Chandigarh: Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadhauria’s recent declaration that the Indian Air Force (IAF) would, over the next decade, concurrently design, manufacture and licence-build over 320 aircraft of three – if not four – combat types, worth lakhs of crores, appears somewhat incredible.

昌迪加尔报道:印度空军元帅R.K.S. Bhadhauria最近宣布,印度空军将在未来十年,同时设计、制造和许可制造超过320架3代乃至4代战斗机,价值数万亿卢比,这听起来有些不可思议。

At his annual press conference, three days before Air Force Day on October 8, ACM Bhadauria detailed the IAF’s plans to make good its fast depleting fighter squadrons, whose numbers had dropped to a perilous 28-29, from a sanctioned strength of 42. Over the next two to three years, these are expected to decrease even further to around 25 squadrons, as the IAF retires 4-5 squadrons of its 100-odd legacy MiG-21 ‘BIS’ ground-attack fighters, sharply reducing the force’s numerical platform superiority over Pakistan, leave alone China.

在10月8日空军日的三天前,空军元帅Bhadauria在他的年度新闻发布会上详细说明了印度空军的这项计划,目的是填补其快速消耗(PS:摔的吧?)的战斗机中队,其数量已从批准的42个降至危险的28-29个。在接下来的两到三年里,预计这一数字将进一步下降到大约25个中队,印度空军退役了其米格-21“BIS”地面攻击战斗机(100多架)中的4-5个中队,大大减少了其对巴基斯坦的数量优势,更不用说中国了。

The air chief, however, conceded that the IAF would be unable meet its goal of operating 42 combat squadrons by 2030, but would manage 36-38 squadrons by then.

然而,空军参谋长承认,印度空军到2030年将无法实现运营42个战斗中队的目标,但届时将运营36-38个战斗中队。


But he did not elaborate on how the colossal funds, technological input and industrial capability needed for these additional assets would be sourced. Bhaduria also tellingly admitted that the IAF would face budgetary constraints in ‘due course’, which under India’s enduring severe economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic is, by all considerations, a gross understatement.

但他没有详细说明将如何筹措这些额外资产所需的巨额资金、技术投入和工业能力。Bhaduria还明确地承认,印度空军在“适当的时候”将面临预算限制,而在新冠大流行导致印度经济持续低迷的情况下,从各方面考虑,这都是一个严重保守的估计。

Besides, at a conservative estimate, the additional 320-odd fighter types that Bhadauria has planned for the IAF, would cost upwards of $ 45 billion, or around 68%, of the annual defence budget of $65.9 billion for the fiscal year 2020-21. And though, admittedly, this entire amount would not need to be discharged all at once – as it would be spread over several years – it still remains an inordinately large amount for a solitary weapon platform in a developing country’s military, especially one that badly needs a plethora of other assorted equipment.

此外,据保守估计,Bhadauria计划为印度空军增加的超过320架战斗机将花费450亿美元以上,约占2020-21财年年度国防预算659亿美元的68%。诚然,尽管整个数字不需要一次给出——它将分摊到几年内——但对于一个发展中国家的军队的一个单独的武器平台来说,这仍然是一个非常大的数量,尤其是在一个急需大量其他配套装备的国家。

This includes multi-role utility and attack helicopters, tanks, infantry combat vehicles, aircraft carriers, warships, submarines, minesweepers, armed and unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles and varied missiles and ammunition, amongst other critical materiel.

它包括多用途和攻击直升机、坦克、步兵战斗车辆、航空母舰、军舰、潜艇、扫雷舰、武装和非武装无人机、各种导弹和弹药,以及其他关键物资。


Other serving officers concurred, affirming that the IAF’s impecunious state militated against such ambitious future acquisition plans.

其他现役军官也表示赞同,并肯定印度空军的贫穷状况不利于未来的这种雄心勃勃的采购计划。


The IAF also claimed that it had a ‘committed liability’ of Rs 480 billion for FY 2019-20 for assorted equipment bought earlier, which was responsible for ‘severely depleting’ its allocation, leaving little or nothing for new programmes.

印度空军还声称,它在2019- 2020财政年度为之前购买的各种设备承担了4800亿卢比的“责任”,这是“严重消耗”其分配资金的原因,几乎没有资金留给新项目。



And though the military emergency prompted by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) occupying Indian territory in eastern Ladakh had galvanised the IAF into conducting air domination sorties over the region, greatly boosting its media profile, its future procurements outlined by Bhadauria remain hostage to a crippled economy and a problem-ridden HAL and ADA plagued by inefficiencies. “The services, including the IAF continue to reflect a disregard for fiscal reality in planning their equipment buys,” said Amit Cowshish, former defence ministry financial advisor on acquisitions.

尽管由于PLA占领了东拉达克地区的印度领土,引发印军紧急动员,促使印度空军对该地区实施空中控制,大大提升了它的媒体形象,Bhadauria提出的未来采购计划仍然受制于瘫痪的经济和问题缠身且效率低下的HAL和ADA。前国防部采购财务顾问阿米特考什什表示:“包括印度空军在内的军种,在计划购买装备时,继续无视财政现实。”

No country in the world can possibly afford to acquire so many fighters, even over a prolonged 10-15 year period to the exclusion of all other defence equipment, he cautioned.

他警告说,世界上没有一个国家可能负担得起购买如此多的战斗机,即使是在排除所有其他国防装备的情况下,在10-15年的时间里也不例外。

In his presser, ACM Bhadauria declared that the force would operationalise the second No. 18 ‘Flying Bullets’ Tejas Mk1 light combat aircraft (LCA) squadron at Sulur in Tamil Nadu, equipped with full operational clearance (FoC) platforms by 2022.

在他的新闻发布会上,空军元帅Bhadauria宣布,该军种将在2022年前启用第二个光辉Mk1轻型战斗机(LCA)中队,即位于在泰米尔纳德邦苏鲁尔的18号“飞弹中队”,装备有全面作战许可平台。


But these IOCs too were accorded with 53 waivers – of which 20 would be permanent even after the platform secured its FOC – with regard to the platforms drop tanks, airfrx fatigue test and assorted weapon system configurations. Of the 40 MK1s, however, eight would be tandem-seat trainers that would subsequently join their two squadrons after all single-seat platforms had been delivered at the rate of around eight fighters per year. The IAF has been pressing HAL to double this output to 16 LCAs, but this remains a trying work in progress.

但是这些IOC在该平台抛弃油箱、机身疲劳测试和分类武器系统配置方面也得到了53个豁免——其中20个将是永久的,即使该平台得到其FOC后也是如此。然而,在40架mk1中,有8架将是串联座位的教练机,在所有单座平台以每年大约8架战斗机的速度交付后,它们将随后加入他们的两个中队。印度空军已经向HAL施压,要求将其加倍交付至16架LCA,但这仍是一项正在进行尝试的工作。


It would also be around 1,000-kg lighter than the Mk1, weighing 6,500 kg, and feature modified internal systems, under a ‘panel-in-panel’ arrangement, for easier maintainability. The 83 Mk1A deal- that includes 10 dual-set trainers-is costed at round Rs 390 billion, negotiated down over two years from Rs 500 billion that HAL had initially demanded for the tender.

它还将比Mk1轻约1000公斤,机重6500公斤,并具备改进的内部系统,采用“面板内面板”的配置,便于维护。这83架Mk1A的交易——包括10架双座教练机——将花费了3900亿卢比,这是经过两年的谈判,从HAL最初投标时要求的5000亿卢比降下来的。


Meanwhile, to bridge the shortfall of fighters, till the indigenously Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) joins the fleet 2029 onwards, Bhadauria stated that the IAF would pursue its long awaited procurement of 114 Multi-role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA).

与此同时,为了弥补战斗机的短缺,直到2029年国产先进中型战斗飞机(AMCA)加入机队,Bhadauria表示,印度空军将寻求其期待已久的114架多用途战斗机(MRFA)的采购。


The IAFs April 2018 request for information or RFI for these fighters had elicited responses from seven OEMs: Eurofighter (Typhoon), France’s Dassault Aviation (Rafale F3R), Sweden’s Saab (Gripen-E), Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation and Sukhoi Corporation (MiG-35 and Su35) and USA’s Boeing and Lockheed Martin (F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-21).

印度空军2018年4月对这些战斗机的信息征询(RFI),得到了7家OEM商的响应:欧洲战斗机(台风),法国达索航空(阵风F3R),瑞典萨博(鹰狮-E),俄罗斯联合飞机公司和苏霍伊公司(米格-35和苏35),美国波音公司和洛克希德马丁公司(F/A-18E/F超级大黄蜂和F-21)。

The deadline for this programme, costing not less than $ 20 billion, is unspecified, as a not even a request for proposal or tender has yet been issued. This will be eventually succeeded by a technical uation of the responses, followed by user trials and complex price and technology transfer negotiations lasting, at a conservative estimate 3-5 years. This, in turn, would be followed by the domestic company creating manufacturing facilities and developing a product support system. Thereafter, all else being equal, the first of the 96 licence built fighters could roll out around 2029-30 at the earliest, said officials associated with the project, expressing little or optimism for the project’s future.

但没有具体说明这一耗资不少于200亿美元的项目的截止日期,因为该项目甚至还没有提出提案或招标申请。最终,之后将对这些答复进行技术评价,然后进行用户试验以及复杂价格和技术转让谈判,按保守估计该过程将持续3-5年。接下来,国内公司将建立生产设施并开发产品支持系统。与该项目有关的官员表示,在其他条件不变的情况下,96架获准建造的首批战斗机最早可能在2029-30年左右推出,但他们对该项目的未来表示不太乐观。

In tandem, the IAF also aims to begin inducting the first of seven indigenously designed and built squadrons of 125 twin-engine AMCAs 2029-30 onwards. Of these, the IAF envisages the first two squadrons would be powered by the US General Electric GE-414 engine with a 98 kN thrust, and the remaining five by a locally designed engine with enhanced 125kN thrust developed in collaboration with a foreign OEM.

而与此同时,印度空军也计划在未来的2029-30年开始引进七个自主设计和建造的中队(共125架双引擎AMCA飞机)中的第一个。其中,印度空军设想前两个中队将由美国通用电气GE-414发动机提供动力,推力为98千牛,其余5个中队由本土设计的发动机提供推力,这种发动机的动力得到增强,为125千牛,与国外OEM商合作开发。

If that were not enough the ADA-HAL combine plans on simultaneously developing a twin-engine LCA Mk2 variant powered by the more powerful General Electric F414 GE-INS6. Envisaged as an eventual replacement for the IAFs upgraded Mirage-2000H fighters, HAL aims on series building some 200-odd LCA Mk2’s, making it eventually a grand total of some 324 LCA variants alone for IAF induction.

如果这还不够,ADA-HAL联合计划同时发展一种双引擎LCA Mk2变种,由更强大的通用电气F414 GE-INS6发动机提供动力。设想作为印度空军升级的幻影-2000H战斗机的最终替代品,HAL的目标是系列建造大约200多架LCA Mk2,使单单加入印度空军的LCA改型的最终总数达到约324架。

The IAF is also in advanced negotiations with Russia for 21 additional second-hand MiG 29 ‘Fulcrum’ fighters and 12 Sukhoi-“Flanker’ Su-30 MKI’s multi-role combat aircraft which HAL will licence build, once it has completed the 272 it is currently constructing. The twin engine MiG-29 fighters that were lying in an ‘unassembled and mothballed’ state in Russia were being acquired for around $850 million and would supplement three squadrons of 60 similar platforms inducted into the IAF 1986 onwards.

印度空军还在与俄罗斯就另外21架二手米格29“支点”战斗机和12架苏霍伊“侧翼”苏-30 MKI多用途战斗机进行深入谈判,一旦完成了目前正在建造的272架战斗机任务,HAL将获得授权建造这两种多用途战斗机。这些双发动机的米格-29战斗机正以零件形式封存在俄罗斯,将以大约8.5亿美元的价格被印度购买,对1986年印度空军引进的60架类似平台组成的3个中队进行补充。

With such an embarrassment of combat aircraft riches proposed by ACM Bhadauria at such tremendous cost, it appears as if only the IAF has a monopoly on the lion’s share of India’s declining defence budget.

空军元帅Bhadauria提出的这项战斗机采购提案,成本如此巨大,以至于引发了尴尬,就好像印度空军垄断了印度不断下降的国防预算的大部分份额。

Perhaps, the army and navy too have an opinion.

也许陆军和海军也有想法。