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7 décembre 2015 1 07 /12 /décembre /2015 08:35
India Tejas Light Combat Aircraft PV-1 (KH2003) in flight - photo IAF

India Tejas Light Combat Aircraft PV-1 (KH2003) in flight - photo IAF

 

December 2, 2015: Strategy Page

 

India’s locally designed and built LCA (Light Combat Aircraft or "Tejas") jet fighter has still not received its FOC (Final Operational Clearance), nearly two years after receiving its IOC (Initial Operational Certificate). That is one of many reasons the Indian Air Force is openly pleading with the government not to force them to accept and operate the LCA. The air force has already agreed to accept (and pay for out of their budget) twenty LCAs but is defiantly resisting government suggestions that another hundred LCAs be purchased. Air force commanders point out that the LCA development has been a long list of failures. Moreover the current LCA design is very expensive to maintain and performs poorly in the air.

 

The air force has ample reasons to fear the LCA. In late 2013 the LCA finally, after many delays, was issued an IOC. This allowed LCA to be flown by military pilots, not just certified test pilots. The next goal was to upgrade LCA a bit so that it could earn an FOC. That would confirm that the aircraft was combat ready and that all its systems (electronics, fire control, weapons handling and so on) were operating to the satisfaction of the air force or foreign customers. In late 2013 it was announced that the LCA should earn an FOC by the end of 2014. But to move things along in the meantime the first LCA squadron (20 aircraft) was be built to IOC standards with plans to upgrade to FOC standards later. This first LCA squadron was to be based in the southern tip of India (near Sri Lanka) and far from any likelihood of combat. It will be years, if ever, before India is confident enough in LCA to station any of them on the Pakistani or Chinese border.

 

In 2012 the government admitted an inability to get the LCA into mass production and quietly delayed that goal for at least two more years. Production was originally to begin at the end of 2012 but the number of technical problems with the LCA was too great to clear up in time for production to start on schedule. Many essential electronic items were not functioning properly or reliably. The prototypes were maintenance nightmares and after each test flight it took several days to get the aircraft in shape to fly again. The managers of this government financed project tried to keep the problems quiet while problems were quickly and quietly fixed. The bureaucrats failed at both these tasks. The failures continue because the plan to earn the FOC in 2015 was missed for the usual reasons (equipment failures and poor performance). The current date for getting the FOC is early 2016 but no one is certain about that, or anything else having to do the LCA.

 

This IOC/FOC mess was not the first major failure for the LCA. In early 2013 India admitted defeat and dropped plans to use the locally developed Kaveri engine in the LCA. After 24 years and over $600 million the Kaveri was unable to achieve the necessary performance or reliability goals. The government plans to try and adapt the Kaveri for use in a combat UAV that is being developed locally but that aircraft is not expected to fly until the end of the decade.

 

The LCA developers saw this Kaveri disaster coming in 2012 and several years earlier ordered 99 American F414 jet engines for $8.1 million each. These were to be used for the first LCAs being mass produced. At that point it was still believed that eventually most of the LCAs were to be powered by the Kaveri engine. The F414s were to substitute only until the Kaveri was ready but now are a long-term solution.

 

The failure of the Kaveri project is just one of many examples of how the Indian defense procurement bureaucracy misfires. Efforts to fix the mess even led to calling in foreign experts (from the U.S., Israel, and other Western nations). For example, in 2010 India made arrangements with French engine manufacturer Snecma to provide technical assistance for the Kaveri design and manufacturing problems. Critics in the Indian air force asserted that help from Snecma would not save the ill-fated Kaveri program. But the government apparently believed that it was necessary for India to acquire the ability to design and build world class jet engines, whatever the cost. Only a few nations can do this and India wants to be one of them, soon, no matter what obstacles are encountered. Despite decades of effort, the Kaveri never quite made it to mass production. Now the government will continue funding development of jet engine design and manufacturing capability, but with some unspecified changes.

 

There is much to be learned from all these development disasters. When work began on the Kaveri, in the mid-1980s, it was believed that the LCA would be ready for flight testing by 1990. A long list of technical delays put off that first flight until 2001. Corners had to be cut to make this happen, for the LCA was originally designed to use the Indian built Kaveri engine and the engine was never ready.

 

For all this, by 2012 India only planned to buy 200-300 LCAs, mainly to replace its aging MiG-21s, plus more if the navy finds the LCA works on carriers. Now those plans have been cut to 120 for the air force as the navy has made it clear it wants nothing to do with LCA. Export prospects are dim, given all the competition out there (especially for cheap, second-hand F-16s). The delays have led the air force to look around for a hundred or so new aircraft (or even used F-16s) to fill the gap between elderly MiG-21s falling apart and the arrival of the new LCAs. There is no end in sight for this tragicomic farce.

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
India Tejas Light Combat Aircraft PV-1 (KH2003) in flight.

India Tejas Light Combat Aircraft PV-1 (KH2003) in flight.

 

Mar 13, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued March 10, 2015)

 

Delay In Tejas LCA Project


The First Series Production Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has been handed over to Chief of Air Staff by Raksha Mantri on 17th January 2015.

The following are some of the reasons for delay in completion of LCA project:
-- Ab-initio development of the state-of-the-art technologies.
-- Non-availability of trained / skilled manpower in the country.
-- Non-availability of infrastructure / test facilities in the country.
-- Unanticipated technical / technological complexities faced in structural design.
-- Non-availability of critical components / equipment / materials and denial of technologies by the technologically advanced countries.
-- Enhanced User’s requirements or change in specifications during development.
-- Increase in the scope of work.
-- Inadequate production facility at HAL

The initial cost of Full Scale Engineering Development (FSED) Programme Phase-II of LCA Tejas was Rs. 3301.78 crore. Based on modifications required in the aircraft, an additional sanction of Rs. 2475.78 crore was granted, which increased the total sanctioned cost of Phase-II Programme to Rs. 5777.56 crore.

From the open sources, it is seen that the contemporary aircraft of LCA developed in other countries are JAS-39 by Sweden, FA-50 by South Korea and JF-17 by Pakistan / China.

The engines installed in these aircraft (except that of JF-17) are GE-404 series engines. LCA parameters, such as empty weight, all-up weight (except that of JAS-39), thrust, speed (except that of JAS-39) are better than those of the other aircrafts.

Similarly, development / unit cost of LCA are less than those of JAS-39 and FA-50 but more than that of JF-17. However, LCA’s Ferry Range is less than those of other aircrafts.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Palvai Govardhan Reddy in Rajya Sabha today.

Under Water Vehicles Developed By DRDO
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) as technology demonstrator. A project has been taken up to demonstrate certain enhanced critical parameters of the AUV.

DRDO has undertaken a feasibility study for the development of different types of AUV platforms that could be used for a variety of roles, like surveillance and mine counter measures etc.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Aayanur Manjunatha and Shri Mohd. Ali Khan in Rajya Sabha today.


100 Per Cent FDI In Defence Sector
The Government vide Press Note 7 of 2014 Series dated 26.8.2014 has notified revised FDI Policy in defence sector, according to which FDI upto 49% is allowed in the sector through FIPB route and above 49% through approval of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on case to case basis, wherever it is likely to result in access to modern and state-of-the-art technology in the country.

After opening up of the defence industry sector for FDI in 2001, 33 FDI proposals / Joint Ventures have been approved in defence sector for manufacture of various defence equipment to Indian companies.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri P Bhattacharya in Rajya Sabha today.

JV In Defence Sector
After launching of “Make in India” campaign, the ‘Acceptance of Necessity (AoN)’ have been accorded for 40 projects with Indian as well as Foreign manufacturers, with an amount of approximately Rs. 1,01,264 crore. Further, project-wise details cannot be divulged in the interest of National Security.

The Government vide Press Note 3 of 2015 Series dated 26.6.2014 has notified defence products list for the purpose of issuing Industrial License for manufacturing in the private sector which includes items like electronic warfare, radar etc. apart from other licensable items designed or modified for military purpose.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in a written reply to Dr. T Subbarami Reddy in Rajya Sabha today.

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11 février 2015 3 11 /02 /février /2015 12:35
PART 1: Big Surprises In LCA Navy NP1's Ski-Jump Fight

 

09.02.2015 by Livefist

 

When the first prototype of India's LCA Navy (NP1) roared off the ski-jump at the Shore-based Test Facility (SBTF) for the first time on December 20 last year, no one from the team observing the jet from the flightline and from telemetry stations knew that something unseen had happened. Something that would only become known later in the day when performance data was analysed. And it was good, solid news, much needed for a team that has seen little more than questions, derision and barely veiled bemusement. Importantly, it was the first time the team felt it had an answer to the 'what use is this platform, really?' question.

 

Read more

 

PART 2: The Four 'Fixes' After LCA Navy's Ski-Jump Flight

 

PART 3: The Official LCA Navy Mk.2 Wishlist

 

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11 février 2015 3 11 /02 /février /2015 08:35
photo Livefist

photo Livefist

 

7 févr. 2015 Shiv Aroor - Livefsit

 

The second prototype of India's 1st indigenously built naval fighter, the LCA Navy, takes off on its debut flight in Bengaluru on Feb 7, 2015. More details here

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8 février 2015 7 08 /02 /février /2015 08:35
India's LCA Navy Prototype 2 Flies

 

February 07, 2015 by Livefist

 

The second prototype (NP2) of India's first indigenously developed carrier-borne fighter, the LCA Navy made its first flight today in Bengaluru. The aircraft, a single seater type, made its maiden flight at about 12.27HRS for about 35 minutes.

 

The flight was piloted by Captain Shivnath Dahiya, an Indian Navy test pilot with the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC). The launch was accomplished under telemetry control exercised by Test Director, Commander J D Raturi and Safety Pilot, Commodore J A Maolankar, the Chief Test Pilot of NFTC. The chase aircraft cover was provided by LSP2 piloted by Gp. Capt. Suneet Krishna (Retd) with the Test Director being Gp. Capt Prabhu and the Safety Pilot being Gp. Capt. RR Tyagi.

 

"The success of maiden flight of NP 2 is a testimony to the efforts put in by scientists and engineers to enable flight of the first LCA Naval Fighter. With one trainer and fighter in its stable “the indigenous carrier borne fighter program is making headway snf acquiring momentum," HAL said in a statement.

 

The HAL statement also said: "The ADA LCA (Navy) Programme Office, under Cmde C D Balaji (Retd) is exhilarated by the addition of NP 2 as a Flight Test platform. NP 2 has been built with vision and foresight. It addresses several systemic deficiencies observed whilst making progress on flight test of Naval Prototype 1. It incorporates most avionic hardware components promised to the customer, Indian Navy. During design and build NP 2 has been customized (Plug & Play) to incrementally accept modifications for Carrier Landing aids like Levcon Air Data Computer, Auto-throttle, external and internal Angle of Attack lights. NP 2 is the lead aircraft for arrestor hook integration, Derby Beyond visual Range missile and tactical data link. The inclusion of NP 2 into the LCA (Navy) flight test stable is a significant milestone in the indigenous Carrier borne aircraft development programme."

India's LCA Navy Prototype 2 FliesIndia's LCA Navy Prototype 2 Flies
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29 janvier 2015 4 29 /01 /janvier /2015 13:35
LCA TEJAS Achieved Yet another Accomplishment

 

29 January 2015 - Pacific Sentinel
 

With three consecutive start-ups of its engine after overnight soak in extreme cold (around -15ºC) conditions of Laddakh winter, that too without any external assistance, Tejas, the Indian Light Combat Aircraft has achieved yet another and a rare distinction. Starting the fighter aircraft under such extreme condition without any external assistance or heating is a technology challenge. The requirements become further stringent when the starting is to be done three times consecutively with a partially charged battery. Team LCA led by AERD&C of HAL, and members from ADA, NFTC, IAF, CEMILAC and DGAQA have succeeded in achieving this. “The team LCA has achieved a technological breakthrough”, stated Dr. PS Subramanyam PGD (CA) & Director, ADA. 

 

The engine starter is developed indigenously by HAL Aero Engine Research and Design Centre (AERDC), Bangalore. Prior to aircraft tests, the Jet Fuel Starter (JFS) was extensively tested on test rig to meet starting conditions across the operating altitudes including Leh (10,700 ft.) and Khardungla (18300 ft.). The control software of JFS was fine tuned to work at all operating altitudes with no adjustments from cockpit. GE-F404-IN20 engine start up control schedule was also varied with several control patches to establish reliable start. 

 

Indian Press Information Bureau

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21 janvier 2015 3 21 /01 /janvier /2015 08:35
L'armée de l'Air indienne réceptionne un premier Tejas de série

Un premier Tejas devrait être déclaré pleinement opérationnel fin 2015 photo Indian Air Force

 

19/01/2015 par Emmanuel Huberdeau – Air & Cosmos

 

Enfin ! L'armée de l'air indienne a réceptionné le 15 janvier 2015, un premier chasseur monomoteur LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas de série. L'appareil a été produit localement par HAL (Hindustant Aeronuatics). Lancé dans les années 1980, le Tejas a volé pour la première fois en 2001. Depuis le programme a accumulé bien des retards.

Le premier chasseur livré à l'armée indienne, le LCA-SP1 est sorti d'usine en septembre 2014. Il a par la suite été évalué par les services du ministère de la défense indien. Il a reçu la qualification «Initial Operational Clearance II » et devrait être déclaré pleinement opérationnel d'ici la fin de l'année 2015. L'Idian Air Force avait déjà reçu des Tejas mais ceux ci n'avaient pas été qualifiés pour les opérations. Ils étaient utilisés principalement pour l'entrainement et la formation.

 

Suite de l’article

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18 janvier 2015 7 18 /01 /janvier /2015 08:35
Yes, It's A Big Deal: IAF Gets First Tejas Fighter


17.01.2015 by Livefist
 

With the media shut out, HAL quietly handed over the first series production Tejas light combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force today, marking the beginning of what will hopefully be a long series of handings over over the next few decades. With the Tejas still months away from final operational clearance, today's ceremony -- and it really was a ceremony -- was mostly for the cameras (which weren't there, so who was this for?). But seriously. For all the symbolism that today's 'handing-over' was about, I'm not about to rain on the programme's parade. Not today.

 

Ten years ago, when I began reporting defence, then IAF chief Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy was on his way into retirement. I ambushed him at a government event in October 2004 for a quote on the LCA Tejas, which at the time was having considerable trouble. He wasn't happy. But he did say something no other chief did say. Not that I remember at least. He said, "I'm fed up of the to-and-fro between us and the builders of the LCA. I'm willing to accept the aircraft right now, as is. I am willing to commit my pilots to start clocking numbers on this machine. We need to spend time learning about it, not fighting about it. I am willing to make that commitment."

 

He meant what he said. But he retired weeks later. And there isn't a lot you can do after that. Not for a moment am I suggesting that there weren't other chiefs who wanted to see the Tejas in service as soon as possible, but a book remains to be written about the schadenfreude that was the development of the Tejas. It is in that light alone, if nothing else, that the handing over of an airframe to the IAF today is an occasion that shouldn't be made light of.

 

[On a separate note: I've been stricken by a severe allergic sinusitis, the likes of which I've never experienced before. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Anyone. Spring couldn't be here sooner. Have a good season, all.]

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14 janvier 2015 3 14 /01 /janvier /2015 07:35
photo HAL

photo HAL

 

12 Jan 2015 By: Greg Waldron - FG

 

A Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Tejas Mk1 light combat aircraft (LCA) has flown for the first time with an Indian-developed electronic warfare (EW) suite and a radar warning receiver (RWR).

The equipment was produced by India’s Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE), and was able to detect radar signals during the flight, says the country's defence ministry in a statement.

The EW suite also carries a radar jammer, which the ministry says allows the pilot to “jam” various radar frequency bands.

 

Read more

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10 novembre 2014 1 10 /11 /novembre /2014 17:35
Tejas Trainer Prototype PV6 Takes Off

 

November 08, 2014 by Livefist

 

MoD STATEMENT: The Light Combat Aircraft(LCA)  Tejas Programme witnessed yet another milestone today with the first flight of its trainer PV6. The two-seater version took to the skies at 1336 hrs and was piloted by Gr Capt Vivart Singh along with Gp Capt Anoop Kabadwal. This is the 16th Tejas variant to have flown as part of the project.

 

Read full statement

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 08:35
Inde, le Tejas l’épine dans le pied du Rafale!

 

03/08/2014 Avia news

 

New Dehli, l’avion de combat indien HAL Tejas MkI va recevoir son  approbation opérationnelle finale (FOC) d’ici 2015, en parallèle, le Tejas MKII est attendu pour 2020.

L’arrivée tant attendue de l’avion de combat indien, pose dorénavant un vrai problème sur la finalisation du contrat Rafale, nous allons voir ici, les détails de ce feuilleton.

 

Suite de l'article

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13 décembre 2013 5 13 /12 /décembre /2013 12:35
IAF plans to induct light combat aircraft Tejas later this month

 

12 December 2013 airforce-technology.com

 

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to induct the indigenously developed light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas into its operational service in Bangalore, later this month.

 

Recently, the combat aircraft succeeded in launching an infrared seeking air-to-air missile, which hit the target in a direct hit with precision and destroyed the target.

 

On 20 December, the Initial Operational Clearance- II will be completed for the aircraft at its home base in Bangalore and later it will be inducted into the IAF by Defence Minister AK Antony, according to defence officials.

"The combat aircraft succeeded in launching an infrared seeking air-to-air missile, which hit the target in a direct hit with precision and destroyed the target."

 

The Tejas aircraft will be the LCA Mark 1 and 40 of them will be inducted by the IAF, while DRDO and HAL will continue to make improvements for the aircraft and capable version will be inducted later into the force, said sources.

 

The IAF will have a total of seven squadrons of LCA aircraft, which come to around 140 aircraft, if everything moves ahead to the current plans, reports Brahmand.

 

The aircraft project, which is completing exactly 30 years after it was launched at an approximate overall cost of about Rs25,000bn ($409bn), was sanctioned in 1983 at a cost of Rs560bn ($9.18bn).

 

The aircraft will undergo different tests, even after its induction into the IAF and to get ready for full operational deployment, the aircraft need to attain the Final Operational Clearance (FOC).

 

DRDO said the missile firing test, which was conducted off the coast of Goa in Arabian Sea, demonstrated the required parametres.

 

DRDO chief Avinash Chander was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying that "through this missile launch from Tejas and successfully hitting the target in the first shot, we have demonstrated the total weapon system capability of LCA Tejas."

 

The LCA, which has been undergoing weapon release flight tests for its operational clearance, eliminated an aerial target towed by the pilotless target aircraft Lakshya using its infrared seeker air-to-air missile.

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5 février 2013 2 05 /02 /février /2013 18:35

tejas source Livefist

 

February 05, 2013 business-standard.com (PTI)

 

The much-delayed indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas aircraft is expected to be ready for induction into operational service by 2015, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said today.

 

Talking to reporters, the IAF chief said the indigenous aircraft will have to be modified further for operating in high-altitude areas as recently during trials in Leh, its engine "did not work".

 

"By my estimate it (the Initial Operational Clearance II) should be by the end of this year and the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) should take another year-and-half more," he said on the sidelines of a seminar.

 

The FOC is the final nod required before an aircraft is considered to be ready for operational deployment in an air force. While the IOC I of the LCA Tejas was completed two years ago, but the FOC date has been postponed due to certain issues.

 

Browne said delays do take place in a development project such as the LCA. "Recently we went for high-altitude trials. The engine (of LCA) did not work at that altitude because it is a different cup of tea. Even the Su-30, when it was taken to Leh, it had to be modified. So, the LCA will have to be modified. It has to do the retrials," he said.

 

The IAF chief said the aircraft will take part in the exercise 'Ironfist', which will be held at Pokharan in Rajasthan on February 22.

 

"There it will be firing the R-73 missile along with laser guided bombs etc. But a lot more work is still required," he said.

 

Earlier at an international seminar here, DRDO chief V K Saraswat said the LCA had completed 2,000 test flights.

 

At the same seminar, Browne said the IAF is planning to induct around 350-400 aircraft in the 12th Defence Plan period.

 

The air force is planning to procure more than 200 fighter aircraft including the 126 Rafale medium-multirole combat aircraft, over 40 Su-30MKIs, several types of transport aircraft and various choppers, he said.

 

Listing the major modernisation milestones achieved by the air force, he said the IAF signed 325 contract worth Rs 1.52 lakh crore for modernising the force.

 

"Of these, 217 contracts worth around Rs 84,000 crore have been signed with Indian companies," the IAF chief said.

 

In 2013-14, the IAF is planning to sign several deals including one for 126 Rafale aircraft, additional six C-130J Super Hercules and several chopper contracts for attack and heavy-lift category, he said.

 

On the future requirements of the force, he said advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, electronic warfare suites and unmanned combat aerial vehicles were the need of the force in the future.

 

The IAF chief said testing facilities of DRDO and defence PSUs should be opened up for private sector as they are national assets.

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25 juin 2012 1 25 /06 /juin /2012 12:20
DRDO's Strike Scenario For 3 Indian Fighter Efforts

 

June 25, 2012 by Shiv Aroor LIVEFIST

 

Wanted to write about this, but I just got back to Delhi from a weekend in Bangalore, and I'm rushing off to work, so I'm putting it up anyway. It's from a recent DRDO presentation and perhaps the first that depicts the LCA, AMCA and FGFA in an operational scenario. Comment and tell what you think this slide tells us.

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