Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Indian Navy's MiG-29K Tactical Simulator


The Indian Navy recently took delivery of its MiG-29K full-mission flight simulator from Germany’s Rheinmetall Defence Electronics GmbH (RDE) and this training aid will be commissioned into service at Dabolim by the year’s end. Final systems check-outs are now underway. The full-mission simulator comes equipped with the Evans & Sutherland-built Avior high-fidelity stereoscopic laser-based image projection system. For the MiG-29K aircrew it will ensure an exceptionally high degree of realism in simulating take-offs and landings on an aircraft carrier. In simulating a night landing, for example, the lights of the runway can be simulated extremely vividly. One can only hope that the IAF takes a page out of the Indian Navy’s pro-active, well-established and consistent practice-cum-timetables of acquiring full-mission simulators for both fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft.--Prasun K. Sengupta

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Praaun,
any idea when the Mig's are coming? What seems to be the holdup.
An article on the Navy's shore based carrier takeoff and landing system would be great.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Prasun, Why should IAF get flight simulators, when it has lots of trainer crafts in assets ? Navy can't afford to have them, so it gets simulator. IAF also has simulators for its frontline fighters.

Anonymous said...

Prasun sir wats the status of Arjun Mk2 & Maitri???

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@8.11PM: Usage of flight simulators and trainer aircraft are two different concepts altogether. That's why even for the Hawk Mk132, which is used for lead-in fighter training, there are flight simulators and cockpit procedures trainers available. And for your info, the IAF presently has flight simulators, cockpit procedures trainers and maintenance simulators for the Jaguar IS/IM, Mirage 2000H/TH and Hawk Mk132 only, while the first of three Su-30MKI flight simulators will arrive by the year's end. The C-130Js will also be accompanied by all three types of simulators, as will the Tejas LCA. There are no flight simulators for the MiG-21 Bison, MiG-23BN, MiG-27M, MiG-29, IL-76MD, IL-78MKI, An-32B, Do-228, Alouette III and Dhruv ALH. The Indian Navy has flight simulators for the Sea Harrier FRS Mk51 and the MiG-29K, plus those for the Sea King Mk42B helicopter. There are no simulators for the Ka-25, Ka-28, Ka-31, Do-228, Tu-142M and IL-38SD.
Tactical flight simulators are imperative for a pilot to maintain flight proficiency. For this job, one does not have to fly the actual aircraft, thereby saving valuable funds as well as conserving the life of the aircraft. Even 40% of the operational flying training is nowadays imparted on tactical flight simulators. Gone are the days when flying training used to be imparted on inexpensive aircraft like the MiG-21s and MiG-23s. If all aircrew of the Su-30MKIs were to be trained by flying the actual aircraft for 250 hours per annum, the IAF's operational budget would go through the roof!!!

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Regarding the Arjun Mk2, DRDO will receive additional funds for completing its development only next year. Therefore, from next March, DRDO will begin making some official announcements.
Regarding the Maitrei, as you may be aware, this project is a co-development between the DRDO and MBDA, just as is the case with the Astra. The Maitrei is based on the VL-Mica concept, i.e. using the airframe of a proven air combat missile (in this case the Astra's) and equipping it with two types of seekers: an imaging infra-red; and active radar. And as you know, in order to keep the R & D costs and risks to acceptable levels the DRDO has decided to equip the Astra with AGAT JSC's active radar seeker. Therefore, for the Maitrei too, the active radar seeker will now come from Russia, and not from MBDA, while the imaging infra-red seeker for the Maitrei will be supplied by MBDA.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.39PM: The MiG-29K/UBK units should start arriving in India by next March. The first three units are now in Russia for being used for operational conversion training. Regarding the reqmt for shore-based carrier takeoff and landing system, well....there's no need for it in reality as the MiG-29K flight simulator the Navy is acquiring is perfectly capable of being used for type-certifying the MiG-29K pilots for carrier takeoffs and landings. That's the beauty of acquiring such simulators offering such a high-degree of realism.

Anonymous said...

I hope that atleast this time they will maintain their delivery schedule!!!

Prasun K Sengupta said...

There's every reason to believe that they will. All the nonsense was dispensed with within the first four months of contract signature. You may remember that when the contract was first signed in January 2004 the Navy 'assumed' that this aircraft would have the same type of PESA radar (BARS-29) as that on the Su-30MKI (NO-11M BARS), but the Navy to its horror learnt within 2 weeks of contract signature that the BARS-29 radar was not on offer from RAC-MiG and only the Zhuk-ME was available for the MiG-29K!
Now, RAC-MiG has no shortage of funds (unlike 2004) since its earlier pet project--the Tu-334 regional jet--has been ressurected and it is now being ordered by several Russian oligarchs as VVIP business jets. If you recall, RAC-MiG had invested the majority of its development funds throughout the late 1990s on building a state-of-the-art production facility for the Tu-334, but could not get any orders for this aircraft till recently as the Russian govt was giving priority to Sukhoi's Superjet 100 project.

SBM said...

Sir,
Will the Akash SAM enter service (I understand 2 squadrons were cleared by the CCS recently) and will a Mk.2 be developed ?

Have the Pechora SAMS been upgraded pending this and if so to what standard ?

Anonymous said...

Vanakkam macha, how ya doing?

Does that german company need any licence from MiG to build the simulators? And another thing is this piece of news: http://flonnet.com/stories/20090102252609400.htm

Now is this missile a cruise or ballistic missile? from the way the guys talk, it seems like a really fantastic missile. did you have any info on this or were you caught in surprise when this new name appeared? hypersonic is really superb i must say. and why does he say agni travells at mach 15? is he mad?

Vishal Nalkur said...

Please excuse my lack of knowledge. But do the simulators also simulate the Radar's performance. Or for that matter, can the trainee also undergo training for missile launch, aerial dog fights / BVR fights etc?

And regarding Navy's lack of knowledge about the Mig-29K's radar, with due respect to you sir, it sounds more plausible than true. How could the navy overlook as crucial a component as radar?

Anonymous said...

It would be nice it these are like a video game consoles - change the interface, load a different set of parameters and use the same for different aircrafts...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update on the arrival of the Mig 29K/KUB. However one thing that I dont understand is the long time it requires to manufacture such aircrafts! In almost 5 years since the contract was signed in Jan 2004 only about 3 production standard aircrafts have been manufactured. Same is the case with the Su 30MKI's. Their deviveries are just about limping along at about 10-12 aircraft a year. Is there no way the output can be increased given the fact that there is a requirement of 240 SU 30 MKI's and now about 45 Mig 29K/KUB's. At this rate when the MMRCA contract is awarded it will take 10 years for the last of the 126 aircrafts to enter squadron service.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

regarding Pakistan buying tech from Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant, is there any chance they got their hands on SS18/R36 ICBM technology that was also produced by Yuzhny?

Susan said...

is it how the real cockpit would look like? then ,it would be really good...btw is the HUD an indegenious one?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@3:32AM: The CCNS has approved the induction of 'some elements' of the Akash, like the Rohini radar, but the Rajendra-3 BLR has yet to emerge from BEL's production facility. Also, both the Army and Air Force are insisting that the missile's range be a minimum of 40km, which has yet to be achieved by the DRDO. All in all, a pretty messy state of affairs. The S-125M Pechora SAMs have NOT yet been upgraded. Only the KUB (SA-6) M-SAMs have been upgraded with Poland's help.

Are Machaa, the German company Rheinmetall DeTech already tied-up with RAC-MiG way back in 2003 to build such simulators. The same company has also tied up with Sukhoi OKB to build simulators for the Su-30. Regarding the Shaurya, it is a ballistic missile and its second stage is the one that can adopt a depressed trajectory upon re-entering the atmosphere and undertaking some fancy terminal manoeuvres to avoid ballistic missile defences. Regarding the Agni, yes it does travel at that high Mach speed once it exits the atmosphere. It does not mean that when it re-enters the atmosphere it has the same speed.

Vishal, the answer is yes, the tactical flight simulator can simulate anything and everything that you want simulated. Appropriate simulation packages can be uploaded into the mainframe for simulating different mission profiles. That is also the reason why, prior to flying the actual aircraft, such 'engineering' simulators are used for developing the aircraft's flight control logic and developing the aircraft's mission computer. Such simulators are also called dynamic integration test-rigs and ADA has developed one such simulators for the Tejas LCA's engineering development purposes. Such technologies, however, have not yet been wholeheartedly adopted by Russia and therefore Russian OKBs like MiG and Sukhoi tend to spend greater time developing several actual flying prototypes in order to develop the definitive production-series aircraft.
Regarding the MiG-29K's radar fiasco, that's how things were then, as the contract was inked in a great hurry while at the same time RAC-MiG had yet to develop and fly the definitive MiG-29K. They were still in the experimental stage and strangely all the operating and performance parameters of the MiG-29K parameters were not firmed up at the time of contract signature.

To Anon@10:17AM: As I explained above, the R & D process of aircraft like the MiG-29K/KUB and even the MiG-35 is laborious and is also handicapped by the fact that Russia does not have the kind of integration test rigs and advanced dynamic simulators that are reqd. But the production can be ramped up only if a requisite number of orders are in place. For instance, IRKUT Corp in Russia can produce up to 40 Su-30MKIs per year, if needed.

To Anon@11:21AM: No, not Pakistan, but Iran got this kind of technologies for its ballistic missile R & D programmes.

To Susan: Yes, that is the definitive cockpit layout of the MiG-29K. The HUD is not indigenous. For additional info on the MiG-29, do check up my article that was posted at: http://livefist.blogspot.com/2008/09/prasun-k-sengupta-navy-to-order-more.html

Viki said...

@ Prasun sir...
as Snecma was roped in for technical assistance in Kaveri project.Is there any possibility that iaf will induct kaveri powered rafales as mmrca?Also wats the status of famed(waste of money as my personal opinion)mmrca & which fighter is the strongest contender by cost,quality and offsets are concerned??

Prasun K Sengupta said...

No, the Kaveri will in no way be on board any Rafale since it will be cost-prohibitive to qualify such a turbofan on the Rafale, not to mention the time reqd for doing such work. The MMRCA reqmt is for an aircraft that a sufficient degree of new-generation mission avionics and with sufficient growth potential to last for another 40 years. Now, personally, my view is if that's the case, then there's no need to import another aircraft assembly line and do away with all this bullshit of offsets and tec transfer. As the MMRCA reqmt is quite urgent to maintain the numbers reqd for for by the IAF, the best cost-effective and operationally viable option is to just go ahead and order additional Su-30MKIs. This will not only save time and money, but will also enable faster service induction, since the Russians can produce 40 Su-30MKIs every year. Therefore, ordering another 80 Su-30MKIs over and above the 40 additional ones already contracted for will take mplace of the IAF's fleet depletions due to decommissioning of the MiG-21 Bisons and MiG-23BNs and MiG-27Ms and early-model Jaguar IS. And with the money saved, invest it in the FGFA's R & D effort.

Anonymous said...

"No, not Pakistan, but Iran got this kind of technologies (ICBM) for its ballistic missile R & D programmes."

You crazy!!! that means its just a matter of time before they had an ICBM!!????

And this is just a light bet: which plane do you think would win the MMRCA competition? like how you've predicted correctly several things before (like LCA radar), I'd like to have ur take on this.

regards

Viki said...

sir..wats the future of tejas lca in iaf if e r on the verge of inducting an entirely new aircraft as mmrca??

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Well, I for one will never underestimate the Iranians and they're perfectly capable of getting their hands on ICBM technologies, although I reckon they don't need it and are quite happy with perfecting their IRBMs and MRBMs.

Regarding the M-MRCA, I'll put my money on the JAS-39 Gripen NG as it will have on-board the EL/M-2052 radar as well as the GE-built F414 turbofan--two critical items which will also be on board the Tejas LCA. Therefore, from the commonality standpoint, the IAF will find it more acceptable (operationally and financially) to begin inducting into service at around the time time the two new-generation combat aircraft, the JAS-39NG and the Tejas LCA. Originally, the Tejas LCA was meant to be the M-MRCA and replace the MiG-21s, MiG-23s and MiG-27Ms, and the FGFA was meant to replace the Mirage 2000s and Jaguars. However, due to the slippages in the LCA's R & D programme, the M-MRCA reqmt has been divided into two: one calls for imported inductions and the other calls for sticking with the Tejas LCA with imported engines and airborne radar.

Anonymous said...

GE f414 has already been selected for powering tejas mk2 then what is the need developing Kaveri turbofan????

Anonymous said...

Prasun K Sengupta said... The R-Darter, like the Derby, has a range of no more than 40km and is therefore inferior to the Mica-EM.



Denel radar-guided R-Darter, which is virtually the same missile as the Israeli Aircraft Industries Derby. The product of Israeli and South African cooperation during the 1980s and 1990s, the R-Darter has a light weight of 120kg and reported range of 63km.


Chinese sources began revealing the first data on the Leihua Electronic Technology Research Institute (LETRI) SD-10, later PL-12 active radar guided AAM

SD-10 uses a Chinese-made missile motor, which when combined with a “lofted” flight profile, can achieve a maximum range of 70km, about 10km less than the R-77. Nevertheless, in the PL-12 the PLA has a modern self-guided AAM that is in the same class as the U.S. AIM-120 and the Russian R-77. In 2002 China revealed basic data about the SD-10 and began to display models of the missile at air-shows, such as Zhuhai in November 2002.
http://www.strategycenter.net/research/pubID.181/pub_detail.asp

Prasun K Sengupta said...The first 40 F-16A/Bs of Block 15 configuration came along with 500 AIM-7F Sparrows and and equal number of AIM-9L Sidewinders


not able to find a single source saying that PAf have 500 Sparrows

i know that i am asking too much from you

can you help me out in this too

Anonymous said...

macha, but the Gripen has too many US made components! won't that be a problem considering that Uncle Sam always changes his foreign policies to him whipms and fancies? in any case have you heard *hush hush* from ur sources that gripen has the advantage? If you have info, then i cannot say anything, but if there isn't, Iipersonally put my money on Rafale.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@4:55AM: The following weblink should answer some of your queries: http://www.aeronautics.ru/archive/vif2_project/pakistan_af.htm

In addition, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency's notification of June 1986 to the US Congress contains additional details. But this notification isn't available on-line.

Macha, if India was that touchy about US-origin components, then it wouldn't have acquired F404 turbofans for the Tejas LCA in the first place. The Indian Navy wouldn't have considered the P-8I LRMR/ASW aircraft for induction. The Indian Navy's three Project 17 Shivalik-class FFGs wouldn't have had GE's LM-2500 gas turbines and L-3 MAPPS' integrated platform management system and damage control system on board. The three LST-Ls wouldn't have had L-3 MAPPS' integrated platform management system and damage control system on board. FYI even the ACMI pods (from ELBIT Systems & RADA) and Litening-2/3 laser designator pods (from RAFAEL) the IAF acquired from Israel have MMICs built and supplied by the US. So where do you draw the line? There are already several types of critical US-origin technologies and systems in service with the Indian armed forces. Even the VVIP transportation aircraft (B.737-700) of the IAF is from the US. It is IMPOSSIBLE in today's world to buy weapon systems that don't have any US element in it. As for buying something like the Rafale or Eurofighter EF-2000 for the M-MRCA, I'm afraid the financial aspects of the deal have made sure that these aircraft, as also the F/A-18E/F, are not in contention anymore as the IAF has almost made up its mind for selecting a single-engined M-MRCA. It always boils down to a question of money and how much of it is available.

Anonymous said...

So are you saying that only F16 and Gripen are in the fray currently? And i'm sure India won't buy F16 which is a complete US system (as we are seeing what happened to Pakistans fleet that was contracted some 10 years back) - adding to the fact Pak has it and US is facing it out soon. So does that boil down to only the Gripen? IMO we should reduce dependence on the US because whether u like it or not, the interventionist US will later use us as a pawn at their disposal. we have seen this too many times in history. hopefully our leaders know where to draw the line this time...

Anonymous said...

It is IMPOSSIBLE in today's world to buy weapon systems that don't have any US element in it.

Does MiG35 have any american things in it macha? of course not things like raw material, but units?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Machaa, FYI all on-board computers of the MiG-29K and MiG-35 use INTEL processors, just like the ones for the Tejas LCA. All Rosoboronexport office computers use Windows operating software. ALL CAD design tools being used nowadays by RAC-MiG and Sukhoi OKB are sourced from Dassault Aviation. Do you need any further examples? Surely you will acknowledge that more than any kind of US embargo, what hurt India most throughout the 1990s and the past five years was Russia's inability to provide assured product support for its products that are in use by India's armed forces. Now, what hurts more: a party that has a clearly-stated policy on embargoes; or a party that is unable to supply spares even when it has not imposed any embargoes on India? When I asked this very same question to the No2 of RAC-MiG way back in February 2005, he couldn't even give me any answer, let alone a convincing answer.

Viki said...

Will Kaveri be developed into a propulsion system for cruise missile in near future????

Anonymous said...

viki, toss a coin then see which side it lands on:

if head, then answer is YES

if tail, then answer is NO

if neither, then answer is prasun is gonna say

Anonymous said...

''When I asked this very same question to the No2 of RAC-MiG way back in February 2005, he couldn't even give me any answer, let alone a convincing answer.''

RAC-MIG 2nd man would have thought to himself 'no point talking to a cracko'

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Viki: Kaveri is too big a turbofan for powering cruise missiles. Something like 36MT or Williams FJ44 will suffice for subsonic cruise missiles.

To Anon@9:13AM: That's right, Congrats! Proud to be known as a cracko that burns through the illogic of conventional wisdom and presents realistic and pragmatic counter-arguments.

Anonymous said...

^^

Happy for you.

Anonymous said...

Prasun,
Would it be possible for you to find out the exact number of Hawk's, Su 30MKI, Jaguar's and Mig 21 Bisons in IAF services as of now. In fact an article on the number of squadron's and how they are distributed i.e. fighters, transport, trainers, choppers etc would be very useful.
Thanks

Himanshu Chauhan said...

Hi Prasun.. Thanks for the wonderful updates. My queries are different from the rest I believe..

Just wanted to know how much importance IAF is giving to improving the bases it has, from the facilities, security, upgrading of the staff quarters.. upgrading of the navigational aids etc.
What is IAF HQ doing in bringing in technology in the non combatative areas.. It's stores management etc..
Can you throw some light on this.. Also wanted to know how are the IL-76 performing in the IAF service..

Thanks
Himanshu Chauhan

Anonymous said...

prasun since u r well versed in this industry, would it be possible me, an indicidual to just buy 1 or 2 units of the 36MT turbofan? just for a private project? how much does 1 cost and how can I procure it?

Anonymous said...

even the FJ-44 would be fine

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@3:02PM: OK, will try to draft one article with such info, time permitting.

To Himanshu: As far as inventory management goes the IAF is quite advanced in terms of the latest available best practices procedures and technologies. In terms of ATC and airspace management the IAF is steadily implementing the concept of regional, redundant joint air traffic management & coordination centres equipped with new-generation primary/secondary surveillance radars imported from Alenia/Finmeccanica. Once the three PHALCON AEW & C platforms arrive (and six more are imported under a repeat order), then airborne battle management and hostile airspace monitoring will be done only with these AEW & C platforms, and ground-controlled intercepts will be a thing of the past. In addition, the steady on-going induction of Rohini 3-D CARs, EL/M-2083 aerostat-mounted active phased-array airspace surveillance radars and EL/M-2082 ground-based long-range active phased-array airspace surveillance radars will ensure adequate surveillance capabilities against both cruise missiles as well as tactical ballistic missiles. For making advanced ground landing posts like DBO etc fully functional all-weather posts the IAF has begun acquiring from the UK the latest portable ground landing aids that can be remotely operated and have been combat proven in Afghanistan. Similar efforts are underway for equipping aircrew with new-generation personal locator beacons/emergency radios. The one weak area--flight simulation--is being addressed and the first of four Su-30MKI tactical flight simulators will be commissioned by next March. Part-task trainers for training aircrew to launch PGMs like the Popeye-Lite have already begun arriving at Pune and Barielly. For the existing IL-76MDs, Ilyushin Finance Corp has proposed an upgrade programme that includes a re-engining package with PS-90A turbofans, and installation of glass cockpit avionics.

To Anon@2:49AM: Everything's possible, providing you're willing to put in the effort. All you got to do is set up a company, officially write to NPO Saturn or Rolls-Royce requesting for a price & availability quote from them for the turbofan and explain what exactly are your requirements in terms of this 'private project' of yours, and why you require the engines and for what kind of application, provide proof of funds for the purchase, and also give an undertaking that you will furnish an end-user certificate in compliance with the turbofan OEM's requirements.

Anonymous said...

To Anon@3:02PM: OK, will try to draft one article with such info, time permitting.

Thanks Prasun.
There is no info on the web regarding the same.

Anonymous said...

not to forget merry christmas

Susan said...

@anon @ 2:49
do you really need a turbojet engine for practicals....?????
if you are willing to part with 8-15 lacs,then its possible(used one)....can you be more specific regarding your needs?

I had purchased a rolls royce avon mk203 turbojet for 10lacs from an aviation buff in mumbai 2yrs ago.

Anonymous said...

Susan, I plan to use it to power a small UAV that I and my team intend to build. An Avon won't be suitable for that. 10 lacs is really expensive for a used engine but that may be the price in India. It is much cheaper in Canada.

Anonymous said...

the AVON that i purchased ,was used to power one of our Hunter a/c in the eighties...i also have a used orpheus turbojet(5 lacs),which was used on Marut.
if ur UAV is a mini version,then i think u can find details on custom designed small turbojets..(google it).
regards
susan

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, my project is expected to be no more than 150 kg (at present), and I'm also on the lookout for a mini turbojet engine. I have come across a Japanese one which my team seems interested in but are yet to buy it as we are scouting around for others. We tried building our own, pretty primitive gas turbine earlier using a truck turbo unit but it ended up being too heavy and underpowered (hehe like kaveri). We are still pursuing that but in the interim period we would like an off the shelf engine. The 36MT looks excellent but NPO doesn't seem to reply any email I sent them. I guess I should phone them.
Thanks a million for your suggestions. Btw what do you do with those engines?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Have you considered buying the GTRE-developed and HAL-built PTAE-7turbojet? Actually, what kind of thrust levels are you looking at? What is the envisaged MTOW of your UAV?

Susan said...

I have my own AME college,which happens to be the best equipped one in south India.....the engines are used for providing practical experience to students....I have partially disassembled the Avon for demo purposes,while the Orpheus is in working condition and we occasionally conduct ground runs.
Susan.

Anonymous said...

Above was a typo, the current weight of the project is 510 kg (not 150 as said earlier) including our primitive gas turbine that itself is 130-odd KGs. We really want to reduce its weight, say to 350 kg and thats why for now we want an off the shelf engine. It would be difficult for me to acquire the PTAE-7 (by going thru HAL in India) which itself is a derivative of the TR60 series.
The Japanese one is generally a copy of a microturbo TR60/1 variant and my team has kinda decided on that since the seller is willing to help us with the project and buy it back if we dont need it at a later time. It is under 55 kg. MTOW we look to acheive currently is 350-400 kg only so even a simple engine should do the job. From our first trials we will scale it up or down if necessary, and perhaps buy a new engine if circumstances call for it. This one is coming to us at $2500 (used). So for now the best thing is to go for it.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

So what you're going for now is a turbojet, and not a turbofan. The 36MT is a turbofan and I don't think any OEM for that matter will be willing to sell only one or even three units. These turbofans are not in series-production and are made to order. Therefore procuring one or three turbofans will be cost-prohibitive.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

I know for sure China builds two types of turbojets, one which is less than 150kg and one weighing 56kg. Both these engines are used for anti-ship cruise missiles.

Susan said...

anon @ 10:52am
why don't u try IC engines in a pusher config? i think they'll be far more efficient...turbojets are fuel guzzlers...moreover you may have to spent additional resources on desigining/fabricating a suitable FADEC.
Btw,have you thought of using ramjets/pulsejets??