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IAF may not get to fly LCA before 2010

MOO

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IAF may not get to fly LCA before 2010
Rajat Pandit
[ 16 Jul, 2006 2329hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]



NEW DELHI: It's a story of deadlines being revised again and again, and then again. The much-touted Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) or "Tejas" is now giving the Arjun main-battle tank a run for its money in terms of delays in becoming combat-ready.

Just like Arjun is yet to be inducted into the Army despite its development being sanctioned over 30 years ago, latest estimates hold it will take another six-seven years — if not more — for the fully-operational LCA to be inducted into IAF's combat fleet.

Though the LCA project was sanctioned way back in 1983 to replace the country's ageing MiG fighters, its deadline for induction has been revised once again. Sources say LCA's "initial operational clearance" has now been pushed back to mid-2008, with the "final operational clearance" planned only by 2010.

Moreover, the overall cost of the LCA project, being run by Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Aeronautical Development Agency, could well eventually touch Rs 10,000 crore.

The original project cost, incidentally, was estimated to be only Rs 560 crore. The government so far has sanctioned Rs 5,489.78 crore for the development of two LCA technology demonstrators (TDs), five prototype vehicles (PVs) and eight pre-production aircraft.

To add to this, delay in the development of indigenous Kaveri engine means the first two LCA squadrons will fly with American GE-404 engines. Kaveri's development cost is now pegged at Rs 2,839 crore, way above the original Rs 382.81 crore sanctioned in 1989.

While it's certainly not easy to build a top-notch combat fighter from scratch, the defence establishment is clearly guilty of giving hugely optimistic deadlines, far removed from reality, time and again.

Defence officials, on their part, maintain "steady progress" in the LCA project. With TD-1, TD-2, PV-1 and PV-2 having completed over 530 flights till now, in addition to a few tests for 1.4 Mach speed at 14-km altitudes, the manufacturing of PV-3 and PV-4 is now underway.

Holding that the design of the trainer version (PV-5) is also now complete, they say the full-scale engineering development of LCA's naval version at a Rs 948.90-crore cost is also making steady progress.

Officials say the multi-role Tejas will incorporate all state-of-the-art technologies to meet IAF's long-term operational requirements.

Along with "unstable aerodynamics" for "higher agility", LCA will have digital fly-by-wire flight control, composite airframe, full-glass cockpit, advanced combat avionics, multi-mode radar and contemporary weapon systems.

Moreover, LCA will be much cheaper than other contemporary fighters in the world, costing around Rs 100-110 crore. The new American F/A-22 Raptor stealth fighter, for instance, costs Rs 480 crore.

The price tags of the French Rafale and Swedish JAS-39 Gripen jets, in turn, are pegged at Rs 270 crore and Rs 150 crore, respectively.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1762012.cms
 

melb4aust

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Same old story every year:coffee: ,

first LCA, then ARJUN, then Agni III and then their space satellite.

What are we going to see next, anxiously awaiting:cool: ......
 

Yukihime

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As I had seen several days before, the two displayers( sorry but I can't convince myself they can be called MFD ) in LCA's cookpit are even global-surface CRT seemed like old time antique and ... ... Oh, god~~~~~
 

Awesome

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They need massive restructuring of the DRDO. At it's current form its ineffective and marred with beaurocratic hurdles. DRDO, in a country like India which has had most of its institutions quite respectably transparent, is incredibly secretive and unaccountable.

There are chances this plane will become obsolete during its development phase. India should cut its losses with DRDO and opt for something foreign.

Moreover, LCA will be much cheaper than other contemporary fighters in the world, costing around Rs 100-110 crore. The new American F/A-22 Raptor stealth fighter, for instance, costs Rs 480 crore.

The price tags of the French Rafale and Swedish JAS-39 Gripen jets, in turn, are pegged at Rs 270 crore and Rs 150 crore, respectively.
Do these price comparison even matter? India's product even in theory is much inferior when compared to the French and the Americans. Practically it will never see service.
 

Munir

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Arrow,
you should know better. I don't like the typical degrading marks of all posters. If you wanna waste multiple posts just marking me as a bad mod then please do. I just do not see me as an important part but degrading this forum into personal flamings or personal remarks is the last thing we all want. So either get normal or stop behaving like a little child.If you have something to blaim then use the report button or PM webmaster or other mods. See it as a warning.
regards,
Munir.
 

RAPTOR

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melb4aust said:
Same old story every year:coffee: ,

first LCA, then ARJUN, then Agni III and then their space satellite.

What are we going to see next, anxiously awaiting:cool: ......
What does the LCA stand for? and why doesnt it fly?
 

ab041937

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RAPTOR said:
The LCA is a faliure. The indians are inept at building Planes and should just stick to buying Russian weapons and stamp "made in india" on them as it has been doing with the bramouse .
Nobody makes a Raptor/EF2K/Rafale in the first attempt. A nation which is attempting to develop an indigenous industry will have several set backs in the process. It is not important if Arjun/LCA are ever inducted what is important is that the lessons learnt in the process. It was India's first attempt to develop a fourth gen aircraft. They had to study & develop all the components from scratch bit by bit. It is easy to sit back & make fun of somebody's failures but it takes a huge effort & self-belief even to take a first step towards achieving something on your own. It doesn't matters whether LCA gets inducted or not, it won't take away even a bit of thrill from us that we achieved something on our own. It is a testament to our commitment for achieving self-reliance.
 

araz

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ab041937 said:
Like I said making an effort is million times worth than sitting on fence & mocking someone.
ab04!
Ithink Raptor,s response is a fair one and is related to your previous post. Nobody is mocking you . If you analyze the situation, there have been glaring failures in the Indian defence industry, which have been alluded to earlier. If you are purely being patriotic, one can understand you being miffed, however if you analyze the situation carefully, there appears to be something really wrong with the way the Indian planners are proceeding with their weapons development. There is a familiar trend of "build everything locally", which then backfires. This results in a sort of kneejerk reaction of acquisitions, which are from diverse sources, with more headaches. My friend, I am really sitting on the fence, but the picture on the other side looks pretty gloomy.
PS: I think my analysis is a realistic one and I am far too old to play the blame game or snigger at somebody,s failure. However, I feel that people in India really need to ask some very tough questions of their planners.
Araz
 

Neo

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Araz,

Imho Raptor and Aby both have valid points, I don't consider this to be mocking but debating. ;)
 

melb4aust

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RAPTOR said:
What does the LCA stand for? and why doesnt it fly?
You know more than i do what LCA stands for why doesn't it fly. Or if you are still unclear than ask indians, because if i gave any comments they will blame me being a Pakistani, still if you want me to comment i will do it...........
 

ab041937

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araz said:
ab04!
Ithink Raptor,s response is a fair one and is related to your previous post. Nobody is mocking you . If you analyze the situation, there have been glaring failures in the Indian defence industry, which have been alluded to earlier. If you are purely being patriotic, one can understand you being miffed, however if you analyze the situation carefully, there appears to be something really wrong with the way the Indian planners are proceeding with their weapons development. There is a familiar trend of "build everything locally", which then backfires. This results in a sort of kneejerk reaction of acquisitions, which are from diverse sources, with more headaches. My friend, I am really sitting on the fence, but the picture on the other side looks pretty gloomy.
PS: I think my analysis is a realistic one and I am far too old to play the blame game or snigger at somebody,s failure. However, I feel that people in India really need to ask some very tough questions of their planners.
Araz

Let us analyze the failures. The aircraft adheres to the initial design specifications. It has had over 500 successful trials till date. I wouldn't proclaim it to be the best plane or any better against any other ABC aircraft. What you term as a failure, I term as a success simply for the reason that we got it the way we wanted it(apart from Kaveri engine which should be ready in future). The point to be understood is that it was the first attempt by DRDO to make a 4Gen aircraft. Every component had to be built from scratch. I am an engineer & I understand how nervous one is when attempting something new for the first time. I felt all kind of jitters when I attempted to write my first program. The feeling of failure grasps the mind all the time and it is something that prevents one from experimenting too much. The first time you just want the thing to work. It is only in your latter part that you feel confident and attempt something extraordinary. DRDO got a plane they way they wanted it to be. Thats a huge success. They took huge amount of time to build it can be called a failure. But, I would dismiss it as an abberation since I know that expertise is gained through experience. If now DRDO has to make another 4Gen single engine aircraft it would be ready in probably less than a decades time since all the requisite components are in place. A liberty they didn't had while designing and developing LCA. ISRO had their failures in 1970s during the development of SLV. But, over the time they learnt their lessons and are now one of the most competent space organizations in the world. That is the reason why there is not too much of hue & cry over GSLV-P01's failure recently coz everybody believes that they would be successful next time. Chengdu J-10 project has taken just the same amount of time that LCA took. But, they got FC-1 ready in a very minimal time since all the components from J-10 were in place which cut down on their amount of work. Hope you understand the point. You can never get the true picture sitting on the fence. You need to cross-over and get involved to understand the true picture.
 

Munir

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I doubt that China used that many consultants or imported spare parts. And since when is LCA 4th gen? It is still a mini mirage 2000. I don't think that Fc1 and LCA will ever join the same league cause just see how fast Fc1 is developing. I agree that it woll never become as good as block52 but still for 50% of its price it can become more then India has developed ever. Marut was not Indian design, neither was Kiran... No to Gnat and yep... No to LCA.
 

Arrow

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Munir said:
I doubt that China used that many consultants or imported spare parts. And since when is LCA 4th gen? It is still a mini mirage 2000. I don't think that Fc1 and LCA will ever join the same league cause just see how fast Fc1 is developing. I agree that it woll never become as good as block52 but still for 50% of its price it can become more then India has developed ever. Marut was not Indian design, neither was Kiran... No to Gnat and yep... No to LCA.
My lawd, the amount of confusion in this post is remarkable- of course, mixed with the usual bias and jealousy...

The Mirage 2000 is 4th gen, so is the F-16 series, and so are the Rafale and EF, the latter are called late 4th Gen..

As regards China- sure you doubt- do you have public sources talking about China's J-10 in detail? Any Govt audit reports?

If the LCA is not Indian, nor is the Gripen Swedish - it has far more imported components and external assistance than the LCA, and nor is the J-10 Chinese- a Lavi derivative for crying out loud. And lastly, the JF-17 is Chinese. Not Pakistani.
 

Arrow

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ab041937 said:
Let us analyze the failures. The aircraft adheres to the initial design specifications. It has had over 500 successful trials till date. I wouldn't proclaim it to be the best plane or any better against any other ABC aircraft. What you term as a failure, I term as a success simply for the reason that we got it the way we wanted it(apart from Kaveri engine which should be ready in future). The point to be understood is that it was the first attempt by DRDO to make a 4Gen aircraft. Every component had to be built from scratch. I am an engineer & I understand how nervous one is when attempting something new for the first time. I felt all kind of jitters when I attempted to write my first program. The feeling of failure grasps the mind all the time and it is something that prevents one from experimenting too much. The first time you just want the thing to work. It is only in your latter part that you feel confident and attempt something extraordinary. DRDO got a plane they way they wanted it to be. Thats a huge success. They took huge amount of time to build it can be called a failure. But, I would dismiss it as an abberation since I know that expertise is gained through experience. If now DRDO has to make another 4Gen single engine aircraft it would be ready in probably less than a decades time since all the requisite components are in place. A liberty they didn't had while designing and developing LCA. ISRO had their failures in 1970s during the development of SLV. But, over the time they learnt their lessons and are now one of the most competent space organizations in the world. That is the reason why there is not too much of hue & cry over GSLV-P01's failure recently coz everybody believes that they would be successful next time. Chengdu J-10 project has taken just the same amount of time that LCA took. But, they got FC-1 ready in a very minimal time since all the components from J-10 were in place which cut down on their amount of work. Hope you understand the point. You can never get the true picture sitting on the fence. You need to cross-over and get involved to understand the true picture.
A logical post, but do you think anyone here is willing to listen?

Note if I land a few hard punches, Munir will promptly delete my post as being anti-Pakistan!:woot:

Gentlemen, please talk to your own AF- they themselves are not very sold on the JF-17!

This is common knowledge in the aeronautical industry and is partly why the J-10 has been introduced into the force mix.

I am sure you all who are abroad, can cultivate your nations defence attaches and spend some time with them to realize what is what!
 

Officer of Engineers

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Here's a very simple question. Does the InAF want the LCA? If they do, they WILL make it work.

I know the PAF wants the JF-17 and hence, they will make it work. The big problem is that the PLAAF does not want this bird and they will shame this bird to death.
 

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