It is often forgotten that HAL was originally a private company started by the Walchand Hirachand group ( the owners of Premier Automobiles). They were no longer interested in running HAL, becuase they did not see a return in the business. <P>While I am all for privatizing the defense industry in India, it cannot be done overnight. The subcontractors should be the first to privatize and then one can work one's way up the food chain. Unless there is significant external business (from out of India) privatization of Indian defense industry is only a distant dream. <P>One approach to an intermediate step is to turn over the management of HAL to a private company on a management fee basis. This is how the national labs are run in the US. No solution will be perfect in the intermediate term unless India proves itself to be a reliable supplier of military hardware in the international market (against stiff competition).<P>Kaushal
Has someone already posted this - a good knowledgeable anlysis:<P> <A HREF="http://www.the-hindu.com/stories/0205000d.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.the-hindu.com/stories/0205000d.htm</A> <P>The adequacy of the LCA's flight control laws and their software implementation in all<BR> situations will be under close scrutiny now that the flight trials have begun.<P> there are two systems whose indigenisation is critical for the success of the LCA programme. One is the development of actuators used in the fly-by-wire system to move the control surfaces and the other is the LCA's Kaveri engine. Given the extremely stringent requirements for their performance and reliability, delays in their delivery is a very real possibility.
Appropos Rahul Bedi<P>This particular gentleman has a distinguished record of maintaining journalistic standards of the likes of Pamela Constable and Eric Margolis. In fact his knowledge on defence issues is shall we say questionable.<P>I have seen him write as a reporter for the South China Morning Post (HK News paper) for over many years. Amongst his gems were articles stating the usual Kashmir as disouted territory, Hindu dominated India etc. He has since stopped writing or the last couple of years for these newspapers after he got in the payroll of Janes Defence Weekly. Of course he as been ably replaced by SNM Abidi of Calcutta, in the SCMP. Even Rahul Bedi will have to blush in embarassment with some of this guys writing.<P>So please do not waste time reading the banality dished out by the baleful.It is not good for your health.<P>Rajaram
Baruaji,<BR>Haven't you heard of wolf in sheep's clothing ?Do not be deceived by appearance!!It is a killer craft in development.<BR>Kaveri will be incorporated.The time has come my friend and it will prevail.
I like the idea of private enterprises playing leading role in the future of this LCA. I also agree that given the state of the present situation wholesale involment of private sector is not totally possible. Perhaps HAL or DRDO or whomever is in charge allow private businesses to bid for the rights to supply the various parts etc.<P>(As for suggestion that Brazil is behind India in tech......DEAD WRONG!!! Brazil and Argentina had their own nuclear powered submarine projects way back in the late 70s but financial constraints put a brake to it all. Technologically they had the confidence to achieve it. And even though Brazil is grouped with 3rd world nations it was actually nearly as modern as any Western European states and nearly as rich until the Arab oil embargo ruined their economy way back in the 70s. Just remember that in the 1940s Argentina was the 5th richest nation in the world and Brazil was not too far behind.Today they are both among the top 10 largest economies of the world)<BR>The Embraer was quite successful because it had European partnership.<BR>It does not matter if LCA had to rely on foreign engine initially. What mattered was that it flew. The expertise to attach an airframe to any engine and make it fly is brilliant enough. Way to go.....but it is no time to sleep because goal is not reached yet.<BR>Avram Sprinzl
You guys missed an important fact in the rediff report<BR><B>LCA is a STOL</B> as in the requirement of the first prototype of any carrier-based fighter<BR><P>------------------<BR>Adios<P>Saurabh
<BR> Great achievement and an historic day.Congratulations to DRDO, HAL, NAL and everyone else involved in the project.Let the cynics go to the back seats! <BR> <BR> I like Narayanan's explanation about a year ago (through e-mail) about the difference between the PSLV and the LCA.The PSLV,no small achievement, has been relatively quick and successful because,while the materials used may be more exotic,it is more 'doable'.The vehicle either goes up or it doesn't. The LCA has to be built for safety,reliability,manoeuvrability and of course repeated use.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jay Barua:<BR><B>Just looking at the picture of the LCA taking off tells me this is a 70's airplane</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Compare the LCA to the Gripen. Paint the LCA in a service color like grey or camo, add weapons & antennas and such, and it doesn't look very 70's anymore. <P> <P> <P>Avionics, weapons, and maintainability are what matter. I've always gotten the impression that with the LCA they are aiming for something broadly equivalent to the Gripen in terms of sophistication, payload, performance, etc. Certainly looks like a Gripen. By the way, does anyone know if there are plans, or a need, to add canards to the LCA in the future, or to install a thrust-vectoring engine?<P>Here are two other pics which demonstrate the main structural differences between the Gripen and LCA, namely the canards and somewhat different placement of the air intakes. Also the Gripen's engine is placed more aft (as the first two pics illustrate). <P> <P> <P>Anyway, I find the LCA's striking similiarity to the Gripen rather encouraging. The Gripen, after all, is highly regarded. Obviously the Swedes don't consider it an obsolete design, or too small, or its payload to light (complaints raised by Indian journalists about the LCA).<p>[This message has been edited by Michael Baxter (edited 05-01-2001).]
Picture of the LCA taking off. <A HREF="http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/p/nm/20010104/wl/imdf80946.html" TARGET=_blank>http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/p/nm/20010104/wl/imdf80946.html</A> <BR>with what looks like dummy AAM on wingtips(or maybe testing pods)<BR>Check out TOI for more pics
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rags:<BR><B>bobj,<BR> regarding your reply in the closed thread if you would want some more info e-mail me.my e-mail address is present in my profile.<BR>(edited 05-01-2001).]</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Emails are no longer available in the profile, but thanks anyway.<P>
In the mid eighties India purchased a few Computergrahics workstations for the design work at ADA. However no software was allowed to be exported. Hence they developed a version called' Auto Lay' for laying up the composite plys. This software has been licensed to Computer Graphics to be incorporated in their CAD/CAM software and is used quite extensively. All this is old hat. Wish people look up the archives.<BR>LCA has a lot of technologies developed for first time in India.<BR>- Al- Lithium alloy fab plant.<BR>- Ti alloy plant<BR>- Graphite -epoxy plant<BR>- HAL developed electronics<BR>etc.<BR>
Somebody on the forum - was it Neil - kept hollering that the first flight LCA carries missiles. Well - he was dead right - it did carry dummy missiles.<P>Check this out(area enlarged)<P>
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by shiv:<BR><B>Somebody on the forum - was it Neil - kept hollering that the first flight LCA carries missiles. Well - he was dead right - it did carry dummy missiles.<P> </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Yup could it be AA 10 alamo training rounds??<BR>Tingudu.<P>
What do you guys think of Jasjit Singh's analysis in TOI? I think the challenge is to develop Kaveri and this may take much longer than 2010. In the interim he suggests using Russian engines (discussed first on BR). He also highlights the shortfall in IAF of 10-12 squadrons by 2010. Realistically, LCA may not be produced in large enough numbers by this time to cover the shortfall. He also debunks the obsolescence argument being spouted by the media folks.<P>Will the LCA help close the fighter gap? <BR>Jasjit Singh <A HREF="http://www.timesofindia.com/today/07indi6.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.timesofindia.com/today/07indi6.htm</A> <P>
Defence India has very detailed technical info on the LCA:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.defenceindia.com/test1/templ.php3?filename=technology.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.defenceindia.com/test1/templ.php3?filename=technology.html</A>
I'm a tad concerned about the short time between the first flights of the LCA technology demonstrators (TD series) and the actual prototypes (PV series). TD-2 is expected to fly in a few months' time, and PV-1 is scheduled for its first flight by the end of this year, with PV-2 and PV-3 flying in 2002.<P>My understanding was that technology demonstrators typically fly for at least a couple of years before designers are ready to move on to actual prototypes. Consider the respective records of the Rafale, Typhoon and Gripen:<P><B>Rafale</B>:<BR>Rafale A demonstrator first flies July 1986, Rafale C prototype in May 1991, five years later. First orders are placed in March 1993 for delivery after 2000 (delays are for financial reasons).<P><B>Typhoon</B><BR>British Aerospace demonstrator, the Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP) first flies on August 1986. The flight test program ends in May 1991 after 259 sorties; 195 hours and 21 minutes of flying. First Eurofighter DA1 (DA = demonstrator aircraft) flies over Germany on March 1994 for a 40 minute flight, having been earlier delayed by concerns over the flight control system software (sound familiar?). Britain's DA2 also flies that month (50 minutes), with Italy's DA3 equipped with EF200 engines flies in June 1995. First Eurofighter enters production January 1999.<P><B>Gripen</B><BR>First flight of prototype on December 1988. Crashes on take-off in February 1989 because of flight control software bug. Second protytpe flies May 1990. Further prototypes fly on December 1990, March 1991, and October 1991. First pre-production Gripen deliver to RSwAF on June 1993, and a pre-production batch of 30 serves with the air force (one crashes in August 1993). Production begins in 1998.<P>The point of these histories is that technology demonstrators have typically flowsn for several years before there has been sufficient feedback to develop prototypes. In the LCA's case, the PV series has begun construction before the first TD flight! So what's the point of the TD series? The Gripen's more rapid development schedule more closely mirrors the LCA's, but even the Swedes had experience with the Viggen before that. Are we doing this right?
<A HREF="http://www.the-week.com/21jan14/events6.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.the-week.com/21jan14/events6.htm</A> <BR>No mirage this<BR>Defence: Light Combat Aircraft takes off despite arms-selling countries denying technology to India<P>Already, it is learnt that ADA director Kota Harinarayana has promised a second test flight, of a second technology demonstrator, in a few months. And he is getting five prototypes ready, while Hindustan Aeronautics is laying down the assembly lines with the help of ADA-developed SAHAS (System for Assembly Handling and Advance Scheduling). "Much of the talk about the delay was exaggerated," said a DRDO scientist. "If project definition phase is to be taken as the starting point, the project began only in 1983 with Rs 560 crore, which means it took only 18 years. Full-scale engineering development began in 1993 with Rs 2,188 crore, but it was hampered mainly by the post-Pokharan sanctions which, I believe, was aimed solely at scuttling the project." <P>Another major challenge has been to develop the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tool kits. These were developed by ADA and utilised for wing design, fuselage shape, aerodynamic evaluation and a host of other purposes. With continuous use and validation against test data, CFD codes have been developed into industrial standards. The spin-off from this is that the same codes have been successfully used for aerodynamic studies of the medium-range transport aircraft that India is developing.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Muppalla:<BR><B> <A HREF="http://www.the-week.com/21jan14/events6.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.the-week.com/21jan14/events6.htm</A> <BR>No mirage this<BR>Defence: Light Combat Aircraft takes off despite arms-selling countries denying technology to India</B><P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Incidentally, this article has one of the best images of the LCA that I have seen (the third fromt the top, that has the LCA specifications). It is a side profile drawing of a fully armed LCA. This should silence those who were complaining about the LCA's looks.<P>Admins: could you add this image to the LCA images page?<BR>
Can some of the pundits explain what this means in terms of the maturity of Kaveri's development. For example, can we say that most of the uncertainity about Kaveri's development is taken care of now that it is 'speed-tested'? Almost seems like plug and play from the article's viewpoint. BTW the source is from "The Week":<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><BR>The first of the prototypes is learnt to have been structurally assembled. Meanwhile, the Kaveri turbofan engine, developed by DRDO's Gas Turbine Research establishment (GTRE) to which the Belgians, after signing a contract, refused certain vital mechanical parts, has been speed-tested on the ground and is getting ready for integration into the later models of the LCA. Five engines are learnt to have been built and tested.<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><p>[This message has been edited by shunya (edited 08-01-2001).]
It was me who first `hollered' about the AAMs under the wing- they indeed are R-60 training rounds. Gets one thinking though- wouldn't the `first' flight have been a `clean' one??? Was this then not the very first flight- but the first public flight- with enough confidence to mount dummy AAMs underwing as well?
Amitabh,<P>I concur with Guru Dronacharya. <P>It is also stated that multiple aircraft will be used to do different tests to reduce the timeframe. <P>Though there are reports about the second aircraft flying in couple of months, there has not been much news about the first one flying again. If the first aircraft flies regularly, then we can be assured that the project has passed the major hurdle. The tests from the technology demonstrators are very important in determining the final configuration of the aircraft. Of course, there will always be scope for enhancements.<P>Sri
Sribabu,<BR>I think the reports state that a "second flight" is scheduled in 3-4 months; perhaps not really the flight of TD-2. I think I read that rather clearly in TOI; lemme re-check w/ archives.<P>I had the same confusion about second flight or the flight of second proto. why fly TD-1 and test (X parameters) and then fly TD-2 to test (Y parameters) instead of flying TD-1 again to check (X+Y).<P>------------------<BR>Archduke Ferdinand found alive. WWI a mistake!
Based on our understanding of other development projects of fighter aircraft, is the first "publicized" flight really the first flight?<P>IOW, would the LCA have flown at least once before, they brought the VIPs down?
Calvin,<P>I don't think so. Remember that GF wanted to call ABV as soon as it took off and others had to stop him and make him wait till it landed safely.<P>On the other hand, that could be to throw the people off <P>Sri
Much as he would have wanted, Air Chief Marshal A.Y. Tipnis, who got into a Mirage to monitor the first flight-test of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), could not have 'tailed' it successfully. For two reasons. One, the LCA, the world's smallest aircraft, has a very small radar profile. Two, like a ferocious hunting dog, it has <u>no tail</u><P>Huh!! Aare Prasannan bhaiya, it na bhi prasann mat ho ki puch gool ho jaye!!<P>Ok, what the hell is he talking about? Someone needs to educate this fellow..
The usual prattle of misinformed journalists I'm afraid...`ferocious dog'...almost gets poetic <P>I'd also like to discuss the export potential of the LCA and which markets if any India could look at tapping. The key selling points I'd see for the LCA are:<P>1) Low cost- half of the Mirage 2000 and about 30% lower than the Gripen etc.<BR>2) Capability roughly equal to the Gripen et al<BR>3) Not likely to suffer from the West's tantrums and sanctions or Russia's precarious financial state.<P>The key markets the LCA may have a good chance in are:<BR>1) Vietnam- needs upgrading of much of its fleet- adn the LCA could be a good option to upgrading the MiG-21<BR>2) Iran- overall, they have also been struggling to keep their fleet in shape despite lack of spares/support and have also tried to produce their own fighter. The LCA could be a good replacement for all their F-4s and F-5s.<P><BR>Any other potential big customers? I do hope HAL is planning to look at exports as well...
Vikram,<P>That is an excellent idea. The problem I see just with everything else that we try to export is that so far we don't have any export oriented strategy that needs to be followed. Further, do we know (friend/foe identificaiton) if we can program so that these export version won't fire on us? Or if we can at moments notice change the code remotely? If we can produce these babies like rabbits and supply it to V'nam, it will surely put a fire under the chinese pants.<P>What excites me the most is the prospect for a mega-project with some EU country/Russia into aviation. That will be a big boost for our engineering skills and techonology.
The other country which would desperately need the LCA is TSP . With their aging F-16 fleet, F-7s making up the backbone, FC-1 nowhere in sight and not enough money to buy anything new...they would love something like the LCA, though I'm sure the only time the PAF gets a close look at the LCA will be while staring at the business end of an R-73!<P>I think the biggest barrier to successful exports is purely systemic, as you pointed out- to win there, you need professional marketers, not babus. But I'm hoping we finally get our act together. Vietnam actually could be a huge export customer- the LCA, ALH, Khukris for their Navy etc.<P>As for co-production, Iran may be a good partner actually to share some of the costs- maybe we can make an LCA-I with Iranian specs- they've been trying their own fighter without much notable success- and desparately need something like the LCA.
The potential market for the LCA includes all the MiG-21 and F-7 customers who can't afford F-16s, Mirage 2000-5s and Gripens. That certainly rules out the wealthier E and SE Asian countries. Vikram's idea about Iran is very good.<P>I would be concerned about product support if I were buying an Indian system.
Shailesh,<BR>South Africa has already ordered the Gripen about a year ago. Thailand has been flying F-16s for a while. So neither are potential LCA customers. Indonesia is so spread out it needs fighters with long legs - not particularly the LCA's forte.<P>So Vietnam, Iran and Nigeria may be our best prospects for a total of 100 or so LCA exports. I am guessing Cuba, Libya and Syria may be more trouble than the economic worth. Same with Iraq.<P>In any case, exporting more than this limited number may not be desirable given that HAL will have to fill a hungry IAF too, which may want upto 200 if the LCA lives up to it's promise.
Rama,<BR>"In any case, exporting more than this limited number may not be desirable given that HAL will have to fill a hungry IAF too, which may want upto 200 if the LCA lives up to it's promise."<P>I concur..the production capacity of both the alh and the lca will be stretched to its limit keeping up with the IAF,IA,IN demand...the lca exports are extremely unlikely.More high performance a/c would be available ...even on cost grounds(considering a timeframe of 2010++)..the alh can be successful though.<p>[This message has been edited by nitin (edited 08-01-2001).]
According to Dr.Kalam there is a market for 8000 combat aircraft in the next 30+ years.<P>Currently in the world fishbed(mig-21) has the record as the most aircraft ever used with 8000. It will obselete in another 10 years. The replacement will be the LCA class.<BR>The other aircraft used in number is F-16 at about 4000.<P>LCA could have a potential market of about 2000 in Asia and Africa in the next 30+ years. <BR>
"Just before lift-off Kothiyal turned the engine's after-burner on for additional thrust and the LCA thundered into the firmament. "<P><BR>In "Weapons of Peace" Chengappa's dramatization was exciting to read - but this sounds suspicious - the afterburner would have been on from the beginning - no point sending the aircraft halfway down the runway and then turning on the afterburner for luck.<P>Into the firmament? ?<P>
A great oppertunities for you LCA Junkies out there.<BR>"Chat with the man who commanded the maiden test flight of LCA, Wing Commander Rajiv Kothiyal, live, 12 pm (IST) on Wednesday Jan 10, 2001"<BR> <A HREF="http://220.127.116.11/" TARGET=_blank>http://18.104.22.168/</A> <P>Thats the indiatime chat site. And i guess that would make it 1:30am EST for you insomniacs out there.<P>Oh and if you do chat with him...please ask him what the missiles on the pylons were..training rounds or dummies, that way it would rest one big BR question to rest. <P>I will be sound asleep..... <BR> <P>
Guru, methinks the afterburner stuff's just "Poetic License". <P>Now to get them journos back to earth, and get them to understand the long hours of hard work needed for the LCA into IAF service.
The India Today article is nice. It says the estimate was Rs 750 crores in 1983 and is now Rs 4000 crores in 2001. Can some one do a present value calculation and relate the Rs.4000 crores to the Rs 750 crores taking inflation into account. That should provide a good basis of comparison. Imthiaz bhai?<BR>Asking Valluri is not right. He did his outmost to scuttle the project with his squabbles early on.
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