JayS wrote:I'll just wait for official word, that's it. It seems too much for too little for me at this moment.
I see problem with the way programs scope is ever kept expanding. Its like we never learned. I feel its too much work for little gain in short term when a lot of critical things are pending ADA's attention. May be in future, say post 2025 when we have MK2 and NLCA at hand, team LCA can go on to integrate every damn weapon and accessory available out there to LCA and copy pasting to all LCAs. Right now they should be focusing on getting the Mk1A, MK2 and NLCA up and running (Not including AMCA/Ghatak assuming teams for them are separate). IN has already got disappointed due to lack of attention from ADA on NLCA. I think there will be no Mk1 eventually. All will be upgraded to Mk1A standard. The changes from Mk1 to MK1A are all easily portable. HAL has said that they can upgrade even the IOC batch to MK1A if IAF wants so. Also I have no doubt that LCA will be the most versatile platform with capability to handle all the weapons which all other fighters combined can handle.
Jay, its a scope change definitely but a relatively minor one. A Meteor class missile integrated with the FCR will pose integration challenges but is within the capability of the LCA team to achieve (if MBDA cooperates with Elta that is), and we can do the rest of the carriage trials, simulations etc.
But think of the possibilities that open up if the LCA gets Meteor. Guess what, suddenly all the BS about STR being 17 deg vs 18, of acceleration being whatever m/s sq. less than some unrealistic SQR, of Gs being 8 vs 9.. all become irrelevant.
With a Meteor, a proper EW suite & an AESA FCR, the LCA will suddenly become a deadly threat in BVR. I wouldn't be surprised if it also uses datalinks for stealthy ops and then packs of LCAs can become an effective counter to anything and everything from F-16s to Su-27s and J-XXs.
Most importantly, the IAF will no longer look at Gripen as something incredible.
The LCA needs more payload optimization and flexibility and more funding. The IAF is IMHO deliberately not very pushy with some LCA features, lest it scupper their MMRCA plans and ADA/HAL are content to potter around with limited aims so they don't have to burn the midnight oil beyond a point.
I want this chalta hain attitude to end from all stakeholders and MOD to take the lead in getting this done.
Its ridiculous that it took Manohar Parrikar to drive a Mk1A where one of the improvements is an external SPJ. Were all three IAF, ADA, HAL sleeping that they could not add an external pod to the existing Mk1 and decide on its need?
Adding a Meteor to the LCA is (finally) some common sensical behavior long overdue.