'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Cain Marko
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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Cain Marko » 25 Jun 2017 00:49

Following up on my previous post, as a flip side, let us try to make some sense of out this need for a SE fighter deal that the MOD/GOI/IAF seem to be so gung ho about despite it making so little sense to most BRFites including yours truly - for reasons previously discussed. The following reasons come to mind as to why the above entities are pushing this deal:

1) To reduce HAL's monopoly in this industry and get private players on par with HAL so as to force better industry performance in the future. Basically invigorate a high tech, low cost aerospace manufacturing industry, an area where there should be plenty of growth in the coming decades. So, set India up as this aero manufacturing hub not too different from the software manufacturing hub that it is today.
2) Hedge against delays and slow pace of LCA production and iterative development.
3) Give the IAF a western, reliable, high uptime, daal roti fighter, which it wants as a hedge against Russian hardware failing to give desired results in said areas.
4) Bring the force levels to a respectable 39.5 - 40 sqds by 2026ish.
5) Bring in some esoteric technologies not only in terms of hi-tech manufacturing, but also cutting edge development in areas like GaN based radars.

I think $ 10-12 billion is not being considered as too high a price with the economy projected to continue at 7% gains p.a. Now the question is, which of the two players provides a better deal?

F-16:
It already has a leg up having set up production facilities in other countries. Question is - how much real and substantial know how will actually be transferred? Will India in time be able to produce critical components locally? Will jobs be transferred gradually to India? etc. Performance wise, this is an off the shelf, ready to go, experienced khiladi. And the system is a well oiled and smoothly functioning machine, period. You can expect quick deliveries, high uptimes, great and powerful machine capable of lugging 8 tons of varied US hi-tech weapons with CFTs helping with range issues. As an A2A player, without the CFTs, it will be quite agile and certainly more powerful than the Gripen. One can also expect a lot of cheaper Israeli inputs in the machine.

Gripen-NG:
More desperate and therefore more willing to transfer high end technology inputs such as GaN based radar, which will find applications/spinoffs in a variety of platforms. One can imagine a 2000 TRM GaAN dish on the MKI - no wonder there have been some noises with the Italians (Selex-Galileo/Leonardo) wrt the MKI upgrade program. A similar radar might find its way on the LCA mk1A and mk2 as well - since AFAIK the radar has not yet been selected for these platforms. Probably greater flexibility in customizing the product with local weapons as they become available.
Performance is a bit of a question mark since this is a new product although Saab has been demoing some of it for the last 7 odd years. Claims are pretty high and smooth - e.g. supercruise, which might very well be possible considering that this was achieved by the earlier versions. WIde variety of weapons which are supposed to be integrated quite easily - everything from the USA/Europe/Israel and India. Upgrade path seems to have greater potential here vs. the Solah. For e.g. in time a GE-414 EPE could be hooked up along with CFTs for more range/payload - it is still not a fat truck unlike the F-16, which seems to have reached the end of its airframe development with the UAE's blk 60. Additionally, it potentially offers massive commonality with the Tejas in terms of engines and possibly, radar. Of course, there is always the danger that this bird might somehow magically morph into the Tejas Mk2! Then there might be the advantage of not having to clear things with Congress or debating restrictions on use or kill switches and inspections by helicopter mom (although I think these are issues that have been sorted out by circumventing US equipment in their platforms).

Which is a better deal? All depends on what can be negotiated with each country and company.

JMTP

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Cain Marko » 25 Jun 2017 01:03

Kakkaji wrote:I agree with the points amit has put forward.

I also think that, if the F16 deal goes through, a few squadrons (older than Block 70) would be provided immediately by the USAF to the IAF on lease, and the first couple of squadrons of new Block 70 for the IAF will be built completely in the US, before the production line is dismantled and transferred to India. This would quickly address the falling squadron numbers of the IAF, before the MII F-16s start coming off the production line in India, when the aircraft on lease from the US will be returned. Something like what happeend with the MKI.

This is the aspect that Sweden cannot match. They cannot quickly provide several squadrons of aircraft from their own stocks.


Why not? They have many A/B/C versions that they could conjure up if push comes to shove. In fact they have leased Gripens to other countries.

All this is speculation out of Musharraf on my part. If it has to mterialize, it will require close political cooperation between the GoI and GOTUS. It would have happened under Obama. Under Trump, it is doubtful as the Trump GOTUS is incapable of long-term planning and finesse in strategic affairs.

This is the big question mark - all that love for India during the campaign and Shalli Kumar's rhetoric seems to all have fizzled out of late. Let us see how much Trump loves the Hindus, it should be evident soon enough. Although the picture so far has not been too rosy.

Also, I don't think the LCA program will be impacted by the F-16 deal. Otherwise Parrikar would not have pushed for it. The success of the LCA is now totally in the hands of HAL, and ADA. Whatever was the past, the current GoI has provided all the support and finances. The IAF has placed orders. Now HAL needs to execute. The IAF cannot wait forever.

Parrikar has assured a minimum of 126 odd LCAs and these will remain irrespective of whether Gripen or F-16 are chosen. Although it is quite possible that further development of the Tejas will be curtailed if the Gripen comes in.

Vivek K wrote:IAF needs to get all the Mig 29s it can lay its hand on and upgrade them itself with HAL. Stop wasting money on the PAKFA, or the F-35. Channel all the saved money into the AMCA developed properly with IAF involvement and PMO/RM coordination at every step. The goal being to develop the prototype and then involve a private entity to learn the ropes every step of the way and setup mfg lines with the selected entity. IAF can also look at any M2K frames like the Qatari ones.


Mig-29s are likely - there has been some negotiation going on with Malaysia and perhaps a few more from Russia or Hungary or something. M2ks? Who knows? May be this is a good time to negotiate with either Qatar or UAE?

As far as Pakfa/F-35 are concerned, one of them is sure to come. IAF will need a 5G bird within a decade and there is no way the AMCA will be anywhere close to production during said time. However, if it helps any, after 2035 I don't see India buying any foreign fighters at all, period.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Kakkaji » 25 Jun 2017 01:57

The Gripen is the real LCA killer, not the F-16. I believe the F-16 MII can continue in parallel with the LCA. With the Gripen, LCA Mk2 will definitely die and morph into Gripen-NG.

As for F-16 obsolescence, those of us who are old enough to remember: when the IAF selected the Jaguar as its DPSA in late 70's, it was being phased out from the British and French Air Forces. Yet the IAF has kept it flying for 40 years, and still finds it useful. Similarily, while F-16 will not be cutting edge 10 years from now, it will still ably fulfill the workhorse role that the combined fleets of the Mig-21 and the Jaguar do now. OTOH, if the current dilly-dallying continues, the IAF may still be flying the Mig-21, 23, 27, and the Jaguar in 2027.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Cain Marko » 25 Jun 2017 02:23

Once FOC is done, they should order another 80 odd Mk1s to be later upgraded to Mk1As and be done. Time to concentrate on AMCA. Solah could just as easily morph into mk2 too, something to consider. In either case, much depends on Tejas delivery schedule.

Not truly concerned with f16 obsolescence tbh, it is a great plane at the lower end..... Difference between the two is unnis bees ka mamla. But life cycle cost wise gripen will probly win out.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Rakesh » 25 Jun 2017 04:30

Kakkaji wrote:As for F-16 obsolescence, those of us who are old enough to remember: when the IAF selected the Jaguar as its DPSA in late 70's, it was being phased out from the British and French Air Forces. Yet the IAF has kept it flying for 40 years, and still finds it useful.

Completely Wrong! :lol:

The French Air Force inducted their first Jaguar in 1973 and retired in 2005. Not phased out in any manner in the late 70s, 80s or 90s. French Jaguars did combat sorties well into the 1990s. The Royal Air Force inducted their first Jaguar in 1974 and retired them in 2007. Again, not phased out in any manner in the late 70s, 80s or 90s. RAF Jaguars did combat sorties well into the 1990s as well. The Indian Air Force inducted their Jaguars in 1978 (18 on loan from the RAF) and the first Indian built Jaguars entered service in 1981.

Kakkaji wrote:OTOH, if the current dilly-dallying continues, the IAF may still be flying the Mig-21, 23, 27, and the Jaguar in 2027.

Aircraft have a designed life. You have cannot fly them beyond a certain date without some serious strutural modications.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Manish_Sharma » 25 Jun 2017 05:38

Its sad how one by one each and every f16 supporters' arguments are being proven baseless , but all seems to be falling in a bottomless pit. Hrrrrmmmphh more will keep coming.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Rakesh » 25 Jun 2017 06:31

Kakkaji wrote:The Gripen is the real LCA killer, not the F-16. I believe the F-16 MII can continue in parallel with the LCA. With the Gripen, LCA Mk2 will definitely die and morph into Gripen-NG.

Inducting any 4th generation platform - F-16 or Gripen - will be a death blow for the Tejas. That is because when you are inducting one 4th generation platform, why do you need another?

If you buy one car to go from Point A to Point B, why do you need a second one which will do the exact same thing? Now one can argue that if you are rich, you can buy 2, 5 or 7 cars - one for every day of the week.

But then again is the IAF in that position? Do you know what the % of GDP was for the 2016-17 financial year? A measly 2.26% of GDP. Do you know that the % of GDP is for the 2017-18 financial year? An even less 2.14% of GDP. Source for this data is at the link below:

India’s Defence Budget 2017-18
http://www.idsa.in/issuebrief/india-def ... era_030217

We want to be world power, respected power but are armed with chaddis and langotis. Get the best bang for the buck, even if it is at the expense of the Jawan. And then beat your chest and talk about how much money you have saved the exchequer by being kanjoos. Penny Wise, Pound Foolish and Strategically Stupid. Waste your FOREX billions on inducting a 4th generation fighter, when you have a perfectly good one at home.

Negi's post is so apt...we are a seriously messed up country. Thank You Negi.

negi wrote:
ramana wrote:There are some structural issues with HAL and we are reluctant to air them.

HAL has serious flaws but that is not the point of contention here ; thing is HAL is like a malnourished kid of a low income household who at the end of the day is still family's own, our criticism of our institutions is driven by the intent to reform them not to subject them to scrutiny against established players from well fed economies who anyways play with a loaded dice . Since this is LCA thread the only relevant context around LM's JV with Tata is the fact that as a country we might do to the LCA what we did to the Marut .

Important thing to take away from this discussion is how no one is not complaining about LCA's deficiencies anymore just like no one talks about secularism anymore to me that is a great thing, people know that Tejas is pretty good (sure there are areas to be improved upon) but the goal posts have now been shifted and the new point of contention is 'manufacturing' . Now manufacturing a fighter AC at scale is not HAL's forte not if the numbers at which MKIs were churned is unacceptable (I personally have no strong views on this ) however the point being discussed here is we have completed the most arduous phase of fighter AC development (except the engine) so why should we now not confront the manufacturing problem head on instead of switching our focus from the Tejas to an older generation platform which if and when inducted will not only drain money and resources from Tejas and it's successors but will keep India from achieving self reliance in this space for an additional decade or two .

We are seriously one fckd up country I mean who the fck goes out shopping for an AC of similar capability as home grown one just because one cannot manufacture it at high enough rate ? Manufacturing 'rate' should be least of our worries , hire men, throw resources and crack a whip first batch will have issues but then subsequent ones will come out alright that is how UK, US, Germany and RU produced planes during WW II after that it was all a routine for them , here we are just arguing about HAL's deficiencies as if there is a commandment carved on stone which states that Tejas has to be produced by HAL and only HAL alone.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby srai » 25 Jun 2017 06:48

If India sees itself as a world power, then it would be supporting its own MIC. Which country in the history of the world has become a world power by being the number one arms importer? If it is importing, then it would go for the latest that is available on the world market, not some legacy stuff. Top dollar should buy top product. Where is the respect one might ask?

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby shiv » 25 Jun 2017 06:59

srai wrote: Which country in the history of the world has become a world power by being the number one arms importer?

China. China was number 1 for a few years even after BRF started. In those days the media were only shitting brix because of that and not pointing out that India back in those days was no 2 or 3.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Rakesh » 25 Jun 2017 07:03

But Hakeemji, China was the no.1 arms importer because they were xerox copying everything and are still doing it.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby srai » 25 Jun 2017 07:03

shiv wrote:
srai wrote: Which country in the history of the world has become a world power by being the number one arms importer?

China. China was number 1 for a few years even after BRF started. In those days the media were only shitting brix because of that and not pointing out that India back in those days was no 2 or 3.


China did not become a world power when it was importing stuff and still not "fully" there yet. But having said that how much money they poured into their own MIC to the point where most of the stuff nowadays are their own? It's a huge transformation they have undergone within two decades.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby shiv » 25 Jun 2017 07:15

srai wrote:
shiv wrote:China. China was number 1 for a few years even after BRF started. In those days the media were only shitting brix because of that and not pointing out that India back in those days was no 2 or 3.


China did not become a world power when it was importing stuff and still not "fully" there yet. But having said that how much money they poured into their own MIC to the point where most of the stuff nowadays are their own? It's a huge transformation they have undergone within two decades.

China is still the 3rd largest arms importer in the world.
http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/worl ... -arms.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/news ... rters.html

I believe there must be a limit to self flagellation.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby shiv » 25 Jun 2017 07:28

hire men, throw resources and crack a whip

When men were stuck in the heights near Namka Chu - outnumbered by the Chinese - The military leadership "cracked the whip" and asked them to hold on rather than taking into account of the fact that they were outnumbered and under-equipped. Most of them died.

No amount of whip cracking will improve the state of defence related/high tech engineering in India after decades of allowing ONLY PSUs to make military equipment with funds being infused like a dog sparingly pissing on every tree and pole it meets. This is the first time the private sector has been invited. India will need 20-25 years of imports before domestic industry can help reduce imports.

No other country in the world shares thousands of Km of land borders with two nuclear armed neighbours - so the self flagellation needs to be toned down. It simply will not help.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby srai » 25 Jun 2017 07:28

^^^

If you read the articles you have linked, the import arm % of world in 2015 India has a 14% share while China is at 4.7%. Percentage import for China has been on a decline for a long time. It's defense budget is also more than 3x India's.

China has also become one of the leaders in arms export. We can look up how much they are exporting vs importing.

China boosts arms exports by 74pc, while cutting reliance on outside providers, report finds
China has become less dependent on arms imports over the past five years due to increased military capabilities at home, while boosting its own exports by 74 per cent, according to a report released on Monday.

...

Comparing two five-year periods between 2007-11 and 2012-16, the volume of Chinese exports of major arms increased by 74 per cent. Its share of the global total of exports rose from 3.8 to 6.2 per cent, making it the third-largest supplier in the world, following the United States and Russia.

Unlike the US, which accounts for one-third of exports and supplies at least 100 countries, China delivered major arms to 44 countries, mostly in Asia and Africa. More than 60 per cent of China's exports went to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar and another 22 per cent went to Africa.

China has also been expanding its market. In 2015, it exported type 90 multi-barrel rocket launchers to Peru, the first time Chinese weapons were used to equip Peru's armed forces. A report released by the Pentagon last April estimated that China's arms sales from 2010 to 2014 totalled about US$15 billion.

Thanks to China's growing economic and military ability to produce its own advanced weapons, its arms imports fell by 11 per cent between the two five-year periods, the institute found.

But China remains partly dependent on Russia, Ukraine and France for certain key weapons and components, such aircraft engines, which accounted for 30 per cent of China's imports. It also imported large transport aircraft, helicopters, vehicles and ships, according to the report.
...

30% import seems to be related to aircraft engines, a technology it hasn't yet mastered.
Last edited by srai on 25 Jun 2017 07:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby yensoy » 25 Jun 2017 07:49

The Cheen route to import substitution & export greatness was via State Owned Enterprises (i.e. PSUs). We are seeing that PSUs are going nowhere and want private industry to step in.

Private industry will absolutely not get in if their existence is subject to the whims and fancies of a single customer (Indian Military). Nobody in their right mind will want to be monopolized by a single customer. Investing in such an enterprise is suicide. (now dual-use lines could be allocated for defence contracts but that is not going to develop any deep technologies)

In order to incentivize private industry there necessarily has to be export, and given our underdog position it has to be supported by all means - governmental and non-governmental. Some amount of "crony capitalism" will be required for the local defence industry to attain critical mass, before it begins to flourish. I hope this happens soon.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby NRao » 25 Jun 2017 07:52

Thanks for that post/article.

srai wrote:Still a good deal?


Do not know good or bad. But it is the *only* deal in town.

We have heard (AI-17) that GE's Bangalore branch has started work on the enhanced F414 engine for the AMCA. I have not seen - to date - any costs associated with that effort. As I have stated before the two are tied at the hips. It is still my opinion that the the "F-16" was negotiated to be the payment for that JV.

We have till Oct/Nov to resolve the issue. Time will tell. One of the first indicators - IMHO - would be either a cost associated with that JV (AMCA engine) or the withdrawal of that DTTI based effort. Let us see.

srai wrote:So much for "ToT" :roll:

No F-16 deal during Modi’s visit to US


Now to the article itself:

A key reason for this is that Lockheed Martin does not envisage transferring more than a few hundred jobs to India, of workers involved in final assembly of the F-16 at Fort Worth. Meanwhile, some 6,000 American jobs connected with producing assemblies and sub-assemblies for the F-16 would get a lease of life. Without an Indian order, these jobs would be lost, since there are no other buyers for the F-16.


Good data point. I suspect that the Obama admin negotiated for transfer of the F-16 line and around 6000 jobs, related to the F-16, to India. Trump - as would be expected - has placed a lid due to that number. It looks like Trump is fine with the rest (including the carrier related and the AMCA engine efforts) (another article in the ToI states that he is fine with the rest - without specifically mentioning either).

A quick word or two on "jobs". In the US the job ratio for aerospace is 1:4 (O&G is 1:2 and I think IT is about 1:1). So, an aerospace job - in the US - generates 4 other jobs. So, if indeed 6,000 jobs are slated to leave the US, then the bean counters in the Trump WH are actually saying they lose 6,000+(6,000*4) = 30,000 jobs. To the Obama WH it was "we are going to lose that anyways". To Trump it is the other way around - IF there is a F-16 line somewhere, we lose that many jobs.



While Lockheed Martin is pitching to India the opportunity to build F-16s for all future purchases worldwide, DefenseNews quotes Heidi Grant, deputy under secretary of the US Air Force, as stating that interest from potential F-16 buyers was directed mainly towards the used F-16s of countries that were upgrading their fleet to the F-35 Lightning II.


Yeah, I do not see too many exports. But the arg is that there are nations that would like the F-35 and will nto be offered it. And, that is where the F-16 *can be* offered. No guarantees.

On the flip side, the jobs that do supply to an Indian made F-16 will join a global supply chain. And that would be beyond the F-16, for any craft/product that may come up globally.

“We are not expecting any announcements [related to the sale of F-16s] in the next six months”, says an official who is aware of US-India negotiations.


As I stated above, there is a cushion till Oct/Nov. This was part of the plan laid down by Parrikar. SP by Mar/Apr and assignments by Oct/Nov (these are NOT my dates).

Fuelling speculation over Saab’s continued relevance in the fighter procurement, Modi phoned up his Swedish counterpart, Stefan Lofven on Wednesday morning. Following what he lauded as a “good discussion”, Modi tweeted: “I deeply appreciate Sweden’s support for Make in India.”


Modi playing hard ball - which is good.

He is telling LM to get behind the deal they made in the Obama era and get the approval from the Trump WH.

I just do not see the Grippen coming. IF at all it will be more Rafales - they will dump the SE, buy the F-18 (which should be more palatable for the Trump admin - it should not be a threat to US jobs) and pay for the AMCA engine through that.


Lockheed Martin has waged an aggressive, American style campaign to push the F-16 -- employing media briefings, sponsoring think tank papers and, at the ongoing Paris Air Show, announcing a joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) to build the F-16 in India on an integration line transferred from Forth Worth, Texas.


There was a deal made during the Obama admin, which was left in abeyance. That the Trump admin was willing to say "MII" is by itself a knuckler. Let us see what comes out in the next two days. I do not expect too much, but the question is if the ball will stop rolling.

Saab has sweetened its offer by undertaking to help India in developing and manufacturing the Tejas Mark 1A – an improved version of the current indigenous fighter – and also helping in the development of India’s planned next-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft.


A thorn that has not gone away.

"LCA".

The above is a great indicator - for whatever reason BR never talks of it - that the "LCA" has problems. SAAB has been ofereing to help with the MK1A - specifically - for about two years now!!!!!!

Which bring me to multiple topics on the "LCA", bt will address one/two

The "LCA" - to me - has three phases/lives. First is the MIC (ADA/HAL/what-have-you), the production and the client IAF.

1) The MIC LCA.

It is a great effort and a greater product. The MIC LCA is following the curve that most vendors have experienced. The long time it has taken is due to the low risks (reflecting in no crashes). This LCA is par for the course. However, it will take much, much longer than what has been proposed ny the MIC entities. The MIC has dealt with the easier aspects of the LCA and is now facing the more complex parts. They need time (and funds) and cannot be hurried. So, what we view as slippage (FOC for Mk1, MK1A, etc) are par for the course. Following the curve.

2) The production "LCA"

Austin alluded to this a few posts ago. Let me just add, it is a huge problem just to manufacture this plane. Scaling it up is another dimension by itself. Just ordering more can never solve the problem. In fact it will make it even worse. IF they do not meet the deadlines for scaling it up to 16 do not worry - it is par for the course. We just need to be patient.

BTW, is 120 planes not sufficient an order to assist in scaling up? If not what is the number?

3) IAF "LCA".

As CM and someone else mentioned, the IAF can never wait till the LCA is delivered whenever. That the MIC needs time for the maturation of the LCA (which it deservedly needs) should not be confused with the needs of the IAF.

I have said this before and will restate it - the IAF will withdraw from the MK2 too, like the IN. And, not because it is a bad craft.

KEY: The three are actually function independent of each other and need to be funded individually. However, there should be a harmony between each neighboring effort. (In short)


Quickly, on the death of the LCA.

It depends on what one means by death of the LCA. They have orders for 120 LCAs. However, if one means that the MIC itself will no longer exist - what about the AMCA? Do you all see that the F-16 will kill the entire MIC, including the AMCA? I think the "LCA" (techs) will live through the AMCA and further on. Unless, of course, one is expecting India to slide back to 1980 eco status. Then yes, I do see that happening - for sure. BUT, if the eco gallops at 6-7%, perhaps the MIC will see some touch times, but if the eco is doing 7+%, then I just do not see anyone being able to topple this effort other than India itself.

Predictions:

LCA MK1 + MK1A (120)
F-16 (150)
F-18 (75)
AMCA (200+). Flying tech demo by 2022, a prototype by 2025, then on enhancements.

Filed under BTW:

* The F-16 Block 70 has a 50% greater life span than the earlier models - out of the box.
* I know it has been claimed that it is a dead end. I do not think so, especially for India
Last edited by NRao on 25 Jun 2017 08:11, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby srai » 25 Jun 2017 07:59

^^^
What happens after 120 LCAs are produced by 2024/5? Will it be like the Arjun MBT line that has been sitting idle for 5 years now?

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby NRao » 25 Jun 2017 08:34

srai wrote:^^^
What happens after 120 LCAs are produced by 2024/5? Will it be like the Arjun MBT line that has been sitting idle for 5 years now?


A very narrow question. The simple (and PC) answer is cannot leave it idle.

(I would not compare Arjun or any other project with the LCA. Aerospace needs to be all by itself. For that matter even tanks do.)

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby shiv » 25 Jun 2017 08:44

srai wrote:^^^
What happens after 120 LCAs are produced by 2024/5? Will it be like the Arjun MBT line that has been sitting idle for 5 years now?

This is not a question that anyone can answer.

In my culture it is wrong to say what I am about to say (I say a prayer before uttering it) - but I think we may have to lose a war again before we come to our senses as a nation about the importance of
1. Keeping the armed forces well equipped
AND
2. Still spending enough time, effort and money in developing high tech engineering - which we lack in the volumes required. A lot of high tech work is done by small workshops in Europe (eg Germany and UK- even blisks for microturbines are made by them) but in India all we have is arc welding and lathes and men with hammers hammering metal in lakhs of workshops, repairing Premier Padminis , Mahindra Boleros and Tata Sumos

We need BOTH, not one or the other and need to stop considering this a zero sum game. India is among the top 5 armed nations of the world because we have enemies to handle, we have the world's largest (or 2nd largest) population and India is among the biggest countries in the world. Not because we like imports.

Cursing armed forces, nation etc is not actually going to change anything any more than Nehrus' tears and Lata Mangeshkar's plaintive mourning did. Young people in India need to be employed. Manufacturing is the way to go. Importing machinery and putting them to work in private companies is a very good option if it can be made to work.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby NRao » 25 Jun 2017 08:46

Would like to make a quick point.

IF the solution to scaling up production is "more LCA"s, then that by itself needs more funds - so how much more? It also need time - how much more (it is NOT linear - I think that is what Austin meant too).

Then comes the fun part. The IAF also needs more funds in a shorter period of time - to absorb all the LCAs.

So, at that point, the GoI is funding MK2 + the production of MK1 and Mk1A + IAF (the whole enchilada = Mk1 + Mk1A) + upgrading the Mk1 to MK1A.

For an unknown product - as in based on what we know today - THAT is a huge risk. Especially when one looks at the picture in reverse.

They may be able to solve the problem of scaling up the MK1. Then they hit scaling up MK1A. Then hit another wall to upgrade the MK1 to MK1A.

And, you cannot go too fast. Funds. And you cannot go too slow either - for obvious reasons.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby srai » 25 Jun 2017 09:16

shiv wrote:...

We need BOTH, not one or the other and need to stop considering this a zero sum game. ...


I don't think anyone is saying no to all imports since India is not at that stage yet. What some of us are advocating for is more support to domestic programs. Pour more resources and give more orders to keep things viable long-term. While billions of dollars are being poured for imports, the same can't be said for domestic programs. India spent some $8 billion for 36 Rafales and yet finds it hard to fund an equivalent amount to produce 200 LCAs. Now there is this talk of 100 MII fighter for $12 billion+. Why not do the same for LCA: increase orders, rope in private players and create more manufacturing jobs. In the meantime, you can always order few more top-edge platforms from aboard, like the Rafale, to address needs. Besides that, there are Su-30MKIs in license production in India.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby shiv » 25 Jun 2017 09:24

srai wrote:
shiv wrote:...

We need BOTH, not one or the other and need to stop considering this a zero sum game. ...


I don't think anyone is saying no to all imports since India is not at that stage yet. What some of us are advocating for is more support to domestic programs. Pour more resources and give more orders to keep things viable long-term. While billions of dollars are being poured for imports, the same can't be said for domestic programs. India spent some $8 billion for 36 Rafales and yet finds it hard to fund an equivalent amount to produce 200 LCAs. Now there is this talk of 100 MII fighter for $12 billion+. Why not do the same for LCA: increase orders, rope in private players and create more manufacturing jobs. In the meantime, you can always order few more top-edge platforms from aboard, like the Rafale, to address needs. Besides that, there are Su-30MKIs in license production in India.

I think this discussion is going in circles. All this has been discussed before. I am bowing out.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby sarang » 25 Jun 2017 09:31

many discussions going in circles nowadays on BR,

miss JCage and Arun_S times

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Cain Marko » 25 Jun 2017 09:39

NRao wrote:
srai wrote:^^^
What happens after 120 LCAs are produced by 2024/5? Will it be like the Arjun MBT line that has been sitting idle for 5 years now?


A very narrow question. The simple (and PC) answer is cannot leave it idle.

(I would not compare Arjun or any other project with the LCA. Aerospace needs to be all by itself. For that matter even tanks do.)


Actually, one fully expects another order for the Mk1As either at foc or once the Mk1As is ready. 200 LCA for IAF is likely irrespective of imports.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby NRao » 25 Jun 2017 09:56

srai wrote:
shiv wrote:...

We need BOTH, not one or the other and need to stop considering this a zero sum game. ...


I don't think anyone is saying no to all imports since India is not at that stage yet. What some of us are advocating for is more support to domestic programs. Pour more resources and give more orders to keep things viable long-term. While billions of dollars are being poured for imports, the same can't be said for domestic programs. India spent some $8 billion for 36 Rafales and yet finds it hard to fund an equivalent amount to produce 200 LCAs. Now there is this talk of 100 MII fighter for $12 billion+. Why not do the same for LCA: increase orders, rope in private players and create more manufacturing jobs. In the meantime, you can always order few more top-edge platforms from aboard, like the Rafale, to address needs. Besides that, there are Su-30MKIs in license production in India.


(I can empathize with Shiv, which is why I visit BR very, very rarely now a days.)

I am sure others have addressed some of these points:

* The Rafale was a political buy. Modi made the decision on numbers and Parrikar (and perhaps others) made the call on the price. Although the apple of the IAF's eye, it is rather easy to see why no one else wanted it. So, IMHO, it is an odd ball. Expensive, yes. But not avoidable (for whatever reasons)
* The F-16 "purchase" is not a stand alone purchase. In fact the "F-16" is THE most junior project - bar none - in the Indo-US defense relations (the carrier is the top most, then comes the AMCA, followed by the F-18 and then the F-16). What is interesting is that the AMCA engine is unrelated to the "LCA", but the "F-16" is a reasonable threat (per some)

* On the "LCA", let us be specific, it is only the Mk1 as we type. Everyone involved with the "LCA" has agreed that the definitive "LCA" - at a bare minimum - is the Mk1A. Point being, the MK1 is good, but ...................... No one can be roped in to deal with the Mk1. Just cannot happen. And for the Mk1A the risk - for an investor - is too high.

I think the "LCA" is a great Indian effort. But it is not an entirely Indian plane as many claim. Some parts of it absolutely are Indian. But not the complete craft. Especially where India can claim they can do anything they please with it. Not yet there - need to give the team *funds* and *time*. Do not hurry them. And, until they solve the problems there is no use talking of producing the MK1A.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Kakarat » 25 Jun 2017 10:11

Has Boeing delivered the old wind tunnel which it promised as a part of offset for the C-17 order?

If Boeing hasn't delivered it yet can we expect any major TOT from any company from USA

does the gov have any mechanism to monitor the delivery of offset commitments and penalty for not delivering

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Cybaru » 25 Jun 2017 10:47

NRao wrote: Some parts of it absolutely are Indian. But not the complete craft. Especially where India can claim they can do anything they please with it. Not yet there - need to give the team *funds* and *time*. Do not hurry them. And, until they solve the problems there is no use talking of producing the MK1A.


Which parts they can't mess with? that they would like to, but can't?

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby negi » 25 Jun 2017 11:51

shiv wrote:
hire men, throw resources and crack a whip

When men were stuck in the heights near Namka Chu - outnumbered by the Chinese - The military leadership "cracked the whip" and asked them to hold on rather than taking into account of the fact that they were outnumbered and under-equipped. Most of them died.

No amount of whip cracking will improve the state of defence related/high tech engineering in India after decades of allowing ONLY PSUs to make military equipment with funds being infused like a dog sparingly pissing on every tree and pole it meets. This is the first time the private sector has been invited. India will need 20-25 years of imports before domestic industry can help reduce imports.

No other country in the world shares thousands of Km of land borders with two nuclear armed neighbours - so the self flagellation needs to be toned down. It simply will not help.

You missed the whole point which I made and on top of that you have drawn an incorrect analogy war is different from manufacturing in case of latter you can plan and execute as per plan remember product has already been developed so most of the unknowns are already discovered and addressed ; I have seen product development up close obviously nothing as complex as Tejas but manufacturing by definition means discipline and discipline comes from a very authoritarian work culture , mind you authoritarian need not be inhuman although that is how Hitler and Stalin achieved rapid mechanization. PSUs only making equipment is not an issue per se USSR and China have proved how only state control is not detrimental to achieving self reliance and great productivity so I am sure there is nothing to argue there. The key difference is in India PSUs are synonymous with poor efficiency and productivity and that is why I said it is a discipline issue . Money or no money humans adhere to rules and timelines only when there exists a carrot and stick framework which promotes meritocracy and reprimands under performers (I am saying this strictly in context of manufacturing not R&D latter obviously is much more money sensitive directly and indirectly) , irrespective of how well or how poorly our PSUs are funded today they lack frameworks which promote hard work it is only the self motivated ones in government that work with some sort of purpose. Armed forces are the only ones where work happens like clock work and the single most important reason for that is discipline , people can get court-martial'd for not turning up for duty that is how work gets done in the forces.

Be it Hondas, Toyotas, Apples and Amazons of this world when it comes to operations and manufacturing they all get work done due to discipline i.e. cracking a whip in their own way.

Private sector participation is a different aspect it's involvement or lack of involvement for sure affects the production numbers that can be achieved on a whole but it is a not a factor when talking about productivity of PSUs latter are CLOSED systems . Even there how does private sector improve things ? Simply because once they sign the dotted line they stand to lose money if they fail to honor the contract so how do they go about it ? They crack a whip , it's always like that when you till a land using ox you crack a whip it may not look pretty but that is how work gets done . In private once a deadline approaches someone would crack a whip and make people burn the midnight oil that is a fundamental trait be it automobiles, manufacturing or even software they are not some men with magic wands .

My post was exactly on the same lines ; to improve manufacturing rate the problem upto a certain scale (mind you scaling out beyond a certain limit could become an Engg problem but I will not go there) is just grunt work i.e. matter of hiring more resources, getting more tools/jigs and assembly lines up and running and you can increase the production rate , further you can improve up-times of each assembly line by introducing shifts and this is not some rocket science , the rocket science part was done when Tejas cleared the IOC actually iirc it is close to clearing the FOC.

The way I see things if IAF deems that Tejas is good enough for 100-150 AC order then the platform should be good enough to gobble up whatever numbers we are allocating to the F-16 Blk 70 unless of course latter has something to offer which Tejas cannot , the only thing which comes in Tejas's way is manufacturing rate and that is why I say we need to crack a whip at every level right from DM>MOD>HAL and others who are involved I am not sure why cracking a whip is taken as a negative comment .

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Philip » 25 Jun 2017 12:46

We've reached the crossroads in Indian aviation. Having spent so many years,man hours,money,etc., on the LCA,should we now abandon it,relegate it to "second or turd place",an "also ran" in favour of either the Gripen of F-16? It will mean the doom of Indian indigenous aircraft design.Forget about the AMCA,that wet dream when we've yet to perfect and produce the LCA in even modest numbers. So which road do we take?

Facts./The IAF have agreed to buy 40 sub-standard MK-1s,so that the bird can get into air and into service asap,put thropugh its paces and improvements suggested for future variants.The only problem,roadblock to achieving this is production which is abysmal. The ADA/HAL/DRDO seem to have forgotten that production is the other half of the coin of developing a weapon system,otherwise it will forever remain a technology-demonstrator that brings our DPSU boffins Padma awards and the services the "wooden spoon"! Therefore the "production issue" is where the GOI/MOD,etc. have to exrt max pressure to achieve results. Talk of a "second line" according to a recent report remains "talk",no concrete plans. In the meantime,hectic activity is taking place for a new helo facility for KA-226s,and other weapons firing centres,etc.etc. Does this show a definite neglect of the LCA prod. issue,the most burning issue in the country's air defence,to the benefit oif firang OEMs or simply crass neglect by the stakeholders ,who have all resolved to dump the bird? Many years ago,a former VCoAS told me that he had told APKAK the manner in which the LCA programme was being run/mishandled was a scandal upon the nation.

Billions are going to be spent in bringing a firang SE bird to India. If it is the F-16,it would be the most monstrous scandal in Indian def. history,choosing a once-rejected bird which the Pakis have been flying for decades,37 years old,with no future dev. possible. This money could instead be used to support to the hilt further development and production facilities of an Indian designed fighter at around half the cost ,which we could leverage in its development a future 5th-gen stealth fighter/bomber in the AMCA whatever.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Austin » 25 Jun 2017 13:20

Cain Marko wrote:How will IAF face shortage of 15 sqds in next 8 years, 2025?

At present, they have
5-6 bison
12 MKI
6 Jag
6 M2K + M29
2 M27
TT: 32 sqds

They should have
5-6 LCA
14 MKI
6 Jag
6 M2K + M29
2 Rafale
34 contracted sqds.

Net increase by 2 sqds without any additional orders, and that too of higher quality. . If they are going for sanctioned strength of 39.5 sqds, there is a shortage of 5 odd sqds, and if they are aiming for the oft quoted figure of 42 sqds, there is shortage of 8 sqds. But nowhere can I see this need for 15 sqds in next 8 years.


The Bisons will retire , Some of the MKI squad atleast 3-4 are very old ones procured in late 90's they would be 25-30 years old unless refurbished will have less of life , Also likely we may have 4 Jag squad even these are very old types. I am told by some panwala the current useful squadron strength is 28 but on paper IAF has 32 squadron .....Net they would need 14-15 squadron if they.

May be 15 is not a ball park figure it could be even 12 depending on the servicibility and availability of the fleet but the number gives you an idea the seriousness of the dwindling numbers the IAF would face next decade.

Although I would add purchasing Gripen or F-16 is not the right solution because it would add more logistics over head than that the IAF has today the OPEX would rise in maintaining these different types and even CAPEX to procure them and eventually keeping buying spares/weapons and eventually that would prevent Tejas number from growing and getting restricted to 5 squadron at best.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Manish_Sharma » 25 Jun 2017 14:35

NRao wrote:* I know it has been claimed that it is a dead end. I do not think so, especially for India


Oh so F16 won't be obsolete from 2036 onwards, like Rafale was going to be? Isn't there any advice to just lease f16 till 2036? Sad so sad when the double standards are applied so blatantly when usa is involved.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby shiv » 25 Jun 2017 14:43

negi wrote: PSUs only making equipment is not an issue per se USSR and China have proved how only state control is not detrimental to achieving self reliance and great productivity

Actually it is democracy and the structure of our nation that is the problem where resources are pulled in various directions and punishment like death or imprisonment cannot be meted out instantly for failures.

"Cracking the whip" seems to have been used by you in a nice way - a sense that would be used by a "good boss" - but both China and the USSR have cracked the whip in draconian ways. That is never going to happen in India. Socialism itself was a big mess and a socialist democracy like India has not worked.

If we ignore our military manufacturing industries and look outside the main thrust of our nation has been to tell Muslims "You guys be good Muslims with sharia - we won't interfere". We tell tribals "You guys go right ahead, forage naked in the forests and live on lizards and we will be proud of your heritage". PSUs are bloated vote banks - providing a lifetime of employment with pension - with reservation and all kinds of sops. The actual quality of their products is secondary. My father was in a quasi-PSU that is sick but still alive though my dad has been dead 20 plus years. That PSU should have died before him given the quality of its products.

We know all this and yet we think that something will click and make PSUs change like Cinderella. Despite the boasts of technology our tech base is very narrow - the centers of tech excellence are very limited. We need a massive expansion in skills and factories in which those skills can be applied. China expanded its factories starting with low tech manufacturing that it took over from the world. That door is now closed to us. Expanding the war material industry in India is a good idea as long as imported assembly lines and trained workers are in the private sector.

Given India's past record the public sector in India will never be allowed to close down or suffer even if every product they make is a failure or made to fail. The factories will go on forever and imports will always be needed. But the only way to reduce, if not stop importing is at least to assemble military goods in India by bypassing the PSUs and allowing the pvt sector to do it. And not apply the rules that Nehru applied (no private industry) or Indira Gandhi applied (No profits allowed for private industry) or Sonia Manmohan (loot loot loot and play the communal card for votes)

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Philip » 25 Jun 2017 14:50

Manish,as someone said,"there's much money from garbage!" What aging product every NATO/US ally is emptying into their dustbins,we are desperate too pick up like scavengers. Even old Malaysian MIG-29s which we'll upgrade,French Jaguars,etc. All that we have to do is to just order more aircraft that are in service and production (in India too) like MKIs,MIG-29s,Jags if need be,and concentrate upon extra LCA production with another line. Rafales are simply too expensive at $200M a pop. and even these aging F-16 beauties with extra packs of make-up,come in at much more than brand new MIG-29/35s.with AESA,TVC,etc. The time to set up the manufacturing plant,etc.,etc. would take sev. years by which time the aircraft would increase in value dramatically as they would be genuine antiques by then!
Last edited by Philip on 25 Jun 2017 15:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby shiv » 25 Jun 2017 14:58

F-16 is only partly about Air Force. It is also about Indian private industry setting up joint ventures to make military equipment so that Indians get some jobs and new manufacturing infrastructure is created and in private hands where a PSU labour strike will not blackmail the country. As long as we make plans for the IAF only the deal does not make sense

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Philip » 25 Jun 2017 15:09

Shiv we could easily open a new line for the LCA in the pvt. sector too. In fact some of the helo p[rojects shopuld be gvien to the pvt. sector since the quantity is so large. The more sophisticated ones like the naval MR helko req. with HAL,KA-226 could've been given to pvt. industry instead . What is the point in setting up a plant to make an antique,as someone likened to in an editorial to building the Hindustan Ambassador? The covert idea is to get the Yanquis an inside line into the IAF's strike capability,leverage their influnce ,making us the equivalent of Pak,and also making much money out of our misery.I support the UCAV acquisitions,best "horses for courses",so if we buy,let's buy what we really need to counter Pak and China. P-8Is,C-130Js,OK,but the Apaches are too expensive.The UK have sev. Chinooks never used by their spl. forces. Virtually new.The RAF is stripping them of their spl. eqpt. We should make a bid for them.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Manish_Sharma » 25 Jun 2017 15:10

NRao wrote:Point being, the MK1 is good, but ...................... No one can be roped in to deal with the Mk1. Just cannot happen. And for the Mk1A the risk - for an investor - is too high.


Oh wow let's say f16 and f18 may be ok for some BUT BUT.......they failed most of our parameters , now for same investor/ buyer to acquire them will raise doubt about there sincerity.

And Tejas defeats them by outperforming them.
I think the "LCA" is a great Indian effort. But it is not an entirely Indian plane as many claim.


Oh is that so? Will AMCA be a total Bharatiya effort? Or with 414 ge engine it won't be?

Let me understand, to get 414 for AMCA we need to:
a.) Buy f16
b.) Buy f18

Which will lead to :
c.) usa giving us 414 (which ej200 is also offering anyway)

Now would this 414 powered AMCA be totally Bharatiya?

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Viv S » 25 Jun 2017 15:32

Philip wrote:Manish,as someone said,"there's much money from garbage!" What aging product every NATO/US ally is emptying into their dustbins,we are desperate too pick up like scavengers.

A point of view that may have been more credible if didn't come from someone cheering on a MiG-29 acquisition. It takes a very serious headcase of cognitive dissonance to dismiss the F-16 as a aging dustbin headed aircraft while spinning the MiG into an oh-so-modern fighter.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby Manish_Sharma » 25 Jun 2017 16:41

To be fair to Philip, he is making point about Su 30 & Jags too alongwith 29s as they are already acquired platforms.

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby shiv » 25 Jun 2017 18:16

Philip wrote:Shiv we could easily open a new line for the LCA in the pvt. sector too.

That is the theory. In actual fact HAL is struggling to find tier 1 and tier 2 component manufacturers who will supply LCA parts to HAL for them to integrate in HAL. That is what HAL is aiming for and they hope to make 12 a year or something once that process gets going

Technically an entire F-16 line can be shifted to India and part manufacture, part assembly. Pakistan which apparently does not even make bicycle spokes imported an entire Swedish assembly line to make their Mushak trainer aircraft. Which they promptly exported. The tooling for the JF-17 too had been shifted to Pakistan - and they have apparently found a sucker to buy the plane.

Let our PSUs continue their wonderful or blunderful work, but get th pvt sector involved in a parallel effort to produce some real alternatives.

The idea that the F-16 is an antique is something that I believe is debatable - I am willing to debate it. I would give the F-16 at least another 20-25 years of life as a frontline fighter in the top air forces of the world. In that period some Indian manufacturer and local engineers would have worked with a real aircrfat and can become real assets even if they have to become suppliers to HAL

What happens now is as follows: HAL requires a complex part for the LCA (or maybe AMCA in future) which must be manufactured using special materials in a specially programmed CNC machine or 3D printer and finished by a skilled worker. No private industry has all of these. But if these are already present in a workshop that is manufacturing an F-16 - they may be able to supply HAL with complex parts during their tea-break (so to speak)

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Re: 'Make in India' Single engined fighter

Postby nvishal » 25 Jun 2017 18:19

The F16 purchase is a rumour intentionally spread by LM itself through an understanding agreement signed at Paris. The GoI is not involved in it.

An f16 assembled in India is no good because the component industry is still in the US and these OEMs cannot be shifted to India.

Tejas was being co-developed along with Kaveri and the plan is clear. Wait for rafale offset to finalize and integrate the Kaveri into LCA. The initial line of production tejas will likely run on GE engines but it will eventually accept Kaveri.

India is not going to operate 5+ types of fighter jets. If it did, it would point to a lack of basic planning at operational and strategic level.

US interests collide with indian interests at foundational level and mmrca made it clear that US assets were not welcome. It is rather strange that many BRF members outright ingore this as fantasy(it never happened).

It's also strange to see 5 pages worthvof discussion on a rumour. It's already known that these foreign vendors themselves have been sponsoring 2 out of 3 articles in the indian media.
Last edited by nvishal on 25 Jun 2017 18:26, edited 5 times in total.


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