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The ADA LCA: Beloved Aircraft or a Lemon

Windjammer

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Official announcements on the progress of the LCA cause more worry than cheer. The postponements are now routine. In December 2013 we were assured that we should have two aircraft by March 2014. What we got was one aircraft in October. That works out to half of what was promised after a delay of three hundred percent. The delay we are used to; the worry is that after sixteen machines and 2700 sorties is the programme so unsettled that it is difficult to get reasonable dates? FOC by May 2015 is doubtful. The significant overweight will not permit spinning and brake over heating problems to be resolved. At best we might have the end of factory testing and the formation of a Handling Flight. This will be followed by the raising of the first squadron with an IOC. The real troubles will begin then. As the new machines are bedded down in squadron service they require support. If the squadron was raised at AF Halwara or AF Hashimara it would have been a strong endorsement of the LCA’s serviceability. By locating it at Coimbatore, 110 n.m. from the nearest border and not a pressing air defence priority but close to Bangalore gives a message that the current in serviceability may be doubtful. The product needs support. If so why not raise the first squadron at Yehlanka?

First the bad news:
1. We have a fairly mediocre fighter somewhere between the Gnat F1 and the MiG 21 on our hands. Hence the IAF’s present reluctance with the Mk.1.
2. Both the F-16 and the FC-17 will give the LCA Mk.1 a hard time. The F-16 A will be particularly dangerous. Even against the FC-17 it would be a Mysteres vs Sabres kind of a situation. I don’t have much faith in the “great equalizer” capabilities of BVRs as of now. BVRs is not the weapon for a little LCA. Hence the FC-17 will also be a very dangerous opponent no matter how much we snigger about the Chinese aircraft.
3. As a MiG-21 bis replacement the LCA is a failure because the general rule of thumb is a 15 % increase in performance and capability. The LCA Mk1 does not measure up. The landing speed and the cockpit displays will be better than the early MiGs which will help reduce accidents but let us not fool ourselves of having developed a MiG-21 replacement particularly as an interceptor. So what do we do?

And now the good news – if you are prepared to think differently!
The good news is that the LCA Mk1 is a good replacement for the Hunters, Gnats and Mysteres and to a certain extent the Sukhoi Su-7 that we had in ’71. We had a round 23 squadrons of these and the LCA could be a replacement for these ground attack squadrons which to me was always the core of the Air force’s business. How do we go about that? The background notes are:

1. As things are going come 2020 the IAF will be forced to use the SU 30MKI or the Hawk for close support. Neither bears thinking, to my mind. The LCA, particularly given its small size will be better in this role.
2. The IAF is allergic about using transonic aircraft after having lost Hunters to MiG 19s and Mirages IIIs at Talhar and the gallant Sqn. Ldr. Mistri’s loss is still remembered. However these losses were also due to zeal which should on occasions have been restrained.
3. The IAF has to be persuaded to accept the LCA with minimal improvement confined to improving critical platform performance parameters. The LCA for close support with Su 30 MKIs as top cover could be source of envy and a model to follow for many countries.
4. To obtain that performance improvement the weight of the aircraft has to be reduced to the original target of 5500 kg. If necessary, some equipment has to be deleted. The first to go will be the Flight refueling. FR is an extremely expensive force multiplier and I cannot imagine using FR resources on a “puny” warplane such as a LCA. If the IAF is adamant in its sulk, keep only a small number of LCAs with this facility. I remember developing and producing a Soviet (very “Heath Robinson” but effective!) Arctic heating system for the T 72 (it thawed out the lubricant, fuel and the engine and used the remaining heat to warm the fighting compartment!) for the Army. They equipped only one third of their fleet and we lost a lot of business! There are no hard data on the efficacy of BVRs. The BVR issue has to be debated constructively with may be TACDE help.

Read the full article.

Prof. Prodyut Das: The ADA LCA: Beloved Aircraft or a Lemon
 

Zarvan

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Official announcements on the progress of the LCA cause more worry than cheer. The postponements are now routine. In December 2013 we were assured that we should have two aircraft by March 2014. What we got was one aircraft in October. That works out to half of what was promised after a delay of three hundred percent. The delay we are used to; the worry is that after sixteen machines and 2700 sorties is the programme so unsettled that it is difficult to get reasonable dates? FOC by May 2015 is doubtful. The significant overweight will not permit spinning and brake over heating problems to be resolved. At best we might have the end of factory testing and the formation of a Handling Flight. This will be followed by the raising of the first squadron with an IOC. The real troubles will begin then. As the new machines are bedded down in squadron service they require support. If the squadron was raised at AF Halwara or AF Hashimara it would have been a strong endorsement of the LCA’s serviceability. By locating it at Coimbatore, 110 n.m. from the nearest border and not a pressing air defence priority but close to Bangalore gives a message that the current in serviceability may be doubtful. The product needs support. If so why not raise the first squadron at Yehlanka?

First the bad news:
1. We have a fairly mediocre fighter somewhere between the Gnat F1 and the MiG 21 on our hands. Hence the IAF’s present reluctance with the Mk.1.
2. Both the F-16 and the FC-17 will give the LCA Mk.1 a hard time. The F-16 A will be particularly dangerous. Even against the FC-17 it would be a Mysteres vs Sabres kind of a situation. I don’t have much faith in the “great equalizer” capabilities of BVRs as of now. BVRs is not the weapon for a little LCA. Hence the FC-17 will also be a very dangerous opponent no matter how much we snigger about the Chinese aircraft.
3. As a MiG-21 bis replacement the LCA is a failure because the general rule of thumb is a 15 % increase in performance and capability. The LCA Mk1 does not measure up. The landing speed and the cockpit displays will be better than the early MiGs which will help reduce accidents but let us not fool ourselves of having developed a MiG-21 replacement particularly as an interceptor. So what do we do?

And now the good news – if you are prepared to think differently!
The good news is that the LCA Mk1 is a good replacement for the Hunters, Gnats and Mysteres and to a certain extent the Sukhoi Su-7 that we had in ’71. We had a round 23 squadrons of these and the LCA could be a replacement for these ground attack squadrons which to me was always the core of the Air force’s business. How do we go about that? The background notes are:

1. As things are going come 2020 the IAF will be forced to use the SU 30MKI or the Hawk for close support. Neither bears thinking, to my mind. The LCA, particularly given its small size will be better in this role.
2. The IAF is allergic about using transonic aircraft after having lost Hunters to MiG 19s and Mirages IIIs at Talhar and the gallant Sqn. Ldr. Mistri’s loss is still remembered. However these losses were also due to zeal which should on occasions have been restrained.
3. The IAF has to be persuaded to accept the LCA with minimal improvement confined to improving critical platform performance parameters. The LCA for close support with Su 30 MKIs as top cover could be source of envy and a model to follow for many countries.
4. To obtain that performance improvement the weight of the aircraft has to be reduced to the original target of 5500 kg. If necessary, some equipment has to be deleted. The first to go will be the Flight refueling. FR is an extremely expensive force multiplier and I cannot imagine using FR resources on a “puny” warplane such as a LCA. If the IAF is adamant in its sulk, keep only a small number of LCAs with this facility. I remember developing and producing a Soviet (very “Heath Robinson” but effective!) Arctic heating system for the T 72 (it thawed out the lubricant, fuel and the engine and used the remaining heat to warm the fighting compartment!) for the Army. They equipped only one third of their fleet and we lost a lot of business! There are no hard data on the efficacy of BVRs. The BVR issue has to be debated constructively with may be TACDE help.

Read the full article.

Prof. Prodyut Das: The ADA LCA: Beloved Aircraft or a Lemon
LCA is a total failure a disaster but they will still contiue to waste money on it I think Armed version of South Korea T-50 can be best alternate
 

Srinivas

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LCA mark 2 is the game changer for IAF.

LCA program in the last decade is the learning experience for aerospace industry in India. Secondly the same experience will be used to build the Rafale once the deal is signed.

LCA produced in large numbers will also help India for point defence in case there is a two front war.

IAF is procuring only about 250 odd LCA's both navy and airforce at max.

In the next decade, Rafale, Su 30 MKI, MIG 29, AMCA, FGFA ,Mirages, LCA mark 2 will serve in IAF.

If India goes for 2 squadrons of F35 then that will give some advantage to Navy which is planning to operate helicopter carriers.
 
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SpArK

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Its a lemon.

Outdated design which is like outdated Rafale, Gripen and EFT.
Outdated engine used in F-18s , GE which is worst in world.
Outdated avionics even though the latest from Isreal.
Outdated weapons from Russia, France and India (lol).
Outdated safety records.
Outdated future plans with another Outdated General electrical engine coming up.
Outdated HUD , outdated structure wilth the old technology composite. etc.


Its definetly is a LEMON>
 

IBRIS

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Watch YouTube they already have 7 flying and being tested for hundreds of hours. Jub carrier version carrier purr land karega tov lemon ki sukunjvi Bana Kay peena.:smitten:
 

longewala

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30 years ago I remember reading about us getting 49 mirage-2000 and being excited about how much it would improve the iaf's striking power, and wished we could have more of them

Today, we will induct a plane which has been designed in India, and is much better - better airframe, fbw, stronger engine and radar.

And we will induct as many just in the mark-1 version. And then we will go on to many dozens of a much superior mark-2 version.

And that will be just the low end, as we also are well in process of inducting hundreds of aircraft that are in the f-15 class, only much more advanced.

That lemon tastes pretty sweet.
 

GORKHALI

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Official announcements on the progress of the LCA cause more worry than cheer. The postponements are now routine. In December 2013 we were assured that we should have two aircraft by March 2014. What we got was one aircraft in October. That works out to half of what was promised after a delay of three hundred percent. The delay we are used to; the worry is that after sixteen machines and 2700 sorties is the programme so unsettled that it is difficult to get reasonable dates? FOC by May 2015 is doubtful. The significant overweight will not permit spinning and brake over heating problems to be resolved. At best we might have the end of factory testing and the formation of a Handling Flight. This will be followed by the raising of the first squadron with an IOC. The real troubles will begin then. As the new machines are bedded down in squadron service they require support. If the squadron was raised at AF Halwara or AF Hashimara it would have been a strong endorsement of the LCA’s serviceability. By locating it at Coimbatore, 110 n.m. from the nearest border and not a pressing air defence priority but close to Bangalore gives a message that the current in serviceability may be doubtful. The product needs support. If so why not raise the first squadron at Yehlanka?

First the bad news:
1. We have a fairly mediocre fighter somewhere between the Gnat F1 and the MiG 21 on our hands. Hence the IAF’s present reluctance with the Mk.1.
2. Both the F-16 and the FC-17 will give the LCA Mk.1 a hard time. The F-16 A will be particularly dangerous. Even against the FC-17 it would be a Mysteres vs Sabres kind of a situation. I don’t have much faith in the “great equalizer” capabilities of BVRs as of now. BVRs is not the weapon for a little LCA. Hence the FC-17 will also be a very dangerous opponent no matter how much we snigger about the Chinese aircraft.
3. As a MiG-21 bis replacement the LCA is a failure because the general rule of thumb is a 15 % increase in performance and capability. The LCA Mk1 does not measure up. The landing speed and the cockpit displays will be better than the early MiGs which will help reduce accidents but let us not fool ourselves of having developed a MiG-21 replacement particularly as an interceptor. So what do we do?

And now the good news – if you are prepared to think differently!
The good news is that the LCA Mk1 is a good replacement for the Hunters, Gnats and Mysteres and to a certain extent the Sukhoi Su-7 that we had in ’71. We had a round 23 squadrons of these and the LCA could be a replacement for these ground attack squadrons which to me was always the core of the Air force’s business. How do we go about that? The background notes are:

1. As things are going come 2020 the IAF will be forced to use the SU 30MKI or the Hawk for close support. Neither bears thinking, to my mind. The LCA, particularly given its small size will be better in this role.
2. The IAF is allergic about using transonic aircraft after having lost Hunters to MiG 19s and Mirages IIIs at Talhar and the gallant Sqn. Ldr. Mistri’s loss is still remembered. However these losses were also due to zeal which should on occasions have been restrained.
3. The IAF has to be persuaded to accept the LCA with minimal improvement confined to improving critical platform performance parameters. The LCA for close support with Su 30 MKIs as top cover could be source of envy and a model to follow for many countries.
4. To obtain that performance improvement the weight of the aircraft has to be reduced to the original target of 5500 kg. If necessary, some equipment has to be deleted. The first to go will be the Flight refueling. FR is an extremely expensive force multiplier and I cannot imagine using FR resources on a “puny” warplane such as a LCA. If the IAF is adamant in its sulk, keep only a small number of LCAs with this facility. I remember developing and producing a Soviet (very “Heath Robinson” but effective!) Arctic heating system for the T 72 (it thawed out the lubricant, fuel and the engine and used the remaining heat to warm the fighting compartment!) for the Army. They equipped only one third of their fleet and we lost a lot of business! There are no hard data on the efficacy of BVRs. The BVR issue has to be debated constructively with may be TACDE help.

Read the full article.

Prof. Prodyut Das: The ADA LCA: Beloved Aircraft or a Lemon
Here the so called Prof reply to my comment :

V*********h J**a 7 July 2014 at 02:03
Well No offence sir!!!I respect your knowledge and but you need to update yourself with latest happening in LCA. Now you are saying it is supersonic only in dives,that I must say is pure BS. When LCA navy can goes supersonic on hot goan sea with weight 400-500kg more than airforce version then how come you say that? Light Combat Aircraft Navy goes super sonic | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
C'mon LCA fired dozens of R73 in trails and even in IRON fist exercise,it shows it swing rolecapbality with droping LGB,fired R73 and shoots chaff and flare,all within 50 secs.

Delete
prodyut5 July 2014 at 06:25
I am a little sceptical about the ADA's claims on the speeds for reasons given in the article. I also did a fuel burn analysis and certainly the aircraft would be fuel limited if it has to be back over base with enough fuel for a diversion of 70-80 n.m.,overshoot and landing.




  • Vishwashish Jena7 July 2014 at 10:08
    Now you are sceptical Sir. You are ignoring plethora of media reporting and ADA june newsletter where they said that LCA Navy Crossed important milestone for going Supersonic over Goan sea.You are comparing Fuel burn analysis but you ignored simple things that LCA tejas touched transonic in 2013 AERO India in matter of few seconds.While the Engine you are talking about is same as Gripen Engine however its more powerful and efficient then RM 12. Do we have anything else to prove when this ill informed Prof. doesn't even know that LCA regularly fires R73s and already went supersonic to Max 1.6M. :police::police:

LCA is a total failure a disaster but they will still contiue to waste money on it I think Armed version of South Korea T-50 can be best alternate
This Is the Ultimate MiG-21 — War Is Boring — Medium

Read this one too Jf not even lemon then.

sakthivel ramasamy19 February 2015 at 01:19
What do you mean by not good clear weather striker?

tejas has proved itself in Leh, got all weather clearance and wake penetration certificate.

Don't you know that? 8-)

prodyut24 February 2015 at 23:10
Yes I knew that.
Now how does that contradict with what I said? o_Oo_Oo_O:o:


This Guy owned Prof.

http://www.saabgroup.com/Global/Doc...en/Gripen product sheet/Gripen_Dimensions.pdf This is enough to expose your lies about Gripen empty weight claims.


Guess what ,who's rolling this guy ...
 

GORKHALI

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Mukut Pathak7 March 2015 at 07:22
Professor, Your calculation regarding T/W for most aircraft are grossly wrong. you have calculated LCA on the lower side and other aircraft on the higher side. I suggest that you pls re-check your data and calculations. LCA with 6500kgs as empty weight and 9000 kgs as loaded weight has a T/W of 0.6(dry) and 1.0 (A/B). Though I do agree to just few of your points but most are bullshit to say it politely. I am a retd fighter pilot myself and very well understand what you have written here. If calculate wrong, you will arrive at wrong calculations. I do agree to your point that LCA wing shud have been reversed i.e it shud have more sweep in front and less sweep at rear and that engine shud have a bit more dry thrust. LCA does not need more of A/B thrust, it needs more of dry thrust.
ADA has again gone wrong by selecting F414 engine which will give adry thrust of just 62.5KN. EJ-230 wud have done wonders to LCA with its dry thrust of 72KN.
 

topgun047

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I am not sure about the reliability of the info provided by Mr. Das( check the comment section and the link to another forum therein for technical rebuttal.)

But I realized one thing that this article is a critique piece that only focuses on the drawbacks of Tejas design which were a deliberate choice.
You have to sacrifice some parts of flight envelope to gain and advantage in others.
If that were not the case every fighter jet would have just one optimum design.
Where as in the real world, we see aircraft with wildly different designs and consequently different strengths and weakness like F-16 and F-18 with LERX to compensate for conventional wing or Rafale and Typhoon with canards to compensate for delta wing.
.
Prof Das only focuses on the drawbacks and even manipulates the data to exaggerate them( see comment about weight).

I would respond to him by stating two points.

1. Even if we assume every piece of dubious guesswork(by his own admission) data he provided to be correct, tactics can be tailor made to negate the weaknesses of the design and accentuate the strengths.

That is the whole point of developing tactics!!

E.g Israeli Mirages defeated Egyptian Migs even though they had higher Induced drag/thrust by going in the vertical instead of getting into a horizontal turn where they were likely to be out-turned by the Mig.


2.Focus on the whole flight envelope, not just the part where Tejas is weak because of the to the Delta wing.
What if Tejas pilot ends the fight in first few seconds using the combination of the higher Instantaneous turn rate and High off bore sight missiles ?
Shouldn't the F 16 of JF 17 pilot be worried that he will win only if the other guy makes a mistake ?
He is essentially passing the initiative to the adversary even before the fight begins.

It is always better to be a Tejas pilot in this scenario and be in control of the fight right from the outset.
I, for one, would rather be flying a Tejas than a F 16 in such a case.

And even this weakness is being rectified in the Mk2 which is being designed to match or even exceed the F 16 in STR while having a higher ITR and better missiles as it is.

All in all I feel this article is a critique and a misinformed, biased one at that since it only focuses on the negative side of flight envelope.The part where he tries to pretend he is balanced by giving some lame positives is a little pathetic.
If you want to criticize something then just criticize, don't pretend to be balanced just for the sake of it.
Healthy criticism is always appreciated.

I feel the intention of the writer was to get as much attention as possible by giving misleading conclusions rather than to provide a non biased commentary on Tejas program.
 

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