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‘We back indigenisation, but Tejas didn’t fit the bill’

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by OverLoad, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. OverLoad

    OverLoad BANNED BANNED

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    http://www.thehindu.com/news/nation...-tejas-didnt-fit-the-bill/article17664569.ece

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    The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, in a wide-ranging interview with The Hindu, clarifies that the Navy has only taken a purely technical decision in turning down the naval version of the light combat aircraft developed by the DRDO despite its strong commitment to indigenisation. He highlights the need to step up training facilities to meet personnel shortage and the Navy’s strong ‘Act East’ focus.

    All along, the Navy had placed thrust on indigenisation of assets, but is now facing flak for turning down the home-grown fighter LCA Navy, which is being read as a retreat from the earlier commitment.

    We are the pioneers of indigenisation, which we started in the 1960s and have worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the DRDO, whose naval labs also have naval personnel. As for the LCA (light combat aircraft Tejas) programme, the Navy was the first service to support the ADA (the Aeronautical Development Agency) in its development and the Air Force came on board at a later date. What the Navy wants is a deck-based fighter, but the LCA Navy Mk1 doesn’t meet that requirement. Its power-to-weight ratio, the thrust the engine generates [are insufficient] and it’s underpowered for the airframe. Unfortunately, even the Mk2 variant doesn’t qualify. That’s why we took this case up to the Defence Ministry.

    A good 25% of the financial support for the project comes from the Navy. As and when the ADA produces a fighter that can operate from the deck of an aircraft carrier, we will be more than willing to acquire it and fly it. The LCA Navy was supposed to be flying off from [the aircraft carrier] Vikramaditya. The second carrier, Vikrant, should be sailing in 2019. So we want a deck-based fighter today. The timelines that the ADA promised to generate one was over a decade ago. We are looking at a period of at least a decade for the ADA to produce a deck-based fighter. In the meantime, the Ministry has allowed us to go ahead and look for a fighter that meets our requirements following which we issued an RFI.

    Timelines have slipped for the under-construction, maiden indigenous carrier Vikrant thanks in part also to delay in delivery of aviation equipment from Russia. Also, what is the latest on the third carrier?

    There have been some delays in the delivery of equipment for the aviation complex from Russia. We are hopeful that Vikrant will start going to trials in 2019.

    As for the IAC-II [second indigenous aircraft carrier], we are taking up the case with the Ministry for which we will get an approval sooner than later. We are looking at a CATOBAR aircraft carrier above 65,000 tonnes and with EMALS and an advanced air strip.

    What will be the fate of the decommissioned carrier INS Viraat?

    The Navy will like the Viraat to be converted into a museum, but it is not the Navy’s job to do that. We made an offer through the Ministry to all the coastal States, but only Andhra Pradesh responded. The offer was that we will give the ship to you and you will convert it into a maritime museum at your cost, without any funding from the Ministry. The proposal that we got from Andhra Pradesh was for a 50:50 partnership. The Ministry is very clear that they are not going to do that. So, at the moment, we have no proposal to convert her into a museum. If we don’t have a concrete proposal, we propose that the ship be scrapped. Off the cuff, what I thought was we could take her out to sea and make her a maritime museum by sinking her in 30-40 metres of water not far from the coast, thereby turning her into a diving site. Interested people will dive to have a sight of the ship.

    We don’t want to go through the Vikrant experience in which we gifted the ship to the State of Maharashtra for ₹1 and got stuck with her for 17 years, occupying valuable berthing space. And, then there was this hullabaloo when she was to be scrapped. It’s a costly affair to convert a carrier into a floating maritime museum and given the cost of construction of a jetty, it costs you roughly about ₹1,000 crore.

    How do you plan to address shortage of personnel and also attain gender parity by inducting women officers in combat roles?

    There is a steady growth in the number of sailors and officers being integrated, and overall shortages as per percentage have come down. But we are constrained by our capacity to train. We have to get the right kind of people and have to compete with other avenues that are open to youngsters to get the kind of people we need. The shortages are gradually being bridged, with the Indian Naval Academy working in full capacity at 1,300 cadets. We induct about 800 officers each year, but 500 retire annually. So the net gain is 300. With increase in training capacity and the government sanctioning more numbers, we will be able to liquidate the shortage in five to six years.

    The other issue is of inducting women to serve on board ships. We have about 570 women officers in branches such as education, logistics, ATC, as observers on maritime reconnaissance aircraft and the law, and not counting the doctors. We have identified ships on which [billeting] facilities are available for women officers and are working on the modalities of their induction on board ships. We need some minimum numbers [of women] on each ship. We are also going to do a survey and ask them if they want to serve on board ships. And then we will take a call and take this proposal forward.

    A string of accidents had dented the image of the Navy a couple of years ago. It seemed to be a thing of the past when the frigate INS Betwa collapsed on its side in the drydock late last year.

    To be honest, I cannot give an assurance that there will be zero accidents. But SOPs have been put in place and a culture of safety is being enforced. The number of accidents has come down drastically lately. Some of those past incidents have been blown out of proportion by the media.INS Betwa’s was an accident that shouldn’t have happened. A Board of Inquiry is looking into it. Basically, there was a mistake in calculating the stability [on the blocks].

    Of late, the Navy has been focussing strongly on the eastern side, strengthening the security apparatus along the island chains.

    In Andaman and Nicobar, newer and more capable assets are in place in the form of Kora-class ships [corvettes] and there is a long-term infrastructure plan where airfields in the northern group of islands are being strengthened and lengthened for heavier aircraft to operate. A similar project is taking place in the south. Infrastructure plans of making OTR (operational turnaround) facilities in the southern group of islands have started to move. The Boeing P8I [long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft] is being deployed from Port Blair.

    At the same time, our cooperation with our neighbours in the east has grown. We have resolved our maritime boundary issues with Bangladesh and there is much greater interaction with Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. It’s no just ‘Look East’, we are also ‘Acting East’ in accordance with the government’s policy.

    We are assisting island nations in the IOR (Indian Ocean Region) and neighbours in the East in capability enhancement and are doing coordinated patrols with Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia.

    For full text of the interview, visit http://bit.ly/sunillanbainterview
     
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  2. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Posted Already in Tejas Thread Dear.
     
  3. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Nothing new. LCA nevy was Navy's own endeavor to modify LCA to suite Naval operations.
    Its was started as an experimental platform, but despite best efforts they couldn't get a proper Naval fighter from it due to platforms inherent characteristics.
     
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  4. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    IN has dumped LCA completely and IAF is interested in only LCA MK1A but ADA is going ahead and burning money in chasing MK2 variant which has no takers.
     
  5. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    MK2 is again going to be an " experimental platform " then:biggthumpup:
     
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  6. Ripcord322

    Ripcord322 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    The whole program is a mess...
    Nothing can help it now...Perhaps we crossed a 'point of no return'...
    Things are just not looking up.
     
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  7. OverLoad

    OverLoad BANNED BANNED

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    It is not about the aircraft but what I believe Indian forces have some grudge you can with DRDO and HAL or simply they don't like locally produced Jets since they have resources and options to get state of the art jets from reputed countries.
     
  8. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    This part is true to an extent.
    They force govt to buy Shiny new toys to play with specially the IAF. which mainly depends on foreign origin aircrafts.
    Nevy on the other hand after the fiasco of INS Viki , focussing heavily on local products.

    Army looks simply confused about its requirements ( MCIWS and Cancelled Assault rifle tender and similar other tenders floating around for decades) , but looks like they too have learned their lesson.
    Recent purchases and possible future inductions are almost entirely focused on local origin like Dhanush howitzer, ATAGS,Arjun MBT( though it has logistical disadvantage due completely new platform to the army), kestrel, NAMICA,Field guns,Pinaka,ATGM and MPATGM,brahmos,Nirbhay, prahaar,AkashDhruv,Rudra , LCH,LUH, All radars ,All missiles.

    IA gets approx 60% of total defense budget
    IAF 20% and
    IN approx 12%

    Considering this IN is doing pretty good. indigenization of Army should be our primary target.
    Let IAF play with imported toys little more time.
     
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  9. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    That's the crucial point! But why is IAF or IN dependent on foreign aircrafts? Because development delays and failures of Indian scientists and defence industry.

    Delay of LCA => caused the need for foreign fighters
    HALs trainers killing young pilots and the constant delays in IJT and HTT40 developments => caused the need for foreign trainers

    But at the same time IAF is procuring plenty of indigenous helicopters, is supporting the developments of indigenous weapons and UAVs. IN is supporting the NLCA program, which they didn't required and still were ready to provide fund, because they know how important it is, to develop these kind of know how in India too, but they are often limited to what is available.

    We can't blame the forces to not take arms that are below the performance requirements, only because they are made in India and at the same time ignore their contribution.
     
  10. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    But where is rationale to replace a maruti 800 with with a Lamborghini ie Mig 21 and 27 with Rafale?
    They are not even in same class and not to forget huge price gap.
    Even United states AF uses F16 as cheap work horse and not raptors.
    Its pure madness.

    IAF needs numbers just like other AFs ie cheap and capable enough to do routine job
     
  11. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    That's a common mistake that many people do, I even read an article of an defence analyst claiming we should go for NLCA because it's better than the Sea Harrier. The problem however is, that the new fighter can't be based on the capability of the old fighters, but on possible enemy fighters!

    Yes LCA MK1 is better than Mig 21 or 27, but not compared to J11, J10 for example. Similarly, an Indian carrier with NLCA will be no match for a Chinese carrier with Flankers.

    A single engined medium class fighter would be great to have in numbers, to reduce the operational costs and increase fighter numbers. Sadly we went for LCA instead, but Rafale / MMRCAs were meant to replace twin engined Mig 27s as well. Btw, US is buying F35s now in numbers and that even to replace A10s or Harriers, which shows how the threat level has changed.
     
  12. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    There is convergence of multiple factors.

    1> No longer dedicated interception, ground attack , CAS and air sup roles.
    2> Chinese threat in quality and quantity has had a massive leap.
    3> With J10, and Flanker variants in the east and f16's and Jf in the west, no longer a Mig21 or Mig23, capability as interceptor or a Mig27 and Jaguar like ground attack and deep strike platform would suffice.
    4> If you want to go into battle, do not go with a similar capability, You must be able to comprehensively beat you opponent, 10 times out of 10.
    6> India's economy and purchasing power has grown quite a bit, gone are the days when we had to suffice with what we could afford.
    7>Availability of tech, restriction regimes are pretty much gone, so we have more choice.
    8> Rafale is an extremely good plaftorm for Indian conditions, let's put it this way, it's significance to us is similar to significance of the fulcrum in mid eighties. I would whole heartedly support bulk of ground attack responsibilities and about 30% of Air sup role being allocated to Rafales, and adequate numbers to cover the role> which in my opinion should be around 5 Sqdns.
     
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  13. AbRaj

    AbRaj Captain FULL MEMBER

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    But IMO its foolish to send Rafale or even Mki's for interception of j7/j8/jf17/ROSEs which right now form bulk of these forces.
    J10 too are not much ahead except for AESA radar.

    We need a cheap workhorse. Imagine few j7+a j20 ambushing Rafale!!
    Even if they down single Rafale at the cost of 2or 3 of j7 that would be a huge win to them and a setback to our Limited inventory of imported jets.
    Remember they can make them with no time and in virtually unlimited quantity.

    Pakistanis are very much into suicidal tactics.
     
  14. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    If India wanted to build Jet fighters, if they have the ability which is somewhat doubtful due to corruption, technical ability, inferstructure and quality control. They would buy the F16 lock stock and barrel, send people to the USA to work and build the F16s here and slowly transfer the plant and ability to India while building F16s and supplying some 4000 F16s that are already out there.
     
  15. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Never lower your guard, because you underestimate your opponent mate!

    One has to admit that PAF / Pakistan as a nation were able to make massive progress in the last decade in terms of capabilities and that with low budgets and access to the arms market.
    In fact we basically have to do the same when we want to fight China, because we neither have China's defence budget, nor the numbers to stay on equal terms. That's the same situation Pakistan has when compared to us and still they were able to close the gap to an extend.

    During Kargil war for example IAF had clear air superiority with it's BVR capability that the Russian fighters provided. Coupled with some early guided strike capabilities, they were able to support our troops in the best possible way. PAF had no choice than stick to defence, since they lacked both BVR and strike capabilities.
    The arrival of the MKI increased the edge, since we were able to detect enemy fighters from long distances.

    But that was then and this is now! PAF today has better AWACS coverage than we have, can support at least their strike fighters with in flight refuelling to extend their range, F16s and JF17s are BVR capable and especially JF 17 added a lot of ground attack capabilites, which they can even use from within their own air space.
    So even if most of our fighters have the edge on quality and numbers, they smartly added force multipliers.

    The same is what we need to fight China, proper AWACS coverage of our eastern borders, building up air bases with the most capable fighters, adding deep strike capabilities to hit them well within their territory, sufficient tanker support to extend range and endurance...
    Sadly we lack behind in all these areas, since the addition of these capabilities is going exteemly slow and China is not waiting for us to catch up.
     

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