LCA news and discussion

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby neerajb » 16 Dec 2009 18:09

Rahul M wrote:{another point I forgot to mention earlier was the addition of the dedicated sensor pylon, that alone would have increased weight by a 100 odd kg given the power and other cables etc required in addition to the pylon itself and airframe strengthening.


Rahul I don't quite agree here. As Vina said the wing redesign was a time consuming rework which delayed the project but I don't think that it made a big difference in empty weight of Tejas. Though not very relevant example but just to give an idea:

Airbus has briefed A380 customers on the wing modifications it is making as a result of the premature rupture of the static test specimen in March at 1.45 times limit load.


A380 product marketing director Richard Carcaillet says the modifications to already-built wings will add 30kg (66lb) of airframe weight, comprising 16kg for the reinforcement strips and 14kg for the attachment bolts.

The wing of the A380 static test specimen suffered a rupture below the ultimate-load certification requirement of 150% of limit load during trials in Toulouse.


http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... -test.html

Even if we consider MTOW to be 500 MT so 5% of it comes out to be 25 MT. So even if we assume A-380 to be a +3g design and Tejas is +9g design, Tejas should put on 90 Kgs to counter 25 MT weight increase.

JMT.

Cheers....

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Rahul M » 16 Dec 2009 18:14

pylons alone weight 20-50 kg AFAIK.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby vina » 16 Dec 2009 18:23

So in current config, LCA has nearly same range/endurance as the mirage -- which is quite good..


Not Any More. The IAF has seen the F16 BLK 52 and the Gripen NG. Those have raised the bar .

Even traditionally , the M2K was short legged compared to the F16s (which have high bypass , twin spool engines and a very good fuel fraction) .

If you are going to put ding dongs like AESA and everything on it (ie you want simeltenous strong a2g and a2a multi target capability), then you need a strong A2G capability and that will include range as well and the flip side of range is persistance!.

So Tejas MKII should be compared to Gripen NG. If not, you can close the shutter on it, me thinks. It is not competitive otherwise.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Singha » 16 Dec 2009 18:29

but the gripen has the inbuilt advantage of a longer airframe (around 1-1.5m) which permits vital addl room for
extra fuel and avionics.

most a/c through their versions seem to get fatter and maybe bigger/wet wings but seldom if ever longer . Can the Tejas airframe be made 1.5m longer - I think it will need massive amt of tests and a new wing.

morale of story is to buy a bit bigger car/house than immediately needed because needs will expand over time.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby negi » 16 Dec 2009 19:38

Saving weight by removing test equipment and other redundant modules for flight tests does not imply increase in fuel carrying capability by same amount for the CG of the body will have to be maintained , and some of it will be used up by ballasts.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby SaiK » 16 Dec 2009 20:22

anything longer than what LCA is, then it could very well think about wing redesign and either tail or TVN.

I have tried asking many aviation experts about single engined a/cs having dedicated TVNs just for vectoring alone (VN), say an LCA with 100kN, plus VNs to either side near the tail. Is that a plausible design?

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby vina » 16 Dec 2009 21:04

Singha wrote:but the gripen has the inbuilt advantage of a longer airframe (around 1-1.5m) which permits vital addl room for
extra fuel and avionics.


Ah.. Thanks for pointing that out. That additional 1-1.5m length is what accounts for the heavier weight of the Gripen C @6500Kg vs the Tejas MK1 (both are similarly specced out with OBOGs, and Inflight refueling) and having similar internal fuel of around 2300 odd KGs (difference being Gripen has a 5KN lower power engine)

Gripen NG came about primarily moving the landing gear from the fuselage to blisters under the wings giving some 40% extra internal fuel (giving it around 3200 kg), increase in MTOW from 14000 kgs to 16000 kg by strengthening the landing gear and all this with just a 4% (around 300 kg ) increase in Empty Weight to 7 tons or so. Of course it got a massive 20% increase in engine power to 98KN from 80KN in the bargain as well.

You can do something very similar for the LCA. Notice the time it took for Gripen to go from Gripen C to NG... Around 3 years or so . Something similar is very possible and the 2015 date for the MkII looks realistic if you consider a 2011 IOC for the Mk1.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Daedalus » 16 Dec 2009 21:48

Rahul M wrote:air intakes will be enlarged in Mk2. according to knowledgeable folk that should do the trick.

Also will it under go the same shape change as happened in the case of Hornet to Super Hornet upgrade. I think this will do good to reduce RCS.
From Wiki wrote:The design of the engine inlets reduces the aircraft's frontal radar cross section.


So any thoughts.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Gaur » 16 Dec 2009 22:27

Daedalus wrote:
Rahul M wrote:air intakes will be enlarged in Mk2. according to knowledgeable folk that should do the trick.

Also will it under go the same shape change as happened in the case of Hornet to Super Hornet upgrade. I think this will do good to reduce RCS.

Any source for that?
Practically, Hornet and SH are two different a/cs. If mk2 would have such huge changes, it would require much time (which we do not have).
Till now, everywhere I have read, the indication seems to be that apart from inlet, there would not be any significant modification required in the airframe.
Last edited by Gaur on 16 Dec 2009 22:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Daedalus » 16 Dec 2009 22:33

^^ I am talking about he shape of the inlet here. What I am trying to say is that the oval shape was changed to rectangular shape from hornet to super hornet. Anyway MK2 the inlet is being redesigned, the question is, dose this cut down on the RCS and is this a huge design challenge?

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Gaur » 16 Dec 2009 23:10

^^
I do not know if the shape of intakes would be needed to be changed for mk2.
But note that just changing intake's shape to rectangular does not make it stealthier. Mig-29 has rectangular intakes but that does not make it stealthier.
For how intakes effect stealth, one should first understand that engines are a major source of very strong radar reflections. So concealing them would significantly reduce radar cross section. But the problem is that while concealing them, it has to be ensured that the engine gets proper air supply.
So, air duct is made such that it does not provide direct line of sight to the engine ensuring multiple reflections. RAM lining along air duct greatly helps.
This is done in SH.
Also, the intakes of SH are canted at the same angle as the fins to decrease rcs.
Eurofighter also used double s-shape air duct (resulting nearly 100% blockage of engine from line of sight) while F-16 uses simple s shape air duct (which covers about 40% of F-16 engine).
But blocking engines from line of sight is not as simple as it looks. The resulting inlet structure is long and complex needing lot of internal space (note that in a small lca, finding space would be a challange).
So, although I hope that these changes are incorporated in mk2, I doubt that the time and risk factors would permit it.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Rahul M » 16 Dec 2009 23:14

LCA's Y-duct air intake anyway has some inherent 'stealthy' attributes from frontal RCS considerations.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby SaiK » 16 Dec 2009 23:17

The reverse Y duct for EF2K scores the same RCS reductions as well. I hope we will continue to use some X or Y duct for MCA.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kailash » 16 Dec 2009 23:32

You can do something very similar for the LCA. Notice the time it took for Gripen to go from Gripen C to NG... Around 3 years or so . Something similar is very possible and the 2015 date for the MkII looks realistic if you consider a 2011 IOC for the Mk1.


Considering this is the first fourth gen fighter we are making, and the amount of time it took for mk-1, we have to see it happen to believe it. Mk-2 will be ready when it is ready.

1. How can we discuss about an aircraft becoming ready (in 3 yrs or how many ever yrs) when even the engine is not yet selected yet?
2. At what % completion is the actual design of the mk-2? when exactly is the design freeze?
3. How much of the design changes are dependent/pending on the engine selection? Any last dates on engine selection?
4. What are the exact component upgrades going into the mk-2? Are those components (AESA, EW suites, FBW systems etc)already developed and tested, what are their development timelines?
5. And any idea about how much testing will be required for the mk-2 to attain IOC/FOC? (dependent on all above changes)

DRDO/ADA may know exactly what IAF wants in Mk-2. But do we have any indication of a roadmap for the mk-2 which says when various phases of design/development/testing will be completed (in the next 3 years) ??

IMHO, IAF should go for more mk-1 configuration and not wait on mk-2.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby negi » 16 Dec 2009 23:48

Rahul fwiw imho the frontal shape of the intake in question is not only meant to hide the engine's fan blades but primarily to reduce the RCS of the fuselage itself (basically I guess same reason why hornet and raptor have canted fins) .

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Gaur » 16 Dec 2009 23:57

Rahul M wrote:LCA's Y-duct air intake anyway has some inherent 'stealthy' attributes from frontal RCS considerations.

I was under the impression that although y-shaped intake ducts somewhat reduce rcs, they are used basically because of their superior flow characteristics. Am I wrong here?

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kartik » 17 Dec 2009 02:20

neerajb wrote:Rahul I don't quite agree here. As Vina said the wing redesign was a time consuming rework which delayed the project but I don't think that it made a big difference in empty weight of Tejas. Though not very relevant example but just to give an idea:

Even if we consider MTOW to be 500 MT so 5% of it comes out to be 25 MT. So even if we assume A-380 to be a +3g design and Tejas is +9g design, Tejas should put on 90 Kgs to counter 25 MT weight increase.

JMT.

Cheers....


you cannot just look at that case and assume that there is anything remotely resembling a linear curve with the Tejas wing strenghtening. they're different aircraft, have different structures and operate under very different conditions of flight.

for the Tejas, the pylon that carried a 60 kg missile now needed to carry nearly twice that load. the pylon has to be stronger for that. in addition, if you design primary structures like spars and ribs that transfer loads to the wing box, with margins of safety close to zero (as you would if you're confident of your analysis methods, data and allowables), then a 40% increase in the weight of the missile carried at the tip would mean a corresponding increase in strength of the structures that carry that load. however, if you'd already designed the primary structures with high factors of safety (as it seems to be looking at Vina's account of what Siva said about adding few doubler plies whereever required), then you may not need to add too much weight to get positive margins.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kartik » 17 Dec 2009 02:52

vina wrote:Not Any More. The IAF has seen the F16 BLK 52 and the Gripen NG. Those have raised the bar .

Even traditionally , the M2K was short legged compared to the F16s (which have high bypass , twin spool engines and a very good fuel fraction) .

If you are going to put ding dongs like AESA and everything on it (ie you want simeltenous strong a2g and a2a multi target capability), then you need a strong A2G capability and that will include range as well and the flip side of range is persistance!.

So Tejas MKII should be compared to Gripen NG. If not, you can close the shutter on it, me thinks. It is not competitive otherwise.


here you're forgetting that it’s a light fighter meant to replace the MiG-21- its not meant to have the same range as a medium fighter and that cannot be held as a draw-back to say that its not competitive against the larger ones. and although I'm all for some innovative engineering (like fairings for landing gear, freeing up space for additional fuel tanks), I don't think the time-line is feasible considering ADA and HAL's track record of delivering. Even Saab has taken more than a year to get the design from CAD to the Gripen Demo and it requires a new set of flight tests to validate, although nearly not as much as the avionics will take.

and anyway, if the Tejas Mk2 is supposed to compete with the Gripen NG, then why shouldn't the Tejas Mk2 be adopted as the MRCA itself ? after all we'll see both in service around the same time-line (2014 at the earliest). It can have its own niche, that of a light, cheap, capable multi-role fighter in a class heavier than the MiG-21Bison it'll replace but lighter than the MRCA that it can't. and anyway, with IFR probes, if its absolutely essential to get longer range, it can get it with IFR.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 17 Dec 2009 03:10

vina wrote:
So in current config, LCA has nearly same range/endurance as the mirage -- which is quite good..


Not Any More. The IAF has seen the F16 BLK 52 and the Gripen NG. Those have raised the bar .

Even traditionally , the M2K was short legged compared to the F16s (which have high bypass , twin spool engines and a very good fuel fraction) .


Indeed! The Mirage-2000 (with 3200kgs of int. fuel) had a poorer range compared to the the F-16 largely (1800km vs. 2000km) largely due to the fuel hungry engines (M-53). These were even worse when it came to actual combat manouvering because the use of ABs really killed the economy on the M2k. Worse, the M2k was more apt to use ABs because it was inherently under powered. The MiG-29 with 2 RD-33s carried just about the same amount of internal fuel as the solah and the mirage, but had a slightly lower range - 1500km and thats despite two engines + 2 tons of additional weight. During ACM, the higher thrust helped out though and a M2k often had to use ABs to keep up, resulting in little endurance advantages over the fulcrum. I wonder if the LCA in the current avatar might suffer similar problems.

As far as the Blk 52 is concerned. Vinaji is only partially correct. It can't really be compared to the Gripen NG because its internal fuel cap. has remained the same for all versions from the A to the blk 50 to the blk-60/70! It tries to make up for this by hooking those CFTs for the 50 and over models. It seems to be working thanks also to the periodic infusion of power via better engines.

However, if you look at the F-16's evolution, its range figures on internal fuel will have reduced considerably since a) the fuel capacity has remained the same; and b) its empty weight has crept a considerably (from 7.5 tonnes to 10 tons on the blk-60).

It'll be interesting to see if they can indeed increase the internal fuel capacity on the LCA for MkII. In either case, the EJ-200 or F-414 ought to help since they both offer better sfc than the 404s iirc.

CM.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 17 Dec 2009 03:17

Singha wrote:morale of story is to buy a bit bigger car/house than immediately needed because needs will expand over time.

Around 1998 there was a missed opportunity when it came to LCA development. At that time the MKI was just about to be signed for with all the TOT and mods. The LCA was reeling under the blow of US sanctions and the IAF was hankering for a Mirage 2000 type MRCA. GTRE was nowhere near providing the Kaveri, the engine persisted as the nemesis for indigeneous fighter development.

All these issues could have been used as an opportunity to build a slightly bigger LCA (SBLCA :)) - 7.5 tons empty around an engine that the IAF was about to get in large quantities - the AL-31 with 12.5 tons of thrust and excellent SFC. But then hindsight is a ****ch. Although I have never figured out why the ADA continued with US engines after the sanction episode (circa 2002 when additional 40 engines were ordered).

CM.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby srai » 17 Dec 2009 05:28

sumshyam wrote:The news is that Indian Govt has sectioned some 8000 Cr rupees for the production if LCA TEJAS and further development of neval tejas.
Nod to Rs 8,000cr for production of Tejas

...

...
Official sources said the IAF has committed to the purchase of 140 more jets, for seven squadrons, with more powerful engines. ...


This seems to be an increase from previous figures quoted. IAF was planning for 100 LCA MK.II (or 5 squadrons) in the 2015-2025 time frame. If the article is not counting the 2 squadrons (40 a/cs) of LCA MK.I version, then the IAF has increased it commitment to buy additional 2 squadrons of LCA for a total of 9 squadrons (180 a/cs) -- 2 LCA MK.I (40 a/cs) and 7 LCA MK.II (140 a/cs).

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby srai » 17 Dec 2009 05:35

Gagan wrote:They are clear here.
...

I've changed it and am uploading the corrected one on wiki.
Image

Thanks Negi saar.


Ok, this more recent Naval LCA model picture from Aero India 2009 provides a confirmation of the above design:
Image

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby vina » 17 Dec 2009 05:43

if the Tejas Mk2 is supposed to compete with the Gripen NG, then why shouldn't the Tejas Mk2 be adopted as the MRCA itself


That is why it is tragic for Gripen NG. Despite being a very very competent offering, it will not make it in the MRCA for precisely for that reason. It is the same as Tejas MKII. My money on the MRCA will be one of the three .. Eurofighter, Rafale and F-18.

The Gripen and LCA stories are exactly similar to the Eurofighter and Rafale. Two planes with nearly exact same requirements , but for reasons of geo politics resulted in two programs and hence end up killing each other in a market which ideally should have only one plane from a profitability and offerings perspective.

We really shouldn't make the mistake next time. If we are going for the MCA, we should get Sweden along with a couple of industrial partners and customers on board. Spread the risks around and tap into their expertise as well. I really really hope the ADA/DRDO do that.

And forget about "light point defense fighter" to replace Mig 21. Those days are well gone and things have moved on from there. The Air Force itself has changed technologically and what was relevant in 1969 is not true today. Then range wasnt important, today it vitally is. The air force will have to become more "expeditionary". You can't have 10 to 12 squadrons of your force sitting on the tarmac and twiddling thumbs because they don't have the range to get into the fight.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby enqyoob » 17 Dec 2009 06:50

Interesting turn in the discussion. I would have said that demands on a modern LCA (different variants) would be:

1. High density-altitude performance (hot day, high altitude)
2. Terrain-following in extreme terrain (Himalayan / Assam canyons)
3. Hiding, dispersal and operation from unprepared/dusty fields including desert environments.
4. All-weather and night operation
5. Small-carrier operations (to fly from flight decks put on smaller ships)
6. Ability to engage larger number of threats
7. Endurance + Extreme climb rates, for anti-missile missions
8. Stealth/ small signature to defeat shoulder-fired/ vehicle-fired SAMs.
9. Anti-radar, anti-AAD missions.
10. Automatic reconfiguring to survive battle damage.

Some threats:
Next-gen Naxals/ "Mujaheddin" may operate sophisticated anti-aircraft defenses, and hide in mountainous/forest environments, too dangerous for helicopter operations.
Massive armored thrusts / light infantry thrusts by Pak/China
Cruise missile attacks
Short-range ballistic missile attacks
Sea-borne attacks
Attacks on offshore installations or islands incl. Andamans and Lakshadweep, Maldives.
Need to take out LeT types and Paki Generals from houses in crowded towns with minimal collateral damage and 100% effectiveness

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Singha » 17 Dec 2009 07:27

thats a tough set of ASR...some kind of next gen low sfc engine is surely needed if the plane is to climb
quickly to 60,000ft and unleash ASAT weapons :mrgreen:

Cain , I think going with AL31 engine would have resulted in a total redesign of fuselage , intakes and wing...
negating all the design and theoritical work done until then. one can understand why they chose to stick with
TD1.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby enqyoob » 17 Dec 2009 07:47

The Kaveri with supercruise should be able to do that, hey, since the afterburner is not needed merely to get to supersonic? Seriously, this is what can be done if they get to engine T/W of 11 with a reasonable bypass ratio, plus afterburner.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby krishnan » 17 Dec 2009 12:27

6 more flight test completed

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby tsarkar » 17 Dec 2009 16:27

SIngha, Cain,

In the 30’s, with Germany just getting out of sanctions, its aviation designers knew its aircraft design lagged the British.

Willy Messerschmitt came up with the idea of wrapping the smallest possible airframe around the largest possible engine that Harry Hillaker used for the F-16 and the Chinese for the J-10.

The Swedes have years of experience in aviation design with superb designs like Saab Draken (that till a few years ago ably tackled US F-16 violating Austrian neutrality by overflying from Italy to Germany) and Saab Viggen. They have access to assistance from US & Europe.

The GE404 is among the smallest fighter engines used for single engined fighter. Other than Gripen, other users are the puny A-4 at Singapore that was designed as a lightweight strike fighter and the Korean lead in trainer.

Hence it was too ambitious for ADA to draw up specifications similar to the Gripen based on IAF ASR. I mean, no one insisted in the 90’s that it had to be the lightest fighter on earth. All it needed was to do its job well.

The Chinese knew their limitations and designed around the Al-31. If I am not mistaken, J-10 actual development started the same time as the Tejas after they bought their inital batch of Su-27 from Russia in the early 90's. So when we started discussions around Sukhoi, we could have certainly have leveraged opportunities.

Anyways, good read below –

Tejas enthusiasts can note references to vortex lift and the similarity of the wing design to F-16XL.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... cb0835b3eb

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby tsarkar » 17 Dec 2009 16:40

Vina – MMRCA is indeed a hedge to the LCA Mk2.

The MiG21’s are being replaced by Su30s, both home built and imported CKD/SKD.

The 120-140 LCA Mk2 and the 120-140 MMRCA will replace the 120-140 Jaguar and 120-140 MiG27 in the 2015-2025 period. Any issues with LCA Mk2 can be easily met by ramp up of the MMRCA. Any surplus fighters can replace the Mirage 2000.

If the selection is left to pilots & engineers, many favour the Gripen . The Gripen is the end state what IAF expects Tejas to be. However we know the selection won’t be free of political or bureaucratic considerations, so its as open ended as ever.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby sumshyam » 17 Dec 2009 18:36

tsarkar wrote:The MiG21’s are being replaced by Su30s, both home built and imported CKD/SKD.


I had a notion that....we are replacing Mig - 21s with LCAs...Anyhow... :twisted: :twisted: ..MKIs will do it....!

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby babbupandey » 17 Dec 2009 19:56

tsarkar wrote:Vina – MMRCA is indeed a hedge to the LCA Mk2.
The MiG21’s are being replaced by Su30s, both home built and imported CKD/SKD.

No they are not, LCA is the replacement of MIG21. SU30MKI are in different league altogether.
I read an article long time back that how did the IAF arrive at magic number 126 for MRCA tender - MRCA are supposed to fill the gap between light combat air fighters and heavy bombers i.e. they compromise a little bit on agility and a little bit on carrying capacity so that they can perform "multi-role". So, IAF took the total number of sanctioned squadrons and subtracted the number of fighters and bombers needed to get the number 126.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby vina » 17 Dec 2009 20:35

If the selection is left to pilots & engineers, many favour the Gripen . The Gripen is the end state what IAF expects Tejas to be


Lets have a little perspective here. The latest and greatest (the NG is still a near paper plane , all we have is one modified Tech Demonstrator) Gripen is the C/D version. The Tejas MK1 has all the features of the Gripen C, weighs around 300kgs less and has a 5 KN more powerful engine to boot! . It surely will have better field performance than the Gripen.

I guess that the IAF's ASRs are so tough that even the current Gripen C/D versions wont meet them!. Think about it when the IAF says that the Tejas MK1 doesn't meet ASRs.

And if Sweden went to Gripen NG, the went from A /B to C/D and then NG. We are jumping right into C/D equivalent with a run of 40 airframes and then into NG equivalent with around another 100 more!

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Wickberg » 18 Dec 2009 07:21

vina wrote:
If the selection is left to pilots & engineers, many favour the Gripen . The Gripen is the end state what IAF expects Tejas to be


Lets have a little perspective here. The latest and greatest (the NG is still a near paper plane , all we have is one modified Tech Demonstrator) Gripen is the C/D version. The Tejas MK1 has all the features of the Gripen C, weighs around 300kgs less and has a 5 KN more powerful engine to boot! . It surely will have better field performance than the Gripen.

I guess that the IAF's ASRs are so tough that even the current Gripen C/D versions wont meet them!. Think about it when the IAF says that the Tejas MK1 doesn't meet ASRs.

And if Sweden went to Gripen NG, the went from A /B to C/D and then NG. We are jumping right into C/D equivalent with a run of 40 airframes and then into NG equivalent with around another 100 more!



Some perspective....

The Gripen NG is as much a paper plane as the original LCA. The Gripen NG IS a very modified version of the ABCDE-version. It was meant to be that from the beginning. How many LCA are in service with the airforce and for how many years? None...
SAAB has produced fighters since the 1940´s (or 30´s)., they were the first ones to incorporate a ejection seat in an series production air craft (J-21R), the first one to have a real datalink between ac/ac/ and ground (Draken) and so on... Please don´t compare LCA (which is is just a technology demonstrator) with Gripen ABCD (which have been in actual service since 1996)- and certainly don´t compare LCA "Mk2" with Gripen NG. That is just insulting. Just try to get the first MK1 flying first, fly it for a few years, work out the kinks. And in 2025 try to work on the LCA Mk.2

(For god´s sake, whom have ever heard of a aircraftcompany just releasing their new fighter and the next day saying they are obsolete, we need a Mk2??!!! SAAB and Sweden have had over 70 years of tradition and experience of producing aircrafts. It takes some time to build up that expertise, not only in the actual producer of the air craft, but also in the hundreds of sub-contractors. It´s a matter of tradition, money, need and experience.. In that area India seems to only have money the needs.....

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby NRao » 18 Dec 2009 08:14

I agree Wickberg.

SAAB in fact was a huge contributor during the WW era. Took a back seat because of a few reasons not associated with the company or the country. Got a raw deal down the road.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Kartik » 18 Dec 2009 09:26

Wickberg wrote:Some perspective....

The Gripen NG is as much a paper plane as the original LCA. The Gripen NG IS a very modified version of the ABCDE-version. It was meant to be that from the beginning. How many LCA are in service with the airforce and for how many years? None...
SAAB has produced fighters since the 1940´s (or 30´s)., they were the first ones to incorporate a ejection seat in an series production air craft (J-21R), the first one to have a real datalink between ac/ac/ and ground (Draken) and so on... Please don´t compare LCA (which is is just a technology demonstrator) with Gripen ABCD (which have been in actual service since 1996)- and certainly don´t compare LCA "Mk2" with Gripen NG. That is just insulting. Just try to get the first MK1 flying first, fly it for a few years, work out the kinks. And in 2025 try to work on the LCA Mk.2

(For god´s sake, whom have ever heard of a aircraftcompany just releasing their new fighter and the next day saying they are obsolete, we need a Mk2??!!! SAAB and Sweden have had over 70 years of tradition and experience of producing aircrafts. It takes some time to build up that expertise, not only in the actual producer of the air craft, but also in the hundreds of sub-contractors. It´s a matter of tradition, money, need and experience.. In that area India seems to only have money the needs.....


while Saab has a history of producing fighters, India doesn't and thats thanks to very very shortsighted leadership and lackdaisical support from the military.

but then, India actually has a history of wars with neighbours supported by various nations, whereas all Sweden's history of participating in any real war is basically not much to talk about. so while Sweden developed weapons and supplied its military with these as a part of its policy of neutrality, whether they were comparable to the best in the world or not (I'm sure they were), the Indian armed forces could hardly afford to take anything but the best given that they would actually have to use it in combat anytime. and what the partnership with the Soviets did was to give an easy and affordable source of high quality weapons and unless any indigenous weapon was as good as those Soviet, British or French sourced weapons, the military soon stopped using it (HF-24 Marut is a classic example). if India didn't have a cheap and affordable option of building MiG-21s in bulk, the IAF would've been forced to support development of a new engine for the HF-24 and building of follow-on variants. HF-74 was not pursued because there was lack of interest and support, and instead the Jaguar was purchased. and then followed nearly a decade of no development whatsoever till a sympathetic Air Chief Marshal (Idris Latif) decided to support an indigenous program to replace MiG-21s..

both LCA and Gripen programs began around the same time, but while Saab had all the infrastructure, personnel and knowledge on how to build a 4th gen fighter after the superb Draken (its cockpit is to be seen to be believed ! they understood what ergonomics meant in an age when it was completely alien to most western and Russian designs) and the Viggen variants had built up experience, India had to basically build everything up from ground. that means that actual development work only began around 1990 or so, whatever went before that was to freeze a design configuration. in that sense, what has been achieved is no mean achievement and I'd humbly suggest that you not insult it since you have no idea whatsoever about how much effort has gone into it.

and while you may call the Tejas a Technology Demonstrator (which it was till 2001), its no more just a TD. Its structures and its avionics are world class, and thats a fact. yes, collaboration was sought for consultation and some technologies, but there is nothing to be ashamed of in that. no nation can expect to meet deadlines if it needs to develop every technology associated with a fighter program, since they're vast in scope and breadth. even with 3 generations of successful fighters, Saab went with a US F-404 for its Gripen, recognising that a turbofan is a very major program in itself. if Sweden was such a superior nation (as you imply), why'd they not develop a turbofan on their own for the Gripen ?

some of the delays associated with the Tejas are due to poor planning and underestimating the technological challenges involved (no previous experience of a program of this scale), but they've somehow managed to overcome most of them, bar the Kaveri and the MMR. the fact that the IAF has actually placed orders for 8+20+20 (about to come) for the Tejas Mk.1 clearly shows that the Tejas is meeting expectations. and the IAF wouldn't (and couldn't be pushed by the GoI as the Arjun program clearly shows) commit to 5 to 7 squadrons of Tejas Mk.2 if they didn't think that the Tejas could be a frontline fighter for another 3 decades.

and, regarding the slow progress of the test flights it can be attributed to lack of experience, and abundant caution.

may I add that had an LCA TD (Tech Demo) or PV (Production Vehicle) crashed as spectacularly as the Gripen prototype had due to faulty FCS (pilot induced oscillations caused the FCS to fail), the program would've been shelved, without an iota of doubt. to ADA, HAL and NFTC's credit, 1300 flights without any major incident have gone by, and I hope that nothing untoward happens because this program is vital for India's fledgling aerospace industry.

given India's huge market for fighters, there are plenty of companies and individuals with vested interests in seeing that the Tejas program should fail. planted stories are common and several ex-IAF personnel are now on the pay-rolls of foreign companies that are vying to sell hundreds of fighters to the IAF.

and however much you Swedes hate it (and this is something I've seen on another board as well), the specifications of the Gripen A/B/C/D are nothing spectacular and match up with that of the Tejas. while I know that its a very good fighter with very good record of maintenance and low costs of operation, what about it makes it incomparable to the LCA ? only the fact that its got a service history ?

name one thing on the Gripen that the LCA doesn't have or cannot get. regarding the data-link, thats been a traditional Saab speciality, so its not suprising to see a very good DL on the Gripen. using this logic of service history alone, one could say that the J-10 or the JF-17 are just technology demonstrators (which only a nincompoop would say, frankly).

BTW, Tejas test-pilots praise its handling (in some respects better than the Mirage-2k) and 11 test pilots who've flown it have rated its handling as "Very good" as per a government report available on the net, so its not just some rumour.

there are on-going production contracts for the Tejas, and the Mk2 program is basically meant to keep the Tejas concurrent when it does enter service in large numbers with ramped up production. had the Gripen entered service only now (for any reason), would it have gone with the F-404 considering all the capabilities that Air Forces want from a fighter that will serve them for the next 30 years ? you need power for an AESA, you need power to have some margin for weight gain, etc.

I really like the Gripen, and do wish the Gripen NG gets into widespread service, but I am beginning to really dislike the superior attitude that Swedes display on forums as if its a Nordic F-22 avatar..they feel slighted even with comparisons, so I say rub it in fellas !!

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby merlin » 18 Dec 2009 09:58

The Tejas a tech demonstrator? Maybe Wickberg, you should crawl back into the hole you came from.

The Tejas is a stupendous achievement for a nation like India. Sweden for all its so called expertise on fighter aircraft development since many decades could just come up with a Gripen? That's all?

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby vina » 18 Dec 2009 10:34

Please don´t compare LCA (which is is just a technology demonstrator) with Gripen ABCD (which have been in actual service since 1996)- and certainly don´t compare LCA "Mk2" with Gripen NG. That is just insulting.

:rotfl: :rotfl: . Why exactly is it "insulting" ?Because the Indians despite the Swedes having a heritage of building planes "Going back to over 70 years" have actually managed to build a better plane with far more local content and grounds up engineering and design than the Swedes who basically bought out the bulk of the components (FBW, structural composites, mission computers, landing gear and hundreds of other subsystems) and also hand holding from BAE, Lockheed Martin and everyone else and ould caccess to the most sophisticated aerospace component base in Europe and US, which India could not do because of sanctions and geopolitical considerations ? Sure, given that, Saab's achievement seem rather underwhelming I suppose.

The ADA director is right. The LCA Tejas closed the 40 year fighter design gap that existed between India and the rest of the world. It can be hard to digest if you are fed on jingoistic juice and so full of yourself. However, that is reality. Face it. It will hit you sooner or later , whether you accept it or not!.

Just try to get the first MK1 flying first, fly it for a few years, work out the kinks. And in 2025 try to work on the LCA Mk.2


The series production is already on (in fact, I think it is the Limited Series Production LSP version with the IN20 which cleared the full IOC envelope) and it didn't crash twice like the Gripen because of any reasons (despite it having a "borrowed" proven FBW system from the F16 :roll: ) and series production is on!.

And why should LCA Mk.2 wait for 2025 ?. Because you say so ?. Maybe Swedes are "slow learners" and Indians just learn much faster!.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby negi » 18 Dec 2009 10:50

--OT removed
Last edited by negi on 18 Dec 2009 12:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby Rahul M » 18 Dec 2009 11:06

people, no need to get hot under the collar. saab has after all managed to make a 4-gen fighter with all its 70 years of experience. saab bhi achcha bachcha hain ! :twisted:

just because wickberg is acting uppity in patriotic fervour is no reason for others to do the same. this is NOT the gripen vs LCA comparison thread. counter his arguments, without matching his condescending tone.

any more OT post will be trashed.

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Re: LCA news and discussion

Postby vasu_ray » 18 Dec 2009 11:59

The perspective of Wickberg is not far from the Chinese who say "show us a fielded LCA before making claims"

so, an exercise in brand building is needed for Tejas when its ready by participating in airshows and air exercises, similar to the way the Sarang team helps showcase Dhruv, I would be wary of those spurious Russian jet crashes at western airshows though


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