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Indian Navy Interested In F/A 18 Super Hornets For INS Vikramaditya

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Forum' started by Khalsa, May 19, 2008.

  1. Khalsa

    Khalsa BANNED

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    Indian Navy Interested In F/A 18 Super Hornets For INS Vikramaditya

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...uper_Hornets.jpg/250px-Four_Super_Hornets.jpg


    It Is now sufficiently clear that the Indian Navy wants to be able to use the air force’s assets of war. In a revelation so far kept under wraps, the Navy has asked Boeing a contender for India's $10-billion tender for 126 air force fighters if the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet can operate off the INS Vikramaditya, the rechristened Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov currently being refurbished in Russia for the Indian Navy. None of the fighters in the IAF’s existing fleet have the capability to operate from the deck of an aircraft carrier.

    Boeing’s campaign manager for the Indian deal Michael E. Rietz has revealed that after detailed simulations conducted at the company’s test centres, the Super Hornet on offer to India, can in fact operate off the Gorshkov. The significance of Boeing’s finding lies in the fact that the Super Hornet – which by default is launched using a steam-powered catapult on American super-carriers – has never before been known to be able to take off from an angled ski-jump – the launch mechanism on India’s sole aircraft carrier INS Virat, as well as the Gorshkov and the under-construction indigenous aircraft carrier.

    Rietz told reporters at Lemoore, which holds half of the US Navy’s striking power in the Pacific, “In our simulation, we discovered that not only could the Super Hornet take-off from a ski-jump, but could do so with a significant weapons load.” Landing the Super Hornet on the Gorshkov would pose no problem since the warship comes equipped with an arrester cable. The 16 MiG-29K fighters that will come with the Gorshkov will land using this “trap” method.

    A typical scenario illustrates the import of the newly identified ability. A Super Hornet flying with the air force from a shore base can fly hundreds of kilometres over the sea, then land on an aircraft carrier, refuel and proceed onward. The reach advantage it would give the aircraft is something the air force has only envisaged with mid-air refuellers so far. Aircraft carriers, by their very nature, can obviously stay out at sea for far longer.

    In 2004, the Navy had sent out a request for information to another American firm Northrop Grumman about whether the latter’s carrier-based airborne early warning and control aircraft, the E-2 Hawkeye, could operate off the Gorshkov. However, plans to procure the aircraft in a ship-based role have since been shelved.
     
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  2. Flintlock

    Flintlock ELITE MEMBER

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    Lol....I don't know if that is audicaous or stupid...but India is literally putting American jets on a Russian Carrier.

    I wonder how the Russians will take this...
     
  3. Energon

    Energon SENIOR MEMBER

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    Once the IN procures the carrier they are fee to do with it whatever they please. The main question is how accurate is the news article? I have serious doubts about the ability of the Superhornet to take off using an angled ski jump.

    The IN should try their best to procure steam catapults for the next two carriers and plan to arm them with Super Hornets, Growlers and AEWs even if it means having a relatively small number of each. The Gorshkov on the other hand should stick to using the Mig29Ks for their intended service life of 25 years and then just retire them without contracting expensive upgrades.
     
  4. blain2

    blain2 ADVISORS

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    Its fairly unusual for airforce aircraft to land on a Navy carrier and that too from a reach standpoint. I think IFR would serve IAF well in this role. I think the benefit for IN would be the commonality with the IAF in terms of support and logistics for the type.
     
  5. MIG_ACE

    MIG_ACE FULL MEMBER

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    I had a conversation with an ex USN fighter pilot on another forum a long time back, who said that the americans had actually tested the F-18 (older version)from carriers without using catapults. But the problem is you need the wind to be in your favor which is not always possible.
    Its simple enough, if the larger Su-33 can take of without catapults there's no reason why the F-18 can't.
    The bigger question is can the IN afford the F-18 SH and the astronomical training and support costs considering that neither it nor the air force has never operated american jets.
     
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  6. Always Neutral

    Always Neutral BANNED

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    Dear MIG,

    I think you have been wrongly informed. Most aircrafts will take off from a decent size aircraft carrier in an emergency without the steam catapault but with no weapons and minimal fuel however in combat conditions (full load of fuel and weapons) you will need the steam catapault. I think your Navy is sick of the Russian tardiness and hence they wish to spread their purchases.

    Further more with the US backing I don't forsee any problems in F-18 using the carrier as an advance air base in the Gulf for launching long range short duration operations but for sustained long term operations the Soviet carrier will not be able to support an US aircraft of the magnitude of F 18 A.

    Regards
     
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  7. MIG_ACE

    MIG_ACE FULL MEMBER

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    The soviets routinely fly their Su-33s from their carrier, apart from the Mig-29K. The F-18 is similar in size to the Mig-29 and definitely smaller than the Su-33 (which is basically a glorified Su-27)
    Iff what you say is correct then the Su-33s are of no use in wartime and neither are the IN's yet to be delivered Mig-29Ks.
     
  8. Always Neutral

    Always Neutral BANNED

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    The reason your ex - Chief an Harrier pilot who test flew both chose the MIG 29 K was because the SU was just too heavy for a full load take off. The MIG 29 K/ KUBS were specifically developed for the Indian Navy who paid for its full developmental cost though MIG had two TD's when they were pitching for the sale but the BOTTOM LINE is that the MIG 29 K / KUB is an unproven aircraft unlike the F 18 Super Hornet.

    Lets see what happens when the first MIG arrives in India.

    Regards
     
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  9. Always Neutral

    Always Neutral BANNED

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    Dear Mig,

    Please read the below official website of MIG. You will see there is no mention of the Russian Navy using the MIG 29 K. That should tell you a lot.

    Regards

    - MiG-29K/KUB


    MiG-29K/MiG-29KUB
    Both the MiG-29K (single seat) and MiG-29KUB (double seat) aircraft are the "4++" generation multi-role fighters intended for air-defense missions of naval forces, air superiority gaining, sea & ground targets destruction with the high precision guided weapons day and night and in any weather conditions.

    The MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters are the basic aircraft of a new unified family including also the MiG-29M/M2 and MiG-35/MiG-35D aircraft.

    The MiG-29K/KUB aircraft are based on the aircraft-carriers with tonnage from 28,000 tons, equipped with take-off ramp and landing arrestor, as well as at the airfields.

    Main technical and technological innovations, applied on the MiG-29K/KUB fighters are the following:
    – improved airframe with about 15% composite materials application;
    – folding wing with upgraded high-lift devices improving take-off/landing performance;
    – fly-by-wire control system with quadruple redundancy;
    – significantly reduced signature in radar range;
    – increased weapons load, stored at eight external hard points;
    – increased internal fuel capacity and in-flight refueling possibility;
    – possibility of other aircraft refueling being equipped with "PAZ-1MK" refueling unit.

    The MiG-29K/KUB fighters as well as other aircraft of the unified family, have improved operational characteristics and higher reliability of assemblies, systems and units. In comparison with the previous fighters, the MiG-29K/KUB flight hours are increased more than twice, but a flight hour cost is reduced about 2.5 times. The MiG-29K/KUB fighters operate without overhaul.

    The power plant includes two engines RD-33MK with increased thrust power, equipped with smokeless combustion chamber and new electronic control system (of FADEC type). Engines are of the module structure and have increased reliability and service life.

    The airborne avionics is of the open architecture based on MIL-STD-1553B standard.

    The fighter has multi-role, multi-mode "pulse-Doppler" type radar "Zhuk-ME" manufactured by "Fazotron-NIIP" Corporation. The radar is provided with the slot array. As compared with radars of the previous generation, "Zhuk-ME" has wider scanning angle in azimuth, twice longer target detection range, less weight and increased reliability. "Zhuk-ME" provides tracking up to 10 air targets with four targets simultaneous firing with missiles.

    The MiG-29K/KUB fighters are equipped with state-of-the-art multi-channel IRST with target designation system to the anti-radar passive war-head missiles.

    There is the possibility of installation on aircraft of IR and laser sighting equipment pods for ground targets illumination.

    Avionics’ open architecture allows installation on aircraft of new equipment and weapons of Russian and foreign origin upon customer’s request.

    The MiG-29K/KUB fighters are equipped with the built-in automated integrated system "Karat" of serviceability check and data recording, video-recorder, computer-aided flight mission recording into the airborne radio-electronic system as well as airborne autonomous power generation station used for the equipment ground checks without main engines starting-up.

    Weapons system includes "A-A", "A-S" missiles, guided aerial bombs, rockets, aerial bombs and built-in air-gun of 30 mm caliber. Upon request of the customer the new types of weapons can be applied.

    Both the single and double seat versions of aircraft have the same airborne equipment and weapons as well as the high unification level of structure.

    For the MiG-29K/KUB fighters the full set of training means was developed including the full mission simulator with the motion system.

    The MiG-29KUB aircraft first flight took place in January 2007.

    The MiG-29K/KUB fighters are in production under order of the Indian Navy.
     
  10. vish

    vish SENIOR MEMBER

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    The IN did want to go in for a conventional carrier; however, considering the fact that the US was the only reliable manufacturer of steam catapults, the plan was dropped. Hence, the IN's interest in ski-jump carriers. The ADS/IAC was designed keeping in mind these limitations and consequently is a STOBAR (short take-off but arrested landing) carrier.

    The Su-33 was discarded because it was much larger than the Mig-29K, and would have presented difficulties as far as storage is concerned. Also the IN wanted as many planes on its carriers as possible.

    However, the sudden Indo-US reconciliation spiced things up a bit. Nobody in the IN ever thought that state of the art US weapon systems would be available for purchase. But since the development of the IAC/ADS has already reached an advanced stage, the steam catapults (this is my thinking and please correct me if I'm wrong) cannot be incorporated without causing significant postponement.

    The F-18 is being evaluated by the IN because the Navy wants to have its say in the MRCA shoot-out. The message that the Navy seems to be giving is that if the IAF goes for F-18, the Navy would be glad as it too is "very keen on it." Further, it is quiet obvious why the Navy is keen on the F-18. The US (with the F-18 and in the future, the F-35) is the master of carrier-based aviation. My hunch is that the Navy would like to get its hands on the F-18 regardless of the result of the MRCA shoot-out.

    Note that the 37500 tonne ADS/IAC might be, according to my logic, followed by a larger behemoth. My hunch is, once the ATV is up and running, the lessons in nuclear propulsion that India would learn from it (ATV) could be used in the larger carrier.

    Again, these are my opinions and I could be wrong.

    If you guys have the time, go through the following links; they provide better insight as far as the IN is concerned. Some of the links are quiet old though.

    http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/prakash.pdf

    http://www.jmss.org/2008/winter/articles/scott.pdf

    The Pentagon's New Map (PNM)
     
  11. MIG_ACE

    MIG_ACE FULL MEMBER

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    AN and Vish, Thanks for the info.

    AN,
    I am aware that the IN did not consider the Su-33 because it was too big(apart from being expensive). What I am now curious about is how the russians operate it from their carrier (if I'm not wrong I think they have only one left). If as you say large fighters like the F-18 and Su-33 have trouble lifting off from STOBAR carriers with full combat load, it makes no sense for the russians to operate Su-33s since none of their carriers have catapults AFAIK.
     
  12. vish

    vish SENIOR MEMBER

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    The Russian Navy operates 12 Su-33s from Admiral Kuznetsov, a STOBAR AC. Fighters (Mig-29K, Su-33 and F-18) that might be used in these (STOBAR) carriers have trouble lifting off with "full combat load." This does not mean that they "cannot operate" at all; it just implies that the capabilities of the aircraft are compromised (to what extent is dependent on a range of factors).

    Also, read the first post carefully; it states "... not only could the Super Hornet take-off from a ski-jump, but could do so with a significant weapons load."

    Further, my thinking says that the next IAC/ADS will probably be a CATOBAR.
     
  13. Marshal

    Marshal FULL MEMBER

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    Hey .......Vish just curious but can u please provide the valid link that the IAC 2 is going to be much bigger and will be abt 64000tn. cuz as far as I know its going to be the same as IAC 1.http://http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NAVY/IAC.html
     
  14. vish

    vish SENIOR MEMBER

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    Hey thanks for pointing it out. I jumped the gun I guess. I read a report that states "Another option that needs to go hand-in-hand is for CSL to expedite construction of the first 37,500-tonne indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC), which as of now is due for delivery only by 2012, with a second, larger IAC (displacing 64,000 tonnes) following in 2017." The author is stating what the Navy should do and not what the Navy is doing. Sorry. I guess we will have to wait for the second ADS to develop. I'll edit my posts.
     
  15. sohailbutt

    sohailbutt FULL MEMBER

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    wut im thinkin is that n how an IAF SH culd land on a aircraft carrier, the aircraft that land on aircraft carriers r basically made to withstand that kind of sudden stops, which i really doubt a normal airforce fighter could do, which takes of from land, n lands back on land, n i really doubt F-18 fully loaded with weapons to take off from a Russian carrier with a ski-jump, withut the help of a steam catapult, n i doubt Russia will be happy to see US fighters takin off from its carrier!!! (US n Russia Arch Rivals)

    I have never in my life seen an F-18 takin off from a ski-jump!!!

    I think British navy is goin to have its short take off F-35's on a new carrier yet to be built takin off from a ski jump, but as the picture shows the carrier may be usin a steam catapult as well, can't say anythin.

    Carrier1_726x539.jpg