Philip wrote:THE ADA/ DRDO claim that they know all about 5th-gen birds and can do it.Therefore why wait for 2030 when 5th-gen will be passe?
No, ADA/DRDO claims that they have a path to get to 5th generation within the normal development, risk and time frame associated with such an advanced A&D project. There should be no doubt that this will be a 15+ year effort involving tackling of some really hard challenges that only a few in the world have so far surmounted.
Your statement about "why wait for 2030" shows a very high level of ignorance when it comes to understanding of how advanced A&D projects work, how many challenges need to be overcome to actually get high performance advanced combat aircraft to fruition. In the 1980's, Northrop engineers adopted the motto “A Miracle A Day” while working on the B-2 bomber engineering program. This work is really challenging and will involve a lot of "Firsts" for ADA (design), HAL (production) and other suppliers. What they are saying is that they have enough technology and knowledge in hand to embark on this journey...they cant sprinkle some fairy dust and compress the 15+ years it will take to actually field this aircraft into a 5-10 year period of performance. In fact no one in the world can. Boeing took 8 years from EMD contract award to IOC on the Super Hornet which was a major re-design of the Classic Hornet. Getting it to its first cruise took an additional 2.5 years for a total of 11 years of performance from contract award to actually sending the sub-variant into an operational deployment. This despite having a lot of wind tunnel data from Northrop's various planned upgrades to the basic configuration. The EMD time frames for a 5th generation aircraft are in the 15-17 year horizon not because people just like going slow but because these things are quite hard to do.
With the MK2/MWF ADA/HAL are proposing an aircraft that can basically get you close to 80% of what the Rafale delivers today and with the AMCA in the mid 2030's this will likely hold true for 5th generation aircraft that currently exist. This would be an amazing achievement and will have spillover effects across other A&D disciplines and requirements for future weapon needs of the IA, IAF and IN..
Philip wrote:The earlier statements that our AMCA would first fly sometime post 2030 is simply disastrous.
No it isn't. ADA and HAL have just delivered a top class 4+ generation aircraft and are now rightly embarking on a protracted development phase for the next jump in its capability to develop high end combat aircraft. These things aren't handed to you by god but developed through dedication and decades of hard work and by overcoming a heck of a lot of technical challenges. If ADA/HAL can develop a 5th generation aircraft and put it into service by 2035, this will be a MAJOR achievement and something that is worth celebrating.
Philip wrote:.Do you think that yhe IAF will want the AMCA around 2035 when the Tempest (JV for dev.) SU-57, JSF and other goodies will be dangled in front of their noses post 2020?
Do you think the IAF will want an LCA MK1 and MK1A when the Rafale, MiG-35, F-16, F/A-18 and EF Typhoon are being dangled in front of it and have been for over a decade now? Is the IAF not committed to the LCA MK1 and its iterations?
The IAF needs to plan for fleet recapitalization as well as figure out where it needs to grow qualitatively and quantitatively over the next 2 decades. There is plenty of room to absorb all LCA sub-variants, and the AMCA even from a pure fleet replacement point of view. Even if the IAF goes for Su-57, F-35 or a 2040's Tempest/SCAF there is no way that these aircraft can meet 100% of the IAF's fleet replacement needs in the 2030-2050 time-frame let alone meet any targets to actually enhance the size of the force depending upon threat perception during that timeframe.
There is a huge market for an SE stealth fighter.
Absolutely! 131 F-35's will be produced this calendar year alone nearly 40 more than the 90 odd produced in 2018. But there is little to no market for a single engine stealth fighter that can't fight most of the battles because it has a unusable payload and does not have the legs to actually get meaningful range/payload to target. To overcome those you need some basic performance which then moves you to a range of thrust requirements and weapons carriage ability/flexibility that I highlighted earlier. The design trades then basically force you to a twin engine configuration because sticking with a SE design you limit yourself to exactly 1 engine choice to choose from.
There is a difference between a single engine stealth fighter and a single engine stealth fighter that resembles the Tejas MK2/MWF in design parameters such as weight, range, engine/thrust etc. The former is currently the best selling fighter in the world, the latter concept is not being looked at by anyone with either the resources or the need to develop a 5th generation aircraft. And for good reason!