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Tejas far behind competitors, not enough to protect Indian skies: IAF

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by stephen cohen, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Are you alluding to my post where I said that RAFALE deal was signed on a inauspicious day? I still stand by it.
     
  2. The enlightened

    The enlightened Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    I can't remember what and when.

    But it was around the same time you were still on the
    'F-16 and F-18 will come by end of 2016, BELIEVE ME, really please, just believe me'​
    train.:tongue:
     
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  3. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Unfortunately, Indians do not like knowing the truth. And I have a dislike for living in a fool's paradise. Like INSAS - lovely weapon for a firing range damn accurate and reliable to make a nice grouping, but I never carried anything other than a Czech Vz 58 in valley. Was not interested in learning to strip it down in microseconds to unjam it :D

    Why I hate DPSUs? Because in name of indigenisation they have robbed us ... the ToT for BFSR of Polish origin was achieved. The original Battery of Polish BFSR lasts for X hours in snow environs in winters. BEL fabricated battery lasts Y ... and X >>>> Y. Now for Y, I need a generator running at 70% of a period of 24 hours, authorised? at 6% of the day!!!!

    Need I go on? :(
     
  4. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    The following is what I said. The delay was due to MP strongly batting for Tejas and pushing the SE tender process to delay the foreign fighter procurement. Now that MP has been replaced with NS, things are moving very quickly. NS has asked IAF to present a plan to mitigate the issue related to falling squadrons (Re: quick induction of F-16s). Both additional RAFALEs and F-16s are expected to be part of the IAF proposal. The current negotiations are centered around a direct F-16 deal without going through the tender process. F-16s would be a G2G deal while Gripen would follow SP/MII model.

    upload_2017-11-11_8-30-39.png
     
  5. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    The indigenously made single-engine fighter Tejas, now 30 years in the making, isn't yet good enough to protect the Indian skies on its own. This is what the Indian Air Force (IAF) has gently but firmly told the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

    The government recently told the IAF to scrap its plans of acquiring single-engine fighters through the "Make In India" route and instead go for the totally homemade Tejas.

    There are only two proven single-engine fighters. They are the JAS 39 Gripen, a single-engine multi-role fighter manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab, and the US-made F-16, manufactured by Lockheed Martin. While the USA has been applying diplomatic pressure on India to go for the F-16s, former defence minister Manohar Parrikar's Sweden visit in 2016 indicated that India was also considering the Gripen.

    The Modi government is keen to reduce India's dependence on foreign defence platforms and wants to create a defence manufacturing hub in India. Parrikar, during his short but eventful tenure, ensured that the IAF agreed to induct the homemade fighter, and to be fair, Tejas has received the support of the forces, especially the IAF, which has agreed to buy 123 Tejas fighters, though not fighting fit yet.


    India's quest for a home-grown fighter

    What the Modi government is doing now has been tried earlier too. Tejas isn't India's first homemade fighter.

    Charged by the Nehruvian vision of industrial and economic self-reliance, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - a defence public sector unit (PSU) that now produces the Tejas - had produced the twin engine HF-24 Marut, India's first indigenous fighter-bomber in the 1960s. Work for the Marut began in mid-1950s. Kurt Tank, who had designed the Fockë-Wulf-190 - one of the top performing German fighters during World War II - was persuaded by Jawaharlal Nehru to take over the responsibility of making the Marut.

    The first fighter was handed over to IAF's Dagger Squadron on April 1, 1967. The Marut proved its mettle in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Two squadrons of the Marut would fly more than 300 combat sorties during the fortnight-long hostilities between India and Pakistan. Not a single Marut was shot down or damaged by the enemy. By the mid-1970s, the fighter had reached 70 per cent indigenisation. A total of 147 Marut fighters were built before they were decommissioned in the 1980s.

    However, the Marut was under-powered and proved too expensive to maintain. And like the Marut, the Tejas too has technical limitations.


    The homemade dream and the problems therein

    According to those who have given the best years of their life to the IAF, the Tejas is small, nimble, and unique, but it has its share of problems as well.

    The Tejas requires more man-hours to maintain, cannot carry as much ordnance as its counterparts and most importantly, cannot fly as far as the others in a single sortie. Other single-engine fighters can be effective over a radius of over 500km whereas the Tejas can do just 300km. The radius of action of the Tejas is far smaller, making it less effective.


    Balancing the short-, medium- and long-term needs of India

    The IAF's firm rejection is based on the short- and medium-term need to build capabilities to deal with threats from either Pakistan or China or both. The number of fighter aircraft IAF has is dwindling steadily. It will lose another 11 fighter squadrons by 2019-20, bringing the total strength down to 22 fighter squadrons.

    Lack of spares and poor serviceability of fighter aircraft means a further drop in number of fighters for operational task on a given day.

    In contrast, Pakistan has between 24 and 27 squadrons and is now inducting the Chinese-made J-17 fighters. The Chinese People's Liberation Army (Air Force) has about 3,000 fighters. However, the entire fleet of fighters of neither Pakistan nor China are new or up-to-the-mark. But numbers do matter if these outdated, old and new fighters of Pakistan and China can be deployed in a concentrated manner in a given theatre. Clearly, the IAF's refusal to go only for homemade fighter aircraft is driven by its anxiety "to do the job".

    The government's decision to go for the homemade fighters is driven by a slightly different perspective. It aims to make India a manufacturing hub - including defence - in the long term. Giving up on the homemade Marut in the 1980s wasn't the best decision. But, hindsight always gives wisdom. A developing country with competing needs would definitely invest more on food, health and education than funding weapons programmes. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the former head of Pakistan, who was later hanged, once famously remarked "we will eat grass" but will build a nuclear bomb. Pakistan did build the bomb but, in the process, became a textbook example of a failed state.

    We, as a nation, decided to invest more on IITs and medical colleges, roads, dams, agriculture, and airports and thereby building a composite and progressive India. There have been slips and the job could have been done better, but over the years, the Indian economy has emerged strong and resilient.


    So, who is wrong and what is the way forward?

    In the day and age of instant food, Any Time Money, and quick gratification, problems or difficult questions necessarily require binary answers - right or wrong. Unfortunately, in this case there is neither a right nor a wrong answer.

    Both the IAF and government are right and wrong. The IAF, because of the nature of job at hand, is looking at the immediate scenario and wants to be prepared. Similarly, by insisting on the homemade fighter, the government too wants to be prepared for the long-term.

    Perhaps what Nehru did in the 1950s is the way forward. Just as Nehru hired Kurt Tank for the Marut, India can hire another expert to fine-tune the Tejas. India today can well afford to do that. And, in the interim, India can also well afford to buy few more fighter aircraft through the "Make In India" route to fill the gaps.

    Let's not give up on the Tejas but let us also give our air warriors what they want so that they can do their job.
     
    Anish likes this.
  6. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Bro, you are correct on these aspects. But Bofors changed this.

    Except for political/strategic deals, like the Virat from your time or Gorky of this time, the govt has stopped interfering in deals that are led by tenders. As the govt said, tenders will be the first priority of the govt. FMS type deals will happen only if tenders are not possible. And the govt won't interfere in tenders, it's all done by committees. The army does paper trials, followed by field trials, then shortlist, then they open bids to determine L1 and a committee takes over negotiations. After the negotiations are over, only then will the govt come in, for either approval or disapproval, which is mostly determined by the funds available.

    The fact is there was nothing stopping us from going for M-2000 and Mig-29 production save for funds.

    Also, no, funds is something we don't have. And this is the primary reason:
    [​IMG]

    You will notice that the exchange rate was stable in the 60s and 70s, then it got screwed up from the mid 80s to the late 90s. You are confusing politics with money, we simply didn't have money. Today, we are crying about the exchange rate climbing from 45 to 68. Imagine back in the 80s and 90s when it climbed from 10 to 45, that's mindbogglingly insane.

    Our currency actually became stable only in 1999. That made pursuing the MKI and MRCA simultaneously possible. Look at the period between 2000 and 2011. During this time our procurement was first class. We bought hundreds of MKI, we bought the Hawk, we bought T-90, P-8, Phalcon, Pilatus, Scorpenes, Arihant, C-17, C-130, Gorky, Akula, Kolkata, Shivalik so on and so forth, the list is endless. From 2000 to 2011 there was no end to all the defence deals we signed.

    But the minute the economy started going down, the last 5 years in particular, defence deals dried up. We are still paying for stuff we bought the last decade. What have we bought in the last 5 years, you tell me? We should have at least signed the MMRCA, but we didn't, not enough money to sustain the program. Except for the 36 Rafales and some Apache, there was nothing of note purchased in the last 5 years. We didn't even have money for mid air refuelers. Normally, we should have been able to purchase a Rafale GTG sized deal every year in comparison to our defence budget.

    And now, the govt is in fixer-upper mode. They need to bring the economy back on track, once we achieve 8-9% growth, we will go back to the kind of purchases we made back from 2000 onwards. You can expect our exchange rate to be stable or it may even strengthen over the next 10-15 years. Post 2020 you will once against start seeing Rafale GTG sized deals being signed every year, maybe much bigger than the Rafale deal. The pick up in modernization is already starting with the new P-17A and Talwar class frigates deals.

    If it wasn't for our economic troubles, we would have had a M-2000 and Mig-29 production line through the 90s instead of having a lost decade. Politics didn't give us the lost decade, our economy did.

    Since 2012, the only new weapons we bought are the Apache and Rafale, that's it. The cumulative total over 5 years is barely over $10B. That's peanuts. Compare that to the MKI deal or Scorpene deal which were so much bigger compared to the size of our defence budget.

    Economic growth is the main driver of defence expansion, politics is simply a backseat driver.
     
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  7. Rajaraja Chola

    Rajaraja Chola 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    A reason why i wont take these news easily. Our media is a good sellout for a few bucks of money. If anyone can actually ask them who is the source they will tell an retired guy who has inside information and retired 10s of years ago
     
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  8. Anish

    Anish Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Is the Tejas cancellation finalised or is the formal declaration pending?

    I called the Tejas cancellation back in 2011.

    Burnol needed for most of this forum and other indian military forums
     
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  9. dadeechi

    dadeechi Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Tejas program would not officially get cancelled at least until the vendor selection for the Single Engine tender has been completed i.e 2021.
     
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  10. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    I will answer this in a few days. Am working on something to further drive in the point that politics will decide the procurement as economics drive the overall paradigm for us :D
     
  11. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    I agree on this ... but then I agreed with your assessment of F-16 last year too :D
     
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  12. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Not finalised. Tejas may head for a death. Project LCA will see repositioning as a meaningful technology base in Private Sector perhaps.
     
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  13. Anish

    Anish Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    That is what the IAF needs.

    With Tejas out of the way and back in the labs the IAF can finally get a real LCA with genuine combat capabilities such as F-16 or Gripen but Gripen has a poor chance compared to F-16 B70 which is imminent but sadly will take time like all defence matters.
     
  14. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Ok, I will now give you only 01 Hint.

    Ustinov also proposed production line for SS 21 Scarab (or the OTR 21 Tochka missile :D) along with the other proposals of Su22/Mig27 etc etc earlier mentioned


    Guess this one out ..........................................

    Posting the picture of OTR 21 Tochka

    [​IMG]

    @PARIKRAMA
    @nair
    @Gessler
    Does it remind you of some member of IGMDP?

    Now you know why Mirage 2000 was stuck to 40 + 9 follow on? :D
     
  15. Gessler

    Gessler Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Prithvi....? :angel:
     
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