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.