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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. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    I respectfully disagree.

    I wouldn't leave anything to hypothetical imagination. If you want to fight someone, get the best stick you can get.
    Don't get the cheapest or the lightest, or the stick that is slightly better than you think you opponent might bring. get the best one you can get.

    IAF was obsessed with the Gnat's light nimble characteristics, it drilled the idea in it's minions, and DRDO blindly followed suit. Today as it stands, the idea to me is antiquated. As we stand now, we need to squeeze the most power projection out of the platform. Tejas from the get go should have been designed to replicate the performance characteristics and scalability of LWF platforms like F16 and F/A18, like the Gripen.

    We instead wanted a mirage that would behave more like a Gnat. With the risk of sounding philosophical, it seems to deeply rooted in our culture of punching below our weight. Our great admiration of underdog triumph syndrome as with the sabre slayers, without giving a thought to how did a country 7 times smaller was able to overwhelm us platform vs platform. Our pilots were left to fend for themselves against a top notch Air Superiority fighter like F86''s with a trainer.
    "Never Again" - should be the lesson learnt.

    I have nothing against the LCA, I love the aircraft, I wish IAF orders 400 of these puppies and swarms the airspace on both fronts for CAP, but absolutely not at the cost of MKI or Rafales.
     
    Sancho likes this.
  2. Sancho

    Sancho Major Technical Analyst

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    Sadly true, the lack of foresight in the design and development stage of the project has caused a lot of issues and from what we see today, we haven't learned much.
    MoD says that there is a need for single engined fighters, but wants them competing with LCA rather than developing AMCA as a single engine fighter. That would reduce operational costs and complement the heavy twin engined Pak Fa / FGFA much more, than having 2 different single engined low end fighters.

    Similarly, ADA / DRDO seems to underestimate the problems of not developing a naval stealth fighter from the start, since they aim on IAF again. When IN really gets access to EMALS and requires catapult capable stealth fighters, I see another NLCA mistake in future, simply because we jumped into this development, without properly looking at what is needed.
     
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  3. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    All members need to remember a few very important aspects of N-LCA program. Firstly, LCA was an out and out IAF program designed to replace only MIG-21s. It was for this reason that it was given the DNA of an interceptor with emphasis on high speed flying ability and small size.
    A team of three IAF officers, In 1983, in Jodhpur Airbase decided that the likely planform of LCA should be Tailless Delta as they were very impressed with M2k which had just been inducted in IAF. That sealed the fate of LCA. This forced ADA to go in for developing FBW which resulted in the delays to this project.
    In 2009, IN was aiming very high. They wanted to have IAC-1 with an Indian designed Deck Fighter on board as its air compliment. Once again ADA made a presentation to IN and promised them moon. IN accepted their proposal and committed to finance the project from its own budget while IAF had till then not even decided about LCA.
    A tailless Delta Planform suffers from many disadvantages w.r.t. T/O & Landing performance besides poor forward visibility due to lack of Flaps. This is an inherent problem even for canard-delta designs. Rafale-M has an approach alpha of 16* for deck ops and it just about manages to meet the visibility requirements. However a tailless Delta is good for cruise and high subsonic combat.
    There is absolutely no reason to cry over the decision taken by IN. It is a correct decision which got delayed. IN should have rejected the proposal in 2009 itself.
     
  4. Sancho

    Sancho Major Technical Analyst

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    The wing design of LCA is not the issue, since M2K, Gripen E, or J10 have similar once but all fall into the medium class. That gives them more scope for capabilities and performance.
    But ADA/Drdo decided to take that design and aim it only on the size of the Mig 21 it replaces. That's what limited LCA because now the aim was to design and develop the "smallest and lightest fighter in it's class", as they always claim.
    Being that small with such a large wing design, added design problems which turned into drag and weight issues. The limited internal size, now limits the space for avionics and fuel.
    The hardpoint layout in is enough for single roles, but doesn't offer enough room to use the fighter as a modern multi role fighter.
     
  5. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    IAF must also share blame for the problems of LCA, they changed the ASQR post Kargil war and demanded MRCA performance from what was essentially an Interceptor with limited ground attack abilities.
    Wing design of LCA is a major issue for Deck operations.
     
  6. Sancho

    Sancho Major Technical Analyst

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    That's not correct, they never demanded MMRCA capabilities but up to date capabilities!
    Tejas is several decades delayed, the initial requirements for radar for example were based on a far earlier induction date.
    Let's assume LCA would had been inducted in 2006, by then an EL 2032 would had been state of the art, but the same fighter would had needed normal upgrades by now, which means EL2052 AESA. Same goes for carrying an ECM pod externally, or integrating EW which is common standard today.
    So IAF is not changing requirements because they want more, but because the development delays force them to have other capabilites now.

    Which is why AMCA should be designed for the navy in the first place, because it's easier to convert a naval design for the use and land bases, than other way around.
     
  7. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Exactly. A good naval design is always an outstanding shore based design for any Air Force but reverse is not true. Even Rafale-M is a compromise for Deck Ops.
     

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