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Old 8th November 2014, 22:06   #16
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

You state
Quote:
HAL then went on to build many more with increasingly indigenous content
What indigenous content did they put in? I'm pretty familiar with the Hawk story for India and I haven't seen much indigenous content going in that one, so was wondering what went in on earlier aircrafts?

Jeroen
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Old 8th November 2014, 22:23   #17
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Dear Foxbat, first I love your handle. You selected one of my favourite aircraft of all times. Second thank you for reading my first thread thoroughly. However your statement of "filled with factual inaccuracies" seems a tad sharp. You are right that in the Western world the word 'ace' especially in World War I and World War II came to formally mean someone who had scored 5 kills or more. Those were the days when Air Force strengths numbered in thousands and even tens of thousands and the occasion to build such scores existed. Since world War II such opportunities of vast air to air battles, while occurring, have been lesser. I shall stand by my generic term ace for these heroes. Let's celebrate the heroes we have in a country where they seem to be getting rarer. On Flight Lieutenant Sekhon recommended reading is Gazette of India notification number 7 of 1972. The thread has been written with data from the several books in my personal library and not gleaned from the internet. Please see my last post for more. On the HF-24 Marut - not sure what point you are trying to make as I have not said anywhere that the Ajeet was the first Indian aircraft.



Thank you Hserus for the analogy on Kurt tank. Kurt Tank deserves our respect. The Marut HF-24 will be my next thread. Going through all my old books to get the story right.


Thank you for mentioning this. It must have been very interesting knowing a fighter hero. Denzil Keelor was our neighbor soon after the '65 war and as an awe struck 6 year old nothing was more exciting for me than to have a fighter ace (apologies to Foxbat ) as my neighbor.

Hey Sorry V.Narayan for the bit harsh language. The Problem is I spend many hours on Defence Forums everyday where Indian and Pakistani members debate in a very un-civilized manner so I sorta have caught the habit.

I have read about Flight Lieutenant Sekhon a lot and I admire his courage. However even the IAF doesn't claim he shot down any enemy aircraft in that incident. There is a Folland Gnat at the IAF Museum in New Delhi (pictured below) and next to it there is a picture of Flight Lieutenant Sekhon and along with a description of the incident. If I remember clearly it said he damaged 2 Pakistani Aircraft on that Day.



Looking Forward to your HF-24 Marut Thread!
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Old 9th November 2014, 09:05   #18
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
You state
What indigenous content did they put in? I'm pretty familiar with the Hawk story for India and I haven't seen much indigenous content going in that one, so was wondering what went in on earlier aircrafts?
Jeroen
Jeroen, in case of the Gnat/Ajeet story the production went on from 1959 to late '70s. By indigenization I mean complete license production in India from raw materials and not replacing the part by a fresh Indian design. The airframe, the hydraulics, the landing gear (I think), the electrics and some of the avionics got fully indigenized. Here I am writing from memory and not from a journal. The Bristol Siddeley Orpheus (later Rolls Royce) engine got partly indigenized from raw materials, how much I don't know, but some components continued to come from the UK till the end. The avionics were quite basic but the Ferannti ISIS gunsight was imported. The Hawk is a different and tragic story and a national shame on the way the procurement of that wonderful aircraft has been handled. HAL is only assembling the Hawk from knocked down kits. Don't get me started on it or the Moderators will toss my out of this wonderful forum. In my humble opinion in terms of aeronautical development HAL today is not quite what it was in 1960s and 1970s. (No offense meant to any BHPians who work at HAL). BTW Jeroen I love your threads and photographs.

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Hey Sorry V.Narayan for the bit harsh language. The Problem is I spend many hours on Defence Forums everyday where Indian and Pakistani members debate in a very un-civilized manner so I sorta have caught the habit.
Looking Forward to your HF-24 Marut Thread!
I can never be upset with a Mig-25. BTW are you a Foxbat-A Fighter version or the Foxbat-B Recce version? Me thinks you are the advanced Foxbat-E air defence suppression version I promise I'm no Pakistani!! Cheers mate.
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Old 10th November 2014, 10:42   #19
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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I do wish HAL had worked with the marut platform and evolved it further to build a ground attack fighter of the A10 warthog class.
Every nationalist Indian wishes India had developed the Marut further. The plane was killed by the foreign arms lobby which exercised considerable influence in places that matter. There was lack of commitment from Govt.

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Metaphorically speaking they asked HAL to design and build a BMW 5 when all HAL had done before was a three wheeler.
Aren't you being uncharitable to HAL? Would you consider the battle-tested Marut a three wheeler? We could have developed the LCA (or at least a MiG 23/27 substitute) on Marut airframe also, using Adour engines that we were already making for Jaguar.

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..........since the days of Homi Bhaba ISRO has gone step by step ..............
You probably meant Vikram Sarabhai. Homi Bhaba was the father of India's nuclear programme.

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In my humble opinion in terms of aeronautical development HAL today is not quite what it was in 1960s and 1970s.
Which implies it made more than three wheelers in those days!
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Old 10th November 2014, 11:20   #20
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Story of HAL Ajeet, the Gnat Mk II
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Originally Posted by john doe View Post
Wonderful article!
A small correction in the interest of historical accuracy:
Neither Sekhon nor Trevor Keelor succeeded in shooting down any PAF planes. The first IAF pilot to draw blood was Pathania. The Battle over Boyra was the Gnat's prize day!
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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
It was discovered that Trevor damaged a Sabre and that Sekhon damaged 2 or 3 which either made it back/crash landed in Pakistan or in the mountains around Kashmir.

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Originally Posted by john doe View Post
Agree with the Sikand fiasco being unforgivable.
On the other hand, the blog by Ajay shukla is riddled with errors. It is almost as if he has an axe to grind with the IAF.

Please read Jagan and Sameer Chopra's excellent book on the 1965 air war. The performance of the PAF wasn't half as good as they claim, nor was the performance of the IAF half as bad.
For what I seem to remember the Gnat also gave the F104 Starfighter headaches (which is contrary to what is often mentioned of Pak dominated F104 forums). The Mach 2 F104 was not as nimble as the much slower Gnat besides PAF was short of 104 spares due to an arms embargo.

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Every nationalist Indian wishes India had developed the Marut further.
Surely. As a nation we are one of a few that has the engineering capability to design, test, fly and operate an indigenous fighter.
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Old 10th November 2014, 13:01   #21
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Every nationalist Indian wishes India had developed the Marut further. The plane was killed by the foreign arms lobby which exercised considerable influence in places that matter. There was lack of commitment from Govt.
I won't call myself a nationalist, that term having long been hijacked by supporters of a party that I don't agree with - but the rest of what you said is fairly correct.

I doubt you could have mounted much more powerful (as in supersonic) engines on the HF24 airframe as it stood - it'd already reached the limits of what was needed - and even with transonic, you'd need much heavier armor and weaponry than just 30mm cannon. What makes the warthog beyond cool is the GAU8 avenger.

HAL's plane manufacturing capabilities seem to be way past long eroded unfortunately.
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Old 10th November 2014, 13:13   #22
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

A very good effort put in the write up. Thanks. Feels good to have people with interests in fighters here on BHP too.

The little Folland Gnat will always be the jewel in the crown of the IAF. 3 Gnat airframes proudly make a monument right in front of the IAF HQ in New Delhi & rightfully so.

As for the HF-24 Marut, It was a really well designed fighter & one of the best airframes of its era. It was no surprise anyway as Herr Kurt Tank was a master in his field. The Focke-Wolf FW190 that he designed was also one of the best of its times and its only shortcoming was the less production numbers due to shortage of supplies faced by late war Germany.

The Marut's Achilles's heel was the ever under powered engine & India never really managed to get a sufficiently capable turbojet to really utilize the full potential of the Marut.


Keep it up & hope to see more write-ups from you.

Nabhah Sprusham Deeptam!
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Old 10th November 2014, 14:50   #23
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Originally Posted by hserus View Post

I doubt you could have mounted much more powerful (as in supersonic) engines on the HF24 airframe as it stood - it'd already reached the limits of what was needed - and even with transonic, you'd need much heavier armor and weaponry than just 30mm cannon. What makes the warthog beyond cool is the GAU8 avenger.

HAL's plane manufacturing capabilities seem to be way past long eroded unfortunately.
Marut airframe was designed for supersonic speeds from the very begining. Its failure to reach the targeted speed wasn't because of the airframe but its underpowered Gnat-derived engines.

From Wiki:

Quote:
Although originally conceived to operate in the vicinity of Mach 2, the aircraft in fact turned out to be barely capable of reaching Mach 1 due to the lack of suitably powered engines for the airframe
The plane had excellent survivability and there were instances of enemy-hit Maruts safely reaching airbases.



A-10's design philosophy was completely different, so it's not fair to compare the two.
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Old 10th November 2014, 16:12   #24
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

Ah ok. For want of that afterburning Orpheus engine the GoI refused to buy + indigenize it did find its niche in a ground attack role, though it was supposed to be a fighter bomber.

Maruts' 30mm aden cannon and matra rockets (and maybe a few hunters as well) were responsible for this beauty. I am sure you recognize it.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-F...002-4/0537.jpg
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Old 10th November 2014, 16:15   #25
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Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
The Marut's Achilles's heel was the ever under powered engine & India never really managed to get a sufficiently capable turbojet to really utilize the full potential of the Marut.
Reminds me of the newest launch by Marut(i)!
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Old 10th November 2014, 16:25   #26
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Reminds me of the newest launch by Marut(i)!
How true indeed!!! The CIAZ diesel really is the HAL Marut reincarnated !
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Old 10th November 2014, 17:54   #27
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

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Originally Posted by hserus View Post
Ah ok. For want of that afterburning Orpheus engine the GoI refused to buy + indigenize it did find its niche in a ground attack role, though it was supposed to be a fighter bomber.

Maruts' 30mm aden cannon and matra rockets (and maybe a few hunters as well) were responsible for this beauty. I am sure you recognize it.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-F...002-4/0537.jpg

Pardon my ignorance, could you kindly explain the photograph?
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Old 10th November 2014, 18:12   #28
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by hserus View Post
Ah ok. For want of that afterburning Orpheus engine the GoI refused to buy + indigenize it did find its niche in a ground attack role, though it was supposed to be a fighter bomber.

Maruts' 30mm aden cannon and matra rockets (and maybe a few hunters as well) were responsible for this beauty. I am sure you recognize it.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-F...002-4/0537.jpg

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Pardon my ignorance, could you kindly explain the photograph?
I don't know for sure (And I haven't seen the original post) - but my gut feeling says these are the tank-tracks left on the desert sand photographed from the air.

Most likely from the Battle of Assal-uttar (1965 Punjab front. But seems unlikely as I don't think that terrain had this much sand dunes) or from Longhewala - Jaisalmer sector western front 1971, when the Pakistan Army tanks had to try evasive maneuvers to avoid getting hit by IAF Hunters and other planes.

(Remember - "Hindustaani airforce ke jahaaj makkhiyo ki tarah hamare sar pe mandra rahe hai!!" from BORDER?)


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Originally Posted by hserus View Post
I doubt you could have mounted much more powerful (as in supersonic) engines on the HF24 airframe as it stood - it'd already reached the limits of what was needed - and even with transonic, you'd need much heavier armor and weaponry than just 30mm cannon. What makes the warthog beyond cool is the GAU8 avenger.

HAL's plane manufacturing capabilities seem to be way past long eroded unfortunately.
IIRC, the Marut was already slated to be a supersonic plane. And if a Mig-21 with its extraordinarily rudimentary airframe was supersonic, Marut sure was capable. However, the A10 certainly is from a different generation, league and role. Marut could not even dream of doing that role.

Agreed unfortunately about HAL's capabilities...

Last edited by Reinhard : 10th November 2014 at 18:22.
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Old 10th November 2014, 18:23   #29
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

This is a wonderful writeup. I being not so informed technically about aircraft, did find it equally interesting and wonderful. Adds to my knowledge.
This article wants me to read and know more about aircraft now.
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Old 10th November 2014, 22:59   #30
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Default re: Indian Aviation - HAL Ajeet, the Folland Gnat Mk II. EDIT: 1965 war IAF documentary on page 6

I wonder what it would have been like if the Ajeet had been mated with the larger newer wing which Hawker (who took over Folland) developed for the Gnat Trainer used by the RAF. This larger wing was I think about 175 sq feet in size so would have lowered wing loading further and I assume improved maneuverability, It also carried both flaps and ailerons and may have simplified flying controls. I don't know if the IAF ever tried to obtain the drawings and know-how for that wing. The wing itself seems to have served well in the famous Red Arrows aerobatic team of the RAF.

Interestingly in 1965 the IAF was thinking of phasing out the Gnat due to its persistent problems in hydraulic control lines, its poor longitudinal aerodynamic control and high crash rates while landing. After its successful deployment in 1965 a re-think took place and greater efforts made to solve these problems. As John Doe rightly states we received limited support from the parent company on these resolutions. It was a practice of British arms manufacturers in the 1960s and 70s to shy away from meeting the spirit of their commitments on customer support. It happened with the Gnat, with the Orpheus, the Avro HS748 and the Leander naval frigates to best of my knowledge. It would be interesting if other BHPians could throw light on this aspect either for or against the motion.
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