rohitvats wrote:^^^Indranil - to the above, I would like to add that HAL did not work with GTRE to address the area ruling in Marut Mk1R with reheat engines developed by GTRE. Again, as per Gp Captain Bhargava, that version of Marut held the best potential and was a very good machine. While inspite of area rule being vitiated due to new engine, it had very good performance in reheat segment, Marut Mk1R had lower performance in dry thrust mode due to area ruling problem. This part HAL never rectified.
Handling area rule is now a 100 year old tech. Many planes have had that problem and were modified suitably. Dr. Whitcomb is famous to have applied it by eyeballing the wind tunnel models and using sandpaper to achieve better ruling. At the point when the decision was being taken in favour of Jags instead of continuing the development of the Marut, there were known solutions of handling fat engines. For example, Saab elongated the Viggen, Convair added fairings. Could Marut have been refined to meet our requirements? I believe the exceptional test pilots of those times. If you like the Jag's low level flying, you would have appreciated the Marut even more. None of the pilots who have flown both planes mince words in describing the same.
The truth of why the Marut failed is probably a cocktail of reasons:
HAL did shoddy PSU work. The camp within IAF who were enamoured with imported airplanes spared no stone in exposing them. The economics of our country made it much easier to just go for ready made imports rather than labour through and pay for ab-initio developments. The political class of independence struggle had perished and left behind a crop that had sunk the country into deep internal political struggle. Who had the time to put IAF/HAL/GTRE together. The job was left to a handful of test pilots who enjoyed enormous respect in IAF circles. Opposing them were the lot who did not and still cannot believe that SDREs of HAL/GTRE cannot handle area ruling
Additionally, India was a second class citizen in the world of geopolitics. The Indo-Pak wars were recent and PAF was getting a steady stream of aircrafts from USA. It was easy to be short sighted then and get the Jaguars, which by the way was in need of a lot of final touches too. Only thing was that the engines and airframe sat well together.
In hindsight, although it hurts a lot, it is understandable. It is literally a mistake and lesson of national proportion. I only hoped that such a mistake would not be reiterated today. Thankfully, we have the strength to forge forward this time. We have a strong govt. We have the economics and the front seat at the geo-political table to back us. We have an inductable plane whose manufacturing needs to be streamlined, whose design needs to be refined. Our designers and builders to be honed in a time when we have no impending war. Once again, we have small group of test pilots which swears by the LCAs. Unfortunately, once again we have a bigger group who think that we should have second line of "Gripen-like", F-16-like aircraft. Basically, that TFTA goras can teach a bunch of SDREs how to screw together aircrafts. But SDREs cannot teach other SDREs how to do so. Once again, this bigger import-pasand group is winning. It hurts a lot more this time. It is very difficult to keep looking the other way!