Wickberg wrote:Wow, to you it sounds like the Indians have just invented the flyingmachine and it´s really amazing or something. Imagine if an nation of 6 million people had done something like what you descreibed 60 years ago and would had been evenly shocked about it. Like the fighter SAAB 35 Draken, who had a uniqie and untested design. But much more important to, it flew (just the LCA have done) it came in service and behold; it was even exported to other countries. Now, in Sweden, this was not considered a huge sucess or people got overlyexcited about, it was just a plane that did its job. I wonder how you will feel when/if the LCA ever becomes operational service. BTW, the Draken came in service in 1960 as the first fully Mach.2 fighter in western Europe. The last operator,Austria, took it out of service in 2005, thats 20 years after the LCA-project had started. So no I don´t think any hypythetical Mk2 will pose a challenge to anything. Let just get the LCA into service first, within the next 20 years or so...
1. Actually, you are right about many things. First of all, I greatly admire Sweden as a country and its human resource development. It is a lesson for India to learn. However, the Sweden model cannot be implemented in India: for logistical reasons, economic reasons, and geopolitical reasons. However, we should incorporate some of the strategies for higher education implemented in the Euro region. Secondly, I love it that your regions fosters skill holders rather than degree holders. But, that is my opinion. There are a billion other opinions in India.
2. You think LCA is a big deal for Indians. That is not true either. An average Indian doesn't know, doesn't care. Worse the average Indian will join you in criticizing the project. I invite you to the streets of India. Defence forumites are an infinitesimally small percentage of our population.
3. Draken was a great plane, and a great project. But the only significant challenges faced by the engineers were technological challenges. That is not the case with LCA. There is a saying that many things in India succeed despite the govt. and the bureaucracy. For ADA (the designers of LCA), their prime user (IAF) antagonizing the govt. on many steps against the LCA. Their production agency was acting as a laggard to say the best. And if that was not enough, they lost years of work on flight control when they were locked out of a US facility, where they were carrying our development and testing. Their machines, notes, computer programs and even personal belongings confiscated. They could not, and still cannot import many parts. The same institutes from which they are supposed to draw resources, looked at them as competitors and slowed them down. They could not consult experts from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, or Srilanka. And nobody would be satisfied if they came up with a Draken first, or even a GRipen A/B in their first attempt. They are being judged for not building a Gripen NG in their first attempt!
4. Now Gripen NG is a great plane. But it would be impossible to come with such an optimized flying machine, without a base design, research facilities, testing facilities and industrial base. LCA Mk1 is not Gripen NG. But designing and building LCA has allowed Indians to learn the lessons and build the infrastructure required to build a Gripen A/B, leapfrogging over the development of a Draken. Now, we are on the path of building a Gripen NG equivalent. And in that we get there, we will be competing. Whether you like it or not. Whether you acknowledge it or not!