Posts Tagged ‘Fighter aircraft’

Indra Dhanush 2010: Sukhoi vs Eurofighter and 10 B$ at stake

October 11, 2010


F3, Eurofighter, SU-30MKI


In 2006, and for the first time in over forty years the Royal Air Force and the Indian Air Force carried out exercises at bases in northern India, with Tornado F3s, E3-D AWACS and a VC10 making up the bulk of the RAF air presence. The bi-lateral Exercise INDRA DHANUSH (which means rainbow in Hindi), was held at IAF Gwalior and IAF Agra.The IAF platforms included the Sukhoi-30 MKIs, Mirage 2000, MiG-21 ‘Bison’ and MiG-27 aircraft.


Indra Dhanush 2007


Exercise Indra Danush moved to RAF Waddington in July 2007. On one side was Britain’s Eurofighter Typhoon, whose advanced aerodynamics and intuitive controls and avionics have led to it being rated as the second-best air superiority aircraft in the world. Its supporting cast included 1980s era Tornado F3 air defense variants, and upgraded GR9 Harriers from the Royal Navy. On the other side was India’s SU-30MKI, the most evolved variant of Sukhoi’s outstanding Flanker family, with aerodynamics that allow unique maneuvers, and full thrust vectoring besides.The Eurofighter is smaller, and is generally agreed to have more “shaping” than the SU-30 to reduce its radar profile (though neither aircraft is in the same class as the F-22A Raptor or even the less-stealthy F-35 Lightning II).


Now the Indian Air Force and the Royal Air Force “meetat Exercise Indra Dhanush 2010 from October 20th  at Kalaikunda, West Bengal. The exercise will be held in an AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) environment, with air defence being a major thrust area. Both the Indian and British forces are also expected to use their mid-air refuelling aircraft, like the IL-78 and VC-10 tankers, during the combat manoeuvres.

The exercise comes at a time when the $10.4 billion project to acquire 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) for the IAF is in the final stages of the selection process. Apart from the Eurofighter, the other five contenders in the hotly-contested race for the lucrative MMRCA project are the F/A-18 `Super Hornet’ and F-16 `Falcon’ (both US), Gripen (Swedish), Rafale (French) and MiG-35 (Russian).

A major Indo-UK defence deal has been the `Hawk’ AJT (advanced jet trainer) project. India is going in for another 57 Hawks as a “follow-on” order to the ongoing Rs 8,000 crore (about 1.75 B $) AJT project, finalised in March 2004 with BAE Systems, under which the IAF is already getting 66 Hawks.

The Royal Air force is going to field its Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, AWACS (E-3D) and Air to Air refuellers (VC-10). The IAF will field SU-30 MKI, Mirage 2000’s, Mig 27’s and Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems(AWACS) Aircraft.

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