• Sunday, November 17, 2019

Indian Air Force should drop its plan to make more Tejas Mark-2s & focus on AMCA fighter jets

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Forum' started by Imran Khan, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Imran Khan

    Imran Khan PDF VETERAN

    Messages:
    50,119
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Ratings:
    +42 / 92,050 / -39
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Indian Air Force should drop its plan to make more Tejas Mark-2s & focus on AMCA fighter jets
    The fourth generation MWF will probably be ready by end of next decade. China already has two fifth-generation fighter jets, and it can sell to Pakistan.
    Yusuf T. Unjhawala Updated: 19 September, 2019 1:49 pm IST
    [​IMG]
    Light Combat Aircraft Tejas | PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak
    Text Size:
    • 742
      Shares


    To maintain a qualitative edge over its adversaries, put scarce resources to better use and look at over 50 years at the horizon, the Indian Air Force should drop its plan to make 200 fourth generation LCA Tejas Mark-2 fighter jets and focus on the fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft – AMCA – stealth fighter jets.

    Otherwise, the Indian Air Force risks the AMCA becoming obsolete on arrival, while flying an even more obsolete LCA Mark-2 jet into the 2070s. Even the Indian Navy requires the AMCA because the Light Combat Aircraft – LCA – that is currently being tested is not good enough for carrier operations.

    Also read: Rajnath Singh becomes first defence minister to fly in indigenous Tejas fighter jet

    MWF is a bad bet
    The Indian Air Force (IAF) has to consider the timeline and the investments being made from an ever-shrinking budget. The LCA is a fourth generation fighter jet and the LCA Mark-2, which is now being converted to the Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) programme, is an entirely new fighter jet that is expected to first fly around 2023. That is if the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and others involved in the project manage to deliver on time, something they are not known for.

    Even the LCA Mark 1A, which the IAF wants 83 of, is expected to fly only by 2022.

    Although the MWF will draw on the experience and technologies developed for the LCA Mark 1 and the LCA Mark 1A, it is going to be a new fighter jet and will undergo rigorous testing, which will last several years before it is ready for induction and mass production – probably at the end of the next decade.

    This is simply not good enough for the IAF, which is grappling with both a drop in its squadron strength and its qualitative edge over adversaries.

    China has two fifth generation fighter jets. The twin-engine heavy fighter, the J-20, is already in service and in squadron strength in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). China is also developing a medium weight fifth generation fighter, the FC-31, which is likely to be exported to potential customers. Pakistan could be its first.

    The LCA programme development has already cost India over Rs 10,000 crore. The cost of the LCA Mark 1A has shot up. The 83 Mark 1As are going to cost Rs 45,000 crore, which is about Rs 542 crore each, or $77 million. Compare this to the production cost of the American F-35 fifth generation fighter jet. By leveraging economies of scale, advanced and efficient production methods, the cost of the F-35 has been brought down to less than $80 million each. The LCA Mark-2 is likely to cost much more, probably close to $90-$100 million – very expensive for a homegrown fourth generation fighter jet. The comparable SAAB Gripen E, costs about $85 million.

    Investing further into the programme for a jet that will only be ready by the end of the next decade is not wise. The IAF should instead cancel the MWF programme and focus on the AMCA.

    Also read: India to receive Russian S-400 Triumf missiles by 2023, despite threat of US sanctions

    Focus on AMCA
    The AMCA has already been shelved once because the entire focus was on the development of the LCA. However, work on its design has been going on. The IAF should define the qualitative requirements and throw its weight behind the AMCA instead of funding the fourth generation MWF.

    Barring the Su-30 MKI and the Rafales that are going to be inducted soon, the entire current inventory of MiG-29, Jaguar and Mirage in the IAF will be phased out by 2035-2040. That is about 250 fighter jets. Even first of the Su-30s will be over 40 years old and start getting phased out. Inducting a fourth generation MWF to replace them will not give the IAF a qualitative advantage and makes no sense as the timeline suggests its service life running through to the 2070s.

    After India backed out from the joint development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) with Russia, because the IAF was not satisfied with both quality and the work share that was proposed, and uncertainty over whether the US will offer the F-35 to India after we bought the Russian S-400 air defence system, the IAF needs a fifth generation option quickly.

    The development of the MWF will take away all the money and attention from the critical fifth generation fighter that the IAF needs, and push its introduction beyond the 2030s and induction sometime into the 2040s. By this time, many countries, which are already working on sixth generation fighters, will start its introduction, making the Indian AMCA a generation behind its contemporaries.

    Also read: Even after Rafale and other inductions, IAF will have only half of 42-squadron target by 2042

    The Indian Navy, which has rejected the LCA for carrier operations, will likely prefer the twin-engine AMCA. The twin-engine jet will give it the requisite power to take off from its ski jump carriers and also carry the sufficiently useful payload, while also giving it stealth capabilities, rather than a naval MWF, which will still be underpowered for carrier operations and not carry sufficient payload.

    What the IAF can do in the meantime is increase the order for the Rafale, for which India has sunk in costs for India-specific enhancements. Probably order another 36-54 jets to cover the falling squadron numbers along with the 40 LCA Mark 1 and the planned 83 LCA Mark 1A. India should also cancel the fourth generation MRCA 2.0 programme, which is likely to cost over $15 billion for 110 jets.

    If the IAF does not throw its weight behind the AMCA now, it will likely end up with a situation where the development of the AMCA is lagging and it is forced to buy the Russian fifth generation PAK-FA, which it has already declared as not suitable for its requirements. That will set the AMCA programme back and repeat the cycle of imported fighter jets over indigenous ones well into the middle of the century.

    The author is editor of Defence Forum India. He is a commentator on defence and strategic affairs. He tweets @YusufDFI. Views are personal.

    ThePrint is now on Telegram. For the best reports & opinion on politics, governance and more, subscribe to ThePrint on Telegram.

    https://theprint.in/opinion/indian-...jpkKlpi9BwpJQmTg-Q-UdCb3pjHVVV88XWzRoiAVk5qSI
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  2. Oscar

    Oscar ADVISORS

    Messages:
    32,446
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Ratings:
    +321 / 62,601 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Because an Indian said it, it will be celebrated. But when I was saying it out of genuine project management history and RoI the majority brought in bias or tried to drag in the JF-17 as comparison.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 10
  3. Yaseen1

    Yaseen1 SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    6,987
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Ratings:
    +3 / 5,824 / -7
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    it shows poor condition of indian economy as they have lack of funds for carrying out both projects simultaneously
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  4. Fawadqasim1

    Fawadqasim1 SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    3,514
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Ratings:
    +0 / 2,580 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    pehlay tej bahadur ko rote do aur agar toilet ka intezam ho jaye to kya hee baat hay.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  5. seven0seven

    seven0seven BANNED

    Messages:
    12,038
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Ratings:
    +1 / 5,950 / -13
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    United States
    i think they (IAF/IN) are not satisfied with a performance of MK-1 and wants another improved version MK-1A so early (2022) next version of Tejas aka MK-2 is not version of Tejas but whole new project utilizing the tech from LCA project and India is on the way to declining economy they spending so much on defense that their future will be like in form of former soviet union
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  6. macnurv

    macnurv SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    2,024
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Ratings:
    +3 / 2,027 / -1
    One thing is for sure now, Indians are really good at making one thing and one thing alone and that is making up stories of their greatness. Can make a jet that can fly, cant make a lander that can land, poor bhartis.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  7. crankthatskunk

    crankthatskunk SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    2,101
    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Ratings:
    +2 / 3,413 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I like few lines in this article,

    Only Indian nation would create such expensive, worthless and not fit for purpose, obsolete toys.
    On top of it, for years they had been boasting how Teja Babu is far far superior to JF 17.
    While now as a matter of fact, they are shit scared from the capabilities of JF 17. These anxieties would increase further with the introduction of JF 17 III soon.

    Pakistan made it on a finite budgets and at a very low cost, still arming Mark III with the latest gadgets like AESA radar and Electric warfare gizmos.

    India on the other hand created a monster, wasted billions of rupees and still standing on square one.
    Well done Sirs, the best award for bravery is yours. Indian Air Force best in the world, without shadow of a doubt.
    At least in the heads of stupid Indians. In any doubts, look at the start of this article, the author started with comments like, "To maintain a qualitative edge over its adversaries,".

    When you start your article with such statement , you lose your impartiality and credibility in the one sentence.
    Maintain!!! WTF!! What qualitative edge is he talking about!!!
    India has qualitative edge over Pakistan, let alone China!!
    Indians are retards of highest order.

    Funny enough he compared the cost to Grippen but didn't mention JF 17 once for comparison.
    Probably to maintain the "Qualitative edge". :hitwall::dirol:
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. The Eagle

    The Eagle SENIOR MODERATOR

    Messages:
    15,451
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2015
    Ratings:
    +126 / 24,382 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    May be it wasn't about the facts & unbiased comparison rather, the egoistic self defence that wouldn't allow many to see the reality. The ill comparison of JF-17 was only resort back then while you were trying to wake up the decades old superiority complex. Not your fault chief, not your..

    That would be suicidal to mention JF-17. This is not about an academic comparison but this is all about to not to talk for something that proven its capability but belongs to the Rival.

    Interestingly, we never undermined Tejas at all per given specs & their plans however, on other hand, the chances of failure & no to be inducted context remained in view due to IAF history for their love of foreign shiny gadgets buttered with kickbacks.
     
  9. Zarvan

    Zarvan ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    47,719
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Ratings:
    +84 / 49,457 / -13
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    What makes you think that if they have failed to develop TEJAS they can develop AMCA fast ???? Until and Unless they do joint project with Russia I am pretty sure India will fail to develop this jet also even if they give it 2 decades.
     
  10. Oscar

    Oscar ADVISORS

    Messages:
    32,446
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Ratings:
    +321 / 62,601 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Because they arent idiots and they have a full 20 years of history plus experience on developing the subsystems needed to make the AMCA.

    They may have failed with the LCA project but they did develop a somewhat decent aircraft at the end. They figured out flight control systems, weapons integration and aerodynamics.
    All of which can be applied to the AMCA.

    I do feel however that they need a partner to develop it effectively otherwise they will make another project management mess of it like the Tejas.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  11. maximuswarrior

    maximuswarrior ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    12,631
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Ratings:
    +5 / 23,005 / -6
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Location:
    Netherlands
    India has a history of failing even with external help.
     
  12. seven0seven

    seven0seven BANNED

    Messages:
    12,038
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Ratings:
    +1 / 5,950 / -13
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    United States
    not underestimate your enemy, and now they have experience how to design and develop fighter jet @Oscar sir is right @maximuswarrior
     
  13. Oscar

    Oscar ADVISORS

    Messages:
    32,446
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Ratings:
    +321 / 62,601 / -0
    Country:
    Pakistan
    Location:
    Pakistan
    They have a history of failing due to their arrogance, not unlike us.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. maximuswarrior

    maximuswarrior ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    12,631
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Ratings:
    +5 / 23,005 / -6
    Country:
    Netherlands
    Location:
    Netherlands
    We don’t underestimate not overestimate our enemy. India has had the help of the entire Western world including Russia. From engines to blueprints and even first hand help. It just hasn’t worked for India. There is no harm in acknowledging these realities.

    Now the West is pitching their fighters to India and even those corruption ridden deals are anything, but smooth sailing.

    I believe it is a bit of everything. Arrogance and inability.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. Nancy

    Nancy BANNED

    Messages:
    208
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Ratings:
    +0 / 85 / -1
    Country:
    United States
    Location:
    United States
    By failing do you mean dreaming about becoming $5T economy? I think they are already near $3T.

    Few personnel observation, might not be related to topic. In Silicon valley, Indian CEO are considered smart and they keep moving jobs to India. MSFT, Google itself moved huge amount of American jobs to India. At least in some sector i would say Indian know how to do great things. Aviation might not be the one.

    By Arrogance do you mean Doklam? or Balakot?