Marten wrote:First you said there were no official confirmations, and when you see one, you say it cannot be trusted? Forget the forward looking statements, what about the clear announcement of completion of the tests? Do you want Manohar Parrikar to come home and inform you about the sucessful completion of tests in Russia? I don't get the dogmatic response to this. Not from you, Austin.
If Kaveri had been any close to success , they would have mated that engine with a Mig-29 or Tejas prototype, Kaveri has been flown on Il-76 multiple times but each time they encountered some or other issue.
MOD knows Kaveri won't go any further from here and they want to give it decent burial, they want to stress a marine Kaveri or a UCAV variant would be a spin-off from this program but we will see if the marine variant will make it in any large number on naval ships or indeed if UCAV flies with Kaveri , keeping fingers crossed.
As far as Tejas goes , Kaveri has been a disaster badly managed program at some point it even got disassociated with Tejas requirement , worst is we won't have any fighter qualified indiginous engine for a decade or two assuming we seriously fund a second engine and it won't end up getting badly managed as Kaveri under gtre leadership, if they fund a new engine today it would be 12- 15 years from today it would make it to a fighter let's sayif they want an indiginous engine for amca
No Austin you are getting it wrong there.
First of all, MOD press-releases are as accurate as it can be as far as the current status reporting is concerned ... of course it wouldn't (as it's not possible) accurately forecast the future technical roadblocks, and overall program direction sometime in future etc.
Coming years later, and with the benefit of hindsight, and then accusing those past status reports to be incorrect, is dis-ingenious at best.
Now wrt your other points wrt badly managed program etc - Kaveri as a program to develop a modern-turbofan for LCA is a failure, no doubt about it.
But that doesn't mean it was a badly managed program etc - I'll not repeat all the points that has been discussed multiple times here over the years. But major reason why Kaveri program failed are basically two folds:
1) Insurmountable Technical Challenges
that arose every step of the way - this failure can also be attributable to over-ambitious nature of performance requirements/parameters that was agreed in the 1st place. Happens in most ab intio programs all over the world, where there are no "institutional experience" available to judge success-probabilities of what is being agreed for.
(of course the sub-text is, the program wouldn't have been born, if it was any less "sexy" on the paper, given the attitude towards desi R&D by the user community historically fed on brochure literature - but that's a separate point of discussion
2) Weight Creep of the basic platform itself
(due to a variety of reasons) - I'll not be-labor this point further, but do check the performance "creep" between F404 to baseline F414, and you'll get the idea of how massive are the changes required for even smallish performance gain etc.
Also somebody did ask, if funding was a reason for Kaveri's failure - you bet it was!!
India is probably the only country who had the audacity of taking up such an program without even basic rudimentary infra in place (e.g high-alt test facility, and a plethora of metallurgical support-technologies which I wouldn't go naming them here).
But then again, the basic goal was to develop that technological base and infra via that program - some of which has been achieved, of course, some that are still lagging/absent.
And for those who doesn't want to go deep analysis etc of these aspects, pls do atleast compare the funding (and the timespan of that funding) of comparable such programs of our northern blathels, and you should get an idea of it.
But irrespective of all these, Kaveri needs a full flight-testing and certification ... you see, in this art of turbo-fan design and manufacture, quite a large "non-sexy" technological challenge lies in mastering the rotary CFD aspect. Pls further note, these are not where you can rely on formulas-from-a-book and paper design something - there are large inventory of empirical data-points and "derived" formulaes/methods which either needs collecting via actually performing them (eg full-flight tests) or if a partner is willing to hand-hold and disclose them (which they obviously wouldn't, as that exactly what is called IP for such things).
Once CFD aspects are baselined, you can tinker (to some degree) with the "native" technologies that goes into designing and manufacturing the HPT/HPCs, the Fan, the combustor etc etc etc - without even that, there's no hope really for any turbofan development now or in future.
And there-in lies the rub - of course, now try and explain the above to Master-degree in Medieval History, Botany, Anthropology, Pol Sc type MOD Baboons and, dare-say, to some extent to the "executive" cadre of the IAF.
(good-luck finding any non-executive cadre officer beyond a Grp Captain, except maybe a few from Medicine, Accountancy etc - and even one odd from the engineering branch as well
Just compare that what IN has done to it's executive cadre historically and now, right from the entry stage (recently) itself. But I digress!!