Monday, May 09, 2011

IAF to US: Don't Want Your Fighters, But We Like Your Basic Trainer


Not that this will even fractionally appease an embittered US Government, still seriously pissed off after the recent M-MRCA fighter elimination, an American-built aircraft is understood to have emerged tops in technical and flight evaluations of India's effort to procure primary trainer aircraft. I hear that the Hawker Beechcraft T-6C Texan-II (in IAF colours above) is on top of the list of five basic trainer aircraft that were put through field trials during October-December last year as part of the Indian Air Force's competition for 181 (75+106) aircraft. The Ministry of Defence received the IAF's trial report recommendations in February this year. The IAF desperately needs a new Stage-1 trainer fleet to replace its troubled and old HPT-32 Deepaks. Sources say this contract will be awarded before the year is out.

While there is no official confirmation from the MoD or the IAF, sources also suggest that the German Grob 120TP and the EADS PZL-130 Orlik TC-II were eliminated in a post-trial downselect. The Texan-II, the Korean Aerospace KT-1 and Pilatus PC-21 are understood to be in the finals now.

24 comments :

Anonymous said...

What's the status on Hansa? Wasn't Hansa supposed to replace Deepak? Rr is Hansa not intended for military use (may be I am confusion it with some other aircarft? If we can make a Tejas type aircraft, why haven't we made a basic trainer to replace the aging fleet of Deepaks? Some of these things are just mind boggling.

madhur said...

Not Hansa..actually HAL has proposed HTT-40. Currently, preliminary design works are on for the aircraft.

Mr. Ra said...

If they are a best and as they are needed, there should not be any problem for purchasing them.

I do not think that US should feel anything negative towards the MMRCA. After all now they have got Laden. Lol...

Anurag said...

I also think that basic trainer is an urgent requirement and should be inducted before MMRCA.
What about out HTT-40..any info about that??

Anonymous said...

The Pilatus PC-21 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilatus_PC-21
Seems a better aircraft than the U.S one.

Anonymous said...

i think we should keep ourselves a little distance from americans which will serve the long time purpose....

Anonymous said...

Pilatus PC-21 is indeed much better aircraft than Texon. Also KT-1 is good. I dnt knw watIAF saw in Texon aircraft.

About HTT40..preliminary designs are almost over and HAL designers are ready to go ahead...but sadly project is stuck with age old government procedures..waiting for bloody CCS

Raman Kumar Singh said...

Hi Shiv,

I was out of country for couple of weeks and have no access to anything. I came back yesterday and got the news that we have shortlisted MMRCA competitors. I went through all articles I found and then matched there timings, according to me you are the FIRST one to brake the news. I am glad that you did that first before any body else.......GREAT...AWESOME....NO WORDS TO EXPLAIN....CHEERS :)

Anonymous said...

Heard the same a while back; also, Prasun's Blog mentioned that the Texan was likely to win.

I think the IAF/MOD thinking is quite clear..........Frontline aircraft from Russia or Europe (more likely French, after the Kargil experience)........while the Support/Transport/Helicopters etc could be a mix of American/Russian/European....

Anonymous said...

Pilatus is better and cheeper

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't the Super Tucano included in the list? Would have loved to see the aircraft in IAF colors and help in the North East insurgency.

Yatharth Singh said...

lolz..........this would surely burn Uncle Sam`s a**.

Chintan said...

This actually makes a lot of strategic sense. If indeed, the IAF was concerned about denial of technology or source code with the MMRCA or that the US would somehow prevent India from using a US MMRCA aircraft in time of need and that was a driver in rejecting the F16IN and F/A 18 then the slight caused by the denial should be eased a but by this selection, if indeed the US aircraft is selected. This would be a smart move in my opinion. We need to keep the US engaged at some level with military purchases and if MMRCA was deemed too important for the IAF to give up any control, then a trainer is the perfect substitute. It helps build confidence between the two countries and it isn't really a war time use purchase. Even if the Pilatus is considered a better aircraft, I would go with the US purchase for purely strategic/geo-political considerations.

Anonymous said...

The Pilatus PC-21 had my vote-more powerful, modern and a product born in the 21st century-unlike the Texan. In-fact an ancestor of the PC-21, the PC-9 was modified into the Texan in the early 90's to be exact. No idea why the IAF chose a 20 year old platform when it is less powerful, (1100 shp for the Texan vs 1600 shp for the PC-21) & slower (Vmax of 585 Km/hr for Texan vs 685 Km/hr for PC-21). The PC-21 also has another unique advantage over the Texan-A step sided cockpit which enables the instructor to "look over" the pupil; invaluable in a trainer aircraft.

Costs-The PC-21 is substantially more expensive than the Texan. UAE bought 25 for $491 Mill. Irag bought 15 Texans for $210 Mill. Works out to $14M/ Texan vs $20M/PC-21. Both these are 2009 deals.

All in all-going by the MMRCA decision of the IAF where it chose the "Ferrari" aircraft over "Legacy", (the EF costs 3 times more than the lowest priced MIG 35) I am highly surprised by this decision.

Your thoughts, Shiv?

Tats

Anonymous said...

This is the typical Indian apologetic, defensive attitude that you are projecting when you say "embittered US Government", "Pissed off", etc. India should be the one really pissed off that the USA has been doling out F-16s and Missiles for FREE to PAK for providing support the likes of OBL and 26/11 terrorists. India should have not even included the F-16 in the competition to begin with when there wasn't a remote chance of it winning. How the heck can US expect India to buy anything when India has to bend over backwards and sign shitty a$$ agreements such as CISMOA, LSA, etc. This should have been made clear to the USA day 1 and none of their aircraft entered into the competition. The only reason they were in the competition in the first place was to get bargaining leverage from the eventual winners.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.53 AM,
It is due to "non aligned socialists" like you that India used to be a poor country with "Hindu rate of growth" dominated/ruled by one family that considers India as it's personal property.
Fact is, India would have made a quantum leap by partnering with USA via MMRCA. Failure to reciprocate USA's friendship gesture only shows lack of vision and leadership among the top brass and our babus/netas.
Today service sector (employing less than 1% of India's population) accounts for more than 50% of India's GDP. And our service sector is thriving purely due to US mkt.
This shows how desperately we need USA.
The F16 would have given India the biggest bang for the buck. It is the most advanced of all the F16s built till date. F16's engine is the best among all the MMRCA competing jets. Designing a jet engine is even more painstaking than designing a fighter jet. F16 also has state of the art avionics and a matured AESA radar. Apart from the above, it is one of the cheapest jets with least maintenance cost.
By signing CISMOA and other agreements, India will gain far more than USA will by partnering with India. They want us to take up a strategic role and for this they are will to share with us tech, intel and give us more access to their humongous economy. Our leaders have failed to understand what they have lost by not reciprocating USA's gesture. Maybe they are more interested in the kickbacks from such defense deals than securing the nation's interests.

Anonymous said...

An American trainer in the shortlist means that the IAF has selected the plane on merit . from this article it can be inferred that the Texan can ultimately win the deal which means selling 75 trainers on a fast rack basis to the Indian airforce.since F-16 and F-18 were left out from the MMRCA deal this will provide some solace to Pentagon if at all this basic trainer is ultimately chosen.Even in the MMRCA deal it remains to be seen whether the Ministry of Finance will agree for a high procurement cost for the Typhoon or the Rafale(French jet being cheaper) or overide the IAF's technical shortlist and ask to reconsider the F-16 Block 60 again. But most rightly the Rafale should win.

Mr. Ra said...

I think all the business deals between India and USA in all sectors were fair. None of them ever purchased any goods or services from the other that were competitively inferior to any others.

So let it be continued for this trainer requirement.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:50 PM

I am with you 100%. Just to add a few lines to what you have state. All the folks talking about US did this that to us, why don't you try and see what we did to them as well. US was never 100% happy with PAK partnerships, but it was still better than not having one..... also, had India partnered with the US back in the USSR era, PAK would have never been offered a bone. Our failed policies made PAK as bid as it's today, US only did what it had to in-order-to ge the job done.

Chintan said...

If anything, this in fact makes the MMRCA selection seem even more legitimate. The US aircrafts didn't make the cut there but this is a different aircraft, different need and makes the cut. As far as CISMOA etc. the thing to keep in mind is that those agreements are as much a part of the US doctrine and in some ways the law of the land in the US, as a tool for them to gain strategic leverage with the Indian military. In any case it appears India will fully back out of CISMOA now that the US MMRCA contenders are out.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:50 PM

I am an Indian who stays in the US due to professional reasons. I read the statement you made

" Today service sector (employing less than 1% of India's population) accounts for more than 50% of India's GDP"

My first reaction is that you are from a particular region of India where the US and heaven are closely associated.

About your statement-1 % of Indians making up 50% of the GDP. Do you know what is 50% of our GDP; Approximately $650 Billion. Do you know how much the service sector (IT) contributes in total-Less than $40 Billion. Out of which the US Market accounts for 60% which is $24 Bill. Do you know why the US engages Indian IT cos; because there is no better and cheaper alternative, the same reason nearly all items in Walmart/Target are made in China (damn even Tilapia fish is imported from China). And yes, the US trade with China is very nearly equal to 50% of Indian GDP. The US would gladly employ Chinese IT providers but their English and technical abilities are best suited to sweatshop manufacturing (no pun intended)

So getting to the other point: Did China co-operate with US to grow fast (much faster than us)-NO. It just made a deal that the US could not refuse. And it had real value offerings (not quality, value). It could offer manufacturing at a fraction of the cost of USA.

And did Pakistan become a economic tiger by co-operating with the US- Haha.

So the first point is invalid-co-operating with the US would make us a prosperous nation.

USA is a free market paradise. You need to make sound business sense to them. It wants mutually beneficial deals, and "mutually" may be negotiable, not the benefit to the USA. In many ways, this is an ideal state and i am yet to come across a more ideal state in the world.

The second point around the F-16: Is it a more capable fighter than either the Rafale or EF. I would not even begin to analyze this statement-It is not even worth the time or for that matter, the cost of bandwidth. An F-16 is comparable to a Mirage 2000, and if the original upgrade specs of the IAF are met for the IAF M2K upgrade, it will be as capable as the F-16's on offer (bar the AESA radar).

Would the USA offer source code, total ToT and AESA radar knowhow along with the F-16/F-18? No. Would France/EU do-Gladly with open arms. Why do we need this-To develop the LCA, AMCA/maintain operational freedom and support the evolution of our own aeronautical industry. That is the long term objective by the MMRCA deal in addition to providing a quantum leap to the IAF's capabilities. If "sasta sundar tikao" was the objective-the MiG 35 would have been the choice. $35 Mill a pop and guranteed employment for IAF technicians for life.

Tats

Anonymous said...

Biggest problem with domestic R&D has been IAF's immature attitude of demanding copy of exactly what West has. They are simply not ready to accept what they get and allow R&D to move in steps, which is normal in west and european R&D houses which are century old now. IAF behaves like a kid who want to grow up fast, but immature enough to not understand that there is no shortcut!

If IAF acts in more mature way, and stand behind the team, outcomes will be much better. R&D is all about sticking and perseverance. But IAF's attitude is - "we won't touch it. we are too lazy to participate in programe. that's not my job. we prefer roaming around in foreign airshows".

IAF has a lot to learn from PLAF and USAF, in terms of maturity. Its still far away from that stage.

Anonymous said...

life is all about learning & sticking to your efforts. Even first 20 of american GE aero-engines failed and blasted on testbeds. Did they start crying or whining? No.

You have two options in life - Live in past, cry about it, be pessimistic, beat your chest OR be positive, humble, act in mature way and stand behind your team.

So far, IAF has failed to show a mature leadership. Same is the case with Army. Navy is far more mature and have better approach to things. They focus on realities rather than living in past and being cynical, pessimistic and showing "devdas" mentality.

IAF = Indian army = Devdas.
Indian Navy(IN) = A mature leadership, quite comparable to USN.

Anonymous said...

Also, IAF is adamant about "latest" AESA and not ready to proceed in steps & begin with whats available, which is what R&D is about - Go in steps, stand behind your TEAM, support them till the end. Even USAF or Europeans didn't attempt to go AESA in first attempt. If IAF lacks maturity to understand R&D profiles & technology roadmaps, we can't blame others for that. A mature approach would have been to induct whats available in 100-120 so domestic production facilities get setup and industry gets a boost. Then, in next step, they can talk about AESA and all gizmos.