India LCA: F404-IN20 validation testing is nearing completion with initial deliveries of production engines for the India Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) program scheduled for mid 2006. Testing has included installed performance/operability, plus validation of control schedules and mechanical systems. The engine has generated more than 19,000 pounds (85 kN) thrust during the program. Indian defense officials have ordered 17 engines to power initial Tejas production aircraft and have expressed interest in procuring an additional 20 aircraft, with options for 20 more.
Total expectation is 17 + 20 + 20 = 57. Of these we exercised 17+24 = 41.
plus an initial 2004 purchase of 17 F404 engines to power a limited series of operational production aircraft and naval prototypes
Excellent work Kansonji, that clarifies things considerably. AWST is correct, and so is my estimate - at this point confimed orders seem to be 20 LCA mk1/GE IN20 (2005) + 8 LSP (GE IN20) + Naval prototypes + ?Trainers = 40. IOWs, the total number of MK1 a/c = 20 onlee.
The 99 GE 414 engines will bring up the second order of 20 PLUS another 80 odd Mk2. All in all one can expect 120 odd Tejas. This confirms the AWST analysis, pg. 46-47. http://gb.zinio.com/reader.jsp?o=int&pu ... =274582255
It also matches with PS's own words, and the fact that additional 20 have still not been ordered even 5 years after the first batch!
As far as the idle line goes, I think we may have to recalculate:
8 LSPs + 4 series prod to be delivered by early (march?) 2012
4 series prodn a/c by 2013
8 #s by 2014
PLus LCA Naval/Trainer protos by 2015-16.
How is the line idle? By then the mk2 should be available for 99 numbers.
That is it - 120 birds and the run is over. This sidelining of the Tejas is probly because of 2 reasons (speculation alert!):
1) Hopeful scenario: The IAF does not fully trust US components and does not want to base a large number of fighters on GE engines. The LCA team otoh, has always seemed to be in favor of US components despite repeated snubs, and this probly causes a rift, and the Tejas remains an experiment with limited success in that it to a large extent fulfills the techie goal of creating an aerospace industry but falls short of providing a usable fighter. The IAF as end user can now perhaps trust in the AMCA project a bit more willingly (unlike LCA)
2) Sorry scenario: The IAF trusts the US but has simply no faith in Tejas and technocrat ability. As a result it skippers the Tejas and focuses on MRCA instead. This should be borne out by either the Gripen or Shornet making landfall gains.
Anyways, in either case the Tejas gets token order (123).