"All fighter aircraft that performed well against a competent opponent had several characteristics in common: a) relatively low cost, b) easy maintenance, c) small size and low weight, d) comparatively good aerodynamic performance, e) good situational awareness with passive sensors"
"Defence Analyst now believe that Excercise Indradhush was all about informal pitting of India’s Sukhoi against Eurofighter to decide whether to accept German offer of reconsidering on Eurofighter aircrafts after it lost the MMRCA Bid to French Rafale. Few Weeks later after Excercise Indradhush the German Ambassador to India officially announced that German Government’s decade-long Eurofighter Typhoon fighter plane campaign in India was over, bringing end to their MMRCA Competition."
The U.S. Army and Marines have a host of short-range tactical jammers to defeat roadside bombs. But only the U.S. Airforce & Navy provides a survivable aircraft capable of conducting electronic warfare in contested airspace.
In BVR air combat, there will never be a scenario involving only 1 Su-30MKI providing fire-control cues for other smaller multi-role strike fighters. At least 2 Su-30MKIs will be operating, with one of them keeping its PESA-MMR switched on & scanning the skies while the information gleamed will be sent to the other Su-30MKI or other multi-role strike fighters via the ODL data-link. This is increasing the offensive power through "distributed lethality".
In 2017, a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet shot a heat-seeking AIM-9X Sidewinder missile from a range of about half a mile, which was defeated by flares launched by the Su-22 M4. The Super Hornet then re-engaged and fired an AIM-120 AMRAAM which hit the Su-22 M4. It marked the first shootdown of a manned fighter by a US aircraft since May 4, 1999, when a US F-16CJ , downed a Serbian MiG-29 with an AIM-120 during Operation ‘Allied Force’.
We can go to 70% in terms of indigenisation of missiles but not beyond because we do not have an alternative to ramjet or seeker. Ku-band seekers have been in usage since the late 1980s.
Turkey has long had one of the largest F-16 fleets in the world, with about 240 F-16s currently in service. Because they belonged to NATO the Turks had to achieve high standards of pilot training, especially the number of flight hours per pilot per year and the number of pilots per aircraft. Turkey lost (through dismissal or resignation) 274 combat pilots. This reduced the ratio of pilots per F-16 from 1.25 to .8. This pilots per aircraft ratio is important because aircraft can fly more frequently per day than one pilot can handle. So it you want to get maximum use of modern combat aircraft you need a ratio of at least 1.25 and preferably 1.5. American aircraft carriers, for example, carry 1.4 pilots per combat aircraft. This higher pilot-to-aircraft ratio becomes crucial in wartime when the most effective air forces can fly a lot more sorties per day. This is called the surge rate. During “surge” operations aircraft are called on to carry out the maximum number of sorties for a day or so. This was the kind of capability that long gave Western developed nation's air forces a big advantage.
U.S. Navy carriers often carry out over 120 sorties a day. To achieve and maintain the ability to surge you also need a lot of "maintainers" (of the aircraft) capable of working 12 hour shifts. For example, an F-16 squadron has 12 aircraft (plus spares for replacements) and a unit of 120 maintainers, including 37 NCOs ("Crew Chiefs") who supervise and do a lot of the work. One American F-16 squadron used its 20 aircraft, forty pilots, and very energetic and well trained ground crews to fly 160 sorties in 12 hours.
Many USAF pilots don't want to be desk officers, they want to fly. So a lot of them quit the air force and go work for an airline. But often they stay in the air force reserve and fly airplanes on weekends and get paid for it. The basic problem here for the USAF is faced is the prospect of either increasing the bonus (which might not work and result in cuts in flying hours) or deal with a pilot shortage the much more expensive way via recruiting and training.
A missile is typically coming in at Mach 3+, after the solid propellant of the missile has run out quickly after being fired, it continues to chase you with a liquid fuel ramjet engine, with Mach 5–6. Hence, trying to outrun a missile when launched at short distance is largely impractical. The missiles goal is to intersect with the target before it runs out of energy. Fighters should attempt to outmaneuver the IR missile at short distance. While a missile can turn tighter than any fighter, the harder a fighter makes a missile maneuver, the faster the missile loses energy. Changing altitude and direction forces the missile to expend its energy as it tries to stay locked onto the target aircraft. This causes it to go slower and slower. This, of course, only works on missiles that aren’t receiving mid-course updates from a launching fighter or AWACS.
"Turning in a tight turn has absolutely nothing to do concerning maneuverability. A comparison of roll is the most important attribute an airplane must posse in being more maneuverable than another one."
During the 1980s, the ageing, less agile interceptor aircraft were replaced by dedicated air-to-air fighter aircraft. The argument for having a large fighter aircraft is that physics makes larger aircraft more capable. Assuming that a smaller aircraft and a larger aircraft have a very similar lift to drag ratio, cruise at the same Mach number and have the same specific fuel consumption, the larger fighter will have about 40 percent better range. An inevitable consequence of the physics of flight is that long range aerial combat demands larger airframes and two engines.
These fighters shoot missiles and fire guns because they are designed to engage enemy fighters within visual range during combat operations. This close-range combat is referred to as combat aircraft dog-fighting operations. Dedicated air-to-air fighters include the US F-14 Tomcat, the British F3 Tornado, and the Russian MiG-29 FULCRUM. During the 1990s, dual-purpose aircraft that can drop bombs as well as dogfight were seen in increasing numbers. These are known as fighter-bombers or strike fighters. The best fighter-bombers in service include the US F/A-18 Hornet and the Russian Su-27 Flanker aircraft.
Since engine development is by far the most complex and technically challenging aspect while developing a new combat aircraft, a lesson the United States learned during the development of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat and McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle during the 1970s. To remedy the problem, the Pentagon started development work on the F119 and its General Electric YF120 competitor years before embarking on the development of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor.
"Euro-canards" is a general term used for the group of European-developed fighter jets, such as Eurofighter Typhoon, SAAB Gripen and Dassault Rafale.
“The Fifty”: World's largest aerospace fabrication tools & dawn of the Military-Industrial Complex
Not surprisingly, after Germany surrendered, Allied technical teams went into the German factories and found that the Germans had produced and learned how to operate die forging presses up to 30,000 tons capacity, and found that one 30,000, and two 15,000 ton presses were still usable. As part of the post war settlement, the Soviets got the largest 30,000 ton press and the U.S. got the next two largest 16,500 ton press units, which were channeled into the USAF’s Heavy Press Program. The Soviet acquisition of Germany’s biggest forges made it all but inevitable that the U.S. would build its own heavy presses. 17 presses were originally planned with an expected cost of $389 million, but the project was scaled back to 10 magnificent huge forges (powered by huge high-pressure hydro-pneumatic systems using water with soluble oil as the working fluid), built in 1950s by the U.S. government. The two Press Builders were Loewy Hydropress and Mesta Machine of Pittsburgh. Since there wasn’t a consumer market for anything produced by the heavy presses constructed by the program, the government would own the facilities and rent them out to the contractors. Thus, Air Force Plant 47 was authorized to be built in 1952, located in Cleveland, Ohio next to the ALCOA plant, to house the 50,000 ton press that Mesta was making. The “Fifty” was shut down in the summer of 2008 when engineers found stress cracks in the machine’s base. Parts for the F-35 will be made on the big press, as well many other fighter and commercial aircraft.
Commercially, the Loewy press made the 747 main wing beams and for the Air Force all the B2 Stealth Bomber forgings at Wyman-Gordon in North Grafton, Massachusetts. The 50,000-ton Mesta press was one of the first built under this program between 1952 and 1955. It has been dominant in commercial aircraft development as well as advanced military aircraft and aerospace programs (e.g huge titanium components became the bulkheads that anchor the engines, fuselage, and wings of F-15s). The Aluminum Company of America is the operating contractor. They still hold the records for size in North America and both the 50,000-ton presses are listed as National Historic Engineering Landmarks, though they have since been surpassed by presses in Japan, France, Russia and China. The only companies today capable of producing Heavy Press-size equipment are in the backwaters known as Germany and Japan, with companies in Russia, Korea, and China rapidly catching up and the UK actively rebuilding its top firm, Sheffield Forgemasters, through cheap government loans. Four Japanese companies joined forces to build a new 50,000-ton press for the aerospace and power industries.
This Program was in many ways the test case for the proper division between private and public interest, and it was decided in favor of what amounts to a mutual aid society between American industry, the American military, and Congress. The idea that it was in the public’s interest to pay for the machines but cede their control to industry was a controversial one, and many leaders in Congress strongly resisted it as a dangerous blurring of private and civic concerns. Cold War policy also encouraged massive defense spending, but (as ever) a secondary war was being waged by the military branches for funding, and heavy forging wasn’t of much use to the Army or Navy. The primary advocate for these forging presses and extrusion presses were Air Force Lieutenant General K. B. Wolfe & Alexander Zeitlin. PTC with Zeitlin and Zandel had patented a press frame concept for an enormous 500,000-ton forging press and also patented press designs incorporating composite materials. Though they were built nearly 60 years ago, the 10 World's largest machines of the "The Heavy Press Program of the U.S.A.F." — 4 forging presses, the waffle irons, and 6 extrusion presses, basically giant caulking guns except the “caulk” is solid metal — are still among the most powerful ever made. Even more impressively, at least 8 of the 10 are still in use; however, composites have possibly eliminated the need for such larger "Super Presses". Curtiss-Wright’s extruder ultimately was bought by Precision Castparts and moved to Houston, and Kaiser’s pair was taken over by ALCOA.
Germany wanted to use the test flights in order to obtain the thrust vector technology in the Euro Fighter and Sweden in the JAS 39 (to catch up with Russia). The US Navy had the F-18 in mind, on an application in the Air Force (F-15/16) has been speculated.
F-15 Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter. In 1967 U.S. intelligence was surprised to find that the Soviet Union was producing a large fighter aircraft, the MiG-25 'Foxbat'. It was not known in the West at the time that the MiG-25 was designed as a high-speed interceptor, not an air superiority fighter. It costs $42,000 per flight hour for ground missions. F-15 will always be more powerful fighter compared to the F-18 Super Hornet
F-15 Eagle is a little bit of everything, dishing out generous whatever you are looking for to get the job done. The original F-15 Eagle was designed to handle only air-to-air targets (other planes). But when the Air Force needed a fighter bomber to replace the aging F-111 until the new stealth F-117 was ready, they decided to modify the F-15 for air-to-ground missions. The result was the F-15 Strike Eagle, designated F-15E. The Strike Eagle is not a replacement for the original F-15, but a supplementary bomber plane.
The F-14A and F-15A were both designed with lessons from the Vietnam War. When we see turn rates, rate of climb and avionics, the F-16 was utterly superior to the MiG-23MF and even to the MiG-23MLD, however the F-16 had a vital weakness from 1974 to 1992, this weakness was it never had BVR missiles until the first AIM-120 and AIM-7s were deployed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. If we are to believe the Russian sources we have to see that in 1983, the MiG-23ML was armed with a better radar and R-24s of longer range almost matching the F-15s capabilities, and the F-16s in 1982 could not match the R-23T with an AIM-9L. The MiG-23MLD was considered in some parameters almost an equal to the F-16 but it never was considered superior, just that it closed the gap between the third and fourth generation. One of the MiG-23`s excellent characteristics was the use of Head Up Display radar imagery.
From 1979-81, Israeli F-15s would claim several Syrian Air Force fighters during operations over Lebanon. The high point of Israeli F-15 operations would come in 1982, with the massive air battle over the Bekaa Valley. Flying top cover for the massive ground strike below, F-15s with extensive jamming and AWACs support claimed upwards of 80 aircraft in the two-day long battle for no losses of their own.
F-15J and its upgrade F-15J Kai are identical to F-15C/Ds aside from the ECM, radar warning system, and nuclear equipment. The AN/ALQ-135 Internal Countermeasures System is replaced by the indigenous J/ALQ-8 and the AN/ALR-56 Radar Warning Receiver is replaced by the J/APR-4. The engine is the Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan, produced under license by Japan.
F2 has a defective AESA radar due to design error which is too expensive to rectify. Japan has also been forced to develop its own fly-by-wire software by the US Government's refusal to release the F-16s computer source codes. The F-2 program was controversial because the unit cost, which includes development costs, is roughly four times that of a Block 50/52 F-16, which does not include development costs.
Return of canard fins stabilizers
Outsmarting the know-how denials imposed by the West under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) developed in India are steadily finding a confirmed seat onboard multiple military platforms. The Research Centre Imarat (RCI) in Hyderabad today seems to have graduated in all the major technology areas of navigation, including sensors, SATNAV (satellite navigation) receivers, navigational aids, algorithms\schemes for different applications and infrastructure development. In the process, India has elevated its status on par with a handful of nations possessing a wide spectrum of sensor technologies.
The dynamically-tuned mechanical gyroscopes (DTG), optical–ring laser and fiber-optic gyroscopes, micro-gyroscopes and high-accuracy force balanced accelerometers (which measures the acceleration) are some hitherto-alien technologies now in India's command. (Gyroscopes are instruments that senses rotation). "Mastering these sensor technologies made the total independence from Western nations. These advancements have offered greater flexibility to configure and customize varied classes of INS of the users' choice," RCI sources said. "All missions are of very high precision strike capabilities, which is primarily decided by the accuracy of the INS. Today, we are on par with world leaders offering RLG-based (ring laser gyro) INS," sources said.
Agni-IV is the first missile on which a design version of RLG-based INS was used in mission mode successfully, probably signaling an end to imports in this segment. The navigation aids based on the different classes of inertial sensors developed by RCI is said to be not only meeting the requirements of strategic and tactical missile programmes, but are being heavily employed on combat aircraft, ships, submarines, tanks, unmanned aerial vehicles, torpedoes and smart munitions.
“The development ranges from highly miniaturized micro sensors-based system weighing around 300g for smart bombs and PGMs (precision-guided munitions) to a very-high accuracy 30 kg system for long-endurance naval applications,” sources said. Ultra high accuracy sensors development is already initiated for future needs of space and very long range missions.
The Inertial System Group at RCI is silently delivering solutions enhancing the multi-platform launch capability of the flight vehicle from ships (Rajput Class), submarines and aircraft (LCA & Sukhoi). “Our capabilities in the navigation systems are now being explored by world leaders who are keen to join hands for collaboration. The roles have been reversed and we are in pursuit of developing Navigation On Chip (a dream of A P J Abdul Kalam), which aims at miniaturization of systems, making them reliable and cost-effective,” sources said.
The preliminary development of a single chip NGC (Navigation, Guidance and Control) has already taken birth with System on Chip (SOC), SATNAV on Chip close to realisation. This will enable a low cost, low volume, low power and highly reliable system available for majority of the tactical and micro-air vehicles. "The energy requirements of the vehicle(s) will drop drastically and India will become a world leader in the critical area of navigation," sources said.
First flown in 1927, the experimental Focke-Wulf F 19 "Ente" (duck) was more successful. Two examples were built and although one crashed for unrelated reasons, the second example continued flying until 1931. Just after the end of World War II in Europe in 1945, appeared the lightweight MiG-8 "Utka" test aircraft. But it was not until 1967 that the Swedish Saab 37 Viggen became the first canard aircraft to enter production. This spurred many designers, and canard surfaces sprouted on a number of designs derived from the popular Dassault Mirage delta-winged jet fighter. The development of fly-by-wire and artificial stability produced a new generation of modern canard designs.
However, canard aircraft have poor stealth characteristics because they present large, angular surfaces that tend to reflect radar signals forwards.
TFX to implode into one of the most infamous debacles in Pentagon’s history due to technical problems, cost overruns, and schedule slippages. The result was the super-costly single-mission (deep strike), single service, swing-wing F-111. Planes were delivered without mission essential avionics and sat on the runway for two years awaiting parts. Production rates were slowed and total production quantities were reduced from 1,500 to 500. That cutback would have worked materially to wreck tactical fighter aviation in the Air Force, had it not been for the intervention of a brilliant iconoclastic band of military officers and civilians, who became known in the Pentagon and industry as the Fighter Mafia.
Originally designed as a cheaper alternative to the heavier F-15, F-16s were mainly used for air defense. This fighter was born in response to LWF (Light Weight Fighter) program, for a small and agile fighter: the USAF needed a small, cheap, maneuverable airplane to flank the F-15 Eagle, its air superiority fighter, to face the small Soviet fighters, such as the MiG-21 in close combat. It was designed exclusively for air combat maneuvering and added technological upgrades over the years have increased its weight and reduced its main purpose. There are actually six major mods, identified by block number (32, 40, 42, 50, 52, 60), plus the Israeli F-16I, which is a major modification of the Block 52. The F-16D is a two seat trainer version of F-16Cs. The various block mods included a large variety of new components (five engines, four sets of avionics, five generations of electronic warfare gear, five radars and many other mechanical, software, cockpit and electrical mods.) The other special version (the Block 60), for the UAE, is called the F-16E. Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 4,500 fighters to 28 international customers, including the Pakistan Air Force.
The production is scheduled to halt in 2017 after 44 years. But upgrades and refurbishments will go into the 2020s and beyond. This involves replacing the mechanical radar with an AESA (phased array) radar, an upgraded cockpit, a Sniper targeting pod, a Link 16 digital data link and upgraded navigation gear. The new cockpit features a 15cm x 20cm/6x8 inch flat screen display that replaces dozens of gages and switches. America has hundreds in storage, available for sale on the used warplane market. Some nations, like South Korea, build the F-16 under license. T
he latest F-16V configuration integrates Northrop Grumman-developed new advanced APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) Scalable Agile Beam radar, which was concluded in August 2014. It also includes a new cockpit Center Pedestal Display; a modernized mission computer; a high-capacity Ethernet data bus; and several other mission system enhancements. The most advanced F-16 is still the Israeli F-16I, which is optimized for bombing. F-16I is equipped with a more advanced radar (the APG-68X) and has an excellent navigation system, which allows it to fly on the deck, at night or in any weather, without working the pilot to death. The F-16I can carry enough fuel to hit targets 1,600 kms away. Electronic countermeasures are carried, as is a powerful computer system, which records the details of each sortie in great detail. Israel has received 102 new F-16I fighter-bombers already and added to this are another 125 older F-16s upgraded to the F-16I standard.
F-16 can climb to an altitude of only 50,000 feet where as the Mig-25 interceptor can fly at 65,000 feet.
- F1 standard: only air-to-air capabilities, operational in 2004 with the French Navy
- F2 standard: air-to-air and air-to-ground capability for Air Force and Navy in 2006
- F3 standard: air reconnaissance with the AREOS recce pod, anti-ship with the AM39 EXOCET and the nuclear capability with the ASMPA; were added in 2008.
- F3R standard: integration of the MBDA METEOR long-range air-to-air missile, Thales TALIOS new-generation laser designator pod and laser homing version of the Sagem AASM Air-to-Ground HAMMER bombs; €1 billion were allocated for its development that began in 2014. Other upgrades include the installation of an upgraded Link 16 terminal, improved – Mod 5 compatible IFF and buddy refueling pods for the French Navy’s Rafale N.
- F4 standard: The aircraft will introduce new capacities empowered by the modern missile and engine technologies. The first fully equipped Rafale F4 standard will enter service by 2025 but certain functionalities will be available as early as 2023.
Tranche 4 Rafales are equipped with 2 other new systems, the FSO-IT (Improved Technologies) and the DDM-NG, the new-generation missile detector. The FSO-IT comprises an improved TV sensor/laser rangefinder module but lacks the IRST of earlier FSOs. Mounted on each side of the Rafale’s fin, the 2 DDM-NG hemispherical staring sensors can spot an incoming missile, determine its trajectory, trigger a decoying sequence, and generate clues so that the pilot can initiate the best-adapted maneuver to evade the threat.
Advantages include demonstrated carrier capability in the Rafale-M, which could be a very big factor if the RFP includes that as a requirement. If so, it offers superior aerodynamic performance vs. the F/A-18 family, has exceptional ordnance capacity for its size, and can have its range extended via conformal fuel tanks. The Rafale M weighs about 500 kg more than the Rafale C. For carrier operations, the M model has a strengthened airframe, longer nose gear leg to provide a more nose-up attitude, larger tailhook between the engines, and a built-in boarding ladder.
One sees this merger in the optronique secteur frontal (OSD) long range video system of the Dassault Rafale. The narrow field of this sensor coupled with visible waveband capability enables the identification of targets in situations where visual contact is required by the rules of engagement. The OSD also allows target tracking, through both the IRS&T as well as visual sensors and the FLIR function can apparently be used to detect air targets at ranges up to 100 kms away.
The Armement Air-Sol Modulaire (Air-to-Ground Modular Weapon) (AASM) is a French Precision-Guided Munition developed by Sagem Défense Sécurité. AASM comprises a frontal guidance kit and a rear-mounted range extension kit matched to a dumb bomb. The weapon is modular because it can integrate different types of guidance units and different types of bombs. This firing test demonstrated the AASM Laser’s ability to offer 1-meter accuracy against high-speed, agile land or maritime targets.
New capabilities that might be incorporated into the Rafale could include operating unmanned aerial vehicles, thrust vectoring for improved maneuverability, and conformal radar antenna arrays located all around the air-frame.
India is insisting that Dassault Aviation, which manufactures Rafale, cannot renege on the guarantee clause and Request for Proposal (RFP) clauses, which it had initially agreed to. The unwillingness of Dassault Avions, the Rafale manufacturer, to guarantee the performance of this aircraft produced under licence at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd despite the original RFP (Request for Proposal) requiring bidders to transfer technology, including production wherewithal, procedures and protocols, to this public sector unit for the aircraft’s local assembly, has been reported. Dassault Aviation selected Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) as its private sector partner to manufacture the Rafale Combat jets in India trying to bypass Government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as the production house. This was the first deviation of RFP clauses. Then Dassault Aviation blamed that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited doesn’t have proper infrastructure to build and absorb Transfer of Technology (TOT) fully aware that HAL was building Russian Sukhoi-30MKI in Country , while RIL had not even taken up any aviation Projects in the country let alone manufacturing of 4++ Generation fighter aircrafts.
Second deviation was guarantee clause which was part of RFP which was placed so that HAL made jets covered Delivery schedules set by MOD and IAF and meet Product quality. While many blamed HAL over the issue and argued how Dassault Aviation should be liable to Delivery schedules and meet Product quality (from production costs to maintenance to performance) when they were not manufacturing them? Indian government had told that if delays happens due to HAL they won’t be any penalties for Dassault Aviation, but they refused and prolonged negotiations. Dassault, in turn, did not want to take responsibility for manufacturing delays at HAL. It is easy to pin the blame on Dassault for delays and all that has gone wrong in the deal.
As it is a government-to-government deal, India should be able to get these “strategic purchase” aircraft cheaper. The negotiations over price are still on but experts estimate at least a 10% lower price for these 36 aircraft. With limited funds available for capital acquisition in the defence budget, monetary considerations are an important factor in any major Indian procurement. They claimed that while the deal was initially for about Rs 40,000 crore, French are seeking a higher price now. This, the sources said, has put the price at a “little more than double the cost”, a deal-breaker in a contract for 108 aircraft. The initial price difference with the second bidder was razor thin. India could not afford 126 Rafales as the purchase would cost more than about Rs 90,000 crore. The final all-in price for 36 warplanes is likely to be in the range of 65,000 crores or nearly $10 billion, which includes the cost of 36 fighter jets in fly-away condition, weapon systems, and a support maintenance package. That is an astronomic Rs 1,320 – 1,660 crore per aircraft. Therefore, India is pressing for more add-ons like maintenance infrastructure at the airbases, increased tenure for serviceability, etc.
India still needs to decide whether it will immediately fund a large order of all spare parts that the aircraft will need for a period of either five or ten years. The Air Force wants the French to guarantee that at any given point, at least 90% of the fleet should be fit for combat. This is against the 55% availability rate of the Russian Su 30 MKI fighter. The price would depend on the support package and the length for which the Air Force wants it. For a 10-year package, the cost will be higher as more spares will need to be sourced. India wants the same availability rate for the fighter that the French Air Force has.
Another point of contention is the guarantee clause under which Rafale has to stand guarantee for the planes that would be manufactured by state-owned HAL. India is haggling over the labour cost parameters that are graded from 1 to 10. While the Russians had obtained Grade 6 for the Su-30MKI licence-production programme, the French were asking for 8, while the Indians wanted it to be limited to 7. The so-called licence-production of Rafales just to keep a few thousand employees of HAL gainfully employed will not lead to self-reliance of any kind.
For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, neither option was great: Continue negotiations with France on a fighter jet deal he couldn’t afford, or go for a smaller agreement that could undermine his “Make in India” policy. The move to all but kill India’s biggest defence purchase in five decades reflects the dire state of both the nation’s armed forces and its manufacturing capabilities. The multi-billion dollar MMRCA contract was to be a springboard for galvanising India’s aerospace industry. Buying 36 fully built Rafales would only benefit that of France. Also, Dassault aviations lackluster attitude and lazy response is quite legendary in France and a survey done by a French media house had said that many in France didn't believe that Dassault aviation ever be able to crack a deal with India.
Rafale's performance details:-
- Rafale can carry twice the payload (24 tonnes) as the Tejas (10-12 tonnes).
- Rafale's 1000-km combat radius far exceed the 300-450 km combat radius of existing IAF aircraft.
- Rafale has a greater loiter time than any other Indian fighter.
- Rafale's weapons are superior to those of competing aircraft.
- Rafale is equipped to penetrated heavily contested airspace without the need for Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD) platforms.
During the 1970s, Germany understood that future fighters would need to achieve high agility as well as the ability to fly at high angles of attack. These capabilities required an unstable aircraft configuration. In 1974, in order to address the need to test how a highly unstable supersonic jet fighter equipped with a proper redundant flight control system would fly, the German Ministry of Defense authorized MBB to proceed with the so-called Control Configured Vehicle (CCV) program.
It is a £80 million, twin Eurojet EJ200 engine, canard-delta wing, high-agility strike fighter but limited ground attack capability. It has at supersonic speed and ’supercruise’ capability. It is also an ‘energy fighter’ meaning it has the ability to preserve energy during sustained turns rates when most aircrafts lose energy and lose altitude. This 23 ton aircraft will be the principal fighter in the air forces of Britain, Spain, Germany, and Italy. The aircraft is very expensive to maintain.
The "Phase 1 Enhancement" implements full air-to-surface capability to provide the fighter with a “swing-role” capability to carry both air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons. It included full integration of the Rafael Litening III targeting pod and capable Diehl IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missile in addition to the MDBA Asraam, air-to-surface helmet-mounted display symbology, Mode 5 secure identification friend-or-foe, and MIDS updates and cockpit direct-voice interaction improvements.
Tranche 3 aircraft will incorporate production upgrades being developed under the Phase 2 Enhancement (Evolution 2 Package) program. The Tranche 3 updates adds defensive aids subsystem, high-speed data network, fiber-optic weapons bus, and is fitted for, but not with, conformal fuel tanks and an AESA radar. A new internal structure in the nose section was designed to accommodate wirings, power, cooling and electronics for the new Euroradar E-Captor AESA radar. Its has larger radar, but that doesn’t matter because nobody sane is going to use radar in air-to-air combat, however, it has integrated Storm Shadow and Meteor long-ranged anti-AWACS cruise missiles. Tranche 3 Typhoons have these capability to mount AESA radars and CFTs, but these items do not come standard.
While the Eurofighter is mainly an air-superiority fighter, there is very little call for that sort of thing at the moment. However, the fighter has a 25° angle of attack limit. Ground attack, on the other hand, is very much in demand. So when it comes time to make budget cuts, spare parts for the Eurofighter, and fuel to get pilots in the air for training, are among the first things to go. In 2009 Germany and Britain decided to cut back on the number of Eurofighters they would buy
GE Aviation is developing a 120-kN variant of the F414 called the F414 EPE (Enhanced Performance Engine). The F414 EPE is a hot engine - its turbine blades are made of new materials and use more efficient cooling, enhancing turbine temperature tolerance by 150 °F (66 °C). The engine produces 18 percent more thrust than the F414, mostly because of increased turbine temperature.
It is currently seen as a single seat 24 ton fighter with two engines and the ability to carry more than six tons of weapons. Some of these weapons can be carried in an internal bomb bay, increasing stealthiness. The KFX is expected to look more like the Eurofighter Typhoon, than the T-50 or F-16. The KFX is based on only costing $60 million each, having advanced electronics (including an AESA radar). It is expected to enter service in about ten years now that the government has found the cash and foreign partners to make it happen.
South Korea will ask Lockheed Martin to invest in the country’s next-generation KF-X multi-role fighter jet development project as part of offset deals. KF-X is intended to be superior to the KF-16, replacing South Korea's aging F-4D/E Phantom II and F-5E/F Tiger II aircraft, with production numbers estimated to be over 250 aircraft. In return for obtaining 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, South Korea was suppose to receive technologies from “17 sectors” related to its long-planned KFX indigenous fighter programme. However, in 2015 KAI failed to get clearance from the U.S. for four key technologies from Lockheed Martin, there were: active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, infrared search and track sensor, electro-optical targeting pod and electronic warfare jammer.
KAL appears to be proposing a design based on the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which industry officials say Boeing is pushing with backing from Airbus. Airbus and Boeing are joint KF-X proposal is an attempt to unseat Lockheed Martin from South Korea’s KF-X indigenous fighter program, offering an economical alternative and technology from Europe that could not be supplied from U.S. sources. Boeing suggested technology transfer from Israel Aerospace Industries.
KF-X/IF-X is a South Korean program to develop an advanced multi-role fighter for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) and Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU). The overall focus of the program is producing a 4.5th generation fighter with higher capabilities than a KF-16 class fighter by 2020. The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) envisions KF-X Block 2 would have internal weapon bays.
South Korean analysts pointed out that the KFX would cost up to twice as much as a top-of-the line model of the F-16 bought from the United States. Critics also pointed out that Japan made the same mistake in the 1990s when they decided to develop and build a the F-2. However, the KAI's KFX-E design should be cheaper to develop and build than the larger proposals put forward by the ADD. KAI executives have long regarded ADD's plan to develop a twin-engine Typhoon-size KF-X as too ambitious.
The ministry is not demanding a stealthy design but low-observable characteristics. Its not known whether the ministry is requiring a foundation stealth shape.
Indonesia is a partner with 20% share in the program. Indonesia first agreed in 2010 to jointly develop the KFX. That deal fell apart because of costs as did several similar deals with other countries. The cost problem is less of an issue now. Indonesia will be a partner in this effort by contributing 16 percent of the $8.5 billion required. Turkey is referred to as a potential partner, but there has been no tangible progress over the Seoul-Ankara discussions. Turkey is said to demand that it take more control over the project than a 20% share.
Indian HAL's state-of-the-art engine division facility in Koraput in Orissa, is the Aero engine capital of India. In last 50 years they have overhauled 7417 engines for R-25, R-29B, RD-33 and AL-31FP engines to power the MiG-21 series, MiG-27M, MiG-29 and Su-30 MKI aircraft. The Sukhoi (Su-30 MKI) engine facility is a marvel by itself with some of the gen-next technologies already being used, including a robotic welding system. A total of 23 engines have been made from the raw material phase now since 2011-12. The TBO (Time Between Overhaul) of a Sukhoi engine is 1000 hours, while the total lifespan of an engine is 2000 hours.
It has already established a facility for production of single crystal blades for Sukhois, which can further support India’s missile and unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) programmes. The division estimated over Rs 1500 crore towards setting up a High Altitude Test Bed facility. Once the test bed goes live, India will be the 4th country in the world who can boast of such a state-of-the-art facility to test new engines. The facility will be able to simulate the actual condition of an engine when an aircraft will be in flight.
The division has been on the threshold of successfully launching home-grown solutions while overhauling the RD-33 (Series-3) engines of MiG 29 fighters. “There was no ToT (transfer of technology) with Russians for 6 uncommon aggregators (accessories) of the RD-33 (Series-3) engines. The ToT was getting delayed as the Russians were demanding additional funds. The ToT would have come only by 2016, prompting us to initiate the indigenous programme,” says Arup Chatterjee, Officiating Chief of Project (Engines), while interacting with the media.
He said the IAF had bought over 100 engines from the Russians in 2007. “With the engines started coming for overhaul, we developed technologies for three out of the six uncommon aggregators successfully. The remaining three are targeted to be developed within HAL by June 2015. This has given us self-confidence for meeting our indigenous missions,” Chatterjee added. Similarly, HAL also developed an overhaul technology for the KSA-2 accessory gearbox of RD-33 engines, which has been cleared by the certifying agencies now.
Shenyang Liming WS-10 (WS stands for Woshan means turbofan) named Tai Hang after a Chinese mountain, is an all-Chinese replacement for the Russian AL-31F in J-10 and J-11 fighters and the power plant for a potential new fighter. For now it has been proven unsuitable for the J-10 because its bypass ratio is way too big for the fighter, which would reduce the aircraft’s maneuverability during supersonic flight. China is working on an improved variant named WS-13A with 100KN of thrust
The significance of WS-10 which likes the China’s first Atomic Bomb in 1966 and just proved that China has ability to produce turbofan engine. This is one of the greatest aerospace engineering challenges, however, one that only a small handful of corporations worldwide have truly mastered. This should not be surprising: an engine is effectively an aircraft’s cardiovascular system; it can be transplanted but not easily modified. Unlike a human system, it can be designed and developed independently, but faces temperature, pressure, and G-force challenges that only the most advanced materials, properly machined and operated as an efficient system, can handle. While China has made progress in recent years with materials and fabrication, it appears to remain limited with respect to components and systems design, integration, and management—the keys to optimizing engine performance in practice—and to making logistical and operational plans at the force level based on reliable estimates thereof. While the Chinese have been able to build engines that are durable, they are still having problems with reliability. Apparently it is still worth buying more Russian engines because the Chinese models are out of action too often, which keeps the jets grounded for repairs or, worst of all, an engine change.
The abandon of WS-6 project did do not mean that China gives up independent aircraft engine manufacture. In 1980, China started to implement a plan, High Performance Propulsion System Preliminary Development (HPPSPD), to focus on basic research on engine components. March 29th 1982, US famous “Aviation & Space Technology Week” had a report with title of “China Waiting for CFM-56II Turbofan Exportation”.
At a time when China was still building J-6 fighter jets based on 1950's Russian technology, United States in 1982 provided China two CFM56II engines.
Although only a commercial engine, but CFM56II the core components – high-pressure compressor, combustor and high pressure turbine is the same with the F110. U.S. Department of Defense was worried that China will steal by CFM56II advanced engine manufacturing technology, and therefore opposed to the Chinese side. But the then Reagan administration insisted the deal, the Chinese people dismantling the engine and its components in detail. U.S. government still authorized this exportation in 1980s’ Sino-U.S. HoneyMoon Relation. It is reported that it has not returned to the United States the last two engines, because they were "destroyed in a fire."
Development of the WS-10 started in 1987 by Shenyang Aeroengine Research Institute (606 Institute) of the China Aviation Industry Corporation and was based upon the core of CFM International CFM56 engines imported from the United States in 1982. This core itself deriving from the F16's F101-GE-102 engine which was used in B-1B Lancer Bomber. The original WS-10 was found to lack the performance needed for modern jet-powered fighters and was never used to power an aircraft.
WS-10 turbofan engine development work in 1987 in the 624th China Aviation Industry Research Institute was officially launched.
However, the project of MTDTCE and WS-10 turned to be more confusing. According to China’s plan, the MTDTCE would bring a demonstration turbofan engine and then entered into the stage of WS-10 prototype production. But some research technicians of 624 institute once wrote that no demo engines came out.
Meanwhile, Chinese people gained some AL-31F engines and hired some Russian engine experts. In the late 1990s Britain allowed Rolls Royce to sell China the ability to co-produce its Spey turbofan, which then enabled a new version of the X’ian JH-7 strike fighter.
In 1992, they had determined the main structure of the engine. In addition, the Chinese side in the powder metallurgy, directionally solidified turbine blades and other fields of work have also made great progress. Developing turbine engine core & high-temperature compressor blades through incorporation of rare-earth materials are the most challenging parts of turbofan developmental process. In 1997, the compressor blades have also been developed to solve the problem, the engine bench test went smoothly.
In 2000-2001, the first station WS-10 prototype was installed in a J-11 (Su -27) and carried out on a high-altitude fighter test (another test used is imported from the Russian engine AL-31F .)
In 2003-2004, China’s engineers have ruled out the engine during the test, some of the problems and try to reduce engine weight. After the completion of a series of improvements, the first time China has decided to install two J-11 WS-10 test flight. However, in 2004 during a test flight, J-11 engine on the right side of the fracture due to bearing damage, but fortunately, the ultimate in single-engine plane to fly back condition. The cause of failure was quickly identified and resolved. Although the WS-10A in appearance very similar to WS-10, but the former has a guide vane 17 (the latter is 15), in addition, the structure of the engine below the gear box is changed.
China is also developing the other WS-10 An Improved Model – WS-10B (also known as WS-10G). The new engine has more thrust, longer life, may also be equipped with a control vector nozzles.
Kaveri afterburning turbofan engine
Aero engine technology was surely the military technology India needed the most. Developing a jet engine for a high-performance fighter is technologically more demanding than any other aircraft system. Each aircraft needs to replace its engines three or four times during its lifetime, incurring huge cost. Developing turbine engine core & high-temperature compressor blades through incorporation of rare-earth materials are the most challenging parts of turbofan developmental process. Only a handful of countries have been able to develop aircraft engines; China, like India, has not yet achieved success.
The Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), a unit of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), has been working on the Kaveri turbofan engine for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) since the 1980s.
DRDO did manage to build the Kaveri engine. Unfortunately, the engine failed its high altitude tests in 2005. Even if the Kaveri had performed well, it still would have been inadequate for its original purpose of powering the LCA. What the GTRE had succeeded was in developing an engine using 1970s technology according to specifications fixed in the early 1980s.
In the meanwhile, the LCA had become heavier than anticipated, necessitating a more powerful engine. To enhance its power without increasing its size and weight, GTRE needed new technologies that advanced countries had developed in the intervening years for its “hot section”—mainly single crystal turbine blades, “blisk” (integrated rotor disk and blades) and thermal barrier coating for the blades. The DRDO is struggling in developing the Nickel and Cobalt super-alloys for the Kaveri’s turbine, where temperatures of 1,600 degrees Centigrade warp normal metals. Shaping the alloys into engine parts is an equal challenge. GTRE has learned how to make “directionally solidified” turbine blades; but it has not mastered the making of “single-crystal blades”, which are now standard.
There are 3 Kaveri prototypes - K6, K8 and K9. They are not flight capable due to their tendency to stall in certain regimes. In July 2007, GTRE divided Kaveri program into 2 separate programs: K9+ program and K10 program.
K9+ program is a program to prove concept of complete design and gain hand-on experience of aircraft engine integration and flight trials to cover a defined truncated flight envelope prior to the launch of production version of K10 Standard engine. While K10 Program is a Joint Venture (JV) partnership with a foreign engine manufacturer.
Although India will import jet engines worth Rs 1,60,000 crore over the next decade (DRDO projections) none of these can be used for the USAV. The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) prohibits its 34 signatories --- including every major engine manufacturing country --- from selling engines for unmanned systems with ranges of over 300 kilometres. An Indian jet engine, therefore, must power the USAV and the Kaveri is the only option.
The GTRE has worked on the nagging issues and would take Kaveri to its logical conclusion up to certification. In 2008, Kaveri was de-linked from its original platform, the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). The Kaveri’s current “dry thrust” of 50 KN will suffice for the UAV of the armed forces. A derivative, using the current core (named "Kabini") of the Kaveri engine, is the Free Power Turbine designed to generate shaft Power for maritime application.
To be compatible with the Tejas, this engine would have to retain the dimensions of the existing compressor and turbine sizes. So, the chief way in which a similar sized derivative can be uprated to 90 KN would be by having an engine core that can withstand much higher turbine entry temperatures. This, in turn, would require the core to be made up of different materials, such as next generation titanium alloys.
In a separate activity, military plane maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is developing engines for its helicopters and trainer aircraft by 2018. US defence major Boeing is providing as an offset an official altitude test facility for aero engines, for India’s Rs 22,800 crore ($4.12 billion) purchase of ten C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft.
In 2006, MoD decided to seek foreign collaboration from reputed foreign engine manufacturers to produce an improved Kaveri. The problem is that countries do not part with such technologies easily. The US General Electric (GE) and Britain’s Rolls Royce refused any form of participation. America’s Pratt&Whitney is on record having expressed its willingness to aid the Kaveri project. But later reports said it was willing to participate only as a consultant. In 2008, MoD selected Snecma over Russia’s NPO Saturn as the collaborator for the Kaveri. It was reported that it would take 4 years to develop and certify a new engine, after which the technology would be transferred to GTRE. As what was thought to be price negotiations with Snecma progressed, it also appeared that Snecma was really offering the “ECO” core it had already developed and that it would pass on the technology to the DRDO only after 15 years. Considering the pace at which engine technology progresses, the know-how, by the time Snecma transferred it to GTRE, would have become obsolete. MoD rejected this proposal.
The MMRCA bid offered India the best leverage to obtain advanced aero-engine technology from the winner. Was Snecma playing a game, waiting for the finalization of the Rafale deal? It would seem so. India had allowed France to make the Rafale deal an offset for the engine technology deal. Snecma quickly climbed down, agreeing to ToT as soon as GTRE could absorb it. MoD then began negotiations with Snecma for a joint venture for the development of the Kaveri. A senior DRDO official said two years ago that the work share between GTRE and Snecma would be 50:50; that price negotiations would be completed “within a month”; and that GTRE would gain the intellectual property rights for the new engine. Snecma would provide “exhaustive know-how” on the technologies and manufacturing processes GTRE lacked, the sources for the report claimed.
Then came the news that MoD has dropped the proposed deal with Snecma. No reason has been reported for this unexpected development. Quite likely Snecma raised the cost of its technologies or refused to pass on the intellectual property rights for the materials that go into the new jet engines’ “combustion chamber” to GTRE as it seems to have promised earlier. At this point, it looks like a classic case of bait and switch. It is hard not to conclude that Snecma was stringing India along with promises it had no intention of keeping, until almost the end of the Rafale price negotiations, and revealed its hands when it could no longer put MoD off.
Moreover, 22,000lb thrust GE engine is being procured for the initial batch of the LCA Mark II ordered by the IAF, the improved Kaveri, with a 10% less thrust, would not be adequate for later batches of the LCA. It is also doubtful if it would be suitable for the stealthy Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) which India is planning. If the LCA program imparted any lesson to Indian military planners, it is that the AMCA is going to turn out to be heavier than now planned. Developing a 20,000lb class engine now for it makes no sense.
The new airplanes would also feature an entirely new wing design, full fly-by-wire flight controls, a new interior and various other new or modified systems.
For Bombardier, the CSeries represents a particular challenge because not only is the aircraft in an entirely new class for Bombardier, as the CRJ1000 seats just 104 passengers in standard single class configuration whereas the CSeries seats 120-145, but it also makes heavy use of advanced materials (almost 70%) such as composites (46% of the aircraft) and aluminium-lithium alloys (Al-Li makes up around 24% of the aircraft). Developing turbine engine core & high-temperature compressor blades through incorporation of rare-earth materials are the most challenging parts of turbofan developmental process
Of course, most of the “double-digit” improvement in operating cost would come from the pair of new engines, which would range in thrust from 15,000 pounds to 22,000 pounds.
Boeing ran into troubles with its use of advanced materials on the perennially delayed 787 programme, which culminated with an aircraft that was still several tonnes overweight and 6% short on its fuel burn reduction promises at EIS
“the FC-20/J10B is a possible candidate, though my personal assessment is that overall, it is not as advanced as the F-16C [Block 50/52].”
The new inlet combines two design features observed in earlier US designs, a general arrangement similar to the F-8U3 Crusader III prototype, and a diverterless inlet bulge design similar to the F-16 demonstrator used to prove the inlet design for the X-35 JSF demonstrators. The inlet to fuselage join will significantly reduce the radar signature of the forward fuselage in the upper bands.
Project 10 started several years later in January 1988, as a response to the Mikoyan MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 then being introduced by the USSR. The aircraft's existence was known long before the announcement, although concrete details remained scarce due to secrecy. It has advanced radar absorbent material, composites, solid-state integrated electronics, integrated EW suite, diverterless supersonic inlet (DSI), infra-red search and track (IRST) sensor, modified vertical stabiliser and wings, ventral fins, housings fitted under the wings, improved FWS-10B engine (j-10b had the WS-10B engine), and a modified nose with an AESA radar.
There have been conflicting reports about a possible relationship between the J-10 and the Israeli IAI Lavi fighter program. The strongest admission of Israeli involvement in the J-10's development by Israeli authorities appeared in a statement made by an official as American authorities investigated alleged Lavi technology sold to China. The sources also called the J-10 "more or less a version of the Lavi", but also a "a melting pot of foreign technology and acquired design methods" . The multi-role combat aircraft capable of all-weather J-10 finds it linage to the PAK acquired F-16 (Israeli LAVI) while the JF-17 finds its lineage to the Mig-21 (the original Super 7) with upgraded Mig-33 inputs to improve performance (by imported Russian engineers).
In 2006, the Russian Siberian Aeronautical Research Institute (SibNIA) confirmed its participation in the J-10 program; SibNIA claimed to have only observed and instructed as "scientific guides", while its engineers also believed the J-10 was not only based on the Lavi, but also incorporated significant foreign technology and expertise. The J-10 bears some resemblance to the Dassault Rafale, the Saab JAS 39 Gripen, and the Eurofighter Typhoon, in addition to the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-8, the Chengdu J-9. Its helmet-mounted display system designed for J-10B pilots reacts faster and it is also very similar to the US-built F-16E/F Block 60 and French-built Rafale.
Though it has never been certain precisely what specific technologies and systems Israel provided, it was reported that the Jian-10's radar and fire-control system is the Israeli-made ELM-2021 system, which can simultaneously track six air targets and lock on to the four most threatening targets for destruction.
The technological knowledge accumulated during the Lavi’s development contributed to the achievement of Israel's first launch of a satellite into space in 1988. It resulted in a new level in avionics systems, and helped contribute to Israel's high-tech boom of the 1990s by releasing into the economy the technological talent of almost 1,500 engineers that had been concentrated on this one project.
J10C equipped with more advanced radar equipment, the radar has greater than the J10 radar detection range and the ability to simultaneously track 12 targets. It also has, like the F16E, installation of a similar "hump Falcon" two king-size fuel tanks.
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a 4.5+ generation, carrier-based multi-role fighter. It needs a catapult for takeoff. The F/A-18XT appears to exclude the earlier demonstrator’s ‘stealthy’ enclosed weapons pod. F-15 will always be more powerful fighter compared to the F-18 Super Hornet.
The U.S. Navy’s Multi-Sensor Integration effort for the Super Hornet is being developed in 3 phases—capability similar to the F-22 and F-35. Highly upgraded version of the F/A-18 A-D Hornet, enlarged and given new engines and avionics. Commonality between the Hornet and Super Hornet is only about 25%. Strengths include its powerful AN/APG-79 AESA radar, which has drawn significant interest from India. Other advantages include carrier capability, a very wide range of integrated weapons, a design that is proven in service and in combat. Although it has been heavily marketed by Boeing, so far the Super Hornet has only seen a single buyer outside the U.S. Navy: The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Weaknesses of the Super Hornet platform include poorer aerodynamic performance than the Eurofighter or Rafale, due to inherent airframe limitations. Its "beefier" airframe meant for more of an attack role meant it didn't quite match the F-16 in power-to-weight ratios, and it was a more expensive fighter both to purchase and operate. It also made little sense to buy a carrier based aircraft when its buyer had no aircraft carriers. The F/A-18 did offer the advantage of two-engine safety. The Super Hornet's main advantages over the regular Hornet is its more highly advance AESA radar and increased payload. What the Super Hornet doesn't offer, however, is any major improvement in speed, range, or manoeuvrability. All F/A-18s are limited to a maximum of 7.5 positive g and 3 negative g for symmetrical maneuvers. " In the classic F/A-18 fighter, past 50° angle of attack, there is a lot of very violent buffeting.
The RAAF's purchase of the Super Hornet has been controversial. Intended to replace the FB-111 bomber, the Super Hornet is incapable of matching its predecessor's speed, range, or payload. There was also issue with the fact that the FB-111 wasn't at the end of its service life, but were simply too expensive to fly anymore.
With the retirement of the A-6 Intruder, and the cancellation of the A-12 Avenger II, the U.S. Navy needed a bigger attack plane. Hence the larger Super Hornet. The design has been beefed up into the F/A-18A/B Hornet, then beefed up again to the F-18E/F Super Hornet. The original Hornet was intended to be "bomb truck". Hence the "A" (for attack) in F/A-18. Along the way, the F-14's planned successor, the a swing-wing version of the F-22 Raptor, was cancelled for budget reasons. It was decided that the US carrier fleet would use strictly F-18s for air-to-air combat.
At present, the EA-18G is slated to be the only dedicated electronic warfare aircraft in the USA’s future force and is intended to replace ageing EA-6B Prowlers in the service’s fleet. Since the USA is currently the only western country with such aircraft, the US Navy’s EA-18G fleet would become the sole source of tactical jamming support for NATO and allied air forces as well. It will be based on Boeing’s 2-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet multi-role fighter, and has 90% commonality with its counterpart.
Hornets have demonstrated a 180° missile shot with the AIM-132, firing the missile at a target in the firing aircraft’s 6’o’ clock in the lock-on after launch mode. The so-called ‘Parthian Shot’ is a defensive boon.
The Super Hornet currently costs between $75 million and $85 million and customised upgrades to engines, radar and other electronics could add additional $20 million per fighter.
Powered by two Rolls-Royce RB 199 Mk 103 turbofan engines, the GR4 is capable of low-level supersonic flight and can sustain a high subsonic cruise speed. The aircraft can fly automatically at low level using Terrain Following Radar (TFR) when poor weather prevents visual flight.
While demonstrating impressive range and lethality, it is able to carry a limited number of precision weapons, as many of the hard-points originally designed for stores carriage were used to carry extra fuel, electronic warfare support and countermeasures.
The Tornado GR4 is now equipped with the Storm Shadow missile and 2 variants of the Brimstone missile, including the most advanced DMS variant.
The Tornado GR4 has been successfully deployed in operations in Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya.
(Iran's Fakour-90 long-range missile is almost identical to the US AIM-54 Phoenix)
Three years later, Russia's fears were confirmed when China unveiled its own version of the fighter jet—the J-11B—on state television. The J-11B looked almost identical to the Su-27, but China said it was 90% indigenous and included more advanced Chinese avionics and radars. Only the engine was still Russian, China said. Many aviation experts believe AVIC is having problems developing an indigenous engine for the J-11B with the same thrust and durability as the original Russian ones.
Russia might be more confident of protecting its IPRs on this go-around with China. Kashin said that when China copied the Su-27, information about the fighter was widely available in other parts of the world. This made it easier for China to acquire “Su-27 data and subsystems for testing, studying and using on the J-11B prototypes” from friendly countries, such as former Soviet republics. However, Kashin said, the Su-35 is just starting to make it into the Russian Air Force. “Since the production rate is not too high, these aircraft for the coming years will be concentrated just on a small number of bases, which can be strongly supervised by the security service,” he said. “And former [Soviet] republics have no technical data or samples of the aircraft, [so] they hopefully will not be able to get the data by clandestine means.”
The J-11 is a continuation of the J-8 effort, but using more modern technology, and three decades of experience building warplanes. The J-11B reportedly features a slightly lighter airframe than the Russian original, made possible by greater use of composites, and a new Chinese-designed radar. It carries Chinese-designed air-to-air missiles such as the radar-guided Luoyang PL-12. Some sources indicate that J-11Bs may soon be equipped with a new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar that is also likely to be used by the new Chengdu J-10B. Some recent images indicate that PLA Air Force J-11Bs may finally be receiving the Chinese-designed Shenyang WS-10A Taihang high-performance turbofan, the development and production of which has been a major objective for China's aerospace sector since the early 1990s.
The J-11 is believed to now include better electronics and some other Chinese design modifications. China can manufacture most of the components of the J-11, the one major element it must import are the engines. China believes it will be free from dependence on Russia for military jet engines within the next 5-10 years. Currently, China imports two Russian engines, the $3.5 million AL-31 (for the Su-27/30, J-11, J-10) and the $2.5 million RD-93 (a version of the MiG-29s RD-33) for the JF-17 (a F-16 type aircraft developed in cooperation with Pakistan.)
Pakistan is the first export customer of IIR-guided CM-400AKG subsonic cruise missiles , deploying it on CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder (which is replacing their Mirage-VPA3).
In the 1970s, Shenyang Aircraft Factory proposed a light fighter (known as J-11/A) powered by the British Rolls-Royce Spey 512 engine, but otherwise similar to the MiG-19 then in service. The base J-11/A is a fourth-generation jet fighter which, like its Sukhoi brethren, is intended as a direct competitor to Western fourth generation fighters such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The project was abandoned due to difficulty in obtaining the engines.
In 1995, China secured a $2.5 billion production agreement which licensed China to build 200 Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27SK aircraft using Russian-supplied kits. Under the terms of the agreement, these aircraft would be outfitted with Russian avionics, radars and engines. However, only 95 of the original aircraft were delivered and the contract for the remaining 105 is still pending. It is believed that Russia cancelled the arrangement in 2006 after it discovered that China had reverse-engineered the technology and was developing an indigenous version, the J-11B. The modern J-11 Flanker B+ is a single-seat, twin-engine jet fighter based on the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27SK. J-11BS is powered by domestic WS-10A engines.
J-16 is the newer strike variant of the J-11BS. To improve the detection capabilities of the Irbis-E PESA radar fitted in the Su-35, power consumption has been drastically increased while generators and hydraulic pumps have all been newly designed. The power consumption of the Irbis-E is three times more than that of the PESA passive electronically scanned array radar Russia exported to China. Chinese Navy's J-15 is a carrier-based fighter aircraft for the Chinese PLA Navy's aircraft carriers.
J-11C most notable upgrade is an upwardly canted radar dome, which carries J-16’s advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, as well as further use of composites and stealth coatings in the fuselage to reduce weight. The AESA radar allows to intercept enemy aircraft at longer ranges than either of its predecessors, and to attack multiple surface targets simultaneously. It also boasts of improved weapons hardpoints to carry more air-to-air missiles like the PL-10 and PL-15 than did earlier versions of the plane. It also has a new in-flight refueling arrangement that is similar to the Navy's J-15.
Some analysts suggest that China has hit a brick wall in its development of advanced fighters, including misjudged problems with its new stealth fighters, the J-20 and J-31. However, Roger Cliff, a China aerospace analyst with the Project 2049 Institute, said the Su-35 acquisition does not imply China is having problems with the J-20/J-31. Cliff said China is probably buying the jets as a hedge in case the indigenous J-20 and J-31 programs take longer than hoped. “In this respect, it is probably similar to the U.S. Navy’s approach of developing a more advanced version of the F-18 Super Hornet rather than putting all its eggs in the Joint Strike Fighter basket, which, given the ongoing delays and ever-escalating costs for the F-35, is looking smarter and smarter.” Another reason for buying them, he said, is even if the J-20/J-31 programs stay on track, the Su-35 undoubtedly contains technology, such as thrust vectoring, that China has not yet mastered.
One of the reported reasons from Chinese side for purchasing Su-35 is the coming end of production of J-11B. They have requirement for 1 regiment (24 aircraft) of air superiority version of flankers before the more advanced 5th generation fighters can enter service. While that is possible, I think su-35 will create a logistical problem in the future like the Sov destroyers with the Chinese navy. They will need to maintain a new type of aircraft, a new engine, a new generation of Russian avionics and Russian missiles. That would seem to be a lot of trouble for just one regiment. That would lead to my conclusion that they are purchasing this strictly to get their hands on the 117S engine. Russia made it clear to China early on that they would only be willing to sell 117S to China as part of a Su-35 order. I think 24 is probably the minimum number of Su-35s that Russia would be willing to sell to China to allow Chinese access to 117S engine. China does have the largest MRO plant for AL-31F outside of Russia. All maintenance work for AL-31 is done inside China. I would assume 117S maintenance and life extension work would also be done there. Despite improvements in the reliability of WS-10A, I still read about problems found in deployment. If there is one problem that can cause real delay in J-20, it would be not having a reliable engine solution in its development and early deployment. 117S would also be possible options for J-10 and J-15/16 projects. If China does choose to purchase Su-35s, access to 117S engine would be the primary motivation. And Russia would benefit by exporting su-35 and possibly large numbers of 117S engine later.
While the J-15 appears to be structurally based on the Su-33, mainly the airframe and engines. The fighter concept is similar to F-15E and its electronic and its radar are modern Chinese upgrades. The indigenous avionics are from the 4th gen multi-role J-11B fighter program (which is based on the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27SK. J-15 range is reduced by its need to use a ski-jump for take-off.
The first J-15 prototype is believed to have performed its maiden flight on August 31, 2009, powered by Russian-supplied AL-31 turbofan engines. Hu Siyuan of the National Defense University PLA China has said that the current weak point of the J-15 is its Russia-made AL-31F turbofan engine instead of the original WS-10H. J-15s to this day haven’t been flight-tested in fully weaponised modes since they are definitely under-powered.
China has actively sought to purchase Su-33s from Russia on numerous occasions. An unsuccessful offer was made as late as March 2009 but negotiations collapsed in 2006 after it was discovered that China had developed a modified version of the Sukhoi Su-27SK designated the Shenyang J-11B, in violation of intellectual property agreements.
The Indian Navy planned to acquire the Su-33 for the its aircraft carrier but in the end opted for the rival MiG-29K.
The MiG-29K can spend as much time as the Su-33 on station by using external fuel tanks, but this limits its ordnance capacity. The Su-33 can fly at speeds as low as 240 km/h (149 mph), in comparison the MiG-29K needs to maintain a minimum of 250 km/h (155 mph) for effective control. However, the MiG-29K carries more air-to-ground munitions than the Su-33. The Su-33 is more expensive and physically larger than the MiG-29K, limiting the numbers able to be deployed on an aircraft carrier.
Compared to the export Su-30MKI, the “Russianized” Su-30SM replaces the Indian and Israeli avionics with Russian equivalents. Strangely however, most of the original French avionics—including the head-up display and navigation system—remain. One unique change compared to the export-optimized Su-30MK relates to the Su-30SM’s ejection seats. These are stronger in order to cope with the heavier weight of Russian pilots.
The similarities between the present Su-30 MKI and the Su-35 are they carry 12 hard-points, besides 8,000 kgs of external ordnance, pulling a maximum of 9G. They have the same air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons package; have thrust vectoring engines and can house external jammers of all varieties and all kinds of pods.
This is where the similarities end and the differences begin. The Su-35 carries maximum internal fuel capacity of 11,500 kgs, while the Su-30 MKI has 9,640 kgs. In terms of operating range, there is a difference of a mere 600 kms: Su-35 with 3,600 kms and Su-30 MKI with 3,000 kms. The max altitude they could climb is 17.3 kms (Su-30 MKI) and 18 kms (Su-35); and max speed (Su-30 MKI) – 1.9 Mach and Su-35 – 2.25 Mach (this is a crucial difference in case of a dog fight on after-burners).
The Chinese version of the Su-35 will be an export vesrion and not the same as the one used by the Russian Air Force. The purchase of 24 Russian Su-35 in the amount of about $2 billion is the second largest transaction between the Russian and Chinese militaries. The acquisition of the Su-35 would allow the Chinese military to assess the progress and development of J-11.
It is well documented that by mid-1990’s after collapse of Soviet Union, Sukhoi’s Irkutsk Plant without orders was on verge of close down but by then Russians resorted to pressure tactics and a visiting Russian defence delegation to Pakistan same year offered Sukhoi-Su-27 air superiority fighter to Pakistan Air Force, offer was later protested by India, Which asked Moscow to maintain Regional Security Balance and to withdraw the offer.
In 1992 Pakistani Air Force, was finding difficult to procure additional F-16s from USA and Negotiation with France for the purchase of Mirage-2000E had failed due to Cost factor and started negotiations with Russia on possible Purchase of Sukhoi-27 which were termed cost effective by negotiation team of Pakistani Air Force who had already visited Russia .
Same year, when Soviet Union Collapsed, Soviet Union desperately in need of funds and Defence orders in 1991, supplied 8 Sukhoi-Su-27 Long range air superiority fighter to China after almost gap of 30 years. Su-27 deliveries represented a major watershed moment in Sino-Soviet defence relationships, since last supplied aircraft was Mig-19, which was Produced in China without a licence and also supplied to India’s Arch rival Pakistan which created a political rift between two countries.
Russia later wanted similar orders from India too, but Indian Air force was not too impressed by classic Sukhoi-Su-27 air superiority fighter which not only had higher operating cost but also due to economy downturn of 90’s in India had very little budget to operate its current fleet of aircrafts. In 1994, India displayed interest in the purchase of SU-30K. India was offered 20 SU-30K in flyaway condition and batch of 60 could be License manufactured in HAL, but still there was no deal yet. These original Sukhoi-30Ks were later withdrawn them from service and resell them to Belarus (with Russian help).
It seems that Boris Yeltsin had told Narasimha Rao that he too was heading for elections, that the Sukhoi factory happened to be in his constituency, was too broke to pay salaries to its staff and if India could pay it that advance, salaries would be paid. It would work like magic in his election campaign. That advance was, therefore, a political deal between the big boys, to be adjusted in the final pricing later. It was a conscious, diplomatic decision, cleared by Rao, and executed by none else than the then finance minister, Manmohan Singh. Mulayam Singh Yadav a reluctant defence minister was appointed in the HD Deve Gowda government he signed a contract to buy up to 50 Russian Sukhoi Su-30 MK fighter jets in a deal worth $1.8 billion, which many military analysts believed was forced upon Indian air force since with the Induction of Mirage-2000 and Mig-29 into IAF , Airforce was not suffering for want of a highly rated aircraft at that time nor was any such demand made by IAF. The opposition alleged kickbacks and lack of transparency shown in the deal but without any hard evidence deal was executed by a weak Government in power which might have crumbled to external pressures. News reports back then were suggesting that there was a great deal of pressure from Russia on India to purchase SU-30K, but IAF due to engine problems of earlier Soviet Union supplied Mig-29A was finding hard to maintain fleet. According to CAG report, IAF’s Mig-29A fleet availability was only 15-20 %. Premature failures of 75 % of RD-33 engines and poor spare supplies meant IAF wanted to have greater Transfer of Technology (TOT) for Sukhoi-30 to avoid similar problems and also wanted new jets equipped with better modern Avionics Suite and newer engines.
The SU-30MKI is the first Russian aircraft designed in collaboration with a foreign customer. It was born when the IAF decided to acquire the Su-30MK and include modifications according to its needs. Unsatisfied with the Su-30 initially supplied by Russia, the IAF demanded improved aerodynamic performance. While original 18 Sukhoi-Su-30K supplied earlier were deemed too expensive to carry out MK upgrades due to changes in airframes and Avionics, Russia agreed to re-take them and supply newer MK instead. It features several modifications that differentiate it from the original Su-30 design.
Russia added a set of canards foreplanes and a thrust-vectoring controls module (was coupled to the aircraft’s fly-by-wire flight control system) which could push the fighter in multiple directions, adding agility; the N011M BARS passive electronically scanning array (PESA-MMR) radar set (Russia has never shared its source-codes with anyone); the AL-31FP; and a mix of Israeli, French and Indian-produced avionics. Because of its long legs and speed, the Sukhois can move between the Pakistan and China fronts when required.
All this and the transferred of technology took time. Its competitor was the Mirage-2000-5, an excellent multi-role aircraft in its own right. It had the advantage over the Su-30 given that the IAF was extremely satisfied with the results from the Mirage-2000H. However, the SU-30MKI was found to be a lot cheaper than the Mirage-2000-5, which ultimately proved to be the deciding factor.
Nashik division, the birthplace of multiple Russian fighters that have given teeth to the Indian Air Force (IAF) since the 1970s. This factory was set up in 1964 to build the MiG-21 E7FL, now retired, followed by another variant, the MiG-21M, then the MiG-21BIS. Later, HAL Nashik built the MiG-27, and then upgraded 123 MiG-21BIS fighters into the BISON, which is still in service. Finally, it upgraded 40 MiG-27s, an entirely indigenous upgrade that has kept the aging fighter in service till today.
The induction of the Su-30 into the IAF is a bit confusing for some. This is due to the fact that three different deals were signed, delays in the program and also due the fact that IAF has been operating Su-30s (since 1997) which are not Su-30MKIs but Su-30MKs. However, since they are being operated by the IAF, they are referred to as Su-30MKIs by some. Here Su-30MKI refers to the final version of the aircraft, and not those which saw service with the IAF since 1997. In 2002, India placed the largest foreign order for 272 Su-30MKIs.
India’s Sukhois MK currently use N011M passive array technology, which delivers less peak power than an AESA. The N011M also has limitations in its back-end processing and requires more maintenance. The X-band radar can track 30 aerial targets in the track-while-scan mode and engage six targets simultaneously in attack mode. By 2018, the Indian air force inventory is expected to comprise around 300 Su-30MKIs.
Deal I (30 Nov 1996) : The IAF signed a US $1462 million (equivalent to Rs 5122 crore) deal with Sukhoi on 30 November 1996 for the delivery of 40 Su-30 aircraft and the associated equipment from the Irkutsk plant in phased manner, spread out over four years - from 1997 to 2000. The contract provided for setting up of a Service Support Centre in India which was to undertake extended second line repair tasks of aircraft, avionics, aero-engines and aggregates to avoid the need to despatch them to the manufacturer.
Deal II (September 1998) : The IAF decided to buy 10 additional Su-30Ks for US $277.01 million (equivalent to Rs.1187 crore) and thus bring the total number of IAF Su-30s on order to 50. These 10 were originally destined for Indonesia, but due to the financial crisis there Indonesia was unable to take delivery. The first 4 units were delivered in June 1999. These have updated electronic warfare suites, PGM (Precision Guided Munitions) capability and possibly updated radar. These planes are currently in service with IAF with serial nos SB009 to SB018 in the No. 24 Hawks squadron based at Lohegaon AFS.
Deal III (October-December 2000) : A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed allowing the license production of 140 Su-30MKIs and in December 2000, the deal was sealed in Russia at the IAPO factory. The deal combines license production with full technology transfer and hence called a 'Deep License'. For instance, HAL Koraput will also produce 920 AL-31FP engines, while the mainframe and other accessories will be manufactured at HAL's Lucknow and Hyderabad Divisions. Final integration of the aircraft and its test flight would be carried out at HAL's Ozhar (Nasik) Division. The original plans called for the first Su-30MKIs from Nasik to be delivered to the IAF in 2004-05, with production increasing to a peak of 10 aircraft per year from 2007-08 onward at this rate the production would have stretched to 2017-18. At Air Force Commander's Conference held in Oct-2002, the Air Chief Marshal Krishnaswamy, asked the HAL to complete the project in 10 years. This was confirmed by N.R.Mohanty on 12-Nov-2002 while speaking to the press . Therefore, the new schedule would mean that a maximum of 14 planes per year will be churned out by HAL and hence finishing in 2013. The original costs of Rs. 20,000 Cr remained as it is, even though such an action is expected to raise costs. According to Mohanty, HAL planned to counter the inflation by "outsourcing in low and medium type jobs while the critical items will be HAL's own."
Deal IV (2002): India placed the largest foreign order for 272 Su-30MKIs.
Deal V (May 2005) : It was originally planned that the 24 Sqn aircraft will be upgraded to the Su-30MKI Phase-III standard once the delivery is complete. However, the latest Russian offer is to replacethese aircraft with newly built airframes at $270 Million in 2007. The reasoning being that some of the aircraft have already aged quite a bit - the first ones entered service in 1997. More importantly, the upgraded airframes would not have the same capability as the new airframes.
Deal VI: Another 42 Su-30MKI were contracted from Russia.
Deal VII: Starting from 2014, IAF will eventually acquire a total of 230 Su-30MKI. Out of these 90 will be made in Russia by IRKUT-APO while the rest will be produced in India by HAL. 50 of these will be Su-30MKIs caple of carrying two 290km-range underwing BrahMos missiles. HAL chairman Nalini Ranjan Mohanty has said that the Indian-built Su-30s will cost only about $22.5 million a unit against the current import price of about $37.5 million.
Upcoming Deals: Upgrade of India's Su-30MKIs to "Super" Sukhois-30 is estimated to cost around $8bn.
The AL-31FP, presently rated at 126kN with afterburning, will offer 20% more power when uprated by NPO Saturn—its manufacturer--and will have a total technical service life of 4,500 to 6,000 hours, instead of the present 2,000 hours. The uprated engine will also employ a larger diameter fan, redesigned key hot-end components and cooling system technologies to permit reduced thrust lapse rates with altitude. The AL-31FP engine control system has been upgraded. Su-30MKI's engine needs to be overhauled after around 800-900 hours of flying. The integrated defensive aids suite, now being developed by a joint venture of DARE and Cassidian of Germany, will include the MILDS AN/AAR-60 missile approach warning system (MAWS).
Deal with Israel in 2015 to acquire 164 laser designation pods or 'Litening4' for IAF fighters like Sukhoi30MKIs and Jaguars as well as 250 advanced 'Spice' precision standoff bombs capable of taking out fortified enemy underground command centres.
"The principal on-board mission management avionics components of the upgraded Su-30MKIs will be the multi-mode MIRES X-band active electronically steered-array (AESA) multi-mode radar (MMR), developed and built by the V Tikhomirov Scientific-Research Institute of Instrument Design along with Ryazan Instrument-Making Plant Federal State Unitary Enterprise, and modular L-band and S-band transmit/receive (T/R) modules that will be housed within the Su-30MKI’s forward wing and wing-root sections, as well as on the vertical tail sections. The MIRES, using the back-end elements of the Su-30MKI’s existing NO-11M ‘Bars’ PESA-based MMR, will be able to simultaneously perform up to five ‘core’ functions, comprising look-up and shoot-up; look-down and shoot-down; directional jamming of hostile data-links; real-beam ground mapping via Doppler-beam sharpening in the inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) mode; and ground moving target indication. This will give the Super Su-30MKIs an unprecedented degree of all-round situational awareness."
"Other new-generation avionics to be installed on the Super Su-30MKI will include the RAM-1701AS radio altimeter, TACAN-2901AJ and DME-2950A tactical air navigation system combined with the ANS-1100A VOL/ILS marker, CIT-4000A Mk12 IFF transponder, COM-1150A UHF standby comms radio, UHF SATCOM transceiver, and the SDR-2010 SoftNET four-channel software-defined radio (working in VHF/UHF and L-band for voice and data communications), and the Bheem-EU brake control/engine/electrical monitoring system, all of which have been developed in-house by the Hyderabad-based Strategic Electronics R & D Centre of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
For air dominance operations the upgraded Su-30MKI will be armed with two types of new-generation air combat missiles from Vympel JSC: the RVV-MD within-visual-range missile, and the RVV-SD beyond-visual-range missile. The RVV-MD’s maximum range is 40km (the existing R-73E has 30km range) and comes equipped with a two-colour imaging infra-red sensor that has +/-60-degree off-boresight tracking capability. The manoeuvre controls are aero- and gas-dynamical. The maximum angle-of-attack is significantly higher than that of the R-73E, and can hit targets that are manoeuvring at 12 G. The RVV-SD has a maximum range of 110km and engage targets flying at an altitude of 25km. Equipped with both laser-based and contact fuzes, the RVV-SD has a 22.5kg warhead, mass of 190kg, length of 3.71 metres, diameter of 0.2 metres, and wingspan of 0.42 metres. It too can engage targets manoeuvring at 12G. The guidance system is inertial for the middle course, with radio-correction and a jam-resistant active radar for the terminal phase." TRISHUL.
HAL will start modernization of last batch of 40 Sukhoi Su 30MKI under “Super 30” Project from 2012. Russian and Indian Specialist are still working on technical performance, under this Project Indian government will be allocating close to US $ 2.4 billion for Deep Modernization for all the Sukhoi Su30 MKI fleet currently but these upgrades will be carried out only on newly built Su-30, which will be last batch of Su-30 to join IAF. Several of the IAF's Sukhoi 30 MKIs (Su-30 MKIs) are soon going to be due for a mid-life upgrade (MLU) which will include the replacement of the very capable but now ageing Bars PESA with a new Russian origin AESA.
The 'Super' variant (similar to Su-35S) of the Su-30MKI will feature Russian Phazotron Zhuk-AE Active Electronically Scanned Array AESA radars along with new onboard mission computers, electronic warfare systems (EWS) to launch the airborne version of the Brahmos and new Russian BVR Missiles rumored to be Novator K-100 missile also known as “AWCS Killer ” and also India’s own Astra BVR Missile. It'll be capable of carrying the Brahmos missile and feature a radar, and later the strategic subsonic Nirbhay cruise missile with a range of 1,000 km. The upgrades, costing Rs 109.2 billion, will include the strengthening and service life-extension of the Su-30MKI airframes; and installation of uprated turbofans, new glass cockpit avionics, mission management avionics, and integrated defensive aids suites. This will be followed by another batch of 42 new-build Su-30MKIs to be subjected to identical upgrades, with deliveries of these aircraft beginning in 2015 and ending in 2018. It is expected that in future the Su-30MKMs of Malaysia and Su-30MKAs of Algeria too will be subjected to such ‘deep’ upgrade programmes.
Meanwhile, there is a lot to be clarified what the "Super" Sukhoi-30 aircraft will actually be worth in terms of capability. The upgrades will add modern AESA radar, modern avionics in the cockpits and changes to several structural elements to reduce its radar signature. In addition, a next generation BVR missile are also needed. Experts question whether the Su-30 MKI can super-cruise. It has been argued that engines alone are not the only factor for super cruise as there has to be structural changes to enable that.
Rs 400 crore was invested in setting up after-sales-service units for both Su-30 and the helicopters. Today, availability has risen slightly to around 50% - 55% (currently, it has bee raised to 63%), but far lower than advanced western air forces, which generate 75% (some even 80%) availability rates. The Indian government is of opinion that a logistic hub will further improve the availability of Sukhoi-30MKIs. No air force in peacetime boasts of combat aircraft fleet availability rates of 85%. Ideally, the prescribed norm is at least 75%. Effectively, in terms of aircraft numbers, only 106 are combat-ready of the 193 Su-30MKIs that the IAF flies today would be available in war.
Russian-origin fighters recorded as many as 35 engine failures/engine-related problems between January 2013 and December 2014. Out of total 69 cases in the last three years, 33 cases are due to finding of chips in the oil, 11 due to vibration in the engine (caused by bearing problem) and 8 cases because of low pressure of lubricating oil. The failures were linked to faulty bearings that contaminated the plane’s oil supply. It seems that metal fatigue led to tiny pieces of metal shearing off the friction-reducing bearings, which then entered the oil system. This accounted for 33 of 69 engine failures. Another 11 failures were the result of engine vibrations, while eight more arose from a lack of pressure in that same lubricating oil. AL-31FN engines cannot endure larger load and pressure since it suffers from material and technological flaws which are causing engine cut-off leading to rising crashes. The Russia OEM has offered 9 modifications or technological improvements for implementation in the production of new aero engines and during overhaul of engines. 7 Su-30MKIs have crashed to date.
Under existing arrangement, Russia takes nearly 12 months to complete orders placed by India depending on the time it requires to manufacture the said spare parts. Under a new arrangement planned the supply of spares will allow bypass of export licences, customs duties, bank guarantees and other procedural issues, reducing the time to just 4-6 weeks after receiving such request from Indian Air Force. In 2012, India and Russia agreed to a similar contract where turnaround time for parts of Su-30s needed to be repaired under warranty in Russia was shortened to average 30 days from 8 to 15 months.
Su-30MKI having to wait one full minute before being cleared for takeoff due to the risk of ingestion of foreign objects (stone pebbles) which damage the engine’s compressor blades.
HAL’s new overhaul facility will give a new leases of life to its Su-30MKIs. Two new ordnance factories at Nalanda in Bihar and Korwa in Uttar Pradesh were being set up and a total investment of Rs 1,216 crore has already been made on the two projects. Not even Russia overhauls this fighter, a process that involves stripping it to its bare bones, checking every system and sub-system, replacing numerous components, and then reassembling the fighter anew. Its engine needs to be overhauled after around 800-900 hours of flying. HAL builds 87.7% of the engine’s components in India. 53% by cost of the Su-30MKI's giant AL-31FP engine has been indigenised, with the remaining 47% consisting of high-tech composites and special alloys - proprietary secrets that Russia will not part with.
51% by value (31,500 components out of 43,000 components) of the Su-30MKI is currently made in India in the contract signed in 2000. Only in 2008 did New Delhi and Moscow sign an overhaul contract. Until last year, aircraft parts and systems were going to Russia for overhaul. Over the years India has been able to get minor concessions for high-demand low-value spare parts being exempted from the contract. In 2010 Sukhoi revised the overhaul schedule to 1,500 flying hours or 14 years, whichever comes first. Over its total service life of 6,000 flying hours or 30-40 years, each fighter undergoes 3 overhauls. Further indigenisation is blocked since Russia is not willing to let go of this lucrative after-sale support. The Indo-Russian contract mandates that all raw material and high-burnout components that goes into the Su-30MKI - including 5,800 titanium blocks and forgings, aluminium and steel plates, etc (the cost of which rises every year due to inflation) - must be sourced from Russian original equipment manufacturer. The contract also stipulates that another 7,146 items like nuts, bolts, screws and rivets must be sourced from Russia.
Russia has expressed willingness to transfer technology of 332 components of the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft under the ‘Make-in-India’ program. These components, also called line replacement units (LRUs) refer to both critical and non-critical components and fall into 4 major heads such as Radio and Radar; Electrical & Electronics System; Mechanical System and Instrument System.
At its most basic level, an Infrared Search and Track system is an infrared energy detection device that is usually fitted in a spherical glass enclosure on the front of a fighter aircraft. The systems scans the airspace ahead of the jet for heat signatures caused by aircraft engines and/or skin friction caused by the aircraft flying through the air. Once the system detects a target, it usually has an ability to lock that target up, or a way to facilitate the crew in slaving their fighter's radar onto the point in space where that heat signature exists in order to attempt a radar lock. They are also impervious to electronic warfare and jamming, that's a very big deal.
Its biggest advantage is that they are a passive sensor, as in they work without emitting any electromagnetic energy at all. While remaining electromagnetically silent, you can detect, track and engage him or her by detecting their physical infra-red signature without giving away your presence or location at all, even when it comes time to firing a shot at relatively long distances.
Modern variations of IRSTs can search out to intermediate ranges, track multiple targets and even engage other aircraft using its telemetry data alone. Today, all western fighter aircraft feature advanced IRSTs. These include the SAAB Gripen with its Skyward-G IRST, the Eurofighter Typhoon with its capable PIRATE IRST, and Dassault's Rafale with its dual aperture Front Sector Optics system.
IRSTs do have a couple weaknesses. First off, if it is installed in a podded system it will take up a stores station that could be used for more fuel and weapons. Second, their effectiveness can be degraded by atmospheric conditions to some degree. This does not mean an IRST will become ineffective on a stormy day, but those storms may reduce its scanning range.
The importance of cruise missile became crystallised after the 1991 Gulf War when the American Tomahawk cruise missiles crippled Iraq’s command and communication centres, leaving its armed forces exposed to air attacks. Just a few hundred cruise missiles was able to isolate 1.2 million strong Iraqi military in the space of few hours.
The new generation missiles and bombs, most of which at all times will be imported, also do not have very long shelf lives. This means that supply lines must always be open. Radar-guided cum heat-seeking missile today can cost up to Rs 50-100 lakh each, while an advanced long-range air-to-air missile could cost five times that. Then we have a wide array of laser-guided and TV-guided precision munitions that can be more expensive. The cost of an air launched Brahmos supersonic missile will be over Rs 15 crore each.
This air-launched, fire-and-forget, expendable DEW, whose main role is to render electronic targets useless, makes use of the airframe of RAFAEL’s Spice 250 rocket-powered PGM, and will have a range of 120km. It is a non-kinetic alternative to traditional explosive weapons that use the energy of motion to defeat their targets. The EMP-like field that will be generated will shut down all hostile electronics. In a sense, it is also a psychological weapon, as its use does not necessarily give away the fact that the enemy is under direct attack before a larger-scale air-attack is coming.
The SAAW is a joint India-Israel project to co-develop an air-launched, standoff EMP-emitting missile, which, for all intents and purposes, will be India’s first operational precision-guided directed-energy weapon (DEW). The joint R & D project officially began in mid-2010 and series-production of this DEW will commence later this year, with Indian industrial entities like Bharat Dynamics Ltd, ECIL and the Kalyani Group being involved in this undertaking.
For the IAF, this air-launched DEW will be a ‘first day of war’ standoff weapon that can be launched outside an enemy’s area-denial/anti-access capabilities, and fly a route over known C4SI facilities, zapping them along its way, before destroying itself at the end of its mission. The whole idea behind such a weapon is to be able eliminate a air-defence network’s effectiveness by destroying the electronics within it alone, via a microwave pulse, without kinetically attacking the network itself. Thus to destroy an enemy’s command, control, communication and computing, surveillance and intelligence (C4SI) capabilities without doing any damage to the people or traditional infrastructure in and around it.
The IAF plans to arm its upgraded Mirage 2000Hs, Jaguar DARIN-3 and the Rafale with DEW and also with RAFAEL’s Spice-1000 PGMs. Both the IAF and IN have a stated requirement for 500 SAAWs.
Shortly after ejection from the canister, the DH-10's two retractable wings, four tailfins and belly mounted engine air intake will all unfold as it flies as far as 2,500km away. Reportedly able to hit a garage-door-sized target, in addition to carrying a 1100-pound high explosive warhead toward a target with accuracy, the DH-10's payload can either be a high explosive warhead or submunitions for attacking fighters on runways and tank columns, nuclear warheads and fuel air explosives. Notably, DH-10s use several guidance modes, including satellite navigation, inertial navigation, and terrain following, making it hard to jam or deceive.
The flexibility of the DH-10 is its greatest strength. The Type 052D guided missile destroyer and Type 093A nuclear attack submarines can carry DH-10s in their vertical launch systems; sea-launched DH-10s can cover over 90 percent of all global land mass. The next generation of this family will be the YJ-100, a proposed DH-10 anti-ship variant that will have an onboard radar and 800 km range, potentially China's answer to the U.S. Long Range Anti-ship Missile. More broadly, future Chinese cruise missiles are likely to branch off into two families, one optimized for stealth, and the other focused on hypersonic flight.
The Kh-55 family of cruise missiles owes its origins to a series of internal studies at the Raduga OKB during the early 1970s. Raduga’s early work on these weapons was opposed by many Russian experts who were deeply sceptical of the viability of such a complex new weapon, but this changed as public knowledge of the US Air Launched Cruise Missile program became better known in the Soviet Union.
The cancellation of the ambitious Kh-90 ramjet missile due to INF treaty in 1987 led to a renewed emphasis on improving the accuracy of the Kh-55. The X-55SM modification provided for increased range with the installation of expendable conformal fuel tanks which are mounted on both sides of the fuselage, giving it an estimated range of 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles).
The Kh-55 family of weapons most closely resemble the early US BGM-109 Tomahawk in concept and size. The most visible difference between the Tomahawk and Kh-55 families of missiles is the engine installation.
Unlike contemporary US weapons which use complex anti-tamper techniques in the software and integrated hardware, the Kh-55 predates this model by a generation. As such the electronics in the guidance system can be readily reversed engineered using commercial components, and the structure and engine use commodity materials technologies. The only components in the design which could present difficulties for a new player are the engine turbine and combustors. It is powered by a single 400 kgf Ukrainian-made, Motor Sich JSC R95-300 turbofan engine, with pop-out wings for cruising efficiency. It can be launched from both high and low altitudes, and flies at subsonic speeds at low levels. Current-production versions are equipped with the increased power of 450 kgf Russian-made NPO Saturn TRDD-50A engine.
A 1995 Russian document suggested a complete production facility had been transferred to Shanghai, for the development of a nuclear-armed cruise missile. At the end of 1999 there were 575 cruise missiles of air basing X-55 and X-55SM delivered from Ukraine to Russia by rail transport on account of liquidation of debt for the deliveries of gas. China illegally acquired six Kh-55SM missiles in April 2000, samples from the Ukraine, who then permit the development of a cloned variant. To date indigenous Chinese cruise missiles have not matched the range performance of the Kh-55 series.
DH-10 / CJ-10 was developed from the X-600 subsonic cruise missile, the new design incorporates elements of the Soviet Kh-55 cruise missiles. China may also have acquired several American Tomahawk missiles from Pakistan and Afghanistan, after the missiles were fired in a failed attack on the Al Qaeda in 1998. The knowledge from these missiles may have been used in the CJ-10/YJ-62 project.
Besides the land attack variant, a possible shore to ship variant has also been rumored to be in Chinese service. Many Taiwan and Hong Kong media sources believe that the weapon has been developed to counter the US Navy's Carrier battle groups, with the aim of a land-based carrier destruction capability.
DPRK acquiring cruise missile technology from Iran who got six Kh-55SM in June 2001 from Ukraine. Given the well documented earlier collaboration between Iran and the DPRK on IRBM development and production, an analogous play using reverse engineered Kh-55s is entirely credible. Iran's Soumar air-launched strategic cruise missile.
The Kh-SD may be an improved version of the Kh-65 precision-attack cruise missile, which was promoted by the Russians in the early 1990s, along with a "Kh-65E" antiship variant. The Kh-SD is reportedly a smaller version of the Kh-101 but may have an active radar seeker. It is described as the short range tactical version of the Kh-101.
36MT small-sized turbofan engine is designed for small, low-flying means, especially for anti-ship cruise missile. The engine was developed by NPO Saturn, using the experience of the previous project "Izdělije 36". The engine is similar to US F107-WR-400, and has about 20 to 30% higher thrust. Engine development began after the collapse of the USSR, where the manufacturer has hitherto used R95 engine remained outside Russia, with Ukraine.
Structurally, the motor consists of a single-stage blower with wide blades, compressor, annular combustor, single-stage, single-stage low-pressure and high-pressure turbine, part of the engine there is a power generator 4 kW. The motor is controlled by an electro-hydraulic system. 36MT engine with low fuel consumption, resistance sucked dirt and adverse weather conditions, and the ability to self-destruction surge.
NSM’s Joint Strike Missile counterpart may have even more potential, as a longer-range air-launched naval and land strike complement to Kongsberg’s popular Penguin short-range anti-ship missile.
An imaging infrared seeker with automatic target recognizer (ATR) are used for final approach targeting. Note the lack of radar use by the missile itself, which is normally standard procedure for anti-ship weapons. That makes the NSM completely passive, offering no warning from shipboard ESM systems that detect radar emissions, even as its stealthy shape offers little warning from its target’s active radar sweeps. This is a missile optimized at all levels for stealth, making supersonic speed less necessary.
Once NSM locks on, it strikes ships or land targets with a titanium warhead and programmable fuze. A 130 nautical mile operational range gives the missile reach, GPS/INS guidance flies them toward the target, and an in-flight data link makes the missile reprogrammable in flight, if its target disappears or a higher priority threat appears.
According to the Times (London), North Korea agrees to supply technology and equipment to aid Iran in upgrading the C802 anti-shipping and cruise missiles it purchased from China in the early 1990s and deployed on French and Chinese-built missile boats in the Persian Gulf and in coastal batteries. China has promised the United States several times to stop deliveries of the C802 to Iran, but U.S. intelligence reports last year documented deliveries by China far in excess of what has publicly been reported. The C802s were assembled in Iran under a co-producing agreement signed with Communist China, and use a sophisticated motor supplied by a French manufacturer. The French government denies any knowledge of the sale, and the company, Microturbo, denies any wrongdoing. The latest reports indicate that North Korea is working on an "over-the-horizon" designation system for Iran's arsenal of hundreds of C802s, to increase the chances of a successful hit.
Another three types of Chinese anti-ship missiles introduced to Iran were called the Kosar series. Kosar 3 and Kosar 1 are the names given to the C-701 and TL-6 missiles produced by the Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation. C-704 missiles meanwhile were renamed Nasr 1 and Nasr 2. These missiles can all be launched from either trucks or mobile patrol boats. About 25 Peykaap-class coastal patrol craft deployed by Iran's navy are the main strike force carrying the Chinese-built anti-ship missiles. Each Peykaap vessel can carry two Kosar or Nasr missiles. These smaller ships are able to launch attacks from any island in the Straits of Hormuz with a top speed of 50 knots.
Iran also purchased between 2,000 & 3,000 mines from the Soviet Union and China. By using the Kilo-class submarines imported from the Russian Federation, the Iranian navy can deploy thousands of naval mines in the strait in just a couple of days. There are about three Kilo-class submarines in the Iranian navy, each of which can carry 24 mines at a time. With a total of 18 submarines in its fleet, Iran can also attack US and Saudi vessels with torpedoes.
The compact size of C-801 provides it with distinct advantage over earlier missiles in that C-801 can be carried various platforms such as fighters and helicopter that previously could not carry large-sized missiles, and shore-based batteries can carry more missiles in a single vehicle. It is sometimes referred to as the Chinese Exocet (as it looks like France's Exocet missile).
Designated “secret,” the weapon's development has remained concealed since its existence was revealed in 2006. The Nirbhay has never been photographed until now. It would be capable of being used from air, land and ships and submarines. The "size of the air launched version would be smaller as it will be without booster." The BrahMos is an excellent border weapon, but we need a terrain-hugging missile with a range of more than 750 kms. Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile has a range of 1,600 kms and has the capability to carry a warhead of 450 kgs. Kalibr missiles used by Russia can carry a warhead of 500 kgs and have a range of 2,500 kms.
It is also India's first made-in-Bangalore missile, developed outside DRDO's Missile Complex in Hyderabad. Full-scale prototype development work commenced in early 2007, with the ADE being designated as the nodal systems house for R & D along with ASL (Hyderabad), RCI (Hyderabad), HEMRL (Pune), R & DE (E) (Pune), TBRL (Chandigarh), ITR (Balasore) and GTRE (Bengaluru) as sub-systems re-engineering partners. The launcher is being built by R&D Engineers, Pune, a specialised arm of DRDO. There is speculation that Nirbhay is in some minor collaboration (no major systems) with a continuation from Israel's POPEYE project. The Hyderabad-based Advanced Systems Laboratory (an ASL team visited Israel in November last year) has completed design of the propulsion system and the full aerodynamic study.
Several indigenously-built technologies are new like automated pre-launch checks, booster-assisted launch phase trajectory control, stage separation in near-horizontal attitude, in-flight wing deployment, submerged air intake for engine and in-flight engine start. Kaynes Technology in Mysuru Electronic Safe Arm Fire Systems (ESAFS) consists of two processor cards and one communication/connector card that carries the commands, and facilitate relay control. The current launcher, fabricated by Larsen & Toubro, is a prototype to be used for development flights of the missile.
This project is believed to be conceived back in 2003 as a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) and air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and as a warship-launched/submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) for the Indian Navy (IN). The project calls for the UAV to be developed as both a high-speed target drone capable of simulating the flight profiles of land-attack/anti-ship cruise missiles like China’s DH-10A and Pakistan’s Babur, as well as sea-skimming anti-ship missiles like the A/RGM-84A Harpoon and C-802A, both of which are operational with the Pakistan Navy. The ALCM version (minus the solid-rocket booster) will be qualified for use by 20 specially customized Su-30MKIs, while the SLCM variant (incorporating the solid-rocket booster) will go on board the SSBNs.
The missile transcends four configurations, starting with missile then to a bomb (with fins only) and to a glider with wings deployed and finally an aircraft configuration powered by the turbofan. The missile has 2 stages, is understood to be powered by a Russian-built NPO Saturn 37-01E turbofan engine, can cruise at 0.7 Mach at altitudes as low as 100 m to avoid enemy radars, and has the capability to subsonic loiter around the target area for some time, and strike only when a target is identified. The air-breathing engine along with four tail fins control the velocity and path of the missile. Sources say it will be replaced with an Indian turbojet or turbofan in a later phase. DRDO sources say that while the engine is Russian, the rest of Nirbhay is fully indigenous, including sensors, guidance and flight-control systems. A successful Nirbhay mission, the contraption will take off vertically like a missile, then a mechanism in its first stage will tilt the missile horizontally and the first stage, with its booster engine, will jettison into the sea. Then the second stage with the turbo-engine will start cruising horizontally like an aircraft-like configuration with its wings spread out at a subsonic speed of 0.7 Mach, flying along the various waypoints using autonomous waypoint navigation.
It is approximately 6 m long and 550 mm in diameter. A booster and sustainer with two wings make the missile fly at low altitudes, completely ducking enemy radars. Its capable of flying at different altitudes ranging from 500 metres to four km. It launches like any missile with a booster engine would ‘kick the first stage’ from the ground. Early flight, the rocket motor falls off and after sufficient time the small wings get unlocked, deployed and locked into its final desired position that turns the missile to a glider configuration. The pyro-bolts ensure physical separation of the booster section from the missile and the retro-motors ensure positive separation from the missile.
This missile was designed with a low wing and four all-moving fins for stability and control. The missile has pronounced tail fins. The failure was caused by the wing-deployment issues (most likely a failure of the actuators controlling the fold-able wings) in the second stage of the missile. During the flight, the wing appears to have rubbed against a supporting bush and was held in that position for a short duration of time, which caused a pause in the deployment process. Though a redundant sensor was available, the navigation system lost its reference and the missile deviated from its intended flight path.
The wing is folded and kept inside the fuselage, held by the initial locking mechanism. In this phase, the missile is still in the no-thrust zone. In this second stage, after sufficient time separation, a turbo-prop engine kicks in in-flight and then flies like a powered aircraft and can even hover near the target, striking at will from any direction. When the turbofan develops the full thrust, the missile exits the no-thrust zone and enters into an unmanned vehicle configuration. The missile, designed with a high degree of modularity, consists of seven sections to house the seeker, warhead, on-board avionics, fuel and air-intake section for the turbofan engine, and the expendable booster section.
"The wing shutter opens during the boost phase upon command and after the wing is deployed the door closing mechanism is initiated to close the cut-out provided in the fuselage, resulting in reduced missile drag during the cruise phase. The wing deployment systems is attached to the centre bracket of the wing and an attachment bracket has been welded with the fuel tank with a provision to fix a strut, which in turn receives the wing centre bracket. The basic mechanism is of single slider crank-type. The active force generated by a pair of pyro-cartridges is converted into torque for rotating the wing through 90 degrees. Damper is provided in the mechanism for energy absorption during deployment phase. The mechanism is provided with two types of locking mechanism and stopper to keep the wing in position after deployment. The submerged air-intake section consists of the air-intake duct, which starts as a hole in the belly of the missile and guides the air into the inlet section of the engine. The length, ramp angle and lip-radius of the submerged air intake is designed to meet the constraints on distortion levels and pressure recovery."
Nirbhay is integrated with ring-laser gyro-based high accuracy navigation system and a radio altimeter for the height lock. The maiden launch of Nirbhay LACM’s ground-launched version was conducted on March 12, 2013 during which it flew for 20 minutes and thereafter deviated from its flight path due to a failure of the on-board MEMS gyroscopes and accelerometers. The Nirbhay’s theatre reconnaissance CTOL-UAV variant for the IAF will be equipped with an X-band inverse synthetic aperture radar (most likely the EL/M-20600 from ELTA Systems of Israel), a wideband two-way data link, and 3 sets of ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system coupled to a GPS receiver and accelerometers supplied by Israel Aerospace Industries’ TAMAM Division.
A spin-off from this programme is the development of a smaller, conventional warhead-armed air-launched subsonic variant of Nirbhay with a range of 750km, which will be qualified for launch from combat aircraft like the DARIN 3-standard Jaguar IS as well as Rafale M-MRCA.
The United States pursued the cruise missile long before the development of the first lightweight engine technology, so this is not a critical path item towards developing a cruise missile. Still, more capable engines increase the threat of a cruise missile. First, they reduce the RCS of the missile. Next, they in-crease the range by reducing the drag and power required for control surface actuation. Finally, they reduce other flight signatures, such as infrared cross-section and acoustic emission, that might be exploited in a defense network.
"The airframe was designed by Russia's Novator OKB for modular fabrication and integration, predominantly with light aluminium alloy and composite materials. The airframe was designed considering the ‘g’ loads experienced in the boost and cruise phases. The airframe construction uses glass-fibre and carbon-fibre as reinforcements in fabric form, epoxy resin system as matrix, and acrylic foam (Rohacell) is used as a core material. Fabrication uses wet layup, pre-pregs and matched die-moulding process. The bulkheads and longerons are also made of aluminium alloy. Subsequently, Novator OKB transferred the design data package of its 3M-14E LACM to ADE for re-engineering purposes. "
"Re-inventing the wheel is a futile and time-consuming process for countries like India, especially when there are a select few friendly, highly industrialised countries that are more than willing to share their expertise with India’s military-industrial entities and co-developing re-engineered, customer-specific weapon systems that are required in large numbers by India’s armed forces. Such a business practice thus cuts short the gestation timeframe required for fielding advanced weapons on multiple platforms, since all their R & D challenges have already been overcome before, and all that is required to be done is to customise or re-engineer them for complying with the qualitative requirements of their respective Indian end-users." Prasun K. Sengupta
The X-band IMR seeker of BrahMos-A will also be used in the Nirbhay’s SLCM version.
Right now there are some glitches in the lower altitude related to the accuracy of the seeker.
The fourth test of Nirbhay missile developed snags over one of its wings because the vendor who manufactured it used recycled material for one of the key components that operates the wings of the missile and that was the reason why it failed. The strength of the recycled material was not sufficient to operate the parameters.
Cruise technology is extremely complex and has been developed by only a few countries in the world. South African weapons company Denel Dynamics, previously known as Kentron, developed the newly-built 300km Torgos air-launched cruise missile that was designed to be launched using French Dassault Mirage III aircrafts. It is essentially a flying warhead designed to fly hundreds of miles with high accuracy. The guided missile is capable of self-navigating and flying at a very low-altitude trajectory in order to avoid radar detection.
Pakistan’s first tested the Ra'ad cruise missile in 2007. It weighs 1.1 tons and can carry a nuclear or conventional warhead. (While it is possible that they can be converted to deliver WMD, their short range limits their possible targets of interest.) The air-launched version of the original surface launched weapon. This version was only revealed in 2015 after another successful test. Air launched Raad has a range of 350 kilometers can are deployed only using Pakistan's vintage Dassault Mirage III aircraft.
Since it is a subsonic missile (so lacks kinetic energy), its air-frame has been designed with stealth capability in order to make it difficult to detect. Ra’ad can fly low and avoid Radar Line of Sight but it is also slow which means the time required to reach its maximum target range will be more than 12-15 minutes once launched from launch platforms. It will most likely be used for precision air strikes on enemy command centres, radars, surface to air missile launchers, ballistic missile launchers and stationary warships.
Hatf-8 Ra'ad as a ‘Tri-dimensional Optimum Cruiser’ due to its pre-launch air-to-air, air-to-surface, and air-to-sea features and capability to reach optimal accuracy point in all the three launch modes. The over 350 kilometre-range missile, according to military, ‘enables Pakistan to achieve strategic standoff capability on land and at sea’. Like SRBMs and MRBMs, (with exception to Hatf-9 Nasr), Ra'ad cruise missile can carry nuclear and conventional warheads simultaneously with a reported payload (carrying) capacity of nuclear weapons upto the weight range of 200 kilograms and those of conventional weapons up to 700 kg. (SRBM Nasr can only carry nuclear warheads but has fastest impact time).
Ra'ad is characterised with an inherent Air-Borne System (ABS) for Enhanced Target Identification and Accuracy (ETIA) on air-to-air mission. This feature, sources mentioned, is designed to augment the missiles operational efficacy under ‘less optimum and even zero optimum’ weather conditions. It uses most modern cruise missile technology such as Terrain Contour Matching and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation to achieve circular error probability of less then 3 meters. This is a highly maneuverable, low flying and 'terrain-hugging' cruise missile. (but GPS and GLONASS eliminates the need for a country to rely on TERCOM navigation.) It also features stealth shaping and low flying capability to avoid detection by the enemy radars. The missile can carry up to 450 kilograms of conventional ordinance, or a nuclear payload between 10 and 35 kilotons.
Little is known with certainty about the missile, but it seems likely that it is based on the Russian AS-15, the Russian SS-N-27 Club, or a Chinese turbojet design. Recovery of two intact US RGM/UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Southern Pakistan aided Pakistani efforts. Range of the Hatf-VII Babur was increased to 750 kilometres by the Pakistani scientists.
A longer range version with range of 1000km is also under development. Future improvements are expected to extend the missile's range to around 1000 km. Midflight guidance probably relies on INS with GPS or Glonass updates and a terrain-reference system; terminal guidance may use an infra-red or active radar seeker. The missile can likely achieve an accuracy between 20 and 50 m CEP. It is believed that air, ship, and submarine-launch versions will be developed in the future.
It has the same 'AMR-1' seeker from the PL-12 and (its derivatives) SD-10A BVR air-to-air missiles & DK-10 Sky Dragon 50 SAM system. These active radar missile, and the earlier semi-active radar homing (was suppose to be licence-built) PL-11, all seemed to have a common design heritage with the Italian Aspide missile, 100 missiles were supplied to China during the late 1980s. There is also speculation that the Hatf VI's engine was provided by China in violation of the MTCR. By 2001 the Kh-55SM production engineering data was bought by China from Ukraine (redesigned RD95-300 turbofan that bore a strong resemblance to the Russian 36MT engine).
It has been speculated that Babur is based on the BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile, after 6 Tomahawks crash-landed on Pakistani territory in 1998-2001 during US air-strikes on targets in Afghanistan, and its design seems to show this influence. Tomahawk was not terribly high tech, and easy for the Pakistanis to copy. GPS made it easier to replace the earlier (and only high tech aspect of the missile) terrain following guidance system. However, the efforts to reverse engineer BGM-109 Tomahawk proved unsuccessful.
The 500km-range missile became the Babur. Its has been fitted with cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation. And now checked for synchronisation with National Command Authority’s fully automated Strategic Command and Control Support System which means it “has added capability of real-time remote monitoring of the missile flight path. The terrain hugging ability helps the missile avoid enemy radar detection by utilizing "terrain masking", giving Babur the capability to penetrate enemy air defence systems undetected and survive until reaching the target.
The its 290km to 280km range anti-ship variant, incorporating an active radar seeker with 40km range for anti-ship strike, was designated as the C-602 / YJ-62 long-range subsonic anti-ship cruise missile.
The missile is equipped with a “mono-pulse frequency agile (active) radar seeker”. The missile has incorporated the capability to switch to more threatening ones should such threat arise but it is not clear whether this capability in built-in. The development program itself appears to date back as far back as 1989, under the designation XY-41. In various US sources of the 1990s and early 2000s the missile was also referred to as The Land Attack Silkworm.
Ultimately, Pakistan’s nuclear-capable cruise missiles have the potential to complicate India’s decision-making calculus and even constrain Indian strategic behaviour. First, Pakistan’s cruise missiles will pose a serious challenge to India’s fledgling missile defence system. Cruise missiles are virtually undetectable and highly survivable, even in the face of modern missile defences. The first few weeks of the 2003 Iraq War demonstrated that sophisticated missile defences could shoot down ballistic missiles with relative ease, but faced a significantly more difficult task in preventing a cruise missile strike. This is not to say that cruise missiles can never be shot down or that they are perfectly invulnerable. Several U.S. cruise missiles veered wildly off-course – in a guidance-system failure called “clobbering” – during its missile campaign against Afghanistan in 1998 and during the Iraq War. Additionally, cruise missile defence, unlike ballistic missile defence, is relatively new and technologies developed to deal with this threat are likely to emerge in the coming years. Nevertheless, these shortcomings are superseded by the tremendous advantages cruise missiles have over ballistic missiles in defeating existing missile defences.
If the goal of India’s missile defence system has been to bait Pakistan into an economically ruinous arms race – as some suggest the U.S. did with the Soviet Union in the 1980s – then it appears to be succeeding.
All Pakistani missiles are named Hatf (meaning “doom” in Arabic, but often mistranslated as “vengeance”). The missiles are numbered from I to IX, with each missile type also having a specific name.
Operationally, Tomahawk had performed poorly during the operation Desert Storm in 1990s. It achieved a target hit of about 50%. It was reported that 9 US Navy Tomahawk missiles failed to launch from launch tubes and 6 suffered from problems just after their launch. On 20 March 2003 a misguided attack with Tomahawk cruise missiles killed 41 innocent civilians in Bagdad. Comparatively, though Russia Kalibr cruise missiles were first used in 2015 against ISIL in the Syrian war theatre, from a distance of 1,500 kms from the Caspian fleet.
3M-54 Kalibr-NK (NATO: SS-N-30A) is a new-generation smaller, low-altitude, high-precision guided, (sea-launched) cruise missile (improved 3M-54E / 3M14E NATO: SS-N-27 'Klub' Sizzler), which is based on a Soviet larger long-range Granat cruise missile, which, in turn, was a Soviet response to the American Tomhawk (TLAM-N). It has an estimated range of around 1,500 to 2,500 km and has become a mainstay in the Russian Navy’s ground-strike capabilities. Kalibr missiles are reported to have dual (nuclear and conventional) capability.
The export 3M-54K & 3M-54T version are smaller in size which achieves two purposes: first, the new anti-ship missile had to fit into standard NATO torpedo tubes (which are shorter than the Soviet standard) and it had to have a range less than 300 km to remain under the MTCR-mandated limit (Granat had the range of 3,000 km).
China's YJ-18 ASCM is very similar to Russia's Novator 3M-54E / 3M14E (NATO: SS-N-27 'Klub' Sizzler) land-attack cruise missile. YJ-18 is a new development of the missile which can be vertically launched from naval combatants such as the Type 052D destroyer and submarines. Its an upgraded version of the YJ-12 which is a copy of Russia's P-270 supersonic ramjet powered ASCM. (NATO: SS-N-22 Sunburn actually references two different missiles, both the P-80 Zubr & the P-270 Moskit/Mosquito).
The Moskit was originally designed to be the ship-launched 3M80 missile, but variants have been adapted to be launched from land, air (Kh-41) and submarines. Variants of the missile have been designated 3M80M, 3M82 (Moskit M). The 3M82 "Mosquito" missiles have the fastest flying speed among all antiship missiles in today's world. It reaches a speed of Mach 3 at high altitude and Mach 2.2 at low-altitude.
Klub family is a multi-role missile system. It is intended for use against static ground targets. There are two major versions: the Klub-S, designed for launch from submarines, and the Klub-N, designed for launch from surface ships.The 3M-54E1 subsonic missile is roughly comparable to both the American Tomahawk cruise missile and the ASROC missile but is smaller and has a shorter range.
The system is designed to accept various warheads, allowing its use against surface and subsurface naval combatants along with static land targets. In one variant, the 3M-54E (Sizzler), the final stage makes a supersonic 'sprint' to its target, reducing the time the target's defense systems have to react.
Partially due to the limited information available on YJ-12, it is often mistaken for another little known Chinese supersonic anti-ship cruise missile YJ-22, the Chinese equivalent of SS-N-22. Additionally, YJ-12 is also sometimes confused with YJ-91 by non-Chinese sources (as both share the same origin for their propulsion systems). Some American analysts believe that the YJ-12 anti-ship cruise missile is the biggest threat to U.S. Navy aircraft carriers in the western Pacific that China can employ, even greater than the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile. A U.S. Navy study found that the YJ-12 was one of the world's longest-range anti-ship missiles at 400 km.
Most of the technologies of YJ-12 are based on that of YJ-83/C-803. It is first propelled a distance of 178 kilometers by the missile’s turbojet engine at a speed of Mach 0.8 and that for the remaining 38 km it can fly at an even faster speed of Mach 2.5-3. It is claimed that the processing and storage capability of the new microchip is expanded multifold in comparison to that is used on C-803, thus improving the performance of the highly digitized seeker of C-803 used on YJ-12, without making any other changes. However, due to the limitations and backwardness of Chinese microelectronic industry, the unit cost of the microchip was expensive, driving up the price of the missile. The developer of YJ-12 claimed that YJ-12 and YJ-91 were in different classes, with YJ-12 having longer range and instead of competing with each other, the two missiles would complement each other, YJ-91 for targets that were closer, while YJ-12 for targets further away.
The YJ-2 began development in 1985, and was initially based on small turbojet technology stolen from U.S. BQM-34 Firebee drones recovered by the Chinese. This technology was later supplemented by auxiliary power units imported for use on civil aircraft programs.
Iran has acquired some of the same Russian-made AS-15 Kent thermonuclear-warhead-capable strategic cruise missiles that were illegally exported by the Ukrainian government to China. Iran has developed an air-launched version of the C-802 anti-ship cruise missile with Chinese help. Iran also has received copies of the highly-capable Russian-made SS-N-22 Sunburn supersonic anti-ship missile.
The YJ-83 is an improved version of the YJ-2, on which development was started in 1992. It has been reported that the YJ-83 version has the capability to cruise at supersonic speed.
The Chinese DF-21 (CSS-5) solid fuel IRBM is based on the technology from the circa 1973 Soviet SS-NX-13 anti-ship submarine launched ballistic missile system. Designed to destroy an American carrier battle groups (CVBG) using a low yield nuclear warhead, the launch vehicle was based on the air-frame of the stored liquid propellant R-27 / SS-N-6 Serb SLBM.
The Harpoon missile provides the Navy and the Air Force with a common missile for air, ship, and submarine launches. The Harpoon missile was designed to sink warships in an open-ocean environment.
The AGM-84D Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system produced by Boeing [formerly McDonnell Douglas]. The Harpoon's active radar guidance, warhead design, and low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory assure high survivability and effectiveness. The missile is capable of being launched from surface ships, submarines, or (without the booster) from aircraft. The AGM-84D was first introduced in 1977. The AGM-84E Harpoon is an infrared Stand-Off Land Attack Missile (SLAM) used for long range precision strikes.
Once targeting information is obtained and sent to the Harpoon missile, it is fired. Once fired, the missile flys to the target location, turns on its seeker, locates the target and strikes it without further action from the firing platform. This allows the firing platform to engage other threats instead of concentrating on one at a time. The weapon system uses mid-course guidance with a radar seeker to attack surface ships. Its low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, active radar guidance and warhead design assure high survivability and effectiveness.
The 546 kg/1,200 pound Harpoon has a 222 kg/487 pound warhead and a range of 220 kilometers. It approaches the target low, at about 860 kilometers an hour. GPS gets the missile to the general vicinity of the target, then radar takes over to identify and hit the target.
Pakistan has 30 AGM-84L (air-launched) Block II Harpoon missiles.
In the Middle East, Israel was once the sole country possessing land-attack cruise missiles, but now Iran is pursuing cruise missile programs for land and sea attack, including the reported conversion of 300 Chinese HY-2 anti-ship cruise missiles into land-attack systems. Iran’s surreptitious acquisition via arms dealers in Ukraine of at least six Russian Kh-55 nuclear-capable, long-range (about 3,000 kilometres) cruise missiles.
China has a long history of local cruise missile development, particularly with regard to anti-ship weapons. In 1959 the Soviet Union supplied China with P-15/SS-N-2 Styx missiles, which were manufactured under license as the SY-1/CSS-N-1 Scrubbrush. In the 1960s China developed the missile into the Hai Ying-1 (HY-1/CSSC-2 Silkworm/CSS-N-2 Safflower) but (it leaves a turbulent airflow in their wake, which makes it difficult to deliver a sprayed pathogen or chemical agent cloud and) they fly along a predictable path towards the target rather than one that can realign itself to match the geometry of the target. Later the improved HY-2/C-201/CSSC-3 Seersucker. From this family emerged the turbojet-powered HY-4/CSSC-7 Sadsack and air-launched YJ-6/C-601/CAS-1 Kraken. The YJ-61/C-611 is an upgraded, extended range version, which entered service in 1990. China also produced the HY-3/C-301/CSSC-6 Sawhorse and YJ-16/C-101/CSSC-5 Saples missiles. The latter had, by 2005 been replaced by the C-801 and C-802. Since 1998, China has not offered the HY-4 for export.
China developed the YJ-6 into the KD-63 (Kong Di-63)/YJ-63 air-launched cruise missile, which emerged into open view in 2005. It was most likely the first indigenous long-range airborne standoff weapon to be fielded by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and incorporated systems such as electro-optical seeker and data-link. The anti-ship YJ-2/YJ-82 (C-802)/CSSC-8/CSS-N-8 Saccade was first seen in 1989 and is based on the YJ-1/C-801 but replaced the solid propellant rocket with a turbojet. The YJ-83 (C-803) is a more modern supersonic version of the YJ-82, apparently having a range of 150-250 km. It can be launched from the air, ships and submarine torpedo tubes.
China’s military power, the Second Artillery Corps has already deployed between 150 and 350 DH-10s, which complement the corps’ huge inventory of more than 1,000 ballistic missiles facing Taiwan. Taipei, for its part, first tested its HF-2E land-attack cruise missile in 2005 and seeks to extend its current 600-kilometer range to at least 1,000 kilometers, to reach targets such as Shanghai, and potentially 2,000 kilometers, so that even Beijing is within range. As many as 500 HF-2E cruise missiles were originally sought for deployment on mobile launchers.
China has a number of Russian cruise missiles in service, including the 600 km range Kh-65SE and Kh-41 Moskit (SS-N-22 Sunburn) supersonic sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile, which has a range of 250 km. In addition, the 3M-54 Club (SS-N-27 Sizzler) is placed on China’s Kilo-class submarines. Ukraine apparently exported 3 000 km range nuclear capable Kh-55 (AS-15 Kent) missiles to China.
Not to be outdone, South Korea announced after North Korea’s nuclear test in 2006 that it had four new land-attack cruise missiles under development with ranges between 500 and 1,500 kilometers. The South Korean press took immediate note that all of North Korea, as well as Tokyo and Beijing, would be within range of these new cruise missiles. Even Japan, a nation whose constitution renounces war and offensive forces, is toying with the prospect of acquiring land-attack cruise missiles.
Bangladesh, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam all have anti-ship cruise missiles, including the C-801, C-802, AGM-84 Harpoon, HY-2, Exocet, Gabriel, Kh-31, Kh-35, Kh-41 and Kh-59.
The development program itself appears to date back as far back as 1989, under the designation XY-41. In various US sources of the 1990s and early 2000s the missile was also referred to as The Land Attack Silkworm.
Cruise missiles give countries political and military influence disproportionate to their size. Indeed, cruise missiles are no longer the domain of the great powers and the proliferation of them is something many analysts consider to be more of a concern than the proliferation of ballistic missiles, due to their affordability, relative ease of use, availability and accuracy. Cruise missiles require less maintenance and operator training than aircraft and are comparatively cheap and reliable. Because of their relatively small size, they can be launched from a wide variety of platforms – even shipping containers.
BrahMos was an accidental venture as a consequence of the sudden demise of the Soviet Union in 1990, followed by the 1991 Gulf War which catapulted the Tomahawk cruise missile to an iconic status. On the one hand, Russia, as the Soviet inheritor state, was hard-pressed for cash and on the verge of closing down its flight-tested cruise missile programme. On the other hand, the Defence Research and Development Programme, having gained capabilities from the indigenous 1982 Integrated Guided Missile Programme, and struck by the Tomahawk success, was eager to start work on cruise missiles.
The development of 3M55/P-800 Oniks/Yakhont (SS-N-26) officially began in 1983, and in 2001 allowed the missile launching land, sea, air and underwater. It is apparently a replacement for the P-270 Moskit, but possibly also for the P-700 Granit. The breakthrough for both came with the setting-up of the BrahMos Aerospace on 12 February 1998 located in New Delhi. In a novel concept, BrahMos became a Government-owned private company with equal partnership and operational control with a share of 50.5% for the DRDO and 49.5% for the Russian NPO Mashinostroeyenia Company. India has contributed about Rs 850 crore at current exchange rates. The DRDO has spent another Rs 370 crores on developing Brahmos systems.
The newly developed cruise missile is more than a match to similar anti-ship missiles available with China. The latter has mounted Moskit anti-ship missiles on its recently acquired Soverameny-class warships. Beijing is also planning to mount its aerial version of the Moskit on its SU-27 planes. The Indian cruise missile with its supersonic speed will be able to check movements by the Chinese warships, especially in the Indian Ocean area. Besides, its extraordinary accuracy and speed increases the range of its targets. It is believed to be, the world's fastest cruise missile (Mach 3) - the BrahMos SSM. It only Entered service in 2006, and yet Russia and India are already working on ict successor - the hypersonic (Mach 7) BrahMos-II.
BrahMos can carry 300 kilograms payload at 290 kilometres (under 300 kilometres as per The Missile Technology Control Regime limit) with a speed of 2.8 Mach. However, it gas extra fuel space and when filled up, the missile has a range of 550-600 kms. How far a cruise missile will go depends on its engine; the simpler turbojet which travels short distances or the complex turbofan which can carry payloads up to thousands of kilometres. BrahMos is one of its kind which uses a combination of booster and liquid-fueled ramjet engine which gives its super-sonic speed (more than the speed of sound described as Mach One). This leads to its other advantage. With more speed than other cruise missiles, BrahMos reduces the target into smithereens with its high kinetic energy impact.
Owing to its high kinetic energy at the terminal stage, BrahMos has a high penetration potential but subject to the warhead retaining its shape during impact and penetration. The weight of its warhead, which indicates the quantum of explosive carried, indicates that the damage caused by BrahMos would be akin to one 1000-pound bomb. This is a limiting factor. The low quantity of explosives carried coupled with the fact that one aircraft would be able to carry only one weapon necessitate a high force level. In other words, a very large number of aircraft loaded with BrahMos will be required to neutralise a large target. Although BrahMos itself can be intercepted, owing to its relatively smaller RCS and high speed in the range of 2.8 to 3 Mach, interception is much more difficult than intercepting a fully loaded aircraft. This leads to a high assurance level of success of an attack.
Russia had offered to do it at a cost of $200 million (Rs 1,300 crore approx). For the first time in its history, HAL decided to absorb the design and development costs, waive the profit element and contingency costs and finalise a technology project for only Rs 80 crore. Our designers in Nashik went into the details of the challenges involved and a few months later, we confirmed we could do it. The integration of Brahmos Air Launch Cruise Missile (ALCM) greatly enhances IAF’s ability to strike heavily defended targets deep into enemy territory, up to a range of 2,100 km (or 3,900 kms with a refueller) and wide strike range of 290 km is now available from Indian borders. More than 100 Indian companies involving 20,000 specialists, engineers and technicians work on Brahmos manufacturing and technical modifications. Modification of the Su-30 MKI for Brahmos integration involved safe stores separation analysis consisting of wind tunnel and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis. Watertight NMG (numerical master geometry) of the aircraft had to be generated from 2D drawings. Structural modifications had to be within the aircraft’s centre of gravity (CG) envelope and in such a way that they did not alter vibration characteristics. Carriage and release actuation along with electrical and avionics integration was another challenge. FTI (flight test instrumentation) for the operations along with missile system software modifications also had to be undertaken. All this was done by a consortium of Indian industry led by HAL.
- (290km-range) Mark-I Air-Force version or BrahMos-1 Block-1 entered service with the Indian Navy in 2005 after a series of successful test launches starting from 2001. Being big, BrahMos cannot be fitted in the torpedo tubes of submarines.
- (290km-range) Mark-II Army version or BrahMos-1 Block-2 "land-attack" entered service with the Indian Army in 2007. It has been developed with improved seeker with target discrimination capability to act as a precision-strike weapon in a "clustered urban environment".
- (550km-range) Block-III Army version or BrahMos-1 Block-3 complex ground-launched ‘top-attack’ entered the service of Indian Army in 2014. It has a "steep-dive" capability to hit vertically those targets hidden behind mountains. With its 90-degree angle-of-attack capability, this is also being projected as an aircraft carrier killer.
It has very sharp maneuver capability to hit the target at 90-degree angles or to attack ‘right over the head’ or ‘from the top’”. This terrain hugging missile can be guided through very sharp maneuvers at supersonic speed touching upto Mach-3 (three times the speed of sound) to hit targets cradled between Himalayan peaks up to 290 km away.
Another important feature of the upgraded BrahMos missile is that it has added GPS-GLONASS technology to it. This is of vital strategic importance as GLONASS, Russia’s navigation service provider, gives India access to military signals, while the American GPS does not. It's also combined with India’s Gagan systems. The BrahMos missile for the Su-30 MKI is a combination of lethal strike with the ability of air fighting within and beyond the visibility range.
- Block-IV Army version will have a “surround capability, to hit hidden targets laterally from the side of mountains.”
It to be able to be launched by Rafale, MiG-29UPG and carrier-based MiG-29Ks, and it will also be capable of being launched from a submarine’s 533mm torpedo-tubes (X-band IMR seeker of the Nirbhay SLCM will also be used in the BrahMos-A). BrahMos-A (air-launched smaller Brahmos minus its booster) is 2.5-3 ton missile that can carry 200 kg warhead at the speed of Mach 2.8 and has a range of 290 km.
CX-1 has a radar seeker and uses a Lo-High-Lo flight profile. Chinese reports do say its range is between 50km and 280km. This means it is likely an export model to comply with the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). It is initially being marketed as a ground-launched anti-ship cruise missile that can be used in concert with other CALT products like the M-20 short-range ballistic missile and several artillery rockets, cued by unmanned aerial vehicles. Later versions are expected to be vertically-launched from ships and perhaps submarines. A longer range version may be nearing PLA Navy service entry.
Designed during the 1960s for dual role use as a nuclear armed standoff weapon equivalent to the RAF's Blue Steel, and as an anti-shipping missile with either radar or anti-radiation seekers, the Kh-22 remains in service as the primary armament of the RuAF's residual fleet of Tu-22M3 Backfires. While the Tu-95K-22 Bear G was equipped to carry up to three Kh-22s, its progressive retirement has limited use to the Backfire.
The first major contribution of OKB-52 (later called NPO Mashinostroyeniya) was a ship-launched missile. The USSR had already developed such a weapon, the "Schuka", later "P-1 KSShch", with the NATO codename "SS-N-1 Scrubber". Incidentally, "Scrubber" in British usage roughly equates to the US term "bimbo". OKB-52 was assigned to take another shot at the concept, and proved much more successful.
Because of the large variation in the accuracy of fire intended for shelling of large marine and coastal targets. Equipped with a turbojet engine RD-9B C. Tumanskiy design of KB-300 "Union" and a nuclear weapon capacity of 80 kT. In the aim to start up on the basis of the projectile ("shot - Forget") on the surface of nitrogen-filled sealed containers starting with the engine warmed up. Shooting was conducted only a single gulp, when fired one missile remaining containers were stored. Flight speed and range of a shot depend on the weather and the outside temperatures. The composition of the flight control systems in the first modifications were: AP-70 autopilot with automatic course and gyro-vertical, hour meter and a barometric altimeter. Warhead non-detachable, high-explosive or nuclear warhead.
The effort was designated "Project 5 (P-5)" and focused on development of a cruise missile for launch from submarines against ground targets. Initial flight tests of the 4K95 missile for the P-5 system were in 1957 and it was accepted for service in June 1959 on board modified pr.613 (Whiskey-class) series of P613, 644 and 665 diesel-electric submarines. NATO assigned the P-5 the code-name of "SS-N-3A Shaddock".
OKB-52's P-5 was a clean design with a pencil-like fuselage; swept wings and tail surfaces that folded for storage in its launch container; a turbojet engine fed by a split engine intake under the belly; and twin RATO boosters for launch. It had a range of 500 kilometers (310 miles) and an autonomous inertial navigation system (INS) for guidance. Given the limited accuracy of guidance systems at the time, presumably the P-5 was generally or always armed with a nuclear warhead. An improved variant, the "P-5D", with an additional Doppler radar navigation unit, was introduced to service in 1962 and was carried by ECHO I class nuclear submarines. Five ECHO Is were built, but the Red Navy soon got out of the strategic nuclear cruise missile business, and they were all converted to a pure attack configuration later in the 1960s. The P-5D was also produced as a surface-to-surface weapon for tactical use, receiving the NATO code-name of "SSC-1A Shaddock".
Even as the land-attack P-5 was being put into service, OKB-52 was working on two antiship attack variants for dealing with Western aircraft carrier task forces: the "P-35" (NATO codename "SS-N-3B Sepal") for launch from surface ships, with this variant also being produced for coastal defense (NATO codename "SSC-1B Sepal"); and the "P-6" (NATO codename "SS-N-3C Shaddock") for launch from submarines.
Initial flight tests of the P-35 began in October 1959, with tests of the P-6 beginning in December 1959. The P-35 / P-6 gave Red Navy warships and submarines a formidable equalizer against Western carrier groups to match the air-launched missiles being fielded by the Red Air Force. However, the P-35 / P-6 did require assistance from aircraft as well.
IAI (Chalet 210, Static A9) has developed Barak 8 to fulfill both land- and ship-based functions with the same missile and launcher hardware, and the same command and control functions and data links. It was designed to counter high-speed Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles. Barak 8 can also handle Chinese C-802 anti-ship missiles.
The Barak-8 is fitted with a 44-pound warhead to ensure damage or destruction in near-miss engagements. The warhead has its own seeker that can find the target despite most countermeasures. The system has a very short reaction time and a fast missile. The missiles are mounted in a three ton, eight cell container (which requires little maintenance), and has vertical launch capability with 360° coverage.
The Barak 8 can operate day and night, in all weather conditions, and successfully deals with simultaneous threats engagements, even in severe saturation scenarios. The compact (for easy installation on a ship) fire control module weighs under two tons. The land version can be mounted on trucks.
The MRSAM prototype development is being carried out under secrecy here.
MRSAM is intended to intercept enemy missiles at a range of 70 kilometers. It carries an active radar seeker and a bidirectional data link for mid-course guidance and kill assessment, an Indian Air Force official said. It will also be equipped with an advanced rotating phased array radar to provide a high-quality air situation picture. The Army requirement of MRSAM is also worth more than $2 billion.
The system gives India an upgraded version of a familiar system, extends India’s technological capabilities, fosters economic ties and integration at sub-component levels, and helps the Israelis build a new system that meets some of their own emerging requirements.
In February 2006, therefore, Israel and India signed a joint development agreement to create a new Barak-NG medium ship-borne air-defense missile, as an evolution of the Barak-1 system in service with both navies. In July 2007 the counterpart MR-SAM project began moving forward, aiming to develop a medium range SAM for use with India’s land forces. Both missiles would now be called Barak-8.
In fact, a second variant called the Medium-Range SAM (MR-SAM) is also being developed for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a cost of $ 2.2 billion. The project, signed in 2009, is expected to replace all the IAF’s aging Soviet-made Pechora SAM missiles. Besides this, a 100 kilometres range theatre defence version called the Extended Range SAM is being developed for the four Project 15B destroyers as well.
The MRSAM missiles are scheduled to equip the three Kolkata class (Project 15A) guided missile destroyers currently under construction at the Mazagon shipyards in India. These vessels will be delivered to the Indian Navy in 2012 and their Barak-8 systems are expected to become operational a year later in 2013. Four additional Kolkata class destroyers (Project15B) will be equipped with an extended range version of the missile (ER-SAM) capable of intercepting targets at a range of 100 km.
Barak 8 have incorporated an advanced multi-function electronically scanning array that continuously covers 360 degree, thereby providing a defensive shield in all directions while simultaneously functioning in target acquisition and surface search modes. In principle, each destroyer could provide air cover for a large battle group, or share defence assets with other surface combatants, to best respond to aerial or missile threats.
MR-SAM’s total would be 10 C2 centers, 18 acquisition radars, 18 guidance radars, and 54 launchers, armed with 432 ready-to-fire missiles. Some reports have placed total missile orders as high as 2,000, which would add a significant reserve stockpile to replenish missiles in any conflict.
India's Meteor or Tomhawk BVRAAM, the Astra missile programme is headed by DRDO since 2003. Since independence, due to the absence of a low-cost indigenous BVRAAM, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has imported French, Russian and British missiles on its fighters. The goal of this programme is to provide the Indian Air Force (IAF) with an indigenously-designed beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile to equip the IAF’s Mirage 2000, MiG-29, Su-30MKI and the future Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Astra its amongst the DRDO’s biggest technological challenges. After its initial poor performance, Astra was sent back to drawing board and has now an altogether new design.
The missile features a terminal active radar seeker with updates to track targets. It can intercept aircraft moving at supersonic speeds for 80-km range in head-on mode and 20 km-range in tail-chase mode. The 3.8 metres long missile, which has launch weight about 154 kg, uses solid-fuel propellant and a 15 kg high-explosive warhead, activated by a radio proximity fuse, spraying the target with shrapnel and shooting it down. The Astra is fired from the Russian Vympel launcher – a rail under a fighter aircraft’s wing from which the missile hangs, and is launched. The Vympel launcher is integrated with all 4 of India’s current generation fighters --- the Su-30MKI, MiG-29, Mirage 2000 and the Tejas – allowing the Astra to be fired from all of them. A typical Astra BVRAAM engagement has both the launcher and the target moving at speeds in excess of 1,000 km/hr. This missile’s seeker head – a key component of most tactical missiles – is still imported. With the Indian Air Force operating 600-700 fighter aircraft, there will be a need for several thousand Astra missiles. With air-to-air missiles costing in the region of $2 million each.
It has the reliability of high Single Shot Kill Probability (SSKP) factor, all weather capability with active radar terminal guidance, excellent Electronic Counter Counter-Measures (ECCM) features, smokeless propulsion and effectiveness in multi-target scenario. Described as the most advanced missile in its class, the 154-kg single-stage, solid-fuel driven Astra has a smokeless propellant and the missile is expected to enter service by the middle of this decade.
“The basic Astra design uses a metallic airframe with a long low aspect-ratio wing and a single-stage smokeless rocket motor. After launch, the missile will use a combination of inertial mid-course guidance and/or data-linked targeting updates before it enters its terminal acquisition phase. In a head-on engagement, the Astra will have a maximum range of 80 km. The missile’s onboard radio-frequency seeker has been largely designed in India but currently incorporates Ku-band 'Agat' seeker (also used on the RVV-AE, the export version of R-77 missile) imported from Russia. It will have an autonomous homing range of 15 km. The missile’s warhead is a pre-fragmented directional unit, fitted with a proximity fuze. A radar fuze already exists for the Astra, but the DRDO is currently working on a new laser fuze. According to the DRDO, the first ground-launched aerodynamic trials of the Astra will begin within the first half of this year. This will be followed by the next phase of controlled in-flight test launches.”
Development of this missile is likely to take about 7 to 8 years. Unconfirmed reports state that the first ground-launched ballistic tests of the Astra airframe are planned for 2003. The Mirage 2000H has been designated as the first potential platform for the Astra when the weapon enters service at the end of this decade.
The Astra missile uses a terminal active radar-seeker to find targets and a mid-course internal guidance system with updates, to track targets. Its anti-electronic countermeasures features and its on-board Electronic Counter-Counter Measures capability allows it to jam radar signals from an enemy surface-to-air battery, ensuring that the missile is not tracked or shot down.
The missile is 3.8 metres long and is said to be configured like a longer version of the Super 530D, narrower in front of the wings. This indigenous missile is intended to have performance characteristics similar to the R-77RVV-AE (AA-12), which currently forms part of the IAF’s missile armoury.
Although designed to use a locally-developed high-energy, solid-fuel, smokeless propellant, which has the capability to follow targets with complicated manoeuvres. Astra uses a HTPB solid-fuel smokeless propellant and a 15 kg HE (high-explosive) warhead, at Mach 4 speed, activated by a proximity fuse. DRDO is also looking at rocket/ramjet propulsion to provide greater range and enhanced kinematic performance.
This single stage, solid fuelled, 3.8 metre long missile is capable of cruising at various altitudes while evading radar and intercepting and engaging the ‘supersonic targets’ by manoeuvring its speed accordingly. The missile has a maximum speed of Mach 4+ and a maximum altitude of 20 km. The missile has been designed to engage high-speed targets at short range, up to 20 km in tail chase mode and long range, up to 80 km in head-on chase mode. At sea level, it has a range of up to 20 km but has a range of 44 km if launched from an altitude of 8,000 metres and 80 km when fired from an altitude of 15,000 metres. The missile can reportedly undertake 40 g turns close to sea level, when attacking a manoeuvring target.
A young team of DRDO engineers, aged between 25 and 35, was behind Astra’s 3 consecutive successes. They “struck a balance between the stability, controllability and agility of the missile, its vehicle dynamics, control algorithms and on-board technology”, Project Director, S. Venugopal said.
Astra components that the DRDO has successfully developed indigenously include the data link between aircraft and missile, its on-board computer, inertial navigation system, the radio proximity fuze, and the fibre-optic gyroscope. Eventually, Ku-band seekers imported from Russia will be replaced with new-generation Ka-band seekers with greater seeker sensitivity & accuracy. A Ka-band seeker is being locally developed, but will take a decade to be usable.
India has already developed a dual-pulse rocket motor (enhances the range) for Astra Mk-II with a range of over 100 Km. It will have a state-of-the-art ring-laser gyro.
Astra-2 project, which began as far back as 2009, is a tech-treat considering the miniaturization of the systems, including on-board computer, data links for transmitter/receiver and rotary electro-mechanical actuators. A smokeless, non-metallized high-specific impulse propellant was developed for the rocket motor.
The missile currently uses Ku-band 'Agat' seeker (also used on the RVV-AE, the export version of R-77 missile), imported from Russia, which will be produced locally in India through a total transfer-of-technology process. The development program will see about 100-plus missiles produced initially, thanks to the two variants and different platforms.
Astra BVRAAM will be ready for its first flight trails from the Indian Air Force's Su-30MKI fighter jet in 2013. Indian defense giant DRDO plans to develop two versions, Astra Mk-1 with range of 50 km & Astra Mk-II with range of 100 km.
A mother missile acts as a “force multiplier” and to achieve the desired result, each miniaturised missile will have a seeker to ensure its independent motion, irrespective of the mother missile's motion.
Seekers, which are of 2 types — radio-frequency and infra-red, enable a missile to acquire, track and home in on to the target. They are required for all tactical missiles (less than 300 km range). The missile will use Ku-band 'Agat' seeker (also used on the RVV-AE, the export version of R-77 missile) imported Russia which will be produced in India through a total transfer-of-technology process. The development programe will see about 100-plus missiles produced intially, thanks to the two variants and different platforms. Eventually, Ku-band seekers will be replaced with new-generation Ka-band seekers with greater seeker sensitivity & accuracy. A Ka-band seeker is being locally developed, but will take a decade to be usable.
Unguided rockets are too inaccurate to be used for long-range or precision attacks, and so in the postwar period new air-to-surface missiles (ASMs) were built with guidance systems to provide them with much greater effectiveness. This chapter provides a description of guided tactical ASMs.
It is an anti-air multi-target, all weather, fire-and-forget short and medium altitude range missile system. It is intended for use both by air platforms as individual missiles as well as ground units and ships, which can be equipped with the rapid fire MICA Vertical Launch System. It is fitted with a thrust vector control (TVC) system.
MICA is unique among Western AAMs as it is built in two interoperable missile versions: the passive dual waveband imaging infrared (IR)-guided MICA IR and the active-guided (active radio frequency) MICA EM, where the type of guidance can be selected at the very last moment before launch, gives the fighter pilot a very flexible and comprehensive all-sector short range to Beyond Visual Range capability.
The tactics to evade RF or IR missiles are very different; as a result MICA has become known as the ‘silent killer’ as a targeted aircraft is highly unlikely to pick up that it is under attack. The weapon system has an additional advantage in its LOAL (Lock On After Launch) capability allowing an enemy approaching in the rear sector to be effectively engaged without the need for an ensuing dogfight.
Being operable with or without data link target designation updating, according to MBDA, MICA family mix offers BVR multi-target/multi-shoot; enhance short range and maximum flexibility for multi-role/swing-role aircraft. With a 3.1 m length, 112 kg weight, the thrust-vectoring control (VTC) provides an unusual combination of BVR and close combat capability in the same missile.
In January 2012, the Indian Ministry of Defence signed a contract for the procurement of 493 MICA AAM for Indian air force’s 51 Mirage 2000H.
MATRA Magic missile, with its unusual fin configuration, was capable of outflying any other air-to-air missile of its day with the sole exception of the Phoenix. It's Butalane composite propellant rapidly accelerates this missile to an incredible Mach 4.5, and sustains this speed for four seconds until burnout. At this speed the long low-aspect wings are not necessary, as maneuvering is performed by the rather strangely shaped tail surfaces. It is the heavyweight of the Matra line, weighing approximately 529 pounds at launch.
Its new dual-band waveband Focal Plane Array (FPA) imaging seeker gives superior detection range, improved target discrimination against background clutter and a lower false target acquisition rate. Python-5 is powered by a solid propellant rocket engine. The propulsion system provides a speed of Mach 4 and an operational range of more than 20km. The Python-5 has many more control surfaces than the ASRAAM, which is a problem. It’s also 15-20 kg heavier than the ASRAAM, which is another problem for platforms where weight is a major issue.
The R-27 missiles are intended to intercept and defeat aircraft and helicopters of all types, unmanned reconnaissance aircraft and cruise missiles under active enemy electronic jamming, counteractions and manoeuvring. There are produced some variants of the AA-10 "Alamo" with two different seeker types - semi-active radar-homing and infrared, and two types of engines - with standard and extended range engine.
The R-27 missiles have a modular design, thus missile can be easily converted from semi-active radarhoming to infrared just replacing the seeker module. The R-27 is manufactured in infrared-homing (R-27T), semi-active-radar-homing (R-27R), and active-radar-homing (R-27AE) versions, in both Russia and the Ukraine. The Chinese versions have a different active radar seeker taken from the Vympel R-77 missile.
The R-27 is an older missile type, but it has upgraded seekers, and an upgraded rocket motor giving it a much longer range than before. MiG-29Ks cannot carry heavy A2A missiles like the Novator or the RVV-BD, so this R-27 buy is a stopgap measure while the armed forces await the Astra and the ramjet-Adder. As to why the R-27 was bought; For one, it is a long range A2A missile that is still potent against bulkier targets and possibly older fighter-types that neighbouring airforces operates. For another, the IN Air Arm, like the IAF, seems to be training of a Russian-type of doctrine, where you overwhelm enemies with multiple types of missiles. A typical A2A load-out would see the aircraft equiped with 2-4 R-73s, and an equal mix of R-27s and R-77s. An active radar homing R-77 and a heat-seeking R-27 would be fired in tandem to taken down the enemy aircraft with a two-fold attack.
All R-27 missiles have a minimum range of fire in 0.5 - 1 km and carry 39 kg weight expanding rod warheads. The R-27RE, R-27ER1 production standard, is a medium range, semi-active radar guided missile with a maximum range of 60 kilometers. It is powered by a single two-mode solid rocket providing a top speed of Mach 4 and increased range compared to R-27R1. The longer range was also aimed at engaging Western Early Airborne Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft such as E-2 Hawkeye and E-3 Sentry. Compared to the basic R-27R, it is wider at the two-mode solid rocket section. The operational status of its new upgrades with passive seekers is unknown.
CHINA: While imported Russian R-27 / AA-10 Alamo, R-73 / AA-11 Archer and R-77 / AA-12 Adder AAMs are primarily used with the imported Russian built Su-27SK / J-11A and Su-30MKK/MK3 Flankers,
indigenous Chinese built weapons are dominant across the Chinese built fleets of J-10A/S Sinocanard, J-11B Sino-Flanker, J-8 Finback, J-7 Fishbed, J-6 Farmer, A-5/Q-5 Fantan, and JH-7 Flying Leopard.
China manufactures only two Beyond Visual Range (BVR) guided AAMs, the active radar guided PL-12/SD-10 “Sino-AMRAAM” and a reverse engineered semi-active radar guided Selenia Aspide Mk.1, designated the PL-11.
Russia has never actually bought R-77s for their own air force. Ever since that Indian batch of R-77s went bad, there hasn't been much demand for it. The missiles are the result of a deal China signed with Russia in 2000 in order to arm Sukhoi Su-30MK two-seater multi-role fighters it bought. While the program, called Project 129 or R129, will draw on critical technologies from the R-77, it will have an indigenously developed airframe. It also will be coupled with a Chinese propulsion unit.
It can be used also against medium and long range air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-54 Phoenix as well as SAMs such as the Patriot. Latest generation fighters are to utilize the R-77 from internal carriage where the control fins and surfaces will fold flat until the missile is catapulted clear of the aircraft for motor ignition.
The AA-12 has rectangular narrow span wings and a distinctive set of four rectangular control surfaces at the rear. similar to the configuration used on the terminal control fins of the SS-21 'Scarab' and SS-23 'Spider' ballistic missiles. These unique control surfaces feature reduced flow separation at high angles of attack, producing greater aerodynamic moment force than conventional control surfaces.
Work on the R-77 began in 1982 and was considered quite significant and secret since it represented Russia's first fully multi-purpose missile for both tactical and strategic aircraft for fire-and-forget employment against everything from hovering helicopters to high speed, low altitude aircraft. It was intended to replace the R-60 (AA-8) missile.
The host radar system maintains computed target information in case the target breaks the missile's lock-on. If the seeker is jammed, it switches automatically to a passive mode and homes on the source of jamming.
The missile can also be used from internal carriages where the control fins and surfaces will fold flat until it is catapulted clear of the aircraft for motor ignition.
Its range puts it in the long-range class and is equivalent to that of the AIM-54 Phoenix. In another version of the R-77, a terminal infra-red homing seeker is offered. The use of IR tracking in the terminal mode might be logical because at extended ranges the data link between the launch fighter and the missile might be interrupted, or the host radar may not detect jamming.
The R-77 (AA-12 Adder) is an active radar-homing, all-aspect, all-weather, medium-range air-to-air missile (MRAAM) developed by the Russian Vympel Design Bureau. The PLAAF received a small number of the Vymple R-77E (AA-12 Adder) MRAAM in 2001 along with the first batch of the Su-30MKK fighter it ordered from Russia.
It was developed by "Vympel" design bureau since 1980s and entered service with Russian army in 1994. It is believed that it will be the standard Russian fighter aircraft missile. NATO countries designated it as the AA-12 "Adder".
It has an active radar homing seeker and alike the R-27 medium-range missile it is guided to a certain point with the help of a data link. But then it uses an onboard radar to illuminate the target and steers towards it. Similar to the AIM-120 AMRAAM it gives the pilot a certain "fire and forget" capability. One more interesting detail is that it's NATO unofficial designation is "AMRAAMski". Missile has a range of fire in 0.5 - 150 kilometers.
The R-77's main superiority compared to the AIM-120B/C is in range and manoeuvrability. The R-77 is bigger than the AIM-120, and carries more powerful propellant. The range of the R-77 is between 50km and 80km depending on the model. The R-77’s unique “potato masher” fins at the rear provides lower drag at supersonic speeds than large fins, and are able to cause the missile to turn much faster at 12G, which is significantly more than most crewed aircraft at 9G. The missile’s speed is limited to Mach 3 due to excessive nose-cone heating.
The R-77 became a base for the R-77E featuring extended range and even more improved R-77M. The last mentioned is completed with a different engine and has a greater weight. Relying on official sources the R-77 has a range of fire in 200 kilometers. This missile is expected to be in service not earlier than 2007.
Recently besides Russian air forces the R-77 missile were exported and are operational in India, Malaysia and Peru. The R-77 BVRAAM is currently operational with the Indian Air Force's Su-30MKI and MiG-21Bison combat aircraft, and will in future also be on-board the Indian Navy's MiG-29K, as well as on the 'Tejas' LCA and on the IAF's to-be-upgraded MiG-29s.
Even the Israeli Python-5 offers Lock-on After Launch (LOAL) and also off-boresight capability of greater than 90 degrees as compared to 60 degrees on the R-73 .
The ubiquitous AIM-9 Sidewinder is without doubt the most important heat-seeking missile of the last three decades, seeing service in every engagement between Western powers and their adversaries since the 1950s.
Raytheon’s deadly accurate AIM-120C3-C7 Advanced, Medium-Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) F3R (Form Fit Function Refresh program) has become the world market leader for medium range air-to-air missiles, and is also beginning to make inroads within land-based defense systems. It was designed with the lessons of Vietnam in mind, and of local air combat exercises like ACEVAL and Red Flag.
AMRAAM entered service in 1992 to fix all the reliability and ease-of-use problems that cursed the AIM-7. But AMRAAM has only had a few opportunities to be used in combat but over half of those launched have been extremely accurate when launch at short distance and low altitude. The AIM-120D version entered service five years ago, has longer range, greater accuracy, and resistance to countermeasures. So far AMRAAMs have spent nearly 2 million hours hanging from the wings of jet fighters in flight. These missiles cost about a million dollars each. They are complex mechanical, electronic, and chemical systems and each of them, on average, suffers a component failure every 1,500 hours.
The ubiquitous AIM-9 Sidewinder is without doubt the most important heat-seeking missile of the last three decades, seeing service in every engagement between Western powers and their adversaries since the 1950s. Copied by the Communists as the K-13/AA-2 Atoll, the Sidewinder has had a profound influence on the design of modern heat-seekers and is much the yardstick against which such missiles are judged today. MBDA UK’s AIM-132 ASRAAM, RAFAEL of Israel’s Python 5, the multinational German-led IRIS-T, and Russia’s R73 (AA-11) Archer. So far, only American fighter types can use AIM-9X missiles because the AIM-9X is all-digital and aircraft that want to fire it need integration work to make them fully compatible but that hasn't stopped a slew of export requests and sales, especially in the Middle East.
The AIM-9M is a long-term performer in the Sidewinder family of missiles. The AIM-9M is a cost-effective, infrared-tracking, short-range, air-to-air missile adaptable to multiple applications. The M model has improved capability against infrared countermeasures, enhanced background discrimination capability, and a reduced-smoke rocket motor. These modifications increase its ability to locate and lock-on to a target and decrease the missile's chances for detection.
The UK working with the aft end of the ASRAAM and Germany developing the seeker (Germany had first hand experience improving the Sidewinder seeker of the AIM-9J or AIM-9F). By 1990, technical and funding issues had stymied ASRAAM and the problem appeared stalled so in light of the threat of AA-11 and improved IRCM, the US embarked on determining requirements for AIM-9X as a counter to both the AA-11 and improving the IRCCM features. The first draft of the requirement was ready by 1991 and the primary competitors were Raytheon and Hughes. Later, the UK resolved to revive the ASRAAM development and selected Hughes to provide the seeker technology in the form of a high off-boresight capable Focal Plane Array.
The AIM-9X is the newest member in the family of AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range missiles produced by Raytheon, and it replaces the AIM-9M and includes a lock-on-after-launch feature. It is an infrared air-to-air missile primarily developed for the US Air Force and the US Navy. The AIM-9X features a fifth generation staring focal plane array IR seeker with a High Off-Boresight (HOBS) capability. AIM-9X is an advanced IR missile. It is mounted on a highly maneuverable (thrust vectored) airframe, along with digital guidance and IR signal processing that results in enhanced acquisition ranges, greatly improved infrared counter-countermeasures capability, a unidirectional forward-quarter data-link and extremely high off-boresight engagement zones for unprecedented first shot/first kill air-to-air performance. The AIM-9X is currently in service with over 40 countries across the world.
The Block II is the latest version of the air-to-air anti aircraft combat missile, built by war technology giant Raytheon. With the X-2 the pilot can launch the missile before he has located the target via the JHMCS, saving a critical few seconds. On the maintenance end, the AIM-9X avoids the need for argon cooling, and the missiles are field reprogrammable rather than forcing a hardware swap out of the circuit cards. The current Block II AIM-9X already overlaps some of the range capability of the more powerful Raytheon AIM-120D AMRAAM.
Block III to be a supplemental BVR weapon for situations where friendly fighters are faced with electronic attacks that degrade with radar-guided weapons: AIM-9X short-range AAM Block III has evolved towards a long-range weapon system capable to overlap the range of the AMRAAM missile in order to overcome the adversary advanced digital radio frequency memory (DRFM) jammers being used against AMRAAM BVRAAM active RF seeker guidance. “DRFM jammers have the potential to blind the AMRAAM’s onboard radar, which makes the AIM-9X’s passive imaging infra-red guidance system a useful alternative means to defeat those threats.
In 2011 Norway discovered that the ATK ammunition manufacturer's AIM-120 missiles & Sparrow missiles, rocket motor were defective. The problem here was that when the rocket motors were exposed to very cold conditions (as would happen when an aircraft is flying at a high altitude) they become unreliable. It was caused by a changes in the formula for the rocket propellant to comply with environmental regulations. This caused delays in deliveries to Taiwan, the UAE, Finland, South Korea, Morocco, Chile, Jordan, Kuwait, Singapore, and Turkey. It took over two years to sort all this out. Raytheon added some warranty and financial sweeteners for impatient customers waiting for their long delayed missiles. The military accuses the manufacturers of cozy up to members of Congress. Cancelling orders and taking manufacturers to court has not eliminated the problems.
The reticle seeker is the most common optical system design employed in conventional heat seeking missiles. Invented by the Germans during the latter phase of WW2, the reticle seeker provides a means of using a single detector element to produce an error signal in rectangular coordinates, with respect to a point target somewhere within the cone which represents the field of view of the seeker. But German Ruhrstahl X-4, air-to-air rockets had never proven particularly effective.
The U.S. Naval Ordnance Test Station at China Lake in California’s Mojave Desert, a few dozen gadgeteers under physicist William B. McLean were toying with lead-sulfide proximity fuzes that were sensitive to the infrared radiation generated by heat. China Lake’s directive was R&D, not weapon design, and critics derisively referred to his lab as “McLean’s Hobby Shop.” But that didn't stop his little team from completely revolutionizing air warfare.
The final design was indeed simple: a parabolic mirror spinning gyroscopically at 4,200 rpm inside the rocket’s transparent nose. The distance of an infrared blip’s reflection from the axis of spin indicated its angle-off; current from the centrally mounted lead-sulfide detector kept the “eye” on target via electromagnets around its rim and controlled the missile’s canard guide fins. Since missile roll would interfere with the gyro’s spin, on the fly McLean’s team invented “rollerons”—tailfin-mounted, airstream-driven gyro wheels whose spin counteracted the missile’s. The crowning touch, however, was wiring the seeker to aim not where the target was, but where it would be. In dogfights the missile itself would take on enemy aircraft on their own terms: seek them out, run them down and outmaneuver them to make the kill.
Just 5 years later, under the code name “Operation Black Magic,” Americans in F-100 Super Sabres were simulating Red Chinese Frescos, teaching Taiwanese Nationalist pilots “pitch-up” Sidewinder launches against high-altitude targets. The new MiG-17 “Fresco” pilots were about to get a nasty surprise. In late September the Sabres took on new, American-supplied weaponry—needle-like, 9-foot-long rockets that were barb-tipped and finned, with delicate glass noses instead of steel warheads. The new rocket had no wires, no radio, no way for the pilot to guide it after launch. Yet it was equipped with movable fins. It could change course. For the Taiwanese pilots the conclusion was inescapable, if unbelievable: The Americans had created a missile that could seek out and destroy the enemy on its own.
To Target AEW/AWAC Type High Value Aircrafts, tanker, and maritime patrol aircraft, giving an air force the ability to attack these vital assets without having to engage their fighter escorts. Enhanced-range versions have also been suggested as possible anti-satellite weapons.
The K-100 has an enlarged (350 mm or 14 in) derivative of the Agat 9B-1103M seeker used in the Vympel R-27 (AA-10 'Alamo'). It has a lock-on range of 40 km, described by an Agat designer as "one fifth or less of the overall range".
(previously, the missile has had various names, including Izdeliye 172, AAM-L (RVV-L), KS–172, KS-1, 172S-1 and R-172 but development stalled in the mid-1990s for lack of funds.)