Naval LCA - News and Discussion

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Singha
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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 08 Sep 2017 07:33

even in the past didnt the sea hawk and alize operate with single engines and steam catapult off the vikrant?
super etendard
F8 Crusader
yak38 forger
harrier
UH1 huey of vietnam war fame
and many more

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby samirdiw » 08 Sep 2017 07:54

What is the operational use of aircraft carriers during a war with Pakistan or China? In my understanding, it did make sense for Japan in the past and US currently who want to fight far away from their shores.

For Pakistan that is next door - we already have other vessels in numbers and aircraft that can take off from the west coast that can block Karachi port

For China - we aren't going to be sailing to South China sea. To block the Malacca Strait (if at all if the US allows) we have the Andamans close by as the biggest aircraft carrier.

There is nothing that the Chinese and Pakistan Navy can do to threaten us it looks like but any sinking of an aircraft carrier during a war will be a huge loss and a morale boost to the enemy. So what are the benefits of the aircraft carrier during the war that will overcome the potential loss and worth the risk?

Is there any article published about this that can be referred to?

I am not asking about peacetime.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 08 Sep 2017 08:12

Indranil wrote:If that were so, why would the Americans and French put those incredibly expensive, heavy and maintenance intensive catapults for?

You can either have full fuel or full payload, but not both.

Let me clarify... The Mig29k carries a lot less payload than the two birds you mentioned. But that payload is it's full/close to max tow cof ~5 tons. Which is quite respectable for a bird operating in it's rather constrained circumstances. I don't see why either the shornet or the rafale can't do the same since their twrs are similar.

IIRC the 29k was able to carry full payload and internal fuel i.e. mtow from the kuznetsov from the longer runway position. Quite an achievement although it is still markedly lesser than catobar fighters.

Put it another way, the twr of the NLCA with a very light load of say 4-6 aams is probably the same or less than the Mig29k with it's entire payload. One of the likely results of this situation is that the bird will never really use the shorter runway of 95 mts.

The problem with the mk2 design really won't change this result because the higher thrust engine is barely likely to compensate for the commensurate increase in empty weight of a fighter that is longer and wider.

Which is why a twin engined design would perhaps serve the NLCA design better. Call it an AMCA 1.0 or LCA 2.2 if you will. And just to clarify I'd rather see investments in this than any single or double engined imported MII fighter.
Last edited by Cain Marko on 08 Sep 2017 09:09, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 08 Sep 2017 08:36

Singha wrote:even in the past didnt the sea hawk and alize operate with single engines and steam catapult off the vikrant?
super etendard
F8 Crusader
yak38 forger
harrier
UH1 huey of vietnam war fame
and many more

Yes a catobar makes all the difference and single engined birds and even aew types can take off. But for stobar you absolutely need a very high twr for take off or are capable of harrier type ops. A single engined nlca was therefore a dead end to begin with. That the Navy persisted and invested in it is to their credit it perhaps the mod pushed them.
Last edited by Cain Marko on 08 Sep 2017 09:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 08 Sep 2017 08:52

SiddharthS wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Iterations have to demonstrate new directions. Doing the same thing repeatedly doesn't give you different results.


Each iteration consist of Research-Development-Testing . Improving iteratively and inducting after each iteration is the way forward. That's how Dhruv mk 1 to mk 3 became Rudra and ultimately LCH ,Pinaka achieved range of 75 km from 45km in its second iteration ,similarly Akash missiles second iteration will have longer range and better seeker , We did not develop Agni 5 in the first iteration either , Same future awaits LCA and Arjun if it goes through it's iterations .


Sorry, the comparisons are not accurate. The dhruv mk1 could be used by the users. The agni absolutely was better than anything else available in the inventory. The LCA mk1 too will be used albeit it is somewhat short on required capability but still better than the mig21 bison.

The nlca mk1 and possible mk2 are both very likely unusable or usable but with extreme compromises for ship borne ops. For eg. With full internal fuel and 4-6 aams, the nlca will have a twr of < 0.8. the 29k otoh will even at mtow and 5 tons of payload will have a higher twr. That makes a lot of difference.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 08 Sep 2017 09:06

Rakesh wrote:So a "twin engine" naval aircraft is not necessary? That is good to know.

No sir, for stobar ops, it's absolutely necessary imvho.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Prasad » 08 Sep 2017 09:38

Even if the NLCA is unfit for carrier ops due to its shotcomings, if we want an indian twin engined aircraft on our future carrier, we have to keep at it.Be it a naval variant of the amca or the ghatak, if we want to design and build a topclass aircraft, we have to learn how to. We cannot do that with those platforms and do an lca all over again. Learn from the NLCA and then use it to design a twin-engined whatever later.
Everything from the sbtf to landing gear+airframe optimisation will result in tons of data from which you can learn how to design from scratch a better platform in a clean sheet design.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Indranil » 08 Sep 2017 10:08

CM,

Can you show me anywhere in the Navy's RFI which mandates a double engined fighter?

Also TWR is only one aspect of take off performance. The F-14 did phenomenally well for more than 1.5 decades with abysmal TWR. LCA has huge wings, with no tailplane to negate any lift. These were not done with carrier operations in mind. But, by happy accident, it allows LCA to have phenomenal TO performance at Leh or off a ship.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 08 Sep 2017 10:49

i think delta wings on CV are rare if any except rafale - reason could be higher landing speed. the saab viggen had a CV type landing profile(steeper than usual) due to dispersed forest field ops and strong legs. sink rate high.

we would have got viggen instead of Jags if the US had not blocked the sale in 1978. it was beast of a machine.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 08 Sep 2017 11:14

Indranil wrote:CM,

Can you show me anywhere in the Navy's RFI which mandates a double engined fighter?

Also TWR is only one aspect of take off performance. The F-14 did phenomenally well for more than 1.5 decades with abysmal TWR. LCA has huge wings, with no tailplane to negate any lift. These were not done with carrier operations in mind. But, by happy accident, it allows LCA to have phenomenal TO performance at Leh or off a ship.

Wrt navy rfi, there are clear indications. Btw, what SEF is available for carrier oops within the time frame mentioned by the chief.
Sources say it is now mainly between Boeing’s FA-18 and Dassault’s Rafale, as the navy would prefer a twin-engine aircraft against SAAB’s single-engine Gripen. “While the navy did not specify a variant, there is a clear preference for a twin-engine model,” a senior industry executive said.


[url][http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/boeing-dassault-racing-for-rs-50-000-cr-navy-deal-for-57-fighter-jets-117060900992_1.html[/url]

Wrt TWR...it might be only one aspect as you underwhelmingly put it, but there is no denying that it is a crucial aspect for a number of criteria. Especially on stobar carriers that are handicapped to begin with. the tomcat example is irrelevant here. You might as well use the hawkeye for comparison. The tomcat bad as it was, was helped by cats, no pun intended. no such luck here. Like I said earlier, you can even operate lumbering aew aircraft with such a set up. Secondly, Consider also what the tomcat was expected to face off with...assuredly there were no agile a2a type combatants. Air superiority was maintained by the massive awg9 and phoenix combo which afforded excellent protection against bombers and fighters incapable of bvr. Almost all a2a kills came from this bvr combo. The Indian navy otoh requires a bird that has a more all round a2a capability, bvr and wvr. And for that kind of fighting a good twr is very useful as you well know. The nlca iows, is no tomcat. It has neither the size, range, radar power, the missiles nor the mission.
Totally different roles.

Point is that all the birds that are supposed to have a realistic chance for the navy bid have very respectable twr. The nlca does not and it has been rejected for this main reason.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Pratyush » 08 Sep 2017 11:58

I have repeatedly seen assertions that an aircraft cannot take off with full combat load from a ski jump carrier. But has this fact been proven or disproven by the indian Navy as an operator of ski jump and mig 29.

Secondly why are we so sure that an optimised mk 2 with 414 will not be able to perform to full potential using ski jump. Considering the mk 1 for the iaf is said to loose nearly 1 ton of weight once the design is fully optimised.

So shouldn't the gains be transferred to nlca mk 2 as well.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Indranil » 08 Sep 2017 12:18

CM,

You are beating around the bush with A2A capability, TWR etc. From all accounts that I have heard LCA is a very capable A2A platform and the Navy doesn't have a problem with that. In the air defense role, Tejas Mk2 will take off armed to the teeth with full fuel from a ski jump. As regards to the radar, IN is a very big fan of the Elta radars. No problems with that either.

The problem is with the antiship roles. Will NLCA Mk2 be able to take off with two heavy antiship missiles, full internal fuel, centerline fuel tank and two WVRs? That is something IN is concerned about. Rightfully so. But there are more than one ways to skin a cat. For example, what is stopping us from retrofitting CAT's to out ACs.

P.S. I did not underwhelming speak of TWR. When I was in high school, I had read about how the Concorde had two fuel tanks in the front and back for CG management. This led me to ask the question as to why wouldn't aircraft with fuel in their wings swing them back and forth. Completely oblivious of the F-14/Mig-23/27s I had gone to great lengths "designing" a swing wing aircraft, basically on the same tenants. When I finally came to know about the F-14s/Mig-23s/Mig-27s, it was bittersweet. Although I was 50 years too late, I was not completely crazy. None the less, I spent many months reading about these aircrafts. Suffice to say that they were a thing of absolute beauty. Interestingly, one of my teammates now was former F-14 maintenance guy in the USNavy. He loves the plane for many reasons. But the thing that he admires most is how such a huge plane could come in so gracefully and land like a Cessna (similar approach speeds) on aircraft carriers while the F-18s which just thumps down. And that magic sir, is not because of TWR. But discussing that here will be quite tangential.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 08 Sep 2017 13:42

Indranil wrote:CM,

You are beating around the bush with A2A capability, TWR etc. From all accounts that I have heard LCA is a very capable A2A platform and the Navy doesn't have a problem with that. In the air defense role, Tejas Mk2 will take off armed to the teeth with full fuel from a ski jump. As regards to the radar, IN is a very big fan of the Elta radars. No problems with that either.


The problem is with the antiship roles. Will NLCA Mk2 be able to take off with two heavy antiship missiles, full internal fuel, centerline fuel tank and two WVRs? That is something IN is concerned about. Rightfully so. But there are more than one ways to skin a cat. For example, what is stopping us from retrofitting CAT's to out ACs.

P.S. I did not underwhelming speak of TWR. When I was in high school, I had read about how the Concorde had two fuel tanks in the front and back for CG management. This led me to ask the question as to why wouldn't aircraft with fuel in their wings swing them back and forth. Completely oblivious of the F-14/Mig-23/27s I had gone to great lengths "designing" a swing wing aircraft, basically on the same tenants. When I finally came to know about the F-14s/Mig-23s/Mig-27s, it was bittersweet. Although I was 50 years too late, I was not completely crazy. None the less, I spent many months reading about these aircrafts. Suffice to say that they were a thing of absolute beauty. Interestingly, one of my teammates now was former F-14 maintenance guy in the USNavy. He loves the plane for many reasons. But the thing that he admires most is how such a huge plane could come in so gracefully and land like a Cessna (similar approach speeds) on aircraft carriers while the F-18s which just thumps down. And that magic sir, is not because of TWR. But discussing that here will be quite tangential.

Come on Indranil,
On the one hand you are on about how the NLCA can't take off with optimum loads, ( Yes it's the twr as you well know) and the Navy is absolutely clear on this and has called out the bird as underpowered, and on the other hand you are tangentially bouncing around saying that the f14 lands very gracefully. Talk about beating around the bush.

Bottomline is, and I think this should have been amply clear by now, that the NLCA in all it's avatars so far is inadequate because of weight and power related issues. All the grace and wing loading in the world cannot make that go away.

First you say that it is not possible for a fighter to take off with full fuel and payload, which is incorrect because the mig has already shown this capability. The NLCA can't. From what I can see, and I might be slightly off here, it will find it hard to do so even with a decent aam load out. But that is not the point. Optimistically, The Navy will be restricted to using it only on the longer runway. Forget all the heavy a2s munitions. And forget the smaller runway. And this is not good enough.

The Navy has obviously realized this and has moved away from it despite investing so much into the program. Beating the same horse doesn't make it a Ferrari no matter how many iterations you use. Time for ADA or hal to show something different.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 08 Sep 2017 13:48

Pratyush wrote:I have repeatedly seen assertions that an aircraft cannot take off with full combat load from a ski jump carrier. But has this fact been proven or disproven by the indian Navy as an operator of ski jump and mig 29.

Secondly why are we so sure that an optimised mk 2 with 414 will not be able to perform to full potential using ski jump. Considering the mk 1 for the iaf is said to loose nearly 1 ton of weight once the design is fully optimised.

So shouldn't the gains be transferred to nlca mk 2 as well.

You are correct in the first part. The mig has done it.

I disagree on the second... You are speaking of losing 1 ton of weight on a tiny fighter which is supposed to actually get over a meter longer and wider as well. Plus add weight for structural strengthening and tail hook etc. It will be nothing short of a miracle it they can even keep the weight below 8 tons. And even that might not work. Just look at the landbased gripen ng, it is already at 8 tons. And Saab is no novice at good fighter designs mind you.

The writing is on the wall, and thank God at least the Navy sees it.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 08 Sep 2017 14:49

If N LCA can still take off say from its half of declared weight of 4 T i,e 2 T

The 2 Antiship missile would be 2x600 kg , 2 X 150kg AAM = 300 kg and they can still carry a single 500 kg drop tank ~ 2000kg

If they carry just a single missile then it would be 600 and 300 kg respectively + 500 kg drop tank = ~ 1500 kg

Jags used to carry a single Sea Eagle Missile http://www.oocities.org/tokyo/pagoda/16 ... arcopy.jpg

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby SiddharthS » 08 Sep 2017 18:22

cm,
what you called "compromises" are shortcomings of the first iteration, and they will exist no matter when the navy decides to field indigenous carrier fighter, being able to operate with the specs indranil mentioned is a success for an aircraft in its first iteration, the only thing that requires is the persistence from the navy by way of induction and iterative improvisation .

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 08 Sep 2017 19:10

ramana wrote:
Rakesh wrote:EXCLUSIVE: Indian Navy Officers Scotch Talk Of ‘Bad-Blood’ Killing LCA Navy
https://www.livefistdefence.com/2017/09 ... -navy.html

I read this in the car on my phone.
I didn't think it scotched anything.
Waste of time.


It did explain in detail the process being followed. And it is a fair process.

“The issue of LCA (Navy) was initially debated at the Naval Headquarters and then in the DRDO HQ wherein both teams [that of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and that of the Indian Navy] made their points. Based on the discussions, the DRDO senior leadership forwarded their recommendations to the then Defence Minister. The case was then presented to the Ministry of Defence. Those who participated in the meeting included senior representatives from the Indian Navy, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), National Flight Test Centre (NFTC), DRDO and the Ministry of Defence. All those who attended made their points and an eventual decision was arrived at by the Defence Minister. To refer to this decision in a trifle manner is highly inappropriate and does no good to the nation. It was only after the Minutes of the Meeting were approved by the Ministry of Defence that the Chief of the Naval Staff announced the decision on the Navy Day (04 Dec) last year.”


DRDO Chief has three roles -

Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development - Bureaucrat Role
Director General, Defence Research (now Chairman DRDO) - Technocrat Role / Administrative Role
Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister - Purely scientific Role - this role is being given to a different person

No decision on programs or purchase happens without the DRDO Chief's vetting. DRDO Chief is also part of Defence Acquisition Council.

ShauryaT wrote:no one is ever going to admit to bad blood being a factor in the decision making.

“Those who participated in the meeting included senior representatives from the Indian Navy, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), National Flight Test Centre (NFTC), DRDO and the Ministry of Defence. All those who attended made their points


So if everyone's opinion was heard by Defence Minister, how does bad blood between two officers impact the Defence Minister's decision?

“To suggest that the Indian Navy’s leadership at the apex and that of the Ministry of Defence, led by the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, himself would get misled by just one or two officers is not reflective of the reality. It is actually proposterous and betrays a lack of understanding of how things really work. There are detailed processes and procedures in place that lead to an eventual decision in the Service HQ and the Ministry of Defence.”


If all was well and Naval LCA was fine, then going by the prevalent conspiracy theory, Manohar Parrikar & Narendra Modi must be influenced by the usual suspects - Lifafas & Natashas, right? But if they arent, then there must be technical issues.

I'll compose my next post on the technical issues, and Ulanbatori's PoV of Tejas taking off from Leh, so it should be good for carrier aviation

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 08 Sep 2017 19:33

ShauryaT wrote:Bharat Karnad's edit:
[ ERRATA — My Wrong. Rear Admiral Ahuja is a certified test pilot, cleared for catobar flying from carrier deck, and among the first to operate the MiG-29Ks, as well as a number of other combat aircraft and even transport planes. This was a grievous error on my part of not researching more fully into RADM Ahuja’s career. Apologies.]


We were much ahead on the curve on this

D.Mahesh wrote:Bhai Log, looks like everyone outside BRF takes Bharat Karnad seriously :eek: :shock:

Even Namma Aaalu Shiv Pakoda Bonda Aroor seems to be in awe of him!

Bharat Karnad used to edit Ashok Advani's ill-fated India Week and then he OD'd on Tom Clancy + Clive Cussler and became a Startegic Expert? :rotfl:


Bharat Karnad is no better than Prasun Sengupta. Most of these so called defence consultants make friends with PRO of services, DRDO, DPSU & MoD during press meets, events like Aero India and Fleet Reviews, and they try to get information over drinks.

I discovered his depth when he posted INS Arihant had revolver missile launchers.

Most Indians dont have access to defence news and high performance toys, unlike US & Russians who regularly dazzle their citizens with displays. So brochures and photos from chaps like Prasun and "analysis" by the likes of Bharat Karnad magnifies into something amazing. In the country of the blind, the one eyed man is king. If Gurmeet can become MSG, then Bharat Karnad can become Strategic Analyst.

His content is shallow without any depth. Our Rohit Vats's analysis on China or Siachen was superlative, and his content spoke for itself.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby SiddharthS » 08 Sep 2017 20:09

The conjecture is that navy's resolve to stand behind NLCA was diluted by the bad blood.

AFAIK Bharat karnad is not a technical expert but a strategic thinker/analyst , so he's bound to get technical aspects wrong but anyone who has read his books can not count him out .

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 08 Sep 2017 21:08

SiddharthS wrote:The conjecture is that navy's resolve to stand behind NLCA was diluted by the bad blood.


LCA Navy isnt only the Navy's project - ADA & MoD are equal stakeholders. The decision was joint - as clearly described.

The organization's resolve is collective - a Rear Admiral or Commodore cannot decide resolve of an entire group of Admirals, Secretaries, Scientists and the Minister.

There are genuine technology dead ends.

This article by Karnad is just his salacious gossip. His "strategic" articles have not inspired me either. But yes, if Gurmeet's spirituality appeals to a section of society, then its perfectly fine Bharat Karnad's strategy appealing to his fan following. Even Prasun Sengupta has dedicated fan following. Fan following is not a benchmark of quality or knowledge.
Last edited by tsarkar on 08 Sep 2017 21:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Mihir » 08 Sep 2017 21:10

tsarkar wrote:Bharat Karnad is no better than Prasun Sengupta. Most of these so called defence consultants make friends with PRO of services, DRDO, DPSU & MoD during press meets, events like Aero India and Fleet Reviews, and they try to get information over drinks.

I discovered his depth when he posted INS Arihant had revolver missile launchers.

He also said that ADA had trouble developing the LCA because HAL failed to keep a BOM for the Su-30MKI.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby chola » 08 Sep 2017 21:18

NLCA is a work progress. Too early to say whether MK2 will be heavy though I won't dispute the logic that a fighter needing to grow in dimensions will be hard pressed to lose weight at same time. But I see no reason why the IN needs to write off the NLCA just yet. No one is expecting a bunch of NLCAs in the near future.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Zynda » 08 Sep 2017 21:43

Mihir wrote:He also said that ADA had trouble developing the LCA because HAL failed to keep a BOM for the Su-30MKI.

How can the above happen saar? I assume HAL would have received manf/assy/installation blueprints from Sukhoi and they should contain MBOM on them. Further, in absence of BOM, how will HAL know what to order and how much of it? Or did Russia/Sukhoi screw us over on ToT/transfer of blueprints for MKI by not providing us with the entire package?

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Indranil » 08 Sep 2017 21:58

Tsarkar sahab,

I am completely with you that this article by Karnad was unfortunate and slanderous.

I very much like him for championing indigenous products. But this was completely unnecessary.

By the way, could you please check your private messages?

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cosmo_R » 08 Sep 2017 22:58

I have been saying this about BK all along. He's devolved into wild assertions

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Indranil » 08 Sep 2017 23:17

CM,

TWR (measure of acceleration)
Mig-29K at full MTOW is 176/249 = 0.73
NLCA Mk2 at full MTOW 98/160 = 0.61 (with 414-INS6) and 116/160 = 0.73 (with 414-Enhanced)
*NLCA has lower TO speed than Mig-29k at MTOW

Fuel fraction
Mig-29k at clean TOW = 4560/1950 = 0.23
NLCA Mk2 clean TOW = 3200/12000 = 0.24
*ADA says that LCA Navy Mk2 will have 700 kgs of more internal fuel. I have taken 700gs over LCA AF Mk1. If it 700 kgs over LCA AF Mk2, you can increase this figure further
*With external fuel tanks the fuel fraction of NLCA Mk2 gets better vis-a-vis the Mig-29k

Full payload
Mig-29k: 5.5 Tons
NLCA: 4 Tons

Avionics
Comparable, LCA has a very slight edge. My pet complaint with LCA's avionics was the width of its HUD (although it is the brightest HUD in the world). But, now CSIO is developing a 28 degrees HUD which is a very respectable size. Also the external EW pod has already taken shape DARE has sent out a tender to manufacture the outer casing about a month back.

So, I don't agree with you on how Mig-29k is significantly better than NLCA Mk2.

IN is very wise. They will continue with NLCA Mk2 development. They are peeved with ADA at the slow rate of development of the naval version and how IAF version gets most of the attention.

Also, although Karnad has written a below the belt article, there are Matheswaran-equivalents in the IN who think that a twin engined mid-weight fighter is the only solution. Thankfully, that group is not hung up on importing. They actually have been asking ADA for the past couple of years to develop a twin engined version of the NLCA. They keep bringing the comparisons of Mig-29ks capabilities vis-a-vis NLCA's capabilities to every meeting. Obviously, many of these guys were part of the team that evaluated and okayed the Mig-29k for delivery to India. The fact that a brave pilot flew a Mig-29ks without a damn ____ back to the ship is omitted in those meetings.

ADA has to be asked to make the footprint of NLCA Mk2 smaller with folding wings, so that more NLCA Mk2 can be carried onboard to offset the lower payload per fighter. Other than that NLCA Mk2 is a beautiful aircraft which can do the work pretty well.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Vivek K » 08 Sep 2017 23:23

It is ok to criticize BK and for him to be over zealous over domestic products. I see that even Adminullahs concur! However why is it then not ok to criticize certain posters on BRF that rather over zealously push foreign products over domestic? By that logic, it is ok for BK to be over zealous about domestic products when the rest of journos have sold their pens to foreign products.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Indranil » 08 Sep 2017 23:56

There is a line which should not be crossed. As long as a poster doesn't cross that line, (s)he will be fine.

BK named names and assigned ulterior motives which he can't prove. You are playing with the career and reputation of a serving officer and that of the Indian Navy. In my opinion, that is way over the line.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 09 Sep 2017 00:58

Indranil wrote:CM,

TWR (measure of acceleration)
Mig-29K at full MTOW is 176/249 = 0.73
NLCA Mk2 at full MTOW 98/160 = 0.61 (with 414-INS6) and 116/160 = 0.73 (with 414-Enhanced)
*NLCA has lower TO speed than Mig-29k at MTOW

Fuel fraction
Mig-29k at clean TOW = 4560/1950 = 0.23
NLCA Mk2 clean TOW = 3200/12000 = 0.24
*ADA says that LCA Navy Mk2 will have 700 kgs of more internal fuel. I have taken 700gs over LCA AF Mk1. If it 700 kgs over LCA AF Mk2, you can increase this figure further
*With external fuel tanks the fuel fraction of NLCA Mk2 gets better vis-a-vis the Mig-29k

Full payload
Mig-29k: 5.5 Tons
NLCA: 4 Tons

Avionics
Comparable, LCA has a very slight edge. My pet complaint with LCA's avionics was the width of its HUD (although it is the brightest HUD in the world). But, now CSIO is developing a 28 degrees HUD which is a very respectable size. Also the external EW pod has already taken shape DARE has sent out a tender to manufacture the outer casing about a month back.

So, I don't agree with you on how Mig-29k is significantly better than NLCA Mk2.

IN is very wise. They will continue with NLCA Mk2


Your numbers are off Indranil. Mig29k AB thrust is not 176, it is 19.8. and it has a take off contingency rating that could be higher. Your clean take off weight is also off for the mig by a good ton or so. Add your numbers from there and see what you get. The difference is marked.

For example.
Mig 29k Mtow ~ 22000. I've seen higher mtow figures ~ 24000 as you suggest. But that must mean much greater payload. Now take that mtow vs thrust of 19.8 tons. 19.8/22 - 0.9 or 19.2/24 - 0.8. the difference is clear. Note also that the mig is supposed to have a contingency take off rating of 9400kgf pet engine.


One Problem with nlca mk1or mk2 is we simply don't know the empty weight. So while mtow-16 tons/10 ton thrust shows up as 0.6 twr, which as you can see is markedly lower than the mig, we have absolutely no clue as to what it can carry at that weight. What if the empty is 9 tons? With internal fuel of 3.5 tons, you have about 3 tons payload max.

Even worse is that we simply don't know if the plane can take off from a carrier with a twr that is so low or if it can, what it's payload will be. Note that at atwr of close to 0.8-0.9 which is the Mig29ks at mtow worst case, the NLCA mk2 might be stuck with less than a ton of payload. The Navy does know what the exact situation is and has decided that the NLCA in both it's avatars won't do.

I simply think that the numbers give us a strong clue as to why the Navy says it's overweight. The only hope could be the epe engines. But even there the situation might be much harder.

As far as the Navys decision being made by matheswaran types is concerned, that is pure speculation and far from fair. As TSarkar sirs analysis points out, the decision was vetted by all stakeholders.

More importantly, this is the same Navy that was being applauded by all concerned for taking such initiative with the LCA, offering it as an example to other import pasand services. Why did it suddenly get cold feet after investing it's own funds and men into the program?

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Indranil » 09 Sep 2017 02:36

Cain Marko wrote:Your numbers are off Indranil. Mig29k AB thrust is not 176, it is 19.8. and it has a take off contingency rating that could be higher. Your clean take off weight is also off for the mig by a good ton or so. Add your numbers from there and see what you get. The difference is marked.

For example.
Mig 29k Mtow ~ 22000. I've seen higher mtow figures ~ 24000 as you suggest. But that must mean much greater payload. Now take that mtow vs thrust of 19.8 tons. 19.8/22 - 0.9 or 19.2/24 - 0.8. the difference is clear.

No sir, my numbers are not off. I took those numbers from UAC's official website
Almost all major engines have take off power settings which is 5% higher than the maximum sustained A/B. Klimov calls it emergency take off power settings which according to Klimov is 83kN for the RD-33MK. The same is true of the 404s and 414s. I don't know the exact value for the F414s, that's why I did not use those values.

Also, my MTOW numbers of 24.9 is much closer to the 24.5 are from UAC's website. If you lower the Mig-29K's MTOW to 22 Tons with full, internal fuel, its payload will be lower than that of NLCA Mk2.

Cain Marko wrote:One Problem with nlca mk1or mk2 is we simply don't know the empty weight. So while mtow-16 tons/10 ton thrust shows up as 0.6 twr, which as you can see is markedly lower than the mig, we have absolutely no clue as to what it can carry at that weight. What if the empty is 9 tons? With internal fuel of 3.5 tons, you have about 3 tons payload max.

Even worse is that we simply don't know if the plane can take off from a carrier with a twr that is so low or if it can, what it's payload will be. Note that at atwr of close to 0.8-0.9 which is the Mig29ks at mtow worst case, the NLCA mk2 might be stuck with less than a ton of payload. The Navy does know what the exact situation is and has decided that the NLCA in both it's avatars won't do.

Because you don't know you are assuming the worst! And only for the NLCA! How about the weight gain of the Mig-29ks after the structures are sufficiently strengthened. And should we discuss the TWRs of the Rafale M and the F-18s at MTOW (the contenders for the Navy's current RFI)? I will still concede that they will be able to take a little more payload for a little longer. But it will only be a little more and a little longer. By the way, Rafale Ms, Mig-29ks and F-18s take off weight is not governed by what they can take off with, but what they can return with.

Returning NLCA Mk2, 9 Tons is the empty weight of Rafale M by just removing one of its engine and all its accessories. I can't imagine NLCA weighing more than that (current hearsay is 8.5 Tons). But even if you take 9 tons, and add 3.2 Tons of internal fuel for a single engined fighter (with 110 kN engine), you are speaking of 2.5 hours missions on internal fuel only. ADA had estimated that the bring back weight of NLCA Mk2 is going to be 2.5 Tons higher than the current fighter and that adding the 700 kgs of more fuel will increase the flight endurance by about 20% or 20 minutes.

Cain Marko wrote:I simply think that the numbers give us a strong clue as to why the Navy says it's overweight. The only hope could be the epe engines. But even there the situation might be much harder.

As far as the Navys decision being made by matheswaran types is concerned, that is pure speculation and far from fair. As TSarkar sirs analysis points out, the decision was vetted by all stakeholders.

I did not say that the decision was made by Matheswaran types. I only said that there are Matheswaran types everywhere and they have a voice which can swing opinions. Besides that, I can tell you the date of the said meeting. But then there is no use going down that road here.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Indranil » 09 Sep 2017 02:50

The problem with ADA is that they don't know to advertise what they have created. Far worse, many in the institution are averse to marketing. rue academics to their heart, the people who try to make videos and images and websites face a lot of backlash.

For example,
1. They are the only ones outside the US who have designed a naval fighter for hands off take off.
2. They are certifying NLCA for a sink rate of 7.3 mtrs, F-35 is certified for 6.1 mtrs. However, this is partially required because of the small size of our decks. None-the-less a great achievement
3. LCA Mk1A is a swingrole aircraft with IFR capability with a turnaround time of less than 30 minutes (ASR asks for 14 minutes) with a footprint smaller than the Mig-21!

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Karan M » 09 Sep 2017 03:30

Another thing about the MiG-29K comparisons. The darn plane is flawed:

Summary of problems with the jet:
Hydraulics failures
Structural failures
Systems not ruggedized for carrier landings
FBW doesnt work
Engines have issues
Radar issues

Biggest problem:
UACs bland denial of any such issues & all iz well.

This is nothing new. Seven years back
https://www.livefistdefence.com/2010/12 ... g-29k.html

Hardly surprising anymore. Sources indicate that the MiG-29K induction experience is proving to be a real nuisance, with the Russians nitpicking over contractual provisions and delaying smooth operations at the Black Panthers squadron in Goa. I’ve been requested by my sources not to put down the precise nature of the problems, though suffice it to say that the Indian Navy is not in the least pleased with how the Russians are executing and following up on the K contract.


One time MiG-29K went on active duty, the Russians recalled the darn carrier. So much for that.

So anyday, a NLCA which will be tested and certified will score over a MiG-29K which won't ever be fixed to any combat capable specification given MiG behavior that all iz well and stone walling.

Lets look beyond glitzy PR.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 09 Sep 2017 03:47

Indranil wrote:No sir, my numbers are not off. I took those numbers from UAC's official website
Almost all major engines have take off power settings which is 5% higher than the maximum sustained A/B. Klimov calls it emergency take off power settings which according to Klimov is 83kN for the RD-33MK. The same is true of the 404s and 414s. I don't know the exact value for the F414s, that's why I did not use those values.

Also, my MTOW numbers of 24.9 is much closer to the 24.5 are from UAC's website. If you lower the Mig-29K's MTOW to 22 Tons with full, internal fuel, its payload will be lower than that of NLCA Mk2.

Because you don't know you are assuming the worst! And only for the NLCA! How about the weight gain of the Mig-29ks after the structures are sufficiently strengthened. And should we discuss the TWRs of the Rafale M and the F-18s at MTOW (the contenders for the Navy's current RFI)? I will still concede that they will be able to take a little more payload for a little longer. But it will only be a little more and a little longer. By the way, Rafale Ms, Mig-29ks and F-18s take off weight is not governed by what they can take off with, but what they can return with.

Returning NLCA Mk2, 9 Tons is the empty weight of Rafale M by just removing one of its engine and all its accessories. I can't imagine NLCA weighing more than that (current hearsay is 8.5 Tons). But even if you take 9 tons, and add 3.2 Tons of internal fuel for a single engined fighter (with 110 kN engine), you are speaking of 2.5 hours missions on internal fuel only. ADA had estimated that the bring back weight of NLCA Mk2 is going to be 2.5 Tons higher than the current fighter and that adding the 700 kgs of more fuel will increase the flight endurance by about 20% or 20 minutes.

I did not say that the decision was made by Matheswaran types. I only said that there are Matheswaran types everywhere and they have a voice which can swing opinions. Besides that, I can tell you the date of the said meeting. But then there is no use going down that road here.


You wrote:
Mig-29K at full MTOW is 176/249
Mig-29k at clean TOW = 4560/1950 = 0.23


All those numbers except perhaps internal fuel @ 4560 are incorrect. Your own link makes this clear. And there is reason to believe that the internal fuel capacity too might be greater. But we won't go there.

The 176 number is for the regular ser3 engines @ 8tons each which are used by the base model 'S' and the SMTs like the IAF upg. The RD-33Mks used on the 29K have always been higher @ about 198. The contingency rating is even higher at 205. If you do the math with 19.8/24.5, the TWR is much higher than the NLCA mk2, let alone the mk1 (i.e. about 0.81 vs. 0.60). If you do the math with 20.5, the TWR the difference is obviously more.

The clean take off weight that you used of about 19.2 is strangely high. Even the site that you used shows a normal tow of 18.5 and the NTOW includes a loadout of about 1000kg i.e. full internal fuel and 4-6 AAMs, which makes the CTOW - only fluids and internal fuel = 17.5 tons. AFAIK, MTOW>NTOW>CTOW. IOWs, the TWR of the K with about 6 AAMs and full internal fuel is ~ 1.0 and the ctow, likely greater than 1.0.

No, I'm absolutely not assuming the worst for the NLCA. The numbers I used were actually being quite reasonable:
16 tons MTOW - 3.5 tons fuel+fluids = 12.5 tons CTOW. TWR = 0.8, TWR for MiG-29K > 1.0
Add 1000 kg weapons, NTOW = 0.74. TWR for MiG-29K ~ 1.0

Take the 8.5 ton figure you mention and do the math, you will see the above calculations don't really change.

Again, the TWR of the MiG-29K at MTOW without using the contingency rating of 20.5 tons is still greater than the Mk2 at NTOW (minimal loadout) and equal or greater than the Mk2 @ CTOW. Here is an interesting tidbit (from Gordon's book) about testing the original K from the then, RuN CV, Tbilisi:
"on several occasions, Taskayaev took off from station 1 (100 odd mts) with 4 AAMs and 3 EFTs amounting to a TOW of 22 tons"
Station 1 here is the shorter runway, and that is a hell of a load to be taking off with.

All the rest about rafales with one engine or ADA estimates on bring back weights - is irrelevant - beating around the bush as you say. Tell me how the NLCA plans to overcome the weight and therefore power issues! There is no way the bird will qualify for stobar ops - and the Navy's decision proves it.

Either bring in a bigger engine or go with two engines for the NLCA. Let the latter NLCA be the first AMCA.
Last edited by Cain Marko on 09 Sep 2017 06:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 09 Sep 2017 05:03

In any case, the point I"m trying to make is not to show how good/bad the MiG-29k is. The point is that the NLCA in the mk1 and mk2 avatars won't work - the IN has already rejected these. Pouring in time, effort and money in this direction is likely to be fruitless. Use the same resources for a different design.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby ShauryaT » 09 Sep 2017 05:24

@Indranil @tsarkar

Think of BK what you want but let us see the current issue for what it is based on FACTS. I have parsed through the “unofficial” IN response (which BTW did not refute the heart of the issue) and sought my own independent verifications; I am sure you can do your own too and come to your own views on the matter. This is how I see the issue, as of now.

There is a difference of view within the IN between the Commodore and the RADM. Between the two, we all know who is more vested and knowledgeable about the NLCA project its capabilities, risks and opportunities. These differences within the IN between the officers is a fact. The difference in skill sets of the two officers in question is also a fact. (PS: I am not saying the RADM is not qualified, just that there is a difference between the two, one being the lead test pilot of the NLCA program the IN chose to designate)

This difference of views between the two officers is not new. It has been reported that these differences have persisted ever since the onset of the NLCA program. Fact?

These differences have been a factor in the promotion of the Commodore. Fact?

These differences over time has had an impact on how the officers have provided their recommendations inside the system. Fact?

These differences have resulted in “bad blood” between the officers. Fact?

It was the RADM, on behalf of the IN who made the representation to the MoD that the NLCA capabilities and/or its proposed time lines are not suitable or unacceptably risk prone with an unreliable developer. Fact.

The RADM is the point person for the US-India committee on technology (EMALS) sharing for the IAC 2. Fact.

The RADM is on record to support the IAC 2 to be 65K tons. Fact.

The RADM is on record to support the RFI for 57 new naval foreign fighters. Fact.

Without active user participation and split focus at best and diversion of resources from the measly IN aero budget of about Rs. 3,000 crores, the NLCA project will suffer. Fact.

The question is what is it that best serves the national interest, while there could be varying professional views on the same, we need to be sure these views do not represent malafide or influenced interests. Based on the above view, I think one cannot call BK’s assertions baseless. At this time my stand is, even if there was nothing malafide there is sufficient cause for me to believe that the commodore’s view that it is the NLCA Mk2 that can serve as a 2nd level fighter on IAC 1 best serves the national interest and instead of diverting attention, ownership and resources, the MOD should work all hands on deck to make NLCA Mk2 a success.

Our role as outside civilian observers is not protecting officers or institutions – both of whom have been proven to fail at times or maligning them, it is to protect the national interest as each one of us sees the facts and infer some logical views of the same.

I am with Commodore Maolankar on the matter.

While it is important to get technical details right do not miss the woods for the trees.

I cannot disclose sources, so FWIW.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 09 Sep 2017 06:43

Cain Marko wrote:In any case, the point I"m trying to make is not to show how good/bad the MiG-29k is. The point is that the NLCA in the mk1 and mk2 avatars won't work - the IN has already rejected these. Pouring in time, effort and money in this direction is likely to be fruitless. Use the same resources for a different design.


Naval AMCA. Expect serious mention within the year.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby sankum » 09 Sep 2017 06:46

According to former DRDO chief, IN developed cold feet on LCAmk2 when two GE 414 engines delivered under performed in tests.

ADA is talking to GE to fix the engine, may be by hiking the emergency thrust rating.

When IAC2 is no go than 57 fighter RFI is also no go due to huge cost involved.

Empty weight of NLCA mk2 if limited to 8T then NLCA is as capable as Mig29k from IN carriers if MTOW achieved is 16.5T for STOBAR operations. This is for relaxed 30 knots WOD as in 57 fighter RFI.

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 09 Sep 2017 07:10

NRao wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:In any case, the point I"m trying to make is not to show how good/bad the MiG-29k is. The point is that the NLCA in the mk1 and mk2 avatars won't work - the IN has already rejected these. Pouring in time, effort and money in this direction is likely to be fruitless. Use the same resources for a different design.


Naval AMCA. Expect serious mention within the year.


Aap ke muh mein ghee, shakkar aur har kisam ki mithai ho. I hope and pray that this happens!

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 09 Sep 2017 07:15

@ShauryaT Saar: I could be wrong on this, but it is my understanding that at the senior level (Rear Admiral and up), there is a board of officers that determine the eligibility of officers to be promoted from Commodore to Rear Admiral and up from there. Can you elaborate more, without compromising your sources obviously, on how Rear Admiral Ahuja can be a factor in Commodore Maolankar not getting promoted to a higher rank? It cannot be as simple as convincing the entire board that the Commodore is not fit to be promoted right?

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Re: Naval LCA - News and Discussion

Postby Akshay Kapoor » 09 Sep 2017 09:44

deleetd


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