AMCA News and Discussions

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby member_28911 » 29 Dec 2014 13:13

@Saurav Jha:
Today the avionics ecosystem for AMCA is already in place. Even work on weapon release from an internal bay has progressed well.
Basic airframe is also set. It is mostly in thrust vectoring and RAM that much work remains to be done.


Put your money where your mouth is, get good talent from wherever on board for specific programs and optimize expectations.
AND over the years because of the nature of funding more than one lab has achieved systems level capability Ina domain.
E.g today RCI which was essentially a missile avionics lab is also a lead lab for all up missile systems in tandem with DRDL and ASL.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby sankum » 29 Dec 2014 13:55

I expect AMCA empty weight to be 11T, internal fuel to be 6.5T to give comparable range of Pak fa and F35.

Clean stealthy air to air mission weight of 19T with 6 BVR AAM and 2 CCM.

Clean stealthy air to ground mission weight of 21T with 3T internal payload.

As MTOW has increased to 24.2T dimensions given by earlier slide of 17.5m by 10.5m should increase.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 29 Dec 2014 18:25

I would like to:

1) See what the IAF had a s a wish list (to see what is the IAF's definition of a "5th Gen" air craft),
2) Would like to hear about "data" and "networks" - actual capabilities - (general connectivity, helmet, fusion, etc), and
3) More out of curiosity, whatever happened to the FbL

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Sagar G » 29 Dec 2014 22:22

rohitvats wrote:First - You don't get to tell other poster(s) what they should do or not. So keep your advise to yourself.


Pretty rich coming from your mouth, threads after threads of dishing out gratuitous advice unasked for yet the galls to ask others to refrain from doing the same especially in a public forum where passing out unasked advices is part of debate. The irony gods will have a tough night tonight sleeping.

rohitvats wrote:Second - IAF being on-board has nothing to do with scientific challenges associated with such an ambitious program. Or, certain inherent bureaucratic issues.


You don't say Mr. Bane !!!

rohitvats wrote: Let's take a small example - Has the engine been chosen for the a/c? I guess not. HAL will issue an RFP to vendors in 2015 as per Saurav Jha. How long due you think it will take for usual rigmarole of OEM selection, contract negotiation and final closure? Again, Mr. Tamilmani says, they will firm the choice in 8 months post release of RFP (April 15). Pretty neat timeline, no?


Instead of trying to play smartypants if you had cared to read my post then you would have known why date's are given out from time to time but strategic upper hand strikes again. For your ease,

Sagar G wrote:No need to hyperventilate about some dates given, they are required to generate dates for presentation purpose and they do that assuming ideal conditions and mk.2 development has got nothing to do with AMCA. Different teams are working on the projects and if IAF is really "steering the program" (keep your bucket of salt handy) as some reports claim then a PV can definitely fly by 2021.


What do you think happens during umpteen chai biscuit sessions hainji ??? The scientists are required to present a programme map containing milestones which they are targeting around certain "dates" till the finish of the programme on the expected "date". So as you can see their is no escaping from the "dates", whether you or IAF like it or not matters zilch. Preparing a roadmap of the programme is a SOP before any programme is taken up.

If you remember during the engine selection for Mk.2 even before the L1 was selected they had done studies with both the contenders and were ready to go ahead no matter who won so it will be only logical to assume that they have done the same in case of AMCA and because they have to follow procedures they are issuing the tender.

What makes you think that engine is the only necessary component in an aircraft and the rest doesn't matter ??? Without selecting an engine from the market you think that the rest of the technologies that will go into it isn't being researched into ???

rohitvats wrote:From 2016-2020 or 2021, that is in 4-5 years flat, the first prototype of a completely new a/c which is supposed to incorporate 5th generation technologies -some of which we are yet to develop-will take to skies? Compared to this, LCA Mk-2, which is supposed to be an iterative development, will also take 4-5 years to take to skies from date of inception (2014-2018 or 2019) of program?


First regarding the "iterative development" part

The Radiance of Tejas: A bright prospect for 'Make in India'

The Mk-II will have some 25-30 percent commonality in parts with the MK-I and these parts (i.e not requiring any modification) are already in production. For the MK-I parts that have to be modified, thousands of new drawings are being worked upon jointly by DRDO-HAL and the private sector. According to Dr Tamil Mani 'The final Mk-II drawings will be completed by December 2015.'


So 70% to 75% new parts for which production drawings need to be generated. Given the meh attitude that you are showing for the "iterative development" I don't think you have any knowledge about designing or what a pain in the arse generating production standard drawings is. Also you have glossed over the fact that Mk.2 will be targeted from first airframe for production standard and hence committed a blunder by equating it's timeline to a prototype of AMCA which will undergo thousands of changes before it hits production in 2030. Since when has it become necessary for prototypes of under development programs to be upto final configuration from day 1 ??? The initial prototypes will be used to study the airframe and progressively over the decade 5th gen technologies will be added to it. A simple question, was the LCA TD meant to be == SP Mk.1 ???

Now coming to 5th gen technologies, do you want a running commentary from ADA regarding the technologies they are developing for their 5th gen aircraft ??? If you were mindful enough then enough data is in public regarding the technologies that are currently being developed. Posting excerpts, concentrate on the "dates"

India's Medium Combat Aircraft Friday, January 08, 2010

While configuration fructifies, the following work has begun on the MCA in full earnest: DARE, Bangalore has appointed a special team to begin identifying avionics and cockpit packages for the first prototype vehicle, and will supply this in published form to the ADA by July 2010. This will include cockpit electronics, cockpit configuration, man-machine interface, mission console systems and computers/software with a focus on data fusion and modular architecture. The LRDE will, in about the same time frame, provide a separate project proposal for an all new radar, to be re-designated for the MCA, as a derivative of the MMR currently being completed with technology from Israel's ELTA. LRDE will independently look in the market for a partner for active array technology, though it communicated to ADA in June 2009 that it had sufficient R&D available to build a reliable AESA prototype with assistance from Bharat Electronics Ltd and two private firms based in Hyderabad.

There is a collossal amount of work going on as far as materials is concerned for the MCA/NGFA. With the IAF unmoving in its demand for an aircraft that has stealth characteristics built into it from the drawing board forward, the DRDO has powered teams within its materials laboratories in Pune and Hyderabad to come up with new composities, low observable materials fabrication techniques, and of course, radar-absorbent control surface aggregates, airframe materials and paints. This is, of course, completely separate from design characteristics, including internal weapons, fresh leading edge innovations and a sustainable stealth maintenance footprint.


The Stealth In India's Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) Saturday, June 26, 2010

As part of the multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) currently on for the AMCA -- a wind tunnel model of which was first publicly displayed at AeroIndia 2009 -- that design-based stealth features will include further optimized airframe shaping, edge matching, body conforming antennae and a low IR signature through nozzle design, engine bay cooling and work on reduced exhaust temperature. RAMs, RAPs, special coatings for polycarbonate canopy and precision manufacturing will all be part of the effort to make the AMCA India's first stealth airplane.


EXCLUSIVE: Official Wishlist of Evolutionary Technologies for India's 5thGen AMCA Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The AMCA team has already asked private industry in the country to explore the feasibility of creating primary panoramic displays and other avionics displays that would befit a fifth generation cockpit environment. But the cockpit is just one of an ambitious official technology wishlist for the AMCA.


Stealth Air-intake Fabrication For AMCA

CVRDE to develop gearboxes for advanced medium combat aircraft CHENNAI, December 9, 2010

Airframe

Multiple models are all over the net and as pointed before were displayed in 2009 AI as well so it is only rational to think they have been working on it for quite some time before they displayed such "model". Also a few pages earlier in this very thread

http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5739&start=1800#p1732413

Stealth Skin

To add some info to what has been posted above by Ankar (P.B.U.H.)

Conference (Work done at IISc)

A Novel Embedded Passives Resistor Spacecloth for Radar Absorbing Materials
Chandrika Sudhendra, Atanu Mohanty and A. C. R. Pillai
in International Radar Symposium India 2007 (IRSI-07), 10-13 December, 2007, Bangalore, India, pp. 117-119.

A Novel Chip Resistor Spacecloth for Radar Absorbing Materials
Chandrika Sudhendra, A. Mohanty and K. A. Jacob
in IEEE International Symposium on Microwaves 2006 (ISM-06), 15-17 December, 2006, Bangalore, India, pp. 185-192.


Fly by Light (Don't forget to look at the "date")

Manoharan, LC (1985) Development of a fiberoptic data bus for fly-by-light application on aircraft. Technical Report. National Aeronautical Laboratory, Bangalore, India.

Manoharan, LC and Muthuvel, S (1987) An intelligent fiberoptic data bus for fly-by-light applications. Technical Report. National Aeronautical Laboratory, Bangalore, India.

But we must assume that no work has been done till date so that we can rant from time to time no ??

Sensor Fusion

Being developed for LCA Mk.2 hence logical that this will feed directly into the AMCA programme hence it becomes "iterative development" rather than being done for the first time.

EW Suite

Again the same is going to be in Mk.2 and hence would be "iterative development" rather than being high risk first time sort of thing.

IRST

Airborne Infrared Search and Track Systems DEF SCI J, VOL. 57, NO. 5, SEPTEMBER 2007

Some of the Indian aircraft have integrated
IRST systems of the first generation. These operate
in not so wide FOV (compared to the present
generation IRSTs) and searchitrack single targets.
Instruments Research and Development
Establishment (IRDE), Dehra Dun, has launched
a programme to indigenously develop IRST system
for deployment on Indian aircraft. This system is
intended to give detection ranges up to 160 km
under various operating conditions. The system
will have the capability of track while scan feature
and will be able to track multiple targets simultancously.


So you want me to overlook all these indications that we are going into this program prepared and confident and instead add voice of support to your misplaced, unwarranted rant ??? Tough luck Mr. Bane, tough luck !!!

rohitvats wrote:BTW - the same gentleman gave this statement in the beginning of this year:


Between you need to update yourself instead of googling for support to your rant, from this very forum (again please don't forget to look at the "date" of the post)

http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3757&p=1624159&hilit=Chat+with+Shri+Tamilmani+of+CEMILAC#p1624159

AMCA -
We are in the initial stages of project definition of AMCA. Any program of this nature requires 10 years.
We are going to see the AMCA around 2020.
Concept study on AMCA is nearing completion. The project definition phase will be started shortly.
[use of kaveri in AMCa]may not be possible. Use of kaveri for AMCA as the thrust requiremnts are different. But kaveri has potential for other programs in India
AMCA being the higher weight category will have more weapon load carrying than Tejas. Details will be worked out along with the user.
We are in the process of identifying the suitable engine


Since April timeline hasn't changed and hopefully won't much either so I still optimistically expect a prototype of AMCA to take to air in the 2020-21 timeframe given all goes well in between.

rohitvats wrote:We all know where we stand on the LCA production timeline for first 20 a/c.


We all know what a bloody nose China gave us in 1962 but we still love our Armed forces and trust them to protect us.

No need to intermix the timeline of two different programs to support your rant, we had almost nothing when we went for LCA but we have a lot when we will go for AMCA hence Captain Optimism can fly high.

rohitvats wrote:So, pardon me if I 'hyperventilate' when I find esteemed scientists suffering from 'foot-in-mouth' disease and I take any timeline promise by them with 'bucket load of salt'!


Given you ignorance about AMCA about the things which are already being done to achieve success for the same I pardon you for "hyperventilating" and pray that the "bucket load of salt" that you will take each time "dates" are given is iodised.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Sagar G » 29 Dec 2014 22:25

Cain Marko wrote:Yes of course, and elephants can fly ,.especially pink ones


Heh, I guess you are from the same august company which wrote a "crash and burn" letter to Mr. George Fernandez unfortunately for them the only thing that "crashed and burned" was their bloated ego :lol:

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby vishvak » 29 Dec 2014 22:34

[quote="Ankar"=>>]@Saurav Jha:
Today the avionics ecosystem for AMCA is already in place. Even work on weapon release from an internal bay has progressed well.
Basic airframe is also set. It is mostly in thrust vectoring and RAM that much work remains to be done.


Put your money where your mouth is, get good talent from wherever on board for specific programs and optimize expectations.
AND over the years because of the nature of funding more than one lab has achieved systems level capability Ina domain.
E.g today RCI which was essentially a missile avionics lab is also a lead lab for all up missile systems in tandem with DRDL and ASL.
[/<<=quote]
Great!

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Cain Marko » 30 Dec 2014 01:17

Sagar G wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Yes of course, and elephants can fly ,.especially pink ones


Heh, I guess you are from the same august company which wrote a "crash and burn" letter to Mr. George Fernandez unfortunately for them the only thing that "crashed and burned" was their bloated ego :lol:


Err keep guessing , such pedantic attempts at personal invective are just as off the mark as those you try to cover for when it comes to meeting their timebound goals.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby member_28108 » 30 Dec 2014 07:34

Image

Saurav Jha ‏@SJha1618 9h9 hours ago
Anyway, here's the AMCA late iteration (3B-08) from the NAL Director's report. pic.twitter.com/hO2kjDYlRp

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Pratyush » 30 Dec 2014 09:28

The renderings make it look good.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Yagnasri » 30 Dec 2014 09:34

I wonder if Private sector can be involved more in this project. True that they lack expertise in this. But at least ADA can take the talent of private sector in some areas and get faster result than HAL. Production can be done by a Private Sector special purpose vehicle and funding by Venture Capital. May be Venture Capital of huge amount needed and the risk involved is quite difficult. Yet worth exploring.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Yagnasri » 30 Dec 2014 09:34

I wonder if Private sector can be involved more in this project. True that they lack expertise in this. But at least ADA can take the talent of private sector in some areas and get faster result than HAL. Production can be done by a Private Sector special purpose vehicle and funding by Venture Capital. May be Venture Capital of huge amount needed and the risk involved is quite difficult. Yet worth exploring.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 31 Dec 2014 19:46

Fighter lines, and programs in general have been extremely unpopular for VC activity. Heck even internal company funded R&D is going to be tough for fighter development as it has traditionally been a sluggish area with investments taking decades to pay off. This is a global problem and as long as development cycles are in the years or in some cases decades, and the DOT&E phases that push beyond 5 years the private investor is not going to touch this. For them transporters, UAV's and other programs that have the volume, lower technical risk and a wider market are far more attractive.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Will » 31 Dec 2014 23:39

Yagnasri wrote:I wonder if Private sector can be involved more in this project. True that they lack expertise in this. But at least ADA can take the talent of private sector in some areas and get faster result than HAL. Production can be done by a Private Sector special purpose vehicle and funding by Venture Capital. May be Venture Capital of huge amount needed and the risk involved is quite difficult. Yet worth exploring.



Private sector has to be involved in this program. It is the MOD that will have to fund their modules of research.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 03 Jan 2015 05:46

indranilroy wrote:It is a pity that we are fighting with each other. AVM Matheswaran has immense knowledge in the evaluation of twin-engined birds and IAF's expectations from the same. If he can't serve in IAF's team evaluating AMCA's design, he should have been hired into MoD's, HAL's or ADA's team for consultancy.

Guess what! AVM (retd.) Matheswaran is an Advisor to HAL now. 8)

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby deejay » 03 Jan 2015 08:46

^^^ What is this - 'Nindak Niyare Raakhiye'?

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby member_26622 » 03 Jan 2015 10:03

brar_w wrote:Fighter lines, and programs in general have been extremely unpopular for VC activity. Heck even internal company funded R&D is going to be tough for fighter development as it has traditionally been a sluggish area with investments taking decades to pay off. This is a global problem and as long as development cycles are in the years or in some cases decades, and the DOT&E phases that push beyond 5 years the private investor is not going to touch this. For them transporters, UAV's and other programs that have the volume, lower technical risk and a wider market are far more attractive.


Actually the Origin of VC can be traced to US Defense R&D investments in to private and public labs - specifically through funding research programs which developed human capital, leading to 'silicon' revolution and emergence of Venture Capital.

Check this lecture from none other than Steve Blank - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTC_RxWN_xo

The biggest loss from our mindless defense imports is not the $ outflow or lack of infrastructure development but in reality zero seeding of 'Indian' human capital. Products and companies are built by innovative people after all. 'Mindless' is an apt way to describe our defense acquisition policy until recent changes

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 03 Jan 2015 11:54

indranilroy wrote:
indranilroy wrote:It is a pity that we are fighting with each other. AVM Matheswaran has immense knowledge in the evaluation of twin-engined birds and IAF's expectations from the same. If he can't serve in IAF's team evaluating AMCA's design, he should have been hired into MoD's, HAL's or ADA's team for consultancy.

Guess what! AVM (retd.) Matheswaran is an Advisor to HAL now. 8)


And best part is he is already cribbing about even the thought of LCA MK2 going to the private sector.
Truly a man for all seasons.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Paul » 03 Jan 2015 23:57

IAF Think-Tank for Separate R and D Cadre; Not a Good Idea: DRDO
By Anantha Krishnan M - BANGALORE Published: 19th February 2014 09:49 AM Last Updated: 19th February 2014 09:49 AM

A top Indian Air Force (IAF) think-tank on Monday mooted a thought-provoking idea of setting up an independent cadre to undertake research and development (R&D) in critical technology areas. Air Marshal M Matheswaran, Deputy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (Policy, Planning and Development), batted for a combined R&D cadre of IAF, Army and Navy to tide over the delays, especially in electronic warfare (EW). His remarks come in the backdrop of an earlier IAF view of taking up the aircraft manufacturing at its own base repair depots. However, the DRDO has expressed its reservations.

Known for his firm views on contemporary military matters, Mathewswaran told Express that the Indian government should create a Scientific Advisory Board consisting of scientists, technocrats and armed forces personnel. "The DRDO has done its bit and its time for Indian private sector to call the shots. We cannot just depend on DRDO alone any more. We need new ideas to improve the eco system in India," he said.

Taking a cue from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in the United States, Matheswaran said that India could put the development of gen-next EW projects under this new cadre. "In the US, all major concepts emulate from the AFRL and they have dedicated senior officers working on multiple programmes. In India, we focus only on operational preparedness and very little thought is going on the technology upgradation and product support. The user must question the strengths of the industry. The MoU and JV path has taken long time to materialise and the Services need EW systems as of yesterday," Matheswaran said.

He said the private industry needs to be integrated with the defence sector, bailing them out of the barriers surrounding them. "These barriers are created by our gown agencies and the private industries should look beyond India and its armed forces. The idea is to join the global supply chain and compete with the market might," the IAF top official said. He said it's high time India took advantage of the IT sector and brought them to the defence sector.

Reacting to Matheswaran's thoughts, former IAF boss Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Fali Homi Major said that it's time that all high-end critical technologies are developed adopting the embedded philosophy. "The IAF has a huge bank of serving and retired officers with hands-on experience in dealing with EW systems. Creation of a separate corps for dedicated research is a great idea and I strongly feel that IAF brains should be part of some of the R&D labs running sensitive projects. The user should be the captain while developing all critical systems and our men should be embedded with the DRDO projects," Major said. He said Indian defence need to adopt out-of-the-box-ideas to outsmart the tech denials looming over many critical areas.

Speaking to Express from Delhi, K Tamil Mani, Director General Aeronautical Systems, DRDO, opposed the idea of having independent agencies taking up research in critical areas. "The thought process should be to synergise our strengths and not to channel them in different directions. Independent R&D might not take India forward. Instead, the DRDO labs, users and the industries should come together. EW systems cannot be outsourced and we need to develop them within the country itself," he said. When asked whether he was rejecting the idea of a new R&D carde in India, as suggested by Matheswaran, the DRDO DG said: "I don't deny the requirements of the IAF. But joining hands is always a better idea, than going alone."

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 04 Jan 2015 17:55

nik wrote:
brar_w wrote:Fighter lines, and programs in general have been extremely unpopular for VC activity. Heck even internal company funded R&D is going to be tough for fighter development as it has traditionally been a sluggish area with investments taking decades to pay off. This is a global problem and as long as development cycles are in the years or in some cases decades, and the DOT&E phases that push beyond 5 years the private investor is not going to touch this. For them transporters, UAV's and other programs that have the volume, lower technical risk and a wider market are far more attractive.


Actually the Origin of VC can be traced to US Defense R&D investments in to private and public labs - specifically through funding research programs which developed human capital, leading to 'silicon' revolution and emergence of Venture Capital.

Check this lecture from none other than Steve Blank - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTC_RxWN_xo

The biggest loss from our mindless defense imports is not the $ outflow or lack of infrastructure development but in reality zero seeding of 'Indian' human capital. Products and companies are built by innovative people after all. 'Mindless' is an apt way to describe our defense acquisition policy until recent changes



VC does have a role, but i was referring specifically to "fighter" projects compared to other aerospace projects. Fighter projects have way too much risk, variables and deliver return too far out compared to a lot of the other projects that are far more attractive to VC activity or even to internal corporate funding.

In the US for example the ATF would have broken the backs of corporations had they pursued it independently. Packard (from HP) wanted all systems and sub-systems to be tested before a down-select for all DOD matters and that meant that the ATF Demval phase would require each down-selected winner to spend anywhere from 1 Billion to 1.5 Billion to complete that phase and they couldn't expect more than 500-700 million from the US government to do so. Even before demval teams agreed to form long term partnerships because they couldn't afford a potential 500-600 million investment over 50 months around 1988. Even though Boeing, General Dynamics, McDonnell Douglass, lockheed, Northrop submitted separate designs for the 1st phase, they had agreed that they would form teams (GD, Lockheed and Boeing one team and McD and Northrop the other) with the winner taking the prime position. Thats why we see very little from internally funded corporate investments in the fighter business. No one develops a full fledged fighter on their own .

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby member_20317 » 04 Jan 2015 19:23

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) would be an outfit directing from afar the research for the purposes of an interventionist agenda. Replicating the same in India on one-on-one basis would be like Jahangir signing off the charter of trade thinking Mughals would benefit out of it. IAF has enough people in it keen on imported maal esp. US maal. What is to say this will not end up like the case of Dr. B.K. Subba Rao.

Before IAF or anybody outside the authorised agencies turn up at the door holding a US made tamga for research, they should first ring fence their people and institutions. Put in place systems where we have NIL possibility of them getting liaised with by wining dining international intellectual types.

Tamil Mani ji, is right this also dissipates the efforts. IAF should instead depute for long terms their select people who are capable of picking up technical issues and not just exist to look good in Board meetings.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Cybaru » 07 Jan 2015 00:42

This engine will probably meet AMCAs requirements

http://www.geaviation.com/engines/docs/ ... hanced.pdf

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 07 Jan 2015 01:05

^^ The enhanced engine may get backing from the USN in a matter of a year or two.

USN study revives GE's hopes for major F414 upgrade

GE is pitching this engine to South Korea and possibly Turkey for advanced projects and it would obviously be a natural thing for SAAB to consider out into the future for future variants of either the Gripen or the stealth fighter they have been toying around with. Given that it is the only modern engine of its class in the Pentagon's pipeline (outside of the ADVENT) it would most likely secure the funding from the USN that would ensure its competitiveness for the above mentioned projects.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Cybaru » 07 Jan 2015 01:06

brar_w wrote:^^ The enhanced engine may get backing from the USN in a matter of a year or two.

USN study revives GE's hopes for major F414 upgrade

GE is pitching this engine to South Korea and possibly Turkey for advanced projects and it would obviously be a natural thing for SAAB to consider out into the future for future variants of either the Gripen or the stealth fighter they have been toying around with. Given that it is the only modern engine of its class in the Pentagon's pipeline (outside of the ADVENT) it would most likely secure the funding from the USN that would ensure its competitiveness for the above mentioned projects.


post the relevant parts of the article?

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 07 Jan 2015 01:14

Here's all of it :)

A major engine upgrade for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet is being seriously considered by the US Navy for a programme launch in Fiscal Year 2016.

GE Aviation and the navy jointly funded a one-year study – which kicked off last October – to examine the details of implementing a nearly 15-year-old proposal to upgrade the F414-GE-400 with the “enhanced durability engine” (EDE) kit.

Following a decade of component and rig testing and several false starts on the export market, the study may be GE Aviation’s best hope of salvaging a programme that could improve the thrust of the Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fleet by one-fifth.

Meanwhile, a US Navy-funded F414 upgrade programme could also boost the competitive position of the F414 over the rival Eurojet EJ2X0 – an upgraded variant of the Eurofighter Typhoon’s EJ200 – as new medium-sized, twin-engined fighters are proposed in Japan, South Korea and Turkey.

“If what we expect comes out of [the study], the need is there and the budgets line up, the next step is going to be to go ahead and start working on the detailed design of the engine,” says Jim Caplan, director of F404/F414 programmes for GE Aviation.“I believe they are looking at it as a potential [FY2016] programme.”

The engine upgrade decision comes at a pivotal time in the 22-year history of the Super Hornet and Growler programmes.Once-promising export leads for the F/A-18E/F in Brazil and India have dried up, and a foreign launch order for an advanced version of the aircraft – featuring the F414 EDE upgrade – does not appear likely in the near-term.

Meanwhile, the programme of record for the navy is also running out. The official programme of record concludes in FY2014, but the service does not appear willing to allow the 32-year-old assembly line in St Louis, Missouri, to close just yet.

Last October, the navy issued a pre-solicitation notice for the possible purchase of up to 36 more F/A-18E/Fs in FY2015. However, the notice was later cancelled after a Flightglobal news report disclosed the potential deal. Naval Air Systems Command officials said the document was released prematurely.

The Obama administration subsequently unveiled the FY2015 budget request in February, but no funding for more EA-18Gs or F/A-18E/Fs was included.

The navy has since added a request for 22 more EA-18Gs to the top of its unfunded priorities list. Congress could add funding to buy the additional aircraft, but this is far from guaranteed.

As the budget debate unfolds, the navy is also considering how it should maintain its current fleet of F/A-18E/Fs and EA-18Gs.

The engine upgrade is one of a package of modifications Boeing has offered to international customers for several years.Besides the engine, the most significant update proposed for the F/A-18E/F is a signature reduction package.

The Super Hornet in combat configuration carries weapons and external fuel tanks under its wings, but that payload makes it easier for radar to detect the fighter.

Boeing proposed reducing the fighter’s radar signature by replacing the wing-mounted fuel pods with conformal tanks installed on top of the fuselage. In addition, the airframer designed a conformal weapons bay in a container that greatly reduces the fighter’s profile on radar.

The Advanced Super Hornet includes more updates, including large-format, touchscreen displays in the cockpit.

However, the upgrade requiring the most internal changes – and offering the biggest advancement in performance – are modifications to the fighter’s pair of 22,000lb-thrust (99kN) F414-GE-400s.

GE
The F414 EDE is billed as an upgrade – not a new centreline engine – but it promises significant performance improvement. The configuration changes are exclusively hardware, but how the performance improvement is realised depends entirely on the software.

The navy can programme the full authority digital engine control system to upgrade the power output of the F414 EDE engine to around 26,400lb-thrust. The same changes can dramatically improve the engine’s durability if thrust output is maintained at the 22,000lb-thrust baseline.


The latter option also offers a 3% improvement in fuel efficiency, and up to $5 billion cost savings over an engine’s lifecycle – including reduced fuel and maintenance costs, GE’s Caplan says.

But the navy could also be tempted – if the F414 EDE programme is launched – to seek a thrust upgrade, which includes a doubling of acceleration power.“That gives you options in terms of future threats and aircraft capability,” Caplan says.he trade-off with upgrading the engine to produce 26,400lb-thrust is a considerable hike in maintenance costs. Running the F414 EDE at the higher thrust setting reduces turbine life to 2,000h, Caplan says. This is just one-third of the current 6,000h interval.

The upgrade itself mainly targets three of the six modules inside the engine – the fan, the high-pressure compressor and the high-pressure turbine.However, the dramatic thrust improvement is made possible by Boeing’s original design of the air inlet.

The inlet is sized to ingest up to 84.8kg/s (187lb/s) of air into the engine fan. However, the fan can only absorb 77.1kg/s of airflow, which artificially reduces the aircraft’s maximum thrust capability.
The F414 EDE addresses this gap in capability by making subtle but important changes to the inlet fan, to increase air flow to the maximum level of 84.8kg/s.


The three-stage fan is currently comprised of a traditional hub-and-blade configuration for the first stage, and integrated blades and discs – or blisks – in the second and third stages.
The proposed upgrade replaces the first stage with a blisk, Caplan says. A blisk reduces the diameter of the hub, thereby creating space for ingesting more air. Finally, GE is “re-tuning” the second- and third-stage fan blades to accommodate the additional mass of air, Caplan adds.

Aft of the fan module, the configuration changes are more dramatic. The F414 EDE proposes to reduce one stage of compression from the high-pressure compressor, leaving six stages to achieve the desired overall pressure ratio of airflow entering the combustion chamber.

To replace the foregone compression stage, the compressor blades will be redesigned with modern 3D aerodynamic techniques, which are often characterised by wider-chord and thicker blades, with more elaborate twisting or bowing.

The F414-GE-400 was launched in 1992 – a decade before 3D aerospace technology was advanced with the GE90-115B engine for the Boeing 777-300ER.“We had some [3D aerospace tools], but nothing like we have today,” Caplan says.

A perhaps overlooked benefit of 3D shaping is the improved tolerance of the blades to damage from foreign object debris (FOD) ingested upstream, he adds.
“Because of 3D aero the leading edge of the blade is a little more rounded than the current blade, so that results in it being more FOD-tolerant,” Caplan says.

The high-pressure turbine has also been updated with 3D technology – but the increased airflow presents another problem aft of the combustor.As the volume of air increases, the turbine inlet temperature also grows significantly – beyond the melting point of the metallic blades of the high-pressure turbine module.

As a result, the F414 EDE configuration features new cooling techniques. The turbine blades are already moulded with internal passages that channel cooling air siphoned from cooler parts of the engine, upstream of the combustor. However, the new design incorporates “different techniques” that Caplan is not authorised to describe in detail.

“It has to do more with the internal design of the blade,” he says. “Heat is evenly distributed and very consistently removed from the blades, with no thermal gradients. There are improvements in coatings as well.”

GE also has the option of switching to a more heat-resistant material to make the blades. The company is considering designing the first-stage turbine blades of the GE9X with silicon carbide-based ceramic matrix composites (CMC), which are lighter and more heat-resistant than metal. Indeed, the company tested CMCs in the low-pressure turbine of the F414-GE-400 for a 2011 demonstration.

However, GE decided not to switch to non-metallic materials in the hot section of the F414 EDE.“Part of this programme is really focused on how to introduce this kit without making significant changes to the engine,” Caplan says.
For example, introducing lighter, non-metallic blades encourages an engine designer to reduce the size and weight of the hub, he says – and such changes are complex and expensive.

In the end, the new passive cooling system integrated into the turbine blades was sufficient to meet the requirements of the engine. GE confirms that the F414 EDE turbine is equipped to survive despite a 66˚C (150˚F) increase in turbine inlet temperature.

That increase in temperature margin is the key metric in achieving either increased durability of the overall engine at the baseline thrust level, or the higher-power, less-durable performance at higher thrust setting.

Caplan notes that minor adjustments are made in the combustor and low-pressure turbine, but the significant changes are limited to the fan, compressor and high-pressure turbine. The afterburner module is essentially unchanged.

There has been no shortage of time to study and develop the F414 EDE. The origins of GE’s proposal date back nearly 15 years, when Pratt & Whitney briefly proposed a rival engine upgrade for the F/A-18E/F fleet known as the PW7000.

Over the last 10 years, the navy and GE have invested about $100 million in developing the F414 EDE configuration, Caplan says.Ground testing began in 2004 on a six-stage compressor and turbine. That was followed by a full compressor rig test in 2005. Two years later, GE tested the core with higher airflow from the three-blisk fan module. Finally, in 2011, GE ran more tests on the core.

The challenge now remains for GE to sell the navy on making an investment in the Super Hornet and Growler fleet, despite heavy budgetary pressure.
GE officials have offered to subsidise the cost of development, but Caplan was unwilling to discuss cost estimates or specific cost-sharing proposals.

“I think what’s happened now is there’s more interest – unfortunately, it comes at a time when the budgets are extremely tight,” Caplan says. “There’s more interest as people are starting to look at the longevity of the platform, recognising the fact that the Super Hornet is going to be in service for the next 25-30 years. For the Growler, there’s no publicly announced replacement.”

For GE Aviation, upgrading the F414-GE-400 is more than an opportunity for a near-term contract to upgrade the US Navy’s fleet of Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers.

The higher-thrust F414 enhanced durability engine (EDE) is also GE’s attempt to remain at the forefront of the market for powering single- and twin-engined, medium-sized fighters.

The F414 has proven remarkably adaptable in the global market. In addition to the F/A-18E/F family, the engine is also offered on the Saab Gripen, Gripen NG and the Hindustan Aeronautics Tejas light combat aircraft.

But the competition in the 20,000-26,000lb-thrust (89-117kN) market is growing. In addition to the proposed Eurojet EJ2X0 engine upgrade, Pratt & Whitney has hinted at plans to break into the market with the PW9000, which combines the high-pressure section of the PW1000G and the low-pressure section of the PW135 engines.

“There’s a number of different opportunities” for the F414 EDE, Jim Caplan, director of F404/F414 programmes for GE Aviation, says. “There’s applications worldwide that this engine could play a role in.”
Asked about ongoing fighter development programmes in Japan, South Korea and Turkey, Caplan agreed those could be projects of interest to the F414 EDE.

“Those are all people who are interested in developing an aircraft and developing a [medium twin-engined fighter], so those are all potential opportunities,” Caplan says.

However, the opportunities are not entirely on the foreign market.Caplan notes that the energy produced by the F414 core is limited to 26,400lb-thrust in the EDE configuration only by the size of the air inlet on the Super Hornet.

“If we can get more air in the engine, can we get some more thrust out of it,” Caplan asks. “The answer is yes. We could actually drive this fan to go up a bit in airflow, and if we had some opportunity to redesign the engine bay and physically make the engine bigger, we can drive an even bigger fan and take on more air flow.”



From purely an economic perspective the 414 family has the best odds of making solid money on the back of enhancements. The Eurojet customers are non-committal and the state of their defense budgets does not inspire much confidence in terms of having a program requirement set and fully funded through. Furthermore, the 414 family is already integrated into 3 (eventually with the MK2 and the Gripen NG) so there is more insulation form losses if one of the customer decides to back away from making upgrade investments. Outside of political calculations, quite a few analysts predict GE to be a winner for the upgrade and newer aviation projects that do require an engine in that thrust class.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby vishvak » 07 Jan 2015 02:11

We have probably more time to test best fit engine for AMCA. Plus AMCA will have more room for engine weight as far as performance parameters are considered.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby member_26622 » 07 Jan 2015 03:23

brar_w wrote:VC does have a role, but i was referring specifically to "fighter" projects compared to other aerospace projects. Fighter projects have way too much risk, variables and deliver return too far out compared to a lot of the other projects that are far more attractive to VC activity or even to internal corporate funding.


Agree and here is the rationale - VC investments typically have a life cycle of 5 years, worst case 7~8 years. This is driven by the 10 year fund life - invest in year 1,2,3 and sell off in year 7,8,9 to get 20% yearly return. Naturally, they can only consider companies which can be sold off or IPO'd in 5 years, which typically means 3 years development time for products to get to 100 million run rate by year 5.

Fighter projects have taken 10 plus years for 'proving' design parameters based on my limited readings. Only 'rich' individuals or aerospace companies or Govt's can fund this type of development. Exception is for the recent low cost jets which cobble together existing components to re-use proven designs.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 07 Jan 2015 05:20

Not only that Nik, traditionally in the US (not sure about Europe since a lot of the stuff is single nation/ single supplier kind of a deal) fighter projects were low cost to bid on. You submitted a design, and got a few million to make prototypes. The ATF and the influence of Packard's recommendations (From HP) meant that you had to fully design internally a system and sub-system architecture, develop prototypes of each and every component either integrated into an airframe or flying on a testbed. This takes a heck of a lot of time and money. As mentioned earlier in the late 80's the ATF competition cost the two finalists 1.2 billion dollars aprox (600 mill per vendor) in internal funding over a short duration of time (50 months). That was quite a lot of money spent and for Northrop/MD their investment was never recovered. The days of division head going to the board of directors, getting a few million sanctioned, turning out rapid prototypes based on cannibalized parts are long gone. Now days avionics and propulsion are expected to contribute around 45-50% of a fighters development cost and therefore OEM's have to carefully study, deliberate and come up with a strategy and game-plan on what systems to compete and where not to compete.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Cybaru » 07 Jan 2015 08:33

VC money is the worst kind. They want to invest millions and want billions for it. No way they are investing in anything defence.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 07 Jan 2015 08:36

well if its a cheap laser/iir guided bush war kind of munition that USAF can launch in 1000s around the world, they might like it.
think of a game changing product like a Hellfire that is 10 times cheaper.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 07 Jan 2015 21:02

Its unmanned systems that takes a lot of their fancy as one can see that most of the defense coverage in business and financial magazines revolves around that. Short development cycles and short testing cycles have seen many such systems rushed to war before having completed testing, something that would be extremely difficult with a manned system. Fighters are not a very safe bet as development cycles are very very long (10-20 years), testing is extremely risky from a technical and financial stand point, and production runs go on for decades (uncertainty).


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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby deejay » 08 Jan 2015 13:21

Kailash ji posting the article in full:

NEW DELHI: India plans to kick-off its own fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) development project this year to build on the expertise gained in the long developmental saga of the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft.

Top defence sources on Wednesday said the preliminary design stage of the futuristic fighter called the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA), with collaboration among IAF, DRDO and Aeronautical Development Agency, is now "virtually" over.

"Once the project definition and feasibility is completed in the next few months, the defence ministry will go to the cabinet committee on security for approval. It will require Rs 4,000-5,000 crore for the initial design and development phase," said a source.

[b]The aim is to fly the first twin-engine AMCA prototype by 2023-2024, which will be around the time deliveries of Tejas Mark-II fighters will be underway
. IAF is slated to get its first Tejas Mark-I in March this year, over 30 years after the LCA project was first approved in August 1983. But the Tejas Mark-II jets, with more powerful engines, will start to come only by 2021-2022, as was first reported by TOI.[/b]

"After Tejas-II, we have to move ahead to a fifth-generation-plus AMCA. Basic design work of AMCA as well as presentations by five to six global aero-engine manufacturers is over. Simulation modelling is also in the works," said the source.

India, of course, is also trying to sort out its differences with Russia over their proposed joint development of the Indian "perspective multi-role fighter" based on the latter's under-development FGFA called Sukhoi T-50 or PAK-FA.

India, in fact, had told Russia it cannot wait till 2024-2025 to begin inducting 127 of these single-seat fighters [Single Seat fighters?], which will entail an overall expenditure of around $25 billion. But India also wants its own home-grown AMCA project in the long-run for strategic and economic reasons.

A swing-role FGFA basically combines advanced stealth, supercruise (capability to achieve supersonic cruise speeds without use of afterburners), super-maneuverability, data fusion and multi-sensor integration on a single fighter.

But the 20-year long development of the American F/A-22 "Raptor", the only fully-operational FGFA in the world today, has shown that such a project is an extremely complex and costly affair.

The US shut down the production of Raptors in 2012 after inducting 188 of them at an overall cost of $67 billion due to huge costs, technical glitches and time overruns. The US is now finally moving towards operationalizing a more advanced FGFA, the F-35 "Lightning-II" joint strike fighter. With the project yet to overcome all technical and software glitches, the overall cost for the planned induction of almost 2,500 such fighters stands at around $400 billion.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby vishvak » 08 Jan 2015 17:16

If I am not mistaken, the only engine that has some stealth capability is the one that powers PAK-FA/FGFA prototypes. Which is (from wiki page on FGFA/PAK-FA): NPO Saturn Izdeliye 117 (AL-41F1) for initial production, Izdeliye 30 for later production.

Since AMCA is Gen 5 stealth plane, we should definitely see if it is available for later use since we may need AMCA as a workhorse in the long term.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 08 Jan 2015 17:34

I would wait for a better article.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Cosmo_R » 08 Jan 2015 17:35

brar_w wrote:Not only that Nik, traditionally in the US (not sure about Europe since a lot of the stuff is single nation/ single supplier kind of a deal) fighter projects were low cost to bid on. You submitted a design, and got a few million to make prototypes. ...
The days of division head going to the board of directors, getting a few million sanctioned, turning out rapid prototypes based on cannibalized parts are long gone. ...


The 1950s were the golden days. It seemed almost like people built fighter jets in their garages and machine shops and got contracts from the Pentagon. And the diversity of design: I remember the Chance Vought Cutlass, the F-101 Voodoo etc. Companies like Grumman started small on Long Island NY. I built all these models from Revell (and got buzzed by the glue).

Ou sont les neiges d'antan?

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Gyan » 08 Jan 2015 18:04

deejay wrote:Kailash ji posting the article in full:

NEW DELHI: India plans to kick-off its own fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) development project this year to build on the expertise gained in the long developmental saga of the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft.

Top defence sources on Wednesday said the preliminary design stage of the futuristic fighter called the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA), with collaboration among IAF, DRDO and Aeronautical Development Agency, is now "virtually" over.

"Once the project definition and feasibility is completed in the next few months, the defence ministry will go to the cabinet committee on security for approval. It will require Rs 4,000-5,000 crore for the initial design and development phase," said a source. (MY comment:-But for Russian FGFA we are commiting Rs 35,000 crore for 13% share of R&D, Bahut Nainsafi hai)

[b]The aim is to fly the first twin-engine AMCA prototype by 2023-2024, which will be around the time deliveries of Tejas Mark-II fighters will be underway
. IAF is slated to get its first Tejas Mark-I in March this year, over 30 years after the LCA project was first approved in August 1983. But the Tejas Mark-II jets, with more powerful engines, will start to come only by 2021-2022, as was first reported by TOI.[/b]

"After Tejas-II, we have to move ahead to a fifth-generation-plus AMCA. Basic design work of AMCA as well as presentations by five to six global aero-engine manufacturers is over. Simulation modelling is also in the works," said the source.

India, of course, is also trying to sort out its differences with Russia over their proposed joint development of the Indian "perspective multi-role fighter" based on the latter's under-development FGFA called Sukhoi T-50 or PAK-FA.

India, in fact, had told Russia it cannot wait till 2024-2025 to begin inducting 127 of these single-seat fighters [Single Seat fighters?], which will entail an overall expenditure of around $25 billion. But India also wants its own home-grown AMCA project in the long-run for strategic and economic reasons.

Last edited by Gyan on 08 Jan 2015 18:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 08 Jan 2015 18:53

Cosmo_R wrote:
brar_w wrote:Not only that Nik, traditionally in the US (not sure about Europe since a lot of the stuff is single nation/ single supplier kind of a deal) fighter projects were low cost to bid on. You submitted a design, and got a few million to make prototypes. ...
The days of division head going to the board of directors, getting a few million sanctioned, turning out rapid prototypes based on cannibalized parts are long gone. ...


The 1950s were the golden days. It seemed almost like people built fighter jets in their garages and machine shops and got contracts from the Pentagon. And the diversity of design: I remember the Chance Vought Cutlass, the F-101 Voodoo etc. Companies like Grumman started small on Long Island NY. I built all these models from Revell (and got buzzed by the glue).

Ou sont les neiges d'antan?



Different era, different requirements. In order to design an advanced fighter or any manned or even unmanned aircraft (though to a lesser extent) the OEM's nowadays need a broad field of expertise that highlights their abilities in the "integrated" systems domain. Most of the M&A's have focused on that. Northrop, acquired Grumman, Westinghouse and other smaller companies precisely to be well positioned as an airframe maker that does a lot more integrated systems from the airframe to the avionics architecture, to the sensors etc. Same thing with Boeing and Lockheed. Design submissions now days run into hundreds of pages and the buyer wants to know what the plans are from a system and sub-system point of view and wants detailed prototypes at every level. This boosts the actual cost to bid and finish with the demonstration and evaluation program. The crazy days of trying out everything and securing money from the pentagon to do so are long gone. Those were indeed the golden years in aviation, but now the emphasis is on absorbing the rapidly advancing technology in electronics, particularly computing and being solid at proposing an integrated solution rather than a stand alone airframe.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 08 Jan 2015 21:30


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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby deejay » 08 Jan 2015 22:34



Okay, here we go. There is some differences from an earlier link posted today but this time I am quoting some parts of the article here instead of the full piece:

The main purpose of the AMCA is to replace the aging SEPECAT Jaguar & Dassault Mirage 2000.


Features of fifth generation fighter aircraft AMCA
• Single seat, twin engine with a diamond-shaped planform and an internal weapons bay
• High maneuverability which tends to include short-field capabilities
• Advanced avionics
• Networked data fusion from sensors and avionics
• Multirole capabilities
• Complement HAL Tejas, the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA, the Sukhoi Su-30MKI and the Dassault Rafale
• AMCA would be powered by K 9 or K 10 Engine with Super cruise capability without after burner.


The amount required for the initial design and development phase is 4000 crore rupees and the initial design of AMCA is expected to be ready by 2018. The first flight of the AMCA though will only be possible by 2025.


Difference between Sukhoi-T50 and AMCA
It will be unlike the joint HAL –Sukhoi initiative between India and Russia to produce FGFA. This multi-role fighter aircraft is expected to be two-seater derivative of the in-development Russian Sukhoi T-50.
Fifth Generation Fighter Aircrafts (FGFA)
It is a fighter aircraft classification encompassing the most advanced jet fighter generation. FGFAs are designed to incorporate numerous technological advances over the fourth generation jet fighter.
Main features of FGFA
• Low Probability of Intercept Radar (LPIR)
• High-performance air frames
• Advanced avionics features
• Highly integrated computer systems capable of networking with other elements within the theatre of war for situational awareness

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Prasad » 09 Jan 2015 12:56

So a few newb questions re AMCA : Who drafted the requirements for this plane? Is the IN a co-leader/consumer for this product? If so, is it being developed ground-up as one, instead of how the LCA was done? Have we had any indications from either AF or IN as to how they plan on fitting it in their fighting force?
Last edited by Prasad on 09 Jan 2015 16:49, edited 1 time in total.


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