Hey, no problem.I will just give me spill on Indian aviation here, since I might have given a couple of you hard times in other threads for going off topic and this might be the better place to talk about all things IAF.
Rafale is actually better than the F-35 in many areas. So why is it a downgrade? Anyway, even with the delays, the production slot will take years to open up.To make it clear, I don't talk down on PAK-FA because I want India to not do well or anything like that. I just don't think too highly of the aircraft because I don't think it's a stealth design and I don't agree with Russian philosophy of valuing flight performance over stealth. I think F-35 would have been a better choice for India. Rafale is an advanced enough aircraft that India could have waited for F-35 production slot to become available while inducting Rafale. And if possible, future Indian carriers would be better served to support just Rafale-M and N-LCA rather than Mig-29K.
And the Indian Navy is going for a new program for next generation aircraft. Both Rafale-M and F-35 B/C will be studied.
Let's avoid the discussion on whether the PAKFA is stealthy or not, since you seem to have made up your mind about it. But I will say the same thing as in the F-35 thread. The Rafale is at the same level or higher than the F-35 and the IAF says the FGFA will be a generation ahead compared to the Rafale.
You have already read my post regarding the article.While I've seen some Indian posters dismiss complaints that I've seen online like this one
I actually find these complaints to make a lot of sense from watching China's past experiences with the Russians. I think engine is an issue with Russians, since 117S is an improved variant of AL-31F and it's unclear when the real next generation AL-41 will be available. Radar is an issue with Russians since there were questions on when they will be able to mass produce T/R modules recently. The Russians are just behind in electronics. And whether you look from frontal view, but especially from side and rear, I just don't see a stealth design at all. These seem to be legitimate concerns.
Anyway, the Russians have already setup the facility to mass manufacture GaN modules for radars and other antennas. They have setup a facility, I forgot where, which produces 100,000 units a year and upgradable to 200,000 units. GaAs is for the prototype and Stage One program. Indian officials say the radar will be far more advanced than what's been shown to the general public.
I am surprised you believe the Russians cannot deliver, but you seem to have high hopes the Chinese will. Engine is an issue for the Chinese, not the Russians.
The 117S is indeed an improvement over AL-31F but 80% of the components are different. The 117 is the improved version of the 117S and is supercruise capable. Anyway, the AL-41F isn't the new program. The 117S and 117 are AL-41F1S and AL-41F1 resply. But they have little in common with the original AL-41F. The original AL-41F program was cancelled years ago. The designation has been reused for the upgraded AL-31 programs. The Izdeliye 30 is the new engine.
Izd 30 will be the first operational variable cycle engine which will weigh just over 1000 Kg and deliver around 18 tonnes of thrust. A few engines are being assembled and will be delivered soon. The bench testing is support to start in early 2015 and first flight in 2017, and the Russians say the program has been progressing without delays.