Saturday, October 13, 2012

IAF Scales Down FGFA Numbers By A Third: Report

The Indian Air Force has scaled down its requirement for the proposed Indo-Russian fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) by 70 aircraft -- it has not put down a requirement now for just 144 aircraft, down from 214 earlier stated (166 single seaters and 48 twin-seaters). In an interview to India Strategic magazine, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne has said that all 144 of these will be single-seater aircraft (which explains the modified single-seat wind-tunnel model unveiled recently by HAL). 

36 comments :

Anonymous said...

Is this because of the slippage in delivery schedule by the Russians or is it a repurcussion of the Gorshkov episode?

Sarab aka Mirza said...

more like preorder to me. pity LCA has just 40 preorder

HighVisions said...

Oh man!! Will they increase the number of aircrafts from the AMCA project? When will AMCA "really" materialize? Aint these processes too slow? Cant they see it through?

Anonymous said...

Is that due to delay in induction that resulted in scaling down the numbers or the jet is not up to the standard. Then other option is to fast track the Amca or go for F-35.

Anonymous said...

This is a cheap F-22/35 copy. It will never fly.

Anonymous said...

Hmm..has groshkov cast a shadow on FGFA..could be very the case with new timelines for FGFA being set as 2020..which would very well be 2022 or beyond..and thats for the platform being available and not delivered.
We should rightfully be putting our eggs in other nests. groshkov is a major mess and FGFA is the first real aviation next gen project russians are taking post soviet breakup with DRDO perhaps doing some paint job.

Thats not to completely right off russians.,we should be ideally ordering more su30 or 35 equipped with AESA ..they are much better then mmrca ..and hope this time russians deliver in good measure and time

Anonymous said...

This is a sensible and iterative move. It's better to first get a feel of the a/c, the final design, engines, radar, and system integration. Further acquisitions will then follow as the platform and systems mature and a suitable doctrine for their utilization is charted.

However, I hope this isn't some loophole to allow parallel induction of third-rate dumbed down US junk like the JSF, which is in the process of being pawned to the IAF as a state-of-the-art a/c!

parthvader89 said...

This is an extremely good development in terms of India's long term view. This means the IAF can focus more completely on the AMCA for it's future fighter needs. I would have ideally liked that we just focused on the Single AMCA for all our manned fighter needs.

I hope IAF looks like this by 2027 - 2030:

144 PAK FA (first deliveries by 2020)

500 + AMCA (with eventual orders up to 700 to replace everything other than PAK FA)

189 Rafale (Probably going through MLU at this point)

??? Tejas Mk2 (MLU or early retirement)

And by 2037, we can expect an all AMCA/PAK FA fleet of 900+ manned fighters.

Anonymous said...

Why IAF did not expect the delay or is there any pressure from ministry... any common man after seeing the Tejas development can say there will be a definite delay in any fighter development program...what common man expects IAF did not foresee...

Anyway, did India develop or made any serious progress on home grown FGFA or any deal for F22 behind the scenes....

Mr. RA said...

Perhaps this is because the development of two seat FGFA may be taking more time than expected.

Abhiman said...

That's EXTREMELY HEARTENING NEWS !

This is good news because :

1) India will finally free itself from the clutches of Russian stranglehold.

2) The indigenous AMCA will finally get a boost from the IAF (hopefully, unlike the Tejas it is less tumultuous).

3) It finally nails the lie (propagated by Times of India and others) that FGFA is a "joint-development" effort etc. When the Russian PAK-FA without the much touted twin-seat is being bought, the talk of joint development is nonsensical. It is an outright purchase.

It is sincerely hoped that the PAK-FA -- and NOT FGFA or whatever -- is Independent India's last fighter jet purchase.

Harsh said...

Is this reduction because the planes are so good we need less, or because the 'totally unforeseen' costs are already spiralling out of control much like the F-35 did?

Anonymous said...

it's a good thing!...

Subho said...

Top start out with, it is heartening to see more regular posts from you, Shiv.

My guess is that the IAF reduced the numbers of FGFA due to the delay in delivery of the FGFA from 2017( promised earlier) to the timeframe of 2022-23 which we are hearing at this point - given that UAC is saying that the earliest they are going to have SP units would be 2020 ( add another 2-3 for the IAF to that timeline and you arrive at 2022-23).
The IAF cannot afford to wait that long to induct these fighters. So it will instead have to up the number of MMRCA (Rafale) units from 126 to 199 ( additional 63 as a follow on order) to fill the void. That's the only way the IAF can reach 40+ squadron strength by 2020.
That's what I think this is about.

hotgene said...

I think, the shift in IAF mind is due to the factor of by 2020 we don't need manned aircrafts but UCAVs. This is what china is doing. UCAVs are cost effective for both making and operating than the manned aircrafts. If china deploys UCAVs in war, it is supidity to deploy manned aircrafts.
I feel admiral gorshacov will have least impact on the decision. The reason should be, they didn't observed much delay for Sukhoi -30 MKI. Building a Aircraft Carrier will definetly a complex task.
For PAK-FA, they need to make substabtial changes to make it fit for twin seater. That means delay. So IAF might be thinking, having indian avionics on current plotform will make their needs satisfied.
Another reason might be, they mugh go for increasing the Rafel numbers.Also our own AMCA is in pipeline.

FInally i think we might ended up with large number of UCAVs than current fleet of aircrafts.

Unknown said...

I can bet that India wiil end up buying 168 single seat FGFA and that there would be no twin seaters for us and in the end we would be waiting for AMCA to fill the gap. All the money spent by us into this program is to get & master critical tech for AMCA.

Anonymous said...

Its not because of the delay. but because of IAf planning to get AMCA.

P.K.Chaudhuri said...

As per various reports the first lot of HANSA aircrafts has been handed over to various users and they are in service.
This is a successfully developed indigenous aircrft like HF24 MARUT and ALH Dhruv.
NAL /CSIR must convince the government for further orders for the aircraft as well as it must develop HANSA Mark2.
We should not abandon successfully developed indigenous products.
After technological success, HANSA must be achieve commercial successful as well.
Further, please inform if it is true that the specifications of successfully developed Marine Kaveri Engine has been changed and as a result the program has lost its direction.

tako nada said...

The reasons may be...Not faith in Russian technology or India is confident now to have more powerful jet fighter in future.

Anonymous said...

javelin... fgfa... groshkov... you can't trust anybody... build your own things...

Joy said...

People here are already putting too much hope on AMCA like it's already in development when in reality it's barely reached the drawing boards, still just a concept . Tejas is still waiting full operational clearance after delays of biblical proportions. Finally we might just have to buy more Rafales or F-35s to fill in the gaps. The AMCA and FGFA are just empty talks. Nothing more

Joy said...

People here are already putting too much hope on AMCA like it's already in development when in reality it's barely reached the drawing boards, still just a concept . Tejas is still waiting full operational clearance after delays of biblical proportions. Finally we might just have to buy more Rafales or F-35s to fill in the gaps. The AMCA and FGFA are just empty talks. Nothing more

Anonymous said...

Is the IAF looking to buy some of the new Strategic Bomber Aircraft under development - the PAK-DA

sakthi said...

respected Joe
AMCA ,tejas are no pipe dreams, The PAKFA that flew on the inaugral flight is just sukhoi MK-II.Already 40 LCA mk-Is are ordered.Mk-II wont require that extensive testing.
But the engine,radar and avionics and stealth of PAKFA are still long time away.

Kolaveri D said...

@Joy "The AMCA and FGFA are just empty talks. Nothing more"

So you know more than world renowned experts at Ausairpower who have stated in unison that that FGFA is way better than F-35 and can get 4:1 kill ratio in favor of FGFA.
Please read :
http://www.ausairpower.net/jsf.html

PANKAJ said...

VERY BOLD DECISION BY GOV.2 THINK IN CLOUD 1-WHEN USAF not incloud 200+ f-22 so why india buy 250 jet india will decide only j-20 number of china
2- ins vikramaditya is india dream and rusia play,and t-50,FGFA IS RUSSIA DREAM SO AS IT IS

Anonymous said...

My recommendation: Cut your losses and move on. There is no point in having too many platforms in small numbers. IAF has been down that road before, what they need now is just a few platforms, but each in a large enough numbers. The cost of maintaining each of the platforms and training pilots and crew on each adds inefficiencies, something that a country like india cannot afford.

Abhiman said...

Mr. Joy, if we're pinning hopes on the AMCA and Tejas, its actually because we hope the IAF boffins (read: buffoons) see the light of day and finally give Tejas and AMCA good orders.

Continuing to fly rusting MiGs, all the while asking for the moon on Tejas' IoC is just too much nonsense from IAF.

Also, entering the PAK-FA project as a "joint partner" at the 11th hour, 59th minute is somehow acceptable to the IAF. Never mind that India won't even get to design a screw in the PAK-FA. On the other hand, it is sitting on the AMCA files, which is fresh off the drawing board and raring to go.

Hats off to IAF's stupidity !

Anonymous said...

The reason why US capped the F-22 program at 187 was because of extremely high costs of maintaining the raptors' radar absorbing skin which is subject to wear and tear during flight operations. For a country like India to maintain 250 of such fighters would have been impossible. Having a mix of FGFA and UCAV is better.

Shubha said...

There are two factors that I can think of - one as Anon @ 2:23 said was the long range strategic bomber PAK-da and the other could be more MMRCA fighters, if India can manage to hold the negotiations better.

Anonymous said...

We should curtain defense expenditure, which is a means of earning kickbacks, and spend that money on infrastructure, health and education....things which increase nation's wealth unlike defense which generates no wealth.

nikdash said...

Its time to double down on AMCA. It will take 10 years to develop and another 5 to be fully operational. Starting now and carrying momentum from LCA development is the only way to become independent.

China, India and USA will be future world powers; Russia is going to roll back to its historical small role. They do not have enough money or population to support the USSR kind of strength.

I think the babus\middle men need to be shown that they can siphon off more money from indigenous AMCA rather than depend on Russian handouts. It is a strong lobby with tons of money from past deals to be overcome here.

nikdash said...

I think that the IAF needs to get down to earth. They want a small, medium and heavy fighter ??? Even USA cannot afford to do that! We have 300 million people living in abject poverty and these chaps seem to live in the stratosphere. How about signing these billion dollar pocket draining deals in the middle of Dharavi !!!!

IAF and Naval Bosses: My two cents is to standardize and focus on LCA and Rafale going forward. Develop AMCA to backfill MKI. F-35 is always a back-up options (Heck, buy 20 F-35's off the shelf to learn from and not be scared to Chinese stealth jets)

sents said...

Downscaled Russian model by 22 from 166 to 144 and in the future IAF may go for 70 FGFA, increased order from 48. That is good news right? Is that what the article meant to say, shiv. Whether i have understood rightly?

Joy said...

@Kolaveri D

World renowned "experts" my ass.

Its total armchair analysis bullshit to talk about the "kill ratio" of a fighter that barely has a few prototypes and is still a decade away from development. 4:1 kill ratio is great but you need real fighters to fight the enemy, not some computer simulation.

And the DRDO clowns haven't got past a wind tunnel model to show for all the hype over AMCA. So I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

how will they proceed if asr is finalized only in 2011?or what?