Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

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vina
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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby vina » 06 Feb 2012 12:19

He was skeptical about ADA's ability to design a digital FBW, the composite technologies, the glass cockpit and micro-processor controlled general systems. But, can you blame them for that?


Well, he was wrong. All those things have been developed and that too in the face of sanctions, pull out of all support on which the original timelines were based on and all that.

While I agree that the IAF has a significant share of blame thanks to their pathetic foresight and support for the HF-24, his job at Air HQ was to make a call on whether or not ADA could develop those challenging technologies within the timelines that the PDP claimed they would be developed in..we know that they did underestimate the effort and difficulty in developing these technologies.


The IAF's blame is not with asking for the project to be delivered within timeframes, but rather in not thinking strategically on a long term vision beyond just.. oopss. Pakiland got F solahs for fokat ,so I need Mirage 2000, Chinese got 250 Flankers, I need Flankers, on how the industry should develop, how it should be structured, what are the crucial techonology and capability building blocks the country should have, what will it entail , how to go about it.. Kind of like how ISRO thinks. Rather, the IAF and Army method seems to be, whip HAL and other civilians and feed them Poo and also send in a bunch of uniformed "Omleteers" once in a while to throw their weight around , rather than strongly roll up the sleeves like the navy and get a team in there that can actually work together.

Do you guys believe that had a Tech Demo phase not been there, we'd have seen the Tejas in service earlier?

The LCA is "overburderned" because of the need to do fundamental tech development. The others experimented with their existing platforms to do tech development. The brits developed FBW on their Jaguar, the French on Mirage III . WTF stopped us from developing an FBW on the same Jag or on a Mig 21 , what stopped us from putting a composite wing on an Mig 21? That kind of thing should have been done from 1970 to 1990 and if we had done so, we could have kept key skills alive with very moderate costs and launched the fighter program with a great knowledge base and set of technology assets and experienced people. The Tech Demo phase basically compensated for what the IAF and the MoD , HAL babus in their Russian import / screw driver assembly passed of as "indigenous" fetish, collective slumber for 35 years. Not a mean achievement. If those jokers had not been asleep for that time, we wouldn't have needed the Tech Demo stage.

The REAL Tejas Fighter effort started only in 2003 or so in my opinion.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Kartik » 06 Feb 2012 12:25

Badar wrote:
merlin wrote:Exactly! Did the Bison wings need a redesign to accommodate the R-77 - that missile is likely to be even heavier than the R-73. Sure as hell R-77 didn't exist when the Bison was designed.


To be fair R-77 will be carried closer to the centerline hence easier to accommodate without over-stressing the wings. Stations near the wing tip are very sensitive to weight as they put a bigger strain on the whole wing, specially during hi-g maneuvers.

Still R-60 to R-73 requiring wing strengthening is preposterous. There should be margin of growth built in to accommodate that much.


It has to do with the change in the wing loads due to the heavier R-73 replacing the R-60. An optimized wing design that takes into account the wing fuel load and the load due to the R-60 and its pylon would be invalid if a heavier R-73 and a heavier pylon were used instead. That would've necessitated a new round of wing design, new round of composite layup design for that wing and none of these things are done quickly.

And for all airplanes, and I suppose for fighter planes especially, weight is a very big issue, as you'd know. Margins are kept as low as possible, optimized to make sure that only the necessary amount of strength is there, keeping weight to what is necessary and not a kg more (at least that's the goal).

On the MiG-21Bis, the drop tanks are actually on the outer pylons (even I discovered that only 2 years ago on BRF), rather than on the inner pylons. That would indicate that replacing a drop tank with the R-73 and its pylon wouldn't be as much of a hassle as it would be for a fighter that was meant to carry a R-60 and its pylon.

here is a paper by Mathworks on the loads affecting a wing design. Very illuminating for anyone who wants to understand why the R-73 change necessitated a re-design of the wing.

Wing design in Matlab

The wing is designed to handle bending moments up to 40 kN*m at the wing root, but since regulations require a safety factor of 1.5, bending moments exceeding 26.7 kN*m are unacceptable


Now you increase your weight at the wing tip and your bending moment increases.. and since you'd designed your wing to survive a specific bending moment with a FoS of 1.5, that change could mean that your load bearing structure that attaches the wings to the fuselage will fail. Unacceptable really for certification unless you are willing to go with a reduced g envelope as a result.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Badar » 06 Feb 2012 12:45

Kartik wrote:It has to do with the change in the wing loads due to the heavier R-73 replacing the R-60. An optimized wing design that takes into account the wing fuel load and the load due to the R-60 and its pylon would be invalid if a heavier R-73 and a heavier pylon were used instead. That would've necessitated a new round of wing design, new round of composite layup design for that wing and none of these things are done quickly.

And for all airplanes, and I suppose for fighter planes especially, weight is a very big issue, as you'd know. Margins are kept as low as possible, optimized to make sure that only the necessary amount of strength is there, keeping weight to what is necessary and not a kg more (at least that's the goal).

That's why aircraft (and ship/tank) designs have weight growth margins factored in them right from the start. The fact they weren't in the LCA case is not an excuse. You might blame the IAF or ADA, but the net result is such rank amateurism that I have a hard time believing it.

here is a paper by Mathworks on the loads affecting a wing design. Very illuminating for anyone who wants to understand why the R-73 change necessitated a re-design of the wing.
Wing design in Matlab
The wing is designed to handle bending moments up to 40 kN*m at the wing root, but since regulations require a safety factor of 1.5, bending moments exceeding 26.7 kN*m are unacceptable
Now you increase your weight at the wing tip and your bending moment increases.. and since you'd designed your wing to survive a specific bending moment with a FoS of 1.5, that change could mean that your load bearing structure that attaches the wings to the fuselage will fail. Unacceptable really for certification unless you are willing to go with a reduced g envelope as a result.

As a layman could I summarize it as "Stations near the wing tip are very sensitive to weight as they put a bigger strain on the whole wing, specially during hi-g maneuvers"?

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby vina » 06 Feb 2012 12:51

That's why aircraft (and ship/tank) designs have weight growth margins factored in them right from the start. The fact they weren't in the LCA case is not an excuse. You might blame the IAF or ADA, but the net result is such rank amateurism that I have a hard time believing it.


Yeah right. Lugging around some 500kgs of concrete/lead around in a plane as ballast with target empty weight of 5.5 tons isn't exactly smart. The weight margins will be pretty tight and you have to nail the specs right at the beginning.

The planes that flew in 2000 etc are the TD planes with the specs from 1985 or so. The later planes (PV,SP etc) are full multi role speced plane. We really have jumped evolutions like say a Blk-10 F-16 to a MLU F16 C/D and really right to the F16 G/H with the MK-2 , the diff being we didn't field any of the blk10 planes.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Rahul M » 06 Feb 2012 12:57

kartik, I am not blaming 'kicha' for the TD phase. but I will certainly call him out for the utterly unrealistic schedules he expects to be achieved.
here is a project first conceived in 1983, whose TD phase was sanctioned in mid 1993, completed by 2003-2004. 8 years from the time the fighter project was sanctioned we have IOC, incomplete IOC perhaps but still we have one, in spite of the scope creep.

if people want to compare with eurofighter, first conceived in 1971, TD phase sanctioned in 1982, first flight of TD in 1986, retired in 1991. first flight of eurofighter 1994, in 2012 the aircraft is still to meet all its development targets and is the costliest 4th generation fighter in the world.

let's rephrase that, 41 years since it was conceived eurofighter is behind schedule and frighteningly expensive. how many retired RAF chiefs have called for the project's head to roll ? on the contrary everyone and their dog in UK is convinced that it is the best thing since sliced bread. THAT, in a nutshell is why even now, beset with budgetary troubles UK is still a leading source of miltech and we are not. because they do not suffer from the Indian crab mentality and support their own programs.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Badar » 06 Feb 2012 13:04

vina wrote:
That's why aircraft (and ship/tank) designs have weight growth margins factored in them right from the start. The fact they weren't in the LCA case is not an excuse. You might blame the IAF or ADA, but the net result is such rank amateurism that I have a hard time believing it.

Yeah right. Lugging around some 500kgs of concrete/lead around in a plane as ballast with target empty weight of 5.5 tons isn't exactly smart. The weight margins will be pretty tight and you have to nail the specs right at the beginning.

What has "ballast" got to do with design weight margin? Are you referring to overall platform weight growth? I think we are talking past each other.

Aircraft are designed to accommodate the weight growth of munitions. This is not a revolutionary concept. The fact that future (actually at that time existing) weapons will be heavier was obvious and to be expected. Not taking this into account was amateur stuff.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Rahul M » 06 Feb 2012 13:09

they 'were' amateur, after all they were doing it for the first time. it's obvious they would tend to follow IAF's ASR blindly.
it was IAF's duty to do the hand holding, like how navy did with the shipyards, not hang it out to dry.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Badar » 06 Feb 2012 13:17

Rahul M wrote:they 'were' amateur, after all they were doing it for the first time. it's obvious they would tend to follow IAF's ASR blindly. it was IAF's duty to do the hand holding, like how navy did with the shipyards, not hang it out to dry.

Don't get me wrong - IAF is also to blame here. Part of the ASR should be growth/upgrade margins as well. That it slipped past both IAF as well as ADA is ... well disturbing.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby vina » 06 Feb 2012 13:19

What has "ballast" got to do with design weight margin? Are you referring to overall platform weight growth? I think we are talking past each other.


You were the one who talked about aircraft and ships catering to future weight growth margins. Do you know how they do it ? Hint..by using lead/concrete ballast, roughly around 2 to 5% in most cases and by reserving internal volume. See,the "amateurs" know what they are talking about and probably know a bit more than google searches and righteous indignation. Talking of Google, just google around to see how much lead/concrete the F15A carried and how much the F16 carried and why/why not? .

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 06 Feb 2012 13:22

I suspect the F16-block10-15 airframe the pakis got would break if the warload of a block50 or 60 is slung on them . they must be bulking up the airframe in the course of time to tackle the kitchen sink that goes up these days.

however the F-15 strikes me as a bird that had big margins built in and even after CFT and 20 pylons were glued on, it still looks unchanged and has not gained the unseemly bulges and spines of the F-16

same goes for the Su30 family.

the issue is probably more pronounced in small single engine birds that do not have big T:W or internal volume to play with.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby vina » 06 Feb 2012 13:24

Aircraft are designed to accommodate the weight growth of munitions. This is not a revolutionary concept. The fact that future (actually at that time existing) weapons will be heavier was obvious and to be expected. Not taking this into account was amateur stuff.

Ok, professional! Fact is ammo and weapons as they have gotten smarter have become radically lighter! No one lugs around a 20,000 lb bomb like the Lancasters in WWII did . The trend is towards small diameter bombs replacing the standard dumb bombs! Electronics have got massively lighter (though there is lot more of the stuff) and will get even lighter.

So per your logic, the planes should take that getting "ligther" into account and be designed to carry LESS load in future than in current to be optimal!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 06 Feb 2012 14:16

http://www.usaf-sig.org/index.php/compo ... the-f-16cd

this page has a lot of excellent details on how the F-16 has evolved from block to block with detailed diagrams and photos. looks like they bolted on extra metal plates to the fuselage and wings of certain marks to help combat the extra fatigue of heavier loads , and some blocks like block50 had internal changes (probably the skeleton) to support heavier mtow. block40+ had bigger landing wheels and stronger undercarriage.

looking at the photos khan sure is a jedi master at packaging so many things into what is a smallish airframe.

bottomline is people keep some margin, but not too much - so as to derive the best performance. if some req emerges that overshoots the margin in a sensitive area, there is rework.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby neerajb » 06 Feb 2012 14:19

Kartik wrote:Even for a staunch supporter of the LCA like me, this never ending slippage in timelines is quite frustrating. Playing their advocate, I can imagine how it must feel like for a senior IAF officer who is in charge of the IAF's force structure and whose job it is to make sure that the IAF's squadron levels don't drop beyond what they are today. They cannot keep sitting by while ADA/HAL miss each and every deadline.


+100 to that. This is the general belief of janta in BR IMHO. Jingoism aside, it's hight time that ADA/DRDO/HAL set their house in order. This "Building national capabilities" BS will only take them this far, they need to improvise if they want to succeed. We cannot/shouldnot expect a LM/Dassault type of setup out of grade A/B/C/D/E hierarchy and seniority based performance appraisals. Let some real management guy takeover the decision making and do some soul searching on the inefficiencies of the structure.

Cheers....

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Badar » 06 Feb 2012 16:08

vina wrote:Ok, professional! Fact is ammo and weapons as they have gotten smarter have become radically lighter! No one lugs around a 20,000 lb bomb like the Lancasters in WWII did . The trend is towards small diameter bombs replacing the standard dumb bombs! Electronics have got massively lighter (though there is lot more of the stuff) and will get even lighter.

So per your logic, the planes should take that getting "ligther" into account and be designed to carry LESS load in future than in current to be optimal!

Yes boss, my "google" ignorance stands exposed - I am suitably chastened. AAp ne meri aankhen khol di.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby koti » 06 Feb 2012 17:10

^^It is not as elementary though.

As the radars became more and more sophisticated, the ranges of missiles(Command guided) also increased. This called in for heavier and heavier missiles. Also, when radars can lock onto more than one target, the aircraft needed to carry more missiles before things breakdown to guns.

All I want to say is that there need not be a thumb rule in predicting the wing strength wrt missile upgrades.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby rohitvats » 06 Feb 2012 17:11

Rahul M wrote:they 'were' amateur, after all they were doing it for the first time. it's obvious they would tend to follow IAF's ASR blindly.
it was IAF's duty to do the hand holding, like how navy did with the shipyards, not hang it out to dry.


Sorry, in this case the shoe is on the another foot. If they were amateurs, they should not have decided to develop everything from the word go. It is quite clear from Tejas book that IAF's requirement was initially for a relatively simple fighter - the scientific community pushed for using the opportunity to develop the aerospace base in the country. nothing wrong. but somewhere, the sight was lost of the fact that IAF also needed a fighter in timely manner. The comment of raghuk is quite indicative of the problem - to paraphrase (not verbatim) - we give deadlines and then something comes up and deadline slips. For all the blame that IAF needs to shoulder, the present set of problems are not of IAF making.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Badar » 06 Feb 2012 17:16

koti wrote:^^It is not as elementary though.

As the radars became more and more sophisticated, the ranges of missiles(Command guided) also increased. This called in for heavier and heavier missiles. Also, when radars can lock onto more than one target, the aircraft needed to carry more missiles before things breakdown to guns.

All I want to say is that there need not be a thumb rule in predicting the wing strength wrt missile upgrades.

Koti, Agree. The missiles we are discussing here, the wing-tip/out-most pylon ones are usually IR guided, WVR missiles. The trend has been for them to grow in weight as time passes.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Rahul M » 06 Feb 2012 17:46

rohit, in hindsight, developing everything has not been the problem. kicha's separation of TD and fighter phase also took care of that. so that is not an issue anymore.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Jamie Boscardin » 06 Feb 2012 20:46

rohitvats wrote:
Rahul M wrote:they 'were' amateur, after all they were doing it for the first time. it's obvious they would tend to follow IAF's ASR blindly.
it was IAF's duty to do the hand holding, like how navy did with the shipyards, not hang it out to dry.


Sorry, in this case the shoe is on the another foot. If they were amateurs, they should not have decided to develop everything from the word go. It is quite clear from Tejas book that IAF's requirement was initially for a relatively simple fighter - the scientific community pushed for using the opportunity to develop the aerospace base in the country. nothing wrong. but somewhere, the sight was lost of the fact that IAF also needed a fighter in timely manner. The comment of raghuk is quite indicative of the problem - to paraphrase (not verbatim) - we give deadlines and then something comes up and deadline slips. For all the blame that IAF needs to shoulder, the present set of problems are not of IAF making.


The Indian Scientist community and including many officers in the HAL/ADA and many government PSU's/Public sector Undertakings are/and were made up of the best of technical graduates from our Top technical institutes. R&D requires trial-error, conceptualizing/designing/reevaluating and above all fantastic budgetary support to carry on for sometime. Technical manpower was never an issue. It was Pranab Mukherjee who some yrs back in an interview had said that it was only in 2001+ that the Indian GOV started having funds in hands after paying the salaries of government professionals.

So, I guess if you have 20 lakh rupees to spend, what you will get is a 1 BHK, if you need a RowHouse you would need 1Cr, putting that in the context of an airplane, you need a 10mil USD plane, you get Mig21--, you need Rafale, well the unit price is 95mil USD. So, 2004--, IAF was flying and using equipment which was reaching "Obsolence" more quickly than anything else, but still were operationally ready to whip anyone's ass, now suddenly 2008+, they wont settle for anything less than Rafale!!

HAL/ADA making a fighter plane for IAF (or lets say India) has not stopped IAF from purchasing fighter plane's for its operational effectiveness, MKI, Rafale, trainers, FGFA etc etc etc. Just that IAF even today cannot afford to buy 400-500 planes to replace all the Mig27's, Mig21's, Bison's etc etc.
Atleast, HAL/ADA gives them the hope that they will have 42+ fighter squadrons and be able to attack and defend.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Cain Marko » 06 Feb 2012 20:49

I think the critical juncture where the LCA was "lost" to the IAF was when the technocrats took the lead and the IAF's need for a simple fighter was shafted. That must have been extremely frustrating for the AF knowing very well that they then could not truly depend on the LCA considering the complexities involved in designing a bird with heavy composites and a 4 X DFBW a/c for example. IIRC from AM Rajkumar's book, Dassault had offered the M2k's FBW, this should have been good enough - irrespective of how high handed the Dassault attitude was, and I think this was an issue, and how badly egos were hurt in the INdian tech community - ultimately were not egos hurt when they were summarily kicked out of the US?

While I understand the need to develop the tech base in the country, I don't understand the need to aim for extremely difficult exotic technology. The "lightest, fastest, greatest" idea was doomed to remain a tech demo, and ACM - Kswamy knew it, he did the right thing by delineating the two projects - should've happened a decade earlier imho. The tech blokes would have gotten their experiment, and the IAF, their fighter.

In any case, jo hua so hua. As of now, I think the way forward is to make that mk1 a true BVR player, with the ability to deliver stand off strike weapons. Might not be as nimble as a F-16A, but should do well enough as a MiG-21 replacement with the dash5 HMS. Weight reduction should be a priority so as to make the weaker GE 404 engines viable. No need for IFR for example. I'd like to see the IAF place a larger order - thereby making projections, planning, and ultimately production easier/efficient. FOC by mid-2013 and full production thereafter @ 20 a/c per annum for 10 years.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 06 Feb 2012 20:59

other than the 40 or so F-16A in PAF, none of the a/c in the paf or plaaf can confidently outmanouver the Tejas mk1 in wvr as it stands today imho - the F-16block52, Mirage3, MirageV, JF17, J7, J8, FBC-1, Su27, Su30, J11 all have their pros and cons but none are as handy in a dogfight as a old model F-16A.

if the idea is to use the Tejas as a "light" a2a bird, then 2 drop tanks, 4 derby/astra and 2 r73 aam in the QRT alert-takeoff/point defence role would be plenty and the payload light.

I dont see why it cannot hold its own against all local enemies, backed up some form of ground or airborne radar over or near our home territory as it will be. the EL2032 is a good radar. the israelis wanted to fit on their Sufa but was denied by americans as Sufa was purchased using american annual aid.

and it should be better than the Mig27 in CAS/BAI except for the smaller cannon - it can also drop PGMs and sooner we get helina/brimstone, CBU 105 and sdb for it the better...

so I dont see why 150 Mk01 cannot form the bottom rung and be a useful tool with the right avionics , weapons and doctrine.

all efforts must be placed to complete remaining tests, weapons trials and setup the production line at HAL properly for mass production. Astra mk01 is also a key project for our fleet.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Cain Marko » 06 Feb 2012 21:13

^ Precisely! Initial order of 150, later ramped to 150 more based on GE414/Kaveri-Snecma engine. The IAF has room for 300 of these birds at the bottom of the pyramid. Excellent QRA + Point defence, with tactical strike.

300 LCA + 275 MKI + 200 Pakfa + 126MRCA + 126 AMCA ~ 1100 birds = about 45 sqds with reserves.

What the LCA mk1 needs as of now imho, and that is what they are working on is:

1) More streamlined, trim off excess weight, reduce margins - redundancies - if empty weight around 6 tons can be achieved, it'll be amazing.
2) Open flight envelope to make it a true 9G fighter.
3) Integrate Derby+R73/python 5 combo

Bahut hua.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Cain Marko » 06 Feb 2012 23:38

Someone earlier had mentioned getting used M2ks. I would not be surprised if UAE M2ks start finding their way to India considering the large amounts of $ss invested in TOT and infrastructure for the M2k. IF such a thing happens though, the LCA might see more lacklustre support from the IAF.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Jamie Boscardin » 07 Feb 2012 00:01

We all are frustrated at the lack of information from ADA about LCA, now take another example: LM's F-35's recent "transparent" report that there is a arrester-hook problem which would probably mean major redesigning of some parts, thus inidicating delays..Guess what Britain starts thinking about Rafale/F-18SH etc in the interim and less orders from even the primary customer..USN!!
LM is itself shaking inspite of decades of experience in developing cutting edge ac's..there acs can crash and still they will not get hit badly.. but out in IAF Zone, one crash of LCA and walla..no more LCA!!!
So, in a way ADA is right, its working in a wafer thin ice sheet and at-least cannot get it wrong.

If I was a subject matter expert in command of a critical project work, I will ONLY deliver if I am confident about my work and the positive outcome. I will not go-ahead and deliver a not 100% product, just coz some one wants all the project work completed tomorrow!
Not to forget, no one would set up a full fledged assembly line for manufacturing a product to produce just 40ac's in a max 2 yr time-frame...You give me a commitment for 126 planes, I will setup the infrastructure and deliver you more ac's per year and guess what I will give you good price!

So, IAF did and should be accountable in equal terms for the LCA's current state!!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Badar » 07 Feb 2012 02:15

Ajay Shukla in Business standard on Indian spend on Rafale vs LCA
75k crore on Rafale program.
10k crore on LCA program to date (R&D, infrastructure development, prototypes) + 4k crore for the Mk.2 development

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby nachiket » 07 Feb 2012 02:54

Cain Marko wrote:I think the critical juncture where the LCA was "lost" to the IAF was when the technocrats took the lead and the IAF's need for a simple fighter was shafted.

I would like to see a list of technologies that should not have been in the IAF's dream "simple fighter". No other aircraft designed in the 80's (or even slightly earlier) came without digital FBW, composites, etc. Keep in mind that even the JF-17 bandar has a FBW system. If the IAF had been given the "simple" fighter it wanted it would have followed the HF-24 into early retirement due to obsolescence and the IAF would be looking for a replacement within 10 years. We had to try and catch up with the rest of the world some time. It is obvious that we would take much longer to develop the same technologies than the countries which had been designing aircraft for donkey years. There was no alternative to doing it. Add the peanuts that we could afford/were willing to spend compared to the others and the lack of IAF involvement and I'd say the ADA has done a pretty good job till now.
One more thing. The actual development only commenced in 1990 which was followed immediately by the severe financial crunch of the early and mid 90s.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby yantra » 07 Feb 2012 02:58

Is that ShookLaw or someone else in his garb??! May be he pressed the "publish" button on the wrong article! :oops:

Oh! My! How will he get paid next month?! :shock:

He was peddling F35 yesterday and he is trumpeting LCA now! :rotfl:
For once, he is on the better side of professionalism..

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby nachiket » 07 Feb 2012 03:00

Going back through this thread, the current round of LCA dissing seems to have started with one unsubstantiated (and rather far-fetched) chaiwallah report of India buying the Gripen to help with Mk2 development. :lol:

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby aharam » 07 Feb 2012 03:04

Singha wrote:other than the 40 or so F-16A in PAF, none of the a/c in the paf or plaaf can confidently outmanouver the Tejas mk1 in wvr as it stands today imho - the F-16block52, Mirage3, MirageV, JF17, J7, J8, FBC-1, Su27, Su30, J11 all have their pros and cons but none are as handy in a dogfight as a old model F-16A.

if the idea is to use the Tejas as a "light" a2a bird, then 2 drop tanks, 4 derby/astra and 2 r73 aam in the QRT alert-takeoff/point defence role would be plenty and the payload light.

I dont see why it cannot hold its own against all local enemies, backed up some form of ground or airborne radar over or near our home territory as it will be. the EL2032 is a good radar. the israelis wanted to fit on their Sufa but was denied by americans as Sufa was purchased using american annual aid.

and it should be better than the Mig27 in CAS/BAI except for the smaller cannon - it can also drop PGMs and sooner we get helina/brimstone, CBU 105 and sdb for it the better...

so I dont see why 150 Mk01 cannot form the bottom rung and be a useful tool with the right avionics , weapons and doctrine.

all efforts must be placed to complete remaining tests, weapons trials and setup the production line at HAL properly for mass production. Astra mk01 is also a key project for our fleet.


Singha,
I concur with your sentiment whole heartedly. Use the LCA as a light point defense fighter and escort for dedicated CAS birds on interdiction strikes. Specialized aircraft are still important. You can't really get the effectiveness of a CAS plane from a multi-role aircraft, however good or technologically advanced the multi-role happens to be. PGMs are great, when you have a good fix on a relatively static battlefield. Rapidly moving battlefields are a different beast altogether. Unlike fighters, CAS aircraft are not sexy - no katrinas, just wart-hogs here. But they are bloody effective and when it comes to army aviation on the eastern front, that's what you need.

To protect a CAS aircraft, you need point defense fighters. If we don't have air superiority, then an A2A bird like the MKI or now the upcoming Rafale can be used to sanitize the area, but the bulk of the protection sorties should be flown by the cheaper LCA, which can easily hold its own against the lower end bulk of the air opposition in the east.

Most importantly, an LCA by definition should simply be a light fighter, with only secondary emphasis on multi-role. Core goal should be point defense.

Cheers
aharam

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Cain Marko » 07 Feb 2012 05:40

nachiket wrote:I would like to see a list of technologies that should not have been in the IAF's dream "simple fighter". No other aircraft designed in the 80's (or even slightly earlier) came without digital FBW, composites, etc. Keep in mind that even the JF-17 bandar has a FBW system. If the IAF had been given the "simple" fighter it wanted it would have followed the HF-24 into early retirement due to obsolescence and the IAF would be looking for a replacement within 10 years. We had to try and catch up with the rest of the world some time. It is obvious that we would take much longer to develop the same technologies than the countries which had been designing aircraft for donkey years. There was no alternative to doing it. Add the peanuts that we could afford/were willing to spend compared to the others and the lack of IAF involvement and I'd say the ADA has done a pretty good job till now.
One more thing. The actual development only commenced in 1990 which was followed immediately by the severe financial crunch of the early and mid 90s.


Did you miss the "quad" part of the DFBW? It is that particular niche iirc, that made the ADA go away from Dassault, which btw did offer a triplex DFBW + 1 analog channel - same as in the Rafale, the same fighter we consider a tech marvel today. Should've been more than enough for IAF purposes. Composites is fine but the idea to make the "lightest/smallest" fighter was unnecessary. And the idea of cramming the bird full of 45% composites by weight was not necessary either - jmho. Even the bloody F-22 doesn't make such claims, and to what effect? A far better approach would have been to get the basics right, and then move to esoteric stuff, one block at a time. Esp. because the nation's fighting service was largely dependent on the bird not coming a cropper.

Frankly, ACM Krish, who pushed the tech demo program was rather lenient in just requiring the FCS, composite structure, and composites to be valideated by the demo. If he had included the bloody engine as well as radar, the program would've never gone past this stage. Ideally, they should've stuck with Fra for the FCS, and even the engine, and then used the EL-2032/derby combo for the initial 40 birds. By now a BVR fighter could have been in IAF hands.

Catching up is all fine and dandy - do it with a tech demonstrator, give the AF a fighter they can fight with. IOWs, don't unnecessarily ransom operational needs to tech development needs. There was absolutely no need to try and jump ahead of what was one of the best, techwise, at the time - the Mirage 2000. We have gained little, and lost a LOT by such decisions, and God forbid, might lose even more in case of a large war.

The decision to go with the US instead of France, despite grave misgivings by the IAF, ultimately proved to be a major undoing of the LCA, we were sanctioned and were setback in terms of the FBW as well as engines. Even now, the technocrats continue to go to the US for such needs as mk2 engines, and flight envelope expansion - remarkable. No wonder the IAF wants little to do with the LCA. And to top it all they take FOREVER to make their decisions - a case in point is the engine choice for the mk2. IIRC, it took a whole 2 years to decide in favor of the F-414.

No bhaiyya, the IAF might not be the greatest supporter of local products, but in this case, I don't blame them much actually. Although I think at this stage a massive order for the LCA mk1 would be helpful. As things stand, the LCA has been partially successful in its two pronged goal - it has to some extent met the needs by providing an industrial/tech base in the aviation arena, however, it has rather failed in its second goal - to provide the IAF with a reliable, 4 gen BVR fighter.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby shiv » 07 Feb 2012 07:49

Some interesting titbits in the following article
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/rafal ... e/908640/0

The first lesson in diversifying sources of arms was learnt when India mobilised and deployed its armed forces on the border in early 1951 in response to Pakistan’s threat of war. And the aircraft selected was the Dassault’s Ouragon in preference to the British Meteor. US arms aid to Pakistan after 1954 led to an expansion of the IAF and the first fighter selected was the Dassault’s Mystere IVA, the most heavily armed combat aircraft that the IAF has had till the Su-30MKI joined the fleet.


1. By coincidence, there an article by a Paki in the Paki thread today that speaks of a 1951 standoff. I have been unaware of this and its connection with the Ouragan

2. Did not know that the Mystere IV was "the most heavily armed combat aircraft that the IAF has had till the Su-30MKI joined the fleet"

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 07 Feb 2012 07:58

I wonder if a underbelly 3-barrel cannon pod is feasible for the Tejas with internal gas flow based shock absorption to isolate the main airframe from the big recoil. in CAS role would be far cheaper than brimstone type weapons.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Surya » 07 Feb 2012 08:02

Err the Mystere 4 has a payload of 1000 kg plus 2 cannon

I am perplexed how it becomes the most heavily armed aircraft till Su 30 !!!!!

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby shiv » 07 Feb 2012 08:30

The Mystere's only fighter competitors were the Hunter, the HF-24 and the Su-7. But what about the Canberra? The Canberra could carry a bigger load further.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby nachiket » 07 Feb 2012 08:51

Mystere Payload: 1000kg on 4 hardpoints + 2 30mm guns

Su-7 payload: 2000kg on 6 hardpoints + 2 30mm guns.

Then came the Mig-23, 27 , M2k, Mig-29 etc. all of which could carry more than the Mystere.

Air Commodore Jasjit Singh saar seems mistaken.
Last edited by nachiket on 07 Feb 2012 08:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby negi » 07 Feb 2012 08:54

Rahul M wrote:they 'were' amateur, after all they were doing it for the first time. it's obvious they would tend to follow IAF's ASR blindly.
it was IAF's duty to do the hand holding, like how navy did with the shipyards, not hang it out to dry.
Boss but then wasn't IAF doing this kind of a thing for the first time too ? Yes devil is in the details and one needs to talk about specific instances of party in question dropping the ball but if glance across most of our indigenous programmes you will see a pattern i.e. a significant time lag between initiation of a project to drafting of ASRs and finally actual commencement of the project itself now it can be due to any thing right from center delaying the release of funds to say team waiting for some critical phoren machine/component; same is the case when a change is made to the ASR too. Again I might sound like someone arguing for the heck of it but the fact is we might never know when the actual talks with regards to change in ASR first took place versus them making into B&W in triplicate for all of us to do a post-mortem.

Finally I also do not find the often quoted reference to IN and it's way of handling projects relevant when we speak of Tejas; firstly to be fair Tejas as a project has it's own set of challenges as against building a ship in-house where we did not get hit by sanctions to the same level because of the nature of the technology and components involved (IN ships initially had a higher % of Ru sourced components including the steel as against Tejas which required some key components from Unkil based OEMs). One more point to be noted is likes of Mazgaon docks are virtually an extension of the IN thanks to a high % of ex IN personnel holding top posts in these organisations.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Nihat » 07 Feb 2012 13:08

aharam wrote:
Singha wrote:other than the 40 or so F-16A in PAF, none of the a/c in the paf or plaaf can confidently outmanouver the Tejas mk1 in wvr as it stands today imho - the F-16block52, Mirage3, MirageV, JF17, J7, J8, FBC-1, Su27, Su30, J11 all have their pros and cons but none are as handy in a dogfight as a old model F-16A.

if the idea is to use the Tejas as a "light" a2a bird, then 2 drop tanks, 4 derby/astra and 2 r73 aam in the QRT alert-takeoff/point defence role would be plenty and the payload light.

I dont see why it cannot hold its own against all local enemies, backed up some form of ground or airborne radar over or near our home territory as it will be. the EL2032 is a good radar. the israelis wanted to fit on their Sufa but was denied by americans as Sufa was purchased using american annual aid.

and it should be better than the Mig27 in CAS/BAI except for the smaller cannon - it can also drop PGMs and sooner we get helina/brimstone, CBU 105 and sdb for it the better...

so I dont see why 150 Mk01 cannot form the bottom rung and be a useful tool with the right avionics , weapons and doctrine.

all efforts must be placed to complete remaining tests, weapons trials and setup the production line at HAL properly for mass production. Astra mk01 is also a key project for our fleet.


Singha,
I concur with your sentiment whole heartedly. Use the LCA as a light point defense fighter and escort for dedicated CAS birds on interdiction strikes. Specialized aircraft are still important. You can't really get the effectiveness of a CAS plane from a multi-role aircraft, however good or technologically advanced the multi-role happens to be. PGMs are great, when you have a good fix on a relatively static battlefield. Rapidly moving battlefields are a different beast altogether. Unlike fighters, CAS aircraft are not sexy - no katrinas, just wart-hogs here. But they are bloody effective and when it comes to army aviation on the eastern front, that's what you need.

To protect a CAS aircraft, you need point defense fighters. If we don't have air superiority, then an A2A bird like the MKI or now the upcoming Rafale can be used to sanitize the area, but the bulk of the protection sorties should be flown by the cheaper LCA, which can easily hold its own against the lower end bulk of the air opposition in the east.

Most importantly, an LCA by definition should simply be a light fighter, with only secondary emphasis on multi-role. Core goal should be point defense.

Cheers
aharam


How can a air force pick and choose which plane will face off with which one from the adversaries air force. LCA has to be good enough to face off with anything the PAF or PLAAF can throw at us in the future, otherwise what is the point in having a light fighter which can be easily deployed in forward air bases. The strike aircraft maybe a F-16 or J-20 (in the future) for all we know and in such a case will we hold back the LCA since it can handle only the JF-17 or J-10??.

IMVHO , it is futile to lay blame on IAF , HAL , ADA , DRDO or anyone else for the LCA project. The IAF had to shift the goalposts as far as it's ASR was concerned seeing as they wanted to be able to outgun the opposing air force fighters and DRDO et all simply did not have the capability to move that fast (for no fault of their own).

We have orders for 40 LCA MK.1 and hopefully a healthy 8-10 squadrons for the LCA MK.II but to me at least (no expert !!) it appears that dragging o the project beyond that would be a mistake. Once we have our sanctioned squadron strength , we do not need to stuff more and more LCA's since by 2045 they'll be horribly outdated.




On a different note We could use the LCA , Kaveri concept to greatly enhance our UAV program, perhaps even an unmanned LCA . I don't know if this has been discussed in BRF previously but if so , can someone pleased point in the direction of that discussion as it's definitely a possibility as pointed out by former DRDO chief.

http://livefist.blogspot.in/2008/10/unm ... ecade.html

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Badar » 07 Feb 2012 13:47

Nihat wrote:How can a air force pick and choose which plane will face off with which one from the adversaries air force. LCA has to be good enough to face off with anything the PAF or PLAAF can throw at us in the future, otherwise what is the point in having a light fighter which can be easily deployed in forward air bases. The strike aircraft maybe a F-16 or J-20 (in the future) for all we know and in such a case will we hold back the LCA since it can handle only the JF-17 or J-10??.

Let's take this to the logical conclusion. The MiG-29 also cannot hold its own against the J-20. Neither can the Mirage 2000. Obviously Su-30 is too old. Rafale also half a generation behind. So can we just buy 800 FGFA and be done with it?

Fact is you can attempt to pick and choose who faces off with whom. If you are a Jaguar driver and are lit up by the F-16 then jettison load, turn tail and run. Or better still see if you can complete the mission while letting your escorts deal with the threat. Or even better still you try to avoid the situation where your Jaguars get bounced by fielding superior surveillance and control assets. Or ideally ground the F-16 force into dust from day one resulting in low risk to vulnerable Jaguars. In the real world despite best efforts the Jaguars will continue to get surprised by F-16s (and Jaguars surprising F-16s occasionally). War is like that.

If only a small proportion of your force is made up of top line aircraft, so is the enemy's. Those J-20s can't be everywhere. Now it comes down to generalship - the air commanders have to read the intelligence, tea-leaves, opponents doctrine, their psychological profile, relative mission goals, mutual capabilities and come up with a plan. What risks to take to achieve what goals. Air combat is sometimes portrayed as a hi-tech nearly robotic exercise dominated by machine capabilities - and this is true some of the time specially if you are not fighting peers (looks askance at USAF). But with peers or near-peers luck, generalship/doctrine and air/ground proficiency matter as much as sheer technical advantages in aircraft or C4I networks. There is still a place in force structures for lower capability aircraft.
Last edited by Badar on 07 Feb 2012 14:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Singha » 07 Feb 2012 13:56

even khan is careful to shield his more vulnerable assets like bombers until the field is clear of danger. even in libya they waited a while until no libyan a.c were able to fly up, then sent in 2 B1s from the dakotas to drop maybe 50 JDAMs each on the big airbase at sabha and kind of reduce the whole thing to a pile of sand.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- Jan 10 2012

Postby Nihat » 07 Feb 2012 14:05

Badar wrote:
Nihat wrote:How can a air force pick and choose which plane will face off with which one from the adversaries air force. LCA has to be good enough to face off with anything the PAF or PLAAF can throw at us in the future, otherwise what is the point in having a light fighter which can be easily deployed in forward air bases. The strike aircraft maybe a F-16 or J-20 (in the future) for all we know and in such a case will we hold back the LCA since it can handle only the JF-17 or J-10??.

Let's take this to the logical conclusion. The MiG-29 also cannot hold its own against the J-20. Neither can the Mirage 2000. Obviously Su-30 is too old. Rafale also half a generation behind. So can we just buy 800 FGFA and be done with it?



You got me wrong there Badar. Of course I don't advocate packing IAF with FGFA's but the point was in a whole other context.

I was implying that since LCA was intended as a light easily deploy-able front line fighter taking on the interceptor role from Mig-21 and providing limited CAS capability, it is naturally the first line of defense against the enemy's strike aircraft and so the IAF was not wrong to expect more and more from this aircraft as the strike capabilities of the PAF and PLAAAF advanced. It's basically nobody's fault if the LCA program has not exactly turned out as planned. It faced amazing obstacles from the beginning ad we've done well to get this far.

But it definitely has application as an UN-manned bird , the Kaveri would be sufficient for such a task and we could freely deploy Tejas along even ALG's turned airbases without having to worry about a whole lot of factors otherwise involved with a manned combat aircraft.


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