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Old 13th June 2017, 22:55   #151
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
The sad truth is the Tejas is simply not good enough in its current form. There was pathetic video on youtube in which someone form HAL was claiming in an interview that the LCA was better than the Mirage 2000!!! With such ostriches working in HAL, how can one expect HAL to do well and bring out world class, indigenously developed fighter?
Please stop berating the HAL and refer to this:

Quote:
“The Tejas Mark I is far superior to the MiG-21 fleet that the IAF would have to operate to the end of this decade. In key respects, it is a better fighter than even the Mirage 2000. The Tejas Mark I should enter the IAF’s combat fleet in larger numbers and the Tejas Mark II scaled down. This would allow the air force to retire the MiG-21 fleet sooner.”
These aren't the words of someone working in HAL. These are the words of Air Commodore (Retd) Parvez Khokhar, who was for years the chief test pilot of the Tejas programme. Even other IAF pilots who have flown the Tejas praise the plane.

More here:

http://ajaishukla.blogspot.in/2013/0...rk-i-into.html

Quote:
Former Chief Test Pilot for the LCA Tejas programme, Air Commodore Parvez Khokhar who was intimately associated with the development of this aircraft and has considerable experience on this platform, had this to share, “In my view, the LCA Tejas Mk 1 in many ways is far superior to the MiG-21 that the IAF plans to retire by 2018. In my assessment, in some respects, performance of the LCA Tejas Mk 1 is better than that of the Mirage 2000 which is currently on the inventory of the IAF. As the MiG-21 fleet will be reaching the end of its total technical life in a few years and the IAF will have no option but to retire this fleet, it will be prudent on the part of the IAF to induct the LCA Mk 1 in numbers larger than currently ordered to replace the MiG-21.” Test pilots of the IAF, who collectively have flown nearly 2,500 sorties on the LCA Tejas Mk 1, do not hesitate for a moment to express full confidence in this platform.
More here:
http://www.sps-aviation.com/story/?id=1376
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Old 13th June 2017, 23:07   #152
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
The sad truth is the Tejas is simply not good enough in its current form. There was pathetic video on youtube in which someone form HAL was claiming in an interview that the LCA was better than the Mirage 2000!!! With such ostriches working in HAL, how can one expect HAL to do well and bring out world class, indigenously developed fighter?

What really hurts is that the JF-17 seems to be developing at a far faster rate than the Tejas. Surely it may be 99.9% Chinese developed and the Pakis have nearly zero percent contribution in developing the jet, but when it comes to the JF-17,the Pakis have a lot to gloat about.

Myanmar bound JF-17s (replacements for Nanchang A-5s) just took off on their first trial flights, and HAL is still developing an acceptable Mk.1A variant!!!!
Attachment 1648103

Attachment 1648104
The top HAL officials I have met are all very hard working and committed professionals - however, unlike American and European firms, they are not briefed to handle media, hence such statements.

The Tejas is in many respects more advanced than the Mirage 2000 - which is a late 70's/early 80s design.

It was after all designed to embody many of the features of the Mirage 2000 and Dassault was a consultant early in the programme.

The Tejas has a more modern engine and a far superior Fly-by-Wire (FBW) flight control system and will have an AESA radar in the near term.

The difference between Indian and imported is clear when considers the cost - upgrading 49 Mirage 2000's will cost almost a billion dollars, The Tejas programme in its entirety till date has cost just over 2 billion dollars.

That said, the Tejas is still some time away from being a darling of the IAF.

There is also this dangerous trend of writing off Pakistan, just because they are our adversary. I have had the chance to meet PAF pilots at Paris air show and in Malaysia and we have always had an excellent and courteous professional discussion. The PAF is a professional and excellent air arm, that has always acquitted itself well in combat.

They love their country as we love ours and Pakistan being tiny compared to India, are very careful with their scarce resources.

In-fact it was the USA in the cold-war days, that armed Pakistan beyond their requirement between the 60s and 80s. This is now no longer the case.

Despite being a much smaller nation, they have managed to be a royal pain in our backsides for more than 70 years now !!

The JF-17 makes full use of PAF experience in operating the F-16 and while it is a poor man's fighter plane - it benefits from already having integrated a wide-range of Chinese weaponry and uses the same engine that is on the MiG-29.

In-fact Pakistan has invested in cleaning up this famously smoky engine - something India has simply not bothered to do, despite being one of the earliest operators of the MiG-29.

Unlike the Tejas- the JF-17 received the full backing of the PAF and the aircraft was one of the stars of the previous Paris Air Show and is actively promoted on the export market.
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Old 14th June 2017, 12:45   #153
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
Please stop berating the HAL and refer to this:



These aren't the words of someone working in HAL. These are the words of Air Commodore (Retd) Parvez Khokhar, who was for years the chief test pilot of the Tejas programme. Even other IAF pilots who have flown the Tejas praise the plane.

More here:

http://ajaishukla.blogspot.in/2013/0...rk-i-into.html



More here:
http://www.sps-aviation.com/story/?id=1376
Simply stating the truth isn't berating, my friend!!!

They have been license manufacturing all sorts of aircraft, from primary trainers to helicopters to frontline fighters, in their 75+ years of existence. I have the greatest respect for HAL, but for a company that has been manufacturing aircraft even before the India gained independence, struggling to produce an indigenous fighter jet that is acceptable to the IAF, only reflects the sad state of affairs at HAL. Again, not berating HAL, but simply stating the truth.

The Mirage 2000 is truly multi-role and is a proven platform in combat and in IAF service. The Tejas only fired its first BVRAAM (Derby) only recently. It still hasn't fired any air to surface guided missiles, doesn't have mid-air refueling capability(yet), so how can it be better than the Mirage 2000? Handling, Avionics and maneuverability may be yes,but in other key aspects that matter, it surely isn't. There is no shame in accepting that. In that case, even the fighter that it was supposed to replace - the MiG-21(in its Bison avatar) is better than the Tejas in terms of light multi-role capabilities. The same HAL is upgrading Mirage 2000s to Dash 5 standards which puts them a generation ahead of the Tejas in terms of capabilities.

It is quite ok to be hopeful and say that the Tejas will improve in its future avatars but what is not ok is to be jingoistic and say that the Tejas,in its current form, is better than other truly multi-role and proven jets.

I too want the Tejas to evolve into a true multi-role fighter, but first it has to overcome its shortcomings, and people at HAL have to be realistic and not jingoistic about the Tejas.

The Tejas still hasn't proven itself completely and that is the reason for the IAF's reluctance to accept the jet with a full enthusiasm. What will ultimately matter is whether the IAF accepts the Tejas or not. They have all but rejected the jet in its current form (instead asking for Tejas in the Mk.1A and Mk.2 configurations). Till it gets inducted in large numbers, it is unfair to compare it with other fighters. The Tejas is no doubt a good fighter, but unless you see them in large numbers in the IAF, what is the point of saying it is better than the Mirage or MiG-21?

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Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post
The top HAL officials I have met are all very hard working and committed professionals
Sure they are. If not, the Tejas would not have been flying today. I was referring to the overly eager and overly optimistic chaps who don't know how to keep their mouths shut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post
In-fact Pakistan has invested in cleaning up this famously smoky engine - something India has simply not bothered to do, despite being one of the earliest operators of the MiG-29.
The Swedes seem to have improved the thrust of the F404 engine that powers the Gripen. It is the same engine that powers the Tejas, but the Tejas stills seems underpowered. Sadly, it was the same case with the HF-24, a wonderful aircraft that its pilots fondly called "Super Hunter". Unlike the Marut, which suffered because of political and economical issues, the Tejas has a far better chance to develop considering India's position in the geopolitics today.

Last edited by skanchan95 : 14th June 2017 at 12:47.
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Old 14th June 2017, 12:59   #154
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
Simply stating the truth isn't berating, my friend!!!

The Mirage 2000 is truly multi-role and is a proven platform in combat and in IAF service. The Tejas only fired its first BVRAAM (Derby) only recently. It still hasn't fired any air to surface guided missiles, doesn't have mid-air refueling capability(yet), so how can it be better than the Mirage 2000? Handling, Avionics and maneuverability may be yes,but in other key aspects that matter, it surely isn't. There is no shame in accepting that. In that case, even the fighter that it was supposed to replace - the MiG-21(in its Bison avatar) is better than the Tejas in terms of light multi-role capabilities. The same HAL is upgrading Mirage 2000s to Dash 5 standards which puts them a generation ahead of the Tejas in terms of capabilities.

I too want the Tejas to evolve into a true multi-role fighter, but first it has to overcome its shortcomings, and people at HAL have to be realistic and not jingoistic about the Tejas.

The Tejas still hasn't proven itself completely and that is the reason for the IAF's reluctance to accept the jet with a full enthusiasm. What will ultimately matter is whether the IAF accepts the Tejas or not. They have all but rejected the jet in its current form (instead asking for Tejas in the Mk.1A and Mk.2 configurations). Till it gets inducted in large numbers, it is unfair to compare it with other fighters. The Tejas is no doubt a good fighter, but unless you see them in large numbers in the IAF, what is the point of saying it is better than the Mirage or MiG-21?
Could not have put it better myself

But important to remember that Marut was fully designed by HAL.
Design of the LCA has been handled by the DRDO lab - Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).
HAL is the production agency for the LCA.

In-fact HAL has done a great job with its helicopters - Dhruv, LCH and LUH.

The new HTT-40 trainer is also progressing very well.

The HJT-36 IJT is dead in the water though.
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Old 14th June 2017, 15:49   #155
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No nation can stake its place in the League of Nations that matter till it has the capability of indigenous defence production. That is a fact. On that note, it is therefore imperative that India develops its own defence production capabilities which is at par with the best in the world and not just the surroundings.

HAL is the only entity in India which is into military aircraft production and therefore, its performance will decide what Airpower will have to offer to the Grand national Power of this nation on an indigenous note.

However, the performance of HAL with respect to our own platforms or even their production of licensed platforms is something that leaves a lot to be desired. Have they ever met the production guidelines? What has been their QC standards on platforms produced by them? Why is it that a company refuses to give product guarantee on something produced by HAL? To think that it is merely arm twisting is probably naive or rather an assumption without having all the facts on the table.

Coming to the Tejas. Yes it is an excellent platform to fly. Any pilot who has flown it will only re-affirm the same. However, Tejas is not a platform for recreational flying. It is a weapon delivery platform which was supposed to meet certain Qualitative Requirements in order to effectively partake the combat roles envisages for it. Does it meet those requirements? The flight envelope, the thrust to weight etc. Do they conform to the SQRs? And more importantly, how maintenance friendly is it? Can it be effectively "turned around" so as to ensure maximum utilisation in battle? Can it be rectified quickly? How long does it take to re-configure the aircraft for different roles?

One needs to ask the right questions so as to get the correct holistic view. A HAL spokesman or ADA scientist will probably give a viewpoint that is rather different to that of an operator. The truth will probably lie somewhere in the middle.

Should the Tejas be inducted in large numbers is a decidion that is being mulled at the highest levels of decision making who are perhaps privy to far more than we are. While economic interests and lobbying might have a role to play, it will be naive to say that they are the only factors that are making a difference at this stage.

A point to also consider is the hysteria about our indigenous fighter. How much of it is really indigenous may I ask? The engine is not. The radar is not. A host of the avionics is not. Most of the weapons it has fired are not. And how effective is a weapon platform without an engine and radar? Where are the questions asking for the reason for this state of affairs?
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Old 14th June 2017, 16:42   #156
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Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post
The LCA/Tejas has an unblemished record in flight safety as a developmental aircraft (an achievement definitely worthy of applause indeed) and not one that is in squadron service.

Yes, the aircraft has an excellent safety record thus far and this is because each sortie is flown by a highly experienced test pilot, the aircraft makes most of its sorties right outside its factory in Bangalore and the other sorties have considerable maintenance support.
There are three Tejas aircraft in active service as a part of IOC (Initial Operational Clearance) with IAF. Two more are expected to join the "45 flying daggers" squadron soon.
Even an experienced pilot can do little if a machine has fundamental flaws. Not having a single incident is nothing short of exemplary in fighter jet development program. More so when India was crippled with sanctions imposed after nuclear tests.

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
The sad truth is the Tejas is simply not good enough in its current form. There was pathetic video on youtube in which someone form HAL was claiming in an interview that the LCA was better than the Mirage 2000!!! With such ostriches working in HAL, how can one expect HAL to do well and bring out world class, indigenously developed fighter?

The Navy's lack of interest and Air Force's reluctance to accept it (in its current form) just proves it. The need for a bigger Mk.2, which will take a long time to develop (considering the time it too for the Mk.1) just might prove to be the final nail in its coffin. But I sincerely hope that its not.

What really hurts is that the JF-17 seems to be developing at a far faster rate than the Tejas. Surely it may be 99.9% Chinese developed and the Pakis have nearly zero percent contribution in developing the jet, but when it comes to the JF-17,the Pakis have a lot to gloat about.
IMO that is the confidence of employees, test pilots and scientists in the platform, that is expressed in video. Even Manohar Parrikar called Tejas a smaller version of Rafale. ADA wanted the platform to be technically advanced rather than low time to production.
How far the platform can be evolved and it's current status is different. ADA came up with a 4+ generation fighter that has lot more potential than JF-17 which is not a 4 gen fighter as claimed.
Navy rejected the naval version of Tejas, as the naval version didn't have the required power with full payload to take off from a ship. However ADA and HAL are already working on modifications.

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Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post

The Arihant has been in development for decades and is essentially a copy of an dated Russian design.

The Arihant is not yet a credible part of India's nuclear triad and while it does have nuclear tipped missiles, it is more likely being used as a technology demonstrator and only the follow-on submarines from the class can be counted as being of deterrent value.
Under the decade old tenure of UPA, not a single defence deal happened. This was done to portray a clean image, at the cost of pushing the country backward by 10 years in it's defence capabilities. This is why we are forced to induct warships which are not fully equipped.
I still remember the words of Manohar Parrikar, where he said whatever decisions and deals have happened today, country will see the benefits after 2-3 years. Defence products are not like cars which one can go and buy in a showroom immediately.

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
They don't at first attempt try to reach the sky...they go step by step in improving the product and accepting that in the earlier years it will not be perfect or meet every specification. And with time they develop a combat aircraft that is 90% of what they need but fully indigenous.
+1 to that. However the IAF has gone into a mode of selecting the best available product in the market. If they would have worked with HAL and ADA how Navy worked with shipbuilding yards, we would have been much ahead in terms of fighter aircraft development.


While some might feel we are doing good and some that we are lacking behind, we also need to see this from a industrial and political perspective.

1. Our leaders were more interested in purchases rather than development to fill their pockets. Bofors, Augusta Westland scams to name a few.
2. Dassault, BAE, Boeing etc make hundreds of prototypes of their products, while for Tejas there has been only 2 Technology Demonstrators and only 6 Prototype Vehicles. Our parliament is reluctant to release funds for ingenious development, but OK to approve billions of dollars worth foreign purchases.
3. Actual work on LCA started in 1993 and first prototype flew in 2001. This is not bad at all, but you will be shocked to know that idea originated in 1969 and IAF also realized that it needed to replace it's ageing Mig-21 fleet in 1983. Now you guys figure out who is responsible for this lethargy? Defence products need a lot of R&D and then fine tuning by the forces.
4. IAF has taken a lot of time to freeze it's requirements and this has also lead to delays. More so when Tejas is supposed to be a tailored made fighter plane for IAF.
5. There was no industrial base for fighter aircraft in our country. So with Tejas development we have also developed a industrial base in our country. If one goes through some excerpts of "The Tejas Story" by it's principal scientist Dr. Kota Harinarayana, he says the respect for Indian scientists and suppliers has grown tremendously after Tejas flew successfully.
6. We don't have private players in Defence industries and it's unfair to expect the PSU's to do complete production. The situation has improved in the past 3 years, however as mentioned earlier it will take some time to see the effects.
7. We had a wonderful technically inclined Defense Minsiter, who was doing fortnightly reviews of all the active and crucial projects, but he went back to Goa. Politics is more important than national interest in our country.

In the end I will say our country has the talent and capability to produce world class defence products, however it's the lack of long term planning and political will which is responsible for the current situation.
If we want to be at par with world, then we will have to adopt the methodologies used by them.
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Old 14th June 2017, 17:12   #157
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
No nation can stake its place in the League of Nations that matter till it has the capability of indigenous defence production. That is a fact. On that note, it is therefore imperative that India develops its own defence production capabilities which is at par with the best in the world and not just the surroundings.
Excellent points made in entire post

What exactly constitutes an indigenous platform is an important question.

Is it possible for India - which has very little aerospace design and development background to re-invent the wheel when it comes to all aspects of aircraft production?

This was the approach DRDO took (naively, I might add).
Decades of development to make our own fighter class jet engine, radars, missiles, electronic warfare systems resulted in more delays for Tejas.

The best example I can give is Maruti and Honda.
Using the FIAT engines was a masterstroke for Maruti, they entered the market early and made pots of money selling these cars and are still selling them in large numbers.

Honda decided to make its own engines and the Diesel motors of one of the most reputed engine makers in the world fell short of customer expectations.

The GE 404 and GE 414 engines are very good engines, even by contemporary standards, the Israeli AESA radar is a proven one and has also been selected by Korea for its 5th generation fighter programme and the Israeli missiles and combat proven and already used on the Sea Harrier upgrade (since retired)

However, just like in the auto industry - integrating the separate components into a coherent system is very difficult and almost a black art.

Rather like the handling of an automobile, which takes decades for a manufacturer to sort out - the same is the case with the aerodynamic qualities of the aircraft, engine intake design, FBW etc.

Having met the ADA team I can tell you that the biggest triumph of the Tejas is the outstanding FBW flight control system on this aircraft.

We are free to tweak the handling qualities of the aircraft and can add any weapon or system. The same goes for the cockpit displays as we have the source code and displays are Indian.

In a foreign aircraft, even if you want to change a symbol on the displays, it will cost millions and take many months to be completed.

I had written off the Tejas myself a few years back - but a chance to see the latest aircraft and hear about the developments of the team was a source of great pride and joy.

Better late then never
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Old 14th June 2017, 17:21   #158
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No doubt Tejas is a beauty.

Images taken during her induction into the IAF - all images copyright: Author

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-p1100119.jpg

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-p1100075.jpg

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-p1100042.jpg

Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-p1100003.jpg
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Old 14th June 2017, 17:30   #159
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

HAL Tejas' design, technology and capabilities seems to have impressed many analysts - including this Chinese author.

HAL Tejas Vs Chengdu JF-17
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...s-compare.html

Quote:
The Tejas is a light multirole fighter fit for the 21st century. It uses a lot of new technology and innovation, such as its use of large amounts of composite materials, its advanced avionics system and its unique aerodynamic configuration. In terms of functionality, the LCA Tejas has good potential to be expanded into variants. For example, at a time when the air force version is yet to be commissioned widely, a ship-based version of the aircraft has already been released. The Xiaolong is a third-generation model designed for the international market. The use of off-the-shelf materials not only cuts costs but also reduces risks in the design process and improves the reliability of the aircraft. This will not make it the best aircraft, but rather a standard, cheap and reliable model for air-to-air combat. In summation, the Xiaolong is the aircraft of today and the Tejas is the aircraft of tomorrow

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Old 14th June 2017, 17:40   #160
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Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
A point to also consider is the hysteria about our indigenous fighter. How much of it is really indigenous may I ask? The engine is not. The radar is not. A host of the avionics is not. Most of the weapons it has fired are not. And how effective is a weapon platform without an engine and radar? Where are the questions asking for the reason for this state of affairs?
I have come across this point a lot that so many components are not indigenous. However we don't realize that in today's fast paced technologically world, by the time one technology will be mastered and put to production it will be outdated. A fighter plane needs several technologically advanced components.
Hence one must be a integrator rather than developer. The base platform should be flexible and advanced enough to integrate components from different suppliers. And that is what HAL and ADA have done. And please not there is no single manufacturer in the world which has 100% indigenous parts. UK's Martin Becker is world leader in ejection seat mechanism and is even used by Dassault.
Israel leads in Radar and pilot helmet mounted aiming tech. GE is leader in jet engine technology. If HAL tries to develop all of them, no plane will be ready for production and even if they succeed, the product will be obsolete.
HAL has already realized this and they are working as a principal technology demonstrator and integrator, while the parts are coming from various suppliers. For e.g. the composite material wings come from L&T. Fuselage comes from 2 companies.

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Old 14th June 2017, 23:45   #161
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Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post
Is it possible for India - which has very little aerospace design and development background to re-invent the wheel when it comes to all aspects of aircraft production?
Quote:
Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
I have come across this point a lot that so many components are not indigenous. However we don't realize that in today's fast paced technologically world, by the time one technology will be mastered and put to production it will be outdated. A fighter plane needs several technologically advanced components.
Hence one must be a integrator rather than developer.
Excellent question. And let me try and answer that. Name any big power that buys critical defence components. You will find none. Even in the case of China, their major stumbling block today is their inability to manufacture a capable fighter engine. In fact, they bought a whole lot of Su 35s because they were denied sale of the AL41 engine in isolation. So let it be a given that purchase of critical components and their integration to produce a stellar platform will get us nowhere.

That being said, the next question that arises is how do we leapfrog from a non-existent high technology production base to producing the latest state of the art technologies? The only model that seems to have any chance of working in that regard is the purchase of those technologies. And I think that with the governments Make in India push, the attempt is just at that. We have capped the purchase of the MMRCA to just 36 platforms. The rest are to be Made in India, but with full TOT. The F 16 IN and the Gripen are supposedly in the race for the same and if we get the full TOT for them, which Gripen has already offered, we will take a step in the leapfrogging process.

The biggest hurdle to this, as I see it is unfortunately HAL which does not want to loose its monopoly in the defence aviation sector in India. Had HAL agreed for managerial control in the Rafale deal, we would probably has 136 Rafales! But no, HAL will not pull up it's socks as far as production standards or ethics is concerned and will resist all efforts to push it towards the same. However, all is not lost. Reliance and TATA are making huge investments in the aviation sector and sooner rather than later, the fruits will show.

While some countries are collaborating in the production and development of advanced platforms, one must realise that it is being done by partners with near equal standing. India unfortunately today has very little standing in real politick or defence capabilities to meet anybody at equal footing. The problems being faced in the PAKFA/FGFA program is a case in point. Therefore, a build up to a better standing, be it by blatant purchase of technology may not be such a bad idea.


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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
There are three Tejas aircraft in active service as a part of IOC (Initial Operational Clearance) with IAF. Even an experienced pilot can do little if a machine has fundamental flaws. Not having a single incident is nothing short of exemplary in fighter jet development program.
Is the Tejas allowed to exploit its full intended flight envelope? What are the profiles that the aircraft are flying? Dig a little deeper to understand the full picture.

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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
Even Manohar Parrikar called Tejas a smaller version of Rafale.
He also said that India should reserve the first strike option in the nuclear context.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
ADA wanted the platform to be technically advanced rather than low time to production.
ADA can want anything. Can we as a nation wait till it achieves its goals and then think of defence preparedness?

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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
Navy rejected the naval version of Tejas, as the naval version didn't have the required power with full payload to take off from a ship. However ADA and HAL are already working on modifications.
Do you have any idea of the kind of "modifications" that will be requited just to meet the thrust to weight requirements to enable a full load take off from a ski jump carrier?



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Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
Our parliament is reluctant to release funds for ingenious development, but OK to approve billions of dollars worth foreign purchases.
Over $2.6 billion had gone into the program till 2015. The figure is much higher now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PraNeel View Post
IAF has taken a lot of time to freeze it's requirements and this has also lead to delays. More so when Tejas is supposed to be a tailored made fighter plane for IAF.
Kindly elaborate. And really, when the program is over two decades late, do you expect the IAF to keep it's requirements as they were two decades ago?
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Old 15th June 2017, 01:53   #162
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
A point to also consider is the hysteria about our indigenous fighter. How much of it is really indigenous may I ask? The engine is not. The radar is not. A host of the avionics is not. Most of the weapons it has fired are not. And how effective is a weapon platform without an engine and radar? Where are the questions asking for the reason for this state of affairs?
That is a flawed argument.
How much Swedish is the Saab Gripen?

The fact is India(ADA) holds the complete IP rights of the airframe.

In this day and age, it makes little sense to build everything yourself.
Integration is the name of the game.
Remember the IAF's blue eyed boy the Su30 MKI is a great example of the same: French, Israeli and Indian subsystems on a Russian platform.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post
No doubt Tejas is a beauty.

Here is my personal favourite:
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-nlca-ski-jumping.jpg
Courtesy this treasure trove:
http://gallery.tejas.gov.in/Gallery

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Old 15th June 2017, 02:36   #163
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Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
Excellent question. And let me try and answer that. Name any big power that buys critical defence components. You will find none. Even in the case of China, their major stumbling block today is their inability to manufacture a capable fighter engine. In fact, they bought a whole lot of Su 35s because they were denied sale of the AL41 engine in isolation. So let it be a given that purchase of critical components and their integration to produce a stellar platform will get us nowhere.
The integrator role was said specifically for fighter planes and not for entire spectrum of Defense products. I gave an example as well of Martin Baker ejection seat. Rafale uses Martin Baker ejection seat. And please remember in a fighter plane the most critical components are it's air frame and avionics, both of which are indigenous. This gives the flexibility of integrating a wide range of weapons and sensors. No dependency on anyone.

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The biggest hurdle to this, as I see it is unfortunately HAL which does not want to loose its monopoly in the defence aviation sector in India.
Incorrect. Tejas project was envisioned to function with a supply chain of vendors. Manufacturing of several Tejas parts like wings, fuselage is outsourced. If you watch the interview of HAL Director in the recent Aero India show he said he is not happy with the order book and they are looking at several new opportunities. This is the first time I have witnessed a PSU director having a visioned approach. In the same video he is questioned about disinvestment as well. So HAL can't afford to function in the same old red tape laced lethargic way.



Quote:
While some countries are collaborating in the production and development of advanced platforms, one must realise that it is being done by partners with near equal standing. India unfortunately today has very little standing in real politick or defence capabilities to meet anybody at equal footing. The problems being faced in the PAKFA/FGFA program is a case in point. Therefore, a build up to a better standing, be it by blatant purchase of technology may not be such a bad idea.
India has repeatedly said that they are the co-developers of the PMF and hence no TOT is required. This time Russia is facing a much more assertive and smart Indian side and hence there is some friction. However after the recent visit of our PM to Russia things seem to have smoothen out. The reasons for concern till now are pointed out in my post (Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force).


Quote:
Is the Tejas allowed to exploit its full intended flight envelope? What are the profiles that the aircraft are flying? Dig a little deeper to understand the full picture.
No aircraft whether indigenous or foreign is used and tested out to it's max initially. The pilots need to get familiar with the machine, notice issues if any and slowly the envelope is expanded. BTW Tejas participated in the Iron Fist 2016 exercise and fired a r73 missile towards a flare target.

Quote:
He also said that India should reserve the first strike option in the nuclear context.
In the video below Air Commodore K.A. Muthana, VSM at 13:16 calls Tejas as Baby Sukhoi. I hope his impressive credentials qualify!!



Quote:
ADA can want anything. Can we as a nation wait till it achieves its goals and then think of defence preparedness?
ADA is also formed by Government and it's goals are also dictated by Govt and IAF. And I don't see what is wrong in coming out with a technically advanced platform which uses composite materials along with state of the art FBW control mechanism. On the contrary JF 17 is actually a rejected Russian design. China bought the rights from Russia, produced the plane with the assistance of Russia and then sold it to Pakistan. JF 17 is not used by Chinese Air Force. What ADA, it's associates and HAL have achieved despite so many hurdles is exemplary.

Quote:
Kindly elaborate. And really, when the program is over two decades late, do you expect the IAF to keep it's requirements as they were two decades ago?
Here is a link to white paper presented by Air Commodore K.A. Muthana at Aero India seminar in 2013, which lists out the challenges faced during the development of Tejas. And he calls them as significant lessons to be learnt by the Indian aviation industry. And don't forget ADA had to start from ground zero and they had to establish a complete industrial base along with Tejas development.

Quote:
Do you have any idea of the kind of "modifications" that will be requited just to meet the thrust to weight requirements to enable a full load take off from a ski jump carrier?
Please refer to this post (Indian Naval Aviation - Air Arm & its Carriers) of mine.

Quote:
Over $2.6 billion had gone into the program till 2015. The figure is much higher now.
As per wiki link the HAL program cost is $1 Billion till 2015. Even if what you have stated is true, the program cost for Rafale is $62.7 billion. India has already spent $22 million on the preliminary design stage (PDS) of the PMF / PAKFA project. Russia wants to sign a $4 billion R&D contract. Just imagine the total program cost! Saab Gripen program cost is $13.5 billion till 2006. In comparison to it's international peers Tejas program cost is peanuts!!

In the end I would once again say that fighter plane development is not an easy and single agency job. The government, development agency and air force all have to come together to achieve the goal. Here is a video which gives a balanced view of Tejas capabilities and it's journey till now. Do watch till end to hear the views of the Tejas team which comprises of established fighter pilots.


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Old 15th June 2017, 06:35   #164
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Over the years I've shot many pics of Tejas in various editions of Aero India. Here's my favourite one from 2015. While there are other beautiful pics with after burner blazing etc, this one with the emotional fist pumping of pilot trumps them all!
Attached Thumbnails
Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force-4k0a7618.jpg  


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Old 15th June 2017, 09:24   #165
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This is what the Govt had to say on the Tejas programme in March 2015
(public domain information available on the PIB website)

Delay in Tejas LCA Project

The First Series Production Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has been handed over to Chief of Air Staff by Raksha Mantri on 17th January 2015.

The following are some of the reasons for delay in completion of LCA project:

· Ab-initio development of the state-of-the-art technologies.
· Non-availability of trained / skilled manpower in the country.
· Non-availability of infrastructure / test facilities in the country.
· Unanticipated technical / technological complexities faced in structural design.
· Non-availability of critical components / equipment / materials and denial of technologies by the technologically advanced countries.
· Enhanced User’s requirements or change in specifications during development.
· Increase in the scope of work.
· Inadequate production facility at HAL.

The initial cost of Full Scale Engineering Development (FSED) Programme Phase-II of LCA Tejas was Rs. 3301.78 crore. Based on modifications required in the aircraft, an additional sanction of Rs. 2475.78 crore was granted, which increased the total sanctioned cost of Phase-II Programme to Rs. 5777.56 crore.

From the open sources, it is seen that the contemporary aircraft of LCA developed in other countries are JAS-39 by Sweden, FA-50 by South Korea and JF-17 by Pakistan / China. The engines installed in these aircraft (except that of JF-17) are GE-404 series engines. LCA parameters, such as empty weight, all up weight (except that of JAS-39), thrust, speed (except that of JAS-39) are better than those of the other aircrafts. Similarly, development / unit cost of LCA are less than those of JAS-39 and FA-50 but more than that of JF-17. However, LCA’s Ferry Range is less than those of other aircrafts.

This was a candid and sensible release from GOI and a sensible one at that.

As can be seen the true comparison of what the Tejas has acheived is as against the FA-50 by Korea and JF-17 by China/PAK. In both cases Tejas is superior (in automobile terms Scorpio (FA50, JF-17) and XUV500 (Tejas).

Korea is a close ally of the U.S. and the FA50 received substantial assistance from Lockheed Martin and the U.S.

On the other hand following the Pokhran blast, Indian scientists working on the Tejas FBW in the U.S. were sent back, their course material taken away and notes were painted over in black (as told to me by ADA scientists).

According to MOD -
Developmental cost of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas is Rs.7965.56 Crore ($1.09 Billion) including building of 15 aircraft and creation of infrastructure for production of 08 aircraft per annum. This compares with the developmental cost of JAS 39 NG Grippen is $1.80 Billion for developing 5 Proto Vehicles.

MOD Release July 2016

Full Scale Engineering Development (FSED) programme was actually sanctioned in April 1993. The historic maiden flight of the first Technology Demonstrator (TD1) took place on January 04, 2001. The scope of FSED Phase 1 was to demonstrate the technologies so that a decision could be taken to build operational proto vehicles, at a later stage. LCA FSED Phase 1 was completed on March 31, 2004 with all objectives of technology development achieved. With efficient management of funds, four aircraft (TD1, TD2, PV1, & PV2) have been built within the funds sanctioned for two aircraft development. While Phase 1 programme was in progress, the Government in November 2001 decided to concurrently go ahead with the build of operational proto vehicles in LCA FSED Phase 2 programme.

The scope of FSED Phase 2 programme was to build three prototypes of operational aircraft including trainers and also to build the infrastructure required for producing eight aircraft per year and build eight Limited Series Production (LSP) aircraft. The Phase 2 programme has been split into two phases namely, Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and Final Operational Clearance (FOC). Standard of Preparation of operational aircraft was finalized in 2004 with changes in weapons, sensors and avionics to meet IAF requirements and overcome obsolescence.

LCA has accomplished about 3200 flights, testifies the point that it is a reliable aircraft and that the LCA Programme is now racing smoothly toward achieving FOC after attaining IOC in December 2013.

Action for induction of Tejas into IAF has been initiated. As of now, IAF has placed order in 2006 for 20 Tejas aircraft in IOC configuration and another 20 aircraft in FOC configuration in 2010. Aircraft build is in progress. Maiden flight of first Series Production (SP1) Tejas aircraft of IOC configuration took place on September 30, 2014 and handed over to the Indian Air Force by the Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar on January 17, 2015. Maiden flight of Second Series Production (SP2) Tejas aircraft of IOC configuration took place on March 22, 2016. Further SP aircraft will be delivered progressively by HAL to IAF for induction.
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