LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

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

Postby Indranil » 09 Feb 2015 09:29

From my conversation with the admin of Tejas-LCA FB page.

Wait for couple of days. You will get a complete video on Leh 2015 like earlier years. This one would be something diff.
The dorsal intakes are in fact the scoops provided for better heat exchange and in turn aids in tapping less volume of pressurised air for ancillary work.

Work on IFR is on and soon will be integrated.
The BVR will be test fired shortly in a months time. Supersonic drop tanks will take a year to be realized. The sleeker pylons will be on the Mark ii.

Thank you very much for all your interest in Tejas. We are gearing up for AI 15.

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

Postby Sid » 09 Feb 2015 09:33

Video of NP2 from Livefist.


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

Postby PratikDas » 09 Feb 2015 10:42

indranilroy wrote:From my conversation with the admin of Tejas-LCA FB page.

Wait for couple of days. You will get a complete video on Leh 2015 like earlier years. This one would be something diff.
The dorsal intakes are in fact the scoops provided for better heat exchange and in turn aids in tapping less volume of pressurised air for ancillary work.

Work on IFR is on and soon will be integrated.
The BVR will be test fired shortly in a months time. Supersonic drop tanks will take a year to be realized. The sleeker pylons will be on the Mark ii.

Thank you very much for all your interest in Tejas. We are gearing up for AI 15.

Congratulations on figuring out the heat exchanger part correctly!

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

Postby member_27854 » 09 Feb 2015 12:27

Regarding the LCA NP-2, the canopy looks really big for the aircraft compared to the air force version, what is that massive space behind the pilot being used for and why was this design chosen ?

ArmenT wrote:Did anyone else notice that this NP-2 seems to have the APU inlet looking like a cross between early LSPs and newer LSPs.

Early LSP (linking the URL, so as to not blow up page formatting):
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Galleries/Aircraft/Current/Fighters/Tejas/LSP/LSP02.jpg.html

Newer LSP:
Image

and now look at the APU inlet on the NP-2
Image

Any ideas what the deal is here?

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

Postby Indranil » 09 Feb 2015 12:37

^^^ The answer is within the same page!!!! Please invest a little time to find out something on your own before writing a post!

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

Postby Prasad » 09 Feb 2015 12:42

Looks like the IN versions are better than expected :) http://www.oneindia.com/india/oneindia- ... 47622.html

"We got an unexpected bonus in terms of NP-1's excess performance and the actual minimum climb angle was in excess of 10 degrees. It is welcome bonus for an aircraft that has been so often derided for lack of thrust, and this excess will be accounted for in future launches as well," a satisfied (NLCA Programme Director Cmde C D ) Balaji said.


The landing gear mass of the LCA (Navy) Mk-2 aircraft is likely to be reduced by 200-250 kg, albeit being capable of a higher take off mass. Prototypes likely to come from this Mk-2 flightline are NP-3 and NP-4 (both fighters). From the existing resources ADA has already begun the work for the third NLCA prototype which will be designated as NP-5, a trainer. Balaji says all trainers will be from the Mk-1 flightline.
"The areas needing attention have been identified. The CLAW (Control Law) and Flight Control System (FCS) software will be updated for higher performance. The Nose Landing Gear (NLG) extension was faster than predicted. Minor modifications to the NLG will also be done," says Balaji.


ADA hopes to get a suitable slot for NLCA NP-1 during the upcoming Aero India 2015. "We are working on the slots available. It is likely that NP-1might fly," adds Balaji.

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

Postby Indranil » 09 Feb 2015 12:48

Shiv Aroor reports: PART 1: Big Surprises In LCA Navy NP1's Ski-Jump Fight
When the first prototype of India's LCA Navy (NP1) roared off the ski-jump at the Shore-based Test Facility (SBTF) for the first time on December 20 last year, no one from the team observing the jet from the flightline and from telemetry stations knew that something unseen had happened. Something that would only become known later in the day when performance data was analysed. And it was good, solid news, much needed for a team that has seen little more than questions, derision and barely veiled bemusement. Importantly, it was the first time the team felt it had an answer to the 'what use is this platform, really?' question.

The NP1, which had flown for the first time in 2012, had remained mostly on ground for the next two years, undergoing an extensive undercarriage re-design. In 2013, it climbed cautiously back into the air before going supersonic last year, and finally getting set for a shot off the simulated shore-based carrier deck in December 2014.

According to Team LCA-N, "For a ski jump launch, the final design intent is to have a zero rate of climb after ramp exit to get the best performance of the aircraft. This places a great premium on the ability to fly at the maximum possible angles of attack with adequate control and also to have a complete understanding of the thrust available."

And that's where it gets interesting.

Top sources on the team say the NP1 was flown a few times conventially before the ski-jump test to soak up the thick sea-level air in Goa. As expected, engine performance was markedly better. Spirits were high, but as has become the norm on milestone tests in the Tejas programme, there was pervasive nervousness. Surprises can be nasty. And the ski-jump test would leave no recovery time if something went wrong. As the Team says, "The first attempt at any new activity is fraught with uncertainties and potential surprises. Given the 'leap off the edge' nature of the first launch, all the major possibilities of failure were identified and options to handle them were built into the plan."

The test flight team decided to lock 5.7 degrees as the minimum climb angle for the NP1 once it made the leap off the ski-jump. When the aircraft actually did roar into the sky, the actual minimum climb angle was observed to be in excess of 10 degrees. Also, the NP1 achieved an angle of attack after ramp exit of 21.6 degrees, giving the team healthy new margins to work with in terms of performance. Simply put, the aircraft performed better than the team ever thought it could.

Now you can argue that safety margins always allow for bumps in performance, but the number crunch that evening demonstrated that the NP1 had exceeded expectations healthily.

The test team's verdict: "This is certainly a welcome bonus for an aircraft that has been so often derided for lack of thrust, and this excess will be accounted for in future launches. Also the angle of attack after ramp exit reached 21.6 degrees which augers well for utilisation of even greater angles of attack for launch. It should certainly allay fears over the use of such high angles of attack and remove much of the pessimism that has surrounded the utility of the programme."

The NP2 single seat naval fighter prototype that took to the air yesterday will join sea-level flight test next month and quickly demonstrate its own carrier compatibility before long. The LCA-N team, in the meanwhile, has its spirits up. The Indian Navy, which has ordered six of LCA Navy Mk.1 has indicated, albeit unofficially, that the Mk.1 platform is likely never to see actual carrier service. While the performance surprises of December aren't likely to change that, the numbers have changed. And that's something.


He has produced my next wallpaper. This bird is growing on me, fast! Click for higher resolution.

Image

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

Postby PratikDas » 09 Feb 2015 12:58

What does Shiv Aroor mean by the last two sentences of that quote, Indranil? What numbers have changed? Is it just the rate of climb and angle of attack that one can expect of the MK1?

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

Postby Pratyush » 09 Feb 2015 13:24

The numbers would be different when a the AC is tested with a typical combat load. The first test was a clean config test. Let the numbers come out, with a fully loaded aircraft.

If the test data holds up. We will have real cause to be really optimistic, WRT, what the MK2 with more powerful engines will be able to do.

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

Postby vina » 09 Feb 2015 13:45

The test team's verdict: "This is certainly a welcome bonus for an aircraft that has been so often derided for lack of thrust, and this excess will be accounted for in future launches. Also the angle of attack after ramp exit reached 21.6 degrees which augers well for utilisation of even greater angles of attack for launch. It should certainly allay fears over the use of such high angles of attack and remove much of the pessimism that has surrounded the utility of the programme.


Hmm. Kweschun to ask Mao babu during the AI-13 meet. In Inglees, does this mean that the hawai-jehaj is phlying with LEVCONS active ? , and if the answer is yes, is the performance gain due to levcon (and hence greater L/D ratio, more wing efficiency) , also in Inglees, won't it increase the sustained turn ratio as well ? :(( :((

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

Postby Indranil » 09 Feb 2015 13:46

PratikDas wrote:What does Shiv Aroor mean by the last two sentences of that quote, Indranil? What numbers have changed? Is it just the rate of climb and angle of attack that one can expect of the MK1?


What ADA is saying is that NP1 has demonstrated that it has enough power to climb quite steeply off the ramp at 21.6 degrees AoA. This is more than what they had expected. And this extra performance is going to show on even the ideal condition. The ideal condition is when the plane is completely loaded, flying at full thrust at max AoA and not climbing at all in the ballastic part that follows just after the ski-jump. What NP1's flight has shown is that they will be able to fly off with more laod than what they had expected. These new numbers Aroor feels is not enough to increase orders for NLCA Mk1, but it is a great sign. I kind of agree with him.

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

Postby Indranil » 09 Feb 2015 13:54

vina wrote:
The test team's verdict: "This is certainly a welcome bonus for an aircraft that has been so often derided for lack of thrust, and this excess will be accounted for in future launches. Also the angle of attack after ramp exit reached 21.6 degrees which augers well for utilisation of even greater angles of attack for launch. It should certainly allay fears over the use of such high angles of attack and remove much of the pessimism that has surrounded the utility of the programme.


Hmm. Kweschun to ask Mao babu during the AI-13 meet. In Inglees, does this mean that the hawai-jehaj is phlying with LEVCONS active ? , and if the answer is yes, is the performance gain due to levcon (and hence greater L/D ratio, more wing efficiency) , also in Inglees, won't it increase the sustained turn ratio as well ? :(( :((

I think some of them have been answered. I don't think the Levcons are active on NP1. The computer has come onboard NP2. I think the better than expected performance is mostly because they did not expect this much thrust from NP1 at sea level. NP2 will do even better with letterbox auxiliary intakes. Both the Levcons (by virtue of better L/D) and the letterbox auxiliary intakes (bigger than the blowin doors) will give NP2 better STR than AF's Tejas's. Mao had said this in his talk at AI-13.

What the engineers were telling him is that the active Levcons would provide sufficient margin for the FBW to allow the pilot to approach the landing without worrying about his load. This he found hard to believe. But I guess, they havn't had the chance to test that out yet.

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

Postby vina » 09 Feb 2015 14:07

Both the Levcons (by virtue of better L/D) and the letterbox auxiliary intakes (bigger than the blowin doors) will give NP2 better STR than AF's Tejas's. Mao had said this in his talk at AI-13


:(( :(( :(( :cry: :cry: . Navy Baaad.

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

Postby Singha » 09 Feb 2015 14:21

after some land tests hope they base a couple of rotating protos on the vikramaditya and test it in sea conditions and issues like moving it around on the ship, parking areas, repair, night ops in the sea etc...

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

Postby srin » 09 Feb 2015 14:29

One thing that was noticeable from the NP1 flight from the SBTF was the long take off roll. I think they will have to do a lot more SBTF testing with carrier-style take off (full AB and release brakes), wind conditions to determine the payload margins before they attempt it from a carrier.

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

Postby JTull » 09 Feb 2015 16:33

Dr Anantha Krishnan M: NLCA NP-1 outperformed our expectations, says ADA

Bengaluru, Feb 9: The first prototype (NP-1) of the Naval Light Combat Aircraft (NLCA), which had a ski-take off from the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) in INS Hansa in Goa on December 20, 2014, outperformed the expectations of its designers and engineers. In an exclusive interview to OneIndia, his first after the historic flight of NP-1, NLCA Programme Director Cmde C D Balaji (Retd) said that NP-1 gifted a ‘welcome bonus' at SBTF.

"There are many uncertainties and potential surprises when you attempt something for the first time. We had built in a detail plan after looking into all major possibilities of a failure. Accordingly, we wanted to have a minimum climb angle of 5.7 degrees during the first attempt," Balaji told OneIndia ahead of the forthcoming Aero India 2015.

With Lady Luck finally giving company to the NLCA designers at Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the NP-1's performance seems to have lifted the spirits of the entire team.

"We got an unexpected bonus in terms of NP-1's excess performance and the actual minimum climb angle was in excess of 10 degrees. It is welcome bonus for an aircraft that has been so often derided for lack of thrust, and this excess will be accounted for in future launches as well," a satisfied Balaji said.

ADA Chief P S Subramanyam too agrees with Balaji while sharing inside details of the NP-1's performance. "The Goa campaign turned out to be a memorable one for all of us. It is inspiring when an aircraft performs more that what was expected during its flight evaluation stages. NP-I's performance was better than anticipated in comparison to estimates earlier made purely based on its flight tests at Bangalore," says Subramanyam.

There are more prototypes to be added to flightline

Balaji said to meet the full missions requirements stipulated by the Indian Navy, three more prototypes will be rolled out in future. "We have a new programme with a higher thrust engine sanctioned under the LCA Navy Mk2 phase. It is aimed minimising the constraints of LCA Navy Mk-1. It will have significant changes in design to improve aerodynamics, landing gear & arrester hook optimization, structural design optimization, updated sensors, avionics and Flight Control System among others," says Balaji.

Interestingly, Balaji, the soft-spoken captain of the NLCA project had to bear the brunt of the Navy, Ministry of Defence and the media for the delays the project entered in the last couple of years.
The landing gear mass of the LCA (Navy) Mk-2 aircraft is likely to be reduced by 200-250 kg, albeit being capable of a higher take off mass. Prototypes likely to come from this Mk-2 flightline are NP-3 and NP-4 (both fighters). From the existing resources ADA has already begun the work for the third NLCA prototype which will be designated as NP-5, a trainer. Balaji says all trainers will be from the Mk-1 flightline.

ADA insiders tell OneIndia that the newly-appointed HAL Chairman T Suvarna Raju has promised all help for the NLCA project. "HAL Chairman was waiting to receive the NP-2 after it touched down during his maiden flight on February 7, 2015. His presence has inspired the entire team," says an official in ADA.

NP-1 to undergo minor changes

ADA says the wealth of data collected from the maiden ski-jump mission has been fully analysed. "The areas needing attention have been identified. The CLAW (Control Law) and Flight Control System (FCS) software will be updated for higher performance. The Nose Landing Gear (NLG) extension was faster than predicted. Minor modifications to the NLG will also be done," says Balaji.

When compared to NP-1, one major addition on NP2 is the presence of a Multi-Mode Radar (MMR). The aircraft performance is expected to be similar to NP-1. "The focus on sensor and weapon capability demonstration will be on NP-2," says Balaji.

Critical observations from the last trials

ADA says the AoA (Angle of Attack) after ramp exit reached 21.6 degrees which augers well for utilisation of even greater angles of attack for launch. "The maximum all up weight that an aircraft can be launched at is the primary determinant of its operational capability as it dictates the quantum of weapons and fuel that the aircraft carries.

For a ski-jump launch, the final design intent is to have a zero rate of climb after ramp exit to get the best performance of the aircraft," says Balaji.

More action lined up in Goa from March

Once the FCS software upgradation and minor rework on NLG is completed, NP-1 will hit Goa for the next phase of the campaign in March 2015. It will continue its ski-jump launches to progressively reduce margins till final performance levels are achieved. "Also, it is planned to initiate activities towards arrested recovery starting with dummy approaches on the landing area, ‘taxi-in' arrester hook engagements on to the arrester wire at the SBTF and final flight engagement," says Balaji.
ADA hopes to get a suitable slot for NLCA NP-1 during the upcoming Aero India 2015. "We are working on the slots available. It is likely that NP-1 might fly," adds Balaji.

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

Postby srai » 09 Feb 2015 20:23

^^^
...
Balaji says all trainers will be from the Mk-1 flightline.
...


That would mean both the IAF and IA should be ordering a lot more LCA Mk.1 trainers.

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

Postby deejay » 09 Feb 2015 20:34

srai wrote:^^^
...
Balaji says all trainers will be from the Mk-1 flightline.
...


That would mean both the IAF and IA IN should be ordering a lot more LCA Mk.1 trainers.


Nitpick, corrected.

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

Postby srai » 10 Feb 2015 13:10

^^^

Thanks for that fix.

Here is a rough calculation of potential orders:
  • IAF - 12-24 LCA Mk.1 trainers (6 squadrons -> 2-4 per squadron)
  • IN - 6-12 NLCA Mk.1 trainers (3 squadrons -> 2-4 per squadron)
Total: 18-36 N/LCA Mk.1 Trainers

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

Postby Yagnasri » 10 Feb 2015 13:20

Hope such orders are made ASAP. Of course after whatever bugs etc are attended to. Is Mig21 still being used for training purpose??? I remember reading that it was used for advance level training etc in some assam training base ??? Am I wrong?

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

Postby srai » 10 Feb 2015 15:40

Yagnasri wrote:Hope such orders are made ASAP. Of course after whatever bugs etc are attended to. Is Mig21 still being used for training purpose??? I remember reading that it was used for advance level training etc in some assam training base ??? Am I wrong?


I think the IAF plan all along has been to assign the LCA Mk.1s to the two training units: OFTU and OCU. Then they would still need another 6 LCA Mk.1/2 squadrons to continue with MOFTU-type syllabus.

Up until 2002, MOFTU Syllabus EAC, there were 5 units flying the MiG-21FL and MiG-21UM:
  • 2 x @Tezpur -> MiG Operational Flying Training Unit (MOFTU) and 30 Squadron
  • 2 x @Chabua -> Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) and 52 Squadron
  • 1 x @Bagdogra -> 8 Squadron

MOFT Syllabus WAC, there were 3 units flying the MiG-21Bis and MiG-21M:
  • 3 x squadrons -> 15, 32 and 101 squadrons

The MiG Operational Flying Training Unit
...
After graduation from the Airforce Academy the students are sent to Air Force Station Barrackpore, near Calcutta for their Technical Type Training (TETTRA) course. Here future aircrew and groundcrew get to learn about the Mig21. They spend 78 hours spread over 85 periods learning the general description of the aircraft, including 24 periods on the airframe and 24 on the engine and after the 5-week course they have to pass an exam. Those that pass go onto the MOFT Syllabus and are despatched to the airfields that cater for it in the various commands. This usually amounts to about 45 students going to the main airfields in Eastern Air Command (which we will describe below) and approximately 30 students going to 15,32 and 101 squadrons in the west. The latter 3 squadrons operate the Mig21Bis and Mig21M and because of the height limitations in the Mig21FL, pilots with a torso or sitting height of over 98.25 cms will come here.

Until 31st October 2002, five units flying the Mig21FL and Mig21UM would take the students for semester 1 of the MOFT Syllabus in Eastern Air Command. They were the Mig Operational Flying Training Unit and 30 Squadron at Tezpur, the Operational Conversion Unit and 52 Squadron at Chabua and 8 Squadron at Bagdogra. However 30 Squadron was numberplated on 31.10.02, after 33 years of continuos service with the MIG21FL.

For the first two weeks the students study the pilots notes on the aircraft and the standard airfield operating procedures. At the end they have to achieve a 95% pass rate in the exam and if they fail, they get one more chance to pass it. They then progress onto the simulator where they complete several sorties to increase their knowledge on the type. The initial flying phase lasts for 30 weeks and will include 30 flying training sorties and 48 fighter sorties. Initially the students will complete about 9 sorties, dual in the Mig21U before being allowed to go solo. During dual training they practice low speed handling and must complete one practice diversion. Regimes covered include circuit training, aerobatics, loose formation flying, medium tactical flying, 2 and 4 ship formations, low level tactical flying with 2 aircraft and 4 aircraft, instrument flying.

Semester 2 commences after 6 months and continues with more advanced flying. The basic principals of ground attack, air combat training, advanced air combat and live firing are taught to the flying officers. 28 sorties are completed in the Mig21U trainer and a further 70 are completed on the Mig 21FL. During the live firing phase, sorties are flown to the Dolungmurgh Range, 125 kms to the North East of Tezpur. This range is shared with Chabua and Mohanbari, and the aircraft adhere to strict slot times over the target. Weather over the range and at diversion airfields has to be clear before a sortie can depart. Normal weapons carried are the GSH23 cannon loaded with 60 rounds, two UB16 rocket pods each with one 57-mm rocket projectile and 25-lb practice bombs. Upon completion of semester 2 the students would have flown a grand total of 58 trainer sorties and 118 fighter sorties, amounting to 105-110 flying hours. They are then deemed daytime operational on the Mig21.

To give you some idea of the intensity of the flying, the Air Officer Commanding Tezpur, Air Commodore PK Barbora VM, was quoted as saying to the press in October, that Tezpur had recorded the highest number of flying hours of any operational base in the Indian Air Force. He also went on to say that there had been a significant increase in flying hours and that on average 10,500 sorties are undertaken each year, which equates to approximately 70 a day.

During the course of the syllabus, their instructors assess the pilots and gradually their personal file is built up. Upon completion of the MOFT Syllabus they are posted out to Mig21, Mig23, Mig27 and Jaguar squadrons, depending upon their abilities. During their first operational tour they learn to become night operational.

Weather plays an important part in the MOFT syllabus. Although semesters usually start on 1st January and 1st July, bad weather and operational deployments of the frontline squadrons involved with the syllabus can delay the start and finish of courses. Some courses spend the majority of their flying during the bad weather months from April onwards, but the chances are that they would have graduated from a good weather course whilst undergoing stage 2 or 2A at the Air Force Academy.

Occasionally different permutations are tried during the MOFT syllabus. For example, currently at Chabua, the OCU were training semester one pilots only, whilst semester 2 was handled by 52 Squadron. Also some pilots from semester 1 at the OCU had been sent to 8 Squadron at Bagdogra to complete semester 2, as they have more airspace at their disposal, Chabua being very close to Myanmar and China.

...

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

Postby Karan M » 10 Feb 2015 15:57

srai, i do hope they arent that wasteful.

i mean training people on aircraft more sophisticated and capable than the ones they will transition to?

from fully digital LCAs to Jags? this when they are falling short of combat airframes.

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

Postby Karan M » 10 Feb 2015 15:58

also why bother with integration of LGBs, AAMs & AShMs then, plus IFR. only guns and rocket pods would do..

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

Postby deejay » 10 Feb 2015 17:21

Karan M wrote:srai, i do hope they arent that wasteful.

i mean training people on aircraft more sophisticated and capable than the ones they will transition to?

from fully digital LCAs to Jags? this when they are falling short of combat airframes.


About IAF fighter training, I will list down briefly what each stage trains people on or does in a persons terms as I understood (though a more informed view if available should point out deficiencies). Disclaimer, I am not 'fresh' with my information and a lot of analysis I present can be turned the other way depending on ones POV.:

Ab Initio (Basic Training): Air Fam, General Handling, IF, Navigation, Piston Engine Handling
Intermediate Stage: Jet Engine handling, all of Basic training plus Night Flying and Close Formation. Air experience of Tail Chase etc

Note: These two are also eliminator stages where slow / weak aircrew are weeded out. Depth of syllabus may change based on availability of aircraft like presently flying hours are less than what we had. Difficulty levels of each type of exercise is increased as the stage increases.

Advanced Stage: Combat (initial), Firing, Tail Chase (mostly 1 v 1) plus all the above. Armament, Drop Tank fuel exercises start.

MOFT etc: Apart from all the above on the new type, training specially for Fully Ops status of fighter pilots at these training bases with more trainers and more instructors are available compared to normal sqns. Roles include Combat (2 v 1, 2 v 2, formation strike packages,etc), Let Downs, GCAs, and initial role clearance of major roles for pilots to be qualified to take part in missions. A lot of missions are with armaments and extensive range practice starts. Afterburners are an exciting experience here and so is the serious encounter with a fast speed aircraft. A lot of 'sits', merges etc are planned and practiced. Mission planning starts for pilots.

Note: MOFT is about a year long and then Pilots get posted to Operational Sqns to take on line pilot duties. A pilot can go on any type Superior / Inferior where he will again train for type on the new aircraft and then specialize on the particular aircraft. Most of the training in all the prior stages come in handy like algebra (or even arithmetic) while doing calculus.

An aircraft which can provide all the possible roles in which the IAF / IN would plan to train their pilots at the OFT stage would be better suited for the role of the OFT (Operational Flying Training) Sqn / units. At least then one will really make use of these set ups and not send pilots on Line duties 'half done'. These OFT sqns / units are also among the most operational sqns of the IAF with the top half being almost full of Qualified Flying Instructors (QFI's). Their constant training also comes in handy. So, they are definitely not to be taken lightly in the IAF scheme of things.

While there is no end to the wishlist of the 'haves' for an aircraft, having the LCA Mk1 as this trainer will definitely leave the IAF better prepared and also the IN. Further with the young pilots beginning on LCA and then going on to Mirages or Jags or Migs will always remember the beautiful handling of Tejas (IMO) and how the Tejas had things better.

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

Postby Karan M » 10 Feb 2015 18:07

deejay sir, thanks for the writeup. only issue with having it as M/OFTU specific aircraft is that it will not be as tested in actual advanced tactics which happen at squadron level & say TACDE. will be easy for AF to then dismiss it as training only etc. IIRC BFM etc are taught at OFTU but BVR training, advanced tactics happen once pilots get to squadron level? pls correct me if I am wrong.

if it gets into the actual combat squadron level, then it will not be so easy for AHQ etc to dismiss it as irrelevant.

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

Postby Karan M » 10 Feb 2015 18:18

also while the role will be taken seriously etc, as combat units, their impact will be huge. right now a third of our fleet is obsolete. upgrades will bring some back but slowly. in the meantime, to relegate a full up 4gen plane with WVR/BVR/PGM/IFR capability to training seems completely wasteful. if that was the plan why waste ADA and HALs time getting the aircraft to IOC/FOC. instead, it could have been certified faster with basic avionics (eg radar sim vs full radar) etc. imho, we should start moving the newer migs including bisons into MOFTU as older ones retire and keep the LCA ahead. IAFs entire plan seems to be rafale, rafale, rafale.

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

Postby srai » 10 Feb 2015 18:26

^^^

One would expect the curriculum to be updated with the LCA. New inclusions would be AAR, BVR, PGM, HMD+CCM and EW.

From the operational history of MOFTUs, they have been activated for frontline duties during major exercises (Operation Brass Tacks and Operation Parakram) and wartime (1971 war).

...
Mig Operational Flying Training Unit.

MOFTU was formed on 15th December 1986 at Tezpur to impart stage 3 training on the Mig 21FL and Mig 21U. The primary role of the unit is to instruct operational flying training to pilots inducted into the fighter stream. MOFTU is the largest fighter-flying establishment in the Indian Air Force and consists of two squadrons, Alpha and Bravo. The unit has stood up twice for operational deployments in time of tension with Pakistan. The first being Operation Brass Tacks in January 1987 and more recently Operation Parakram in May 2002. Each time they despatched aircraft to operate at bases in Western Air Command, where they stood alert on operational readiness platforms. Experienced pilots were also despatched to other units to augment their aircrew strength. The official unit emblem depicts a Hawk (signifying the instructor), leading a fledgling (signifying the student).
...

Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), The Young Ones’.

The OCU was raised on 1st October 1966 at Jamnager with the Hunter F56A, and was initially known as the Operational Training Unit (OTU). Its purpose was to ensure the smooth transition of young pilots from training into the front line squadrons. Its got its name because no matter how old the unit was, it would always have the youngest of fighter pilots in its ranks. During the 1971 Indo-Pak War it operated a four aircraft detachment from Jaisalmer and was temporarily known as 122 Squadron. On the 5th December 1971 a regiment of Pakistan Army T59 Tanks crossed the border near Tanot, with the aim of capturing Jaisalmer by sun down. Following a request to help from the Indian Army, the detachment destroyed or damaged 29 tanks in 48 hours. This action stopping the enemy advance in its tracks and earning the unit the battle honour of ‘Longewala’. The event was commemorated in the Bollywood Film, ‘Border’. During the 1971 War the OCU flew 256 sorties and apart from Longewala also carried out interdiction strikes against enemy railheads and counter air strikes against airfields and radar stations. Flying training resumed in February 1972 and in April 1975 the unit moved to Kalaikunda and was renamed the OCU. On 31st March 1991 the OCU was numberplated and all its assets were transferred to 20 Squadron. On 1st January 1998 it was resurrected at Chabua to implement the MOFT Syllabus. The OCU Crest depicts 3 Himalayan Eagles flying through lightning. The eagles depict ferocity, aggressiveness and fearlessness and by flying in formation they depict the high level of integrity and mutual co-operation that exists amongst its members.
...

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

Postby deejay » 10 Feb 2015 18:46

Karan M wrote:deejay sir, thanks for the writeup. only issue with having it as M/OFTU specific aircraft is that it will not be as tested in actual advanced tactics which happen at squadron level & say TACDE. will be easy for AF to then dismiss it as training only etc. IIRC BFM etc are taught at OFTU but BVR training, advanced tactics happen once pilots get to squadron level? pls correct me if I am wrong.

if it gets into the actual combat squadron level, then it will not be so easy for AHQ etc to dismiss it as irrelevant.


Okay, there is fair amount of speculation in the following:

>When OFTS changed from Hunter to Migs, some new syllabus was added and the some old stuff done away with or reduced in scope. Basically Mig 21s got in a different set of features with them. There will be a similar change with LCAs coming in.
> Tactics to develop will need at least 1 or 2 FSL/FCL's trained on type to initially evaluate and work things out for LCA. These FSL /FCL's could be at TACDE or at the OFTS along with other pilots or may train initially at OFTS and then proceed to TACDE and sequester aircraft from OFTS if they need. Mostly, a lot of basic level tactics will flow automatically as they will be straight cut-copy-apply .
>Type specific roles will take time evolving though and given that there will be a lot of instructors (QFIs) at an OFT, development will happen quicker here.
>Once the line units of LCAs come up, the feeder will be through these OFTS and for the LCA pilots it will be only a natural progression.
>TACDE (whenever they wish can sequester aircraft for their work or may actually get a few machines) job for LCA will be in no way impacted whether LCA goes to OFTs or Line sqns.
> (I am not sure of exact QRs for this) BVR stuff, strategic stuff will need a lot of flight hours of experience in a pilot. Unless, the pilot QRs are reduced for these I do not see the OFTS training the pilots on such roles. But there will be QFIs at OFTS who have the requisite experience and will train for these roles.
>Finally, given that all Mig 21s will be retired and LCAs will be the primary replacement, I do not see why for a short period pilots should go for Mig OFT syllabus and then convert to LCA while later all pilots will go through a LCA based OFT syllabus anyway.

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

Postby srai » 10 Feb 2015 19:02

^^^

Another addition to the OFTU curriculum would be simulator-based training. LCA comes with a great flight sim!

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

Postby Karan M » 10 Feb 2015 19:06

SRai, pilots are deputed to other squadrons or flights sent out for combat roles. but as a whole, the squadrons don't operate as a unit, making them of limited utility to the overall effort (stellar individual contributions and the Longewala incident apart).

my point is the IAF may end up using these aircraft full up in operational roles if the numbers situation doesn't stabilize. as things stand a LCA MK1>>> MiG21 Bison in combat capability. why waste it?

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

Postby srai » 10 Feb 2015 19:09

deejay wrote:...

While there is no end to the wishlist of the 'haves' for an aircraft, having the LCA Mk1 as this trainer will definitely leave the IAF better prepared and also the IN. Further with the young pilots beginning on LCA and then going on to Mirages or Jags or Migs will always remember the beautiful handling of Tejas (IMO) and how the Tejas had things better.


Win the hearts and minds of the young ones! When they go on to become AMs, their positive experience on the LCA would go a long way in supporting future indigenous R&D efforts.

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

Postby Karan M » 10 Feb 2015 19:15

deejay sir:
>>> (I am not sure of exact QRs for this) BVR stuff, strategic stuff will need a lot of flight hours of experience in a pilot. Unless, the pilot QRs are reduced for these I do not see the OFTS training the pilots on such roles. But there will be QFIs at OFTS who have the requisite experience and will train for these roles.


exactly. so why the emphasis to add BVR missiles, different kinds of WVR 5G missiles then - as versus putting simulator rounds on the racks? actually qualifying the rounds in live fire tests, completing integration was/is a huge process. similarly, EW is a role by itself. MiG-27s undertake EW role with both elta and tusker pods. LCA is getting similar kit in Mk1 (mK2 will have internal suite). IFR again, involved process, will all pilots get IFR training at OFTU (doesn't seem so). PGMs apart, LCA Mk1 per reports is to have A2S missiles as well (MiG-27/Jaguar type A2S role mentioned with Uran/Harpoons).

IMO, the training part of the news is overblown.

basically the IAF will use the first two LCA squadrons as "feeders" of trained staff - pilots and crew to other squadrons to stand up Mk2 units. The same way both the lightnings and hawks were with the Su-30K/Mk-1s - the same will be with these two LCA units. number of airframes? incidentally at the same 2 squadron level too.

over time, these airframes will be flogged so heavily that they will have to be replaced. same as with the K/MK. in which case we are seeing a 8 squadron LCA fleet of the Mk2 variant.

we can expect all up combat training, tactics & SOP generation from the first 2 LCA squadrons which are to be a launchpad for the rest of the AF when a larger fleet comes in. MOFTU imho will NOT be replaced with brand new airframes. they will be gradually built up with the newer airframes of the disbanded squadrons and rebuilt nly when the IAF combat fleet structure becomes somewhat stable with AHQ able to say, "hey we have airframes to spare".

as things stand, the IAF is starved of new airframes and equipment. very unlikely they will divert combat capable aircraft of any sort to the training units.
Last edited by Karan M on 10 Feb 2015 19:16, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Karan M » 10 Feb 2015 19:16

srai wrote:
deejay wrote:...

While there is no end to the wishlist of the 'haves' for an aircraft, having the LCA Mk1 as this trainer will definitely leave the IAF better prepared and also the IN. Further with the young pilots beginning on LCA and then going on to Mirages or Jags or Migs will always remember the beautiful handling of Tejas (IMO) and how the Tejas had things better.


Win the hearts and minds of the young ones! When they go on to become AMs, their positive experience on the LCA would go a long way in supporting future indigenous R&D efforts.


thats the long term sure, but with a 30 squadron AF going into even lower numbers, sincerely doubt whether any airframes will be sent to training ops when combat units are getting denuded of capability.

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

Postby tsarkar » 10 Feb 2015 20:07

I'm perplexed here.

IAF Tejas are going to 45 squadron. One more squadron will form thereafter.

Where or when did IAF say that Tejas will go to OFTU like Hunters or MiGs?

FWIW, when HOFTU was formed, Hunters were aircraft whose characteristics were well known and familiar to a large community of aviators.

Similarly, when MOFTU was formed, MiG-21 were aircraft whose characteristics were well known and familiar to a large community of aviators

These experienced aviators taught relatively fresher aviators.

Why on earth will IAF put an aircraft whose envelope is still being opened up and with a small percentage of its aviators familiar with into OFTU training freshers?????

IN similarly rotates young officers across cadres on older familiar ships like Nilgiri Class and now Godavari & Rajput classes and OPVs before sending them to ships serving at full operational tempo.

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

Postby deejay » 10 Feb 2015 21:28

Karan, firstly please drop the Sir.

Secondly, as far as I see the waiting for Cobham to deliver when we have Indian stuff even if at 60%, it is good to go. Having said that, I think initial orders for LCA MK1 is for IOC 2 levels (which I am sure you know). So if indeed it is a training role for the first Sqn then the IAF is doing what you want.

What is missing is the further orders for FOC level aircraft which should have come by now. And I am sure BVR can come much later without any issues.
_________

tsarkar ji, I am not sure if the IAF has confirmed the training sqn thing like MOFT for LCA. Though, I think that is what will happen. Flight training and basic Role Clearance can be attained on the low operating cost machines before moving on to the advanced stuff. With Mig 21's ready to retire, IMO, the role will fall upon the LCA.

The way IAF trains may be slightly divergent than IN. Let me briefly outline both the IAF approach to training and the advantages of MOFTU like set up (again these are my views):

The training profile is handled by Qualified Flight Instructors. Not 'any' experienced pilot.

There are certain roles where a pilot's experience or qualification on role is required and not the experience or qualification on type.

Since my background is helicopters, I will use helicopter examples to explain these roles before a person is declared Fully Ops. Further, Fully Ops does not mean that if a pilot converts on to a similar type (Like from Mi 17 to Mi 17 IV or Mi 17 V5), the pilot is all trained. Additional training is required.

These 'roles' on helicopters could be SHBO (Special Heli Borne Ops), NOE (Nap of Earth) flying, Air Maintenance (landing and para drop), SAR role, etc. These roles are useful for most of the fleet with some roles dropping out on certain types. Such training could be combined at a particular place so that Line Flying Units could concentrate more on their specialty and not look after every new pilots overall training needs.

This training can specially become challenging in roles like SHBO where quite often 04 aircraft will be needed for a single mission and imagine using 08 sets of crew and 04 aircraft to train just one person. These missions are so complicated that from planning, briefing, flying to debrief it takes the better part of the day for all involved.

In fighter flying vast majority of missions are multiple aircraft and hence we could have a trained lead, then three UTs (Under Trainees) can accompany for training on a single mission.

Hence, in fighters a HOFTU or MOFTU make more sense and may be TOFTU will come along.

A tid bit: Flying training in IAF, even in the most advanced stages is in a Guru - Shishya mode. The 'Instructors' are 'God' like figures who demand and get total devotion. I have seen senior pilots getting their a$$ chewed for trying to instruct if they were not qualified instructors. This relationship really works well in a school / academy like atmosphere which MOFTU like places provide. In many ways these 'schools' are the cutting edge of IAF work.

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

Postby tushar_m » 10 Feb 2015 23:39

IAF LCA

Image


NAVY LCA

Image


Notice the Difference

1. Landing gear is massive when compared to LCA IAF

2. Nose wheel for some reason is single compared to IAF


*Sorry don't know how to reduce size

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

Postby John » 11 Feb 2015 01:08

Looks like a bigger nose-wheel? Which should handle landings better but single wheel might make it little to maneuver on the ground.

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

Postby Indranil » 11 Feb 2015 02:46

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