LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Kakkaji » 16 Jun 2016 21:19

IAF to get first squadron of Tejas in July

NEW DELHI: After a wait of over three decades, the IAF will finally get its hands on the first squadron of indigenous Tejas next month with the delivery of the fourth Light Combat Aircraft.

State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, manufacturer of Tejas, will hand over the fourth aircraft to the Air Force on July 1.

The four aircraft will be used for training and familarisation.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_29417 » 16 Jun 2016 22:00

Kakkaji wrote:IAF to get first squadron of Tejas in July

NEW DELHI: After a wait of over three decades, the IAF will finally get its hands on the first squadron of indigenous Tejas next month with the delivery of the fourth Light Combat Aircraft.

State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, manufacturer of Tejas, will hand over the fourth aircraft to the Air Force on July 1.

The four aircraft will be used for training and familarisation.




I'm happily surprised with HAL !!

SP2 made first flight only Mar 23, 2016.
And if they are delivering 2 more SP3 & SP4 in 3 months.. means production rate 8/year already achieved !!
(Can't believe it, SP3 & SP4 really ready ?.. Can someone confirm it ?)
There were also reports which say from SP5 onwards, production rate will increase due to automation.. Fingers crossed.

Well Done HAL !!

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 16 Jun 2016 23:07

No, the fourth aircraft is SP3. The first squadron will be started with three fighters and one trainer.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_29417 » 16 Jun 2016 23:25

indranilroy wrote:No, the fourth aircraft is SP3. The first squadron will be started with three fighters and one trainer.


Oops.. Thanks for letting this know.

In this case, only one SP3 have been produced in 3months.. hopefully they will be able to reach target of 6 for this year.
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Kartik » 17 Jun 2016 23:10

Posting in full- AW premium content, so link won't work

Saab is pushing hard, with some very visible marketing, for both the Gripen, consultancy on Tejas Mk1A, possibly the Mk2 and a JV on the AMCA as well..

One aspect that did impress me is their tie up with Boeing on the T-X clean sheet design..with all its experience in aviation, Boeing execs are on record as stating that Saab brought in some very niche design capabilities..

Boeing Defense, Space & Security president and CEO Chris Chadwick has been talking consistently about “breaking the cost curve” – the Swedish company’s mantra – since the partnership was announced in late 2013. In the case of the trainer, Chadwick says, Saab’s expertise in creating new designs on tight budgets makes the Boeing offering more competitive against off-the-shelf and modified aircraft. “Saab has been very, very successful,” he said. “They design differently, and in a very efficient manner.” Chadwick puts it down to a single main factor: the Swedish budget doesn’t allow the job to be done any other way.

Phantom Works President Darryl Davis calls the team “a truly fantastic partnership – not only are we both learning from each other, but it allows us to go faster.” Boeing’s “immersive development” doctrine has lined up with Saab’s “model-based systems engineering” to accomplish two goals: reducing the number of change and redesign actions, and extending the working day because the engineering team members located in Linkoping and St. Louis, 7 hr. apart, are working in the same virtual environment with the same all-digital product definition.

The Boeing-Saab T-X project is “extremely innovative,” according to Saab Deputy Chief Executive Lennart Sindahl, who sees potential for further collaboration between the two companies. “We can see new areas where we can combine existing products and technologies that can rather quickly get to the market,” Sindahl told a media group in late April.


link

and Saab actually did put its money where its mouth was by taking afinancial hit, investing up front on T-X design work

NEW DELHI—Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab says it is ready to partner with India’s state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) to upgrade India’s indigenously-developed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

Saab says it has received a Request For Information for the LCA Mk. 1A, which will feature an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, electronic warfare suite and electronic support measures, among other upgrades.
Saab has offered to transfer its gallium nitride (GaN) AESA radar technology to India.

“Yes, we are in talks with HAL,” says Jan Widerstrom, chairman of Saab India. “We have the latest avionics, best active electronically scanned array radar and technology in the Gripen which we would be happy to share with HAL for its Tejas program.” Widerstrom says GaN AESA radars are 70% more effective than older AESA radar technology.

Wilderstrom denied earlier reports saying that Saab would only agree to transfer the technology if India were to select the company’s Gripen fighter for production in India. “We are offering to work with HAL on Tejas irrespective of whether [the] Gripen deal happens or not,” he says.

However, “it will be a win-win situation if the Indian air force decides to get Gripen also,” he adds.

Saab says it is ready to co-develop its own newly unveiled Gripen E fighter in India through a joint venture. “Fighter jets need to be able to deliver air power not only now, but even 30 years from now. Gripen was designed as an answer to stealth aircraft. Gripen E is designed to be able to land and take off on Swedish road bases; that’s also a focus area for India,” Wilderstrom says.

Saab wants to move beyond India’s nominal 49% foreign direct investment (FDI) ceiling for defense joint ventures if it makes Gripen in India. Under the rules, a company can seek up to 100% FDI if it brings in high technology under India’s “Make in India” initiative.

India scrapped its multi-billion dollar contract for 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft in lieu of buying 36 Dassault Rafales from the French government. Now India’s defense ministry wants at least one more aircraft besides Tejas to be built in India.
Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar has said India will decide among the Boeing F-18, Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Gripen by the end of this fiscal year.

Outlining Saab’s “Make in India” plans, Widerstrom says, “We are talking about true technology transfer under ‘Make In India.’ We are willing to give India comprehensive system and software control. To be successful we need to work hand in hand with the Indian and Swedish government.

“There are multiple areas that we are focusing on for India, be it fighter jets or missiles,” he says. “Each one of these deals would individually be worth billions of dollars. We are also planning to make huge investments in India for setting up manufacturing and training facilities.”

Detailing the Gripen’s relevance for India, he says, “Gripen has been designed to have a life cycle cost that is the lowest in the world. Our view of ‘Make In India’ is more than just about making; we plan to maintain in India. We can upgrade the Gripen every few years so that the IAF [Indian air force] has the latest technology.”

Widerstrom says the company hopes to nurture aerospace capability for the next 100 years for India. “We can work with India in [the] future for stealth development,” he says. “We are prepared to transfer technology.”

The series production of the Tejas aircraft has already began at HAL’s facility in the south Indian city of Bengaluru.

The IAF is planning to form the first Tejas squadron on July 1, a defense official says. “The first squadron will comprise four aircraft that will be utilized for training and adjustment,” Wilderstrom says.

The IAF initially plans to induct 120 Tejas fighters, including 100 of the upgraded versions. It will initially take delivery of four from HAL to raise its first squadron. The IAF also intends to place an order for an additional 80 Tejas in the advanced LCA Mk. 1A configuration.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Manish_Sharma » 18 Jun 2016 05:13

^ Kartik one thing Bharat Karnad had mentioned was that French were ready to give tech that makes GaN chips, but we wanted tech-that-creates tech to mfr GaN chips, french refused that.

Is it even possible that a 9 million small nation like sweden even has that what we want? Maybe like imported engine from US, they're also importing from somewhere and just want to pass screwdriver tech to us?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 18 Jun 2016 05:24

One aspect that did impress me is their tie up with Boeing on the T-X clean sheet design..with all its experience in aviation, Boeing execs are on record as stating that Saab brought in some very niche design capabilities..


viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5092&p=2031242#p2031242

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby prat.patel » 18 Jun 2016 09:14

Dhananjay wrote:^ Kartik one thing Bharat Karnad had mentioned was that French were ready to give tech that makes GaN chips, but we wanted tech-that-creates tech to mfr GaN chips, french refused that.

Is it even possible that a 9 million small nation like sweden even has that what we want? Maybe like imported engine from US, they're also importing from somewhere and just want to pass screwdriver tech to us?


Not at all suggesting that they do definitively have the said tech; because I honestly have no idea. So the question is valid, but only in the following form -
"Is it even possible that Sweden even has that what we want? Maybe like imported engine from US, they're also importing from somewhere and just want to pass screwdriver tech to us?"

Asking the question with a presumption that they cannot possibly have it because they are just a 9 million small nation, that’s unfair. Swedes have a good record and history in ground breaking R&D, even though they are small.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_29417 » 18 Jun 2016 11:44

NEW DELHI—Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab says it is ready to partner with India’s state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) to upgrade India’s indigenously-developed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

Saab says it has received a Request For Information for the LCA Mk. 1A, which will feature an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, electronic warfare suite and electronic support measures, among other upgrades.
Saab has offered to transfer its gallium nitride (GaN) AESA radar technology to India.

“Yes, we are in talks with HAL,” says Jan Widerstrom, chairman of Saab India. “We have the latest avionics, best active electronically scanned array radar and technology in the Gripen which we would be happy to share with HAL for its Tejas program.” Widerstrom says GaN AESA radars are 70% more effective than older AESA radar technology.

Wilderstrom denied earlier reports saying that Saab would only agree to transfer the technology if India were to select the company’s Gripen fighter for production in India. “We are offering to work with HAL on Tejas irrespective of whether [the] Gripen deal happens or not,” he says.

However, “it will be a win-win situation if the Indian air force decides to get Gripen also,” he adds.




HAL had already selected Israeli EL/M-2052 ASEA for Tejas MK1-A.. so why they are shifting to GaN AESA ? Deal for Israeli EL/M-2052 ASEA didn't worked OR any other problem ?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Manish_Sharma » 18 Jun 2016 14:50

I knew that mota maharashtra cm sitting in grippen is bad news! Hai ri kismat
:(

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby arunsrinivasan » 18 Jun 2016 16:39

If SAAB wants to do a JV with HAL for LCA, AMCA etc. I think the Govt of India should take a Strategic stake in SAAB so it effectively becomes a Swedish-India company. By taking a strategic minority (or majority)stake in SAAB, we can get access to technology & know-how while also making it win-win for Sweden & India. SAAB gets access to the India market, we get access to technology & expertise.

Again this makes sense if experts believe SAAB brings value to India.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby srin » 18 Jun 2016 19:27

Still not convinced about what Saab is bringing to the table.
Take the radar - using 2052 for Mk1A is a very rational choice esp given the Derby integration. And not sure what IP Saab has for radars. It uses Selex's radar and Selex being a Finmeccanica is blacklisted.
The engines are GE's and the same that we will be using in Mk2.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 18 Jun 2016 20:14

Take the radar - using 2052 for Mk1A is a very rational choice esp given the Derby integration. And not sure what IP Saab has for radars. It uses Selex's radar and Selex being a Finmeccanica is blacklisted.
The engines are GE's and the same that we will be using in Mk2.


It would be understandable if they offered the SELEX radar for India since its being developed, fielded and ultimately put through test and evaluation as the aircraft becomes operational next decade. But NO, they are proposing a brand new radar, higher technology but also a clean sheet with naturally all expenditure to develop, produce, integrate, field, test and evaluate obviously falling upon India, that would be a 'launch customer' for it. Perhaps once its developed and fielded at someone else's expense they may put it into their own aircraft ;).

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Gagan » 18 Jun 2016 21:27

GaN is not necessarily for tejas AESAs. India builds AESAs for a ton of other applications, AEWs, AWACS, LRTRs, Naval Radars, ABM radars, hell even space based radars in the not too distant future.
So DRDO/BEL will do what they have to do

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 18 Jun 2016 21:31

They are responding to an apparent request for the LCA and an AESA radar. Additionally, SAAB does not make GaN, they buy from commercial foundries and they integrate components (hence similar to Lockheed). Here are some excerpts from a European GaN academic survey conducted in 2015 -

The majority of commercial GaN foundry processes available to circuit designers are currently in the US or Japan. Commercial providers in those countries have demonstrated the capability to produce devices with feature sizes smaller than those currently available commercially in Europe.Foundry processes with smaller minimum feature sizes will be required to produce devices with higher operating frequencies. Such processes are already available commercially in the US and Japan. Europe is currently behind in this area, but can potentially advance quickly due to the significant existing body of experience in this area. As GaN technology starts to be used in systems it is also likely that there will be further efforts to improve thermal management and packaging techniques.


Unlike the past however, there are some fairly high end GaN components available from even the US that are ITAR free from suppliers that SAAB has a long relationship with from the past (Cree for one). European foundries have been coming up but there will be X-band volume issues when you get into rate production - which won't be an issue since this new radar isn't going to be in serial production for another 10-15 years anyhow, however thats not something the marketing folks want to highlight ;). I haven't seen what the french are doing as far as X band GaN components, but in the US Raytheon was the first to come in with GaN X-band component DOD clearance obtained in the last decade. They are already delivering GaN X-Band modules for the last THAAD battery, with the radar being delivered this year. S, C and L band radars being much ahead ( Lockheed has sold its L-Band GaN surveillance (DART) radars to two customers, Raytheon has multiple S band successes, and Northrop has sold one S Band radar to the Marines) because of the large AEGIS radar replacement program, and space fence. Those two radars quadrupled global GaN S Band component demand in the military sector, once they got awarded.
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Gyan » 18 Jun 2016 21:54

Let's hope SAAB-Gripen is being used to put pressure on Russia and France to sweeten the deal.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Kartik » 18 Jun 2016 22:25

Why would there be an RFI for the Tejas Mk1A unless HAL actually needed some sort of development, integration and engineering consulting or design help? Obviously there is something that's happening behind the scenes. Timelines are very tight for the Tejas Mk1A to enter service and if HAL has promised more than what they can do with their own resources in that timeline, then maybe Saab is a good bet to include. For now, the Tejas Mk1A's future is secure IF HAL can manage to meet the timelines and not bring in schedule slides. That is the most important thing. Saab cannot hijack the program and bring the Gripen C/D through the backdoor..Gripen E would be anyway next to impossible as a Tejas Mk1A substitute, without a new assembly line being set up in India and the timelines would prevent that from happening.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Kartik » 18 Jun 2016 22:29

This is the SAAB radar that is being offered..PS-05A back end with a new GaN front end

Saab says it is ready for volume production of a fighter radar using gallium-nitride (GaN) technology in an active, electronically scanned array (AESA). The Swedish company appears to be far ahead of competitors, none of which is known to have brought a GaN fighter radar to the same level of maturity. Saab displayed a model of the X-band radar’s antenna at the Seoul ADEX aerospace and defense show in October, promoting the system for South Korea’s proposed KF-X fighter.


Saab says its ready to produce GaN radar sensor

But there is development work pending and Saab claim it would take 2 years to take the radar to production from the date the contract is signed. Whether or not that would work for the Tejas Mk1A timelines, if technology to manufacture GaN T/R modules is part of their offer, it would be tempting..as far as we know, the Israeli Elta 2052 is being offered purely as a radar unit, with no technology that could be ported to India's own next gen FCR.

Seoul debates best strategy to acquire AESA radar

..
Sweden’s Saab offered to develop an AESA with South Korea.

“We’ve done the flight test with the backend system and antenna elements,” said Tom Bratt, marketing executive of Saab Electronic Defence Systems. “We’re ready to go to the next phase once we have a platform available. Then we can start to make all the proper integrations.”

Bratt said Saab could complete the development of the AESA system with South Korea, as the Swedish company had been engaged in a joint study on the radar with the Agency for Defense Development (ADD), which is affiliated with South Korea’s arms agency.

“Once we have a contract, it will take about two years to deliver the first system,” he added.

Finmeccanica’s Selex is pitching its Captor-E radar fitted for the Eurofighter Typhoon. The British and Italian aerospace group recommends Seoul adopt the Selex radar and subsequently localize it in phases.

“The bottom line is we’ll try to meet the Korean demands as much as we can,” a Selex official said on condition of anonymity.

“The best option right now is for Korea to produce the Captor-E radar under license first, and with Selex’s tech transfer, Korea would be able to localize the AESA technology,” he said.

Israel also has joined the radar competition, capitalizing on its previous works with South Korea.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) supplied its EL/M-2032 pulse Doppler radar for the FA-50 jet, a light armed variant of the T-50 supersonic trainer aircraft. The company now is offering the EL/M-2052 airborne AESA fire control radar for the KF-X plane.

“We’re willing and looking forward to cooperating with Korea,” said Igal Karny, deputy director of Elta Systems’ marketing and sales division. “The whole radar is our radar. We’re exporting the radar according to our regulations,” Karny said, apparently referring to Korea’s wariness of AESA export control.
..
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 18 Jun 2016 22:34

SAAB lost out in South Korea. Moreover, this appears to be an antenna upgrade on the C/D radar and not a clean sheet or even an antenna upgrade on the SELEX radar. Weird since they already have a mature advanced AESA in development that they will operate but that would have run into TOT concerns since it wasn't their own. Unless someone pays SAAB for this radar's development, I am pretty confident SELEX will beat them to fielding a GaN AESA antenna on the new eurofighter radar looking at MLU timelines. They have more competency in the area and have equal or superior access to modules and other components.
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Kartik » 18 Jun 2016 22:37

brar_w, the Selex radar has little to do with Saab's own radar demonstrator, something for which work had been ongoing for a long time. And isn't the Captor-E AESA that is going on the Typhoon also an antenna upgrade and not really a complete clean sheet design? And the RBE-2 on the Rafale?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 18 Jun 2016 22:44

brar_w, the Selex radar has little to do with Saab's own radar demonstrator, something for which work had been ongoing for a long time.


Its an antenna upgrade for export, and potential upgrade on already operational or sold Gripen C's. Its not the main radar for the Gripen NG which is being tested, and being prepared for Sweden and brazil. If the Gripen C radar with a GaN antenna was so much better, why the partnership with SELEX for a completely different radar for their main fighter? The point is that pretty much since the last decade, they had partnered with Selex to leverage UK's work on GaAs components and develop a mature wide field of view GaA AESA in the Raven. They didn't obviously neglect the current Ericsson heritage radar and upgraded it and have now eventually included the option of adding an AESA antenna. That does not make a new radar, or even a superior one to the Raven which is Sweden's main fighter-radar for all new fighters they acquire in the 2020's and beyond. The Raven is very much their main sensor with the upgraded AESA being something they want to sell since they control pretty much everything on it but the GaN components which they buy commercially. Its important to make that distinction if one wants to get a more balanced view of things as they are.

Also, they don't make their own GaN components. They buy from commercial suppliers in Europe, or the US. Whats stopping India from reaching and forming partnerships with European universities and foundries to codevelop components if technology is what they seek? Essentially, the only thing SAAB sells that is its own end-end is the back end (borrowed from the Gripen C/D).

And the RBE-2 on the Rafale?


RBE-2 was a PESA designed upfront for an AESA swap (Same with JSF radar that started as an GaAs AESA but Cree will eventually move production over to GaN when affordable chips can be produced given the volume required). I think the Eurofigther radar program started with an antenna swap but is now a full radar change as they can't get the capability by retaining the existing system back end (Mission creep since they kept delaying, allowing industry to offer more capability).

BTW, the Janes link you provided in your post says this (behind the pay-wall)

Johansson clarified that the new radar is not intended to displace the Selex ES Raven ES-05 AESA radar that is being developed for the Gripen E. "The first objective for us is the C/D version of the Gripen and other platforms like the KFX and maybe the TFX in Turkey and a few others. It's not aimed at the Gripen E," he said.


They have already lost out on the KFX. Turkey will most likely go with Selex but they do still have a shot there as the US won't offer them much (if anything).

So they apparently have a cutting edge fighter radar, ahead of everything else the likes of Raytheon, Selex, Northrop are building etc etc but their most cutting edge fighter won't get it, probably EVER (In the future they'll probably swap the antenna once UK's GaN lines catch up) but their marketing wants everyone to believe that its the best offer on the market etc. This is GaN EW component redux. They tried this same thing the last decade, and as I had earlier mention they will at best be third to market with a product in a capability they claimed they were industry leaders, and first to market when they made it for export.
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Kakarat » 18 Jun 2016 23:19

@Saurav Jha
By the way, all the GaN offers are coming in because the GaAs based Uttam AESA fighter radar is making progress.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 18 Jun 2016 23:21

^ I wouldn't characterize it like that. This radar and the associated offer isn't exclusive to India, they have made it in South Korea, and are making it in Turkey. They'll also make to their current existing Gripen C/D base. Thats what OEM's do and in the case of SAAB, they have sourced ITAR free GaN components so no export clearance is required. SAAB just like everyone else competes in a hotly contested market and the way their company is structured they can mix and match components and export products and offer that to its customers matched with already export cleared products. Lockheed did the same last year. While Raytheon applied for GaN C-Band component clearance for its Patriot radar from the Pentagon (Custom restricted components from their own foundry) Lockheed worked with Triquint/Qorvo to source ITAR free, GaN L-Band components and exported their surveillance radars to two nations. Both SAAB and Lockheed are agile like that, and its not like they are doing it to suppress any domestic capability. They couldn't care less, its all about the bottom line. They have pretty much been in the Indian market since the MRCA and never really left with regular PR efforts even during the rafale deliberations. I think MP claims that a second 'twin engine aircraft' could be produced in India essentially eliminates them but they'll obviously keep offering stuff that they have in the market and most of it isn't exclusive to India since they just offered it to SOKO just last year.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 19 Jun 2016 00:27

Saurav Jha is fairly on the spot in these matters and IMHO his cynical take is warranted.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby PratikDas » 19 Jun 2016 01:26

Yeah, the words "ITAR free" in the field of GaN semiconductors for India, and ToT to boot, have been unheard and unwritten until recently. Saurav Jha's point of view makes perfect sense. There is no bottom line for Lockheed or agents if domestic capability addresses the Indian requirement. "Couldn't care less" it seems. Right.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 19 Jun 2016 01:40

Yeah, the words "ITAR free" in the field of GaN semiconductors for India, and ToT to boot, have been unheard and unwritten until recently.


ITAR free GaN components have been available long before this radar came into existence (marketed by component makers for radar companies to use - Just as SAAB and Lockheed have done recently with orders from South Korea (Giraffe), UAE (SRSS) Latvia and now Romania (both AN/TPS-77). Lower frequency ITAR free products are actually pretty competitive since they aren't as highly regulated as the higher band products. X band GaN components in the US are for all practical purposes restricted with the ones marked as ITAR free, not being suitable for frontline usage (not wideband enough for military application). European foundries would naturally be less restrictive and can probably deliver low volumes by the early 2020's for X-band components. That is probably good enough for applications like an upgraded Gripen C radar. Of course for higher end applications you would need better components and that is why despite having foundry access SELEX decided to stick to GaAs for the Typhoon and Gripen Radar because GaN for high end FCR is cost prohibitive and eats into other system capabilities. It is justified only for higher demanding applications where the radar is itself the ACAT1 product (such as a missile defense X- band radar such as the TPY-2). 5 years from now that will likely change and Japan and the US products will probably be the first to move especially because the US is the largest market for military high frequency GaAs & GaN components.

The TOT bit hasn't been elaborated on. Of course they can't sell technology to make those GaN components since they don't make them themselves but that hasn't stopped their marketing from using that for PR. They are saying they will hand over technology for the radar. That is vague, and their marketing is probably spinning this as everything that ' SAAB makes' in house which is everything in the radar minus the GaN component which then makes it essentially the Gripen C radar ;)

SAAB has clearly seized on this opportunity and put a sensor together. They had announced their 2-track approach of fielding the primary SELEX radar while also upgrading the existing radars for the Gripen C while promoting an AESA path to legacy upgrades for new competitions where they clearly thought that they would be competitive because of it. This was first offered in the Korean KF-X competition where they thought their offer clearly had an advantage post South Korea's denial of the technology by the US. They weren't successful since Thales had a relationship and good products and technology as well which SOKO decided to pursue.

They were open about offering the same package to multiple other countries even back then (Told IHS as much) including practically all other next generation projects around the world that sought collaboration on development or products in general. They must have decided to use this as an opportunity to set themselves apart in case the Rafale deal goes sour (or otherwise). There is really no indication that it is only offered NOW because somehow the Uttam AESA is doing well and they feel the need to kill it. Its part of a long draw out strategy for SAAB to leverage commercially available GaN components, insert them into existing products and market those products for export. Both them and Lockheed decided to pursue this path and have successfully exported radars with it.

My point was that this was an opportunistic repackaging of an upgraded radar and somehow their PR is spinning as a radar/sensor breakthrough. Unfortunately its rather easy to prove that its really not a frontline sensor that they are backing for their primary customers. That is the Raven. This is a handy upgrade, but not something 'ahead of the herd' as they are trying to spin. Its like saying Northrop Grumman's SABRE is as good as the AN/APG-81 because it may use the same T/R modules from the same line. However that is really what it is , they developed this for a prototyping role for NORA (Phase II or III iirc) and decided to pursue the antenna as a logical path to upgrade the erricson legacy. Thats the scope of this sensor and why its available to be offered to the likes of South Korea, Turkey or even India. They said as much when they launched it.

While Saab's judgement is that an evolution of the mechanically scanned PS-05/A radar remains the best solution for the Gripen C/D at this stage, the company has adopted AESA technology for the new-generation Gripen E. Yet although Saab has latterly promoted a new generation AESA based on Gallium Nitride technology for South Korea's KFX fighter programme, six years ago it took the decision to source an AESA radar from outside the company for the next-generation Gripen in the form of the Raven ES-05 system developed by Selex ES in Edinburgh.


Saab may not have intended to unveil the new radar just as South Korea's problems in gaining US transfer of technology hit the headlines, but it inadvertently - or luckily - ended up doing exactly that. The fortuitous timing comes as the US decision to invoke ITAR has led South Korean opposition lawmakers to call for the cancellation of the F-35 contract and a reopening of the FX-III competition.

Whatever, the background to the KFX programme, Saab is happy to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. "We don't have a problem with ITAR," said Dan-Ake Enstedt, president and CEO of Saab Asia-Pacific.



There is no bottom line for Lockheed or agents if domestic capability addresses the Indian requirement. "Couldn't care less" it seems. Right.


It shouldn't be surprising that corporations want to export products. You better hope Indian defense firms have similar intension when they show up in the export market in a big way. Supporting indigenous programs and giving them the space they need to grow and mature is the prerogative of the MOD, not a lockheed or SAAB. For these OEM's its about generating revenue.

Saurav Jha is fairly on the spot in these matters and IMHO his cynical take is warranted.


Cynicism aside, SAAB has been throwing everything and hoping for something to stick for well over a year now. It was ' we have identified sites for a factory' just for few months ago :). However their intentions with the current upgraded legacy sensor is to be competitive for both upgrades to its legacy, and to offer a product in new projects around the world where they may wish to compete in. Its obviously not a be all end all of radar as their marketing claims but their motives with the two-track approach has been quite clear for many years in that they will continue to offer something in house while at the same time pursuing the higher end Raven. Of course that doesn't mean they'll be very successful but they don't really design anything that costs a ton until they are selected since this is essentially a prototype so if it sticks they'll make money and offer it, and if it doesn't it gives them good prototyping experience for the antenna and the NORA and they'll shelve it for the future.

SAAB had been exploring an independent fighter AESA since last decade when swedish companies were deliberating joining the GTDAR..In fact even prior to that Phase I of NORA was carried out by Ericsson Microwave Systems (Now a part of SAAB) when it brought *Raytheon in to provide an AESA antenna in 2003-04 to kick start the program (with eventual plans to have their own AESA antenna by next decade). Post SELEX down-select their economic priorities rested with upgrading the existing Gripen C radars that couldn't be upgraded to the Raven. AESA antennas are a natural progression for them. You don't need the highest end GaN components when upgrading an antenna of a pulse doppler M-SCAN radar and who knows there may be SWaP challenges given legacy systems preventing full utilization of the highest end GaN PA's.

There is obviously room for a foreign radar on the LCA program. That place is already occupied by Elta and they will continue to supply radars till such time as Uttam transitions from development to frontline operational capability. There is no real reason to suspect any other motives to SAAB's radar offer other than them throwing all they have on their plate towards prospective customers and seeing what tickles their fancy. They have tried this in South Korea, and will try it in Turkey and India. Their motives are quite clearly to sell Gripens either directly or at worst establish a partnership with the MOD to pipe in fighter components without having to compete them.

* Swedish RF component suppliers have been tied very closely to US RF suppliers and OEM's. Erricson and SAAB have worked with Raytheon, Cree and many smaller suppliers. Till about half a decade ago, their involvement with US supplier base was actually more significant than with European suppliers. Its more balanced now but they still work with a lot of large and small OEM's in the US. LinkedIn is a good place to see some of the US OEM experience their engineers have had ;)
Last edited by brar_w on 19 Jun 2016 04:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 19 Jun 2016 03:46

^^ His cynicism is about gift horses emerging when local progress happens. And then the camel replacing the sheikh in the tent.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 19 Jun 2016 04:18

I understand that, but this is no gift. India will pay a fair share of development, integration, test and evaluation cost to get this thing going. Watch this thing completely disappear from the picture if no one picks it up. It'll be too cost prohibitive to offer as an upgrade to just legacy Gripens in the absence of another fresh program to carry some of the development and integration cost. As far as TOT for SAAB components are concerned, its essentially an upgraded Gripen C radar that they can share and given India's access . The Elta AESA that is already integrated with the Israeli missiles, therefore this particular SAAB offer would be rejected. One must peel the onion to see whats really inside a product. With products like this and SABR etc you need to dig deep to see what is indeed on offer since there is little to any primary operator interest in advancing beyond a baseline capability.

BTW For fun, below are pictures of NORA Phase I, Raytheon AESA Antenna mounted on the Erricson (SAAB) PS-05/A that formed the basis of SAAB/Erricson's exploration of fitting an AESA on the legacy Gripen, and with it offering it for other similar applications. As an indication of timelines for new projects, this particular sensor - antenna combo was tested a decade ago. In a decade they haven't fielded a NORA offshoot on the Gripen or any other fighter. That should provide some perspective as to how long the new freshly marketed UBER AESA will take to operationalize. Even the Raven will take a good part of next decade to mature. Integration takes time..

Image

Image
Last edited by brar_w on 19 Jun 2016 04:57, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 19 Jun 2016 04:40

A beautiful article on the LAVI and how its developed.
http://john-golan.blogspot.in/2016/05/l ... ctive.html

Wish ADA works closely with IAF to similarly shape the next shape of IAFs need

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2016 05:28

Karan M wrote:Wish ADA works closely with IAF to similarly shape the next shape of IAFs need

Maybe 15 years ago (can't recall - it was before the Tejas's first flight) I actually "flew" an LCA simulator in ADA on a visit there - back then there was some IAF officers there - including a Wing Co BB Misra whom I met. I think the IAF embedded people in ADA but HAL was uninvolved back then. The Tejas was a baby dumped on HAL from ADA with the IAF buzzing about. I think even HAL showed some reluctance and sloth.

The problem (as I understand it) was 3 agencies - the IAF, ADA and HAL working in an uncoordinated manner, with ADA paying little attention to designs that would hit obstacles at the manufacture level. This problem must be overcome. A design agency cannot be divorced from the factory floor - designing things for which capability may not exist.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby darshan » 19 Jun 2016 05:58

Once going main stream, 5G and mmWave backbones will be causing many COTS components similar to GaN to be available ITAR free and commercially.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2016 06:11

Kakarat wrote:@Saurav Jha
By the way, all the GaN offers are coming in because the GaAs based Uttam AESA fighter radar is making progress.

This is a well known phenomenon designed to kill local competitiveness. There is no "kindness, sharing and charity" in this business. Just ruthlessness. I suspect India's entry into MTCR is based on similar reasoning.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby PratikDas » 19 Jun 2016 06:50

brar_w wrote:
There is no bottom line for Lockheed or agents if domestic capability addresses the Indian requirement. "Couldn't care less" it seems. Right.


It shouldn't be surprising that corporations want to export products. You better hope Indian defense firms have similar intension when they show up in the export market in a big way. Supporting indigenous programs and giving them the space they need to grow and mature is the prerogative of the MOD, not a lockheed or SAAB. For these OEM's its about generating revenue.


It would seem like OEMs like SAAB and Lockheed Martin are like Schrödinger's cat. They, simultaneously, "couldn't care less" about about suppressing Indian domestic capability and, at the same time, have the need to sell because they're OEMs - something they won't be able to do if Indian domestic capability is enough to address the Indian requirement.

After pages and pages of the obvious, the truth is that OEMs absolutely care about suppressing Indian domestic capability because they don't have a bottom line if they don't.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2016 07:25

Anyhow this discussion seems to have cropped up after news of an Indian "RFI" - Request For Information" to which Saab responded. Indian entities are known to "test the waters" with RFIs without necessarily wanting to buy. I recall conversations I had with various people who speak of RFIs having been issued before a tech was developed in house and after - and remarking how the price magically dropped once it was known that the tech was developed in India and willingness to share was increased manifold. I suspect some things are held close to one's chest and an RFI could also be a test of "How much they know about where we are"

Just speculating of course - maybe we need the tech badly and are knocking on every door...

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby PratikDas » 19 Jun 2016 07:38

shiv wrote:Anyhow this discussion seems to have cropped up after news of an Indian "RFI" - Request For Information" to which Saab responded. Indian entities are known to "test the waters" with RFIs without necessarily wanting to buy. I recall conversations I had with various people who speak of RFIs having been issued before a tech was developed in house and after - and remarking how the price magically dropped once it was known that the tech was developed in India and willingness to share was increased manifold. I suspect some things are held close to one's chest and an RFI could also be a test of "How much they know about where we are"

Just speculating of course - maybe we need the tech badly and are knocking on every door...


Yes, I understand that India issued an RFI. Responses to a RFI are, of course, by definition, solicited and welcome.

The point is that some Indian RFIs for critical technology have, in the past, received no responses at all as part of the technology denial regimes in force, e.g. (Just one of many) actuator supplies drying up suddenly. Companies haven't been willing or allowed by their governments to share the technology. Responses seem to come when Indian capability to address the same requirement is near. In that sense, the positive response to the RFI is a positive indicator of imminent Indian capability.

Furthermore, if the Indian capability is let to erode due to paucity of funds - funds which were diverted to purchase foreign goods at heavy premiums, supplies of goods available to India now could dry up in the future as well.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby srin » 19 Jun 2016 08:58

Kartik wrote:Why would there be an RFI for the Tejas Mk1A unless HAL actually needed some sort of development, integration and engineering consulting or design help? Obviously there is something that's happening behind the scenes. Timelines are very tight for the Tejas Mk1A to enter service and if HAL has promised more than what they can do with their own resources in that timeline, then maybe Saab is a good bet to include. For now, the Tejas Mk1A's future is secure IF HAL can manage to meet the timelines and not bring in schedule slides. That is the most important thing. Saab cannot hijack the program and bring the Gripen C/D through the backdoor..Gripen E would be anyway next to impossible as a Tejas Mk1A substitute, without a new assembly line being set up in India and the timelines would prevent that from happening.


The bolded part is where I'm probably getting confused on this Mk1A thing. How would HAL promise MK1A when design and development of Tejas so far has been done by ADA ? Hmm - so is ADA out of Mk1A and Saab (or someone else) is preparing to come in ?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_28108 » 19 Jun 2016 08:59

^ No it is not ADA designs and HAL constructs

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Manish_Sharma » 19 Jun 2016 09:46

prat.patel wrote:Not at all suggesting that they do definitively have the said tech; because I honestly have no idea. So the question is valid, but only in the following form -
"Is it even possible that Sweden even has that what we want? Maybe like imported engine from US, they're also importing from somewhere and just want to pass screwdriver tech to us?"


Ok, let it be that way, remove 9 million population reference.

I'm pretty sure they don't have it. They are trying to sell a readymade tikki, but tikkiwala has resourced ingredients from outside.

Karnad had said that with french in rafale mmrca deal it was stuck on one of points:

a.) There is GaN
b.) Tech that produces GaN
c.) Tech that produces Tech that produces GaN

Bharat was asking for 'c', but french were only ready to give 'b' only though they had 'c'.

I don't think sweden has even 'b', leave out 'c'.

And I don't mind using even unfair or offensive language against swedes and norwegians knowing their deep hatred for Bharat.

I got first hand info from stockholm how much they were propogating NaMo, BJP, Hinduwadis bad. They even published chief justice altmas kabir's statement that "nirbhaya gang rape happened due to cast system..."

There foreign office establishment and media solely focuses on negative news about Bharat.

Even after being sent rfp for mmrca in 2007, their posters were comparing Tejas nastily to grippen.

One group even went to extent of posting an incredibly ugly pock-marked and broken tooth woman's pic writing on it Tejas LCA, and swedish blonde model as grippen.

Now these snakes come and try to charm fadnavis kind of people, I don't like it.

I am sure having 'b' and 'c' is beyond their aukat !

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 19 Jun 2016 10:00

NEW DELHI—Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab says it is ready to partner with India’s state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) to upgrade India’s indigenously-developed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

Saab says it has received a Request For Information for the LCA Mk. 1A, which will feature an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, electronic warfare suite and electronic support measures, among other upgrades.]Saab has offered to transfer its gallium nitride (GaN) AESA radar technology to India.

“Yes, we are in talks with HAL,” says Jan Widerstrom, chairman of Saab India. “We have the latest avionics, best active electronically scanned array radar and technology in the Gripen which we would be happy to share with HAL for its Tejas program.” Widerstrom says GaN AESA radars are 70% more effective than older AESA radar technology.
]
Wilderstrom denied earlier reports saying that Saab would only agree to transfer the technology if India were to select the company’s Gripen fighter for production in India. “We are offering to work with HAL on Tejas irrespective of whether [the] Gripen deal happens or not,” he says.

However, “it will be a win-win situation if the Indian air force decides to get Gripen also,” he adds.

Unless I have misunderstood this particular news item appears to refer to an RFI about avionics rather than structural changes.

There could be several reasons for an RFI. Sometimes one component needs import and they are looking to see if they can get tech for for that. Or else it could be that if the price is too high it makes sense to spend the time and effort to build and make something in India. But Sweden's claim of having something unique suggests that it will sell, not share

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby arun » 19 Jun 2016 10:17

PTI version of the Saab offer on Avionics, AESA and also manufacture of the Gripen in India dated June 15th. :

Saab keen to partner with India for next version of Tejas

Based on a Request for Information released by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the makers of Tejas, Saab is in talks with them to finalise the latest avionics and radar system for the Tejas 1A, the version of the indigenous plane that the IAF is interested in

"Yes, we are in talks with HAL. We have the latest avionics, best active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and technology in the Gripen which we would be happy to share with HAL for the Tejas programme," Jan Widerstrom, Chairman Saab India, said

He argued that it will be a win-win situation if the Indian Air Force (IAF) decides to get Gripen also

"From a user perspective, maintenance, knowledge build up and Make in India, this will have lot of advantages," he said

Asked if the offer to help the Tejas programme was conditional to IAF selecting Gripen, he said both are independent programmes

He also made it clear that Saab is looking at more than the automatic limit of 49 per cent FDI in defence in the joint venture that will make Gripen in India


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