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IAF plans for Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) on hold due to Tejas

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Forum' started by Gentelman, Apr 25, 2013.

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  1. Gentelman

    Gentelman SENIOR MEMBER

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    Tejas grounds Medium Combat
    Aircraft project



    By NC Bipindra - NEW DELHI
    Published: 21st Apr 2013 10:16:44 AM

    Troubles in India’s ambitious Light Combat
    Aircraft (LCA) project has inflicted gaping
    wounds where it would hurt the Indian Air
    Force (IAF) the most—the future plans for an
    Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).
    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has “put on
    hold” the AMCA project that is being
    spearheaded by Defence Research and
    Development Organisation’s (DRDO)
    Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).
    The reason for the sudden decision to send the
    AMCA project—which began in right earnest in
    2006 as the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA)
    development in 2006—to cold storage is to
    help ADA to focus all its energies to first work
    on completing the much-delayed LCA project.
    “The AMCA has been put on hold for the
    moment. This decision was taken recently to
    let the ADA focus on the LCA project,” top
    Defence Ministry sources told The Sunday
    Standard. The AMCA project, for which the IAF
    provided the final Air Staff Qualitative
    Requirements (ASQR) in April 2010, may be
    taken up at a later date, sources said. But that
    will still be far away in the future.
    India will buy Rafale planes from the French
    Dassault Aviation as part of its 126 Medium
    Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA); in the
    tender there is a provision to buy another 63
    as a follow-on order. That apart, India is
    working on the Fifth Generation Fighter
    Aircraft (FGFA) in collaboration with Russia.
    With the final agreement on the design and
    development of the FGFA three months away,
    India will get at least 140 FGFAs for induction
    by 2027. Considering that most of the
    capabilities of AMCA will be covered by the
    MMRCA and FGFA planes, the revival of the
    AMCA will be a well thought-out one, sources
    said.
    The AMCA’s envisaged features include stealth,
    multi-role operations, adequate precision strike
    capabilities, including critical first-day
    missions such as Suppression of Enemy Air
    Defence (SEAD) and Destruction of Enemy Air
    Defence (DEAD).
    The much-touted Tejas has taken 30 years
    already, at an escalated project cost of Rs
    5,489 crore. Since the LCA project was
    sanctioned in 1983 at a cost of Rs 560 crore,
    the time overrun has resulted in a 10-fold
    increase in the project cost. The plane is yet to
    get even its Initial Operational Clearance (IOC)
    so that the IAF could take the plane for a spin.
    But sources pointed out that the LCA still lacks
    certain critical capabilities, including a reliable
    radar, and is deficient in at least 100 technical
    parameters. “The plane cannot fly on its own.
    It needs a lifeline in the form of support and
    monitoring of its systems from the ground by
    technicians,” they said.
    The LCA, in fact, gave creditable flying displays
    during the AeroIndia show in Yelahanka in
    Bangalore in February this year, and followed
    it up with weapons firing to hit both ground
    and aerial targets during the Iron Fist fire
    power display by the IAF in the Rajasthan’s
    Pokhran ranges, again in February this year.
    “The common man thinks the plane is doing
    fine, its engine sounds great and the
    manoeuvres are perfect. But those flying and
    weapons firing displays are done with ground
    monitoring and support. The plane is still not
    ready to flying on its own,” sources stressed.
    Their guess is the LCA may not meet its
    schedule of obtaining the IOC before July this
    year and it could take till December this year
    or early next year before it is ready. To give an
    example of LCA’s troubles, the sources noted
    that LCA was grounded for three months
    between September and December 2012
    following problems with its landing gear.
    “Normally, a combat plane is ready for its next
    sortie following a 30-minute attention from
    ground service personnel soon after it has
    returned from a mission. In the case of LCA,
    after a single sortie of about an hour or so, it
    needs three days of servicing before it can go
    for its next sortie,” they said.
    At present, the IAF has placed an order for 40
    LCAs Mk1 to raise two squadrons by 2016-17
    with HAL which is the nodal agency for
    production of Tejas. But these will be delivered
    with the American General Electric F404
    engines which provide only 80 Kilo Newton
    power.
    Later, 80 more LCAs of its Mk2 version will be
    ordered for raising four more squadrons. The
    LCA Mk2 will be powered by the GE F414
    engines that provide a 90 Kilo Newton thrust.
    The Sunday Standard
     
  2. SpArK

    SpArK PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    old news. already posted.
     
  3. HongWu

    HongWu BANNED

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    After so much boasting, all India has left is LCA.
     
  4. qwerrty

    qwerrty SENIOR MEMBER

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    now they have an excuse. blame it all on the legend lca :lol:

    anyway, this is the right thing to do. before you run, gotta learn to crawl.
     
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