BAE Systems' Taranis unmanned combat air system demonstrator is designed to defeat new counter-stealth radars, and may use thrust vectoring as a primary means of flight control and an innovative high-precision, passive navigation and guidance system.
The Taranis has been designed to be operated by sophisticated on-board computers which follow a set path to avoid targets and adjust itself as required. It is designed to do this without being detected and upon identifying threats it will “request” clearance from the controller before engaging any targets. It is also a technology demonstrator which will undoubtedly lead to a future UCAV system sometime beyond 2030.
Taranis made its maiden flight at the Woomera test range in South Australia on Saturday 10th August 2013, under the command of BAE Systems’ test pilot Bob Fraser. The first flight lasted only 15 minutes, in which the demonstrator aircraft took off, rotation,climb-out and returned for landing.
RAF's need of an UCAS.
The age of Bomber began when Sikorsky's Muromets dropped bombs on a German Railway station during world war 1 in a daring raid. Since then the technology of combat aircraft have steeply progressed. The increment happening, was better situational awareness, better targeting, better flight. Crew safety had always been considered most crucial part of a combat aircraft design and taking it to the next level. The US made unmaned combat drones that could deliver bombs at longer distances precisely. These unmanned bombers even if crashed isn't a big risk to the crew operating it.
But as technology advanced the adversaries also developed greater level detection technologies that could detect and destroy drones even before drones can achieve their mission objective. For example the Chinese after receiving the threat of stealth fighters like F-22 developed VHF radars that work in L band and as per claims could detect even the super stealthy F-22 Raptor. The Chinese KJ-2000 AWACS has L-band radar. The Chinese Aegis Type 052C/D destroyers have a VHF radar.
As of now the US and it's allies have the brand new F-35, partly funded by US allies. The US allies got pissed off when they came to new that the coveted core tech of F-35 won't be shared with allies. The most pissed off were the British.
As Britishers faced a really tough time convincing fellow Europeans to develop the Eurofighter an air superiority multirole fighter which has Anti Stealth capabilities, they missed the development of a homegrown fifth generation fighter. To counter Chinese VHF radar the British have come up with Taranis. It is designed to avoid detection by very high frequency (VHF) early warning radars such as those being developed by Russia and China as counter-stealth systems. VHF radars can detect some stealth shapes with wing and tail surfaces close in size to their meter-range wavelengths. When that happens, radar scattering is driven by “resonant” phenomena not affected by the target's shape. Taranis is just a demonstrator not a full scale developed model that would enter production.
Nations around the world are quite secretive about development of stealth armed drones. The Germans are developing Barracuda, The French have been involved in nEUROn, The US has X-45 and X-47 and may be many programs, The Chinese, Russians and Indians also have similar programs running. But rarely anything is reported about progress in development of these drones.
Taranis is a blended wing-body shape with no tail surfaces, like most UCAS designs for wide-band, all-aspect stealth. It has a triangular top-mounted serpentine inlet and 2-D V-shaped exhaust nozzle. Two small doors are visible on either side of the raised centerbody, and are likely to be auxiliary inlets used at low speeds. The demonstrator's gear comes from the Saab Gripen. The underside is flat, with visible outlines representing weapon-bay doors.
The weapon-bay outlines are on either side of the engine and the forward-retracting main landing gears are outboard of the weapon bays. Panels under the leading edge point to provision for a dual-antenna radar like a smaller version of that fitted to the B-2 bomber. The demonstrator may be designed so that functional weapon bays and sensors can be installed for a follow-on program.
As per reports Taranis is powered by a Rolls Royce Adour mk951 Turbofan. They are mounted low in the center fuselage, behind a serpentine air inatke, duct.
The engine itself isn’t anything special as it is also in service on the similar sized BAE Hawk but the exhaust system (which is of course, top secret) takes the lower powered turbofan’s heat signature down several steps.
Taranis's flight controls arouse one’s curiosity being an aviation enthusiast. Taranis have two large elevon surfaces on the trailing edge, with deep cut-outs at both ends who's shape is observed to be similar to cat’s eyes. These prevent formation of right-angle shapes when the elevons move, and are large because the surfaces are thick. Outboard of the elevons are upper and lower “inlay” control surfaces, set into the wing surface.
The elevons will provide pitch and roll force. The one-piece elevons cannot provide yaw input that is independent of pitch or roll. The inlay surfaces can act as roll spoilers and speedbrakes, and differentially for yaw control. (Similar surfaces were used on the upper side of the X-47B.) But the inlay surfaces are non-stealthy when open, so they must mainly be used at low speeds, including take-off and landing.
There is no visible source of yaw control, which points to the use of thrust vectoring now there is a Rolls-Royce patent filed in the U.K. in 2005 outlines a fluidic vectoring system designed to generate yawing moments in a high-aspect-ratio 2-D nozzle.
Interestingly BAe and some British universities had been involved in development of a fluidic thrust vectoring for a small UAV called Demon. This was back in in 2010 when they conceived using air injection inside the exhaust to vector the thrust, with no moving parts externally or in the exhaust stream—as part of a flight-control system with no moving surfaces. In 2010, BAE teamed with two British universities to build a small UAV called Demon with fluidic vectoring—using air injection inside the exhaust to vector the thrust, with no moving parts externally or in the exhaust stream—as part of a flight-control system with no moving surfaces. A Rolls-Royce patent filed in the U.K. in 2005 outlines a fluidic vectoring system designed to generate yawing moments in a high-aspect-ratio 2-D nozzle.
Being designed to defeat the new Anti Stealth VHF radars the Taranis have highly swept wing leading edges as a measure to reduce frontal radar cross section. The serrated contour of the weapon’s bay is clearly seen in this photo, where the stealthy Taranis shows its belly and underwing area on a banking turn. The double-V trailing edge is swept more acutely than on most blended wing-body UCAS designs. Unlike the Northrop Grumman X-47B or the Dassault-led Neuron, there are no short-chord wing sections or short edges: The shortest edge is more than 11 ft. long.
By observing the pictures of Taranis taken from rear one comes to the conclusion that the engine might be buried somewhere deeper in the airframe similar to how the B-2’s engines were buried in the wing. It might have active cooling incorporated at the exhaust nozzles to reduce temperature of exhaust air as a measure of IR signature management. But no confined reports or indications have come up to support this guess as such matters are a highly guarded secret. Composite materials will no doubt be used extensively which when coupled with a lower speed and the aforementioned engine tech will serve to greatly reduce the aircraft’s infrared signature.
The navigation and guidance system for Taranis, perhaps not yet installed, very probably uses an advanced concept called simultaneous localization and mapping (Slam). BAE Systems Australia has been developing a highly autonomous Slam-based system and is responsible for the Taranis navigation and guidance gear, which it refuses to discuss (AW&ST April 1, 2013, p. 24).
Slam is suited to a stealth aircraft because it can use passive sensors—day video, IR or passive RF. Nor does it rely on a sometimes inaccurate terrain database. The sophisticated on-board computers which follow a set path to avoid targets and adjust itself as required. It is designed to do this without being detected and upon identifying threats it will “request” clearance from the controller before engaging any targets.
If implemented correctly, Taranis should render VHF radar useless. However, there might be a compromise in aircraft performance due to the lack of meter-length tail control surfaces.
The Taranis has to be careful and dodge around carefully implementing tactics plus technology to counter Chinese KJ-2000 AWACS with L-band radar. If the Taranis is found to be detectable in lower S-band or C-band, it will have to stay away from ground-based radar stations too. Definitely the Chinese will secretly build their own version of the Taranis to defeat VHF radar and test their other radar spectrums against the Chinese Taranis ending up making a more capable dete tion system. But as of now they are f….
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India's market is always hot and attractive. As per foreigners the always available chaotic situation in India where people are more interested to gain self glory instead of community’s interest, can be manipulated easily. Everyone is making aggressive efforts to grab the big pie and demanding high costs. India actually have a requirement of nearly 200 medium class and nearly 100 light class fighters. After the cancellation of MMRCA competition discussions were slow, projects are slow, establishment of specific requirements are slow and decision making is slow the only thing running fast is time.
India has not shown any interest in MiG-35 officially and after it's knock out from MMRCA competition anyone amongst officials rarely talked about it. All the claims of India interested in MiG-35 originate from Russian media.
MiG-35 is Russia's most advanced 4++ generation multipurpose fighter jet developed on the basis of the serial-produced MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 combat aircraft. Asked if India has expressed any interest in the MiG-35, Mr Tarasenko said, "Of course they have." He further added that the MiG-35 was "the best" and definitely better than Lockheed Martin's fifth-generation combat aircraft F-35. He claimed that the MiG-35 would beat the American jet in air to air combat.
Now MiGs have been used by India for almost 50 years and Mig-35 is probably the last bet to rejunevate the Mikoyan Corporation by selling jets to India. Russia is keen on selling its new fighter jet MiG-35 to India with the MiG corporation's chief saying the country has evinced interest in the aircraft and talks were on to understand its requirements.
So let's we also talk from the point of view of Defence Enthusiasts and take a keen look on weather we should have it or not have it one by one analysing the pros and cons. And make a clear view at the end.
Should we purchase MiG-35 ??
The MiG-35/MiG-35D exhibits advancements on MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 fighters in combat efficiency enhancement, universality and operational characteristics improvement. The most important changes are the Phazotron Zhuk-AE active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the RD-33MK engines and the newly designed Optical Locator System, OLS-35. The final configuration of the MiG-35's on-board equipment has been left open intentionally using theMIL-STD-1553 bus. The main advantage of an open architecture configuration for its avionics is that future customers will have options to choose from components and systems made by French, Israeli, Russian and United States companies. That means India can customize Mig-35 as per its requirements just like SU-30 MKI.
On EW and EO front
> The new AESA radar Phazotron Zhuk AE / FGA-35 and the uniquely designed optical locator system (OLS) make the aircraft less dependent on ground-controlled interception (GCI) systems and enable the MiG-35 to conduct independent multi-role missions. The radar is thought to have detection range of 160 km (86 nmi) for air targets and 300 km (160 nmi) for ships. An another radar Zhuk AM/AME which is a further evolution of FGA-35 can track up to 30 targets and can simultaneously attack up to six aerial targets and has detection range up to 260 km and detection and tracking up to 160 km. The source added that the new radar weighs about 100 kg. It was also marketed for HAL LCA.
> Like radar, OLS allows the MiG-35 to detect targets and aim weapon systems. But, unlike radar, OLS has no emissions, meaning it cannot be detected. The MiG -35 will also incorporate a powerful electronic warfare suite—an area where the Russians excel. OLS includes a complex of powerful optics with IR vision that makes it impossible for any plane to hide. Similar IRST systems have claimed to detect even F-22 Raptor at around 50km ranges. OLS solves the problem of blurred vision. At speed, each piece of dust can cause harm to the glass of the OLS. The new OLS uses leuco-sapphire, the next-hardest material after artificial diamonds, making the lifetime for such glass much longer.
> Along with this their are many EO systems like the integrated OLS-K, SOLO station detection laser irradiation, T-220 targeting pod are also evolutionary advancements over the respective class of their operation. The EW systems on MiG-35 like MSP-418K Kedr (cedar)active jamming pod. And a built in radar warner jammer from Elettronica has proven their worth in tests.
On Engine front
> The new RD-33MK "Morskaya Osa" engine is latest version of the RD-33 and was intended to power the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB. It has 7% more power compared to the baseline model due to the use of modern materials in the cooled blades, providing a higher thrust of 9,000 Kgf. In response to earlier criticism, the new engines are smokeless and include systems that reduce infrared and optical visibility. The engines may be fitted with vectored-thrust nozzles, which would result an increase in combat efficiency by 12% to 15%.
> RD-33OVT engine variant can be fitted with KliVT swivel-nozzles and a thrust vectoring control (TVC) system and can direct thrust in two directions or planes. The MiG-35's combination of TVC and advanced missile-warning sensors gives it the edge during combat. RD-33 engines are smokeless and include systems that reduce infrared and optical visibility.
Other general matters and Myths regarding MiG-35.
> Some defense analysts believe that the MIG 35 is an MIG 29 with a new name and have the similar engine problems as in the MIG 29 but let me inform you that the new RD 33 MK engines already fix the problems with the MIG 29 engines and the Indian government has already brought these new engines for the existing MIG 29 in India. And if the MIG 29 is such a useless platform that IAF dislikes, then why India is interested in buying Malaysian MIG 29N? The MIG 35 is 30% bigger than an MIG 29. Average Cost per flight hour is 2.5 times less than the MIG 29 and its weapon carrying capacity is double to that of the MIG 29.
> We already have the infrastructure for MIG 29s, and it can be easily adopted for the new MIG 35s. Apart from that, one must understand that the IAF is facing huge depletion in its fighter jet fleet and the requirements are huge. If we go for a costly fighter jet we cannot get the required numbers due to a limited budget as we saw with Rafale.
A large number of capabilities have been deliberately excluded from this article as it would have shifted the focus to a detailed one topic MiG-35 itself.
Should we reject MiG-35 ??
Many in the social media claiming that the MiG 35 is the better low cost option to ramp up the number of fighter jets in Indian Air force, without knowing the actual reason behind why IAF didn’t say any words about MiG 35. Many people even advocate by saying that having open architecture we can fit western avionics and as we can manufacture the spare parts the supplies won't be the problem. But let's get back to basics let's see why exactly MMRCA competition was started and why IAF chose Rafale over Typhoon ?
How many of the readers would know that, MiG 35 was forced out, without even tested by IAF in many conditions, This is recently declassified by the MiG CEO. This due to some reasons, one is during the evaluation trails two MiG 29’s crashed in Russia, which forced all MiG 29 grounded. Although the MiG-35 has been made on wide number of evolutions based on MiG-29 but ultimately it's the MiG-29 inside it-that is a problem. The problem not in the sense regarding capabilities but MiG-29 was originally designed as a medium class air superiority fighter with secondary air to ground roles. Whereas IAF’s primary requirement is that of a strike fighter.
The IAF’s intentions ARE clear, that they want their MMRCA to be more of a strike fighter and less of an air superiority type. This is due to the IAF’s serious discussion after the evolving ground threats and need of good close air support platform. The IAF is so happy with the usage of western fighter jets like Jaguar and Mirage 2000 and planned to keep those fighters upto 2030. those fighters are very good in precision bombing missions.
> Russia has a limited production of MiG-35 aircraft, and are currently only exported to Egypt. Also, in spite of its high maneuverability, the plane sacrifices in range and weight to attain agility. It boasts of some advanced avionics though they are not as advanced as modern western day fighters like F/A-18 Super Hornet or Saab Gripen-E. Mig-35 though edges F-16 Bk.70 is lacking in front of Saab Gripen-E.
> A troublesome history regarding MiG-29 has created a sense of negativeness amongst many Indians who won't really be happy getting what they always stupidly describe “ another Russian junk “. Mig-29A which was first acquired by India for India air force in mid 80’s suffered from low operational availablity for a long time due to the collapse of the Soviet union and also due several issues with Klimov RD-33MK after burning turbofans used on the jets. When Mig-29K Carrier variant was offered to Indian Navy with much more advanced avionics and weapons, it was expected that History will not repeat its self and India will get an aircraft which will be able to meet high standards required to fly from aircraft carriers , but recent CAG report again has exposed poor serviceability of the jets and frequent breakdowns of parts way before their service interval.
> The upgraded MiG-29 UPG also offers relatively similar capabilities of that of MiG-35 and would stay in service and would be replaced by HAL AMCA. The UPG’s radar warner jammer and an increased fuel capacity clearly makes it a potent force projection on the enemy. It's not like MiG-35 is bad or lacks the capability, it's just that we really don't need it as we already have most of it in sufficient quantity.
So as of now MiG-35 is not on IAF’s wish list no matter how much the propaganda press of Russia try to make false impressions and lame Indian press republishes their news for sensationalism purposes. IAF’s requirements are very specific and Dassault Rafale is the only choice - only until an F-35 like thingy isn't offered. Because F-35 is also a medium class strike fighter and is the best one.
Enjoy reading more about MiG-35 on our detalied article.
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The world was impressed by the Fourth Generation Air Superiority fighters. Everyone watched the new advanced fighters from America, The F-15s and F-16s. Later came the Soviet Su-27 and MiG-29 which showed an another dimension of advanced combat planes. The European Nations realised they were not able to fund any fourth generation fighter program single handedly at national level. Extreme Agility, Powerful Radar, Electro Optic passive detection and targeting, Long Range operations, Heavy weapon carrying capability and Ability to perform multiple roles were key features.
The Eurofighter have a very interesting history and expanses many political and economic matters. The collaborative program also involves many companies from many European partners except the “Big Four” customers of Eurofighter. An Air Superiority fighter with multirole abilities with precision strike being one of them was everyone's anticipation.
In 2003, Sukhoi launched a project to produce a fighter to bridge the gap between upgraded variants of the Su-27 and Su-30MK, and Russia's fifth-generation Sukhoi PAK FA. And the result was Su-35. Su 35 is a 4++ generation aircraft. The Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E is the top Russian air-superiority fighter in service today, and represents the pinnacle of fourth-generation jet fighter design. It will remain so until Russia succeeds in bringing its fifth-generation PAK-FA stealth fighter into production. Distinguished by its unrivaled maneuverability, most of the Su-35’s electronics and weapons capabilities have caught up with those of Western equivalents.
( Su-30 MKI at AeroIndia 2015 )
The Russians offered Sukhoi Su-27 and MiG-29 to Pakistan at almost the same time they did it for India. The Russian negotiations team landed in Pakistan and PAF evaluated Su-27s at PAF base Mushaf in Saragodha. A point in history when India was also considering a tailor made variant of Su-30MK, The advanced Su-30 variant.
Even back then and also today certain aviation enthusiasts media reports point out this event and say that Russia offered Su-27 and MiG-29 to Pakistan just to pressurise Indians for having a bigger order of Su-30s. They are of the opinion that Su-30MKI deal was a disaster and many critical indegenisation opportunities could have been drawn out from this deal. Many journalists’ written articles on prominent news websites have also claimed that Su-30 MKI’s indegensation did not propel the development program for a homegrown fighter in a manner expected. Many serious, baseless and false accusations that Su-30 MKI is a lost opportunity or IAF is struggling to meet operational readiness has been levelled.
( Su-30 MKI at Aero India 2015 )
This “well intentioned” criticism of made in India defence equipment is affecting the minds of general public and making them have a false belief that Indians cannot be self dependent. This has led to a sense of ignorance to the painstaking efforts taken by numerous people for the development program of modern combat aircraft system and the ecosystem that keeps them flying.
Light Combat Helicopter developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited ( HAL ) is a multirole combat helicopter for use by Indian Army and Indian Air Force. It is an attack helicopter derived from the existing HAL Dhruv helicopter. The LCH can be deployed in various roles, including tracking slow-moving aerial targets, insurgency, destroying enemy defences, search and rescue, anti-tank and scouting. It is one of the best weapon systems developed in India presently and has ushered Indian defence market in a new era of modernization and Indigenisation. Read on to know more about this magnificent attack chopper :
The McDonnell Douglas YF 17 was the first defining aircraft of this family taking design experiences from F 5E. The YF 17 lost to YF 16 in the light fighter competition. But failures are stepping stones of success and here is the proof. The YF 17 airframe was bulked into a bigger F 18 A/B as a mid range complement to the bigger F 14 Tomcat. After the cancellation of Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter NATF program. The US Navy wanted a heavy class combat aircraft that could replace all it's F 14s and F/A 18 C/D Hornet aircrafts. A heavily upgraded F 14 was supposed to do the job but US congress went ahead with a more cheaper alternative of developing a bigger F 18 with powerful engines. Certainly they later found F 35 C as a fitting contender but, still their was a need of a twin engine fighter that has better range and electronic attack capability. This requirement was fulfilled by the F/A 18 Super Hornets and E/A 18 Growlers. The F/A 18 Super Hornets are the Growlers are 25% bigger in size than the original hornets. They have square cross section intakes with partial serpentine intakes, that partially hides the engine fan blades. They are powered with a more powerful engine. The E/A 18 Growler is an Electronic Attack variant based on Super Hornet airframe.
Their are unique leading edge root extensions on the Super Hornet airframe. They provide a substantial lift to the heavy body. The Super Hornet is whole lot a new aircraft that apart from maintenance procedures and ejection seat thier is rarely any old thing taken. The Super Hornets later received heavy upgrades like an AESA radar , avionics from the cancelled X 32 and various other podded mission specific sensors.
The F / A 18 Advanced Super Hornet is an upgrade program initiated to add more capabilities to the current existing fleet of Super Hornets and Growlers. As well as possible procurement of more F / A 18s to complement the F 35 C.
Chengdu Aerospace Corporation's J 20 is an advanced fifth generation twin engine single seat Air-Superiority aircraft. It has been intended to replace the 3rd generation aircrafts in inventory of People's Liberation Army - Air Force and serve as a deterance to the deployment of advanced US fifth generation aircrafts in South China sea and anywhere around. There are no known post production variants of Chengdu J 20 and its development program has been funded entirely by Chinese Government. It features all attributes of being an advanced Chinese development which sure would challenge superiority of US , Russia and would dominate Europe in the field of fighter aircraft design.
The Chengdu J 20 has been designed keeping in mind the Chinese Anti Access / Area Denial strategy. According to this strategy, the forces must have minimum fire power to deny access to a powerful enemy over the area of interest. Chengdu J 20 may not be able to match the level of stealth of US fighters but would surely be enough to deny access. The Chinese have given equal importance to Stealth and kinematic performance of an aircraft and have made a high thrust engine, high internal fuel and more number of external fuel tanks being able to carry. The J 20 has been designed to match the level of combat effectiveness of Lockheed F 22 raptor as well as to overpower combat effectiveness of Lockheed F 35 lightning ll. The J 20 may not be able to reach the technological advancement level of F 35 but can perform more tasks and provides a kinematically superior airframe.
There is a sensible case to be made that a confrontation between opposing stealth fighters may be decided at within-visual-ranges, where elements of classic dogfighting and close in air combat manoeuvring may apply.
It is an American Single Engine, Medium Capability Fifth Generation Fighter. There is a family of different aircrafts based on F 35. The F 35 is currently being introduced in service. F 35 is a single engine, single seat, stealth, multirole, fifth generation fighter aircraft. deployed for combat by the United States Air Force and various other Air Forces allied to US. It is an outcome of the erstwhile Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program initiated by the US to replace various aircrafts in service with US military. It is also thus the most costly Fifth Generation Fighter Program because it aims to satisfy multiple requirements in a single airframe. The JSF was intended to replace F 14 Tomcat, F 16 Falcon, F/A 18 Hornet, A-10 Thunderbolt and AV-8B Harrier aircrafts and all their variants.
F-35 JSF development is being principally funded by the United States with additional funding from partners. The partner nations are either NATO members or close U.S. allies. The United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Turkey are part of the active development program; several additional countries have ordered, or are considering ordering, the F-35. All the partner nations have started receiving F 35 aircrafts.
To keep development, production, and operating costs down, a common design was planned in three variants that share 80 percent of their parts:
1 F 35A (CTOL) conventional take off and landing variant.
2 F 35B (STOVL) short-take off and vertical-landing variant.
3 F 35C catapult assisted takeoff but arrested landing ( CATOBAR ) carrier-based (CV) variant.
On 31 July 2015, the first squadron was declared ready for deployment after intensive testing by the United States.
The super-fighter for the 21st century F22 Raptor is worlds first fifth generation fighter aircraft. The first to employ stealth, supersonic cruise, agility and advanced integrated avionics into one single aircraft, it currently dominates the skies over battlefield and bring unequaled capability into the hands of US Air Force fighter pilots.
The high cost of the aircraft, a lack of clear air-to-air missions due to delays in Russian and Chinese fighter programs, a ban on exports, and development of the more versatile and comparatively lower cost F-35 led to the end of F-22 production. A final procurement tally of 187 operational production aircraft was established in 2009 and the last F-22 was delivered to the USAF in 2012.
Sukhoi PAK-FA abbreviated in Russian language as Prospective Airborne Complex of Front line Aviation is a program to develop fifth generation fighter aircraft. The prototype aircraft designated as T 50 which had its first flight on 29 Jan 2010. It is expected to enter service with designation Sukhoi Su 50 in Russian Airforce. The aircraft is being co-developed in collaboration with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited HAL with 50% sharing of fundings. The HAL would develop an Indian specific variant named Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) whose final contract is expected to be signed at the mid of 2017 after which aircraft will be developed within 7 years. The FGFA will be tailored for requirements of Indian Air Force according to Indian Military doctrine. While the aircraft is expected to be exported in large numbers in Asia Pacific. It was reported at Paris Air Show 2017 that the name FGFA is now completely replaced and the aircraft now be called Prospective Multirole Fighter PMF. The Sukhoi Aviation Corporation claims it to be better than any other fifth generation aircraft currently available for export. It will be the first aircraft in both Russian and Indian service to use stealth technology by which they could evade detection by enemy radar to some extent. It will replace Su 27 and MiG 29 in Russian Service and MiG 21 in Indian service.
After the unveiling of J 31 or FC 31's new model and a new flying prototype of J 31. There were significant improvements being analysed about it. These improvements would catapult J 31 in the export market and would fulfill the Chinese dream of ending the monopoly of US in sale of fifth generation fighter aircrafts. Unlike old juice in a new bottle the Shenyang J 31 has the capability to outrun any regional adversaries like F 15 of Japan or Su 30 MKI of India. It is therefore very important to analyse the capabilities of this new aircraft and to see how it shifts the power balance equations.
Believe in yourself You will be successful. Believe in ISRO India will be successful. The Indian Space Research Organisation is now readying itself to jump to the next level. Once again putting everyone in a surprise. After the testing of Indegeneous Cryogenic Engines like CE 7.5, CE 20 and SCE 200. ISRO is putting them and their variants in use to make our larger dreams into reality. ISRO has taken up the challenge to develop Unified Launch Vehicle and Heavy Launch Vehicle. These new series of Rockets shows ISRO'S modular approach where the rockets can be customised to certain limits to make them capable for variety of space launch applications. The output of a cryogenic engine is pure H2O so we won't even be doing any pollution either. Here we introduce these two in a descriptive, balanced, interesting and easy to understand manner.
After The Announcement of India selling BrahMos missile to Vietnam and probably Philippines also, Many Fanboys went gala over it. It is true that BrahMos is a very effective antiship weapon. But without technical comparison it will be a daydream to think that BrahMos can stop an Invasion on Vietnam's Waters. To know the effectiveness it is important to study how BrahMos performs against Chinese Ship Based SAMs and how much punch does it pack. For that purpose we must study the PLAN ships deployed at it's Borders with Vietnam and their effectiveness. It is very important for India to contain China and create more troubles for it in it's own backyard. Hats Off to the Indian Govt.'s decision to sell BrahMos to Vietnam and even perform Oil exploration there. This would keep China too busy in their own backyard where they would increase the concentration of their assets and won't be able to deploy any formidable force in Indian Ocean.
Thank You everyone for the amazing response we had yesterday. Hope you all enjoyed now here are more details. The exact thing we all want.
The Phase 2 system will have longer range radars (Detection range of 1,500km as opposed to 600 km for LRTR radar), and new hypersonic interceptor missiles flying at Mach 6-7 (As opposed to Mach 4-5 for Phase 1 missiles) with agility and the capability to discriminate against ballistic missile defence counter measures. Unlike the Phase 1 Swordfish radar developed by India in partnership with Israel, the radar to support Phase 2 interception will have 80% indigenous component, DRDO chief VK Saraswat told the press on May 15, 2011.
"Only some of the equipments and consultancy would be provided by Israel," Saraswat said
The Ballistic Missile Defence shield prepared by India's DRDO involves India's extensively funded works in defence fields and Top class scientists involved. It is one of the most ambitious projects of DRDO. India is the 4th country to develop a Ballistic Missile Defence Shield. Development of BMDS in India began in 1999 as after the Kargil conflict India realised that it's cities need to be protected from Nuclear Tipped Ballistic missiles of Pakistan and China. India's worst fears are that their will be a radical change of Power in Pakistan that would throw Pakistan's Nukes in the hands of Insurgents. Practically a Democratic Pakistan never had any war with Democratic India (except kargil). War has happened only when Pakistan had been under Military Dictatorship. Right now Democracy is in strong phase in Pakistan but The future is always uncertain. Seeing the strategic depth of this matter Indians want a permanent solution to counter the Nuclear threat. Definitely BMDS then becomes a strategic weapon.
Now once again here we are where we have to chose between some more new variants of the 4Gs. After cancelling MMRCA tender because of being fucked up by Dassault's price changes. The new tender floated to locally manufacture single engine fighter aircraft have fighters for it. The tender has attracted two wonderful aircrafts throwing a whole new competition for Indians. And of course a whole new debate topic for Aviation geeks. The F 16 Block 70 which is dubbed to be the most advanced variant of F 16 and The Saab Gripen NG/ E.
Here we are bringing to you the full spectrum of EW capabilities, Weapons and Other warfare capabilities plus potential weaknesses. So that we can make a proper choice as to which one could be better.
Keeping Alive the legacy of having most accurate Missiles made by the Missile Man Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. India has now made missiles that are more capable than the previous ones. These missiles have been designed keeping in mind the terrain at India's national borders, road connectivity, weather and Cold Start Military doctrine. For the sake of cold start it is very critical that Indians should be able to deploy missiles within minimum time. The missiles are..................
4 BrahMos ll.
Many articles have been written and many debates with filthy language has gone , but nobody has talked about tactical comparisons of both. Indian authors are seen always presenting only those points in which LCA scores better than JF 17. Indian authors rarely discuss about the small weapon package of LCA, While Pakistani authors neglecting the contribution of Chinese talk like JF 17 is just theirs, they also claim JF 17 to be 'semi stealth' just because it has DSI inlets...........huh.
Nobody talks about how would they work in battlespace. Many people escape argument by saying comparison cannot happen between LCA and JF 17 as both are of Different class/category. Yes it is true that both are of different category but comparison can happen as we all know they may face each other in a battle and many countries may buy them so comparison is necessary.
Based on the type of missions these Multirole fighters can perform ,the Author have assumed possible Combat Scenarios of both. Taking into consideration the Flight Characteristics of LCA mk1 and JF 17 block l as standard input from their respective official websites and the number of weapons they can carry. This comparison is made. I have neglected such missions that involve both aircraft being supported by AWACS or any other aircraft ,because that varies from air force to airforce. I have considered all variants of LCA and JF 17 for the sake of worst case scenario.
To add flavour I have given all possibilities a story line so that Defence enthusiasts enjoy reading the article and not get bored.
1 If LCA goes on a bombing Mission and is intercepted by JF 17.
24 August 2030 , Briefing room of an Airbase. The Wing Commander instructs his boys, " Our troops are unable to move forward ,because of heavy concentration of Enemy's Artillery. If we our army provides our marching troops with our artillery via a land route, it will be too late, The troops have demanded a Close Air Support immediately".
Yes ,they are. After reading this article you would agree to what I want to say. What were you imagining that you would manoeuvre through enemy airspace , would trick the enemy SAMs, dodge the enemy fighters and bomb your target??? Very soon we may not need to do this.
Top military nations are in a run to make hypersonic missiles. Hyper sonic weapons can be more survivable because of the extreme speed and altitude. They would be hard to stop. Hard to interpret and even more tedious to engage. Hypersonic means something that can achieve the speeds 5 times that of Sound. So Militaries want missiles and aircraft that can achieve Hypersonic Speeds.
But how they are going to develop such fast missiles or aircraft ?????
There are 2 kinds of approaches to solving the hypersonic challenge. Scramjet and Boost glide.
The basic thing for being a fifth generation fighter plane is that it must have stealth profiling. That means the surface must be shaped in such a way that it deflects radar waves anywhere else except back to radar. The surface absorbs radar waves to some extent. Another important thing is Supercruise ability, this is achieved by having a high power engine and internal weapon bays. Fourth generation Aircrafts carry weapons loaded on their wings this increases drag and hence with weapons being loaded they can't go supercruise. The aircraft must achieve speeds beyond speed of sound and must be able to deploy weapons at that speed.
Fifth generation Aircrafts have better awareness with sensors and jammers all around their airframe. The data from these sensors is processed and showed on pilot's function display so that pilot must be alert about threats in the nearby environment. The Fifth Generation Aircraft is armed with beyond visual range weapons, that means it must be able to release a weapon from that much far that the enemies don't see it. For this purpose they are equipped with AESA (Advanced Electronically Scanned Array) Radar.
This article is an attempt to rank the fifth generation fighters according to their capabilities in battlefield. I have considered only those aircrafts which are either operational or have flying prototypes. Besides the aircrafts in this list their are many ongoing projects developing fight generation aircrafts.
So here we are.........
#6 Shenyang J 31.
Many people call it J 21 snowy owl, gyrfalcon and many more. F 60 is the export variant. The J 31 is also assumed to be either copied or modified version of Lockheed F 35. Actually it has got some similarities with F 35 but isn't a copy. The F 35 airframe is quite mature but the less experience of Chinese designers is clearly visible in J 31.
There are very less official data available so I have to rely on just unofficial things. If you look at its airshow video it is clear that the airframe without leading edge extensions bleed a lot of energy and the pilot had a hectic time keeping time the nose upwards. It showed a long smoke trail that suggests Chinese hasn't worked on reducing the Infrared signature of the aircraft. The conventional round exhaust and no use of 3 D thrust vectoring makes me comment that in terms of airframe design it just old bread in a new package.
Although there is no official confirmation or release but J 31's chief designer Sun Song said that new prototype includes. The differences include a stealthier cockpit, a next-generation helmet mounted sight, holographic cockpit displays, EOTS, aerodynamic revisions and more. So while wondering what is this EOTS , I think it may be an internally carried targeting system just like that at the Chin of F 35. Although not visible on prototypes but production variant may have it.
It can be safely assumed that it will have an AESA radar and Own Engines. It will also be equipped with ECM devices integrated into the airframe. Official from AVIC claimed that additive manufacturing was extensively used on the aircraft, resulting in 50% reduction in components compared to similar aircraft. However, the resulting airframe cannot be disassembled, and the static test frame had to be transported in whole as consequence.
All an all J 31 is a low level fifth generation combat aircraft with limited capabilities. It may have been made for export. But it should be seen how many units are orders by it's home AirForce. It is believed that it would be ready for low rate production by 2019.
The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft is in it's advanced stage of development. Calibration of many important things has been done and airframe design being finalised. Stealth aspects have been tested. All thanks to the infrastructure developed for LCA.
Now the time has come that IAF needs to take some tough decisions like..........
The AMCA will have two engines of nearly 100kN thrust each to satisfy all its power requirements. The Kaveri Engine supposed to be developed for LCA Tejas provides just 70kN of thrust. The French company Safran has offered to review the program in £ 1million. The IAF is pressing on licence manufacturing of GE- F 414 Engine that powers the F 18. The Engines also need to have things like FADEC and 3D thrust Vector capabilities. For which HAL has to do a challenging job of designing them. The AMCA will have Integrated vehicle health management system (IVHMS) and Integrated Flight and Propulsion Control System (IFPCS) which will combine traditional and modern engine control systems to relive the pilot from much of the work along with increasing Engine life. These systems should either be added later or must be asked earlier for AMCA.
Without a confirming decision on Engines I am personally scared that AMCA may face the same fate as all Indigenous Aircrafts of HAL has faced be it HJT Kiran the HF24 or LCA.
The news has come that IAF would very soon make a final call for AMCA's engine. Moreover now IITs have also said to have teamed up to develop a turbofan engine for combat aircraft.
The Indigenous weapons like Astra BVR , Sudarshan Laser Guided Bomb and DRDO'S anti radiation missiles are in testing phase and hence their sizes hasn't been optimised yet. Moreover they simply does not seem small enough to be fitted inside the weapon bays of AMCA. IAF must convey this to ADA about what weapons they want on AMCA. Which till now seems that IAF hasn't communicated yet. The BVR air to air missiles of F22 can fold their fins so that they could be fitted inside weapon bays and F22 carries small diameter bombs.
Seeing the size of Sudarshan LGB it does not seem to able to be fitted inside AMCA's internal weapon bays. IAF may not have convyed this just to keep all options open.
IAF fighters aren't seen carrying any nextgeneration air to ground weapons like Glide Bombs, JDAMs ,AirLaunched cruise missiles, etc. So it is difficult to say that AMCA would carry these kind of Smart Weapons or not. As AMCA isn't going to carry any targetting pod then it may be possible that it would possibly carry Satellite Navigation guided bombs. MiG 29 and Su 30 of IAF carry Russian TV guided missiles but they are old.
Definitely as a replacement for Mirage and MiG 29s in IAF the AMCA will have a role of Offensive Air to Air and Defensive Air to Air Combat. Besides providing Air Superiority in wartime and perform a Combat Air Patrol. I personally have doubts about how can it be a replacement for Mirages. AMCA at its best can carry 2 bombs and that too internally it isn't yet clear that it will have an IRST scanner or not hence it has to rely on it's AESA radar for targeting purpose. Being stealth it cannot even carry any targeting pod. In future India and many others will have stealth bomber drones for performing precision ground attack roles. Calling AMCA for any such role would be costly.
For Air to Air missions it is an Impressive Replacement. There is no doubts about it's stealth capabilities as it is clear from the images that AMCA has almost duplicated the frontal designs of the highly stealthly F22. It is expected therefore that AMCA will be able to perform missions with in a combat radius of nearly 1500 to 2000 kms. That is essential for India's Military Doctrine.
Apart from having regular sensors like MAWS, RWR, AESA Radar AMCA must have something more. Because we can get all these in a 4th generation fighter too. The advanced sensors like Sorbicija Jammer that reflects 'false target position' to the enemy or Dassault Rafael's Spectra which reflects noise back to the ground radar to confuse it. Without such unique and one of a kind electronic capabilities nobody is going to purchase AMCA.
But to develop such sensors IAF has to convey it's practical experiences to HAL and ADA. It has to do threat optimisation for AMCA so that it's designers could suggest some breakthrough measures to eleminiate/evade threats.
With Aircrafts like F 22 Raptor already in operation since 2006. The Chinese have been developing Anti-Stealth technologies to detect such Very Low Observable Aircrafts. Then in that case AMCA must have something more. This is the area where there are chances to develop something new that hasn't been made yet.
Carefully studying the Chinese Anti-Stealth technology would help develop detection technologies to counter that.
Rest all...... Lets just prepare for the worst
And Hope for the best !