LCA News and Discussions

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Rishirishi
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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Rishirishi » 25 Aug 2010 02:09

Sigmund freud once said " a cigar which looks like a cigar, may just be a cigar".

Almost without exception Indian PSU's have failed to deliver. Be it hotels, airlines, scoters or common wealth games, oil or electricity. The management model is a hundred year old, inherrited by the Raj. Until and unless the GOI is not willing to bring in new and better management models, things will not change.


Let us face the fact. HAL never delivers and will probably not do so, as long as the government is not willing to change the way it manages the company. :|

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Vivek K » 25 Aug 2010 02:59

Gaur bhai - sometimes the words National Security implications are enough to justify large expenses aka T-90s.... In this case if we create extra lines then maybe we can go ahead and re-tool them for MCA/PAK FA/FGFA/MRCA and so on. Or we could sit here and count the number of pennies it takes to build a LCA.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Gaur » 25 Aug 2010 03:23

^^
I am just saying that it may make jingoistic sense to produce 100 mk1s per year. But it will never happen. For any country other than US, such production rates will never even be thought about. And that is for other countries who take their National Security much more seriously. This is India where even the most basic and urgent demands are not taken seriously (arty, submarines etc). So, it is not realistic to expect India to produce 100 mk1s per year. To tell you the truth, I suspect even many jingoes (including me) will question the cost to benefit ratio of producing 100 mk1s/year. In fact, I think we do not have enough info to even debate this subject. Do we have the cost estimates of how much will it cost? Do we have figures of how much will the resultant Tejas mk1 will cost? How much will be wasted when production lines are closed? Can the production lines be afterwords modified for Tejas mk2 production? What if the extra cost is exuberant? From where the extra cost be balanced out? Will it resultant in cut from mk2 development budget? What if the cost is so much that large number of Su-30s can be bought for the same price (considering that Russia may have enough production lines already in place)?
In short, in our jingoistic sentiments we can sometimes make demands which may not be reasonable. We do not know enough details. On the other hand HAL, IAF and MOD would have the needed details to make a more informed decision.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby yantra » 25 Aug 2010 03:34

Gaur wrote:^^
So, people who want 80-100 tejas mk1 to be produced per year should think about the cost of setting up additional production lines. And that additional cost will be reflected in the cost of tejas mk1 which would become a highly expensive a/c. And what will happen to the production line after those 200-300 mk1s are built? They will have to be closed and all that investment would be wasted.
So, there is a reason why IAF has ordered 40 acs and the production rate will be around 8 a/cs per year. Anything higher production rate will not be economically feasible.


And what data do you have to support this? And why should we assume that we will produce only 200-300 Tejas'? Why not produce more and sell it to 'friendly' countries as well (Brazil, SA, Vietnam, etc)? and why do we not extend the lines like those of F-16s and continue to produce more advanced and current Tejas and variants?

It is thinking like this that takes us no where as a country. It will only help babus to import more MMRCAs 'as need arises', and make phoren trips with (extended) families!

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Gaur » 25 Aug 2010 03:57

yantra wrote:
Gaur wrote:^^
So, people who want 80-100 tejas mk1 to be produced per year should think about the cost of setting up additional production lines. And that additional cost will be reflected in the cost of tejas mk1 which would become a highly expensive a/c. And what will happen to the production line after those 200-300 mk1s are built? They will have to be closed and all that investment would be wasted.
So, there is a reason why IAF has ordered 40 acs and the production rate will be around 8 a/cs per year. Anything higher production rate will not be economically feasible.


And what data do you have to support this?

None! It is just an estimation which will seem obvious to you if you were to google the production rate of modern fighter a/cs of various countries. As an example, I provided the production rate of Rafale. You can search for others. Only US and erstwhile Soviet Union have produced 100s of fighters/year and that is when the order was in thousands.

yantra wrote:And why should we assume that we will produce only 200-300 Tejas'? Why not produce more and sell it to 'friendly' countries as well (Brazil, SA, Vietnam, etc)?

Considering that IAF has ordered no more that 40 Tejas, there is nothing left to assume, is there? And as for selling it to other countries, I wish for it no less than you. But the problem is that production lines cannot be setup based on our wishes. If Brazil, SA and Vietnam were to order 100 Tejas mk1 each, I am sure that new production lines will be setup.
and why do we not extend the lines like those of F-16s and continue to produce more advanced and current Tejas and variants?

It is thinking like this that takes us no where as a country. It will only help babus to import more MMRCAs 'as need arises', and make phoren trips with (extended) families!

F-16? Well, I doubt if you even bothered looking up the nos of F-16s built. More than 4400.
Again, I am all for max no of indigenous fighters but it is best to not let our jingoistic dreams run out of control. When MK2 is completed and IAF orders in bulk, I am sure that the production rate will automatically go much higher.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby yantra » 25 Aug 2010 04:34

Gaur wrote:
..F-16? Well, I doubt if you even bothered looking up the nos of F-16s built. More than 4400.
Again, I am all for max no of indigenous fighters but it is best to not let our jingoistic dreams run out of control. When MK2 is completed and IAF orders in bulk, I am sure that the production rate will automatically go much higher.


My point was exactly that - why do we not produce 100s (if not thousands) of Tejas' (Mk1, Mk2, and so on) ala F-16 (by block #s)? We can sell older blocks to friendly countries by pecking order and sell the oldest to countries like Ghana/Ivory Coast :)

Thanks. I share similar sentiments.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Vivek K » 25 Aug 2010 07:59

Get the damn plane into service or else we will just argue the heads off each other!!

Gaur, you have a point. But look around you - On the Western borders we have hell on Earth - Pakistan! A war monger, teeming wth Jihadists with delusions of ruling the world and now a beggar too! Conditions conducive for aggression against India as in the past.

North - China - a dictatorship, aggressive designs and close to being a superpower (closer than we are). Take into account the border disputes, the Dalai Lama and Tibet, Tawang etc, recent frequent Chinese intrusions into Indian territory. A country with an ego about its position in the world and unwillingness to accept India's rising power. And so you get - a recipe for a future war.

East - Bangladesh with its love-hate relationships of India, and past mischief in Assam. There were talks of nuke reactors to be built in Bangladesh by China. What could happen if the power balance tilts again? Problems, right?

Also, we have large coastlines on the East and West allowing the enemy to find gaps in our defence and take advantage.

Our procurement is crappy. If we tried to buy underwear, the mafia would probably make us buy them from Moscow. Artillery acquisitions are pending for 2 decades (?), MRCA 1 decade, ......

We should aim for 50 LCA Mk1s per year and then re-tool the lines for Mk2. Economics gayi jahennum mein (sorry not meant to be a flame bait). Where was the economics when so many other products are purchased from foreign vendors who raise prices for every little thing!

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby sunilUpa » 25 Aug 2010 08:28

Vivek K wrote:.....

We should aim for 50 LCA Mk1s per year and then re-tool the lines for Mk2. Economics gayi jahennum mein (sorry not meant to be a flame bait). Where was the economics when so many other products are purchased from foreign vendors who raise prices for every little thing!


Exactly..we take 5 years to induct measly 40 planes and another 20 years for remaining. Within first 10 years the first tranche is already obsolete and we start the upgrading them again at 8 planes a year, half way through the upgraded planes are also obsolete and we start mark III up-gradation, simultaneously inducting last of tranche 2 planes!

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Gaur » 25 Aug 2010 08:42

Vivek K,
Well, I too agree that it is necessary to produce as many LCAs as we can as fast as we can. However, as I said before, it is not likely at least for mk1 because IAF does not seem keen on ordering more than 40 Tejas mk1.

However, I must admit that I have a very bad feeling that IAF would deeply regret not ordering mk1 in bulk. IAF's plan seems to wait for mk2 to be developed 'quickly' and then order that in bulk (at least that is what the general feeling here seems to be). However, I fear that mk2 will arrive too late for comfort. The engine has not yet been selected and IMHO is unlikely to be selected before MMRCA winner gets decided. That may take too long. Then it is not like mk2 will be flying the day after the engine is selected. So, I am very pessimistic regarding mk2 being inducted in time. Again this is just my fear for mk2. It may very well be that mk2 will be inducted as per schedule and if that happens no one will be happier than me. I just feel it would be safer for IAF to induct mk1 in more nos.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby ks_sachin » 25 Aug 2010 09:37

Gaur wrote:Vivek K,
Well, I too agree that it is necessary to produce as many LCAs as we can as fast as we can. However, as I said before, it is not likely at least for mk1 because IAF does not seem keen on ordering more than 40 Tejas mk1.

However, I must admit that I have a very bad feeling that IAF would deeply regret not ordering mk1 in bulk. IAF's plan seems to wait for mk2 to be developed 'quickly' and then order that in bulk (at least that is what the general feeling here seems to be). However, I fear that mk2 will arrive too late for comfort. The engine has not yet been selected and IMHO is unlikely to be selected before MMRCA winner gets decided. That may take too long. Then it is not like mk2 will be flying the day after the engine is selected. So, I am very pessimistic regarding mk2 being inducted in time. Again this is just my fear for mk2. It may very well be that mk2 will be inducted as per schedule and if that happens no one will be happier than me. I just feel it would be safer for IAF to induct mk1 in more nos.

--
regret,

Import more will be the response.......

Another multi-billion dollar acquisition deal....

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby prabhug » 25 Aug 2010 11:04

How much would be effort to start changing the airframe to accommodate the newer engines and test it with this(GE404) engine ? I mean that can we make a prototype vehicle with airframe changes and start testing with this engine.
Can we make more MK1 planes and re-engine later ?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby P Chitkara » 25 Aug 2010 14:26

Why do we suppose other countries will by mk1?

We do not have a track record of developing a fighter, neither has the AF of home country inducted it in numbers.

Let there be no doubt, only after we see a successful run of tejas in our own AF will we be able to see it being exported. I doubt there will be any country coming forth to buy it in the present form, however good it may be.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Arya Sumantra » 25 Aug 2010 18:15

Why assume that a high production rate facility will be specific to catering orders for MK1s only ? It will make all the variants MK1 to MKX. Does EADS have separate facility for each Tranche? Agreed that MK1 and MK2 will have differences but still the production facility should be able to accomodate these modifications with change of input parameters and minor changes. The equipment won't be left entirely redundant after completing MK1 orders.

AFAIK even HF24 Maruts were procured in numbers around 150 so how have we moved forward if we order Tejas too in similar token numbers 140( 40 mk1 +100 mk2)- a figure that some of folks on forums keep repeating. Heart sinks everytime I see that figure instead of 300-400.

A plane like Tejas was always meant to be a mass production aircraft and not a top of the line fighter world has never seen before. So why balk at the idea of a high production rate facility as if it's an unheard of concept from nowhere ?
Last edited by Arya Sumantra on 25 Aug 2010 20:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Suppiah » 25 Aug 2010 19:53

GOI should share the tech and drawings etc., with top notch Indian co's with low foreign ownership, like M&M, Tata, L&T etc., and kick start & create a private aviation industry that rivals Unkil. May be Hindalco can supply aluminum alloys to Tata or someone to make the frame and so on...

It is a 50 year project, time to start is now. Each one can then make incremental improvements and also compete with better designs and concepts.

A reasonable order size and predictable order flow is required for this.

Then we are not stuck with babu run PSUs.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 25 Aug 2010 20:45

Sharing what GoI has is one thing. Who is going to fill in the huge gaps in research (a topic we are going in circles here)?

Those companies that have large Indian ownerships do NOT have even the expertise that the "GoI" has. Not even close (outside of software).

This is NOT a trivial matter that one can think of catching up with the US industries. Even the Russians will find it a challenge.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby kmc_chacko » 25 Aug 2010 20:53

What will IAF or GOI will lose it they order 200+ Tejas Mk1s ? with a production line of 30-40 planes per year !!!!

Isn't induction of Tejas add to IAF inventory, but all provide employment & option for technology development?

Isn't in past IAF had plan to have appox 60 sq of fighter planes of 20 planes each in order to counter threats from 2 fronts. Then why the GOI not forcing IAF to buy more Tejas to counter those threats?

IAF had to maintain minimum squadron level of 39.5 sq of 18 planes but now it is having nearly 30 sq and still IAF insist for imported ACs why ? even when politicians taking decades for deciding ?

Finally in my point Tejas mk1 is far better than JF-17s, if pakis buy 270 of those then why we are not buying more than 40 Tejas ?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby K Mehta » 25 Aug 2010 21:34

Telangji,
Best is the enemy of good!
Telang wrote:The argument by K Mehta
The question is not of permission but of priorities, I am suggesting that such a change at this juncture would affect the delivery schedule as well as retrofitting will also affect the uptime of the prototypes

This would lead to a situation just identical to what Jagan wrote:
Jagan wrote:
Another frequent complaint was that tendency to push Aircraft production towards the fag end of the financial year so that targets could be met. The complaint was that such rushed an feverish activity resulted in poor QC and subsequent glitches with such aircraft.

What do we want?
(A) Rush and have a product not meeting the objectives of its use and have satisfation of inducting,
or
(B)wait and exhaust all available capabilities to upgrade and then have a near perfect fighter that can perform???

Here you are assuming that
1) the current cockpit doesnt meet the objectives of use
2)LCA cannot be inducted in current form
Best is the enemy of good! again!
There was a schedule being met easily before this cockpit announcement came. On June 05, 2010, LSP-4 first flight the date was given as june end,
“I am pushing for LSP-5 to fly by June-end,” says D Balasunder, the managing director of HAL’s Bangalore Complex. “It will have all the systems fitted in LSP-4, and will additionally have night lighting within the cockpit, and an auto-pilot.”

which then became
Final Configuration Tejas To Fly In August!
where
“We are aiming for an August first week flight, and slight modifications to the cockpit are being done now in mutual consultations with the test pilots from National Flight Test Center. These modifications will make Tejas a complete services version,” Subramanyam says.

Air Marshal P.K. Barbora, vice chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF), says it is important for any fighter jet program to develop cockpits that fulfill pilots’ growing needs.

andsee also
The fifth limited series production (LSP-5) platform of Tejas, set to fly in the first week of August, will have an onboard “re-arranged and modified cockpit” to increase the comfort levels of the pilot.
Program director (combat aircraft) and director of Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) PS Subramanyam told DNA that the layout changes will make the glass cockpit more pilot-friendly and even enhance its night flying capabilities.

Will confirm/check my doubts with my chaiwallah! I just hope its just additional night vision related problems and not other things, (if thats so my bad, cold getting better of me etc.)! Anyways I am down with flu and you have an active LCA thread, so enjoy maadi!

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 25 Aug 2010 21:57

It is surprising how you guys have suddenly started speaking about 300-400 Tejas. It is a non trivial task. How do expect IAF to induct Tejas in such numbers when it is not satisfied with certain parameters of the plane. It is not just manufacturing the planes (which in itself is not trivial). Each plane means a pilot and groundcrews. To train a pilot and maintain the logistics etc etc is quite expensive. Actually much much more expensive than what many might estimate here. It is actually of the order of Rs. 5 lac for every flying hour.

You would say "it is this mentality which is holding India back". But I don't know any air force in the world which just orders hundreds of a new plane, flight envelope of which has not been extended to the max, weapons testing has not yet been completed. Could all of you guys who are jumping for exporting the Tejas suggest which Air force we should go to with the present LCA so that it orders hoards of them? We are advancing fast towards that goal. But till we reach there we can't market it right! How should HAL set up infrastructure for manufacture 50-100 LCAs a year without those orders in hand. If you still insist that they should, I would say you have no idea of what you are speaking as an assembly line is worth billions of dollars.

The IAF and HAL foresees LCA Tejas Mark II to make the cut. At some level we should trust them. I mean we here might know slightly more than the junta out there. But nuance of the whole plane, we are nowhere near. It is only logically that when planes are expected to serve for 40 years, they are ready to wait for five more. During this five years and with 2 squadrons the IAF can validate the role of the Tejas, and give feedback. Grow strategies based on the aerodynamics and weapons profile. Tejas Mark II will be ordered in numbers which are required.

I mean why would IAF not want a good plane at low prices?! You might say, its not the IAF, but the the babu's who might/will not be getting their share. But with Tejas it has not been the MoD which has withheld its induction. The defence minister (at least) has been pushing for more. IAF is still not satisfied. On one hand we can all cry "Why not?", "It's almost a Gripen" etc. etc. But there are ample reasons for understanding IAF's stand! Its still not there yet!

Since I have been posting on BRF, I have been shouting for numbers (even for the MMRCA). I am an equally big jingo who wants to see Tejas in flocks. However, I don't find this cyclic outcry for 300-400 Tejas Mark-I just! We don't need to emulate Pakistan if it is inducting sub-standard JF-17s. We don't need the Tejas to outscore them. So lets get a mature Tejas and induct that in numbers. Given that, the 40 Tejas for 5 years, till Tejas - Mark II comes in looks justified and actually quite mature to me.

Everybody was posting his opinion. so I posted my humble one.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 26 Aug 2010 01:04

Marten wrote:Indranil, as many others have pointed out, Mark 1 is a capable aircraft and is nearing IOC. That means the flight envelope is opened up and fully tested.

Not entirely true. LCA turned up heavier than expected. So the target characteristics can't even be achieved with the GE 404. The alternate engine is part of Mark II. All of us know about the AoA issues. We can only say that acceptable characteristics are met.
Marten wrote:At this point, the a/c will not need structural changes to meet FOC. There is no merit in waiting for it to be Mk II or MK III.

I know that such statements have been made. but Mk- xx is not all about structural changes. Engine is a critical change. Radar and avionics might change. I am sure there will be optimizations of the structure. Besides FOC of Mark II will not be the same as FOC of Tejas.
Marten wrote:The MoD has to draw the line and let the IAF know a certain number will be added since there is a shortfall in required numbers. What specific lack are you talking of? Do you realize Mk II is just as far away from production as can be 5 years from now?

I know the Mark II is not going to be produced before 5 years. That's why I said 40 planes at 8 planes a year.
Marten wrote:If the IAF keeps asking for the most super-duper bestest ever plane, there will not be a MK-II squadron in this country. Rest assured, investing in the manufacturing line to increase output will help reduce manufacturing cost per unit.

So you mean to say that we here are the only patriotic guys who want to see Tejas fly. Or do you want to say that IAF doesn't understand the basics of economics which are taught in class 6. If you follow what the IAF wants, it is asking for a good rate 4th generation plane. Forget the LCA, even for the MCA, the ACM said "Just give a bloody first-rate 4th gen plane!" We seem to champion here as know-it-alls. I for one would like to know all that IAF knows before I make such a condemning statement.
Marten wrote:Until that happens, this project and the next will remain one of those units that is perpetually required to be upgraded for some feature or the other by the IAF. Please don't ever draw the Bundar parallel here. This plane is already capable enough to meet Grippen C/D standards.

I never equated it to the JF-17. I always said stay clear of that nonsensical race. A matured Tejas will of course be close to the Gripen C/D. But it has not even cleared IOC yet! If you take LCA and Gripen C/D in their present status (or even after IOC) to any airforce in the world. Which one do you think people will pick?
Marten wrote:Why would you not want the cheap fighter replacements that the IAF so desperately wants? Let's stop the import mania for once and encourage more of Mk I and let IAF have a larger share of the Defence Budget if they so require!

I don't quite understand what you mean by cheap fighter replacements in the IAF. I can't see a single instance of that. We have always maintained that qualitative edge. You know it might seem from my post that I am supporting the "import mania". But if your wish sees the light of day, there will be nobody happier than me. I adore the Tejas and have been following it for some time now. I am equally proud of it. But as a customer, I totally understand IAF's stand. It just wants it in the right avatar. It is not like the good work is stopping.
LCA and indeed the defence infrastructure in India is coming off age of late. LCA particularly has gone leaps and bounds. I can already see in five years, it will start going places. But as of today's status, I feel the IAF has done the right thing. I would never doubt the same force which guards me atleast in terms of patriotism. Also, I would not pass judgements by knowing tit-bits.

The IAF is not a housemaker buying a mixer-grinder. We can agree to disagree at this point.

P.S. If I were you who had doubts about how IAF is handling the situation? I would have tried to find out what they know and I don't to have come to a decision. I mean imagine the gap between your knowledge and theirs regarding evaluating planes and managing them. You might be right and the IAF may be wrong. But first bridge the gap and let us also know, so that I for one can support you instead of the IAF.

Instead of questioning, we start protesting with knowledge that barely scratches the skin . That seems unfair to me. Again, just my thoughts.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Surya » 26 Aug 2010 01:33

The IAF is not a housemaker buying a mixer-grinder.


Err?? why the disparaging ??? and even sexist comments. surely you can find a better analogy

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby hnair » 26 Aug 2010 02:24

indranilroy wrote:Instead of questioning, we start protesting with knowledge that barely scratches the skin . That seems unfair to me. Again, just my thoughts.


A few who post here has actually done serious (and seminal) work on areas of stealth, aerospace design, test flying etc. You dont seem like one. You will get even less cred if you come here and pass off dated stereotypes on how we Indians behave.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 26 Aug 2010 03:31

^^^^ Well ... I didnt mean to discredit anybody ... I know that there are learned people here ... and that is exactly what I said ... if you know something, please come forward and say, "here these are the points and yet IAF doesn't want the LCA!" Dont you think "dated-stereotypes" like me would only be glad to jump to the bandwagon of getting "300-400" LCA Tejas.

Its just that the only thing I have read till now in the last two pages is, LCA is near IOC, LCA is indigenous, LCA is a worthy fighter, so lets get it in numbers. What's stopping us from increasing production rate? No detail on why its radar is good, No detail on why its avionics is good. No detail on the airframe strength. No detail on the engine. No detail on currently tested stuff. No details of how some of the stuff in the LCA is better than other planes that the IAF is planning to get.

Who do you will not be happy if a knowledgable person comes along and teaches this abdul, "here these is the current aerodynamic profile of LCA. It can do this, and it can't do that. Here is the reason why IAF says it doesn't want more. This is why, I think it is logical or illogical". I stated this as an example of aerodynamic profile. It could be anything, radar, avionics, engine, maintenance.

As I said I will be the first one to jump over to the bandwagon of guys who are protesting for 300-400 LCAs. That will frankly be the easiest of convincing to do. But to say, LCA is near IOC (not even FOC), LSPs have flown with a radar, the engine is fixed, so start 300-400 of it is quite unreasonable in my opinion. I have never seen it happen other than at wartime.

P.S. And please don't pass a judgement as "we Indians". I am an Indian too and it hurt quite bad. I didn't know that as Indians we all have to subscribe to the same ideas. But that is a different matter.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 26 Aug 2010 03:36

indranilroy wrote:So you mean to say that we here are the only patriotic guys who want to see Tejas fly. Or do you want to say that IAF doesn't understand the basics of economics which are taught in class 6. If you follow what the IAF wants, it is asking for a good rate 4th generation plane. Forget the LCA, even for the MCA, the ACM said "Just give a bloody first-rate 4th gen plane!" We seem to champion here as know-it-alls. I for one would like to know all that IAF knows before I make such a condemning statement.


Can you kindly tell me where the ACM said this about the MCA? I am genuinely curious, because whoever said this made it up, period. I do have a fair idea of what the IAF expects of the MCA, and 4th Gen it isnt.
Second - the IAF's ego hassles with the LCA are well documented, including in the Tejas Story.

I don't quite understand what you mean by cheap fighter replacements in the IAF. I can't see a single instance of that. We have always maintained that qualitative edge. You know it might seem from my post that I am supporting the "import mania". But if your wish sees the light of day, there will be nobody happier than me. I adore the Tejas and have been following it for some time now. I am equally proud of it. But as a customer, I totally understand IAF's stand. It just wants it in the right avatar. It is not like the good work is stopping.


The IAF is ok with imports of obsolete airframes like the MiG-27 while uncertainty remains on their powerplants, but still haggling over the LCA MK1, which offers far more capabilities, that doesnt seem odd to you?
The MiG-21 is a perfect case of "cheap fighter replacements", the Bis et al were still being produced when more sophisticated aircraft were entering service.
Third, the point is the IAF has to treat the LCA more as a partner, rather than a customer.

LCA and indeed the defence infrastructure in India is coming off age of late. LCA particularly has gone leaps and bounds. I can already see in five years, it will start going places. But as of today's status, I feel the IAF has done the right thing. I would never doubt the same force which guards me atleast in terms of patriotism. Also, I would not pass judgements by knowing tit-bits.


Lets keep appeals to emotion, patriotism etc out of this.

No detail on why its radar is good, No detail on why its avionics is good. No detail on the airframe strength. No detail on the engine. No detail on currently tested stuff. No details of how some of the stuff in the LCA is better than other planes that the IAF is planning to get.


Start here:

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/downl ... diance.pdf

It helped me answer the same questions you are looking for.
Last edited by Karan M on 26 Aug 2010 03:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 26 Aug 2010 03:53

Karan M wrote:Can you kindly tell me where the ACM said this about the MCA? I am genuinely curious, because whoever said this made it up, period. I do have a fair idea of what the IAF expects of the MCA, and 4th Gen it isnt.


here.
In August 2008, right about the time the Indian Air Force had decided to officially kickstart procedures to get the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) off the realm of theory, then Chief of Air Staff Fali Major happened to bump into DRDO chief M Natarajan and then HAL chairman Ashok Baweja at an industry suppliers function in Bangalore. The Chief was mildly irritated that both Baweja and Natarajan had provided media sound-bytes and interviews suggesting that the MCA would have "fifth generation technologies". He impressed upon both gentlemen, over tea, that if the MCA went the LCA way, it would be not just unacceptable to the air force, but an act of criminal disregard for the country's security. "Give the air force a bloody first-rate fourth generation aeroplane. That is the job before you," he said.


The IAF is ok with imports of obsolete airframes like the MiG-27 while uncertainty remains on their powerplants, but still haggling over the LCA MK1, which offers far more capabilities, that doesnt seem odd to you?
The MiG-21 is a perfect case of "cheap fighter replacements", the Bis et al were still being produced when more sophisticated aircraft were entering service.


You are speaking of times when India didn't have this much money to choose and demand. Within the given budget we tried to keep as many airframes flying as possible. Mig-21 when initially inducted was one of the frontline dog fighters. The Mig-27 had an equally venerable reputation as a ground attack plane. could you suggest better planes that were available to the IAF at that time.

Third, the point is the IAF has to treat the LCA more as a partner, rather than a customer.
Agreed. but 300-400 LCAs Mark I ?!!

Lets keep appeals to emotion, patriotism etc out of this.
I didn't start it! If people suggest things which paint a defence force in the wrong light, without using the word "unpatriotic", does it still mean nothing?



My friend, I read that article long back. That was the first time, I really sat up and took notice of this "certain" B. Harry. As well informed and as well written as that article is, I suggest that you read similar articles on other planes. You will be able to understand that a write up of any modern day plane will be equally impressive. That is the state of art of modern day fighters.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 26 Aug 2010 04:05

Surya wrote:
The IAF is not a housemaker buying a mixer-grinder.


Err?? why the disparaging ??? and even sexist comments. surely you can find a better analogy


You are right. I should have used a better analogy. I tried not to be sexist by using the word homemaker. However, I have failed miserably. Apologies extended.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 26 Aug 2010 04:11

indranilroy wrote:here.



Its your prerogative to believe what this chap has written. Personally, it reads like a lot of what he writes on his blog - sensationalist bunk, as if he was standing right behind Naik and hearing every word. I presume you are aware of how he had his ears bent by a certain services officer and another time, a HAL type for his proclivity to spice up reports in like fashion. He also tends to have a very shallow understanding of defence technologies in general, and tries to compensate for it via masala

Simply put, at least tarmak and Broadsword don't do the masala jig for eyeballs to the blog

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/downloads/Tejas-Radiance.pdf
My friend, I read that article long back. That was the first time, I really sat up and took notice of this "certain" B. Harry. As well informed and as well written as that article is, I suggest that you read similar articles on other planes. You will be able to understand that a write up of any modern day plane will be equally impressive. That is the state of art of modern day fighters.


Ok, there is a reason why I pointed you to that specific article. If you take what that article says, look at notes in media then you can extrapolate from it vis a vis capabilities available in "state of the art modern day fighters". Otherwise, few anywhere can help you, because what you are asking for, are ready made conclusions offered to you on a plate. And who has the time to do that. But if you are looking for a simple checklist:

Structures = Equal (Composites, alloys in a good ratio)
Propulsion = Needs more thrust
Radar = Good for its class (speaking of current systems; >100 Km range for small RCS target, light radar with A2G modes and TFR)
Avionics = Good for its class and quite credible (Glass CP, NVG, HMS, comprehensive EW suite, digital SMS and Computational suite, RLG INS)
Weaponry = Comprehensive - only items lacking are ARM (Kh-25 could be explored) and AShM (not critical).

For a light fighter, the LCA is very credible in terms of capabilities, even in its MK1 version.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 26 Aug 2010 04:19

indranilroy wrote:You are speaking of times when India didn't have this much money to choose and demand. Within the given budget we tried to keep as many airframes flying as possible. Mig-21 when initially inducted was one of the frontline dog fighters. The Mig-27 had an equally venerable reputation as a ground attack plane. could you suggest better planes that were available to the IAF at that time.


What venerable reputation did the MiG-27 have when we inducted it? How many conflicts had it participated in? None, right.

Similarly, did the BN which preceded it, have a great reputation either? We inducted some 80 of them, if my memory is right, as interim. Twice the MK1 LCA number.

And of the MiG-21, so how many MiG-21s have crashed due to TD, and yet the IAF put efforts into upgrades for the Bis?

The point is straightforward - the IAF has long had a tendency to make do with imports and it never really got around to treating indigenous equipment with the same level of acceptance.
That has been a problem for the LCA.

Agreed. but 300-400 LCAs Mark I ?!!


Yes, thats unrealistic and unlikely to happen unless we raise the Sq limits. But the IAF should look at 150- 200 MK2s rather than the 100 its stating for now.

Lets keep appeals to emotion, patriotism etc out of this.
I didn't start it! If people suggest things which paint a defence force in the wrong light, without using the word "unpatriotic", does it still mean nothing?

What is the "wrong light"? Is the IAF perfect and has it made no mistakes in the past?
This sort of argument is a slippery slope one, as everything can be dismissed as being unjustified as it'd be in the wrong light.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 26 Aug 2010 04:55

Karan M wrote:What venerable reputation did the MiG-27 have when we inducted it? How many conflicts had it participated in? None, right.


During the Cold war era, US and USSR fielded planes against one another. Almost none of them saw combat. Their reputation was not built on combat experience. Mig-27 was quite advanced technologically when it was inducted. Even today, we in the MRCA, the Euro birds seem to be most respected. Have they seen any combat experience?

Karan M wrote:Similarly, did the BN which preceded it, have a great reputation either? We inducted some 80 of them, if my memory is right, as interim. Twice the MK1 LCA number.

I am not IAF's spokesperson. But I don't think IAF against the inception of LCAs. It sees, that LCA -II is round the corner. 5 years is nothing compared to the 40 years, that these planes will serve. Unless LCA-I can be readily upgraded to LCA-II, they want the newer fighters. Is that wrong? LCA II as far as I know will have a much more optimized airframe than the LCA Mark I. Hence LCA Mark I can't be structurally upgraded to Mark II.

And of the MiG-21, so how many MiG-21s have crashed due to TD, and yet the IAF put efforts into upgrades for the Bis?

What was the alternative?

Yes, thats unrealistic and unlikely to happen unless we raise the Sq limits. But the IAF should look at 150- 200 MK2s rather than the 100 its stating for now.

How many Su-30s did we initially order? How many will we end up having?

What is the "wrong light"? Is the IAF perfect and has it made no mistakes in the past?
This sort of argument is a slippery slope one, as everything can be dismissed as being unjustified as it'd be in the wrong light.

It can be slippery on both fronts. Can't it? If one starts asking why IAF is not doing according to what we deem as logical?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 26 Aug 2010 05:23

Karan M wrote: Its your prerogative to believe what this chap has written.

I agree with the sensationalization part. But all I know is since Aero India 09, I have hardly heard ADA using the 5th generation tag. However, I agree with you that there is hardly anything on a 5th generational plane which the AMCA lacks. There is actually nothing in that weight category.

Ok, there is a reason why I pointed you to that specific article. If you take what that article says, look at notes in media then you can extrapolate from it vis a vis capabilities available in "state of the art modern day fighters". Otherwise, few anywhere can help you, because what you are asking for, are ready made conclusions offered to you on a plate. And who has the time to do that. But if you are looking for a simple checklist:

Structures = Equal (Composites, alloys in a good ratio)
Propulsion = Needs more thrust
Radar = Good for its class (speaking of current systems; >100 Km range for small RCS target, light radar with A2G modes and TFR)
Avionics = Good for its class and quite credible (Glass CP, NVG, HMS, comprehensive EW suite, digital SMS and Computational suite, RLG INS)
Weaponry = Comprehensive - only items lacking are ARM (Kh-25 could be explored) and AShM (not critical).

For a light fighter, the LCA is very credible in terms of capabilities, even in its MK1 version.

And with that we are back to square one. I mean we can see the other side too right.

Propulsion (needs more thrust): is not a pushover area
Radar: has been flight tested for 3-4 months
Avionics: Again are still being incrementally added. Weapons testing is in its infancy
weaponry: being added.

Ofcourse, once everything is done, LCA will be a very competent fighter in its class. But it is not all done yet. Lets get to that point atleast! And as I said before, if the Mark II gets home with all/most of the ASR requirements within a few years and IAF doesn't order in considerable numbers of it, we can all go up in arms :). But we are not there yet. So keeping the production line working till then seems a good choice for me. With this I rest my case.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Suppiah » 26 Aug 2010 05:45

NRao wrote:Sharing what GoI has is one thing. Who is going to fill in the huge gaps in research (a topic we are going in circles here)?

Those companies that have large Indian ownerships do NOT have even the expertise that the "GoI" has. Not even close (outside of software).

This is NOT a trivial matter that one can think of catching up with the US industries. Even the Russians will find it a challenge.


Yes, that is why I said it is a 50 year project..but as taller mountain says, a long journey begins with a small step. Big companies do have good R&D teams and have better means to attract and retain talent. GOI has to pay everyone the same, be they incompetent idiots or Abdul Kalam.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Arya Sumantra » 26 Aug 2010 07:06

indranilroy wrote:However, I don't find this cyclic outcry for 300-400 Tejas Mark-I just!

Please don't distort. In my post, 300-400 planes refers to total numbers for MK1 and MK2 variants as against oft talked about 140( 40 mk1+100mk2). What else is a mass production plane for? The Mki is about to reach close to 300 but we bought the bulk of them when Rouble was in trouble.
indranilroy wrote:Not entirely true. LCA turned up heavier than expected. So the target characteristics can't even be achieved with the GE 404. The alternate engine is part of Mark II. All of us know about the AoA issues. We can only say that acceptable characteristics are met.

Even Jaguars are underpowered though bought much after the ‘62 war.
About AoA a leaf could be borrowed from how Yanks dealt with Soviet fighters whose fighters had a better edge in manoueverability. What the yanks did not have in their airframes, they built into their missiles. If India integrates off-boresight missiles like Python 5, some of the Tejas mk1’s disadvantages if any can be partly compensated for close range WVR merry-go-round. What is quicker, a missile based partial compensation for mk1s with modified mk2 joining later or waiting ONLY for structurally modified and tested MK2?
indranilroy wrote:I know the Mark II is not going to be produced before 5 years. That's why I said 40 planes at 8 planes a year.

Perfect way to give a silent death. Creating conducive situation for opportunist folks to say ”Too little, too late, can’t be procured in numbers at this rate”
indranilroy wrote:I never equated it to the JF-17. I always said stay clear of that nonsensical race.

A race is a race. Challenge has been thrown to us. Even the Yanks were forced to respond with f16 when Soviets started the numbers game although yank doctrine has always focused on quality.
indranilroy wrote:We have always maintained that qualitative edge.

Gnats going against Sabre jets. Mig21s to face the F16s in pre-mki era. Cough, Cough. Ok there were Mig-29s added later too but in the then config it wouldn’t be a qualitative edge.
indranilroy wrote:But as a customer, I totally understand IAF's stand. It just wants it in the right avatar.

Really? Take the example of PAK-FA. The plane has been thrashed left, right and center on s-duct and frontal stealth issues by a specific poster on keypubs. The russkies were first in denial, then in personal attacks and weak defence(Sukhoi engineers know what is best for it). Forget any related modifications, the russkies seem even reluctant for adding second seat for Indian avatar. Though I still support it against f35 for the absence of strings and ridiculous need to be sent to unkil for even maintenance.
But imagine if PAK-FA was built by ADA/HAL, then the same expose would have forced a return to the drawing board by IAF. The persistence for right avatar is surely different for imports and indigenous gear. And the little end-user involvement in setting the requirements for PAK-FA hardly seems to be a bother ! And don’t we hear about Fly-by-light being outright rejected by russkies but is being burdened on AMCA.

indranilroy wrote:I would never doubt the same force which guards me atleast in terms of patriotism.

Common man’s admiration is for life-risking foot-soldiers, pilots and sailors and residual patriots in increasingly rotten higher echelons. Don’t stretch the halo reserved for a subset to include the rotten eggs as well.
Blanket institution-wide respect would have definitely suffered setback in minds of many a common folk when spanners in indigenization efforts were thrown by vested ranks. What do you think followers of Arjun saga think about DGMF or likes of Bharadwaj today? But the love, admiration and respect for the jawan remains.
Last edited by Arya Sumantra on 26 Aug 2010 12:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Vivek K » 26 Aug 2010 08:26

LCA can outperform the aircraft it was designed to replace!! Mark 1 should beef up fleet strength and also help in learning to mass produce such vitally needed weapon systems locally. Every failure of manufacturing if carefully documented becomes an encyclopedia for improving manufacturing systems domestically. Huge sums are being paid to foreign nations in the garb of national security when domestic solutions are available.

Also, Indranil, like the Air Chief said recently - the most sophisticated weapons do not guarantee victory. Training, tactics and weaponry can make a huge difference.

Can we create the best fighter in the world, post its specifications and expect that the enemy will not attempt to fight because the specs of their fighter are not comparable. Or during war can we do this - we ask Pakistan to send us the specs of their best fighter. In response we fax them the specs of our best fighter and then declare victory because our specs beat theirs.

With tactics, the capabilities of a weapon system can be enhanced. Think like the Chinese if you want to beat them at their game and not like beancounters (baniyas).
Last edited by Vivek K on 26 Aug 2010 09:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 26 Aug 2010 08:47

looking at timelines and things at stake, a production run of 80 Tejas mk1 is needed to fill the gaps and tide things over until Mk2 is ready. not just the engine but the improved all-aspect performance of mk2, aesa radar, weapons integration with this radar, new ew, stronger hardpoints will need plenty of time to work out - its all greenfield work for us.

I would not expect IOC for mk2 before 2017. similar time as Pak-Fa.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 26 Aug 2010 13:01

There must be some good reason why IAF is not ordering Tejas Mk1 beyond the 40 that they have and would rather invest ~ 100 confirmed orders for Tejas Mk2 .

May be some jurno can ask this question to the air chief who is a great supporter of Tejas.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby darshhan » 26 Aug 2010 14:27

Guys, I have a question.

How does LCA mk1 compare to upgraded MIG-21 bis wrt performance?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby nishu » 26 Aug 2010 14:52

well guys i don't understand one thing . people keep on saying lca was made to replace mig-21 but some other say it was made to counter f-16 that tsp acquired . could any body tell me why was the idea of lca originated .

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 26 Aug 2010 15:38

nishu wrote:well guys i don't understand one thing . people keep on saying lca was made to replace mig-21 but some other say it was made to counter f-16 that tsp acquired . could any body tell me why was the idea of lca originated .


To counter, in the 1980s, the Pakistani purchase of (specifically) the F-16C model.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Pratyush » 26 Aug 2010 15:42

As of this moment, the LCA ought to be better then unmodified Mirage 2ks and the Mig 29s.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby darshhan » 26 Aug 2010 17:36

^^ If the LCA mk1 is indeed better than mirage 2k and mig 29 not to say mig 21 , then I think it is wrong on IAF's part to have ordered only 40.They should have ordered a minimum of 100-150 LCA mk1.Anyways increasingly it is sensors,munitions and missiles which will decide future air combat and these can be always upgraded in the future.

We should atleast substitute MIG-21s and MIG-27s as soon as possible.More pilots have been martyred flying these aircrafts than in any war India has fought(or perhaps all of them combined) and while I don't have much technical knowledge about LCA ,I am confident that it is a much more safer aircraft to fly.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby nishu » 26 Aug 2010 17:37

so that means we wanted to develop lca as
lca=f-16c then after some years
lca= mig 21 fish bed then some years after
lca is been compared to jf-17 bunder .

I Just Dont want to see lca compared to a made in china RC fighter .

I pray those engineers and scientists please put a squadron in air my eyes are dieing to see them in iaf colours

I dont want our armed forces going in the direction of German forces of world war 2 , they included the best in the technology and Armour firepower and made tiger tank but that was too late in the coming since they wanted perfection and lost the war as they were not able to rectifie problems on the battle field as average German tank crew dint knew how to repair them , and also i read that Hitler wanted to perfect a plane { i dont know its name } but his need for perfection took too much time and plane was available for its armed forces just before end of world war 2 .

I BELIEVE QUANTITY HAS ITS OWN QUALITY . WHICH CHINA PROVED FOR PAST 63 YEARS AND BEFORE THAT SOVIET UNION .


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