LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

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Vivek K
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Vivek K » 10 Oct 2015 20:56

Let me ask what do 36 Rafales get us? At 50% serviceability of 300 Su30s, we would have 150 available at a given time. With a greater investment in Sukhoi spares that bring its availability to say 80% would mean 240 a/c available at a given time - an increase of 90 aircraft.

In addition, the Rafales purchased in 2015 will be obsolete by 2019-2020 if not earlier? Then what? Spend 3-10 billion with the French and upgrade in 6-8 years i.e. be obsolete from 2019 to 2025? Aren't we begging to lose in this period? Just a curious question, aren't the Sukhois touching the edge of obsolescence too today?

OTOH, if we use the LCA and keep investing in pushing the envelope, we could implement block development and keep aircraft at the cutting edge with local development.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 10 Oct 2015 21:26

In addition, the Rafales purchased in 2015 will be obsolete by 2019-2020 if not earlier?


So they'll be obsolete around the time the first few are delivered?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby suryag » 10 Oct 2015 21:33

Ramana garu thanks a lot for the forbes article

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Vivek K » 10 Oct 2015 21:43

Going by what is being presented here that seems logical.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 10 Oct 2015 22:16

iAF wanted a pen knife with two blades: one short blade (A2A) and another long blade (limited A2G).

Evil ADA and DRDO fooled them by giving a Swiss Army knife.

IAF is mad all those blades are not fully working yet.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 10 Oct 2015 22:21

pandyan and suryag

You are welcome.
If you use in daily life even one time its mission accomplished.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby chaanakya » 10 Oct 2015 22:31

@rohitvats

I think you are contradicting yourself. If LCA in its current form is better than MIG21/Bis which it operates ( with all other variants in between) then why LCA can not do the job which MIG is doing currently??

LCA can be manufactured at pretty high cost and Govt can provide money to HAL to do that. I have no doubt about that if that is what is needed. But who is going to use that?? IAF? or Nepal AF? And mond you that money would come from defence budget and to that extent IAF allocation would stand reduced. What's the use of getting 40 at high cost when you say it is not worth it. Hell, even there is no money for Rafele beyond 36 sqdrns? How IAF is going to meet its war requirement?

As for Tranche /Block development ,I think that is standard practice. if you followed summary of Wiki on F-16 that I posted it follows the same route. I would post the relevant section of Wiki entry

On 13 January 1975, Secretary of the Air Force John L. McLucas announced the YF-16 as the winner of the ACF competition.[28] The chief reasons given by the Secretary were the YF-16's lower operating costs, greater range, and maneuver performance that was "significantly better" than that of the YF-17, especially at supersonic speeds. Another advantage of the YF-16 – unlike the YF-17 – was its use of the Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan engine, the same powerplant used by the F-15; such commonality would lower the cost of engines for both programs.[29] Secretary McLucas announced that the USAF planned to order at least 650, possibly up to 1,400 production F-16s. In the Navy Air Combat Fighter (NACF) competition, on 2 May 1975 the Navy selected the YF-17 as the basis for what would become the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.[30][31]


Such a policy statement never came from IAF. In fact all along it has been vacillating and most of the time criticising the programe while changing the milestone at every turn. The story of preparation of ASR is revealing which started with conference at Jodhpur and later meetings in Delhi. many have termed this as brochuritis. I would though disagree. IAF has every right to fix requirements even if they are contradictory. If IAF syas that all MIG21/Bis would be replaced by LCA provided product meets FOC as per ASR then that would be a clear intent of policy without any conditionalities. Now can you show me that?

Again you have assumed that FOC would not come? why? when Govt is pouring taxpayers' money into LCA program why do anyone assume that FOC would not come. IAF role was to accept the LCA after FOC without ifs and buts and withoyt putting any new requirements. There have been many developments along the way and newer technologies keep coming. As and when it is possible it would be incorporated. That is how Block mode/Tranche model works. But initial configuration has to be ordered in numbers to reduce the cost. Else it is going to be passed on to IAF without IAF getting anything substantial in return. The problem is there is dichotomy of ownership of program. IAF has to think of itself as the sole owner and user of LCA unless GOI intends to export it. And I would think it is a good idea.

Economies of scale has already kicked in by kicking out Rafale additional requirements projected by IAF leaving them with really no Plan B. The money saved would go to LCA willy nilly.

As Ramana garu has pointed out that LCA has become "non functional" swiss knife, I think we might be seeing LCA in Light Multi role combat aircraft and later to medium when it gains adequate power and fat.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby chaanakya » 10 Oct 2015 22:36

rohitvats wrote: Which only LCA Mk1 or Mk1A can do. Not the version at IOC-2 stage.


That may be the case? How did you reach such a conclusion ? is it because of IFR, Radar+Radome, BVR, Derby/Python and EW suite?
can you list out why IOC2 is deficient except saying that it is not FOC? And if MK1A can do the job then why not order 200+ now itself and seek progressive improvement?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby chaanakya » 10 Oct 2015 22:44

SaiK wrote:

when compared to USAF, or Russia, or even China, we are low on spares, and high on dependencies. for this same reason, we have to invest billions more in Kaveri++ and revamp GTRE.


+1000 We need to take some money saved from junked rafale deal and pump into Kaveri development. Without Jet engine LCA or any other craft developed indigenous would be prone to Unkil control.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Prasad » 10 Oct 2015 22:45

Are we assuming IOC2 LCAs in service wont be retrofitted to bring them up to FOC standard later on, once FOC is achieved? If such a thing were possible, the LCAs would only be 'not perfect' for a short period of time. Anyway the IAF intends on basing the first squadron in Sulur not Pathankot.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Vivek K » 10 Oct 2015 23:03

chaanakya wrote:
rohitvats wrote: Which only LCA Mk1 or Mk1A can do. Not the version at IOC-2 stage.


That may be the case? How did you reach such a conclusion ? is it because of IFR, Radar+Radome, BVR, Derby/Python and EW suite?
can you list out why IOC2 is deficient except saying that it is not FOC? And if MK1A can do the job then why not order 200+ now itself and seek progressive improvement?

+1.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 10 Oct 2015 23:05

http://aviationweek.com/paris-air-show- ... formance-0

I-Derby ER with >100km BVR is sweet for Mk-1a.
- SDR (software defined radar - we did mention this in the earlier pages)
- expanded terminal range/no escape zone
- F16 toast party to begin soon

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby chaanakya » 10 Oct 2015 23:12

We will be getting a surprise in LCA being given FOC at accelerated pace once minds of Policy maker is clear. There are enough reports of the trials of four remaining aspects namely IFR, Radar/Radome, EW and Derby/Python getting finished. After that it would be in hands of IAF to test and certify and I hope they would pass the test. Once cleared by IAF, even IOC 1 and 2 can be outfitted with them.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby chaanakya » 10 Oct 2015 23:16

SaiK wrote:http://aviationweek.com/paris-air-show-2015/i-derby-er-all-new-performance-0

I-Derby ER with >100km BVR is sweet for Mk-1a.
- SDR (software defined radar - we did mention this in the earlier pages)
- expanded terminal range/no escape zone
- F16 toast party to begin soon

These Airshows spread Multi-stage Induction resistance brochuritis(MIRB). Difficult to cure by constant development as new strains would keep evolving and infecting the current devenopment. better to ban visits to airshow except by ADA and HAL .

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 10 Oct 2015 23:41

^well.. that is how real-life is chaanakya.. it is really surprising you are not realistic.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 11 Oct 2015 00:18

ldev wrote:
srai wrote:^^^

You can't fight wars with imported weapons. Not with 70:30 imported weapons ratio. They are meant more as a deterrent. There are far too many restrictions on when and how they can be used. Nuclear weapons is a big no no. Independent foreign policy requires a much more sanction proof military ... at least enough time to win slogging drawn out wars with all options on the table.


+1

What is worse is not only are the weapons imported, even the ammunition i.e. missiles, guidance kits in some cases are imported. How can one fight a discretionary offensive war in such a scenario. The only option is defensive when we are pushed with our backs to the wall. And even then, under the most severe provocation, we don't fight, because of fear of escalation!!

OT but what is this fetish with small, light, etc. Whether it is the Maruti 800 or the Light Combat Aircraft, why this fetish with small, light, puny etc. Why cant India think of big, huge, biggest/largest/fastest/most powerful in the world in every area, planes, ships, aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines?? Need a national mind reset....

But finally Indian aero enthusiasts will have an Indian aircraft to cheer about as opposed doing oooh and aaahs about imported maal.


The LCA is a direct descendant of the Folland Gnat by way of the MiG-21. A MiG-21 replacement, to be smaller than even the MiG-21 (as Gnat replacement was the original plan of the IAF which became the LCA program) but with capabilities picked up from the IAF experience of the MiG-29 (AI radar+ BVR+HOBS missiles and Helmet Sight added later) and Mirage 2000 (FBW, AI radar+BVR, glass cockpit, long range nav attack system) plus other stuff (OBOGS/IFR).

This has made our task much much harder. Every component has to be packaged as small as possible, heat has to be accounted for, and sensors have to be state of the art. This as our first effort. On the plus side, we have really grown by leaps and bounds.

The Gnats were used again by India in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 against Pakistan.[18][19] The most notable action was the Battle of Boyra where the first dogfights over East Pakistan (Bangladesh) took place. The Indian Air Force (IAF) Gnats downed two PAF Canadair Sabres in minutes and badly damaged one. The Pakistan Air Force claims that one Gnat was shot down, which was proved incorrect. Another notable dogfight involving a Gnat was over Srinagar airfield where a lone Indian pilot held out against six Sabres,[20] scoring hits on two of the Sabres in the process,[21][22] before being shot down. Gnat pilot Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon was posthumously honoured with the Param Vir Chakra (India's highest gallantry award), becoming the only member of the IAF to be given the award.

By the end of 1971, the Gnat proved to be a frustrating opponent for the larger, heavier and older Sabre. The Gnat was referred to as a "Sabre Slayer" by the IAF since most of its combat "kills" during the two wars were against Sabres.[23][24] The Canadair Sabre Mk 6 was widely regarded as the best dogfighter of its era.[25] Tactics called for Gnats taking on the Sabres in the vertical arena, where the Sabres were at a disadvantage. As the Gnat was lightweight and compact in shape, it was hard to see, especially at the low levels where most dogfights took place.[15] Apart from air defence operations, they performed multiple roles in the Bangladesh Liberation War, including anti-shipping operations, ground attack, bomber/transport escort and close air support with devastating effects on the PAF.[18][19]

The IAF was impressed by the Gnat's performance in the two wars, but the aircraft had problems including hydraulics and unreliable control systems. To address these issues, the IAF issued a requirement for an improved "Gnat II" in 1972, at first specifying that the new version was to be optimized as an interceptor, but then expanding the specification to include the ground-attack role. Over 175 of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited-built licenced version, the Ajeet ("Unconquerable"), were produced in Bangalore. Several Gnats remain in use in private hands. Some IAF Gnats, one of which had participated in the 1971 war in East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh), were presented to the Bangladesh Air Force.[26]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folland_Gnat#India

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby chaanakya » 11 Oct 2015 01:32

SaiK wrote:^well.. that is how real-life is chaanakya.. it is really surprising you are not realistic.

And I thought IAF was not being realistic here.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 11 Oct 2015 01:35

They are.. but with old kangrez-baazi world thoughts. :) .

things will change from now!

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby chaanakya » 11 Oct 2015 08:49

You should read how European Union was, finally, formed. It started with an idea to create European coal and steel combine. Mostly these two sectors are in public holding by Govts of respective states. All this idea of creating common economic union and later Political union was thought to be not realistic, coming as it is within the decade of ending WW2. Europe Day is celebrated on 9th May for Schuman Declaration.

Realist don't achieve much. They are good in maintaining status-quo, if possible or bend with the wind as our supreme court once wanted a Famous General to do.

IAF needs to dream big else they will forever be hampered by import constraints and would never be able to fight a war beyond 10-15 days. An import oriented force can never give India the power and strength it seeks to project to the world community.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby kit » 11 Oct 2015 11:45

Gagan wrote:Even Kargil was a farce that the then GoI played on the soldier and the nation in one way.
The IAF was asked to pull its punches in a '62-ish redux.

POK is indian territory for godssake, and the IAF was asked to not violate the LOC!

Indian leadership seem to suffer from a MTCR of the mind, which needs to be cured first


Well said , hopefully the new administration will show more spine if push comes to shove next time around .. a beginning is already there ..Pakistan needs to vacate POK before any discussions about Kashmir !

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SanjayC » 11 Oct 2015 12:49

Karan M wrote:The LCA is a direct descendant of the Folland Gnat by way of the MiG-21. A MiG-21 replacement, to be smaller than even the MiG-21 (as Gnat replacement was the original plan of the IAF which became the LCA program) but with capabilities picked up from the IAF experience of the MiG-29 (AI radar+ BVR+HOBS missiles and Helmet Sight added later) and Mirage 2000 (FBW, AI radar+BVR, glass cockpit, long range nav attack system) plus other stuff (OBOGS/IFR).

This has made our task much much harder. Every component has to be packaged as small as possible, heat has to be accounted for, and sensors have to be state of the art. This as our first effort. On the plus side, we have really grown by leaps and bounds.


This is the root cause of the problem. It was very irresponsible of IAF to set such an outlandish target for developing the very first aircraft in a country that had zero experience or capability. Couldn't they have asked for a Mig 21 clone, and left its flight-of-fancy for the next planned aircraft?

A MiG 21 type aircraft would have been developed in half the time, and replaced all MIG 21s in service by now, saving crashes and lives of pilots. It would have been easier to develop the next, more advanced fighter after this experience. Instead, 25 years later, we are still hanging around with half a dozen LCA platforms, and MIG 21s have become flying coffins.

The rest of the countries limit their vision for the first prototype and go for iterative development over next versions. All tanks and plans got developed like this. IAF will keep behaving like this till they dont' begin joint development with HAL, like Navy. It's obvious they have never considered themselves as a stakeholder in LCA.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby rohitvats » 11 Oct 2015 13:02

SanjayC wrote:
Karan M wrote:The LCA is a direct descendant of the Folland Gnat by way of the MiG-21. A MiG-21 replacement, to be smaller than even the MiG-21 (as Gnat replacement was the original plan of the IAF which became the LCA program) but with capabilities picked up from the IAF experience of the MiG-29 (AI radar+ BVR+HOBS missiles and Helmet Sight added later) and Mirage 2000 (FBW, AI radar+BVR, glass cockpit, long range nav attack system) plus other stuff (OBOGS/IFR).

This has made our task much much harder. Every component has to be packaged as small as possible, heat has to be accounted for, and sensors have to be state of the art. This as our first effort. On the plus side, we have really grown by leaps and bounds.


This is the root cause of the problem. It was very irresponsible of IAF to set such an outlandish target for developing the very first aircraft in a country that had zero experience or capability. Couldn't they have asked for a Mig 21 clone, and left its flight-of-fancy for the next planned aircraft?

A MiG 21 type aircraft would have been developed in half the time, and replaced all MIG 21s in service by now, saving crashes and lives of pilots. It would have been easier to develop the next, more advanced fighter after this experience. Instead, 25 years later, we are still hanging around with half a dozen LCA platforms, and MIG 21s have become flying coffins.

The rest of the countries limit their vision for the first prototype and go for iterative development over next versions. All tanks and plans got developed like this. IAF will keep behaving like this till they dont' begin joint development with HAL, like Navy. It's obvious they have never considered themselves as a stakeholder in LCA.


SanjayC - your words are bang on target.

Except for a small twist - It is the R&D establishment which said we'll use this opportunity to develop a replacement fighter for Mig-21 to bridge the gap with West post demise of HF-24 program. The shoe is on the other foot! :P

IAF wanted a Mig-21 replacement which would start going out by mid-90s but R&D establishment set itself the target of developing 4 key technologies in this venture: (a) FBW system with attendant DFCC (b) Engine (c) Multi-Mode Radar (d) High composite usage.

And on top of that, made fantastic claims about when these will fly! No less a person than Kalam made claims of 100s of LCA flying before end of last decade!

Therein lies the ROOT-CAUSE of the disenchantment of IAF with LCA Program till almost 2007. R&D establishment gave itself nice science project w/o bothering about the operational requirement of IAF.

What you say about developing a medium technology fighter as Mig-21 replacement is exactly the path it should've taken. Had that been done, may be, by now we'd have had many operational squadrons. LCA in its current form but w/o the liability of dimensions would've been a true iterative development.

But that was not to be!

As for Navy - The reason it does very well with DRDO is because it retains program management. And does not allow any flights of fancy on part of R&D establishment.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 11 Oct 2015 13:08

Derby.There were old reports of it not meeting quoted range/capabilities for IN SH's. That may be the reason why the R-73s being tested. Unless the LCA arrives in significant numbers,it will not play the same role as the Gnats or MIGs did in 65/71. There has to be a numerical advantage over the aggressor for the 4+ gen fighter to deal with more sophisticated and capable rivals,like PLAAF Flankers,Paki F-16s,etc. It would be interesting to see whether anyone has written a comparison between the Paki F-16s and the LCA. Since many IAF pilots have flown the F-16,surely some the Tejas too,it would be a most interesting evaluation. I don't bring the JF-17 into the equation becos I believe that the LCA will give it a pasting when faced with equal numbers. How out Jags will survive against the JF-17 is a moot Q.

The task is now for the GOI to accelerate Tejas production. I can't see the figs/prod rates being met unless the pvt. sector is roped in,either by mass producing components or even making the aircraft in another facility.

PS:Sanjay,pl read A.Cmde. Tapas Sen's reminiscences on the evaluation of the LCA by the IAF at the initial stage.It was the ADA's overenthusiasm and overambitious target dates when the etch for key components wasn't available with India,that made the IAF sit up,take a hard look and develop the Bison as an interim measure,well knowing that the LCA wouldn't arrive on time.

Ck into this Bison history.Interesting titbit quoted.
http://indiandefence.com/threads/the-mi ... erdog.487/

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is now adding stealth modifications to an existing $340m programme to upgrade 125 of its MiG-21bis fighters to MiG-21-93 standard. Sources for Jane's Defence Weekly have revealed these secret events in a report published in today's edition of the magazine.

Extensive tests to demonstrate Russia's ability to upgrade Indian fighter aircraft with stealth capabilities took place in front of Indian defence ministry officials at the Sokol aircraft plant in Nizhniy Novgorod on 29th May 2000. The demonstration was highly successful and is understood to have resulted in the Russian government and RSK MIG urging the IAF to adopt the stealth modifications across its MiG-21-93 fleet.

The core of the demonstration saw two MiG-21bis--one upgraded with stealth technology and one without--being tracked by what is believed to be a Mig-31 in a controlled test of radar-absorbent materials (RAM) and coatings developed at the Moscow Institute of Applied and Theoretical Electrodynamics.

During its flight the radar signature of the upgraded Mig-21bis was shown to be between 10 and 15 times weaker than the regular MiG-21bis.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_22539 » 11 Oct 2015 13:34

rohitvats wrote:It is the R&D establishment which said we'll use this opportunity to develop a replacement fighter for Mig-21 to bridge the gap with West post demise of HF-24 program. The shoe is on the other foot! :P


How cute, they promised the sky only because they knew they would be discarded a few years down the line citing the lack of "capabilities" in their product, if they didn't.

The desperate attempt to get "multi-role" rafales are proof enough for how anything less than the current/future LCA would be totally doomed with no hope, if they were "just" replacements for the MIG-21.

The thing is that probably some of the esteemed IAF officers didn't expect this khadi gram udyog fighter to go as far as it has done. The whining and tantrums of certain air marshals is evidence of that.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Kanson » 11 Oct 2015 14:44

SanjayC wrote:
Karan M wrote:The LCA is a direct descendant of the Folland Gnat by way of the MiG-21. A MiG-21 replacement, to be smaller than even the MiG-21 (as Gnat replacement was the original plan of the IAF which became the LCA program) but with capabilities picked up from the IAF experience of the MiG-29 (AI radar+ BVR+HOBS missiles and Helmet Sight added later) and Mirage 2000 (FBW, AI radar+BVR, glass cockpit, long range nav attack system) plus other stuff (OBOGS/IFR).

This has made our task much much harder. Every component has to be packaged as small as possible, heat has to be accounted for, and sensors have to be state of the art. This as our first effort. On the plus side, we have really grown by leaps and bounds.


This is the root cause of the problem. It was very irresponsible of IAF to set such an outlandish target for developing the very first aircraft in a country that had zero experience or capability. Couldn't they have asked for a Mig 21 clone, and left its flight-of-fancy for the next planned aircraft?

A MiG 21 type aircraft would have been developed in half the time, and replaced all MIG 21s in service by now, saving crashes and lives of pilots. It would have been easier to develop the next, more advanced fighter after this experience. Instead, 25 years later, we are still hanging around with half a dozen LCA platforms, and MIG 21s have become flying coffins.

The rest of the countries limit their vision for the first prototype and go for iterative development over next versions. All tanks and plans got developed like this. IAF will keep behaving like this till they dont' begin joint development with HAL, like Navy. It's obvious they have never considered themselves as a stakeholder in LCA.


Sir, you need to know the history to understand why not a simple aircraft like Mig 21 but LCA.

After Marut, Throughout 70s, HAL (under Raj Mahindra) gave various proposals to IAF. This saga is very much like current LCA, Arjun episode - ie once you made it there, goal post was moved. Design team was frustrated all along till LCA was approved. LCA was a result of what history handed to them.

Not only that, saga at that time is very similar to that of ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan episode.
Valluri is then Project Director.
Valluri took the stand that if Mahindra left, the LCA project would run into trouble and could even get derailed. Valluri makes no secret of his admiration for Mahindra. "He is a genius where aircraft design is concerned." he says. "If there is a single person responsible for the evolution of the LCA design it's Mahindra. I have spent 40 years in aeronautics and in my judgement, there is nobody comparable to him in India. I consider it a privilege to have worked with the man."


But Raj Mahindra was eased out by vested interest and import lobbies in the early days of LCA. And this came through none other than Suresh Kalmadi, the infamous who is identified with CWG scam.

Pls google Raj Mahindra to know more about the nature of politics around desi projects then, How LCA came and the period before that.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 11 Oct 2015 14:51

rohitvats wrote:SanjayC - your words are bang on target.

Except for a small twist - It is the R&D establishment which said we'll use this opportunity to develop a replacement fighter for Mig-21 to bridge the gap with West post demise of HF-24 program. The shoe is on the other foot! :P

IAF wanted a Mig-21 replacement which would start going out by mid-90s but R&D establishment set itself the target of developing 4 key technologies in this venture: (a) FBW system with attendant DFCC (b) Engine (c) Multi-Mode Radar (d) High composite usage.

And on top of that, made fantastic claims about when these will fly! No less a person than Kalam made claims of 100s of LCA flying before end of last decade!

Therein lies the ROOT-CAUSE of the disenchantment of IAF with LCA Program till almost 2007. R&D establishment gave itself nice science project w/o bothering about the operational requirement of IAF.

What you say about developing a medium technology fighter as Mig-21 replacement is exactly the path it should've taken. Had that been done, may be, by now we'd have had many operational squadrons. LCA in its current form but w/o the liability of dimensions would've been a true iterative development.

But that was not to be!


And if they hadn't set ambitious targets for the program, knowing how the IAF has been in decades past, the LCA would never have been inducted, with the IAF stating its obsolete, there are better aircraft out there etc etc etc. Heck, there are air marshals attempting to spin that even today and but for the fact that information is so publicly available, their claims cut no dice.

The HF-24 Marut follow on and other R&D proposals to the IAF by HAL and design groups and the IAF lack of interest clearly played a role in the scientific fraternity's understanding of how the IAF would react.

Pot, meet kettle.

R&D establishment gave itself nice science project w/o bothering about the operational requirement of IAF.


This is completely wrong and if you dispassionately look at the issue, it would be clear the IAF's operational requirement for a light weight aircraft in the LCA size could not have been met without composites. And an AD fighter without a MMR? Even the MiG-21 bis had an AI radar. Where would we have imported one from anyhow? The Gripen radar development was also taking off, as a pan European effort. The Brits only developed one with much effort (look up concrete+Bluecircle) to get to the Foxhunter. American radars out of the question. Russian? Wouldn't fit. The only common sensical thing to do would have been to give HAL the AI radar since it assembled the Bis one. So we did. LRDE was barely experienced. Its first radar, the huge Indra-1 was still in trials.

Engine development was clearly driven by the Marut experience - tech denial & the FBW is probably the only thing which can be argued as a true tech generator program. But one is well inclined to ask whether the IAF would have accepted an older tech system that would be thoroughly behind upcoming 4G aircraft flying in the west, with digital FBW systems. For the engine as well, again, US engines like the F404 were an "easy option" but depending on the US for the long term seemed to have been a concern anyone had. One look at the CAG's MiG-29 data of that era would show what a mess the RD-33 used to be. The Mirage 2000 engine was higher in SFC and the French mislead us even on the FBW.

This sort of statement R&D establishment gave itself nice science project w/o bothering about the operational requirement of IAF is as pointless as stating that the IAF is "Imported Air Force" which only wants the fanciest toys to play with.

At the recent IAF conclave with DRDO's EW guys, the Air Marshal who presented said "you have to tell us what we need, lay out the future for us" etc. This is exactly what was done with the LCA. By doing so, we have actually managed to bridge the critical gap for our future, whether it be UAVs or the AMCA program (FBW - as versus mechanical controls, being critical). Using the MMR program, LRDE/BARC at least got the antenna/gimbal stuff done, and the SV-2000 plus XV-2004 benefited, and now there is at least an Uttam in works. Otherwise, even that segment would remain imported because IAF didn't even project indigenous avionics as an MLU for its programs!! Whatever we do have, on the MiG-27 and on the Jaguar-DARIN-2 which is local, flows from the LCA.

The only clear issue with the program specifications, delay apart, features wise is the "light combat" specification, and in that, it was the IAF which drove a bulk of the requirements, first the Gnat and then the "light combat requirement", which even Matheswaran, hardly pro-LCA, acknowledges. It is this size restriction which complicates a ton of stuff and means we can't even import Off the Shelf and put it on the LCA. Speak to any vendor and their ready kit is not LCA ready. Russians offered Barski, aka Mini Bars. It was 2x the weight we could budget for. Kopyo-M was an underperformer. Look on that for a second. Kopyo on the Bison is fine, but its upgraded variant with 70 km range is not sufficient for the LCA. Anyways, Kopyo as usual had serviceability issues and Alpha in Bangalore was roped in to fix them. Alpha BTW is started by ex BEL, is a LCA partner - so much for the bad DPSUs who can't deliver what the IAF needs.

The fundamental problem is this. The IAF does not have an institutional capability which says "this is what the national mission is, this is what the MOD/GOI can afford, these are the likely threats in theater and this is what we need, as a development" and then after multiple iterations and revisions was worked out with ADA/HAL etc and then made sure those were great. If they don't know what they want, and what they want is often confused, the designers will shake their heads, project outwards and deliver accordingly, after having experienced similar stuff in the past.
"Can you add this later?" "Can you add this now"? So instead, head for that goal at the beginning.
DRDO/HAL promptly agreed to a lot of stuff based on inexperience and their desire to ensure at least something was sanctioned, and the foreign vendors who were invited on the audit were also inexperienced (MBB f.e.) or flat out competitors (Dassault), so there are limitations.

That same problem exists today. The IAF still lacks this capability. How do we know this? Take a look at the MMRCA requirement itself. One of the requirements which we do know about (multiple competing vendors disclosed this) was the radar range. The IAF wanted AESA (good!!) but also set a minimum requirement of 130km for a standard fighter sized target. MiG was slapping itself on its own back having achieved this with the Zhuk-AE. Anyone tracking what's been happening in the neighbourhood and internationally, would know how limited such a range performance would be once the true proliferation of LO/VLO threats starts. So why was this range put there? It was clearly a pickup from the earlier Mirage 2000-V RFP/MMRCA which was reworked into the new MMRCA one asap. So the IAF asks for AESA and then sets a minimum requirement which is completely pointless to a lot of emerging threats in the 2020 timeframe wherein these aircraft will be truly operational.

In the US, the USAF would have both DARPA and AF R&D to do its own forecasting, technology scan & then proceed to go to industry. With the MMRCA, we don't even know what else fell through the cracks. Now we have reports that the French are protesting the integration of additional Indian weapons and what not.

These are institutional issues and the MOD bears a fair share of the blame. The reason the USAF et al can go to tranches etc is because the MOD funds them well from day one and there is a degree of involvement from the USAF with industry. In turn, the industry is not paranoid about the USAF cancelling their programs. See the manner in which the JSF has received support despite its plethora of problems. In public, the USAF puts up an incredible show of support bar the occasional grumble. This is because they realize the importance of the program, understand their interests are served by economy of scale and how the orders getting dropped by bad PR can affect them to. In our case, the IAF is more of an independent service which is served by a manufacturer, and of late, one designer. The cooperation is limited by international standards. And the MOD let this be, because lets face it, in our system we have had barely a few RM who have been really been interested in defence and has some sort of experience to navigate this mess?

The MOD could have bypassed this entire mess by just telling the IAF - take tranches - we will fund the program, stop complaining about not getting every screw on day one. Similar to the F-16. But the MOD babus like the concept of power. Playing off IAF against HAL against ADA minimizes number of airframes and they are saving questions from Ministry of Finance. Which in turn tells us we don't have a strategic plan in place at GOI itself to look at all this across the board.
If the AMCA has to be a success, then the IAF has to be involved from day one as an institution, and the MOD has to fund it like it should be (a 5G program) not some khadi gramudyog (one LCA TPs comment about the plane in early days). Arup Raha ji's positivity is heart warming but he is one man. His successor may have different views. Less finance from MOD may inspire some gent at AHQ to say "aha, why are we parking money in AMCA when FGFA is ready hain jee", and from the viewpoint of his immediate needs he will push for it, and the entire mess will repeat.

As for Navy - The reason it does very well with DRDO is because it retains program management. And does not allow any flights of fancy on part of R&D establishment.


Err no. One cannot suddenly become a program manager without understanding technology or that somehow Navy does program management better preventing "flights of fancy". Anybody who thinks that engineers will like to just take the hard way is mistaken. They'll love to do the minimal offer and have the service say A-ok. Some might push for fancy stuff, but good press with less risk? What's not to like.

The Navy does well with DRDO because they are engineers themselves and UNDERSTAND the problems being faced. They feel its their program, can judge the risk well and in turn go back to NHQ and make that case convincingly. Unlike the Army and AF, since these Naval professionals duty is to do this exact thing, their views get institutional support and they are not accused of "betraying the olive green" or taking R&D's side. It is automatically understood that these guys are R&D guys themselves and hence speak the lingo and are convinced by the merits of the issue. Next, they have decision making power, and don't have to run back to AHQ/IA HQ for issues. They are part time owners of the program. Its their baby. The programs problems are their problems. Its not ADAs problem or HALs problem but their own problem.

Hence the Naval LCA promptly got its EL/M-2032 equivalent, Derby, dataklink etc as on the SHARs and with minimal fan fare and fuss or media complaints. OTOH we had IAF folks complaining "look how those guys say LCA is indigenous, but but all this is imported" because the bad press escalated as all sides bickered over how to resolve the issues. It is this power of delegation which sets the IN apart.

The Naval LCA was thoroughly delayed. 2nd fiddle to IAF program. Mismanaged due to inexperience (converting AF to Naval as versus other way around). Compare and contrast the amount of bad press the NLCA got versus the LCA. Very few gripes from the Naval guys mostly on the lines of "we are disappointed with the delay, buck up etc". But no public cribbing about how bad the aircraft is. No complains of "imported content" in the NLCA.

Guess why? Because the Navy, making its own ships knows exactly how hard it is to indigenize and has worked with private and public sector for everything from radar components to gearboxes and their guys understand the huge issues involved and its better to have a 50% indigenous platform versus a 100% one. While the Navy complains about how lethargic the DPSUs are - and well they should, we all know the issues with HAL & OFB for instance, they will still work with them. Because they face worse with the shipyards.

That is the bridge IA/IAF are away from
Last edited by Karan M on 11 Oct 2015 20:04, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 11 Oct 2015 15:31

rohitvats wrote:
Karan M wrote:Rohit not rhetorical but point is you dont need it for AD alone because it has the same PGM capabilities as MiG or Jag. So simple logic...it can be used the same way they are for tactical strike and wont have to sit out a war.


Karan - your argument highlights an important facet of debate on LCA on BRF. While we all look at the technology and associated stuff, people forget something known as operational requirement of IAF or their Order of Battle.

There are only two ways LCA can enter the ORBAT of IAF - (1) it replaces something (2) adds new capability beyond existing numbers.

For the Nth time, let me put here the IAF's squadron numbers and what they fly; people can at least use it to know what they're taking about when they advance arguments like 'order 200 of type'....


The fundamental problem with this sort of analysis - and I have done my fair share in years past and realize the basic mistake - is that you are proceeding with a central assumption "IAF should only proceed on like for like" and that the LCA can and should only be used for AD as its primary purpose and the IAF cannot and should not deviate from (1) and (2). The second point itself is negated by the fact that an IOC level Tejas would automatically get that and IOC to FOC is going to be mostly software work. And that the IAF is somehow doing very well on the strike front and not so well on the AD front. The strike front isn't doing great either and could do with a leg up.

In contrast, the IAF has always jumped around all over the place when it gets equipment & then proceeded to fit tactics and strategy around those inductions, taking what was available.
MiG-29s - urgent operational requirement to meet F-16s. Program dropped midway when serviceability issues cropped and a run to the Mirage 2000. Program dropped on cost as the Indian economy went into a nosedive affecting everything from the LCA to the T-72 to the Arjun.
Claims of the Mirage 2000 being a true multirole aircraft, meant to be A2G and often discussed on BR. Reality, the A2G functions were actually brought online at the time of Kargil. Litening rushed into service, 250kg bombs added, Paveways fixed. Makes you realize how much the fotos of the Atlis equipped Mirages were really PR as versus proper combat capability.

This by itself should show that the thought process of IAF being some infallible entity which operates to some rigid plan which is always implemented, held up by perfidious babus and incompetent DPSU is wrong. At Kargil, they didn't even aircraft and aircrew trained for operations in mountainous ops. Even that was a rush process.

Su-30 MKI. Fighter squadrons which flew the MiG-23/27 (A2G) were moved onto the Su-30. A2G pilots put in the Flanker-H. Some super duper strategy or a plain realization of the fact that the Flanker was available in plenty via HAL and hence "take what's available and use it optimally"?

Similarly, in a situation where the IAF's MiGs are on their last legs, especially the MiG-27 ("The MiG-27 continues, however, to be a highly controversial aircraft in Indian service, recently seeing a long spell of grounding. Former IAF flight safety chief Air Marshal PS Ahluwalia has long argued that the MiG-27 engine has fundamental flaws that make it a dangerous machine to fly, and should be phased out forthwith. More on this last bit soon.http://www.livefistdefence.com/2010/07/ ... ig-27.html) the IOC LCA itself would be a step up. Its got more self defence capability than the 27, and in the tactical strike role, it can employ both the Paveway and Griffins.

In short, there are no dearth of options where the LCA could be useful and be gainfully employed. 3 MiG-21/27 squadrons pulled out this year (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/new ... 849954.cms) - what's their replacement if the Rafale deal is far away? These MiG-21s were happily pulling all sorts of tasks - AD/Strike/Training with a fraction of the capabilities the LCA employs.

The fundamental problem with the IAF is that its chosen a path wherein the OEM has to solve its problems & when that process takes long or is hard (LCA, Su-30 etc), it goes shopping for a new OEM.

This is because it lacks the inhouse capabilities to project its own requirements, shape the strategy to national industrial goals (or the expertise to evaluate it objectively) and is hence reliant on Sukhoi, Dassault etc. With this problem, the Dassault and Sukhoi guys always win out because their claims of inhouse success dwarf that achieved by ADA/HAL - only after a mass induction will the correspondent problems be known.

SP Tyagi at the Air Power conference was surprised at the low availability of the Rafale in the French AF service. What guarantee do we have versus the Dassault guys or the Sukhoi guys claiming unobtainium to meet MMRCA specs especially around logistics and long term availability?
The MMRCA, few month/aircraft evaluation can never check all those criteria which get to be known under extended operation conditions.

Final version of Bars radar cleared trials in 2012. Was that per the original deal??

Sukhois started getting delivered in 1999. Kopyo variant on Bison has 50km range, same as current MMR. But we are trying to fix that asap on LCA as a "critical issue" for the LCA with huge media coverage. Sky is falling, LCA has 50 km radar range. If the PAF was full of F-16s and JF-17s already, it'd be one thing. In contrast, the bulk of the fleet is F-7 (many with no radar worth the name) or the Mirage 3/5 with similar constraints.

Has anyone covered the pathetic serviceability of the MiG-21 upgrade, till local Indian companies started getting involved? The very same that the LCA built up, which would never exist but for the LCA, but these are all aspects the IAF ignores.

The average IAF leadership is from the fighter stream, knows about his aircraft. Then combat tactics. On building up proficiency and with age, he gets deputed for command assignments where his exposure to national industrial capabilities slowly starts developing (running a base etc). Very few go to NFTC or TP school. Yet these are the guys who are expected to run or design national fighter level programs. They simply can't until and unless they are the rare Rajkumar from TP school. You need an engineering stream with dedicated R&D understanding or program functions funded separately, the way the Navy did. Last I checked some years back, the IAF was still setting up engineering training for its BRDs via its own establishment. Even that was not as prioritized. This is where an IAF asking for 40 aircraft only from HAL plus 16/yr run rate for more LCA orders starts becoming an issue. Ok, so IAF does not have a budget to balance industrial capability building with HAL, but they should have sent that proposal onto the MOD realizing the criticality of the LCA to indigenous aerospace. But they didn't and it took a new RM to cut this "gordian knot" as it has been put.

Lacking this inhouse engineering capability to work with a local OEM, program manage critical aspects of the program after a decade plus exposure to actually how R&D happens and what it entails, the IAF chooses the only path it has, go shopping for the "best OEM" which is "politically reliable".

Hence, France, Israel, Russia. And constant dependence. The Navy on its part, realized all this earlier, created a dedicated engineering cadre (where are IAF's WEESE or its officers working in HAL across the board? No, only parachuting to CEO will do). These are fundamental problems which will remain.

Nuclear strike? No problem we have Rafale. S-4xxx introduced? Sir, not sure Spectra will work. Ok, lets go to Dassault. IFS etc roped in to ask French Govt. France asks for billions for an upgrade. And then the IAF gets disenchanted and starts looking for next OEM. Rinse, lather, repeat. A bunch of south based firms in the SME sector. Completely fed up of approaching IAF and asking for development funds to bypass strategic import regimes. IAF simply has no allocation on those lines. So play by a set of rules that trap you into one line of "progress" which is not really progress at all.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby srai » 11 Oct 2015 17:27

+1 Karan. Good post.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Cain Marko » 11 Oct 2015 17:32

And, +1 too Rohit as well...brings out some important issues. some things need to be clarified

As far as the easing out of raj mahindra was concerned, it had little to do with the iaf...this was more a fight btw the honchos at drdo, ada, and the babus...

It is unclear why designers chose such an ambitious route for the lca...again where are we getting this better than mig 29 and mirage 2000 performance in mig 21 sized body requirement from? Who drew it up and why? from what I can see, the reason for iaf opposition to previous projects (i assume people are referring to marut follow ond) was that the journey for them with hal was extremely arduous resulting in the death of a test pilot... GC Das. Not a small thing. That the AF was shocked at the ambitious nature of the program can be seen from tks tales. Still from all that one hears, ACM Latif was very supportive of the lca.

If folks are referring to lack of iaf support to marut follow ons, one should keep in mind that induction of the marut was very painful and maintenance issues were often related to safety..Then of course the death of GC Suranjan Das further exacerbated the situation. At the end of the day none of the stakeholders in such projects land up making the ultimate sacrifice other than the iaf, so some leeway in this regard makes sense. And, with fsu offers of fighters at cheap prices along with eventual selection of the jaguar, one can see why the iaf would take the easy route.

This reasoning that the design agency offered an extremely ambitious project in the lca so that iaf couldn't turn it down on the basis of obsolescence requires more support. Nothing on Google chacha to shed light on this..

One other thing, the primary requirement of the lca was air superiority, it needs to replace the bison, mainly. The mud mover role is secondary that the lca can do, is great...but this is again marut redux...bright in ground attack when main need was air to air. Point is, iaf does not need it for ground attack..it can easily order more jaguars, which are better suited for that role.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Cain Marko » 11 Oct 2015 18:04

chaanakya wrote:If IOC-1 or 2 config was good for IAF to begin with and there was no major changes in airframes then it makes sense to order in good numbers from the star

Nobody is there to judge IAFs intent when it has been clear like day light that they want a good product with fully developed capabilities and not something under constant development and not from some place which had no previous experience in producing fighter planes. If LCA had no clear capability why even order for 20 planes were given? It goes againt your stated position that order should be given only for proven fully capable A/cs. beats me.

To give the program as much support as it can...isn't that what you want them to do? Think about it, the iaf has seriously relaxed it's induction process for the lca. Importantly, this piecemeal approach is exactly what it has done with other fighters as well...mki, m2k. Once it has sorted out the type after an initial order a bigger one is almost always forthcoming...as confirmed by the ACM. Btw, where have I started that the iaf should only order fully capable planes only? But the planes should at least be flight, if not fight worthy, which the lca ioc 2 are, only to some extent.

But do remember, this happened only in 2013...folks are making the case that iaf should have ordered 2001 std. Lca, which I don't agree with. Also remember, original requirement was for foc std., which is the only one that meets primary requirement, but even so the air force has ordered smaller quantity of lca and assured us that more will definitely be ordered. Why the complaints?

If IAF had policy of replacing all Mig21/Bis with LCA as and when it becomes available then that should have been clearly specified.

It was from day one (1980s)...this was the primary role for the lca.

It works like this . If your prototype passes the test I would commit an order of XYZ number.
But sir, the bird has not yet passed the test as you put it...Not the air superiority one which is the primary test. But still initial orders have been around for ten years. Whatsmore, the iaf promises to order more..This should answer the remaining part of your argument...

.
Heli orders would always be less I suppose. But then it is no template for development of indigenous fighter plane industries. Both are in different class altogether.

How does production management for a heli differ from a fighter? Principles are similar...

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby chaanakya » 11 Oct 2015 18:57

+1 to Karan. Many points worth pondering there.

All said and done, LCA has finally reached a stage where it is being inducted into IAF in numbers to form at least 6 sqdrns. And it is technologically still relevant today. That is great achievement. Had designers not set highly ambitious and somewhat unrealistic target, it would not have been relevant today and could have been junked citing obsolescence. Now if IAF wanted just replacement of MIG21 then LCA with IOC-1 and 2 serve its requirement pretty well. No harm in adding extra frills but that should not move the goal post for ADA or HAL. HAL can easily be told to replace all MIG21 sqdrns with LCA and plan accordingly. Meanwhile ADA can work on cutting edge techs or may be some other agencies could also work on some tech which would not be easily available to other AFs and provide that extra edge and superiority over them

More importantly , it is giving a leg up for Aerospace Industrial complex to be built inside the country but only if we order more LCA.

The ORBAT of 45 must have been decided keeping in mind many factors including funding and availability of A/C , manpower training , Engineering needs, Base requirement etc. There is no hard and fast rule when we can afford more LCAs to build up more sqdrns beyond 45.Afterall we are going to face two and half front war.

@rohitvats
I think DRDO had given the proposal to IAF to consider and IAF had called a conference at Jodhpur to discuss LCA proposal.

viewtopic.php?p=1870263#p1870263

It described the intention to build a single engine tail-less delta plan-form aircraft powered by an engine designed by the GTRE. It was to have a multi-purpose radar designed and built within the country that was to be totally contemporary and to be highly capable in the air to air / air to ground / maritime roles. The aircraft was to be an unstable platform controlled by ‘fly by wire’ technique. It was also to contain all functionalities of a small agile low-observable fighter that could be found anywhere in the world at that point of time. Its projected weight was to be seven tons empty. It was to be designed and developed within about ten years. This dream, the DRDO felt, was achievable. Personally I disagreed with that statement.

''
''
Indeed, the write-up that we had received was rather confusing. The project seemed extremely ambitions. An airframe to be built with extensive use of composite material of which we had no previous experience, an engine that was still on paper, a radar set that was to be better than our imported best and yet be lighter in weight and perhaps a bit smaller in size, an electronic control system for an unstable platform (the struggle with the control laws for the Gnat being still vividly in our memory), a completely unconventional digital man/machine interface while we had no experience at all of the new fangled concept of a ‘glass cockpit’, and all this within a decade! It sounded implausible. At the same time, the paper sent down to us clearly gave us the impression that this super duper futuristic aircraft was what we were required to commit for in ten years’ time. Our Hunters, Gnats, Maruts, Mig21s would all start winding down in the nineties. If we did not start planning for these replacements realistically from now (the early eighties), we shall have undermined the ability of the air force to perform its task.

The vigor of our discussion soon pushed us into smoke and sparks rather than a beam of focused light and we had to draw back and ask ourselves whether we knew what we were talking about. What in our collective wisdom should be the focus of our comment? At last we summarized our views as follows:

We felt that the proposed aircraft was over-ambitious. We felt that we were not likely to succeed in building the aircraft within a decade. We hastened to add that we had no quarrels with the concept of dreaming big; we only needed to remain practical and credible in our endeavor.
We felt that development of critical technologies in radar and engine should be pursued with vigor but that effort must not be tied to an aircraft project clearly identified for time-bound induction into the air-force as the risk of delay or failure of the project would be too high

We reminded ourselves that in ten years time our force strength would decline. We felt that our energies would be better spent in upgrading our present strength of aircraft with better technologies in sensors and weapons. We felt that in the MiG 21 BIS we had the most optimized 7 ton fighter aircraft available in the whole world. It was however already more that 20 years old. It was therefore attractive as a target platform for substantial technological up-gradation. If we could modernize its avionics, give it a nav-attack system, add electronic self-defence capabilities, add more modern communications and add newer guided weapons and hopefully put in a modern by-pass engine into the airframe then we would have a formidable aircraft on our hands. We felt that we would be capable of handling such a development.
'''''
'''''

Thus I made our first point: If the DRDO is confident of achieving everything they have aimed at, God-Speed to them. We are however skeptical about their time frame of one decade. Therefore, we recommend that the effort of the DRDO be taken up as a national project not related to Air Force funds and plans. If the DRDO succeeds in its venture and a useable aircraft is produced, the Air Force can always induct that product as soon as it is available.


So it proceeded as National project. It would be too harsh to say that IAF probably had stake in the project as interested bystander . But its stake was there only if it had any success. Sometimes to we have to do something beyond our present capacity to actually enhance it.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby ldev » 11 Oct 2015 19:06

Karan M wrote:This is because it lacks the inhouse capabilities to project its own requirements, shape the strategy to national industrial goals (or the expertise to evaluate it objectively) and is hence reliant on Sukhoi, Dassault etc. With this problem, the Dassault and Sukhoi guys always win out because their claims of inhouse success dwarf that achieved by ADA/HAL - only after a mass induction will the correspondent problems be known.


Add to the bolded part, "national security goals" as well. The IAF is great for "shaping the mission around the aircraft", rather than "shaping an aircraft mix around potential future missions". And by future I mean the geopolitical space around India for the next 50 years. There is a lot of talk of 42/45 squadrons. Is that really enough or too much? Project the Chinese threat and AD capabilities 20-50 years into the future. Will any strike aircraft be able to get through in that environment? If not, do you really need aircraft with long range for that front? Or will the mission around China be purely defensive. What about force projections into the Gulf area, where Indian dependence on oil will grow exponentially? What kind of mix of fighters and support aircraft are needed for that mission? Couple that with the IN's plans for aircraft carriers. In such force projections the IAF and IN will have to work together. And then there is Pakistan. The IAF is great at making the most and wringing every last drop of performance/life out of a given aircraft, but that misses the point that it may have the wrong aircraft/less than optimal set of capabilities to begin with for that mission profile. Where does the LCA as currently configured fit into this mix?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 11 Oct 2015 20:22

rohitvats wrote:
SanjayC wrote:{quote="Karan M"}The LCA is a direct descendant of the Folland Gnat by way of the MiG-21. A MiG-21 replacement, to be smaller than even the MiG-21 (as Gnat replacement was the original plan of the IAF which became the LCA program) but with capabilities picked up from the IAF experience of the MiG-29 (AI radar+ BVR+HOBS missiles and Helmet Sight added later) and Mirage 2000 (FBW, AI radar+BVR, glass cockpit, long range nav attack system) plus other stuff (OBOGS/IFR).

This has made our task much much harder. Every component has to be packaged as small as possible, heat has to be accounted for, and sensors have to be state of the art. This as our first effort. On the plus side, we have really grown by leaps and bounds.{/quote}

This is the root cause of the problem. It was very irresponsible of IAF to set such an outlandish target for developing the very first aircraft in a country that had zero experience or capability. Couldn't they have asked for a Mig 21 clone, and left its flight-of-fancy for the next planned aircraft?

A MiG 21 type aircraft would have been developed in half the time, and replaced all MIG 21s in service by now, saving crashes and lives of pilots. It would have been easier to develop the next, more advanced fighter after this experience. Instead, 25 years later, we are still hanging around with half a dozen LCA platforms, and MIG 21s have become flying coffins.

The rest of the countries limit their vision for the first prototype and go for iterative development over next versions. All tanks and plans got developed like this. IAF will keep behaving like this till they dont' begin joint development with HAL, like Navy. It's obvious they have never considered themselves as a stakeholder in LCA.


SanjayC - your words are bang on target.

Except for a small twist - It is the R&D establishment which said we'll use this opportunity to develop a replacement fighter for Mig-21 to bridge the gap with West post demise of HF-24 program. The shoe is on the other foot! :P

IAF wanted a Mig-21 replacement which would start going out by mid-90s but R&D establishment set itself the target of developing 4 key technologies in this venture: (a) FBW system with attendant DFCC (b) Engine (c) Multi-Mode Radar (d) High composite usage.

And on top of that, made fantastic claims about when these will fly! No less a person than Kalam made claims of 100s of LCA flying before end of last decade!

Therein lies the ROOT-CAUSE of the disenchantment of IAF with LCA Program till almost 2007. R&D establishment gave itself nice science project w/o bothering about the operational requirement of IAF.

What you say about developing a medium technology fighter as Mig-21 replacement is exactly the path it should've taken. Had that been done, may be, by now we'd have had many operational squadrons. LCA in its current form but w/o the liability of dimensions would've been a true iterative development.

But that was not to be!

As for Navy - The reason it does very well with DRDO is because it retains program management. And does not allow any flights of fancy on part of R&D establishment.



I have read many fighter plane development accounts from US, UK, France and Russia. In most flighter encounters since WWI to Gulf War, four things mattered :
- spot enemy plane first
- maneuver your plane (agility from aerodynamics balance: thrust vs weight, lift vs drag etc)
- get first shot off
- Shoot in third quadrant in case of guns/cannon etc.

ADA's all four requirements are for achieving above criteria.
Yes ambitious but minimum requirements if you want a plane that can fight in modern dogfights.

In all accounts of Gnats vs Sabres, IAF pilots used to go in vertical arena where they had advantage and shoot them down.


http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk ... istory.php

20 planes order is to set up production facility.

KaranM that AM is visionary unafraid to ask what he does not know. Hope he rises up the ranks.

Kanson is right. Shiv had posted gifs of many HAL concept planes in the mid 70-80s. Shows design bureau was active.

I think Jaguar acquisition killed HAL initiative in mid 70-80 decade.

Gyan
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Gyan » 11 Oct 2015 20:28

Some long term Super Lifafas of DDM have turned pro LCA. How come? Having said this, IAF has not placed additional orders for LCA, they might still do a Arjun on it.

Vivek K
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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Vivek K » 11 Oct 2015 20:40

So what are the LCA bashers whining about now? The IAF has, though grudgingly, accepted to create 6 squadrons of the LCA. Let the plane do the rest of the talking.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby chaanakya » 11 Oct 2015 21:11

@cain marko

IOC 1 happened in 2011. By that time LCA was ahead of current MIG 21.

IAF should have the policy statement upfront, not the assumed one, that if LCA passes the test they would procure specified numbers minimum.
It can not be 20 or 40 as that would be ridiculously low for setting up production units. Committing 120+ is good even though it should have been done four years earlier. That gives enough lead time to interested partied to set up units for supply chain for parts. And each part would have its own lead time which needs to be factored into to decide rate of production.

I have no doubt that LCA was conceived as replacement for MIG 21 but IAF went looking elsewhere as well. Their ASR would in 1980s would have little resemblance to what is being asked now as those techs weren't available at that time. LCA survived because scientists dared to think into future else it would have been rejected as dated.

Promises should be as in a business deal. Written down handed sealed and delivered. If you read the tkstales account they made it as a National project rather than IAF project. That speaks volumes of the mindset prevailing in forces. Why this idea of National project as different from IAF project?

Heli vs LCA template is because of complexities involved. One can as well argue that template for production of screwdriver and Power wrench are same.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby VKumar » 11 Oct 2015 21:16

I wonder what is the status of serial production, or still trials are going on? I always advocated iterative production, with newly tested features being put into the new aircraft being produced and after a bunch of new features are already in use, bring the earlier versions to date. Will actually require one line dedicated only for up gradation.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_23694 » 11 Oct 2015 21:47

curiosity question : No SP series roll out this year till now . SP1 last yr 30 Sept.
Any idea ? Did i miss something

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby rohitvats » 11 Oct 2015 23:39

chaanakya wrote:@cain marko

IOC 1 happened in 2011. By that time LCA was ahead of current MIG 21.<SNIP>


You first need to get your facts correct before making such sweeping statement.

Splitting the IOC into IOC-1 and IOC-2 was foremost a face saving attempt to show some significant milestone achievement in the program. Secondly, LCA was no where even close to Squadron service at IOC-1, forget being comparable to Mig-21, an aircraft in operational service.

Here is the PIB Release from IOC-2: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=102056

The Initial Operational Clearance-1 (IOC-I) for ‘Tejas’ was achieved on 10 Jan 2011. In IOC-I, the Aircraft had a few limitations in terms of Combat performance, turn around time and its weaponisation which had to be refined and improved through Research & Development process. In addition to this, Wake penetration trials, all weather clearances were planned beyond IOC-1


And this is what was achieved between IOC-1 and IOC-2:

The salient features which have been achieved in IOC-2 include Safe flying up to High angle of Attack as mandated by the users. This has considerably enhanced the combat performance of the aircraft. The Flight control system evaluation has also been completed. The time for initial built-in test has been reduced considerably which enables faster turn around and enhanced operational readiness of aircraft. The Brake system has been improved significantly in terms of energy absorption capability during landing, thus ensuring prompt turn-around of the aircraft. Significant improvement in Cockpit ergonomic and lighting system has been accomplished for improved night flying. In-flight re-light capability was demonstrated to ensure enhanced safety and reliability of the aircraft. This is a major achievement. Avionics and Weapon system of the aircraft have been revamped for effective mission superiority. Helmet Mounted Display Sight (HMDS) has been fully integrated in Tejas and R73E missile firing has been successfully demonstrated using HMDS.


The Aircraft has been cleared for fly without any telemetry support.


At IOC-1, LCA was not even cleared to fly without chaps at NFTC keeping a constant watch on all performance parameters. And you're making statements about LCA at IOC-1 being better than Mig-21? You're repeating the same arguments, and wrong ones at that, repeatedly. Long story short, LCA at IOC-1 was nowhere close to being a combat platform.

And it was AFTER LCA achieved what it did at IOC-2, did it become fit to enter Squadron service and to be flown by line fighter pilots.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Gyan » 12 Oct 2015 00:15

Nobody has said that IOC-1 is adequate in itself. It is only being stated that the programme had progressed enough and de-risked at IOC stage for additional orders to be placed. Any minor changes could have been incorporated, during or after production, as aircraft takes around 4 years to roll out after order is placed. Any orders, if at all placed today, big if, will see additional LCA rolling out only in 2020 (assuming one year to place orders for components). But having said that, gross incompetence & lethargy of HAL is also unforgivable. They have not only delayed LCA production but also Rustom, Saras, LUH, LCH, HTT-40, IJT, MRH.... Where has HAL done a good or even reasonable job?


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