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Wednesday, September 19, 2012



"Indian FGFA will be real challenge for American F-22" claims German Defense Expert Helmut Hirsch. He said that FGFA which will be based on T-50 / Pak-FA will have major design changes to its fuselage due to twin pilot configuration and Indian Expertise in Composite will only enchance Stealth characters of the Aircraft.

MR Hirsch believes that Russians have compromised on stealth to keep the aircraft more maneuverable and under a tight budget to keep per aircraft cost under control, Russians simply cannot afford to have such an expensive plane in large numbers, but the Indians don't seem to be worried about the cost and will be doing 30% of the design changes to improve stealth characters of the aircraft.

When asked if the Indian Version will be more stealthy ? MR Hirsch seems confident on that matter. MR Hirsch also believes that real challenge for F-22 will come from the Indian FGFA rather than F-35 or Chinese J-XX. MR Hirsch also adds that the Indians will add the best of technology (Avionics / Radars / Weapons) from the west in their version which makes it even more lethal than the F-35 and a real challenge for F-22's Superiority.
Defence News - Indian FGFA Will Be A Real Challenge For American F-22

Low Observable (LO) Features
The following LO features are evident in the first prototype:

1.Aerodynamic fuselage and wing shaping 
2.Reduced area all moving fins canted to reduce radar reflections
3.Use of composite materials, advanced aerodynamic techniques and 
4.Measures to reduce the aircraft’s engine signature,
5.Internal weapons bay. The aircraft features two weapons bay in the under fuselage area between the engines. In addition, it is beleived to have two smaller housings for short-range weapons on the inboard section of the wings.
6.Air intake ducts are not curved to shield engine compressors as in the Raptor; instead ducts are blocked using composite material. Similarly, the nozzles are blocked to shield turbine blades. The extent of shielding is variable. It is minimized when engine power requirements are high. The blocking concept is illustrated in the video below.

PAK FA already used a completely new engine 117 (AL-41F1) in its first flight, as stated by NPO Saturn.[ The engine is not based on the Saturn 117S
The 117 (AL-41F1) is a new 5th generation engine custom built for Russia’s fifth-generation stealth fighter jet PAK-FA according to Sukhoi General Director Mikhail Pogosyan.Mikhail Pogosyan has clarified that claims that fifth-generation fighter allegedly has an old engine are wrong. Such claims are made by people with limited knowledge,he said.Though most parameters of the new 5th Gen Engine remains classified General Director Mikhail Pogosyan provided some information on the new engine, The engine thrust was enlarged by 2.5 tonnes when compared with the AL-31 engine, while the engine weight was cut by 150 kilograms. That allowed the new jet to supercruise i.e. move at a supersonic cruise speed without the use of after burner. 
The Saturn Research and Production center made digitally-controlled system (FADEC) of Project 117 Engine.The new engine produces 33,000 lbs (147 kN) of thrust in afterburner has a Dry weight of 1420 kilogram and T:W ratio of 10.5:1
Mikhail Pogosyan further mentioned that this engine (117) meets the client’s (Russian AirForce) requirements. This is not an intermediate product made particularly for test flights. The engine will be installed in production PAK-FA fighter which will be supplied to the Russian Air Force and prospective foreign clients he said. The engine generates a larger thrust and has a complex automation system, to facilitate flight modes such as maneuverability. It is expected that each engine will be able to independently vector its thrust upwards, downward or side to side. Vectoring one engine up with the other one down can produce a twisting force. Therefore the PAK FA would be the first fifth generation fighter with full 3-D thrust vectoring along all three aircraft axes: pitch, yaw and roll. These engines will incorporate infrared and RCS reduction measures.


The PAK-FA will have two X-Band AESA radars located on the front and back of the aircraft. These will be accompanied by L-Band radars which are thought to be located on the wing LERX sides, or on the wing leading edges. L-Band radars are proven to have increased effectiveness against VLO targets which are optimized only against X-Band frequencies, despite being less accurate.

The PAK-FA will feature an IRST optical/IR search and tracking system.

Sukhoi recently demonstrated cockpit mock-ups, which may relate to both Su-35 or PAK-FA, suggest two very large MFDs and a very wide HUD.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited will provide the navigation system and the mission computer.


* Guns: None on prototype. Apparent provision for a cannon (most likely GSh-301)
* Hardpoints: Two internal bays estimated at 4.6-4.7 metres by 1-1.1 metres. Other sources suggest two auxiliary internal bays for short range AAMS and 6 external hardpoints


N050 BRLS AFAR / AESA built by Tikhomirov NIIP and based on Tikhomirov NIIP N035 Irbis-E . It will be the second aircraft based AESA Radar to be built by Russia, the first being the Phazotron NIIR ZHUK-A Radar in the MIG-35.

Designed armament

Two Izdeliye 810 Extended beyond visual range missiles per weapons bay. Multiple Izdeliye 180 / K77M beyond visual range missiles. K74 and K30 within visual range missiles can also be carried.
Two KH38M or KH58 USHK air-to-ground missiles per weapons bay. Multiple 250–500 kg precision guided bombs per weapons bay, with a maximum of ten bombs in internal bays
Other possible loads include one 1500 kg bomb per weapons bay or two 400 km+ range anti-AWACS weapons on external hard-points. A maximum weapons load of 7500 kg is reported.

The Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) Competition, also known as the MRCA tender, is an ongoing competition to supply 126 multi-role combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The Defence Ministry has allocated 42,000 crore (US$9.37 billion) for the purchase of these aircraft, making it India's single largest defence deal. The MRCA tender was floated with the idea of filling the gap between its future Light Combat Aircraft and its in-service Su-30MKIs air superiority fighter.


The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engined delta-wing agile multi-role fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. The Rafale was brought in as the replacement for the Mirage 2000-5 that was originally a competitor for the tender, after the production lines for the Mirage closed down, as well as the entry of much more advanced aircraft into the competition.
The Rafale has the advantage of being logistically and operationally similar to the Mirage 2000, which the IAF already operates and used with great success during the Kargil War (see Operation Safed Sagar). This would require fewer changes in the existing infrastructure of the IAF, which in turn will reduce cost. Moreover, being 100% French also provided Dassault a distinct edge over its competitors on the issue of technology transfer. Dassault claims that the Rafale has an advantage over many of the competitors because it is not subject to ITAR restrictions.
While not included in the MRCA requirement, the french fighter has more configurations of potential interest for the IAF: a carrier-based version (the Rafale M) and a capability for nuclear strategic strike. Both of these particular versions are in use in the French Armed Forces. At present however the Rafale M uses a catapult system (not present on the initial Vikrant) and the nuclear strike use is earmarked by others jets of the IAF.
The French government has cleared full technology transfer of the Rafale to India, including that of the RBE2-AA AESA radar which will be integrated into the Rafale by 2010 and also the transfer of software source codes, which will allow Indian scientists to re-programme a radar or any sensitive equipment if needed. Without the software source codes, the IAF would have to specify mission parameters to foreign manufacturers to enable configuration of their radar, seriously compromising security in the process.
Dassault has also offered to fit the GTX-35VS Kaveri engine into the Rafale, which if chosen, would greatly improve commonality with the HAL Tejas that will enter service into the IAF by 2010. Concerns have been raised about cost issues as well as potential sales to Pakistan, which has also expressed interest in the Rafale. However, no such jets have been sold to Pakistan. India and France have recently agreed to "go beyond a buyer-seller relationship".


The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine multi-role canard-delta strike fighter aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of European aerospace manufacturers through Eurofighter GmbH.
Eurofighter is offering the Tranche-3 Typhoon for the Indian requirement, equipped with the CAESAR AESA radar. EADS has invited India to become a partner of the Eurofighter Typhoon programme if the Typhoon wins the contract, and will be given technological and development participation in future tranches of the Typhoon.[28] Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of EADS Defense Department, elaborated that if India becomes the fifth partner of the Eurofighter programme, it will be able to manufacture assemblies for new Eurofighters.
In January 2010, EADS offered to include thrust vectoring nozzles (TVNs) with the Typhoon's EJ200 engines for India. Thrust vectoring will improve operational capabilities, and reduce fuel burn by up to 5% and increase thrust while supersonic cruising by 7%.


The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), formerly known as the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA), is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation stealth multirole fighter being developed by India.The aircraft will incorporate advanced technologies like super maneuverability, super cruise, stealth, state of the art sensor suite with fusion. 


The AMCA will be designed with a very small radar cross-section and will also feature serpentine shaped air-intakes, internal weapons and the use of composites and other materials.
It will be a twin-engined design using the GTX Kaveri engine with thrust vectoring with the possibility of giving the aircraft supercruise capabilities. A wind-tunnel testing model of the MCA airframe was seen at Aero-India 2009.
As well as advanced sensors the aircraft will be equipped with missiles like DRDO Astra and other advanced missiles, stand-off weapons and precision weapons. The aircraft will have the capability to deploy Precision Guided Munitions. The aircraft will feature Extended detection range and targeting range with the ability to release weapons at supersonic speeds. The aircraft's avionics suite will include AESA radar IRST and appropriate Electronic warfare systems and all aspect missile warning suite.
Serpentine air intakes (with minimum flow distortion and robust pressure recovery) and internal weapons bays, depicted in the images above, are some of the most critical nose-on low observability design elements going into the programme.

As part of the multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) currently on for the AMCA -- a wind tunnel model of which was first publicly displayed at AeroIndia 2009 -- that design-based stealth features will include further optimized airframe shaping, edge matching, body conforming antennae and a low IR signature through nozzle design, engine bay cooling and work on reduced exhaust temperature. RAMs, RAPs, special coatings for polycarbonate canopy and precision manufacturing will all be part of the effort to make the AMCA India's first stealth airplane.

Air-Air Combat Capabilities
Long Range Combat
Low Radar Signature
Extended detection range and targeting
Supersonic weapon release
Short Range Combat
Low IR signature
Thrust Vectoring
High AOA controllability
All aspect missile warning system

Air-Ground Capabilities
Stealth Missions
Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD)
Precision strike
Special missions
Non Stealth Missions
Maritime strike

Sensor Suite
AESA radar

Weapon Suite
BVR Missile
Close Combat Missile

Electronic Warfare

Shaping for Low Observability (LO)
Internal Weapons
Signature Control
Integrated Modular Avionics
Situational Awareness
Data Fusion
Future Missiles
Stand-Off Weapons
Precision Weapons
Vehicle Management
Advanced Sensor
Net Centric warfare
Appropriate EW

(IV) Su-30 MKI(super su 30) 

The aircraft is tailor-made for Indian specifications and integrates Indian systems and avionics as well as French and Israeli subsystems. It has abilities similar to the Sukhoi Su-35 with which it shares many features and components.

Super 30 Variant
The 'Super' variant of the Su-30MKI will feature an AESA, be capable of carrying the Brahmos missile and feature a radar, onboard computer and EWS to launch the airborne version of the Brahmos, and later the strategic subsonic Nirbhay cruise missile with a range of 1,000 km.

Brahmos Missile
The air launched version of Brahmos weighs 2.5 tons and there is some doubt the Su-30 Super 30 will be able to land back with the missile safely. Aircrew may be instructed to drop the weapon before landing, if it is not launched in flight.

AESA Radar
India and Russia have reached an agreement for the eventual upgrade of the BARS N011M radar to AESA, but no contract has yet been signed.

An enlarged version of the Phazotron Zhuk-AE radar fitted on the MiG-35D prototype fielded for the MMRCA competition is likely to be fitted to the Super 30, but Irkut could also go for Tikhomirov’s NIIP AESA shown at MAKS-2011.

During MMRCA trials the Zhuk-MA AESA radar demonstrated significant capabilities, including ground-mapping modes and the ability to detect, track and shoot at aerial targets. During demonstration flights, a MiG-35D destroyed an aerial drone with an air-to-air missile launched by an Indian pilot

DRDO is also developing the AURA (Autonomous Unmanned Research Aircraft) which is an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle for the Indian Air Force. The design work on the UCAV is carried out by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADE). The AURA UCAV will be a tactical stealth aircraft built largely with composites, and capable of delivering laser-guided strike weapons. It would be a stealthy flying-wing concept aircraft with internal weapons and a turbofan engine.
India will soon embark on developing an indigenous unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) for surveillance, detection and destroying specific targets, a top defence official said on Wednesday. "We will soon embark on designing and developing an unmanned combat aerial vehicle, which will not only do surveillance, but will also help detect the target and destroy the identified object," V.K. Saraswat, scientific advisor to Defence Minister A.K. Antony, told reporters here. 

An UCAV or 'combat drone' differs from ordinary UAVs as it is designed to deliver weapons. The pilotless vehicle can carry greater payloads and have wide range and manoeuvrability in the absence of a cockpit and associated equipment.The ambitious project will be taken up by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Bangalore with private industry participation. "The controls of a combat drone will be rested with multiple command control centres. The centres can be geographically at different locations. Even if one centre becomes defunct, the drone can be controlled and guided by other centres," Saraswat, who recently took over as director general of the DRDO, said on the margins of a conference."The UCAV will work in a multi-layer manner for which ADE is developing the required technology, including sensors," Saraswat said after inaugurating the fifth national conference on 'NextGen IT for Indian Defence'.

At a Glance

Stealth UCAV 
Capable of releasing missiles, bombs and PGM at enemy targets
Internal Weapons Bay
Turbofan Engine
Ceiling: 30,000-ft
Weight: 15 ton

The UCAV is currently referred to as IUSAP FOR Indian Unmanned Strike Aircraft Program.AURA will be developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) at Bangalore in collaboration with Defence Avionics Research Establishment (Bangalore), Defence Electronics Application Lab (Dehradun) and Gas Turbine Research Establishment (Bangalore).DRDO is confident of developing the UCAVs mainly on its own, with "some foreign consultancy or collaboration" in fields like stealth as well as autonomous short-run take-off and landing, according to Dr. Prahlada

In August 2011 a DRDO official told the press that the UCAV maybe powered by the indigenous 75kN thrust Kaveri engine.


Unlike the Harpy, the Harop is remotely piloted and comes equipped with electro-optical sensor. It is equipped with a high performance FLIR and color CCD with 360 degrees hemispherical coverage to search for an identify targets.

It can hover over a battlefield and allowing the operator to select non emitting static or moving targets in a battlefield and attack them with pinpoint accuracy.

It can attack radar transmitter that may have been shut down as protection.

Harop can also be used against suspected ballistic missile sites, where target missile silos and shelters as they are opened before firing.

Aerodynamically the Harop features outer wing extextensions, a longer nose and canard foreplanes.

Like the Harpy, Harop is a suicide drone with 23-kg warhead. It is 2.5 meter long with a 3-meter wingspan and has a six-hour endurance. 

Using the drone an operator can attack a target from any angle. 

The operator monitors the attack until the target is hit, allowing for an abort anytime in order to avoid collateral damage. It can then make another attack run.


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