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Indian Defence Ministry Panel recommends PAK-FA involvement
September 22, 2017
Photo credit: TASS

Indian Defence Ministry Panel recommends PAK-FA involvement

The Hindustan Times reports that Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) panel has recommended that New Delhi participate in the Sukhoi Su-57 – i.e. T-50 PAK-FA (or custom FGFA for India) – stealth fighter program as a co-development and co-production partner.

The panel is reportedly headed by retired Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman, who did not disclose the panel’s findings, but confirmed that its function was complete.  The panel was raised in February with the mandate to examine the feasibility of the PAK-FA.

The Su-57/PAK-FA is a heavyweight twin-engine fighter design. It is powered by 117S turbofans, which are also the engines of the Sukhoi Su-35. Among the Su-57’s marquee features is its low radar cross-section (RCS) airframe, which aims to reduce its detectability on radar.

One of the reported challenges surrounding the PAK-FA has been cost. Speaking to Defense News, an IAF official stated that Moscow had set an “unaffordable price for the aircraft,” adding that “India is not in a position to pay this kind of money, and the aircraft project appears to be lost.”

From New Delhi’s perspective, it appears that the high costs of the PAK-FA are borne from the platform’s design still not meeting IAF requirements, such as a lack of certifiable active electronically-scanned array radar and Moscow’s own lack of interest in the program.

In July, Russian defence industry analysts and observers have told IHS Jane’s that the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) was not pushing for the PAK-FA as the platform does not offer a substantive improvement in value over the Sukhoi Su-35, one of the VKS’ emerging mainstay fighter platforms.

United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) stated (via TASS News Agency) that development of the T-50 PAK-FA is scheduled for completion in 2019. UAC will deliver a “pre-production batch” of the fighters, at which point UAC expects the VKS to begin issuing orders. However, analysts are unconvinced that the VKS will acquire more than 60 of the launch Su-57 variant.

These two elements, i.e. incomplete technology/subsystems and no domestic orders at launch, leave the PAK-FA as an expensive and uncertain proposition for prospective customers, including India, which has a spate of competing priorities – such as an Indian Navy requirement for 57 carrier-borne fighters and IAF requirement for new single-engine fighters – to manage in the short and medium-terms.

India also has a homegrown next-generation fighter program in the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). Although some have recommended investing in the PAK-FA to secure vital expertise and technology for the AMCA, the IAF and IN’s apparent inclination to Western fighters could enable India to acquire analogous collaborative support from Dassault, Airbus and/or Saab instead. In fact, New Delhi can potentially leverage its IAF and IN bids to supporting the AMCA.

  • jigsaw

    Sounds like a renewed push to bring India onboard.

    Why would Russia do a technological cooperation with India when it has nothing substantial to offer in 5th gen fighter development? Financial cooperation and drawn-up contracts is all India can actually look forward to. There won’t be any technological co-development that Russia will accept. There won’t be any technology transfer either. There won’t be any access to sensitive technology for Indians by Russians, or Europeans, or americans.

    At this point, India is dependent on western and Russian supplies for their 4th gen platforms, and here we’re talking about 5th gen.

    AMCA also will never happen unless a major collaborative partner comes onboard.

    • Jack More

      Nothing substantial to offer..Really?India already developed Serpentine Intakes for AMCA which are way more crucial.India also developed SAR which is a big deal for such project.ATRA(Active Transmit Receive Arrays) Which is one of the milestone for a jet to be called 5th gen has already been developed and it is undergoing ground testing.Remember India isn’t undergoing any BAN or Blockade as it faced in 1989 and 1999 due to which Tejas Stalled.AMCA is on track with Ghatak.

      • jigsaw

        Yep I stand by that on factual basis. India has absolutely nothing to offer on the PAKFA – technologically. Neither will Russia accept any technology components from India – as seen in Eurofighter or F-35 cooperation, since it was never seen or meant to be a JV from Russian angle. It’s a financial deal purely. Everything ranging from design, sensors, cockpit, engine, to testing will be Russian. India will only pay for custom modifications.

        No technological input will ever flow from India to Russia on PAKFA program. Russia is self sufficient in fighter jet design.

        After all, you do realise India is on verge of contracting LM or SAAB to assemble F-16s or Gripens locally because the homegrown fighter has failed to plug that gap and is now simply a technology demonstrator.

        AMCA will never be a reality unless an aviation partner is brought onboard to develop the fighter. A couple of technology-demonstration-level-working components here and there is all India will see to, as in case of Tejas.

        Sorry harsh reality but unless indians start seeing things in rationality, it will remain the same.

        • John Rue

          India has deep pockets. They can always offer money for new projects. Look at their foreign reserves and defence funding.

          • jigsaw

            No – this is also a misconception. They are not too deep after all.

          • John Rue

            look at their defence procurements. High tech jets , AWACS, submarines, missiles. Expensive upgrades. You still think they dont have deep pockets?

        • Jack More

          India is not ordering gripen or F16 because Tejas failed.Tejas is already in production but more than 400 jets are retiring and obviously you can’t fill this 400 jets gap with just one type of jet.Right.?Order for 123 Tejas jets is already placed and 120(or more) Will be placed for MK2 and remaining will be f16 or gripen.IYou should keep yourself updated.

        • Jack More

          And about India Russia Collaboration,Remember There is another project where technological knowledge is divided in both,Brahmos Aerospace.A similar kind of project where Both Russian and Indian Technlogies are involved.And an interesting fact is that its Air Launched Version(for Su30) is developed by India and now Russia is thinking of using it on PakFa or Su35.

          • jigsaw

            What does that tell us – all those examples you giving here? Anytime indians have had some success in defence projects, it owed it to joint cooperation where all, majority, or critical technology came from the other side with India mainly financially supporting the cause to fetch some offsets. That’s all i have been trying to tell you. You know it too, you just don’t want to accept it.

          • Steve

            Jigsaw they will never accept it. They all have a deluded world view in which India is all powerful technologically. It’s a total waste to time to argue with these guys. It’s boring lol.

          • Jack More

            yea and like BMD system,Agni missiles,Nulear submarine,Helicopter(light,light attack and medium),Aircraft carrier,Frigates,destroyers,Torpedos,BVR missile etc etc are made in joint cooperation with alians right?

          • jigsaw

            Also made possible with extensive foreign help. You do realise India is largest importer of arms in the world. You don’t owe it to technological achievements but the opposite.

    • amar

      Hi @disqus_ZIgZRbyw2S:disqus
      It is wrong to assume that India has absolutely nothing to offer in 5th gen aircraft development other than financial load bearing. I do agree that at this juncture though, Russia would have higher technical contribution in such an en devour.
      The wind tunnel tests of AMCA have already been carried out and the general layout of the fighter is almost frozen. The most complex issue is finalizing the wing planform. They are now looking into preliminary design of digital fly by wire controls for the jet. I believe, that a lot of sub-systems, like AESA radars, HMDS and few others will be sourced from israel. Avionics and possibly engine can be sourced from India, as there are talks going on in India to uprate the kaveri to 100+kN with french assistance. After all french are obligated to re-invest $2.3bn back into India in the offset clause. And most of this offset is going to iron out the issues with kaveri engine.
      The most important aspect is, a lot of wind tunnel tests have been carried out already and India has the experience of “designing” a 4gen jet.

      • jigsaw

        See above response.

        Like i said, a couple of working components here and there is all on AMCA. A whole self sufficient package is not in reach or league of indians.

        • amar

          Hi @disqus_ZIgZRbyw2S:disqus
          DO you have any idea what it takes to even finalize the general layout of the jet through numerous wind tunnel tests?

          • jigsaw

            Exactly. Which is why i’m telling you third time, it’s way out of current expertise of Indian defence industry to deliver a deployable or exportable 5th gen fighter. I know what i am talking about. May be you don’t.

          • amar

            Kindly preach this to someone like yourself who has never worked on any of these projects.
            I never claimed that India can produce an “exportable” 5th gen aircraft. However India can indeed develop technology demonstrator aircrafts in next 10 years. I think you repeatedly fail to admit the fact that India does have requistite R&D in various disciplines of aircraft design and development. Kindly do not get swayed by media reports and instead have a habit of reading papers produced in journals,magazines etc etc.

          • jigsaw

            If it’s not exportable, it’s not deployable = Tech demo. Simple math dude.

            Right now this thread ain’t about Pakistan but i believe Pakistan is on the right track with aviation city and solid drive behind PAC on next gen fighter program. What PAF understand is that it will need solid JVs and cooperation on such high tech projects and therefore remains humble and eager to learn and invest. I don’t really see that kind of drive in HAL or DRDO. The only push HAL or DRDO or indian nation has in general is this: Provide us COMPLETE technology for this amount of money. You don’t understand it never works like that. Why would USA or russia or french hand you over how their proprietary AESA tech works or for that matter the engines? Do you even think this through ever or what? And india has currently no R&D to provide alternatives for such high tech components. What it needs to do is to create JVs and long term partnerships – which it won’t since the whole mindset is something else.

            Anyway…i’m happy for Pakistan. In a matter of one to two decades it will make major strides in aviation tech, just like it did in last 2 decades when it started with nothing.

          • Lasit

            but how? your aviation history is all about assembling Mushshak turbo props and assembling JF 17.

            with your own logic, why would China share anything significant with you guys. many of you now started talking about the Turkish 5th gen project. for god’s sake, turkey themselves is dependent on western technologies, ..Design from BAE, Engine from Rolls Royce, avionics from Boeing etc.. you you believe you will have a free hand in the project??

            time to wake up

          • Steve

            We are selling a lot of Mushshak, K-8, and JF-17 despite you claiming they are all not good enough. We have done a lot better than you lot. What have you sold?

          • Re the Super Mushshak: It is manufactured by PAC. The only time the platform was assembled was in the 1970s when Pakistan bought MFI-17s off-the-shelf from Sweden. However, in 1982 Malmö Flygindustri stopped producing and supporting the aircraft. From 1983 PAC began manufacturing the MFI-17 under license as the Mushshak. The Super Mushshak was introduced in 2002 as an upgrade. The main imports for the Super Mushshak are its engine, propellers and some avionics.

            As for the JF-17. It was, is and will be a co-production partnership. PAC is responsible for final assembly as well as supplying 58% of the aircraft.

            Finally, as for the TFX. I’m not sure where anyone got the idea of the PAF claiming the TFX as an indigenous system. There is the 5th-gen fighter under AvDI on one end, and there’s engaging in the TFX on the other. From the info available, it seems the TFX is being looked at as an off-the-shelf purchase – i.e. the next-gen Western fighter to replace the F-16 – but with some local production workshare.

          • Lasit

            point taken Bilal, but with a program cost of $25 billion for TAI TFX, i find it difficult to apprehend how and why Turkey will share the production workshare with Pakistan. I am really unaware what technology or product support pakistan can provide, which Turkey does not have access to from its western partners. then the other area, in that case will be financial support, exactly what Indian are trying to do for the PAF FA project. in that case as well, you would know more than me , whether pakistan is in any position to financially support the project??
            and the biggest question will be whether Turkey herself will be allowed to share any product or avionics (engine, design, electronics- all by NATO partners ) with Pakistan.
            only viable future 5th gen fighter for PAF in my mind can be a Chinese jet, hoping that chinese will be that generous to share that with pakistan on a plate

          • In regards to the TFX. The idea chain started with the MoDP making a comment about Turkey inviting Pakistan to the program, which was then compounded with similar statements from a SSM (i.e. Turkish Gov’t) and another Pakistan MoDP official. This was in the second half of 2016. In 2017, we had Alan Warnes (probably the closest journalist to the PAF) say that the TFX will factor into the PAF’s future plans. In April, the PAF CAS himself said Pakistan will work on a next-gen fighter with TFX, which basically leaves the TFX since it is the only one that has any relevance based on past statements.

            I brought the above up to establish (1) that the TFX offer is genuine and (2) Pakistan is relatively receptive such that the PAF CAS himself will go on the record for it. When (1) + (2) are in place, then I wouldn’t presume raising the technology inaccessibility question. Sure, they are going to be some stops, but with (1) + (2) in place, the PAF has probably determined that it isn’t enough to keep it away from the program.

            The other issue is that Turkey intends to export the TFX as well. While it is relying on BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce for technical support in the airframe and engine, respectively, it is actually paying for the support and for the requisite licenses. There’s a third aspect too and that is Turkey’s own technology inputs. Keep in mind that its public (e.g. TAI, Aselsan, etc) and private sector (Kale, Alp, etc) companies did build their own infrastructure, human resources pool and industry inputs (e.g. composite aerostructures) to support the F-35. The SSM and MoD at one point (around May or April) said this is going to be expanded to support the TFX.

            Pakistan has limited financial bandwidth, but it’s not utterly bankrupt. Yes, the procurement budget has variance every few years, but the PAF (as well as the other service arms) maintain constant budgets as well. R&D funding generally comes from that. If that is incrementally built over 10, 15 or 20 years, then it amounts to a fairly sizable amount. If Pakistan opts to sign onto the TFX, this is how it will approach the program. Is it going to be a 50-50 partner? No. We could probably expect a 5-10% R&D investment, several fighter squadrons and some parts manufacturing.

        • amar

          Also, I dont think 123 tejas aircrafts can be signed off as just “TDs”. How long will you keep denying the fact that tejas has passed all the obstacles slowly and painstakingly and is gradually becoming part of IAF. Just because IAF needs another single engine jet doesnt mean tejas has failed. What you fail to realize is the fact that IAF wants a “medium” category jet ASAP and tejas is a light weight fighter, no matter what.
          Tejas will form the light fighter leg of IAF, whereas medium category will be dominated by likes of rafale,Fulcrum,Mirage,and possibly F-16(if the deal gets through.) and sukhoi forms the heavy punch of IAF.
          AESA equipped Jaguars are nearing their flight trials, and considering the fact that the very same AESAs will find their place in LCA, I dont think it will be a jet that one can simply write off as TD.

          • jigsaw

            Tejas will not form any leg of IAF. It will never be deployed on western or northern borders of Indian land. It will never be pushed into air combat duties against PAF or PLAAF. – not unless there’s no Mig-21s left. F-16s or Gripens will form that light to medium leg. But i don’t want to get into all those discussions right now.

            30 years of development is enough benchmark.

          • amar

            @disqus_ZIgZRbyw2S:disqus

            And what experience have you got to “proclaim” such a prophecy? I know fully well, whatever I am writing here will not make sense to you or your fellow countrymen. Part of the reason is because Pakistan is superior to India in Research and creation of intellectual property.
            Of course those 123 tejas will be just parked in Bangalore. I like the enthusiasm with which you folks blatantly belittle India’s research efforts–especially when India happens to be a MILLION times more transparent vis-a-vis Pakistan in R&D. Believe me, if Pakistan were to be even 1/1000th as transparent as India, many of you would be cowering in shame!
            Keep dreaming of tejas being a failed product meanwhile India painstakingly improves every lot.
            PS- Instead of usual rants, shall we discuss something concrete and technical?

          • jigsaw

            These are not prophecies but if you want to take them as such, be my guest. Either way this is how it’s going to play out.

            The problem with Indian society in general is inherent insecurity which blinds you from seeing the truth. I mean do you realize how much lies have been told by DRDO/HAL to you people, and from you guys to each other on Tejas and dozen such projects? Time and again, someone in India has been bringing out those reports too, but you keep on convincing the world it’s going to be the next big thing. Hey – the era of 4th gen fighters is OVER. You’re too late and too little. You need to harder with AMCA now.

            I have no interest in throwing rants, but i’m sorry there is no other way to put it. Like i said, you feel too insecure to see pixels here, let alone the whole picture.

          • Steve

            Honest question; why did your army chief say Pakistan is ahead of India in military industrial base. Was a Chanakian ploy to lull us into complacency, or was he lying just for fun? Or heaven forbid was he correct! The news seems genuine. An honest answer will be appreciated, but is extremely unlikely lol.

          • amar

            There are various factual in-accuracies –as usual, you fail to read the entire story-
            1) He is not “chief” but a lt gen.
            2) What he said was in strict “reference” to OFBs– that are responsible for production for assault rifles. That too, he was referring to “quality” of assault rifle produced by a particular factory of OFB. He said these comments in response to a question regarding OFB in a seminar.
            3) Army is not so happy with the way OFB functions and they have been courting to take the command of OFB, and statements like these are issues to pressurize govt to transfer the command of OFB from civies to Army.
            4) Also, Army wants to buy an off the shelf rifle and statement like this would pressurize govt, not to take any orders from OFB.

          • Steve

            So he (whoever he was, don’t care) was openly admitting Pakistan small arms and ammunition manufacturing is better than your OFB just to pressurise the government. Yeah right!

            Is the Modi government going to disciple him for affecfting your army morale with such statements. Especially your poorly fed guys getting killed daily by better small arms (by your own admission) on the LOC, that your media makes such a big fuss about? Does the same not apply to DRDO and HAL if you are honest? I think it’s the British inheritance of fossilised bureaucracy that runs every aspect of Indian life.

          • Jack More

            Even Rafale and Mig35 took 30 years after having 10 times more experience than India so means they are failed and junk.?Just remember,India started from scratch and faced 2 major roadblocks and 30 years is an average time to place an aerospace industry in a country.

      • ahmria

        I thought the Kaveri engine was only going to be developed to power a future UCAV?

        • Steve

          India should scrap DRDO and HAL and start all over again. May have more success.

    • FAUJI JAT

      Well you have to offer this lesson to your ACM Sohail Amman who is dreaming about developing AESA radars and 5th gen warplanes indigenously in collaboration with reliable partner and some Pakistanis dreaming about developing TFX with Turkey but here the question arises a country called Pakistan who can’t even afford 8 F-16 who has no credible industrial base how you can finance such expensive programmes and what technologically advanced avionics system Pakistan has to offer.JF-17 thunder is totally made in china product,Pakistan is only assembling the parts which are made in china.I think you have to go to IMF or some rich arab ally to take loan for Turkish TFX.

      • jigsaw

        Isn’t it easy to vent it all out on Pakistan? As always?…
        Fortunately I don’t have to take that bait since it’s a troll comment.

      • kaster

        How do you know jf-17 is only assembled and not manufactured in Pakistan,what is the source of your information? A few days ago an Indian army general said that Pakistan has better defence industrial base than India. What do you have to say about that?

        • Jack More

          If Jf17 is manufactured in Pakistan then why Myanmar is getting jets from China.Why every new thing added in JF is being tested in china.My friend accept the fact.Even Chinese websites say the same(i read some weeks ago)

          • Before those photos, those same commentators were even disputing the idea that JF-17s were sold to Myanmar. From photos we know testing and maybe even final assembly were being done in China. However, as per the workshare agreement, Pakistan gets around half of the production work of any sale. That leaves the real possibility of parts from Pakistan being shipped to China. Also, some subsystem and weapons testing has been (and still is) being done in Pakistan, which is apparent from a look at the MoDP yearbook (e.g. Indra RWR).

          • Steve

            If you can’t even understand that then nobody can help you. As far as we know there is no second assembly line in China but an integration and testing facility only. Not something that helps your POV about manufacturing in China. Don’t you feel bad that Pakistan has sold the plane you spent years ridiculing to 2 countries confirmed, and more are lining up to buy once Block III is ready. Have you seen Mushshak and K-8 sales. We are far ahead of you. Where are your super duper Tejas foreign sales? In your dreams maybe?

          • Jack More

            Pakistan has sold.Funny.Everything is done by china,Even your Mid air refuelling pods are installed and tested in china.Pakistan is just used to assemble things that even china don’t want in their arsenal.And we are ahead of you..In what?Assembling.?India’s exports are for more than yours.2 days ago,India delivered a naval ship to sri lanka,India sold Dhruva helis to more than 5 countries including Turkey and Mauritius,Sold Torpedo to Myanmar.Now about jets,India first need to fulfill its own demand then it will think of selling these.But i don’t think you will understand so be happy with assuming that Pakistan makes World Class super jets like JF 17 indigenously including its engine,Seats,Refuelling pods,E suits,Sensors,missiles,tyres,FBW system etc etc.

          • Steve

            Please inform yourself about the workshare of PAC and local production before spreading disinformation. Go ahead google it. You may learn something.

    • Mahesh

      You are entitled to your “honest” opinion regarding ‘technological gain’ or ‘tech transfer’ but the facts point in a completely different direction. I guess someone like you has not been keeping pace with the recent developments for quite a while.

      – India has been able to make BrahMos indigenously. A supersonic cruise missile which has no operational equivalent in the world. Let me inform you that the BrahMos project was initially based on the russian P-800 “onyx” cruise missile, but the Indian and Russian aerospace industries further developed it in terms of speed (motor engine and fuel) and accuracy (solely designed by the Indian industries for a CEP <1m). The blue-print of these novel technologies on-board the BrahMos is now shared by the 2 countries as India (under BrahMos aerospace and led by an Indian) is now able to independently manufacture these cruise missiles "in-country" without any external help.

      – India's Arihant class nuclear submarines. Back in the '90s when the ATV (advanced Tactical Vessel) project was approved by the central government, Indian scientists visited Russia to gain a deeper insight into the design of miniature nuclear reactors for submarine use. Back in the days of cold war, the russians had mastered this technology and going by the words of a BARC scientist himself "Russian help and cooperation has been vital in realising the dream of a nuclear underwater vessel for India." And yes not to mention the Talwar class frigates for the Indian Navy (called as admiral grigorovich in the russian navy) which will be built in Indian shipyards under complete tech transfer from Russia.

      – India has been developing its own missile systems like the Akash (SAM with little success apparently), ASTRA (BVRAAM which has been successfully integrated with our front line fighters like the Su-30 MKI) and ICBMs like Agni-V and Agni-VI (soon to be tested with a range of around 10,000 km). All these missile systems have been heavily based on the rocket engine technology sourced form russia meant for space missions and further improved upon later. Since India is taking baby steps towards achieving self-sufficiency in designing Surface-to-Air missiles, it is a matter of time we do it in collaboration with either Israel or Russia.

      -Soon we are going to have a huge collaboration with either Saab aerospace or Lockheem Martin (a leader in military aerospace solutions) for either manufacturing some 200 gripen E/F (NG) or F-16IN Block-70 under complete technology transfer in addition to setting up of an aerospace hub in India.

      • jigsaw

        Well, now it’s about PAKFA and you have my answer. When it will be about Brahmos and Arihant and all, i’ll tell you also how much indigenous those things are – and they are not.

        Did i just hear you saying a “COMPLETE technology transfer” with F-17 block 70 or Gripen?

    • Mahesh

      This is in reply to your ludicrous statement- “There won’t be any access to sensitive technology for Indians by Russians, or Europeans, or americans.”
      You are entitled to your “honest” opinion regarding ‘technological gain’ or ‘tech transfer’ but the facts point in a completely different direction. I guess someone like you has not been keeping pace with the recent developments for quite a while.

      – India has been able to make BrahMos indigenously. A supersonic cruise missile which has no operational equivalent in the world. Let me inform you that the BrahMos project was initially based on the russian P-800 “onyx” cruise missile, but the Indian and Russian aerospace industries further developed it in terms of speed (motor engine and fuel) and accuracy (solely designed by the Indian industries for a CEP <1m). The blue-print of these novel technologies on-board the BrahMos is now shared by the 2 countries as India (under BrahMos aerospace and led by an Indian) is now able to independently manufacture these cruise missiles "in-country" without any external help.

      – India's Arihant class nuclear submarines. Back in the '90s when the ATV (advanced Tactical Vessel) project was approved by the central government, Indian scientists visited Russia to gain a deeper insight into the design of miniature nuclear reactors for submarine use. Back in the days of cold war, the russians had mastered this technology and going by the words of a BARC scientist himself "Russian help and cooperation has been vital in realising the dream of a nuclear underwater vessel for India." And yes not to mention the Talwar class frigates for the Indian Navy (called as admiral grigorovich in the russian navy) which will be built in Indian shipyards under complete tech transfer from Russia.

      – India has been developing its own missile systems like the Akash (SAM with little success apparently), ASTRA (BVRAAM which has been successfully integrated with our front line fighters like the Su-30 MKI) and ICBMs like Agni-V and Agni-VI (soon to be tested with a range of around 10,000 km). All these missile systems have been heavily based on the rocket engine technology sourced form russia meant for space missions and further improved upon later. Since India is taking baby steps towards achieving self-sufficiency in designing Surface-to-Air missiles, it is a matter of time we do it in collaboration with either Israel or Russia.

      -Soon we are going to have a huge collaboration with either Saab aerospace or Lockheem Martin (a leader in military aerospace solutions) for either manufacturing some 200 gripen E/F (NG) or F-16IN Block-70 under complete technology transfer in addition to setting up of an aerospace hub in India.

    • Mahesh

      This is in reply to your ludicrous statement- “There won’t be any access to sensitive technology for Indians by Russians, or Europeans, or americans.”
      You are entitled to your “honest” opinion regarding ‘technological gain’ or ‘tech transfer’ but the facts point in a completely different direction. I guess someone like you has not been keeping pace with the recent developments for quite a while.

      – India has been able to make BrahMos indigenously. A supersonic cruise missile which has no operational equivalent in the world. Let me inform you that the BrahMos project was initially based on the russian P-800 “onyx” cruise missile, but the Indian and Russian aerospace industries further developed it in terms of speed (motor engine and fuel) and accuracy (solely designed by the Indian industries for a CEP <1m). The blue-print of these novel technologies on-board the BrahMos is now shared by the 2 countries as India (under BrahMos aerospace and led by an Indian) is now able to independently manufacture these cruise missiles "in-country" without any external help.

      – India's Arihant class nuclear submarines. Back in the '90s when the ATV (advanced Tactical Vessel) project was approved by the central government, Indian scientists visited Russia to gain a deeper insight into the design of miniature nuclear reactors for submarine use. Back in the days of cold war, the russians had mastered this technology and going by the words of a BARC scientist himself "Russian help and cooperation has been vital in realising the dream of a nuclear underwater vessel for India." And yes not to mention the Talwar class frigates for the Indian Navy (called as admiral grigorovich in the russian navy) which will be built in Indian shipyards under complete tech transfer from Russia.

      – India has been developing its own missile systems like the Akash (SAM with little success apparently), ASTRA (BVRAAM which has been successfully integrated with our front line fighters like the Su-30 MKI) and ICBMs like Agni-V and Agni-VI (soon to be tested with a range of around 10,000 km). All these missile systems have been heavily based on the rocket engine technology sourced form russia meant for space missions and further improved upon later. Since India is taking baby steps towards achieving self-sufficiency in designing Surface-to-Air missiles, it is a matter of time we do it in collaboration with either Israel or Russia.

      -Soon we are going to have a huge collaboration with either Saab aerospace or Lockheem Martin (a leader in military aerospace solutions) for either manufacturing some 200 gripen E/F (NG) or F-16IN Block-70 under complete technology transfer in addition to setting up of an aerospace hub in India.

      • jigsaw

        Pasting multiple times a same answer won’t change realities. Calm down.

      • amar

        Kindly do not be mislead into beliving that Brahmos is being indigenously manufactured in India. Dont sound like a Pakistani, be reasonable and learn to accept the realities. There is no doubt that Brahmos has been indigenized to a great extent, however the main component i.e the liquid ramjet still happens to come from Russia! The seeker and guidance has been replaced with Indian counterpart.
        Also, I think you are only waisting your time explaining to folks who do not understand what “research” means- It’s a fact- their contribution to top notch Aerospace Journals like AIAA is abysmally poor and non-existent and they would hardly acknowledge it. Instead they will cherry pick “media-reports” that intentionally writes reports of Indian weapon systems giving it entirely different colour. For instance take the case of recent media report wherein it was claimed that 30% of Akash missiles “failed” the tests. However the report FAILED to mention that it was not the missile that had failed the tests but the pre-launch preparation electronics that didnt work as expected. But who really cares to go deeper into the details?

    • Lasit

      well i would suggest that you should study the details of the possible contract before commenting. the initial contribution of $6 billion towards design and r&d is only for technology transfer. even the clause says that Russians have to share the source codes for the software and weapon integration.. It is upto to russians to decide whether they are willing to do that or not. the rest of close to $25 billion is for local manufacturing in Nasik under HUL. the first 6 samples including prototypes will be off the selves. rest will all be manufactured in India.

      regarding the points that Indian may not be able to contribute, that may be a partially true. but we are not paying the russians for just the plans, its for the technology..

      moreover russians can’t run a sustainable production line without an external order, a big order. in fact reports suggest that russia is estimating an order of 57 plans till 2024. with that number, they can just have few prototypes, nothing more.

      even if they want to market it to external players, Russians can’t make it economically viable without a big order from India. this is the only reason they are trailing behind India for this deal..

    • Stan

      This is what I read jigsaw Vijainder Thakur, retired Indian Air Force wing commander and defense analyst, said, “India and Russia would jointly own the intellectual property rights and technology transfer would take place on an as required basis.”

      After the final agreement is inked, Russia will supply three prototypes of India-specific FGFA in another three years, the Indian Air Force official said. So dismiss this as a nonstarter might be premature

  • For a time the PAF had looked into the RD-33MK. No plans or thought given to fitting the 117S or any other AL-31 variant.

    • Manju

      Hi Bilal, great work as always, But I am not sure about RD-33MK engines(Mig29 engines) for JF17, as far as I know is Pakistan is sourcing it’s engine for JF17 from China(Older variant of RD33 called R93 license built in China).Out of Saturn engines AL-31F (Su30 engines) are the only ones manufactured in China(for MKK model) because of which Chinese are using the same engines for their J20 as of now. Saturn AL41F is yet not made in China and recent Chinese acquisition of Su35 is the first time Chinese got their hands on thrust vectoring technology.So for Pakistan to get it’s hands on AL41F with thrust vectoring through China might take long time.

    • Hammad Hassan

      But is it viable in your expert opinion??

      • It’s a plausible option for the next major variant (e.g. JF-17 Block-III), but we don’t have any information if it’s is on the cards right now, at least for the Block-III.

  • Salman

    Just as to say and point out, this plane is a thing of beauty.

  • ahmria

    I think the Saturn 117s turbofans are probably too big to fit in the j17 airframe and at least 500kg heavier than the current Klimov engine. any modifications required would probably need wholesale and prohibitively expensive changes to the airframe to make it fit.

  • Love One Another M

    It often takes decades to develop high tech products, and if the Indians think they get those technologies on the cheap, they are badly mistaken. It is time for Indians to get down on earth, and get rid off their delusions if they want to progress. And having two children is enough for them, earth can support only so many people. This will cut on their extreme poverty as well, by having fewer people to feed at home.

    • FAUJI JAT

      Well it was Pakistani women who produce babies like machine not indian, India’s fertility rate is far lower than Pakistan’s and I think you care about your own extreme poverty in Sindh and other provinces.7.4 million pakistani children’s don’t go to school which is more than two times the size of India’s 3 million illiterate kids and teenagers.

      • jigsaw

        You really want to talk about this? Think again.

  • Sami Shahid

    India would probably buy more Rafale Aircrafts for its airforce & few F-18’s or some Russian aircrafts for its navy…. anyway, Pakistan should concentrate on JF-17 program & should buy Turkish stealth fighter once it is developed. More importantly, if Turkish fifth generation fighter aircraft program takes too long then Pakistan should replace its F-16’s with new ones or with some other aircrafts like SAAB Gripen if US doesn’t agree to provide new F-16 fighters.

  • Lasit

    the initial contribution of $6 billion towards design and r&d is only for technology transfer. even the clause says that Russians have to share the source codes for the software and weapon integration.. It is upto to russians to decide whether they are willing to do that or not. the rest of close to $25 billion is for local manufacturing in Nasik under HUL. the first 6 samples including prototypes will be off the selves. rest will all be manufactured in India.

    regarding the points that Indian may not be able to contribute, that may be a partially true. but we are not paying the russians for just the plans, its for the technology..

    moreover russians can’t run a sustainable production line without an external order, a big order. in fact reports suggest that russia is estimating an order of 57 plans till 2024. with that number, they can just have few prototypes, nothing more.

    even if they want to market it to external players, Russians can’t make it economically viable without a big order from India. this is the only reason they are trailing behind India for this deal..

    • Steve

      I think the only aircraft left is Eurofighter why don’t you buy 200 of those too?

  • sas

    India should concentrate on developing advanced supercruising engines and aesa radar take it up as a national mission once these technologies are mastered rest will come.India must develop institutes that undertake quality research not the usual one that are done to get ur name in some journal but actual research where something new is developed and encourage pvt sector participation unless that happens nothing is going to happen

    • Steve

      India may develop these in 30 years if they start all over again and hire some foreign experts to guide them.

      • sas

        Even then it is worth the effort,for we need to develop a culture of innovation and technical and engineering excellence if we are to turn to a developed nation .And scientific skills are not produced overnight it needs time effort commitment and resources.

  • Jack More

    Rather than getting popcorn,Get something that keeps you updated so next time you don’t need to spread lies like Tejas is failed when it’s already in production and more advanced than JF17(according to admin).

    • Tejas is more advanced than the Block-II. However in the year since that article was published, several factors have emerged to help the JF-17. First is the JF-17B, which has provided clear proof of airframe improvements (e.g. increased wingspan/reduced wing-loading), three-axis FBW and possibly even greater composite use. Second, the JF-17B serving as the basis for the JF-17 Block-III. The jury is out on whether these improvements will bridge the gap entirely, but they’ll be close enough such that the Tejas’ advantages may not be decisive. The JF-17 Block-III will enter production (i.e. 2019-2020) during later Tejas Mk1 production.

      • Steve

        Block III is going to be a significantly different aircraft as far as avionics are concerned. It does need RD-33MK, which may be comparatively easier to persuade Russia to sell us. I hope PAF are working on it. That is almost No.1 priority for PAF. We should not compare aircraft to each other in isolation as the entire support system, training, weapons etc all bear on the final result. Nobody thinks a full scale air war on the cards with India but as a deterrent JF-17 Block III will be perfect as a core fighter in the numbers planned.

      • Jack More

        Block 3 is still on drawing board.By the time it will enter production,Mark 2 will enter production i think at exactly same time.

        • The Block-III is in an active development state. The design has been frozen for nearly 2 years and it is scheduled to enter production in 2019. The Tejas Mk2 will have its test flight around then, but from 2019/2020 the PAF will also have the Block-IV in development too.

      • Jack More

        But it’s good that i atleast found someone who accepts truth.Now it will be interesting to see both Jf block3 and Tejas mk2 as they will come at almost same time.

    • Steve

      Jigsaw said India had not offered anything to PAK-FA to date and will not offer anything. Nobody answered the question and started emotional irrelevant rants about how great India is technologically. Tejas which is a side issue, is a 30 year project with a mediocre end product. IAF may be forced to take it in limited numbers, but that does not make it a success. To add to Jigsaw’s question; for all the hot air what has India’s actual contribution been to PAK-FA TO DATE. Not maybe sometime in the future, but TO DATE, means NOW? Answer the question please, not hyperbole about Brahmos, Arihant, Agni etc all of which have had significant Russian input. Please have the intellectual honesty to admit there has been NO Indian technological contribution to PAKFA up to now.

      Oh and one more thing; NOBODY hands over the industrial Crown Jewels which currently are manufacturing technology for AESA radar, latest composites, and single crystal blade technology for turbofans, no matter how much you beg or show money earned in your notorious sweatshops. Better accept the fact and move on to the Chinese model of step by step development.

      • jigsaw

        I blame their media and their mindsets for this hocus pocus they’re under.

        • Tr3a

          Hit the nail on the head
          In order to win a total all out industrial war you must be self sufficient in almost everything and in order to win must outproduce and outlast the enemy

          Just like the world wars

      • Jack More

        Jigshaw said India don’t have anything to offer.Maybe you missed his comment in hurry of replying me.

        • Steve

          I said the same that india will not offer anything in the second line of my post. I said I will add to the question. Read the post please

      • Jack More

        And about India’s contribution in PAKFA,The deal is still not signed so how will india contribute.The jet is not PAKFA,it will be like PAKFA.And Agni missles have ZERO russian input,Brahmos(Air launched) have zero russian input in developing it,and INS ARIHANT have a consutling input for the Propulsion system of the carrier.About technology sharing,France is sharing its technology for jet engine,Saab is ready to share its GaN radar technology with 100% TOT so it requires money,anything can be purchased.

        • jigsaw

          You can wait for the deal to happen – it won’t change anything. It will still remain a financial deal. For Russia it’s not a JV. They don’t need India except to request custom modifications and payments.

        • Steve

          We cannot talk to people who have totally unrealistic world view. You’re as usual saying this and that will happen, future plans presented as present facts is a habit many of your countrymen share. Also if you say that Russia did not help with Brahmos (Oniks) I can’t help you. Hooking a Russian missile under a Russian airplane does not make India the technology capital of the world. Similarly if nuclear sub, and rocket engines for missiles are totally Indian you are either being disingenuous or live in a different universe where India is supreme. This is quite strange how you guys can’t see facts or maybe just believe that repeating a falsehood many many times will somehow make it true.

      • Jack More

        Now about Tejas,It is still far better than JF17 as proved by admin.And about its time taken,Even Rafale and Mig35 took more than 30 years even after having 10 times more experience than India in fighter jets.And India started from scratch and faced 2 major roadblocks(1990 economic problems and 1999 Ban after Nuclear tests) and even after that,India developed an Aerospace industry in just 30 years which is a below average time to establish it.

        • The Tejas is better than the JF-17 Block-II, but by the IAF has the Tejas in substantive numbers, the Block-III would be part-way into production. At that point, would the current gap even matter? Today, one fighter is in full service with 4-5 squadrons (JF-17) and the other is entering production. In the future, a closely comparable JF-17 will be in production at the same time as that of the Tejas.

        • jigsaw

          Hi. It can be his opinion. There’s far too many technical and financial aspects to consider in fighter jets comparisons apart from the single most aspect that matters – availability.

          Rafale and Mig-35 are 100% local products. Don’t even go about comparing it to a foreign designed and developed fighter jet.

  • Steve

    Absolutely correct. They want to buy 100’s of planes from every single vendor and seem to have gone totally mad and irrational. They seem to have no idea about the logistical nightmare they are creating, and also keep talking about their ‘shortage’, which obviously did not appear overnight. It’s all bad planning and is actually amusing to watch. Like a kid in a candy shop with a $10 bill who can’t decide. It’s obviously because their long gestational LCA is bad. PAF will probably end up with JF-17 Block III, F-16 50/52 and another Gen 5 fighter in the foreseeable future. A lean and mean rational force.

    • jigsaw

      I don’t think India is able to afford replacing 400 fighter jets and/or adding new squadrons…From an original contract of 200+ jets on MMRCA…36 rafales is all India could afford to settle on…while showing the world it was the mother of all deals…

      So much for the transparency … someone here was saying…

  • amar

    I admire your ignorance–you need to be pretty ignorant to miss things inspite of India being at least MILLION times more transparent vis-a-vis pakistan when it comes to R&D. But then again, I am wasting my time, explaining things to someone whose country has surpassed India in research and development.

    • jigsaw

      Yeh yeh…now stoop down to personal attacks…never cease to not surprise.

  • jigsaw

    Is that why MMRCA was canceled because India just didn’t have the money to actually pay for original contract which it showed to the world for last 15 years?

    Loan or no loan…the same national defence is giving your nation sleepless nights..isn’t that a thing of beauty?

  • Jack More

    US still wanna use F16 and F18 and wanna make these serviceable for 30 years.F35 is still suffering and that’s the reason.About France,It uses rafale because its requirement is limited.It has no threat to face any kind of war from any nation .About pakistan,They don’t have money to do so.JF17 is a very cheap fighter and that’s why pakistan is replacing it with everything.But still pakistan want to but F16 anyhow.Why..?Because you don’t simply rely on one kind of aircraft for any role.Now last about India,India is facing 2 nations from both sides,so itss needs include an air superiority jet(su30),A deep strike jet(jaguar),a ground attack but omnirole jet(rafale) And an intercepter(tejas) + light attack jet(f16 or saab).

    • jigsaw

      Okay, then just call it your strategy. Right or wrong – it’s yours, but that does NOT mean one fighter platform cannot replace jets in same category – that’s the whole concept of multi, swing role, or omnirole platform.

      FYI – France is a nuclear power. It uses the rafale in maritime roles, air attack, air superiority and nuclear delivery. You call that limited requirements? May be if you consider attacking Mars and jupiter also a requirement.

      I think Pakistan wants to conclude on JF-17s, F-16s, and a third air superiority platform for all its mission requirements. After all, PAF has been dealing with more than 3 platforms in past.

      Since you keep calling JF-17 cheap, don’t forget that you were found trying selling a “cheap” aircraft to sri lanka and other nations in response of JF-17.

  • Jack More

    And india bought Mig29 for Navy and now replacing it with rafale or F18 + Tejas mk2.And about Tejas’s capability,It is still far more better than JF17 and in production for 123 orders+mark 2 in development so i don’t think i need to explain Tejas’s capability repeatedly.

    • jigsaw

      Then don’t – because it’s not making it any more capable or at all.

  • Jack More

    Dhruv heli is operated by your beloved friend Turkey and 5 more nations.And 250 are in Indian army.16 crashed out of which 8 were due to pilot error,3 due to bad weather,2 due to technical failure and 3 are in investigation.Jf17 against Sukhoi and Rafales..Now i think i should grab popcorn for a comedy show.JF17 which is a metal piece with rcs of more than 4sqm,with smoky engine,with no OBOGS,with not even HMDs,with no EW suite,With no all axis FBW system,with having programmed in C++ is to face rafales. Setting the hurdles low and winning the race does not mean you are a world class runner.

    • jigsaw

      Ok, now that you’ve taken it personally on defending Tejas – expected – i’ll let you be. Enjoy those popcorns.

    • Steve

      Let’s be open here. Indian armed forces buying an Indian helicopter is not an endorsement. Dhruv was grounded by Ecuador after 4 crashed and order cancelled. Only 1 operated by Nepal and 1 by Mauritius police probably gifted. The tiny island nation of Maldives flies 2 forced upon them by Indian political pressure. Israel leased 1. Turkish health services bought 3 and will not buy any more. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Indian technology. I stand by my statement that we are ahead in aviation exports, and please don’t try to hide the real picture by disingenuous hyperbole.

      Everything you are criticising about JF-17 is going to be upgraded in Block III. It will serve its purpose perfectly and we can realistically hope to export substantial numbers.

  • Maninder Mehtot

    Hey guys i m from India i just read some comments and found that pakistanis are more concerned about tejas and fgfas.if u think tejas is scrap why u talking much just ask your govt to attack india if your air force or whatever is better is than ours why dont u attack us with chinese copied techniques .why are fuellimg proxy war in kasmir .because you simply know you cant fought direct war with india even if we have scrap tejas as you say

  • Maninder Mehtot

    And yes i am not saying that russia provides us transfer of technology russia there self are saying just check
    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/russia-only-country-that-can-supply-certain-defence-products-tech-to-india-top-russian-official-4777217/

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