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PostPosted: 22 Oct 2013 23:52 
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Last incarnation of this thread,
=============================================================
Background articles on HAL Tejas (LCA)

_____________________________________________
Excellent overview of Tejas, from the developer itself.
http://www.tejas.gov.in/
_____________________________________________


1.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAL_Tejas

2.Remembrance of Aeronautical Matters Past (Brief history of India's Aerospace Industry)
http://vayuaerospace.in/Selected_articl ... brance.htm

3.All the articles at BR page on LCA.
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Aircr ... Links.html

4.http://www.acig.org/exclusives/LCA/ACIG ... Tejas.html

5.http://www.lca-tejas.org/

6.Good background on project, a bit dated.
http://www.geocities.com/spacetransport ... t-lca.html

7. Harry's Radiance of the Tejas article
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/downl ... diance.pdf

8. ADA overview on LCA, including interviews of test pilots, a peak inside the R&D labs and rare footage.



Newbies beware ! If you make ignorant remarks, you could be grilled by gurus
to test your LCA knowledge from these pages !
And, if you come out deficient..............(you would do better not to find out !)
:twisted:

Please stay on topic.

That means :
a> No comparison with aircraft A,B or C.
b> No half-baked suggestions to improve LCA like "add a laser gun"/"merge DRDO with ISRO " etc etc.
c> NO whining.

======================================================


Since the last LCA thread was locked after crossing the 109 page mark, created a new thread for it.

Wanted to thank PratikDas for that FaceBook page link that has pics of NP-1 that are not around anywhere else.

Strange as to why the official Tejas website has no updates on NP-1, no pics, no videos, no mention of the first flight at all !

jahaju wrote:
LCA-Tejas has completed 2349 Test Flights Successfully. (18-Oct-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-375,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-162,LSP4-94,LSP5-220,LSP7-65,NP1-4,LSP8-31)

From

LCA-Tejas has completed 2332 Test Flights Successfully. (28-Sep-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-371,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-157,LSP4-94,LSP5-220,LSP7-60,NP1-4,LSP8-28)

======================================================


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013 10:40 
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LCA is the only solution to IAF's woes. IAF must accept the current LCA in large numbers. The production of LCA must begin. A parallel program for incremental improvements should be launched, so that improved LCA blocks come out every 2-3 years, without affecting the production levels.

The stubborn attitude of army and air force in accepting locally developed platforms is costing Indian security dear.

There is a strong case of LCA numbers matching the induction rate of Mig-21 in IAF. This can happen only if India can produce more than 60 LCA per year. I am worried that IAF does not realize that a shortage of planes can seriously compromise air defence in several sectors.


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013 15:35 
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Garg wrote:
LCA is the only solution to IAF's woes. IAF must accept the current LCA in large numbers. The production of LCA must begin. A parallel program for incremental improvements should be launched, so that improved LCA blocks come out every 2-3 years, without affecting the production levels.

The stubborn attitude of army and air force in accepting locally developed platforms is costing Indian security dear.

There is a strong case of LCA numbers matching the induction rate of Mig-21 in IAF. This can happen only if India can produce more than 60 LCA per year. I am worried that IAF does not realize that a shortage of planes can seriously compromise air defence in several sectors.


Garg Sahab please read the first post by IR on this new thread. How many LCA's do you think we will induct (@60+ per year!) and for how many years will that happen?
Yes the IAF is run by a bunch of nincompoops who dont understand that how seriously the Air defence is several sectors is compromised. Please explain to this honest abdul which sectors you are indicating?


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013 15:56 
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Indranil, could you also include the latest flight statistics in the first post? :)
Last update in the old thread: viewtopic.php?p=1529725#p1529725

IndranilRoy wrote:
Done. Thanks for the suggestion.


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013 17:44 
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Flight status update

From
LCA-Tejas has completed 2349 Test Flights Successfully. (18-Oct-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-375,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-162,LSP4-94,LSP5-220,LSP7-65,NP1-4,LSP8-31)

to

LCA-Tejas has completed 2356 Test Flights Successfully. (22-Oct-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-375,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-164,LSP4-94,LSP5-222,LSP7-65,NP1-4,LSP8-34)

Are we there (IOC-2) yet? or 2400 is the real goal.


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2013 18:11 
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Oct 19, 2013 :: Naval LCA set for carrier compatibility tests


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PostPosted: 25 Oct 2013 07:18 
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DRDO to export sonars to Myanmar soon

Quote:
On Tejas, he said the aircraft in Mark-1 configuration would get full initial operational clearance by this year-end, and would brace for final operational clearance in 2014. Its series production had begun and induction of the first series production aircraft into the Air Force would also take place next year.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 00:05 
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Status Update

From:
LCA-Tejas has completed 2356 Test Flights Successfully. (22-Oct-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-375,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-164,LSP4-94,LSP5-222,LSP7-65,NP1-4,LSP8-34)


To:
LCA-Tejas has completed 2364 Test Flights Successfully. (24-Oct-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-376,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-167,LSP4-94,LSP5-222,LSP7-66,NP1-4,LSP8-37)


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 01:38 
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RKumar wrote:
Flight status update

From
LCA-Tejas has completed 2349 Test Flights Successfully. (18-Oct-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-375,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-162,LSP4-94,LSP5-220,LSP7-65,NP1-4,LSP8-31)

to

LCA-Tejas has completed 2356 Test Flights Successfully. (22-Oct-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-375,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-164,LSP4-94,LSP5-222,LSP7-65,NP1-4,LSP8-34)

to:
LCA-Tejas has completed 2364 Test Flights Successfully. (24-Oct-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-376,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-167,LSP4-94,LSP5-222,LSP7-66,NP1-4,LSP8-37)

That's 15 flights in 6 days (including a Sunday). Looks like at least LSP 3 and LSP 8 have been sent on a detachment somewhere.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 13:16 
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As I remember there was certain number of flights (aka Tests) required to clear IOC-2 and based on those numbers my projections where in the range of 2350-2400. Now if do re-analysis based on latest statement from DRDO chief and flights number count. It does not seem valid anymore.

So there are two possibilities, EITHER original estimate was wrong OR ADA/IAF/xxx are working in parallel on IOC-2 and FOC. I hope it is the second case, that would mean they doing more FOC flights right now and less IOC-2 flights.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 18:04 
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Some tests may have had to be redone.


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013 23:36 
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Also some of the flights might be more for show (aero india, high profile visit etc) and less for test.


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PostPosted: 28 Oct 2013 14:51 
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Status Update

From:
LCA-Tejas has completed 2364 Test Flights Successfully. (24-Oct-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-376,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-167,LSP4-94,LSP5-222,LSP7-66,NP1-4,LSP8-37)

To:
LCA-Tejas has completed 2372 Test Flights Successfully. (28-Oct-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-376,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-168,LSP4-94,LSP5-225,LSP7-66,NP1-4,LSP8-41)

Around 40 flights in a month ...


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PostPosted: 28 Oct 2013 15:17 
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***Chaiwallah to paanwallah to barber alert***.

Recently during haircut session barber told me that two a/c from the current line are configured for testing Mk2 upgrades. Also one Jaggu and one other type are running some tests on behalf of the Tejas. One of the two yellceeyay is configured with extra ballast and weight differential to test updates to the C-Laws with the change in characteristics expected for the Mk2.
There is also a changed exhaust design which is being considered.

The MK2 upg package testing is only for the LRU's etc. This is intended to reduce the testing required later to certify this type.

Fourth person information honly..
****alert out****


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PostPosted: 28 Oct 2013 20:31 
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Desi flight characteristics testing processes and talents seem to have grown proficient and shall I say well in indi-genius stage.


Last edited by vishvak on 28 Oct 2013 23:55, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 28 Oct 2013 23:44 
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thanks nikhil_p.. btw, did your barber gave you some hair massage as to any exact dimensions of the changes - feet or inches added, expanded etc?

from what i understand, it was the fuselage extension behind cockpit for additional fuel and fueler systems.


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PostPosted: 29 Oct 2013 01:24 
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Nikhil great info as always


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PostPosted: 29 Oct 2013 03:55 
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But why testing for MK2 when MK1 is not even IOC1 ready, 2 and FOC is just a promise as of now?


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PostPosted: 29 Oct 2013 06:38 
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concurrent streams, and phase/mark-2 dependency factors on mk1 FoC process to resource utilization of r&d units.


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PostPosted: 29 Oct 2013 08:35 
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SaiK wrote:
thanks nikhil_p.. btw, did your barber gave you some hair massage as to any exact dimensions of the changes - feet or inches added, expanded etc?

from what i understand, it was the fuselage extension behind cockpit for additional fuel and fueler systems.


That he did not say. What he did drop though is that there might be a 1.5 version as well and the first two sqds will probably be that. Yes we are talking tranches!

fanne wrote:
But why testing for MK2 when MK1 is not even IOC1 ready, 2 and FOC is just a promise as of now?


SaiK garu has answered you. However this is what is required to fast track any programme. I am happy to see we have reached a level of maturity where we are confident to do this. Team LCA you rock!!!


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PostPosted: 29 Oct 2013 08:44 
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tranches the way to go! faster methods to production is vital and need of the hour. need to race against rafale et al, given the maturity model established. keep it up!


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2013 20:29 
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as per the latest flight test update, NP1 flies again after long time.

LCA-Tejas has completed 2380 Test Flights Successfully. (30-Oct-2013).

(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-376,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-169,LSP4-94,LSP5-226,LSP7-66,NP1-5,LSP8-46)


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2013 22:11 
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akshat.kashyap wrote:
as per the latest flight test update, NP1 flies again after long time.

LCA-Tejas has completed 2380 Test Flights Successfully. (30-Oct-2013).

(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-376,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-169,LSP4-94,LSP5-226,LSP7-66,NP1-5,LSP8-46)

This is big. Now time for NP-2 and SP-1 to spread their wings.


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2013 22:38 
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nikhil_p wrote:
SaiK wrote:
thanks nikhil_p.. btw, did your barber gave you some hair massage as to any exact dimensions of the changes - feet or inches added, expanded etc?

from what i understand, it was the fuselage extension behind cockpit for additional fuel and fueler systems.


That he did not say. What he did drop though is that there might be a 1.5 version as well and the first two sqds will probably be that. Yes we are talking tranches!

fanne wrote:
But why testing for MK2 when MK1 is not even IOC1 ready, 2 and FOC is just a promise as of now?


SaiK garu has answered you. However this is what is required to fast track any programme. I am happy to see we have reached a level of maturity where we are confident to do this. Team LCA you rock!!!


The plan was for SP1-20 to be IOC level ( upgraded to FOC later) and SP 20-40 to go out at FOC level.

Now let's look at stuff remaining from both optimization and IOC/FOC levels:

Optimization:
1.Shape modification with fuselage plug to reduce wave drag. - reports indicate some acceleration, performance improvements already achieved. More significant changes can be pushed out to MK2
2. Better estate management- with LRUs reallocated...again possible to some extent before SP

Regular IOC/FOC stuff

Expanded control laws
More flight testing for full 8G, 22-24deg AoA
Full MMR modes tested and ops, radome changed
Wake testing
Lightning testing
Full weaponry included, BVR A2A in FOC
EW pod etc

MK2 discussed threadbare so let's leave that out for now...

I guess the big question is how much of optimisation section is achieved in these SPs... the rest is already part of IOC/FOC.


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2013 22:53 
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Curious about the lightening tests on LCA. I remember that there was an unfortunate accident when they were running tests on some models at ADA. Wonder how far it has progressed.
Remember seeing photos of wet soaking test to simulate rains for LCA.


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2013 22:54 
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ref: http://imageshack.us/a/img217/3787/tejasmk2.jpg
Wasn't EW suite integrated into Mk.2 platform rather podded?


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2013 23:30 
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Karan M wrote:

The plan was for SP1-20 to be IOC level ( upgraded to FOC later) and SP 20-40 to go out at FOC level.

Now let's look at stuff remaining from both optimization and IOC/FOC levels:

Optimization:
1.Shape modification with fuselage plug to reduce wave drag. - reports indicate some acceleration, performance improvements already achieved. More significant changes can be pushed out to MK2


I thought the fuselage plug is only for Mk2 and even FOC Mk1 will not get it.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2013 03:23 
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Yes, which is why I put it separately as optimisation.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2013 05:25 
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I do think that with the pictures of the LCA2 clearly showing the two saddle tanks in the side along the fuselage and the "Whisper Wings Ultra" tank on the spine and above wings (all tanks clearly seen in purple in the CAD layout), there will be a big increase in internal fuel. Clearly taking the cake and eating it too /killing two birds with one stone kind of thing with both shape optimization and range improvements.

And from the looks of it, MK1 to Mk2 isn't a massive jump. I do think that during a MLU some 5 to 10 years out, the 1st 40 too will be upgraded easily to the Mk2++ standard. The LCA program sure is shaping up well. Some 120 to 150 airframes of the Gripen NG or better class surely packs a serious punch and will absolutely maul any J10/JF17 and legacy F16 blk 52 kind of stuff in the neighborhood and beyond. Anyways, the overwhelming bulk of the PAF inventory (leaving out the F-16 Blk 52) and PLA inventory (all the J-7 /J8/J10 and other ding dongs, including their Su-27s) will be a turkey shoot.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2013 05:42 
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Vina, are you sure those tanks were not there in the earlier versions as well?


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2013 11:42 
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With all that extra fuel,comes extra tanks and extra weight.Has there been any testing with these additions/improvements and performance results for the same? Plus have the full modifications for MK-2 been clearly spelt out as yet?


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2013 12:05 
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Karan M wrote:
Vina, are you sure those tanks were not there in the earlier versions as well?

Yes, if you see the earlier general arrangement and "transparent" drawings of the LCA internals, there is one fully detailed one published in an international aero mag long ago, there were only wing and fuselage tanks. None of this saddle and spine mounted wing tanks. So yeah , internal fuel increase of a significant amount like in Gripen NG is a definite given.

Yeah. I reckon it is going to carry another 500kg to 1000 kg of internal fuel (roughly 3 to 3.5 ton internal fuel, slightly more than the M2K and F16 most probably). With that kind of internal fuel fraction (and overall fuel fraction if carrying drop tanks), it is going kick some serious Musharraf in terms of range and persistence and simply replace the SU-30 for most air defense and long range air support missions , leaving the Flankers free to go fully dedicated strike with their big payload capabilities.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2013 20:21 
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Philip wrote:
With all that extra fuel,comes extra tanks and extra weight.Has there been any testing with these additions/improvements and performance results for the same? Plus have the full modifications for MK-2 been clearly spelt out as yet?


Philip garu my little birdie did tell me they are testing for this already. Read my barber news:) a few posts back.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2013 20:28 
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vina wrote:
Yes, if you see the earlier general arrangement and "transparent" drawings of the LCA internals, there is one fully detailed one published in an international aero mag long ago, there were only wing and fuselage tanks. None of this saddle and spine mounted wing tanks. So yeah , internal fuel increase of a significant amount like in Gripen NG is a definite given.

Yeah. I reckon it is going to carry another 500kg to 1000 kg of internal fuel (roughly 3 to 3.5 ton internal fuel, slightly more than the M2K and F16 most probably).

Isn't that highly optimistic, even if these tanks are new? Extra 1000kg would mean a 40% increase in fuel capacity with a negligible increase in overall size. In the NG, they had to move and completely redesign the MLG to make that happen.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2013 22:00 
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vina wrote:
Karan M wrote:
Vina, are you sure those tanks were not there in the earlier versions as well?

Yes, if you see the earlier general arrangement and "transparent" drawings of the LCA internals, there is one fully detailed one published in an international aero mag long ago, there were only wing and fuselage tanks. None of this saddle and spine mounted wing tanks. So yeah , internal fuel increase of a significant amount like in Gripen NG is a definite given.

Yeah. I reckon it is going to carry another 500kg to 1000 kg of internal fuel (roughly 3 to 3.5 ton internal fuel, slightly more than the M2K and F16 most probably). With that kind of internal fuel fraction (and overall fuel fraction if carrying drop tanks), it is going kick some serious Musharraf in terms of range and persistence and simply replace the SU-30 for most air defense and long range air support missions , leaving the Flankers free to go fully dedicated strike with their big payload capabilities.

The cutaway diagram that you were speaking of is here and here. A more modern cutaway diagram of the LCA Navy can be found here.

The fuselage tank in Mk1 was the spine mounted tank, wasn't it? I don't know if the dimensions have changed.

The "saddle" tank is new. I don't know how thick it is at the bottom. But if it is of the same thickness as on the sides, then the volume is about 250-300 ltrs.


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PostPosted: 02 Nov 2013 11:57 
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Will the installation of the saddle tank free two of the pylons which were earlier designated for fuel carriage for weapons? Or will the arrangement remain the same?


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PostPosted: 03 Nov 2013 00:55 
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I expect it to remain the same.


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PostPosted: 03 Nov 2013 08:02 
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Does the new saddle tanks look like those meant for the "Advanced F-18SHs"? Are there any pics./drgs. of the LCA with the STs? the ADSH also comes with a stealth underbelly weapons pod,that can carry 2500lb. of weaponry. This is the USN's back up plan in case the naval variant of the JSF is further delayed.

By the way,here is a stunning flaw in the F-35 that will dismay its admirers.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/03 ... lind-spot/

Quote:
Test Pilots: Stealth Jet’s Blind Spot Will Get It ‘Gunned Every Time’

By David Axe
03.07.13

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the military’s expensive main warplane of the future, has a huge blind spot directly behind it. Pilots say that could get them shot down in close-quarters combat, where the flier with the better visibility has the killing advantage.

“Aft visibility could turn out to be a significant problem for all F-35 pilots in the future,” the Pentagon acknowledged in a report (.pdf) obtained by the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington, D.C. watchdog group.

That admission should not come as a surprise to observers of the Joint Strike Fighter program. Critics of the delayed, over-budget F-35 — which is built in three versions for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — have been trying for years to draw attention to the plane’s blind spot, only to be dismissed by the government and Lockheed Martin, the Joint Strike Fighter’s primary builder.

The damning report, dated Feb. 15, summarized the experiences of four test pilots who flew the F-35A — the relatively lightweight Air Force version — during a September-to-November trial run of the Joint Strike Fighter’s planned training program at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The report mentions a number of shortfalls of the highly complex F-35, including sensors, communications and aerial refueling gear that aren’t yet fully designed or just don’t work right.

No aspect of the report is more damning than the pilots’ critiques of the F-35′s rearward visibility. “All four student pilots commented on the out-of-cockpit visibility of the F-35, an issue which not only adversely affects training, but safety and survivability as well,” the report states. The Joint Strike Fighter is a stealth plane designed to avoid detection by radar, but if it ends up in a short-range dogfight, a distinct possibility even in this high-tech age, it’s the pilot’s eyes that matter most.

Meant to replace almost all of the military’s jet fighters at an initial cost of more than $400 billion, the F-35 has a clamshell-style windshield with a good view to the front and sides. But it’s got no line of sight to the rear, which is blocked by the pilot’s seat and the plane’s upper fuselage spine. Today’s A-10s, F-15s, F-16s, F/A-18s and F-22s, by contrast, have so-called “bubble canopies” with good all-round vision.

The limitations of the F-35′s canopy are “partially a result of designing a common pilot escape system [a.k.a. ejection seat] for all three variants to the requirements of the short-take-off and vertical landing environment.” In other words, the Joint Strike Fighter’s windshield is constrained by the need to fit a standard ejection seat and the downward-facing engine of the Marine Corps variant, which allows that model to take off and land vertically and is located directly behind the cockpit.

The pilots, who formerly flew A-10s and F-16s, didn’t seem interested in excuses. Their comments, quoted in the report, are scathingly direct.

“Difficult to see [other aircraft in the visual traffic] pattern due to canopy bow,” one said.

“Staying visual with wingman during tactical formation maneuvering a little tougher than [older] legacy [jets] due to reduced rearward visibility from cockpit,” another added.

Said a third, “A pilot will find it nearly impossible to check [their six o'clock position] under G [force].”

“The head rest is too large and will impede aft visibility and survivability during surface and air engagements,” one pilot reported.

Most damningly: “Aft visibility will get the pilot gunned every time” during a dogfight.

The pilots’ sentiments echo warnings by Pierre Sprey, one of the original designers of the A-10 and F-16. Joined occasionally by former national security staffer Winslow Wheeler and ex-Pentagon test director Tom Christie, Sprey has repeatedly spoken out against the military’s tendency to downplay pilot visibility in recent warplane design efforts. At a presentation in Washington six years ago, Sprey told Danger Room that the F-22, also built by Lockheed Martin, featured a more limited view from the cockpit than the company’s older F-16 — and that the F-35, then still in early design and testing, would be far worse still.

Lockheed and the military’s response has been to tout the benefits of the Joint Strike Fighter’s sensors, which Lockheed vice president Steve O’Bryan last year characterized as “world-beating.” The F-35 has six wide-angle cameras installed along the fuselage that are supposed to stream a steady, 360-degree view directly to the pilot’s specially designed helmet display. In essence, the warplane should see for the pilot.

But the helmet display doesn’t work yet, another shortfall highlighted by the Pentagon report. For now — and perhaps forever if the display’s problems don’t get resolved — Joint Strike Fighter pilots rely solely on their eyes for their view outside the jet. And their vision is incomplete owing to the F-35′s design compromises.

“There is no simple relief to limitations of the F-35 cockpit visibility,” the report states. Instead, the Pentagon admits it is more or less hoping that the problem will somehow go away on its own. “It remains to be seen whether or not, in these more advanced aspects of training, the visibility issues will rise to the level of safety issues, or if, instead, the visibility limitations are something that pilots adapt to over time and with more experience.”

But wishful thinking is no basis for warplane design. Especially when the plane in question is supposed to form the backbone of the entire U.S. air arsenal.


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PostPosted: 03 Nov 2013 08:11 
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BRFite

Joined: 26 Nov 2010 08:56
Posts: 212
cameras and infra red displays will/can solve the view problem, Everything is going digital so why not visual inputs


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PostPosted: 03 Nov 2013 08:25 
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BRF Oldie

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 10523
Location: India
But they aren't thus far,plus read the other related handicaps too.This is perhaps the core of the issue.

Quote:
The pilots’ sentiments echo warnings by Pierre Sprey, one of the original designers of the A-10 and F-16. Joined occasionally by former national security staffer Winslow Wheeler and ex-Pentagon test director Tom Christie, Sprey has repeatedly spoken out against the military’s tendency to downplay pilot visibility in recent warplane design efforts. At a presentation in Washington six years ago, Sprey told Danger Room that the F-22, also built by Lockheed Martin, featured a more limited view from the cockpit than the company’s older F-16 — and that the F-35, then still in early design and testing, would be far worse still.


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