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AMCA: Updates and Discussions

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by DaRk KnIght, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. Sancho

    Sancho Major Technical Analyst

    May 3, 2011
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    Which are also parts taken from ADA's report and shows where we stand with our capabilities alone and what even our own experts prefer!
    layman likes this.
  2. Sancho

    Sancho Major Technical Analyst

    May 3, 2011
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  3. proud_indian

    proud_indian FULL MEMBER

    Feb 7, 2017
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    Country Flag:
    India’s AMCA Fighter Targets Mid-2020s First Flight

    Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
    Bradley Perrett

    Jay Menon
    Feb 23, 2017

    AMCA: Brad Perrett/Aviation Week

    BENGALURU, India—Preliminary design of India’s proposed Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) will begin in March, with a target of flying the aircraft in 2024 and making it ready for service as early as 2030.

    As the defense ministry’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) awaits approval for full-scale development, an upgraded version of the General Electric F414 has become the likely engine for the twin-engine indigenous fighter.

    “We have completed the configurations and the feasibility study, and proposed users are happy with them,” says an official involved in the project at ADA. The agency, part of the ministry’s Defense Research and Development Organization, has until now been working on concept design of the AMCA, presented in the form of a model in 2015, by which time the general configuration was frozen.

    The decision on whether to launch the program is with the office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a defense ministry official says. Saab and Boeing have expressed interest in helping with development. The ADA official says preliminary design will begin in March.

    ADA is allowing at least six years between flight testing and entry into service, in part because of its experience in developing the Tejas light fighter, which needed 14 years of flight testing. Experience in verifying Tejas systems will support the shorter period for the AMCA, the ADA official says.
    But the schedule is elastic. Although the official says the fighter will fly in seven years and be ready as early as 2030, the clock cannot start running until the government approves program launch.
    Another program source points out that the duration of flight testing is hard to predict. Further, ADA has shown a timeline that envisions a first flight in 2025 and serial production from 2036. The Lockheed Martin F-35A needed nine years of flight testing before it became initially operational.
    The engine will be chosen soon, the ADA official says, giving no specific date. The choices are the Eurojet EJ200 of the Eurofighter Typhoon, Safran M88 of the Dassault Rafale, and the GE F414, used in the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, KF-X, Saab JAS 39E/F Gripen and the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) Tejas Mk. 2.

    ADA sees advantages in choosing the F414, the official says, without elaborating. Two are obvious: experience working with GE in the Tejas program and the F414’s thrust.

    ADA says the AMCA needs an engine of 110 kN (24,700 lb.), well above the ratings of the EJ200 and M88. The F414-404, installed in the Super Hornet, generates 22,000 lb. of thrust, but GE is offering an enhanced F414 that it says is in the 26,000-lb. class. GE also has remarkably rich experience in integrating the F414 and its predecessor, the F404, in different airframes.
    Like most modern fighters, the AMCA will be a multi-role aircraft. Although it will be shaped for stealth, a non-stealthy version has also been planned. Features will include a weapons bay, serpentine engine intakes, thrust vectoring, modular avionics, integrated aircraft health management, and a radar with an active electronically scanning array using gallium-nitride technology. The aircraft is intended to fly supersonically without afterburning.

    ADA proposes that AMCA will replace the Mirage 2000 fighter and Jaguar strike aircraft in Indian air force service. A carrier-borne version is also proposed. AMCA design work began informally in 2008 and became official in 2011.

    The configuration has features that have become familiar on stealth fighters: apart from the weapon bay, these features include fuselage faceting, canted twin tail fins, edge alignment, and a forward-swept trailing edge of the main plane.

    `“Everyone’s stealth fighter looks the same,” says an engineer who is in charge of designing another.

    Sancho likes this.
  4. Sancho

    Sancho Major Technical Analyst

    May 3, 2011
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    Thanks you! Interesting
  5. zebra7

    zebra7 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

    Nov 3, 2016
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    And what is needed is the 110KN class powerplant. Thus you need an engine, which would have to developed rather than upgraded. And what should be the logical approach, the development of the Kaveri K-10+ with 110+ rated thrust, and GE 414 IN6 EPE for the TDs and PVs or till the indegenous engine is fully developed.

    The question was, if you are ready to bear the development cost, does other OEMs like Eurojet, Snecma, Rolls Royce and Satun NPO would agree to give India the powerplant required. What I am suggesting is to utilize the leverage/chance/condition, which India is enjoying at the present, which I fear won't remain for the long, and which remains unutilized.

    Pls try to understand that the US EMALs will come with hundereds of strings attached. If we go for the coproduction, codevelopment with the Russia, both the country will get benifit and Russia too would love for this development and co share the price and development. Steam powered catapult system would be much better option than the US imported EMALs, which will be maintained by U.S technicians and have 24 x 7 access to the Indian Carrier.

    I don't know what happens to your understanding. U.S allows Japan for the joint development of the F2, because U.S OEM LM have 51% share in this and all the fighter plane developments, thus full control, plus kindly update yourself about the deal by which all the technologies developed with the F2 such as the special composite, alloys developed by the Japanese for the F2, and the airdata and research would be shared with the LM, which benefited LM with R&D cost spend by the Japanese. Plus F2 is only the upgraded F-16, with air-frame modifications to allow more fuel, and longer range thus it is not a Japanese Indigenous, heck even Israeli did some modification with their SUFAs. This give U.S following advantages :-
    • Strengthen Japanese Air Defence, thus U.S don't have to deploy his forces for protecting Japan, which it is bound to due according to the deal after WW2 against North Korea, and China.
    • Don't have to provide more F-15 E.
    • Gets the research data on air flying data, and alloys and composite research data with full access.
    • Stopped Japan, which is indegenously fully capable to go for the indigenous 4th gen fighter plane.
    What you fail to understand is two point, first U.S is not allowing any potential development of the cosystem/tech. which is effecting U.S OEMs sale, second it is discouraging the future potential of the product of even its Allies, and F-35 is the prime example for this (A product now which is must against Russian S-300 airdefence, with full control of the product, and the user).

    Problem with the U.S co-development
    • As the history speaks, we remember, how U.S/Pentagon tried to stopped the first flight of the LCA TD.
    • AMCA is direct contendor to the U.S F-35, so why would U.S will allow a plane, which is of the same role, and killing the prospect of the sale from the customer aka IAF, which can give the biggest order other than USAF, and USNAF.
    • Use of U.S equipments in the AMCA, needs several deals such as BECA, CISMOA and will force India to U.S equipments and technologies used by the NATO countries, and several changes/upgrades of the Indian systems including Radar, communication relay stations needs to be made.
    • F-18 SH have come to the development end, since it would be replace with the F-35 in the U.S Navy, thus there will be no major upgrade to this platform, other than couple of developments for the customer to keep the line busy for few more years.
    Lets categorized various subsystems of the ficious 5th gen fighter plane

    1. Airframe -- I have earlier mentioned, that this part is easy. What you need is the stealth design, which could fly fulfilling the aerodynamic requirement, which could be design using CFT modelling, research, and wind tunnel testing. Heck even @vstol jockey did that alone, and come up with the LSA design. As far as composites tech., HAL have enough experience, and could do wonders if the funds available for more research from the GOI (and not from HALs own pocket).

    2. Powerplant -- What is needed is the 2 x 110 KN thrust, and various prospects are their aka Eurojet, Snecma, GE, Rollys Royce with which India could co-develop and co-produce, of which Snecma is the best choice. Reason being Rafale would already be in the IAF, and both the powerplant would share components thus lowering maintainace, and spares costing and for the future Mid life upgrades for the Rafale F3Rs entering IAFs. For that India could make the best deal with Rafale and Scorpean MRO and limited spares production facilities in India for the Middle east and Asian customers, the same which Russians are doing with their Sukhois and Migs. M88 as the Plan B and consultancy for the Project Ghatak formely Aura and the tech. from the Nueron USAVs, Co-development of the QRSAM based on MICA-IIR aka Maitri project.

    3. Electronics -- This will constitutes 50% costing in the 4+ fighter Jets, and will cost 75% of the total cost of the 5th Generation fighter plane. For the onboard MMR, There is no way that U.S is going to share or co-develop/share codes/help in integration of the weapon in IAF inventory. For ECM package, the notorious U.S OEMs would not share anything and their would always be the fear of the hidden spy equipments. And the 5th Gen Smart weapons of the U.S origin, you would need the U.S equipments, links and network, because without that even F-35 would be DUD.

    For your sake here is the excerts from the DRDO chief from the Force magzine.

    DRDO has not directly taken any offsets so far. Presently, Rafale has an offset clause, and DRDO has been asked to fill it up. We are specifically talking of the Kaveri engine’s last mile problem. We are running the five Kaveri engines that we have. These were even flown as a part of the experimental test-bed in Russia. We know they are good engines. The problem with the engine is that when used for higher power, it makes a noise. We don’t know the effect it can have on the performance. To resolve this issue, DRDO is planning to rope in Snecma (as part of the Rafale offset). The project has already entered the first phase. Snecma will study the engine and work on its modifications, certify and fit it on the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas. We should be able to fly one of the LCA’s with Kaveri engine at least after two years.

    Dassault Aviation is keen to work on the next generation LCA, Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) or the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle, Ghatak as part of the offsets in Rafale programme. They are willing to work on the configuration design and the entire logistic maintenance software for new system. We want the company to do something for us here in India to harness our potentials.

    They have had two rounds of meetings so far with Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and GTRE. Hopefully, things will move forward.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017 at 3:35 PM
  6. Sancho

    Sancho Major Technical Analyst

    May 3, 2011
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    Wrong, because you logically take an engine as the base, that already provides high thrust, since that is more likely to reach the requirement. Taking a failed Kaveri and an M88 engine that so far has proven 75kN, is obviously more difficult to get to the needed level, that's why an upgrade of GE414 or EJ200 is easier and less risky.
    Also don't forget that the K10 was aimed just at 90kN before, since it was meant to power LCA.

    And you think IN doesn't know that? Still they aim on getting catapults from the US only, simply because they are the only source that can provide it. So either they get it with conditions IN are ok with, or they simply go for a larger STOBAR carrier (IAC1 XL)

    My understanding is fine, but you came up with the Sufa and the Israel 35, although these examples have nothing to do with AMCA. I only showed you why that example doesn't make sense, since the US do share more customisations and in our case would barley be a consulting partner, which again does neither require tech transfer, nor customisation anyway.

    First of all, we neither have F35 on offer, nor is IAF considering it. Moreover, it would be even in the US interest to support AMCA, because a faster development, with more promising stealth capabilities, might take us away from the Russian joint development. That translates into higher costs for Russia and less export orders.
    Also, it's not about IAF getting F18SH, but IN since it's possibly the only fighter apart of the MIG, that fits to both current carriers! So once again for you

    IN buying F18SH block 3 with EPE engine
    => offers possibly a suitable fighter for their current carriers
    => offers leverage in negotiations about EMALS for IAC2
    => offers a simple base to get Boeing as a consultancy partner for AMCA
    => offers the highest amount of commonality
    Which again is wrong, because the F35 replaces older Hornets, while the USN is keep ordering Super Hornets right now, which will remain in service next to the F35. So with the prime customer being the USN, upgrades for the future are sure, just as the Block 3 upgrade proves.

    That alone is actually a prove that it's not as easy as you think. Stealth shaping are aimed at reduction of reflecting surface areas, while conventional aircraft design, is aimed at aerodynamic performance. Getting both together is by far not simple, especially if you not only have to shape the airframe, but also add far more weight, than you would do in a similar conventional design. Both, the design and the weight addition then limits the flight performance, which then again turns into the need of higher thrust then as well...

    If anybody could do it, why is China mainly copying stealth designs from the US? Why is a technically advanced nation like Japan so far behind the US in that regard and itself is asking the US for support, is testing their design in France and is asking the UK for consultancy for engines?
    Both countries are industrially and far ahead of us and stI'll stuggle with problems.

    Again please understand the matter, before you jump into pointless conclusion.

    The common electronics between the F18 Silent Hornet and AMCA are
    Single screen display

    These could be jointly produced for both fighters (display and MAWS are Israeli not US origin), or jointly developed for example the IRST.
    Which again shows the contradiction in your logic. Dassault only is interested in these developments, because they offer ways to divert offsets. If that wouldn't be the case, we could only hire them for consultancy, as we did in LCA and as I suggest to do with Boeing.
    The reality is, that Dassault had no interest in LCA since that he initial design consultancy, while companies like Airbus and Saab offered help and joint developments for specific versions.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017 at 1:00 PM

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