LCA News and Discussions

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby member_20292 » 17 Oct 2012 15:34

mody wrote:The 100 KN (approx), engine is going to come with the GE 414. Today's comment CAS Browne says the contract for 99 engines has been signed.

But the bigger problem right now seems to be with the testing and more specifically, how to conclude the testing the requirements and finally certify the aircraft. The design team seems to stopped at the last hurdle of the testing phase and seem confounded as to how to go about finishing the last 10% or so of the tests to finish the testing and show the aircraft operating at its full design capabilities.

The MK1 can also go upto 9G and achieve AoA of 28 degrees and sustained high turn rates. Maybe with the low powered engine, it may not be able to do the same when fully loaded, but what about doing this with partial fuel load and no weapons? This would only be for testing out the aerodynamic performance of the plane and to test the flight control software to the max. With a more powerful engine, or conversely, slightly lower weight, the plane can have the full performance even when fully loaded.

It seems that if the LCA team had an external experienced hand to guide them with the testing program, over the last two years, the same would have been completed by now.


Disagree. Testing to the limits is iterative. Right now, no one has the balls to take the ac to its limits and risk losing a life of a pilot or a valuable aircraft. So.

IAF has to make do with a one legged horse for a while. I believe they will take it, and then the fly boys will test it to its limits when it is in service.

I dont see the HAL DRDO sticking their necks out, and going whole hog testing and risk losing the program at all.....the Indian defence forces are very anti-RnD and very pro foreign maal ! HAL DRDO will not risk their hides and lives and funding.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 17 Oct 2012 16:25

to my knowledge the aim9x does not have any combat kills ? its the amraam and sparrow which has a bunch of them - albeit not against strong foes but kills nonetheless. pakis used a aim9L to shoot down one of our searcher uav.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby member_20453 » 17 Oct 2012 16:42

negi wrote:Septimus not being combat proven is not a show stopper else no new weapon system will see active deployment. Moreover I consider it a very loosely used phrase on online forums to push one's pov. You should perhaps also give a thought to the fact that Israelis have seen as much air combat as any other airforce in the modern times and they are gradually switiching to Pythons from the Sidewinder now there could be more to it that just the capability of the missile as such however to make a claim that Python is an inferior missile system by quoting a failed test is amusing to say the least.


It certainly isn't a show stopper but it really is silly to see that Python5 which was considered to be among the best if not the best IR A2A missile on first shot wasn't able to shoot down a cheap, slow moving UAV is to be honest very embarrasing, no matter how small the UAV was, btw this wasn't a test. That silly drone could have been packed with HE and all it takes is a willingness to ram into the nuke plant it was hovering around. Sure they got it the second shot but all it takes is one failure.

Israeli experience has indeed been great but changing from Aim-9 to Python doesn't mean Aim-9 isn't a great weapon just means they are focused on indigenous missiles instead of having to rely on purchasing from Unkil all the time. Offcourse we aren't there yet but we could be, we could start working on our own IR missiles, after all we have an ample stock of Russian/ French IR missiles, what is to prevent us from stripping one open to see how we can build an IR missile of our own but only better. After all thats what happened to the Aim-9.

We could simply scale down the Astra and plug-in an IR seeker and we could have a pretty good IR missile in 5 years.

My point is Aim-9 has been tested and no just combat proven, it has been tested far more exhaustively than it's competitors over years and I believe has proven itself to be capable both in tests and combat.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby mody » 17 Oct 2012 16:58

mahadevbhu wrote:
mody wrote:The 100 KN (approx), engine is going to come with the GE 414. Today's comment CAS Browne says the contract for 99 engines has been signed.

But the bigger problem right now seems to be with the testing and more specifically, how to conclude the testing the requirements and finally certify the aircraft. The design team seems to stopped at the last hurdle of the testing phase and seem confounded as to how to go about finishing the last 10% or so of the tests to finish the testing and show the aircraft operating at its full design capabilities.

The MK1 can also go upto 9G and achieve AoA of 28 degrees and sustained high turn rates. Maybe with the low powered engine, it may not be able to do the same when fully loaded, but what about doing this with partial fuel load and no weapons? This would only be for testing out the aerodynamic performance of the plane and to test the flight control software to the max. With a more powerful engine, or conversely, slightly lower weight, the plane can have the full performance even when fully loaded.

It seems that if the LCA team had an external experienced hand to guide them with the testing program, over the last two years, the same would have been completed by now.


Disagree. Testing to the limits is iterative. Right now, no one has the balls to take the ac to its limits and risk losing a life of a pilot or a valuable aircraft. So.

IAF has to make do with a one legged horse for a while. I believe they will take it, and then the fly boys will test it to its limits when it is in service.

I dont see the HAL DRDO sticking their necks out, and going whole hog testing and risk losing the program at all.....the Indian defense forces are very anti-RnD and very pro foreign maal ! HAL DRDO will not risk their hides and lives and funding.



I agree that testing the aircraft to its limits is a iterative process. Actually most aircrafts are tested to is conservative baseline performance specs, which are the minimum that they are required to have as per the Staff Qualitative Requirement or its equivalent. Once the aircraft enters active duty, its only then that the aircraft is pushed beyond its normally stated baseline performance.

However, what you state thereafter is exactly in agreement with me. What I am saying is that DRDO-ADA folks currently seem to be stuck in their testing program, where they are unable to or unwilling to open up the flight envelope any further and take any kind of risk, while sticking to their risk averse testing program. There is a fear of the unknown, as they do not have enough experience of testing unstable aircraft designs, is stalling them in their effort even to reach the baseline performance specs as desired by IAF. Hence they are not sure of the results and are stuck carrying out tests in very small steps. If they had an experienced partner, like for example Lockheed (or someone similar), then Lockheed would be able to guide the testing program better and allow ADA to take much bigger steps in their testing program to bring it to a conclusion.

Currently as the things stand, the LCA has not reached its baseline performance benchmarks. This is clear, as the IOC and FOC are constantly getting delayed. ADA needs to open up the flight envelope and expand their testing regimen from what it is currently, so that they can reach atleast the baseline performance benchmarks. In my opinion it seems that this where they are stuck.

The super duper flying stuff, to take the aircraft to its very edge of performance, shall happen much later and will be done actually by TACDE/ASTE type of guys in collaboration with ADA, after the FOC has been achieved and the LCA is inducted by IAF.
In fact this will most probably happen only with the MKII.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby mody » 17 Oct 2012 17:10

Septimus P. wrote:
negi wrote:Septimus not being combat proven is not a show stopper else no new weapon system will see active deployment. Moreover I consider it a very loosely used phrase on online forums to push one's pov. You should perhaps also give a thought to the fact that Israelis have seen as much air combat as any other airforce in the modern times and they are gradually switiching to Pythons from the Sidewinder now there could be more to it that just the capability of the missile as such however to make a claim that Python is an inferior missile system by quoting a failed test is amusing to say the least.




We could simply scale down the Astra and plug-in an IR seeker and we could have a pretty good IR missile in 5 years.
.


If plugging in an IR seeker to make a super duper short range AAM, was that easy, we would have done it a long time ago.
By the way can you name any missile program of our where we have managed to get our own IR or any other kind of seeker into the missile and made it work??
Nag is the only program, in which we have managed to get our own IIR seeker to work with the missile. Even in this case, not sure if the currently being tested missile is with the French seeker or our own seeker.
To get an IR seeker, with a wide detection scope of the order of greater then 60 degrees and fairly resistant to jamming, is a dream that all jingos as well as all indian defense scientists have. For that matter all other kinds of missile seekers as well.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Surya » 17 Oct 2012 17:41

It certainly isn't a show stopper but it really is silly to see that Python5 which was considered to be among the best if not the best IR A2A missile on first shot wasn't able to shoot down a cheap, slow moving UAV is to be honest very embarrasing, no matter how small the UAV was, btw this wasn't a test.



A certain IAF officer who used to post on this forum mentioned after the Pakis claimed they shot down our UAV that if they really had done what they claim - they did an excellent job.

that should give you a clue.

what is to prevent us from stripping one open to see how we can build an IR missile of our own but only better. After all thats what happened to the Aim-9.

We could simply scale down the Astra and plug-in an IR seeker and we could have a pretty good IR missile in 5 years.



aha these things are easy peazy - :eek:

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby member_20453 » 17 Oct 2012 18:18

^^^
I agree but I think they should push the envelope already before FOC. I think the boys at TACDE/ASTE will begin the good work of working out war based tactics and operational doctrines afer FOC. LCA mk-2 will indeed have a lot of flying. However, I also think they are to quickly introduce more aircarft to the flight line, production rates must go up, this silly rate of 8 is too low for anything. We need at the very least a rate of 20 per year to be built with an optimal rate being 40. This upcoming excercise during 2013 should bring in much more user confidence. I hope all the aircraft on the flight line take part and a whole load of weapons including HSLD, Sudharshan, Paveways, Griffins, KH-59, Cluster bombs, IR missiles are tested extensively everyday during the excercise.

My point is it is easy peazy to atleast begin work on an IR missile, since Astra is the works, perhaps they can share certain commonalities in design, the sad part is there isn't a program to develop an IR A2A missile.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Aditya_V » 17 Oct 2012 18:54

Singha wrote:to my knowledge the aim9x does not have any combat kills ? its the amraam and sparrow which has a bunch of them - albeit not against strong foes but kills nonetheless. pakis used a aim9L to shoot down one of our searcher uav.


Singha, I dont think a Aim9L but multiple Aim 9L's, Pakis claimed to have drone technology after shooting it down with its debried:rotfl:

The IAF revealed that the Drone was testing Paki defences and had entered Paki territory near Jammu, flown near Pindi and flew inside Pak and was finally shot down when it was getting out south of Lahore.

We also don't know if this was the only drone intrusion into Pakistan during Operation Parakram, whether they went fully undetected or were detected but could be brought down before returning back during operation Parakram

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Surya » 17 Oct 2012 20:29

and was finally shot down when it was getting out south of Lahore.


The IAF never said that.

the pakis claim that

it could have been malfunction or shot down

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 17 Oct 2012 20:48

Septimus,

Any aviation enthusiast worth his salt has high respect for the Sidewinder. But, if you are trying to say that the AIM-9 would be a silver bullet against a UAV, I have nothing more to discuss :-?.

I will just leave you with a few thoughts:
1. UAVs are slow moving, but they have much smaller heat signatures with piston/wankel engines.
2. Israel does have lots of sidewinders, they were not used. Mind you this was not a test. Quite a hole for a silver bullet theory.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 17 Oct 2012 21:00

I recall a photo the next day, a pakmandu was carrying parts of the missile that shot the searcher...the seeker head part was totally intact..he was carrying on his shoulder.
here is the photo http://www.defence.pk/gallery/data/520/ ... _uav_7.jpg

On June 07, 2002, a Pakistan Air Force F-16 Falcon flown by Sqn Ldr Zulfiqar shot down an Indian Searcher-II UAV (of israeli origin) with an AIM-9L sidewinder missile at an altitude of 13000 ft ---over the Dogran Kalan village, just southwest of Lahore Punjab.

ACM Mir's statement:

"The UAV was spotted by the mobile observation units when it crossed into Pakistani territory and was immediately gunned down."

The wreckage photos show the remains of a AIM-9L Sidewinder AAM, probably the one which downed the UAV. AIM-9L is the more sophisticated than the AIM-9P version of the missile, which is also in service with the PAF.

The incident was later confirmed by Indian Defence Ministry.
Last edited by Singha on 17 Oct 2012 21:03, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 17 Oct 2012 21:01

Septimus P. wrote:I agree but I think they should push the envelope already before FOC.

They would.
Septimus P. wrote:this silly rate of 8 is too low for anything

It is not as silly as it looks. It is based on economic sense (just break even till bigger orders come). Beyond that it will be 20 aircrafts per year (it has already been confirmed by HAL that it has the capability of doing the same, and go even higher). But there has to be enough orders.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 17 Oct 2012 21:26

Mody sahab,

It is not a question of being brave enough. They don't have the time. As you rightly said, they need to meet the baseline first. Plus, both you and I know what a crash would do (push back timeline by years). It is a risk worth avoiding right now.

By the way:
1. MK-I, would be only 8-G capable.
2. Achieving 8-Gs or 28 degree AoA is not limited by engine power. Sustaining it requires that amount of energy.
3. No FBW governed plane is going to do us with full load.

SKrishna wrote:
IIRC Tejas has 7 + 1 hard points including ann underbelly hard point. Saw some pic somewhere but cannot seem to find it now.
[\quote]
For details go here: http://tejas.gov.in/specifications/weapons.html

For pics: Image

adityadange wrote:in the 4th pic from above, the pylon besides the drop tank is half white and marked with black squares. why it should be so? can it be some dummy payload for weapon release mechanism testing?

It is. The squares are for calibration. The release test has been completed and you see the empty pylon. But most probably, that test was completed before that particular test flight, as there are no cameras facing that pylon.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 17 Oct 2012 21:31

Avinandan wrote:Any idea whether the below 2 identified issues has been addressed :--
1. Issue with Air brakes located at the rear of LCA ?


The "issue" with the airbrakes is that they want to use the MLG door as airbrakes as it is closer to the CG. They have not implemented it yet. Check this picture. You can see the "actual" airbrakes extended.

Image

However, if they have decided to use the MLG doors only to slow down during flight and use both the MLG door and the airbrakes for landing, then I don't know :-)

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby nachiket » 17 Oct 2012 22:47

There are no pics of the centerline pylon of the LCA being tested in flight. The pic indranilroy posted above is one of maybe two pics we have ever seen of the pylon actually being used.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Paul » 18 Oct 2012 03:02

Earth to BRF....only in wet dreams will production rate be higher than 20 aircraft/year. Khan will ensure engine supply will always be a constraint.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Surya » 18 Oct 2012 03:07

singha

to be precise the defence ministry only confirmed loss

not how it was lost - to the best of my knowledge

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby RoyG » 18 Oct 2012 04:07

Going by all the delays i doubt we'll see an LCA MkII before 2020.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby gnair » 18 Oct 2012 04:33

@ mody:
Speculation Alert:
I think the LCA program guys have kinda hit a wall. The whole testing program has been fairly conservative in its approach, and very risk averse. Now the designers are not sure about how to open up the flight envelope even more, while still being in the risk averse mode,.........

Extended speculation...
BAE systems were clearly in the loop, for consultancy on flight testing and systems integration. The primary objective was to compress the timelines and the other was on weight reduction and to free up real estate in the forward fuselage and avionics bay. With the EJ-200 engine loss to the F-414, followed by Eurofighter, they may have quietly walked away from it, leaving the ADA/HAL folks to take care of this steep learning curve.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby gnair » 18 Oct 2012 04:41

And one more...now with the Adour loss to the Honeywell F-125, for the Jag upgrade, they are not coming back anytime soon.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Gurneesh » 18 Oct 2012 05:09

gnair wrote: Extended speculation...
BAE systems were clearly in the loop, for consultancy on flight testing and systems integration. The primary objective was to compress the timelines and the other was on weight reduction and to free up real estate in the forward fuselage and avionics bay. With the EJ-200 engine loss to the F-414, followed by Eurofighter, they may have quietly walked away from it, leaving the ADA/HAL folks to take care of this steep learning curve.


LCA consultancy was provided by EADS not BAE. But it will be highly unprofessional of EADS to walk away from something that they committed to do just because they did not win some tenders. Doing so might reduce their chances of getting into desi mil market in the future.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Nick_S » 18 Oct 2012 07:05

Paul wrote:Earth to BRF....only in wet dreams will production rate be higher than 20 aircraft/year. Khan will ensure engine supply will always be a constraint.


Nonsense. Khan will not be the constraint. It will be HAL and associated suppliers. Where is LSP 8? :roll:

Also there is no way LCA Mk.2 would start production before 2020. Mk.2 will require its own full IOC before production starts; and seeing that we have to be conservative with flight testing, it will be a while before Mk.2 reaches IOC.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby member_22605 » 18 Oct 2012 09:08

ADA does not feel MkII needs much flight testing. Some ADA guys that i spoke to have said, MkII is more like a MkI with a new engine and that the flight test would be minimal as most of the systems/sub systems have already been proved on the MKI. I personally believe it will be more like the ALH MkI to ALH MkIII progression i.e new engines, new avionics suite but less time on flight tests which happen concurrently with the production as the basic airframe is a proven one. As we add more airframes the flight test time also reduces. So i feel MkI to MkII will not take a lot of time.
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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby putnanja » 18 Oct 2012 09:16

raghu, any insider news on ADA? Why is ADA blacking out all news on LCA progress for last three months?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Nick_S » 18 Oct 2012 10:53

Thanks for the info Raghu.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 18 Oct 2012 10:54

raghuk wrote:ADA does not feel MkII needs much flight testing. Some ADA guys that i spoke to have said, MkII is more like a MkI with a new engine and that the flight test would be minimal as most of the systems/sub systems have already been proved on the MKI.


Raghu Saar , isnt Mk2 a meter longer then Mk1 and perhaps would be less chubbier and more aerodynamically effecient compared to Mk1.

If my understanding is correct than a meter longer would also change CG and newer engine would mean larger intake as its higher thrust needing a fair amount of testing time.

So flight test program wont be as comprehensive as Mk1 but it wont be a short one either as P Rajkumar has alluded that dont expect Mk2 to go into production any thing before 2020.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby vina » 18 Oct 2012 11:04

If my understanding is correct than a meter longer would also change CG and newer engine would mean larger intake as its higher thrust needing a fair amount of testing time.


Not substantially and that range of CG movement will anyway be within that the FCS is designed for. The CG does move both during flight (moves back with speeed, at supersonic regimes,the platform is stable like a conventional plane I think) and also weapons and stores and fuel usage.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 18 Oct 2012 11:15

^^ Agree it wont be substantial but if they manage to fly the first prototype of Mk2 by 2015 and within next 4-5 years completes the entire IOC/FOC and weapons testing program to put into production by 2020 then it really coincides what P Rajkumar think would be the case with Mk2 production.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby neerajb » 18 Oct 2012 11:39

Surya wrote:
It certainly isn't a show stopper but it really is silly to see that Python5 which was considered to be among the best if not the best IR A2A missile on first shot wasn't able to shoot down a cheap, slow moving UAV is to be honest very embarrasing, no matter how small the UAV was, btw this wasn't a test.



A certain IAF officer who used to post on this forum mentioned after the Pakis claimed they shot down our UAV that if they really had done what they claim - they did an excellent job.

that should give you a clue.


I remember watching one of the IAF demos on TV where a MiG-29 fired a R-73 on a target flair and it missed. Another MiG-29 came and shot another R-73 towards the flair and it intercepted it. All this in off-boresight mode. So nothing so shameful in missing the drone the first time. It happens.

Cheers....

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Aditya_V » 18 Oct 2012 12:51

Are you sure it was R-73 and not R-60. I think for many years the IAF Mig-29's used R-60 and not R-73's.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby neerajb » 18 Oct 2012 13:20

The missile was R-73. The flare was almost at 90 degrees to the attackers. It was Vayu Shakti 99 I guess, since that was the first time the demo was telecasted on TV. Google says that it was Su-30 but I remember MiG-29. Will have to look for the video to confirm.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby nakul » 18 Oct 2012 13:26

Q to gurus. How are exports handled? Are the Indian requirements satisfied first or the product is exported while being inducted?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Dileep » 18 Oct 2012 14:38

vina wrote:The CG does move both during flight (moves back with speeed, at supersonic regimes,the platform is stable like a conventional plane I think)

Atheppadi saar? Didn't get how CG can move with speed. Also, if it moves back, how the stability increases? Care to explain please?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby vina » 18 Oct 2012 14:56

Dileep wrote:Atheppadi saar? Didn't get how CG can move with speed. Also, if it moves back, how the stability increases? Care to explain please?


Sorry. That bit is center of lift. It moves back with speed and the plane becomes more stable. However, the CG varies with the use of fuel , ammo , stores etc.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby D Roy » 18 Oct 2012 17:31

The missile was R-73. The flare was almost at 90 degrees to the attackers. It was Vayu Shakti 99 I guess, since that was the first time the demo was telecasted on TV. Google says that it was Su-30 but I remember MiG-29. Will have to look for the video to confirm.


i remember this as well. It was a Su-30 and R-73.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby negi » 18 Oct 2012 18:54

^ I remember it as well, the missile almost did a 180 deg high g turn and hit the flare. Now that I look back at it, I wonder if the missile seeker locking onto the flare is actually a good thing. :oops: :mrgreen:

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby RKumar » 18 Oct 2012 22:27

LCA status from unofficial sources

idrw.org are only putting down information provided by not so regular sources .

* Tejas after Fire power demonstration next year will be cleared for Air to Ground (A2G) Roles only, if IAF is satisfied with the outcomes of the exercise.

* Tejas not yet has cleared Air to Air (A2A) roles yet and aircrafts are currently been getting up-gradation (Radars and avionics and BVR and WVR missiles integrations) on older aircrafts (PV and LSP).

* Tejas once cleared of A2G roles will start A2A testing and it is expected that along with it and other test, FOC will be achieved in 2015.

* Unlikely that in early 2013 SP-1 and SP-2 will be handed over to IAF, Most likely it will be mid or late 2013.

* Flight envelope has been opened up, but nothing to write about says sources, since Target has not been achieved.

* Radar likely to be cleared for A2G mode in current stage.

* HAL might squeeze in first flight of LSP-8 by year end.

* A2G tests have been good and satisfactory as per sources, IAF to take the final call next year.

* Mid-air refuelling testing with IAF’s IL-78 tankers should start next year.

* Slower rate of productions of LSP has created another sets of problem; many aircrafts (LSP) are not identical in terms of Avionics and structural changes (ex, Optimization of APU intakes and different pilot avionics layout in latter variant). Leading to delays in upgrading of older aircrafts with current changes.

idrw.org will post again if we have any other kind of information on it .

nakul
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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby nakul » 18 Oct 2012 23:17

^^^

That fits in right with the speculation that IAF is short on AG aircrafts. The Mig 27 is going to retire in 2017. The Tejas had done bombing before its induction is itself quite unusual. The norm is AA in the first tranche followed by AG in later versions. LCA was never going to be an air superiority tool. The IAF should induct it ASAP.

Singha
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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 19 Oct 2012 08:18

even with basic radar A2A and derby it should be good enough for local area defences and tackling strike a/c trying to hit our vital areas...ie break up strikes, knock out a few, pounce on stragglers...the kind of original climb-and-slash role Mig21 did modified for the modern era.

with full radar A2A modes and better engine, it should be able to hold its own against the upg M2K in air superiority mission.

vina
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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby vina » 19 Oct 2012 10:51

Singha wrote:with full radar A2A modes and better engine, it should be able to hold its own against the upg M2K in air superiority mission

With a far better t:w ratio, it will trounce it in the A2A role as far as field performance goes. Not just the M2K , but the Mig 29 upg as well.

The LCA MKII really is the replacement for the Mig29, Mig 21 air defence platforms. The AMCA is the replacement for Jags and M2K (which in India are largely ground strike and not air superiority). The M2K upg and Mig 29Upg will soldier on for a decade before the AESA and 100KN engine equipped MKIIs start coming into service in numbers.


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