Victor wrote:Who is this "everyone"? The MoD, especially a BJP MoD, can and will tell the IAF to shut up and swallow the LCA without complaint as-is if it is convinced that is the best thing to do, and the IAF will have no option but to follow orders. That however has not happened, has it?
BJP govt will do that if it benefits Ambani or Adani, else have no illusions about their performance.
The people who know the real situation must realize there is a good reason to not go whole hog with the LCA Mk1. All reports point to the fact that it will not be fully ready for combat even after FOC in its current avatar.
What are "all those reports?" care to post references? other than the DDM reports there are no official ones which comes to this conclusion.
A huge part of the problem is that it was designed without due regard to production line processes and ease of maintenance and DRDO/HAL has admitted as much.
Can you post any references of such admittance by ADA/HAL? On the contrary there are several references on how LCA Tejas was designed from ground up to consist LRUs that could help in its easy maintenance. There were more than 500 LRUs in the TD planes which were now brought down to 358 at the time of IOC2. 53% of those are manufactured indigenously and efforts are on to increase that %. Source: https://www.ada.gov.in/images/ADA-IND.pdf
A more fundamental problem was our weird obsession with a "light fighter" concept in one of the world's most dangerous neighborhoods. This is a product of our pathetically misplaced loin cloth and lathi mentality that has resulted in an aircraft that is fit only for pilots with shoe sizes of 9 or less. We should hope that the Mk2 corrects the shortcomings of Mk1 asap but the full changes needed may be more than merely cosmetic. If that is the case, we need to be patient and not put pressure on DRDO/HAL. It is now even more urgent that we get this right and rushing the design will be a disaster.
This is BS.
Tejas is light fighter not only because of its size but because of efficient engineering. There were detailed articles in Vayu magazine about those optimizations carried out in design and TD phase. TD-1 had 10K components which were brought down to 7k in subsequent flights. It had more than 500 LRUs which were brought down to 358.
Coming to the highlighted portion- I had a
moment after reading that sentence. LCA is not the first aircraft that had problems with its cockpit arrangements nor it would be the last. To give you a perspective:
1.Nirmal jit Singh Sekhon couldn't fit in the GNAT fighter's cockpit initially, he had to modify a bit. That didn't stop him from flying and earning PVC for that valiant fight over Srinagar skies.
2.Several years ago Shiv posted a link to the Air Crash investigation report for SU7 which details how a design flaw/issue on the SU7 cockpit sliding mechanism resulted in it hit the pilot's head when he is trying to eject. That report also points to incorrect height adjustment that the pilot is flying with. That didn't stop IAF from deploying it for combat duties.
3. Su30 MKI had some issues on how the switches are placed in way it was difficult for the pilots to see and operate. This resulted in a crash and later IAF sealed off those switches or changed their location.
These DDM articles that are coming out now are clubbing together the issues which were reported overall several years to paint a bleak picture about the LCA. Perhaps the handiwork of the arms lobbies to drive up the dhoti shiver by a notch. I haven't read any IAF chief proclaiming that LCA Mk.1 cannot be employed for combat duties. Neither the Mk.2 was a IAF original requirement. It is well established that it was a Navy requirement which IAF latched onto.
As Indranil pointed above, 2-3hour turn around time is not that bad as it made to look like. Talk about lack of documentation is proven wrong by none other Mr. Tamil Mani of CEMILAC. Hope better sense prevails in India's MoD and it pushes for the LCA Mk.1 induction in quick pace.