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Is India really capable of building a 5th gen fighter

Deino

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One sentence : Engines are just a piece of the puzzle. There's more to an aircraft than just it's engines


But the original post and this topic is: Can India currently develop a 5th generation fighter on its own.

And even if I agree with you that an engine is just one part of the puzzle, it is one of the most important ones!
So again if the question is „CAN INDIA DO IT ALONE TODAY?“ then the question is plain and simple NO.
 

Faceless

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But the original post and this topic is: Can India currently develop a 5th generation fighter on its own.

And even if I agree with you that an engine is just one part of the puzzle, it is one of the most important ones!
So again if the question is „CAN INDIA DO IT ALONE TODAY?“ then the question is plain and simple NO.
Don't you think that's what I have said in my original post.
Can India develop a 5th gen fighter - YES
Can India develop a 5th gen fighter with 0 foreign help - A Big Fat NO
We can make 80% of the aircraft by ourselves but will need foreign help for the remaining 20
 
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FuturePAF

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Looks like it was built in someone's garage

Given Pakistan's quality control in even simple everyday areas ngl I don't expect much from Azm
Pakistan could do it but it would be gradual process of indigenization. The investment and the quality control supervision will have to be there by the OEM. Perhaps parts for the J-10 with the help of CAC in the early 2030s, and the help of TAI for local production of the T-FX, for the late 2030s.
 

FuturePAF

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True, in my original post I showed reservations on whether India would be able to maintain the required level of precision and quality control.
LCA has poor build quality, ye kab hua.
It's more likely that you saw images of the prototype that HAL uses for testing purposes.
Check out Tejas photos from aero India 2023, I don't think jets there were of poor build quality
It’s the build quality to the level of the F-22 and F-35 which is required. The real question is who is going to sell india all the various technologies. France maybe an option, but why would they give up such a lucrative market. Turkey, South Korea, Japan, and the Various European defense companies got a boost through the F-35 program. India’s reluctance to ditch Russia and its indigenous aircraft programs will not likely see it join the F-35 program as a parts producer. So it will likely have to go the slow indigenous route.
 

nahtanbob

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Can India even build a 3rd generation fighter from scratch ? We are talking about a MiG-21 class fighter

It does not make sense to build anything from scratch or in isolation unless you are North Korea or Iran

I read somewhere Russia offered to transfer a MiG-29 manufacturing line in the past. with ToT. It would have been a great project to learn. The MiG-29s are not great aircraft but the ToT would have made it worthwhile

One word: ENGINES!

Also avionics. India lacks the semiconductor fabs to make them
 
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Dumb idea to build a single engine chopper. Shows that India cares about money rather than the lives of the pilots.
1280px-Nassau_County_Police_Bell_407.jpg


Bell 407


1280px-AS350_I-ALWE_%2C_Volo_radente.jpg


Eurocopter AS 350

And there are about a few dozen more types of single engine helicopters in active service all around the world.
 

Tafob

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Can India even build a 3rd generation fighter from scratch ? We are talking about a MiG-21 class fighter

It does not make sense to build anything from scratch or in isolation unless you are North Korea or Iran

I read somewhere Russia offered to transfer a MiG-29 manufacturing line in the past. with ToT. It would have been a great project to learn. The MiG-29s are not great aircraft but the ToT would have made it worthwhile



Also avionics. India lacks the semiconductor fabs to make them

Why would India want to build Mig 29 when we are already building Su 30 MKI with Full and deep ToT ?

In any case India is already license produce the RD 33 engine. HAL has been doing it since 2006.

India does not have a FAB for Avionic chips yet, but India does have its own Avionics and its own FAB for missile.
 

Faceless

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The real question is who is going to sell india all the various technologies.
What technology does india need exactly, most of the precision manufacturing machines that go into aerospace sector are more often than not dual use in nature thus they are avalible in the open market and unless you are sanctioned to hell like iran or north korea you can eaisly access these technologies.
how do you think china was able to access these precision machines even after being sanctioned, they did it by civilian means, why do you think india won't be able to do the same.
And even if the technology is not dual use and military in nature, given india's good relations with the west we can outright import those machines without any significant problem.
If we can import jet engines what makes you think we can't import manufacturing related machines
rest assured even if the manufacturing quality of amca will not be not comparable to it would be more superior than both russia and turkey and comparable to south korean kfx.
Turkey, South Korea, Japan, and the Various European defense companies got a boost through the F-35 program
they didn't learned jack shit, give me a single example of what turkey or japan or S. korea has learned from the f35 program that india doesn't already has an expertise in.
read this wiki page, you will find out most of the countries you mentioned are level 2 or level 3 partner, except for uk nobody has learnt anything from f35 program that india doesn't already has an expertise (or at the very least working knowledge) in. most of these guys were making gearboxes and shit not some fancy part that india can't make.
And india gained that expertise through sweat and blood it bled in the tejas program

India’s reluctance to ditch Russia and its indigenous aircraft programs will not likely see it join the F-35 program as a parts producer.
Even if india had ditched russia in the 1990's there was no way usa was going to let us in f35 program, india us relations started to normalize only after the 2005 civil nuclear deal and are only reaching new heights because of the shared china threat.
 

Faceless

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Can India even build a 3rd generation fighter from scratch ? We are talking about a MiG-21 class fighter

It does not make sense to build anything from scratch or in isolation unless you are North Korea or Iran

I read somewhere Russia offered to transfer a MiG-29 manufacturing line in the past. with ToT. It would have been a great project to learn. The MiG-29s are not great aircraft but the ToT would have made it worthwhile



Also avionics. India lacks the semiconductor fabs to make them
india had ToT of su30mki and we learnt a great deal from that, more so than we could have ever learnt from mig 29.

Are you seriously comparing Indian aerospace sector to that of iran and north korea, even our university folks can design a better jet than qaher 313,
And FYI indians aren't fools, and we aren't trying to build a fighter jet in isolation, we import low level tech that is non strategic in nature and is readily available in the international market insted of reinventing the whheel for every damn thing.


Did you just compared avionics to just semiconductors, there's a lot, lot more to avionics than semiconductors
if we are to go by your logic only china, korea and USA have all the multiple kinds of semiconductors needed for a figter jet.

but guess what a lot more countries build fighter jets than these 3 countries, unless you are sanctioned to oblivion like iran or russia, computer chips will remain a low level dual use technology that you can import without any problem
 

nahtanbob

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india had ToT of su30mki and we learnt a great deal from that, more so than we could have ever learnt from mig 29.

Are you seriously comparing Indian aerospace sector to that of iran and north korea, even our university folks can design a better jet than qaher 313,

North Korea, Iran have no choice but design things in isolation. I never said they were better :enjoy:

Why would India want to build Mig 29 when we are already building Su 30 MKI with Full and deep ToT ?

In any case India is already license produce the RD 33 engine. HAL has been doing it since 2006.

India does not have a FAB for Avionic chips yet, but India does have its own Avionics and its own FAB for missile.

There is only limited ToT for Su-30
 

Zarvan

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I would higly recommend you all to read the post before commenting anything.
1 hafte ki research lagi hai yaar (I have spent over a week writing this article)​

India has been working on its own 5th generation fighter for quite some time now, but it seems far-fetched that India would be able to develop a fifth generation fighter, particularly since the country has primarily been a license manufacturer and has only one indigenously designed and developed fighter aircraft, the 4th generation LCA Tejas, which itself was plagued with delays and numerous other shortcomings.

However, some exciting developments have been taking place in the country that can change this situation in favor of India.

So let's take a closer look. Is India really capable of developing a fifth-generation fighter aircraft?

Before going any further let's first define what a 5th generation fighter really is, Although there is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes as a fifth generation fighter, we can make an informed guess by examining currently operational fifth generation fighters, such as the F22, F35, and J20.

Typical fifth generation characteristics include
• Stealth along with the ability to store munitions internally.
• Supercruise i.e. prolonged supersonic cruise without the use of afterburners.
• Advanced avionics, like flight control systems, radars, electro optics etc.
• Networked data fusion and Advanced AI integration, enabling situational awareness on the battlefield.
• Superior build quality


Now let's see how many of the technologies, needed to make a 5th gen aircraft India actually possesses.

1. Stealth While no aircraft is totally invisible to radars, stealth makes it more difficult for conventional radars to detect and track an aircraft effectively, increasing the odds of the aircraft's survivability in hostile environments by avoiding detection by enemy radar and/or being targeted by enemy's radar guided weapons.
Aircraft stealth is a combination of passive stealth features such as geometric stealth, RAM coatings, and active stealth features such as Electronic Warfare Suites for electronic countermeasures etc.

As a result of the Tejas program, India has gained considerable experience in designing aircrafts, and given that the ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency), the main design agency in the country, has been working on refining the AMCA design for over 8 years, it would not be wrong to assume that India has the capability to design an aircraft with geometric stealth baked into its design.
DRDO (India's premier research organization) even displayed an internal weapons bay in Aero India 2023, a critical technology required for storing munitions internally and achieving geometric stealth.

2. RAM- Radar Absorbant Materials are an essential part of an aircraft's stealth as they absorb the radar waves and convert them into heat energy, thereby preventing the reflection of the waves back to the radar making it difficult for the radar to detect the aircraft. DRDO has been working on these RAM coatings with various Indian academia and private sector companies for quite some time now and recently showcased them at Aero India 2023.

3. Radar- Over the years India's Electronics and Radar Development Establishment has developed all sorts of radars, from 2D PESA surveillance radars like INDRA to GaAs based AESA radars for Netra AEWACS, showing India's expertise in this field. DRDO is currently working on a GaN based AESA radar called UTTAM Mk2 for its Tejas MK1A and MK2 aircrafts. An upscaled version of this radar is intended to go on AMCA. Currently the radar is in its final stages of testing and if DRDO officials are to be believed its performance surpasses the Isreali Elta EL/M 2052 radar used on Tejas MK1.

3. Flight Control Systems (FCS) are the components of an aircraft responsible for controlling the movement of the aircraft in flight along the three main axes (pitch, yaw and roll), thus making them a very crucial part of the aircraft's avionics.
Given the excellent track record of the quadruplex digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System of the Tejas and the experience DRDO gained during its development it won't be wrong to assume that DRDO has the expertise and capability to develop a state of the art FCS for the AMCA.

4. Electronic Warfare suite - While India has traditionally preferred to outright import electronic warfare equipment such as Self protection Jammers, Radar warning receiver, signal processors, IFF systems, Low Band Jammers etc things are slowly changing now as India's premier research organization DRDO has been slowly replacing various subsystems of the imported EW suite with indigenous ones for quite sometime now and finally has the capability to design and develop its entire EW suite all by itself.
While Indian EW Suite might not be as advanced as their western or Chinese counterparts due to superior hardware and better algorithms on their part but having an indigenious EW suite (called DARE Unified Electronic Warfare Suite) is quite an achievement in itself.

5. Production - Mass producing 5th gen fighters requires extremely tight tolerances and a highly optimized production process. Although India has been license producing fighter aircraft's since the 60s none were as advanced and complex as AMCA. It would be interesting to see whether Indian companies would be able to match those tolerances and properly optimize the aircraft production.

6. Sensors - Aircraft sensors of a 5th gen fighter are a highly complex systems, consisting of numerous components such as cameras, infrared sensors, Helmet Mounted Display (HMDS), electro-optical target system (EOTS), Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS) and other integrated technologies. These sensors provide the pilot with a heightened level of situational awareness by offering a comprehensive real time view of the battlefield, making them more accurate and effective in combat.
Although Indian companies and research institutions are working on many of these subsystems like infrared sensors, Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS), IRST sensors etc with significant progress there are still various subsystems such as Helmet Mounted Display (HMDS), electro-optical target system (EOTS) etc which India would need to import from friendly countries like Israel and USA due to a lack of local alternatives which could make the project costlier and could also compromise the security of the system.

7. AI algorithms and sensor fusion are fast becoming an important part of 5th gen fighters, as they reduce human intervention thereby allowing pilots to concentrate on other more important tasks which reduces their reaction time. AI algorithms also improve the accuracy and efficiency of the aircraft by performing tasks such as automated target recognition, flight path optimization, suggesting corrective measures to the pilot, etc. Moreover, AI allows for a deeper level of sensor fusion by combining data from multiple sensors like radar, infrared sensors, MAWS and Cameras in order to provide a more comprehensive view of the battlefield, which in turn allows for a greater level of situation awareness and more accurate decision making.
Judging by India's Massive IT Industry and number of research papers coming out of Indian educational institutes in the field of AI it won't be wrong to say that India has the expertise and capability to make advanced AI algorithms for its fighter jets.

8. A fighter is useless without its weapons, and since 5th gen fighters are used for air dominance and suppressing enemy air defences, they require special weapons that are low observable in nature and can be fitted into the fighter's internal weapon bay, so as not to compromise the aircraft's stealth.
India has already developed and deployed such weapons namely the Astra MK1 and ASRAAM BVR and WVR missiles for Air dominance roles and Rudram MK1 anti radiation missile for suppression of enemy air defences.

9. Jet engine arguably the most crucial part of an aircraft, Although Indian companies and research institutions like GTRE are working on jet engine technology they have failed miserebly. The Indian Kaveri jet engine program failed to achieve its objectives thus forcing India to import jet engines for its indigenious fighters from friendly countries like the USA making projects costlier and also compromising the security of the systems by making them susceptible to sanctions.
However not all hope is lost as India has been aggressively trying to form a joint venture with an established aerospace player to get hold of the technologies needed for filling in the technological shortcomings of the indigenous Kaveri program but for the time being AMCA will fly with a foreign engine namely the General Elecreic 414 afterburning turbofan engine


Although India has made remarkable progress in various technologies related to a 5th gen fighter, there are still some technological hurdles like jet engine technology India needs to overcome ,not to mention the archic delays and cost overruns defense projects in India face. However, it would not be wrong to say that with some outside help India has the necessary capacity, capability and resources to build a 5th generation platform, however will it be able to do so in a timely manner remains to be seen.
Let your private sector do what HAL and DRDO does. Let TATAS and Ambanis and Adanis and others come in this sector and let them make 4.5 and 5th generation fighter jets and Tanks and other equipment and you would have the capability. As for HAL and DRDO not happening.
 

AA_

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Let your private sector do what HAL and DRDO does. Let TATAS and Ambanis and Adanis and others come in this sector and let them make 4.5 and 5th generation fighter jets and Tanks and other equipment and you would have the capability. As for HAL and DRDO not happening.
@MastanKhan alluded to this on another thread. The private sector in India can do it cheaper and better for sure Tata is a world class company from what I read.
 

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