LCA news and discussion

All threads that are locked or marked for deletion will be moved to this forum. The topics will be cleared from this archive on the 1st and 16th of each month.
Brando
BRFite
Posts: 675
Joined: 26 Feb 2008 06:18

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Brando » 23 Nov 2009 04:28

enqyoob wrote:10 fighters a year is a terribly poor production rate for something which is probably needed in a couple of thousand units. However, the engine fiasco means that the rate cannot be hiked so easily. Given the rate of production, the IAF is really providing the "pull". Great, but now if something can be done about the engine....


A couple of Thousand ??? I would imagine a maximum of 500 odd LCA's to be ever built.

10 fighters/year is abysmal but with HAL trying to "manufacture" everything under the sun, its no wonder that they would be a Jack of all trades, master of none. With such low labor costs in India (lower than China) and relatively high demand, only a government company like HAL can afford to have such a cavalier attitude with production time lines.

The LCA project manufacturing should be split up and given to private companies across India if HAL cannot deliver adequate numbers when the Mark-II finally gains FOC.

suraj p
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 43
Joined: 23 Oct 2009 08:10

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby suraj p » 23 Nov 2009 04:33

How much of revenue HAL makes from exports when compared to orders coming from IN and IAF. HAL must at least double its production lines and set up new shops.

enqyoob
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2658
Joined: 06 Jul 2008 20:25

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby enqyoob » 23 Nov 2009 06:36

The problem you have described is the Capitalist Treadmill. Once you get on it, you only speed up, can never afford to slow down. So it goes like this:
1. Win contract based on offering fast ramp-up of production, and large production rate.
2. Win orders for maximum number possible, get "order book" filled for next many years.
3. Go borrow on the basis of the order book and ramp up production by factor of 10.
4. As end of order run approaches, spend night and day lobbying to get new "extension".
5. Get foreign orders.
6. Go get jobs to upgrade older versions.
7. Lay off half the workforce if there is a gap in the flow of orders.

See how Lockheed and Boeing operate. And be careful what you wish for - you may get it. The assembly like machinists, the engineers, all have zero job security. Except for a core of engineers and other super-specialists, all the others are hired on a sinusoidal demand projection.

Is RD-33 on offer? Does it fit in an LCA?

Regarding total numbers, India just does not think big. With the above scenario, private companies coming in, 2000 is a small number for a versatile LCA when you consider navy versions, air defence of sea-lanes, escorting AWACS type craft, patrolling to detect sea-Pakis, snow-dragons, pirates, AND, exports to such future superpowers as Sri Lanka and Seychelles, will add up quickly. There's nothing wrong with the basic platform geometry and structural design. It's like George Washington's Original Axe: the engines will be changed, the payload will be changed, the glass cockpit will be completely redone many times, but 30 years from now, the LCA should still be a viable, modern design.

vina
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6046
Joined: 11 May 2005 06:56
Location: Doing Nijikaran, Udharikaran and Baazarikaran to Commies and Assorted Leftists

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby vina » 23 Nov 2009 06:54

Shook Law aint just shakin it, he is ROCKING . The article is right there in the front page of today's Business Standard, along with a photo of the LCA . The article has already been posted I see.

A small foot note at the end of the article talks about "Tomorrow's Article - Choice of the engine for the new engine".

Me thinks that this decision is probably based on the fact that the envelope expansion is mostly done, the Euro(trash)fighter consortium has probably gone over the flight test details and done the "chaap maar" / "OK" sign on it and the weapon trials are entering the final phase and the IAF has pretty high confidence of the bird as it is right now.

Finally some sanity dawning on it. Rather than induct just one "final" super duper version with all the bells and whistles like AESA and 400000000% increase in payload and the required engine power, they are inducting a prettye competent and decent bird right now!.

After all, like the old saying goes
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush , onree, no?

enqyoob
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2658
Joined: 06 Jul 2008 20:25

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby enqyoob » 23 Nov 2009 07:02

Most ppl who have to work for a living would agree with you - until they buy enough stock and become obsessed with the rate of increase of the stock price. Amirkhan industries may be in any given "state", but AmirKhani planes still win air combat with the others, because the innovations come faster than they can test and induct them - all trying to beat each other, because that's the only way to get paid for the work and buy groceries. Hunger (aka "Fire in da belly") is a great motivator.

And when it comes to war, you either have air superiority, or you are a target. That's the choice. The other way of getting the numbers is to use slave labor. The Third Reich, FSU and PRC have taken this path to great heights.

But no fear of Amirkhani companies going broke, as long as there are "Inaction is Action, All is Maya" types like GOI to sit on their thumbs for decades, then rush in and buy whatever is on offer at premium import prices.

Rahul M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 17050
Joined: 17 Aug 2005 21:09
Location: Skies over BRFATA
Contact:

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Rahul M » 23 Nov 2009 07:04

at the moment at least, India's labour laws doesn't allow that kind of hire and fire.

somnath
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3416
Joined: 29 Jan 2003 12:31
Location: Singapore

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby somnath » 23 Nov 2009 07:22

^^^ The problem is two-fold -

1) ability to order in "large", scalable quantities. All services, including the IN, tend to order in hugely sub scale quantities - thereby shooing off domestic private players and paying top dollar for imports. And they keep paying more as they order follow-on in the same sub scale quantities (look at the refueller, the Krivak)..The trick for the LCA will be to confirm an interest of scale size, say 200 aircraft.

2) ability of HAL to deliver on large scale manufacturing. Assemby line production management is not basic R&D of developng an aircraft, it is a specialsed skill. HAL does not have a record of delivering any model @ a rate of more than 10-15 a year. the Su30 run, after 10 years, is still at 14-15 aircraft a year.

Getting an Indian pvt sector player pro bono now will also not serve the purpose - any company will take its own time to develop aerospace assemby expertise.

To me a better alternatvie would be for HAL to form a JV with an established aerospace major - Dassault, Bombardoer, or even MAC to set up a JV to mass produce LCA MkI and interact with DRDO/ADE to quickly integrate MkII. In time and if successful, this company can well be listed in India, equity sold off to Indian pvt players etc tec. Being an "LCA focused" entity, this will anyway be "Indian" in more shapes and form than any current aircraft in our inventory, even if Dassault owns 50% of the entity. For now, the foreign partner can give HAL the boost in terms of ramping up scale quickly, to say 30-40 aircraft a year, soemthing that will make up the numbers for IAF.

As for hire and fire etc, a scale sized order will obviate the problem to a large extent. A company that builds expertise in mass producing a (relatively) advanced light aircraft will never go out of business in India..there will always be more styuff in the pipeline for India itself (LCA mkII, MCA, FGFA etc etc) besides opportunities of outsourcing from the foreign equity partner as well as other western aerospace firms. One of the reasons why the American firms need to have "flexible" assembly lines is because of the high fixed cost base they have on R&D (while a lot of R&D is govt funded, a lot of it is risk-sharing basis).. A dedicated contract manufacturing assembly line will not have that problem. In India, the basic R&D will be done by DRDO or the foreign OEM from where the stuff is being bought.
Last edited by somnath on 23 Nov 2009 07:27, edited 1 time in total.

Gagan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11209
Joined: 16 Apr 2008 22:25

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Gagan » 23 Nov 2009 07:24

Now with that kind of capitalist and private industry run production in mind one must call for privatization of aircraft and mil hardware production in India.

These money crazy private organizations will lubricate / threaten the netas to spend more on the military. The whole military industrial complex will take off.
India will be creating reasons to get into wars to prove the oh-so-effective-ness of these products.
There will be exports to super duper powers like Nigeria and Seychelles and they will inexplicably get into wars with their neighbors where the Indian exported phyters will come on top.
Once India does that, only then will it morph into a truly global power, not before.

IOW a jingos dream come true.

PS: wouldn't it be great to see the "T" logo with the words TATA written on the nose cone of the Ell Cee Aye just like all those smoke belching trucks all over india hain ji?

somnath
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3416
Joined: 29 Jan 2003 12:31
Location: Singapore

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby somnath » 23 Nov 2009 07:46

Thinking aloud, Boeing or Airbus/EADS would be a great fit for the JV. They have enormous experience in mass scale manufacturing of combat aircraft, and more importantly have very significant offset commitments in India. Their equity in the JV can be granted offset status. Once embedded so deeply in India's aerospace sector, Beoing (or EADS) will find it compelling to do more of their "own" stuff in India. In some years, who knows, the Dreamliner can be rolled out of an Indian factory!

Vivek K
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2480
Joined: 15 Mar 2002 12:31

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Vivek K » 23 Nov 2009 07:53

TOT LCA tech to Israel (IAI) and let them sell it to IAF. IAF would have released order for 5 squadrons at least. But this is never the less a great step. We need to clone 500 LCAs ASAP and position 300 against PAK freeing up MKIs to face Chincom. MRCA purchase order by spring is the need of the hour to make China quiet. To keep a trusted friend happy, modernizing 29s to 35 std, more new build 35s to have at least a 100 35s in all plus more ks for Navy and 126 MRCAs for IAF from US would be good.

Rahul M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 17050
Joined: 17 Aug 2005 21:09
Location: Skies over BRFATA
Contact:

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Rahul M » 23 Nov 2009 08:04

1) ability to order in "large", scalable quantities. All services, including the IN, tend to order in hugely sub scale quantities - thereby shooing off domestic private players and paying top dollar for imports. And they keep paying more as they order follow-on in the same sub scale quantities (look at the refueller, the Krivak)..The trick for the LCA will be to confirm an interest of scale size, say 200 aircraft.

I'm not sure the IN criticism is valid. IN orders in batches of 3 after it was decided in consultation with the shipyards that 3 was minimum number required to ensure sufficient ROI so that the shipyards don't suffer losses.
about the refueler, if it is the fincantieri ship you are talking about then it is not IN's job to ensure their profitability is it ? especially when they will get orders from other sources anyway.

--------------------
PS: wouldn't it be great to see the "T" logo with the words TATA written on the nose cone of the Ell Cee Aye just like all those smoke belching trucks all over india hain ji?

and OK TATA/buri najar-wale teri muh kala written on the posterior side ! :P

Gagan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11209
Joined: 16 Apr 2008 22:25

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Gagan » 23 Nov 2009 08:20

Rahul M wrote:OK TATA/buri najar-wale teri muh kala written on the posterior side ! :P
:rotfl:

Rahul M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 17050
Joined: 17 Aug 2005 21:09
Location: Skies over BRFATA
Contact:

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Rahul M » 23 Nov 2009 09:12

somnath ji, moved your post and my reply to IN thread.

suraj p
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 43
Joined: 23 Oct 2009 08:10

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby suraj p » 23 Nov 2009 09:40

To me placing another order to raise another Tejas sq. is too soon/unexpected. Reading from IAF's AVM Barbora's recent statement about lack of squadrons (although it is known that IAF is falling behind expected # of sq's) and the way his argument and pitch, if one can predict line of events - I feel that IAF zeroed on MRCA deal and might have discussed a more powerful engine deal too. If one is confident to get a more powerful engine by the time HAL is ready to start a production line, why to hide the excitement and shy out from announcing or asking for a PurchaseOrder for more squadrons.
Hopefully in a month or 45 days we will also get to hear which one got awarded MRCA. I guess Mig-35.

P.S: this is purely my guess work. senior members might have discussed this issue to death and are far more experienced in guessing.

somnath
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3416
Joined: 29 Jan 2003 12:31
Location: Singapore

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby somnath » 23 Nov 2009 10:04

The services, especially IAF, should also get a bit smarter on purely the financial management side of things. Every year, they returns literally thousands of crores to the Consolidated Fund of India beause their uber quality imports are perpetually under negotiation and the purchase does not fructify..They should simply go ahead and order some of the domestic stuff (LCA would be a good start) to "use up" the budget..Any project, once invested into substantially, takes a life of its own and is difficult to abandon...That way, they can fill up the numbers while still doign the testing for the AESA-supercruise-stealth-BBBVRAM combo fighter that they are looking for!

negi
BRF Oldie
Posts: 13112
Joined: 27 Jul 2006 17:51
Location: Ban se dar nahin lagta , chootiyon se lagta hai .

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby negi » 23 Nov 2009 10:13

Somnath ji before we even go there I am curious about as to who/which department under the services takes care of budgetary allocations ? I am of the view that IAF or any of the three services can do little in the above case for the entire process of floating a RFI/RFP to testing, negotiations, inking the deal and finally acceptance of the platform is actually driven the the GOI(MOD to be precise) the services merely evaluate the platform and later sign off on the user acceptance trials , the finances are taken care off by the GOI so the onus of using the allotted money is on the GOI. From whatever I know about the services there is no separate/dedicated department which is takes care of arms deals/acquisitions the representatives of the relevant service are handpicked on adhoc basis based on the platform and its designated unit.

You very well aware how allotted funds for a given business unit are spent in the private industry , the said business unit in question has a complete control over the funds and it makes sure that at the end of the financial year there is no extra penny left in the kitty for it would send a signal of under utilization to the fat cats who would then get a nice excuse to cap the budgetary allocation for the next financial year . :wink:
Last edited by negi on 23 Nov 2009 10:17, edited 2 times in total.

Picklu
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2110
Joined: 25 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Picklu » 23 Nov 2009 10:16

Something is seriously cooking on our NE. Increased order of akash and lca, night testing of agni 2 - looks like there is a sudden fire in the belly of our armed forces for desi maal. Not that I am complaining.

somnath
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3416
Joined: 29 Jan 2003 12:31
Location: Singapore

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby somnath » 23 Nov 2009 10:32

negi wrote:Somnath ji before we even go there I am curious about as to who/which department under the services takes care of budgetary allocations ? I am of the view that IAF or any of the three services can do little in the above case for the entire process of floating a RFI/RFP to testing, negotiations, inking the deal and finally acceptance of the platform is actually driven the the GOI(MOD to be precise) the services merely evaluate the platform and later sign off on the user acceptance trials , the finances are taken care off by the GOI so the onus of using the allotted money is on the GOI. From whatever I know about the services there is no separate/dedicated department which is takes care of arms deals/acquisitions the representatives of the relevant service are handpicked on adhoc basis based on the platform and its designated unit.

You very well aware how allotted funds for a given business unit are spent in the private industry , the said business unit in question has a complete control over the funds and it makes sure that at the end of the financial year there is no extra penny left in the kitty for it would send a signal of under utilization to the fat cats who would then get a nice excuse to cap the budgetary allocation for the next financial year . :wink:


the service HQs are involved in all stages of the process - RFI/RFQ, PNC, of course user testing..the benefit of "indigeneous" equipment is that most of the stages can be short circuited..You dont need to issue RFI or RFP to multiple vendors, no elaborate PNCs...Especially true for long running projects like LCA/Arjun, that have already been ordered in limited quantity by the Services..They can simply say that these fill crucial gaps and hence follow-on orders are required - given the single entry budgeting for GOI (there is no "expense accrual" in its books!) funds are never a shortage as they are being returned regularly..

I am oversimplifying this, but the fact is that a follow-on order for an LCA/Arjun/Akash is a much simpler job than ordering the MRCA or Barak8..And once ordered, each major platform in operation takes a life of its own and creates its own vested interests to sustain the production run..

Gagan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 11209
Joined: 16 Apr 2008 22:25

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Gagan » 23 Nov 2009 10:40

I suspect as much.

The orders for domestic mil hardware coming in now are of no military significance in the immediate time period. There have to be definite inputs by RAW on chinese plans and preparations.

I hope the chinese have not already done a kargil. Or there are no megaphone announcements of Hindi-chini bhai bhai leave our territory.

This winter season might turn out to be hot. This one year is the window that china has got to annex some part of arunachal.

The US is cowed down by its economy in the hands of china, India is militarily unprepared (Was India ever militarily prepared wrt china in its entire history?).

The IAF can't take over the task that the artillery is supposed to do day in and day out.

Arunachal is not the only territory we need to worry about. The entire North Burma is virtually in Chinese hands. There is pressure on the borders along Uttranchal, where again there is disputed territory.

negi
BRF Oldie
Posts: 13112
Joined: 27 Jul 2006 17:51
Location: Ban se dar nahin lagta , chootiyon se lagta hai .

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby negi » 23 Nov 2009 10:58

somnath wrote:the service HQs are involved in all stages of the process - RFI/RFQ, PNC, of course user testing..the benefit of "indigeneous" equipment is that most of the stages can be short circuited..You dont need to issue RFI or RFP to multiple vendors, no elaborate PNCs...Especially true for long running projects like LCA/Arjun, that have already been ordered in limited quantity by the Services..They can simply say that these fill crucial gaps and hence follow-on orders are required - given the single entry budgeting for GOI (there is no "expense accrual" in its books!) funds are never a shortage as they are being returned regularly..

Somnath ji this is a chicken and egg scenario and you have tried to pick at one end of it; lets be honest our MIL h/w complex is yet to mature to the level of its peers in west or even in RU in terms of ability to service orders in bulk and given time frame , most of the platforms which you talk about are first of their kind being built in house and obviously yet to pass final user acceptance trials.

There is a difference in ordering a batch of 40 M2K's without subjecting it to extensive testing vis a vis the LCA . Arjun's case is different IA had already placed a huge order for the T-90 . Aakash is being inducted as we speak the numbers game is something which cannot be viewed only from an economic perspective at the end of the day we are talking about IAF's/IA's sanctioned figures, number of trained personnel required to man the missile batteries and of course the fact that a huge order would mean by the time last batch rolls of the platform might be long in tooth in terms of the technology.

My point is services can do little about this , if IA's Arty tender or even the MRCA contract are to go by its clear that it is the GOI that takes the final call . Services can only evaluate and recommend the platform the final deal itself is signed by the GOI which we all are aware is more often than not signed under political compulsions.

A huge bulk order for the T-90 is a clear example of the above specially when Avadi has just started the serial production of the MBT .One can now in hindsight very well argue that the order could have been evenly split between the Arjun and the T-90 without drastically affecting the IA's timelines.

nsarma
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 9
Joined: 21 Apr 2009 10:49

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby nsarma » 23 Nov 2009 11:28

IMHO order for a second LCA is one of very important steps in the right direction. Acquiring capability to reproduce existing technology and innovate new ones is critical for an aspiring global power.

In an ideal world, both IAF and HAL alongwith MoD should come together and ink out a long term (30 yers or so maybe) plan which should essentially contain 3 clear milestone plans:

1. What will be IAF force requirements, say every 5 years:: How many aircrafts of what category will have to be replaced and how many needs to be inducted afresh. Based on this HAL can priorittize on its spending and focus and decide on R&D roadmap. A separate product roadmap also needs to be drawn for all indegenous efforts. e.g. A roadmap for LCA-tejas, another one for MCA and one for UCAV perhaps (being highly optimistic).

2. How many of the existing fleet will need to be upgraded say every 5 years, how much will be the cost and what timeframe. This will enable HAL to schedule the existing production lines and plan for new ones to increase capacity keeping long term scenario in mind. Decommissioning of production lines for older aircrafts (e.g. Mig-21) can also be planned in advance so that the teams woring in those production lines may be trained in advanced to move to a new, different production line.

3. Technology requirements:: This is probably the most critical area as changing requirements can / does delay a project (be it a cutting edge fighter aircraft or a next door ERP project) almost everytime. Therefore, it is important to agree on a milestone plan:: e.g. by 2015 we'll require stealth capability, by 2025 we'll require capability to detect stealth, by 2035 we'll require capability to operate UCAVS and so on.

A very high level milestone plane will benefit is many ways:
1. Resource requirement can be predicted. This includes human resources as well as cutting edge technology requipments, R&D facilities, production lines, raw materials for the final product.
2. IAF can divert the unspent money to R&D groups (under "future orders" head perhaps) to boost up the projects. (To be honest, I'm not sure the red tap issues here and it may not be feasibly as of now, but hey, one can always push for a change)
3. We'll be able to predict the need of foreign assistance proactively rather than waiting for something to fail and then rushing for foreign assistance. I see no harm in 'buying' knowledge to enhance our repository rather than attempting to reinvent every wheel.

somnath
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3416
Joined: 29 Jan 2003 12:31
Location: Singapore

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby somnath » 23 Nov 2009 11:41

Negi (pls exclude the "ji" for me!),

I agree with you on

MIL h/w complex is yet to mature to the level of its peers in west or even in RU in terms of ability to service orders in bulk and given time frame


which is why I said we should get a JV done, if required under the offset commitments, with a Boeing or a Dassault to mass produce the LCA in larger numbers.

the moot point is different, there are platforms today that have been under "tests" for decades - Arjun, Akash, LCA, the missiles etc. The services should (and I think they would) know the merits and potential of each of the platforms very well now. For critical gaps (light fighters, SAM) they can well order in large qties a "70%" system while the batch improvement carries on. I see no merit in successive service chiefs breast beating about funds being returned to the CFI every year while the "best" platforms are being searched/negotiated for..

My point is services can do little about this , if IA's Arty tender or even the MRCA contract are to go by its clear that it is the GOI that takes the final call . Services can only evaluate and recommend the platform the final deal itself is signed by the GOI which we all are aware is more often than not signed under political compulsions.


For imports, absolutely..but no defence minister or MoD bureaucrat will sit on a proposal to induct 25 new Akash batteries. The indigeneous equipment has one "structural advantage" of not being in the firinig line of "bribery, single vendor, nepotism" allegations - but the services have refused to use that to their advantage...

SaiK
BRF Oldie
Posts: 36416
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
Location: NowHere

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby SaiK » 23 Nov 2009 18:49

IAF willing to accept 404 speced engine, means Kaveri (waiting to hear what happened to their latest test in Russia) should be ready to be fit then..

besides for kaveri:-
- up thrusting with either m88 or ej200 technologies
- single crystals
- blisk
- multiple versions for various kinds like mig29 upgrades etc /future plan.

I hope to hear some good news on K.

D Roy
BRFite
Posts: 1176
Joined: 08 Oct 2009 17:28

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby D Roy » 23 Nov 2009 18:50

Okay here's why 2000 may be kosher if pursued with the right spirit-
( key assumptions: 35 year period, continual iterative development, private sector participation, complete phase out of Mig-21, F-4, F-5, F-16, Mig-29A, J-7 worldwide), squadron size = 20) the world's air still being dense enough to support powered flight...)
Target - 100 sqdns,

IAF - 32 sq. - one to one replacement of all Mig-21s and floggers

IN- 6 sq - assuming more carriers and a few land based units in the island territories.

IA - :mrgreen: - 3 sqdns - ground attack capability only.

SLAF- 6 sqdns- emergence as local superpower

VPAF- 8 sqdns- hey they are worried about the chinese too.

RAFO- 5 sqdns- nice bird why the hell not?

TNI-AU- 5 sqdns, hey they have a lot of islands don't they?

central Asian airforces- 5 sqdns here and there- barter trade
ANA Air Corps- 5 sqdns - gift by Yindia onleee.

Madagascar- 3 sqdns - they need protection!
Nigeria- 4 sqdns - barter of course

Seychelles- 3 sqdns - How can we forget them

Mauritius- a couple - not bad.



AVMF 8) - 7 sqdns - yes they will buy it too - for their shiny new Mistral derived carriers! ( Alternate history alert)

iRIAF-????

we are getting there.

kapilrdave
BRFite
Posts: 1566
Joined: 17 Nov 2008 13:10

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby kapilrdave » 23 Nov 2009 19:07

D Roy wrote:Okay here's why 2000 may be kosher if pursued with the right spirit-
( key assumptions: 35 year period, continual iterative development, private sector participation, complete phase out of Mig-21, F-4, F-5, F-16, Mig-29A, J-7 worldwide), squadron size = 20) the world's air still being dense enough to support powered flight...)
Target - 100 sqdns,
.........


That's what we call "optimism" :) .
I'm with you D Roy.
Aamen.

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5346
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kartik » 23 Nov 2009 23:58

jai wrote:The MRCA competition needs to be completed asap...at least there would be some clarity for HAL in terms of which engine to go for.


They're not related. the decision for the choice betweent the EJ200 and F414 is in an advanced stage, with the RFPs having been sent out and the replies were due in October or thereabouts. the IAF and ADA cannot wait till the MRCA choice is made, to start work on the Tejas Mk.2, otherwise the timelines for it will slide to the right.

In the meantime, considering that HAL already has 40 404 engines (and has 414's/RD 33's on offer) - can they not start the production parallely - are major changes expected between now and FOC ? Why is the production dependent on FOC ?


IMO, the whole RD-33MK for Tejas Mk.2 is eyewash, most likely at the behest of the engine manufacturers. There hasn't been a single reputable ADA or HAL source that has confirmed that the RD-33MK is being looked at for the Mk.2 or that the RFPs for sent to Klimov.

Also, how much change would be needed to the airframe / structural components to use 414's ? Considering that IAF needs more powerful engines, why not order 40 414's and use these for the first two squadrons till MRCA decision gets taken/ operationalized ?


going by the super quick turnaround time on the Gripen NG, and from what I've read about it, not too many changes are required to accomodate the F414..local strengthening, making the engine fittings and cradle stronger, are the changes required to fit it in. However, because its airflow requirements are higher, the inlet size will need enlargement and its this modification where I believe ADA will take the most time. if GE has offered the F414 EPE engine that has 20% higher thrust, it may require even more air flow.

Considering that we already have 4 - 5 operational prototypes, is it possible for HAL to try out EJ 200, RD 33, GE 414, Rafael's 88 etc on a prototype ? Would it make sense to ? Perhaps this data can feed into the MRCA decision ?
Can Guru's please enlighten. Thanks.


Its possible, but time consuming. but even without installing it on a test bench or live aircraft, one can tell that that M-88-2 is not upto the thrust level that is required. Its even below the F-404 IN20. Of the other 2 (EJ200 and F414), engine feasibility studies are already done, which means that they've looked at what changes are required to the airframe to accomodate either engine, how much installed thrust one can get, etc.. I have read just one report that states that the RD-33 is a contender and that report is speculating at best.

link

Nowhere does it say that the RD-33MK is actually a part of the engine competition and nor does it state that they recieved RFP for the LCA Mk.2. Its pure speculation that its being looked into.

putnanja
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4504
Joined: 26 Mar 2002 12:31
Location: searching for the next al-qaida #3

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby putnanja » 24 Nov 2009 00:07

Instead of putting all eggs in the american basket, I would prefer that if MRCA goes to a US company, the LCA engine is european. Since the LCA engine decision will be made earlier, it would be a better bet to go for EJ200.

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5346
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kartik » 24 Nov 2009 02:44

suraj p wrote: Reading from IAF's AVM Barbora's recent statement about lack of squadrons (although it is known that IAF is falling behind expected # of sq's) and the way his argument and pitch, if one can predict line of events - I feel that IAF zeroed on MRCA deal and might have discussed a more powerful engine deal too./quote]

I don't want to sound harsh, but with all due respect, your feeling makes zero difference to the facts. and the facts are that 2 of the MRCA contenders have not yet even flown and no weapons/systems/avionics trials have been conducted so far. the IAF is far more competent than to order fighters based on "feeling".

If one is confident to get a more powerful engine by the time HAL is ready to start a production line, why to hide the excitement and shy out from announcing or asking for a PurchaseOrder for more squadrons.


its not HAL which will not be ready to setup a production line. its ADA (being the Final authority) which has to transfer all the drawings, and once that is done, HAL will start looking at manufacturing those parts. if the IAF places a clear intent for 40-50 of the LCA Mk.1s, and gives a time-line by which they want them in service, and ADA supplies the drawings, HAL will be hard-pressed not to agree.

but there are a host of factors that decide how fast an airplane is built. as of now, each of the Tejas built to date are like Rolls-Royces..as in, they're built to specs that get revised as design matures (meaning that multiple configurations will exist- one part may be specifically for one aircraft and may not fit another airplane built later- its called Line Number) and built by hand because they won't have the tooling all ready as yet. as a designer puts out a new revision to a drawing, it goes to the manufacturing unit and they put it on the next fighter, either PV or LSP. that also in a way takes care of obsolescence, because the same systems designed for the TDs may not be current for a fighter that may go into production by 2013, for instance processors. by now they might have a final configuration for the Limited Series Production fighters, or maybe not as weight reduction is still an ongoing process. when they do, they'll have downstream suppliers that need to re-tool, and that takes a while too. And the costs that are sunk into this process can only be amortised over a certain number of fighters, but thats a different issue. the point I'm making is that for the LCA production line to be established, and for HAL to start building them in numbers like 15-20 per year, there are many factors that are to be taken into consideration, and not the least is the numbers that the IAF orders on a firm basis..I mean why build 15 LCA's per year, which would require a larger line, more manpower trained and devoted to it, etc. when the IAF has only ordered 40-50 LCA's till now ? they'd finish the entire order in 3 years then..and what if the IAF does'nt place orders after that ? how do you (HAL as an org., which is looking to make money) get back all the costs you sunk into setting up the line ?

by the way, HAL is hopelessly behind on the Hawk AJT deliveries as well, something that has the IAF livid. they've only managed to get 5 Hawks delivered, whereas they committed to 17 or so..they blame BAe for not having supplied some jigs, drawings, tooling, etc. but BAe denies it and says that they've been pressing HAL to say what help they require. and the Hawk is a far more conventional design, with very few composite parts, so HAL should've sailed through on this one. I'd expect more bumbling as the highly composite LCA production line gets set up.

Hopefully in a month or 45 days we will also get to hear which one got awarded MRCA. I guess Mig-35.
P.S: this is purely my guess work. senior members might have discussed this issue to death and are far more experienced in guessing.


it is guess work and its way off mark. with plenty of trials left for the first 4 candidates and with 2 of them having not even come to India as yet (April 2010 as per schedule), the IAF won't have a contender shortlist ready even by September of 2010, IMO. after that, another 6 months selecting which ones to send the RFQs to, and then another year or two of negotiations and wrangling before the final winner is selected. 2013 is the earliest any order will be placed. guaranteed.

Vipul
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3727
Joined: 15 Jan 2005 03:30

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Vipul » 24 Nov 2009 02:49

Search for Tejas engine nears its end.

Decision likely before March 2010, price will determine winner.

For two years, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) — the agency developing the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) — has searched for an engine to boost the performance of India’s homegrown fighter. With bids for two engines — the General Electric F-414, and the Eurojet EJ200 — submitted on October 12, Business Standard has learned that ADA will select one before March 2010.

The GE F-404, one of fighter history’s iconic engines, currently powers the Tejas. But its 82-85 kilonewtons (KN) of thrust does not provide the acceleration or the sustained turning ability needed by the Tejas in air-to-air combat. ADA wants the Tejas to have 90-95 KN of thrust, which both the EJ200 and the GE F-414 provide. And, so the F-404 will power only the first two Tejas squadrons; all subsequent LCAs, including the naval version, will fly with either the F-414 or the EJ200.

DRDO’s Chief Controller of Aeronautics, Dipankar Banerjee says, two crucial factors will determine the winner: which engine fits into the Tejas with minimal re-engineering; and which one works out cheaper (acquisition cost + operating cost).

The DRDO officer, who guides the Tejas programme, debunked the long-held belief that the Tejas would require major re-engineering for fitting the new engine. “We have evaluated both engines and we believe only minor changes will be needed in the fuselage of the Tejas”, said Banerjee. “Which engine is selected will be largely determined by its cost.”

Both engines, however, need minor design modifications by their vendors to meet the specific requirements of the Tejas. According to Banerjee, “The Eurofighter Typhoon is powered by two EJ200 engines, but the LCA just has a single engine. For safety reasons, it must have a re-ignition system to restart the engine automatically if it goes off in mid-flight.”

And since the selected engine will also power the naval Tejas, the EJ200 needs to be protected against the corrosive salt-water naval environment.

The EJ200’s rival, the GE F-414, has neither of these concerns; it already powers the single-engine Gripen fighter, as well as the F/A-18 Super Hornet, which the US Navy operates off aircraft carriers. But there are two other concerns over the F-414. Firstly, it needs to be tweaked to provide greater thrust during some periods of a flight, when it appears to deliver less power. And, since it is an American engine, export controls are potentially troublesome.

Eurojet, however, insists that re-ignite software is an integral part of the EJ200. Managing Director, Eurojet, Hartmut Tenter, explained to Business Standard, “If the EJ200 goes off in mid-flight, the aircraft decelerates sharply. The engine software recognises that and automatically initiates the re-ignite procedure. It’s automatic; the pilot has to do nothing.”

Both Eurojet and General Electric consider this engine contract as vital. The order for 99 engines (plus options for another 49) is worth an estimated US $750 million. But, far more importantly, both see this contract as a way of getting a foot in the door for the US $11 billion Medium Fighter contract. Eurojet EJ200 engines power the Eurofighter Typhoon, while GE F-414s power both the F/A-18 and the Gripen NG. Getting a contract for the engine is seen as a giant first step towards getting a contract for the aircraft as well. Fighter pilots say that a world-class engine makes a world-class fighter. Whenever two fighters face off in a dogfight, as pilots term an aerial duel, the one with the better engines almost always wins. In the old days, better engine power allowed a pilot to twist and turn sharply, to get behind the enemy, and then shoot him down with a burst of cannon fire.

Now, with missiles the primary air-to-air weapon, engine power is more important than ever. The enemy usually appears as a blip on the radar, which the pilot usually detects while “loitering” at low speeds to conserve fuel. He immediately guns his engine, accelerating hard towards the enemy, and launches his missile at nearly twice the speed of sound (Mach 2). As the missile screams towards the enemy fighter at around Mach 4, the pilot throws his fighter into a high-gravity U-turn to dodge the missile that his opponent would have launched by now. The pilot who can accelerate faster, launch first, and then turn away harder — in other words, the pilot with the more powerful engine is usually the one who comes home alive.

putnanja
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4504
Joined: 26 Mar 2002 12:31
Location: searching for the next al-qaida #3

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby putnanja » 24 Nov 2009 02:52

Strange that there is no report of any ToT for the LCA engine contract. Shouldn't that be part of the package as well?

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5346
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kartik » 24 Nov 2009 02:59

One question to Jagan.

Ajai Shukla says that No. 45 Flying Daggers squadron which fly the MiG-21M will be the first squadron equipped with the Tejas Mk1. But BR's IAF page on squadrons states that No.45 flies the MiG-21 Bison, whereas No.35 Rapiers and No.37 Black Panthers are the ones flying the MiG-21M..which is correct ? and wouldn't these 2 units flying the MiG-21M be the first to retire their mounts ?

and aren't the MiG-21M units tasked with ground attack and interdiction as their main role ? I wonder if they'd be the best units to break-in the Tejas and develop tactics, operating manuals, etc. considering that their air-to-air and interception skills and experience will be somewhat lacking compared to some other units like those that fly the Bison, Fulcrum and the Mirage, not to speak of the Su-30MKI..

BTW, Air International confirmed that No.224 Warlords are the latest to convert to the Jaguar IS.

enqyoob
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2658
Joined: 06 Jul 2008 20:25

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby enqyoob » 24 Nov 2009 03:06

The order for 99 engines (plus options for another 49) is worth an estimated US $750 million


There you go - $7.5M per engine. So if the fleet goes to 500 planes, and you need, say, 2 engines in a few years for each airplane, through attrition, that is $7.5B.

You start to see the size of the engine market in India, and the consequences of twiddling thumbs etc. So now the frontline Indian fighter airplane depends on imported engines for the next many years. Sad. This deal is only good if it comes with substantial technology leapfrogging by at least 30 years.

Mayuresh
BRFite
Posts: 128
Joined: 27 Aug 2009 16:01

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Mayuresh » 24 Nov 2009 03:10

Absolute Losers! - If only they had decided this much earlier and shown confidence in inducting the LCA-MK1 as a replacement for the Mig-21's! We would not have so much of "fighting" (if I can use the word loosely) between the IAF and DRDO. And the LCA trials and tests could probably have been sped up.

Anyways, all is not lost and it is good news that we get 2 squadrons.

I have one question: We have 200 MiG-21 aircraft that shall not be converted to bison standard and need to be replaced in the earlier part of the next decade. When these aircraft retire, we shall have a serious shortage, as this means a loss of 10 squadrons. The flankers are being produced @ approx 2 squadrons per 3 years (14 per year), so I do not understand how we calculate that we shall have 29 squadrons at the minimum level. The LCA, MMRCA winner or any other aircraft does not seem to be on the horizon till 2015! I am not able to understand the math.
By my calculations, if we are to retire the entire fleet of Mig-21 (except the bisons) by 2012 timeframe, we would be 7 squadron short of the now 32, which is only 25 squadrons!

Can someone please tell me if we are inducting the Flankers at a faster rate than 14 per year or we expect Russia to deliver flankers before 2012-13 timeframe? Else are we not retiring the non-bison MiGs before 2015-16 timeframe?

srai
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4699
Joined: 23 Oct 2001 11:31

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby srai » 24 Nov 2009 03:24

Vipul wrote:Search for Tejas engine nears its end.

Decision likely before March 2010, price will determine winner.

...

DRDO’s Chief Controller of Aeronautics, Dipankar Banerjee says, two crucial factors will determine the winner: which engine fits into the Tejas with minimal re-engineering; and which one works out cheaper (acquisition cost + operating cost).

The DRDO officer, who guides the Tejas programme, debunked the long-held belief that the Tejas would require major re-engineering for fitting the new engine. “We have evaluated both engines and we believe only minor changes will be needed in the fuselage of the Tejas”, said Banerjee. “Which engine is selected will be largely determined by its cost.”

..., “...For safety reasons, EJ200 must have a re-ignition system to restart the engine automatically if it goes off in mid-flight.

And since the selected engine will also power the naval Tejas, the EJ200 needs to be protected against the corrosive salt-water naval environment.

[b]The EJ200’s rival, the GE F-414, has neither of these concerns[b]; it already powers the single-engine Gripen fighter, as well as the F/A-18 Super Hornet, which the US Navy operates off aircraft carriers. But there are two other concerns over the F-414. Firstly, it needs to be tweaked to provide greater thrust during some periods of a flight, when it appears to deliver less power. And, since it is an American engine, export controls are potentially troublesome.

Eurojet, however, insists that re-ignite software is an integral part of the EJ200. Managing Director, Eurojet, Hartmut Tenter, explained to Business Standard, “If the EJ200 goes off in mid-flight, the aircraft decelerates sharply. The engine software recognises that and automatically initiates the re-ignite procedure. It’s automatic; the pilot has to do nothing.”

...


Things the article hightlights:
1. fits with minimal re-engineering [even]
2. automatic re-ignition system to restart the engine [even]
3. protected against the corrosive salt-water naval environment [advantage GE F-414]
4. provide greater thrust at all periods of a flight [advantage EJ200]
5. export controls/sanctions [advantage EJ200]

6. cheaper (acquisition cost + operating cost) [TBD]

If EJ200 needs extensive work on the salt-water corrosion protection, it may come out more expensive as that is an added cost of additional R&D effort and parts/materials. Likewise, if GE F-414 requires extensive R&D to provide greater thrusts at flight envelope (maybe requiring extensive changes on the LCA air intake), it may come out more expensive with combined with indigenous re-engineering effort.

srai
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4699
Joined: 23 Oct 2001 11:31

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby srai » 24 Nov 2009 03:29

Mayuresh wrote:Absolute Losers! - If only they had decided this much earlier and shown confidence in inducting the LCA-MK1 as a replacement for the Mig-21's! We would not have so much of "fighting" (if I can use the word loosely) between the IAF and DRDO. And the LCA trials and tests could probably have been sped up.

Anyways, all is not lost and it is good news that we get 2 squadrons.

I have one question: We have 200 MiG-21 aircraft that shall not be converted to bison standard and need to be replaced in the earlier part of the next decade. When these aircraft retire, we shall have a serious shortage, as this means a loss of 10 squadrons. The flankers are being produced @ approx 2 squadrons per 3 years (14 per year), so I do not understand how we calculate that we shall have 29 squadrons at the minimum level. The LCA, MMRCA winner or any other aircraft does not seem to be on the horizon till 2015! I am not able to understand the math.
By my calculations, if we are to retire the entire fleet of Mig-21 (except the bisons) by 2012 timeframe, we would be 7 squadron short of the now 32, which is only 25 squadrons!

Can someone please tell me if we are inducting the Flankers at a faster rate than 14 per year or we expect Russia to deliver flankers before 2012-13 timeframe? Else are we not retiring the non-bison MiGs before 2015-16 timeframe?


There are those orders for the Russian manufactured MKIs:
40 MKI - 1st order (few years ago) equivalent to 2 squadrons
50 MKI - 2nd order (currently planned/maybe already ordered) equivalent to 2 squadrons

So when you add these 4 new MKI squadrons to your 25 squadrons, you will get 29 squadrons. Also, at least 1 LCA MK.1 squadron should come online by 2013.

enqyoob
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2658
Joined: 06 Jul 2008 20:25

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby enqyoob » 24 Nov 2009 03:35

The thing is that these guys confuse reading sales brochures with developing weapon systems. The "announcement" sounds like the decision that one faces between buying a Acura or a BMW:

If I buy the Acura MDX I get the 6A Six-speed Sequential Shift Automatic Transmission. If I buy the BMW X-5 I get those cool Mini-Headlamp Wipers (MHW) and the LED Array Headlamps. The Acura has the Twin Flattened Shiny Tailpipes. The BMW has the Augmented Beamer Grill whereas the Acura has the Silly Toothless Grin (STG-31) grilles front and back. The MDX offers more cargo volume, but the X-5 offers better 0-60 time.

Both will fit in my garage with minimal re-engineering of the junk now cluttering it.

Of course what I'll probably end up buying is nothing, which is a heck of a lot cheaper, and all I can really afford. My car is only 24 years old, very young compared to a MiG-21. Fleet Modernisation is a Priority Issue, of course

hariks
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 26
Joined: 29 Jan 2009 04:11

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby hariks » 24 Nov 2009 03:50

Is F414EPE (with 20% enhanced thrust) operational and is there a chance of that being offered instead of the 98KN version? If so, that looks like a winner on thrust, of course the ToT question remains. I am not sure if "dry thrust" has also been enhanced by 20%. EJ200 also promised some "growth potential", again the time line and dry thrust difference is not clear. Can someone who knows more about these clarify please?

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby shiv » 24 Nov 2009 06:03

RaviBg wrote:Strange that there is no report of any ToT for the LCA engine contract. Shouldn't that be part of the package as well?


Yikes! :eek: And spend 20 years negotiating the terms of that! No just buy and be done with it while we develop. And perhaps take a leaf out of Barbora's book about reverse engg

Jagan
Webmaster BR
Posts: 3032
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Earth @ Google.com
Contact:

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Jagan » 24 Nov 2009 06:42

Kartik wrote:One question to Jagan.

Ajai Shukla says that No. 45 Flying Daggers squadron which fly the MiG-21M will be the first squadron equipped with the Tejas Mk1. But BR's IAF page on squadrons states that No.45 flies the MiG-21 Bison, whereas No.35 Rapiers and No.37 Black Panthers are the ones flying the MiG-21M..which is correct ? and wouldn't these 2 units flying the MiG-21M be the first to retire their mounts ?

and aren't the MiG-21M units tasked with ground attack and interdiction as their main role ? I wonder if they'd be the best units to break-in the Tejas and develop tactics, operating manuals, etc. considering that their air-to-air and interception skills and experience will be somewhat lacking compared to some other units like those that fly the Bison, Fulcrum and the Mirage, not to speak of the Su-30MKI..

BTW, Air International confirmed that No.224 Warlords are the latest to convert to the Jaguar IS.


Ajais right. 45 will be the next LCA sqn. The Squadron page needs correcting. The Fleet Page correctly states that 45 is a numberplated unit

In addition to 35 and 37, you also have 17, 101 and 108 flying the MiG-21M. After the FLs, these are the oldest MiGs in our fleet and would probably b first to go.

karan_mc
BRFite
Posts: 700
Joined: 02 Dec 2006 20:53

Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby karan_mc » 24 Nov 2009 13:02

So it will be
36 single seater
8 lsp
4 Trainer


Return to “Trash Can Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests