LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_29245 » 01 Feb 2016 13:01

fanne wrote:IAF, by its own admission needs 55 Squadron. 42 Sq was a requirement when PLAAF was nothing. It hardly had any modern planes to fly off from high platue of Tibet with any reasonable load and fight of IAF. With bases increasing (long runways to enable planes to carry decent fuel and armament), modern plane, cold war requirement for 42 SQ is in adequate. 55 (was in 57) was the IAF study few years ago (white paper published, google it up). We are down to 36 Sq, with 2-3 sq retiring every year in the next few years. 36 Rafael (2 sq worth) with any math does not fulfill that number, neither will some additional Sq (even if we go for another 36 or 40, we don't have deep pockets for 126), it will bankrupt IAF for sure. IAF will be a 30 Sq force with some 80-90 Rafael, where PAF itself will field more planes/sq (quality not good as ours, unless PLAAF sells some of advance planes and they are any good), PLAAF will be many times bigger and better equipped.
Save that money and invest in LCA- have huge numbers (500-900). Later versions can support TVC (better fighter), stealth (better bomber/fighter) etc etc. We can choose subsystems from Israel, US, Russia, French to overcome deficiencies in design. While SU30MKI lacks a true fire and forget long range missile, LCA can field Israeli missiles (or French if they sell, that's the reason for negotiating the codes of the missile). A huge number of then, being constantly upgraded (as it is our design, not wait for 25 years for some MLU), as F-16 were with block development, it will be a potent force.


If su39 lacks fire & forget missiles it doesn't mean we can't get such from Russia they have those

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_29245 » 01 Feb 2016 13:10

Bihanga wrote:Gyan and uddu, point here is not about which fighter jet is capable individually or on a combination basis. Issue here is timeline and delivery of units, which is in favour of Rafale. Since Tejas is unlikely to be operationally ready until completion of Development Cycle and MKI has been at delivery stage only until original inventory of 272 numbers get achieved. So this left us with no choice but to import Rafale in flyaway condition to maintain squadron strength.

As per my previous post, we do not envisaged to field mass produced MKI and Tejas, because of our limited production line capacity as can be seen from painfully slow induction rate of MKI and India's unwillingness to look beyond defence of our frontier militarily speaking.

Perhaps this is reason why IAF went ahead with imported Hawk AJT, Swiss Trainer and recent Purchase of Kamov Choppers despite domestic options from HAL.



Even theb36 rafales are slated to be delivered to India in 7 years

So tell.me how does it help ?

In 7 years we can have 36 su30 & 36 lcas locally built

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby sankum » 01 Feb 2016 14:09

LCA production @16/yr will take upto 2024-25 to produce the 106nos LCA MK1A starting from 2018.

To complete the production of the above lot in 2022-23 timeframe the production will have to ramp to minimum 24/year.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby sankum » 01 Feb 2016 14:16

212 nos Su 30 have been produced till now and rest 60 will be produced by 2019.

Seeing the delay in FGFA till 2025 SJha has said that upto 80nos more Su30 can be expected.

Su 30 production will be extended by 5years to get additional 80nos for a total number of 352nos.

Early 20's we can expect fighter induction in IAF Su 30@16/yr+ LCA @16/yr + Rafale @6/yr=38 fighters/year upto 2024-25.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby manjgu » 01 Feb 2016 15:18

having so many dual seat fighters is not a very good strategy...need single seaters. pilot requirement increases exponentiallly...

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 01 Feb 2016 15:22

The 2nd seater is a WSO not always a pilot.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 01 Feb 2016 15:28

did anyone notice that ddm report posted by wig says, they would retain F404 instead of 414 for the 106 1K kg less Tejas?

If they are serious about all these requirements, the one LSP they demoed at Bahrain should have all the features for next year production setup.
Otherwise, push all these whimsical reqs to Mk2.

I would expect a team 2 working on mk2 readied up now

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby manjgu » 01 Feb 2016 15:39

Karan M..to the best of my knowlwdge, the WSO is also a pilot..maybe he does not put in as many hours as a regular pilot or undergo same training... but both know how to fly.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 01 Feb 2016 15:46

^^ WSOs AFAIK are now a dedicated stream.. not pilots...would glad to be corrected...
Su30s do have dual controls so it would help to have both as pilots if we had enough numbers.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 01 Feb 2016 15:55

Does WSO HMD use kalman filters to guide or both can, which one takes precedence?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Yagnasri » 01 Feb 2016 16:21

I think we are out of topic here. But taking two-seater was the deliberate and well-thought decision of IAF for work distribution and also due to long flying time etc. When we have taken a considered decision like that there must be some reason for it. Unlike Khan and others, we may not fight wars like video games.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby manjgu » 01 Feb 2016 16:27

In the United States Air Force, the Weapon Systems Officer ("WSO", pronounced "wizzo") is an air navigator directly involved in all air operations and weapon systems of the aircraft (fighter or bomber). (In the US Navy and Marine Corps, "WSO" also refers to the aft crew member in the F/A-18F Super Hornet and F/A-18D Hornet respectively.) The WSO integrates with the pilot to collectively achieve and maintain crew efficiency, situational awareness and mission effectiveness. In United States Air Force (USAF) fighter aircraft such as the F-15E Strike Eagle, the WSO can pilot the aircraft when required although this is typically during non-tactical portions of the mission (e.g., returning to base). When designated mission commander (MC), the WSO is also responsible for all phases of the assigned mission.
WSO mission duties in fighter aircraft were historically rigid because of the displays and controls in the front and aft seats of fighter cockpits. However modern fighter cockpits using programmable multi-function displays allow assigned roles to be more flexible than previous generation aircraft such as the F-4 Phantom II, A-6 Intruder, or F-14 Tomcat. In the latest fighters either aircrew can be responsible for detecting, targeting and engaging air-to-air targets or ground targets, performing communications, operating data-link or defensive systems based on the tactical situation. This provides the flexibility for pilot and WSO roles to be customized based on experience, expertise, workload, tactics, and weapons being employed. The pilot remains responsible for flying the aircraft in tactical situations. WSOs assigned to bomber aircraft typically have more rigidly defined roles.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 01 Feb 2016 18:28

we may be OT, but it is nice to have the discussion related to IAF's mission needs [perhaps in the right thread if no dual seater is planned for LCA].

- what missions are we talking about?
- define the roles.
- - ops wise

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 01 Feb 2016 19:19

Su30s do have dual controls so it would help to have both as pilots if we had enough numbers.


Not just that, when the MKI first came out, BOTH were of the Sqd leader level. IAF had allocated a huge number of high level resources for teh MKI - then. Do not know what is it now.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby tsarkar » 01 Feb 2016 19:19

maitya wrote:IRST not being considered, is more-or-less confirmed

Because Litening works phenomenally well in A2A role. Even the Su-30 pilots prefer Litening over OLS. Litening in A2A role was pioneered by Indian pilots, and now the Israelis are building dedicated A2A modes in their newer versions.
Last edited by tsarkar on 01 Feb 2016 19:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 01 Feb 2016 19:26

but the litening cannot see above the plane. ideally a fusing of the two would be best if we owned such domestic products which we dont.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SBajwa » 01 Feb 2016 19:30

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation ... 90424.html

The Ministry of Defence has decided to locally produce 106 upgraded Light Combat Aircraft “Tejas” jets to replace the ageing fleet of MiG fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

The “Tejas Mark 1-A” will have 43 improvements over the existing Tejas currently being test-flown by the IAF for various parameters and slated for final operation clearance in March. The existing project is running years behind schedule.

Sources told The Tribune that a decision has been taken to produce 106 “Tejas Mark 1-A” jets and the same has been conveyed to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), besides the manufacturer — Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a public sector undertaking owned by MoD.

The MoD has set a 2018 deadline for the first aircraft to be ready with a target to complete its production by 2022-2023. In September, new specifications were agreed upon and the IAF accepted 43 modifications that could be carried out without changing the existing design.

On the list of modifications are five major improvements, including an AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar, which the HAL will co-develop with Israel firm Elta; air-to-air refuelling facility; externally fitted self-protection jammer to prevent incoming enemy missiles from homing in using radar signature; and a new layout, involving 27 modifications, of internal systems to iron out maintenance issues.

The plane will be 1,000 kg lighter than the existing version, which currently weighs 6,500 kg, but will use the same engine — General Electric’s 404. “The power of the engine is more than enough,” said a senior functionary. Fitting the newer and more powerful GE-414 engine would entail fresh design and airframe studies.

The HAL has been asked to produce 16 jets annually and a Rs 1,252-crore modernisation plan has been okayed to ramp up capacities from the present six-seven planes annually.

The decision will go a long way in keeping the IAF battle-ready. The upgraded jets will fill the void created by MiG-21s and MiG-27s that will be phased out by 2022.

There are 260 Soviet-era single-engine MiG-21 and MiG-27 jets in the IAF fleet. The air force needs 400 jets over the next 10 years.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 01 Feb 2016 19:52

then having litening interface for both above and belove fuselage retractable/extendable probe for optics if need be. too huge?
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby tsarkar » 01 Feb 2016 19:52

^^ Not completely

In the air superiority role, whether escorting fighters or over own airfield, the CAP is typically flying high, and the Litening can pick up heat signatures of low flying intruders.

In the look up mode, if you closely observe the inlet hardpoint, nothing blocks the upward view of the gimbaled sensor head in a range 20-30 degree. In comparison, the mechanical elevation of the Bars or 2032 radar is 30-45 degrees.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8VaxyjJQNEo/V ... 30mki.jpeg
http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-p ... 447585.jpg

The inlet is offset from the empennage to be blocked by it. Same for Tejas, the inlet is offset.

It is not required to track a target all the time and at all angles, including high off boresight angles, the HMCS & radar can take over once Litening detects/tracks a target.

The pod gimbal head has very little elevation restrictions as shown here http://www.spsmai.com/exclusive/?id=406 ... raft-fleet.

Note while on the ground, the sensor head is tucked inside to avoid FOD.

The Israelis are taking it to market https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ty-408161/
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 01 Feb 2016 20:00

what is the "extremely long range" we are talking with G4?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 01 Feb 2016 20:37

What is the plan for the LCA II and its new engine?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby sudeepj » 01 Feb 2016 20:41

SBajwa wrote:http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/106-upgraded-tejas-jets-to-replace-migs/190424.html

The plane will be 1,000 kg lighter than the existing version, which currently weighs 6,500 kg, but will use the same engine — General Electric’s 404. “The power of the engine is more than enough,” said a senior functionary. Fitting the newer and more powerful GE-414 engine would entail fresh design and airframe studies.


This is the nth time its been reported that Mk1A will be 1000kg lighter than the Mk1. Further, the news is not sourced from a bureau such as ANI/PTI/Reuters, its by different journalists at different times. Perhaps the ADA is serious about this 1 tonne reduction. What could be some places where such reduced in weight can be achieved? Ballast, Landing gear, Co-cured Co-bonded wing perhaps? There are also some heavier components in the Mk1A, the AESA radar and the In air refueling probe.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby raghava » 01 Feb 2016 20:46

SBajwa wrote:http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/106-upgraded-tejas-jets-to-replace-migs/190424.html

The plane will be 1,000 kg lighter than the existing version, which currently weighs 6,500 kg, but will use the same engine — General Electric’s 404. “The power of the engine is more than enough,” said a senior functionary.


unnamed senior functionary says 1000 kg weight reduction

LCA Tejas FB page admin says some weight reduction certain but even 800 kg is doubtful.

What to believe saar - is this usual DDMitis or some yeevil yindu obfuscation to keep our enemies guessing...?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 01 Feb 2016 21:22

SaiK wrote:what is the "extremely long range" we are talking with G4?


tens of km against cold upper atmospheric background.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Mihaylo » 01 Feb 2016 22:56

raghava wrote:
SBajwa wrote:http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/106-upgraded-tejas-jets-to-replace-migs/190424.html

The plane will be 1,000 kg lighter than the existing version, which currently weighs 6,500 kg, but will use the same engine — General Electric’s 404. “The power of the engine is more than enough,” said a senior functionary.


unnamed senior functionary says 1000 kg weight reduction

LCA Tejas FB page admin says some weight reduction certain but even 800 kg is doubtful.

What to believe saar - is this usual DDMitis or some yeevil yindu obfuscation to keep our enemies guessing...?


Those are SDRE kgs only. As per the complex Yahya algorithm it comes to 100 kg if my calculations are correct. Of course, only a paki can validate it..

-M

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Cain Marko » 01 Feb 2016 23:19

^If they can take off even 250Kgs it will be praiseworthy.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Cain Marko » 01 Feb 2016 23:20

Singha wrote:but the litening cannot see above the plane. ideally a fusing of the two would be best if we owned such domestic products which we dont.


One more issue is that the Litening will add weight and drag to an already light, underpowered bird. But still, could be very useful I guess, and this extra weight/drag could be offset with the proposed weight reduction.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Vivek K » 01 Feb 2016 23:50

Please explain underpowered with numbers.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 02 Feb 2016 00:00

sudeepj wrote:
SBajwa wrote:http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/106-upgraded-tejas-jets-to-replace-migs/190424.html

The plane will be 1,000 kg lighter than the existing version, which currently weighs 6,500 kg, but will use the same engine — General Electric’s 404. “The power of the engine is more than enough,” said a senior functionary. Fitting the newer and more powerful GE-414 engine would entail fresh design and airframe studies.


This is the nth time its been reported that Mk1A will be 1000kg lighter than the Mk1. Further, the news is not sourced from a bureau such as ANI/PTI/Reuters, its by different journalists at different times. Perhaps the ADA is serious about this 1 tonne reduction. What could be some places where such reduced in weight can be achieved? Ballast, Landing gear, Co-cured Co-bonded wing perhaps? There are also some heavier components in the Mk1A, the AESA radar and the In air refueling probe.


Everything else in that report appears to be fairly precise. 106 LCAs, 27 internal modifications, 6500 kg weight (its 6560 so close enough)... still doubt the 1T figure though.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Cain Marko » 02 Feb 2016 00:16

Vivek K wrote:Please explain underpowered with numbers.


Sorry, I'm no mathematician, nor some aero guru; but I can perhaps elaborate a bit more - compare the TWR of the mk1 vs. the f-16 blk 30/50, which is one of its potential adversaries. Let us not consider the flankers at this point. More importantly, this was one of the issues that the IAF pulled up the LCA for....Consider also that most light fighters normally are a little short on excess thrust to begin with...adding external stores could aggravate this situation

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 02 Feb 2016 03:49

we can reduce the drag by retracting to go submerged into the underbelly skin.. this would also relieve one hard point extra available for more loads. of course, litening weight is a given with or without these type of configs.

what else can be lightened? ;) I am sure, we have still room for many things going kevlar, and composites.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Sid » 02 Feb 2016 08:09

What a tragedy. In the end IAF top brass could not get past its ego. No wonder no pilot would like to move to test programs knowing it's a carrier ending move.

http://idrw.org/tejas-hero-suneet-krish ... more-86108
Tejas hero Suneet Krishna is no longer IAF face
SOURCE:DECCAN CHRONICLE


Every time he kissed the skies in a made-in-India ‘Tejas’ at Aero India or elsewhere, Group Captain Suneet Krishna (Retd) had air warriors and aviation enthusiasts alike rooting for more of his heart-stopping manoeuvers.
That was till January 31. On February 1, this top gun walked away to the corporate world at the end of a wrangle between the country’s defence scientists and the Indian Air Force (IAF). At one point, it reached the office of defence minister Manohar Parrikar, and the minister reportedly advised the top brass of DRDO and IAF to put an end to their disagreement.

The row was over denying this ace test pilot, the captain’s seat (pilot-in-command) in the ‘Eye-in-the-sky’, the Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft developed by Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), Bengaluru, and undergoing evaluation now ahead of its induction by the IAF later this year.

The reason? Group Captain Suneet Krishna (Retd) was considered a ‘civilian test pilot’ by the air strike wing because he opted for voluntary retirement from IAF in 2012, and therefore could not occupy the captain’s seat.

“He was torpedoed by the air force though he holds the record of flying all types of fighters, and even some transport jets, for close to 5,000 hours. If Brazilian pilots could occupy the captain’s seat when the Embraer-145 aircraft was bought for AEW&C project, how can the IAF prevent its former pilot from doing so? His exit will be a great loss for both ‘Tejas’ and AEW&C projects because no-one can match his expertise,” remarked his former commandant who also played a key role in these projects.

The fact that he had served the IAF for more than two decades did not seem to count. Nor did the top brass of IAF, factor in his contribution to making ‘Tejas’ a completely pilot-friendly and world-class fighter jet because he logged the highest number of hours onboard the indigenous aircraft and his inputs helped modify the cockpit over the years. In fact, he has flown the prototypes, the production and operational versions of ‘Tejas’, even test-fired missiles and laser-guided bombs.

He was the pilot who demonstrated the military jet’s agility to Mr Parrikar in Bengaluru on January 17, 2015, the day when ‘Tejas’ was inducted into the IAF’s fleet. In fact, this ace test pilot encountered turbulence the moment he joined CABS in May 2015 with those at the helm at IAF’s Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Bengaluru, insisting that only their officers could occupy the captain’s seat, although they were junior to Group Captain Suneet Krishna (retired). He flew 100 sorties as the tussle escalated. In the end though, with no solution in sight, he decided to join the corporate world and relocate to Mumbai.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SidSom » 02 Feb 2016 10:10

^^ I have long felt that IAF, among the forces, is the worst when it comes to pragmatism. Their decisions are oft bizzare and make no long term sense to the common man. This is disheartening. I spoke to Grp Capt Krishna during Aero 15 and thanked him for the brilliant Tejas display and he seemed like such a down to earth guy. Why do the MoD allow things like this...
I hope there is a cleansing of IAF to remove this mindset.

Sorry for the rant.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby JayS » 02 Feb 2016 11:31

Sid wrote:What a tragedy. In the end IAF top brass could not get past its ego. No wonder no pilot would like to move to test programs knowing it's a carrier ending move.

http://idrw.org/tejas-hero-suneet-krish ... more-86108
Tejas hero Suneet Krishna is no longer IAF face
SOURCE:DECCAN CHRONICLE


Every time he kissed the skies in a made-in-India ‘Tejas’ at Aero India or elsewhere, Group Captain Suneet Krishna (Retd) had air warriors and aviation enthusiasts alike rooting for more of his heart-stopping manoeuvers.
That was till January 31. On February 1, this top gun walked away to the corporate world at the end of a wrangle between the country’s defence scientists and the Indian Air Force (IAF). At one point, it reached the office of defence minister Manohar Parrikar, and the minister reportedly advised the top brass of DRDO and IAF to put an end to their disagreement.

The row was over denying this ace test pilot, the captain’s seat (pilot-in-command) in the ‘Eye-in-the-sky’, the Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft developed by Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), Bengaluru, and undergoing evaluation now ahead of its induction by the IAF later this year.

The reason? Group Captain Suneet Krishna (Retd) was considered a ‘civilian test pilot’ by the air strike wing because he opted for voluntary retirement from IAF in 2012, and therefore could not occupy the captain’s seat.

“He was torpedoed by the air force though he holds the record of flying all types of fighters, and even some transport jets, for close to 5,000 hours. If Brazilian pilots could occupy the captain’s seat when the Embraer-145 aircraft was bought for AEW&C project, how can the IAF prevent its former pilot from doing so? His exit will be a great loss for both ‘Tejas’ and AEW&C projects because no-one can match his expertise,” remarked his former commandant who also played a key role in these projects.

The fact that he had served the IAF for more than two decades did not seem to count. Nor did the top brass of IAF, factor in his contribution to making ‘Tejas’ a completely pilot-friendly and world-class fighter jet because he logged the highest number of hours onboard the indigenous aircraft and his inputs helped modify the cockpit over the years. In fact, he has flown the prototypes, the production and operational versions of ‘Tejas’, even test-fired missiles and laser-guided bombs.

He was the pilot who demonstrated the military jet’s agility to Mr Parrikar in Bengaluru on January 17, 2015, the day when ‘Tejas’ was inducted into the IAF’s fleet. In fact, this ace test pilot encountered turbulence the moment he joined CABS in May 2015 with those at the helm at IAF’s Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Bengaluru, insisting that only their officers could occupy the captain’s seat, although they were junior to Group Captain Suneet Krishna (retired). He flew 100 sorties as the tussle escalated. In the end though, with no solution in sight, he decided to join the corporate world and relocate to Mumbai.

This is epitome of babugiri now. Really sad. In other countries test-pilots are given highest honours. RM should have stepped in perhaps??

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 02 Feb 2016 12:04

^^ My late uncle in the AF had scathing words for the AF mindset and brass as well, for the manner in which their byzantine politics affected people who gave their lives for the service. Typical case above.
BTW, note how closely it parallels how Phillip Rajkumar was treated.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Yagnasri » 02 Feb 2016 12:11

How we can have such culture when we do not design or develop any aircraft and even if something like Tejas comes up we are saying that there is no plan B and all that. MOD do not care for anything. If MOD wants it can make top brass dance to its good or bad tune. That seems to be the culture MOD and politicos want. Even if some politicos want to make some changes like M.I.I. even at very minor level he will face entire establishment gang. But for MII and lack of funds Tejas would have been killed long back. The drama of wanting Mk2 may also be part of the same efforts.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby JTull » 02 Feb 2016 14:31

Karan M wrote:^^ My late uncle in the AF had scathing words for the AF mindset and brass as well, for the manner in which their byzantine politics affected people who gave their lives for the service. Typical case above.
BTW, note how closely it parallels how Phillip Rajkumar was treated.


I could suggest a different point of view in this particular case. Perhaps the pilots who stay with IAF deserve more respect then the ones who decide to hawk their celebrity status.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_28990 » 02 Feb 2016 14:52

Sid wrote:What a tragedy. In the end IAF top brass could not get past its ego. No wonder no pilot would like to move to test programs knowing it's a carrier ending move.

http://idrw.org/tejas-hero-suneet-krish ... more-86108
Tejas hero Suneet Krishna is no longer IAF face
SOURCE:DECCAN CHRONICLE


Every time he kissed the skies in a made-in-India ‘Tejas’ at Aero India or elsewhere, Group Captain Suneet Krishna (Retd) had air warriors and aviation enthusiasts alike rooting for more of his heart-stopping manoeuvers.
That was till January 31. On February 1, this top gun walked away to the corporate world at the end of a wrangle between the country’s defence scientists and the Indian Air Force (IAF). At one point, it reached the office of defence minister Manohar Parrikar, and the minister reportedly advised the top brass of DRDO and IAF to put an end to their disagreement.

The row was over denying this ace test pilot, the captain’s seat (pilot-in-command) in the ‘Eye-in-the-sky’, the Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft developed by Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), Bengaluru, and undergoing evaluation now ahead of its induction by the IAF later this year.

The reason? Group Captain Suneet Krishna (Retd) was considered a ‘civilian test pilot’ by the air strike wing because he opted for voluntary retirement from IAF in 2012, and therefore could not occupy the captain’s seat.

“He was torpedoed by the air force though he holds the record of flying all types of fighters, and even some transport jets, for close to 5,000 hours. If Brazilian pilots could occupy the captain’s seat when the Embraer-145 aircraft was bought for AEW&C project, how can the IAF prevent its former pilot from doing so? His exit will be a great loss for both ‘Tejas’ and AEW&C projects because no-one can match his expertise,” remarked his former commandant who also played a key role in these projects.

The fact that he had served the IAF for more than two decades did not seem to count. Nor did the top brass of IAF, factor in his contribution to making ‘Tejas’ a completely pilot-friendly and world-class fighter jet because he logged the highest number of hours onboard the indigenous aircraft and his inputs helped modify the cockpit over the years. In fact, he has flown the prototypes, the production and operational versions of ‘Tejas’, even test-fired missiles and laser-guided bombs.

He was the pilot who demonstrated the military jet’s agility to Mr Parrikar in Bengaluru on January 17, 2015, the day when ‘Tejas’ was inducted into the IAF’s fleet. In fact, this ace test pilot encountered turbulence the moment he joined CABS in May 2015 with those at the helm at IAF’s Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Bengaluru, insisting that only their officers could occupy the captain’s seat, although they were junior to Group Captain Suneet Krishna (retired). He flew 100 sorties as the tussle escalated. In the end though, with no solution in sight, he decided to join the corporate world and relocate to Mumbai.



This is incredibly sad, and petty to the core.

sankum
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby sankum » 02 Feb 2016 14:52

When senior leaves for greener pastures the most deserving juniors get a chance and this churning infuses new energy in any organisation.

There should be no hard feeling in the seniors about this.

Karan M
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 02 Feb 2016 14:53

Jtull,
How did either hawk their celebrity status and where were they celebrities, do tell? Do you even have an idea of their contributions to the program?


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