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TRISHUL: LCA-AF Mk.2 Can Still Become A Reality. Here's How:

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Gessler, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Gessler

    Gessler Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    [​IMG]

    A revised roadmap dealing with the propulsion system for both the Tejas Mk.1A and the LCA-AF Mk.2 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) is slowly but gradually emerging, following the satisfactory conclusion of recently-held negotiations between India’s MoD-owned Defence R & D Organisation (DRDO) and France’s SAFRAN Group.

    If and when it is implemented (it is still awaiting authorisation from the Govt of India), the planned 83 Tejas Mk.1As will use the GE-supplied F404-IN20 turbofans, and after these engines reach the end of their total technical service lives (TTSL), they will be replaced by a new 98kN-thrust (with afterburning) turbofan that will use the M88-2 engine’s core section supplied off-the-shelf by France’s SAFRAN, while up to 60% of the turbofan’s components will be derived from those already developed by the DRDO’s Bengaluru-based Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) for the Kaveri turbofan. All these modified components (including second-generation single-crystal turbine blades) will be co-developed with the help of military-technical mentoring by SAFRAN. So, for 83 Tejas Mk.1A MRCAs, the turbofans to be procured should comprise 83 F404-GE-IN20s, plus 83 of those turbofans that will be co-developed by GTRE and SAFRAN.

    For the LCA-AF Mk.2 MRCA, the turbofan to be co-developed by GTRE and SAFRAN will, from the very outset, become the definitive propulsion system. However, the question of exactly how many LCA-AF Mk.2s need to be ordered has not yet been answered by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

    [​IMG]
    M88-2 Turbofan

    This, in turn means that GTRE and SAFRAN will have until 2026 to come up with the definitive turbofan for the commencement of airworthiness-related flight-test regime for both the Tejas Mk.1A and the LCA-AF Mk.2’s weaponised prototypes. Initially, however, the LCA-AF Mk.2’s flying prototypes will be powered by F414-GE-INS6 turbofans.

    [​IMG]
    GTRE's Kaveri Turbofan

    As I had explained earlier, it all depends on how or whether at all SOUND COMMON SENSE can be or cannot be applied. Let me elaborate: the Jaguar IS/DARIN-3 platforms, even after re-engining, will be able to stay in service for only another 15 years. Since these aircraft are now used for tactical air interdiction and battlefield air-interdiction (since the deep-strike roles will be taken over by the Rafales and several Su-30MKIs, while tactical interdiction/defensive counter-air roles will eventually be taken over by up to 150 single-engined imported MRCA like the F-16 Block 70), there exists a market for fourth-generation battlefield air-interdiction/defensive counter-air MRCAs—roughly 160 aircraft—required for replacing the Jaguar IS/DARIN-3 platforms. This is where the LCA-AF Mk.2 ought to come in, but the project will have to be INTELLIGENTLY managed, i.e. make the MoD-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) the prime contractor answerable to IAF HQ, while reducing the DRDO’s Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to just a design services provider. HAL in turn should be empowered through sufficient managerial autonomy to appoint its own clusters of public-sector/private-sector vendors as sub-systems/components suppliers, so that HAL does only final-assembly and systems integration.

    [​IMG]
    Kaveri components

    Above all, HAL must be allowed to come up with a financial plan under which such an industrial consortium will be required to put up 80% of the LCA-AF Mk.2’s non-recurring developmental costs, this of course being offset by a guaranteed, irrevocable order for 160 LCA-AF Mk.2s. HAL in turn must be able to guarantee a fully functional/ certified, weaponised LCA-AF Mk.2 at best by 2028 (if developmental work commences in 2018). If this is done, then the IAF will not have to worry about incurring additional costs for force modernisation and it will then stop opposing the LCA-AF Mk.2’s service-induction. Similarly, the Indian Navy (IN) should be bold enough to use a variant of the LCA-AF Mk.2 as a shore-based maritime-strike platform. Meanwhile, the tandem-seater version of the Tejas Mk.1A can be made to serve as lead-in fighter-trainers (LIFT) for both the IAF and IN.

    All this is definitely doable from both financial and military-industrial standpoints, but it will require enormous amounts of sound common-sense to be pooled from within the Union Ministry of Finance, MoD, and the IAF and IN HQs so that a comprehensive project management roadmap can be articulated and adhered to without any deviations.

    [​IMG]
    General Electric F414-GE-INS6

    Interestingly, the IAF has mandated that IF the fifth-generation AMCA is to be indigenously developed by ADA, then use must be made of F414-GE-INS6 turbofans for that portion of the flight-test regime that is dedicated to the optimisation of the medium-weight AMCA’s airframe (the Su-57 FGFA on the other hand is a heavyweight fifth-generation MRCA), flight-control logic and the digital fly-by-wire flight control system.

    http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2017/08/lca-af-mk2-can-still-become-reality.html

    @Abingdonboy @randomradio @vstol jockey @Picdelamirand-oil @halloweene @PARIKRAMA @MilSpec @Agent_47 @Hellfire @BON PLAN @GuardianRED @lca-fan
     
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  2. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    I had always maintained that Upgraded Kaveri will have at least the same thrust levels as F414INS6 and this article just confirms that. We need to see if the weight can be brought down to around 1050kgs. This will need shedding about 100kgs more.
     
  3. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Can anyone check the exact progress on HTFE engine from any of these journos? I am unable to contact the right persons as of now.
     
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  4. Blackjay

    Blackjay Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    Finally, something official (ish).:bounce-grn:

    When he said 83 Kaveri for mk1a,I think he forgot the 40 IOC and FOC mk1.They use the same engine too.They will be upgraded too once their F404 have completed it's service life.

    @vstol jockey 98 KN with afterburner, could you calculate the dry thrust from that???

    Thanks in advance....
     
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  5. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    [​IMG]

    This is the Kaveri as it is now with a max thrust with after burner of 81 kN instead of 98 kN for the Kaveri Safranised.
    But what is interesting is the bypass Ratio which is 0.16 - 0.18. The M-88 bypass Ratio is fixed at 0.16, so this variable bypass ratio is like the advent project:
    http://www.defensenews.com/air/2017...ssening-f-35-flight-restrictions-at-luke-afb/

    So even if the core is from M-88 the new Safranised Kaveri will allow the Rafale MLU to fly farther than today’s aircraft, without sacrificing the speed and power when engaging the enemy.

     
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  6. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    So there could be an automatic 400+ unit market for the 'Safranised Kaveri' outside of India within the next 10-15 years?
     
  7. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    even if we assume 60% thrust boost by afterburner, it cud well be 62KN dry thrust or it cud be 65KN dry and 98KN wet with 50% afterburner boost.
     
  8. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    In Modern engine you remove 1/3 of the max thrust.
     
  9. Blackjay

    Blackjay Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    One update,there might be a second part of this report concerning mk2 uploaded later today....

     
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  10. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    I have not be able to very clearly make out how Kaveri does that except for the variable inlet guide vane which seem to change the bypass ratio, The ADVENT engine has a different mechanism based on adding more mass flow thru an additional stream of air. In Kaveri there are just two streams only.
     
  11. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    It's interesting that "supercruise" isn't being more widely adopted don't you think? It was stated to be the "next big thing" in engine tech/capabilities when the F-22 was being developed but to this day it remains the only operational jet with this capability and even future engines/fighters/variants aren't targeting this requirement, most notably the F-35 is without this capability so the Americans themselves see only limited utility in it.

    @Picdelamirand-oil
     
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  12. Blackjay

    Blackjay Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    Thanks guys.....
     
  13. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    It all depends on how much air is bypassed. Larger the amount of bypass air, more is the air available for after burning and so more is the afterburning boost. Lower the bypass ratio, lesser is the air available past combustion chamber and lesser will be the afterburning boost.
     
  14. Angel Eyes

    Angel Eyes 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    What about twin engine Mk-2s....??
     
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  15. Blackjay

    Blackjay Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    A random thought....

    All these years hal/DRDO never had a Indian program to play with.Now finally they do.In the last year we have heard about a drone version,a dual engine version and a lift version.This in addition to four variants already present namely airforce, airforce trainer,navy and navy trainer.
    I do think all the reasons given for no more mk2 because mk1a is enough or navy version is overweight or mk2 will be too late are wrong.Hal/drdo have a platform and they will not let it die till their is AMCA or someother plane to take it's place.


    Waiting to hear about electronic warfare version of Tejas.:cheesy:
     

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