Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

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chola
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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby chola » 19 Nov 2019 16:11

Karan M wrote:
chola wrote:
We have always been ambitious in our projects but right now the ambitions has become almost intoxicating in their number and scope.

Think about it: Tejas MK1, MK1A, NLCA, SPORT, MWF, AMCA and a 110kN medium engine that no one, not even the US and Russia, has today.

And now this TEDBF when the NLCA had made such progress. I'm sorry but this one feels like an intrusion, a sudden and last minute change that will impact funding and resources for everything else.

IMO, it makes little sense to build another twin-engine aircraft with the AMCA coming up. Why not finish up with the NLCA and use that as an interim while we wait for the NAMCA? The TEDBF won't come any faster when they are announcing the idea today.

I hope the Navy don't insist on the 57 too. All this troubles me when we can't even begin on the third carrier because of funding.


You can't use the NLCA because it does not meet the Navy's requirements for x range, y payload which it wants while replacing the MiG-29K.

Its obvious at this point that the IN is not counting on the MiG-29Ks lasting beyond a point. They are clearly not airframes the IN thinks will last a while and can be flogged as extensively as the IAF birds.

The new 57 aircraft tender actually gives the IN breathing space for the MiG-29K drawdown, plus more aircraft for the 2nd carrier and also development of the TEDBF.

Of the aircraft programs you mention:

Tejas Mk1 is complete, with production focus shifting to Mk1A which is basically an avionics upgrade, SPORT is also nothing but an avionics upgrade and NLCA is now a TD program whose team will be "free" once it meets basic requirements for the TD. MWF and AMCA are where the focus is, but these programs will run in parallel, and the NLCA team will still be awaiting a program.

At the end of the day, its about resources, if the IN/IAF/MOD fund properly, and services give their program managers leeway, ADA doesn't screw up risk management and outsources responsibly, these programs are doable.

The money involved makes doing these programs a no-brainer.



Nicely laid out reasoning, Karan ji. These are heady days with a new ACM dedicated to MII and so many details of our programs coming to light.

Still this TEDBF is just a shot out of the blue to me. I thought the NLCA had run so smoothly with milestones being reached every month it seems and suddenly it is dropped and we go in another direction.

I am no fan of the 29K but I hope we can soldier on to the TEDBF/NAMCA with it and not have to resort to the 57. We only inducted the thing in 2010 for goodness sakes.

When VikA and Vikrant are slated to have a normal air wing of 12 to 20 fighters, there is really no place for the 57 and 45 MiG-29Ks when there is no clear course for a third carrier.

Unless as you say the IN intends to retire the 45 29Ks in short order. It would be a massive waste when they are practically new. And with our procurement process, ala MMRCA, the timelines for the 57 might not be faster than the TEDBF and NAMC.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Kakarat » 19 Nov 2019 17:06

For those who think no of TEDBF to be built will be low numbers thus not justifying the development cost

It gives us more freedom and range to develop other variants like the Growler etc. and I see nos running close to atleast a 100 for the Navy
Aircraft designed for the Air force needs major modifications to be used by the Navy but a Aircraft designed for the Navy can be used as it is by the Air force with out any change and we could see TEDBF in IAF service also

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Prasad » 19 Nov 2019 17:12

Heck, the IN could sell a CATOBAR Vishal on the basis of see - we don't need to import catobar fighter onlee, we have pure shuddh desi fighter onlee, we can make all here, just give us this teeny tiny 65k ton carrier onlee.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby nash » 19 Nov 2019 18:21

AI-2021 will be very interesting, 15 more months.Hopefully, we may get some idea of specification with a model. I think selection of engine will be important, is it 414(F-18E/F) or 404(F-18C/D) or M88(Rafale).

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Nikhil_Naya » 19 Nov 2019 18:39

I believe the TEDBF is just a new name for the MWF (Tejas 2+). The reasons could be many. If you see the profile of the AMCA - it is evident that the wingspan is large, could be that due to the minimal RCS expected of this type, such a wing will have penalties in terms of wing folding, etc. Also, the internal weapon bays required for such type will further limit the availability of space.
Rather than design a new AMCA type - with these penalties, probably makes more sense to create a similar fighter (similar avionics, engines, radar, etc.) with external hardpoints, folding wings, etc - something like an AMCA with a slightly higher RCS maybe or a twin-engine LCA with similar dynamics.
The F35 is a carrier-borne AC, but if you see in terms of wingspan, etc it is a different bird. Also, the lifts on the carriers operating them are larger. Could this be why the TEDBF is coming into the picture?.
Also - It could just be an existing design, maybe an MWF early version, that won't suit the AF requirements, but maybe can suit Navy requirements and will then spin off into a 4++ generation fighter bringing up the major part of the AF requirements if in the future. Considering that the per hour operational cost of a very low RCS fighter is higher (RAM coatings, etc), we could also have these only as the sword edge, with the punch being the 4++ almost 5 generation fighter platforms bringing in the higher numbers. So we could have a Tejas (Mk1A/ 2) + MWF / TEDBF as our regular ac. With the AMCA/ MWF (Low RCS) type as our 'gold plate' aircraft.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby JTull » 19 Nov 2019 18:52

Until they decide CATOBAR or STOBAR, the TEDBF or the next Carrier aren't going anywhere. This is just another to say we've no plan B and let's empower import lobby! We should soon expect a bogie about Chinese Carriers reaching Indian Ocean region.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby sajaym » 19 Nov 2019 19:07

LakshmanPST wrote:I think going ahead with TEDBF is a much better option...TEDBF can include lot of technologies from AMCA, except few things like geometric stealth...


My thoughts as well.

In hindsight, the NLCA Mk2 would've been a wasteful exercise. It would've only been a bigger version of a technology demonstrator (NLCA Mk1)… in other words it would've just been a technology demonstrator Mk2. What's the point of saddling the IN with a single engine fighter when it wants a twin engine one, is already operating a twin-engine one and is aspiring to field a twin engine 5th gen one?

There was a big gap between the NLCA Mk1 and the Naval AMCA. It's a huge leap from demonstrating a carrier capable single engine light fighter and fielding a 5th Gen carrier capable twin engine fighter. The TEDBF rightly fills this gap.

"TED" (TEDBF) takes the learnings from the NLCA Mk1 and builds on the groundwork being laid for the NAMCA. TED is the guarantee that NAMCA will happen. Without TED, NAMCA is just another shifting goalpost. And TED also takes care of the MIG-29K blunder, by gradually filling in the capability which will be fast depleting in the timeline in which the Mig-29s will be retired (same like how the LCA mk1 is gradually filling in for the Mig-21s).

So the NLCA Mk2 was a good concept, cute and all. But it's time to let it go. NLCA Mk2 is dead, Long live TED!

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Rahul M » 19 Nov 2019 19:21

all the reasonings that are being given to justify the TEDBF (what a stupid acronym anyway), viz. cost, numbers, capability of ADA to handle multiple projects are EQUALLY valid for the NAMCA. even if the NAMCA proper is beyond them, which is VERY strange IMHO, NAMCA lite should be certainly within the capacity of a designer with the NLCA under its belt and embarking on the AMCA.

and AFAIK it's nobody's case that the navy doesn't need a JPHFPGF (jet powered high flying penta generation fighter) eventually, I mean by 2040 latest, so the NAMCA or a 5G import is coming sooner or later. so why not sooner than later. so either the TEDBF is a sacrificial goat to justify the F35 years in the future or this just doesn't make any sense. will the TEDBF come before 2030's ? even 2035 is a very ambitious target. by that date we can and should have the NAMCA/NAMCA lite flying, TEDBF notwithstanding.
so why waste time, money and effort on it ?

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby tsarkar » 19 Nov 2019 19:41

The Navy Vice Chief had requested DRDO/ADA in 2015/16 for feasibility of adapting AMCA for Naval requirements. The studies were done in 2017-18 and the final report submitted late 2018/early 2019.

The understanding from those studies is that rather than adapting a fighter designed originally for land based use, a fresh zero base design would be technically and operationally a better option.

Any learning from NLCA, MWF and AMCA would be incorporated.

Conversion of aircraft originally for land based role to carrier based role have always been failures. Examples being F-111B, F-16N, Jaguar M.

MiG-29K and Su-33 are partial successes.

A zero base Naval Fighter is the best thing to do. The design is still wide open and we'll see iterations.

Present NLCA is the test bed for key technologies especially flight control in challenging aerodynamic regimes.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby ragupta » 19 Nov 2019 19:50

Make sense, eventually they want a twin engine fighter for all its benefits, so it would be better to go with twin engine design and stop relying on existing airforce models. Navy knows what they want so it would be better to design something they like and upgrade it for its need. Maybe something it will be a design and prototype better than what we can import.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Karan M » 19 Nov 2019 21:17

Rahul M wrote:all the reasonings that are being given to justify the TEDBF (what a stupid acronym anyway), viz. cost, numbers, capability of ADA to handle multiple projects are EQUALLY valid for the NAMCA. even if the NAMCA proper is beyond them, which is VERY strange IMHO, NAMCA lite should be certainly within the capacity of a designer with the NLCA under its belt and embarking on the AMCA.

and AFAIK it's nobody's case that the navy doesn't need a JPHFPGF (jet powered high flying penta generation fighter) eventually, I mean by 2040 latest, so the NAMCA or a 5G import is coming sooner or later. so why not sooner than later. so either the TEDBF is a sacrificial goat to justify the F35 years in the future or this just doesn't make any sense. will the TEDBF come before 2030's ? even 2035 is a very ambitious target. by that date we can and should have the NAMCA/NAMCA lite flying, TEDBF notwithstanding.
so why waste time, money and effort on it ?


I think the ADA is not sure they can match the aero performance required by a naval fighter which also carries heavier load with the additional restrictions a stealth fighter has (extra weight, internal bay, stealth coatings, relatively inefficient propulsion etc), in the timelines envisaged. Navalizing the AMCA is not an easy task and will be a repeat of the LCA-NLCA path, with some compromises which the IN will crib about. So they will make a desi Growler/Rafale type bird with reduced RCS and EW, as versus a true stealth aircraft.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Prem Kumar » 19 Nov 2019 21:38

Isn't the navalizing an air-force fighter is difficult mantra known for quite some time, especially with the NLCA experience?

If so, why would the IN & IAF not gotten together with ADA to design an AMCA, which would be carrier capable from day 1? I.e. design the NAMCA first, and create an Air Force version from it? All these years designing & re-designing AMCA could have been spent in coming up with a baseline design that has commonality

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Prasad » 19 Nov 2019 21:54

Rahul,
You are forgetting something very important. The AMCA Mk1 will be F414 class powered but is actually meant to be powered by a much higher thrust engine. A Navy version will have a heavier empty weight due to all the naval ruggedisation. Will it have a high enough TWR to suit the navy requirements? AMCA Mk2 is a ways away from here and now. I doubt we'll get a fully ready AMCA Mk2 by the time the IN wants this twin engined fighter inducted. Karan's points about IWB and other stealth features putting a greater penalty on clean configuration payload capability etc also add to the compromise.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Karan M » 19 Nov 2019 22:50

Prem Kumar wrote:Isn't the navalizing an air-force fighter is difficult mantra known for quite some time, especially with the NLCA experience?

If so, why would the IN & IAF not gotten together with ADA to design an AMCA, which would be carrier capable from day 1? I.e. design the NAMCA first, and create an Air Force version from it? All these years designing & re-designing AMCA could have been spent in coming up with a baseline design that has commonality


Any joint program, perforce will have compromises which neither service will truly be happy about. Also, it does seem the Navy dropped the ball after NLCA and have belatedly woken up to the fact the bus is about Make in India and they better climb on.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby chetak » 19 Nov 2019 23:04

tsarkar wrote:The Navy Vice Chief had requested DRDO/ADA in 2015/16 for feasibility of adapting AMCA for Naval requirements. The studies were done in 2017-18 and the final report submitted late 2018/early 2019.

The understanding from those studies is that rather than adapting a fighter designed originally for land based use, a fresh zero base design would be technically and operationally a better option.

Any learning from NLCA, MWF and AMCA would be incorporated.

Conversion of aircraft originally for land based role to carrier based role have always been failures. Examples being F-111B, F-16N, Jaguar M.

MiG-29K and Su-33 are partial successes.

A zero base Naval Fighter is the best thing to do. The design is still wide open and we'll see iterations.

Present NLCA is the test bed for key technologies especially flight control in challenging aerodynamic regimes.


all these points have been known for quite some time to the powers that be. The IN provided seed funding for the LCA as well as the ALH and was among the supportive cheerleaders right from the beginning.

Both projects did not pan out as anticipated by the IN but other sister services have been benefitted and the IN still continues with some of the funding in both projects.

So the CT of new requirements "suddenly" being sprung upon the design agencies just doesn't wash.

The trends in the LCA development, as well as some of the hurdles, were visible to the IN brass much before it dawned on a whole lot of others.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Karan M » 19 Nov 2019 23:13

I've heard very different about that time (before todays AMCA etc, cleansheet design etc). The late Shri Parrikar exerted a ton of pressure on the IN to continue with the NLCA. The prior Navy admin (whoever it was) created a lot of bad blood ditching both the NLCA and also pushing for the 57 aircraft RFP whilst slagging the LCA, and attempting to push the MiG-29s issues under the sideboard. It didn't fly with GOI and the Navy/ADA were asked to recommit to the NLCA and ensure the program was completed, also recommit to fixing the MiG-29 (with a lot of pressure/workups with the Russians as well).

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby chetak » 19 Nov 2019 23:27

Karan M wrote:I've heard very different about that time (before todays AMCA etc, cleansheet design etc). The late Shri Parrikar exerted a ton of pressure on the IN to continue with the NLCA. The prior Navy admin (whoever it was) created a lot of bad blood ditching both the NLCA and also pushing for the 57 aircraft RFP whilst slagging the LCA, and attempting to push the MiG-29s issues under the sideboard. It didn't fly with GOI and the Navy/ADA were asked to recommit to the NLCA and ensure the program was completed, also recommit to fixing the MiG-29 (with a lot of pressure/workups with the Russians as well).



times have changed and pressures that once worked are no longer in play.

A compromise of this magnitude serves no one.

having burned their fingers with the 29, again because of pressures to compromise, people are wary now.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Karan M » 19 Nov 2019 23:37

I dont think you got what I meant. The pressures that worked are clearly still in play, hence the TEDBF or whatever this program is being launched or is at least being shown some interest. MII is clearly a focus and the message has gone out that an unlimited cheque book tied to some notional GDP figure is not in play. The services have been given hitherto unprecedented freedom to make up UOR, WWR etc and MOD as well, but it comes with increased responsibility to "play fair and square" and not take the easy way out.

Like it or not, its becoming clear to the service HQs that the days of "import away, if it doesn't work, we will import again" are gone. People who are rising to the top, are also the "right kind", i.e. TPs and those with fire in the belly for true indigenization and MII, not merely some spares at BRD, ABW etc and then calling that sanction busting. Hard nosed decision makers who actually did stuff and know the nitty gritties of program management and complex indigenous programs. These were the guys who would be sidelined in years past.

Now, instead of import-fail-import again, the first import itself is being scrutinized, questions are being asked as to why the original plan failed. Not like the UPA era where "sab chalta hain" and no accountability was the norm in every GOI dept, services included and if any service guy bucked the norm like VK Singh did with Tatra he would be quickly shown the way out or conspired against.

As they say "fish rot from the head", under the UPA regime, it was pretty clear what the GOI wanted and what would be the end result. Those who played along (for a while at least) landed in hot water themselves but also saddled the services with some huge boondoggles. Its to the credit of the current GOI, they havent dug too much, lest it torpedo defence modernization and even sustainment of what we already have. But with OROP, the umpteen social programs, parlous state of WWR before 2014, the fiscal leeway to import away is simply not there anymore, and the current GOI has made it clear to all concerned that imports are not the answer. Its hardly surprising then that this decision occurred. Even if the 57 aircraft tender goes through, the door is closing, and the IN needs a 2nd parallel local line. The MiG-29Ks are structurally unlikely to last as long as they should, given IN's rigorous flying regimen.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby chetak » 19 Nov 2019 23:44

Karan M wrote:I dont think you got what I meant. The pressures that worked are clearly still in play, hence the TEDBF or whatever this program is being launched or is at least being shown some interest. MII is clearly a focus and the message has gone out that an unlimited cheque book tied to some notional GDP figure is not in play. The services have been given hitherto unprecedented freedom to make up UOR, WWR etc and MOD as well, but it comes with increased responsibility to "play fair and square" and not take the easy way out.

Like it or not, its becoming clear to the service HQs that the days of "import away, if it doesn't work, we will import again" are gone. People who are rising to the top, are also the "right kind", i.e. TPs and those with fire in the belly for true indigenization and MII, not merely some spares at BRD, ABW etc and then calling that sanction busting. Hard nosed decision makers who actually did stuff and know the nitty gritties of program management and complex indigenous programs. These were the guys who would be sidelined in years past.

Now, instead of import-fail-import again, the first import itself is being scrutinized, questions are being asked as to why the original plan failed. Not like the UPA era where "sab chalta hain" and no accountability was the norm in every GOI dept, services included and if any service guy bucked the norm like VK Singh did with Tatra he would be quickly shown the way out or conspired against.

As they say "fish rot from the head", under the UPA regime, it was pretty clear what the GOI wanted and what would be the end result. Those who played along (for a while at least) landed in hot water themselves but also saddled the services with some huge boondoggles. Its to the credit of the current GOI, they havent dug too much, lest it torpedo defence modernization and even sustainment of what we already have.


as always with the blowback, the lower levels have to carry the can for major eff ups at the ministry level as well as major players like defence PSUs and their agents ever willing to skew the equation in their favor without knowing head nor tail of the problem.

One PSU wanted exclusivity on the engines and all but scuttled the deal in their eagerness to buttress their balance sheet as well as that of a notorious dealer who was "advising" them.

almost every retired ex PSU chairman is running his own defence related business. These efforts are not mere happenstance. Most have been set up and nurtured while they were in service.
Last edited by chetak on 19 Nov 2019 23:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Picklu » 19 Nov 2019 23:46

Picklu wrote:For all two engine version of naval aircraft fans .... not going to happen any time soon is my take.

Development of a new fighter is a multi-billion dollar proposition with a decade plus involvement of manpower and establishments. Does not make sense for 40-60 odd aircrafts for a capital AND high-tech manpower starved country like India, would be shot down or else even if approved for political-bureaucratic appeasement, would be drip funded.

The development dollars and manpower would be reserved for aircraft that would be procured in 150+ numbers. That means AF versions.

The only way we will have indigenous naval fighters is if it is a modification of AF version, in that development and design also AF will get priority since they are going to procure 150+ of it. That is the reason why AF version will be designed first by optimizing it for land based and high altitude operations and then the naval mods will be tucked in. Naval versions would not be designed first or naval constraints won't be considered first.

If you follow HVT on twitter, you know that namca is nowhere in the scene. And this is the reason.


I will just repeat my points from a few days back. I told NAMCA won't fly and so is the case. TEDBF the new animal in town. Now, we are going to throw a few (closer to 10) billion for a plane that, at the most would be acquired in high double digits.

My preference would always be to put that development fund (and the critical man power and institutional framework) behind an engine development which will give much more strategic autonomy than having a naval fighter.

Please do not tell that we can do both, our financial, human resource and technical product development infrastructure simply don't support that.

But what do I know!!!! I am that simpleton who would advocate that spent the money just to certify the current low powered Kaveri and create an operational squadron of LCA sport with that certified kaveri; because to me, clearly, even that would give bigger bang for the buck.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Karan M » 19 Nov 2019 23:53

Re: Chetak,

That's always the case. The lower levels have to bash on regardless, but I am glad the situation is changing to the degree, somebody is asking why the Russians are not fixing the MiG-29s first, before we jump headfirst into another literally un-affordable replacement (we could barely afford 36 Rafales, and here we want 57 Naval fighters).

The defence PSUs are just along for the ride. Why won't they be. All they had to do in years past is whistle and grin at local programs, because one way or the other, the imported item would be license assembled (usually at a nice markup) at their facilities. They would set up some 2-3 new facilities, with all costs for manpower happily taken care of, CSR desi-style. If some inconvenient R&d wallah tried to make some presentation to his own HQ, he would be shunted off, and that was that. When the "top" has a clear message, those with the right hearing get the message, and align. Not that different from the private sector either.

Even that is changing. The umpteen presentations to MOD to "extend" production of easy to assemble CKD/SKD kits are no longer receiving the attention they once did. Only the ones that mention that local industry is benefited/ or discomfited are taken seriously. This is forcing DPSUs to again look seriously at DRDO/service programs and step up, lest the private guys step in and take that over too.

The whole set-up in most metros is full of retired PSU and service wallahs. Many legit, some not so, and chosen exactly for the purpose of "networking". I know people who made a nice penny from doing the east europe jig, and fobbing overpriced kit to the services, which the services themselves could have done. All part of the game. After all, if the system had been rotten to an extent where a serving CAS was threatened in his own office by a rtd type, and the then RM shrugged and said "so sad", what exactly did we expect?

Times are a changing, and finally for the better. In a way, many similarities with the manner in which sanctions forced some seriousness into our decision making. This time it may be due to a GOI decision + fiscal limitations, but it was overdue. Not many folks have realized that pretty much in every procurement, the "desi" option is being focused on first & foremost, and pvt sector too is being given an equal play, but the latter's lobbying for a bigger share of the pie is also being given the go-bye, if the GOI feels they don't deserve it.

Interesting times.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Rahul M » 20 Nov 2019 00:00

Karan, Prasad, agreed that 2Xf414 is not ideal for a full fledged 5gen fighter with supercruise and all. But then even the IAF is not asking for that in Mk1. I raised the example of KFX specifically because it's a 5gen ish fighter that doesn't envisage an IWB. Navy could have gone down that route with a NAMCA Mk1 that won't be ideal but would nget the job done. eventually they would get a NAMCA mk2 that checks all the boxes.

I mean, it's not as if the tedbf is not a compromise, getting a 4gen fighter in 2030s certainly is. I would rather they compromise on something that gives them a clear pathway to a 5gen fighter.
Let's not forget that in all this hoopla no one's speaking of a 5Gen fighter for the Navy. When is that going to happen? 2030 ? 2040 ? 2050 ? Never ? Remember, if we don't make it ourselves, it will be imported. As they say, failing to plan is nothing but planning to fail.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Karan M » 20 Nov 2019 00:00

Picklu, the entire LCA program over its lifeycle was around a billion $ till a few years back, excluding the engine. The TEDBF (man what an acronym), is nowhere going to be 10 Billion or whatever. In fact, take a look at my rough notes in the previous page, the ROI for the effort is substantial.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Karan M » 20 Nov 2019 00:01

Rahul M wrote:Karan, Prasad, agreed that 2Xf414 is not ideal for a full fledged 5gen fighter with supercruise and all. But then even the IAF is not asking for that in Mk1. I raised the example of KFX specifically because it's a 5gen ish fighter that doesn't envisage an IWB. Navy could have gone down that route with a NAMCA Mk1 that won't be ideal but would nget the job done. eventually they would get a NAMCA mk2 that checks all the boxes.

I mean, it's not as if the tedbf is not a compromise, getting a 4gen fighter in 2030s certainly is. I would rather they compromise on something that gives them a clear pathway to a 5gen fighter.
Let's not forget that in all this hoopla no one's speaking of a 5Gen fighter for the Navy. When is that going to happen? 2030 ? 2040 ? 2050 ? Never ? Remember, if we don't make it ourselves, it will be imported. As they say, failing to plan is nothing but planning to fail.


They very well might. We dont know what the planform is yet, or how it looks. The NNF (new naval fighter, my acronym) might be a simplified AMCA derivative in some ways.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Cybaru » 20 Nov 2019 01:56

I think you guys are right - the stealth features are delinked to reduce risk and bring it to services sooner. They could iteratively add stealth or create NAMCA later. It probably will have low risk stealth features builtin probably with pathway to full later.

if there are three carriers that need fighters we are looking at 40 + 40 + 60 = 140 total number.

Import cost: (raffy as example)
150 million * 140 = 21 Billion

TBDEF-MNPQ Local cost:
50-75 million * 140 = 7 to 10.5 billion

Still leaves 10 billion odd that can be invested towards the engine development.

Look at the confidence after delivering one LCA project, imagine the possibilities after one successful engine project.

We are looking at an extra 300-600 engines just for the Navy.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Prasad » 20 Nov 2019 02:16

Rahul
agreed on that aspect. Design definition is going on currently. We dont really have much detail. Until we do find out what they've decided on, all we can do is wait before bringing out the pitchforks.
Money is also a concern btw. For both development as well as procurement and sustenance of a much smaller fleet compared to the IAF's fighter needs.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby disha » 20 Nov 2019 02:33

chetak wrote:The twin is the best option of getting home or most often, close to home.

It is not OK to operate single engines for 2-3 decades just because of some perverse desire to develop a local MIC. What of the guys in those single engined cockpits and more importantly, what of their families. Aren't they also entitled to dreams and futures like the rest.


Chetak'saar - I am assuming the above lines are sarcasm. Still in sarcasm, the bolded line of your statement above is non-sequitor. There is no point laying the above on me (since you are using my post) or on any other poster in this forum.

I did ask for pilot safety as paramount. Further, F-35 for USN is a single engined fighter. So by your logic above, USN does not care of its Navy Pilots, their families and their entitlement to dreams and futures like rest.

Rest of your post is simply a rant and best be ignored.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby srai » 20 Nov 2019 02:36

Rather than trying to add twin-engine to an existing design like NLCA MK.2, TBDEF/NNF calls for a fresh design. Best bet is to apply the learnings from NLCA MK.1, NLCA MK.2 (~7-years of design studies), and AMCA (~5-years of design studies) to come up with a design that suits naval requirements and possesses 5th-Gen features. A 15-20 year effort.

As a side note, original timelines for NLCA MK.2 were prototype ready by 2021 and induction by 2029.

Karan M wrote:
Rahul M wrote:Karan, Prasad, agreed that 2Xf414 is not ideal for a full fledged 5gen fighter with supercruise and all. But then even the IAF is not asking for that in Mk1. I raised the example of KFX specifically because it's a 5gen ish fighter that doesn't envisage an IWB. Navy could have gone down that route with a NAMCA Mk1 that won't be ideal but would nget the job done. eventually they would get a NAMCA mk2 that checks all the boxes.

I mean, it's not as if the tedbf is not a compromise, getting a 4gen fighter in 2030s certainly is. I would rather they compromise on something that gives them a clear pathway to a 5gen fighter.
Let's not forget that in all this hoopla no one's speaking of a 5Gen fighter for the Navy. When is that going to happen? 2030 ? 2040 ? 2050 ? Never ? Remember, if we don't make it ourselves, it will be imported. As they say, failing to plan is nothing but planning to fail.


They very well might. We dont know what the planform is yet, or how it looks. The NNF (new naval fighter, my acronym) might be a simplified AMCA derivative in some ways.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby disha » 20 Nov 2019 03:04

Kartik wrote: I'd like to understand the logic behind why TEDBF will not come before 2040.


TBDEF (To Be Done Engine & Fighter) is still a paper concept. There is no functional design even put on paper. Leave alone functional design, the requirements are generic - like 'lets have a 4.5 gen twin engined fighter'.

Problem is that India has ZERO experience designing, prototyping, testing and fielding a twin engined fighter. Leave alone a Naval fighter. At this stage even NLCA-Mk1 with its achievements is not yet fielded. And that is a single engined fighter.

To come and say that we are confident to design, prototype, test and field a twin engined fighter from an aircraft carrier in 15 years while we have not fielded *any* naval plane is shooting for the moon when even the SLV-3 has not been launched successfully.

I do like your optimism as pointed out below:

The N-LCA Mk2 team was as it is different than the Tejas Mk2 MWF. They'll start working on the design soon and as the MWF design team work tapers off and the MWF enters production in 2026, TEDBF design and development goes into high gear.


What happens if the Tejas MWF gets delayed. Say by 2 years and the team transitions only in 2028.

Prior to that ADA should be able to finish all the studies, wind tunnel testing to refine the design and even the inboards should be ready by then. Should allow it to be flying in prototype form by 2030 and in production in 2035 if all goes well.


What happens if the Tejas MWF gets delayed by 2 years and then there is a delay in flying prototype by just 2 more years. By that time line, we are now talking 2039.

And there are several wishes built in your time line.

The good thing is that the N-LCA Mk1 has brought very valuable experience that will hold the team in good stead,


And this is the point where I think NLCA-Mk2 can build on.

Coming to the second point you make- check out the ejection on a F-111. It had side by side seating and both pilots were ejected out TOGETHER inside a hermetically sealed cabin. And no one believes that such a design is safer for pilots, given the sophistication of today's ejection seats that can correct the attitude of the pilot upon ejection, something older seats weren't able to do.


Thanks for jogging my memory. I was trying to remember in context of SR-71 and then realized that the pilots wore pressure suits. F-111 was an escape crew capsule which was actually a USN requirement.

Downside of the F-111 escape crew capsule was cost and weight. It is cheaper to put ejection seats (albeit with more sophistications) than an escape crew capsule. And of course there is weight penalty.

I think research should be made further on escape crew capsule.

The landing gear is placed in the ONLY possible location it can be placed. The problem is the narrow fuselage doesn't allow it any other way...


That is what I meant by sub-optimal placement. Since there is no way to optimally place it however one tries and that goes into a catch-22 situation unless the entire structure and MLG is redesigned.

And that is where I think IN should also pay attention. It is *not* just the planform and engines and avionics. For aircraft based planes, structure is as much important.

What better way to optimize the structure around a single engine on NLCA-Mk2 and take it forward into TBDEF or any other twin-engined plane.

The N-LCA Mk2 was designed to address this issue, but given the IN's staunch belief that twin engine was the way to go, there is nothing that can be done about it.


It is interesting that IN is committed to twin engine, while in F-35 USN has committed to a single engine fighter.

And here is what the F-35C states:

The F-35C variant has larger wings and more robust landing gear than the other variants, making it suitable for catapult launches and fly-in arrestments aboard naval aircraft carriers. Its wingtips also fold to allow for more room on the carrier’s deck while deployed.


In that context, NLCA-Mk2 can be India's chota-F35. NLCA-Mk2 is the ideal platform to

1. Optimize the structure and landing gear and the arrestor tail hook etc.
2. Modify the planform for carrier operations (for example vortex flaps etc)
3. Deploy it for carrier operations!

From 2020 to 2040, IN has no option but to rely on Mig-29k. If TBDEF comes in 2035, more power to it. However that is still 15 years without any Plan B.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby nachiket » 20 Nov 2019 03:19

Cybaru wrote:I think you guys are right - the stealth features are delinked to reduce risk and bring it to services sooner. They could iteratively add stealth or create NAMCA later. It probably will have low risk stealth features builtin probably with pathway to full later.

Stealth cannot be an afterthought. It has to be baked in from the basic design itself. No matter what Boeing says, the F-15 Silent Eagle will never be anywhere as stealthy as the F-22 or F-35. I am even skeptical of the Korean approach where the first version will not have internal weapons bays while the second version will. That transition from v1 with no internal bay to v2 with internal bay will be quite a significant change and I'm sure someone will start wondering if they could have saved time by working on v2 itself from the start.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby chetak » 20 Nov 2019 03:30

disha wrote:
chetak wrote:The twin is the best option of getting home or most often, close to home.

It is not OK to operate single engines for 2-3 decades just because of some perverse desire to develop a local MIC. What of the guys in those single engined cockpits and more importantly, what of their families. Aren't they also entitled to dreams and futures like the rest.


Chetak'saar - I am assuming the above lines are sarcasm. Still in sarcasm, the bolded line of your statement above is non-sequitor. There is no point laying the above on me (since you are using my post) or on any other poster in this forum.

I did ask for pilot safety as paramount. Further, F-35 for USN is a single engined fighter. So by your logic above, USN does not care of its Navy Pilots, their families and their entitlement to dreams and futures like rest.

Rest of your post is simply a rant and best be ignored.


right, as usual. :)

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Rakesh » 20 Nov 2019 04:34

What are the odds that Tejas Mk2 will also end up as a twin engine fighter like the TEDBF? Someone has already asked below....

----------------------

https://twitter.com/VinodDX9/status/1196793533790732288 ---> Sir, is there any chance that from TEDBF a twin engine version for air force is made?

In response to the above query, Saurav Jha says below....

https://twitter.com/SJha1618/status/1196793969616670722 --->

In my opinion, this will depend on two things:

1. The actual date by which the TEDBF enters production.
2. A future requirement to expand the IAF's force structure to something like 55-60 squadrons of manned fighters.

Let's see.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Rakesh » 20 Nov 2019 04:39

https://twitter.com/SJha1618/status/1196452053947576320 ---> To be clear, ADA's new Twin-Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) design will not be a navalized AMCA derivative. TEDBF will be a fourth generation plus fighter designed to be more effective than the MiG-29K.

https://twitter.com/SJha1618/status/1196614904871940096 ---> As has been mentioned before, ADA already has separate teams working on the MWF, AMCA and LCA-Navy projects. It is the LCA-Navy chaps who are now pursuing the TEDBF design instead of persisting with NLCA Mk2. There are enough manpower resources there.

https://twitter.com/SJha1618/status/1196792036709433345 ---> TEDBF because:
1. Navalizing the AMCA will lead to the same kind of problems encountered with the NLCA program & some more.
2. And where are the suitable engines? A naval AMCA >> 25 tons with just F-414s is not a great idea anyway
3. Compatibility with the current STOBAR carriers

https://twitter.com/SJha1618/status/1196793538660298752 ---> Given ADA's work on DSI, modernization of line replacement units due to the AMCA & MWF programs, advances in composites, & previous work on a non-stealthy MCA, a potent 4.5 Gen naval fighter can be developed with superior operational capability to the MiG-29K.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby ramana » 20 Nov 2019 05:59

Rakesh, The twin engine fighter could be to stave of US pressure.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Rakesh » 20 Nov 2019 07:02

Ramana-ji, this new program (TEDBF) is going to cause some takleef to a certain individual at Boeing India

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Kartik » 20 Nov 2019 07:05

Philip wrote:I agree with Nachi that the most sensible option is to buy more 29Ks , upgraded in the next lot, for the moment and develop an AMCA-N for the future, as if a large CV eventually gets approved by another act of insanity, it will arrive around the same time as AMCA, someting post 2030.

the Indian Navy is talking about retiring MiG-29Ks that are only 10 years old, in another 10-15 years and you talk about buying more MiG-29Ks as the best option? Have all their troubles been sorted out to even think of rewarding MiG Corp with another order?

Is it not obvious to even you that something is really wrong with how the MiG-29K seems to be able to handle the stress of carrier landings when it is going to see a shorter service life than even the disappointing MiG-23MF? the K's were supposed to have a TTL of 6000 hours, but I doubt the IN will come close to utilizing all of that. The IN doesn't even seem to be looking at the possibility of service life extension for the MiG-29K, which is troubling to me and indicates the possibility of problems with the structure and the IN looking at the best way to replace it instead.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Rakesh » 20 Nov 2019 07:06

^^^ X-Post from the Indian Naval Aviation thread (last post on page 23).

---------------------------------

https://twitter.com/ruskievityazi/statu ... 0657587200 ---> Spoke to one MiG-29K fighter pilot few yrs ago - he said during trials, impact on one of arrested recoveries was so great - the aircraft radome cone broke in two! Avionics take a toll every time the aircraft thumps the carrier deck.

https://twitter.com/ruskievityazi/statu ... 3273348096 ---> The report also noted that the naval MiGs have seen over ten cases of single-engine landings in its short commissioned life in the naval squadron.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby Kartik » 20 Nov 2019 07:23

Rahul M wrote:
Kartik wrote:
One thing I would like to ask those who talk about obsolescence- if it doesn't make sense to induct TEDBF into the IN the 2030s, how does it make sense to induct a Super Hornet or Rafale M into the IN in what will possibly be late 2020s? A few years difference will make one type (TEDBF) obsolete but not another (SH or Rafale M) that has been in service since a decade and a half already? What makes the Super Hornet and Rafale M operationally valid for the USN and French Navy and possibly IN, till 2050 and beyond? Why can't the TEDBF do that for the IN?

Kartik, that's precisely it. I am not sure the shornet or rafale m makes sense either. It might make sense for the USN or the aeronavale to have such an aircraft as the lo end of a Hi-Lo mix from 2030's onwards (2020's for the USN) when they have a high end option available.
Does it make sense for India to invest in yet another de novo project for just a handful of aircraft when even the world's richest nation with the largest MIC thought it prudent to have as much commonality across the service designs as possible?
We run the risk of being spread too thin, in terms of resources, skilled manpower and even manufacturing capacity. For all we know that might adversely affect the critical projects like MWF and AMCA.

Rahul, what is the primary mission of the Navy's fighter fleet? Is it to ingress deep into enemy territory and attack its vital installations and radar sites, etc. or is it to primarily defend the carrier battle group fleet against enemy fighters and MPAs, with a secondary anti-shipping and land attack mission? We need to understand what the IN really wants out of its fighters. Does the Navy's mission require a 5th gen stealth optimized fighter with all its attendant design compromises? I think that should tell us why the IN agreed to ADA's suggestion to go with the 4.5 gen option.

Rafale M will be the only Aeronavale fighter. They have no other choices, unless they opt for F-35C or F-35B, which is highly unlikely. They have a roadmap to keep it relevant technologically along the lines of the Air Force Rafale variant. the NGF may or may not have a naval variant and that won't appear till the 2040s.

What I do agree on is the fact that the numbers are too small to justify a new fighter type. 60 units is simply too small a number, since this isn't a variant of an Air Force type but a brand new medium weight fighter in the class of the Rafale. Only option might be to rope in the IAF to develop an Air Force variant of it that it will induct in parallel with the MWF.

I also look at this as an opportunity. ADA will be a world class fighter design body by the time the MWF and AMCA TDs are rolling out. The experience is so precious, other nations' aeronautics design agencies would give an arm and a leg to face a problem of too many programs running one after the other or in parallel. But remember that we're not building civilian jet liners but rather fighter jets. A LOT fewer systems and subsystems and complications. Public-private partnerships are the need of the hour, to help ADA scale up their design and analysis needs. And there are private companies that can be roped in to help ADA.

Anyway, very early days with the TEDBF so we may still see changes. For one, it needs a proper name, this acronym is ridiculous.

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby abhik » 20 Nov 2019 07:40

The Mk 2 project is now a decade old with not even one prototype flying. Like it or not if we are pivoting to TEDBF now it will results in more delays. What if the IAF then jumps on the bandwagon like last time ditching the Mk 2 next?

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Re: Naval Tejas Mk1/Mk2: News & Discussion - 23 February 2019

Postby disha » 20 Nov 2019 09:00

^I think ADA/HAL/IN/MOD must pursue both:

1. NLCA-Mk2 (limited to 57). It is better to spend some millions of dollars here rather than chasing additional Mig 29k

2. TBDEF or LCA-Mk3 or Twin-Engined-N-MCA. Call it whatever you want. It is the twin engined version of evolved NLCA-Mk2.

Here is what I think the commonality between NLCA-Mk2 and TBDEF-N-MCA (my own acronym) can be:

1. Integrated structure with carrier designed - Main Landing Gear and Arrestor Hook assembly. Design comes out of ADA. Some help from HAL to provide the necessary structural elements.

This is the core structure that is integrated into the fuselage. It will have additional option for CATOBARs as well as necessary.

The data coming from NLCA-Mk1 is crucial. In fact all the IITs and ITIs can be roped in to create test jigs to test the structures to its limits. How difficult is to create a test jig that brings down the core structure plus MLG at several mtrs per second? And it can do some 100 times a day and measure the stress fractures and stress points. It can also bring it down at various angles and get additional data.

And each IITs/ITIs should be tasked with reducing the weight. Let them try it new materials. Titanium alloys. Lithium+Aluminium alloys. Aluminium+Nickel+Steel alloys (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14144). Anything that MiDhaNi can get their hands and produce and get it out to them.

Above should be national project. Just build and test till it breaks. And re-build and re-test.

Let them figure out where the shocks come and how it can be absorbed without transmitting it to wing tips or nose cones or other areas.

2. Extend the structure from one engine to two engine. That is what IN wants. Since the core is NLCA-Mk1, the CLAW around it is evolutionary. Tested on NLCA-Mk2 and evolved further.

3. Start a design for TBDEF-N-MCA. This goes right after a prototype of NLCA-Mk2 is built. The design team can move on immediately to extend the core and wings to two engines.

The above further gives the design team to incorporate stealth characteristics into the planform. A boat shaped nose cone. Composite wings. Some internal bays between the engine nacelles or even 'dimpled' bays where the armament is partially concealed.


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