MMRCA 2.0 - Updates and Discussions

What is your favorite for MMRCA 2.0 ?

  • F-35 Blk 4

    Votes: 29 12.6%
  • Rafale F4

    Votes: 182 78.8%
  • Eurofighter Typhoon T3

    Votes: 3 1.3%
  • Gripen E/F

    Votes: 6 2.6%
  • F-16 B70

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • F-18 SH

    Votes: 10 4.3%
  • F-15EX

    Votes: 8 3.5%
  • Mig-35

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    231
How So, please Elaborate?

The US funded and trained Pakistan's military. Pretty much everything they had came via aid in the 50s and 60s. The minute they thought they were ready, the Pakistanis declared war on India. The rest is history.

Suffice to say it's one of the few wars, perhaps the only war, where American equipment performed badly against what the world thought was an inferior adversary in both equipment and training, considering the 1962 debacle and Nehru's weak foreign policy.

Then the US funded and trained Pak's proxy soldiers. They used the same on India, and we took care of that too.
 
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If the enemy has higher quantity and quality of fighters how to respond?
I feel small batch of on par aircraft ( rafale)
Large number of platforms on air to give atleast a decent fight in association with IACCS is needed.

Next order should be 36 Rafale + 83 LCA mk 2
( more number s of mk2 needed but engine no. Ordered is only 99)

Like the previous order of 36 rafale + 83 mk1A

Based on the info we have, we know we need another order of 36 Rafales. But what's really in store this decade is something only the IAF can answer.

Realistically, the IAF's current plan envisions getting new combat capabilities in the fighter stream only after 2030.

Do they think their new SAMs are enough? Possibly. It's also possible that they believe air defence is less of an issue because their main focus will be ground strike in support of the IA, something which CDS Rawat had touched upon, which invited criticism at the time. It's very likely that what he said was true.

Let's look at things holistically. The USAF has claimed that even with the B-21 and NGAD the Chinese cannot be defeated in the air. That the airspace will remain contested during a hot war. So, if the USAF is claiming that, then what chance does the IAF have?

So it's very likely possible that the Rafale still won't be enough to fight the Chinese without bringing in whole new set of alternative capabilities, like drones and new surveillance technologies. And introducing those new capabilities could only happen post-2030, around the time the IAF expects the MRFA, AMCA and LCA Mk2 to deliver.

When it comes to supporting the ground forces, even a Combat Hawk can do that in some cases, never mind our existing lot of fighter jets. CAS and interdiction are more about weapons than platforms. And we have enough fighter jets to perform this mission, while the 36 Rafales are sufficient to take out a handful of the most important targets, like fixed and mobile radar stations, C&C nodes and Corps HQs. So there's not going to be much point in bumping that up to 72 jets. The remaining deep strike capabilities can come in via the IA's upcoming IRF, apart from the standoff capabilities the IAF already has. The PLAAF could be in the same boat as the IAF.

Basically, it appears IADS has advanced to the point where both sides have to resort to flinging missiles at each other to get anything done. Case in point, the sudden interest in bombers. While ACM Raha talked about the Tu-160, the Americans have brought the B-1 twice to India.

Otoh, most of the spending focus this decade has shifted over to the IN and IA. Given the circumstances, these two wings are the ones whose victories are most important.
 
The actual minimum requirement would be 90 odd Rafales + 350 odd MKIs in Super Sukhoi configuration for the LAC in primary roles ( I won't bring up the secondary roles or the western front here ) . It's both doable within budget & within the T/L of 2030 . Will we do it? Of course not.

What the IAF's threat perceptions are & how they plan to deal with it is something only they & God knows ?! In the event , let me point out , of all the services , their record , apart from individual feats of bravery & dashing , over the 4-5 wars we've fought has been the most chequered. Their handling of the entire post Balakot scenario is a case in point. The less said about how they were caught napping in the initial stages of the 1965 war & the losses on the ground we took , is also illustrative of the larger point I'm making. Suffice to say in the light of their past performances, IMO they don't inspire much confidence . Just my 2 cents .

Their plan as of now is to fight a defensive war across the LAC for which they need to adhere to 2-3 principles namely have a robust networked AF including an IADS which is well stocked , a sizeable inventory of TBMs /BMs / GLCMs / IRBMs , delivery platforms in numbers ( as given above which is the bare minimum keeping all constraints as we suffer from today in mind ) & adequate numbers of PGMs. including ALCMs . I would be tempted to add ISR to this list too along with space based assets but to a large extent this would be catered to by the US & it's allies in so far as the space assets go . As far as our own ISR goes the writing is on the wall .

Do we check all the items mentioned above in adequate numbers ? No . Will we in the run up to the T/L of 2030 . I've my doubts . It's just come to my notice that the Shaurya will be a strategic missile under the SFC which effectively means we lack the ability to target industrial & population centres in South , Central & Eastern China using conventional missiles. We need a 3-4 missile inventory in the form of IADS for every aircraft - rotary or winged the PLAAF features . That's a minimum requirement of 15-20,000 IADS of various shapes sizes & roles . Once again , do we have them in our inventory as of today ? No . Will we in the run up to the T/L of 2030 . I've my doubts .

This defensive war by it's very definition would entail eschewing going head on with the PLAAF & focusing on CAS & deep strikes across the LAC which means a guerrilla war fought in the air much like what the Ukrainians are doing now 10x . This also means ceding air superiority to PLAAF which will not be comprehensive but subjective . How subjective is in itself a matter of debate but here again given our relative weakness in other domains of what constitutes air warfare & supporting elements peculiar to this theatre as the Rocket Force we're raising makes the subjective part of this debate less & less subjective.

The other problem we'd face with this strategy is we go up against a China which in itself will be a well networked AF with overwhelming superiority in numbers & PGMs including ALCMs & a formidable inventory of IADS & IST including the space based assets all of which will be well networked with each other apart from a formidable Rocket Force with a huge inventory of conventional TBMs / BMs / GLCMs / IRBMs .

As regards the US sizing up Chinese air assets relative to its own , let's not forget the war os being waged on or near China's territory not the US . Besides even without the B-21 or the NGAD & to this let me add the F-35s the US air component remains a frightful war machine anybody can underestimate at their own peril. Let's also take what the USAF gives out in public with a pinch of salt . We don't know how much of it is an accurate assessment & how much is for the ears of the administration & Congress to up the budget .

We still have time on our side to make amends but given the way the IAF has gone about it's business makes me sick to the core. Usually In not as cynical or even nihilistic in my beliefs but I've a very ugly feeling about how the IAF is going to perform in air battles across the LAC . Let me add I'd be absolutely delighted to be proven wrong by the IAF whenever this confrontation occurs .
 
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Both India and China have capable IADS with limited capabilities to attack it. Plus the Indian side has the Himalayan advantage. So it will be a contested airspace.
 
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Going ahead that "Himalayan advantage" could well turn into a Himalayan Blunder if we keep telling ourselves that & it'd be just another repetition of history - the first time as a tragedy & the second as a farce.
 
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Going ahead that "Himalayan advantage" could well turn into a Himalayan Blunder if we keep telling ourselves that & it'd be just another repetition of history - the first time as a tragedy & the second as a farce.
Integrated advance IADS is very complicated to defeat even for more modern planes. One area where we have made a rapid progress in the last few years is air defence. Procurement of both MRSAM and S-400 has really given us the breathing space against the Chinese.

IAF is also one of the most net-centric fighter force. If all our fighters are data-linked with our SAMs, then S-400 or MRSAM's radar will see and MKI will shoot. They will shoot and MKI will guide.

With more Rafale and MKI MLU, our force projection should improve further.
 
Tinkering with the geometry of a 5th gen fighter would likely come with a stealth penalty.

Also, we need more rafales, not another Russian jet.
More Rafales are definitely needed. But to regain air-dominance over China(which MKI did throughout last 2 decades), Su-57MKI is imperative.

There is only a limit beyond which 4th gen, no matter how advance cease to remain effective against VLO. Su-57M is a stealth killer bird. J-20 could be properly countered by it.
 
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More Rafales are definitely needed. But to regain air-dominance over China(which MKI did throughout last 2 decades), Su-57MKI is imperative.

There is only a limit beyond which 4th gen, no matter how advance cease to remain effective against VLO. Su-57M is a stealth killer bird. J-20 could be properly countered by it.
The "su-57 mki" won't come in any meaningful number by the time conflict with China kicks off. The capabilities of the su-57 itself are super suspect and investing it will only serve to massively setback relations with the West and stunt indigenous projects. Invest into more Rafales and develop local solutions for 5th gen and beyond fighters. Tie into European/Korean/Japanese projects if technical assistance is required.

It is beyond time that India graduates from its cold war mentality. Russia is not the Soviet Union. There is no future with Russia beyond extracting raw resources on the cheap and selling whatever finished consumer goods the Russians can't manufacture.
 
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The "su-57 mki" won't come in any meaningful number by the time conflict with China kicks off. The capabilities of the su-57 itself are super suspect and investing it will only serve to massively setback relations with the West and stunt indigenous projects. Invest into more Rafales and develop local solutions for 5th gen and beyond fighters. Tie into European/Korean/Japanese projects if technical assistance is required.

It is beyond time that India graduates from cold war mentality. Russia is not the Soviet Union. There is no future with Russia beyond extracting raw resources on the cheap and selling whatever finished consumer goods the Russians can't manufacture.
We've already sunk in 250 m USD as costs way back. If there's something to be gained you can bet IAF / MoD / GoI will definitely look into it. Besides we've old scores to settle with the Russkies.

The INS Vikramaditya / Adm Gorshkov saga where they literally squeezed & twisted out our balls extracting 2.5 b USD after initially pitching it to us for some 500-600 m USD then selling us scrap & a DoA Naval FA which incidentally was a very poor adaptation of a potent air platform was just one of the many episodes of their extortion albeit the most publicised version going on since the 1970's.

You think our guys would like to forget & forgive? Would you?
 
We've already sunk in 250 m USD as costs way back. If there's something to be gained you can bet IAF / MoD / GoI will definitely look into it. Besides we've old scores to settle with the Russkies.

The INS Vikramaditya / Adm Gorshkov saga where they literally squeezed & twisted out our balls extracting 2.5 b USD after initially pitching it to us for some 500-600 m USD then selling us scrap & a DoA Naval FA which incidentally was a very poor adaptation of a potent air platform was just one of the many episodes of their extortion albeit the most publicised version going on since the 1970's.

You think our guys would like to forget & forgive? Would you?
This is the sunk-cost fallacy thinking. Trying to squeeze value out of a dead-beat is a lost cause. Sometimes investments don't go as planned, it's better to cut losses and move on.

The only way I see this working is if India can somehow squeeze tech transfers out of Russia without massively investing in Russian defence production/research and then convincing Western powers to turn a blind eye. Easier said than done and personally not worth jeopardizing Western economic investments.
 
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This is the sunk-cost fallacy thinking. Trying to squeeze value out of a dead-beat is a lost cause. Sometimes investments don't go as planned, it's better to cut losses and move on.

Which is why I qualified my statement with if they find value... The IAF & DRDO knows a bit about the Su-57 more than most other Air Forces in the world as they were associated with the program. We'd have to trust their judgment in the matter especially since they're already flying what's probably the best 4.5th Gen FA in the Rafales.

The only way I see this working is if India can somehow squeeze tech transfers out of Russia without massively investing in Russian defence production/research and then convincing Western powers to turn a blind eye. Easier said than done and personally not worth jeopardizing Western economic investments.

There won't be any investment but the Russians have quite a lot to offer by way of N tech as far as N powered terrestrial reactors go, SSNs / SSGNs / SSBNs along with their propulsion system especially their miniature N reactors powering those subs, MIRV ICBMs, Hypersonic CMs, Space tech etc.

All transactions would be on a strictly cash & carry basis. Besides the West won't part with these technologies.
 
Which is why I qualified my statement with if they find value... The IAF & DRDO knows a bit about the Su-57 more than most other Air Forces in the world as they were associated with the program. We'd have to trust their judgment in the matter especially since they're already flying what's probably the best 4.5th Gen FA in the Rafales.



There won't be any investment but the Russians have quite a lot to offer by way of N tech as far as N powered terrestrial reactors go, SSNs / SSGNs / SSBNs along with their propulsion system especially their miniature N reactors powering those subs, MIRV ICBMs, Hypersonic CMs, Space tech etc.

All transactions would be on a strictly cash & carry basis. Besides the West won't part with these technologies.

Conditionally agreed. The circumstances you are speaking about are different from what is being tabled though.

It will probably be a few more years before Russian state power has collapsed to the point that they outright trade tech for cash. This is something India can look forward to but should not base it's current-near term defence upgrades/acquisitions on. There is an immediate and pressing need that needs to be addressed with concrete timelines and plans.

Expect to be able to pry tech out of the Russians over the next few years but don't tie into their projects. Just take what you can and apply it to amca/tedbf/mk2/nuke propulsion/etc.
 
Conditionally agreed. The circumstances you are speaking about are different from what is being tabled though.

It will probably be a few more years before Russian state power has collapsed to the point that they outright trade tech for cash. This is something India can look forward to but should not base it's current-near term defence upgrades/acquisitions on. There is an immediate and pressing need that needs to be addressed with concrete timelines and plans.

Expect to be able to pry tech out of the Russians over the next few years but don't tie into their projects. Just take what you can and apply it to amca/tedbf/mk2/nuke propulsion/etc.
I don't think anyone here is waiting for these developments to unfold in Russia so that we can swoop in vulture style to feast on what remains. Development work would proceed here regardless. It's areas where we aren't sure of achieving a breakthrough in the near to mid term future which'd see us seeking such technology in areas I've identified.

Similarly the Su-57 wouldn't hold half the allure it does today if Galwan 2020 hadn't happened , our unhappy saga of pursuing a modern 4.5 Gen + FA project indigenously wasn't so hopelessly delayed & with acquisition thru import / ToT in mfg of a 4.5 Gen + MMRCA with good strike capabilities so botched up at our end.
 
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