Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatross?

All threads that are locked or marked for deletion will be moved to this forum. The topics will be cleared from this archive on the 1st and 16th of each month.
shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatross?

Postby shiv » 28 Jun 2015 06:15

People. I worry about the AMCA. Let me state my reasons.

What role is the AMCA supposed to play in the IAF?

Which aircraft will it replace? Su-30? LCA? Rafale? Mirage 2000? PAK-FA?

What are the 5 gen technologies that we need to develop that we do not have:
  • supercruisng engines
  • stealth technology
  • AESA

Does the IAF even want the AMCA?

Exactly what is going on? I worry that all the timelines that have been set so far will fail to be met because of technological hurdles. If that happens we need to know now if
1. Is the IAF interested
2. Is DRDO taking the nation on another "technological experiment + 30 year wild goose chase"

RamaY
BRF Oldie
Posts: 17249
Joined: 10 Aug 2006 21:11
Location: http://bharata-bhuti.blogspot.com/

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby RamaY » 28 Jun 2015 07:14

No matter what the IAF says wants and gets, India's pursuit to make state of the art fighters must continue.

Viv S
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5303
Joined: 03 Jan 2010 00:46

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Viv S » 28 Jun 2015 07:26

- I don't know why it needs to replace something, but for the record, AMCA induction will coincide with the beginning of the Su-30MKI retirements. So you could look at it as a replacement for that if you like.

- We will continue to import engines. A sufficient TWR should allow the aircraft to super-cruise.

- 'Stealth' is not a technology per se. Most important in this case, would be the design of an LO airframe which is well within our reach, technically. And we have a decade to research and implement durable forms of RAM.

- We're aiming to develop an AESA radar by 2020. There's no reason why it should be unavailable in 2030. The actual question is can we develop GaN tech in that time-frame because that'll be industry-standard by then.

___________________________________________

I think there are also other more relevant questions here - how do we intend to handle obsolescence on the aircraft? Will the program be flexible enough to incorporate changes (like Directed Energy Weapons for example) without compromising performance or time-lines? Would be easier to hedge against those risks by scaling the platform upwards from a 'Medium' fighter to something in the F-22 class? I'd say so.

Is a naval variant essential (compromising the basic design to some extent), given that the IN would require only enough fighters for one or (at most) two carriers? Should we sign an MoU with Japan or South Korea to invest in common components, particularly for the engine (with the contract awarded to a industry major like P&W or GE)?

Given that the AMCA will be running about a decade behind the Chinese and Russian programs (and two decades behind US programs) would it be more productive to invest the same resources in more futuristic tech to leap-frog a generation? Would that consist of UCAVs? If so, what sort of scale should we pursue? Cheap and expendable or large and persistent? For just strike roles or for air combat too? Should we complement that with investment in AI technologies or in long range LO comm links (to retain man-in-the-loop)?


In any event, we have a thread for the AMCA that isn't seeing a lot of traffic at the moment, I think it would be more appropriate to discuss these questions there instead.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby shiv » 28 Jun 2015 07:46

Viv S wrote:- I don't know why it needs to replace something, but for the record, AMCA induction will coincide with the beginning of the Su-30MKI retirements. So you could look at it as a replacement for that if you like.

- We will continue to import engines. A sufficient TWR should allow the aircraft to super-cruise.
.

A few points
1. Can the AMCA really replace the roles that the SU-30 plays? Are the design paraameters of the AMCA anywhere close to what the Su-30 offers to be placed as a "replacement"
2. Does the IAF want AMCA? What does the IAF want?
3. Supercruise is not just engine, it is the shape and skin as well. Materials and finish.

The current LCA saga has tripped up on just such questions and I am asking those questions now, before the AMCA becomes a millstone around India neck with everyone cursing IAF and/or DRDO

abhik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2658
Joined: 02 Feb 2009 17:42

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby abhik » 28 Jun 2015 18:26

BTW why are we developing a twin engined "Medium" fighter? On what basis did we settle on this configuration, why not single engined medium fighter like the F-35 or a twin engined heavy like the F-22/PAK-FA? Was it because someone in DRDO/ADA/whoever thought 'Ok, we have built a single engined light fighter, now lets use two of the same engines and build a medium fighter' . Or did the IAF ask specifically for such a configuration.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby shiv » 28 Jun 2015 19:44

abhik wrote: Was it because someone in DRDO/ADA/whoever thought 'Ok, we have built a single engined light fighter, now lets use two of the same engines and build a medium fighter' . Or did the IAF ask specifically for such a configuration.

:rotfl:

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16548
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby NRao » 28 Jun 2015 20:15

- 'Stealth' is not a technology per se.


++1.

"5th Gen plane" is equally misunderstood.

Was it because someone in DRDO/ADA/whoever thought 'Ok, we have built a single engined light fighter, now lets use two of the same engines and build a medium fighter' . Or did the IAF ask specifically for such a configuration.


IAF did issue an ASR in 2010. They have spent a few $100 million on this plane. And, they are looking for engines for it.

SaiK
BRF Oldie
Posts: 36409
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
Location: NowHere

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby SaiK » 28 Jun 2015 20:24

Is the AMCA going to be an unachievable science project
Yes. Scrap it and work on what we can do today like UAV/UCAV 24% 24% [ 4 ]
No it will come on time and PAKFA won't be needed 29% 29% [ 5 ]
Buy PAK-FA and let AMCA be 30 years parallel science project 47% 47% [ 8 ]
Total votes : 17


The problem here is the trust model of our labs to produce advanced engineering to the forces' capability enhancement. We are extremely good on the books, but when it comes to getting a product out, it must cross billion political minds.

user acceptance must begin at planning stage./

Rahul M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 16997
Joined: 17 Aug 2005 21:09
Location: Skies over BRFATA
Contact:

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Rahul M » 28 Jun 2015 20:25

frankly, I am filled with dread wrt the AMCA. having seen its images and plans for the last 15 years or so, there still doesnt seem to be any urgency towards the project at any level, be it the DRDO, IAF or the MOD/GOI.

it sure seems as if we are headed towards another litany of complaints, cost over-run, time over-run, mismatch in expectations and on and on. heck, forget the AMCA, even for the LCA we havent been able to keep to the date targets on even one case IIRC !!!

and while we are at it, what happened to the NAL RTA or the various HAL helo projects ? where is the IJT that we were promised in 2005 ? ;)

fanne
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3349
Joined: 11 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby fanne » 28 Jun 2015 20:34

AMCA has LCA written all over it -1) HAL does not want anything to do with it, it is not their project as IJT or HTT-40 or LCH/ALH is 2) ADA wants it but more like a technology project. Some 2000 scientist/engineers have a job for next 30 years delivering some cutting edge and not so cutting edge technology, but never an end product that meet customer need 3)IAF has shown no interest to either lead it, define it, they are more than happy to draw ASR (good news is they can only mix two 5th gen aircraft, as there are only 2 out there F-22 and F-35, though brochure of FGFA is also available) and then leave it to ADA to make it.
It will keep BRF busy for next 30 years, I guess a regular thread will start in 3-5 years once LCA gets inducted or cast aside or...

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby shiv » 28 Jun 2015 20:47

The AMCA is a bad mistake for India. I think the idea is OK if it gets applied to a UCAV - cheaper and safer for humans and risks can be taken in the program.

A manned AMCA will never come. We do not have the technology today. Like the LCA we have to develop the technology first and then make the plane. Unless we the well informed observers start demanding up front answers the country is set for being taken on a 30 year ride.

Vivek K
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2309
Joined: 15 Mar 2002 12:31

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Vivek K » 28 Jun 2015 21:02

To be successful, such projects must be performed in a private-public partnership. The world over, such purchases involve a lot of manipulations, bribery and what not. DRDO and its labs are not equipped for such an environment. They do not have "business development" pockets. Therefore alliance with the private sector is vital if a lot of taxpayer money is not to be poured down the drain as in the case of the Arjun and maybe even LCA.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16548
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby NRao » 28 Jun 2015 21:41

Fear, fear and more fear.

ISRO anyone?

Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 10442
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Vayutuvan » 28 Jun 2015 21:47

If UAVs/UCAVs are funded and AMCA is not funded it is as good as scrapped, right? May be that is how it will sail off into sunset. World's AF future is in UAVs due to the giant leaps being taken in image processing, sophisticated big data analytics, and control algorithms/heuristics.

Small is beautiful and also cheaper.

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5242
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby ShauryaT » 28 Jun 2015 22:01

Rahul M wrote:frankly, I am filled with dread wrt the AMCA. having seen its images and plans for the last 15 years or so, there still doesnt seem to be any urgency towards the project at any level, be it the DRDO, IAF or the MOD/GOI.

it sure seems as if we are headed towards another litany of complaints, cost over-run, time over-run, mismatch in expectations and on and on. heck, forget the AMCA, even for the LCA we havent been able to keep to the date targets on even one case IIRC !!!

and while we are at it, what happened to the NAL RTA or the various HAL helo projects ? where is the IJT that we were promised in 2005 ? ;)
Rahul: A long time back, I had made the argument that instead of a long shot AMCA project, the nation would be best served by doing an MCA, as an iterative step to AMCA. So, essentially a twin engined larger aircraft, with incremental advances. One can debate on what are these exact incremental advances that the nation can deliver on within a defined time frame and budget. Your view at that time was, any such incremental project would have more or less the same level of effort/risk as an AMCA and hence best to shoot for the AMCA. Question to you is, do you still hold the same view? This is all from memory, so apologies if I have not recalled correctly.

Karan M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 19453
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Karan M » 28 Jun 2015 22:10

Vivek K wrote:To be successful, such projects must be performed in a private-public partnership. The world over, such purchases involve a lot of manipulations, bribery and what not. DRDO and its labs are not equipped for such an environment. They do not have "business development" pockets. Therefore alliance with the private sector is vital if a lot of taxpayer money is not to be poured down the drain as in the case of the Arjun and maybe even LCA.


TASL for the AMCA would be a great step.

Karan M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 19453
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Karan M » 28 Jun 2015 22:42

IM(H)O there won't be a proper AMCA till the LCA Mk1 gets delivered and Mk2 shapes up. Only then will IAF and hence GOI commit to the program in full. Which means we are going to see another 4-5 year delay in the program. Chicken and egg. Glad to be surprised.

Cosmo_R
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3407
Joined: 24 Apr 2010 01:24

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Cosmo_R » 29 Jun 2015 01:34

Karan M wrote:IM(H)O there won't be a proper AMCA till the LCA Mk1 gets delivered and Mk2 shapes up. Only then will IAF and hence GOI commit to the program in full. Which means we are going to see another 4-5 year delay in the program. Chicken and egg. Glad to be surprised.


What the ^^^ implies (or at least I infer) is that they want HAL/ADA to prove themselves (Show me the money).

If that's the case, it's very silly because it's letting HAL/ADA hold the timeline hostage and it automatically delays the AMCA. And, not just the AMCA, but any other a/c.

The entire process from strategy (who are we likely to fight and how?) to a 'jointness' vs. three spear tips playing their own tune needs to be looked at. We desperately need a RMA.

Parrikar really needs a think tank within MoD to help him tame the beast.

Cosmo_R
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3407
Joined: 24 Apr 2010 01:24

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Cosmo_R » 29 Jun 2015 01:39

@ShauryaT ^^^:"instead of a long shot AMCA project, the nation would be best served by doing an MCA, as an iterative step to AMCA. "

Yes. Maybe a LCA MK3 with two engines much like what the French tried with their M4K. It never panned out but they learned a lot which went into the Rafale.

Karan M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 19453
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Karan M » 29 Jun 2015 02:33

Cosmo_R, eggjactly the issue. Prove yourself and in the process, program gets delayed further. We definitely do need a huge amount of leadership at the MOD level.

Rahul M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 16997
Joined: 17 Aug 2005 21:09
Location: Skies over BRFATA
Contact:

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Rahul M » 29 Jun 2015 03:07

ShauryaT, I am still against a science experiment *MCA.

the reason being twofold
a) there isn't much new technology that's going to emerge from such an endeavour
b) the time for such a project is long past. a 2 engine LCA derivative TD would have been welcome in the 2005-2010 period. beyond that, everyone has better things to do.

it's not that a viable AMCA is not possible, it's just that it seems to be facing the same poor project management that has been the bane of our defence projects. there is not ownership from the user, no interest from the maker and the creator is powerless to do anything about it. compare with say, how the navy goes about its job.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16548
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby NRao » 29 Jun 2015 03:29

Not sure why this much gloom and doom, especially from BR Oldies.

OK, to be very brief:

1) From the Geek at Large Saurav Jha. Dated Dec, 2014, so not that old:

A note on India's Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) project

1 wrote:India meanwhile is still haggling with Russia on work share and tech share issues before it inks the final development contract for the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) that will be based on the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA baseline. Regardless, it has been clear for some time now that India will have to mount a serious fifth generation effort of its own in order to both free itself from dependency on any other country as well build its aerospace sector on the foundation created through the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program. For that purpose the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) that oversees the LCA program has now increased the pace of activity with respect to the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) program. However for the AMCA to reach fruition in a timely manner, the government of the day would do well to invest more in creating deeper aerospace development infrastructure.


2 wrote:This lack of capacity is one of the reasons why the AMCA has had to undergo wind tunnel testing at the Calspan Wind Tunnel in the United States of America


3 wrote:"The RFPs will be sent out by April 2015, and in another eight months we will firm up our choice of engine to power the AMCA," says Dr Tamilmani. "We however have to do a lot work on our own to develop thrust vectoring for the AMCA," he adds.


That hardly is waiting for something to happen.

Bonus:

It seems that the AMCA will also have an unusually large internal weapons bay that will have the capacity to accommodate around three tons worth of weapons.


Hardly stuff that is unthought about.

Then, there is a newer news item:

June, 2015 :: Carter to face Indian demand for engine technology

.............

But India wants cutting-edge. Defence ministry sources say they want GE to partner the DRDO in upgrading the F-414 to deliver 110 KN of peak power to the AMCA, allowing its twin-engines to deliver 220 KN of peak power to the fighter.

GE is sees enormous commercial benefits in this co-development, which would capture the engine market for 200 Tejas and 200 AMCA. Since a fighter engine's life is about 1,500 hours and the aircraft itself lasts 5,000-6,000 hours, each fighter consumes 3.5 engines during its service life. GE is looking at supplying 700 engines for the Tejas and 1,400 for the AMCA over their service lives.

Yet, developing an advanced F-414 engine in India would require GE to part with valuable technologies, particularly in the high-melting-point alloys that make the combustion chamber. Engine designers say an output of 90 KN requires the combustion chamber to be built of materials that withstand temperatures of 1,800 degrees Kelvin. Achieving engine output of 110 KN would generate 2,000 degrees Kelvin in the combustion chamber. Washington remains reluctant to share these technologies, even after committing to jointly exploring cooperation.

"The DTTI should facilitate US permissions, especially with a working group in place for engine technology. But we are getting signals this may not happen," says a top DRDO scientist.

.....................


Long way to go, but, again, in the spirit of THIS thread, I do not see an Albatross. Neither a turkey. I see HUGE risks, but none that cannot be overcome.

Karan M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 19453
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Karan M » 29 Jun 2015 04:09

Rahul M wrote:ShauryaT, I am still against a science experiment *MCA.

the reason being twofold
a) there isn't much new technology that's going to emerge from such an endeavour
b) the time for such a project is long past. a 2 engine LCA derivative TD would have been welcome in the 2005-2010 period. beyond that, everyone has better things to do.

it's not that a viable AMCA is not possible, it's just that it seems to be facing the same poor project management that has been the bane of our defence projects. there is not ownership from the user, no interest from the maker and the creator is powerless to do anything about it. compare with say, how the navy goes about its job.


Another thing though is that a lot of the work that's going on is not public. On the plus side, we do have a lot of stuff that took decades for LCA level maturity and so we won't be starting from scratch from MCA, in particular the flight controls & FBW. The other aspects are structures, aerodynamics, avionics & engines.

Engines are going to bought out, no two questions about it. Mostly Ge variants at this point.
Avionics, we have pretty much all the building blocks via the LCA except the crucial radar. There, we now have the Uttam project to develop capability.
Structures - this is going to be a tough one, a lot of stealth capable stuff. Hard. Not impossible or as tough as the engine issue.
Aerodynamics - this is so far going ok ok but proof of pudding will be once it starts flying. Our CFD stuff can't predict performance at high AoA f.e.

Its not going to be as hard as the LCA but the IAFs requirements will be tough & it won't be any walk in the park.

The simpler approach would be to take the Gripen one, just procure everything from WW OEMs and assemble into the airframe. Not really a complete win for our aerospace capability though.

saumitra_j
BRFite
Posts: 349
Joined: 24 Dec 2005 17:13
Location: Pune, India

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby saumitra_j » 29 Jun 2015 05:31

Given our limited resources in terms of skilled man power et al, AMCA is a pipe dream IMHO. We are better off finishing what we have started LCA Mk1, LCA Mk2, FGFA (What ever research is needed there....) and MOST importantly, a modern aero engine without which we should not start any new program! We need to master the gas turbine engine first before we do anything else.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby shiv » 29 Jun 2015 06:24

Let me put down some concerns taken from real life problems that India has already faced that we are all aware of.

The main problem about aircraft is that no matter how much modelling is done in wind tunnel or Computah ultimately a machine has to fly and land safely and have certain desirable flying characteristics. These demands mean that a working prototype needs to be built early and soon and not delayed until 2020 or 2025.

For example
1. India's AWACS hack got into structural issues and the whole AWACS team was killed because the damn plane would not hold together
2. Saras - after all the successes was held up on engine and aerodynamic issues
3. IJT after an initial flush of success is held up because it does not stall and spin as desired
4. The LCA is being delayed interminably due to issues that include its flying characteristics - such as the desired Angle of attack

The above list is only a list of things that start delaying projects in the initial stages. Even as projects progress there can be deadly delays and setbacks
1. The HJT 16 Kiran had a lot of issues that needed sorting out
2. The HPT 32 developed a problem that no one could solve
3. The HF 24 ultimately died on engine and gun issues. We may dispute the decision but there is no going back

What this means is that ADA/DRDO need to get off their theory filled backsides and quickly produce a working/flying full scale or scaled down prototype to prove that they have the skills to actually produce a flying machine. How difficult will it be to produce a 1/6th scale model powered by some available engine? How difficult would it be to do that? Why cant college engg depts be given a project to create AMCA scale models to test flying and steatlh characteristics?

Forget about the US. If I talk about the US I will get depressed. Russia simply decided to build PAKFA and quickly produced flying prototypes. Even before Russia, the Chinese decided the same thing and quickly built flying prototypes.

We know damn well that the Chinese, when they first flew the prototype did not have AESA. They still do not have an engine. They did not have appropriate weapons to go in internal bays. BVut by the time they develop those ancillary things they will have a working and fully tested aircraft. The DRDO/ADA are actuall buggering about and fooling us. Look how long they have taken to fly Rustom II. That is a simple age old design which should be stable and which should fly. I think the Indian public is simply being hoodwinked by this AMCA.

We need a flying aircraft. Not fancy looking fakeological models in Aero India every 2 years where young enthusiasts take better and better cameras and post pictures on here.

Once upon a time I was a young enthusiast with a state of the art camera who went to Avia India 1993 and later Aero India 1996. Tagging along with me was a starry eyed schoolboy. That starry eyed schoolboy is now in his mid 30s. married, has a child. has fancy camera. But none of the programs I saw in 1996 have reached fruition.

As a posture I am currently going to maintain the attitude that Indians are being cheated by being shown fancy models of AMCA. They are not going to succeed unless they show much much more seriousness. AMCA has been under discussion for many long years, like hypersonic vehicle, Rustom II and MTA. The AMCA is the biggest joke being foisted on the Indian aviation aware public since independence. I need to see solid proof to be convinced that I am wrong. I have been watching this stuff too long to be convinced by anything but solid proof of a flying prototype. Any teenage computer whiz can make 3-D models and nowadays you can even print them out. So what has DRDO/ADA done apart from that? Where is the aircraft? Even the engine has not been selected. wtf?

SaiK
BRF Oldie
Posts: 36409
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
Location: NowHere

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby SaiK » 29 Jun 2015 06:29

AMCA must not take shape soon and we should focus on LCA Mk2 first.. then develop LRUs and technology on LCA platform for future needs.

however, I am open to all things AMCA technology and design as unmanned versions.. our UCAV profiles are 1/6th model sizes and limited missions. We need full blown AMCA unmanned and piloted from cozy corners of south India (say cubbon park/coffee shop in lavelle road, blur, while it fires brahmos in chagai mountains or yulin naval base on stealth mission returning back to forward logistics at siachin.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16548
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby NRao » 29 Jun 2015 07:31

A very nice list of failures. (I would like to add PM to that too.)

BUT, did anyone learn anything from them?

Since this thread is getting outright wacky, I will not post any more articles here, but there are plenty out there dated 2015.

The fact that they are talking about engines and have made specific proposals should say something - in terms of knowledge, knowing what is needed, resource allocations, etc. For such matters one cannot send a delegation, like they do in the IPL or FIFA. Larger models sent to Calspan, etc has to have some weight behind it - it cannot just happen (for kicks) (Calspan is like the MIT + Harvard of that area.)


Also, I have no idea why this sequential work flow. Why LAC MKII, then ....................? I do not see them waiting for such events to happen - very glad about that. Just needs a good PM.

My feel is that they have done a lot of the work. Dr. A. K. Ghosh has been kept busy AND out of sight. I do not think funding the next step is too far out.

(Very good if anyone asks "Who is Dr. Ghosh". Excellent.)

Vivek K
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2309
Joined: 15 Mar 2002 12:31

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby Vivek K » 29 Jun 2015 07:51

Hakim ji, I disagree with you.

So what do you think is a successful product in the Indian Armed Forces?

a) Arjun beat the T-90 despite all the odds that the glorious IA tried to stack in its favor, yet is an unsuccessful product.
b) The IAF has flown the Mig-21 for nearly 6 decades despite flaws
c) Similarly - the Mig-23s were a knee jerk reaction to the f16s in PAF
d) the Mig 29s with their smoky engines continue to fly in IAFs inventory

Do the Indian armed forces only need the best in the world bought with a limited quantity of spares and ammunition - leading to a depleted ability to project power. The comments of pilots like Cmmdr Mao seem to indicate that the turn rates are adequate.

Any weapon needs to be evaluated against its potential rival - not against a brochure. If you do that, the LCA/Arjun and other local weapons make a great case for active service NOW.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby shiv » 29 Jun 2015 07:52

The evolution of fighter aircraft, and in fact all weapons systems has been one of innovation followed in a decade or two by the development of counter-systems that neutralize the advantages of that innovation. It is entirely possible that in the next 10-15 years the methods to detect and shoot down stealthy supercruising 5 gen aircraft will be inducted converting all "first gen" 5th gen aircraft into obsolete dead Albatrosses around the nation's neck.

The need for a stealthy body shape makes tehse aircraft aerodynamically inefficient. The need for internal storage makes their hitting power less than current 4th gen aircraft. If they also get shot down easily then there is no use having them. If we are going to develop our own and have one flying in 15 years and in service in 25 years (i.e 2040) - it will be far too late.

Do we need DRDO to do a "science project". Why not give that to college engineering departments? Build a UCAV.Build 5 prototypes. If it crashes, no problem. No loss.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby shiv » 29 Jun 2015 07:56

Vivek K wrote:Do the Indian armed forces only need the best in the world bought with a limited quantity of spares and ammunition - leading to a depleted ability to project power. The comments of pilots like Cmmdr Mao seem to indicate that the turn rates are adequate.

100% correct. then why the hell are we hankering after "latest and greatest 5th gen"? Do what we can do and do it well rather than trying to do what USA does well


Vivek K wrote:Any weapon needs to be evaluated against its potential rival - not against a brochure. If you do that, the LCA/Arjun and other local weapons make a great case for active service NOW.

I hope you are not making the common mistake of imagining that 5th gen aircraft need other 5th gen aircraft as "rivals". What is the AMCA's potential rival? What can kill it? It will be technologies to neutralize a stealth and speed advantage. Not other 5th gen aircraft.

SaiK
BRF Oldie
Posts: 36409
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
Location: NowHere

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby SaiK » 29 Jun 2015 08:03

from an arm-chair perspective firstly, we have draft an arm-chair ASQ right here to determine the needs of AMCA, and what features.
then we have to add in our constraints.
- under developed test facilities for engines
- undelivered kaveri engine for LCA
- undelivered radar for LCA
- etc..

these lack of capabilities including those not delivered in time, will directly feed as constraints and drives the AMCA designs. there is no stealth technology yet, so we can put them as lack of existing capabilities.

hence, the reason we have to shelve the AMCA, and produce LCA Mk3 to AMCA tech standards.. slowly graduate our capabilities to full blown AMCA later.. it is a 30 year plan, and most of us here would have kicked our buckets..

our road-map of ISRO products is a star example to follow. is that hard to understand?

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby shiv » 29 Jun 2015 08:22

Normally, the "poll" part of some of these threads is either ignored or is irrelevant. But at this point in time 72% of respondents are not confident that the AMCA will come in time. The largest proportion of people (10/25) feel that the AMCA should continue as a "parallel project" while we go ahead and buy PAKFA. 8/25 want to scrap AMCA. 72% are not optimistic, in other words.

This shows the level of confidence forum jingos have in the nation's ability to carry the project through. Not encouraging. I think the ADA and DRDO need to come up with something much much more visible and encouraging - because the AMCA project, to my mind, has all the hallmarks of another project which will continue to go nowhere for the next 20-30 years.

Many on the forum are now cursing HAL/DRDO for the IJT's problems. The IJT was so promising. It really did fly within 2 years of conception. The AMCA remains a model 10 years after conception, If it flies and comes across issues that all aircraft do the project will see deadly delays. I am not happy about the prospect. We have to make, fly and accept failures within a short span of time. Not take the nation for a 20 year wild goose chase before "rolling out" the first prototype. The AMCA is, in my view "already delayed"

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16548
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby NRao » 29 Jun 2015 08:34

Yes, past has a reflection on the future. BUT, as time passes, the factors that influence the future change. I am afraid that the AMCA falls into this new category - unfortunately.

So, both the LCA and the AMCA have similar situations - imported engines. But one cannot extrapolate from the LCA experience. It is what it is. No use projecting all those worthless fears. I can grant you new set of fears - that is fine, but the old ones need to be tossed out.

India would be one hell of a f*ucked up nation if the factors have remained the same - stagnation. Just cannot see worth talking about MIC.

But I can assure you that people working on such project - thankfully - have no such fears. They (most) would die of HT at a very early age.


BTW, what is the diff between such a project and say dealing with projecting what a SMSA would look like in 25 years? Say Bombay. They do it all the time. The US spent trillions cleaning up their rivers - over decades (plenty of NRI got green cards, etc because of that). Any idea what that means? Deal with 100s of politicians, vested interests, threats, bribes, .......................

IF the AMCA fails it is just billions lost. (security is not lost, since you can import.)

Let your urban plan fail and see how it impacts millions of people, businesses, services, etc.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby shiv » 29 Jun 2015 08:47

How much "theory" is needed before an aircraft flies?

If we look at our own (forum) attitudes - there is general unhappiness at "just 6 nuke tests" because everyone seems to know better than everyone else that computer simulation can only go so far and you need real world tests to "make sure"

How difficult is it to translate an AMCA model into a flying prototype? Why are we such theory masters? Make the plane first. Stop buggering about and telling tall stories that everything about the plane is ready except the plane itself.

Even for radar reflection tests you need a scale model. For flying - definitely. Make a flying AMCA and prove that it can fly. Good electric model engines are freely available - some can simulate jet engines. Make a 1/20th model and fly it simultaneously with wind tunnel and computer simulations. Show that we can make an aeroplane. We have a lot of air. We need substance.
Last edited by shiv on 29 Jun 2015 08:50, edited 1 time in total.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby shiv » 29 Jun 2015 08:49


abhik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2658
Joined: 02 Feb 2009 17:42

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby abhik » 29 Jun 2015 08:55

shiv wrote:100% correct. then why the hell are we hankering after "latest and greatest 5th gen"? Do what we can do and do it well rather than trying to do what USA does well

By the time the "5th gen" AMCA actually comes it will be 1 gen behind the US and and 0.5 gen behind the Chinese. Not exactly latest and greatest.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby shiv » 29 Jun 2015 09:11

abhik wrote:
shiv wrote:100% correct. then why the hell are we hankering after "latest and greatest 5th gen"? Do what we can do and do it well rather than trying to do what USA does well

By the time the "5th gen" AMCA actually comes it will be 1 gen behind the US and and 0.5 gen behind the Chinese. Not exactly latest and greatest.

Precisely. That is why speed is essential. This cannot be a 30 year project.

How many times have I read, in ancient Indian aviator accounts and in aviation magazines and portals of projects that were fast tracked and done cheaply.

I have posted the story of how gon pods got fixed on to MiG 21s in super fast time in 1971. The results were not perfect but they were effective. An f-104 was shot down using those guns.

Air Marshal Rajkumar asked an automobile engineer friend for help and the latter used an existing Maruti 800 engine to create the "Bhim" weapons loading lift.
Image

Britain asked for 200,000 pounds Sterling to make a dummy Sea Eagle missile. It was done for Rs 45,000 in India.

Here is the wooden scale model of the HF 24 that was actually flown
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attachmen ... glider.jpg

We can make a model or several competing modifications of AMCA and test fly them all as unmanned scale models. But this must be done soon - before the idea becomes totally obsolete. I fear that ADA and DRDO are sitting on their backsides and taking the nation for a ride - allowing some directors to retire with awards.

rohitvats
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 7722
Joined: 08 Sep 2005 18:24
Location: Jatland

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby rohitvats » 29 Jun 2015 09:32

^^^Would it help the cause of this thread to identify key features and milestones in AMCA project and where we stand as of now? And whether our present position with respect to these features and milestones is in consonance with timelines projected?

For example, DRDO has projected a timeline of 2021 for flying the first prototype. However, the RFP for engine has gone out this year and DRDO was hoping to finalize the vendor within 8 months (?) of RFP release. But given the way decisions are taken in India, can the engine vendor be closed in 8 months? What would be the cascading effect of any delay on this front on timeline given for prototype timeline?

Further - you'd asked what role AMCA will play in IAF.

Between now and 2030, 3 x Mig-29, 3 x Mirage-2000 and 6 x Jaguar will be up for phasing out. That is 12 squadrons in all amounting to >200 aircraft. Even if all of 126 Rafale and 144 FGFA come by 2030 (others being 272 Su-30MKI, and if LCA is restricted to 2 x LCA Mk1 and 4 x LCA Mk2), we will still have vacancy for 11 squadrons in IAF.

And these are hoped to be replaced by AMCA. That is ~24.5% of total IAF strength. And if AMCA dithers on timeline, expect another round of pressure on imports. That is why those timelines and projections are important.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby shiv » 29 Jun 2015 09:41

2021? wtf?

A scale model prototype can be flown in less than two months from now and early results of what flight control laws ought to be like can be made starting from there. In fact 5 different variants can be flown, and crashed if need be.

Planes need to fly. Flying is the only thing that sets a plane part from any other vehicle. Not guns. Not missile. Not radar. You can build Taj Mahal with radar, guns and missiles as succeed because it does not need to fly. A plane must fly. If teh first flight is going to be 2021 - that is already 30-40 years behind. We are heading up shit creek IMO. This is simply not good enough.

member_23694
BRFite
Posts: 732
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Is the AMCA a pipe dream that will become a dead Albatro

Postby member_23694 » 29 Jun 2015 09:56

shiv wrote:2021? wtf?


Sir, unfortunately this in itself is the most optimistic timeline.
We don't even have a proto[even a scale model] rollout of MK.2


Return to “Trash Can Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests