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India's First Stealth Fighter To Fly In 4 Months

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-now-everyone-knows-about-it dept.

The Military 611

xmpcray writes "Less than four months from now, India's first stealth fighter will fly for the first time. It is called the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, or FGFA, and is being developed in Russia by Sukhoi. Several of the technologies being developed for the stealth fighter have evolved from those used in the Sukhoi 30 MKI. Considered the most maneuverable fighter in the world, the Sukhoi 30 MKI uses thrust vectored engines, which deflect the exhaust from its engines to extreme angles, enabling the jet to pull off violent maneuvers like a flat spin — where the jet literally spins around on its axis."

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611 comments

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256527)

Oh yes.

Huts and dirt roads and India needs a fighter? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256749)

They need to hand out grills and cook up all them cows on those muddy, poopy roads that run along side the sewer line and extensioned family huts.

Re:Huts and dirt roads and India needs a fighter? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256951)

About all I can say about that is, you really don't know anything about India.

But since you think you know something about India... you'll never learn anything.

But does it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256879)

But does it run on Linux?

Interesting stuff (5, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256545)

The end of last year, a couple videos came out with an American F-15 pilot talking about what it was like going up against the Indian Air Force Su-30MKI. It was quite interesting, as the vectored thrust did offer additional maneuverability but it came at a cost. That isn't to say that this new jet and training wont overcome that advantage, but it was a glimpse into the world of air to air combat I don't think makes it out into the civilian world all that often. The clips were put up on youtube - I'll link to both.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKEa-R37PeU [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ibgAQ7lv0w [youtube.com]
Basically if I understand it correctly the vectored thrust allowed them to turn, but they would lose airspeed and altitude in the process. As the fighter types say - speed is life - and once it happened they were apparently easy pickings. This FlightGlobal writeup about it [flightglobal.com] may do a better job of explaining.

But I wonder is how much longer this will matter. The Lockheed video on their DAS [youtube.com] for the F-35 pretty much asserts that the system makes maneuverability irrelevant. I realize that it's a vendor sales presentation, but at the same time I know off-bore-sight missiles are pretty much a done deal. Stealthiness helps some, but I doubt it would be enough as these systems keep improving. It seems soon the primary factor in air to air combat will be the quality of radar and missiles that are available.
 
When I bring this up with current military folks, they say they think rules of engagement will keep it from going that far. I can see that in situations where one side has complete air superiority - but if it comes to evenly matched sides, I think ROE will be out the window when sticking to it means losing. The whole thing is rather disconcerting as we seem to be developing better ways to kill just as quickly as all our other tech is advancing but I don't see leaps in our ability to live peacefully or get along keeping up with it all.

Re:Interesting stuff (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256605)

But I wonder is how much longer this will matter. The Lockheed video on their DAS [youtube.com] for the F-35 pretty much asserts that the system makes maneuverability irrelevant. I realize that it's a vendor sales presentation, but at the same time I know off-bore-sight missiles are pretty much a done deal. Stealthiness helps some, but I doubt it would be enough as these systems keep improving. It seems soon the primary factor in air to air combat will be the quality of radar and missiles that are available.

Something Lockheed makes makes India's planes' maneuverability irrelevant? How so? We're going to be fighting each other or something? Is Lockheed going to be selling their stuff to Pakistan?

Re:Interesting stuff (2, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256929)

In the paragraph you quoted, there is no mention of India. It says "makes maneuverability irrelevant." India isn't the only ones looking at this sort of capability.

Re:Interesting stuff (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256619)

Just like the Harrier. Against the Argentinians the British pilots would effectively slam on the brakes and attack the other aircraft from behind.

Re:Interesting stuff (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256827)

An F-16 pilot friend refers to this as "getting stuffed", and they train to counter the technique. It would be foolish to assume that it's like in "Top Gun" where "slamming on the brakes" totally surprises an opponent.

In air to air combat, killing your opponent before they get anywhere close to you is the goal. Aviation Week wrote years ago about the ratio of losses "at the merge" (i.e. when the two opposing forces actually pass each other and engage at close range). The goal of the F-22 is to end the battle before the merge. Launch radar guided missiles from well outside the opposing force's missile range, clean up the remnants with infrared missiles at closer range, and not need to deal with a messy knife-fight. All the while, your stealth prevents the opponent from getting a good missile shot.

Re:Interesting stuff (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256933)

Sorry the goal of the F-22 is to not be cancelled, and in that goal it looks like it is going to fail and hard.

Re:Interesting stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29257001)

Which only worked because the Argentinians weren't very good. Against a proper adversary, slamming on the brakes in a fight is an extremely bad idea and will get you killed rapidly. As they say, speed is life. It doesn't really help all that much to be behind the other guy when he has a couple hundred knots on you and is zooming away.

Re:Interesting stuff (2, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256635)

When I bring this up with current military folks, they say they think rules of engagement will keep it from going that far. I can see that in situations where one side has complete air superiority - but if it comes to evenly matched sides, I think ROE will be out the window when sticking to it means losing. The whole thing is rather disconcerting as we seem to be developing better ways to kill just as quickly as all our other tech is advancing but I don't see leaps in our ability to live peacefully or get along keeping up with it all.

Do you think the world will see serious war against major powers in the near future? When was the last time we had real out-and-out dog fights? Gulf War I? I keep thinking that the future of warfare is basically going to be these anti-terrorism wars, where global powers are fighting villagers getting financed by someone.

Re:Interesting stuff (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256669)

Since the beginning of the Cold War, people have kept predicting the end of dogfighting ... and they've kept being proven wrong.

More generally, people keep predicting that whichever type of war is being fought at the moment is the future of warfare and all other types are obsolete ... and they keep being proven wrong.

Re:Interesting stuff (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256781)

As a former F-15 avionics technician, let me say this:

We had several blue flag military exercises in which we had allowed the Indian fighters access to the OFPs (operational flight programs) of our electronic warfare suite(AN/ALQ 128 in conjunction with AN/ALR 56). Why not? They are allies, they should challenge us and let us learn from the challenges they offer.

Unfortunately, we discovered that Indians do not bathe. As a result, the translucent tell-tale brown trace of Indian stink followed their aircraft. We did not know if we should ignore it or just virtually shoot it down and make them chalk up yet another stink-related military defeat. Perhaps they shat on their flightlines and didn't do FOD checks and so human shit was just sucked into the turbofan blades.

The moral of the story is that the American military leadership needs to play Metal Gear Solid 4. The answers to the questions asked by modern Americans are answered within.

Re:Interesting stuff (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256905)

Well considering dogfighting essentially doesn't happen anymore, and hasn't really happened much since the beginning of the Cold War, these people are right. Sorry if the truth gets in the way of your "Top Gun" fantasies.

Re:Interesting stuff (1)

BCoates (512464) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256961)

In what way have they been proven wrong? There's been a good number of conflicts since the cold war started, but little to no dogfighting since the early 70s. It won't be long before the post-dogfighting era is the longer part of the entire history of air warfare.

China's 1 child policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256939)

Well, thanks to China's 1-child policy we'll have a lot of Chinese males without a wife and looking to prove their masculinity.
In that space you'll have
1) a depopulated Russian Siberia, thanks to Russia's amazingly low re-population rate
2) a up and coming India
3) a USA either weak or actually strong (depending on how we come out of the recession) but unable or unwilling to withstand a real war. Remember that 1/2 the country is on record as thinking that the US is inherently bad.

China has also bought up most of the oil and sea lanes Japan tried to conquer during WWII.

That said, also due to China's 1 child policy, it is likely they will grow old BEFORE they can grow rich.

Re:Interesting stuff (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256673)

Not an aviator, by any stretch of the imagination, BUT, the pictures don't look like "stealth" to me. Starting with two tails standing vertically, and on to what appears to be a traditionally rounded fuselage, cockpit, and nose. I don't see those features that were touted by the US Air Force as being "stealthy". Do they rely more on electronics than the US counterparts, or is the word "stealth" just a buzzword here?

Re:Interesting stuff (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256795)

I'm not an aviator either... That looks a hell of a lot like a mig-29 to me.

Re:Interesting stuff (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256897)

Overall silouette looks pretty similar, yes. Look at the tails - the mig has vertical tails, the FGFA tails are slanted. Then, the jets. The mig's nozzles extend back past the rear wings, FGFA do not. Part of the vectoring thing, as well as stealth. Looking forward from the jet nozzles, the Mig's jet engines form big round bulges in the fuselage, both top and bottom, where the FGFA has a clean swept surface. The mig has all those mounting pylons, FGFA lacks them - weapons are inside of the "stealth" skin of the aircraft, making them invisible to radar.

I see all the features that previous articles I've read pointed out as "stealthy". I don't have any idea how it stacks up against our aircraft, but the obvious features are there.

Re:Interesting stuff (2, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256681)

The whole thing is rather disconcerting as we seem to be developing better ways to kill just as quickly as all our other tech is advancing but I don't see leaps in our ability to live peacefully or get along keeping up with it all.

A lot of people feel this way, but fortunately it is not true. Sure there are some isolated conflicts, but consider what the world was like 25 years ago: a couple different wars in Central American countries, an arms escalation war with between the US an Soviet Union which sometimes became violent in places like Afghanistan, England had just finished a war with Argentina, Africa was in war all over the place, South Africa had apartheid, the specter of global thermonuclear warfare still hung over our heads.

A hundred years ago, warfare was considered glorious, exciting, and desirable.

Now, at best we consider warfare a necessary evil. In Latin America, where we used to have leaders like Che Guevarra starting wars, we now only have a guy like Hugo Chavez who tries to rig elections. Bad, but much less violent. We now worry about terrorists, not about full on wars. Even the Israel situation is mostly settled: what was once a fight between many countries is largely now a conflict between Palestine and Israel. Even the US, who continues to go to war has changed their outlook: in Vietnam we killed entire villages, now we put extreme effort into avoiding civilian casualties.

The world is moving closer to peace every day. Step by step.

Re:Interesting stuff (5, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256729)

we now only have a guy like Hugo Chavez who tries to rig elections

And... sends troops across borders, and provides weapons and cash to murderous FARC militants, and jails his political opponents, and provides support to places like Cuba (who jail their own people for trying to leave). Chavez is a lot more than an election-rigger. He's a totalitarian socialist thug who has oil cash to play with.

Re:Interesting stuff (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256833)

Yeah man, talk bad about Chavez all you want, most of it's deserved, but once again, if you consider how much better the region is compared to some of the other leaders in the past, he's like a little kitten.

I mean, come on, has he destroyed entire villages? Has he tied up his own son in a bag and thrown him in the river as punishment for insubordination? Has he killed nuns? These are the kinds of things you expect from a good latin American dictator. I don't even think there's any evidence of him torturing people. The dictators have gotten soft.

Re:Interesting stuff (4, Insightful)

Black Sabbath (118110) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256843)

Hahaha! Spoken like a true gringo! Dude, get your head out of your arse for just a second and ask, well, just about ANYONE from just about anywhere in South or Central America who was born before 1980, about your country's wonderful record in that region over say the last 100 years. From arming, funding and training murderous bastards to propping up dictators that "disappeared" thousands of their own people, to rigging elections, to assassinating elected leaders. Oh yeah, Hugo has a wonderful precedent, in fact, almost "template" to follow that was created by your country.
Tthere's only so much hypocrisy the rest of the world can handle. Or is this yet another case of do as I say, not as I do?

Jeez Louise!

Re:Interesting stuff (2, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256947)

the last 100 years

Oh, silly me. I was referring to the actual present. I keep forgetting that it's OK for the dictatorial head of a murderous socialist regimes to name himself president for life, shut down not-propogandizing-for-him media, "disappear" elected officials that disagree with him, and all of that cool stuff now, because in the past, something else happened.

bicubic phase conjugated holographic display? (1)

snikulin (889460) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256801)

Does anybody know what does it [wikipedia.org] mean?
And can I use vi [wikimedia.org] on it?

Re:Interesting stuff (2, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256881)

The whole thing is rather disconcerting as we seem to be developing better ways to kill just as quickly as all our other tech is advancing but I don't see leaps in our ability to live peacefully or get along keeping up with it all.

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Re:Interesting stuff (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256927)

The su-30mki isn't a very stealthy design either, at least not geometrically. Doesn't look much better than an F-15 in that regard.

Awesome maneuvers. (1, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256549)

enabling the jet to pull off violent maneuvers like a flat spin â" where the jet literally spins around on its axis

But what everyone here really wants to know is this:

  • Does it run Linux?
  • Does it blend?

Re:Awesome maneuvers. (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256671)

Does it blend?

It can do a flat spin, assuming we are only talking small items, I think thats a yes :)

Re:Awesome maneuvers. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256763)

I don't give a fuck if it runs linsux. I'm heterosexual.

No thanks. (4, Funny)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256553)

A flat spin killed Goose.

Re:No thanks. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256613)

A flat spin killed Goose.

Compressor turbine stall killed Goose. I wonder how the designers keep the airflow into their turbines clean enough to avoid that problem?

Re:No thanks. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256651)

A flat spin killed Goose.

Compressor turbine stall killed Goose.

Not to be pedantic, but a rather nasty blow to the head during ejection killed Goose.

Re:No thanks. (2, Informative)

Manfre (631065) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256685)

I thought his head smashings against the cockpit canopy was what killed him.

Re:No thanks. (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256811)

Nah, he is still alive and acting - I saw him in another movie. They must have used special effects in Top-Gun - they totally ruin the realism if you ask me.

Saw it Coming (2, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256555)

There's a pretty good software fix for combating stealth fighters. It involves radar information sharing between many radar sources. Take a little piece of the picture from many different radar sources, and share them, and someone's going to get enough of a picture to launch a missile at. Guess what the F-22 can do?

Re:Saw it Coming (4, Interesting)

phayes (202222) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256659)

Every time stealth comes up noobs who imperfectly understand the technology & its implications cry out: Multi-path radar renders stealth useless. No, it does not. The only multi-path radars out there like the Australian Over The Horizon radar all use wavelengths too long to be usable as a SAM target radar. While you may be able to detect a stealth airplane using multi-path, you can't use it to shoot at it & a F22/25 will be able to shoot down all non-stealth aircraft sent up against it.

Re:Saw it Coming (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256789)

While you may be able to detect a stealth airplane using multi-path, you can't use it to shoot at it & a F22/25 will be able to shoot down all non-stealth aircraft sent up against it.

How bad do the air forces of the rest of the world have to be that this [dutch-aviation.nl] could shoot them down? :-)

Guess what the Mig-31 can do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256783)

The F22's much-hyped data link .. wait for it .. uses active transmissions, which can be listened for and detected and somewhat negates it's big selling point of a "stealth" advantage (without which, it barely performs as well as an F-15 or Su-27).

On that note, the Mig-31 (which makes no claim, nor needs too - check out its weapons, of stealth) has been using a digital data link to coordinate attacks and "cross-reference" for 30 years now. Yes, the F-22 is that far behind the times...

Re:Saw it Coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256889)

>> Guess what the F-22 can do?

Be on trendy movies and cost a shitload of money just to take off?

In Flight School (3, Informative)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256561)

I was told that a flat spin was a bad thing.

Re:In Flight School (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256721)

I was told that a flat spin was a bad thing.

Go to the next local airshow where the F-22 demo guy is doing his stuff. You will see him do one. As well as a vertical, tailstanding, hover.

Re:In Flight School (4, Informative)

superdana (1211758) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256759)

You were told that because you're flying airplanes in which getting out of a flat spin is practically impossible. It is quite possible to get out of a flat spin if your engines have vectored thrust.

Re:In Flight School (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256913)

Also if you're flying a twin-engined fighter like a P-38 Lightning & have lots of altitude.

The story goes that a test pilot has been told that /nobody/ can rescue the P-38 from a flat spin, so he has to try (because it's there). He eventually succeeds in getting his '38 out of a flat spin, but it took IIRC about thirty thousand feet of altitude. He said the trick was to figure out which way the plane was spinning, apply max power on the inside engine (toward the spin), cut power on the outside, apply full reverse rudder, and hang on for dear life. He had only a few thousand feet to spare.

Re:In Flight School (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256793)

I was told that a flat spin was a bad thing.

... it is what killed Goose after all.

Re:In Flight School (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256971)

They probably meant uncontrolled flat spin being a bad thing. For some time, there usually wasn't much, if anything, that can be done. Sounds like some of the most recently developed fighters can get out of it. Whether controlled flat spin is of any value is a different question.

Good for US overall (3, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256575)

Although I'd rather everybody were coming to American companies for such technology — rather than to Russia, as the Indians did for this fighter — a strong India is good for US.

Their values are the closest to ours in that neighborhood and it is good to have a counterweight to the ambitious China.

And, hey, maybe, the Indians will share some of the load world-wide, that Americans (and the British) are currently managing almost entirely on our own. Perhaps, people will even begin blaming them (and burn their flag), when they screw up [umb.edu]...

Re:Good for US overall (2, Interesting)

dakohli (1442929) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256639)

Well, the US won't sell to just anybody. In fact even some of their closest allies can't even get the F22 (Israel/Australia), which may be the best Air Sup fighter in the world, but won't be avail in sufficient numbers to make a real difference.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/US-State-Dept-Throws-A-Wrench-Into-Exports-Allied-Shipbuilding-05321/ [defenseindustrydaily.com]

Here's a case where the US may lose business to an ally because of politics.

This is why the French were so successful for so long, they didn't care who they sold to.

In fact with the restrictions that the US demands now, it becomes much easier to buy elsewhere, and there is great incentive to produce weapons/platforms capable of taking on the second tier US stuff which they are exporting.

Re:Good for US overall (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256663)

You can't sell what you can't build.

Behold the power of our Congress:

They Scrapped the F-22!The remarkable vote to kill the plane and what it means for America's military future. [slate.com]

Enjoy, libtards.

Re:Good for US overall (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256713)

Enjoy, libtards.

Ending F-22 production was a thoroughly bipartisan matter.

Jesus H. Christ, did you actually read the article you linked to?

What an idiot (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256965)

First, the F-22 has been built. Further production was stopped. But, was it congress that stopped it? Nope. It was Gates that did it. Personally, I think that he is right. This is designed to repel a first strike from another super power. It is thought that if said country does strike, it will be with one mighty hit designed to take out America entirely. And it will be a first launch. We will have nearly 200 f-22's. 200 or 400 or even 600 will not matter in that situation. Instead, Gates stopped it and is focused on getting us out of W's wars. Once we are done, we will go back to development. He wants to develop another bomber around 2016 (actually, it looks like he may speed it up) and wants more powerful ABLs. The current ABL is designed for about 700 miles forward. Shooting into space, it is expected to do take out most of the sats and multiple military space stations that an invader will have in the medium earth orbit. Also, Gates is fighting against losing more of our nuclear launchers. Personally, I agree with him. MAD kept America and USSR from going to war. Once another country feels that it can "win" a nuclear war, I think that we can expect one to start.

Re:Good for US overall (0)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256983)

The thing is expensive. The F-35 Lightning II is not as good of a fighter, but it's much more versatile. The capability of carrier takeoffs and VTOL means you can turn a decent stretch of clear roadway into an impromptu airbase. At just over half the cost of an F-22 Raptor. A Raptor could probably take out a Lightning, but how does it fare against two Lightnings far from a decent landing strip?

Re:Good for US overall (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256779)

When it comes to war machines, losing business is the least of your worries.

Keep in-house stuff in-house, and outsource as much as possible even if you don't use what outsourcing produces.

Re:Good for US overall (1)

dakohli (1442929) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256991)

Ahh, but platforms and weapons are getting so expensive that it really helps to have someone to share the development costs with.

If you can get the unit cost down, then you can buy more, and that will make a difference. You can have the best tank/ship/fighter in the world, but if you don't have enough of them, they really will not make much a difference in the end. (WWII)

Re:Good for US overall (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256647)

I doubt the US Government considers India secure enough to have access to export controlled US technology.

Re:Good for US overall (2, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256709)

And, hey, maybe, the Indians will share some of the load world-wide, that Americans (and the British) are currently managing almost entirely on our own.

I really don't think it will be all that great. It could just as easily check our power in the region. Personally, I think we need to be checked. We really need to start thinking about our budget priorities. Just because we can project power around the world doesn't mean we can afford to keep doing it. Aircraft like that would be a threat to our very expensive carrier groups. Maybe not an attack from Indian aircraft, but what's stopping the Russians from selling them to Iran?

Besides, there was a time the US could never envision war with Germany. India has the bodies for a very large army, they have the budget for advanced weapons systems. Certainly more than we could fight half-way around the world. We need to address our dependence on foreign oil...now. The money we're putting into maintaining 12 aircraft carrier groups and trying to maintain our military presence in Asscrapistan is killing us.

Re:Good for US overall (1)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#29257009)

India has the bodies for a very large army, they have the budget for advanced weapons systems.

They are too far away to be a threat to us. But they are close enough to China, to keep them busy... And, as I said, Indians' values are the closest to ours in the region. Not that the same was not true of the Germans, true, but still.

The money we're putting into maintaining 12 aircraft carrier groups and trying to maintain our military presence in Asscrapistan is killing us.

No, that's not, what is killing us. Even with the two wars ongoing, the entire Department of Defense's 2008 budget was only about 30% of the tax receipts the same year (an even smaller share of the actual budget — because of the deficits). The Federal Government really is a vast insurance company with a defense business on a side. We can double the number of carrier groups and still be below the cost of Obamacare, for example...

Asscrapistan is good for target practice and live-fire training — keeps the military in shape.

Re:Good for US overall (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29257021)

The money we're putting into maintaining 12 aircraft carrier groups and trying to maintain our military presence in Asscrapistan is killing us.

No, it's this administration and congress's out-of-control porkulus spending that's killing us. In fact, I think they're doing that in purpose. It's just too damn effective to think otherwise.

Re:Good for US overall (2, Informative)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 4 years ago | (#29257015)

Well it all starts with Indian Independence, at first they make do with leftover British stuff, but then they want their own, better stuff. But really don't have the capacity to make it. So they ask around. The US stuff costs too much so the they go with mostly Russian stuff that they can afford, and repair themselves. The also let Russian advisors in (just to teach them what they need to know, that was it), which really pisses off the US, enough for the US to become all buddy buddy with Pakistan and supply the Pakistanis with our stuff.

Big mistake. I'd rather the US be more closely aligned with India than Pakistan any day. They're a hell of a lot more trustworthy and reliable than Pakistan is.

Stealth and Maneuveribility (1)

AniVisual (1373773) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256589)

Why do stealth planes need maneuverability? Don't they rely on long-range engagement and hopefully not being detected? Also, ultimately, isn't the maneuverability dependent on the amount of g-force the pilot can withstand? As I can remember, pilots are currently the limiting factor on the maneuverability of fighter planes.

Re:Stealth and Maneuveribility (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256751)

Why do stealth planes need maneuverability? Don't they rely on long-range engagement and hopefully not being detected?

Key word, hopefully. Eventually, it may come down to jet v jet. Eyeball to eyeball.
Disregarding that got the USAF into trouble in the early stages of Vietnam. Relying on BVR missiles instead of missiles and guns.

Developed by Sukhoi... (1)

rshol (746340) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256593)

...=! Indian. ==Russian. That is all.

Re:Developed by Sukhoi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256621)

If you have something that is cool, but not useful, what do you do with it? Market it to someone and sell it!

Achmed, do you hear something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256617)

No, but I smell curry!

Stay close, my friend. Insha'Allah it's just the takeaway place up the street...

that's the flaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256761)

just recalibrate the AWACS radar to look for a curry signature, goodbye Mohandras...

Actually, they are just *saying* they have them (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256679)

And if no one can see them, that means they are extra stealthy.

It's certainly a lot cheaper than actually making them.

Stealthy? (5, Interesting)

1zenerdiode (777004) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256695)

Am I the only one that looked at the thing and thought "it doesn't look very stealthy." No, I'm not talking about the paint. Just the fact that the intakes and some other features look like they are going to be big scatterers and contribute significantly to RCS. My understanding is that vectored thrust also has a significant thermal and radar signature... This sort of seems like Russia trying maintain prestige and credibility against F-22 with someone else conveniently picking up a big chunk of the tab. Then again, India is probably buying them to neutralize Pakastani F-16's, so it may be worth the investment in their minds. I'd have a hard time believing that these would give even F-15E's or Super Hornets a tough time.

Pakistani F=16s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256845)

Pakistan's AF is pretty much "neutralized" by India's existing fleet of Mirage 2000s and Su-30 variants. At Cope India (joint military exercise), the USAF F-16s were swept from the sky like turkeys at dick cheneys house (while the F-15s fared a bit better). The Indians had a 3.something to 1 kill ratio against the F-16, and considering that the USAF brought newer-model F-16s then Pakistan has, and are most likely better at flying them, it doesn't make the skies to "friendly" for the PAF if the shiznat hits the fan over there.

Re:Stealthy? (1)

dakohli (1442929) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256915)

Lets take a look at Australia. This website: http://www.ausairpower.net/ [ausairpower.net] is pretty much devoted to the argument that F-35s will not be effective against the crop of Russian Imports that are appearing in their part of the world.

Australia will be flying F-35s after their A model '18s are replaced. I think it is safe to say that the latest Sukhoi product is at least a match to the earlier generation F-15 which was put into production in the 70s (First Flight 1972) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-15_Eagle)

Re:Stealthy? (3, Informative)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 4 years ago | (#29257035)

Yeah I'm curious about this as well. From the article, it's not clear if is this a new plane or just a more variant of the SU-30 MKI? A lot of the new planes, so called 4.5 generation, have elements of stealth. For example the Chinese Chengdu J-10 [wikipedia.org] and the Eurofighter Typhoon [wikipedia.org] are both more stealthy than planes before them and incorporated elements of stealth design. They could call it a 5 generation all they want but if it's a continuation of the SU-30 MKI, it's still a 4.5 generation aircraft. There's only one 5th generation fighter in production today and that's the F-22. It is way ahead of its competitors in terms of not only maneuverability but also in electronics and avionics, both of which might be more important than maneuverability because missiles and advanced radar/IRIST/detection technology have made dogfights less likely. India and Russia would have to make a gigantic leap in technology and manufacturing know-how to have a fighter comparable to the F-22 or even the F-35. I find it hard to believe the SU-30 MKI can be made stealthy without stowing all its weapons inside like the F-22, F-35, and F-117, the only currently known stealth fighters.

Might as well say first fighter (4, Informative)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256745)

Almost all new fighter jets (and indeed most military vehicles) incorporate stealth elements. It's one of the considerations you have when designing a combat aircraft these days. It would be unusual for an aircraft to be designed that WASN'T stealthy. "Stealth Fighter" is really just a term used by the media.

Re:Might as well say first fighter (2, Informative)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 4 years ago | (#29257039)

This may be true, but it does the original F117-A Nighthawk stealth fighter a disservice to dismiss the term "stealth fighter" as a mere "term used by the media".

The F-117, at its debut in combat, had a radar signature the size of a 3/4" ball bearing floating around in the sky. It was truly invisible. F-22's and this new Indian fighter may be stealth-ish and stealth elemvents may be required of all combat planes these days, but don't forget some planes are *true* stealth fighters.

Vectored exhaust (2, Interesting)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256747)

Vectored exhaust also allows for some incredible stunts. There's a video of a Russian jet flying backwards briefly. It gains a lot of forward speed, then uses the exhaust to flip over.

Re:Vectored exhaust (4, Informative)

johncadengo (940343) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256935)

I hate when people mention amazing feats captured on video, which may or may not exist, and then force others to find [youtube.com] them [youtube.com].

Misguided (0, Flamebait)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256813)

Fantastic investment when the extent of enemy combatants' airpower are RPG's that can't hit anything above a few hundred feet, and much of your population has no running water.

Long term (4, Interesting)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256829)

Long term, are manned aircraft going to be still used for air superiority?

Cost effectiveness might be a key factor. Drone aircraft don't need to be manufactured to fly for years and thousands of missions. They could be made just good enough to survive 10 to 100 or so sorties, with a 10% failure rate considered acceptable for the first mission. Drone operators could train using simulators and a small number of better quality drone aircraft. For the missions needing drones to loiter over an area for a prolonged period, a different model of drone would be used - you don't need high speed jet interceptors if the enemy has no aircraft left. Also, drones wouldn't need to have the dogfighting performance of an F-35. They could be slower and less maneueverable - but packed with missiles and with a radar system capable of defeating stealth aircraft.

Drone aircraft wouldn't need to be "recalled" or inspected. If a fault is found that might cause a crash, no point in fixing it unless the problem is severe. You could manufacture thousands of them and leave them stored in special packing canisters. Unpack a few every few years and use them testing them to get empirical measurements of average 'shelf life'.

I think that with these and other cost saving measures, you could probably manufacture 3 to 5 drone aircraft for the cost of one manned aircraft with similar capabilities. The MQ-9 Reaper is about 1/3 the cost of the Apache helicopter it supplants. As long as you could guarantee that the drones would always work despite enemy jamming (possible with mesh networking, phase array communication antenna and one time pad encryption, I think) then they would be the only game in town.

Re:Long term (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256931)

Everything you just said was stupid. I'd go into detail about why it was stupid, but its pretty clear you wouldn't understand what I was saying.

This post is intended for anyone who reads your post and thinks they have learnt something: you haven't.

Re:Long term (0)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256955)

In a ground interdiction role, you are correct. A fighter attacking ground targets can be vulnerable to all sorts of things, even cables strung up and a unmanned plane is going to be at least as effective and far more replaceable.

However, once you get into a true air superiority role, plane-to-plane the UAV is going to lose out every time. It is a matter of pilot skill and aircraft performance, with WW II proving that good pilots beat good aircraft every time. A couple of piloted aircraft could clear a squadron of UAV's regardless of missles and other armament simply because the UAV pilots cannot use the aircraft to the limit of the pilot's abilities as the manned aircraft can be used.

So for Afganistan with no enemy air force, the UAV is perfect. Should we have a conflict with Iran, North Korea or China, we better have manned fighters.

curry bombs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256909)

in the toilet, tendori shits! WOW! FTW!

to put it lightly (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29256945)

I've never had indian food where I didn't shit up a storm or throw up from it! The fucking taj majal beer and that shitty $20 dollar appetizer did me for a shit storm. I like nan, but muddy women never did me any good!

Re:to put it lightly (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29257019)

wow, diareeah in the fucking toilet, must be that shitty dump I took in my toilet and vomited that vegetarian indian food into the fucking toilet and sink! Dont they know solid foods or am I so fucked up on hamburgers and fries that whenever I try that indian food I fucking throw up or shit up a fucking storm! shit on me is what they say with their fucking beef and peas and their fucking nan with garlic chicked mixed with fucking non stop curry shit, fuck you! no one knows abou t that shit, watch out when you go to indian restaurants! you'll end up with a fucking bowel shit into the fucking toilet and who known what kind of fucking throw up fuck that! illness for fucking $130 for 2 people is what they bring! fuck that shit mother fucker! mother fuckers with their ex[pensive indian food don't know fucking shit and they have nan and rice for that shit, wait five me yogort for the hot fooc you fuking motherfuckers fuck you non stop you tebngori fucking mohtejrerjjs;dlkj!

japan too ?? (0)

pulsa (1628199) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256911)

India will become the new competition for the Russian and American, whether the state would like india japan too?

Wrong headline (4, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29256985)

It is called the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, or FGFA, and is being developed in Russia by Sukhoi. Several of the technologies being developed for the stealth fighter have evolved from those used in the Sukhoi 30 MKI.

What the headline should say:
India will fly it's first Russian stealth fighter in four months.

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