LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 10:29

GunterH, thanks for the kind words but:

when you say but my strong feeling is that the LCA has been designed (by ADA, DRDO, NAL) to show case the technical capability (and have succeeded). But is NOT designed for mass production. and Is it possible that the IAF knows that the plane can't be efficiently manufactured? It is also possible that IAF does not know the underlaying reasons why the LCA can't be procured in numbers. And that reason may be that the LCA design is such that it would be a night-mare to take it for mass production. - this is just speculation.

http://tarmak007.blogspot.in/2013/12/fi ... -hals.html

The LCA as it stands is designed to be produced, provided the SOP - standard of preparation is in line with what IAF wants. Yes, there were issues. But the entire intent of making a SP standard is to build it in numbers.

IAF had issues viz LCA both with performance (eg maintainability) & numbers available/yr. Those are both being addressed.

HAL plans to take the production rate to 16 aircraft per year from 2017 onwards. The facility will be upgraded to a major manufacturing complex consisting of sheet metal shop, process shop and heat treatment shop. Additional hangars are also coming up for support and maintenance, with further augmentation in the pipeline to accommodate the Tejas trainers and naval variant.
All hangars are equipped with forced draft systems to maintain dust, humidity and temperature control. HAL has given the mandate to head the new facility to V Sridharan, who has worked extensively on Jaguar and Hawk programmes. “We have embedded the Tejas production with best lean practices in manufacturing. Maintaining highest quality standards have been the driving philosophy behind while setting up this unit,” HAL chairman R K Tyagi told Express from Delhi.
Batting for the private industry, HAL says that a total of 9362 fabricated parts will be manufactured by its external supply chain. “This step is critical in propelling HAL as a lead integrator in the national aerospace eco system,” Tygai said.
A gen-next 5-axis CNC machine installed at the facility is capable of robotically undertaking the wing skin drilling, thereby reducing the turnaround time by 80 per cent. The manufacturing jigs have been calibrated with computer-aided laser tracker to 80 micron tolerance. The manufacturing shop has been equipped with appropriate CAD software for working with digital mockup features.


So its not that manufacturing is being ignored. A lot now depends on HAL to achieve the above though.
Last edited by ramana on 27 Oct 2015 19:56, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added highlights ramana

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 27 Oct 2015 11:23

i always had a suspicion a bit of last minute israeli spit n polish would be needed to get Tejas over the acceptance line, same as pinaka, same as many a project....

gives the all important "sheen" of quality and tftaness that desi products are alleged to lack.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby sum » 27 Oct 2015 11:27

^^ So, is the Uttam done and dusted with given huge numbers of 2052 being talked about?

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby srai » 27 Oct 2015 11:29

Karan M wrote:GunterH, thanks for the kind words but:

when you say but my strong feeling is that the LCA has been designed (by ADA, DRDO, NAL) to show case the technical capability (and have succeeded). But is NOT designed for mass production. and Is it possible that the IAF knows that the plane can't be efficiently manufactured? It is also possible that IAF does not know the underlaying reasons why the LCA can't be procured in numbers. And that reason may be that the LCA design is such that it would be a night-mare to take it for mass production. - this is just speculation.

http://tarmak007.blogspot.in/2013/12/fi ... -hals.html

The LCA as it stands is designed to be produced, provided the SOP - standard of preparation is in line with what IAF wants. Yes, there were issues. But the entire intent of making a SP standard is to build it in numbers.

IAF had issues viz LCA both with performance (eg maintainability) & numbers available/yr. Those are both being addressed.

HAL plans to take the production rate to 16 aircraft per year from 2017 onwards. The facility will be upgraded to a major manufacturing complex consisting of sheet metal shop, process shop and heat treatment shop. Additional hangars are also coming up for support and maintenance, with further augmentation in the pipeline to accommodate the Tejas trainers and naval variant.
All hangars are equipped with forced draft systems to maintain dust, humidity and temperature control. HAL has given the mandate to head the new facility to V Sridharan, who has worked extensively on Jaguar and Hawk programmes. “We have embedded the Tejas production with best lean practices in manufacturing. Maintaining highest quality standards have been the driving philosophy behind while setting up this unit,” HAL chairman R K Tyagi told Express from Delhi. Batting for the private industry, HAL says that a total of 9362 fabricated parts will be manufactured by its external supply chain. “This step is critical in propelling HAL as a lead integrator in the national aerospace eco system,” Tygai said.
A gen-next 5-axis CNC machine installed at the facility is capable of robotically undertaking the wing skin drilling, thereby reducing the turnaround time by 80 per cent. The manufacturing jigs have been calibrated with computer-aided laser tracker to 80 micron tolerance. The manufacturing shop has been equipped with appropriate CAD software for working with digital mockup features.


So its not that manufacturing is being ignored. A lot now depends on HAL to achieve the above though.


Wish A. Shukla and A. Krishnan would visit HAL now and take photos of those same fabrication/tooling machines in action and of final assembly lines. It seems both of them visited HAL in Dec 2013 around when IOC-2 was obtained and standardized production could finally begin. Now 22-months in, what would it look like with first lot deliveries a few months from now? That would show visible progress to those in public who doubt HAL heavily ;)
Last edited by srai on 27 Oct 2015 11:57, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 11:33

sum wrote:^^ So, is the Uttam done and dusted with given huge numbers of 2052 being talked about?


Nah, AMCA, NLCA possibility

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 11:37

Singha wrote:i always had a suspicion a bit of last minute israeli spit n polish would be needed to get Tejas over the acceptance line, same as pinaka, same as many a project....

gives the all important "sheen" of quality and tftaness that desi products are alleged to lack.


Pinaka has no Israeli spit and polish. The Trajectory Correction System was proposed for the Pinaka but its basic rockets did the job and for Mk2, we are probably exploring other local options now with IRNSS in play.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 27 Oct 2015 11:38

uttam is not even in flying testbed yet, and you know the dozens of modes that aesa radars or any modern fighter radar needs....then comes production, cost containment and reliability of the aesa modules...india is not a semiconductor superpawa on civil side.

EL2052 has been on the shelf for some time...ready for action. IDF cannot use it because US arms aid mandates using the usa radar on Sufa and Raam. and they are a semiconductor superpawa.

imo uttam is a long way from being a product. we need see the EMB145 be a great success first to know the base tech is ok. I wonder why IAF is holding out for heavies when a lot of desi EMB145 can flood the place and mostly solve the problem.

trying to be khan on a indian budget aint going to work. we cannot afford a heavy platform for each role.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 11:43

Did people even know about this?

The ability to design & manufacture has clearly advanced by leaps and bounds judging by the collaboration - it spans the entire aerostructures domain.
HAL CMD is also fairly sophisticated. Check out the facilities.

http://www.tatahal.com/about/
http://www.tatahal.com/wp-content/uploa ... 5___V2.pdf
http://linkshowcase.com/portfolio/brochure/HAL.pdf

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 11:52

Singha wrote:uttam is not even in flying testbed yet, and you know the dozens of modes that aesa radars or any modern fighter radar needs....then comes production, cost containment and reliability of the aesa modules...india is not a semiconductor superpawa on civil side.


India need not be a semiconductor superpawa to develop AESA radars. Look at BEL, Astra & Tata ASL's capabilities in the domain. If India can make AESA radars for BMD, MPR/LLTR segments, it can make AESA radars for fighters. The issue then is of sufficient performance within the heat/volume constraints that fighters have. That's where the challenge lies for X-Band TRMs, however Astra/BEL's TRM passed qualification testing a while back & BEL had its first Quad TRM module displayed earlier this year (https://i.imgur.com/FExp9rk.jpg).
As regards the software, look at the XV-2004 & the EMB-145 modes (https://i.imgur.com/op4T3Ev.jpg).

Point is we are not starting from scratch as with the MMR either with the software or hardware, this time around. A lot of the base algorithms & domain expertise now exist which was not the case with MMR.

EL2052 has been on the shelf for some time...ready for action. IDF cannot use it because US arms aid mandates using the usa radar on Sufa and Raam. and they are a semiconductor superpawa.


Actually 2052 has been in development since 2005. They suffered from the usual "early adopter" challenge plus funding issues.. they have a significant number of systems to spread the money on.

imo uttam is a long way from being a product. we need see the EMB145 be a great success first to know the base tech is ok. I wonder why IAF is holding out for heavies when a lot of desi EMB145 can flood the place and mostly solve the problem. trying to be khan on a indian budget aint going to work. we cannot afford a heavy platform for each role.


Because the IAF wants heavies which have a range advantage. The base tech on the EMB-145 already went to a TRL 8 a long time back. What the IAF is evaluating now is the tough stuff, sensor fusion & battle management. The AEW&CS is basically IACCS on the aircraft plus an onboard ELINT package plus Datalinks. Making it all work together is the challenge, not just putting a radar or the like.

EMB145 etc are stepping stones to larger programs like AWACS India, because that's how the IAF may want them.
Last edited by Karan M on 27 Oct 2015 11:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby srai » 27 Oct 2015 11:55

Karan M wrote:Did people even know about this?

The ability to design & manufacture has clearly advanced by leaps and bounds judging by the collaboration - it spans the entire aerostructures domain.
HAL CMD is also fairly sophisticated. Check out the facilities.

http://www.tatahal.com/about/
http://www.tatahal.com/wp-content/uploa ... 5___V2.pdf
http://linkshowcase.com/portfolio/brochure/HAL.pdf


Good find! JV can be a domestic public/private arrangement too :)

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 12:01

SRai - yes. Rebuts the concern only "foreign consulting" can do or that public infra is way behind the norm. Basically HAL has a fair amount of capability for the LCA design to manufacture now.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby JayS » 27 Oct 2015 13:44

GunterH wrote:This is the main issue that never gets discussed in this forum. There are pages and pages of gyan on LEVCONS, Engine, weight reduction, composites etc etc but no mention of issues with mass production of LCA as a product.


Manufacturing is not discussed in details because it cannot be discussed just like that. You need to see the parts, shapes, dimensions, tolerances, materials, processes, existing capabilities and other n factors before commenting. Do you see this in for about LCA in public domain. Even an expert MFG engg can't say much just based on whatever meager info is available for aam abduls. One can just see the shape and talk about aerodynamics since the shape tells the story to large extent.

Rest all you said is too much over-simplification and speculation. There is no law of physics which is stopping HAL to make more number of LCA if they can make 8/yr. If it takes 3 big blue sheds to make 8/yr then 6 of them will enable them to make 16/yr. Hope You get the idea. Scaling is not issue here. Lack of motivation for scaling is.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 13:52

One way or the other Uttam has to continue for AMCA & offers a real advantage for some other applications:

Saurav Jha (Dec 2014):

The Mk-II is also likely to sport an indigenously developed active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire control radar currently under development by DRDO's Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) under Project Uttam. Hardware has already been realized for this radar which has a range of 100 km and rooftop testing is underway. Apparently December 2015 has been set as a time for both DRDO & the IAF to take stock of the maturity of this radar since the IAF wants clarity on the radar front for the Tejas Mk-II. Though the Uttam AESA currently weighs 120 kgs which is some 40 kgs more than the current MMR, there will be no problem in integrating it with the Mk-II which can easily carry a radar of this weight. So if the end-2015 stock taking exercise satisfies all stake holders, Mk-II will definitely feature LRDE's AESA once it completes development. In fact this radar if successful is also intended as an upgrade package for the IAF's Jaguars and Mig-29s and the Indian Navy's (IN's) Mig 29Ks.


https://twitter.com/sjha1618/status/568460816208367616
Features LPI and can track 6 targets
(high precision tracking, eg weapons employment); TWS is given as 100 targets.

....

In short, replacement potential for IN MiG-29Ks (~45), DARIN-2 Jaguars (40-60). IAF MiG-29s may be a long stretch (airframe life).

At any rate, we need it for AMCA, with more range (200-250km+), ie more TRM power density. LCA aim is MiG-29 Zhuk level, 94km for 2sqmtr target.

Astra Microwave wrote:X-band T/R modules: Partnered in the development of the product. Astra has already supplied two modules of X-band T/R. The user is testing the same. Astra expects orders for AESA radars from Tejas to come after four-five years.

T/R Module Chipsets: The MMICs in the transmit chain can cater to power levels of 38dBm in C band and up to 10W in X-band. Astra also supports with the required driver amplifiers and medium power amplifiers to achieve required power levels at the Transmitting Antenna. These power amplifiers feature very good PAE and hence consume lower power.


Current X- Band TRM is at 10W. A 1000 module AESA would have 10Kw peak - assuming a largeish Su-30 class radar. Given antenna size, gain will be good.
In contrast, LCA original MMR was at 6.5Kw peak, 10% duty cycle, 650W average.

....

Point is current Uttam, once ready itself may offer us substantial opportunity for usage on Su-30 class platforms if we choose Bars PESA upgrade & transition to AESA later.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby JayS » 27 Oct 2015 14:00

Karan M wrote:Did people even know about this?

The ability to design & manufacture has clearly advanced by leaps and bounds judging by the collaboration - it spans the entire aerostructures domain.
HAL CMD is also fairly sophisticated. Check out the facilities.

http://www.tatahal.com/about/
http://www.tatahal.com/wp-content/uploa ... 5___V2.pdf
http://linkshowcase.com/portfolio/brochure/HAL.pdf


HAL has many such small JVs with private companies.
http://www.hal-india.com/Joint%20Venture%20Companies/M__29


Indian aero-engineering community now is quite good at structures with large number of structural engineers with lot of experience. We are good at avionics as well. Aerodynamics and Propulsion is lagging behind though. And of coarse manufacturing technology as a whole.

I have been a supporter of idea of having JV between HAL and private firms for manufacturing of a/c or helicopters. Dis-investing HAL or trashin HAL and going to private fully, both are stupid in my opinion.

EDIT: Old news Item i just found on google.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nashik/HAL-eyes-joint-ventures-with-industries/articleshow/45129203.cms

Shows that HAL has been on this path already, albeit in smaller pieces. I was thinking HAL could also work as incubation center for aerospace specific tech start-ups. GOI can channel some funding through HAL.
Last edited by JayS on 27 Oct 2015 14:36, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 14:05

Nilesh - good input as always.
I knew of the others, they are mostly specific aim ventures (sorta like offsets being parceled off to JVs) or for specific country-programs.

The Tata one was new to me, and a welcome one, given its a win-win for both firms.

I agree completely with you that we need more such collab between the PSU-pvt groups and avoid duplication of expensive infra.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby JayS » 27 Oct 2015 14:08

Karan M wrote:One way or the other Uttam has to continue for AMCA & offers a real advantage for some other applications:

Saurav Jha (Dec 2014):

The Mk-II is also likely to sport an indigenously developed active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire control radar currently under development by DRDO's Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) under Project Uttam. Hardware has already been realized for this radar which has a range of 100 km and rooftop testing is underway. Apparently December 2015 has been set as a time for both DRDO & the IAF to take stock of the maturity of this radar since the IAF wants clarity on the radar front for the Tejas Mk-II. Though the Uttam AESA currently weighs 120 kgs which is some 40 kgs more than the current MMR, there will be no problem in integrating it with the Mk-II which can easily carry a radar of this weight. So if the end-2015 stock taking exercise satisfies all stake holders, Mk-II will definitely feature LRDE's AESA once it completes development. In fact this radar if successful is also intended as an upgrade package for the IAF's Jaguars and Mig-29s and the Indian Navy's (IN's) Mig 29Ks.


https://twitter.com/sjha1618/status/568460816208367616
Features LPI and can track 6 targets
(high precision tracking, eg weapons employment); TWS is given as 100 targets.

....

In short, replacement potential for IN MiG-29Ks (~45), DARIN-2 Jaguars (40-60). IAF MiG-29s may be a long stretch (airframe life).

At any rate, we need it for AMCA, with more range (200-250km+), ie more TRM power density. LCA aim is MiG-29 Zhuk level, 94km for 2sqmtr target.

Astra Microwave wrote:X-band T/R modules: Partnered in the development of the product. Astra has already supplied two modules of X-band T/R. The user is testing the same. Astra expects orders for AESA radars from Tejas to come after four-five years.

T/R Module Chipsets: The MMICs in the transmit chain can cater to power levels of 38dBm in C band and up to 10W in X-band. Astra also supports with the required driver amplifiers and medium power amplifiers to achieve required power levels at the Transmitting Antenna. These power amplifiers feature very good PAE and hence consume lower power.


Current X- Band TRM is at 10W. A 1000 module AESA would have 10Kw peak - assuming a largeish Su-30 class radar. Given antenna size, gain will be good.
In contrast, LCA original MMR was at 6.5Kw peak, 10% duty cycle, 650W average.

....

Point is current Uttam, once ready itself may offer us substantial opportunity for usage on Su-30 class platforms if we choose Bars PESA upgrade & transition to AESA later.


What about the cooling system though?? AESA has higher cooling requirements AFAIK. LCA needs to have space for that too. There was a tender related to cooling system of LCA some time ago I remember (Indranil posted it I think). Can't recall the details though.

We need a road map for AESA development made by R&D and IAF together. With that we can have definite decision on things like which all a/cs can have it with what all requirements, whether to wait for Su-30MKI radar upgrade and so on.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 14:20

BEL is apparently manufacturing the TRMs for DRDO radars in bulk.
https://i.imgur.com/oW3Wx0M.jpg
Note the same TRM as with Astra; basically Astra was DRDO-BEL's partner for development. The picture basically shows the Uttam AESA demonstrator with a scaled down array.
https://i.imgur.com/zY3mtz7.jpg

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 14:26

nileshjr wrote:What about the cooling system though?? AESA has higher cooling requirements AFAIK. LCA needs to have space for that too. There was a tender related to cooling system of LCA some time ago I remember (Indranil posted it I think). Can't recall the details though.


https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j ... GErSOUXFmQ

There are several firms which can work with DRDO on this, and I think one of the reasons they deliberately restricted the module/power count on the LCA (limiting range to 100 km for a small fighter target) was for this purpose - restrict the heat issue. For airframes like the Su-30 etc, less of an issue.

60% of value of EL/M-2052 in India tells me that like with the EL/M-2084 for IAF plus MRSAM, elements like the TR Modules and Cooling system will be locally sourced in India (Astra or Tata most likely will assemble the TRMs)

We need a road map for AESA development made by R&D and IAF together. With that we can have definite decision on things like which all a/cs can have it with what all requirements, whether to wait for Su-30MKI radar upgrade and so on.


Completely agree.. we need to treat these investments as strategic and follow through for the long term.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby JayS » 27 Oct 2015 14:45

indranilroy wrote:
nileshjr wrote:Only F-15 has movable inlet cowl for shock. I can't think of any other jet right now. Others (Tomcat, Su-27. mig-29, mig25) have internal mechanism for geometry manipulation. But for F-15, you can see the inlet opening itself moving/changing. (There are many with moving cone though)

This, I know and meant when I said variable inlet shapes for shock creation. The EF mechanism is new to me. Are there other aircraft you know of which uses a variable lip?


I can't recall any other a/c like F15, that I know of. Mostly movable cone with circular intake is preferred in other high supersonic jets. If I find something, will let you know.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby member_28788 » 27 Oct 2015 15:59

Guys a lot of us think that private sector could help in manufacturing LCA and it can.

but here are two things why the proposition is not taking up -

#1. Defence is a R&D intensive sector. You've to build R&D capability, organization intellectual resources. It all takes upfront investments and returns come later. You've to be in for long term. Say 10-15 years.

#2. Defence is a intensively regulated sector. Wherever there are regulations there are subjective opinions - of bureaucracy included. Then there are political governments. Look at the coal & telecom sector. Government decisions change, U-turn even decades after. in some case because there is corruption but also because the political establishment changes. Someone else bribes their way to a contract! In this case, a private industry doesnt trusts the system. So they don't build capacity. So they only seek short term, regulation proof opportunities.

pvt sector has both money, capability. They dont trust system down a decade.

So how do you assure the pvt sector a regulation proof opportunity? And at the same time keep intact the rights of the civil society to revisit any government largesse?

If we know the answer we know what will work.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 16:08

btw Saurav Jha was proven right...March 2015:

Quote:
Saurav Jha ‏@SJha1618 25m25 minutes ago New Delhi, Delhi

MoD is fully cognizant of the potential of the Light Combat Aircraft programme. They are looking at ways to boost production rates.
Quote:
Saurav Jha ‏@SJha1618 24m24 minutes ago New Delhi, Delhi

All stakeholders realize that it is needed in numbers. MoD is asking the IAF to draw up plans accordingly.

Saurav Jha ‏@SJha1618 33s33 seconds ago New Delhi, Delhi

HAL has been told to increase Tejas output to 16 from next year. But they want more MK-I numbers committed.
Quote:
Saurav Jha ‏@SJha1618 42s42 seconds ago New Delhi, Delhi

There is now some preliminary discussion on an improved MK-I with certain new systems and better maintenance.
Quote:
Saurav Jha ‏@SJha1618 20s21 seconds ago New Delhi, Delhi

This will keep the HAL line buzzing till 2022 when Mk-2 production is expected to take off.



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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 27 Oct 2015 16:31

^^Saurav probably has source in MOD/DRDO as he tends to be more right then others when it comes to indiginous dev and procurement stuff

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 27 Oct 2015 20:09

So KaranM comparing the Uttam weight to MMR which doesn't work is asinine.
MMR at 650W(to keep cooling in mind) was underpowered and then add a fuzzy radome did handicap the BVR goals.

Still shows weapons systems engineering has long way to go.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby SanjayC » 27 Oct 2015 20:48

India Offers Lanka LCA Tejas To Counter Pakistan’s JF-17

India has offered to Sri Lanka its Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to counter Pakistan’s earlier bid to sell to the island nation its JF-17 fighters developed in collaboration with China, the Colombo-based Sunday Observer says.


https://www.ibcworldnews.com/2015/10/26 ... ans-jf-17/


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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby sankum » 27 Oct 2015 23:22

No mention of reduction in empty weight of new Tejas though Infoboard in Aero India 2015 and HAL website has increased the MTOW to 13500Kg i.e 200kg increase so external payload can be said to increase to 3700Kg.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 23:38

Ramana wrote:So KaranM comparing the Uttam weight to MMR which doesn't work is asinine.
MMR at 650W(to keep cooling in mind) was underpowered and then add a fuzzy radome did handicap the BVR goals.

Still shows weapons systems engineering has long way to go.


Actually Saurav Jha is bang on target, how is it asinine when the MMR is what the LCA was designed for, and all other drop ins have to manage the same factor? Even the EL/M-2032 is advertised as 100kg but remember we have our scanner and gimbal plus the EL/M-2032 backend.

Besides, the LCA carries around 180kg of ballast (see Kartiks post from AI), so its not weight which is the biggest challenge but the volume (since for a MSA, the power amplifier & TWT have to be as close to the antenna as possible to avoid losses). For an AESA, we have to account for the extra cooling system.

At any rate, what that tells us is we have the AESA weight possibly accounted for but the cooling system and a new alternator may be required, so a non trivial task & which is why, we are told a development of the EL/M-2052 will be used for the LCA. Not the base radar itself though its claimed to be modular etc.

MMR at 650W, specifications wise, may actually not be underpowered, its actually fairly well in the class.
RC-400 which was chosen for the JF-17 and the deal fell through because of Indian pressure and financing issues, has a PAv of 400W.
Its derived from the more powerful and expensive RDY-2 on the Mirage 2000 Mk2, which has a range of 130km against small fighter sized targets. That radar had an average power of 800W.
This is the best article on the Mirage 2000 to date - we are supposedly getting the Mk2 version, both IAF and Dassault have kept the details classified.
http://www.defensa.pe/forums/showthread ... #post37917
The LCA MMR basically had all the requirements of the RDY-2 with lesser power than the RDY-2, greater than the RC-400 & hence performance in between, suitable for an aircraft the size of the LCA.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby JayS » 27 Oct 2015 23:39



SOme pointers from the link:

HAL chief, T Suvarna Raju says, over the next three years, production will ramp up from four aircraft this year to seven in 2016-17, and eight in 2017-18, thus completing the order for 20 IOC fighters. From 2018-19 onwards, 16 SoP-18 Tejas fighters will roll off the line each year.

"Ramping up production to 16 Tejas per year will cost us about Rs 1,252 crore. We have mutually agreed that HAL will provide half the cost, and the IAF and navy will together pay the other half," says Raju.


While this threatened to reduce the Tejas' weapons carriage by occupying one of its seven hard points, HAL is overcoming that problem by fitting a "twin-arm" at that hard point. "One of the arms will carry the jammer, while the other will mount an air-to-air missile", says the designer.


The HAL chief says the IAF wants the fighter to take maximum 14 minutes between landing after a mission; and taking off for the next mission, fully checked, rearmed and refuelled. Currently, the Tejas takes about 20 minutes.


"The IAF has carried out a 'maintainability evaluation' on the Tejas, and provided requests for action (RFAs) to HAL. Each RFA deals with a particular way to improve maintenance. We will be making 27 modifications in the fighter", says Raju.


Refuelling the Tejas takes just four minutes, and two more to fill drop tanks as well.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 27 Oct 2015 23:54

Vivek Ahuja, take a bow. His range-payload calculations are fairly close to accurate and actually a bit of an underestimate (he models 3K kg of fuel) but LCA is doing better with less fuel.

Note what Shukla says, all 7 pylons and only on internal fuel, combat radius of around 300 km. Note he says 2300kg in internal fuel, actual is 2458 kg going by memory and around 3.5T of payload, which gives a range of exactly 600 km per the below. But combat radius would be around 240km.

Image

In short, its actually a fair bit better than BRF predicted.

With all 7 pylons occupied & a 300km strike radius, thats a lot of capability for this bird!!

This is what 300km gives you, more or less.

Image

All these days, when I did LCA compares, I would always budget for 5 pylons with weapons & 2 with fuel, and even then the LCA would handily outperform the Bison, MiGs etc.

The IAF OTOH is bent upon employing this plane as an all-up MRCA with all 7 pylons occupied & using IFR for the range.

A midway config is likely to be 6 pylons occupied (wings), central pylon with fuel, which would raise the combat radius to around 400km & IFR.

The plan is probably to use the Su-30 MKIs as gas tankers & that is why Cobham makes sense. They are the Su-30 buddy refuelling pod providers too.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 28 Oct 2015 00:05

nileshjr wrote:The HAL chief says the IAF wants the fighter to take maximum 14 minutes between landing after a mission; and taking off for the next mission, fully checked, rearmed and refuelled. Currently, the Tejas takes about 20 minutes.


"The IAF has carried out a 'maintainability evaluation' on the Tejas, and provided requests for action (RFAs) to HAL. Each RFA deals with a particular way to improve maintenance. We will be making 27 modifications in the fighter", says Raju.


Refuelling the Tejas takes just four minutes, and two more to fill drop tanks as well.
[/quote]

Bwahahaha - after all the complaints and huge grouses that LCA was so bad maintenance wise, now we get to know the current turn around time is 20 minutes!! :lol:

Which is where the context matters about how demanding IAF ASRs can be. For context, in peacetime Su-30 sortie rate has been upto 8 daily (http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/indian-a ... uk-1204336) & more can be pulled out at war.

For LCA, if used round the clock, assuming even 30 mins for TAT, detailed checks and what not, mission briefs and 1 hr for the flight/combat, that can translate to around 16 sorties per day. Spares burn etc will be far less than that on the Su-30 and costs likewise.

BTW, Vivek Ahuja's predictions are that the LCA Mk-1 would be a beast at high speeds and fairly credible at low speeds as well. No wonder Mao said re: ITR, STR - "they are enough, let me tell you that". http://thebetacoefficient.blogspot.in/2 ... art-i.html

About the only "compare" that people can crib about is the 8G on the Mk1. And as memory serves, the good old F/A-18 E/F is rated upto something similar as well.

In short, after all the whinging and complaining, looks like all it took for some people to see sense was a Defence Minister actually able to understand the topic and make the IAF & HAL sit together at a table.
Last edited by Karan M on 28 Oct 2015 00:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 28 Oct 2015 00:14

Meanwhile, ADA will continue developing the Tejas Mark II, replacing the current General Electric F-404IN engine with a new GE F-414 engine. The IAF remains sceptical about the Tejas Mark II, but the navy is certain the Tejas must have the more powerful F-414 engine to enable it to get airborne from short aircraft carrier decks.

ADA & the Navy should take this opportunity to move this bird into firmly medium class. More fuel, payload etc. Something tells me the IAF may come asking one fine day.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby JayS » 28 Oct 2015 00:32

^^ Quick googling gives turnaround time for Gripen-E
http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/gripen-e-multirole-fighter-aircraft/
The one seater aircraft features ten pylon stations, which enable it to carry reconnaissance pods, weapons and external fuel tanks. Its turnaround time is ten minutes in air-to-air configuration and 20 minutes while carrying weapons for air-to-ground combat.


We know Gripen requirement for this parameter is quite stringent, better that most if not all. So 12min for Tejas if it can achieve, that's among the best in the world for sure.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 28 Oct 2015 00:35

Karan M wrote: Note he says 2300kg in internal fuel, actual is 2458 kg going by memory

2,300 kg may be the amount of useful fuel.

Karan M wrote:ADA & the Navy should take this opportunity to move this bird into firmly medium class. More fuel, payload etc. Something tells me the IAF may come asking one fine day.

+1. I have no doubts that when Mk2 is ready, IAF will jump onto the bandwagon.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Cybaru » 28 Oct 2015 01:16

Ajai says the following "its internal tanks carry just 2,300 litres of fuel, with another 2,400 litres carried in external pods. "

Kgs to Liters in fuel is roughly between 0.75 to 0.84Kg/L dependent on the temperature. So 2458kgs of fuel is roughly 3072 Liters using average of 0.8kg/L. Vivek is correct in using 3K Liters, Ajai Shukla is probably off on this count.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 28 Oct 2015 02:25

Good catch! you are right

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Cybaru » 28 Oct 2015 02:33

IMO Operationally using MKI with chobam is not only expensive as far as cost of refueling sortie goes, there is a huge opportunity cost lost. The MKI platform is better utilized elsewhere.

The TASL based C-295 option will deliver as much or more fuel to the required aircraft at a fraction of MKI's sortie cost. Generally a dedicated tanker raises the fuel delivered cost by a factor of 10. That number goes up exponentially when the platform is a fighter aircraft. Absolutely useful in emergencies, but prohibitively expensive in day to day use.
Last edited by Cybaru on 28 Oct 2015 03:10, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 28 Oct 2015 03:06

Excellent suggestion. In fact, palletized solutions have been showcased by Airbus. But, they have not found any takers yet. In fact, Airbus might even collaborate in the development of a dedicated aerial tanker based on the C-295. Such a tanker does not conflict with the A330 MRTT which is of a different class and cannot be used to refuel slower aircrafts and helicopters.

In fact, now that the C-295 will be built in the country, it should be the common platform for as many requirements as possible:
1. Medium-range maritime reconnaissance (MRMR) for both Navy
2. Medium maritime patrol (MMMA) for the CG.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Cybaru » 28 Oct 2015 03:26

10-20 C295 based refueling aircraft could be quite useful. Not only would they be cheap, but enough to refuel almost all types including ERJ 145. Only ones that they can't refuel are the bigger birds. But then there is the il-78 for that. Unit cost is roughly 28 million. 20 odd units would put us behind only by 0.5 billion versus the 1.3 that would be required otherwise. Given their palletized solution, it may not even be need to be dedicated allowing multi use capability. Each could refuel atleast one MKI or 2 Rafale or 3 LCA. You could literally fly 4 of them up there to refuel 4 at a time.

We may not even need MRTT at all, but that's a different discussion for another thread.

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 28 Oct 2015 05:57

Su-30s with buddy refuelling can be interim till we get C-295 typez in. Hope a c295 type gets cleared!!

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Re: LCA Tejas: News and Discussions

Postby Viv S » 28 Oct 2015 06:40

Can someone explain what the deal with this is -

External jammer pod

Tejas designers admit the absence of a jammer to throw enemy radar off the scent is a key vulnerability of the Tejas. While designing the fighter, they simply ran out of space for an internal jammer. With the IAF dropping its insistence on an internal jammer, ADA and HAL have now offered an "external jammer pod".

While this threatened to reduce the Tejas' weapons carriage by occupying one of its seven hard points, HAL is overcoming that problem by fitting a "twin-arm" at that hard point. "One of the arms will carry the jammer, while the other will mount an air-to-air missile", says the designer.


'Twin arm' to carry a dual missile load on the hardpoint, would have made sense. But why go through the exercise for a jamming pod given the ready availability of a hardpoint on the chin.


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