LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby RKumar » 27 Jan 2016 17:16

Honestly, after watching the LCA performance in Bahrain, I don't understand why the hell on this earth we have signed any agreement with French. I do understand their special role but for that we do have upgrade Mirage which can hold on for next 15 years or so. By this time we should either have initial version of AMCA or can buy PAKFA for filling the required role.

Requirement of this hour is to invest heavily in LCA MK1 production lines, spares, engines. Which can be re-used when Mk1A or MK-2 is ready. Dont worry regarding the LCA order numbers, as those will increase as deliveries are done and old birds are retired. We see already 120 IAF numbers + 60 Navy.

Excellent articleso posting in full

The Indian Air Force’s requirement for a medium multi-role combat aircraft continues to remain unfulfilled.
In the early 2000s, the IAF decided that the logical answer to its problems of obsolescence, attrition, and declining fleet strength was to induct additional numbers of the single-engined Mirage 2000. This aircraft had an excellent safety and serviceability record, and played a decisive role in the Kargil conflict. With a few changes and upgrades, Vayu Bhavan felt that it could become the future multi-role aircraft—not only bridging the gap between the heavyweight Sukhoi Su-30 and the light-weight Tejas, but also compensating for the eventual de-induction of MiG-21s.

Dassault was on the verge of closing down the entire Mirage 2000 production line unless it had some orders.

However, there was a fly in the ointment. Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer, was now producing a more advanced variant—the Mirage 2000-5. Dassault was also on the verge of closing down the entire Mirage 2000 production line unless it had some orders.
The joint secretaries in the defence ministry refused to treat the IAF proposal as merely a “repeat order on a past supplier” as envisaged in the “fast track procedure” of Defence Procurement Procedure 2006. They insisted that as the Mirage 2000-5 was an entirely “new” aircraft, the IAF should follow the standard process of drawing up an air staff requirement, and then floating a request for proposal.

Ironies unlimited

The irony is that if the IAF was willing to settle for the older Mirage 2000 instead of the Mirage 2000-5, it could have got the fighters under existing rules. But that is like wanting to buy a discontinued motorcar model when the latest was already in the market.

The Mirage 2000 acquisition, too, has a bit of a history. When the original deal was signed, the “intention to proceed” contract was for an initial order of 40 aircraft for outright purchase in fly-away condition and an option to produce another 110 aircraft in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bengaluru with total technology transfer. If this plan were carried forward, the IAF would not have needed the MiG-29. But, in 1984, the then defence minister R Venkatraman visited Moscow and, shortly after his return, stated in Parliament that India was going to select a “futuristic aircraft to meet the challenge posed by the presence of the F-16 in a neighbouring country.” The inference was clearly with regard to the MiG-29.

The other irony of this was that the justification for the Mirage 2000 acquisition was also because of the US’ decision to give Pakistan the latest F-16 fighters.
How the Mirage 2000 came to be is also an interesting story. In the mid-1970s, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was finalising a future fighter. The competition was between the Dassault Mirage F-1 and America’s General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. The F-16 got the order. Dassault then developed the more versatile Mirage 2000 to beat the F-16 at its own game. The first Mirage 2000 flew in 1982, and the first lot of IAF Mirage 2000s landed in Gwalior in 1984. Incidentally, Rajiv Gandhi, then a newly elected member of Parliament and Congress general secretary, saw it put through its paces at the Paris Airshow. He was very impressed. He sat in on the official meeting in the ministry of defence that decided to acquire Mirage 2000. Gandhi had just become a qualified Boeing 737 pilot and this was presumably considered expertise enough.

Incidentally, Rajiv Gandhi, then a newly elected member of Parliament and Congress general secretary, saw it put through its paces at the Paris Airshow. He was very impressed. He sat in on the official meeting in the ministry of defence that decided to acquire Mirage 2000. Gandhi had just become a qualified Boeing 737 pilot and this was presumably considered expertise enough.
Nevertheless, the deal to make 110 more Mirage 2000s in Bengaluru made eminent sense—both for the IAF and the economy. But it was dropped no sooner than when the first lot of 40 fighters in a flyaway condition were delivered. Why this deal was terminated remains a mystery, but one reason was certainly the price. The MiG -29 was available to India at Rs5 crore a unit, while the Mirage 2000 cost double that.

Replacing MiG-21 and MiG-27

The Indian Air Force will soon retire several squadrons of MiG-21 and MiG-27 jets at the end of their life cycle. Replacing these aged fighters will be the latest Su-30MKI, a 4+ generation long endurance air dominance fighter, now being assembled by HAL.
The MiG-21 is a short endurance lightweight and high-speed interceptor with limited ground attack capability. The Russians describe it as a frontal aviation aircraft. The Sukhoi, being an air dominance fighter, can perform both these roles, as well as undertake deep penetration strikes. The Su-30 is a Mercedes Benz SUV compared to the MIG-21’s Maruti 800. Now let’s say the IAF wants to intercept a Pakistan Air Force or People’s Liberation Army Air Force JF-17. The IAF’s fighter of choice for this is likely to be a MiG-21bis rather than the Su-30MKI. While the Sukhoi can do the job effectively, sending a 4+generation aircraft weighing in at over 18 tonnes against a much older and cheaper JF-17 weighing less than 6.5 tonnes would not only be overkill but also very cost ineffective.
The MiG-27 is a mid-sized, variable geometry, ground attack aircraft developed to support mechanised infantry and armoured columns. Its swing-wing configuration allows it to swiftly reach the target area and then swoop in at a much-reduced speed to effectively attack enemy ground forces. But what would be just another day in the office for the MiG-27 could prove expensive with the much bigger and heavier Su-30. Since ground attacks are often by flying low and slow, a bigger aircraft is more vulnerable to ground fire. The IAF learned this in 1971 with the Su-7. Besides risking a Su-30MKI costing about Rs400 crore each against relatively low-cost ground targets doesn’t sound sensible.

A permanent solution

What the IAF needs for its interceptor and ground attack roles are smaller fighters and attack helicopters. Clearly, the IAF needs a permanent solution, not a high-cost fix like the Su-30MKI. The Rafale too, then, becomes another, yet more expensive, interim fix. Hence, the IAF needs to shed its reluctance and urgently induct the Tejas light combat aircraft and push for newer and more powerful versions.

The IAF needs to shed its reluctance and urgently induct the Tejas light combat aircraft.

At about Rs200 crore each and with a huge local value addition component, the Tejas offers a huge cost-benefit advantage over Dassault Rafale multi-role fighter aircraft, as well as a huge economic multiplier. A few hundred Tejas jets of varying configurations can not only handle what the enemy can throw at us, but also contribute hugely to the national economy. After all, isn’t this is the underlying notion behind “Make in India”?
So why do we want to buy the Dassault Rafale? It is somewhat closer to the Su-30MKI in class but almost four times more expensive. It is eight times more expensive than Tejas. In 2007, the government assessed the medium multi-role combat aircraft deal for 126 fighters to be about $12 billion. By 2014 the cost of 126 Rafale fighters had gone up to an estimated $22 billion. In 2015, when Prime Minister Modi visited France, the reworked deal of buying 36 fighters outright with the option for more was worked out to be $7.5 billion. Now, even the French President is mentioning a figure of $9 billion. Clearly, the costs are spinning out of control. It reminds me of a quip made by a Russian diplomat about the Su-30MKI, who said it was a very good fighter, but its wings were a bit heavy now. When I asked him what he meant, he cryptically remarked, the deal happened through four regime changes since 1994, meaning each regime change saddled it with more costs. It seems the Rafale’s wings too are getting heavier.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby maitya » 27 Jan 2016 18:00

Karan M wrote:Maitya, more than gizmos I'd add more fuel, a stretched fuselage and an even larger wing (if needed) with more pylons...

But that would take it more towards MK-II territory - I's more looking at what more can be done that with the current air-frame for the IAs, without too much of structural/fight-dynamic change related re-validation flight-testing etc.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 27 Jan 2016 19:09

Why Is India So Reluctant To Celebrate Its Tejas Success Story?

http://swarajyamag.com/biz/why-is-india ... ess-story/

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Picklu » 27 Jan 2016 19:10

I would also like one of the older LSPs to be modified with faceted radome & intake, saw-tooth edges for flaps & landing gear doors etc and start flight testing the same in parallel of mk1a and mk2 so that it evolves into LCA mk3 and ready for AMCA.

Other than money, there is no reason to proceed serially and it is absolutely essential to create redundancy by replicating tools and teams which will also speed up lot of other attempts. We need to speed up to catch up with the global standards.

We have months of low activity on the flight testing front so having multiple items to test will also have better utilization of our meager resources. We were waiting for so long on final version of radome, BVR integration etc so going to these lateral paths of developments are almost no-brainer.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby arshyam » 27 Jan 2016 20:33

Guys, what about engines? Is the engine availability delivery regular and without issues? I know we have the F404-IN20 available, and the 414 is supposed to show up soon. I understand GE can be contracted to build as many as we need, but given the geopolitical implications of a few hundred Tejas, will they do so without seeking their pound of flesh? Perhaps that's why the IAF is not very keen? In the entire Tejas saga, the engine is the one thing there is not much info about - folks just assume they will be there. Question is, are they?

Then the question arises, how many have we actually ordered?

These are the resources I could find:
GE’s F414 engine surpasses 1,500 deliveries and 3 million flight hours - GE Aviation - June 17, 2015
In October 2010, the F414-INS6 derivative of the F414 was selected to power India’s LCA Mk II aircraft. First engine to test occurred in 2014. India has committed to 99 installed engines, with the potential for more than 100 additional engines.

StratPost says we had placed only an initial order of 8 engines, since we need to test and validate. Fair enough.
GE finally gets LCA engine order - StratPost
However, this order, placed in October-end, is only for eight engines meant for design, development and integration onto the Mk II airframe.

This is confirmed by GE too: GE F414 Engines Selected to Power India Light Combat Aircraft Program - GE Aviation, Oct 1, 2010
India's Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has selected 99 F414 GE fighter jet engines to power the Mk II version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the Indian Air Force.

John Flannery, President & CEO, GE India said, "The LCA selection is a big step forward for GE and demonstrates our strong commitment to India. GE Aviation will supply the initial batch of F414-GE-INS6 engines and the rest will be manufactured in India under transfer of technology arrangement."

Okay, so the F414 order will happen only after we build the initial set of Mk-II PV/LSP. Let's take a look at the F404-IN20 orders.

F404-GE-IN20 Engines Ordered for India Light Combat Aircraft - GE Aviation - Feb 7, 2007
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has ordered an additional 24 F404-GE-IN20 afterburning engines to power the first operational squadron of Tejas fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force. Value of the order is in excess of $100 million and follows an initial 2004 purchase of 17 F404-GE-IN20 engines to power a limited series of operational production aircraft and naval prototypes.

That's it. GE's press centre does not mention any further orders of the F-404, and the 414. So assuming they delivered all the engines contracted so far, ADA should have 24+17 = 41 units of F404-IN20, and 8 units of F414, which are awaiting flight test.

Now, per Wiki, these are units built so far, and planned:
TD: 2
PV: 6
NP: 5 3 (2 will be powered by F414)
LSP: 8
SP: 20
Total: 39

Are we out of engines for the Mk-I? (Not to mention lack of spare engines)

I am not trying to be facetious here, but genuinely asking given we have an excellent fighter and there is not much publicly visible interest from the establishment. I have dreams of scrapping the Raffy deal and building 8 Tejas for each Rafale (going by some of the costs mentioned), amounting to 36*8 = 288 Tejas fighters :shock:. But does the reality match?

Gurus, please point out if I have missed anything. I focussed primarily on the GE Aviation website, as that should be the most reliable w.r.t. placed/prospective orders and the above was all I could find.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_28990 » 27 Jan 2016 21:45

you are absolutely correct - the biggest achilles heel of the Tejas, nay the entire indian fighter jet program, is the lack of a powerful, high quality indigenous jet engine.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby jayasimha » 27 Jan 2016 21:49

Austin wrote:Why Is India So Reluctant To Celebrate Its Tejas Success Story?

http://swarajyamag.com/biz/why-is-india ... ess-story/




who says we are not celebrating??

just wait for few more days.. the entire thing will be filmed and will be shown on doscovery or national gographic..

then we will celebrate...

meanwhile they will get to know everything of tejas.... phew

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Kakarat » 27 Jan 2016 21:56

SidSom wrote:Any news on the Derby Firing...?


First week of Feb as per LCA Tejas FB page

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 27 Jan 2016 22:12

arshyam wrote:Guys, what about engines? ...


The first batch of 4 GE-F414's should have arrived by now with the remaining expected in the next few months. I don't think GE will confirm delivery until the ADA announces it. However, there could have also been delays based on aircraft production timelines. The lead-time for both an F404, and F414 is known and there is no need for ADA or HAL to order engines for deliveries well ahead of the time when they are required. By syncing deliveries with their production schedule they can defer payments blocks due to GE for these engines. There is also a licensing agreement that was being negotiated whereby HAL would assemble new 81 of the 99 engines in India once the larger F414 contract was finalized (don't think it has been signed yet).

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 27 Jan 2016 22:18

arshyam, I am assuming this till a breaper sahib bans me for saying:

the 40 Mk-1 or Mk-1a will be upgraded to GE F414s later. It might not be a full scale modifications, but a block upgrade program [inlet changes, FDAEC and control changes, higher wingload and turn-rates, improve performance].

tactical road-map so that the spares can be 414s (long-term strategy : Kaveri K10/11/12?).

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_26622 » 27 Jan 2016 22:21

Just the fact that IAF is entertaining Rafale when better (F35), cheaper(Tejas), cost efficient(MKI) options exist is a grim reality check that India is not far from been a Banana republic. 60+ years of been Independent and not much progress in power corridors of Delhi!

Funny to think that Rafale deal will really 'ground' IAF for next decade, after emptying our limited purses and killing indigenous efforts. :roll:

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Prasad » 27 Jan 2016 22:46

Ten years later, when our radar programs mature, we should be able to get a better aesa and LPI, 360 degree on the skin type radars or whatever is the bleeding edge as a direct takeaway from the amca program inshallah

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 27 Jan 2016 22:58

done! :)

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Sid » 27 Jan 2016 23:01

Lets not shed tears for Rafale anymore. IAF fleet strength is really dipping and LCA production is not surging the way everyone wants.

We will be really lucky if SP4 can fly by this year end. At most SP2/SP3 will be ready. Next year maybe 4 more. Getting to a tempo of 15/18 fighters each year will take some time, maybe by ~2019 timeline. That too seems an optimistic timeline, and assuming everything goes as per plan.

IAF is not displaying too much anxiety and seems OK to wait, but as soon as some major induction from across the border will be announced expect them to push for an equivalent fighter in short time. For example, as soon as PLAAF will announce operational squadron of J-20, we will purchase an equivalent in 3-4 years. That's how we bought Su, and Migs and Mirages and hunters and so on.

OTOH i have really high hopes from NLCA MK2.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby tsarkar » 27 Jan 2016 23:02

arshyam wrote:Are we out of engines for the Mk-I? (Not to mention lack of spare engines)

No. F2J3 variant is used on TD1-2, PV1-3 & LSP1. From LSP-2 onwards IN20 variant is used. Order for SoP 2018 / Mk1A yet to be placed.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 27 Jan 2016 23:09

you mean the 99 units of GE414 order not placed yet ?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 27 Jan 2016 23:22

Singha wrote:you mean the 99 units of GE414 order not placed yet ?



I haven't seen anything other than an agreement to place an order once the larger order for the MK2 (is struck between MOD and HAL) at a future date. The F414 was selected in 2010, an agreement reached with GE on 81+18 in 2012/13. There's been radio silence since then.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SidSom » 27 Jan 2016 23:26

Recollecting

FoC needs the following.

1. BVR firing (Feb 1st week)
2. Quartz Radome (Ground testing on)
3. Landing Gear Fix (Temp fix done)
4. Higher AoA (??)
5. IFR (Moved to Mk1A)
6. ??

Gun has been moved to later. 4 may be achieved later. 3 seems to be a sticking problem.

Any other open points missed....??

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Kartik » 27 Jan 2016 23:35

The next airshow that the LCA must participate in..and I mean must! Most news bytes and buzz will be generated at the Farnborough and Le Bourget airshows. Farnborough is to be held in July which is a good 6 months away.

By then hopefully BVR test firing, IFR integration and flight testing and the landing gear fix would have been wrapped up and FOC achieved, since as per the LCA FB page, almost all of the flight envelope except for the lower right hand corner (which generally implies low altitude higher mach numbers) have been explored and cleared.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 27 Jan 2016 23:37

I don't think that getting the 404s or 414s is a real concern. The 404s will roll of an existing assembly line with known timelines. Right now, the variability lies with the Tejas pipeline. The orders will be placed in accordance to the latter assembly line being finalized. For now they have used up 10 404-IN20s till now (LSP2-5, LSP7-8, NP1-2, PV5-6) By the time remaining are used up we are looking at least a 3 year horizon. So Tejas SPs will not be waiting for want of engines

Similarly, the orders for the 414s will also be placed in a staggered manner, first for the LSPs of Mk2, and then for serial production. I don't think GE is worried about the orders. They know they are coming. I don't think that HAL is worried of whether GE can deliver on this engines.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 27 Jan 2016 23:44

SidSom wrote:3. Landing Gear Fix (Temp fix done)

3 seems to be a sticking problem.

Why do you think that the fix is temporary?

SidSom wrote:4. Higher AoA (??)

Envelop expansion for Mk1 FOC has almost completely been achieved. There is some minor part left, but it does not pertain to achieving higher AoA. Expansion of AoA to cover 26-28 degrees will be completed for Mk1A.

SidSom wrote:5. IFR (Moved to Mk1A)

They are very much part of Mk1 FOC deliverables.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 27 Jan 2016 23:48

Last july jane reported there were 8 F414s ahead of the 99 ones, logically to get them on Mk2 TD/PTVs. What is the status on those 8 (Sep 2015 was the expected delivery)?

PS:
http://www.janes.com/article/52873/indi ... y-year-end

btw, the expected numbers for HAL to build them is in 500-600s of 414s

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 27 Jan 2016 23:55

The first batch was to be delivered by the end of 2015 followed by the last batch in 2016.

The reporter for Janes mixes up overhaul based procurement as buying a new engine. I have posted a couple of lengthy posts on what the component life is of the various components in the F414. At the various overhaul stages, those components are replaced. They don't chuck the engine and put a new one as has been suggested in the article.

http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewto ... 0#p1852735

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_29089 » 27 Jan 2016 23:59

Singha wrote:immediate PMO level intervention is needed to ensure funds are provided to HAL to step up production rates and development work on 1A and 2. weekly standup scrum meetings chaired by DM himself are needed to push along the plough through the dry red earth. the safety of our collective backsides depends on deploying the Tejas @ web scale.



here is why PMO level intervention with funds will not work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckBfbvOXDvU



- HAL can not "step up" production beyond what the design allows

If the product is not specifically designed for mass-production, then it can't be ...
why do LARGE companies pay big money for these seminars... it's obvious after one gets it but before it it's not obvious

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby JayS » 28 Jan 2016 00:27

indranilroy wrote:Nilesh, I thought the pull up right after the takeoff was negotiated in about 3-4 seconds.


Did some more calculations:

My assumptions for the calculations are:
- Total weight = empty weight (6560) + ~50% fuel (~1200) =>> W ~8000kg
- Thrust = 84kN (SL conditions so its reasonable to assume this)

This gives: TWR = 84000/( 8000*9.8 ) ~ 1.07
W/S = 8000*9.8/38.4 ~ 2050 N/m2

1 . For pull up after TO: time taken = 4sec ->> avg turn rate of 90/4 = 22.5deg/sec = 0.3925 rad/sec

# assuming the 8G turn for this pull up, and using vertical loop formulae I calculated:
V=340knots = 175m/s = 630kmph
R = 450m

Now using formula for 8G turn: n_max = (0.5*rho*V*C_L)/(W/S) we get C_L = 0.894

The velocity in this case will correspond to Corner velocity approximately. Let's assume its equal to Corner velocity. So we have corner velocity and C_L at this point. Using this data to calculate max ITR:

max ITR = 9.81*SQRT[(rho * C_Lmax * n_max)/2*(W/S)] => max ITR = 25.7deg/sec

Please keep in mind that since I used uniform turning formula for a turn which is non-uniform in reality, I end up with higher V_corner and thus slightly lower C_Lmax. This results in slightly lower ITR. So this value should be conservative estimate and actual value could be slightly higher.


2. Slow pass level flight: This is n=1G manoeuvre. Speed was V = 110knot = 56.5m/s. AoA = 22deg

using formula for stall velocity: V_stall = SQRT[(2*n*W) / (rho*S*C_Lmax) ] => C_Lmax = 1.06.

C_L = 1.06 at 22deg agrees well enough to the Cl vs AoA curve published in the paper related to LCA Spin testing. There C_L for 22deg AoA is slightly less than 1.

3. Minimum Radius TUrn: R=350m; V=160knot = 82m/s.

- From Video I calculated 20sec for 270deg turn => Turn rate = 13.5deg/sec
- From R and V values: Turn Rate = V/R = 82/350 = 0.2343rad/sec = 13.42deg/sec

Above two agree well with each other. Using formula: R = V^2 / [g*(sqrt(n^2 - 1))] => n = 2.2G

I tired calculating C_D0 and drag due-to-lift-factor but since the theoretical Rmin value is outside the V-n diagram those equations give crap values. in short those equations are not valid for this real life Rmin turn.

4. Horizontal Turn: As I posted previously, it takes 22sec for full 360deg turn giving STR = 16.5deg/sec
Since we have only 1 data point its not possible to calculate R, V and n definitely. But I assumed n=4,6,8 and calculated R and V. Only n=4G gives sensible values of R=450m and V=256knot. So the turn perhaps was somewhere near 4G.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 28 Jan 2016 01:12

RKumar wrote:Honestly, after watching the LCA performance in Bahrain, I don't understand why the hell on this earth we have signed any agreement with French. I do understand their special role but for that we do have upgrade Mirage which can hold on for next 15 years or so. By this time we should either have initial version of AMCA or can buy PAKFA for filling the required role.

Requirement of this hour is to invest heavily in LCA MK1 production lines, spares, engines. Which can be re-used when Mk1A or MK-2 is ready. Dont worry regarding the LCA order numbers, as those will increase as deliveries are done and old birds are retired. We see already 120 IAF numbers + 60 Navy.

Excellent articleso posting in full

The Indian Air Force’s requirement for a medium multi-role combat aircraft continues to remain unfulfilled.

In the early 2000s, the IAF decided that the logical answer to its problems of obsolescence, attrition, and declining fleet strength was to induct additional numbers of the single-engined Mirage 2000. This aircraft had an excellent safety and serviceability record, and played a decisive role in the Kargil conflict. With a few changes and upgrades, Vayu Bhavan felt that it could become the future multi-role aircraft—not only bridging the gap between the heavyweight Sukhoi Su-30 and the light-weight Tejas, but also compensating for the eventual de-induction of MiG-21s.

Dassault was on the verge of closing down the entire Mirage 2000 production line unless it had some orders.

However, there was a fly in the ointment. Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer, was now producing a more advanced variant—the Mirage 2000-5. Dassault was also on the verge of closing down the entire Mirage 2000 production line unless it had some orders.

The joint secretaries in the defence ministry refused to treat the IAF proposal as merely a “repeat order on a past supplier” as envisaged in the “fast track procedure” of Defence Procurement Procedure 2006.
They insisted that as the Mirage 2000-5 was an entirely “new” aircraft, the IAF should follow the standard process of drawing up an air staff requirement, and then floating a request for proposal.

Ironies unlimited

The irony is that if the IAF was willing to settle for the older Mirage 2000 instead of the Mirage 2000-5, it could have got the fighters under existing rules. But that is like wanting to buy a discontinued motorcar model when the latest was already in the market.

The Mirage 2000 acquisition, too, has a bit of a history. When the original deal was signed, the “intention to proceed” contract was for an initial order of 40 aircraft for outright purchase in fly-away condition and an option to produce another 110 aircraft in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bengaluru with total technology transfer. If this plan were carried forward, the IAF would not have needed the MiG-29. But, in 1984, the then defence minister R Venkatraman visited Moscow and, shortly after his return, stated in Parliament that India was going to select a “futuristic aircraft to meet the challenge posed by the presence of the F-16 in a neighbouring country.” The inference was clearly with regard to the MiG-29.

The other irony of this was that the justification for the Mirage 2000 acquisition was also because of the US’ decision to give Pakistan the latest F-16 fighters.


How the Mirage 2000 came to be is also an interesting story. In the mid-1970s, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was finalising a future fighter. The competition was between the Dassault Mirage F-1 and America’s General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. The F-16 got the order. Dassault then developed the more versatile Mirage 2000 to beat the F-16 at its own game. The first Mirage 2000 flew in 1982, and the first lot of IAF Mirage 2000s landed in Gwalior in 1984. Incidentally, Rajiv Gandhi, then a newly elected member of Parliament and Congress general secretary, saw it put through its paces at the Paris Airshow. He was very impressed. He sat in on the official meeting in the ministry of defence that decided to acquire Mirage 2000. Gandhi had just become a qualified Boeing 737 pilot and this was presumably considered expertise enough.

{Also the infamous BCCI provided loans to buy the Mirages, and who knows what kickbacks happened?}

Nevertheless, the deal to make 110 more Mirage 2000s in Bengaluru made eminent sense—both for the IAF and the economy. But it was dropped no sooner than when the first lot of 40 fighters in a flyaway condition were delivered. Why this deal was terminated remains a mystery, but one reason was certainly the price. The MiG -29 was available to India at Rs5 crore a unit, while the Mirage 2000 cost double that.

{Rumors were Dassault got paid for the TOT part also which was not operationalized. It might have gone to BCCI as kickback for providing the initial loan.}


Replacing MiG-21 and MiG-27

The Indian Air Force will soon retire several squadrons of MiG-21 and MiG-27 jets at the end of their life cycle. Replacing these aged fighters will be the latest Su-30MKI, a 4+ generation long endurance air dominance fighter, now being assembled by HAL.

The MiG-21 is a short endurance lightweight and high-speed interceptor with limited ground attack capability. The Russians describe it as a frontal aviation aircraft. The Sukhoi, being an air dominance fighter, can perform both these roles, as well as undertake deep penetration strikes. The Su-30 is a Mercedes Benz SUV compared to the MIG-21’s Maruti 800. Now let’s say the IAF wants to intercept a Pakistan Air Force or People’s Liberation Army Air Force JF-17. The IAF’s fighter of choice for this is likely to be a MiG-21bis rather than the Su-30MKI. While the Sukhoi can do the job effectively, sending a 4+generation aircraft weighing in at over 18 tonnes against a much older and cheaper JF-17 weighing less than 6.5 tonnes would not only be overkill but also very cost ineffective.

The MiG-27 is a mid-sized, variable geometry, ground attack aircraft developed to support mechanised infantry and armoured columns. Its swing-wing configuration allows it to swiftly reach the target area and then swoop in at a much-reduced speed to effectively attack enemy ground forces. But what would be just another day in the office for the MiG-27 could prove expensive with the much bigger and heavier Su-30. Since ground attacks are often by flying low and slow, a bigger aircraft is more vulnerable to ground fire. The IAF learned this in 1971 with the Su-7. Besides risking a Su-30MKI costing about Rs400 crore each against relatively low-cost ground targets doesn’t sound sensible.

{So for both Mig-21 and Mig-27 aircraft being replaced with more expensive Su-30MKI was not the answer on cost effectiveness basis!!! If that is so the $200 Million Rafale makes even less sense.}

A permanent solution

What the IAF needs for its interceptor and ground attack roles are smaller fighters and attack helicopters. Clearly, the IAF needs a permanent solution, not a high-cost fix like the Su-30MKI. The Rafale too, then, becomes another, yet more expensive, interim fix. Hence, the IAF needs to shed its reluctance and urgently induct the Tejas light combat aircraft and push for newer and more powerful versions.

The IAF needs to shed its reluctance and urgently induct the Tejas light combat aircraft.

At about Rs200 crore each and with a huge local value addition component, the Tejas offers a huge cost-benefit advantage over Dassault Rafale multi-role fighter aircraft, as well as a huge economic multiplier. A few hundred Tejas jets of varying configurations can not only handle what the enemy can throw at us, but also contribute hugely to the national economy. After all, isn’t this is the underlying notion behind “Make in India”?

So why do we want to buy the Dassault Rafale? It is somewhat closer to the Su-30MKI in class but almost four times more expensive. It is eight times more expensive than Tejas. In 2007, the government assessed the medium multi-role combat aircraft deal for 126 fighters to be about $12 billion. By 2014 the cost of 126 Rafale fighters had gone up to an estimated $22 billion. In 2015, when Prime Minister Modi visited France, the reworked deal of buying 36 fighters outright with the option for more was worked out to be $7.5 billion. Now, even the French President is mentioning a figure of $9 billion. Clearly, the costs are spinning out of control. It reminds me of a quip made by a Russian diplomat about the Su-30MKI, who said it was a very good fighter, but its wings were a bit heavy now. When I asked him what he meant, he cryptically remarked, the deal happened through four regime changes since 1994, meaning each regime change saddled it with more costs. It seems the Rafale’s wings too are getting heavier.


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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 28 Jan 2016 03:07

Nilesh,

Not many holes can be poked into those back of the envelop calculations. Let's just say a very tasting panwaala once spit, and his projectile turned directions instantaneously at close to 30 degrees/second. I am thinking what the numbers would be if we assume that LCA did turn the corner in 3.5 seconds instead of 4.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Kailash » 28 Jan 2016 06:32

Apologize if this has been asked before, but what will the IAF lose by not inducting ridiculously high priced rafale and replacing the order with 200 LCAs instead? Is rafael really as important as it's made out to be?


I believe it may also have to do with ego..the IAF brass have hedged their prestige with Rafale..


The issue is of ego - but the ego of the PMO to play the role of a saviour.

Practically I see 120 as only the mere beginning. We might need 400-600 of these, in different roles, for gaining any decent squadron strength over and beyond our decommissioning. As is LCA is more than capable to replace the lower migs(<=27), jaguars and mirages in IAF inventory. But it all depends on how much the MoD pushed for it and how actually it fares in IAF in terms of performance, maintainability, availability etc.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby fanne » 28 Jan 2016 06:43

Boss nobody wants LCA. The IAF does not want it because it wants Rafael, HAL does not want it as it will expose its incapability to mass manufacture a modern fighter (it has enough fund to establish assembly line for a trainer that no one wants and that has not finish testing, but cannot fund an assembly line till LCA design is fully frozen), Cong politician does not want it reduces kick back, BJP politicians will not as they are so righteous to not interfere in the natural process of no decision making, Babus want their kids to go to phoren and not to Bengluru. It is an orphan, wake me when we order more GE IN20 engines, we need it right for the extra planes and the engine is not changing for first 120. No one is serious.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby saumitra_j » 28 Jan 2016 07:01

Folks,

On one hand Nilesh and Indranil are trying to bring in very high quality discussion to the table, may I request others who are a bit frustrated with the pace of things / lack of decision making to lay off this thread.

Even if statements like
The issue is of ego - but the ego of the PMO to play the role of a saviour.
are true, they can go on some other thread so that this thread can continue to provide high quality information for those interested in the LCA. If you really want to do something interesting, request you to please collect as much information as you can and put it all together in a nice format that can be shared with the kids. LCA Tejas is currently on the cusp of being inducted in the IAF - what happens with the Rafale is besides the point, in another few years IAF will fly a truly modern India designed and built fighter! Rejoice, and use the information on this thread to let your kids, your neighbours, your uncles and aunts and anybody else in your sphere of influence and everybody else around know what a truly magnificent achievement has been made.
JMT and all that,

Many thanks,

Saumitra

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby JayS » 28 Jan 2016 07:17

indranilroy wrote:Nilesh,

Not many holes can be poked into those back of the envelop calculations. Let's just say a very tasting panwaala once spit, and his projectile turned directions instantaneously at close to 30 degrees/second. I am thinking what the numbers would be if we assume that LCA did turn the corner in 3.5 seconds instead of 4.


With 3.5s i get for 8G turn:

- C_Lmax = 1.17
- V_corner = 296knots = 152m/s
- ITR = 29.6deg/sec

My only objection is C_Lmax seems on slightly higher side.

I tried to calculate the turning rate for first 1-2sec in that pull up but we don't have a clear video to be able to calculate the angle midway between the turn. Even finding finishing moment for the turn is difficult but I used change in vortex trail as an indicator. 3.5sec is definitely possible. But I just wanted to be conservative in the calculations so took 4sec. We can for sure say that ITR is not less that 26deg/sec and making consessions for the approximations in the method perhaps 28deg/sec.
Last edited by JayS on 28 Jan 2016 17:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Nick_S » 28 Jan 2016 08:01

Some lovely pics on the FB Tejas page. Especially liked these ones:

Image

Image

Image

More here - https://www.facebook.com/tejas.lca

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 28 Jan 2016 09:00

boy nice camera works! it adds an additional 'g' to us all ;)

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby manjgu » 28 Jan 2016 09:21

tsarkar..thanks for ur posts on sailing etc. i was in bhopal and saw small boats sailing in the lake there and performing various maneuvers and u came to mind. The little sail boats then sailed in a circle, to excercise all angles of wind wrt boat. I re read ur post on " Europeans being able to bring fire on Zamorins who could only said UNI DIRECTIONALLY ..." . A question came to mind.. if Zamorins could said UNI DIRECTIONALLY, how did they hope to come back to the land? or they waited indefinetly at sea to catch wind going towards the land?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby JayS » 28 Jan 2016 11:57

Nick_S wrote:Image


This one is my absolute favourite. Such amazing shot. Loved the vortices.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby tsarkar » 28 Jan 2016 12:06

@ Manjgu, I've responded in the Indian Naval History Thread

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 28 Jan 2016 17:37

nilesh and indranil jis, if you play the video again on a 0.25 speed, you can observe the pull up was almost in two steps.. that is from hz to almost 80* up, and then a slight slow correction to 90*.,

so I would "think" the turn happened within about 2.8 secs.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Nick_S » 28 Jan 2016 19:35

Anantha Krishnan M ✈ ‏@writetake 2h2 hours ago
HAL chief tells @PTI_News that 1st upgraded Tejas with better radar, missiles system, mid-air refuelling probe, to be given to #IAF by 2018

HAL chief Raju refuses to identify nations shown interest in #Tejas @ Bahrain. Believe us when I say there are inquiries, he tells @PTI_News

HAL chief on #Tejas to @PTI_News Series production has started. We are increasing capacity from 8 to 16 per annum.

HAL chief tells @PTI_News that weapon integration on #LCH begins. Flying from March # proving them by Sept

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 28 Jan 2016 20:31

ddm is waking up, a millimeter per day
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news ... -air-show/

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Gyan » 28 Jan 2016 20:32

I think in eighties we were manufactering around 30 Mig21+Mig27 per annum, therefore producing 16-32 LCA per annum is not far fetched.


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