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India's 5th generation fighter programme - from MCA to AMCA

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http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/media/AeroIndia2009/shiv/mcaai2009.JPG.html
 

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Just call me Ray

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Yeah, what Overscan said.


I wonder how much of this technology is going to be leveraged onto the PAK-FA and vice versa. It seems like the Indians don't even really need to bother with PAK-FA.
 

flateric

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If PAK FA would look something along these lines, I'd be aesthetically satisfied=)
 

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it's not as big as Raptor as it was said
 

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Just call me Ray said:
Yeah, what Overscan said.


I wonder how much of this technology is going to be leveraged onto the PAK-FA and vice versa. It seems like the Indians don't even really need to bother with PAK-FA.

That's just a model... Everyone can built such a model building a real aircraft is something entirely different.
 

Just call me Ray

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Scorpion82 said:
Just call me Ray said:
Yeah, what Overscan said.


I wonder how much of this technology is going to be leveraged onto the PAK-FA and vice versa. It seems like the Indians don't even really need to bother with PAK-FA.

That's just a model... Everyone can built such a model building a real aircraft is something entirely different.

But this is a wind tunnel model, which means that at this point a lot of the R&D is already behind them.
 
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Well, yes anybody can build a model.. but thanks to the LCA program , a sound aeronautical base has developed in India . The delays in the LCA were precisely on account of the need to build up all kinds of technologies from scratch - stuff like fly by wire etc were simply non-existent in India in the late eighties.


Besides HAL has a lot of money now. it recorded a profit of 538 million dollars in the last fiscal and has order books worth nearly 12 billion US. Moreover thanks to the economic meltdown in the west a lot of people want to return and join programs like the LCA . People with tremendous expertise in program management. Indeed the main thing that plagues R&D in India is the inability to retain experienced program managers who get easily poached by IT companies and such like. Of course the same thing happens everywhere but it is particulary damaging for India ...

The PAK-FA will indeed be categorized as a Heavy Combat Aircraft by the IAF . they will be operating the two seat model which will be in conformity with IAF air superiority doctrine.
 
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http://www.zeenews.com/nation/2009-02-03/504327news.html

Aeronautical Development Agency, a Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) lab, plans to design and develop a medium combat aircraft with "stealth features" in partnership with Indian Air Force, an ADA official said on Tuesday.

"We are working with (Indian) Air Force as to what their requirement is", ADA Director P S Subramanyam told PTI here.

"They (IAF) are also coming forward to evolve the specifications of medium combat aircraft...what we call next generation fighter aircraft," Subramanyam said.

He said it would be in the 20-tonne category, twin-engine aircraft, likely to be powered by the Kaveri-Snecma engine. "It will have stealth features," he said.

"It's going to be a joint activity (between ADA and IAF) from beginning", Subramanyam said, adding "it's good that even Air Force is also feeling that we should take up this programme".

Meanwhile, he also said the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas has started flying with weapons, and integration of radars would be completed by next month.

"Once I do that, more or less system development activity (of LCA-Tejas) is completed", he added.


Here is a recent article about the MCA. The important thing to note about this program is that it has the IAF in the loop pretty early on unlike the lCA program which started as an essentially DRDO project designed to increase India's aeronautical base.


And yes there is a reason why I posted this in the Aerospace thread and not Postwar Secret Projects! ;)
 

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Here are some more pictures !

http://livefist.blogspot.com/2009/02/photos-model-of-drdos-medium-combat.html

Deino
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Added pics from Deino's link
 

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India to develop medium combat aircraft with stealth features

Bangalore (IANS): After the light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to develop a medium combat aircraft (MCA) with "stealth features" and an unmanned combat aircraft vehicle (UCAV).

The Aeronautics Development Agency (ADA) of the DRDO, which developed the LCA with the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, will develop the MCA with the Indian Air Force.

"We feel confident that after the LCA it will be the MCA and followed by the UCAV," M. Natarajan, DRDO chief and scientific adviser to the defence minister, told reporters at the 7th edition of the international air show Aero India-2009 in Yelahanka, on the outskirts of this city.

The twin engine MCA will weigh 19-20 tonnes.

"It is possible to have an MCA with a twin engine, with less weight and improved electronics. It will also have an inbuilt weapon load for stealth reasons. It is doable and it is a challenge," said Natarajan.

The DRDO is also planning a twin-seater trainer variant of the LCA, which for the first time performed manoeuvres at the air show.

"We will have an air force LCA, naval LCA and LCA twin seater trainer. Five to 10 years down the line, the role of the (LCA) trainers will be superior to the hawks (advanced jet trainers acquired from Britain)," Natarajan added.

The IAF has placed an order for 20 Tejas lightweight multi-role planes, India's second indigenous fighter aircraft, and may increase the number to 40.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002200902131322.htm
 

Deino

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http://livefist.blogspot.com/2009/02/drdos-medium-combat-aircraft-mca.html

Not much "new", but anyway interesting ...

Deino
 

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Matej

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And one more.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/02/27/323071/india-details-plans-for-indigenous-medium-combat-aircraft.html
 

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Sundog

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With the latest iteration of the MCA shown at Aero India It's beginning to look more and more like the Japanese ATD-X. Maybe they should work together, though I doubt Japan's laws would allow them to, since they seem to be looking at approximately the same size aircraft.
 

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Judging from intended engine thrust, the Japanese ATX-D and MCA are in different weight classes altogether. The ATX-D, at 2 X 15 tonne, is nearly in the F-22 thrust and presumably weight class. The MCA, at 2 X 9 tonnes, is much closer to the F-35 thrust and weight class. Also, neither fighter appears to be all that stealthy, more in LO than VLO class.
 

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chuck4 said:
Judging from intended engine thrust, the Japanese ATX-D and MCA are in different weight classes altogether. The ATX-D, at 2 X 15 tonne, is nearly in the F-22 thrust and presumably weight class. The MCA, at 2 X 9 tonnes, is much closer to the F-35 thrust and weight class. Also, neither fighter appears to be all that stealthy, more in LO than VLO class.

Thanks, I hadn't realized the Japanese were going for something in the Raptor class, I thought they were shooting for something in the Hornets weight class.
 

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chuck4 said:
Judging from intended engine thrust, the Japanese ATX-D and MCA are in different weight classes altogether. The ATX-D, at 2 X 15 tonne, is nearly in the F-22 thrust and presumably weight class. The MCA, at 2 X 9 tonnes, is much closer to the F-35 thrust and weight class. Also, neither fighter appears to be all that stealthy, more in LO than VLO class.

Actually I think there's something wrong with these data (from Wikipedia) !! :eek:

General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 14.174 meters (46.50 feet)
Wingspan: 9.099 meters (29.85 feet)
Height: 4.514 meters (14.80 feet)
Max takeoff weight: 8 tonnes max takeoff weight alt = 17,636 pounds ()
Powerplant: 2× IHI XF5-1.
Dry thrust: 10 tonnes (22,046 pounds) each
Thrust with afterburner: 15 tonnes (33,069 pounds) each

Actually I didn't find any specifications for the final XF-5 engines but I can't think that a testbed with a max. take-off weight of 8 t would be powered by two 15 t-engines ...
 

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8 ton max takeoff weight is not believable. That's less than The F-5. It's hard to imagine a country with japan's industrial and technological basis, having assembled f-15 for years and developed an almost wholly new F-16 derivative, when denied the F-22 it so eagerly wanted, would settle for a F-5 sized domestic replacement. In any case, developing little engines that takes two to power a f-5 sized plane seems silly. Such an engine would not be suitably sized for any commercial derivative. Much more likely the 8 ton weight refers to mockup sent to France for radar signature verification. The final product is probably much larger.
 

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From Aeroindia 2011

http://livefist.blogspot.com/2011/02/aero-india-new-model-of-indias-5th-gen.html
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/media/AeroIndia2011/shiv/
http://tarmak007.blogspot.com/
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Supposedly this might make a first flight in 2017. The Kaveri Mk 2, with SNECMA M88 core technology, may power it.
 

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Just how many of these are they going to buy, and what current aircraft will they replace? You've got the LCA coming in large numbers soon, you've got a buttload of FLANKERs, you've got the "T-50MKI" FGFA in the pipe... Granted, they say this is a "medium-weight" class aircraft fitting between the LCA and the FGFA, but where then does that leave the 126 jet MMRCA buy? It seems to me that, logically speaking, it should be either this or the MMRCA at the very least. If they think they'll have these in service in 2025, then 10 billion for 126 MMRCS jets pretty much serving as gap fillers for around a decade once they get delivered is a bit over the top. Especially when you again consider the huge FLANKER inventory, which theoretically the FGFA should ultimately be replacing. So what's really going on here?
 

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Well, this is HAL/ACA/DRDO's followon project to the LCA. Its natural they want to preserve their future by working on the next generation. Whether the IAF will buy - who knows?
 

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LCA numbers are not that large.

40 Mk1, which the IAF have basically said are borderline worthless, I speculate that they wont last long.

83 Mk2, if you put them with the 126 MMRCA you get a fleet of just over 200.

Then there is the collection of upgraded Mig-29/Jaguar/Mig-27/Mirage 2000 which number well over 200 if not 250

MMRCA seems to be designed entirely to extract technology from the west and, in my opinion, make for the near failure of the LCA to provide an aircraft the IAF actually want in numbers. To my mind there is basically a 3 fleet IAF emerging. FGFA will replace the Mig-29/Jaguar/Mig-27/Mirage 2000 force, this new indigenous aircraft will ultimately replace the Su-30MKI (though that is a very long way off, there is a planned upgrade) and they will serve alongside the MMRCA/Tejas Mk2 force.

Another interesting note, it seems like it is not just the Tejas the IAF has fallen out of love with but also the concept of light fighters. Beyond the Mk2 development the IAF has no plans for a new light combat aircraft- they must really like those big Flankers.
 

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More info:

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/02/11/353034/aero-india-roadmap-revealed-for-medium-combat-aircraft.html

sealordlawrence said:
LCA numbers are not that large.

40+40, at current estimates. Maybe not as large as the MMRCA buy, but 80 fighter jets is 80 fighter jets. Plus the naval versions, those numbers are the IAF current and projected buys.
 

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SOC,

I just updated my post above.

83 Mk2 Tejas: http://livefist.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-01-16T13:29:00%2B05:30&max-results=20
 

SOC

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I noticed. I was going to edit mine in light of discovering the 40 (+40 possibly) Mk.I buy with 80 Mk.II's planned.

Here's how I've been trying to make sense of it:

LCA seems to be the MiG-21 replacement, for better or worse.

MMRCA seems to be replacing the bulk of the fighter force, followed by the AMCA.

FGFA is the logical FLANKER replacement down the line, based on the claim that AMCA is a medium-class aircraft. You'll want a Raptor/T-50 class jet to repalce the FLANKERs.

The IN is getting the MiG-29K, and the LCA-N is likely the actual FRS.1 replacement.

MiG-29Ks, Russian tech and weapons on the FGFA, and Russian weapons and tech on the LCA...MiG-35 for the MMRCA should be a logistical no-brainer. But since MMRCA is an IAF program, who knows. MiG apparently withdrew/was booted from Aero India, so maybe that means no MMRCA deal?

Then there's missile dumbassery. Russian weapons all over, no big deal, there are a lot of Russian jets around the IAF and IN. Derby for the Sea Harriers, no big deal, it was a cheapo fix to remain at least competent in air to air combat since the LCA-N was delayed and the MiG-29K isn't around in service yet. But now they want Derby on the LCA, to go with Astra and the R-77? Looking at the IAF and IN weapons programs, there seems to be way too much overlap resulting in way too much extra logistical expenditure and, overall, wasted money.

And, oh, don't forget that India still has an interest in either the F-35B or F-35C, despite the rejected sale request a short while ago. LockMarketing is still at work in that regard as US-India relations improve.
 

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Certainly agree regarding the waste issue, the IAF/IN inventory is more like a zoo than it is a logically built force structure.

I was working on the basis of upgrades:

1st in line: Mig-29 (underway) /Jaguar (engines upcoming) /Mig-27 (complete) / Mirage 2000 (waiting to be signed)

2nd in line: Su-30MkI: Planning ongoing, not due to start for sometime- at least 2012

That suggests that the former will have to go long before the MKI and the FGFA will be available before the MCA. Tejas is replacing the older Mig-21's whilst my guess is that MMRCA will replace the Mig-21 Bison fleet. That leaves:

1) Mig-29 (underway) /Jaguar (engines upcoming) /Mig-27 (complete) / Mirage 2000 (waiting to be signed): to be replaced by FGFA

2) Su-30MkI: to be replaced by MCA

The Navy is whole different cluster****, they had to take the Migs to get Gorschkov, but also want something indigenous so they have N-LCA but they also want something good so they keep chasing F-35 and giving hints about something else.
 

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sealordlawrence said:
That suggests that the former will have to go long before the MKI and the FGFA will be available before the MCA. Tejas is replacing the older Mig-21's whilst my guess is that MMRCA will replace the Mig-21 Bison fleet.

Hence why I figure MMRCA will eventually see those aircraft replaced. You replace the MiG-27 first, then the rest of the MiG-21s, and then whatever is left with the 74 aircraft option. There's no guarantee when FGFA will be available at any rate (2018, they think), the IAF-optimized prototype is who knows how many years away from even flying, let alone entering actual trials.

And actually it appears that the AMCA may be the MMRCA eventual replacement, as it isn't suited for a FLANKER replacement, and it seems that India wants to retain the LCA, MMRCA, Su-30MKI, and FGFA to make up their 44 squadrons. So why bother wasting money with all the upgrades when you've got a cubic assload of FLANKERs and the MMRCA in the pipeline?

The MKI upgrade seems built around the strike role, the major point is adding BrahMOS capability and a new radar likely tailored to finding it suitable targets.
 

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Well the MMRCA 126 number matches the original Bison fleet perfectly, the 83 mk2 Tejas fleet covers the early generation Mig-21s. The 74 option would cover the Mig-27 fleet but nothing else. The next procurement in the pipeline is the FGFA and the next aircraft that need replacing are the Jaguar, Mirage 2000, and Mig-29.
 

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True. The fact that this is as confusing as it is remains hilarious. You've got around 120 MKIs already and plan to have almost 300 in service, your chief rival seems has bet on an inferior platform and their obligatory F-16s...the MMRCA is pretty much overkill, knowing that the FGFA will appear eventually. 300 MKIs will represent a ridiculous air force regardless of the FGFA. Hell, 120 of them is already a ridiculous air force.
 

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I agree absolutely, they seem to just make it up as something shiny takes their fancy.

The only justification I can see for MMRCA is technology transfer, otherwise, why not just buy more Su-30MKIs if you really feel a need for more combat aircraft?
 

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Or a negotiating tool:

"Look, we'll buy 126 of your uberVipers, but we damn well want in on the F-35!"

Which in a perfect world would of course result in:

"OK look, they want stealth fighters, and your air defense network is a load of crap. Get the hell into Waziristan and start cleaning house or we're signing a fat contract."

Personally I'm in favor of the F-35 deal just to see the hell it raises in the press on both sides ;D
 

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ADA Brochure. Different design iteration?

http://aeroindia2011pics.blogspot.com
 

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Grey Havoc

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SOC said:
True. The fact that this is as confusing as it is remains hilarious. You've got around 120 MKIs already and plan to have almost 300 in service, your chief rival seems has bet on an inferior platform and their obligatory F-16s...the MMRCA is pretty much overkill, knowing that the FGFA will appear eventually. 300 MKIs will represent a ridiculous air force regardless of the FGFA. Hell, 120 of them is already a ridiculous air force.

On the other hand, the government has become more worried about the PRC's intentions of late.
 

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