Monday, September 7, 2009

Super Viper aircraft weapons testing in Rajasthan

Weapons testing of the F-16 IN Super Viper aircraft for the MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) purchase trials of the IAF will be carried out in the deserts near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

Michael Griswold, director, advanced development programmes, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, revealed this to the TNS during an interview here. Orville Prins, Vice-President, business development for India, and Jack Giese, a senior Lockheed Martin (LM) manager, were also present. Officials of the American aeronautics giant, which is the largest supplier of hardware to the US air force, are here in connection with the evaluation by the IAF of the Super Viper, a fourth-generation fighter aircraft from the LM stable.

The IAF had earlier said weapon testing of the six shortlisted bidders would take place in the countries of their origins to avoid legal tangles and unavailability of the infrastructure necessary for carrying out the tests. It could not be immediately confirmed if the LM was the only bidder to have made arrangements for weapon testing in India. The Super Viper team will shift base to Rajasthan toward the end of this month. F/A-18E/F Super Hornet of the Boeing, the Russian MiG 35, the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon (manufactured by an European consortium) and the French Rafale are the other competitors in the race.

On the presence of F-16 aircraft in the Pakistani air force, Griswold said the aircraft being offered to India had been “tailor made” for the IAF. “The IAF had specified what they were looking for and the aircraft is equipped to meet those requirements”, he said. He said a unique feature of Super Viper is the AESA (active electronically steered array) radar. The radar, apart from tracking enemy targets, will also help the pilot in carrying out low flying missions.

Test pilots of the IAF are now working on simulators at the Aircraft and System Training Establishment (ASTE) here to get familiarised with the Super Viper control system. This will be followed by actual flying of the aircraft by IAF pilots together with the LM test pilots. Three Super Vipers, having tandem seating arrangements, have been flown to Bangalore from UAE for this purpose. “The IAF pilot will sit in the front cockpit and our pilot will handle the rear control. Solo flying by IAF pilots of Super Vipers will take place in the US in early 2010”, Griswold said.

The IAF had earlier placed order with the Lockheed Martin for supplying six C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft. These aircraft would be given to the IAF in 2011, the officials said. The MMRCA contract for supplying 126 fighter jets to the IAF is worth Rs 42,000 crore (US$ 10.5 billion). It is said to be the single largest defence deal ever in the history of IAF.


Just out of curiosity, if JASA39 won the contract, what's the odd that Gripen and HAL Tejas end up sharing a similar RDT&E road map?

Having said that, it's getting pretty obvious that i really wish Gripen would win the MMRCA competition. LOL

Any god damn fourth generation fighter will have a match within the next few years for sure; even in India's neighbourhood. What they should go in for is something that will complement the Su-30s. Perhaps the Eurofighter or the Gripen cos Europian equipment has always been top notch in terms of quality and has proven itself in the Indian War Scenario.. Too bad Dassault is not offering something outstanding considering that the Indian Air Force is Gung Ho about the Mirage 2000s.

Would this be the prevailing trend across BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) as well?\09\09\story_9-9-2009_pg4_8

Personally, I am actually against the purchase of JAS-39 for the obvious reason that it will undermine the LCA project, but its greatest strength is its low cost of ownership. I feel that F-16IN and FA-18E are at the top, but FA-18E have the best chances of winning the contract as F-16IN will be somewhat similar to F-16 Block 52 of PAF and Block 60 of UAEAF (again PAF pilots will have a good look at them)

But in case JAS-39 IN is selected it would be logical for IAF to develop a common growth pattern for both aircrafts as they can share engines, radar, most of the avionics and weapons.

While others are trying to stay away from USA due to technological restrictions and chances of sanctions, India is getting closer to USA and its purchases from them will keep growing from them

The IAF has decided to procure 50 more SU-30MKI's thus taking the total number to 280.Courtesy: they would be flying so many heavy fighters. (as planned in 2001) they want a low cost light weight fighter. The Mig-35's chances are bleak other than the Mig-29K's for the Navy. either the GE-414 or the EJ-200 would be selected for the LCA markII aircraft and it won't be surprising if Gripen or F-16 win the MMRCA contract.Gripen will come with source codes and can be integrated with wide variety of weapons unlike the F-16.both these aircraft are capable of performing the roles that they would be assigned with and supplement the MKI's.Mirage 2000, F-16, Gripen and LCA all of them are more or less in the 14-20 tonne category.

IAF should get about 72 F-18A from USA and ask Grippen to supply the rest (54 aircraft) with complete technology transfer. IAF needs to get GE engines for its LCAs. Can't understand why did it take such a long years and still Kamini engine couldn't be perfected.

in my opinion the govt is making a big blunder to induct american technology!!!! no doubt we will get it,,, in a matter of few years but it will take decades to absorb the system!!!!! i believe we should drop the MMRCA and buy more MKI!!!!! we will have consistency!!! and a true back bone,,,,, we should look at israel they have small variety of aircrafts we should do the same.... decrease the variety of aircrafts!!!! less variety will also mean ground supporting staff will have to have a know how of less systems!!!!! and less maintenance cost!!!!

asian defense
what do u say to the coment above me!!!!!
December 24, 2009 3:40 AM

In my opinion Su-30MKI is a very good investment, but still you just cant buy enough of them as they are going to be expensive solution in long term requiring high level of maintained compared to western solutions and availability factor in times of war. Even if you see the Israelis, they are got their F-15s for long range attack and air superiority and still bought lot of F-16 (single engine aircraft)for affordability and low maintaince.

We have seen US Indian relationship coming out of cold war era and both counties see each other as partners in future. So I my view Su-30MKI should not be purchased in place of MMRCA.

Now will they buy F-16 or not is completely different question as PAF is operating it from a long time and have very active relationship with UAE-AF which operates block 60 on which F-16IN will be based.So.......

Asian defense,
please tell,,,,, should india go with this much variety of aircrafts,,,,,, u talked about cost!!!! but having this much variety of aircrafts is it not already very expensive!!!!
what iam trying to say migs, su ,jag, harrier, coming MMRCA, lca, pakfa!!!!!
training men on this much variety!!! u will agree that the pilot has to go with pilot conversion!!!!! on how many aircrafts will he convert on!!!!! yes israel has f15 and f16 thats it thats why its cost effective and thats why they are well trained as weel because they know there aircrafts!!!!!!
now not su 30 but any other aircraft in the inventory which s satisfying IAF requirements that should atleast be enterd in numbers .......... and lastly plz tell me if its medium range combat aircrafts !!!! why is india looking into f18 mig35 etc!!!! aint it better to induct su 30 as compared to these aircrafts!!!!

respected asian defense,
please just answer one more thing as u have more knowledge on this matter!!!! if u were a person in control,,, meaning procurement of aircrafts what should u had done!!!! meaning against variety of aircrafts and procurement of aircrafts!! thank u

Just few random thoughts before I go out for New Year night

There is no doubt that no of types in IAF needs to be decreased

But that is difficult to achieve in short to medium term given the number of aircraft Indian air force have
IAF needs to realize that it’s the quality that matters a lot in modern warfare and new generation aircrafts can do much better jobs then their previous generations. So IAF should put its wish to have 42 squadrons at the back burner for a while.(but then it’s just my point of view)
They can start by retiring the old aircrafts like Mig-21/27 in near future (and Mirage-2000H depending upon the choice of upgrade)

Now IAF should focus its resources on

Su-30MKI long range attack and air superiority aircrafts

MMRCA medium range multirole aircraft

LCA Short-Medium range Multirole aircraft

PAKFA will take some time before it is ready to be inducted

You are right FA-18E/F and Mig-35 don’t make sense but then politics never do

My choice would have been F-16IN (proven platform offered with high level of TOT as manufacturer will be closing its production lines 2013 as per current orders)followed by EF-2000 Typhoon very good aircraft.

My "guess" is FA-18E/F will end up being in final two and “may be” winer of MMRCA contract

You are right F/A-18E/F and Mig-35 don’t make sense but then politics never do

My choice would have been F-16IN (proven platform offered with high level of TOT as manufacturer will be closing its production lines 2013 as per current orders)followed by EF-2000 Typhoon very good aircraft.

My guess is F/A-18E/F will end up being in final two (its choice will provide India with chance to have same fighter jet for both air force navy and future prospective to get F/A-18G)and “may be” winner of MMRCA contract. This would be against the original RFP which was for medium weight aircraft Mirage-2000 and perhaps that’s why many people think that it is better to get more Su-30MKI rather than adding another aircraft of same class

Happy New Year

After checking the capabilities of all the aircrafts , i think the rafale would be a good pick of the lot... since india is operating mirages and dassault is willing for full technology transfer it will be a good investment. the eurofighter is the most advanced of the lot but it is costly... rafale is no less than EF because it was created by dassault as an direct competition for the EF. india can make investments on pak-fa... if this done then we will have to use only Russian and French technology... whic we are already doing..

In my view its good for India to
f-16IN bcos they are proven jets in many conflicts.Another reason to buy is India needs to maintain good strategic and defence relations with US to control the China dominance in the sub-continent. Its no matter for India what Pak operates.

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