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AMCA News and Discussions

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AMCA News and Discussions

Postby srai » 21 Nov 2010 05:17


Plans for Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft
Y. Mallikarjun
HYDERABAD: India has embarked upon an ambitious project to indigenously design and develop a fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) by 2017.

The government released Rs. 100 crore last month to the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which will spearhead the project, to prepare feasibility studies in 18 months. The ADA is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Defence.

Disclosing this to reporters here on Saturday, ADA Director and Programme Director (Combat Aircraft) P.S. Subramanyam said AMCA, when developed and produced, would probably be the first medium combat aircraft with 20 tonne weight in the world. Similar aircraft being developed by the United States and Russia are in the range of 30 to 35 tonnes.

Mr. Subramanyam said AMCA was meant to fill the gap for the Indian Air Force as the Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) would meet the low-end requirement and Sukhoi-30, the higher end. Once inducted, the IAF would have small, medium and heavy combat aircraft.

He said the AMCA would have an operational range of 30 km, equipped with stealth technology to prevent detection by enemy radar and capability for super-cruise flight. A large part of the aircraft would be made of carbon composites. The entire project would cost $ 2 billion.

Once the funds were received after the submission of the feasibility report, the agency planned to develop two technology demonstrators and seven prototypes, he said. ADA was identifying technologies for 6 {+t} {+h} generation combat aircraft. Earlier, Mr. Subramanyam made a presentation on Technological Challenges in Future Fighter Aircraft at the Aviation Conclave which concluded on Saturday.

Dr. A.R. Upadhya, Director, National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), told reporters that the feasibility report for developing a Regional Transport Aircraft with 90-seater capacity would be submitted to the government by April next year. The report would look into various aspects, including configuration systems, whether it should be powered by a turboprop or turbofan engine.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby srai » 21 Nov 2010 05:19

Moving my post from LCA thread:

srai wrote:There are several ways to build the AMCA to its full specifications. Here is my version of it divided into three 5-7 years Phases with successive realization of key technologies. R&D related to IOC completed by 2030. Full FOC by 2035.

Image


Phase I (2011-2018)
  • First build 2 Technology Demonstrators using the F-414 engines (being licensed produced) plus 4th-Gen LCA technologies, such as its FBW, Avionics, Controls, Computers, EW, Composites etc. This way the AMCA TDs will be flying by 2018 and start the flight testing program to verify the airframe flight characteristics and to test the "Advanced Airframe" design with its Serpentine Air Intakes, Internal Weapon Bays, Advanced Radomes, Low IR and Stealthy Airframe design
.

Phase II (2018-2023)
  • TD 1/2 (Airframe Technology)
  • PV-1 (Advanced Control) -> GTRE/Snecma Kaveri engines replacing the F-414 with advanced engine controls and Supercruise
  • PV-2 (Advanced Control) -> Flight Control, Active CG Mgmt, Brake Controls
  • PV-3 (Advanced Control) -> Flight Control, Active CG Mgmt, Brake Controls
  • PV-4 (Aero-Flight Dynamics) -> Control of High Asymmetry, Re-Configurable Control System, Internal Weapon Bay opening/closing in supersonic flight
  • PV-5 (Advanced Avionics) -> Integrated Modular Architecture, Flush/Body Conformal Antenna & Pods, Advanced Comm, AESA radar
  • PV-6 (Materials for Stealth) -> Radar Absorbing Composites & Paints
  • PV-7 (Advanced Manufacturing) -> Jigless Manufacturing & Static Tests

Phase III (2023-2030)
  • PV-1 (Advanced Control) -> GTRE/Snecma Kaveri engines w/ TVC
  • PV-2 (Advanced Control) -> Flight Control w/ Kaveri engines and Flush/Body Conformal Antenna & Pods
  • PV-3 (Advanced Control) -> Flight Control w/ Kaveri engines and Flush/Body Conformal Antenna & Pods
  • PV-4 (Aero-Flight Dynamics) -> Internal Weapon Release in supersonic flight
  • PV-5 (Advanced Avionics) -> Situational Awareness (Sensor Data Fusion), Decision Support System, Advanced Sensors, Net Centric Warfare
  • PV-6 (Materials for Stealth) -> Advanced Composites & Materials, Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS)
  • PV-7 (Advanced Manufacturing) -> Superplastic Forming, Micron Surface Finish
  • LSP-1 to LSP-8 (Advanced Manufacturing) at HAL

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby srai » 21 Nov 2010 05:28

India's Medium Combat Aircraft
Image
In August 2008, right about the time the Indian Air Force had decided to officially kickstart procedures to get the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) off the realm of theory, then Chief of Air Staff Fali Major happened to bump into DRDO chief M Natarajan and then HAL chairman Ashok Baweja at an industry suppliers function in Bangalore. The Chief was mildly irritated that both Baweja and Natarajan had provided media sound-bytes and interviews suggesting that the MCA would have "fifth generation technologies". He impressed upon both gentlemen, over tea, that if the MCA went the LCA way, it would be not just unacceptable to the air force, but an act of criminal disregard for the country's security. "Give the air force a bloody first-rate fourth generation aeroplane. That is the job before you," he said.

Two months later, in October 2008, the name of the MCA programme was changed (on recommendation to the Secretary, Defence Production) to "Next Generation Fighter Aircraft", though MCA continues to be used alternatively without any particular distinction.

As per official documentation by the IAF, it wants the MCA to be a twin-pilot configured multirole stealth aircraft capable of "close air support, all weather interception, air defence suppression, long-range strike, electronic attack, limited command & control and reconnaisance" -- that's the profile from an official IAF wishlist to the ADA last year. That might roll right off the air force's tongue, like off a brochure, but they're deadly serious. Putting all speculation to rest when it officially began dialogue about the MCA in 2008, the IAF said it was not willing to look at a strike aircraft with other capabilities. It wants a fully multirole (preferably, swingrole) aircraft for the job.

As we speak, a joint committee of several bodies involved with the NGFA is finetuning the configuration of the final jet, before work begins on building a tech demonstrator, three prototype vehicles and two production series trial jets -- the wind tunnel model unveiled at Yelahanka in February 2009 is largely what the aircraft will look like, though there are three other variants that have not been displayed yet. A twin-engine delta planfrom version, which was a direct derivative from the LCA, has since been shelved -- low observable requirements demanded a fully new airframe approach, which finally ended in the design that people got to see at Aero India 2009. While the wind-tunnel model, fabricated by a Bangalore-based engineering firm, is the product of an ADA/HAL study, there will be dramatic changes yet to the aircraft's intakes (utterly radar friendly, according to the IAF), vertical stabilisers and dorsal section, say sources.

Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, in his first interaction with the ADA last year, seemed to nitpick on indigenous radar capability, more than anything else when it came to the topic of the MCA. Sources say he was deeply incensed when given a brief on the Multi-mode Radar (MMR), pioneered by the Electronics Research & Development Establishment (LRDE) for the LCA Tejas programme. In a chat with the director of the ADA, he said the next aircraft that the agency designed and built, needed to be centred around an Indian active array combat radar. In fact, the LRDE has already proposed a second radar (deriving from the MMR) for the MCA, with technological spin-offs currently being gleaned from its partnership with Israel's Elta. But Naik didn't buy that. He said it didn't matter what the DRDO was learning from who at this stage. When it came down to putting the nails in, he said he wanted a fully Indian radar on the MCA.

While configuration fructifies, the following work has begun on the MCA in full earnest: DARE, Bangalore has appointed a special team to begin identifying avionics and cockpit packages for the first prototype vehicle, and will supply this in published form to the ADA by July 2010. This will include cockpit electronics, cockpit configuration, man-machine interface, mission console systems and computers/software with a focus on data fusion and modular architecture. The LRDE will, in about the same time frame, provide a separate project proposal for an all new radar, to be re-designated for the MCA, as a derivative of the MMR currently being completed with technology from Israel's ELTA. LRDE will independently look in the market for a partner for active array technology, though it communicated to ADA in June 2009 that it had sufficient R&D available to build a reliable AESA prototype with assistance from Bharat Electronics Ltd and two private firms based in Hyderabad.

There is a collossal amount of work going on as far as materials is concerned for the MCA/NGFA. With the IAF unmoving in its demand for an aircraft that has stealth characteristics built into it from the drawing board forward, the DRDO has powered teams within its materials laboratories in Pune and Hyderabad to come up with new composities, low observable materials fabrication techniques, and of course, radar-absorbent control surface aggregates, airframe materials and paints. This is, of course, completely separate from design characteristics, including internal weapons, fresh leading edge innovations and a sustainable stealth maintenance footprint.

The most crucial part of the programme is of course the engine. The Kaveri-Snecma turbofan is being counted upon vigorously to be ready to power prototypes of the MCA by the middle of this decade. There is no Plan-B just yet as far as engines go. However, technologies such as single crystal and nickel-based superalloys in turbofans are still some way off as far as Indian development is concerned -- the IAF wants the use of both to be a given in the engines that power the MCA.

According to the ADA, the government will look to purchase upto 250 MCAs when its done and ready -- not just as a replacement to the MiG-27s and Jaguars, but to complement the MMRCA fleet that will hopefully be half-inducted by then. A proposal in 2008 suggested that the MCA be used as a technology feeder platform to the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), but after hectic representations by DRDO and HAL, with support from the IAF, it was finally decided that the MCA would continue as a fully separate aircraft programme.


The Stealth In India's Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)
Image
Image
The official CAD images above, from the Advanced Projects & Technologies (AP&T) directorate of India's Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) provide further perspective on the low-observable design elements that are known to be going into India's Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), known for a while now to be a stealth aircraft concept. Serpentine air intakes (with minimum flow distortion and robust pressure recovery) and internal weapons bays, depicted in the images above, are some of the most critical nose-on low observability design elements going into the programme.

As part of the multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) currently on for the AMCA -- a wind tunnel model of which was first publicly displayed at AeroIndia 2009 -- that design-based stealth features will include further optimized airframe shaping, edge matching, body conforming antennae and a low IR signature through nozzle design, engine bay cooling and work on reduced exhaust temperature. RAMs, RAPs, special coatings for polycarbonate canopy and precision manufacturing will all be part of the effort to make the AMCA India's first stealth airplane.

With aerodynamic design optimisation near complete, the AMCA's broad specifications are final. The aicraft will have a weight of 16-18 tons [16-18 tons with 2-tons of internal weapons and 4-tons of internal fuel with a combat ceiling of 15-km, max speed of 1.8-Mach at 11-km. The AMCA will be powered by 2 x 90KN engines with vectored nozzles. For the record, the official ADA document that will finally be processed this year by the government towards formal project launch describes the AMCA as a "multirole combat aircraft for air superiority, point air defence, deep penetration/strike, special missions".


EXCLUSIVE: Official Wishlist of Evolutionary Technologies for India's 5thGen AMCA
Image
If the specialised team led by Indian aerospace scientist Dr AK Ghosh achieves what it has set out to (a huge IF, with all due respect), then one of the most dramatic aspects of India's concept fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) will be its cockpit and man-machine interface. For starters, unlike the cluttered, resoundingly less-than-fourth-generation cockpit of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA Tejas), the AMCA cockpit could have a panoramic active-matrix display. Next, switches, bezels and keypads could be replaced with touch screen interfaces and voice commands. Finally, what the team wants is for the AMCA pilot to have a helmet-mounted display system that allows the jettisoning of a HUD from the AMCA cockpit altogether. Some pretty hardcore stuff. But the idea is this -- if India is building its own fifth generation fighter aircraft (not to be confused with the Indo-Russian FGFA/PAK-FA), and believes it can deliver, then aim for the damn stars. I've got my hands on AMCA documents that provide the first detailed view of just how ambitious the programme actually is. Let me run you through some of them.

The AMCA team has already asked private industry in the country to explore the feasibility of creating primary panoramic displays and other avionics displays that would befit a fifth generation cockpit environment. But the cockpit is just one of an ambitious official technology wishlist for the AMCA.

The envisaged changes begin at the very basic -- system architecture -- and look towards a triplex fly-by-light electro-optic architecture with fiber optic links for signal and data communications, unlike the electric links on the Tejas platform. And unlike centralized architecture on the Tejas, the AMCA proposes to sport a distributed architecture with smart sub-systems. Similarly, unlike the LCA's centralised digital flight control computer (DFCC), the AMCA could have a distributed system with smart remote units for data communication with sensors and actuators, a system that will necessitate much faster on-board processors.

Next come sensors. The mechanical gyros and accelerometers on the Tejas will need to evolve on the AMCA into fiber optic gyros, ring laser gyros and MEMS gyros. The pressure probes and vanes that make up the air-data sensors will evolve into an optical and flush air data system, and position sensors will be linear/rotary optical encoders. Significantly, actuators -- currently electro-hydraulic/direct drive -- could be electro-hydrostatic to accrue substantive weight savings on the AMCA. Sensor fusion for an overarching situation picture goes without saying.

The AMCA could feature highly evolved integrated control laws for flight, propulsion, braking, nose wheel steer and fuel management and adaptive neural networks for fault detection, identification and control law reconfiguration.

I'm leaving out stealth from this piece, as I already covered it here in June, including internal weapons bays. And I've reported on the AMCA radar here.

Unlike the Tejas, which features an avionics systems architecture based on functionality-based individual computer systems connected on MIL-STD-1553B buses and RS 422 links, the AMCA's avionics systems architecture will feature a central computational system connected internally and externally on an optic fiber channel by means of multiport connectivity switching modules. In such a system, functionality will be mapped on resourcred optimally and reallocated when faults occur. At least, that's the idea. Data communications on the AMCA's processing modules will be through a high-speed fiber channel bus, IEEE-1394B-STD. The connectivities will be switched by means of a multiport switching matrix, with data speeds of 400MB/second.

The AMCA could have integrated radio naviation systems, where all functions earlier done by analogue circuits will be shifted onto the shoulders of digital processors. Communication system will be based on software radio ranging from UHF to K band, with data links for digital data/voice data and video.

Algorithms will evolve substantially too. While the Tejas features almost no decision aid, the AMCA pilot could have at his command the ability to plan attack strategies, avoid strategies, retreat strategies and evasive strategies for himself and his buddies. Limited fault recording and limited coverage in the maintenance and diagnostics algorithms on the LCA will evolve into far more advanced ones allowing extensive coverage.

This is an official technology wishlist for the AMCA. If it sounds far-fetched and overreaching -- and it well may -- it still provides a glimpse into what the programme is looking at for what will undoubtedly be India's most ambitious indigenous aerospace venture. Before I forget, here's a nice little slide illustrating the AMCA's envisaged operational envelope (subject of course to change).

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby srai » 21 Nov 2010 05:35

India set to build Medium Combat Aircraft
by Ajai Shukla
Bangalore, India
Business Standard


With India’s home-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) --- the Tejas --- flying successfully through its testing process, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has now signed up for an indigenous Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA). Within days, the IAF and a team of aircraft designers will formally set up a joint committee to frame the specifications for India’s own MCA, which will be built largely in Bangalore.

The MCA’s design team will centre on the agencies that have built the LCA: the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA); the National Aeronautics Laboratory (NAL); Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); and a host of Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) laboratories that will develop futuristic sensors and systems for the MCA.

The Director of ADA, Dr PS Subramaniam, confirmed to Business Standard, “The joint committee is likely to be formed within two or three weeks. This committee will finalise what will go into the MCA, as well as the budget and development schedule.”

According to Dr Subramaniam, the programme will aim to develop the MCA and build 5-6 prototypes at a cost of Rs 5000 crores. That is approximately the same amount that has gone into the LCA programme.

With this, Indian aeronautical designers will be working in all the fighter categories. In the light fighter category (10-11 tons), the Tejas LCA is expected to get operational clearance in 2011; the MCA will be India’s first foray into the medium fighter category (14-15 tons); and in the heavy fighter category (20 tons plus), currently ruled by the Russian Sukhoi-30MKI, Indian designers plan to partner their Russian counterparts in developing the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA).

Interestingly, the decision to develop an indigenous MCA comes alongside the overseas procurement of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for an estimated Rs 50,000 crores. Senior IAF planners point out that the MMRCA procurement is unavoidable for replacing the MiG-29s and Mirage-2000s that will become obsolete while the MCA is still being developed.

By 2020, when the IAF’s current fleet would have been largely phased out, MoD planners forecast a requirement for at least 250 medium fighters. This has raised hopes amongst the MMRCA contenders (the US F/A-18 and F-16, Russia’s Mig-35; the Eurofighter Typhoon; and the Swedish Gripen) that the winner could end up supplying twice as many fighters as the current tender. But a successful Indian MCA programme would cap the MMRCA procurement at 126 fighters. After that, the MCA production will kick in.

The MCA designers plan to pursue technologies superior to anything currently on offer. The ADA Director points out, “None of the MMRCA contenders will be state-of-the-art in 2015-2017. But the MCA will; it will incorporate the technologies of the future, which currently feature only on the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor.”

India’s aeronautical designers see the MCA programme as crucial for taking forward the expertise that has been painstakingly accumulated in the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme. The IAF is in agreement; and the Rama Rao Committee, set up for restructuring the DRDO, has recommended that programmes must be created to provide continuity for designers.

Says a senior MoD official: “With great difficulty we have built up a team that can design a complete combat aircraft. After a couple of years, when the LCA goes into production, there will be no design work left. Without another aircraft programme to work on, we will lose this team, having attained this level.”

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby shukla » 21 Nov 2010 06:00

Plans for Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft
The Hindu

India has embarked upon an ambitious project to indigenously design and develop a fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) by 2017. The government released Rs. 100 crore last month to the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which will spearhead the project, to prepare feasibility studies in 18 months. The ADA is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Defence.

Disclosing this to reporters here on Saturday, ADA Director and Programme Director (Combat Aircraft) P.S. Subramanyam said AMCA, when developed and produced, would probably be the first medium combat aircraft with 20 tonne weight in the world. Similar aircraft being developed by the United States and Russia are in the range of 30 to 35 tonnes.

Mr. Subramanyam said AMCA was meant to fill the gap for the Indian Air Force as the Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) would meet the low-end requirement and Sukhoi-30, the higher end. Once inducted, the IAF would have small, medium and heavy combat aircraft. He said the AMCA would have an operational range of 30 km, equipped with stealth technology to prevent detection by enemy radar and capability for super-cruise flight. A large part of the aircraft would be made of carbon composites. The entire project would cost $ 2 billion.

Once the funds were received after the submission of the feasibility report, the agency planned to develop two technology demonstrators and seven prototypes, he said. ADA was identifying technologies for 6 {+t} {+h} generation combat aircraft. Earlier, Mr. Subramanyam made a presentation on Technological Challenges in Future Fighter Aircraft at the Aviation Conclave which concluded on Saturday.
Last edited by shukla on 21 Nov 2010 06:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby shukla » 21 Nov 2010 06:05

ADA seeks $2 bn for advanced medium combat aircraft
Business Standard

The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), an autonomous body under the department of defence research and development, Ministry of Defence, is seeking a $2-billion (approximately Rs 9,060 crore) fund for the development of the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA).

“We have just started working on this fifth-generation aircraft, for which we had already received sanctions to the tune of Rs 100 crore. The way the government is cooperating, I am able to say that we will receive the funding ($2 billion) in the next 18 months,” PS Subramanyam, programme director (combat aircraft) and director of ADA, told Business Standard.The AMCA will be designed with a small radar cross-section and will feature internal weapons and advanced electronic systems. The twin-engined, stealth-multirole fighter will be equipped with missiles like the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)’s Astra, besides stand-off and precision weapons. “The $2-billion fund will initially be utilised to develop two technology demonstrators and seven prototypes. The first flight test is expected to take place by 2017,” he said on the sidelines of the Aviation Conclave 2010, which concluded here on Saturday.

Stating that the AMCAs were aimed at bridging the gap between light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Sukhoi heavy weight fighters, Subramanyam said though Russia and the United States were into designing of similar aircraft that weigh 30-35 tonne, the AMCA would weigh only 20 tonne. “Though the AMCAs were primarily being designed to meet the requirements of the Indian Air Force, we are contemplating rolling out a new variant for the Indian Navy as well,” he said, adding ADA would commence research and development on the six-generation AMCA aircraft shortly.


Must say..the plans are truly ambitious.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Kanson » 21 Nov 2010 06:22

1.Plans for Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft
The Hindu
Once the funds were received after the submission of the feasibility report, the agency planned to develop two technology demonstrators and seven prototypes, he said. ADA was identifying technologies for 6 {+t} {+h} generation combat aircraft.

2. ADA seeks $2 bn for advanced medium combat aircraft
Business Standard
“Though the AMCAs were primarily being designed to meet the requirements of the Indian Air Force, we are contemplating rolling out a new variant for the Indian Navy as well,” he said, adding ADA would commence research and development on the six-generation AMCA aircraft shortly.


Aims of other advanced fighter projects while we are pursuing AMCA.

Tokyo, Seoul Mull Advanced Fighters
Japan’s defense ministry sees a sixth-generation manned fighter with counter-stealth capability for the 2030s,

One feature, jamming-resistant fly-by-light controls, has been introduced in the Kawasaki P-1 maritime patroller, which first flew in 2007. The ministry believes four more features could be ready by 2030:

•Greater stealth than that of opponents, requiring developments in coatings, internal weapon bays and intake design.

•Next-generation high-power radar that detects and tracks stealthy targets, requiring development of advanced integrated sensors and all-around protection.

•Cloud-shooting, in which the fighters fire missiles using targeting data from other sources—for example, each other and early-warning aircraft.

•A powerful next-generation engine with a slim cross-section and heat-resistant turbine discs and ceramic nozzle.

The engine, radar and stealth technologies are in development and should be ready in 2016-20. The Mitsubishi ATD-X fighter technology demonstrator that will fly for the first time in 2014 will be the testing platform.

The next two technologies would be ready in the 2040s: networking with sensor drones that fly ahead of the manned fighters, helping them remain undetected while detecting stealthy targets; and a directed-energy weapon, based on research that would begin next year, focusing on lasers and high-power microwaves.


What to Expect From Sixth Gen Combat Aircraft

For Sixth-Generation warplanes, stealthy data connectivity is going to be as important as stealthy aircraft. A low-observable aircraft – operating inside the enemy’s ring of anti-aircraft defense – must be able to transmit data to standoff forces without giving away its position.

“Making sure you have connectivity is key, says Maj. Gen. Tom Andersen, Air Combat command’s director of requirements. “If you are stealthy -- and within a denied or anti-access area -- you don’t want to emit energy that will [give away your location]. So we have to concentrate on low probability of intercept or detection [LPI, LPD] type wave forms. Then we have to get it out of that environment so that it can help the follow on forces and support jammers like the non-stealthy Growler. That’s going to be a challenge.”

Improved fifth- and new sixth-generation manned and unmanned aircraft also are being planned to carry wide-area optical and electronic surveillance, explosive and non-explosive weapons and offer an intricate view of the surrounding networks that might affect them.

Also part of the advanced fight formula will be communications, including command and control, that can function even when under network attack.

“We’ve stood up a Sixth Gen Fighter office here, and we’re starting to figure out what those attributes should be,” Andersen says. “Survivability will be huge, so how do you do that – with speed, stealth or some combination? Affordability is critical because $500 million per air vehicle doesn’t do much good [in a tough budget environment].

“If we start right now, 2030 is about the time you get a sixth gen fighter on the line,” Andersen say. “That’s about the time all the F-15s, F-15Es, F-16s and A-10s are programmed to be out of the inventory. At that point all you have is the F-35. I think [Sixth Gen] will have to be capable being [optionally] manned. The cost margin between manned and unmanned is now only about 3-5% delta. We have to be prepared to go either way.”

The new designs will undoubtedly be stealthy for penetrating enemy air defenses. And as long as they are close to key targets, “you would hate not to have an ISR capability,” Andersen say. Moreover, these aircraft need to be linked so they always know where they are in reference to each other and to any enemy threat all the time.

The advanced architecture for connectivity is called the Joint Aerial Layered Network (JLAN). It creates a mosaic for the battlefield with space, airborne and surface layers. And within those layers, the denied and anti-access areas are detailed along with where everybody else can operate.

The equipment on these new aircraft designs will also be innovative. It will, for example, exploit new segments of the electromagnetic spectrum. Also increasingly important will be a translator that transforms an LPI signal to a waveform that can be widely distributed by Link 16. That would avoid compromising stealth and also generate digital information that everyone can immediately use.

Electronic attack, network invasion and generation of high power microwave pulses as weapons will also be part of the formula.

“We’re working the CHAMP joint project demonstration which is a high power microwave [device] in a cruise missiles [at Kirtland],” says Brig. Gen. Dave Goldfein, ACC’s director of air and space operations (A3). “We’re probably about three years from where we will have to transition it from the [joint demonstration program].”


So basically, from Japan and US perspective 6th gen requirements are almost same.

1. Superior stealth than opponent.
2. Counter stealth(with including adv radars, may be Pak-fa/F-35 scores right here, i guess)
3. Cloud shooting/connectivity with LPI/LPD and JLAN
4. Better engine which can supercruise.
5. Energy weapon.
6. Both manned and unmanned flying together with networking.
7. Target date around 2030 & later.

Nothing new, all the concepts are already talked about and attempted. Only question is the maturity of those technology that can be feasible enough and can be fielded in fighters.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 21 Nov 2010 07:08

How much of a difficulty would be to install a missile shield for a 5th gen a/c like in the Israeli trophy system for the tank. Possibilities/feasibility for an aircraft?
---------------
Each squadron should be driven by a joint mission computing distributed system integrated with an AWAC per squadron. Numerous mission strike strategies and plans should be executable and programmable.

Example planned/programmable Missions like, -
- Smoke about 50 ground targets in the mountains.
- Pulverize 100 tanks in a formation
- Erase 3000 enemies in a battalion or two
- Annihilate an army base
- Destroy 5 airports
- Destruct 20 launch platforms
- Submerge 50 ships

All commanded by GPS/Gagan with Squadron leader/commander in the AWAC with touch sensitive screens.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 21 Nov 2010 07:27

China makes its money by relatively low tech manufacturing and export. Also exports medium tech aircrfat and aircrfat components. The US makes its money from high tech manufacturing and services - including software, electronics, chips, systems and aircraft.

India has these grandiose plans which are good but we still need to have something to export to other nations to make money. Don't mean to derail the thread but the heady feeling of seeing all these goodies in India must not make us forget hard realities. We must have an industrial base that is able to export medium tech and fund high tech for ourselves. And insure against delays and uncertainties. It's about being smart economically as well as being technologically smart. The bania must sit next to the brahmin boffin and the "workman" (shudra) engineer.

Right now in the LCA thread is a complaint that the LCA (4th gen) cost 1.7 Billion dollars. This thread speaks of 2 billion - but that figure (as we all know) is likely to escalate by at least 300-400 percent and we must expect a cost of over US$ 8 billion (sound cheap actually - it may be more). Is India going to make that money solely from its current sources of earning - agriculture, software, services, auto parts and chemicals? Can we not sell high ticket items by selling 3 gen or 4 gen aircraft to turd world nations who are still surviving on 2 gen? But where are they? Show me the production lines that are doing that. And the marketing? When are the banias? Where are the vysyas?

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 21 Nov 2010 07:32

SaiK wrote:Example planned/programmable Missions like, -
- Smoke about 50 ground targets in the mountains.
- Pulverize 100 tanks in a formation
- Erase 3000 enemies in a battalion or two
- Annihilate an army base
- Destroy 5 airports
- Destruct 20 launch platforms
- Submerge 50 ships


How about eliminating 2000 jihadis hiding among a population of 200,000? That is certainly the future of warfare as some countries become richer and far more economically advanced than others.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 21 Nov 2010 07:43

srai wrote:India's Medium Combat Aircraft

Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, in his first interaction with the ADA last year, seemed to nitpick on indigenous radar capability, more than anything else when it came to the topic of the MCA. Sources say he was deeply incensed when given a brief on the Multi-mode Radar (MMR), pioneered by the Electronics Research & Development Establishment (LRDE) for the LCA Tejas programme. In a chat with the director of the ADA, he said the next aircraft that the agency designed and built, needed to be centred around an Indian active array combat radar. In fact, the LRDE has already proposed a second radar (deriving from the MMR) for the MCA, with technological spin-offs currently being gleaned from its partnership with Israel's Elta. But Naik didn't buy that. He said it didn't matter what the DRDO was learning from who at this stage. When it came down to putting the nails in, he said he wanted a fully Indian radar on the MCA.


Image

Good on you Sir! The nation needs more people who think like you do.

Now let's import the F-35

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 21 Nov 2010 08:35

the tons of new avionics and sensors needed have to start development early. notoriously difficult to make reliable and well integrated. even if not all are pushed into TD1 and TD2, they can separatelt be tested and made ready using other Tejas and EMB145 testbeds (CABS/LRDE/DARE/ADA can obtain a couple of EMB145 for that - the ancient HS748 needs to be rested).

and ofcourse this time no ifs or buts - the engine, radar, core avionics, EW , AAM, A2G have to all indian designed and made. if we cannot turn the corner by 2030 we never will be weaned off others tits. we can import the sexy one piece EF or F22 canopy with the green psyops sunfilm tint.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 21 Nov 2010 08:53

There was picture of a real AMCA wind tunnel model. The above links looks like not proportional.. in the sense the wings seems little less for as many pylons we may like to carry on this amca.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 21 Nov 2010 08:53

Marten we simply must learn to detach research from production and export. Both are necessary but the latter two cannot wait for the former - which is endless.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 21 Nov 2010 09:20

Marten wrote:Would be nice to start up two more design projects -- Rs 200-500 cr for two more viability studies would not hurt us.
Shiv sir, we must set up at least one more a/c manufacturer. Can NAL be upgraded as the assembler? (Supposing we have more of TAML type private organizations that are involved in manufacturing of the fuselage and airframes).
EDITED to remove assumption. :)


Actually both Tatas and Mahindras are entering the fray. Hopefully we will see a few more - but we need to outsource work to them. Recently L&T was left out of ship orders. :( I own shares. :D

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Santosh » 21 Nov 2010 09:52

I say let's give the phiphth gen a miss and move on to 6.5 gen. :D This whole AMCA tamasha is a big joke. The forces will always want the Moon and DRDO cannot compete with shiny brochures unless it promises Moon++. Somewhere in all this, a realist should pull the concerned parties together and figure out that given the state of technology in India TODAY, what can be put together in the next 7 to 10 years. Otherwise 15 years from now my son will be debating on BRF how India should have married 2 Kaveris to an LCA airframe just like we are debating how ADA should have married an Adour to Kiran.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby RamaY » 21 Nov 2010 10:01

I think they should make the airframe and put kaveris in it and start testing whatever they can. Everything else should be a function of it. By the time they can build all those TDs and they can do atleast one+ version of upgrades on engine, radar (5+ yrs).

If Indian strategic forces can live with a 20k nuke bum, they should be able to live with whatever this nation can produce. We don't need worlds best fighters to protect worlds 5th biggest economy ;)

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Kanson » 21 Nov 2010 10:55

RamaY wrote:If Indian strategic forces can live with a 20k nuke bum, they should be able to live with whatever this nation can produce. We don't need worlds best fighters to protect worlds 5th biggest economy ;)


WoW!, but China is the 2nd biggest economy no? To beat those 2nd best fighters from 2nd biggest economy you need first rate fighters no? As a counter statement, by producing the first rate fighter that can beat the 2nd biggest economy's fighter, one's economy become world biggest. Logic looks compulsive, na? :P

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Kanson » 21 Nov 2010 11:30

X-posting from "design your own fighter" thread
Kanson wrote:
ShauryaT wrote:For some reason, the idea of an enlarged LCA, to make it an MCA with two engines, with essentially the same building blocks, but may be not a simple extension of the same air frame and/or wing design has not been received well. I have never understood why? Hence our DRDO is on its quest for a fifth generation AMCA, bypassing what logically should be an MCA and a first rate 4+ generation aircraft, as demanded by some in our air forces.


Another opinion from different point.

It is not the wing design that was not received well(using your words), Sir, but the proposition of TVC enabled engines as the principle controller of the aircraft. Doubts were raised, whether TVC engine could be that reliable and plane could be survivable if there is any such failure of TVC. That must have to do probably based upon our experience with TVC(Su-30MKI). AFAIK, MKI's TVC is not used in every day business and reserved for extreme situation that needs TVC. I think that has to do with their reliability. Navy rejected TVC on MiG based on the maintainability issues. Let me call this design as MCA-1

as demanded by some in our air forces.
Correction, Sir. F-22-ish MCA design (lets call this as MCA-2) which was shown in wind tunnel model (AeroIndia-2009)is one of the next design chosen. But the IAF clearly said in their ASR for NGFA that we dont want a monkey business of half stealth or quarter stealth but a full aspect/spectrum stealth; that is a VLO design and not a LO design. Once receiving the ASR, boffins and mandarins went for a cuddle and not emerged so far with any news officially. But, Shiv Aroor reported after the ASR was issued that the new design for AMCA could be different from the models so far shown. Full aspect stealth means shaping, internal weapons bay and it could also means no vertical fins. Lets see what we are upto.


http://livefist.blogspot.com/2010/01/in ... craft.html
There is a collossal amount of work going on as far as materials is concerned for the MCA/NGFA. With the IAF unmoving in its demand for an aircraft that has stealth characteristics built into it from the drawing board forward, the DRDO has powered teams within its materials laboratories in Pune and Hyderabad to come up with new composities, low observable materials fabrication techniques, and of course, radar-absorbent control surface aggregates, airframe materials and paints. This is, of course, completely separate from design characteristics, including internal weapons, fresh leading edge innovations and a sustainable stealth maintenance footprint.

the wind tunnel model unveiled at Yelahanka in February 2009 is largely what the aircraft will look like, though there are three other variants that have not been displayed yet. A twin-engine delta planfrom version, which was a direct derivative from the LCA, has since been shelved -- low observable requirements demanded a fully new airframe approach, which finally ended in the design that people got to see at Aero India 2009. While the wind-tunnel model, fabricated by a Bangalore-based engineering firm, is the product of an ADA/HAL study, there will be dramatic changes yet to the aircraft's intakes (utterly radar friendly, according to the IAF), vertical stabilisers and dorsal section, say sources.


One observation I like to make that may be relevant is both Japanese and 6th gen concept unveiled by Boeing are designs that don't have conventional vertical stabilizers. Just as swept wings became norm for fighters of later generation, it could be that 6th gen may not have vertical fin. What could be the design for our AMCA? Will be just start as 5th gen and later move on to 6th gen? Or straight way dash into 6th gen?
The government released Rs. 100 crore last month to the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which will spearhead the project, to prepare feasibility studies in 18 months.
Let us see what they consider as feasible. Only then, we may know what is capable and what is not.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby shukla » 21 Nov 2010 12:31

Outlines of a Sixth-Generation Fighter Remain Vague
Defensenews

LM Vice President makes some interesting observations on 6th Gen Fighters at the FARNBOROUGH air show earlier this year..

FARNBOROUGH, England - Industry talks about a sixth-generation fighter, but it is abundantly clear that executives are uncertain about what such a product would look like, other than some ideas about flying in a network environment and offering multirole capabilities. A sixth generation aircraft would be driven by diverse requirements but governments have not yet precisely defined the needs, and the technology bricks are not ready to be deployed, said Bob Weiss, vice president for business development at Lockheed Martin.

"We're a couple of decades away from technology maturity and the performance required for a sixth-generation fighter," he told journalists at the Farnborough Airshow. It is likely, however, the new aircraft would be equipped to meet threats across the entire spectrum, from asymmetric fighting to conventionally armed peers, Weiss said. Collecting and transmitting data while remaining undetected, and hypersonic speed, would probably on the list.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby vic » 21 Nov 2010 18:06

If DRDO-ADA has decided to go in for 6th Generation aircraft, then my gratutious advice is :-

a. Increase Su-30MKI order to 4-500

b. Increase PAKFA Order to 4-500

c. Increase LCA Mark-2 order to 300 and also design a LCA Mark-3

4. Increase MMRCA order to 250

5. Increase AMCA budget to US$ 30 Billion with the IOC in 2035

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Rahul M » 21 Nov 2010 18:15

please stick to the topic, no one in India has talked of any 6th gen project.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby vic » 21 Nov 2010 18:29

shukla wrote:ADA seeks $2 bn for advanced medium combat aircraft
Business Standard

The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), an autonomous body under the department of defence research and development, Ministry of Defence, is seeking a $2-billion (approximately Rs 9,060 crore) fund for the development of the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA).

“We have just started working on this fifth-generation aircraft, for which we had already received sanctions to the tune of Rs 100 crore. The way the government is cooperating, I am able to say that we will receive the funding ($2 billion) in the next 18 months,” PS Subramanyam, programme director (combat aircraft) and director of ADA, told Business Standard.The AMCA will be designed with a small radar cross-section and will feature internal weapons and advanced electronic systems. The twin-engined, stealth-multirole fighter will be equipped with missiles like the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)’s Astra, besides stand-off and precision weapons. “The $2-billion fund will initially be utilised to develop two technology demonstrators and seven prototypes. The first flight test is expected to take place by 2017,” he said on the sidelines of the Aviation Conclave 2010, which concluded here on Saturday.

Stating that the AMCAs were aimed at bridging the gap between light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Sukhoi heavy weight fighters, Subramanyam said though Russia and the United States were into designing of similar aircraft that weigh 30-35 tonne, the AMCA would weigh only 20 tonne. “Though the AMCAs were primarily being designed to meet the requirements of the Indian Air Force, we are contemplating rolling out a new variant for the Indian Navy as well,” he said, adding ADA would commence research and development on the six-generation AMCA aircraft shortly.


Must say..the plans are truly ambitious.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby vic » 21 Nov 2010 18:31

shukla wrote:Plans for Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft
The Hindu

India has embarked upon an ambitious project to indigenously design and develop a fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) by 2017. The government released Rs. 100 crore last month to the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which will spearhead the project, to prepare feasibility studies in 18 months. The ADA is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Defence.

Disclosing this to reporters here on Saturday, ADA Director and Programme Director (Combat Aircraft) P.S. Subramanyam said AMCA, when developed and produced, would probably be the first medium combat aircraft with 20 tonne weight in the world. Similar aircraft being developed by the United States and Russia are in the range of 30 to 35 tonnes.

Mr. Subramanyam said AMCA was meant to fill the gap for the Indian Air Force as the Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) would meet the low-end requirement and Sukhoi-30, the higher end. Once inducted, the IAF would have small, medium and heavy combat aircraft. He said the AMCA would have an operational range of 30 km, equipped with stealth technology to prevent detection by enemy radar and capability for super-cruise flight. A large part of the aircraft would be made of carbon composites. The entire project would cost $ 2 billion.

Once the funds were received after the submission of the feasibility report, the agency planned to develop two technology demonstrators and seven prototypes, he said. ADA was identifying technologies for 6 {+t} {+h} generation combat aircraft. Earlier, Mr. Subramanyam made a presentation on Technological Challenges in Future Fighter Aircraft at the Aviation Conclave which concluded on Saturday.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby vic » 21 Nov 2010 18:42

We can rest be assured that AMCA is not going to come anytime soon. The LCA Mark-2 is supposed to come by 2018, how can AMCA come by 2017? PAKFA required around US$ 10-15 Billion dollars when it is already flying but we can do the AMCA in US$ 2 Billion, how? By using Russian labs? We jumped the tech base created for Marut, Ajeet and sustained by Mig21 & 27, Jag manufacture and went where no indian had gone before. We refused to learn the lesson that we had to pay through our nose for trailing edge tech while LCA remained too far away and still is too far away. But it seems:-

LCA - FBW new for India- discarded, now AMCA-Fly by light while PAKFA & MMRCA is ok with FBW

LCA - actuators still being developed in India- discarded, now AMCA-new type while PAKFA & MMRCA is ok with old type

LCA - light radar new for India- discarded, now AMCA-AESA only while paying through nose for Mirage 2000 and Mig-29k conventional radars

LCA- composites new for India- now good enough for AMCA, we need all new stealth type materials

LCA-no TVC or supercruise, must in AMCA though we still dont have any indigenous engine for LCA and wont have one till 2020 or so

LCA-wing design changed?

LCA-vertical fins dropped for AMCA?

Rather then using LCA as a base for evolutionary technology and AMCA, we are again trying to be world best.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 21 Nov 2010 19:21

I am an ignoramus but it seems to me that the big difference between the ability to have fly by light (FBL) and FBW is that FBW uses a Mil 1553 while Mil 1760 is needed for fly by light.

My unkal Googal and aunty Wiki tell me that Mil 1760 allows both FBW and FBL

Secondly 5 Gen will need AESA, sensor fusion and upgrade situational awareness of the pilot. Ability to burn a hole in the other guy's radar with AESA means a very powerphul radar. How does that pan out for power supply and cooling needs? Also radar may have to be integrated in wings/fuselage. Is it a big deal to have a radome/aircrfat skin that is transparent to your radar frequency but not to typical hostile radar a la F-22?

Hi performance BVRAAM and smart munitions are a given.

Engine?

Engine????

Engine???????

It was in Aero India 1998 that I saw a DRDO pavilion with a mock up of a "Hyperplane". It is still not reality 13 years later. MTA has been appearing in mock ups for a decade. Still not here.

LCA first flight was in 2001. It will probably be in service 2011.

If you ask my opinion, if AMCA survives it cannot become reality before 2025 at the earliest. By 2025 - F35 will have been in service for over a decade.

Let's not fool ourselves. In 2025 we will still be a generation or more behind. We are setting up the plan to do that now. Other than LCA we will have no fully indigenous fighter for our requirements until then. It is important not to forget the geopolitical consequences of that.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby nrshah » 21 Nov 2010 19:49

^^^
Sir,

Agree with you that we will be fooling ourselves about having achieved parity in 2025 (AMCA comes online)... However, if we don't go for it, where will we stand? 2 generation behind perhaps...

If AMCA can bridge the gap by 1 gen, we should go for it... This is not a mutually exclusive project... Your idea of a 100% indigenous 3/4 gen plane is good and it can still continue... Shall we stop developing engines or radar or HMDS or others, if AMCA is sanctioned? no we wont... these things will continue in parallel...

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 21 Nov 2010 19:57

vic wrote:Rather then using LCA as a base for evolutionary technology and AMCA, we are again trying to be world best.


It is evolutionary and draws on existing technology..

LCA - FBW new for India- discarded, now AMCA-Fly by light while PAKFA & MMRCA is ok with FBW


FBW to FBL is not a radical change. The algorithms/computational hardware will remain similar and draw on existing technology, only means of data transfer/reception will be different, and will offer certain advantages. PAK-FA is meant to be FBL as well, if plans for Joint R&D go through. MMRCA comparison is not accurate as those aircraft were designed in the same vintage as LCA etc.

LCA - actuators still being developed in India- discarded, now AMCA-new type while PAKFA & MMRCA is ok with old type


Actuator development is still progressing at HAL & other places. One set of imported actuators is replaced next set of devices for wings is being replaced. The "new actuators" which you are referring to (all electric systems) are already being used on some aircraft designed today - commercial and military and all new programs are evaluating them. They offer higher reliability and other advantages which are flight critical. Point is not to get stuck on existing tech., but also look towards future otherwise, subsystems become obsolete.

LCA - light radar new for India- discarded, now AMCA-AESA only while paying through nose for Mirage 2000 and Mig-29k conventional radars


Light radar is not discarded. Same is being used for naval surveillance radars. The AESA is not that different from light radar in several ways. Basically, if you get conventional radar right, you can then explore AESA by using "replacements" for conventional antenna and other hardware. Of course, you need to modify software to steer the beam, schedule different activities. So it is iterative development to go from conventional antenna to AESA. Russians for instance have put (for MiG-35)a new AESA frontend on the conventional Zhuk radar backend, and the Europeans are doing the same with Captor-E from Captor-D. So a lot of the "light radar" work will be re-used for any AESA, especially, all the processors, basic algorithms etc.

LCA- composites new for India- now good enough for AMCA, we need all new stealth type materials


A lot of the same materials will be used as well as new materials.

LCA-no TVC or supercruise, must in AMCA though we still dont have any indigenous engine for LCA and wont have one till 2020 or so


Yes, indigenous engine remains an issue but JV with Safran should give India a local alternative to pure imports.

LCA-wing design changed?


Has to be changed to meet IAF requirement for stealth. Big thing about stealth is planform alignment. So far the MCA wing looks reasonable and nothing all new and radical so should be do-able.
http://www.f-22raptor.com/st_fa22tricks.php#planform

LCA-vertical fins dropped for AMCA?


MCA will be having regular fins, but canted to reduce radar reflections back to the radar receiver.
Last edited by Karan M on 21 Nov 2010 23:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby vic » 21 Nov 2010 20:04

shiv wrote:It was in Aero India 1998 that I saw a DRDO pavilion with a mock up of a "Hyperplane". It is still not reality 13 years later. MTA has been appearing in mock ups for a decade. Still not here.


You SDRE, the hyperplane has been in News since Rajiv Gandhi was PM and I read about it in India Today. Contact your uncle and auntie more and you will find out that F-22 was just evolutionary tech and US already had all the building blocks of this aircraft like stealth design, FBW, AESA, engine cores etc. We dont have the building blocks of 3rd gen aircraft and we have launched 6th gen for 1/20th the budget. That is why I am saying, lets increase the orders of PAKFA, MMRCA etc.


The realistic project would be LCA Mark-3 in something like EADS MAKO scheme of things with a budget of US$ 10 Billion to fly by 2020 and IOC in 2025

For AMCA the reasonable timeline is fly by 2035 and IOC by 2040.

Note the average rate of output is One LCA every 1.5 years at present now. The IOC of 4th Gen LCA Mark-2 is anticipated around 2020, so lets be reasonable in our aspirations of AMCA. I still say let PAKFA be tech lead and AMCA provide the numbers!

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 21 Nov 2010 20:05

Its not a question of parity or just tech-itis but a well thought out lesson. In other words, you use the lessons learnt from one generation of technology, to go to the next for the next fighter. That was the entire purpose of the LCA. Simply achieving "x" and saying "yes we did it" means that in a decades time, you are again behind the rest of the world, which has been working on "y" (y>x) while you were basking in the belief that achieving x was all it took.

Also, you need to mature these technologies and actually apply them, for meeting user requirements. The IAF WILL specify tough requirements, and unless you have good technology, meeting these requirements will be very hard.

http://www.domain-b.com/aero/20090206_l ... ramme.html

What are the future programmes planned?

As I said earlier, when we began the programme we were dealing with second generation technologies. Now we have jumped to fourth generation technologies.


1. If you don't have future programmes planned, and stay where you are, you will only be widening the technology gap with the rest of the world. If you wish to progress further, one way is to keep developing technologies. Keeping this in mind we now have a separate programme for technology development.

2.But unless technologies are packaged and put on the aircraft they will not mature. So we are working on programmes like the medium combat aircraft. So far we were quite hesitant whether the user will require such technology. But they have communicated that they need a medium combat aircraft, in the medium weight class, in which platform they have asked us to incorporate next generation fighter technologies.

So we have conceptual studies for the next generation fighter aircraft with medium weight - of around 20 tonnes. The technologies which will go into that are futuristic technologies, like stealth. The aircraft should not be visible. It will have radar cross section reduction, infrared reduction. It will have super cruise technology, and also, this kind of an aircraft will have all weapons concealed in the airframe itself - all the conformal weapons.

3.In the case of avionics we have visualised that unless we take a quantum jump and understand what is happening in the rest of the world we will again be widening the gap.

So we have decided to work on integrated modular architecture of the weapons and avionics system. That architecture will be built into this.


These are some of the technologies on which we are currently working .


Unfortunately, this is how the world works. If India does not begin on all these today, it will face a problem tomorrow. Good thing is that through the LCA program, we are beginning with a good base of understanding many of these things, and have substantial infrastructure built up, so it is not akin to starting from scratch.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby vic » 21 Nov 2010 20:07

shiv wrote:India's Medium Combat Aircraft

Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, in his first interaction with the ADA last year, seemed to nitpick on indigenous radar capability, more than anything else when it came to the topic of the MCA. Sources say he was deeply incensed when given a brief on the Multi-mode Radar (MMR), pioneered by the Electronics Research & Development Establishment (LRDE) for the LCA Tejas programme. In a chat with the director of the ADA, he said the next aircraft that the agency designed and built, needed to be centred around an Indian active array combat radar. In fact, the LRDE has already proposed a second radar (deriving from the MMR) for the MCA, with technological spin-offs currently being gleaned from its partnership with Israel's Elta. But Naik didn't buy that. He said it didn't matter what the DRDO was learning from who at this stage. When it came down to putting the nails in, he said he wanted a fully Indian radar on the MCA.


Image

Good on you Sir! The nation needs more people who think like you do.

Now let's import the F-35


:rotfl:

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby vic » 21 Nov 2010 20:10

RE KM

Pls try to get the feel of what we are saying. Nobody is saying that drop the AMCA. ALL OF US are saying that increase the budget and set the aespirations/requirements lower initially. There can always be AMCA Mark-1, 2, 3.

All your posts, about we have this or that are meaningless as LCA is still not in mass production. Test of pudding is in eating. Show me an indigenous engine and i will believe all your posts

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 21 Nov 2010 20:12

vic wrote:You SDRE, the hyperplane has been in News since Rajiv Gandhi was PM and I read about it in India Today. Contact your uncle and auntie more and you will find out that F-22 was just evolutionary tech and US already had all the building blocks of this aircraft like stealth design, FBW, AESA, engine cores etc. We dont have the building blocks of 3rd gen aircraft and we have launched 6th gen for 1/20th the budget. That is why I am saying, lets increase the orders of PAKFA, MMRCA etc.


What is SDRE?

Who knows what is being planned for hyperplane and what not. Basic issue is of infrastructure and manpower, with large number of existing projects.
But infrastructure is being progressed.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/new ... 945853.cms

Building blocks for FBW, AESA will be there via LCA, engines will be available via JV IF it goes through and India invests appropriately.

The realistic project would be LCA Mark-3 in something like EADS MAKO scheme of things with a budget of US$ 10 Billion to fly by 2020 and IOC in 2025


Problem is who will buy it. IAF seems to be wanting more and more complex and heavier aircraft, and projected requirement for LCA class aircraft is, only ~200 for IAF another ~50 for Navy..

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby rohitvats » 21 Nov 2010 20:20

vic wrote:If DRDO-ADA has decided to go in for 6th Generation aircraft, then my gratutious advice is :-

a. Increase Su-30MKI order to 4-500

b. Increase PAKFA Order to 4-500

c. Increase LCA Mark-2 order to 300 and also design a LCA Mark-3

4. Increase MMRCA order to 250

5. Increase AMCA budget to US$ 30 Billion with the IOC in 2035


This the only post of your that I agree with..... :D :P

As ACM Rajkumar said in his book, let not the best become the enemy of good (errr..something like that). The objective should be to be able to deliver the said a/c to the IAF and Naval Aviation as per the requisite timeframe. No more canards of research and learning on the way.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 21 Nov 2010 20:27

vic wrote:RE KM

Pls try to get the feel of what we are saying. Nobody is saying that drop the AMCA. ALL OF US are saying that increase the budget and set the aespirations/requirements lower initially. There can always be AMCA Mark-1, 2, 3.


I get your "feel" but it is not in line with how things will work. Who decides the aspirations will be lower, but the IAF - can we influence this? No. Who decides the budget, but the GOI. Can we influence this..no.

So the issue is that you cannot sit on your hands and only believe in current systems, because the world is moving on, and again tomorrow, import bill will rise because new brochures will come and again we are in import the best, cycle. There is not a single RFI or RFP given out which does not specify performance, that is only possible with really advanced technology. That is a problem.

All your posts, about we have this or that are meaningless as LCA is still not in mass production. Test of pudding is in eating.


All the things I have mentioned so far are in production or developed for other aircraft. So far your posts are equally or more meaningless as rhetoric and anger are not proof.

Show me an indigenous engine and i will believe all your posts


Where did I say we have an indigenous engine, and where did I ask you to believe my posts. I am just saying you can make your points with facts.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with your approach, (simple, iterative development of existing items) but the "make a simple LCA derivative and MCA simple with AMCA-1,2,3", will not work, for the simple reason IAF will not buy this approach.

If the end customer wants the best performance then you have no choice. They have not even compromised on LCA MK1 and negotiate hard down to the level of each screw and item in the cockpit. Just because it is local, they will not compromise.

The facts are these: The IAF has a 40 squadron limit, it wants the best aircraft it can afford for each of those squadrons. It is willing to buy local, provided local items meet highest standards of performance as required by IAF specifications. It is the reality. We just cannot change it.

Unless GOI relaxes squadron limit and funds IAF to allow for "more" but less complex aircraft. Say 55 squadrons, with many more LCA MK3, AMCA-1, 2, 3 whatever.
Last edited by Karan M on 21 Nov 2010 21:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 21 Nov 2010 20:43

rohitvats wrote:
vic wrote:If DRDO-ADA has decided to go in for 6th Generation aircraft, then my gratutious advice is :-

a. Increase Su-30MKI order to 4-500

b. Increase PAKFA Order to 4-500

c. Increase LCA Mark-2 order to 300 and also design a LCA Mark-3


This the only post of your that I agree with..... :D :P


Problem is IAF squadron limit will not allow for all these plans. Practically speaking, look at SRAis post on another discussion, we are looking at ~39 squadron force by 2020 or by PV Naiks statements, around 42 squadrons by that time. Ordering the number of planes as mentioned in the discussion above is just not going to happen. Also, GOI will not release so much money.

As ACM Rajkumar said in his book, let not the best become the enemy of good (errr..something like that). The objective should be to be able to deliver the said a/c to the IAF and Naval Aviation as per the requisite timeframe. No more canards of research and learning on the way.


Problem is Rajkumar is not the person drawing up the requirements for the future programs or even current ones. And there is always an element of unobtainium in service requirements for complex programs, thanks to their lack of dedicated technology cells and own R&D capability.
http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/s ... 101030.htm

Further, growing Indo-US defense ties suggest that the Indian government has given up on the goal of self-reliance. It is now merely a political slogan. Their excuse is lame.

They say the Defense Research and Development Organisation has not delivered. I don't think critics of the DRDO have analysed what is not delivered. There is no synergy in the ministry of defence. There is no synergy between the decision-making structures of the government. Army headquarter is one silo, the naval and air force headquarters are separate silos. The ministry of defence works on its own. There is a very loose coordination attempted at the individual level without a formal structure. There is a firewall between the production and the research side of the weapons making systems. There is hardly any mission statement from the armed forces. That doesn't come because you don't have a national security strategy and its stated goals.


The points in bold are relevant ones. What we have here is a collective problem. In an ideal world, the need for a MCA should come in a process like this:

GOI sets national policy--> works with MOD and services to finetune with ISRO/DRDO/PSUs providing input--> does threat forecasting via independent cell (also validates earlier decisions)-->IAF/IN & IA all have discussion on future needs and draw on own R&D unit to decide essential versus good to have features--> come out with either joint/different programs to address capabilities---> MCA is born --> based on inputs from technology provider and manufacturer --> MCA is revised ---> MOF involved with financing--> project plans firmed up

Right now many steps in this end to end process are missing or not even thought of. End result is scope creep.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scope_creep

Because midway through the MCA design, the developers will realize they lack some technology or because a supplier will decide to put sanctions or hold off critical technology. And why is that new technology required? Because end user realizes that it wants something new, either to match latest specifications worldwide, or because neighbour will get equal capabilities, so next generation item is required.

Now, the "best is enemy of good" stuff has been talked about for many years. I have read CNS rtd. Arun Prakash make exactly the same point, but he himself was unable to implement this. Parliamentary authority for instance, has censured Navy for rushing through imports of equipment, citing delay in local development (which was to be advanced), but imports were similarly delayed and arrived late while local equipment is also now available. Vice Admiral Raman Puri also makes the same point about "best versus good" and then also points out, most of his peers disagree with him! That says it all, about organizational inertia and why this approach will not be adopted.

The entire process has significant flaws. In this respect, the only approach for developers is to constantly and iteratively develop technology. The same was pretty much given as mandate by IAF CAS PV Naik in recent address to the DARE conference, when he mentioned that instead of the IAF asking the community for the technology, the latter should suggest the technology that goes into the system. This means, effectively, the current approach to mature current tech. while develop NG tech, will continue to exist and is the only practical solution. So, in the meantime, away from all the rhetoric, there is an effort by the developers to develop these technologies and then launch the project.

The IA has released next generation tech requirements in perspective document, a lot of its vague but its still a good start, as it gives the local industry a head start. Another positive step is the frequent interaction between Services, and Industry and R&D led by the CII seminars and forums.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 21 Nov 2010 21:10

^^ Another plus is this:

India Today, May 2010

"One of the most important recommendations is the creation of a 17-member Defence Technology Commission (DTC) along the lines of the Atomic Energy Commission. It is to be headed by the defence minister and will comprise the three service chiefs and secretaries of space, atomic energy commission, defence and defence finance. "

My issue is this is still not enough as it will not provide enough insight into individual programs such as the MCA which are very service & domain specific. While DTC can come up with a set of higher level reccomendations, say "we need X SLBM able to avoid ABM and with range of YYYY km, etc", the actual drilldown into the MCA itself needs more work.

For that, we need (on the IAF end) an organization akin to AFRL:
http://www.afrl.af.mil/

Now, this can also be accomplished - to some extent, not all, and avoiding resource duplication - by setting up dedicated cells in the R&D organizations, staffed by IAF/civilian scientists, dedicated to this task, say in ISRO/DRDO/NAL.

But the greater need is for an Integrated Aeronautics Commission, that should chart out the entire aeronautics development across the length and breadth of India, identify technologies, requirements, and work to fill those gaps, and also help in monitoring/auditing these programs.

Programs should be launched which maximize use of common technology across the board and also have a consistent program for national objectives ---> like building jet engines.

Otherwise, what we have is the current approach, where these activities are linked entirely to specific programs and launched in parallel, and the program becomes dependent on them. This is a recipe for high risk. Case in point, Kaveri.

Once the requirement for a certain high level capability is required, then the program can be finetuned for specific platforms in turn. This will also mean more opportunities are identified to begin with, and multiple stakeholders are brought on board by the aeronautical commission with representatives from each (like DTC), and everyone is on the same page.

It is otherwise very disheartening to read (as in the Tejas story), that the IAF Program Manager for Tejas was treated shabbily as he was thought to be having a good time at Bangalore, when he was doing such an important job and that the Tejas Managers had to run around convincing people to allocate resources! If its importance was recognised at the highest level, by everyone concerned, then it is everyones responsibility and everyone contributes, and program management will also be more transparent and successful.

There will be an overarching vision and mission for the entire community, then. Starting from:
- Overall programs - planes and helicopters
- Local technology development required (engines, structures, radars, gadgets)
- Comprehensive plans to fill in the gaps
- Proper usage of offsets to either acquire technology or keep business running
- Look towards more ambitious, integrated aims to export aircraft

A lot of this is currently being done by individual organizations, trade groups etc but some is also not being done (eg long term engine development beyond military use). Even if original owners keep their responsibilities, a high level coordination committee can at least identify and align resources and commitment to such ventures, instead of case by case approvals and intra-organization politicking.

Just my thoughts.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 21 Nov 2010 21:43

On the MCA, the ADA Director says the IAF is involved & is supportive, in 2009.

http://www.domain-b.com/aero/aeroindia2 ... craft.html

"We are working with air force as to what their requirement is," said ADA director, Dr PS Subramanyam.

"They (IAF) are also coming forward to evolve the specifications of medium combat aircraft...what we call next generation fighter aircraft," Subramanyam said.

According to Subramanyam, the next generation aircraft would be a twin-engine, 20-tonne aircraft, likely to be powered by a Kaveri-Snecma engine. "It will have stealth features," he said.

"It's going to be a joint activity (between ADA and IAF) from the beginning", Subramanyam said, adding "it's good that even the air force feels that we should take up this programme".


Funding is now being sought after more work has gone into what the program requirements are, and how to achieve those - technologies, number of prototypes, test aircraft etc.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Rahul M » 21 Nov 2010 21:55

vic wrote: six-generation AMCA aircraft shortly.

vic wrote:ADA was identifying technologies for 6 {+t} {+h} generation combat aircraft.

the fellow talks of '30 km operational range' for god's sake !
is it too hard to see that the reporter has no idea what he is talking about and this is just a slip of tongue or a typo ? please, we don't need people to go off on a tangent about 6th gen and start a self-flagellation-athon.

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Re: AMCA News and Discussions

Postby Pratyush » 21 Nov 2010 21:58

Marten that the internal load for the JSF. If the external load is included it goes up to 15000 lbs


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