to break down the FGFA into: airframe, engine, avionics, accessories. Of these, the engines will be 100% imported off-the-shelf and therefore does not require any significant amount of R & D funds from India. The bulk of the R & D funds will therefore be earmarked for airframe design, accessories design, and evolving the avionics architecture and certifying it. Of these three activities, development of the integrated avionics suite will be the most technologically challenging and capital-intensive as this activity will be a totally Indian affair (provided an Indian AESA is specified, instead of the MIRES AESA from Russia's NIIP Tikhomirov). I therefore will not yet give any definite figure in terms of quantifying the respective R & D workshares of India and Russia. The figure of 30%floating around accounts for just the airframe design part of the whole programme. To that if you add the avionics suite R & D activity, the figure in terms of total R & D workshare could well go up to 60% in India's favour.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 9.41
What makes you think that PAK FA, or FGFA as we call it, is already developed?? Just making a prototype out of aluminium and fibres and testing it once doesn't complete the task...Why else do you think both Indian and Russian Air Forces won't induce the bird before 2017??Russia has just designed the Airframe. Only 30 percent of the job has been done so far (without Indian involvement)...70% needs to be done which includes radar, stealth, engine, avionics and also the development of a 2 seater variant which means a complete new design considering the change in aerodynamics..And this is where lies India's importance. We will get a fair share in this and this project will prove to be a veritable mine of expertise and experience for Indian Aviation Industry, which if properly channeled will certainly boost our indigenous AMCA...The case with Sukhoi MKI was completely different...Su-30 was already a mature platform by the time it was purchased for India and was further tailored and furnished with Indian and Israeli systems as per our needs to what it is today..So it would be really foolish to say that FGFA would be completely an off the shelf product..It is the best choice before us if we wish to spur our Aviation Industry to an International standard..Or else we would be repeating LCA's story with AMCA...

Anonymous said...

This money is being far better spent on joint development of T50 than being used as an offset for training on simulators for C130J!

Anonymous said...

I read through the post and i feel that it is not grounded in facts, but deals with drama (which again symbolizes Indian media-in general)

Firstly, the facts are in-correct. India is paying for design because it wants a substantial re-design over what the Russians currently have (T-50). India wants a two seater (T-50 is a single seater) with different avionics (apparently better than the T-50) to begin with. Also, this is not like a SU-30 MKI order where we specified the packages we wanted to be integrated on a ready made platform (the Su-27). We are paying for that re-design. Fair enough. If i want a tailored suit, i have to pay for the tailoring, else buy ready made.

Let us first explore options. The Indian Air Force needs a 5th gen fighter. What are our options?

So Mr Joshi-Are the US willing to sell us a customized F-22 at $100 Mill/plane? Umm...No. Is Mr Joshi going to pilot a Mig 21 and kill the Chinese 5th Gen fighter in war? Hell....No. He will be in a room with his keyboard. Will HAL make a 5th Gen fighter aircraft by 2015? Umm...The Tejas Mk 2 might be inducted by 2015 and it is pure 4th gen.

So let's explore the option.
Whether the aircraft will be delayed or be a lemon is a different story. Worldwide, nearly all fighter aircraft development has failed to adhere to planned timelines-starting from the Rafale to the F-35 (not forgetting our home grown Tejas) and have had initial problems. The Tejas has limited AoA capability. That will not stop us from inducting it. We just will have to rectify it. If we have the commitment, the results will follow.

On top of that, this is an excellent opportunity for India to master 5th gen aircraft technologies to incorporate in the AMCA. The US won't give us complete ToT for a 15 year old jet engine (F414)so a 5th Gen fighter aircraft is a daydream. Whether HAL can absorb the technologies and speed up the learning curve, (given that for the past 60 years our focus has not been aviation)or stay in its current avatar of a systems integrator remains to be seen.

As for the price-MMRCA aircraft are being purchased at close to $ 100 Mill/plane ($12 B for 126 aircraft). So expecting the FGFA to cost lesser might not be a reasonable expectation.

One last point about Mr Joshi's sensationalizing-You write that the latest batch of SU-30 MKI's cost $ 90 Mill/piece while the initial ones cost $35M. Yes the figures are right. But if you would have done some research you would have found that the $90 M SU-30 MKI carries a lot more equipment including an improved radar, avionics & radar cross section reduction technologies. For reference-the entire 272 plane order for the SU-30 MKI's cost less than $12 Billion, that works out to $44 Mill/plane. Compare with 126 MMRCA's for $ 12 Billion and the $44 Mill/plane modernization cost for each Mirage 2000.

All in all-a very poor quality article, written with no knowledge or thinking but to gain publicity. You will do well in the Indian media.

As for the Russians-they will extract money from us till the time we will depend upon them for defence equipment. The Gorshkov is a prime example. The French want more money for an upgradation than a new fighter of the same variant costs. Till the time we have homegrown options-we have to choose the lesser of the devils, which is what our corrupt netas are supposed to do.


Anonymous said...

Prasun ,recent statement from DRDO in an Interview to FORCE ,indicate FGFA/PMF is in 30T category while AMCA is in 18T category.

That was the selling point of selling point of DRDO to fund the AMCA project.

Hence it would be erroneous to conclude that FGFA/PMF is a 18T fighter , that would be AMCA.

Ram said...

I guess Joshi was drunk when he wrote this article. His mention of numerals is simply astronomical and impossible for India. Even other wise nowhere has it been stated that the present design and technology has been frozen. In all probability this may even end up as technology demonstrator like the Berkut. Having said that, I would still partly believe the article, mar particularly since the Russians had set precedence in jacking up price for the Air craft carrier as well as the stealth frigate. Looks like Russia is now really pissed off with India. There is only one segment that could carry out Manoj Joshis prophecies perfectly - our corrupt babus and nethas. The Scamgress (Congress) could see this as one more opportunity to loot this country.
Further I really doubt whether Indian and Russia put together would be in a position to develop the 5th gen fighter or a stealth fighter. Both countries are poor in money as well as in technology. Even advanced nations other than US are getting together to bring out a successful 5th gen fighter. I presume that we may have few options to choose from if India is really interested to have such a beauty in its inventory.
1. Outright purchase of F-35 from US. Well every indian may have to pay through its nose. The US may not even give any part of Technology transfer
2. Join a group of advanced nations planning to develop one such. What is it that India can contribute to its technology would be a question.
3. Redraw terms with the Russians for the development of the present aircraft. approach them with the attitude of take it or leave it.
4. Finally seek for joint development with Israel our new found love.

Ashok Ram Kumar

Anonymous said...

Get Japan/Korea as partners for AMCA and forget FGFA. That would be true collaboration.

After all pak-fa too is built with machinery from Sumitomo industries.

Anonymous said...

Shiv, pls post a better image. its barely readable.

To Manoj Joshi: Which other country is willing to entertain your involvement in a 5th gen aircraft? Don't tell me JSF, coz thats a fat chicken.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@9.02AM: Actually it's the other way around. The FGFA will be optimised for air dominance, whereas the AMCA will be optimised for interdiction and hence will be required to carry a heavier weapons payload. In any case, neither the FGFA/PMF nor the AMCA will even touch the 30-tonne figure for obvious reasons. But this much is clear: the FGFA/PMF will be lighter than the AMCA.

chandrabhan said...

I thought Manoj Joshi used to be a thoughtful journalist but he too succumbs to the allure of sensationalism. Let me start from the beginning.
India was offered a partnership in FGFA as far back as 2005
point of Reverse engineering that is being brought out by Manoj Joshi..

1. He is right about the Chinese capabilities of reverse engineering but what he cleverly ommits is that
Chinese are facing huge issues with the workmenship of the reverse engineered products.
J11 has not been up the ground too many times and not many have been produced.
PLAAF is not clearly too satisfied with the the vaunted J11 and ordered more of the 'Original' from Russia.

2. Regarding India's ability to reverse engineer rather than license manufacture.
Not doing something does not mean inability or lack of Knowledge.
It mostly means respect for the terms and conditions and doing business by means that are fair. Today , You have every manufacture clamoring to come and sell weapons in India. Why doesn't the western block countries sell to China?
Moreover, Russia too does not sell any cutting edge weaponry to China which they do to India - MKI vs MKM.

3. Regarding buying at the market price
I guess Manoj needs some lectures on Companies and their rights and workings. Companies exist for profit making as prime goal
This is a JV and India(HAL) and Russia (Sukhoi) are equal partners. This company will sell the fighters to everybody at market price as per the company policy and the profits will be shared between the partners - HAL & Sukhoi. So if Russia buys 400 planes and India buys 300 odd then this JV will make a handsome profit from sale of 700 planes at market price .

chandrabhan said...

For the HAL contribution, let me remind Mr Joshi that our strength lies in Software and Avionics and Carbon composites. Metallurgy, Design etc, we are a kid compared to Russia. the cost of our expertise is around 30% of the total value of plane but our engineers will get exposed to the aspects wherein we don't have capabilities and learn for future.

Anonymous said...


Sorry to interrupt you.

Russia will share "profits" with India for purchasing it's own 400 jets? Man you are sounding a bit like Mad Hatter from Alice in wonderland.

We have been building both Soviet and Western A/Cs for decades. The type of exposure India has today, due to excellent relations with both Western powers and Russia, no other country can claim such access to both eastern and western cutting edge tech.

The fact is the A/C has been designed, built and flown. How much can you improve on something that is almost complete?

Our engineers would certainly have got exposure had we been a partner right from it's inception. Today it is simply a highly expensive hyped up redux of Su30MKI saga.

Abhid-d said...

Brilliant article by Mr. Joshi, and it reaffirms what many have suspected since long :- India is merely the angel investor in the PAK-FA project. Our technology "contributions" in it will be nil.

Many fail to see that this is history repeating itself. In 1993, the IAF evaluated the Su-27, and liked it. Only thing that it wanted a twin-seater. but with nearly the same dimensions and engines. So the Russians built the Su-30 (nothing but a Su-27 with a twin seat), and gave India the liberty to install instruments on it from Israel, France and India.

The parallels are strak : IAF liked the single-seat PAK-FA, but simply asked for a two-seater. Add a new snazzy name like "PMF", sign a $5billion cheque, and it becomes "jointly developed". Pshaw ! Thoo !

Even in the PMF, the engine, radar, weapons, most avionics and the airframe design itself will remain Russian. So, what can India possibly do ? Whom is the HAL Fooling ?

Merely tinkering with avionics and slapping composites is NOT "joint development". Even Pakistan is doing that with the JF-17, and we all know its a Chinese built jet, through and through. Pakistan has simply bankrolled it.

Just think : Can't the Russians build the PMF themselves ? What can they posibly need from HAL ? (which licence produces even the screws it makes) Other than bankrolling it, India clearly has nothing to offer in the PMF.

We must decide : Do we want to repeat what Pakistan did with the JF-17 ? Or do we want to put our heart and souls in the AMCA of the 21st century ?

Anonymous said...

somebody here writes doesn't even think in strategically way.Russia is our only option and great friend to protect from our greatest threat china.If Russia wants money,china will be getting stealth aircraft before us.but that doesn't real thing we should bear in the mind that we cant trust western source they want one power to stop china whom they can trust India will be the good one because of corruption.not some journalist are corrupt one.most of the journalist are corrupt ones.if we go for USA made then we will be in s**t hole.they can't given some not worthy communication system because of cimosa,then how can we trust them for stealthy aircraft.Russia is advanced technology country without proper investment.we can learn more from them.they will always opinion is scrap all deals with western,develope new ones with Russia learn from them then in future build our ones.

Anonymous said...

Prasun , if what you say is indeed the truth and FGFA/PMF is an 18T then it will be a new aircraft design which would means delay as it will have to go through entire flight testing program.

If FGFA/PMF is a PAK-FA twin seater then those delays may not be there and they could get the aircraft by 2018.

Can you possibly get any information from HAL or IAF chief on FGFA ?

Also another question , do you know if India is being offered or interested in PAK-DA bomber program ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.45PM: No, the FGFA will not be an entirely new airframe design, but a 'redesigned' derivative of the PAK-FA that will be lighter. As for the flight-test programme, since the bulk of the work will be done in Russia for airframe/engine certification, there won't be any delays as the flight-test infrastructure in Russia is well-established. Therefore, by 2014, the first prototype of the FGFA could well take to the skies. Also to be noted is that the turbofans powering the FGFA will be uprated versions of the existing AL-31FP that will be available by late 2012. The ONLY area where time schedules may not be met is in the area of integrated avionics suite R & D as this is the most challenging task--technologically--for the FGFA programme. it all depends now on whether the DRDO can supply in a time-bound manner various sub-systems like the AESA radar, defensive aids suite, etc.
As for the PAK-DA, the Indian view is a wait-and-see posture for the next four years, by which time it will be amply clear whether or not the DRDO-led AMCA programme takes off.

Anonymous said...

To all price warriors out there cursing Russia over the $ 100 M price tag/plane for the FGFA, here are the prices of the F-35

An excerpt below-

"According to the Joint Program Office (JPO), the recently signed LRIP 4 contract sets a target price of $111.6 million for the CTOL F-35A, $109.4 million for the STOVL F-35B and $142.9 million for the F-35C carrier variant. These prices do not include the F135 engine, as Pratt & Whitney is still negotiating its LRIP 4 contract.

We don't have equivalent figures for the engines, but a rough calculation, based on Pratt's announced contract, puts the LRIP 3 price at around $19 million for the CTOL engine and $38 million for the STOVL engine including Rolls-Royce lift system."

Add them up and here's what you get-

CTOL: $111+$19 (engine)= $ 140 M
STOVL: $110+ $39 (engine)= $ 149 M
F 35C: $142.9+ $39 (engine)= $182 M

Helps put things in perspective.


Anonymous said...

Good luck trying to partner with Japan as you would need to ask them to change their laws first, as by law the Japanese are not allowed to sell military equiptment/technology overseas.

Anonymous said...


The write up by serving IAF officer as put by by Shiv sates the following

Additionally, the IAF was of the view that it would be desirable to have a lower empty weight, a parameter which would to some degree be met with composites, and for which work has already begun by SDB

He is talking of a lower empty weight and certainly they cant lower the weight to 18T from the current ~ 28-30T of PAK-FA by just using composites.

So it hints at PAK-FA design with more usage of composite ( PAK-FA will have 30 % composite by weight , probably with indian contribution it will grow for FGFA ) and not a medium 18T fighter.

An 18T fighter would put it in Mig-29 class medium fighter and PAK-FA is in Flanker class heavy fighter.

The FORCE interview i was referring to was by Dr Prahalada where he stated that MCA will be lighter cheaper and agile , posting part of interview for your reference.

This also proves that MCA will be lighter than FGFA and will be more agile.

Mr. Ra said...

If this statement withstands today, I think it speaks volumes in favor of FGFA and MCA with the positive involvement and fruitful interdependence therein. The huge and creative projects like FGFA and MCA need this kind of approach to come out of the stigma of the delayed LCA and Kaveri etc.

I think if they somehow manage to involve the reputed and patriotic private sectors in these efforts to a justified extent, then it all will be a boon in disguise.

Anonymous said...


1st let the "patriotic" Pvt. sector develop something on this front and compete in the global market. They can't always be looking for Govt props to act as a hedge for their failures in commercial mkts.
Recent Radia tapes just shows the level of "patriotism" of even those companies that tom tom about "ethics". Now it seems the scam may be even much bigger than 40 billion$ 2G scam.
We can't let such chors free run of highly lucrative "defense sector" where the quality of eqp is a matter of life and death.

Gautam said...

Anon @ 11.29AM who has a tape recorder for a mouth,

Why doesn't the mahan PSU sector with its vast experience market its products abroad then? You know perfectly well(and ignore time and again) that in defence sector export potential can only be explored after domestic success. If the domestic customer(Indian Armed Forces) does not buy who is going to accept their products abroad?

Your great PSUs hold the armed forces by the balls and force them to accept only what they develop. Private sector has no such luxury. When will your illusory existence finally wake up to the smelly reality?

lance said...

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