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LCA Tejas Multirole Aircraft

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Dark_Prince, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. GuardianRED

    GuardianRED Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Point No. 2 - Dont Ask further , won't tell :p
     
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  2. ashkum2278

    ashkum2278 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    LCA NAVY, A VICTIM OF ARCHAIC DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES


    Although the Navy didn’t issue an official rebuttal, the accusation was stoutly rejected by naval officials, serving and retired, through various channels. As a former Navy test pilot, I have known both officers singled out by the author. They were already senior test crew when I was growing up in the ‘Tester’ circles of Bangalore.

    Halo and Horns Effect

    In my opinion, both are aviation professionals of the highest calibre available in our Navy today. As test crew, actions and decisions emanate from experiential learning, critical analyses and sound homework, not petty squabbles or heresay.

    But they are humans. So are others involved in the decision-making chain. In a Navy that is turning increasingly technical by the day, professionals of their stature sometimes attain cult status. We all know about the ‘Halo Effect‘. The Navy is not immune to it.
    While you may disagree with Mr Karnad’s specific example, the issue merits a larger question – are our decision-making systems in defence management sound enough to trump the ‘halo & horns effect’?

    At the centre of Mr Karnad’s hypothesis are two ‘White Tigers’ handling crucial aspects of the program. One is a man whose hands-on expertise on LCA Navy is beyond contest. Nobody comes close. He has been shaping the business end of this aircraft for many years. However, he has never worked in the Headquarters as Staff.
    On the other side is an accomplished official who, after doing his share of flying, now occupies a high chair in NHQ, and is ordained for higher responsibilities. Both are towering personalities in the niche field of experimental flight testing and hold rare combinations of experience and expertise.

    Giving Everyone A Say In Ambitious Projects

    Those who toil at the ground level, and those who manage programmes at apex headquarters, grapple with a different set of challenges. They bring to the table varying perspectives, which together enable a 360-degree appraisal of any issue at higher levels. In many respects, a tenure at service headquarters signifies the end of innocence.

    Call it the big picture, dirty picture or what you will; often tough decisions have to be taken, including letting go of projects that have become untenable.
    It may not always be possible to carry every foot soldier along in such decisions. It is not a popularity contest. Some hearts will inevitably burn.

    But when you have two ‘superstars’ playing crucial roles in such debates and things become far too technical or personal for higher rungs to resolve, it takes somebody with the right balance of seniority and knowhow to mediate their professional differences.

    Unfortunately, such stalwarts are either retired or fallen from grace to moderate or separate ‘jasbaat’ from raw facts. Long gone are iconic ‘White Tigers’ like Vice Admiral Vinod Pasrich and Admiral Arun Prakash, who could have resolved professional differences (typical of this fraternity, fighter pilots tend to be highly opinionated and refuse to back down in any debate unless umpired by one of their own!) without even a whiff of the so-called ‘bad blood’ spilling out into public domain.

    Preparing A File

    Every single case in service headquarters starts with preparing a ‘file’. The available information or facts about the case are put on the right. A blank, yellow file noting sheet is pinned up on the left side.

    The staff officer initiating the case writes his noting, and slowly the file is escalated up through the hierarchy – directorate, service headquarters and then the ministry.
    At each level, individual staff officers are expected to do their due diligence. It is a terribly slow and tedious procedure that has not changed for years. Mountains of files pile up on PSO’s (Principal Staff Officers) tables on a daily basis. Indeed, senior officers with ‘slower processors’, are known to take home trunk-loads of files in the evening. In such a system, moderating disparate views and highly technical discussions can be an intimidating task; not everyone’s cup of tea. Again, a dependency is built towards ‘subject matter experts’ or domain experts. How can you discount individual biases from creeping into such an archaic system?

    In debates ‘on file’ in higher headquarters, senior officers often have their views ‘prepared’ by junior staff, whose own opinions are sometimes stifled in the process. This was never intended to be but has increasingly become the norm. Ideally, opinions should go up and decisions should come down. But it does not always happen that way.
    Unfortunately, in our scheme of things, issues can be given a spin through various informal mechanisms and protocols. Individuals with the ‘halo effect’ can have a free run because there is, as it is, a serious dearth of professional competence and domain knowledge in decision-making circles when files escalate to the ministry. This way, the file-based system can sometimes breed faulty decisions.

    Navy’s Dependence On Few Individuals
    We have been lucky that in most situations, straddling personal and technical differences of opinion, it is usually ‘well fought both of you, but Navy is the winner’. But, the ‘halo effect’ and ‘superstar syndrome’ can sometimes cause entire directorates in HQ to move like a herd.

    We should rely on organisations and not individuals when it comes to projects of this magnitude.

    Indian Air Force has the Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), its own premier flight test organisation that presides over all flight evaluations on behalf of Air Headquarters. The Navy has no such organisation of its own, so entire projects pivot around a few good men who have to withstand innumerable pressures & challenges, both from within the Navy and the entire DRDO-HAL community. Again, this leaves us vulnerable to dependence on individuals and their pet peeves.

    Then, there is the setting sun syndrome. It is said that nobody worships a setting sun. In a debate that is sequentially fought on file under a pyramidal hierarchy, it is very difficult and counter-intuitive to actively contest the views of somebody whose star is on the ascent. Voices of lesser mortals or those who ‘missed the bus’ seldom carry beyond their four walls.
    So my friends, two sides to every story. Don’t miss the wood for the trees.

    Encouraging Professional Dissent

    As ‘superstars’ and ‘rising suns’, encourage professional dissent in letter, spirit and ‘on file’. Even if you are reborn seven times, you can never know all there is to know about ships, aircraft and submarines and all that they entail. Before we pat ourselves on the back and claim that all decisions are collaborative and consultative, please open those files and see if all views are free, frank and devoid of one-upmanship in the true sense of the word.

    Don’t ape the west. They have long dumped file-based decision-making systems, while we are still holding on to ours. Don’t expect to induct modern, fly-by-wire deck-based aircraft with decision-making mechanisms that are rooted in the colonial era. Improve the decision-making apparatus by building and empowering institutions, encouraging dissent and reducing reliance on individual streaks of brilliance. Let each idea or opinion be evaluated on its own merit, regardless of who proposes it.
    The grass that gets trampled when elephants fight may hold seeds of the future.

    https://www.thequint.com/voices/opinion/lca-navy-a-victim-of-archaic-decision-making-processes
     
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  3. ashkum2278

    ashkum2278 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    PERSONAL FEUD OR TECHNICAL FLAW, WHY WAS TEJAS REJECTED?

    (With the Indian Navy rejecting the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, The Quint debates whether other alternatives would be a cost effective and viable option.)
    Trust the Indian armed forces to make it difficult for themselves and the country at every turn. There’s a big muddle ahead – this time because the Indian Navy decided to issue an RFI (Request for Information) from the suppliers of 57 twin-engined aircraft for its indigenous carriers, thereby shunting out, and de-prioritising in its plans, the naval Tejas.
    This, because the naval brass decided that the weight problem – some two ton over mark – couldn’t be solved in time for it to grace the deck of the IAC-1 Vikrant, when it is eventually commissioned in 2021-22, and that this requirement, therefore, needs to be met through imports.

    Dealing With ‘Weight’ Issues of New Aircraft

    The two aircrafts in the fray are the Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet — the main carrier plane with foldable wings of the US Navy, until it is progressively replaced by the F-35C. Meanwhile, Maritime Rafale Dassalt, along with Swedish manufacturer SAAB’s Sea Gripen, is also in the fray, as a distant third, and not in the reckoning for reasons adduced below.
    SAAB’s offer to jointly develop fighter jets along with India was made in December 2015, at a time when the Navy had committed to the Tejas.

    Two years later, the Rafale and F-18 are being pushed hard, the navalised Gripen prototype is ready, and the Indian Navy has soured on the homegrown LCA.
    If there’s a problem with a new aircraft, what do more advanced, strategic-minded, navies, not habituated to easy import option, do? Well, take the F-35C.
    After repeated take-offs, the US Navy discovered a serious design flaw that made the catapult-assisted takeoffs so rough, and disoriented the pilots, just when the aircraft is getting airborne, so as to potentially prove fatal.

    The redesign, it is estimated, will take several years, and the rectified plane won’t be available until 2020 or later. The US Navy tasked its ‘Red Team’ to work on design modification and fast-track trials of the improved aircraft.
    Couldn’t the Indian Navy have constituted its own Red Team to work intensively with the LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) design team to trim its weight?

    Personal Feud Behind Rejecting Tejas?
    This was not feasible for many reasons, among them: (1) Personal reasons — bad blood between lead test pilot in the naval LCA program, Cmde Jaydeep Maolankar, and Rear Admiral Surendra Ahuja, Assistant Controller Carrier Project and Assistant Controller Warship Production and Acquisition at NHQ.

    By all accounts, Maolankar is a top rated flier dedicated to the Tejas but Ahuja is close to the seat of power and who, perhaps, to spite Maolankar, a batchmate (whose failure to make it to the next rank, however that was managed, according to the talk in naval circles) convinced the naval brass that the LCA was no-go, and that its prospects are bleak.
    Rear Admiral Ahuja is a certified test pilot, cleared for catobar flying from carrier deck, and among the first to operate the MiG-29Ks, as well as a number of other combat aircraft, and even transport planes.

    Many senior Admirals claim such skulduggery in promotions is not possible because there’s an Appraisals Board, etc to prevent abuse at the level of promotion boards. In that case, how does one explain the Armed Forces Tribunal, in July 2017, holding Vice Admiral PK Chatterjee guilty of passing over many officers with excellent career records – all from the nuclear submarine arm, including Cmdr SS Luthra, who had approached the Tribunal, to clear the path for his son-in-law Captain AV Agashe.

    Whence the Navy’s formal rejection of the Tejas. On such personal rivalries hang the fate of nations striving to be self-sufficient in armaments!
    And, (2) it would mean giving up on a chance to import another foreign aircraft and forego all the goodies. Probably easier for the Indian Navy to give up on Tejas.
    Having desperately hunted for excuses to reject it, Ahuja, possibly driven as much by institutional impulse as personal animus, finally found it in the aircraft’s excess weight and, rather than proposing remedial measures and doubling on the navy’s commitment and investment in an Indian designed and developed carrier aircraft, recommended ditching the naval LCA.

    Too Much Reliance On Imports

    Should the Modi government and MoD not instruct the Navy to rethink the import decision?
    Then again, when have the military services raised objections on expensive foreign imports that push the nation deeper into the military hardware import hole?
    Why expensive? Because 57 is not a large enough number of aircraft to interest profit-driven foreign suppliers, and certainly not Boeing, especially not if in trying to service PM Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ program it is also required to make it in India, which in terms of economies of scale, makes no sense to anybody. And buying this small lot of aircraft will mean the country paying through its nose for them.

    Why Sea Gripen Won’t Fit the Bill

    The reason the Swedish SAAB company will be happy to manufacture Sea Gripen in India is due to its confidence about selling some 200 of its variants in competition with the F-16, along with fully transferring to India “all source codes” — the design-wise know-why element. But there’s yet another problem.
    Assuming the Sea Gripen is generally of the same size as the air force variant, then this aircraft, as stalwart naval persons will tell you, will barely fit on the lifts in the IACs (Indigenous Aircraft Carrier) that carry the planes on to the deck.
    Boeing would be interested too, if the IAF picked the F-18 for its fleet, except Boeing is unlikely to pass on source codes and other ‘black box’ technologies to any Indian private sector company or public sector firm, like HAL.

    Dassault Also in the Fray

    The joker in the pack is Dassault, which is hell-bent on selling its ‘Maritime’ version to the Navy to complement the initial sale of Rafale to IAF.
    This is part of the wedge-in-the-door strategy to sell piecemeal lots at progressively higher prices, without having to go through the rigmarole of transfer of technology under the ‘Make in India’ obligations.

    Senior naval persons inform that teams from Dassault and Boeing have visited Vikrant, taken measurements and may come up with few solutions. These will include tilting the aircraft just a bit to get them onto the elevator and the hangar below-deck, for which purpose some re-engineering of the hydraulics in the elevators may be needed.

    Iron Rule of ‘No Import’

    But Modi government, having taken flak for 36 aircraft Rafale purchase and with 2019 elections looming, will not allow sourcing of the F-18s without the “make in India” component. This option could become available if India is willing to pay a horrendous price for it. So, it’s ruled out. The one and only solution then would be the default option of buying more improved MiG-29Ks for IACs 1 through 3 at enhanced cost — improvements in the aircraft, as Admirals reveal, that have been made at India’s expense, on the basis of enormous and invaluable four years’ test flying data accessible to the Russians.

    But why blame the Russians, the Americans, the Swedes, the French and anybody else selling military equipment for taking advantage of India? That’s the logic of the armaments business.
    What is hurtful though is how the military services do next to nothing to correct the situation other than justify “immediate”/”urgent” need to line up the next series of imports, and absolutely incomprehensible is why the Govt of India — whatever the party in power — is loath to implement drastic measures to end such abject dependency.
    Such as laying down a ‘No Imports’ Iron Rule – which alone will compel the armed services seriously to turn to making indigenous projects successful because they’ll be bereft of other options. To make such decisions will take quite stupendous political will, but that’s what Narendra Modi was supposed to muster. No?

    https://www.thequint.com/voices/opinion/lca-navy-a-victim-of-archaic-decision-making-processes
     
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  4. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Well reading and countering Bharat Karnad articles is mainly a waste of time and, the author should have simply ignored him too and moved on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
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  5. Sahil ecclstone

    Sahil ecclstone FULL MEMBER

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    This is from BRF
    Any confirmation of this?

    Chart is

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-a259yUcE...jkYK-lPbi1dgCLcBGAs/s1600/CEMILAC+Chart-1.jpg

    Updates:

    1. The supersonic tanks and the 800 ltr tanks are coming up for various tests by the end of the year before actual flight testing.
    2. The lowest speed for LCA Mk1 is below the 120 knots that has been put up on that chart. They are regularly flying below that number now. Don't ask further, won't tell.
    3. The AUW for the LCA AF Mk2 in that chart is approximately correct.
    4. The climb rate of LCA is wrong. Don't ask further, won't tell.
    5. The (unrefueled) ferry range is currently not 3000 kms, but they are going to plumb the midboard pylons as well. You are speaking of 4000 ltrs of extra fuel. At that point 3000 kms will be.
    6. Note the maximum payload of Mk1. It is not exactly 4000 kg, but pretty close.
    7. The uninstalled thrust on Mk1, Mk2 and the Gripen are all wrong.
    8. Mk2 is going to +9G capable.
     
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  6. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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  7. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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  8. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    IAF want every weapon available. Nothing is ever good enough.
     
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  9. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    You missed the important part:

    "As Python missile integration facing hurdles"
     
  10. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Was posted some pages before.
     
  11. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Source is MBDA. These journalists are on a paid tour. If its even true it will be the same for ASRAAM.
     
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  12. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Exactly, that's why I said if true, but we have seen reports about issues with Python V earlier too.
     
  13. GuardianRED

    GuardianRED Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  14. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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  15. GuardianRED

    GuardianRED Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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