LCA News and Discussions

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Kanson
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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Kanson » 25 Oct 2010 17:37

shiv wrote:
Kanson wrote:
As you probably know, LCA is not only about providing weapon for the Airforce, It was also meant to revive the aero mil industry and leapfrog the tech advancement that was lost in previous decades. If you have observed, it was not DRDO, the whole India & institutions is behind the LCA national programme. Pls go throu' ADA & LCA history before making snide comments.


Don't feel upset saar. I will make as many snide comments as my pent up feelings produce seeing that I have been myself following the LCA saga since the 1980s. If snide comments made things better I would have filled the airwaves with them. But your comment about "whole India & institutions is behind the LCA " is onlee partially correct. All that came much mu-uuuch later. And with whole India being behind LCA the IAF is still using MiG 21. That should teach us a few lessons for tomorrow.

I have a fairly good idea of what the IAF and HAL used to think of each other and what everyone said about DRDO is well known and has been discussed on BRF in detail for over 10 years with me being at the forefront of the people supporting and rooting for DRDO and I do not think I need any lessons from you sir. Please keep them to yourself. Thanks


Ahem.... ADA was formed by reputed engineers of HAL, NAL and lastly the moon gazing DRDO fellows. The composition of folks other than from DRDO was higher. So, sir, when you are targeting your pent up feelings, pls check up whom you are commenting against. And all those reputed people from ISRO to BARC/DAE to various institutions were behind this project.

At the end of PD phase, i.e. by 1989, everything was decided. That is the selection of GE engine for the initial lot, FBW partner etc. When the money for Full scale engineering & development was not sanctioned till 1993, ADA which is having an apex body comprising RM & MoD, advised IAF that LCA wont be possible as per earlier predicted timelines and it should take care of the fallout. As per memory goes, it is by 1990 or 90-91 itself.

When the money came in 1993 only for Phase I, it was estimated at that time itself LCA induction could be between 2003-05. Later with the sanction it got postponed to 2006-08 and further to 2010.

So tell me who should be held responsible for IAF still using MiG 21 ? ADA, the moon gazing DRDO?, MoD?, GoI? or IAF?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Kanson » 25 Oct 2010 17:57

Austin wrote:
F-16 was lot more efficient and perhaps less maintenance prone ( although a gentle man from BA told me at aeroindia that SoKo F-16 had an uptime of 70 % ) but it was also a single engine fighter.

One cant just over look the benefit of having a twin engine over a single engine but thats another debate.

As far as maintenance goes there is no advantage of having twin engine over a single engine.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby nrshah » 25 Oct 2010 18:17

Kanson,

I think the point Austin is trying to put is that inspite of being single engined fighter, uptime was only 70%...

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 25 Oct 2010 18:45

Kanson wrote:So tell me who should be held responsible for IAF still using MiG 21 ? ADA, the moon gazing DRDO?, MoD?, GoI? or IAF?


Going by what you wrote all of India should be responsible. Too many people to point fingers at. This is what I mean when I say that defeat is an orphan. Nobody is going to own up and say what their department could have done better. Al iz wel. Al iz forgiven. That is why a person like Das causes so much khujli. He rakes up just the issues that added to the delays and asks why things were not done differently knowing full well that nobody is going to own up. And that allows him to basically go ballistic. Cursing him serves only the limited purpose of releasing pent up feelings.

For all the unquestioning and patriotic support the entire nation gave the LCA can anyone answer why the choice of cranked double delta was made? Just as a matter of curiosity. For the historic record? Nations have tended to copy each other. Was the choice an ego issue? "We want to go where no one else has gone". Or were there some very very pertinent choices that made cranked double delta the most appropriate choice for LCA?

If we don't know why such a basic choice was made - as early as 1989 as per your timeline it indicates some serious opacity in vital decision making. Nobody needs to be blamed. But who made the choice? Why?

For example people are able to look at the design of F-16 and say the design choices were made for x, y and z reasons. Also for MiG 29. Who can do that for LCA? I think these are vitally important questions. But asking such questions attracts hostility. What on earth is wrong with us as a people? Why must we snarl like cornered dogs?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Gagan » 25 Oct 2010 19:21

Why was this LCA with canards design dropped? Obviously there were advantages that were seen in the current layout.
Image

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby negi » 25 Oct 2010 19:25

Vina ji why compare the baselined Mig-29A with Rafale/Eurofighter ? That does not portray the correct picture .

Every fighter design is obviously a compromise Fulcrum's baselines versions did have a poor fuel fraction but then unlike the gold plated falcons it could take off from semi prepared runways (there was a weight penalty due to the need for a rugged landing gear and the trap doors and intake louvres).Having said that to say that aerodynamically F-16 is a superior airframe cannot be factually backed, even if one goes by the falcon drivers on F16.net or keypub fora there is a consensus on the point that the Mig-29 has an edge in the WVR engagements as it can turn better at low-mid altitudes and unlike the previous Mig generations it had a higher T/W ratio than the Amriki aircraft so it could keep up with them during spirals and loops, another key point which Amriki fanboys raise to support the falcon is its superiority in BVR regime but if one wouldlook at the history of air to air combat the official record for the longest kill stands somwhere around 16km (aided by AWACS in a controlled airspace where IFF was established in advance against a IRAQ and all this during the Gulf war where majority of the kills were still in WVR despite complete air superiority), keeping that in mind the baseline fulcrum would have had the early 1st gen falcon for breakfast each and every time as it had the luxury of using its HMS in WVR engagements (the experience with the Luftwaffe Fulcrums is well documented). All in all we cannot criticize the Fulcrum (80s) by measuring it against benchmarks established later for the newer generation AC.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby vina » 25 Oct 2010 20:07

Having said that to say that aerodynamically F-16 is a superior airframe cannot be factually backed, even if one goes by the falcon drivers on F16.net or keypub fora there is a consensus on the point that the Mig-29 has an edge in the WVR engagements as it can turn better at low-mid altitudes and unlike the previous Mig generations it had a higher T/W ratio than the Amriki aircraft so it could keep up with them during spirals and loops


:rotfl: :rotfl: .Saar, think of it. This is one incredibly efficient package thanks . The tiny F-16s flew a round trip flight of 1600 kms across hostile borders of Saudi Arabia and around Jordan at treetop height with some 2 tons of bombs, conducted a precision strike against a heavily defended target and came back home without refueling and these same planes can take on the Mig 29 in a pure A2A turn and burn fight and also hose it with BVR missiles thanks to it's far superior avionics fit! If that isnt a better plane, I dont know what is.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 25 Oct 2010 20:22

vina wrote:
Having said that to say that aerodynamically F-16 is a superior airframe cannot be factually backed, even if one goes by the falcon drivers on F16.net or keypub fora there is a consensus on the point that the Mig-29 has an edge in the WVR engagements as it can turn better at low-mid altitudes and unlike the previous Mig generations it had a higher T/W ratio than the Amriki aircraft so it could keep up with them during spirals and loops


:rotfl: :rotfl: .Saar, think of it. This is one incredibly efficient package thanks . The tiny F-16s flew a round trip flight of 1600 kms across hostile borders of Saudi Arabia and around Jordan at treetop height with some 2 tons of bombs, conducted a precision strike against a heavily defended target and came back home without refueling and these same planes can take on the Mig 29 in a pure A2A turn and burn fight and also hose it with BVR missiles thanks to it's far superior avionics fit! If that isnt a better plane, I dont know what is.



I don't want to butt in here but I must add my 2 paise. Whatever the worth of each aircraft - each is the baby of their respective design teams with fully indigenous tech development. I think we really must stop this one on one comparisons simply because technology, war and dominance are as much related to each country's national technical capability. People who operate te MiG 29 are happy with them as are those who operate the F-16. That says a lot for both designs.

The routes taken by each aircraft are different and based wholly on what each nation was capable of - and that capability is a bigger factor than a one on one.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby putnanja » 25 Oct 2010 20:36

Austin wrote:The design choice is also influenced by doctrine as much as by technology/capability , had they continued with single engine design and built a better Mig-23 they would not have managed to outbeat the F-16 in some parameter , while a single engine has its own pitfalls , the soviet always had a philosophy of build something and let it evolve over period of time , so a Mig-35 is a better Mig-29 in every possible sense after 30 years but a F-16 Block 60 is not a better F-16 after 30 years in every possible way.



As vina pointed out, the F-16 started as a more efficient design, so you can only make it so much more efficient over the years. Mig-29 was a less efficient design, so there was more scope for improvement there. Also, one needs to remember that f-16 has been being improved consistently over the years, while Mig-29 had no such improvements for more than a decade.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby nachiket » 25 Oct 2010 20:47

putnanja wrote:
As vina pointed out, the F-16 started as a more efficient design, so you can only make it so much more efficient over the years. Mig-29 was a less efficient design, so there was more scope for improvement there. Also, one needs to remember that f-16 has been being improved consistently over the years, while Mig-29 had no such improvements for more than a decade.

Austin was referring specifically to the maneuverability of the blk-10/15 F-16s compared with the bloated Blk-60. While the Blk-60 is a far superior platform than the older versions due to the AESA radar, EW suite, conformal tanks, JHMCS etc., the blk-10/15 versions had much better maneuverability due to light low-drag, lower wing-loading airframes. The Mig-35 on the other hand despite having a new radar and all sorts of electronic gizmos and extra fuel + payload has still retained the excellent maneverability that its predecessors were famous for. The radar and avionics might be inferior to the american ones but that is a reflection on the Russian avionics industry rather than the Mig-29 platform.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby negi » 25 Oct 2010 20:49

Vina ji nowhere did I contest the ground attack abilities of F-16 or claim that Mig-29 was a better AC 'overall', however right from my first post I have maintained that the latter was always designed as short range interceptor/superiority fighter (Ru had the Flanker designed same time for doing the heavy/long range work) regarding F-16's BVR prowess as I mentioned earlier when it comes to interception i.e. air duels even in the modern times most of such one on one engagements have been in WVR domain and that is where Mig-29's capabilities and HMS come in handy. There is a reason why Amrikans advise against getting dirty with the Mig in a close duels. We have the floggers, jags, M2K and the Flanker for bombing/deep penetration strikes so it makes sense to have a true blue blooded interceptor in Mig-29 in our inventory.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby negi » 25 Oct 2010 20:57

shiv wrote:I don't want to butt in here but I must add my 2 paise.

Gurudev all this is your fault, now admins will come behind us. :mrgreen:

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 25 Oct 2010 21:07

As you can see I am washing my hands off the whole thing and putting the word "LCA" in my post so it is not OT for this thread.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby vina » 25 Oct 2010 21:30

shiv wrote:As you can see I am washing my hands off the whole thing and putting the word "LCA" in my post so it is not OT for this thread.


Well, let me bring it back on track by putting the word "LCA" in the post!

So basically India and the rest of the folks (Gripen, Eurocanards) decided that you needed to make the plane more efficient after seeing the success of the F-16 and the M2K.

Now Prof Pradyut Das is giving "strat-e-jee goli" and saying why have a fighter at all that places such a premium of efficiency and technical levels like FBW etc. There are many ways to skin a cat (the Mig 29 way is another one) and Pradyut Das says that swarm attack by hundreds of Gnats with just probably guns and heat seeking missiles can take on the tasks of handling the Air Defense role and questions why the "efficiency fetish". Fair question that.

Problem is, even if that was feasible, it is a highly specific solution for just ONE task. There are lot more things a fighter needs to do and you cant have a gargantuan fighter force of "swarms" each dedicated to a specific task like one for Air Defense, one for deep penetration and strike, one for top cover one for interdiction. Fortunately technology has evolved to a point where mult-irole platforms are perfectly viable today and the past 30 years.

For such a kind of platform to be top class and competitive, there is no alternative to technological sophistication and cutting edge engineering. Trying to finesse it by a YumBeeYea like "strategee" means cutting corners like somewhere else or having a huge force where a major bulk sits out the action and only a small part can do the fighting at a given point in time.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby hariks » 25 Oct 2010 21:42

Another thing prof Das leaves out is the chances of survival for an IAF pilot if he flying of those those machines in a "swarm" attack against a technically superior fighter.
It may work that we can take down a superior fighter with N inferior and cheaper ones, but what about the lives of pilots who will be manning those inferior planes? Should that also be in that N:1 ratio?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby vina » 25 Oct 2010 21:45

shiv wrote:For all the unquestioning and patriotic support the entire nation gave the LCA can anyone answer why the choice of cranked double delta was made?

Hmm. Delta is easy to answer. Low wave drag, brilliant performance and supersonic speed and at altitude, structurally very efficient , light for it's strength, has space for a boatload of fuel. A great choice of wing form, especially if you have decided to go FBW. In fact with FBW /Unstable layout, the disadvantages of traditional deltas disappear and you can have the cake and eat it too!.

Crank. I think is just like a notch/dogtooth . Creates a vortex where the crank is and helps keep the flow glued to the wing, so increases AoA over what you could get with a straight/ordinary delta.

Twist/Washout. Increases AoA again by having control over stalls by making the root stall first before the tips, so that there is no sudden wing drop or something I guess.

Point is, there was careful design of the wing and plan form from all I can see. I really don't have any quarrels with the basic design. But if you argue at a Philosophical level and "Strategee" like Prof Das and propose radical alternatives , then it takes it to a different plane (pardon the pun) altogether.

That is like arguing why should India have a professional standing army at all. We should have a "citizens militia" and every person should be armed and harry an "invader" . Our commie brothers will point out to Mao Zedong and point out how his "People's liberation army" won over a professional army supported by the "imperialists" and that forget about eveyrthing, just make Ak-47s, mortars, bayonets, RPGs and other small arms that can be used by a peasant army and produce it in bulk.


Just as a matter of curiosity. For the historic record? Nations have tended to copy each other. Was the choice an ego issue? "We want to go where no one else has gone". Or were there some very very pertinent choices that made cranked double delta the most appropriate choice for LCA?

If we don't know why such a basic choice was made - as early as 1989 as per your timeline it indicates some serious opacity in vital decision making. Nobody needs to be blamed. But who made the choice? Why?

For example people are able to look at the design of F-16 and say the design choices were made for x, y and z reasons. Also for MiG 29. Who can do that for LCA? I think these are vitally important questions. But asking such questions attracts hostility. What on earth is wrong with us as a people? Why must we snarl like cornered dogs?[/quote]

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Kanson » 25 Oct 2010 21:54

shiv wrote:
Kanson wrote:So tell me who should be held responsible for IAF still using MiG 21 ? ADA, the moon gazing DRDO?, MoD?, GoI? or IAF?


Going by what you wrote all of India should be responsible. Too many people to point fingers at. This is what I mean when I say that defeat is an orphan. Nobody is going to own up and say what their department could have done better. Al iz wel. Al iz forgiven. That is why a person like Das causes so much khujli. He rakes up just the issues that added to the delays and asks why things were not done differently knowing full well that nobody is going to own up. And that allows him to basically go ballistic. Cursing him serves only the limited purpose of releasing pent up feelings.

For all the unquestioning and patriotic support the entire nation gave the LCA can anyone answer why the choice of cranked double delta was made? Just as a matter of curiosity. For the historic record? Nations have tended to copy each other. Was the choice an ego issue? "We want to go where no one else has gone". Or were there some very very pertinent choices that made cranked double delta the most appropriate choice for LCA?

If we don't know why such a basic choice was made - as early as 1989 as per your timeline it indicates some serious opacity in vital decision making. Nobody needs to be blamed. But who made the choice? Why?

For example people are able to look at the design of F-16 and say the design choices were made for x, y and z reasons. Also for MiG 29. Who can do that for LCA? I think these are vitally important questions. But asking such questions attracts hostility. What on earth is wrong with us as a people? Why must we snarl like cornered dogs?


My reply is not to say all is well but to highlight the basic facts before you going on with your blunt rhetoric. Every project successful or not there is a lesson to be learnt.

That is why a person like Das causes so much khujli. He rakes up just the issues that added to the delays and asks why things were not done differently knowing full well that nobody is going to own up. And that allows him to basically go ballistic. Cursing him serves only the limited purpose of releasing pent up feelings.

Aha... Das can come now and with the benefit of hindsight can come with all theories with impunity. Where was he and what was he doing in 80s and 90s? Why dont you ask him to join BRF and lets see how long he is going ballistic ? And Shiv Aroor too went ballistic ? What happened ?

For all the unquestioning and patriotic support the entire nation gave the LCA

I'm not able to understand...this is from you?...nation gave unquestioning support ? Are you living in some disney land ? I'm sorry to ask this. How many reviews and how much pressure on the project...you are talking about unquestioning support.

If we don't know why such a basic choice was made - as early as 1989 as per your timeline it indicates some serious opacity in vital decision making.

First of all, how come if you don't know or those surrounding you don't know, it indicates serious opacity? Second, it is not as per my timeline. It is well established. And you may check with anyone connected to LCA.

why the choice of cranked double delta was made? Just as a matter of curiosity. For the historic record? Nations have tended to copy each other. Was the choice an ego issue? "We want to go where no one else has gone". Or were there some very very pertinent choices that made cranked double delta the most appropriate choice for LCA?


You know very well, LCA is not the first a/c with double delta. In previous page, you yourself talked about Avro bomber and its manoeuvrability. If that is so, how come LCA become as you said, "We want to go where no one else has gone".

Problem with pure delta was understood and solution for that was developed in 1970s and 80s. F-16 is one such example. F-16 has delta wing, clipped delta wing. But the problem with pure delta wing as in MiG-21 was rectified by adding LERX to F-16. Another solution to same problem is double delta. The leading edges of double delta act as LERX in generating vortex and this was further cranked to increase stability at high AoA. This kind of solution was well known in 80s when LCA was designed. Out of several design houses, Dassault was chosen as partner which has the history of operating tailless delta wings as well it happens to satisfy the requirements set forth by IAF which is expecting a replacement to MiG-21, a delta, as fighter interceptor as well as multi-role fighter.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 25 Oct 2010 22:04

vina wrote:Problem is, even if that was feasible, it is a highly specific solution for just ONE task. There are lot more things a fighter needs to do and you cant have a gargantuan fighter force of "swarms" each dedicated to a specific task like one for Air Defense, one for deep penetration and strike, one for top cover one for interdiction. Fortunately technology has evolved to a point where mult-irole platforms are perfectly viable today and the past 30 years.


:lol:
In fact Prodyut Das addresses exactly this question in the following article
http://rapidshare.com/files/377207669/c ... impler.pdf

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 25 Oct 2010 22:12

Kanson wrote:First of all, how come if you don't know or those surrounding you don't know, it indicates serious opacity? Second, it is not as per my timeline. It is well established. And you may check with anyone connected to LCA.
<snip>
You know very well, LCA is not the first a/c with double delta. In previous page, you yourself talked about Avro bomber and its manoeuvrability. If that is so, how come LCA become as you said, "We want to go where no one else has gone".


Great logic. But not answers. You don't know the answer. "I don't know" would have given the same information as you have given here. Opacity from you also.

Are you implying that the LCA is a high altitude bomber like the Vulcan? But Vulcan did not have fly by wire and flew in the 1960s and is out of service. LCA too could have flown like the Vulcan if it was not for this FBW delays no? How come LCA needs fly by wire and Vulcan did not need FBW? We certainly have gone where Vulcan did not even try to go. Can you clarify the opacity?

Of course I agree Vulcan and LCA are similar in their status at this point in time. Both are not in service.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Kanson » 25 Oct 2010 22:14

shiv wrote: Can you clarify the opacity?


Last para of previous post. I answered Your question
why the choice of cranked double delta was made?


There is no opacity about the concept of double delta. You can see that in other planes. LCA is not first one to adopt double delta.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby negi » 25 Oct 2010 22:27

The reason for going for tailless delta might have to do with the Dassault consultancy during the nascent stages for our exposure was limited to HF-24 marut(a non delta design) until then, the double crank can be explained as a design solution to enhance the alpha capability i.e. an alternative to the tailless 'canard + delta wing' config which the Euros pursued as they did not put a size/weight constraint on their fighter unlike the LCA. FBW too was a standard on all Dassault designs since the 70s (Mirage III onwards) we decided to go all digital instead of analog.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby vic » 25 Oct 2010 23:29

vina wrote:
The tiny F-16s flew a round trip flight of 1600 kms across hostile borders of Saudi Arabia and around Jordan at treetop height with some 2 tons of bombs, conducted a precision strike against a heavily defended target and came back home without refueling and these same planes can take on the Mig 29 in a pure A2A turn and burn fight and also hose it with BVR missiles thanks to it's far superior avionics fit! If that isnt a better plane, I dont know what is.


IIRC they flew through Jordan and the target was around 1000-1100km (only) but off course it is just pettyfogging and it does not detract from your post

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 26 Oct 2010 06:39

vina wrote:
shiv wrote:For all the unquestioning and patriotic support the entire nation gave the LCA can anyone answer why the choice of cranked double delta was made?

Hmm. Delta is easy to answer. Low wave drag, brilliant performance and supersonic speed and at altitude, structurally very efficient , light for it's strength, has space for a boatload of fuel. A great choice of wing form, especially if you have decided to go FBW. In fact with FBW /Unstable layout, the disadvantages of traditional deltas disappear and you can have the cake and eat it too!.

Crank. I think is just like a notch/dogtooth . Creates a vortex where the crank is and helps keep the flow glued to the wing, so increases AoA over what you could get with a straight/ordinary delta.

Twist/Washout. Increases AoA again by having control over stalls by making the root stall first before the tips, so that there is no sudden wing drop or something I guess.

Point is, there was careful design of the wing and plan form from all I can see. I really don't have any quarrels with the basic design. But if you argue at a Philosophical level and "Strategee" like Prof Das and propose radical alternatives , then it takes it to a different plane (pardon the pun) altogether.


Vina - I realize that you did not arrive at the decision to make a cranked delta with FBW. Having made that choice what has been achieved is creditable. No existing aircraft in the world has this configuration. Certainly not the Vulcan.

The LCA's design was arrived at in the 1980s at a time when the world had not yet moved out of dedicated single-role aircraft and arriving at multi-role compromises. In the early 80s most of the dedicated "fighters", "bombers" and "attack aircraft" of the 60s and 70s were still active. In that era the US came out simultaneously with two competing designs - the YF 16 and YF 17. Unusually both designs were taken forward and made into successful aircraft still flying today. Both had FBW. However the US, having put the variable geometry design into production with the F-111, F-14 and B-1 moved out of that line. Europe was reeling with the inability to compete with the US. Panavia was created and they came up with the Tornado with FBW, variable geometry and huge box intakes. Until the MiG 29 arrived in the scene as an air superiority fighter Russia was playing with variable geometry MiG 23 and 27, Su 17, Su 24, as well as tailed delta with Su 15.

But apart from the Panavia Tornado which I think was envisaged as "multirole" most countries were still designing single role aircraft with a limited secondary role. The US had its B1 and the USSR was still making its attack bombers. And each country was responding to the other's bomber threat by creating fighters like the MiG 25 and F-15 - which again had a similar design. The US created the A-10 - an aircraft unsuited for any role other than what it was designed for (close support, battlefield interdiction, anti-tank), and the USSR came up with the similar Su-25. Only the Tornado was the MRCA in this stable. The spectacular appearance of the MiG 29 was well known as a great development in aerodynamics and perhaps the limits of that possible without FBW or TVC. The tailless delta had no role anywhere here.

It was only the French who almost moved out of the Mirage III's delta with the Mirage F1 and Mirage G, came back to the delta design for the Mirage 2000. Again the Mirage 2000 which has now panned out into multirole was a pure fighter with secondary attack role in the beginning.

Here is a description of the choices made for the Mirage 2000
http://www.vectorsite.net/avmir2k.html
Using the delta wing configuration seemed to many like a backward step. Dassault had used that configuration on the Mirage III and 5, but abandoned it for the Mirage F1. A delta wing tends to be a good choice in terms of high-speed flight characteristics, simplicity of aircraft construction, relatively low radar signature, and internal volume. It tends to be a poor choice in terms of maneuverability, low-altitude flight, and length of take-off and landing run.

Dassault engineers managed to bring the delta wing up to date by moving the aircraft's center of lift to the front of its center of gravity, giving the fighter a degree of instability that enhanced maneuverability. This also reduced the takeoff run: in the older Mirage deltas, lowering the elevons on takeoff to increase lift would push the aircraft's nose back down, but shifting the center of lift eliminated this problem.
<snip>
The aircraft featured a redundant "fly-by-wire automatic flight control system (FBW AFCS)", providing electronic "smarts" to compensate for the aircraft's inherent instability; two-piece elevons on each wing; and automatic, full length, two-segment leading-edge slats. This gave the Mirage 2000 a level of agility that the Mirage III and 5 lacked, and in fact the new machine would acquire a reputation for superb handling. An airbrake was fitted on top of each wing, the arrangement being very similar to that of the Mirage III. A noticeably taller tailfin allowed the pilot to retain control at higher angles of attack, assisted by small strakes mounted along each air intake.


With the Mirage 2000 the French were looking for export as well as a competitor to the F-16.

What was the thinking in India? India (the Air Force) certainly understood the meaning of "multi-role". Hunters ended up being used in air combat and MiG 21s for ground attack. But there were very few multi-role choices available to us in the 1980s. Also - all air combat in India's wars had taken place at subsonic speeds at low altitude. In fact the 80s were an era of low altitude penetration for radar avoidance and precision bomb delivery. The Jaguar had been designed for that as was the Tornado. The delta wing design of the LCA would have been no good for that, nor would it have been very maneuverable at low altitude. India threat perception did not include high flying supersonic bombers. The Delta Dagger and Mirage III were designed to take on those supersonic bombers.

The choice of delta wing for LCA in the 1980s had the following drawbacks:
1) There was no threat perception or IAF experience requiring a high altitude interceptor
2) The delta wing configuration was not a good choice for low level "below the radar" terrain following attack aircraft role.
3) The delta by nature was never going to be as nimble in tight turns at low level where all air combat had been taking place.
4) FBW would be essential to reduce the drawbacks of the delta design of the LCA and India had no experience designing FBW. Failure of FBW meant failure of the entire project.

Given these issues why on earth did the Tejas take the shape it has today? What sort of logic was followed?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Kartik » 26 Oct 2010 07:02

Austin wrote:
vina wrote:However the F-16 has a beast of an engine (especially the latest ones) and has more than enough installed thrust to take on and maybe beat any Mig29 in A2A , while having all the exact same advantages of the M2K of going 600miles into enemy territory and dropping some 2Tons of ordnance and fighting off fighters and coming back home , and of course the F16 (early ones) too is a much smaller machine than the Mig29.


The latest F-16 is nothing but a bunch of heavy rock that some how manages to fly after Block 30 the F-16 just got heavier and in turn it was compensated by higher thrust ,has higher wing loading and it just went that way , compromising its basic flying qualities and dog fighting capability and making it into strike fighter with BVR to the rescue.

The Mig-29 on the other hand just got better from 29A to 29S ,29M/M2 ,29K and 35 , with latter generations it got better multirole capabilities , better engine and better avionics/sensors and never compromised its basic flying qualities that it was designed for which was to be a good air superiority fighter and to excel in Dog Fight.

Now coming back to 29A , the main problem with that fighter was its fuel guzzling engine ( remember we are talking of mid 80's ) which affected its persistent in air , FBW or no FBW was not the real problem because as a design the 29/27 was far ahead of its time , as you can see from its evolution from 29A to 35 and Su-27 to Su-35 they just got better, give the 29A an RD-33MK and it will have better persistence.

And I do not recollect any 29A ever got torn up in mid air because FBW awarded better safety , AFAIK the 29 metal structure was designed to withstand 12g and as you can see 29 is being upgraded at the same time the Mirages are in IAF , so though Mirage has better built quality if you maintain the 29 well they were up to the task as well.

IAF routinely does fighter cover using Mig-29 for Jags/Mig-27 and it can do that job quite well as much as it can do a dog fight , the R-27 certainly has a much longer range then any Matra R-530.

So to sum it up do not compare a Mig-29 with Mirages , the M2K is a better multirole fighter by design and doctrine of French/NATO as much as Mig-29 is a better Air Superiority Fighter by design and doctrine of Soviets. They both were designed in a era to meet French/NATO and Soviet/Warsaw requirement and excelled in what they did.


Austin, the F-16 is still a 9G fighter even with the added weight. The key has been the continued engine development programs that add more thrust to compensate for the added weight. The way people talk about it one would think that its not a 9G fighter anymore due to the added weight. The F-16IN is way more capable as a multi-role platform than any MiG-29 variant to date. The MiG-35 after all is still not fully developed. The MiG-29K is more of contemporary of the F-16 Block 50.

BTW, there was a Slovakian MiG-29 that actually had exceeded airframe G limits in flight and was permanently damaged, although it landed safely.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby vina » 26 Oct 2010 07:50

shiv wrote: :lol:
In fact Prodyut Das addresses exactly this question in the following article
http://rapidshare.com/files/377207669/c ... impler.pdf


Ah Shivji,you do realize that Prof Pradyut Das' Tiger vs Porcupine analogy is flawed!. After all, Porcupines don't "deter Tigers every time" as he claims , but get eaten for breakfast , lunch and dinner , despite the porcupine curling itself into a ball! If you dont believe me, visit Nagarhole and ask about what the Tigers do with the Porcupines!

You do need offensive and interdiction capability. See who is the greatest threat to the Tiger, it is the ultimate Multi role weapon, one who walks on two legs and answers to names like Shiv!

That said, frankly Prof Das, idea of using steel frames is simply fantastic, he is asking to invent a material that doesn't exist, unless he wants to just fly from Bangalore to Hosur and back and no further given the weight penalty that would come into play .

The only feasible materials for that sort of thing is aluminum, composites or titanium. Titanium is incredibly expensive, very hard to work with and frankly is best bypassed where it can be. Despite all the protestations to the contrary , the only "wonder material" of note that the Russians could come up with is /was Titanium. They had little composites capability,where the Indian skills, thanks to NAL and the LCA program is easily far ahead.

Quoting examples from 1971 etc is a bit flawed, because technology has after all advanced by leaps and bound. It is a logical fallacy to assume that what did not work in 1971 and Vietnam,would not work today! Well, most of them do and even if they do work just half way decently, the one who doesn't have it would be simply swept out of the sky.

Even within Prof Das' favorite "well proven" heat seeking example, I can quote two instances where technical advance gave a total one sided victory to the side that had it.

And that is the Falklands war and the Isreali-Syrian war over Lebanon. One of the crucial advantages the Isrealis and the Brits had was that they had the all aspect AIM-9L . The "lima" version could engage from the frontal aspect. No longer did the planes have to get to the Opposition's 6 O clock to shoot the missile down the stove pipe. The results (in addition to the superior maneuver envelope of the Isreali planes) is there for all to see. Some 100+ Syrian Migs littering the floor of the Bekaa valley and massive losses to Argentine Skyhawks and Mirages with next to nil losses to the Brits and Isrealis.

Moral. You ignore technology advance only to your own peril. The Syrians massed Migs (21s, 23s etc) against the technically superior Isrealis and we can see what happened.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Cain Marko » 26 Oct 2010 08:12

Austin wrote:Now coming back to 29A , the main problem with that fighter was its fuel guzzling engine ( remember we are talking of mid 80's ) which affected its persistent in air , FBW or no FBW was not the real problem because as a design the 29/27 was far ahead of its time , as you can see from its evolution from 29A to 35 and Su-27 to Su-35 they just got better, give the 29A an RD-33MK and it will have better persistence.


Actually Austin saar, the RD 33s always had pretty economical engines, the reason for poor range on the MiG-29 was the pathetic fuel fraction. It carried pretty much the same amount of fuel as an F-16 or Mirage 2000 but was a good 3000kgs heavier! So naturally it came up a little short on range.

Still, its range was not half bad considering the piss poor fuel fraction (30%) - it managed a good 1500km on internal fuel (ferry). The M2k otoh, despite being lighter, and having a much better fuel fraction (weighed only 7600kg, ff ~ 50%) had poor range - 1800km on internal fuel. And once it started to use ABs (which it had to for keeping up with more powerful opponents), the M53s guzzled furiously. In effect combat endurance was not very good.

The solah otoh, combined the strengths of both the fulcrum (with an economical and powerful engine) and the M2k (excellent fuel fraction), resulting in a super range (2000km+ on internal fuel).

The modern MiG-29 (35 and K) is a different ballgame altogether mainly because it has improved on these basic shortcomings. Fuel fraction is now well above 40% (5200kg vs. 3400kg), the airframe has benefitted heavily with the use of composites which were kept to a bare minimum on the original - thus keeping the weight at a mere 11500kg despite tremendous structural strengthening required to manage the 100% increase in payload (6500-7000kg). Add to that the newer, more powerful and economical engines + tvc and the basic design has suddenly become a real eye opener. Also, the bird now has relaxed stability thanks to a shift in COG iirc.

Otoh, if you compare western birds of the era, their gains are at best marginal compared to the 29. The Shornet for example,which started at around 20% composite structures (F-18) and an empty of 10600kg has now ballooned to a massive 14.5 tons while showing a mere 15% increase in payload, and a marginal increase in range thanks to increased internal fuel (which was totally offset by the increase in weight). The F-16 pays a similar price, only worse - as its airframe has by and large remained the same and the wingloading has gone up considerably.

So to sum it up do not compare a Mig-29 with Mirages , the M2K is a better multirole fighter by design and doctrine of French/NATO as much as Mig-29 is a better Air Superiority Fighter by design and doctrine of Soviets. They both were designed in a era to meet French/NATO and Soviet/Warsaw requirement and excelled in what they did.

Agreed.

Vinaji,
I am not entirely sure if the FBW is what caused the poor range/payload characteristics of the original MiG-29. IIRC, some of the late 80s early 90s upgrades such as the 9.14S and even the original SM/T did not have FBW but improved dramatically on range and payload without really sacrificing performance. AFAIK only the MiG-29K, MiG-29M, 35 and newer SMT has FBW.

CM.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 26 Oct 2010 09:18

vina wrote:Moral. You ignore technology advance only to your own peril. The Syrians massed Migs (21s, 23s etc) against the technically superior Isrealis and we can see what happened.



I think that one point that Das makes consistently is being missed by many, including yourself.

The older aircraft from the west had production runs in the thousands, while the higher tech ones had runs in the mere hundreds. Aircrfat technology, developed in the west raised costs so much that all western aviation companies had to use hype and hard sell to increase the production runs of aircraft so that costs could be met and profits made. This has led to an inevitable "forcing" of technology on air forces that could not absorb that technology and in turn had to keep on depending on the original manufacturers to keep up so the latter were kept healthy and wealthy. This became true for every Air force that invested in Western technology. In the meantime technology in terms of AWACS, radars and air defence has changed so much that the safety and efficacy of these expensive fighters is getting to be a problem. And even before most nations can absorb all that the F 35 is being pushed.

One of the fundamental points that Das makes is that by joining the technlogical rat race and in trying to "keep up" with the west - India is always going to fall behind as they (the west) set the goal, they set the pace and move the goalposts. I don't think Das is wrong in saying that. This statement should not be misinterpreted to mean that technology should not be developed. That is the strawman that is being thrown up against Das's statements.

What India should do according to Das is to use the technology that it already has to build a large air force in a reasonable time frame. Technology development should be a separate parallel stream that is added incrementally to the fighting force. Technology is as much about putting a radar on an AWACS, or getting effective radar cover as spending 27 years getting one aircraft to fly FBW. It is a different viewpoint that is all not an anti-technology viewpoint.

The Israeli victory at Bekaa was technology alright but what technology was used? It had less to do with maneuverability, and FBW and more to do with the Israelis knocking out command and control with SEAD. Once your SEAD is good, you can take out hostile aircraft at leisure with MiG 23s if necessary. The Israelis in fact used F 4s, Skyhawks, Kfirs as well as F 15s and F 16s.

Does india have total radar cover over the subcontinent? No. Does India have effective total air defence cover with SAMs? No. Does India have effective air defence cover with swarms of low tech fighters? No. Does India have effective air defence cover with high tech fighters to take out swarms of fighters? No. Does India have its own AWACS up and flying? no. But we have a fly by wire fighter with no Indian engine almost ready after 27 years. Is this really the way to go for defence technology? It is "anti-technology" to point out that we have very little technology to boast of and have not even used the technology we had to do what we could have done?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 26 Oct 2010 09:29

I believe the IAF has depended on fighters for air cover more than SAMs and ADGES - there was never any attempt to replicate the vast russian AD system or its offshoots in iraq, egypt, syria perhaps due to cost reasons or maybe because IAF wanted more planes than ground based landlubber SAMs! maybe the threat perception of paki strikes was low.

now that china is presenting a much bigger threat, we see new radars and SAMs being wheeled in in large quantities.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby David Siegel » 26 Oct 2010 09:48

shiv wrote:Does india have total radar cover over the subcontinent? No. Does India have effective total air defence cover with SAMs? No. Does India have effective air defence cover with swarms of low tech fighters? No. Does India have effective air defence cover with high tech fighters to take out swarms of fighters? No. Does India have its own AWACS up and flying? no. But we have a fly by wire fighter with no Indian engine almost ready after 27 years. Is this really the way to go for defence technology? It is "anti-technology" to point out that we have very little technology to boast of and have not even used the technology we had to do what we could have done



Good write up Shiv. Now before we discuss anything on building homegrown technologies or offence/defense strategy, let us quickly review below points

• How old is the Indian defense industry compared to west?

• How much money was allocated to indigenous R&D to develop own defensive or offensive systems based on some centralized planning (something like our great 5 years plan which keeps on getting renewed) till early 90’?

• How much technical assistance India got from West compared to same for country like Israel?

The fact is, India faced 3 big aggressions pretty quickly since the time of its inception and did really well with whatever it has if we consider war of 71’. However our then great strategist and leaders believed that a buyer and seller relationship with then superpower like USSR would have been enough for self-defense.

Things are changing now with changed geo-politics & global economic rankings and we can see the success of our Defense Industry in various areas, be it IDGMP or JV like Brahmos or Barak-8. Did we ever imagined couple of decades back that a homegrown tank like MBT Arjun (offsetting the delay) will ever come victorious against a top of line Russian tank like T-90?

So things are changing and to keep pace with rest of world we have to move up the rank by upgrading technologies, either by domestic R&D (funding assurance from Govt) or by costly JVs like Brahmos and Barak-8. If we have to offset our sluggish start we had 50 years back in terms of defense technology we have to spend on technology partners and at the same time we need to keep on buying things like SU-30MKI or MMRCA or leasing Nuke Sub like Akula to ensure that we have the deterrence capability to any near future aggression which can derail our upgrowing economy and thus differ the pursuance for excellence in indigenous defense capabilities.

We need a balance approach (investment of domestic research in defense and defense imports) instead of sounding too emotional that we playing a catch up game with west. And we all know that nothing comes free. So if we sign a too costly deals which includes ToT with a foreign partner, we need to understand that we are not only paying for the product or the associated tech, but we are also paying a penalty for being a late starter. But what other options we have? If we depend on domestic R&D to develop a 5th Gen Fighter without any foreign partner we will land up getting an obsolete product when it materialised cause the world would have moved to 6 or 7th Gen by then in terms of Fighter technology. So sooner we close the gap with whatever help we needed, better it is. It like playing Rise or Nation or AoE where you are starting at Dark Age and planning to compete with coutries which already reached Industrial Age or Castle Age. :) And to do that you need cheat code, that is costly JVs and 'purchase of technolgy' (may be an abusive phrase to follower of technolgy, but you all know what I meant here) like tech for PGM, Seeker, Advanced Radar tech like AESA/AWACS; ECM, ECCM etc.

Mod: Sorry if the post is OT, but I believe the the discussion we are having here is not something specific to Air-War capability but approach to 3 service defense planning as a whole

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby neerajb » 26 Oct 2010 10:10

negi wrote:The reason for going for tailless delta might have to do with the Dassault consultancy during the nascent stages for our exposure was limited to HF-24 marut(a non delta design) until then, the double crank can be explained as a design solution to enhance the alpha capability i.e. an alternative to the tailless 'canard + delta wing' config which the Euros pursued as they did not put a size/weight constraint on their fighter unlike the LCA. FBW too was a standard on all Dassault designs since the 70s (Mirage III onwards) we decided to go all digital instead of analog.


The very specifications of Tejas favours tailless delta design and going to Dassault was the next logical step. The requirements were a replacement for MiG-21 i.e. high altitude interceptor and high performance was required out of it and at the same time it needed to be light and cheap. Tailless delta means we do not require the horizontal tail and the associated actuators, the fuselage is shorter ( empennage directly over wings). All this results in relatively light, compact and cheap aircraft which, with FBW, Cranked delta and RSS, can be made quite nimble. IMO this light/small aircraft fetish was the result of IAF experiences with Gnat and being the first modern aircraft development was quite natural.

Cain Marko wrote:Actually Austin saar, the RD 33s always had pretty economical engines, the reason for poor range on the MiG-29 was the pathetic fuel fraction.


CM Spot on! In fact Discovery WINGS was all GAGA over the fulcrum's powerful and economical engines. The only -ve thing they mentioned was smoke which all of us are quite familiar with.

Cheers....

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 26 Oct 2010 10:33

shiv wrote:The Israeli victory at Bekaa was technology alright but what technology was used? It had less to do with maneuverability, and FBW and more to do with the Israelis knocking out command and control with SEAD. Once your SEAD is good, you can take out hostile aircraft at leisure with MiG 23s if necessary. The Israelis in fact used F 4s, Skyhawks, Kfirs as well as F 15s and F 16s.


The Syrians were also bad at the tactics
Surface to Air Missile Effectiveness in Past Conflicts

The Soviet doctrine of ambush attacks, SAM system mobility, clever use of emission control and decoys, camouflage of SAM sites, and the use of supporting electronic warfare assets was abandoned by the Syrians completely. Hurley’s summary of Syrian behaviour in the Winter 1989 issue of Air Power Journal is perhaps the best summary:

“Syrian SAM operators also invited disaster upon themselves. Their Soviet equipment was generally regarded as quite good; Syrian handling of it was appalling.

As noted by Lt Gen Leonard Perroots, director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, “The Syrians used mobile missiles in a fixed configuration; they put the radars in the valley instead of the hills because they didn't want to dig latrines -- seriously.” The Syrian practice of stationing mobile missiles in one place for several months allowed Israeli reconnaissance to determine the exact location of the missiles and their radars, giving the IAF a definite tactical advantage on the eve of battle. Even so, the Syrians might have been able to avoid the complete destruction of their SAM complex had they effectively camouflaged their sites; instead, they used smoke to “hide” them, which actually made them easier to spot from the air. It is ironic that the Syrians, who have been criticized for their strict adherence to Soviet doctrine, chose to ignore the viable doctrine that emphasizes the utility of maneuver and camouflage. According to a 1981 article in Soviet Military Review, alternate firing positions, defensive ambushes, regular repositioning of mobile SAMs to confuse enemy intelligence, and the emplacement of dummy SAM sites are fundamental considerations for the effective deployment and survivability of ground-based air defenses.”

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 26 Oct 2010 10:39

also maybe the Rus didnt supply all of their supporting ecm gear to client states! and operating a large distributed ADGES probably takes loads of practice...which client states werent too keen on.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 26 Oct 2010 10:53

neerajb wrote:
The very specifications of Tejas favours tailless delta design and going to Dassault was the next logical step. The requirements were a replacement for MiG-21 i.e. high altitude interceptor and high performance was required out of it and at the same time it needed to be light and cheap. Tailless delta means we do not require the horizontal tail and the associated actuators, the fuselage is shorter ( empennage directly over wings). All this results in relatively light, compact and cheap aircraft which, with FBW, Cranked delta and RSS, can be made quite nimble. IMO this light/small aircraft fetish was the result of IAF experiences with Gnat and being the first modern aircraft development was quite natural.


This sounds like a good explanation but I can't understand why the IAF may have wanted a "high altitude" interceptor when neither the threats nor previous experience had suggested a future high altitude threat? Was the IAF involved at all in taking this call? Is there any public info of these details? And again, pure delta (apparently) has poor runway and low altitude performance without FBW. That means that Tejas's success hinged around success of FBW (ignoring the engine) - both of which were the weakest links.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 26 Oct 2010 10:55

Singha wrote:also maybe the Rus didnt supply all of their supporting ecm gear to client states! and operating a large distributed ADGES probably takes loads of practice...which client states werent too keen on.


I think what it shows is tactics play a very significant role in combat something we can easily miss in such discussion of technology , a case to point is Serbia use of SAM/AD against NATO , inspite of using 60/70 SAM/Radar with inovative tactics,smart use of emmision and mobility they posed a termendous challenge to NATO which flooded the airspace with latest gen Jammers ,HARM and Decoy UAV and what not.

They say Serbia AD remained by and large intact even at the end of war. Probably being part of Warsaw they were better trained as well compared to West Asia Soviet client.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby merlin » 26 Oct 2010 11:10

Err... swarms of low tech fighters require swarms of pilots as well. The IAF is already having trouble recruiting pilots and with swarms of low tech fighters the problem will be greater.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Kanson » 26 Oct 2010 11:32

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1991/1991%20-%203003.html
LCA delays push Indian air force toward MiG-21 upgrade

Indian air force considers upgrade of MiG-21 fleet

The Indian air force is considering carrying out an extensive upgrade to part of its fleet of almost 500 Mikoyan MiG-21 Fishbed fighter aircraft in the wake of delays to the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme.

Areas being considered for modernisation on MiG-21s include avionics, engines and airframe; in the case of the latter, one possibility being studied is wing re-shaping to improve manoeuverability. Avionics upgrades could see the fitting of a Western radar, while options for a new powerplant include the Klimov RD-33, which powers the MiG-29, 48 of which are already in service with the air force, and the Turbo-Union RB.199.

The first production LCA is not now expected to fly until 2005. Two technology demonstrators are being built and are expected to be ready in 1995-6. Indian minister of defence Sharad Pawar has told the Indian parliament in New Delhi that a final decision on the number of prototypes to be built will be taken after the flight trials of the demonstrators. In the meantime, India is still expected to begin some MiG-21 retirements in 1995 as scheduled.

The Indian Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N C Sun, says that the air force combat capability would in no way be weak ened following LCA programme delays, but adds that there is a move to upgrade the MiG-21s. Another factor which is likely to be fuelling air force desires to fill the capability gap until the LCA enters service is interest by the Pakistan air force in procuring upgraded F-7 fighters from China (Flight International, 16-22 October). The F-7 is the Chinese copy of the MiG-21.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 26 Oct 2010 11:36

> swarms of low tech fighters require swarms of pilots as well.

use the old panda/north korean tactic of flying on wooden simulators and 2 hrs/month of routine flying. with just guns and a couple aam's on the gnat-mki, there is nothing that a gaming rig cannot teach :D

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby ShivaS » 26 Oct 2010 11:44

This is why we should have been building Gnats Hunters or atleast copy the entire damn MiG21 like panda did. Our chiefs are into land grab than enemy land grab exercises. What to do we are like this for ever only...

oh by the way upgrades means more money to be made in deals and wheels

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby vina » 26 Oct 2010 11:56

shiv wrote:What India should do according to Das is to use the technology that it already has to build a large air force in a reasonable time frame. Technology development should be a separate parallel stream that is added incrementally to the fighting force. Technology is as much about putting a radar on an AWACS, or getting effective radar cover as spending 27 years getting one aircraft to fly FBW. It is a different viewpoint that is all not an anti-technology viewpoint.


Err. That point of view is totally alien to Indian defense brass . They want the latest and greatest , like yesterday or at best right now. They don't want to use what is "available" and within reach, incremental development doesn't suit their genius.

Look at the case of Arjun and the Tejas. The products that are fielded (Arjun) goes and bashes up the pride of the Indian army /latest import from Russia and the Army still whines and grumbles and want "further improvements". Any other force would have inducted it 10 years ago and worked out the gremlins (Brits, US, Germans, Russians, Israelis, every did that same thing with their tanks). But no sir, the Army want it perfect from day 1.

Same with the LCA. The air force for long regarded it as a b*stard child best forgotten and never mentioned in polite company. No one from the top managing the program, outdated specs (and require redesign when the time came to weaponize and weight growth to 6500kg and hence a new engine), a by passed Vice Chief appointed as project head (basically a position for someone to be kicked upstairs/sidelined, parking slot prior to retirement) and then when the plane gets inducted, it get gets inducted straight as a multi role version with PGM capability! It is as if the Americans, Russians and Swedes inducted the F16C/D, Gripen C/D and the Mig 29K/35 straight without the A/B versions inducted!

If that indeed is Prof Das' point, then the target of his dumping should be the mindset of the Indian defense forces and not the LCA or Arjun!

You talked about the Mirage 2000. Let us see, what exactly it is. There was the original airframe from Mirage III . Then on the same airframe, conventional wings and tailplane were put and it became the F1, then there was the experimental Mirage III (SV) the (stabilite' variable) test bed and then within some 30 months , the same Mirage III platform with the M-53 engines debuts as a world beater! With the same airframe the French went thorough 3 generations of fighters by technology infusion.

After all,the difference between the Mirage III and 2000 is simply the FBW and the M-53 engine and better systems. Other than that it really is nothing else!

Imagine the IAF inducting a stable non FBW Tejas in 1995 with a promise of a FBW version by 2010. The top brass would have been apoplectic and suffered serious coronary damage to say the least!

Philip
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Posts: 20797
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 26 Oct 2010 11:57

It appears that our boffins regularly scanned the pages of every aviation mag and whenever something new or novel was featured said."wow!,we must have it on the LCA!" The main point that many have made is that the GOI is the client.It was the GOI/MOD's responsibility to nurture the project,fix deadlines so that the end suer could get the aircraft in time to meet its requirements.What many have forgotten is that the LCA ("Late" Combat Aircraft) is so late,requiring the 120+ MIG-21s to be upgraded to Bison std.! NOw even the Bisons have been in service for quite some time.I'm sure Shiv will rmmeber my tongue-in-cheek suggestion about 4 years ago,when I said thanks to LCA delays,that the best replacement for the MIG-21 was the ....MIG-21 itself (new builds)!

We have been operating the SU-30MKIs for quite a while now.It has given us the luxury of possessing a heavy air-dominance multi-role fighter.However,the majority of our inventory still remains MIG-21s,better at interception and point defence .When the MIG-29 and SU-27 appeared around the same time,the difference in the quality of construction suprised many in the west.The Fulcrum was typical of usual Russian construction,robust and simplistic,whereas on the oher hand,the Flanker had a beautiful finish,equal to western aircraft standards.The western analysts then understood that the Soviets wanted to be able to build two fighters,one cheap and easy to build in large numbers which required no perfection as seen in western aircraft,while the heavier,larger and costlier Flanker was built to higher standards of build.The two also fulfilled the "heavy and light" roles required.

Given the well-proven capability of the MIG-29 in aerial combat and now in its new avatar as the MIG-35,upgraded MIG-29s and furrther buys of MIG-35s could give the IAF what it desperately needs.A capable medium sized aircraft that can perform the tasls of the MIG-21 and more,plus available in large numbers at affordable cost.If one looks at the India Today article by Sandeep,where the govt. has been handed over the fleet size to deal with the Chi-Pak threat,we see that the miminum sqd. size needed is 45 to deal with Pak alone and blunt China,but 55 sqds. are needed to fight any joint Sino-Pak aggression,which appears a distinct likelihood.Even with the 126 MMRCA aircraft we will still be short of a few hundred aircraft if a sqd. size of at least 50 is sanctioned.300 SU-30s,32-40 SU-34s for the bomber role,180 (60+120) MIG-29/35s,120+ MMRCAs,100+ Jaguar UGs,100 MIG-27 UGs,50M-2000 UGs,100+ MIG-21 Bisons-to be replaced by LCAs as they come into service,will give us about 1000+ aircraft,equivalent to 50 sqds.We will not be able to acquire in haste 200+ MMRCA,so the MIG-35 and MMRCAs can be acquired simultaneously.In any case we will still be building Flankers at Nasik and can start a second line to assemble/build some of the the MIG-35s,while B'Lore looks after MMRCA production.5th-gen fighters will come not earlier than 2017,7 years from now.It is more ikely that only by 2020 will siugnificant 5th-gen numbers be available,and when they do they can start replacing the M-2000s,MIG-29s and the other assorted aircraft.We can then stabilise the types in service as being composed of just Flankers,Fulcrums,MMRCAs,LCAs and 5th-gen fighters.We will have a good assortment of heavy,medium,light and 5th-gen stealth fighters,plus whatever number of UCAVs the IAF wishes to have in its inventory.

The slow pace of LCA development and production neccessitates this strategy.LCAs MK-1s and MK-2s,can replace our MIG-21s and MIG-21 Bisons,as they are production accelerates.For meeting the required numbers,extra MIG35s is the most sensible answer,as the earlier type is in service and the weaponry too,also with the SU-30.


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