IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Karan M » 04 Jun 2015 01:47

chetak wrote:Karan,

No argument there.

[b]But all those aircraft were done deals for whatever reason. We have/had no options but to operate the said aircraft. That the IAF has lumped it in the above cases is no argument for them lumping it again. They have a choice now. All arguments with respect to the arms import lobby and greedy b@stards in the forces and MOD and politicians is very true and more but the aam jantha/aam jawan in the forces needs the best we can give them. The lives of families of martyred soldiers is mostly a very grim nightmare. A few articulate city dwelling widows do come on TV and are very aggressive but the vast, vast majority of the widows and families are doomed to a grey and hope less life, drained of all dignity and on extremely tight budgets with nary a hope of any systemic support. They are the actual folks who are lumping it, without choice, without hope and without a future.


Chetak, therein lies the rub of the matter. The IAF AHQ is fully ok with operating obsolete platforms which are are increasingly a problem since logistics is becoming more and more an issue. Yet, they insist they will not operate something that is more advanced, because its not the best there is. This logic is no logic at all, because the LCA is anyday better than the earlier platforms which the IAF is flogging away. One could understand if they say the LCA is not sufficient to (say) be operated in the hundreds since the Mk2 is required. However, when the Mk1 will bring more to the table than the MiG-21 and 27 or even a Jaguar, then instead of working the kinks out, the IAF is busy trying to FUD the program and holding out for more expensive aircraft, which thanks to the price, will become hanger queens if procured in equivalent numbers.

The jawans fight without effective BPJs which other armies consider as common and as essential as langots. I recently stopped and chatted with an ordinary young jawan on airport security in a small regional airport. I was so very happy to see him carrying a MP5 which he so proudly showed me. Not many are so privileged to carry such weapons. I often spend time like this and ask about their service conditions. Not pleasant to hear.


And here is the rub. Why exactly is this dysfunctional state of affairs in an Army which has the funds to order 1657 T-90s (most of them imported), has funds enough to bypass usual procurement and order excess thermal imagers since the tank ones didn't work.. yet its soldiers lack BPJs and there are scandals over rations?
The fact is that for a long time, some in services themselves have gone for big ticket procurement whilst ignoring the long term aspects of sustainment and let it remain as something that is the domain of "other people".
The DGArty supported the Dhanush (what were his predecessors doing or who stopped them?) and he faced resistance from the IA bureaucracy itself.
Sad to say but there are many people feeding off of the import spigot, and the everyday Colonel, Major, sowar or the odd Brigadier has no clue of the depth of the rot that is there in Delhi and elsewhere.

is this how we treat our guys who often without choice, wind up dead, whilst protecting some (actually expendable!!) ungrateful and privileged Indians ?? I don't think so.


I agree with you that we need to do our bit supporting the everyday man, but again, that's exactly the issue here.

Its of procurement choices which end up being suboptimal time and again, whilst being taken (ostensibly) for the right reasons. We all want our soldiers to be well equipped. But its galling to see the manner in which the most bull headed decisions are made citing national defense being non negotiable, yet we negotiate our very sovereignty away while paying through the nose, AND at the end of the day, we don't even get what we paid for.

Time and again, the IAF's voluble clique has made national aerospace endeavours their target. Using selective leaks to outright FUD, they did everything they could to scuttle, delay programs like the LCA. Which other country's AF had its own CAS advised not to attend the first flight of its aircraft, lest it be seen as IAF supporting the Tejas? Such stuff is beyond the pale. Whether it be holding HAL to fix things or IAF to hold their end of the bargain up, both need to be done.

We simply can't be importing fighters at prices which even their manufacturing nations balk at. Meanwhile, they have state of the art infrastructure, medical facilities and what not. India in the meanwhile is barely able to fund the most basic of things, yet we import the most fancy gear and later on complain funds are insufficient for long term support, so more are required. Meanwhile, the same worthies who advocate such expensive imports, come out on talk shows and loudly decry even a Rs spent on local R&D and programs. This is just beyond bizarre and needs to be changed.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Prem Kumar » 04 Jun 2015 02:11

chetak wrote: That "unspent" money was NEVER meant to be spent. It was just a place that some fraud trickster like chidambaram parked the money awaiting madam's pleasure so that some NAC jokers could blow it up in an attempt to buy votes for the congis and specially buy votes for pappu, for him to make it to the PMs gaddi


This is part of what Parikkar meant when he said this!

I had underestimated the mess created by previous Govt, I thought it would take 3-4 months to repair but the mess is a lot :Manohar Parrikar


https://twitter.com/ANI_news/status/605978029391683584

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby srai » 04 Jun 2015 02:24

Karan +1

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Cosmo_R » 04 Jun 2015 06:18

Prem Kumar wrote:
chetak wrote: That "unspent" money was NEVER meant to be spent. It was just a place that some fraud trickster like chidambaram parked the money awaiting madam's pleasure so that some NAC jokers could blow it up in an attempt to buy votes for the congis and specially buy votes for pappu, for him to make it to the PMs gaddi


This is part of what Parikkar meant when he said this!

I had underestimated the mess created by previous Govt, I thought it would take 3-4 months to repair but the mess is a lot :Manohar Parrikar


https://twitter.com/ANI_news/status/605978029391683584


The mess that UPA created and it has its origins back to IG/RG era is something that is going to take change not just in terms of time but also structure and in terms of strategy. Our teeth to tail ratio is ~20% or less.

The complete rethink is way beyond even what MP thinks.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Singha » 04 Jun 2015 08:42

"make in india" for rafale is more like "Assemble in india" as the vast majority of the avionics and weapons would be imported. the rafale has two big avionics bays along the top of the wing roots....for sure all the 100 LRUs there, the radar, computers, cockpit avionics, spectra components would never be made in india just serviced. leaving out the skin and bones of an aircraft and the engine, these probably account for some 70% by value.

in Tejas only the engine, actuators, radar, radome and ejection seat would have foreign origin and 100s of domestic suppliers would find work making the rest in volume. and the radar is going to be indian going forward.

the scale of domestic work and skill building can never be comparable.

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Postby member_20453 » 04 Jun 2015 13:43

Rakesh wrote:I fail to see how that American blessing - a mirage actually - helped us in 1965 or 1971. In fact Nixon and Kissinger were clearly on Pakistan's side during the entire '71 conflict. It was an all out war and Pakistan got its ass whupped. Please wake up from your vegetative coma.
At the short of a giant octopus attacking Planet Earth, there will likely never be an all out war between the two countries. It will be more of a short, limited but effective campaign that will seriously blunt Pakistan's offensive military capability and teach her a lesson. You cannot shut the country down and tell the MNCs and Indian conglomerates that we are out of business for the next two - three weeks while we go fight an all out war. It does not work that way anymore. There are lot of factors in play.
Trust takes decades to build, but trust will evaporate in a blink of an eye. I am sure you will be parroting this same tune if India takes a unilateral decision to punish Pakistan for something like a Mumbai redux. See how quickly sanctions come.


:rotfl: You're the one bringing up histories of 65-71 while telling me to come out of vegetative coma? True an all out war may be a rare scenario in such a case and any limited unconventional war with Pak will have India alone teaching a lesson in manners, it will however have the US providing intel on key strategic asset movements, if push comes to shove, the joint action teams of SF from US/India will go after these weapons and this is where we will have Unkil in our corner. Sanctions in this day and age against India from any western power is not possible considering the significant amount of business/trade being impacted. Sure China/Pak will bicker but they always do. Also the west knows if any limited war starts it will be because of Paki provocation and India's reply would be wholly justified.

An all out war with Pak however rare will certainly drag the US into it indirectly because the cornered rabid dogs of Pak will want to desperately cross the nuke threshold and any movements in their strategic assets will send alarm bells ringing across Washington too and not just New Delhi. This doesn't mean India can't and won't punish Pak alone but Paki nukes falling into worse hands (un-uniformed jihadi nut jobs) is bad news for US and the entire region.

The bigger threat however is China and tis better to the US in our corner on this front too. Sure a 126 aircraft purchase may not be possible as we have not reached the levels of trust required for this but we are certainly getting there. I am also glad we didn't rush into a friendship with them and that progress has been slow and tedious, this over time will assure that the relationship is based on equal partnership. I see more purchases from the US in the short term and more co-devs on the long run. I think at this time SD and other internal mechanisms of the US should hardly be the concern, instead the goal going forward should be to put in mechanisms at both sides to allow for mutual trust regardless of which Govt. is in power.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby chaanakya » 04 Jun 2015 13:59

I think ot is not a question of History but continuing thread running in the India US ties. US has done nothing to ally Indian apprehensions. India is time and again raise the issue of US supporting Pak. economic cooperation with China by US is nother reason for rise of China to where it is. We need to follow the policy of China in this aspect. Take advantage of US as much as possible but show middle finger where our strategic interests are concerned. Matter was raised with Ashton , now on visit to India regarding US arming POak constantly. So transport A/c yes but in depth cooperation , we shall see.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 04 Jun 2015 18:13

Please read reports about the secret deal between the US=Pak and Afghanistan,to basically scr*w India in the region and the Paki-Sino strategy for the same. The Saudi-Paki nuclear "exchange" also winked at by the US just as it winked at the Chinese N-proliferation helping Pak become an N-weapons state.

The US just wants us for cannon fodder and a 1.25B market for its goods,period. No love whatsoever.

Reg. the Rafale,and IAF unhappiness,it's part of the IAF's own making.Theyw ere lukewarm to the LCA and had good reasons for doing so,one must admit,ADA/HAL BS,but could've lobbied hard for the GOI to get its act together and kick ass to get the project on track.Now,with the pockets empty,the IAF is in a real fix. If it is unhappy with just 36 Rafales,then it must tell the GOI to cancel this deal and use the $7B to buy larger numbers of more affordable aircraft,options for the same price,72 MKIs,120 MIG-29UGs,and increase the number of LCAs.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Hobbes » 05 Jun 2015 06:50

Philip wrote:......
Reg. the Rafale,and IAF unhappiness,it's part of the IAF's own making.Theyw ere lukewarm to the LCA and had good reasons for doing so,one must admit


What good reason? Sure, you can term the current issues with HAL's production capabilities (or lack thereof) a reason, but the IAF was at its most negative during the early years of the program, when no issues were extant and the entire focus was on the realization of the design. The IAF chose to ignore its responsibilities at the time, and worse, changed the goalposts midway when they modified the specs.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Hobbes » 05 Jun 2015 06:57

Philip wrote:...
If it is unhappy with just 36 Rafales,then it must tell the GOI to cancel this deal and use the $7B to buy larger numbers of more affordable aircraft,options for the same price,72 MKIs,120 MIG-29UGs,and increase the number of LCAs.


And of course, it is important to parrot the party line with just one more shill for the Rodina's products, marginal though their quality might be.

Image

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 05 Jun 2015 11:06

Yes,and who deliberately and repeatedly kept out a highly respected AM (former VCoAS) from being the DG-ADA,who also headed the DARIN Jag upgrades ? HAL,the DRDO and babudom! He was the one who openly told APJAK that the entire programme was " a fraud upon the nation" ,dates given and expectations made by the GTRE,HAL,etc, were a pack of falsehoods and have never been met.Kaveri then promised within 3 months has been dumped for the LCA and not even the marine version promised years ago has arrived.
[b]
APJAK then made his infamous statement in 2003 about "200 LCAs by 2010",How many have been delivered even now in 2015? Where are the first 40 ordered?


So when the IAF was treated like sh*t by the DRDO,ADA,HAL,the IAF lost interest So please don't defend the utter incompetence of those responsible for the LCA fiasco.What the new dispensation is trying to do is salvage as much as can be done,hoping like everyone,including the IAF today,that we can at least deliver 100+ LCAs asap to meet the IAF's needs.

PS:I'd like members to list their "Plan B" cost-effective options for MIG-21/27 replacements given the current situ,little money plus LCA MK-1 production in the doldrums. I've given mine.If it is unpalatable to some so be it. I might feel the same about their options.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby member_23891 » 05 Jun 2015 16:43

Philip wrote:[b]Yes,and who deliberately and repeatedly kept out a highly respected AM (former VCoAS) from being the DG-ADA,who also headed the DARIN Jag upgrades ?


Sir, is there any link to the same. Thanks in advance.

I hope IAF's current stand on LCA is not because of perticular retired individual's personal interests or career ambition. Do IAF leadership use retd personnel to suppprt carry out an agenda or whatever? I hope it is not so.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Cosmo_R » 05 Jun 2015 17:00

chaanakya wrote:I think ot is not a question of History but continuing thread running in the India US ties. US has done nothing to ally Indian apprehensions. India is time and again raise the issue of US supporting Pak. economic cooperation with China by US is nother reason for rise of China to where it is. We need to follow the policy of China in this aspect. Take advantage of US as much as possible but show middle finger where our strategic interests are concerned. Matter was raised with Ashton , now on visit to India regarding US arming POak constantly. So transport A/c yes but in depth cooperation , we shall see.


A little OT in this thread but connected by warning to AC. I am as frustrated as you by the way the DoS has coddled Pakistan since time immemorial. I have no explanations and even a Christine Fair is screaming at the administration for turning a blind eye.

But here's the interesting part. All through the Afghan war 2001 onwards, the US knew the Pakis were using aid to kill US and Afghan forces. In May 2011, even the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Abottabad which exposed paki duplicity in hiding the guy who was responsible for the WTC/Pentagon attacks did nothing to change US policy.

In other words, if the US is not willing to play hardball with the pakis for things that they have done to the US, why would they care about what they do to India?

The separate question is what do the pakis have on the US? The easy answer is loose nukes. But it has to be something more than that. The only clue I can come up with is Hillary Clinton saying : " Another Faisal Shehzad, and there's going to hell to pay...".

So, I guess on top of all the other stuff the pakis can mess up locally, the diaspora is rife with sleeper cells.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Austin » 05 Jun 2015 17:25

Dont bother about Hillary she is very high on rhetoric and very low on action. She will make look Obama redline like an angel

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 05 Jun 2015 17:38

Praval,the AM concerned was in service when he was first selected to head the ADA,even passed by the PM! Babudom and vested interests kept him from taking up the post ,waited till he retired and he was too decent to fight/lobby for the post.The saga is also available in the memoirs of a retd. IAF officer.This has been posted much earlier on BRF.I am reposting some of it again.It gives a good insight into the origins,gestation of the project and why it has suffered so much of delay,the story continues even today!

Sorry for posting this in the Raffy td. but it is part of the whole debate and gives an insight into what the IAF really wanted .

One fine morning at about that time I received a call from my AOC in C Air Marshal JR Bhasin. The Air HQ desired that the DRDO would take on the task of designing and building a modern fighter aircraft that could be used by the air force. An outline of a proposal received from the DRDO was available with the Command HQ. The Air HQ had decided to seek field level opinion about the proposal and tabulate the wish list of the operators so that a consolidated response could be put out to the MOD and the DRDO. For this purpose a very broad based conference had been planned at the Air HQ where the operational commands and the VCAS and DCAS were to present their wish list in the form of a presentation. To prepare for the conference at Delhi, the AOC in C wanted all his field commanders and staff to apply their minds on the subject and then come down to the Command HQ at Jodhpur for a session of brain storming. He had sent a copy of the papers received from the Air HQ to me by post and I should get that by the next day. We had about four days to think about the task and to gather at Jodhpur.

I became rather exited. It is not often that one is invited to participate in shaping of the future. My base Jamnagar was one of the most active fighter stations of the Air Force. I knew that my unit commanders and their subordinate staff would be as excited about the project as I was. I called in my unit commanders and the Chief Operations Officer (COO) and informed them about the impending task. The anticipation for the detailed information to arrive was delectable.

The details were received through mail next morning. It was contained in a few pages of print. It described the intention to build a single engine tail-less delta plan-form aircraft powered by an engine designed by the GTRE. It was to have a multi-purpose radar designed and built within the country that was to be totally contemporary and to be highly capable in the air to air / air to ground / maritime roles. The aircraft was to be an unstable platform controlled by ‘fly by wire’ technique. It was also to contain all functionalities of a small agile low-observable fighter that could be found anywhere in the world at that point of time. Its projected weight was to be seven tons empty. It was to be designed and developed within about ten years. This dream, the DRDO felt, was achievable. Personally I disagreed with that statement.

Group Captain KN (Pinki) Pillai was at that moment commanding the TACDE based on my station. Wing Commander Sunil Gulati was commanding 29 Squadron. Wing Commander Jeff D’Souza was commanding 45 Squadron. Group Captain Ravi Kumar was my Chief operations Officer. We quickly got into a huddle to formulate a point of view on the missive we had received. The discussion soon heated up and we included other senior pilots and engineers from the units into the discussion. The source of the heat generated was the vagueness of the objective of the exercise.

Indeed, the write-up that we had received was rather confusing. The project seemed extremely ambitions. An airframe to be built with extensive use of composite material of which we had no previous experience, an engine that was still on paper, a radar set that was to be better than our imported best and yet be lighter in weight and perhaps a bit smaller in size, an electronic control system for an unstable platform (the struggle with the control laws for the Gnat being still vividly in our memory), a completely unconventional digital man/machine interface while we had no experience at all of the new fangled concept of a ‘glass cockpit’, and all this within a decade! It sounded implausible. At the same time, the paper sent down to us clearly gave us the impression that this super duper futuristic aircraft was what we were required to commit for in ten years’ time. Our Hunters, Gnats, Maruts, Mig21s would all start winding down in the nineties. If we did not start planning for these replacements realistically from now (the early eighties), we shall have undermined the ability of the air force to perform its task.

The vigor of our discussion soon pushed us into smoke and sparks rather than a beam of focused light and we had to draw back and ask ourselves whether we knew what we were talking about. What in our collective wisdom should be the focus of our comment? At last we summarized our views as follows:

We felt that the proposed aircraft was over-ambitious. We felt that we were not likely to succeed in building the aircraft within a decade. We hastened to add that we had no quarrels with the concept of dreaming big; we only needed to remain practical and credible in our endeavor.
We felt that development of critical technologies in radar and engine should be pursued with vigor but that effort must not be tied to an aircraft project clearly identified for time-bound induction into the air-force as the risk of delay or failure of the project would be too high


We reminded ourselves that in ten years time our force strength would decline. We felt that our energies would be better spent in upgrading our present strength of aircraft with better technologies in sensors and weapons. We felt that in the MiG 21 BIS we had the most optimized 7 ton fighter aircraft available in the whole world. It was however already more that 20 years old. It was therefore attractive as a target platform for substantial technological up-gradation. If we could modernize its avionics, give it a nav-attack system, add electronic self-defence capabilities, add more modern communications and add newer guided weapons and hopefully put in a modern by-pass engine into the airframe then we would have a formidable aircraft on our hands. We felt that we would be capable of handling such a development.

Having cleared our own minds, we got down to the task of preparing a presentation to convince the rest of the Air Force.

It is easy to have a gut-feeling. It is also easy to convince yourself that your feeling is based on logic and reason. Perhaps it is even easy to find support for the ideas you are feeling from amongst your friends and your immediate colleagues. It is quite a different thing how ever to present your idea in front of a large audience comprising your bosses and perhaps a segment of critical friends. It was therefore a hard grind to prepare the presentation that was to be given to the AOC in C at Jodhpur.

We started the presentation with a bald and bold set of statements laying out the three summary views we had arrived at. We were sure that such a start would shake up the audience. To substantiate the first point we put the outline of the proposed LCA as received under a microscope, put every goal stated to a comparative study with the standards achieved by the MiG21 BIS, the Mirage 2000 and a general study of achievements within public knowledge anywhere in the world. We talked of structural weight and structural volume, we talked of clean aircraft design and of drag and lift, and we talked of thrust weigh ratios and of range and endurance. We talked of Specific Fuel Consumption and fuel carrying capacities within the airframe. Bit by bit we tried to prove that to create a structure that was somewhat lighter than the MiG21 and then extract aerodynamic performance from it that almost equaled the Mirage 2000 (which was about two tons heavier) would need us to technologically improve our performance in every single element of design and construction of the airframe and engine by at least fifteen to twenty percent from our currently known capabilities or aspirations. (We were yet to build a single operational jet engine). We felt that a time frame of ten years for this scale of achievements was implausible.

We now took up the case of proposed sensors. The proposal put out by the DRDO did not include a laser rangefinder for air to ground role. The assumption therefore was that the onboard radar would have to provide primary range data for air to ground role as well as air to air role. The problem as we saw it was we had never designed any airborne radar of any sort. The radar on the MiG 21 was rudimentary. None of the aircraft of the older generation like the Hunter/Gnat/Mystere/Marut had any airborne radar. The radar fitted in the maritime Jaguars were yet to enter service. The radar fitted to the Mirage 2000 had come without any transfer of technology. It was not clear whether we were capable or creating a duplicate that would be even better in performance. The proposed LCA was smaller that the Mirage 2000. Even if we had access to Mirage 2000 radar, would it fit into the smaller volume of the LCA? There was no indication that this had been considered. Therefore, we were totally dependent on the success of the proposed MMR. If that failed or was subjected to any delay the whole LCA project would be endangered.

We also dwelt on the Kaveri as the proposed engine for the LCA. The engine was far from a reality. Even if the first few prototypes of the LCA flew on some other engine, to commit to a production run of an aircraft yet to be built based on a maiden venture on an engine yet to be designed needed a leap of faith we were unable to make.

Thus I made our first point: If the DRDO is confident of achieving everything they have aimed at, God-Speed to them. We are however skeptical about their time frame of one decade. Therefore, we recommend that the effort of the DRDO be taken up as a national project not related to Air Force funds and plans. If the DRDO succeeds in its venture and a useable aircraft is produced, the Air Force can always induct that product as soon as it is available.

We then moved over to the second point of our presentation. A modern offensive air weapon system like a fighter aircraft contains many technologically advanced components that in 1982 were not produced in the country. Apart from an aero engine and an air interception radar, many other things like secure communication, Electronic Countermeasures and counter-countermeasures, pilots’ man/machine interface, survival equipment for the aircrew, oxygen systems, intelligent weapons and advanced sensors and so on. If we ever wanted to be capable of independent and effective military air and space operations, it would be necessary for us to master these technologies. We therefore felt that any research and development under taken by DRDO in these fields should be vigorously supported by the Air Force. Successes in these fields would enhance our abilities across the board. There was therefore no need to tie any of these R&D to any specific project. R&D on all component development should proceed vigorously.

The third point of our presentation was centered on our need to get some useable and effective aircraft into the air force within a decade. We mentioned that the Gnat was a spent force, the Hunters were becoming difficult to maintain, the SU-7 and the Type 77s would soon finish their lives. We needed credible replacements and we saw no inductions on the horizon. We therefore felt that a midlife upgrade for the MiG21BIS Type 75 was urgently needed. We felt that an upgrade should concentrate on new electronics and weapons. We also felt that if a less thirsty engine could be found for induction that would increase its radius of action it would be very good. We felt confident that the talent available in India was capable of delivering such an upgrade. We suggested that irrespective of what the DRDO plans about a project called LCA, the MiG21BIS upgrade program must be taken up without delay.

Having created the presentation, we polished it for a couple of days. The task of verbal delivery of the presentation was shouldered mainly by me and Pinky Pillai with able help from the rest of the members of the team. We had many talented young officers on the station. Our audio visual support for the planned presentation came to a high standard. We then proceeded to Jodhpur for the conference.

The other two major stations of the SWAC, Jodhpur and Bhuj, had kept their presentations simple. They functioned on the premise that the DRDO would deliver what ever was being promised. They just asked for a few additional items like laser ranger. The presentation at Jodhpur was an easy walk-over for us. We evoked a lot of opposition that we readily overcame. Our presentation was technically superior as we had much more resources and manpower than the other stations. After a day of debate we were chosen as the SWAC team for the presentation at the Air HQ.

The Gathering at the Air HQ was big. Mr Shahariyar, the Scientific Advisor to the Chief of the Air Staff was the organizer for the meeting as he represented the DRDO to the Air Force. However, the Directorate of Air Staff Requirements (DASR) under Air Vice Marshal JW (Johney) Greene took over the actual conduct of the conference, as ultimately they would have to become the nodal agency for induction of an indigenous aircraft.

In 1982, the SWAC was the youngest of the operational commands. We were therefore called upon to make our presentation after the other commands had had their say. The morning was tending to become a bit monotonous. It seemed to me that most of the presentations were based on thin air! At long last it was my turn. The auditorium was full of dignitaries. The Chief, Air Chif Marshal Idris Latif was present. All his PSOs and most of the ACASs and Directors were also present. There was a senior rep from the Navy. The HAL, the NAL and many other DRDO Labs were represented. The hall was actually overflowing with middle ranking officers, many of them standing two or three deep in the rear. The SWAC team took the stage. Very soon all the monotony of the morning was gone. The audacity and challenge of our presentation shook up the audience. I am however not sure whether the Chief took to our presentation kindly. He was an ardent supporter of the concept of the LCA. Our open disbelief of the DRDO’s claims and aims ran contrary to the theme of the conference. There was a frown on his face as we rambled on, and he left the hall before we came to the end of our presentation. He did however come back to be present during the vociferous Q&A session that followed.

There were some more presentations to be done after we finished. The day rolled on after a lunch break. Some time before the end of the proceeding and the summing up, I was told not to plan my departure from the Air HQ without checking with the DASR. We had planned to return on the following day. Pinky and I cancelled our plans and stayed back. Next day when we reported to the DASR, we were asked to prepare a paper summary of our presentation that included not only what we had said in the presentation but also the substance of the discussions that had followed. We struggled for a couple of days and submitted a paper. It was not a very hopeful one.

After returning to Jamnagar, we did not get involved with the LCA project at all. I had a station to command and that took all my attention. I enjoyed my job so thoroughly that I did not spare a thought for the LCA during my stay in Jamnagar. Apparently however, I did not do a good job of of my base command. I was overlooked by the promotion board. I was sent away as the CI of the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington. It was a slot for an AVM but I filled it in my lower rank hoping that the next promotion board will elevate my rank. Once again, I enjoyed my job and scarcely spared a thought for the LCA for the duration of my stay as the CI(Air) at the DSSC.

TheAir Force is ultimately a small society. Over a period of time and for any seniority band, every body gets to know (about) everybody else. From the DSSC at Wellington, I had many occasions to go down to Bangalore. There, I invariably met ****** (then Air Commodore **********) who was then the Commandant of the ASTE (Aircraft and Armament Testing Establishment). He was a keen observer of the progress of the LCA project and, like most of us, wished it well. During one of these visits he told me that the DRDO had asked him to come and join the LCA team at a senior level. He was not however keen to leave the Air Force and go over to DRDO permanently. He was willing to do a limited tenure there on deputation. The DRDO had requested the Air Force for him to be deputed and the Air Force had declined to let him go. We had long interactions about the LCA, primarily laced with disappointment and lack of hope. The initial inputs for our 1982 conference had been put together by the HAL design bureau. A design study for this project had begun in 1983 but we had very little information filtering through on its progress The progress on Kavery was slow, the information on MMR was vague. Some other developments from the electronics fields were somewhat more encouraging. We had very little idea about the progress of the aerodynamic/structural development. NAL seemed upbeat about their progress on composites.

On 31 October 1984 I was in Nashik with the Industrial And Demonstration Tour for the Staff College students. The news of the assassination of the PM and the mayhem that followed stopped us on our tracks. A few extra days were spent at Nashik under high uncertainties. To keep myself occupied at that time, I spent a lot of time with my friend Wing Commander P Ashok. He was then the Chief Test Pilot with HAL Nashik. In the process, I ran into Sri Kota Harinarayana. Kota was then with CRE and was located in Nashik. He was a man on the go. Ebullient and enthusiastic, he spent a lot of his time on design studies for the proposed LCA, though he was not in the LCA development team as yet. At that moment, he had just completed a study of wing-leading edge- root extension on a MiG 21. He had proposed it and had been authorized to carry out the experiment. He was quite excited about it and he took me to see the aircraft that had been modified. To me, it looked like a small modification, somewhat like the HT2 leading edge root extensions incorporated to provide a stall warning buffet. The MiG21 LREX experiment had by then been completed and the authorized number of sorties had been flown by Ashok. I did not investigate about the results of the experiment. However Sri Kota Harinarayana was really full about all the theoretical studies he was involved in for the proposed LCA. He was indeed very keen to join in the LCA effort. Soon thereafter, we learnt that the development tasks for the LCA had been shifted from the HAL Design Bureau / NAL to a new entity called ADA and Sri Kota Harinarayana had been placed as the head of ADA. The ADA took in a fair number of people from the HAL design Bureau. The lead designers from HAL / NAL who had worked on the project so far slowly drifted away.

By the middle of 1985 I moved on from the DSSC to take over the command of Ari Force Station Kalaikunda. It was a hectic tenure that kept me busy. The LCA did not enter in my thought process except an an object of keen interest. I was involved in a flying accident in February 1986 and spent the next few month in hospitals or in convalescence, plastered up to my hip. In August 1986 I retired from the Air Force. I was then only 52 years old. I was sure of my abilities. I was interested in the LCA project. It seemed to me that project management for the project needed to be strengthened. I felt sure that with my recent experience of managing the Jaguar project I could contribute. I therefore wrote a letter to Sri Arunachalam, who was then heading the DRDO, offering my services. There was a very prompt response to that letter. The SA to RM welcomed my gesture and promised to follow it up after due consultation with ADA. It was a very sweet letter, but that was the last I heard from the DRDO.

After my retirement I had more time on my hand. I kept track of the progress of the LCA project to the best of my ability. However, for the most par we only got bad news. By 1990 it had become quite clear the the time lines for the Kaveri will not match the time line for the LCA. The two projects had to be separated. Yet, the DRDO seemed blind to this need. The MMR progress was uneven. Some collaborative effort was necessary. There was no indication in the public domain that this need was being recognized. We got to know that the project definition phase for the LCA had been completed by 1989. A full scale engineering development (FSED) phase-I was sanctioned in 1993. It is difficult to list what exactly transpired relating to the project between 1989 and 1993. A higher risk alternative of digital quad-redundant path had been chosen for the fly by wire system, but no investments were being made for testing the system being developed. Instead of harnessing our own capability, the DRDO plumped for American help. This decision blew up in our face in 1998. Time ticked on. It became obvious to us that project management for LCA was not adequate.

By 28 Feb 1993 ****** had reached his age of retirement. He was then a full Air Marshal holding the post of Vice Chief of the Air Staff. Dr Abdul Kalam was then the SA to RM. He wanted ****** to take over the LCA project in the existing vacancy of Director General ADA as he had done good work earlier on the very successful “Jaguar Darin” project. ****** was willing to take on the challenge provided his name was proposed jointly by DRDO & Air Force so that he was not identified as an “Air Force” man or a “DRDO” man and he could function freely in the interests of the project. Accordingly, the SA to RM routed the file through the CAS who concurred with the proposal and forwarded it to the RM Sri Sharad Pawar in Feb 93. It is learnt that the same got approval from three out of the four members of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) within a couple of months but was held up by the PMO for more than two years on various pretexts. It was examined by a few more search Committees all of whom had concurred with the original selection of ******. Dr Kalam intervened again and ******* appointment was finally cleared by the PM in Jun 95. The file was then passed to the Establishment Directorate for issue of an official letter of appointment. Even after another one full year, this letter had not been issued. It looked as if no one other than Dr Kalam was interested in strengthening the LCA project Management, and even he was powerless to enforce his will in the face of departmental apathy/antipathy.******was determined not to pursue his own case but act only if the formal appointment letter was issued. That post still remains vacant after almost two decades! That was that.

Once again it is difficult to list what exactly happened to the project between 1993 and 1998 beyond the public domain information that the FSED Phase – I was in progress and what ever information is included in Air Marshal Rajkumar’s book on the Tejas. In 1998 USA imposed an embargo on all support for the LCA and confiscated all data and documentation in possession of our team working there on proving the digital flight control system on an F-16 simulator. It seems that the team had not taken the precaution of backloading all their data every day. A lot of hard work now had to be redone by the team on their return to India. Ultimately, the LCA Technology Demonstrator-I flew for the first time on 4 Jan 2001.

Notwithstanding the passage of 19 years between our first conceptual meeting in 1982 and the first flight in 2001, we were all thrilled. The Air Force sanctioned the building of 5 prototype aircraft and 8 limited series production aircraft to help the project progress. As an act of faith, it also ordered first 20 and then another 20 aircraft to be built with the GE404 engine as the power plant. It was implicit in this action that the aircraft will obtain its full operational clearance by the time it enters squadron service.

From that first flight in 2001, it took another decade for the LCA, now named Tejas, to reach a partial ‘initial’ operational clearance in January 2011. This clearance appears to be a decorative clearance. By now the 5 prototype vehicles and 6 of the 8 limited series production aircraft have flown. More than one year has gone by since this partial IOC. The project seems to have hit some rough patch. Full IOC is yet to come. Progress appears slow. We have brilliant people working in the ADA, NAL, HAL, ADE, NFTC and the host of other organizations involved with the LCA. But is the Project for the LCA being managed well? That is the question. The long gestation period for this very important national project saddens me. My grand daughter Prakriti was born about a year after the project definition for the LCA was completed. Prakriti will graduate out of the UCLA in a few weeks, while I wait anxiously for the Tejas to collect it’s matriculation certificate!

Now a days when I think about the Tejas, many scenarios, many ‘what if’ s if you like, cross my mind. What if we had allowed the HAL design team to handle the development without going through the ADA route? What if ****** or I were allowed to take on the project management? in 1983 – in 1986 – in 1993 – in 1996 ? What if we had the guts to depend on our own people for the development of the digital flight control system, some thing that we were ultimately forced to do anyway? What if we had listened to internal doubts expressed in muted tones and then in thunderous debates that the Kavery project will not and cannot match with the Tejas project in good time? This obvious decision had to be forced down our gullet after a long period of wasted time. (Those readers who had not been aware of the Tejas Project at that time may like to look up the transcript of the Address made by ****** at the ASTE Seminar on Flight Testing on 10 December 1997. The full transcript was published by the Vayu Magazine). What if we had realized a couple of years earlier that the MMR will need foreign collaboration to fit into the Tejas program? What if we had coordinated our testing program more tightly with the existing assets of ASTE and HAL Flight Test Division rather than creating a brand new set-up of NFTC for the purpose? (I hasten to add that NFTC and Phillip Raj Kumar who was tasked to set it up did perform excellently. I only wonder whether we could have saved some time and resources?)

I also wonder if my original presentation in 1982 had any effect on the responses of the Air Force in relation to the LCA project? I have never regretted stating my opinion and my assessments during that presentation. I am glad that we were not swayed by over enthusiasm. I am glad that our assessment of the time required for the LCA project were more real than what was then the current wisdom. I am glad that the up-grade project of MiG21BIS to BISON standard came about. I am however sad that our professional judgement on our courses of actions to fulfill the task allotted to the Air Force is now criticized by people who do not carry the responsibility of keeping the Air Force fit for its tasks. And above all, I am saddened by the realization that in this project of developing the LCA we seem to have not reached our true potential. I know we can reach where we aim to. It has taken a long time. We are not yet there. But, we must continue till we succeed. A definitive determination to be honest to the nation, Politically, Administratively, Technologically and Morally, would help. There is no room for defeatism.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby chaanakya » 05 Jun 2015 20:06

SO IAF treated it as National Project to be supported from outside not as IAF project to be supported tightly from within IAF. Interesting.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby ramana » 05 Jun 2015 21:54

Anti-authority mode in full display.
Yes it's ambitious in 1980s. How about now?

Also one can't disparage the program and hope to head it. Even if one is a gentle soul!!!

Anyway IAF has successfully stalled LCA for so long. So why the bile for past non-appointment!

Looks like stuck on past snap judgments and not wantin go make earlier assessments incorrect.
Example of ritualization of assessment.
Sort of mimansa in IAF mindset.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Shalav » 05 Jun 2015 23:47

Re-evaluating and negating earlier decisions about the LCA would bring into question what previous ACM's and their juniors were doing!

Once the IAF starts saying the LCA is acceptable, the next obvious question would be - why was it not acceptable earlier? Uncomfortable conclusions would be reached and awkward questions would be asked.

More and more it is looking like the IAF is protecting past ACM's and their disastrously short sighted decisions about the LCA. This may also probably bring into question the decisions made by currently serving IAF officers.

It may just be this present obstinacy could be partly to protect retired and serving officers' reputations and damn the torpedoes!

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Prasad » 05 Jun 2015 23:51

Without a proper LCA role in the IAF, you can all kiss the AMCA goodbye.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby tsarkar » 06 Jun 2015 09:11

Ramana et al,

Anything complex with core technology to be developed or unavailable takes time to develop & become operational, like LCA. Anything built with available technology gets developed faster like JF-17. DRDO wanted former while IAF wanted latter. Hence the disconnect.

Many praise the IN, but if you observe objectively,
Type 15 Delhi Class is Rajput class+ (that itself is an evolution of original Kashin), Type 15A is Rajput++ and Type 15B is Rajput+++
Type 12M Leander was an evolution of Whitby class. Type 16 Godavari was Leander+. Type 16A Brahmaputra was Leander++
Type 1135.6 Talwar was an evolution of Krivak Class. Type 17 Shivalik is Talwar+. Type 17A will be Talwar++
INS Arihant re-uses Type 877EKM sub systems wherever possible. The sonar, ESM is what DRDO developed for EKM upgrades. So its a Kilo+

Its a safer development methodology. Even delay in a sub system like Barak-8/LRSAM almost scuttled the Kolkata.

Tejas Mk1 does not have a EW suite, since the pod could not be developed. The trials on PV1 for EW suite under development is for installation on Mk2, and not Mk1. It just had its first trials, and will take time to complete development. Yet IAF has ordered 40. That is roughly equivalent to the same number of Su-30K Su-30MK-I, MK-II, MK-III ordered until the definitive Su-30MKI entered service. Even JF-17, first 8 machines were pre-production and thereafter next 42 SBM (Serial Build Models) were Block1. So Tejas Mk1 orders are as per prevalent norms.

Some mistakes eager members on the forum do are -

1. Whenever something is reported under development, members automatically assume all design specifications will be met, and it is as good as available today. In real life, it takes time to give shape to design.

2. When something is reported under testing, members automatically assume its completed development and ready for service. In real life, there are repeated iterations of testing and development. Like Astra, whose design changed after multiple iterations of testing.

3. When something is reported to have completed development, members automatically assume its in service. In real life, taking a developed product into production is a whole new ball game by itself. Read the CAG report of Pinaka production, and the pain it took to get Pinaka rocket manufacture process in place.

4. When something is reported to enter service, members automatically assume its entered service fit for combat. In real life, new equipment undergo familiarization and operationalized through various exercises, and that takes 3-5 years before it is ready for combat. Maintenance processes and Supply Chains are established. Akash missile entered IAF service in Pune & Gwalior, that are farthest bases from the border in SWAC & CAC respectively, never attacked in any war.

5. Another mistake is our member’s clarion call to the nation to induct 100+ Tejas Mark1. HAL has been unable to produce a stable product like Dhruv as per its own timelines. The delivery of IAF+IA orders of 159 Mk3 & Mk4 are way behind schedule. Tejas SP1 & SP2 are not per IOC standards, and will not enter squadron service. SP3 and SP4 are no-where in sight. IJT is no where in sight. HTT-40 is no where in sight. MTA is no where in dreams. HAL as a corporation can take a decision by itself to explore possibilities of working with Embraer whose C-390 is progressing fast. But it doesn't.

In reality, and applies to any project anywhere & everywhere in the world, actual performance specifications might be lower than design specification, lab quality might not be possible to replicate on the production shop floor, and in field product performance might be even lower.

So its delusional to think that design specifications for Mk2 and sub-systems under development for Mk2 makes Mk1 superlative to be ordered in 100s.

Even IN builds ships in batches of 3, so instead of 10 Delhi, we've 3 Delhi, 3 Kolkata & 4 Vishakhapatnam.
Last edited by tsarkar on 06 Jun 2015 09:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby ramana » 06 Jun 2015 09:24

thanks tsarkar for the insight.

Yes the 40 for LCA was to set up the line.

looks like OFB, HAL etc are all failing to deliver. Why is it so?

Are the facilities inadequate? supply chain problems?
funding issues? labor problems? And what is RM doing about it?
Every body sincerely gets medals/awards annually for production targets met.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby tsarkar » 06 Jun 2015 09:25

My take, since this is a Rafale/MMRCA thread, is that junk the Rafale if ToT is not available and cost is high.

Build more Su-30MKI than the 140 in production, indigenize it more, check the possibility of fitting PAK-FA AESA or derivative, and wait for Tejas Mk2, and order it in progressively upgraded blocks rather than the quantum leap of AMCA. And keep that as a single National fighter like the PAKFA, Gripen, Rafale or Eurofighter.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby tsarkar » 06 Jun 2015 09:34

Lots of fundamental problems, Ramana, starting with recruitment, not just at OFB but also at Dockyards managed by IN with civilian workers. Don't have the time for a detailed post, but will explain in brief. Naval Dockyard, Mumbai is the largest employer in the city with 10,000 odd workers.

Typically they recruit matriculates, that were good for producing weapons of the 50's. Any move to upgrade education standards to say, diplomas, is scuttled by Unions, who also put pressure to ensure their children, whether educated or not, are also recruited into the Dockyard/Factories. This is backed by local politicians who see the unions as a large political force.

However, OFB Officers are a fine category, and it is because of their efforts we get meaningful output.

There was an article by an IAF officer on how OFB was unable to manufacture basic bombs & rockets to proper standards or numbers.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby chetak » 06 Jun 2015 10:33

Karan M wrote:
chetak wrote:
Karan, No argument there.

[b]But all those aircraft were done deals for whatever reason. We have/had no options but to operate the said aircraft. That the IAF has lumped it in the above cases is no argument for them lumping it again. They have a choice now. All arguments with respect to the arms import lobby and greedy b@stards in the forces and MOD and politicians is very true and more but the aam jantha/aam jawan in the forces needs the best we can give them. The lives of families of martyred soldiers is mostly a very grim nightmare. A few articulate city dwelling widows do come on TV and are very aggressive but the vast, vast majority of the widows and families are doomed to a grey and hope less life, drained of all dignity and on extremely tight budgets with nary a hope of any systemic support. They are the actual folks who are lumping it, without choice, without hope and without a future.


Chetak, therein lies the rub of the matter. The IAF AHQ is fully ok with operating obsolete platforms which are are increasingly a problem since logistics is becoming more and more an issue. Yet, they insist they will not operate something that is more advanced, because its not the best there is. This logic is no logic at all, because the LCA is anyday better than the earlier platforms which the IAF is flogging away. One could understand if they say the LCA is not sufficient to (say) be operated in the hundreds since the Mk2 is required. However, when the Mk1 will bring more to the table than the MiG-21 and 27 or even a Jaguar, then instead of working the kinks out, the IAF is busy trying to FUD the program and holding out for more expensive aircraft, which thanks to the price, will become hanger queens if procured in equivalent numbers.

The jawans fight without effective BPJs which other armies consider as common and as essential as langots. I recently stopped and chatted with an ordinary young jawan on airport security in a small regional airport. I was so very happy to see him carrying a MP5 which he so proudly showed me. Not many are so privileged to carry such weapons. I often spend time like this and ask about their service conditions. Not pleasant to hear.


And here is the rub. Why exactly is this dysfunctional state of affairs in an Army which has the funds to order 1657 T-90s (most of them imported), has funds enough to bypass usual procurement and order excess thermal imagers since the tank ones didn't work.. yet its soldiers lack BPJs and there are scandals over rations?
The fact is that for a long time, some in services themselves have gone for big ticket procurement whilst ignoring the long term aspects of sustainment and let it remain as something that is the domain of "other people".
The DGArty supported the Dhanush (what were his predecessors doing or who stopped them?) and he faced resistance from the IA bureaucracy itself.
Sad to say but there are many people feeding off of the import spigot, and the everyday Colonel, Major, sowar or the odd Brigadier has no clue of the depth of the rot that is there in Delhi and elsewhere.

is this how we treat our guys who often without choice, wind up dead, whilst protecting some (actually expendable!!) ungrateful and privileged Indians ?? I don't think so.


I agree with you that we need to do our bit supporting the everyday man, but again, that's exactly the issue here.

Its of procurement choices which end up being suboptimal time and again, whilst being taken (ostensibly) for the right reasons. We all want our soldiers to be well equipped. But its galling to see the manner in which the most bull headed decisions are made citing national defense being non negotiable, yet we negotiate our very sovereignty away while paying through the nose, AND at the end of the day, we don't even get what we paid for.

Time and again, the IAF's voluble clique has made national aerospace endeavours their target. Using selective leaks to outright FUD, they did everything they could to scuttle, delay programs like the LCA. Which other country's AF had its own CAS advised not to attend the first flight of its aircraft, lest it be seen as IAF supporting the Tejas? Such stuff is beyond the pale. Whether it be holding HAL to fix things or IAF to hold their end of the bargain up, both need to be done.

We simply can't be importing fighters at prices which even their manufacturing nations balk at. Meanwhile, they have state of the art infrastructure, medical facilities and what not. India in the meanwhile is barely able to fund the most basic of things, yet we import the most fancy gear and later on complain funds are insufficient for long term support, so more are required. Meanwhile, the same worthies who advocate such expensive imports, come out on talk shows and loudly decry even a Rs spent on local R&D and programs. This is just beyond bizarre and needs to be changed.


It's a call that the nation has to take. I have no dog in this fight anymore. I have worked for years in "organisations" on both sides of the debate.

If anyone thinks that the Forces will continue to "work" with less than ideal equipment, they may but only up to a point. No effing political joker or babu can command or demand services from Forces that do not exist. If there is continued apathy and disinterest toward the soldier and his needs and this is seen in increased attrition rates, the required intake will simply dry up and then one will have to work, without choice, with what ever turns up at the recruitment center. This is already being seen and is very worrying to the Forces and it's planners.

Why would anyone put his life on the line for ungrateful people?? Do you think that it's only the salary that motivates the soldier?? You could not be more wrong. Izzat and honor also play a large part. If there is a perceived degradation in these intangible parameters, it will show up to our detriment on the jung ka maidan.

The degradation of these vital social parameters have a direct impact on the families and the associated social structures and hence strike the very root of the source of the recruitment base.

We do not have any institutionalized structure for R&D or even it's systematic development. It's very largely a hit or miss system that does not work effectively and hence the staffing is very poor. Every head honcho joker who comes in (at what ever level he may be) takes extreme and malicious pleasure in completely overturning the policies and plans of his predecessor. All old favorites are replaced with new favorites, who will in their turn, be replaced once again. It's only raining favorites all the time

Bright young engineers and physicists and what not do not even turn and look back at the military industrial complex. It is avoided like the plague. Bad for the marriage and dowry market onlee.

Why are you going on and on about the tejus?? Yes, it is Indian, but to what extent?? Why is the customer unhappy?? Have his concerns been adequately addressed or do you want them to "lump" it?? Yes there is a import lobby but this lobby would have been stopped cold in its tracks had the tejus delivered with quality and in time?? The ADA, HAL and others could not deliver on their promises but one wants the IAF to accept it?? If some speak out, are they all import lobby agents?? This knife cuts both ways. Maybe in one of the local meets, if I am in the mood, I will tell you about effing HAL and it's effing aircraft and It's effing management and the effing DRDO and you in turn will tell me all about the effing Forces. Don't forget to bring the daru and lots of it.

I didn't hear of any civilian scientist working for free or actually fixing problems that have plagued the kaveri. We all should do our bit to support and encourage the Indian efforts but would anyone in his right mind support the kaveri engine now?? At what exact point of project review should one have pulled the plug and that too years ago??

Even if one does a dispassionate review of the entire project now, there are glaring failures and gross departures from laid down criteria that should simply have resulted in the total termination of the project but it was continued in the spirit of a national requirement and now, it has become an unmitigated national disaster. If one questions this does one automatically become unpatriotic??

This is 2015. Decades into independence and no more phoren influences. Why are our scientists in this very sorry stage?? Most of the papers produced can't even be used in the toilet. No worthwhile patents, research is generally internet sourced, cut and paste jobs trotted out at promotion review panels as "original work". Or the forces guys putting in for gallantry medals after photographing an "encounter" with faked ketchup blood??

Every section of society has it's complaints and demands and failed expectations. There seem to be no attempt at realistic root cause analysis but a well developed tendency to pass the buck and point fingers at others. Let's all grow up and take a good hard look at reality. We have all failed, one way or the other.

In actual battle, there is rarely a solution beyond the poor jawan, be he a hot shot fighter pilot sweating blood in a rafale or a poor infantry grunt in the wet mud equipped with a cheapo BPJ and a jammed rifle thinking longingly of his cosy classmate far away, safely running a paan ka dukan or a kirana shop.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 06 Jun 2015 11:10

Tx Tsarkar for putting the issue of designing,developing,testing,producing,and inducting a weapon system in perspective,with respect to the LCA,etc. You are absolutely right about the IN's indigenously designed warships.They were incremental improvements of warships in service.Even the last two Leanders were tweaked to carry a Sea King. It has been a careful step-by-step approach so that the goals are attainable,instead of producing a revolutionary design that fails to deliver in performance and on time.

In retrospect,the IAF was very prescient in developing the Bison.The only flaw with that was they should've bargained for producing at least 180+ Bisons,which would've eased their current pain somewhat!.

With only 36 Rafales affordable,the choice is obvious for the IAF,in acquiring more MKIs,with improved capability.BMos LR AAM,AESA radar,plus some FGFA tech input with which MKI pilots can familiarize them selves with before the FGFA arrives. I doubt they will acquire more cheap MIG-29s,at least 60 will make a diff. in the numbers game.60+ extra MKIs will cost around $4-5B. As the conomic situ stagnates or even takes a plunge,plan B/C,etc . will have to be found.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby chaanakya » 06 Jun 2015 13:36

Shalav wrote:

Once the IAF starts saying the LCA is acceptable, the next obvious question would be - why was it not acceptable earlier? Uncomfortable conclusions would be reached and awkward questions would be asked.


we can't do postmortem if we are able to revive the victim of murder attempt.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby chetak » 06 Jun 2015 14:04

chaanakya wrote:
Shalav wrote:

Once the IAF starts saying the LCA is acceptable, the next obvious question would be - why was it not acceptable earlier? Uncomfortable conclusions would be reached and awkward questions would be asked.


we can't do postmortem if we are able to revive the victim of murder attempt.


Possibly, a couple of governorships or ambassadorships worth of discussions will have to take place before the revival attempt is made and the dying patient is made ready to run and win in the olympics.

unsuspecting sacrificial goats, publicly bleeding real blood will, have to be "bali" ed.

only question, who will bell the goat?? DRDO or IAF??

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby member_20292 » 07 Jun 2015 01:52

chetak wrote:
I didn't hear of any civilian scientist working for free or actually fixing problems that have plagued the kaveri. We all should do our bit to support and encourage the Indian efforts but would anyone in his right mind support the kaveri engine now?? At what exact point of project review should one have pulled the plug and that too years ago??

Even if one does a dispassionate review of the entire project now, there are glaring failures and gross departures from laid down criteria that should simply have resulted in the total termination of the project but it was continued in the spirit of a national requirement and now, it has become an unmitigated national disaster. If one questions this does one automatically become unpatriotic??



Chetak,

it takes a scientist to understand the process of continuous experimentation in the face of failure , in the lab, to produce the required performance . Thorough persistence in the face of egg in one's face. Enthusiasm without encouragement.

Have you ever done that ?

* I have.

It's not easy. Especially when you are trying to beat the world's best efforts.

As long as the research agencies are putting in their best, they should be cut some slack and their products should be procured.

The research agencies need to show the alacrity and hard work, which they do at times and don't at other times. These need to be sorted.

And yes, we will never be as scientifically awesome as the US, for a long time. All the more reason that we buy our own scientists' products to support them.

Science needs support. Indefinite and infinite, albeit with clear goals and funding linked to the meeting of the goals.

ramana
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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby ramana » 07 Jun 2015 03:06

Philip, IAF lost chance for aircraft evolution when the did not support the HF-24 and its follow on.


Anyway who wrote article you linked above?

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Cosmo_R » 07 Jun 2015 03:51

chetak wrote:Why would anyone put his life on the line for ungrateful people?? Do you think that it's only the salary that motivates the soldier?? You could not be more wrong. Izzat and honor also play a large part. If there is a perceived degradation in these intangible parameters, it will show up to our detriment on the jung ka maidan.


Ah! you've put your finger on it. The Indian military is fast becoming a social scheme much like the railways. Take this as an example:

" "Unemployment is a big problem. Kashmiris are desperate -- taking up whatever opportunities come their way," said Ghulam Hassan Mir, a senior leader with the pro-India ruling People's Democratic Party."

http://articles.economictimes.indiatime ... es-threats

This is not limited to Kashmir. It's another way for unemployed youth to get a government job.

Fine, but as a social scheme, it's viewed by the dilli billis as the same faustian bargain as they expect of the poor police guys. "You should be grateful and not ask for things..."

What we really need in India is a draft that touches all strata of society. You want to get into IIT? marks alone won't do it. Extra points for having served in the forces. You want a great job?, as a vet, your employer gets a tax credit. etc.

Right now, it's all about recruiting cannon fodder to use 1950s weapons systems against enemies who are better equipped.

The whole thing is a bit sickening when you think of how hard the IA had to fight to get snowmobiles in the Siachen heights. George Fernandes had to threaten Dilli MoD babus with postings to get them to approve.

Sorry but the Indian State does not value the lives of its soldiers.

Izzat and honor can easily be slapped down when the bargain is unequal. And it is.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby TSJones » 07 Jun 2015 04:20

this is OT but I feel compelled to comment.....

I'm sorry Cosmoji but I just don't see India culturally instituting a draft where by all aspects of society serve in the military. It's just not there. Making a cultural change in a society is extremely hard to do. I could go into the reasons why but it would start a flame war so i won't delve into it.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Cosmo_R » 07 Jun 2015 05:15

TSJones wrote:this is OT but I feel compelled to comment.....

I'm sorry Cosmoji but I just don't see India culturally instituting a draft where by all aspects of society serve in the military. It's just not there. Making a cultural change in a society is extremely hard to do. I could go into the reasons why but it would start a flame war so i won't delve into it.


Agree. Lew Hershey would have a hard time making the case for a Vietnam era draft today. Not the least because he's dead.

We've evolved into the outsourcing era: someone else does our thing for us..

In the Indian context agree not possible.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby krish.pf » 07 Jun 2015 10:17

koti wrote:It is one of the solutions. Now, do you really think this would not have been considered? The Govt is not the Defense ministry alone, there are other arenas where India needs French partnership. From technological cooperation to International political backing.
And then there is the IAF that vocally wants the plane and its capabilities.

It is obvious it is a not a sound financial decision, but it has its benefits that the govt feels are justified and made a decision on.

So sacrifice on defence to get that benefit? There are plenty of areas India is lacking, in logistics, railways, infrastructure, and we certainly could have roped in european/french expertise on the areas where India lacks. Just because the french will become cross if they don't get some moola means we need to sacrifice our defense with unsound decisions to make them happy, What kind of a suicidal logic is this?

Kartik wrote:36 fighters, as long as they have high availability rates, is still a decent number. How many Mirage-2000s do you think the IAF has operational at any given time? or MiG-29s? Heck, how many MiG-29Ks do you think the IN has? OR are they all operationally irrelevant? Far from "gathering dust in hangars" they will be used as the tip of the spear, with the Su-30MKI forming the bulwark.

You won't be able to base them all around, but you certainly can use them to take on high risk missions in conjunction with Su-30MKIs and other IAF fighters. Ambala suddenly doesn't sound like the best bet for the entire Rafale fleet to be based at. A large, well equipped airbase that affords more strategic space and allows the fleet to easily send out detachments to both eastern and western fronts is required.

And as Karan M has stated, there will definitely be follow on orders for at least 1 more squadron. that is how most large procurements have gone.

The whole point of this is to get India control of it's spares supply, technological know-how, and self sufficiency. Not only will getting it directly from France negate all the above, but its so few a number and at such high costs, just putting just a fraction of that amount into the sukhoi maintenance and supply chain will bring the MKIs serviceability rates up many fold thereby negating the need for this piddly amount of these new type of gold plated fighters.


I cannot believe there is favoritism for a particular political party and its leader triumphing national interests. If this same 'brilliant' decision had been taken by the UPA, people would be baying for congress blood with so much conspiracy theories accompanying it that would make for thick fat book. Let not, hate for one party result in giving a clean chit to the other.
Last edited by krish.pf on 07 Jun 2015 10:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Singha » 07 Jun 2015 10:20

there was never any localization of M2k spares, so we still get it from france for the 50 we have.

krish.pf
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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby krish.pf » 07 Jun 2015 10:27

Yes, which is what we WERE trying to avoid in this Rafale's case. I hope we still are.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Singha » 07 Jun 2015 10:42

yet the m2k has enjoyed the highest uptime in the iaf fighters and had no problems during kargil as well.

the american transports also seem to be managing fine.

as long as the OEM is reliable and has a grip on things I think these problems are avoided. if the OEM is russian one can be sure of pressure tactics, long delays, part suppliers vanishing, used parts passed off as new, QC failed parts shipped ....

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby chetak » 07 Jun 2015 11:15

mahadevbhu wrote:
chetak wrote:
I didn't hear of any civilian scientist working for free or actually fixing problems that have plagued the kaveri. We all should do our bit to support and encourage the Indian efforts but would anyone in his right mind support the kaveri engine now?? At what exact point of project review should one have pulled the plug and that too years ago??

Even if one does a dispassionate review of the entire project now, there are glaring failures and gross departures from laid down criteria that should simply have resulted in the total termination of the project but it was continued in the spirit of a national requirement and now, it has become an unmitigated national disaster. If one questions this does one automatically become unpatriotic??



Chetak,

it takes a scientist to understand the process of continuous experimentation in the face of failure , in the lab, to produce the required performance . Thorough persistence in the face of egg in one's face. Enthusiasm without encouragement.

Have you ever done that ?

* I have.

It's not easy. Especially when you are trying to beat the world's best efforts.

As long as the research agencies are putting in their best, they should be cut some slack and their products should be procured.

The research agencies need to show the alacrity and hard work, which they do at times and don't at other times. These need to be sorted.

And yes, we will never be as scientifically awesome as the US, for a long time. All the more reason that we buy our own scientists' products to support them.

Science needs support. Indefinite and infinite, albeit with clear goals and funding linked to the meeting of the goals.


mahadevbhu,

Just because someone passed an entrance exam and trained in a DRDO facility, they do not become scientists. These guys are JAFFOs like all of us in mundane jobs, trying to get by.

Places like IISc, TIFR and some others have some folks who exhibit the required research temperament. The rest are usually mundane folks with an eye on the next promotion, neck deep in scheming office politics and obtaining house building loans. Nothing wrong with such folks, most of them are the salt of the earth and they form 99% of the scientific population and keep the wheels turning but they are not the types who will build you a military engine or a fighter aircraft. These are the led. The leaders, OTOH, need clear vision, outstanding ability, creative accomplishment and technical chutzpah. APJAK was successful because he was a very productive motivator and intuitive project manager and he knew where the bodies were buried and how to get the funds sanctioned. He drove by example. But above all he was a politician right from the beginning, who used his networking skills to single mindedly shepard his technical teams through obstacles that would have floored lesser mortals. I don't think that he has a single patent to his name. He is considered successful, nevertheless. How many APJAKs are there??

Do not presume to know what other people have done. One may not like it, but this is a blog where anonymity is valued highly and posters often leave things unsaid because of constraints.

DRDO has to deliver. Research can always go on in the background but promised deliveries have to be made otherwise do not promise. In every project it is DRDO which says do not import, we can make it cheaper and deliver faster.

Probably the IAF took them at face value and believed them.

Where in DRDO is any original research going on??

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby chaanakya » 07 Jun 2015 11:29

krish.pf wrote:
I cannot believe there is favoritism for a particular political party and its leader triumphing national interests. If this same 'brilliant' decision had been taken by the UPA, people would be baying for congress blood with so much conspiracy theories accompanying it that would make for thick fat book. Let not, hate for one party result in giving a clean chit to the other.

UPA has done so many deals with USA under G2G route (FMS) and I don't remember anyone has ever raised a finger. Though it is doubtful that they would not have had their finger in every pie whether FMS or non FMS.


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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 07 Jun 2015 14:53

Ramana,former sr.officer who has his own blog.But extra info I've posted has come from the horses' mouth himself. In retrospect,the problem that ails out knee-jerk defence policies allegedly stems from the rot at the top,either through omission or "commission"( pun intended)! Ultimately it is the political bosses who have to bear the brunt of any criticism.They and babudom (which has to toe the line,not "line the toe") have to be sensitive to the requirements of the armed forces and keep the chiefs within the tent so to speak not outside,where they are summoned form time to time to humour them instead of feeding them.

Babudom has placed itself as a buffer zome,like a DMZ,between the political bosses and the military,keping the services and their chiefs at a safe arms length from the decision/policy makers.How many babus understand the sophistication and technology of defence weapon systems,doctrine,history of warfare,etc.The DRDO,DPSU and co.,ally themselves with babudom so that they can keep their fiefdoms intact,with apparent unlimited funds and unlimited time and limited accountability to develop "technology demonstrators",which masquerade as fighting eqpt. Tsarkar in the IN td. has nicely listed the various perceptions of such stepping stones and "successes" in development of desi weapon systems,which quipped with modern,reliable cost-effective fighting machines.delude the public into believing that great strides have been made and the forces are well equipped with desi wares which can replace firang weapon systems.

The IN is the only service with its own in-house design team,why it has achieved the greatest success of the 3 services. The DM should study this tremendous achievement carefully ,where the IN design virtually all the warships,even N-subs.The IAF and IA should similarly set up their own teams for the same purpose.


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