I am back after a long break. And so much history has been written.<P>The LCA has flown.<P>Kudos to the ADA & all others who participated in the succcess of the LCA. Though, the event is now old news, for me it is new and very satisfactory.<P>Now, lets hope the Kaveri/Kabini performs or the LCA could be in trouble.<P>Good to be back.<P>Rahul
In the 1970s, they used to say that "this product is 100% indigenous with only 99% imported content". <P>In 1983, the USD was worth about 10 Indian rupees. So I would say that the cost estimate has not escalated at all, despite major disruptions due to external obstruction and internal political indecision. This is really remarkable for combat aircraft development. Anyone who thinks western government agencies or private industry will deliver "faster, cheaper" etc., should please review cost history on <BR>a) International Space Station<BR>b) Space Shuttle<BR>c) B-2<P>Actually, papers from NASA indicate that no one knows how much it really costs to fly a Shuttle Mission: they just know how much it costs to pay all the people who push all the paper that has to be pushed. <P>I hear the F-22 is Fixed-Cost, but then, hey, that's built in Atlanta, what do you expect? We always deliver excellence. <P>As for the LCA schedule, I think it was a very high level, and well-thought-out, decision that getting the Agni flying, and Pokhran-2 successful, were more important than bringing the LCA to production. I still maintain that a substantial portion of the expenditure "spent" on the LCA was actually used to keep the Agni project going, after it had been "officially" cancelled under US pressure around 1994. So the LCA has been underfunded for a long time. Right now the project engineers seem confident that the whole string of protypes are all fully funded; so the project must be moving again.<P>As for IAF procurement decision-making processes, the less said here the better.
Going with the flawed calculus ("originally estimated at Rs.750 crores now escalated to Rs.4000 crores" and other such tripe) here are some calculations.<P>For a Present Value of Rs.4000 crore following an initial investment of Rs.750 crore in 1983 the rate of interest/inflation is 9.75 percent a year. Considering that the value of the rupee has eroded from around Rs10 to a US$ to around Rs.50 to a dollar -an inflation/erosion of 9.35 percent a year - it more or less tallies. To get a better picture of the whole thing one would have to set up a simple capital investment model with annual expenditures since the year 1983 to the present and apply our discounting rate of 9.35% annually to each outflow. We will find that the discounted value isn't very high in initial years (when expenditures also weren't all that high) while the higher expenditures of the subsequent years will become discounted heavily.<P>There are two more factors to be considered.<P>1. How much has been spent on the LCA to date? - IIRC Rs.2,200 crores - which is far less than the Present Value of Rs.750 crores invested in 1983 - assuming all the 750 crores were invested in one shot.<P>2. How much have comparable aircraft appreciated over the same period? So are the LCA's substitutes proportionately less expensive today than they were 18 years back. Blaaah!! that's not even worth calculating!<P>3. As Narayanan Anne says - Macchi! Indigeneous technology is painful but much cheaper!<P>If someone can give me the annual outlays on the LCA since 1983 - Imtiaz Cheetta shd be able to dredge it out of the Annual Budget figures I am sure - I can work out a neat model on costs.<P>
Another whinning on LCA.<P>Guys, anyone wants to rebute this article. (I am not doing it' 'cause sick of answering to every tom dic* and harry). BTW there is nothing scientific about the article.<BR> <A HREF="http://www.thenewstoday.com/editor/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.thenewstoday.com/editor/</A>
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by fanne:<BR><B>Another whinning on LCA.<P>Guys, anyone wants to rebute this article. (I am not doing it' 'cause sick of answering to every tom dic* and harry). BTW there is nothing scientific about the article.<BR> <A HREF="http://www.thenewstoday.com/editor/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.thenewstoday.com/editor/</A> </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Actually, I found the article quite well balanced. And while the tone is admittedly a bit "whiney", the points he makes are very valid. Is there anything specific you disagree with ? <P>Overexcited euphoria is just as bad as irresponsible pessimism and denigration, IMHO. The plenty of the latter pre-TD1 flight is as deplorable as plenty of the former now.<P>
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by renukb:<BR><B>Basically, aircraft like JAS39 Gripen and LCA have a MACH speed of above 1.6 and the ferry ranges of LCA is about 3,000 km. It has an air-to-air refuelling capability and as a result can extend its range and its endurance. The only requirement is they should have tankers to keep the LCA flight for a longer time.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>All fighters have 3-point fuel consumption<BR>1. Reaching the target [Mach 0.7 - Mach 0.9]<BR>2. Combat [high g turns etc..]<BR>3. Return journey [After-burner, Mach 0.6-Mach 0.9]<BR>The range of a fighter is determined by calculating either the 1st point.<BR>Ferry range is the range it can go if all 3-points are just used for travel [without after-burner use].<P>I do have a question:<BR>Generally and I do mean generally<BR>Fighters have a strike range which is just below 1/3rd of ferry range<BR>If LCA has a ferry range of 3000-km then it's combat/strike range should be close to 1000 km, more like 800-850+ km<P><BR><P>------------------<BR>Adios<P>Saurabh
I don't care if it costs 10000 crores.Cost escalation,delays etc are plain crap.The journos who sit on their behinds all day long have no business to whine.Especially so when they have a bias and are incapable of understanding it's complexity.<BR>The piece about Miss India winning whatever is very valid-who cares???I don't care if she relocates.<BR>This is in dfence of a nation.When they have less to say about criminal-political nexus and actually glorify criminality these people have no business commenting on this negatively.I think my money is well spent and I have my deepest congratulations for men and women who have decided to work for the nation.I have very little sympathy for the half baked foreign influenced journos whose mettle is......??? <BR>We must make a forum to influence journalistic standards and remove the thorns sponsored by others.
I have a question gentleman.It has been said time and again that the FBW has been pr was being developed in concurrence with Lockheed Martin.Well the double delta configuration of LCA is different from any before (correct me if I am wrong please).In order to have the software India would have to reveal the performance characteristics isn't it to Lockheed?Why would India do that?Isn't it a gift for Lockheed?<BR>My question is did the Indians know that they will be on their own with the real stuff when the real thing needs to be developed.Did we only learn the ways and requirements for software and left the dummies with the Lockheed guys?Why should w save billions for lockheeed to test configuration of our frontline aircraft which could be a potential competitor for sale agaisnst the Uncle's own??
Here's an article by that "esteemed" usual suspect<BR> <A HREF="http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/jan/13nad.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/jan/13nad.htm</A> <P>I have tons of things to say about this MFer but I can't risk being kicked out of this forum for that low-life.<BR>
WHile I disagree with some of the points made by Admiral he does have some relevant points.<P>a) he is quite right about the modus operandi of DRDO. This is what precisely happens. Why do they come up with grandiose plans without fulfilling some of the committed projects? <P>b) why have the 'successfully' tested Nag, trishul not inducted? DRDO is not very honest about stating progress on different projects. <P>c) However, where i disagree with him is about scrapping. <P>How can you estimate correctly about a thing about which you have no experience. How about software effort estimation for a start?<P>The fact that a country like Isreal has had trouble developing a fighter is proof of the fact that it is not a childs play and requires lot and lots of effort. surely more than navigating a ship!!! I will be feel great even if by say 2010 we can produce a fighter which is comparable to 1st generation F 16. The learning, setting up of R&D units to assist such project is invaluable.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>he is quite right about the modus operandi of DRDO. This is what precisely happens. Why do they come up with grandiose plans without fulfilling some of the committed projects? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Let me ask something. Given the demonstrated nature of our news media and retired Generals/ Admirals/politicians, would you or any other sane person stand up and say: "Look, we are a third-world country where it takes six months and twenty bribes to savages to get a simple building-extension permit from a Panchayat Office. Catching up with the state of the art in defense will take 50 years and an annual expenditure of almost 20% of the money that you %^&*&^ now spend on bribes to foreign parka-makers. Most of our people, by habit, don't start worrying about deadlines until they are past; all my engineers and scientists are under pressure from their in-laws to emigrate and go into motel-management, so we'll suffer a lot of attrition; the whole world will try to obstruct us at every stage, and pay our retired generals and admirals on the golf course to write stinkers about us. When I state the estimated cost in today's rupees, please note that our currency is being devalued at 10% per year by our Export Lobby, so ten years from now, the number of rupees will be a lot larger than it looks today. <BR>The profit which the phoreners make from every order placed by our Admirals and Generals and Marshals get fed back into the pockets of lobbyists to put down our defense develoment efforts, so we will face a lot of this garbage too.<P>So please approve this project. If you don't, we will continue to be a third-world country which can't produce anything at all and which is just a dumping-ground for cheap foreign goods"<P>That would constitute "Truth in Advertising". <P>Would you have<BR>a) PSLV, GSLV, or even ISRO<BR>b) DRDO<BR>c) HAL<BR>d) Ordnance factories<BR>e) nuclear weapons<BR>f) IITs<BR>h) the software industry<BR>i) Siachen<BR>j) Kashmir<BR>g) New Delhi<P>if Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, Abdul Kalam & others in their positions went about making such "true" statements? Come on, let these "DRDO must tell the Truth" mullahs be a little honest in responding to the above. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>why have the 'successfully' tested Nag, trishul not inducted? DRDO is not very honest about stating progress on different projects. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Production is not part of dRDo. Production is the specialty of our giant industrialists, whose history includes such glorious products as the Hindustan Ambassador, that glowing example of the State of the Art; or Bollywood movies, or babies, all of which we make very effectively. Our country does not produce anything much else efficiently.<P>Every weapon system has problems, long after "induction", unless they are bought nicely wrapped in bribes from phoreners, in which case the problems are just hidden and new systems are bought. An Indian-made system is subject to far closer scrutiny and far tougher demands than phoren-bought systems in this respect. For example, let me cite my experience with trying to retrieve my airline-delayed baggage from the worthies at the Cochin (air)Port Customs in 1987. I refused to hire the "Agents" through whom the bribes were being channelled; instead I stood in line and filled out the forms exactly. At first I was in an office where I saw a Europen sailor sitting camlmy observing a bunch of bozos sleeping in front of piled-up files. Every 30 minutes or so, he would get up and pick up his file from one desk, and plop it on another desk!!<P> I got harassed by several bozos who scrutinized the forms up and down and sideways, <B>they kept finding "errors" (like "not signed in the right place") to send me in circles: these "errors" had been committed by THEM, not by me!!</B> Finally I sat down in the office of their head bozo and asked why I should not go to public and demand their firing for incompetence if they kept making these "errors" in a simple form. They asked why I did not hire an agent: I asked them why a literate citizen needed an agent to communicate with the government which he had elected. At the end the bozo called me into his "private" office and asked in amazement why I didn't have anything "dutiable". I told him without blinking that I did not believe in paying "duty" to feed the likes of him.<P>Though I got out with no bribe paid and all my baggage intact, faster than most of the other poor souls in line, it took me two full days of my 15-day vacation, just to get my baggage, which by rights they should have delivered to my home since it had been delayed by the airline! THIS IS INDIA if you don't pay bribes.... <P>Most DRDO scientists and engineers do not, and cannot afford to, have the freedom or the craziness which I had in dealing with Babus.<P>Consider the treatment which a non-bribe-paying technology project manager at DRDO can expect from a Military Babu who is trying to justify shooting down the indigenous project so they can justify rushing out to Bilayat (or the Congo, for that matter) to buy a phoren system instead. Be realistic, please. What amazes me is that a few systems HAVE been inducted into the Indian Armed Forces: note that these are all strategically-critical systems which the babus cannot buy from the West or East. Miraculously, these appear to "meet specifications", and perform very satisfactorily indeed!!!<P>Also, the real answer to "why is something not inducted" is very simple: there is no rush unless we face imminent war (see above re: strategic systems). So its better to keep refining the system. Of course when you buy something in the year 2005 from, say, Bilayat, you get what you get: technology outdated in the year 1995. Very definite. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>However, where i disagree with him is about scrapping. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Until I read Nadkarni's statement on that, I had a slight remaining doubt about his intentions and motivations. After that, its quite unambiguous. <P>How many more Generals and Admirals and Marshals do we have, that upon retirement take up golf with the phoren arms dealers, and write for "rediff"? Did these people at one time not take the oath of allegiance to India? Do they plead "insanity" or "amnesia"?<P>At least when the aircraft demonstrated that it could fly, these &**&&(( should have had the basic decency to shut up. <p>[This message has been edited by narayanan (edited 13-01-2001).]
It is very very difficult to be restrained in the face of such unmitigated tripe as spouted by Adm. Nadkarni. Apart from the facts that are screwed up, his entire line of thinking appears to be fed by the import lobby. Harinarayanan says 70% of the components are indigenous. Even if he is including the Kaveri in it, so what? What is the Indian component in our imported fighters?<P>What does this senile sh*thead want? That India abandon the LCA and forever depend on foreign supplies? Cause that's what it means when he says scrap LCA. Somebody should plonk this moron on the head and show him the LCA has flown. Even if the whole thing is a bloody waste, I'd much rather we waste money on our ill-paid DRDO scientists and fledgling companies and at least develop an ounce of expertise, rather than finance Western and Russian R&D.<P>
Admiral Nadkarni and Ramdoss.How do these men come into being?Arent these men supposed to be on our side?<BR>HMMMwe have to have closer scrutiny on the lives of these people.Gentleman I am restraining myself to a maximum to avoid the violation of this good forum.But we must do something about these guys
For those who might feel that we are being unfair to the Admiral, let me point out those items which stand out as glaring examples of stupidity/falsehood /mal-intent: <P>1. The claim that the cost escalated. We have discussed this before. Converted to US dollars (the currency in which all those foreign parts which the Admiral acknowledge, must be bought) the cost has remained flat or actually gone down. <P>2. The claim that the Akash is a failure, a statement casually thrown in. He advances not an iota of evidence on this. The missile has progressed systematically through development and testing, and is today probably being manufactured: I've never heard anything to indicate that it is less than successful, and we've heard about it a lot here on BRF. <P>3. The claim that all weapons on the LCA will be foreign-bought. This is false: the AA missiles being developed in India are also intended for carriage on the LCA. There is no reason why ALL of the weapons cannot be replaced with Indian-made weapons eventually: that is the whole beauty of indigenously-designed and built aircraft: you don't need the permission of the Admiral or phoren arms dealers or golfers or their governments to stick whatever you please on your own aircraft. And you'll also have the knowhow to do it.<P>4. The claim that all testing was done abroad. It is true that inlet testing was done in France, control system development was started (but NOT completed) in collaboration with the US, etc. However, these are small, well-selected technology pieces where we needed help. Obviously the rest was done in India. The Admiral states on the one hand that DRDO is stupid not to go in for multinational deals to build the LCA, and then turns around and slams them for setting up well-considered, useful collaborations where we needed technology. So, the Admiral's interests would have been to simply sign away money to phoreners, not to develop technology that stays in India!!!<P>5. The claim that ALL state-of-the-art combat aircraft developed since 1990 are radar-stealthy. This is a blatant lie, and I DO hope the Admiral did not intend to lie, because he once wore the uniform of my country. The Eurofighter which he mentions as stellar example of modern fighter development (!!!) is no more stealthy than the LCA, and probably has a bigger radar signature. Remember Salman and I arguing over this many months ago?<P>6. Most laughable of all, is Nadkarni's claim that the LCA cannot be upgraded because it is a very small airframe chock-full of avionics. <BR> Well.....I am sure the Admiral has his areas of expertise, but if he has been on this planet the last 20 years, he MAY have noticed that electronic components and computers have been getting SMALLER, not BIGGER???????? (unlike the paunches and egos of most retired admirals...)<P>THIS is the kind of EXPERT opinion that Rediff.com can muster? <P>And the guy REALLY shows his frustration when he says: "Now that it has flown, lets cancel the project". Really???????? <P>Reminds me of the British Queen "off-with-his-head" Elizabeth who rewarded the Indian craftsmen of another era by ordering their thumbs cut off. <P>Is there some media outlet where we can publish an article hammering Nadkarni etc.? I don't think I want to contribute to the circulation of rediff, who published this tripe. <P><p>[This message has been edited by narayanan (edited 13-01-2001).]
If the admiral is playing agent to phoren malls then we must put him under the microscope.Such people ought to be completely humiliated in public and made social outcasts,their family dishonoured if they don't disown him.We must make these guys pay <BR>Denigrating India and it's most valuable assets have become fashion.Our scientists and intellectuals are our light and we must protect them even if we have to completely erase the honour of men like Nadkarni.I strongly feel anti India campaigners must be targetted and humiliated and life made difficult.Better screening for patriotism is needed in the armed forces before such thugs can emerge <BR>Sir I wish there was a part-3 on the forum where these people can be blasted in the most filthiest of languages.I simply cannot control my anger at these thugs.Administration any suggestions please!!
I just patiently read the article by the admiral. Instead of being balanced he is apologetic about British, US and Russian systems, as if these systems never had failures. I understand all the delays and cost escalation and frustration that goes along with product developement. But to trash our scientists, engineers and others is being biased. Has the admiral ever built something in his lifetime and faced difficulties? And now since the LCA flew, he wants to cancel the project, how pathetic and self defeating an individual. How did he become the admiral of the Indian Navy, I wonder. This does not show leadership nor sagacity. Instead of encouraging others he trashes them, puts them down before a national audience. Enough of the tripe admiral, get another life will you.
I send a e-mail to the good admiral saying that India needed to take its baby steps in aviation before ever producing a stealth aircraft (can't expect an infant to pole vault); that India with its billion people should be in a better position to make its own weapons systems compared to tiny Israel (3 million people) or even Russia (140 million and declining) or even Europe with its 300 million people; and that in a world of unreliable allies India needs to produce its own weapons in order to retain its independence.<P>Further, I also said that I thought that an intelligent man such as he would ofcourse know that my arguments were correct, and that I suspected that the only reason for his unwarranted criticism is that he was being influenced by all those golf games with....his pals, the foreign arms merchants! <p>[This message has been edited by Nagraj (edited 13-01-2001).]
This is what I wrote to the golfer-defence agent Nadkarni:<P>Mr. Nadkarni,<P>I used to read your articles with great interest because they provided a fresh perspective on many challenging issues faced by our armed forces. But after reading this article I have lost the respect that I had for you (not that it matters to people* like you).<P>As an admiral didn't you have to take an oath of allegiance to your country? What you propose in your article is not only against the interests of the IAF but would do irrepairable harm to our longterm strategic goal of being self-reliant in developing and producing weapon systems. The post-Pokhran sanctions imposed by America, the reluctance of Germany to supply submarine technology, the fracas with Seaking helicopter spare parts among many other instances, should have openned your eyes to the blackmailing and arm-twisting that the so-called "advanced" nations indulge in because India is so hopelessly dependent on them for military hardware. <P>It is essential that India is able to develop and produce some key weapon systems like fighter a/c and missile systems because the know-how is not available off-the-shelf. NOBODY (including the Russians) are willing to part with the knowledge that come solely by "doing" rather than assembling. For example, something as rudimentary as the under-carriage of the LCA had to be developed indegenously because none of the other fighter a/c producing nations were willing to part with the know-how. The advances that DRDO has made in developing advanced composite materials, for example, will not only help us in the LCA project but any "stealth" a/c that we design in the future. Knowledge gained by "doing" is cumulative and will not evaporate with the implementation of the LCA project.<P>Collaboration with other countries to jointly develop an a/c can take place only when we can bring something to the table. Without the base knowledge and the demonstrable capability of designing and producing fighter a/c, India cannot be a credible partner in any joint development projects. The LCA is the stepping stone for greater things. By scrapping the LCA we would effectively reduce India to a "client" state like Saudi Arabia; i.e. we would shell out big $$$ to support Russian, French or Israieli R&D while stunting our own technological capabilities.<P>Based on your article you can be categorized either as 1) a "nay-sayer" who is congenitally cynical or 2)a defence agent* who stands to gain from India's perpetual dependence on the West for weapon systems.<P>Which of the two are you?
Why can't we make LCA toys???and sell them in all sizes and shape.We must cultivate India and Indian brand names from childhood so the kids don't sell their souls to the phoren mall!!We must praise everything that is good in India and we must applaude all journos who are with India and castigate and destroy the integrity of those who don't(I mean the likes of half baked,traitorous admirals)to the point hat they are social outcastes.Society is the best weapon and must be used to curtail this nonsense.We don't curtail freedom of press.But ur aim must be to negate adverse propaganda.<BR>Also we need people with more integrity than the old admiral to be the managers of our defence forces.We need people like GF more and more.We need people who will not hesitate to share the bunkers and experience the hardship of our men in uniform.A new strategic thinking is needed to have independent posture and only independent people can do that.<BR>Our media is too stupid to correct as it is.We need to have people who would have trashed the papers right in front of the admiral if not burn it <BR>This is not just about LCA but it is about our scientists and engineers who have done more than what the admiral would in his pathetic 70 life cycles.This man is not somebody to disrespect our men and women.We must not tolerate such men.<p>[This message has been edited by shashidhar (edited 13-01-2001).]
This is my reply to the editor for Mr.Nadkarni's article. I really hope they post a replies link on the article where replies such as mine are posted<P>"Dear Editor,<BR> By publishing this article "The sad tale of the LCA" from Mr.Nadkarni, who obviously seems to be hell bent on denigrating India's scientific achievements, you are advancing his cause. He seems to be an import lobbyist. I think (and you must be knowing this) a journalist shouldn't be biased.<BR> A fighter aircraft and one, which has to be designed from scratch, is a tremendous technological challenge. The technological spin-offs from such a project are very useful to any country. We made a mistake by not continuing with the development of the Marut in the 1960's.<BR> By scrapping the Marut project our indigenous technology development effort stagnated at 1960's levels and that is why we had to start from scratch with the LCA. Let us not do the same or contribute to a situation where the same thing occurs to the LCA. Had we continued with the Marut project our fighters flying today in all probability would have been ones, which are indigenously developed.<BR> I can easily refute each and every point that he has made in the article. To start with he says that there has been a cost escalation from 700 crores in 1983 to 3000 crores today. If we account for inflation these amounts are almost the same. Also even if we use the US dollar metric they amount to the same thing because of the fact that the US dollar was worth around 10 Rs in 1983 and 46 Rs now. <BR> Also he says that a feature of all modern aircraft designs after 1990 is stealth. Correct me if I am wrong but there is only one fighter aircraft in the world today worthy of being called a stealth fighter and that is the US F-22 raptor. But even this aircraft is still under development and is very costly compared to the LCA. Each and every point that he makes is flawed.<BR> Because of the LCA project we may have the possibility of developing a first rate engine, I do not care if it hasn't been developed as yet, but if our efforts persist we definitely will have one. <BR> Our engineers have already developed the technology to enable Head Up Display. This can also be fitted to other aircraft’s of the IAF. We are also on our way in developing Fly-by-wire system for the LCA, I can go on and on with the list. <BR> All these technologies wouldn't have been possible had we not proceeded with the development effort. And if we stop the development effort now as he seems to suggest all this scientific knowledge that we've accumulated on our own would accumulate dust.<BR> I agree there are still many challenges associated with the LCA project. I am very sure that our engineers will surmount these challenges if they are properly funded. <BR> At the end of it, I do not care if it is 2010 or 2015 or 2020 (though I realistically expect it be in 2010, if not earlier) we will finally have a fighter aircraft of our own. We will not have to depend upon foreign suppliers. The humiliation that we are suffering in cases such as Seaking spares availability would greatly be reduced. Who knows we may even be in a position to export some of the equipment.<BR> Sir in view of the above facts and being a responsible national daily please publish articles from Journalist's who do not have any biases. You must also keep in mind that these articles from such ill-informed people would contribute negatively to the views of the common man. <BR> You can minimize the damage caused by such articles by having a separate replies link to the article where you can post replies such as mine. <BR>Sincerely,<BR>Venkata Irava"<BR>
Speaking of models...<P>1) I wish I could buy a model of an IAF Gnat, the plane that probably inspired me more than anything else to take up my present career. <BR>Along the way I would also like to get a model of an IAF MiG-21, HF-24, and any of those other craft that our brave young people flew into the path of the world's "best" of the time, and whipped the enemy. <P>2) In the early '90s, an officer by the name of Major (now retired Col.) Richard Francis was put in charge of the US Defense Advanced Projects Agency's program to develop post-stall maneuvering technologies. Obviously these are difficult and dangerous maneuvers, and one faces the triple problems that (a) engines don't exist to power current aircraft through those maneuvers, (b) hence pilots can't get experience of them to fly safely, and (c) loss of control or even pilot black-out was expected. <P>The solution developed was neat. They developed first radio-controlled, then perhaps autonomous, 1/3 scale or even 1/2-scale models of the aircraft, with no human pilot. Initial tests were drop tests from large bombers, so they did not need engines; later I bet they added engines of some sort. These craft were used to develop and validate flight control laws through the edges of the envelope and beyond. I'm sure they lost a few, but a crash of such a model is not news, while the crash of a human-piloted prototype is, well... unmentionable. <P> I think Col. Francis now runs a company called Aurora Technologies (I may be wrong on this) which builds UAVs. <P>This, IMO, is the approach that I hope DRDO/HAL will use with the LCA and the MCA as they extend the flight envelope through combat maneuvering, flight-test the Kaveri, and develop thrust-vectoring. <P>I've seen these models of the X-31 High Angle of Attack Model, which was developed jointly by NASA/USAF/Messerchmitt-Bolkow. They are not very cheap, and they are heavily instrumented, but losing one of them is FAR better than losing a human-piloted prototype. The full piloted craft was then tested out of NASA Dryden Flight research center after they were reasonably sure about the behavior of the scale model. All these preceded the F-22 flight tests by several years. <P>The large size of the model is necessary both to fit the avionics and to ensure that the flight data are collected at "Reynolds numbers" representative of the full-scale vehicle. Typically a factor of 2 in Reynolds number is no big deal, so the data are quite reliable. <P>The Israelis also developed high angle-of-attack test models, but these were literally built from the kinds of model kits that are available in the US from hobby shops: scale models of F-15s or F-16s, powered by small turbofan engines which are also bought from such sources. They used these to test specific items.<P>More recently, NASA / Boeing have been using a model of something called the X-36, which is a very odd-looking craft (wings swept both forward and back; no tails). They have used this to develop flight control laws which will adapt to the presence of damage to the craft (i.e., part of one wing gone). <P>Here is where our Oracle Operator advantages and our low wage rates for craftsmanship should come into play: build quite a few of these models, and test them to destruction, developing the flight control and engine control to perfection. <P>BTW, don't expect Air Force babus to support this: they will see this as a conspiracy to get human pilots out of the aircraft. Come to think of it, there is no technical reason why a few pilotless LCA models packed with RDX should not be sent as friendly gifts to the next LeT Annual Convention in Lahore. They could maneuver right around the corners and into the main tents of the LeT leaders and do a high-angle-of-attack flare salute before the fuse burns through..<p>[This message has been edited by narayanan (edited 13-01-2001).]
Narayanan: While understanding the constraints of academic work, it is clear that we have a viewpoint here that needs to be disseminated. Would you be interested in putting together an article for BRM about proposed future path that our technologists should take. The sort of comments about means of flight testing that you have suggested, while obvious to aerospace researchers are not that well known to the lay men in our area, and this would in and of itself be a valuable addition to the Monitor.<P>In addition, of course, if you could dissect and destroy the comments of vested interests through some carefully chosen segues, that would not be frowned upon!<BR>
<I><< Is there some media outlet where we can publish an article hammering Nadkarni etc.? I don't think I want to contribute to the circulation of rediff, who published this tripe. >></I><P>Narayanan:<P>Your posts on this thread are excellent. I strongly urge you to submit them for publication on rediff (or somewhere else, if you prefer).<P>If nothing else, they deserve to be immortalised on BR Monitor and archives. That is a bare minimum, but really they deserve a much wider dissemination.<p>[This message has been edited by Mohan Raju (edited 13-01-2001).]
Also the question that I have is one related to IR guided missiles vs LCA.LCA is likely to face IR guided missiles.What measures does it have or will prototypes have that will reduce the threats Chaff's are old way of doing things but what is new folks?<BR>It is in the interest of future combat that LCA or it's derivatives have maximum survivability in environments encountered.
Getting ride of IR missile's can be done 2ways. <BR>1: Outmanouvre. Turn your aircraft at such a manner that the missile coming in with high speed misses it, and losses it's mark (ie. the missile can't find the exhaust pipes heat anymore) and flies straight ahaed untill it runs out of fuel.<BR>2: Flares. Dispite age these are the only real counter messure against IR homing missiles. Releasing some flares is used to divert an incoming missile. However, missiles have become smarter, but flares haven't (not really). The missiles IR "eye" can now sense whether the heat it is sensing is hot enough to be an exhaust pipe or not. Because of this flares released to fool a missile can be left alone, the missile will still chase the aircraft.<BR>I don't know about other IR missile protection.
The F-22 tech uses low signature for IR and I think low IR is a better defence because IR missiles may have hard time locking on in the first place.The other thing is manovreability.The third could be supercruise.<BR>I hope we can gear towards multiple defence to protect our pilots.<p>[This message has been edited by shashidhar (edited 13-01-2001).]
>>>a) he is quite right about the modus operandi of DRDO. This is what precisely happens. Why do they come up with grandiose plans without fulfilling some of the committed projects? <P>Most of the time, DRDO knows its limits and they normally do the project definition within their abilities - But it is the end user (in the case of LCA, the IAF) who jacks up their demands based on perceived threats - For eg., if Pukis are going to acquire Mirage 2000-5 tomorrow, rest assured IAF will demand that LCA should be able to kill that bird also - whether DRDO is capable of doing that or not is none of the problems of IAF. IF DRDO can't do it then the usual jargon is applied - obsolete technology. Presto! you will find all the retired Generals, Admirals and Marshalls imparting wisdom into the minds of poor Indian public - Mind you there are enough takers for all these bullshits and the likes of Kapil Sibal would soon start quoting chapter and verse from all these 'considered' opinions. <P>It is all well planned and executed.<P>Unilke the AEC and Space Commission, the Aeronautical Community of Inda does not have any "Mai-Baap". This I realised very early enough - As a student, I was once forced to carry a suitcase full of foreign edition books on my head (they are quite heavy) and stand in the sun. The crime? electing Aero Engineering as my subject. I am narrating it to show how much ridicule was there in store for the Aero Engineer. <P>Whoever had the where-withals had left for greener pastures. After few years, they would visit the same faculty as guest lecturers and talk about how they designed one arm of the Appollo launcher or how they designed a fin of one of the Beechcrafts etc etc. <P>Those who are left behind languish and are often at the mercy of the babus and their superiors. Even in Air India / Indian Airlines, they get a step motherly treatment, because all the top brass used to be mechanical engineers and would often recruit their own tribe (and start teaching them abc of Aerodynamics) instead of recruiting qualified Aero Engineers.<P>There is no encouragement to the Aeronautical Engineer from any quarter to pursue his career sincerely in India. Add to it the capital intensive nature of the Industry - you will get a fair idea of the difficult task. Comments from these Generals and Admirals are indeed a Bonus!! <P>It is high time someone take up the cause of the Aeronautical community in India. The first step would be to set up an Aeronautical commission similar to the Space Commission. Also dedicating an issue of BR monitor to the Aeronautical community of India would be in order, in the present day scenario, particularly after the first flight of the LCA (that is my opinion anyway). They are the unsung heros and deserve a pat on their back.<P>P.S: The Admiral Nadkarni I have seen and heard was a fine officer and very honest. He is a Gunnery Officer and was very forth right, not corrupt and always had the interst of the Navy in his mind. May be that was when he was still in Uniform. May be money or political power (or god knows what) is influencing his thought process. A very bad and factually incorrect article. He has really put that General (of German and British make) to shame.<P><BR>b) why have the 'successfully' tested Nag, trishul not inducted? DRDO is not very honest about stating progress on different projects. <P>When they say "successfully" tested, what is meant is that the parameters set for that particular test flight is met. It may still have not met all the user requirements (which often changes). If the flight is to be conducted till everything is in order, then one has to keep waiting without testing.<P>
Sour Grapes from across the border:<P>India’s light combat aircraft<P>Air Marshal Ayaz Ahmed Khan (Retd) <BR>Updated on 1/14/2001 11:41:46 AM <BR> <A HREF="http://frontierpost.com.pk/articles.asp?id=2&date1=1/14/2001" TARGET=_blank>http://frontierpost.com.pk/articles.asp?id=2&date1=1/14/2001</A> <P>"...The Indian Air Force plans to test four LCA prototypes as exhaustively as possible to ensure that all bugs are removed before the LCA goes into serial production. <P>And that could take another fifteen years. <P>Indian made Kaveri engine for the LCA was a failure. <P>US sanctions after the May 1998 nuclear tests had disallowed installation of American engines. <P>But the sanctions were recently waived and the test flown LCA TD-1 was fitted with American GE F-404 engine. <P>Indian made Kaveri engines will be fitted on the production LCA’s. <P>Because of the untoward delays and failure of Kaveri engines hundreds of technicians and engineers had resigned. "<P>"....It will be a thirty five years old technology weapon system when it finally enters service with the IAF. <P>Pakistan’s Super 7 and Pak-China FC-1 fighter programmes are also stuck since four years, because of lack of funding and stiff US and Western sanctions. <P>The Indian LCA programme has gone forward because of waiver of aviation related sanctions. <P>Islamabad must take up the matter of unjust sanctions and try to obtain waivers to enable it stalled fighter production programmes to go forward." <P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Rkam (edited 14-01-2001).]
The so called Indian 'experts' thought it would never fly! That should give us an idea as to what these 'expert' opinion means.<BR>But then the first test flight has validated somebasic parameters.The first flight in public is much practiced run which implis that the actual testing should be evn more avanced(that is my opinion).Nobody especiall in India will come out with untested product in public.This may cost the programme itself.<P>BTW I would watch out for sabotage in future.There are too many people and entities that does not want this to fly both Indian and phoren people you see.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>forced to carry a suitcase full of foreign edition books on my head (they are quite heavy) and stand in the sun. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>This sounds like the first weeks of an IIT. I only had to climb trees and try to catch birds. <P>It is a historical reality that pioneers are never appreciated when they most need the encouragement. In the US, there was much glamorization of "rocket scientists" in the 1960s, but that was because of an urgent national priority, funded without limits. Even there, few rocket scientists actually died rich. <P>When the LCA/MCA go into production, and private companies start recruiting AEs, the typical Indian parental-pressure mudslide will swing towards AE, just like the "IT" mudslide of today. <P>The Indian Aeronautical community does need some more visibility, I agree. Its first priority should be to recognize that it should not try to stand in isolation. The AE is uniquely qualified to integrate stuff from all sides of technology; but in India people still hold the ancient superstition that AE is "narrow". In the IITs today, it appears that AE is alive and thriving: class sizes are around 30 or so, unlike the single-digit classes when I was a student (made it easy to claim that one was "in the top ten" then). Unfortunately, the percentage interested in developing vehicles or experimenting, is very small: most aim for "computational XXXX" jobs. Its nice that lots of people know how to write programs, but someone still has to have ideas on what to build and the initiative to experiment. <P>Like AEs everywhere, AEs in India also should use initiative to get things done: waiting for orders from above has never worked in this field. <P>
Hi,<BR>Some good news.A day or so back,i,karthik and satish (another BR Lurker )got a chance to converse with a guy in the know about the lca.....<BR>Nandkarni be bloody damned!<P><B>They have done a miracle!!</B>Kota Harinarayana is speaking the truth when he says that 70% of the components are indigenous!<BR>Almost everything(the total airframe for part),the mission specific avionics have all been developed inhouse by a variety of technicians including those from CABs,ADA,HAL(all units inc.),LRDE,CSIR and myriad other organisations.<BR>They are <B> conforming to the specifications and are already undergoing testing</B><P>The confidence wrt 2004 is not misplaced!THey are well on the road to completing what they have started.<P>To give you one more example...the mechanism et al for the undercarriage was initially to be imported as it is not a restricted item(or items as i'm talking about a whole bunch of components here)...and YET HAL went ahead and developed the whole thing!<BR>It fulfilled all the required specifications and was promptly integrated.<P>A core group of dedicated "brains" from IISc.Bangalore is actively engaged in the project plus dozens of other "civvies" a/c india.<P>What really amazed me is that the chap has actually seen quite a few "portions" of the avionics setup being developed and succeeding.<P>Whether you refer to the mission comp. or a gps based nav. system,INDIA is on track!<P>This thread was veering wrt the Admiral(!?!).get it back on course...<P>regards,<BR>nitin <BR><p>[This message has been edited by nitin (edited 14-01-2001).]
The whole set of attitudes should change.Hence in the other thread that I started I had argued for think tanks and private institutions that would influence the govt and project and make available manpower to tackle the jobs of 21st century India.It takes a while though.All actions start with athought isn't it?(I am not talking about TSP here!)
Russian defence technological viablity is detoriating so rapidly (due to lack of investment), that its current at par level would sink to oblivion in next 5 years. Then uncle and his cornies take charge. Russian Mig/MAPO going bust is only the begining. So banking on continued dependence on Russia is suicidal. <P>The only viable altermative is take Russian tech now, digest it and keet it sharp and smart on our own. That is exactly the route China is taking, for good reason. And this need be done not only on Aircraft but for Tanks Howitzer, C3 gear, Submarine, Ships and Military satallite. Also more importantly its missile systems, armaments & Radars. <P>This is the "Sankranti Kaal" for India, independence preservation is NOW or NEVER, the window is fast closing. <P>DRDO with warts and all is still the best option, it simply need be contineously improved, like any other organization.<P>India, WAKE UP, for the sake of its 1 billion citizens.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Arun_S (edited 14-01-2001).]
I have argued since a long time what Shaileshji and Arunji had propounded.The Russian counter is the only one keeping the balance.The chinese tech is so primitive it isn't worth mentioning.That is good for India as well.<BR>Economic imperialism with open economy and it's songs of praise from all sorts of pundits will ultimately lead to economic,military and ultimately political dominance.The era will begin again when our heritage and culture will be demeaned as evolved from Barbarians riding horses.The school kids will learn how the others are better than the hapless Indians.All the enchalada and there will be a fourth world.the suction pumps for sucking our nations wealth will begin to work.The local population except the ones who have changed sides(only to be eliminated later)will survive.The effects of Neo Nazism will dominate the world scene.<BR>The only way to prevent this is to accelerate Indian science and technology and implement new strategic thinking.<BR>India is reinventing the wheel but this is necessary because without it no further scientific progress can take place.Knowing all existing laws will lead to enunciate future laws.<BR>Yes India must and on a priority basis imbibe step by step of what Russians have built over 50 yrs and thoroughly digest them.Simultaneously we must expand Indian education,Indian science and technology and Indian institutions aimed at achieving survivability.<BR>It is in Indian interets that proliferation of these occur as well.<BR>The Russian engineers and scientific experience is premium and there aren't many left in decaying nation.<BR>The restoration of balance is the key to prevent slavery and domination.<BR>An example must be nuclear submarines(this is my opinion)Charlie class,an older generation was ingested-it's development.technology along with it's reason for success or failure.Then India can head towards improved Akula or severodvinsk because without knowing charlie there cannot be knowledge as to how the future submarines can be safe and effective.India has lost 150 yrs atleast of techological revolution.Those were the basics which led to current level technologies in West.Knowing those and cathcing up fast is in our interest.Russian tech offers the route.<P>LCA is an incredible product because India has jumped from second genration to fourth genration aircraft.India has not built anything substantial before.Hence the achievement is even greater.This is technological revolution in Indian context even if the product is inferior(which I suspect is not the case) to the western evolutionary products.<BR>Nadkani for his money and fancy cannot sabotage us.We cannot let him do that.<BR>That is why I even argue that we develop counter measures to ABM deployment as under NMD because India lacks complete technologies that needs to be developed.Hence longer aand sometimes painful lead time.<BR>It is time fo acceleration to the next phese.<BR>Make everything cheap and sell cheaply and widely.That must be our motto.Proloiferation is in our interests because we dilute the threats and dissiminate them and hence tax the counter measures in addition to making ourselves a few bucks.
<I>>>Does anybody knows why the LCA flew with the undercarrage down?</I><P>Sigh! :-( Please read the LCA related threads for an answer to this oft-asked question.<P>BTW, TOW for the first LCA flight was 9500 kgs. MTOW is unspecified, but expected to be around 11500 - 12500 kgs. Maybe a bit more.<BR>
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> BTW, TOW for the first LCA flight was 9500 kgs <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Source please. The 9500 Kg figure does not fit well with other considerations. <P>The 9.5 Ton TOW means the following:<P>1. Given this is the TD1, the dead weight is estimated to be ~6000 Kg (as against final clean spec of 5500 Kg). That leaves 3500Kg additional takeoff weight. <P>2.Additional instrumentation for TD1 flight is estimated to be ~100 Kg. The AA missile mockup another 100 Kg and built-in fuel reserve of 500 Kg. Total 700 Kg.<P>3. That means the operational fuel load was 3500 - 700 = 2800 Kg. Ie. TD1 LCA was fully loaded on fuel. Which is highly unlikely. <P>4. Given it was first flight the operational fuel load is expected to be ~ 1000 Kg only. <P>That leaves 1800 Kg begging justification.<P>Cheers ....<P><BR>
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