[quote ="Cain Marko"]You think the strict stobar requirements would be easier for a smaller airframe than a twin engined one? Not even the US or the USSR with all their resources and experience had succeeded in this. Just think what happens to the weight (and therefore twr) of the aircraft when you add under-carriage strengthening, tail hooks, canards to the frame. A twin engine compensates for this weight creep. For e.g. the land based mig-29, even the latest (bigger variants) weigh between 10.5 - 11 tons. But the MiG-29K for the navy comes in a full 1.5 tons heavier at 12.6 tons. Look at the rafale as well (and this is despite exceptional french design, which truly is streamlined), weight goes up by a ~ 1 ton. Now you take that additional weight and stick it on a fighter that has a tinier engine by good measure. Net result - TD that is unusable for real ops. Esp. STOBAR ops which don't have the help of CATs.
No doubt miniaturization is one of many issues wrt to fighter design. BUT it is a key issue especially when it comes to A2A roles, and esp. STOBAR ops. The tolerances and tighter spaces make it far more difficult to get the same output than a twin engined bird. Be it space for internal components, sensor capability or quite importantly, thrust. And that last requirement is perhaps the most crucial one in a2a roles. The russians realized this early and decided to go with a twin engined variant to keep up with the teens. IN was the only service that was dreaming of a single engined, tiny bird to make into to service (that too on a stobar set up).
By the time the Armed Forces realized that the LCA was not going to have enough power, the possibility of twin engined MRCA was already on the cards. Combining these two requirements at that stage itself could have given us some excellent results by now. Perhaps even mitigating the need for a single uber GE (sanction prone) engine in the process. Not to mention the $20 billion boondoggle called MRCA. And they want to cry about falling numbers.
In any case, that is what they have come around to, full circle. only it is about 12 years later. A full decade - poof!
Again missing the point that around 2007-8 or whatever "earlier " time you're alluding to the priority of another STOBAR or a Naval fighter just wasn't high enough to necessitate either starting a clean sheet design or modify the then LCA program , Whatever the thoughts they might have had with N-LCA at its inception it was clear soon enough that IN had earmarked Mig29ks for Viky and would continue that for Vikrant and there simply wasn't enough demand for a separate program .
I mean in a period where their only fighter program (LCA) was itself going through tough times and they were facing cost overruns ,budget shortfalls and low trust , hadn't even reached IOC and were facing issues even with basic trainers who in their right mind would go " ..I know what we should do .We should make a twin engined STOBAR capable fighter even though we don't have the money ,manpower or a clear necessity for it
You talk about the Russians and French finding it difficult to design carrier fighters but expect HAL to have run concurrent programs for both it and LCA at a time when they could barely do one , As far as combining programs with the the IAF goes then that's not even happening today (with IAF as yet showing no firm interest in a land based TEDBF design) , They are in 2021 as they were in 2008 commited to a phoren MRCA
[quote ="Cain Marko"]So at last we see what I've been whining about for sooo long - An AMCA lite. Der aaye aur InshAllah durust aaye. Had this been worked on as soon as the Tejas was found lacking in thrust circa 2007-08, we could have today been ordering this instead of 114 + 57 MRFA. Perhaps even the Mk2 could have been combined into this beast. It couldv'e been a CAATSA proof engine too.
Mate if you can't see that this was anything but pure fantasy in that period then I dunno what to tell you ,It would take one heck of a project to even accomplish today let alone 12 years ago .
There are many many realistic things IAF/MOD/GOI could have done to streamline procurement and improve the squadron strength and quality but preponing this program by a decade is not one of them