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LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

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shiv
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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby shiv » 16 Mar 2017 20:33


Let me be the first to do the honours
1. Too many women
2. Too many wires
3. More red coloured wires should be used - I have seen red wires in <insert western country name>
3. Too much yellow colour
4. The plane is not flying - it is simply being made to look like that by holding it up

Have I missed any other important facts and criticisms?
PS: On a more serious note
viewtopic.php?p=2129833#p2129833

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby vina » 16 Mar 2017 20:53

srai wrote:^^^Zoom into the "wing skins" in the top-middle on the right side of the picture below. Looks like yellow CFC has some sort of blackish support braces, which should allow it to be bolted straight on to the metallic frame.


Hmm. The LCA is really "black metal" in terms of CFC skins and stuff being riveted on to aluminium frames in the fuselage . I wonder what they are doing for galvanic corrosion. Aluminum rivets and CFC skin plates riveted onto metallic structures don't go too well. Well, I suspect the rivets being shown being riveted the SDRE way in the Channel 9 video is probably Titanium rivets and there probably is an insulating coating where the composite plates and structures touch metal /dissimilar materials.

I would assume that that the NAL did some serious work on all aspects such as this when then developed the composites tech here in India. Also, the nice thing with these plate being riveted on frames (just like Aluminum structures) is the repairs can be just like you do for AL. Just remove the rivets and replace the plates! Patching too is exactly like you do with AL. Patch a hole with an AL sheet and rivet it around.

Easy peasy , Lemon Squeezy.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Zynda » 16 Mar 2017 21:08

Vina, Titanium rivets were used to fasten composite-composite & composite-Aluminum surfaces.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby SaiK » 16 Mar 2017 21:24

JayS wrote:..I see no metal at the joints. Panels look to be directly fitted to the spars/ribs/stringers.
BTW from the LG, it looks like its NLCA.

if one thinks of a design to slide the whole wing skin over the skeleton, it would need joints only on the fuselage edge (or less joints in the center).

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Indranil » 16 Mar 2017 23:05

Okay. So I found out. You guys were right. There is no "metal" at the joints (But, I distinctly remember reading something of this nature somewhere. I have to dig deeper.) Those tapes are aluminium tapes to cover irregularities. There are two sources of irregularities. Peeling off strain gauges do sometimes take the paint with them. Covering them with tape is a good idea to avoid moisture creeping in from those areas. But the primary source of the irregularities is because they are constantly removing and putting on the panels on the LSPs. Sometimes, they go for nuts and bolts instead of rivets for easier accessibility and time. They cover these irregularities with the tapes.

Zynda, you are also right that they went for the separate skin panels and structures for easier fixes. It is a trade-off. In theory, a fully co-cured wing would be cheaper to manufacture, require lower maintenance, have lower weight and higher life. But, such a wing cannot be repaired in the field. If a wing is damaged, the entire wing has to be replaced. So having separate panels help. Time for an anecdote. I was speaking to an ex A-10 pilot the other day. He said there were instances when the aircrafts' skin had holes from small arm fire. They patched them up with material from coke cans, and flew them state-side :D.

Vina, not only did NAL produce some fantastic manufacturing technologies, they also came up with some great fault identification techniques.

P.S. wonder if it is possible to co-cure the top surface of the wing with the structures and keep the bottom surface as panels. The top surface does not typically encounter FOD damage.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Kartik » 17 Mar 2017 00:49

JayS wrote:
Thanks for posting that. It clearly shows which parts are made of what material. This still does not clarify on whether the composite skin panels are directly riveted to the wing structural elements or through some metallic component.

In the picture above (with all the ladies in it) I see no metal at the joints. Panels look to be directly fitted to the spars/ribs/stringers.

BTW from the LG, it looks like its NLCA.


No reason why composite panels cannot be directly attached to the alloy structures. Would un-necessarily add to the skin panels' weight and the metallic component would need to be attached to the composite skin anyway. So it would be better to do away with that and save some weight.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 17 Mar 2017 01:38

Indranil wrote:Okay. So I found out. You guys were right. There is no "metal" at the joints (But, I distinctly remember reading something of this nature somewhere. I have to dig deeper.) Those tapes are aluminium tapes to cover irregularities. There are two sources of irregularities. Peeling off strain gauges do sometimes take the paint with them. Covering them with tape is a good idea to avoid moisture creeping in from those areas. But the primary source of the irregularities is because they are constantly removing and putting on the panels on the LSPs. Sometimes, they go for nuts and bolts instead of rivets. They cover these irregularities with the tapes.

Zynda, you are also right that they went for the separate skin panels and structures for easier fixes. It is a trade-off. In theory, a fully co-cured wing would be cheaper to manufacture, require lower maintenance, have lower weight and higher life. But, such a wing cannot be repaired in the field. If a wing is damaged, the entire wing has to be replaced. So having separate panels help. Time for an anecdote. I was speaking to an ex A-10 pilot the other day. He said there were instances when the aircrafts' skin had holes from small arm fire. They patched them up with material from coke cans, and flew them state-side :D.

Vina, not only did NAL produce some fantastic manufacturing technologies, they also came up with some great fault identification techniques.


Bingo. The tape is called "Speed tape" and it seems its extremely costly. But there may be some key locations where they have metal brackets holding the joint together. Such brackets are common at places of concentrated loads. Plus all key load bearing interfaces on LCA are metallic only, such as pylon attachments, wing-fuselage joints, control surface attachments etc. You might have seen something related to that.

I noticed all sorts of bolts on the LSP-1 that they has put on display in AI-2017, They seem to have fitted anything that they would find handy and put it on if it fits in there. But since they are the prototypes its fine. The SP's would not have this kind of mix and match.

They didn't go for co-cured structure because that technology was simply not there for the use on LCA. Its a recent development in NAL and is still not so mature that they can use it on an operational fighter. Not even MK2 will have co bonded co-cured wing. Only AMCA will have it. Even today not many companies in the world could make co-bonded co-cured fighter wings with requisite reliability and process control. Also Indranil, I don't think its cheaper to manufacture co-cured wing. In fact it may be more costly and rejection rate and cost might be too high as well because a small defect could force scrapping of entire wing (I know one real life example on big composite part where high rejection rate costed millions of dollars of wastage, but cannot share here). Plus you need larger and more sophisticated oven facility, better process control and much more maturity in the process. But the advantage is significant reduction in weight and no rivets/bolts, thus better reliability, better life and lower drag. For a fighter this itself justifies the cost. But of coarse repair would be again expensive and not so field friendly. But wing may not necessarily be needed to replace in entirety, if damage in minor and at non-critical locations.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 17 Mar 2017 01:43

Kartik wrote:
JayS wrote:
Thanks for posting that. It clearly shows which parts are made of what material. This still does not clarify on whether the composite skin panels are directly riveted to the wing structural elements or through some metallic component.

In the picture above (with all the ladies in it) I see no metal at the joints. Panels look to be directly fitted to the spars/ribs/stringers.

BTW from the LG, it looks like its NLCA.


No reason why composite panels cannot be directly attached to the alloy structures. Would un-necessarily add to the skin panels' weight and the metallic component would need to be attached to the composite skin anyway. So it would be better to do away with that and save some weight.


I said exactly the same thing already.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 17 Mar 2017 01:49

Zynda wrote:JayS, thanks for piece of info about rear fuselage. I did not know. Those white strips are meant for strain gauges. As you have pointed out, just because there is a strip doesn't mean that it has a gauge underneath it. Actually it is not uncommon to mount gauges and collect readings on SP vehicles too. Some times for fatigue readings, they usually wait for major design changes to be frozen and production runs to stabilise so that they get a good representative vehicle. For some of the commercial products, it is not uncommon to conduct fatigue tests on 4-5th serial airframe. For Tejas team, I would imagine them wanting as much data as possible from Tejas, since the original fatigue design was conducted using a MiG-21 load spectrum.


Thats an interesting piece of information. How did they use old metal based structure's fatigue data for composites' design..??

Even if they put on strain gauges on SP's those would be only a handful of those at some key location for calibration of existing models and correlations. Using FEM simulations and some real life data at key points one should be able to validate the entire stress-field. Since By now ADA must have had really good and fine tuned models of LCA's structural behaviour. Also, Since SP's don't have flight testing telemetry instrumentation and other flight test instrumentation on it, it would be rather difficult to put more than a handful sensors on it and get data from them.

BTW I was just browing through IOC-2 brochure that ADA had released long time ago. They mention efforts on use of composites in rear fuselage. So who knows, we might see composite rear fuselage on MK2 or on MK1A itself.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Indranil » 17 Mar 2017 02:41

The parts of the rear-fuselage are already made of composite. They required parts that could endure higher temperature. They have already cracked that puzzle. The first part is the engine bay door which is a co-cured part with the structure and the skin.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 17 Mar 2017 03:01

Indranil wrote:The parts of the rear-fuselage are already made of composite. They required parts that could endure higher temperature. They have already cracked that puzzle. The first part is the engine bay door which is a co-cured part with the structure and the skin.


Great news on both counts. I was looking at older material distribution images.

BTW folks a lot of openings in NAL for MTech freshies or MTech + 2yr exp. Have a look if interested, Lucky ones might end up working on LCA/AMCA. :mrgreen:

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby shiv » 17 Mar 2017 06:10

Indranil wrote: Time for an anecdote. I was speaking to an ex A-10 pilot the other day. He said there were instances when the aircrafts' skin had holes from small arm fire. They patched them up with material from coke cans, and flew them state-side :D.

Not coke cans but bullet holes in wars like 1971 and 1965 were patched up similarly - written accounts exist from pilots. But the anecdote is useful in illustrating that jugaad is normal on the field and that Indian jugaad seems to get less contempt when we know that Amreekis do it. Nowadays anyone who mentions this type of patchwork will also be reminded that stealth will be affected to get that extra 1/2 mark for the textbook answer

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby vina » 17 Mar 2017 10:25

Zynda wrote:Vina, Titanium rivets were used to fasten composite-composite & composite-Aluminum surfaces.

:shock: :shock: . Titanium you say, then it must be imported ! So,

Who said that the LCA is indigenous? Fake News.Even the rivets are imported. Bad. Import from Russia. Make India Great again. :(( :((

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 17 Mar 2017 12:49

shiv wrote:
Indranil wrote: Time for an anecdote. I was speaking to an ex A-10 pilot the other day. He said there were instances when the aircrafts' skin had holes from small arm fire. They patched them up with material from coke cans, and flew them state-side :D.

Not coke cans but bullet holes in wars like 1971 and 1965 were patched up similarly - written accounts exist from pilots. But the anecdote is useful in illustrating that jugaad is normal on the field and that Indian jugaad seems to get less contempt when we know that Amreekis do it. Nowadays anyone who mentions this type of patchwork will also be reminded that stealth will be affected to get that extra 1/2 mark for the textbook answer


We show things "as it is". They show the best stuff under ideal conditions. And overwhelming majority of folks extrapolate things from what is shown to them. Their jugaad is projected as ingenious solutions, our jugaad is made out to look like cheap workaround and symbol of laziness to do things properly. Finishing of a product is very important. We lack in that field. That last 1% effort to make a product look TFTA from outside gives more positive impression than the 99% work gone under the hood. One has to play with people's mind if you want them to feel good about your product. For Tejas, 99.9999% people don't give a shit what's there under the skin. But they are put off very easily by a bunch of duct tape over the skin.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby maitya » 17 Mar 2017 18:20

JayS wrote:<snip>
They didn't go for co-cured structure because that technology was simply not there for the use on LCA. Its a recent development in NAL and is still not so mature that they can use it on an operational fighter. Not even MK2 will have co bonded co-cured wing. Only AMCA will have it. Even today not many companies in the world could make co-bonded co-cured fighter wings with requisite reliability and process control.
<snip>

IIRC the LCA Fin (and the Rudder) are co-cured and co-bonded CFC structures.

The reason I think NAL never went for cocured/cobonded Wings was simply because of lack of a adequately sized autoclave availability with NAL at that point of time (early 2000s) - the autoclave that they had at that time were adequate for the Fin-sized structure but not for the Wings.

This NAL pdf and this one as well has some useful information wrt CFC usage and complexities in LCA (e.g. LG door is also cocured etc).

And given the level of (re)testing etc required if wings were to be developed using cocured/cobonded tech, they didn't proceed with it ... after all, there's no tearing need to delay further an already delayed program.

But that kind of schedule constraint etc are not there anymore, so there's no reason why these kind of improvements can't be developed and introduced in 1A or MK2 etc in future.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 17 Mar 2017 18:58

maitya wrote:
JayS wrote:<snip>
They didn't go for co-cured structure because that technology was simply not there for the use on LCA. Its a recent development in NAL and is still not so mature that they can use it on an operational fighter. Not even MK2 will have co bonded co-cured wing. Only AMCA will have it. Even today not many companies in the world could make co-bonded co-cured fighter wings with requisite reliability and process control.
<snip>

IIRC the LCA Fin (and the Rudder) are co-cured and co-bonded CFC structures.

The reason I think NAL never went for cocured/cobonded Wings was simply because of lack of a adequately sized autoclave availability with NAL at that point of time (early 2000s) - the autoclave that they had at that time were adequate for the Fin-sized structure but not for the Wings.

This NAL pdf and this one as well has some useful information wrt CFC usage and complexities in LCA (e.g. LG door is also cocured etc).

And given the level of (re)testing etc required if wings were to be developed using cocured/cobonded tech, they didn't proceed with it ... after all, there's no tearing need to delay further an already delayed program.

But that kind of schedule constraint etc are not there anymore, so there's no reason why these kind of improvements can't be developed and introduced in 1A or MK2 etc in future.

I had only wing and fuselage primary structure in my mind.

Vertical tail is kinda, sorta not-so-critical component from load perspective and thus was the first major component which went composite on aircraft if you see the history. But using same tech for wing needs much more confidence on the manufacturing technology and design methodology. Similarly LG doors are not really critical load bearing parts, plus they are small enough to be able to control the curing process relatively easily.

I remember to have read NAL news letter a few yrs ago (may be 4yrs) where they reported successful development of Co-bonded and co-cured technology. NAL also got some national award for this development. Need to dig that out. I had asked someone from LCA Mfg division of LCA. He was categorical in saying that we won't see Co-cured co-bonded structure on LCA. But I hope it comes on MK2.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Zynda » 17 Mar 2017 19:40

JayS wrote:
Zynda wrote:since the original fatigue design was conducted using a MiG-21 load spectrum.


Thats an interesting piece of information. How did they use old metal based structure's fatigue data for composites' design..??


I will get back on this in a couple of days. What I was told is that ADA/NAL during the 80s was asked (or forced?) to use -21's spectrum (not sure if they had to go to Russia to get the same) since LCA was meant for -21 replacement and hence was expected to have similar mission profiles.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Nitesh » 17 Mar 2017 19:42


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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 17 Mar 2017 19:45

Zynda wrote:
JayS wrote:
Thats an interesting piece of information. How did they use old metal based structure's fatigue data for composites' design..??


I will get back on this in a couple of days. What I was told is that ADA/NAL during the 80s was asked (or forced?) to use -21's spectrum (not sure if they had to go to Russia to get the same) since LCA was meant for -21 replacement and hence was expected to have similar mission profiles.


Ohh, may be its not what I thought. I misread in first go. I thought you are referring to the full scale fatigue testing that NAL did on MiG-21, in late 1990s I think, for its life extension. I suppose you are referring to related loads for variety of missions and real life mission mix of these mission profiles. That makes sense.

But keep me posted on anything that you hear on this. Its interesting to know about it.
Last edited by JayS on 17 Mar 2017 19:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 17 Mar 2017 19:52



Great. Thanks. It does. So the new tech is Resin infusion as oppose to the older one of pre-preg. My memory doesn't serve me well quite often.

The second link also has description of the high temp composite they developed for rear fuselage panels of LCA. Will read in details later.

Hope they are working on 3D woven composites as well. :mrgreen:

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Nitesh » 17 Mar 2017 20:08


srai
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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby srai » 17 Mar 2017 20:44

Nitesh wrote:Does this help?
...
http://www.nal.res.in/pdf/Publications/ACD.pdf


Good find!

Code: Select all

Cocuring: Reduction of part count, Elimination of Fasteners and Reduction of Assembly Time (compared to Conventional Technology)

Fin Torsional Box                  31 parts to 1 part
Fin Noise Box                      19 parts to 1 part
Rudder Boded Assembly-VS Box       50 parts to 6 parts
Center Fuselage                    500 Parts to 44 parts
Undercarriage Doors                40 parts to 5 parts

Co-Curing technology has resulted in more than 20%  savings in cost and about 25% reduction in weigh


IMO, the LCA wings will get this reduction in parts in future iteration. Maybe they can get it down to 5 to 10 or so main subsections.

Development of High Temperature Composite Component using Bismaleimide (BMI) Resin for Aircraft Applications

Structures made using epoxy resins are limited by their Glass Transition Temperature (Tg) and cannot be used in the hot zones of the aircraft. Resin systems like bismaleimide and polymide can be employed at higher temperatures beyond the limits of epoxies. ACD–NAL carried out extensive R&D in the processing of BMI prepreg system using industry standard building block approach. A structural part in the engine region on LCA called Engine Bay Door was identified for developing cocuring technology using Bismaleimide (BMI)prepregs.The service temperature for this particular application was around 180°C. Presently the engine bay door (middle) of LCA is made with sandwich construction using nomex core and carbon/914C composite face sheets. Thermal insulation padding is provided on the inner surface so as to keep the service temperature within Tg of epoxy system. This has resulted in higher weight and maintenance issues. Cocured engine bay door was successfully developed using a stiffened construction. This also resulted in eliminating the need for a sandwich structure. Subsequently, the engine bay door was structurally tested at 180°C with flight load applied.


• Co-curing technology for BMI prepregs
• Achieved 26% weight saving
• Elevated service temperature
• Easy Assembly process
• Easy Maintainability and service related repairs

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 17 Mar 2017 21:01



Awesome.

While we are at it, is NAL working on Breaded fabric composites..? Breaded composites suppose to have very good impact resistance and are being used by GE in Fan containment case where it needs to absorb impact of fan blade out without letting any part out.

That gives me an idea. How about a breaded composite skin which can be bulletproof for high calibre bullets and shrapnel and could absorb ground fire during CAS sorties..?? May be use and throw snap on panels which can be put on below and around the cockpit and engine bay only for CAS duty..?? If damaged by bullets they can be thrown and replaced by new ones. like ERA panels on MBT. Kind of a composite BPJ for aircraft..??

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Khalsa » 20 Mar 2017 05:18

Image
Pvt firms to produce Tejas body, wings; HAL to play integrator

Three-pronged plan
    Fuselage (body) and wing production work has been outsourced to three companies and these will come back with deliveries in two years
    The second part of the "increase-production plan" is to use the existing facility of the hawk trainer jets; a pilot project has already started
    The third part aims at turning Hindustan Aeronautics Limited into an integrator-a concept adopted by leading foreign manufacturers


Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, March 19
In a path-breaking move, part-production of the Light Combat Aircraft, The Tejas, has been outsourced to Indian private companies, with an aim to speed up production to cover up the dwindling number of Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets.
The IAF is operating with 33 squadrons (16-18 planes each) as against the need for 42 squadrons mandated to effectively fight a simultaneous two-front war with Pakistan and China.
(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)
T Suvarna Raju, Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), said, “We are getting fuselage (body) made by private companies and the HAL, in future, will just be an integrator. We have outsourced fuselage and the wing production to three companies and these have to come back with deliveries in two years.”
This was part of a three-pronged plan to speed up Tejas production, Raju said.
There are 123 Tejas jets – in two variants — on order and HAL has an installed capacity of producing only eight planes every year. In the past, a private company made the hull (body) of the nuclear submarine INS Arihant.
Raju said, “The increased production rate will be visible from 2018 when we will be able to provide 16 planes per year under a Rs 1,300-crore expansion project (at the HAL facility in Bangalore).”
The HAL CMD said the second part of the “increase-production plan” is to use the existing facility of the hawk trainer jets and a pilot project has already started.
The third part involves outsourcing to private companies, thus turning HAL into an integrator – a concept adopted by leading foreign manufacturers. This will mean the Tejas fleet of 123 jets can be delivered earlier than planned.
The IAF is operating with 33 squadrons (16-18 planes each) as against the need for 42 squadrons mandated to effectively fight a simultaneous two-front war with Pakistan and China.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/pvt-firms-to-produce-tejas-body-wings-hal-to-play-integrator/379448.html

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Prem » 20 Mar 2017 09:33

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/a ... 532355.ece
Air Force likely to get 123 LCA Tejas by 2024-25

If the present development and capacity enhancement plans go as per schedule, the Indian Air Force will have 123 indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas fighter jets in its fleet by 2024-25.The IAF has placed orders for 40 jets in two batches of which the first 20 are in the Initial Operational Configuration (IOC) while the remaining 20 are in the Final Operational Configuration (FOC). Last July the IAF for operationalised the first Tejas squadron ‘45 flying daggers’ with three aircraft. Two more aircraft will join the squadron shortly.Last November the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had given initial clearance for 83 aircraft in the Mk-1A configuration with specific improvements sought by the IAF.Mr. Raju said that about 45 improvements have been implemented in the 1A and HAL has already floated a tender for the Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and Self-Protection Jammer (SPJ).On the timeline for the development of the 1A, Mr. Raju said that the tender would be opened by March end after which technical evaluation and commercial negotiations would be held. “We will be able to prove it on the 1A by 2018 and start producing by 2019,” he observed.Apart from the development, the induction is also delayed by the low production rate of eight aircraft per year. The government has recently given sanction for setting another assembly to increase production rate to 16 per year.“The IAF will get Mk-1A in 2019 by that time our capacity will also go up to 16 aircraft per year,” Mr. Raju added.
To increase the production of the aircraft HAL has outsourced major parts of the jet. “We are trying to be an integrator rather than a manufacturer, he said.On the issue of spares and supports which has been an area of constant concern from the services, Mr. Raju said they have now signed long term supply contracts with their vendors and stated that the availability of all platforms manufactured by HAL has now gone “above 65 percent.”

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Philip » 20 Mar 2017 10:53

This is excellent news.If by 2019 prod. goes up to 16/yr,the 124+ target can be met and another 80+ produced by 2030.That will give us a total of 200 LCA variants.However,11 sqds. of MIG-21s and MIG-27s will within the next 4-5 yrs. be retd. That's a total of 200 aircraft approx. A gap of 100-120+ aircraft will be experienced by the IAF. It has to determine the most cost-effective way in which the gap is filled. If extra sqds. of the existing types in service are acquired, it will prevent the need for yet another type with all the wranglings ,bargaining,etc. that comes with any def. acquisition tx. to babudom. In fact,babudom is reportedly also delaying the logistics agreement signed with the US last yr. A report says that US "sensors" ,which can be monitored by their sats will be located in India for the same. More explanations are needed as to what exactly these sensors are.This may be the "thin end of the wedge" which many fear.

Now,"65%" availability of HAL produced aircraft,etc. is an excellent fig. if accurate. A few days ago,the Indo-Russian support agreement for Sukhois was signed.Russia has amended its laws to allow direct export of def. eqpt. by its OEMs,of any Sov.Russian origin eqpt.to Indian entities. This will also dramatically reduce time of delivery of key spares,etc.,apart froms etting up in India dedicated support facilities for Ru eqpt. Therefore,availability of MKIs,MIG-29s and other RU systems like MI-17V helos,missiles and ammo,will only improve,increasing the combat capability of these systems.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Indranil » 20 Mar 2017 22:48

Uttam AESA radar details



1. Each TR module is 10 W working at 1 GHz (X-band). Four TR module per "package"
2. When they went for volume production, components (power amplifier) were denied. The speaker calls it blessing in disguise 8) . They had foreseen this and had started co-development with Astra microwave ahead of time. Last year, they qualified the indigenous QTRMs. BEL and Astra have already developed more than 4,000 units. The QTRMs are being used for 3 other strategic ground array systems.
3. Planks are packaged using vacuum brazing. They started with debrazing but could not qualify it inspite of many iterations. The vacuum brazed package works very well and has been indigenized.
4. Exciter/Reciever module: indigenous and qualified
5. Array power supply unit: indigenous and qualified
6. Cooling unit: indigenous and qualified
7. Complete array has been recently qualified. Safety of flight qualified. Ready for installation on the aircraft.
8. +-60 degree
9. Range: 115 km (subjective). Can be increased or decreased based on cooling, space and mission requirements.
10. Roof top testing done for qualification. Criticality lies in the software. Mission objectives need to be defined properly.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby sankum » 20 Mar 2017 23:28

Final aim is increase the Lca production to 25/year and 125nos can be produced in 2025-30.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Rishi Verma » 21 Mar 2017 00:20

AESA gent seemed to allude that Tejas has limited power, space, and cooling and therefore the spec of the AESA hardware is what it is. .. and that the AESA spec can't be compared from one aircraft to another (fair enough)

And since 2014 they are awaiting an aircraft which is modified to carry the hardware.. but did testing on "rooftop" in the meantime.

The TR module set (2x2 per beamforming network) will be reused for "strategic" ground based radars.. may be for BMD.

Also seemed to say software depends on customer requirements and that hasn't happened, (it's because iaf never operated an aesa platform) so after iaf gets the Rafale, then gets a feel for AESA then sets the requirements for desi AESA or IAF may just go lazy and import the AESA suite.

Or LRDE could get pro-active and hire 2-3 "just retired IAF guys" and writes preliminary specs to complete the demo software. But no, it won't happen.

A strong and technically savvy defense minister needs to clear this catch 22 to allow desi AESA deployed.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Prasad » 21 Mar 2017 00:58

He said the system was ready two weeks back and they're now waiting for aircraft modifications to be carried out? That means flight testing is yet to come and who knows how long that might take.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby srai » 21 Mar 2017 03:29

^^^

ADA had asked that Uttam AESA be able to fit in LCA with minimal integration effort. Mk1A is supposed to be ready for production by 2019/20. So 3 to 4 years for qualifications.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Indranil » 21 Mar 2017 03:33

Prasad wrote:He said the system was ready two weeks back and they're now waiting for aircraft modifications to be carried out? That means flight testing is yet to come and who knows how long that might take.

They have an LSP ear marked for conversion to Mk1A for faster delivery. I think they will earmark another LSP for AESA testing after FOC.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Marten » 21 Mar 2017 04:26

In one of the earlier posts, someone mentioned 300 as the number of flights required to qualify the AESA. With two LSPs, this should take less than a year in conjunction with the other tests. If aerodynamic configuration is unchanged, and most changes are related to qualifying upgrades, will it take 3 or 4 years for certification? One of likely issues is that we cannot qualify some of the Mk1A upgrades on previous LSPs since they do not adhere to SOP18. Would it possible to upgrade all the LSPs?

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby brar_w » 21 Mar 2017 07:11

Indranil wrote:Uttam AESA radar details



1. Each TR module is 10 W working at 1 GHz (X-band). Four TR module per "package"


He said 1 GHz bandwidth...

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Sid » 21 Mar 2017 08:08

Why we are not qualifying it on a Su-30, with ample power and space for future growth. That will save us a ton of money on any future Su (IRBIS) upgrades.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby srai » 21 Mar 2017 08:46

Marten wrote:In one of the earlier posts, someone mentioned 300 as the number of flights required to qualify the AESA. With two LSPs, this should take less than a year in conjunction with the other tests. If aerodynamic configuration is unchanged, and most changes are related to qualifying upgrades, will it take 3 or 4 years for certification? One of likely issues is that we cannot qualify some of the Mk1A upgrades on previous LSPs since they do not adhere to SOP18. Would it possible to upgrade all the LSPs?


For clarification, they have 3 or 4 years to get it done before the Mk1A is supposed to enter production. Unless the new radar has some serious design flaws, certification shouldn't take long. Most of the modes/software/hardware have already been tested on elevated platform among other things and the radar itself has been specifically designed/integrated for LCA through various test rigs.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Marten » 21 Mar 2017 08:51

srai wrote:
Marten wrote:In one of the earlier posts, someone mentioned 300 as the number of flights required to qualify the AESA. With two LSPs, this should take less than a year in conjunction with the other tests. If aerodynamic configuration is unchanged, and most changes are related to qualifying upgrades, will it take 3 or 4 years for certification? One of likely issues is that we cannot qualify some of the Mk1A upgrades on previous LSPs since they do not adhere to SOP18. Would it possible to upgrade all the LSPs?


For clarification, they have 3 or 4 years to get it done before the Mk1A is supposed to enter production. Unless the new radar has some serious design flaws, certification shouldn't take long. Most of the modes/software/hardware have already been tested on elevated platform among other things and the radar itself has been specifically designed/integrated for LCA through various test rigs.

Thank you Srai Sir. That was helpful.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby srai » 21 Mar 2017 08:52

Sid wrote:Why we are not qualifying it on a Su-30, with ample power and space for future growth. That will save us a ton of money on any future Su (IRBIS) upgrades.


Eventually, there will be one for the Su-30 (or FGFA). Current Uttam AESA has been specifically designed for the LCA and integrated on it taking into account space, power and cooling that are available. They also needed to work with existing radar plug-in points.

The technology of AESA is only limited by the volume of space, power and cooling available to it. But it will need to be customized for a platform.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby sum » 21 Mar 2017 09:42

^^ One pooch:
Since we are able to design relatively complex radar systems like airborne AESAs, why did the Radome design go so bad that we had to finally import the same for LCA?

Shouldnt a Radome design be magnitudes easier if we have sufficient mastery over Radar and RF systems?

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby srai » 21 Mar 2017 09:57

Compressed timelines. Decision was made to go with an already proven product Quartz radome from Cobham. Saves on qualification time. Later on, you can R&D a radome that meets or exceeds that. Lessons have been learnt on the Kevlar radome EM properties. Back then MMR was being developed concurrently.


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