LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 02 Mar 2016 21:10

shiv, US has a Mil Std on qualification of aerospace components. Loads and dynamics part includes sinusoidal and random vibration testing. All aerospace engineers are taught that at the madrassa.

Usually analysis will estimate what the expected normal loads environment would be. Its then scaled to 1:500 loads. ie the probability of these occurring is 0.02%. Testing the components to such environments gives confidence in design margin and assures the parts will perform.


So the part is put on a shaker table and subjected to the loads profile. Usually the part is strain gaged to see how its response is.

I would read the failure analysis report for the Saras and see the extensive instrumentation that was used to get an idea. LCA would have been many, many more times complex.

Shreeman, now that they have completed the development of LCA they need to productionize it. So they are setting up the supply chain. If they had setup the supply chain early, same people would complain look 'horse or ass before the cart!"

They gave milestones for tracking. Lets track them to that.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Shreeman » 02 Mar 2016 21:26

ramana,

I agree that acceptance of the existence of a domestic jet is setting in grudgingly. But at the same time, the exponential curve of obsolescence remains relevent.

There was an argument here years ago about numbers being employed. That is now no longer debated. But the numbers themselves have not entered in practice and will remain elusive for another 5-10 years.

Production engineering is simply not compatible with a khadi gramodyog approach. You cant set up a "thin" supply chain and hope it will a. materialize, and b. survive. Every counter argument so far, dileep, and all have argued this.

The future will hold, what it will. But if this lrpject was to have a national scope, then its parts need accordingly, a no costs, we will eat grass but, approach too.

Waited years to see the crowd judgment turn towards "++squads now", lets see how long it takes wisdom to reach "designing around parts you dont control has unforeeable consequences".

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_20067 » 03 Mar 2016 02:34

LCA Bahrain Air Show - Go Pro - Inside Cockpit


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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_29294 » 03 Mar 2016 03:39

http://idrw.org/making-gripen-fighters-in-india-not-favoured-by-iaf/

Swedish defence major Saab plans to Make its Gripen fighter in India has roadblock with stiff resistance coming from Indian Air force said well-informed sources close to idrw.org. IAF is not in favour of ordering 4.5+ Gen fighter jet, even though SAAB has offered India technical help in the development of indigenous AMCA 5th generation fighter aircraft in lieu of orders for its Gripen fighters which lost out of Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft tender in 2011 which was won by French Rafale fighter jets.

At present India is negotiating with France for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets out of 126 requested by Indian Air Force under Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft tender and Defence minister Parrikar already has confirmed that by end of this year another vendor will be selected who will make up to 90 fighter jets in India with active participation from Private sector company with major transfer of technology .

Saabs Gripen which belongs to same class as indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is finding no takers in IAF which now considers Tejas a better product compared to Gripen due to endless customization options offered by the indigenous fighter jet for which IAF has already placed first mass order for 106 jets with upgraded Avionics over previously 20 already ordered and according to many defence analyst numbers will finally touch 300 + with production line chunking out upgraded LCA -Tejas over next few years which will replace all retiring Mig-21s and Mig27s and is clearly not interested in placing orders for aircraft in same class as LCA .

IAF now considers Tejas SUPERIOR to the Gripen NG :D

Looks like they have seen the light with the Rafale tender. Foreign maal will never let them have the options and features that they want, only indigenous products can put up with their constantly changing requirements that originally delayed the Tejas.
Last edited by member_29294 on 03 Mar 2016 04:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Ramu » 03 Mar 2016 03:54

I don't understand the context of obsolescence here. I have my own view of obsolescence
I hope I am not mixing up things.

When Rafale was initially offered instead of mirage, the deal was for 126 planes with full TOT for approx 10bn.
Few years later technical evaluation started and eventually it was chosen to be a winner. Today we are at a stage of buying 36 for the offer price of 11 bn. Someday we will sign the deal and start to pay for it. Then comes its MLU after approx 25 years optimistically. I am going to make an educated guess that the tech specs are frozen during the technical evaluation itself well before signing the deal itself. So it is possible that Rafale could be obsolete well before IAF gets its first aircraft and it will remain so for 2-3 decades till MLU. The only thing that stays upto date throughout this ordeal is its price.

Now lets take the case of LCA. If I remember correctly, the first order of 20 LCAs amongst few other things were placed sometime around 2007-9 when pranabda chaired a CCS meeting just before a financial yearend to avoid returning any unspent capex. I think it was 1bn. Reports emerged only in 2011-12 that IAF will split IOC into I and II and it didn't want any in IOC I config. Today we are building the same initial 20 in FOC config and IAF hasn't given FOC yet. Throughout this ordeal, the technical improvements and breakthroughs achieved is nothing but phenomenal and it will continue to happen for years to come. IAF will get all the features it demands AND the ones it doesn't. Again I will make an educated guess that the only thing that remained constant is its price.

Thus my confusion about which obsolescence we are discussing here.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby fanne » 03 Mar 2016 04:12

chakra ji, IAF want no compromise on 36 Rafale. It would not even accept 36 F-22 for free.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_29294 » 03 Mar 2016 04:16

fanne wrote:chakra ji, IAF want no compromise on 36 Rafale. It would not even accept 36 F-22 for free.

Yes, but MoD has talked about having another fighter production line be selected in 2016.

Many were worried that it might be referring to Gripen, but now it seems that it is either another Tejas line or a teens fighter from Amerikhan.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby fanne » 03 Mar 2016 05:02

I will give my 2 cents - Gripen is very close to LCA, F-16 is with the terrorist, Rafale is costlier than f-22, It is between f18 and Eurofighter. F-18 is yesterday's design, may not be able to fly from Himalayan airfields. If Eurofighter is reasonable with the price, this is its deal to loose.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Kakkaji » 03 Mar 2016 05:28

The Eurofighter is not going to e much cheaper the Rafale. Remember it was L2 to Rafale's L1

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby srai » 03 Mar 2016 06:11

fanne wrote:I will give my 2 cents - Gripen is very close to LCA, F-16 is with the terrorist, Rafale is costlier than f-22, It is between f18 and Eurofighter. F-18 is yesterday's design, may not be able to fly from Himalayan airfields. If Eurofighter is reasonable with the price, this is its deal to loose.
Kakkaji wrote:The Eurofighter is not going to e much cheaper the Rafale. Remember it was L2 to Rafale's L1


Everyone fudged their numbers when it came to LCC, ToT, and offsets as those were all really nebulous as to what they meant exactly. Only when the negotiations began then the "real" numbers shed light ;) So none are cheap by any means, especially when India is looking for extensive ToT, 50% offsets and guaranteed LCC. Better to move on than continue this charade.
Last edited by srai on 03 Mar 2016 06:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby fanne » 03 Mar 2016 06:11

But Raf L1 was a lie

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby srai » 03 Mar 2016 06:14

Everyone would have fallen in that "lie" category under that definition ;)

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Cain Marko » 03 Mar 2016 07:46

fanne wrote:I will give my 2 cents - Gripen is very close to LCA, F-16 is with the terrorist, Rafale is costlier than f-22, It is between f18 and Eurofighter. F-18 is yesterday's design, may not be able to fly from Himalayan airfields. If Eurofighter is reasonable with the price, this is its deal to loose.


Actually the advanced shornet with the epe engines will probably provide better twr than any of the other candidates, flying high and hot shouldn't be an issue for this bird.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 03 Mar 2016 08:19

srai wrote:Everyone would have fallen in that "lie" category under that definition ;)

if affidavits are doctored by previous gov, anything is possible.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby vcsekhar » 03 Mar 2016 11:05

Ramu wrote:I don't understand the context of obsolescence here. I have my own view of obsolescence
I hope I am not mixing up things.

Now lets take the case of LCA. If I remember correctly, the first order of 20 LCAs amongst few other things were placed sometime around 2007-9 when pranabda chaired a CCS meeting just before a financial yearend to avoid returning any unspent capex. I think it was 1bn. Reports emerged only in 2011-12 that IAF will split IOC into I and II and it didn't want any in IOC I config. Today we are building the same initial 20 in FOC config and IAF hasn't given FOC yet. Throughout this ordeal, the technical improvements and breakthroughs achieved is nothing but phenomenal and it will continue to happen for years to come. IAF will get all the features it demands AND the ones it doesn't. Again I will make an educated guess that the only thing that remained constant is its price.
Thus my confusion about which obsolescence we are discussing here.


The fact that the price of the LCA is remaining the same is simply because we do not cost it the same way as the foreign companies do.

If it was a LM or a Dassault that was costing the LCA, the fixed engineering (and management) cost of all the people who have been working on the design and upgrades of the LCA over the past 7 years, would have all been totaled up and the cost of the LCA would have been increased significantly. And the cost would have gone up even more as the number of aircraft supplied reduced. What about the cost of all the flight testing that has been done over the years, the cost of the TP's, the engineers, the whole setup that was done for the LCA etc... do you think that this cost is really built into the $25 million that is bandied about?

Case in point, the F22 was supposed to be costing between $125 - $200 million each, but, since the run was capped at 187, the cost per unit increased to $400 odd million apiece. But this was all notional as the cost of R&D was already sunk into the design and production of the aircraft. So it meant that no additional money needed to be spent, only the amortization was done over a smaller number of aircraft.

Since HAL is a govt owned and run company and the salaries are paid from a different account our project accounting method is different. That is why the cost of the LCA remains the same without regard to the engineering time spent. The cost is simply the cost of the components and the direct labour used in the actual production of the aircraft.
If we had eventually ordered the M2000-5 after dilly dallying and allowing the line to close, then Dassault would have charged us top dollar (or euro) to restart the line and re-hiring all the people required to run it. and obviously the cost per unit would have gone up tremendously.

so please take all the cost estimates with a ton of salt as these are all numbers that do not reflect reality of the detailed accounting that happens in foreign companies.

just my 2 cents..

cheers..

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby srai » 03 Mar 2016 12:24

^^^

True.

The final cost that MoD would pay to acquire LCA for the IAF would be the cheaper price (as other costs for R&D paid by different department or paid for already by GoI). So if the IAF has x amount of budget to work with, it would be able to acquire more of indigenous product like the LCA as the price is just fly-away unit plus additional amount for LCC. To buy foreign equivalent, it would cost much more because the price includes above costs as well as costs of R&D and more expensive labor in home country and likely higher profit margins along with currency fluctuations.
Last edited by srai on 03 Mar 2016 12:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Ramu » 03 Mar 2016 12:28

I meant the money was already paid for from 2007-9 budget. when we sign a contract both tech spec and cost is set in stone. Today's real cost will more or less remain the same. 1bn for 20 equates to 50 mln a piece.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_29245 » 03 Mar 2016 14:22

vcsekhar wrote:
Ramu wrote:I don't understand the context of obsolescence here. I have my own view of obsolescence
I hope I am not mixing up things.

Now lets take the case of LCA. If I remember correctly, the first order of 20 LCAs amongst few other things were placed sometime around 2007-9 when pranabda chaired a CCS meeting just before a financial yearend to avoid returning any unspent capex. I think it was 1bn. Reports emerged only in 2011-12 that IAF will split IOC into I and II and it didn't want any in IOC I config. Today we are building the same initial 20 in FOC config and IAF hasn't given FOC yet. Throughout this ordeal, the technical improvements and breakthroughs achieved is nothing but phenomenal and it will continue to happen for years to come. IAF will get all the features it demands AND the ones it doesn't. Again I will make an educated guess that the only thing that remained constant is its price.
Thus my confusion about which obsolescence we are discussing here.


The fact that the price of the LCA is remaining the same is simply because we do not cost it the same way as the foreign companies do.

If it was a LM or a Dassault that was costing the LCA, the fixed engineering (and management) cost of all the people who have been working on the design and upgrades of the LCA over the past 7 years, would have all been totaled up and the cost of the LCA would have been increased significantly. And the cost would have gone up even more as the number of aircraft supplied reduced. What about the cost of all the flight testing that has been done over the years, the cost of the TP's, the engineers, the whole setup that was done for the LCA etc... do you think that this cost is really built into the $25 million that is bandied about?

Case in point, the F22 was supposed to be costing between $125 - $200 million each, but, since the run was capped at 187, the cost per unit increased to $400 odd million apiece. But this was all notional as the cost of R&D was already sunk into the design and production of the aircraft. So it meant that no additional money needed to be spent, only the amortization was done over a smaller number of aircraft.

Since HAL is a govt owned and run company and the salaries are paid from a different account our project accounting method is different. That is why the cost of the LCA remains the same without regard to the engineering time spent. The cost is simply the cost of the components and the direct labour used in the actual production of the aircraft.
If we had eventually ordered the M2000-5 after dilly dallying and allowing the line to close, then Dassault would have charged us top dollar (or euro) to restart the line and re-hiring all the people required to run it. and obviously the cost per unit would have gone up tremendously.

so please take all the cost estimates with a ton of salt as these are all numbers that do not reflect reality of the detailed accounting that happens in foreign companies.

just my 2 cents..

cheers..


Though HAL is govt owned it is a company it pays for salaries and developmental costs through its own accounts and after doing all that it pays 4000+ crores as dividend to the govt

When it comes to developmental work expenses it is Jo different than other companies worldwide where govts pays pvt companies to develop defence products

Eg Boeing LM and dasault

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_29245 » 03 Mar 2016 14:26

All govts pay pvt companies to develop defence products

Even in case of rafales

French govt paid money upfront to. Dasault to develop and test flight the rafale

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby vcsekhar » 03 Mar 2016 14:32

Ramu wrote:I meant the money was already paid for from 2007-9 budget. when we sign a contract both tech spec and cost is set in stone. Today's real cost will more or less remain the same. 1bn for 20 equates to 50 mln a piece.


I don't know what to think of it, but, even though the money was allocated, it would not have been paid to HAL in 2007.
In any case, there was a great number of improvements required and that would have changed costs, and was it the rupee equivalent of a $1 billion (which in 2007 would have been around 4000 cr)?
What would have been included in the original price, was it all the ground support equipment and the simulators etc... at this point who knows and it is all speculation.
The government knows exactly what it is paying for and all the costs of each of the component parts would be known so the cost is what it is. In any case, there is no way we could every get anything equivalent cheaper that the LCA, even the cheapest would be more than 2x the cost.
We just need to place a bulk order (couple of 100) to get all the local suppliers super interested in bidding for the contracts (which will mean that they can plan their capex and resources) and then we will also have a whole bunch of qualified suppliers who will also aggressively go out and try to get orders for parts used in commercial aviation. which will result in a vibrant aero industry in India.

I hope to see this happen in the next 5 to 10 years.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 03 Mar 2016 16:20

Harin, good point. vcsekhar ji?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Dileep » 03 Mar 2016 16:30

Sorry for late response. busy onlee.

Acceleration (actually deceleration) suffered by objects that fall (actually, stopped abruptly at the end of the fall) is a very complicated subject. I spend a lot of time explaining things to the mechanical folks on these things.

For time being, let us assume the floor is made of such a hard material that doesn't yield even an atom. When the phone hits the surface, the atoms that hit together suffers the highest deceleration, like millions of G. that is because they stop almost instantly, cushioned by only the nuclear forces repelling each other.

But the atoms further away from the surface suffer less G, because they compress on the atoms below, and takes more time to slow down. In other words, the plastic gets compressed (sometimes even crumpled) and passes less Gs to the material behind it.

So, when you do impact analysis, you need to consider the elasticity, plasticity, crumpling etc to see how many Gs gets transferred to the sensitive stuff inside.

Same thing happens with cars. Crumple zones are designed to make sure that even though the bumper stops abruptly (and suffer tremendous G) the passenger doesn't. Same thing would happen if you wrap an egg in thick foam padding and drop it.

Anyway, coming back to the spec of the landing lights (the spec is for LED), yes, it is to be mounted on the nose gear, so it actually drops and locks with a bang. (Actually, there is another story about the design of the LG, which was over tested, broken, and declared a failed design in the initial stages). There is requirement for random vibration (0.2 g^2/Hz for one hour), sinusoidal vibration (5g at max 2KHz) for 1.5 hours, and sinusoidal acceleration as mentioned earlier for 1 minute.

The spec is for the whole lamp assembly. So, we did have some cushion for the LEDs and electronics. I still feel it was doable, but our mechanical guys are a comfortable lot designing boxes that sit on racks.

Anyway, there is indeed a company (forgot the name) who deal in this who is working on. so, it will happen.

We are really working hard to put in our two bricks in the MK2. I can probably retire and restart the writing career then.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby srai » 03 Mar 2016 16:58

Harin wrote:All govts pay pvt companies to develop defence products

Even in case of rafales

French govt paid money upfront to. Dasault to develop and test flight the rafale


True. In the MIC, private won't exist if not for the government funding a substantial amount for R&D (in lot of cases almost 80-90% of it). Not to mention corporate tax breaks/credits are also involved along with government lobbying.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Gyan » 03 Mar 2016 17:33

My hope for LCA:-

2016-2025 Ten years = around 200 LCA Mark-1, 1A IAF to replace Mig-21s, Mig-27s

2026-2035 Ten years = around 240 LCA Mark-2 IAF to replace Jaguars, Mirage 2000, Mig-29s

2036-2045 Ten years = around 240 AMCA and 240 UCAV Aurora to start replacing Su-30MKIs, Naval Mig-29s

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby nirav » 03 Mar 2016 18:09

Max planned rate for now is 16/year. That too will take a year or two to hit full capacity.
Unless there is another private sector line, the numbers above are not possible.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Shreeman » 03 Mar 2016 19:53

Dileep, The links posted above for that specific component claim they qualified it and won the order. They claim to build the rest of the illumination fixtures, but not for this platform.

Ramu?, The obsolesence here deals with many things. The furrin supplier moving over to z technology several generations newere (think old style bulb to compact flurowhatchyoumcallit to LEDs to whatever) that they no longer have inhouse experience to make what you need in any reliable manner. It also deals with divergent paths of different sub systems, these "bricks" going their separate ways over developmental generations. And then the roles of the system morphing thrmselves courtesy different ballistics, artillary, unmanned systems, satellites, whatever encroaching on or making old roles useless.

It is a very short time over which star align AND are suitable for navigation. Otherwise, its endless part substitution and summer/winter testing.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 03 Mar 2016 21:36

shape smart materials to sudden impacts can be very useful for paddings, gaskets and sandwiched/moulde washers. ex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6I5A5VB5zY

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 03 Mar 2016 21:59

Dileep wrote:.....

Anyway, coming back to the spec of the landing lights (the spec is for LED), yes, it is to be mounted on the nose gear, so it actually drops and locks with a bang. (Actually, there is another story about the design of the LG, which was over tested, broken, and declared a failed design in the initial stages). There is requirement for random vibration (0.2 g^2/Hz for one hour), sinusoidal vibration (5g at max 2KHz) for 1.5 hours, and sinusoidal acceleration as mentioned earlier for 1 minute.

The spec is for the whole lamp assembly.
So, we did have some cushion for the LEDs and electronics. I still feel it was doable, but our mechanical guys are a comfortable lot designing boxes that sit on racks.

Anyway, there is indeed a company (forgot the name) who deal in this who is working on. so, it will happen.

We are really working hard to put in our two bricks in the MK2. I can probably retire and restart the writing career then.


The 0.2g^2/Hz for one hour is the aero dynamic loads.
The sinusoidal vibe 5g max at 2KHz is the acoustic load again due to aerodynamics
The sinusoidal accln are the bump/impact from the landing/nose gear.


Dileep, the cushion was some liquid epoxy type foam that hardens?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Sid » 04 Mar 2016 00:30

Thank you Dileep for very detailed data points.

If I understand it correctly then issue is with certifying the complete fixture, but not with LED lamp itself. LED lamp and its control drivers are then available/manufactured in India, hence in layman terms its just the sturdy fixture which needs to be certified as per standards? I apologies if I am repeating myself, but just want to ascertain what we have and not.

And is it possible to talk a little bit about "two bricks" for MK2. Are these LRUs going to get used in MK1A as well?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 04 Mar 2016 00:58

Sid if the LED lamp is not mounted properly in the fixture it will tear itself apart.
That's the cushion he was talking about.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 04 Mar 2016 05:22

a thread cum latch design should not let the bulb tear off.. and in-addition these bulbs must be housed inside a glass /fiberglass casing, with cushioned washers and mounts.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Sid » 04 Mar 2016 08:09

Thanks Ramana ji

I guess unless mango folks are not made to step into our scientists/engineers/pilots shoes they cannot understand the hardship they went through to get LCA up and pass the FOC line.

These LED fixtures also have strict thermal/electrical safety requirements. I have seen Americans struggle with it in their multi million $$ test labs.

Hat tip to all the folks involved with such national projects.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Shreeman » 04 Mar 2016 08:40

The praise for the platform developers has little to nothing to do with the broader ecosystem debate. The argument is for doing end to end development instead of just system integration. Because substitution isnt good enough. Because endless protoypes have already been tested. Because one lab/ADA being competent at some parts will not give you strategic autonomy.

Time lost, is not just money but sometimes opportunity lost forever. It is a non sequitor to posit the braveheart terminology. Making lemonade is nothing to be ashamed of, but why must one constrain oneself to buying lemons? I have seen x. And others have seen Y. Little x, big Y. Neither here, nor there. As noted before, the luddite percentage is universally the same.

Fund the rest of the ecosystem adequately. Give them targets they will gloriously fail in meeting in the first generation or even the second. Ridicule them for their failures but keep them funded. Then some critical mass will arrive. This, oh, god forbid were a canopy to ever unlatch in the IJT again! approach towards development is not helping. Its time is past.

A. Money flow. B. Removal of stigma associated with failure. These are the keys. Is either on the horizon?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 04 Mar 2016 10:37

Taking Off - Contrary to official claims, Tejas is a winner

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinio ... aking-off/

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby vcsekhar » 04 Mar 2016 11:19

Harin wrote:All govts pay pvt companies to develop defence products

Even in case of rafales

French govt paid money upfront to. Dasault to develop and test flight the rafale


This is true. But you have to remember that the advantage of the sunk R&D cost paid for by one government will not be passed on to a foreign customer.

For ex, an F16 will be purchased by the US govt at $25 million will not be sold to a foreign country at less than $50 million. This is the same for Dassault, there have been many reports even in BRF where someone looked at the french parliament reports of exactly how much was paid for a Rafale by the AdlA and as far as i remember it was less than $100 million and certainly not the $250 million + that is being asked of india ($10 billion odd for 36). But then who knows exactly what is included in the 10 billion price tag.

Yes the US/French/UK governments do pay for R&D and reap the benefits, but, you must also remember that this has been going on for the past 50+ years for jet fighters and most of the large defense companies have enormous corporate knowledge and trained engineers who have the experience and capability along with a huge chain of suppliers who know how to make components to MIL spec for aero applications.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 04 Mar 2016 11:22

+ all that invest and knowledge / trained people stays in the country, so its not a "loss" , its a investment in STEM.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Dileep » 04 Mar 2016 11:50

Two Bricks: equivalent to "two cents". Doesn't imply that we are doing two LRUs. We want to contribute our expertise to the project in whatever way. That is what meant by the phrase. Nothing had been made concrete yet.

The LEDs come in surface mount chip package form from the supplier. They need to be soldered onto a substrate. Then lens elements need to be held in front of them, to focus the light into the specific pattern required by the lamp. the problem begins with the soldering. They will simply fall off after vibration breaks up the solder. So, we need to support them in place. A properly designed lens will both support the LED, as well as focus the light. We need to worry about the temperature then, since plastic lens do not conduct heat. Now, these lenses need to be securely mounted in the proper array and alignment. The whole assembly then mounts into the metal enclosure. The electronics board will also be designed in-house, with the vibration and temperature needs taken care. That is easier for us, by the way.

As an out of the box idea, I proposed to build a bunch of simple, flash light like metal and plastic assemblies, each holding one LED. These will be mounted onto an aluminium back plate that is machined to get the correct angles to aim the beam. I still believe it would have worked, but the idea didn't fly with the team.

The argument that LED being a new technology, so the playing field being level is moot. The LED v/s filament is only a very small part of the challenges. If you already designed and built lamps using filament, the incremental effort to use LEDs is minimal, and is mostly electrical.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby hnair » 04 Mar 2016 12:32

hmmm, this Rafale pricing.... lots of post-coldwar corporate psyops has made the private contractor appear way more cooler than they actually are.

I thought DARPA and Direction générale de l'armement does all the "high risk research", thanks to deep govt coffers from "black side" of budgets and only when the risk is lowered, does the private chappies allowed to step in? For example, the way DARPA and DGA run academic programs is a hidden cost that will get hived off to customers like India.

(DGA in particular, has lots of those directly controlled l'ecole thingies to fine-tune future black-smiths as well as a "Grand Corps of the state" service to manage the whole gun-smithing apparatus within a pseudo-military iron frame)

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 04 Mar 2016 14:34

hnair wrote:hmmm, this Rafale pricing.... lots of post-coldwar corporate psyops has made the private contractor appear way more cooler than they actually are.

I thought DARPA and Direction générale de l'armement does all the "high risk research", thanks to deep govt coffers from "black side" of budgets and only when the risk is lowered, does the private chappies allowed to step in? For example, the way DARPA and DGA run academic programs is a hidden cost that will get hived off to customers like India.

(DGA in particular, has lots of those directly controlled l'ecole thingies to fine-tune future black-smiths as well as a "Grand Corps of the state" service to manage the whole gun-smithing apparatus within a pseudo-military iron frame)


Most of what DARPA does is manage programs using academia and its industry partners. A lot many (majority) of the DARPA run programs have industry on one end and a lot of them allow the industry to keep the R&D. At the larger policy level it is well known that the profit margins that the DOD allows the Defense contractors to have is a function of risk and sustainability. If they want industry to do their own cutting edge research or at least majority of it, they would have to pay a lot more than the 8-10% profit margins that the top firms enjoy simply because of 'acceptable to fail' rationale. On the other hand, a Cost+ contract or R&D although is funded by the government, and at times (like with DARPA) managed by it, is often executed by industry. There are plenty cool and cutting edge things top contractors can do if their business model allows them to do so..however there is a reason for the current arrangement and that is essentially what dictates their investment in IRAD. If you want to adjust the IRAD to CRAD ratio, you will have to allow the companies to take more risks in IRAD, which means giving them a justification for it - and that would come from higher profit margins.The Defense Science Board and other organizations within the US DOD, monitor the industrial base and try to strike a balance between stability and having them spend more of their own money to do research..At the end of the day a company is interested in sustaining and expanding its business, and keeping its shareholders pleased. For this they need to justify why a surplus level of cash has to go to boost IRAD vs upping the stock price for the owners..If there is a clear path they do take this risk. Many recent examples have seen IRAD leading the DOD in helping companies get a competitive edge however there needs to be an economic justification for it. A recent quote I remember on this was form an official who said, that if we want these CEO's to think more like Jack Northrop vs a Jack Welch we need to give them an incentive to do so...(or something like that).

I thought DARPA and Direction générale de l'armement does all the "high risk research", thanks to deep govt coffers from "black side" of budgets and only when the risk is lowered, does the private chappies allowed to step in? For example, the way DARPA and DGA run academic programs is a hidden cost that will get hived off to customers like India.


Don't know how the DGA works but DARPA manages projects, while mostly industry executes them. They do fund all levels of research from really low TRL/MRL to something that is quite mature however they do not fund full up programs only maturity of technology/capability (TTO being sometimes a rare exception). Its an arrangement that works best given the nature of the way the DOD does business. You can change it and the companies would have no issues doing cutting edge technology development on their own or invest a far larger share in IRAD like say an Apple or Google..But their profit margins would have to resemble silicon valley and that would make this arrange questionable from a customer sustainability pov. In fact, Ashton Carter was in the Valley just a couple of days ago and one of the roadblocks to getting those folks to compete for some of the work is the low (by their standards) profit margins...and IP ownership concerns..

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Viv S » 04 Mar 2016 15:24

vcsekhar wrote:This is true. But you have to remember that the advantage of the sunk R&D cost paid for by one government will not be passed on to a foreign customer.

For ex, an F16 will be purchased by the US govt at $25 million will not be sold to a foreign country at less than $50 million.

Actually one of the advantages aircraft like the F-16 & Super Hornet have is that the R&D costs passed on are relatively low, primarily due to the massively higher scales of production.

And BTW all these figures are publicly available. One thing you got to admire in the is level of transparency with which they function.

Nonrecurring Cost Recoupment Charges for Major Defense Equipment for FMS sales -

F-16C/D - $1.02 mil
F-16 MLU kit - $115,000
F/A-18E/F - $5.3 mil
F-35A - $13 mil (albeit being periodically revised downward)

C-17 - $39.1 mil (18% of flyaway cost)
P-8A - $65 mil (not surprising considering a production run of 'only' 130 odd aircraft - $9 bn dev cost)

This is the same for Dassault, there have been many reports even in BRF where someone looked at the french parliament reports of exactly how much was paid for a Rafale by the AdlA and as far as i remember it was less than $100 million and certainly not the $250 million + that is being asked of india ($10 billion odd for 36). But then who knows exactly what is included in the 10 billion price tag.

The Rafale F3R's development cost is over $15 billion. For a production run of 273 aircraft (225 + 24 + 24), that's a unit R&D cost of about $56 mil (of which the industry contributed about $3 bn or about $11 mil/unit IIRC). How much of that is passed on to an export customer is an open question.


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