LCA news and discussion

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Rahul M » 22 Feb 2010 23:48

vivek, off-hand, it will have somewhat higher drag because it is designed to be a more maneuverable platform, have a look at that insanely low wing loading. all that wing area translates to a higher drag unfortunately, nature doesn't allow you to have it both ways.

that said, the difference won't be that large, within 10-15% at most, probably less. secondly, don't discount our weather/environment conditions, the gripen's performance figures will also suffer a hit in the hot and high conditions. factor that in as well.

now, we have two datapoints by which to gauge range performance,
one a comment by a test-pilot that range was a little less than the mirage-2000
and reports of flights from b'lore to rajasthan (>1500 km away) for weapons trials. the loadout was 2 800l tanks + bomb racks + litening pods as we saw from the pics.


as for max speed, IIRC 1.6M is for IOC and 1.8M for FOC.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Vivek K » 23 Feb 2010 00:51

Thanks Rahul.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kartik » 23 Feb 2010 01:17

Sanku wrote:They interchanged the actual numbers of combat radius and take off length?


you seem to have hit the nail on the head. I didn't even comment on that because the figures seemed so ridiculous that I thought it wouldn't be discussed at all..anyway, even the empty weight figures are wrong, so its quite obvious that the data figures are wrong.

Wickberg, the LCA was designed with STOL as one of its requirements from the very beginning. you can see this [youtube]AAtCDcGgckk&feature=related[/youtube] video or this [youtube]W9ZMuisk4I8&feature=related[/youtube] video to see how short a takeoff is possible with 2 X R-73s.
Last edited by Rahul M on 23 Feb 2010 01:56, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed by nachiket.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kartik » 23 Feb 2010 01:25

Sanku wrote:Fixed


thanks-

one more where its starting from stationary and takes off well within what appears to be 500 meters or less.

[youtube]-8op11ZGP8c&feature=related[/youtube]

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kartik » 23 Feb 2010 02:00

and one more with drop tanks - PV1's first flight with drop tanks on. again seems to take off well within 500 meters itself. Those figures on that board were absolute rubbish. What irritates me a lot is why ADA/HAL can't even be bothered to have a dedicated PR and Media Relations division whose sole job is to make sure that the correct specs and data is available. Even in this day and age the thought process in this matter seems to hark back to the glory days of Public Sector Enterprises when Doordarshan was all we could get and no internet or access to global brochures meant everyone was happy without anything being out there.
[youtube]v--5oSqA1nQ&feature=related[/youtube]

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Rahul M » 23 Feb 2010 03:10

Kartik wrote:
Sanku wrote:Fixed


thanks-

one more where its starting from stationary and takes off well within what appears to be 500 meters or less.

[youtube]-8op11ZGP8c&feature=related[/youtube]

awesome, 13 sec take-off run ! :eek: from 1:08 to 1:21. less than 400m take-off distance by our reckoning ! :eek:

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Wickberg » 23 Feb 2010 04:21

Kartik wrote:and one more with drop tanks - PV1's first flight with drop tanks on. again seems to take off well within 500 meters itself. Those figures on that board were absolute rubbish. What irritates me a lot is why ADA/HAL can't even be bothered to have a dedicated PR and Media Relations division whose sole job is to make sure that the correct specs and data is available. Even in this day and age the thought process in this matter seems to hark back to the glory days of Public Sector Enterprises when Doordarshan was all we could get and no internet or access to global brochures meant everyone was happy without anything being out there.


I said the same thing yesterday, but got some heat from some members here. All this really stems down from is poor PR from HALs side (and the Indian Air force). It could be avoided by hiring 2-3 PR people to create and take care of a web site. There must be millions of journalists, programmers and webdesigners in India to choose from. Whats the catch?

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Shalav » 23 Feb 2010 06:22

Cain Marko

It is easy to calculate the range for the Tejas and the Gripen.

Range is also a function of fuel consumption, altitude, T/O weight etc (incl armaments)

Using my excel sheet we can calculate the range of the current state of the Tejas based on the following

empty weight: 6300 kg (based on recent news)
fuel: 2400 kg - incl 10% reserve
SFC: 0.76 kg/kg/hr dry & 1.82 kg/kg/hr with AB (GE F404 engine)
Armament: 2000 kg
altitude: 10000 m
range: 1951 km (leaving a 10% fuel reserve)

I don't have SFC's for the Gripen NG's engine so I cannot tell you its calculated range. However if you do have it we can plug it in, and arrive at a calculated figure for range.

The worksheet I use calculates these numbers by using publicly available figures. You can plug in the numbers (dry weight, physical dimensions, fuel, sfc, armament weight, altitude, engine thrust) and it will provide calculated numbers for the following parameters

TWR : dry / afterburner
Wing Loading : Start (kg/m2) / End (kg/m2)
Turn Rate (V*) : I.T.R. (deg/sec) / bank angle (deg) / turn radius (m)
Velocity : Stall (kph) / Corner (kph) / Corner (mach)
Endurance : dry (hr:mm) / afterburner (hr:mm)
Range : dry (km) / afterburner (km)

You are welcome to it; if you want it write to me at (my nick) at vsnl com. Its not perfect but it is more scientific and is closer to real numbers than pure guesswork.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby vina » 23 Feb 2010 06:35

Yawwnnn.. Back to the LCA vs Gripen pissing contest huh ?. Those two planes are very very similar, more like twins . Same engines, similar aerodynamic config (yeah.. yeah. go ahead and claim that adding a canard to an unstable delta wing is gee whiz and will make it in to a rocket ship..).

Differences are , Gripen seems to be slightly heavier, has a lower fuel fraction and higher wing loading . The two planes are so close to each other , that the differences will be minuscule in every respect, including range.

You want the LCA's range ?. Get the Gripen's range and it should be around the same , max +/- 150kms or so.

All Peace, Progress and Prosperity (and quiet thank you).

And oh, every now and then an outraged , self righteous Swede jumps on this board with half the capillaries in his heart busted with "How can you compare the LCA with the "incomparable" Gripen" .. Well, for that you given those kids a patronizing look and say.. Listen children, it doesn't matter if it was a Swede, American, Russian, French,Chinese, Korean, Indian, Japanese or why , even the Gorilla from the local zoo which put in those specs. Given similar design choices and specs , the final output will be largely similar.

Mother nature/science is blind to who did those choices.. Indians, Swedes or Gorillas. All the same . Thank you and God Bless.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Shalav » 23 Feb 2010 06:42

Well said Vina - well said!

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 23 Feb 2010 07:28

Shalav wrote:Cain Marko

It is easy to calculate the range for the Tejas and the Gripen.

Range is also a function of fuel consumption, altitude, T/O weight etc (incl armaments)

Using my excel sheet we can calculate the range of the current state of the Tejas based on the following

empty weight: 6300 kg (based on recent news)
fuel: 2400 kg - incl 10% reserve
SFC: 0.76 kg/kg/hr dry & 1.82 kg/kg/hr with AB (GE F404 engine)
Armament: 2000 kg
altitude: 10000 m
range: 1951 km (leaving a 10% fuel reserve)


Shalav, thats pretty cool. I had arrived at around 1800km based on 2 public remarks (btw, all the figures I gave are on full internal fuel only, no weapons/EFTs other than the 2 micas on the Rafale) ;

1) the remark by a test pilot that it was slightly less than the M2k (1850km).
2) the Gripen NG advert which states that it is 40% greater range than the Gripen C. Now since Gripen NG range on internal fuel (3400kg) is given at 2500km, I calculated around 1800km for the Gripen C as well.

However, I do believe that the GE F404 SFC figure you use is a little on the low side, most sources I checked (incldg. the ADA website) give the figure around 0.83 kg/s. This could explain why your range figure is higher than what I could gather. Could you recalculate @ the above figure?

I don't have SFC's for the Gripen NG's engine so I cannot tell you its calculated range. However if you do have it we can plug it in, and arrive at a calculated figure for range.

The GE-F414 improves on the SFC performance over the 404 by about 4%, so SFC for dry thrust should be around 0.78 kg/kg/hr
Btw, a good site on jet engine specs is Nathan Meier's
http://www.jet-engine.net/miltfspec.html

The worksheet I use calculates these numbers by using publicly available figures. You can plug in the numbers (dry weight, physical dimensions, fuel, sfc, armament weight, altitude, engine thrust) and it will provide calculated numbers for the following parameters

TWR : dry / afterburner
Wing Loading : Start (kg/m2) / End (kg/m2)
Turn Rate (V*) : I.T.R. (deg/sec) / bank angle (deg) / turn radius (m)
Velocity : Stall (kph) / Corner (kph) / Corner (mach)
Endurance : dry (hr:mm) / afterburner (hr:mm)
Range : dry (km) / afterburner (km)

You are welcome to it; if you want it write to me at (my nick) at vsnl com. Its not perfect but it is more scientific and is closer to real numbers than pure guesswork.

Yes Shalav, I remember your sheet earlier, wish I had downloaded it then. You have mail! Thanks.

One question that begs to be asked - what about drag? I have had posters reminding others (when the similarities between the Gripen and Tejas are pointed out) that the Gripen has a real low drag airframe which allows it a lot of advantages albeit the power is low, these include - super cruise, excellent climb rates, range etc. Would this make any distinct difference between the two birds?

CM.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Shalav » 23 Feb 2010 08:31

CM you have mail.

re: drag - the worksheet calculates drag due to air pressure. As regards "more aerodynamic airframe" We have no evidence that the LCA is less or more "draggy". Scientists will arrive at the best solution given their restrictions. The Gripen airframe may be less draggy, but then again the LCA airframe may be less draggy. We have no data to show which is better or worse.

In my opinion they would more or less be the same. Hence we assume this in the worksheet. If we can get actual wind-tunnel data for either airframe we can plug it into the worksheet.

Let me know if you need more info. I will reply a later though probably not today.

PS: on the worksheet you can enter empty weight SFC and the amount of fuel. choose the altitude and it will also calculate the standard atmosphere at the altitude (upto 20 km - didn't see the point of putting in a more complicated formula for altitudes over 66 k ft.)

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 23 Feb 2010 08:56

Shalav wrote:CM you have mail.

re: drag - the worksheet calculates drag due to air pressure. As regards "more aerodynamic airframe" We have no evidence that the LCA is less or more "draggy". Scientists will arrive at the best solution given their restrictions. The Gripen airframe may be less draggy, but then again the LCA airframe may be less draggy. We have no data to show which is better or worse.

In my opinion they would more or less be the same. Hence we assume this in the worksheet. If we can get actual wind-tunnel data for either airframe we can plug it into the worksheet.

Let me know if you need more info. I will reply a later though probably not today.

PS: on the worksheet you can enter empty weight SFC and the amount of fuel. choose the altitude and it will also calculate the standard atmosphere at the altitude (upto 20 km - didn't see the point of putting in a more complicated formula for altitudes over 66 k ft.)


Nifty (my hat is doffed)! for some reason I cannot change the amount of fuel (its a blue cell), it remains constant @ 1000kg. Thanks again.
That J10 now, if it really is what they say it is, it sure is impressive!

CM.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby SanjibGhosh » 24 Feb 2010 18:39

Induction of LCA Tejas into IAF
http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=58285

It is March 2011 .... just 1 yr ....


RAJYA SABHA

A contract for procurement of 20 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in Initial Operational Clearance configuration was signed with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd on March 31, 2006. These LCA are likely to be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) by March 2011.

In addition to the above contract for 20 LCA, a proposal for procurement of an additional 20 LCA in Final Operational Clearance configuration is being progressed. The specifications of the LCA are as per the Air Service Requirements framed by the IAF.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in written reply to Shri Santosh Bagrodia and Shri Santaram Laxman Naik in Rajya Sabha today.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby shukla » 24 Feb 2010 18:52

Any news yet on LCA Mk2 engine yet? EJ200 or GE 414EPE?

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby HarishV » 24 Feb 2010 23:21

karan_mc wrote:Local Paanwala told me that at least 3 Tejas will get MMR this year , Aur Kabaar Paki hai LSP-3/4 are confirmed other can be LSP-1 its been not flying for long time now ,coming to Tejas Name i could like it to be called with HF-XX Tejas any thing ADA-HAL come up

Is it true that only limited [A2A] mode of the MMR has been proven? I have seen previous posts from Cain_Marko which seem to suggest progress in this area. How are the weaponization tests running?
HAL touts the LCA as a true multi-role fighter a/c but are they looking at backup solutions for the MMR?

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Asit P » 25 Feb 2010 01:39

HarishV wrote:HAL touts the LCA as a true multi-role fighter a/c but are they looking at backup solutions for the MMR?

The work on MMR is progressing as per the expected lines. So there is no need to look for a back up solution on a urgent basis. God willing, we shall be able to see LCA mark 1 with MMR, and LCA mark 2 with a desi AESA radar. Talking of alternatives, Elta 2052 could be one.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby ramana » 25 Feb 2010 02:06

How many total flight worthy a/c are there now? And can they be armed if needed?

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby rad » 25 Feb 2010 08:40

Can some body please post a pic of the LCA cockpit which shows the throttle clearly ,

Rad

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby rad » 25 Feb 2010 08:48

The gov has cleared 20 LCA`s for induction within March 2011, are we capable of producing a squadron a year?

usualy it takes 3 years for the engine to be delivered after an order , have we done that ,

rad

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Singha » 25 Feb 2010 08:53

SFC: 0.76 kg/kg/hr dry

Shalav *cough cough* I recall your old mail on this. now that no backpacks are around do you
want to update that ? :mrgreen:

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Aditya_V » 25 Feb 2010 10:02

RAD-> I think we had ordered 44 GE404-IN engines a few years back, I think the 1st Sqaudron will use these.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kailash » 25 Feb 2010 10:14

Firstly only a handful of people (not BRF Jingos or DRDO/ADA folks but MoD/policy makers) take pride in something Indian. Our mindset has been that
- Anything imported is better than anything local
- Locally produced items are primarily for local consumption and not for export
- Any specs that are below local requirement never gets off the drawing board (i.e., No product is purely developed for a less demanding export client)

PR activity has to be leased to a private company. They should be paid for creating and maintaining the official website. Export market for the product under development would be mean more than one customer, potential extra funds (like we pay for Pak-fa someone pays for improving Tejas mk-1), strategic military allies and a considerable export market.

If the research is not customer oriented, DRDO will keep improving, gain experience in mating different weapons with our radar, create a stronger industrial base, supply chain and refined quality control etc. When their technology is mature enough the local customers will also open up.. eventually. Meanwhile they can make their own profits to fund further research.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kakarat » 25 Feb 2010 10:18

LCA-Tejas has completed 1301 Test Flights successfully. (24-Feb-10).


LCA has completed 1301 Test Flights successfully
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-129,PV3-194,LSP1-54,LSP2-138,PV5-6).
Last edited by Kakarat on 25 Feb 2010 10:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby krishnan » 25 Feb 2010 10:29

Kakarat wrote:LCA Tejas Test Flights (1301 as on 24-Feb-10)


PV5-6 test flights

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Sriman » 25 Feb 2010 10:44

krishnan wrote:PV5-6 test flights

Still no sign of LSP3 though.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby karan_mc » 25 Feb 2010 11:05

Sriman wrote:
krishnan wrote:PV5-6 test flights

Still no sign of LSP3 though.


That's been a mystery for a year now , Kab udega , abb udega :rotfl: :rotfl:

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Asit P » 25 Feb 2010 19:23

Kailash wrote:PR activity has to be leased to a private company. They should be paid for creating and maintaining the official website. Export market for the product under development would be mean more than one customer, potential extra funds


I completely agree with you Kailash. LCA is on the verge of being inducted in the IAF. Moreover, its going to be one of the most capable and definitely the cheapest aircraft in its class. Hence its time, India starts marketing it aggressively to the outside world.

Outdated information, poorly maintained websites and undesirable negative publicity (thanks to some morons in our media) don't do any justice to the hard work of our scientists and the capabilities of this bird.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby HarishV » 25 Feb 2010 19:34

Asit P wrote: I completely agree with you Kailash. LCA is on the verge of being inducted in the IAF. Moreover, its going to be one of the most capable and definitely the cheapest aircraft in its class. Hence its time, India starts marketing it aggressively to the outside world.


Honestly, it would be a great wonder if and when the IOC-ed LCA comes in to the IAF. Let us see how soon this happens - March 2011 is the date to look out for. But even by HALs own admission they are not going to do any better than 8 aircraft a year. That is so abysmally low - Even if you optimistically put this number to be 20 a year, getting out 200 LCA would take a decade - allowing for a mix and match of MK1 and MK2. I am not very sure they are going to be capable of filling up IAFs order or scale it up to say a squadron worth of Tejas's a year.
To get all worked up about its export is just unreal - you still haven't gotten a backup for the GE404, upgrades from the MMR to AESA, and a proven integrated weapons delivery system. It will all come in time, insha-allah.
Don't get me wrong here - there is potential, no doubt, but it cannot decouple with capability.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Singha » 25 Feb 2010 19:41

8 a/c a year would lead to 25 yrs in the gulag under the old soviet regime.

HAL and Tejas must be given the requisite money and confirmed orders to setup a line for atleast
25-30 Tejas every year without fail to form 1 squadron every 9 months.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Asit P » 25 Feb 2010 20:25

HarishV wrote:To get all worked up about its export is just unreal - you still haven't gotten a backup for the GE404, upgrades from the MMR to AESA, and a proven integrated weapons delivery system. It will all come in time, insha-allah.
Don't get me wrong here - there is potential, no doubt, but it cannot decouple with capability.


Harish, Branding a fighter aircraft is a long and a tedious affair. It doesn't happen overnight. Its true that LCA has not got its FOC (as a matter of fact, not even its IOC), but that should not deter us from presenting it to the outside world as a potent and a lethal aircraft.

Look at JF 17, in terms of capabilities it is far behind LCA but in terms of PR, it is miles ahead. Look at the birds competing in the MMRCA competition, many of them still don't have a working AESA radar, yet they are participating in this competition on an intangible promise of incorporating it soon. If some reports of the media are to be believed then MIG 35 may not start its production before 2014. But that has not stopped them from offering their product to India. Moreover, let us not forget that not every potential customer of LCA would have the same needs and wants as that of the IAF. There are those for whom high end stuffs like AESA radar may not be of paramount importance. They would well be happy with the MMR. Therefore, one does not has to wait for LCA to get inducted in the IAF with its complete configuration to start its marketing. Ideally, we must start its marketing as soon as possible, and must use the technological progress of LCA (such as selection of more powerful engine, better radar etc) to provide a stimulus to its marketing activities from time to time. Similarly, we must use its induction into the IAF to reinforce & strengthen the belief of the prospective customers in the capabilities of this bird.

A customer does not buy a product which is made in factory. He buys a brand which comprises of the tangible product as well as the intangible values, beliefs and perceptions that are attached with that product. With the LCA program nearing its completion in few years from now, its time India starts creating a positive perception about LCA amongst the prospective customers through various marketing means such as brand positioning, PR etc

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Asit P » 25 Feb 2010 20:47

HarishV wrote: But even by HALs own admission they are not going to do any better than 8 aircraft a year. That is so abysmally low - Even if you optimistically put this number to be 20 a year, getting out 200 LCA would take a decade - allowing for a mix and match of MK1 and MK2.


To the best of my knowledge, production line depends largely upon the order in hand and the time limit given by the end user to fulfil that order. Producing an aircraft is important but being able to setup supporting infrastructure is equally important. The end user has to train its pilots, mechanics and has to develop unique infrastructure catering to the needs and wants of the new aircraft. All this takes time. There is no point in producing 100 aircrafts a year when the end user may not be able to absorb it at such a rapid pace.

In my humble opinion, if the order for LCA ramps up, then there is no reason why its production lines cannot be geared up to produce more aircrafts per year.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby jamwal » 25 Feb 2010 21:26

HAL and all other parties involved in production of Tejas should focus on producing enough aircraft for Indian Air Force above all. This building reputation idea of Tejas like "reputable JF-17" :roll: to sell it to other countries holds little merit.
HAL doesn't even has a functioning PR department and sale of Dhruv to Ecuador and subsequent events were not exactly conductive to HAL's image building.
Right now when even vital components like radar, engine are not finalised, HAL cannot deliver even half of the aircrafts required for our own use, how can anybody expect it to provide support to foreign customers dumb enough to buy it. You don't just sell the airframe, a large part of the deal involves training, spare parts and support for the customer which HAL will be unable to provide.

The contenders in MRCA deals with unfinished planes are not a bit like HAL. All of them have been building combat proven aircraft for ages and except for Gripen all the technologies for all planes all homegrown and are not reliant on any foreign source

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby HarishV » 25 Feb 2010 22:47

Jamwal makes two good points
jamwal wrote:HAL and all other parties involved in production of Tejas should focus on producing enough aircraft for Indian Air Force above all.


This is precisely my point. Are'nt we honestly over-estimating as to what HAL/ADA can produce given the extreme limitations there is on Government resources? We are not talking of a Private Enterprise which may have the luxury of throwing all including the kitchen sink at technical problems.

Asit P himself rightly pointed out in his 2nd post that it takes a lot more than just churning out and plonking the LCA at an Mig-21 airbase. Do we honestly believe that India has the werewithal to train not only her own pilots but those from other countries as well; train on our simulators, and help them out eventually with setting up maintenance and support systems as well?

jamwal wrote:The contenders in MRCA deals with unfinished planes are not a bit like HAL. All of them have been building combat proven aircraft for ages and except for Gripen all the technologies for all planes all homegrown and are not reliant on any foreign source


This is exactly the point why the MMRCA got delayed in the Nth place. Most of the aircrafts in the fray at the time were either evolving [Typhoon, Rafale] or old [non-NG Gripen, Mirage-2k-5]. If we wanted nothing short of the best, do you really think your customer is going to want anything else? I doubt it.

Unless one is a yindoo-yehudi hating Chi-com JF-17 loving PAF Air Marshal, you aren't going to take a non-proven platform from anyone, let alone from a soft-power like India.

The Ecuadorian incident just under-lined what is so very wrong with having scientists and engineers work on Marketing - at the end of the day, no matter how good a product is, it needs to be "sold".
Last edited by HarishV on 26 Feb 2010 00:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Rahul M » 25 Feb 2010 22:51

Do we honestly believe that India has the werewithal to train her own pilots,
err what ? who do you think trains our pilots ?

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby HarishV » 25 Feb 2010 23:13

Rahul M wrote:
Do we honestly believe that India has the werewithal to train her own pilots,
err what ? who do you think trains our pilots ?


Uh oh Grammar Nazi :rotfl: - Rahul - with the comma it sounds really bad doesn't it... :D

Strike the comma - my bad! Personally I blame the keyboard on my very very old laptop!

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Rahul M » 25 Feb 2010 23:28

well, people can't be bothered to figure out what you wanted to write over what you have actually written. nothing to do with grammar whatever as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kartik » 25 Feb 2010 23:32

HarishV wrote:Honestly, it would be a great wonder if and when the IOC-ed LCA comes in to the IAF. Let us see how soon this happens - March 2011 is the date to look out for. But even by HALs own admission they are not going to do any better than 8 aircraft a year. That is so abysmally low - Even if you optimistically put this number to be 20 a year, getting out 200 LCA would take a decade - allowing for a mix and match of MK1 and MK2. I am not very sure they are going to be capable of filling up IAFs order or scale it up to say a squadron worth of Tejas's a year.
To get all worked up about its export is just unreal - you still haven't gotten a backup for the GE404, upgrades from the MMR to AESA, and a proven integrated weapons delivery system. It will all come in time, insha-allah.
Don't get me wrong here - there is potential, no doubt, but it cannot decouple with capability.


the rate for production is driven by the number of orders at hand. If you call the rate of production abysmally low, then you must also call the number of Tejas Mk1s ordered as being abysmally low. I mean from a production manager's point of view, why would I invest hundreds of crores of Rs extra to produce 15 Tejas per year when I only have 40 orders on hand ? What benefit do I stand to get by finishing the production in 2.5 years and then twiddling my thumbs and letting expensive machines and people sit idle ? I could produce 8 per year for 5 years and by then transition to producing Tejas Mk2 instead and then ramp up the production facilities if the IAF orders something like a 100 or so Tejas Mk2s. That way there is no period during which the line is sitting idle with no orders on hand to produce Tejas Mk1s.

The same logic has been applied to the C-17 production by Boeing- the orders are not enough to justify a production line that produces 15-20 C-17s per year, so its being scaled down to 10 per year just so that the assembly line can continue to exist, even if it’s a much slower pace with 2 shifts being reduced to 1.

Blaming HAL for the production rate as if they cannot produce any more because they're handicapped or challenged in some way is not right.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kartik » 26 Feb 2010 00:09

Asit P wrote:Harish, Branding a fighter aircraft is a long and a tedious affair. It doesn't happen overnight. Its true that LCA has not got its FOC (as a matter of fact, not even its IOC), but that should not deter us from presenting it to the outside world as a potent and a lethal aircraft.

Look at JF 17, in terms of capabilities it is far behind LCA but in terms of PR, it is miles ahead. Look at the birds competing in the MMRCA competition, many of them still don't have a working AESA radar, yet they are participating in this competition on an intangible promise of incorporating it soon. If some reports of the media are to be believed then MIG 35 may not start its production before 2014. But that has not stopped them from offering their product to India. Moreover, let us not forget that not every potential customer of LCA would have the same needs and wants as that of the IAF. There are those for whom high end stuffs like AESA radar may not be of paramount importance. They would well be happy with the MMR. Therefore, one does not has to wait for LCA to get inducted in the IAF with its complete configuration to start its marketing. Ideally, we must start its marketing as soon as possible, and must use the technological progress of LCA (such as selection of more powerful engine, better radar etc) to provide a stimulus to its marketing activities from time to time. Similarly, we must use its induction into the IAF to reinforce & strengthen the belief of the prospective customers in the capabilities of this bird.


This has everything to do with what the aim of the project itself is. The LCA wasn't developed with an eye for exports like the FC-1 was. From the very beginning, the LCA program aim was simply to get the IAF to use it in large numbers. The biggest stumbling block for weapons exports from India are that the GoI and MoD don't have the aggressive mind-set that exports are mandatory for the economic health of a project and also contribute to strategic goals and that these need to be driven from top down, unlike in countries that have traditionally exported weapons. for e.g. France where before Nicholas Sarkozy came into power, their weapon exports had dropped and it was considered a national cause for concern. If the politicians start exerting pressure on the MoD and DRDO, they too will start focusing on exports.

Regarding the Tejas and how mature a product it is, well it definitely needs to enter IOC and FOC, before it is taken seriously by outsiders, but as you said, that shouldn't prevent the MoD and HAL to start talking to potential customers, inviting their pilots and technicians to come take a look, describing the technicalities of the product, etc.. Italy's Aermacchi was promoting the M-346 Master even before it was ready. And it hasn't yet entered service in large numbers, yet it (almost) managed to find an export buyer in the UAE before the deal went kaput.

China and Pakistan started talking to potential customer well before the FC-1 was brought into service with the PAF- and even that service entry is quite clearly expedited. For instance no pictures, no videos and no talk of it testing BVR weapons or for that matter even WVR air-to-air weapons. The first squadron being replaced is an A-5 Fantan squadron, so tactical strike and interdiction will be the JF-17s initial role even as other weapons are tested out and finally brought into service.

A customer does not buy a product which is made in factory. He buys a brand which comprises of the tangible product as well as the intangible values, beliefs and perceptions that are attached with that product. With the LCA program nearing its completion in few years from now, its time India starts creating a positive perception about LCA amongst the prospective customers through various marketing means such as brand positioning, PR etc


What you're talking about is an alient concept to PSUs. They don't understand it and I doubt that they will be even be thinking of it. I mean how can anyone justify a company as large as HAL doing away with its miniscule media unit that used to come out with Minsk Square Matters? The obvious fact is that HAL senior management, which likely grew up in the same company are so blissfully unaware of the importance of PR that they don’t believe that its worth employing 3-4 people who engage in a little PR. Private firms engage in a lot of media management, a lot of meet-and-greets and that way they get their product a lot of attention. Ever heard of a PSU doing that? That culture doesn’t exist in them because they believe they have a captive market and don’t have to fight for orders.

In many ways, India has hampered its own growth by restricting private sector involvement in defence. The Dhruv ALH was in service for several years with no foreign exports but only when the Sarang team started doing demos during Airshows outside did people start noticing it. Do you think Ecuador, Chile or any other nation except Nepal will visit HAL and ask them if they have a product that fits their needs? Do you think HAL will even ask them to come visit their facilities? They see them at Airshows and that’s where they interact, find out what is available and if it fits a particular requirement of theirs, they go back, do their homework and start preliminary negotiations. And here, the fact is that unfortunately, HAL doesn't treat the Tejas as its own product. They took the HJT-36 Sitara to Farnbourough even though the AL-55I engine that will bring into service was still being developed. What prevented them from taking a Tejas PV? I mean, the LCA is well known (for mostly the wrong reasons) and it would’ve been a big media publicity even if the Tejas was taken to air shows. That press coverage gets people talking about a product and all that can help generate interest. And if they even spoke of the technologies on the Tejas, people would be far more impressed with India’s capability rather than by seeing an intermediate trainer. But HAL didn’t take it along because with the Tejas, they cannot put a HAL badge on it- mainly because while they did a lot of design work on it and are the prime production agency, ADA is the nodal agency. This one fact has in the past (during ex-chairman RN Sharma's reign) dampened HAL's enthusiasm for the Tejas quite a lot.

HarishV
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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby HarishV » 26 Feb 2010 00:39

Kartik,
But lets say hypothetically the IAF, after the IOC, and eventually the FOC, orders a half a dozen squadrons worth of LCAs to do duty. Lets take HALs past manufacturing experience with the Jaguars. The MKIs were KD-kits so not counting that here.
What is the possible scope of expansion for HAL from its current capacity of 8 LCAs per year? I mean how many could they produce in a best effort? You can' just scale numbers without having the right people in place.

Also I read your response to Asit's take on "branding the Tejas". While it seems to me to be the only way of getting the unit cost of the fighter down - I am not sure that GoI would clear her for exports[why? politically, just because it is a sensitive technology, and nothing else] while the IAF is yet to make up its mind on buying more LCAs. Notwithstanding the orders that come from the IAF, HALs efforts just might be scuttled. Which would be a pity really.
I'm not being negative, I'm just sensing a pattern... :(


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