LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby NRao » 04 Nov 2013 06:02

"sensor"S and "fusion" is the current name of the game.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby member_23455 » 04 Nov 2013 07:44

Yogi_G wrote:when it comes to the wire in a dogfight, the pilot will more definitely rely on checking six and instincts as against fancy displays which is more tuned to BVR scenarios. Maybe the old Russian concept of rear view mirrors might come handy after all.


Partially correct...a helmet-mounted display with an autocued IR SRAAM seeker like in the Mig 29 and Su30MKI is worth its weight in gold in WVR.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Karan M » 06 Nov 2013 00:47

Added by moderator to maintain flow
Cross posting from the Indian Military Aviation thread.

ramana wrote:Bharat Karnad on 1 Novemeber

Stop wasteful military deals

Stop wasteful military deals

By Bharat karnad

Published: 01st November 2013 06:00 AM

Reduction of the Rs 4 lakh-crore fiscal deficit will require a drastic winnowing of defence expenditure programmes. The wasteful military procurement system that fetches, as it were, as much chaff as grain, offers obvious targets for excision. Among them the egregiously wrong-headed deals for the Swiss Pilatus PC-7 turboprop trainer and the French Rafale MMRCA (multi-role, medium range combat aircraft).

Consider IAF’s priorities: It bought PC-7s for $1.5 billion, an amount the Chinese Air Force spent to secure the entire production line from Russia of the latest, most advanced, Tu-22M3M strategic bomber! This Pilatus purchase, moreover, was approved by defence minister A K Antony at a time when Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore, had its new HJT-44 turboprop trainer up and ready. Brazening out such mindless splurges, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne advised closure of the HJT-44 line to enable purchase of more PC-7s!

IAF has at most tolerated licence-manufactured foreign fighter planes but sought stubbornly to kill off indigenous combat aircraft projects. In the past, it buried the Marut Mk-II, the low-level strike variant designed in the 1970s by the highly talented Dr Raj Mahindra, who won his spurs under Kurt Tank, designer of the Focke-Wulfe fighter-bombers for the Nazi Luftwaffe and of the original HF-24 at HAL, buying the Jaguar from the UK instead. History repeats itself.

French and Israeli pilots who have unofficially flown the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) have gone gaga over its flying attributes. The Tejas will come equipped with an indigenous AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar — the heart and the brains of any combat aircraft, enabling it to near-instantly switch from air-to-air to air-to-ground missions. The Flight Control System (FCS) of the Tejas is so advanced, it can deal with the sort of turbulence in flight that its counterpart onboard the Eurofighter — supposedly technologically superior to the Rafale, plainly cannot, as per an expert familiar with the FCS in both aircraft. This deficiency nearly ended in disaster for the Eurofighter on several occasions but was not disclosed by EADS to IAF during the jockeying for the MMRCA contract. The larger, heavier, longer range Mark-II variant of the near all-composite Tejas, in fact, fills the bill of “MMRCA”. An LCA version of Tejas has already been flown weighted down with ballast to mimic the Mk-II plan-form. The fact that the Mk-II variant was coming along well, besides, was known to the IAF-MoD (ministry of defence) combo. So, how come the tender for MMRCA was not terminated midway?

The Mk-II’s chances were scuppered by IAF-MoD on the ground that Tejas was not operational. But the LCA has been prevented from entering squadron service after it obtained the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC)-1 last year, because of their insistence that IOC-2 and subsequent clearances be done by HAL rather than permitting the clearances to be obtained by the designated Tejas squadron, flying the aircraft, at the Sulur base in Tamil Nadu. The latter procedure will allow our fighter pilots to test the plane’s flight envelope and performance, and to provide feedback to designers — normal practice of advanced air forces inducting a new locally-produced aircraft. Further, rather than restricting the initial off-take to just 46 aircraft, MoD should order the full complement of 7-8 squadrons worth of Tejas to facilitate economies of scale and the farming out of work by HAL to private industry, thereby growing it. In the interim, additional “super Sukhois” could have been procured for a total force of some 70-plus of these planes, inarguably the finest combat aircraft now flying.

The fact is the original price tag for the MMRCA deal of $12-15 billion is set to balloon to $26-30 billion. Why? For one thing, having won the MMRCA contest, the French company, Dassault, doesn’t want to abide by the contract requiring the plane to be manufactured at HAL under license with transfer of technology (TOT). Dassault maintains it cannot guarantee Rafales made in India unless its chosen private sector partner, Reliance Aerospace, is tasked with its production. The arrangement with Reliance, however, is to have it import all of the most high-value assemblies and avionics as “black boxes” for the duration of the Indian production run, keeping over 500 French firms employing a workforce of 7,000 people, according to a French newsletter, L’Úsine Novelle, in the clover for the next few decades!

The real kicker here is the fact that while India will pay for full TOT — amounting to tens of billions of dollars — no meaningful technology (flight control laws and source codes) will, as in past such deals, ever actually get transferred. New Delhi as always will pay up, not caring whether India gets what it paid for or not and, even less, whether it will ever become self-sufficient in arms. It may be better to simply buy 126 Rafales off the shelf if the IAF deems it such a critical need, when it is not, rather than pay through our ears for technology we won’t get.

The conjoined Mk-II Tejas-Super Sukhois option will make Rafale redundant, and is the reason why those Indians who have pocketed French baksheesh (which totals a very hefty sum, indeed) will resist it. But for the country’s good, the best thing that can happen is that the Pilatus and Rafale contracts are immediately junked.

What about self-sufficiency that our politicians and uniformed brass keep yakking about? Alas, that’s only public speeches and posturing. When has the government ever insisted, or compelled the military to go with, a home-made product at the expense of a foreign item, and the armed services told that otherwise they would have to make do with nothing at all?

Militarily ignorant political leaders are easily stampeded into making capital acquisitions owing to public fear of a “growing gap” in aircraft, tanks, or whatever, generated with the help of a gullible media. Rather than laying down an iron law favouring indigenous hardware Antony, like his predecessors, has played into the institutionalised distrust of the Indian military of indigenous weapons platforms. IAF is merely the worst offender.

(Bharat Karnad is professor at Centre for Policy Research and blogs at http://www.bharatkarnad.com)



Some interesting snippets there by BK. Interesting new stuff about the LCA - Israeli, French pilots flying it and looks like its wake penetration software is quite advanced, report backs up Nikhil Ps note about Mk2 configs already being tested via Mk1. Re Rafale as expected the push for Reliance plan was about scuppering TOT, so much for all the wailing about incompetent HAL.

French and Israeli pilots who have unofficially flown the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) have gone gaga over its flying attributes. The Tejas will come equipped with an indigenous AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar — the heart and the brains of any combat aircraft, enabling it to near-instantly switch from air-to-air to air-to-ground missions. The Flight Control System (FCS) of the Tejas is so advanced, it can deal with the sort of turbulence in flight that its counterpart onboard the Eurofighter — supposedly technologically superior to the Rafale, plainly cannot, as per an expert familiar with the FCS in both aircraft. This deficiency nearly ended in disaster for the Eurofighter on several occasions but was not disclosed by EADS to IAF during the jockeying for the MMRCA contract. The larger, heavier, longer range Mark-II variant of the near all-composite Tejas, in fact, fills the bill of “MMRCA”. An LCA version of Tejas has already been flown weighted down with ballast to mimic the Mk-II plan-form. The fact that the Mk-II variant was coming along well, besides, was known to the IAF-MoD (ministry of defence) combo. So, how come the tender for MMRCA was not terminated midway?

The Mk-II’s chances were scuppered by IAF-MoD on the ground that Tejas was not operational. But the LCA has been prevented from entering squadron service after it obtained the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC)-1 last year, because of their insistence that IOC-2 and subsequent clearances be done by HAL rather than permitting the clearances to be obtained by the designated Tejas squadron, flying the aircraft, at the Sulur base in Tamil Nadu. The latter procedure will allow our fighter pilots to test the plane’s flight envelope and performance, and to provide feedback to designers — normal practice of advanced air forces inducting a new locally-produced aircraft. Further, rather than restricting the initial off-take to just 46 aircraft, MoD should order the full complement of 7-8 squadrons worth of Tejas to facilitate economies of scale and the farming out of work by HAL to private industry, thereby growing it. In the interim, additional “super Sukhois” could have been procured for a total force of some 70-plus of these planes, inarguably the finest combat aircraft now flying.

The fact is the original price tag for the MMRCA deal of $12-15 billion is set to balloon to $26-30 billion. Why? For one thing, having won the MMRCA contest, the French company, Dassault, doesn’t want to abide by the contract requiring the plane to be manufactured at HAL under license with transfer of technology (TOT). Dassault maintains it cannot guarantee Rafales made in India unless its chosen private sector partner, Reliance Aerospace, is tasked with its production. The arrangement with Reliance, however, is to have it import all of the most high-value assemblies and avionics as “black boxes” for the duration of the Indian production run, keeping over 500 French firms employing a workforce of 7,000 people, according to a French newsletter, L’Úsine Novelle, in the clover for the next few decades!

The real kicker here is the fact that while India will pay for full TOT — amounting to tens of billions of dollars — no meaningful technology (flight control laws and source codes) will, as in past such deals, ever actually get transferred. New Delhi as always will pay up, not caring whether India gets what it paid for or not and, even less, whether it will ever become self-sufficient in arms. It may be better to simply buy 126 Rafales off the shelf if the IAF deems it such a critical need, when it is not, rather than pay through our ears for technology we won’t get.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Karan M » 06 Nov 2013 08:47

It would be interesting to see more on the French and Israeli pilots bit. Did they fly the aircraft or get access to the flight sim rigs?
Also he implies wake penetration in EF is not a done deal or was not at the time of MMRCA.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Kartik » 06 Nov 2013 09:02

My guess is that they got to fly the simulator..there has been no report so far of any foreign pilot getting to fly the single seater variant..and the PV-5 twin seat barely has any sorties to its name, so it seems rather unlikely that any foreign pilot has actually flown on board a Tejas..but the simulator does use the FCS of the actual Tejas, so flying characteristics would be similar and that is what the Israeli and French pilots must have liked. Some day, hopefully, a detailed and factual report of the test flying program of the Tejas will come out from one of the seasoned NFTC pilots like Grp Cpt Suneet Krishna or Cmde Maolankar..

BTW, was speaking to an ex-ADA guy who worked on the structures and was involved in fatigue analysis of the LCA..had some very interesting snippets to share. He was of the opinion that the Pilot manuals will actually be prepared by ADA guys in collaboration with NFTC test pilots- they'll provide the direction and details, but the manual itself will be prepared by ADA.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby pragnya » 06 Nov 2013 09:26

Karan M wrote:It would be interesting to see more on the French and Israeli pilots bit. Did they fly the aircraft or get access to the flight sim rigs?
Also he implies wake penetration in EF is not a done deal or was not at the time of MMRCA.


Karan, IIRC during AEROINDIA 2011, i did read reports of french pilots talking good things about LCA. unfortunately i could not bookmark them then. may have to dig up again.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Karan M » 06 Nov 2013 09:48

pragnya wrote:
Karan M wrote:It would be interesting to see more on the French and Israeli pilots bit. Did they fly the aircraft or get access to the flight sim rigs?
Also he implies wake penetration in EF is not a done deal or was not at the time of MMRCA.


Karan, IIRC during AEROINDIA 2011, i did read reports of french pilots talking good things about LCA. unfortunately i could not bookmark them then. may have to dig up again.


Please do!!

Kartik wrote:My guess is that they got to fly the simulator..there has been no report so far of any foreign pilot getting to fly the single seater variant..and the PV-5 twin seat barely has any sorties to its name, so it seems rather unlikely that any foreign pilot has actually flown on board a Tejas..but the simulator does use the FCS of the actual Tejas, so flying characteristics would be similar and that is what the Israeli and French pilots must have liked. Some day, hopefully, a detailed and factual report of the test flying program of the Tejas will come out from one of the seasoned NFTC pilots like Grp Cpt Suneet Krishna or Cmde Maolankar..

BTW, was speaking to an ex-ADA guy who worked on the structures and was involved in fatigue analysis of the LCA..had some very interesting snippets to share. He was of the opinion that the Pilot manuals will actually be prepared by ADA guys in collaboration with NFTC test pilots- they'll provide the direction and details, but the manual itself will be prepared by ADA.


Good stuff. Did he mention anything about total lifetime & how the weight optimization is shaping up? Any stuff on MK2 (Weight reduction) and any other interesting snippets?

Indranil: Added your question to Kartik on the mil. aviation thread here.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby pragnya » 06 Nov 2013 10:22

Karan M wrote:Please do!!


i was referring to this (little digging helped) TOI article - posting in full.

LCA, Rafale pilots share notes on flying
Prashanth G N, TNN Feb 13, 2011, 02.53am IST

BANGALORE: The French kiss is legendary. Now, what about an Indo-French one? It must be a blast -- Indian spiritual sense and bare French passion.

India's ace LCA pilot George Joseph and French pilots De L'Air, Plu Vinjae and others shared some fantastic bonhomie at the flight operations centre at Yelahanka air base on Friday. Engaged in intense conversation, India's LCA pilot and the French pilots exchanged notes on the LCA, Su-30, Rafale, F-18 and the art of flying.

The French pilots, fascinated by the LCA, inquired about how India's indigenous aircraft project was coming along. While the French pilots said they were mighty impressed by the light and compact aircraft, George explained how the LCA coasted through almost 1,500 flights, tackling in its wake a whole lot of technical issues typical of any developing aircraft. "The test flights have been a challenge. We went through many new developments. The software was continually upgraded and we arrived even to the fly-by-wire system. We've just received certification," George explained to the attentive French pilots.

One of the French pilots remarked: "I've been seeing the LCA fly for the past two days. It looks a very good aircraft to me. It has good flight abilities and I get the feeling it's doing well." One other pilot had just finished a good deal of research on the LCA, having gone to the aircraft and examined it closely.

Another French pilot said: "Cockpit comfort will be an important factor for a pilot to say how the aircraft is. Weaponization is another. For an aircraft that's coming up, its very good. But yes, ultimately flying the aircraft will tell us how good it is."

Then the LCA pilot and his French counterparts exchanged notes on how the Su-30 operated. The French were keen to know about the Sukhoi, given that it is the mainstay of the IAF and probably the deadliest air superiority fighter in the world. All of then congratulated each other for the flight displays and signed off, hoping to meet again.


http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes ... -s-lca-iaf

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Kartik » 06 Nov 2013 11:39

Karan M wrote:
Kartik wrote:My guess is that they got to fly the simulator..there has been no report so far of any foreign pilot getting to fly the single seater variant..and the PV-5 twin seat barely has any sorties to its name, so it seems rather unlikely that any foreign pilot has actually flown on board a Tejas..but the simulator does use the FCS of the actual Tejas, so flying characteristics would be similar and that is what the Israeli and French pilots must have liked. Some day, hopefully, a detailed and factual report of the test flying program of the Tejas will come out from one of the seasoned NFTC pilots like Grp Cpt Suneet Krishna or Cmde Maolankar..

BTW, was speaking to an ex-ADA guy who worked on the structures and was involved in fatigue analysis of the LCA..had some very interesting snippets to share. He was of the opinion that the Pilot manuals will actually be prepared by ADA guys in collaboration with NFTC test pilots- they'll provide the direction and details, but the manual itself will be prepared by ADA.


Good stuff. Did he mention anything about total lifetime & how the weight optimization is shaping up? Any stuff on MK2 (Weight reduction) and any other interesting snippets?


yes indeed he did..this person claimed that the design fatigue life was meant to be 3000 hours, but the primary structure will actually last longer in part thanks to the fact that the actual sink rates (which were monitored even during the first flights of TD-1 and TD-2, a fact that I wasn't aware of till now) were in the range of 5 fps, not the approx 10 fps that it was designed for..which means that the likely fatigue life will comfortably exceed the 3000 hours it has been designed for..and even then, they will most likely go for a life extension program that will mean changing the landing gear at around 3000 hours.

he revealed that fatigue testing on the original landing gear bracket on TD-1 revealed that it would last a LOT less longer than originally envisaged..it was supposedly very low number of hours and being a safety critical part, CEMILAC was not sure whether to let the first flight occur till the bracket was re-designed..however, AM Rajkumar was the one who convinced both the LCA team and the certifying agencies to let the first flight go ahead and monitor the actual sink rate..he told them that in service, the sink rate for air force fighters will be a lot lower than the rate used to design the landing gear brackets. and he was proven right when the data was actually collected and analysed.

This person is aware of the Mk2 but is no longer an ADA employee so we did'nt talk in any detail on the Mk2 program.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Karan M » 06 Nov 2013 22:34

Cool info Kartik. 3000 hours is itself around 16.67 yrs worth of use @ IAF std 180 hrs/yr. My devious chankian mind tells me that if they were to replace the MK1s at that time, that'd be another 40 MK2s.. but I guess it might last for several more years. So basically it will enter a full overhaul at 3000 hours and I guess using NDT/previous test results, they'll probably replace some of the composite structures (apart from reworking the aircraft fittings themselves)

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Indranil » 06 Nov 2013 23:09

And for the sake of completeness I am copying parts of posts which belong to both the mil. aviation thread and the LCA thread.

Austin wrote:BK is doing great disservice to IAF by basing his report on heresy and allegations , MMRCA has been delayed that is true but that is not IAF's fault , IAF did a thorough and professional task of validating all the MMRCA contenders and giving the result to MOD for evaluation no one doubts those and its unparallelled in IAF history when it comes to aircraft selection.

Every one knows neither Tejas Mk2 or some MKI variant is a substitute for MMRCA , if IAF was indeed keen for a Tejas type of fighter it would have gone with Gripen in interim till Mk2 bears fruit or would have opted for more advanced Su-35 .... but neither suits the Medium category nor does it meets IAF requirement.

If MMRCA deal gets cancelled then IAF squadron strength will be drastically reduced and it will have to go for some make shift arrangement not wise neither optimum when it comes to Operational needs , numbers and requirement.

IAF has already sounded an alarm on MMRCA and any further delay will hit the force hard much the same way as the Howitzer deal has hurt the army but it will be much worse for IAF which is already a depleting force and has to do with what it has.


Karan M wrote:
Austin wrote:BK is doing great disservice to IAF by basing his report on heresy and allegations


Oh noes!!! Heresy!! Burn the heretic. :lol:

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Yagnasri » 06 Nov 2013 23:33

Now IAF top bosses are talking how much% foreign investment should be there in aviation sector and disputing mod decision. Surely there is a limit on men in uniform? How they can openly disputing the minister decision.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Karan M » 06 Nov 2013 23:39

Weak leadership leading to a dysfunctional system, hence open and unseemly squabbling.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Karan M » 06 Nov 2013 23:48

Thanks Indranil roy.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby rohitvats » 07 Nov 2013 04:08

Narayana Rao wrote:Now IAF top bosses are talking how much% foreign investment should be there in aviation sector and disputing mod decision. Surely there is a limit on men in uniform? How they can openly disputing the minister decision.


What has the Indian Air Force said which could be construed as crossing the line? And is simply making a statement crossing some sort of imaginary 'limit'? Army Chief's have been known to air their views whenever there is an inkling of GOI taking a decision detrimental to our interest with respect to Siachen - Did you question COAS crossing the 'limit' in those case(s)?

The IAF officer has simply aired his opinion because at the end of the day, the development(s) in India's aviation sector impacts him directly. More than anyone else. The gentleman from the IAF was speaking at a CII Conference and raised a point which he thinks needs to be revisited.

It is becoming obvious that Services want to break out of monopoly enjoyed by the DPSU and OFB - and want private sector to participate on a wider scale. Which the MOD is loathe to do for obvious reasons.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby rohitvats » 07 Nov 2013 04:10

Karan M wrote:Weak leadership leading to a dysfunctional system, hence open and unseemly squabbling.


I don't think so. The comment was made in a CII Conference titled as 'Energizing Aerospace in India' and was contextual to the subject at hand. As it is, MOD or powers that be don't take inputs from Services on these matters.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Victor » 07 Nov 2013 06:43

Narayana Rao wrote: Surely there is a limit on men in uniform? How they can openly disputing the minister decision.

There is no limit to what men in uniform can say when it comes to the area of their expertise. If minister doesn't know his butt from his barrel (which is usually the case unless minister was a soldier in an earlier life), he is required to listen to what the experts tell him and the advice must be officially recorded for future reference.

Honestly, one of the reasons I want Modi to become PM is my belief that he will make a retired officer the defense minister and privatize all the DPSUs. It's about time.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Kartik » 07 Nov 2013 09:22

Karan M wrote:Cool info Kartik. 3000 hours is itself around 16.67 yrs worth of use @ IAF std 180 hrs/yr. My devious chankian mind tells me that if they were to replace the MK1s at that time, that'd be another 40 MK2s.. but I guess it might last for several more years. So basically it will enter a full overhaul at 3000 hours and I guess using NDT/previous test results, they'll probably replace some of the composite structures (apart from reworking the aircraft fittings themselves)


The gentelman in question was also saying something very interesting about the AMCA-- most of the work is right now going on at NAL, not ADA..will try to talk to him about this if possible..

he was talking about how the Russian method of extending TTL was simply replacing the landing gear whereas NAL was doing a more exhaustive fatigue analysis to figure out exactly where failures occur and exactly how many hours extension could be given to the airframe..that suddenly reminded me a NAL report that showed a MiG-21bis that was subjected to fatigue tests and revealed a crack in a bulkhead (or was it some other part? cannot remember exactly) after 3400 hours..that allowed NAL to give it a 1000 hour life extension. And then I found these articles on the TTL extension program at NAL

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes ... nhancement

http://www.nal.res.in/pdf/ar03/sid03.pdf

Will try to talk to him in more detail when I can.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Karan M » 07 Nov 2013 09:36

rohitvats wrote:
Karan M wrote:Weak leadership leading to a dysfunctional system, hence open and unseemly squabbling.


I don't think so. The comment was made in a CII Conference titled as 'Energizing Aerospace in India' and was contextual to the subject at hand. As it is, MOD or powers that be don't take inputs from Services on these matters.


Which is the point. Public events being used to score points, and stakeholders doing so because they feel shortchanged by the system.
The squabbling as we have seen - IAF at Aero India, the media spat over the HTT-40 etc - is now open and bitter. The IAF has long been using these public/industry events to score points on the DPSUs - which means they are frustrated at not having a voice in the system and hence seek public events for maximum effect. On the other hand, HAL has started leaking stuff too - take the case of the HTT-40 and the manner in which IAF was, in a dubious first, forced to have rtd officers plead its case after even having the integrity of its leadership questioned.

Bottomline is that all this is weak leadership at the GOI level. You have multiple folks who are supposed to be working together, effectively quarreling in the public space giving nice soundbytes to a media anyways interested in blowing this up. This has long been the case in India & the entire system just barely functions. So many examples from so many programs.

The longer this sort of stuff continues, the worse it is for us. There really needs to be a system in place wherein this sort of stuff gets sorted out without public carping, leaks and so forth.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Karan M » 07 Nov 2013 09:42

Kartik wrote:
Karan M wrote:Cool info Kartik. 3000 hours is itself around 16.67 yrs worth of use @ IAF std 180 hrs/yr. My devious chankian mind tells me that if they were to replace the MK1s at that time, that'd be another 40 MK2s.. but I guess it might last for several more years. So basically it will enter a full overhaul at 3000 hours and I guess using NDT/previous test results, they'll probably replace some of the composite structures (apart from reworking the aircraft fittings themselves)


The gentelman in question was also saying something very interesting about the AMCA-- most of the work is right now going on at NAL, not ADA..will try to talk to him about this if possible..


Please do!! That probably means they are still refining the overall shape and aero stuff, checking out inlet geometry, defining how control laws should be, data fusion concepts and even working on RCS testing - all these are areas where NAL has experience in.

he was talking about how the Russian method of extending TTL was simply replacing the landing gear whereas NAL was doing a more exhaustive fatigue analysis to figure out exactly where failures occur and exactly how many hours extension could be given to the airframe..that suddenly reminded me a NAL report that showed a MiG-21bis that was subjected to fatigue tests and revealed a crack in a bulkhead (or was it some other part? cannot remember exactly) after 3400 hours..that allowed NAL to give it a 1000 hour life extension. And then I found these articles on the TTL extension program at NAL

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes ... nhancement

http://www.nal.res.in/pdf/ar03/sid03.pdf

Will try to talk to him in more detail when I can.


Russians clearly were not bothered much about TTL with early designs - use and throw. Guess now they are waking up to using aircraft more judiciously after wrecking their economy once already.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Karan M » 07 Nov 2013 09:50

rohitvats wrote:
Narayana Rao wrote:Now IAF top bosses are talking how much% foreign investment should be there in aviation sector and disputing mod decision. Surely there is a limit on men in uniform? How they can openly disputing the minister decision.


What has the Indian Air Force said which could be construed as crossing the line? And is simply making a statement crossing some sort of imaginary 'limit'? Army Chief's have been known to air their views whenever there is an inkling of GOI taking a decision detrimental to our interest with respect to Siachen - Did you question COAS crossing the 'limit' in those case(s)?

The IAF officer has simply aired his opinion because at the end of the day, the development(s) in India's aviation sector impacts him directly. More than anyone else. The gentleman from the IAF was speaking at a CII Conference and raised a point which he thinks needs to be revisited.

It is becoming obvious that Services want to break out of monopoly enjoyed by the DPSU and OFB - and want private sector to participate on a wider scale. Which the MOD is loathe to do for obvious reasons.


Thing is Narayana Rao has a point. Our system is perceived as being full of infighting and people working at loggerheads. Corruption of course is another issue.

All these then lead folks to either seek ways to exploit flaws in the system or underestimate us and undertake acts of adventurism - the Pakistanis and their tactical brilliance is a perfect example. There was a def journal article saying that because the NDA had let Bhagwat go, and there were constant reports of HR stuff impacting IA morale, Javed Nasir made the case for Kargil and enthu backed up Mush.

The Siachen case you cite is actually a perfect example. In a better system, COAS would never have to air his views, his points would have been taken into account by the system and the possibility of a detrimental decision would not exist.

In an ideal world, the IAF/DPSU/DRDO/Pvt Sector would all be working together with an effective MOD, and at such events would back each other up, with contentious/politically sensitive questions like FDI being smoothly handled with a comment like "The IAF has made its inputs known to the MOD which will release an overall view on FDI, which has to take into account the growth of Indian aerospace etc etc."

FDI is a hot button topic since many foreign OEMs want that to be relaxed as much as possible, so they can operate via fully owned subsidiaries and not work with Indian owned MOD assigned partners. Hence a bunch of articles from time to time, bemoaning how the Indian industry cannot operate etc without FDI. SMEs and large Indian pvt players though often counter such reports when asked informally

Bottomline, the lack of coordination in our system is pretty apparent. At the the end of the day, the MOD/GOI have had 60 years to put systems in place to run things well, with everyone working together. They haven't. Things are much better now than the 80's and earlier, but still ad hoc'ism remains and dubious stuff occurs all the time (Siachen WKK giri being a perfect case).

I mean in which other country would 60 rtd officials have to speak up to ask the Govt to be serious about national security and not going overboard on WKK stuff.
Last edited by Karan M on 07 Nov 2013 09:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby srin » 07 Nov 2013 09:55

Karan M wrote:
rohitvats wrote:
I don't think so. The comment was made in a CII Conference titled as 'Energizing Aerospace in India' and was contextual to the subject at hand. As it is, MOD or powers that be don't take inputs from Services on these matters.


Which is the point. Public events being used to score points, and stakeholders doing so because they feel shortchanged by the system.
The squabbling as we have seen - IAF at Aero India, the media spat over the HTT-40 etc - is now open and bitter. The IAF has long been using these public/industry events to score points on the DPSUs - which means they are frustrated at not having a voice in the system and hence seek public events for maximum effect. On the other hand, HAL has started leaking stuff too - take the case of the HTT-40 and the manner in which IAF was, in a dubious first, forced to have rtd officers plead its case after even having the integrity of its leadership questioned.

Bottomline is that all this is weak leadership at the GOI level. You have multiple folks who are supposed to be working together, effectively quarreling in the public space giving nice soundbytes to a media anyways interested in blowing this up. This has long been the case in India & the entire system just barely functions. So many examples from so many programs.

The longer this sort of stuff continues, the worse it is for us. There really needs to be a system in place wherein this sort of stuff gets sorted out without public carping, leaks and so forth.


Well - GOI is too general. Since they (Services, DPSUs, DRDO) are all under the same ministry, buck stops at MoD & RM.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Karan M » 07 Nov 2013 09:57

Agree, but its not just common to defence side, everywhere the same mess is repeating. National security and industry issues require coordination from other groups DoS, Commerce Min, MOF .... there is no proper coordination, no national plan saying we go from x to y, with clear lines of responsibility for each.. there is a lot of uncoordinated stuff and infighting.

At individual org level system still functions to a high degree, but beyond that.. its just not good enough. We have had many may years to run ths country now.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby pragnya » 07 Nov 2013 10:13

Karan M wrote:Cool info Kartik. 3000 hours is itself around 16.67 yrs worth of use @ IAF std 180 hrs/yr. My devious chankian mind tells me that if they were to replace the MK1s at that time, that'd be another 40 MK2s.. but I guess it might last for several more years. So basically it will enter a full overhaul at 3000 hours and I guess using NDT/previous test results, they'll probably replace some of the composite structures (apart from reworking the aircraft fittings themselves)


IIRC even SU 30MKI airframe life too is 3000hrs. considering the Mig 21s with much less life have been flogged for 50yrs now, it is going to be a great journey for the LCA.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby Kartik » 07 Nov 2013 11:45

pragnya wrote:
Karan M wrote:Cool info Kartik. 3000 hours is itself around 16.67 yrs worth of use @ IAF std 180 hrs/yr. My devious chankian mind tells me that if they were to replace the MK1s at that time, that'd be another 40 MK2s.. but I guess it might last for several more years. So basically it will enter a full overhaul at 3000 hours and I guess using NDT/previous test results, they'll probably replace some of the composite structures (apart from reworking the aircraft fittings themselves)


IIRC even SU 30MKI airframe life too is 3000hrs. considering the Mig 21s with much less life have been flogged for 50yrs now, it is going to be a great journey for the LCA.


the requirements were framed keeping in mind the MiG-21 replacement..hence a 3000 hour design life was considered to be adequate. But from my conversations with people who've worked on the Tejas program, it does appear that it should be able to have a longer service life when NAL does a service life extension program test, primarily since the airframe and landing gear have been designed to cater to much higher loads than seen in service in general..with FBW, the chances of exceeding G limits (which can cause structural damage that needs to be assessed- for instance the MiG-21 exceeds its structural G limits at 8.5G itself) are highly reduced, so catastrophic failure due to an airframe stressed beyond its limits may not happen. NAL has been working on the Tejas for studying its fatigue life too and I guess a fatigue specimen or specimens of individual wing/fin, etc. will be used to validate the FEM results. This was going on since 2002-3, so by now they'd have surely got extended fatigue and damage tolerance (equal to nearly 3 lifetimes of service) as well as durability (which is equal to about 2 life times of service).

BTW, I found the article that showed images of where exactly the cracks on the MiG-21bis initiated upon fatigue testing of C-2090..this airframe had already got 2400 hours of service life when it arrived at NAL and then after another 1000 hours of testing the failure occurred. the IAF initially wanted 1600 hours extension but NAL certified it for 1000 hours.

go to Page 265

they call it "port wing main beam"..I'm guessing that refers to the main wing spar?

the lack of so many fasteners on the Tejas (thanks to its high composite content and co-cured co bonded fin) with the attendant holes being drilled into metallic parts, which generally serve as crack initiation site, may mean that the Tejas may have a much higher fatigue life than the original 3000 hour design goal.

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Re: Indian Military Aviation- September 29 2013

Postby pragnya » 07 Nov 2013 12:42

Kartik wrote:
Pragnya wrote:IIRC even SU 30MKI airframe life too is 3000hrs. considering the Mig 21s with much less life have been flogged for 50yrs now, it is going to be a great journey for the LCA.


the requirements were framed keeping in mind the MiG-21 replacement..hence a 3000 hour design life was considered to be adequate. But from my conversations with people who've worked on the Tejas program, it does appear that it should be able to have a longer service life when NAL does a service life extension program test, primarily since the airframe and landing gear have been designed to cater to much higher loads than seen in service in general..with FBW, the chances of exceeding G limits (which can cause structural damage that needs to be assessed- for instance the MiG-21 exceeds its structural G limits at 8.5G itself) are highly reduced, so catastrophic failure due to an airframe stressed beyond its limits may not happen. NAL has been working on the Tejas for studying its fatigue life too and I guess a fatigue specimen or specimens of individual wing/fin, etc. will be used to validate the FEM results. This was going on since 2002-3, so by now they'd have surely got extended fatigue and damage tolerance (equal to nearly 3 lifetimes of service) as well as durability (which is equal to about 2 life times of service).

BTW, I found the article that showed images of where exactly the cracks on the MiG-21bis initiated upon fatigue testing of C-2090..this airframe had already got 2400 hours of service life when it arrived at NAL and then after another 1000 hours of testing the failure occurred. the IAF initially wanted 1600 hours extension but NAL certified it for 1000 hours.

go to Page 265

they call it "port wing main beam"..I'm guessing that refers to the main wing spar?

the lack of so many fasteners on the Tejas (thanks to its high composite content and co-cured co bonded fin) with the attendant holes being drilled into metallic parts, which generally serve as crack initiation site, may mean that the Tejas may have a much higher fatigue life than the original 3000 hour design goal.


from what i understand from the above, LCA will have a min of 6000hrs of life with mid life extension at 3000hrs. considering IAF generally sucks out every aircraft, this may even be extended to say 7/8000hrs particularly when seen against the points you made - less number of fasteners, FBW limit, landing gear/airframe already designed for higher loads etc.. this compares pretty well with contemporary aircrafts.

good find on the Mig 21 TTLE.

thanks Kartik. :)

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby RKumar » 08 Nov 2013 17:01

Flight status update

LCA-Tejas has completed 2380 Test Flights Successfully. (30-Oct-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-376,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-169,LSP4-94,LSP5-226,LSP7-66,NP1-5,LSP8-46)

LCA-Tejas has completed 2389 Test Flights Successfully. (06-Nov-2013).
(TD1-233,TD2-305,PV1-242,PV2-222,PV3-376,LSP1-74,LSP2-286,PV5-36,LSP3-170,LSP4-95,LSP5-229,LSP7-66,NP1-5,LSP8-50)

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby srai » 08 Nov 2013 17:35

I had not seen this old video made by ADA. I think it gives more of a human touch to the LCA program seeing and hearing engineers from various groups describe things.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Philip » 10 Nov 2013 08:10

Finally some action from the MOD! Many years ago,a former CNS,told me after landing up in "civvy street",that the only way to make an Indian obey was to "use the stick or touch his purse".The FM has now finally cracked the whip holding up ADA pensions. .MOD has said no more extensions of the Dec. deadline for IOC-2. Shabash!

http://epaper.newindianexpress.com/c/1891785

Details: 3LSP's,3,5 and 8 are undertaking firing trials in Jamnagar.The MOD has made it clear to the ADA and HAL that the IOC-2 deadline won't be extended anymore.IAF pilots will formally fly after declaration.

Curently,fine-tuning of software and various onboard systems are being done during various trials in BLR with the final version of eqpt. and mission systems "getting a relook".

An HAL official says that they've not been lagging on any IOC-2 parameters and that the "Jamnagar trials will be crucial".Thus far Tejas has clocked 2391 sorties,1,520 hrs in over 12 years.Every weapon has to be fired at different modes,expanding the flight envelope,it is a huge matrix and we have to tickmark all points ahead of IOC-2 closure.A final review is expected next month."
(shades of what Rakesh Sharma told BR at the meet a decade ago,that weapons firing trials would be crucial and take a long time.)

Sources say that the Digital Flight Control Computer and Air Data Computer have been showing hardware failures,causing last-minute
concerns to the engineers,"but the show must go on".
NP1 with all modifications is raring to go.The modified Tejas trainer PV5,with its "matured software" is also ready.

The growing differences between the IAF and HAL are a concern to New Delhi which is bent upon getting the IOC-2 tag before December.The FM's refusal to grant pension to ADA employees recently,a long-pending demand,has also created heartburn to many working on the Tejas project.A DRDO official has said that Dec 20th has been fixed for IOC-2,"as of now that's the date floating around,and is subject to change".

So gents,let's kepe fingers crossed and hope that the tough talk and actions will energise our boffins to deliver the goods.It appears that we are just moments away from IOC-2 and I am putting away a bottle of bubbly in anticipation of a pre-Christmas ahead!

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby SaiK » 10 Nov 2013 08:25

Philip wrote:
Sources say that the Digital Flight Control Computer and Air Data Computer have been showing hardware failures,causing last-minute
concerns to the engineers,"but the show must go on".
!

http://tarmak007.blogspot.com/2013/01/b ... -over.html
BEL

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby ramana » 10 Nov 2013 10:19

KaranM, Spinster has been saying that with the LCA having composite structures with limited fasteners which are stress risers, it should also have high life compared to metal wing structure airplanes.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Gurneesh » 10 Nov 2013 23:33

http://www.livefistdefence.com/2013/11/tejas-christmas-for-iaf.html

With three limited series production airframes of the LCA Tejas now ripping it up in the skies over the IAF's South-Western Air Command ranges in Gujarat, there's hope that the residual initial operational clearance milestone (designated IOC-2) will be achieved before Christmas. The three aircraft will be performing all manner of weapons release, including firing the Vympel R-73 again. The aircraft will also tick off test points in nightflying, electronic warfare and sensor-weapon integration. My sources tell me the Tejas team is looking to declare IOC-2 in a time window between Dec 19-24. Here's hoping it happens.

On November 6, Defence Minister AK Antony gave the DRDO an earful, making it amply clear that the team would get no further extensions on time and cost. And remember, after IOC-2, the IAF gets to fly the Tejas as part of routine squadron sorties. Also in the pipeline, the possible roll-out of four series production LCAs from HAL's Bangalore facility next month. Let's hope that lands on time too.


It is the first time that I am hearing about 4 SPs rolling out next month. IIRC, the talk was always about the first two SPs getting ready by sometime mid-2014. Hoping for the best..

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Victor » 11 Nov 2013 00:39

Gurneesh wrote:http://www.livefistdefence.com/2013/11/tejas-christmas-for-iaf.html

On November 6, Defence Minister AK Antony gave the DRDO an earful, making it amply clear that the team would get no further extensions on time and cost.

So if the deadline is not met, that's the end of LCA? That would fit the conscious disarmament policy of the saint--no MMRCA, no subs, no ammo, no guns etc.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Philip » 11 Nov 2013 02:49

I'm not sure that that is the intent,there's simply too much going for us with the LCA and our indigenous aviation future.I for one would be firmly against scrapping the programme.It would sound the death-knell for indigenous aerospace in the country,and immediately boost the price of firang wares! I think a different "punishment" is in the offing,with the ADA and entire programme being transferred to the IAF for completion.Just as the IN have their naval design establishment for design of warships,etc.,and lead the shipyards,so too might happen with our aviation establishments,esp. the ADA which was set up to deliver the LCA .Alternatively,we might see some "stick" against the project heads/top bosses of the ADA and HAL.HAL is already under the sharp criticism of the IAF over the basic trainer and IJT non-arrival.One must recollect the statements and warnings of both the Chief and the DM,the "Saint",made at Aero-India earlier this year.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby SaiK » 11 Nov 2013 02:58

It does not make sense to suddenly threaten on a timeline after sleeping for ages in terms of schedule, program management and funds. We need to get to basics where our guys are facing problems- is it technical? or money? or the experience to get this done without models and prototypes in place? changes happen, then depending on the design/architecture, it might mean different things.. some changes can destroy designs.

It is important learning lesson not to change requirements half way thru. better redraft everything... now, there is only way out. fix it, get it out. no turning back does not mean, take it easy policy. MoD should have been engaged from day 1, and not suddenly asking for delivery.

btw, concurrent engineering can happen even in r&d, and within same project - depending on the dependency chains established. perhaps there is some disconnect there.


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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Victor » 11 Nov 2013 08:45

SaiK wrote:It does not make sense to suddenly threaten on a timeline after sleeping for ages..

Exactly. Unless the priority is to produce *something*/*anything* to show for a legacy before curtains time other than a spotless lungi. Putting things suddenly on a War Footing after decades of work implies that things were chalta hai till now. What a morale booster that must be to the IAF.

Philip wrote:I think a different "punishment" is in the offing,with the ADA and entire programme being transferred to the IAF for completion.

That would be a step in the right direction for sure but IMO the whole project should be put under IAF, including the production line, not just the prototypes. There seems to be a lot of work left to bring LCA to actual production line standard even if the IOC2 comes on schedule.

VinodTK wrote:The Finance Ministry's refusal to grant pension to ADA employees recently (a long-pending demand) has also created heartburn to many working on the Tejas project.

Hopefully this is a misprint. Why should ADA employees pay for the idiocy of the MoD and GoI? If anything, MoD should be punished for being the paki secret weapon.
Last edited by Victor on 11 Nov 2013 08:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby member_27847 » 11 Nov 2013 08:49

SaiK: I think LCA will happen. It may not be the perfect plane that IAF wants, but it sure is a capable plane that can fill the numerous airbases now sitting without fighters.

Next challenge is to mass-produce LCA. We all know PSU HAL is hard-pressed to build LCA in numbers. HAL should sub-contract almost all parts to private sector and focus only on assembly and final testing. This is the only way to meet schedules.

India must seriously go for building 50-60 LCAs per year. It is quite doable, if the country is serious.

If China threat becomes serious, the lack of fighters will be a very serious deficiency. India has a huge border. Chinese will not respect air space of Nepal and Bhutan, and India will need to defend the entire northern border stretching from Kashmir to Assam. The existing fleet for defending such a long border is very small.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Victor » 11 Nov 2013 09:21

Garg wrote:India must seriously go for building 50-60 LCAs per year. It is quite doable, if the country is serious.

A lot depends on just how far we are in the transition from one-of-a-kind prototypes to production line. Only late last year, ADA's Subramanyam said “ADA and HAL have realized that creating a production line needs major effort… That realization has come”. With only 40 wanted, this is unlikely to happen for LCA but it is a must for LCA2. How long it will take is anyone's guess but we have to press on, under new management if necessary.

This video shows Subramanyam this February saying in essence two things that are cause for worry:
1. (08:40) As long as you have a captive customer (IAF), there is "no problem" but you have to really up your game for export customers.
2. (09:00) They had no idea that they needed to design LCA keeping operational and maintenance cost in mind from the outset and he thinks "we are not good designers" because of how things went in the past.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Philip » 11 Nov 2013 10:03

On a tangent,news says that AW has been approved by the FIPB to assemble helos in India.How this is being done while AW is being blacklisted on the one hand,and scuppering the VVIP helo deal because of the on-going corruption scam is bewildering.It appears that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing! Or is there some method in this madness?

I'm not sure if the IAF can build the LCA,that's really HAL's job,but it should certainly crack the whip.I was going through a 2011 issue of VAYU and reading AM PR's take on how the DARIN upgrade was done.Truly pioneering days when the IAF,HAL and other labs etc.,worked together in harmony and produced a world class indigenous effort.As PR says,DARIN-2 with this experience,was done by HAL on its own and DARIN-3 with the Honeywell engines,etc., should give the bird an extra decade of life. If we could've achieved success with that programme,one wonders why with the LCA we entered into a bog.AS some analysts say,the creation of the ADA to lead the project in retrospect was a huge mistake. It should've been HAL's baby right from the start as they had much earlier delivered on the HF-24,without a matching engine though.


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