LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

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Kartik
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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Kartik » 07 Oct 2014 09:22

Shrinivasan wrote:
indranilroy wrote:The only take away from that article is that the toe-touch problem (first reported in AI-11) may not have been cleared yet.

Indranil, even this has been Pooh-Poohed by people in the know...There is no ejection Seat issue, no lengthening of the plane, no issues with placement of components (deep inside the plane). also turnaround time has been proven time and again to be in 1-2 hours timeframe by HAL mechanics in IAF bases (away from their home base of HAL BLR). When in the hands of IAF mechanics in BRDs, with all parts and tools readily available, this should be reduced further or maintained...not increased. There could be wait time as there would be a limited set of LCA certified mechanics in any base to start with... but then this is a problem with any fighter.


Turn-around time doesn't necessarily include the time taken for something like an engine switch. There may still be issues with the time taken to remove the engine due to ancillary connections being designed without any explicit requirement for a quick engine switch.

To be honest, the blame lies partly with the IAF for such a situation, since they didn't have an embedded team with the LCA developers and they should have been the ones giving the requirements on that. Experts in the field will be the ones who would have the best idea as to which parts/connections/LRUs are most commonly accessed and require the most easy access.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Shrinivasan » 08 Oct 2014 05:29

Me thinks turnaround time is NOT an issue, this has never come out in the open until this LIFAFA Farticle, so lets wait for something more authentic...Saurav Jha tweeted yesterday about these being non-issues...
Edit: Fixed the name.. Sorry Saurav!!!
Last edited by Shrinivasan on 08 Oct 2014 09:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby deejay » 08 Oct 2014 07:00

^^^ Sir jee, Saurav Jha will sue you for libelous name calling if you make that mistake of 'Sanjay Jha' again. :mrgreen:

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby JayS » 08 Oct 2014 19:03

As expected

Saurav Jha ‏@SJha1618

LCA update #10: As you may have guessed MK-1 will have a fixed boom for IFR. DRDO confirms.


He also tweeted that it will be bolted one which can be attach/remove on short notice.

Other bunch of pointer (from MOD report 2014 i think) related to LCA/Kaveri project.

Saurav Jha @SJha1618 · 19h 19 hours ago

BTW DRDO seems to have dropped its earlier plan of flying the Kaveri in a Tejas PV. There is some talk of acquiring a Mig-29 testbed.


Saurav Jha @SJha1618 · 21h 21 hours ago

#MOD2014 DRDO has developed single crystal casting process for high pressure turbine blades (HPTB) and high pressure turbine vanes (HPTV)


Saurav Jha @SJha1618 · 21h 21 hours ago

And now for the big one: DRDO has taken up development of Uttam AESA for fighters with 100 km range and multimode operation. #MOD2014


#MOD2014 update: PV-1 is currently trialling a new EW suite which will make the MK-I very difficult to detect indeed in an 'airborne melee'


The report looks real juicy. Will have to read it completely.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Shrinivasan » 08 Oct 2014 20:45

^^^ I am thinking of a separate thread for analyzing the MOD AR... if BR Admins approve.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby srai » 11 Oct 2014 07:10

Tejas Writes to IAF wishing on 82nd b'day. Promises to be at Hindon next year.
Tarmak007
Managed to access the copy of a letter Tejas sent to IAF today, on the eve of 82nd IAF Day. It's Moving It's Inspiring It's Passionate It's Different
----------------------------------------------------

Dear IAF,

My special greetings on your 82nd b'day! I saw some photos on Tarmak007 and was happy to see that Hindon Station is all decked up for the AF Day Parade on October 8. Last year too I missed flying there and this year too I will be missing.

But my dad in ADA, mom in HAL and uncle in DRDO promise that for your 83rd birthday -- I will be surely there. Not in the current yellow-pillow colour. I hate this yellow paint. But, I shall come in the mesmerizing IAF Squadron colours.

I met some of the Tejas Squadron pilots in Bangalore the other day at NFTC and one guy asked me: ”Aur kitna wait karna padega? (How long we have to wait?).” They are in a hurry to take me to Sulur, my honeymoon base. Nice guys!

Some of my cousins have gone to Jaisalmer to celebrate Diwali. This time they are firing some new bombs and missiles.

These media chaps are behind me again and they are saying I am light, but late. These guys don’t know: Better late than never!

It's raining in Bangalore now and I have some night flying lined up as well. Send me some photos of AF Day Parade on WhatsApp. If time permits, please do reply after the b'day bash.

Happy B’day. Miss you guys!

Love

Tejas
Oct 7, 2014

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Vipul » 12 Oct 2014 06:15

The last Jet-Engine laugh.

January 4, 2001 was a cloudless Thursday. The Met office forecast light winds over Bangalore. In the 39 years that he had spent as a commissioned officer of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar had seldom seen conditions better than these to fly a fighter jet.

The phone in his home rang at 6.30 am. The man on the other end of the line, Dr Kota Harinarayana, Programme Director of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project, said the multi-role fighter was being towed to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) runway after final pre-flight checks. Air Marshal Rajkumar hurried to the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC), which he had set up in 1994 at the HAL airport for the express purpose of evaluating the LCA.

He was met by Air Chief Marshal AY Tipnis, who, as the head of the Indian Air Force, had recently overseen sorties deployed to take out high-altitude positions held by Pakistan-backed insurgents in Drass, Kargil and Batalik sectors on the Indian side of the Line of Control. Dr VK Aatre, scientific adviser to Defence Minister George Fernandes and Dr Harinarayana were among others gathered in the test centre. The flight briefing began at 8 am.

Two hours later, on the airstrip outside, Air Marshal Rajkumar, who was deputed by the IAF to help develop the aircraft, walked with Wing Commander Rajiv Kothiyal to the narrow white band of paint known as the flight line, where the LCA was parked. "It was all white as prototype aircrafts are usually painted in a high visibility paint scheme for ease of tracking with optical trackers," Air Marshal Rajkumar, who retired as the Programme Director of the LCA project in 2001, recounted in his 2007 book The Tejas Story: The Light Combat Aircraft Project. "It looked beautiful and had IAF roundels on its wings and the tricolour flash on the tail fin. The tail number was KH 2001 in honour of Dr Kota Harinarayana, and the year of the first flight."

At 10.18 am, Wing Commander Kothiyal, a 42-year-old graduate of the Unites States Air Force Test Pilots School, raised the LCA's nose wheel, angling the country's first indigenous fighter jet into the air.

As IAF's records have it, the LCA was conceived in 1981, when Air Chief Marshal Idris Hasan Latif, vexed by the unreliable Ajeet ground attack aircraft flown by the Air Force and anticipating the need to replace the ageing Russian MiG 21 fighters, which he determined would have to be eased out of service in the 90s, had several conversations with his prime minister, Indira Gandhi, urging her to constitute a search committee to recommend a substitute.

According to a senior aerospace and robotics scientist with intimate knowledge of the proceedings, the panel, headed by Dr Sitaram Rao Valluri, Director of National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), which has its offices in Bangalore, gathered at regular intervals but was unable to arrive at a consensus. "Dr Raja Ramanna, who was the Scientific Adviser to R Venkataraman, the Defence Minister at the time, was quite frustrated with the lack of progress and looked for a way to hasten the process," the scientist told Mumbai Mirror.

Dr VS Arunachalam, the 46-year-old Director of the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory in Hyderabad, who had been moved to Delhi to take Dr Ramanna's place as Venkataraman's confidant in 1982, was asked to precipitate matters. "I began to develop a few ideas that summer," he said. "It soon became apparent to me that we would have to build a fighter aircraft from scratch and not go shopping for one."

Dr Arunachalam assembled a presentation to bolster his case for an indigenous solution and made the pitch to Gandhi and Venkataraman, arguing for Bangalore as the base of operations. "There were many sceptics at the time, but Venkataraman was convinced," he said - privately, those critical of the project, which was officially denominated the LCA, began to refer to it as Last Chance for Arunachalam.

Despite the resistance, a budget of Rs 500 crore was sanctioned for the LCA in 1983. "It is to Arunachalam's everlasting credit that he convinced the government to fund the project," Air Marshal Rajkumar told this paper.

What the scientific adviser did next was unusual by the standards of accepted practice. Instead of fashioning a typical defence research laboratory peopled with scientists recruited for the specific purpose of creating a multirole fighter jet, Arunachalam set up a cooperative society of sorts. "It might have seemed unconventional - (Krishnaswamy) Raosaheb (the Cabinet Secretary) even took me aside and said, 'you're creating a society for bombers and fighters,' - but there was no doubt in my mind that this was the method to adopt," Arunachalam said.

The division that was created, named the Aeronautical Development Agency, would serve as an orchestra conductor - drawing on the depth of scientific resources available at the various Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) labs in the city, incubating micro departments within larger host laboratories, and generally fostering a massively complex collaborative exercise that spanned Bangalore and reached research bureaus in several parts of the country. "Bangalore had so many venerable institutions - NAL, HAL, Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) - so it was evident that all the talent we needed was resident here," he said.

The IAF, however, wasn't entirely convinced the gambit would work. "The scientists who were deputed to work on the LCA had never been near an aircraft of this sort before, but they projected confidence," an IAF pilot associated with the project said. "This was a confidence born out of ignorance." He maintained that the air force was a reluctant client, preferring instead to set out into the market to look for a fighter jet. "We were also unconvinced by the ridiculous timeframe that was being touted - five years," he added. Because it was evident that the DRDO and government were unflinching in their commitment to building the LCA, the pilot said the IAF thought it best to make the most of the situation by proposing a compromise. Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy, a distinguished airman who would be appointed the country's Air Chief Marshal in 2001, proposed that the aircraft be built as a Technology Development project.

"Four critical aspects would be tested during the build - the creation of a glass cockpit (in which all instrumentation is digital), engineering a fly-bywire system (electronically controlling the aircraft), building a composite airframe (out of multiple materials) and fashioning microprocessor mounted systems (driven by a computer chip)," explained Air Marshal Rajkumar.

Of the 15 major Bangalore institutions that arrayed themselves around the LCA programme, NAL, which was set up in 1960 as the nation's second largest aerospace firm, in the Mysore Maharajah's stables on Jayamahal Road (it moved to its headquarters in Kodihalli in the mid-60s), played a pivotal role in addressing two of these aspects. "Apart from the airframe, NAL developed the LCA's flight control systems," said Professor Roddam Narasimha, former director of the establishment. Although Dr Arunachalam came to represent the public face of the LCA project in 1983, very few people outside a small tribe of scientists know that Professor Narasimha chaired the first meeting at which elemental aspects of an indigenous light fighter jet were discussed, at the offices of NAL, in 1979.

It isn't entirely accurate to describe the LCA as a home-grown bird. While the idea was birthed in a conference facility in Bangalore, approved in New Delhi's South Block and built and tested in and around Bangalore's HAL facility, several foreign consultants assumed critical roles in its development. "General Electric (GE) supplied us 11 engines and British Aerospace and Martin Marietta helped with airframe integration," a test pilot associated with the LCA's build said. "And in 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who had become friendly with US President Ronald Reagan elicited a promise from the Americans that the Pentagon's facility in Wright-Paterson Air Force Base, Ohio would help build the fly-by-wire systems. Apart from this, Dassault Systems (a French company) and Lockheed Martin too were roped in to create the avionics. In fact, a team of avionics experts from DRDO were flown to Lockheed Martin's offices in Binghamton, New York, to work with American engineers to develop the software."

It was in 1998, close to a decade after several such collaborative efforts were established and Phase 1 of the undertaking was apace, that Indian ingenuity was really tested. On May 11 and 13, Atal Behari Vajpayee's National Democratic Alliance government ordered the detonation of one fusion and five fission devices at the Pokhran Test Range, Rajasthan. Two months later, after an incensed US administration declared punitive sanctions against India, the avionics engineers were evicted from Lockheed Martin's New York facility, with the LCA's fly-by-wire system far from complete. "But they came back home and built the whole thing themselves," said Dr Arunachalam. "We'd also managed to keep one of the 11 GE engines," added Air Marshal Rajkumar. "Our scientists stripped the thing down to its bones and reverse engineered it from scratch."

In the next two years, the flight controls were developed, hardware and software married, verification and validation of the software completed and "hardware-in-the-loop testing achieved" - in which the actual physical controls are evaluated on a ground-based frame. The aircraft was now ready for taxi trails. "We did 17 of those," recalled Air Marshal Rajkumar. "We began with a 75 kmph run and eventually went up to 200 kmph (the aircraft begins to lift off between 250 and 270 kmph)." On December 24, 2000, he notified the programme director that the LCA was ready to fly.

On the Thursday of the first trial flight, Squadron Leader Suneet Krishna watched from the cockpit of a Mirage 2000 chase aircraft as the LCA lifted off on one of 12 short trips in Phase 1 of testing - two of the French planes tailed the jet that morning, one piloted by Air Chief Marshal Tipnis and Wing Commander Tarun Bannerjee and the other by Wing Commander Raghunath Nambiar and Squadron Leader Krishna. By 2002, Krishna would find himself tugging at the joystick of the light combat aircraft for the first time - in the next two years he would fly over a 100 flights, each lasting between 20 minutes and an hour.

On May 4, 2003, Vajpayee officially baptised the aircraft as Tejas.

"I left the programme in 2004 and returned in 2009," said Krishna, who is now a Group Captain. "By the time I came back much of the changes that were under development had been incorporated. We flew it with all sorts of weapons on board. In 2011, we dropped the first laser guided bomb from the Tejas." Since then, Group Captain Krishna has flown the fighter over 400 times, the most by any test pilot at the NFTC.

Two years later, in December, Tejas received Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) from the IAF, meaning it was ready to be flown by air force pilots, with limited weapons on board. On September 30 this year, the first of 20 production aircraft with IOC certification was piloted by HAL's chief test pilot, Air Commodore K A Muthanna. "The aircraft is now ready for IAF operations," said HAL Chairman Dr R K Thyagi. Several scientists gathered at the event were of the opinion that Tejas could enter service by March 2015, after it receives Final Operational Clearance in December this year.

The IAF, however, isn't as sanguine. "Some of the doubts that sprung up in 1983 still persist," a former combat pilot who is familiar with the project said. "The Air Force has asked for changes to be made to the cockpit and for some additional weapons systems to be included in the specs." On October 4, a television channel, citing defence ministry sources, claimed that the IAF expects the first Tejas "squadron to be available by 2017-18."

Professor Narasimha, who was emphatic in his endorsement of the project - "I don't think there has ever been a more exciting time for aeronautics in India," he said - was just as forceful in putting on record his chagrin about the delay in the IAF inducting the Tejas into its fleet. "There is a much deeper problem here," he said. "What is singularly lacking in this country is a strategic vision. It's a pity that we haven't created a single, overarching agency to resolve all these issues. This would have prevented such delays. I can tell you with confidence that the LCA is ready to fly for the Indian Air Force."

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby srai » 12 Oct 2014 08:33

Vipul wrote:The last Jet-Engine laugh.

...

It was in 1998, close to a decade after several such collaborative efforts were established and Phase 1 of the undertaking was apace, that Indian ingenuity was really tested. On May 11 and 13, Atal Behari Vajpayee's National Democratic Alliance government ordered the detonation of one fusion and five fission devices at the Pokhran Test Range, Rajasthan. Two months later, after an incensed US administration declared punitive sanctions against India, the avionics engineers were evicted from Lockheed Martin's New York facility, with the LCA's fly-by-wire system far from complete. "But they came back home and built the whole thing themselves," said Dr Arunachalam. "We'd also managed to keep one of the 11 GE engines," added Air Marshal Rajkumar. "Our scientists stripped the thing down to its bones and reverse engineered it from scratch."

In the next two years, the flight controls were developed, hardware and software married, verification and validation of the software completed and "hardware-in-the-loop testing achieved" - in which the actual physical controls are evaluated on a ground-based frame. The aircraft was now ready for taxi trails. "We did 17 of those," recalled Air Marshal Rajkumar. "We began with a 75 kmph run and eventually went up to 200 kmph (the aircraft begins to lift off between 250 and 270 kmph)." On December 24, 2000, he notified the programme director that the LCA was ready to fly.

...


So if the "[DRDO] scientists stripped the thing [GE engine] down to its bones and reverse engineered it from scratch" post 1998, GTRE would have a fairly good idea on how the GE 404 engines are put together and would have incorporated that, where it made sense, into the Kaveri design. Likewise, they would also have a fairly good idea on the design and schematics of the Russian and French engines.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby SaiK » 12 Oct 2014 08:46

One can claim victory with LCA only with Kaveri in it! genuinely speaking and not from mil specific requirements.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby geeth » 12 Oct 2014 09:28

What is this thingee about 'they managed to retain one and strip it'? All 11 engines had arrived in India and fitted on to LCAs . The Kaveri was already running in testbed by 1998. If one could strip and reverse engineer a jet engine, Chinese would have flooded the market with clones.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby srai » 12 Oct 2014 10:12

geeth wrote:What is this thingee about 'they managed to retain one and strip it'? All 11 engines had arrived in India and fitted on to LCAs . The Kaveri was already running in testbed by 1998. If one could strip and reverse engineer a jet engine, Chinese would have flooded the market with clones.


I think it is more of them pulling it apart and then putting it back together and still have a functional engine at the end of the exercise. This sort of exercise would help in creating detailed schematics of that engine design, which could be studied in detail to better understand what components are put where and how they are put together. You can use that architecture for your own engine design. However if you want to truly "reverse-engineer" it, there would still be a lot of R&D involved to develop each of those components that function at the desired levels within those engine specifications.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby SaiK » 12 Oct 2014 19:17

^that sort of things only done in post production maintenance and operational process. it has nothing to do with reverse engineering. where is the engineering here? :)

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby srai » 13 Oct 2014 07:51

So far, the IAF hasn't required the LCA, as part of its FOC, to fire unguided rockets. Unguided rocket & their pods seem to be going out of fashion for combat jets. None of the newer 4th/5th gen jets have these pods integrated. That role seems to have been completely shifted over to combat helicopters.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Zynda » 13 Oct 2014 13:43

prasannasimha wrote:There is (to the best of my knowledge) right now a Project assistant recruiting call right now. Please tell them to see the ADA website right now under recruitment.
I will get back to you regarding the outsourced hirers. Someone known to me was recruited through them.Will ask details.


Sir, just following up. Were you able to get information about the firm who manages ADA contract hires?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Vipul » 14 Oct 2014 02:24

India Offers To Spend $12B To Break Monopoly.

The Indian government, acting on Air Force demands, has offered to spend $12 billion to encourage private firms to establish an aircraft manufacturing facility — a move that would break Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s monopoly on aircraft manufacturing after years of delays on several projects.

Specifically, the Indian government has offered an advance order for the homemade light combat aircraft (LCA) Mark-2, a Defence Ministry source said.

The offer was conveyed to senior private sector executives during several meetings with MoD officials in the last month, the source said. India’s private defense majors, Tata Group, Mahindra & Mahindra and Larsen and Toubro, are the most capable of setting up an additional military aircraft plant, either independently or in partnership with overseas firms.

None of the executives who participated in the meeting would comment on whether they would consider building such a facility.

Madhukar Vinayak Kotwal, president, Heavy Engineering of Larsen & Toubro, said, “Since this building of an additional facility] is a matter currently under discussion at various levels in the government as well as in industry associations, we would like to refrain from giving any comments at this stage.”

The LCA, developed by Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is nearly 20 years behind schedule. The first order for 40 of the Mark-1 version of the aircraft has been given to state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL). The final operational clearance is expected to be granted in 2015, after which the aircraft can go into production.

The Indian Air Force has a future requirement for only the next-generation LCA Mark-2, which would be powered by the higher thrust General Electric GE-414 engine. But the aircraft is still in the development stage and is not expected to be ready for production before 2017-18. The Air Force has a requirement for 250 LCA Mark-2s, which the government estimates would be covered by the $12 billion advance order.

The Air Force has demanded establishment of an additional aircraft facility to break the monopoly of HAL, India’s sole military aircraft manufacturer, and has complained of delays in delivery of aircraft.

HAL, with annual sales of $2.3 billion for the year that ended March 31, has produced more than 50 types of aircraft and helicopters, and has been designated as the production agency for the $12 billion Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft program, in which Dassault’s Rafale has been short-listed as the favored aircraft.

“It is absolutely essential to set up an additional military aircraft facility here, as HAL is overloaded for the next 10 years and has become too unwieldy,” defense acquisition expert Miral Suman said.

Vivek Rae, former director general (acquisition) in the MoD, said, “India sorely needs aircraft manufacturing capability in the private sector. We cannot afford to put all eggs in the HAL basket.” Subhash Bhojwani, retired Air Force air marshal, agreed an additional manufacturing facility is needed, but said HAL should be made more commercial.

“HAL is into the design and contemporary manufacture of fighters, transports, trainers and helicopters, as well as avionics and engines,” he said. “It is possibly the only company in the world to be so diversified. However, while this may sound good in a book of world records, it isn’t good as a commercial model.”

Defense analyst Amit Cowshish, a retired Defence Ministry bureaucrat, said the objective should be “not to create an entity that could compete with HAL but to have additional capability in India to manufacture aircraft so that the requirement, both of the military and civil sectors, could be met in a more cost-effective manner and in shorter time frames. Of course, competition would help in improving HAL’s efficiency.”

Sujith Haridas, deputy director general of India’s industry lobbying agency, the Confederation of Indian Industry, said, “It is very much desired to have an additional manufacturing facility, but one should not ignore that it takes several decades of consistent investment and efforts to create a mammoth system integrator like HAL.”

Analysts disagree about whether the new facility should be used to build fighter aircraft.India’s private sector is able to set up such a facility, and could acquire the capability to build the LCA Mark-2 over time, but it could be a challenge, Cowshish said.

“LCA is a program in the pipeline for more than three decades. HAL and DRDO have worked hard on it, and the final operational clearance is expected sometime later this year,” he said. “To bring in a new manufacturing agency at this stage may not be a very good idea. Though it is possible to pass on the technology to the private industry for manufacturing the aircraft, selecting such an agency may turn out to be a [technically] tricky affair.”

Defense analyst Rahul Bhonsle said, “Setting up a new military aircraft facility is no doubt a Herculean task. But the new facility will be looking primarily at system integration.”

But Muthumanikam Matheswaran, retired air marshal and adviser (for strategy) to the chairman of HAL, said no private-sector aircraft facility could build the LCA.

“There appears to be a misconception that if ADA wishes, the LCA can be produced by the private sector. Nothing can be further from truth. The LCA cannot be produced by anybody without the major involvement of HAL.”

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby JTull » 14 Oct 2014 02:49

For those who were waiting for Modi effect and out-of-box thinking....

This advance towards setting up a new line is very welcome. Takes away the risk such as when L&T made massive investments in anticipation of order for IN but none came.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Indranil » 14 Oct 2014 03:04

Nice article. The question is a difficult one and the reporter doesn't try to answer it. He just portrays the pros and cons of both sides and leaves the reader to form his/her opinion.

Here are my mine:
1. This is a much needed decision which was long overdue! But LCA Mk2 is not the right platform for doing this (just because IAF has its beliefs). HAL has invested a lot in LCA. Finally, the project is on track and there is much needed momentum. Now to take away the fruits of production will only dishearten HAL. And if HAL loses interest in LCA today, the project will be set back by a few years again (a death knell).

2. Why not start the process with AMCA?!! Build up the teams, build up the hardware, build up the design of the plane. Arre, invest a little! There are sure orders at the end of the product development, large govt. grants on the way, many developers to poach (excellent opportunity for the poacher and the developers. I think this is required) and faith of the customer (without having doing anything). Can't get better than this. Par thoda toh mehnat karo, yaar!

3. It is funny that Ambanis think that they can start manufacturing the Rafale from yesterday. But when it comes to LCA, they are not even at the table! I am pro-privatization, but to believe that just by allowing the private sector in, every problem will magically disappear cannot be called anything else but blind bias.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Nikhil T » 14 Oct 2014 03:27

^100% agree.

BAe Hawk would've been a much better candidate for production by a private sector - decent numbers, relatively easier technology and involvement of a foreign company that has well codified processes & tool set. That would've given Pvt Sector experience of building a aircraft by collaborating with the design agency (BAe), setting them for a more complex technology transfer from HAL. Also, would've assured work for 30 years in terms of maintenance and supply of spares.

I think the LCH could be the next candidate for production by Pvt Sector - its based on the Dhruv for which HAL has proven production expertise and will be inducted in numbers & possibly be further produced for an unmanned role later.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby nachiket » 14 Oct 2014 04:16

indranilroy wrote:Nice article. The question is a difficult one and the reporter doesn't try to answer it. He just portrays the pros and cons of both sides and leaves the reader to form his/her opinion.

Here are my mine:
1. This is a decision is much needed and long due! But LCA Mk2 is not the right platform for doing this (just because IAF has its beliefs). HAL has invested a lot in LCA. Finally, the project is on track and there is much needed momentum. Now to take away the fruits of production will only dishearten HAL. And if HAL loses interest in LCA today, the project will be set back by a few years again (a death knell).

2. Why not start the process with AMCA?!! Build up the teams, build up the hardware, build up the design of the plane. Arre, invest a little! There are sure orders at the end of the product development, large govt. grants on the way, many developers to poach (excellent opportunity for the poacher and the developers. I think this is required) and faith of the customer (without having doing anything). Can't get better than this. Par thoda toh mehnat karo, yaar!

There's another option. Order more Mk1's. Enough to keep HAL interested even if Mk2 production goes to a private corp. Mk2 R&D is anyways handled by ADA and not HAL.

Rafale deal is on the verge of going down the pakistan as it is. Once the IAF is sure they aren't getting any Rafale's, a few more Mk1 squadrons won't look so bad.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Cosmo_R » 14 Oct 2014 04:26

^^^ HAL (IBM in 2000 a Space Odyssey) seems like an evil (yet incompetent) entity.

Why are we so afraid of HAL?

It's a PSU and a badly run, overextended one at that.

LCA can't be done without HAL? Hah!. Hive off people and share the blueprints withe PVT sector. It's not like HAL has scale manufacturing IP.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Shalav » 14 Oct 2014 05:54

Cosmo_R wrote:....

Hive off people and share the blueprints withe PVT sector. It's not like HAL has scale manufacturing IP.


Why would someone working in the Public Sector, leave for a Private sector job?

Despite popular belief, building aircraft ALSO requires experienced people. Just blueprints will not cut it. These are not kits which can be assembled by bolting bolt K into hole 57 using nut G.

Take the example of the wing structure attachment to the fuselage. Most people think we just bolt on the wings based on the blueprints, and we will be good to go. When the wings are bolted on, you need to ensure both PERFECT symmetry and load balance. Even today while machines assist in doing the heavy work, people have to be present to ensure a perfect fit. One has to also ensure the torque does not create an asymmetry in the fuselage for starters. Then there is the issue of wing warp while the bonding adhesive is curing, getting that right takes experience. The manual will only show the directions, you still have to "drive" there.

Till the private players get experienced fitters, which is a highly skilled job, they are not going to be successful. HAL has built that experience, in-house. Furthermore since the private sector has never shown the foresight to actually build that in-house experience. It costs time and money, which they have never spent.

There are so many other issues in the aircraft build process, that a simple blueprint transfer does not cover it. Its the intangibles, not the blueprints which make for successful aircraft assembly.

If the private sector is interested in aircraft design and build, they should be given R&D grants to develop their own designs and the time to build their own in-house skills. Transplanting as suggested will lead to the BOTH the donor and the beneficiary dying.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Hobbes » 14 Oct 2014 06:09

Shalav wrote:
Cosmo_R wrote:....

Hive off people and share the blueprints withe PVT sector. It's not like HAL has scale manufacturing IP.


Why would someone working in the Public Sector, leave for a Private sector job?

Despite popular belief, building aircraft ALSO requires experienced people. Just blueprints will not cut it. These are not kits which can be assembled by bolting bolt K into hole 57 using nut G.

Take the example of the wing structure attachment to the fuselage. Most people think we just bolt on the wings based on the blueprints, and we will be good to go. When the wings are bolted on, you need to ensure both PERFECT symmetry and load balance. Even today while machines assist in doing the heavy work, people have to be present to ensure a perfect fit. One has to also ensure the torque does not create an asymmetry in the fuselage for starters. Then there is the issue of wing warp while the bonding adhesive is curing, getting that right takes experience. The manual will only show the directions, you still have to "drive" there.

Till the private players get experienced fitters, which is a highly skilled job, they are not going to be successful. HAL has built that experience, in-house. Furthermore since the private sector has never shown the foresight to actually build that in-house experience. It costs time and money, which they have never spent.

There are so many other issues in the aircraft build process, that a simple blueprint transfer does not cover it. Its the intangibles, not the blueprints which make for successful aircraft assembly.

If the private sector is interested in aircraft design and build, they should be given R&D grants to develop their own designs and the time to build their own in-house skills. Transplanting as suggested will lead to the BOTH the donor and the beneficiary dying.


Foresight? Money never spent? I am truly puzzled by your statement, considering that right until a few months back aircraft manufacture, and more particularly the manufacture of military aircraft, was restricted to the DPSUs by Government fiat. Why would a private sector unit invest any effort or money into something they would never be permitted to pursue?

OTOH L&T and Pipavav were hopeful of getting Navy orders, and so have built up excellent capabilities in military shipbuilding - and yet have almost no orders to date. Does that show enough foresight?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby srai » 14 Oct 2014 07:19

If we look at the European model for aircraft production, major sections, such as left/right wings, main fuselage, tail and front section, are subdivided amongst many industrial partners, and they all deliver to a final assembly plant (which could be one or a few).

Let's take Eurofighter work share between BAE, Alenia and EADS as an example:
Image

So rather than just thinking as one entity doing all of the work, India should look at work share arrangement (i.e. HAL, TATA, Mahindra, L&T, Reliance etc.) to build up its national capability utilising both private and public sectors.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby deejay » 14 Oct 2014 07:20

Vipul wrote:India Offers To Spend $12B To Break Monopoly.

The Indian government, acting on Air Force demands, ...
... — a move that would break Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s monopoly on aircraft manufacturing after years of delays on several projects.

Specifically, the Indian government has offered an advance order for the homemade light combat aircraft (LCA) Mark-2, a Defence Ministry source said. (Non IAF Source, unamed, the only insider quote)

The offer was conveyed to senior private sector executives during several meetings with MoD officials in the last month, the source said. India’s private defense majors, Tata Group, Mahindra & Mahindra and Larsen and Toubro, are the most capable of setting up an additional military aircraft plant, either independently or in partnership with overseas firms.

None of the executives who participated in the meeting would comment on whether they would consider building such a facility.

Madhukar Vinayak Kotwal, president, Heavy Engineering of Larsen & Toubro, said, “Since this building of an additional facility] is a matter currently under discussion at various levels in the government as well as in industry associations, we would like to refrain from giving any comments at this stage.” (Non IAF Source, nothing specific)

....

... The Air Force has a requirement for 250 LCA Mark-2s, which the government estimates would be covered by the $12 billion advance order. (No Source but the numbers are big)

The Air Force has demanded establishment of an additional aircraft facility to break the monopoly of HAL, ... (No source).

.....

“It is absolutely essential to set up an additional military aircraft facility here, as HAL is overloaded for the next 10 years and has become too unwieldy,” defense acquisition expert Miral Suman said. (Non IAF Source)

Vivek Rae, former director general (acquisition) in the MoD, said, “India sorely needs aircraft manufacturing capability in the private sector. We cannot afford to put all eggs in the HAL basket.” (Non IAF Source, ex MOD)

Subhash Bhojwani, retired Air Force air marshal, agreed an additional manufacturing facility is needed, but said HAL should be made more commercial. “HAL is into the design and contemporary manufacture of fighters, transports, trainers and helicopters, as well as avionics and engines,” he said. “It is possibly the only company in the world to be so diversified. However, while this may sound good in a book of world records, it isn’t good as a commercial model.”
(Retd IAF source, wants HAL to be 'more commercial', good to see veterans understand 'commercial' things but speaks volumes about the column when retired military men are the main quotes for commercial matters)

Defense analyst Amit Cowshish, a retired Defence Ministry bureaucrat, said the objective should be “not to create an entity that could compete with HAL but to have additional capability in India to manufacture aircraft so that the requirement, both of the military and civil sectors, could be met in a more cost-effective manner and in shorter time frames. Of course, competition would help in improving HAL’s efficiency.” (Non IAF Source, ex - MOD)

Sujith Haridas, deputy director general of India’s industry lobbying agency, the Confederation of Indian Industry, said, “It is very much desired to have an additional manufacturing facility, but one should not ignore that it takes several decades of consistent investment and efforts to create a mammoth system integrator like HAL.”
....

“LCA is a program in the pipeline for more than three decades. HAL and DRDO have worked hard on it, and the final operational clearance is expected sometime later this year,” he said. “To bring in a new manufacturing agency at this stage may not be a very good idea. Though it is possible to pass on the technology to the private industry for manufacturing the aircraft, selecting such an agency may turn out to be a [technically] tricky affair.” (Non IAF source)

Defense analyst Rahul Bhonsle said, “Setting up a new military aircraft facility is no doubt a Herculean task. But the new facility will be looking primarily at system integration.” (Non IAF source)

But Muthumanikam Matheswaran, retired air marshal and adviser (for strategy) to the chairman of HAL, said no private-sector aircraft facility could build the LCA.

“There appears to be a misconception that if ADA wishes, the LCA can be produced by the private sector. Nothing can be further from truth. The LCA cannot be produced by anybody without the major involvement of HAL. (Retd IAF person and haven't I disagreed with him, but look he speaks in favour of HAL)”


The article appears to be an effort in the direction of some interests. IAF has been kept in the background as the agency which wants to branch out but no where in the article did I see an official IAF source. Someones firing from IAF shoulders?

Maybe, we should wait for better articles before making our conclusions.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Hobbes » 14 Oct 2014 07:26

Interesting article from AVM Arjun Subramaniam, who is a current service officer with the IAF. The article is at http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns ... 876105.ece. I reproduce the text below (emphases all mine):

Undermining national security

In his article “Stop Wasteful Military Deals” published in The New Indian Express on November 1, 2013, Bharat Karnad attempts to reinvent himself as a knight in shining armour charging fearlessly at the Indian Air Force (IAF) on behalf of an imaginary indigenous brigade. By casting aspersions and denigrating the IAF’s commitment to indigenisation based on inputs that range from flights of fantasy to half-baked truths and very few realities, Karnad is playing a dangerous game which has the potential to jeopardise national security.

Whenever civilian analysts and researchers offer critiques on military systems or strategies they do so with meticulous research that stands the test of rigorous professional scrutiny. Karnad adopts no such methodology and rides on his past reputation of being a maverick armchair defence analyst with a general disdain for the establishment.

Let me dismantle some of his propositions. First is that his claim that French and Israeli pilots have gone gaga over the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is sheer bunkum — no foreign pilot has flown the LCA — period. The LCA Flight Test Team comprises IAF and Indian Navy test pilots who are among the best in the world and do not need any certification from the French or Israelis. The Russian sale of the Tu-22 M3M strategic bomber along with its entire assembly line to China is a deal that has fallen through — the Internet is full of news of the falling through of the deal. Karnad talks of a fictitious trainer aircraft called the HJT-44 being “up and ready” and questions the proposal to buy additional PC-7 Pilatus Basic Trainer aircraft.

The truth is that the training aircraft being offered by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is called the HTT-40 and is still on the drawing board! A word about the Pilatus PC-7 and the circumstances of its induction into the IAF. Plagued by a series of problems on the HPT-32, the IAF’s long-standing basic trainer aircraft, the IAF brainstormed for years with the HAL to resuscitate the trainer. When all attempts failed and when the IAF saw that there were just no trainers to address the needs of basic flying training, it had to literally go in for an emergency purchase of 75 Pilatus Trainers to ensure that the stream of pilots from the training academy to the operational squadrons does not stop.

With the requirement of trained pilot set to increase with the induction of large numbers of twin-seat Sukhois, C-130 J Super Hercules, C-17s and Mi-17 V5 helicopters, the IAF had to take decisive measures even if it meant having to import basic trainers. The Pilatus has been a resounding success at the Air Force Academy and with its excellent pedigree, reliability and global flight safety track record, $1.5 billion is a small price for an emerging power to pay for ensuring the safety of hundreds of our young flight cadets and instructors.

As for the follow-on purchase — it makes logistical and supply chain management sense to buy some more of the same aircraft considering that an indigenous basic trainer is not going to be “up and away” for at least a decade.

Going back to the seventies and the saga of the HF-24 Marut fighter, it is common knowledge that the Marut programme came to a premature end because we could not design or import a suitable engine for the aircraft and sustaining the two squadrons with derated Gnat engines was not going to be an operationally viable proposition for long.

The ensuing Jaguar deal was, without any doubt, one of the most successful deals in more ways than one for both the IAF and HAL. The manner in which the aircraft has been exploited by the IAF ushered in a new era of professionalism in the force; over three decades later, it still remains at the forefront of the IAF’s strike capability. Staying with the Jaguar, the licensed manufacture of the Jaguar by HAL and the quantum indigenous upgradation in its avionics, radar and weapon systems in India itself has provided both Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and HAL with tremendous confidence to leverage the same for development of indigenous aircraft design and manufacturing capability.

Coming back to the LCA, Karnad is confused whether to call it the LCA or the Tejas. Let me set the record straight. The IAF has named the LCA as the Tejas; the Indian Navy is yet to decide on a name for the LCA. Karnad has also gone totally wrong in equating the LCA with the MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) by suggesting that the Mark II can be a used as an MMRCA. The two aircraft are completely different in terms of the weight class (the LCA is a 13 ton fighter, while the MMRCA is a 20 ton fighter). What this means is that the missions and roles they can perform are completely different. So is the range and the tonnage of armament that they can carry. For the common aviation enthusiast, the LCA can be said to be a replacement for the MiG-21, while the MMRCA is slated to occupy a mid-position between the LCA and the Su-30 in the years ahead.

To be fair to Karnad — yes, the flight control system of the LCA is top class, but to claim that the Mark II will be significantly superior to the MMRCA is far-fetched and devoid of any research strength. Blowing one’s trumpet about the AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar is premature at this stage, as it is not even on the drawing board. In such a situation it is not even clear whether it would be on the LCA Mk II. Having said that, the IAF is fully committed to the LCA and will share the same pride that Karnad exhibits when its first squadron becomes operational. The IAF is also cognisant that it remains the single largest repository of operational aviation knowledge in the country and to accuse it of scuttling indigenisation, as Karnad so easily does, is both unfair and dangerous. Let us not undermine the IAF in such a callous and cavalier manner.

Arjun Subramaniam is a serving Air Vice Marshal in the IAF and an air power analyst.


This is a well-written and balanced article. However, I have the following questions (which may have been asked earlier):

1. It seems to me that the Tejas can do a lot more than the Mig-21 could, and is in a class in between the Mig and the F-16. True, the Tejas' MTOW is 6 tons less than that of the F-16, meaning it carries less stores and fuel. However given our limited military ambitions of border defence and the limited need for offensive capabilities, wouldn't we be able to make do with more Tejas fighters with IFR to boost combat radius, and overcome the lack of a true mid-level fighter and maybe induct more Su-30MKI heavies to balance the difference?

2. AFAIK the LRDE has made substantial advances on the AESA front, and are close to their first demo of the Tejas AESA radar.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby srai » 14 Oct 2014 07:28

Vipul wrote:India Offers To Spend $12B To Break Monopoly.

...

Vivek Rae, former director general (acquisition) in the MoD, said, “India sorely needs aircraft manufacturing capability in the private sector. We cannot afford to put all eggs in the HAL basket.” Subhash Bhojwani, retired Air Force air marshal, agreed an additional manufacturing facility is needed, but said HAL should be made more commercial.

“HAL is into the design and contemporary manufacture of fighters, transports, trainers and helicopters, as well as avionics and engines,” he said. “It is possibly the only company in the world to be so diversified. However, while this may sound good in a book of world records, it isn’t good as a commercial model.”

Defense analyst Amit Cowshish, a retired Defence Ministry bureaucrat, said the objective should be “not to create an entity that could compete with HAL but to have additional capability in India to manufacture aircraft so that the requirement, both of the military and civil sectors, could be met in a more cost-effective manner and in shorter time frames. Of course, competition would help in improving HAL’s efficiency.”

Sujith Haridas, deputy director general of India’s industry lobbying agency, the Confederation of Indian Industry, said, “It is very much desired to have an additional manufacturing facility, but one should not ignore that it takes several decades of consistent investment and efforts to create a mammoth system integrator like HAL.”

...


Doesn't that bolded statement apply to all of the big Indian private conglomerates, like TATA, Reliance, L&T and Mahindra, too? In fact, they are involved in even more diversified portfolio than HAL.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby SaiK » 14 Oct 2014 08:13

Perhaps HAL needs to strengthen itself by consulting into private then. Establish the assembly lines, production unit, etc. ADA and DRDO can help further mature the engineering process. Private industries meanwhile can start getting the expertise by employing desis who have either trained in firang facilities or can be deputed to be trained in firang shops. may be certain niche areas is where gov-gov exchange programs needs to begin with. some scratch back may be required, but worth it. (like India joining ops against ISIS, local joint base, etc)

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby putnanja » 14 Oct 2014 08:33

HAL is already trying to become a lead integrator instead of manufacturing everything from scratch. Tata Advanced Materials is supplying many of the composite fuselage panels of LCA. The avionics comes from BEL & other private Indian companies, as does the LCA engine for now.

It would be better to actually split up HAL into separate LCA and aircraft units, and also hive off the engine and overhaul division into different companies, and have them build up more expertise in that vertical. Trying to hand off LCA Mk-II to another private company when it shares lots of commonality with Mk-I and also after having invested thousands of crores on dedicated LCA assembly line doesn't make sense

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Victor » 14 Oct 2014 08:34

Hopefully the article from AVM Subramaniam that Hobbes posted above receives wide distribution. Anyone who accuses the IAF of anti-indigenisation is doing the enemy a favor.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Indranil » 14 Oct 2014 09:19

srai wrote:If we look at the European model for aircraft production, major sections, such as left/right wings, main fuselage, tail and front section, are subdivided amongst many industrial partners, and they all deliver to a final assembly plant (which could be one or a few).

Let's take Eurofighter work share between BAE, Alenia and EADS as an example:
Image

So rather than just thinking as one entity doing all of the work, India should look at work share arrangement (i.e. HAL, TATA, Mahindra, L&T, Reliance etc.) to build up its national capability utiising both private and public sectors.

Actually, this is an even better suggestion. Much better than throwing money and imagining that a aero-company can be built in 3-4 years which can build a 4.5 generation fighter. In this industry, 3 years is a respectable time to build a prototype. Forget an entire company!!! Funny, that IAF laughed at Dr. Arunachalam's group that they could build LCA in 10 years, mocked and ridiculed them in public. And now ...

Moving on. Make HAL the primary integrator for LCA-Mk2, MMRCA, FGFA. They have an assembly line and an airport to test fly the articles before delivery. Create a committee to oversee quality and which reports directly to MoD/IAF/whoever! HAL will not have a problem with this. And these much needed programs will not suffer unnecessary delays.

Start building a private sector primary integrator. Start with Avro,An-32 replacement which can also have a civilian version. This will be in direct competition to HAL/NAL's RTA. Proceed to AMCA. This will be FGFAs challenger.

These industries take a long time to set up. They will need every kind of support from the govt. And if HAL's competitor arrives in 10 years' time. it will be feat unparalleled in this industry. If it happens, I will personally go about distributing sweets to everybody on the street.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Yagnasri » 14 Oct 2014 09:29

HAL can be divided into many entities with HAL itself retained as a Holding company just like Tata Sons etc. HAL Helicopters Ltd, HAL Tejas Ltd, HAL Assembler systems Ltd etc. With that each company can be progressed separately or private side can be involved by strategic sale of shares. This will result in more focus approach and will create better manufacturing capabilities.

We can use huge number of Helicopters for civilian, police, coast guard paramilitary purpose. HAL Helicopters Ltd with its focus on Helicopters can be the one to meet the requirement.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby partha » 14 Oct 2014 09:35

Good suggestions sraiji, Indranilji. I think this is where FDI can make a difference. We need not buy stuff from foreign companies setting up plants in India to manufacture defence equipment but allowing them to setup manufacturing units here will help Indian companies to become part of the global supply chain of defence industry. In case of aerospace industry, this will enable Indian companies to develop expertise in designing and manufacturing aircraft parts which will come in handy for indigenous programs like LCA / AMCA etc.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby member_20317 » 14 Oct 2014 09:52

Yagnasri wrote:HAL can be divided into many entities with HAL itself retained as a Holding company just like Tata Sons etc. HAL Helicopters Ltd, HAL Tejas Ltd, HAL Assembler systems Ltd etc. With that each company can be progressed separately or private side can be involved by strategic sale of shares. This will result in more focus approach and will create better manufacturing capabilities.

We can use huge number of Helicopters for civilian, police, coast guard paramilitary purpose. HAL Helicopters Ltd with its focus on Helicopters can be the one to meet the requirement.



Putting in 12 Billion USD is a serious investment and without somebody leading the show it would be money abused. I have seen the way at least one of the cash rich PSUs was taken over by the TATAs. Today neither the PSU nor the Tata entity amount to anything.

IAF wants a new national capability to reduce dependence on HAL. But HAL is the only entity that can help the matter if the private sector is to take over the bulk work. The rationale for using HAL's capabilities is strong. But the flip side is that the current programs would then be exposed to the useless types of managers. The political establishment will have to think of a proper succession mechanism within the HAL for existing projects before people are sent off to help private sector manage their show. If you go by what they have been doing in their own work-sphere of electoral politics then yes they have the nose for it. Hope this work gets taken seriously and yields a real organic MIC eventually.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Shalav » 14 Oct 2014 10:33

Hobbes

Nothing stopped them from investing in building expertise in private light aircraft manufacture. They could have gained the expertise even from building gliders, but such is not the case.

I don't say don't privatize, but let's not make the cure worse than the disease.

As for L&T etc... aren't they involved in nuclear sub manufacture, along with missiles? Thus who had the foresight to invest in building expertise will benefit in the new environment.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Shalav » 14 Oct 2014 10:39

Victor wrote:Hopefully the article from AVM Subramaniam that Hobbes posted above receives wide distribution. Anyone who accuses the IAF of anti-indigenisation is doing the enemy a favor.



Sorry, but where in the article has the AVM actually provided examples of your hyperbolic claim?

All I read was his personal opinion denying it. Contrary to any impartial observers notation of the fact that thE IAF has not had an aeronautical design bureau anything close to the IN's Naval Design bureau!

If they have had someone to liason with research or manufacturing, please name names and their responsibilities.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Yagnasri » 14 Oct 2014 10:51

Ravi_g sir, I am not advising that there should be further investments in HAL. Let there be a reorganization of HAL so that more focusing will be there instead of 50 works done at the same time. I am sure it will work better.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby merlin » 14 Oct 2014 10:57

Shalav wrote:
Victor wrote:Hopefully the article from AVM Subramaniam that Hobbes posted above receives wide distribution. Anyone who accuses the IAF of anti-indigenisation is doing the enemy a favor.



Sorry, but where in the article has the AVM actually provided examples of your hyperbolic claim?

All I read was his personal opinion denying it. Contrary to any impartial observers notation of the fact that thE IAF has not had an aeronautical design bureau anything close to the IN's Naval Design bureau!

If they have had someone to liason with research or manufacturing, please name names and their responsibilities.


Actually anyone who claims that the IAF has foresight or is interested in building an Indian aviation capability is smoking something potent. All their support for an Indian aircraft only comes when the GoI of the day insists that its Indian or nothing. When they see the Rafale deal going down the tubes they will support an Indian built aircraft but will still not be happy to support an Indian aviation design and build capability that can be truly free of foreign dependence.

Let the IAF demonstrate its intent by

1. Buying an additional two squadrons of Tejas Mk. 1
2. Committing to enough Tejas Mk. 2 for 1-1 replacement for all the retiring MiG-21s
3. Commit to additional AEW&C beyond the paltry 2 nos
4. Commit to LUH in numbers
5. Commit to AMCA
6. Depute enough and more pilots to NFTC and guarantee their advancement through the ranks and not consider their posting there as a cushy one

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby member_26622 » 14 Oct 2014 19:36

Why don't we start by having Surya Kirans flying Tejas instead of Hawks? What are we promoting here - British or Indian products. Is it 1914 or 2014 ?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby member_28788 » 15 Oct 2014 17:28

Vipul wrote:India Offers To Spend $12B To Break Monopoly.

The Indian government, acting on Air Force demands, has offered to spend $12 billion to encourage private firms to establish an aircraft manufacturing facility — a move that would break Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s monopoly on aircraft manufacturing after years of delays on several projects.

Specifically, the Indian government has offered an advance order for the homemade light combat aircraft (LCA) Mark-2, a Defence Ministry source said.

The offer was conveyed to senior private sector executives during several meetings with MoD officials in the last month, the source said. India’s private defense majors, Tata Group, Mahindra & Mahindra and Larsen and Toubro, are the most capable of setting up an additional military aircraft plant, either independently or in partnership with overseas firms.

None of the executives who participated in the meeting would comment on whether they would consider building such a facility.

Madhukar Vinayak Kotwal, president, Heavy Engineering of Larsen & Toubro, said, “Since this building of an additional facility] is a matter currently under discussion at various levels in the government as well as in industry associations, we would like to refrain from giving any comments at this stage.”



I wonder why we always look to Tatas, L&T, M&M & the giants all the time when it comes to defence privatization. I think a lot of unsung companies that are small, exist in the private supply chain of our defence. Smaller companies maybe more willing to take risks, if given a shot at it. The very same giants who are unwilling to do 'mehnat' might be outdone by the smaller foxes. But just to be fair I see what might be stopping GOI in this direction- three things- #1 their small size means their processes are more prone to leakage of occasional compromise through structured humint by our adversaries. #2. GoI wants scale which needs that large number of small players- we may not have the bandwidth to develop those volumes (Its my guess). #3 GoI doesnt have the bandwidth or processes to transparently engage large number of small players so it chooses instead only a few big players.

But the few big players have many low R&D, Low risk businesses like selling salt, apparels to building conventional civil structures etc. that has their organizations are boxed in low risk, low return activities. How to make them see that defence is very high R&D, High Risk & High returns game!

#Addendum: Ofcourse some in the forum may point that TATAs, L&Ts have already taken steps for defence production but the issue here is not intent but the intensity of intent and the ground action that comes along. At the top level all kind of business units vie for management time, conglomerate resources. Those business units that have best scope get away with most resources & management will. So large conglomerates like TATAs and L&T face the same problem. Too much of their group focus is on businesses that are about, salt, cement, cars, steel etc. How do fringe vertical businesses like TATA advanced materials in these group take a centre position? On the other hand smaller SMEs in defence supply chain may have their defence business right in the centrestage.

nikhil_p
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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby nikhil_p » 15 Oct 2014 18:12

YashG wrote:I wonder why we always look to Tatas, L&T, M&M & the giants all the time when it comes to defence privatization. I think a lot of unsung companies that are small, exist in the private supply chain of our defence. Smaller companies maybe more willing to take risks, if given a shot at it. The very same giants who are unwilling to do 'mehnat' might be outdone by the smaller foxes. But just to be fair I see what might be stopping GOI in this direction- three things- #1 their small size means their processes are more prone to leakage of occasional compromise through structured humint by our adversaries. #2. GoI wants scale which needs that large number of small players- we may not have the bandwidth to develop those volumes (Its my guess). #3 GoI doesnt have the bandwidth or processes to transparently engage large number of small players so it chooses instead only a few big players.

But the few big players have many low R&D, Low risk businesses like selling salt, apparels to building conventional civil structures etc. that has their organizations are boxed in low risk, low return activities. How to make them see that defence is very high R&D, High Risk & High returns game!

#Addendum: Ofcourse some in the forum may point that TATAs, L&Ts have already taken steps for defence production but the issue here is not intent but the intensity of intent and the ground action that comes along. At the top level all kind of business units vie for management time, conglomerate resources. Those business units that have best scope get away with most resources & management will. So large conglomerates like TATAs and L&T face the same problem. Too much of their group focus is on businesses that are about, salt, cement, cars, steel etc. How do fringe vertical businesses like TATA advanced materials in these group take a centre position? On the other hand smaller SMEs in defence supply chain may have their defence business right in the centrestage.


Defence setups, as you rightly pointed out will be a high R&D, high Risk and High return business for these players. Note the news item, the GoI is not expecting them to invest in R&D at this time. They will be the manufacturers. To put it in my words, ToT is being done within the country.
Having said that, defence manufacturing will take big bucks to make it happen. Smaller players or even medium size ones might not have the wherewithal to take on this risk. Whereas for a company like TATA or Mahindra or L&T, investing about $1B into a greenfield project which takes 10-15 years (or more) to break even is not going to affect their bottom line, much. On the other hand they can surely expect sops from the GoI on their other projects. Moreover from a supply chain perspective, these players already have their fingers in the pie.
An aircraft manufacturing facility will take space – lot of space. Including runways, hangars…etc.etc. Some of these companies already have private airfields which can be put to use.
So the reasons are many…

nik wrote:Why don't we start by having Surya Kirans flying Tejas instead of Hawks? What are we promoting here - British or Indian products. Is it 1914 or 2014 ?


Seriously!!

SKAT's wont fly Tejas simply because the aircraft is yet to achieve FOC. Moreover the IAF needs it for its frontline squadrons more than anything else. And yes one more nitpick - the name Surya Kiran was because they flew the Kiran.


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