LCA Tejas and derivatives news and discussion (reincarnated)

Member for

11 years 5 months

Posts: 2,610

Thanks for the info.

As far as I can make out past and planned HAL production is

project start to end fiscal 2018/2019 16 x Mk1 IOC

fiscal 2019/2020 16 x Mk1 FOC

fiscal 2020/2021 8 x trainer

fiscal 2021/2022 16 x Mk1A?

fiscal 2022/2023 16 x Mk1A?

fiscal 2023/2024 16 x Mk1A?

fiscal 2024/2025 16 x Mk1A?

fiscal 2025/2026 16 x Mk1A?

If the assembly process uses the current line and does not start until fiscal 2026/2027 I don't see how IAF is going to have any Mk2's delivered before 2027/2028.

I think a further production facility is needed and Mk2 should be built there. This would also allow India to take advantage of any potential export orders for Mk1A or further Mk1A orders if Mk2 or MRCA are late (or MRCA is cancelled a la MMRCA).

 

Member for

2 months

Posts: 59

Like I said earlier, HAL has given a figure of 24 units per year as possible, since it has outsourced the manufacture of the fuselage and wings to private companies and only acts as the final integrator. Private companies will only be happy to increase production rates as long as its economically feasible and the order size is big enough.

HAL Nashik will get a new Tejas production line as the Su-30MKI production winds down after the new 18 unit order is delivered. With the MRCA likely to go to a private company based on the Strategic Partner (SP) model that the GoI wants to implement, HAL has only got the Tejas, MWF and after that the twin engine deck based fighter for the Navy. AMCA will go into production in the 2030s. More incentive for HAL to focus on how to maximize its revenues with these jets it'll build.

Member for

2 months

Posts: 59

The image below shows the list of private companies that are building the various modules of the Tejas as of now

https://i.imgur.com/a1DkEX9.png

 

Member for

8 years

Posts: 5,849

Notice that the Elta radar depicted here is a PESA. 

Member for

11 years 5 months

Posts: 2,610

According to a July 2019 article in defensenews Su-30MKI assembly was due to wind up March 20 unless futher orders were received.

https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2019/08/15/an-indian-facility-that…

It also reported that production rate was 12 per annum. With 18 more added to the backlog, that should tie the line up until around September 2021. They will not stop Sukhoi production Friday afternoon and start Tejas production Monday morning so I guess there will be no Tejas deliveries from the plant before 2023.

That would leave IAF with 2 Tejas squadrons end fiscal 2019/2020, still 2 Tejas squadrons end fiscal 2020/2021, 3 Tejas squadrons end fiscal 2021/2022 (if Mk1A production runs straight on from completion of trainers at end of fiscal 2020/2021). 

If all goes smoothly about 20+ more Sukhois, 30+ Rafales, 40 Tejas (incl trainers) and possibly 20 MiG-29's will be delivered in the next 2.5 or so years.

If all does not go smoothly (eg Mk1A's  / MiG-29's are delayed) will IAF still phase out the MiG-21 as scheduled, allowing fighter squadron numbers to continue to decline? What about MiG-27, isn't that scheduled to go soon, too?

More Rafales (at $2 billion per squadron?) still seems a sensible, albeit expensive, move  to me.

Member for

11 years 5 months

Posts: 2,610

LCA-Tejas Mk1 Gun trials in 2020

According to a report prepared by the Delhi Defence Review (DDR), Russian Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23 twin-barreled 23 mm autocannon gun which is locally manufactured by Ordnance Factories Board in India will be going through integration trials onboard LSP-7 LCA-Tejas Mk1 aircraft from early 2020 after gap of 5 years of the first initial ground trials, which were carried out in Nashik in 2015. DDR reports say that apparently due to lack of ammunition of the gun. trials onboard aircraft was held up...

Took 5 years to get some more ammunition? They are kidding, aren't they? http://idrw.org/lca-tejas-mk1-gun-trials-in-2020/#more-215782 .

Member for

2 months

Posts: 59

MiG-27 and all MiG-21 squadrons except MiG-21 Bison squadrons, will be retired by 2019 as per what earlier reports had indicated.

For sure there won't be any more MiG-21bis, MF or M in IAF service soon. Bisons will continue till 2025 as per what ACM Dhanoa (retd.) had stated in an interview before his retirement. 

One request- please don't quote IDRW articles here. It's just a website that regurgitates original content that others created. They don't even give credit to them and just shamelessly lift stuff posted on other forums and pretend that it is their original content.

 

Member for

2 months

Posts: 59

Here is the original DelhiDefenceReview article on the Tejas Mk1 and Mk1A updates. Better to read it there than the regurgitator that is IDRW.

Recent developments with respect to the Tejas Mk1’s capability development

Lack of inert ammunition had kept gun-firing trials for the Tejas Mk1 in abeyance even though the corresponding software ‘patch’ had been ready for a while. Having received the said ammunition recently, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) will begin firing trials early next year.  Though, ADA says ‘air to air’ gun firing against a moving target is a challenging task, it does not foresee any great hurdles in completing this test point given the availability of experienced pilots overseeing the process at the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC),

Meanwhile, the design of dual carriage pylons for carrying missiles as well as a jammer pod on a single underwing station is complete.  Also, a fully capable flight simulator is being built at SAFS and will become operational in 12 months’ time, thereby remedying one of the gaps pointed out in a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the LCA program. Pilots entering 45 Squadron currently train at a simulator at located at ADA, Bengaluru. As such, with squadron service generating high sortie rates, valuable feedback from the IAF is helping fix teething issues in design and manufacturing.

...

For example, apart from structural changes, the HAL Tejas Mark 1A, for which an order of 83 units is soon expected from India’s Ministry of Defence, will feature changes derived from the AMCA and MWF programs.  The Tejas Mk-1A will for instance feature a revamped Digital Flight Control Computer (DFCC) besides incorporating various new Line Replaceable Units (LRUs). While the earlier DFCC was based on the 386 series processor, the new DFCC will feature PowerPC based computing architecture. This dramatically improves computing performance. While the MkI required 24 physical connectors, the newer version would be a press-fit mechanism drastically reducing maintenance overhead.

From what I know, the Gsh-23 gun trials were supposed to be done in-flight for FOC initially. They were already done on the ground, to measure vibrations. No major issues were found, as per my interaction with a HAL engineer at Aero India 2015.

Then, for reasons that were never explained, it was mentioned that the in-flight gun trials were de-linked from FOC and it would be done after FOC was granted. Now as to what exactly led to a lack of inert ammo which should've been an easy thing to procure from Russia, I have no idea. The links below show Tejas prototypes firing the Gsh-23 gun on the ground

Youtube link 1

Youtube link 2

Member for

2 months

Posts: 59

And Tomcat VIP, that is the Tejas Mk1 on the chart that I posted. It is the Elta 2032/MMR that is shown there. That is a mechanically scanned array radar, not a PESA.

Mk1A will include the Elta 2052 or (unlikely it seems) the indigenous Uttam AESA radar.

 

Member for

2 months

Posts: 59

LCA Navy Mk1 with 2 R-73 WVRAAMs and 2 Derby BVRAAMs taking off from the ski jump ramp at SBTF, Goa.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EKhzQs0VUAAtCN7?format=jpg&name=large

Twitter link

Member for

11 years 5 months

Posts: 2,610

Whether or not India develops the Mk1 naval version any further, I hope the current prototypes are tested, modified, tested again, modified again for a multitude of iterations to learn as much as possible about carrier aircraft design (particularly landing gear design) before embarking on designing any kind of twin.

As for carrier fighters, I don't see much point in considering a twin based on the Tejas Mk2.  Better to design AMCA with a spin off naval version IMO and buy more foreign fighters or a naval Tejas Mk2 in the interim.

I hear the Rafale M does not fit the lifts on the current carrier and SH is too large for easy lifting to/dropping from the deck so I hope that IAC1 and follow ons will not make the mistake of designing lifts that are too small for those or F-35C or anaval  AMCA.

Member for

8 years

Posts: 5,849

@BlackArcherRedux :

Aaahhh.... (speaking of A) 

 

 

Member for

2 months

Posts: 59

The LCA Navy Mk1 is already ready to be tested off IN's aircraft carrier. trust me, ADA has learnt a lot of the lessons it needed to learn from the LCA Navy Mk1. The single engine LCA Navy Mk2 design itself implemented a host of changes to address issues that were found with the Air Force design that was modified to create the Navy design. They made a lot of changes to the Mk2 only for the naval requirements, but now that the Navy has made it clear that it only wants a twin engine design, ADA has begun the preliminary design of the twin engine Deck Based Fighter.

https://defence.pk/pdf/proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FV2vEfLp.jpg&hash=e1dd5213aa9306c837aa0477ef007585

This was the last LCA Navy Mk1 fighter design- the LEVCONs have been dropped in favor of small stabilators. Most likely, the twin engine DBF will be a modified version of this design itself.

 

Member for

2 months

Posts: 59

Sorry that image did not load. A smaller version of it is here

https://www.aviation-defence-universe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/DRDO2--300x200.jpg

Member for

2 months

Posts: 59

https://www.5dariyanews.com/Uploads/2019/09/19/en-news-18335945-RAJNATH-DRDO.jpg

Don't know why the edit option is not present for existing posts..

Member for

11 years 5 months

Posts: 2,610

They made a lot of changes to the Mk2 only for the naval requirements, but now that the Navy has made it clear that it only wants a twin engine design, ADA has begun the preliminary design of the twin engine Deck Based Fighter.

So ADA has started work on designing what it thinks the navy wants or has the navy issued a requirement? If in the fullness of time the project is given the green light, will it slow down AMCA development, given that it will mean more design work for the same number of design engineers? Or perhaps the design workload for Mk2 has peaked, freeing designers to work on DBF.

Member for

2 months

Posts: 59

There are 3 separate teams in the ADA that work on the Air Force Tejas, Naval LCA and the AMCA. The Naval LCA team will continue to work on the twin engine DBF. The Navy has its officers as part of the team, so they'll be working closely with the Navy, based on the Navy's requirements. Even earlier, the single engine Naval LCA Mk2 was being designed simultaneously with the Air Force Tejas Mk2 MWF.

Target timeline for first flight of the twin engine DBF is 2026, a full 3-4 years after the Air Force Tejas Mk2 MWF is supposed to fly for the first time. For the better part of this decade,  the Navy's needs are to be met with the MiG-29K only.

Member for

2 months

Posts: 59

Naval LCA gets airborne with weapons

....

The navy, however, does not intend to induct the single-engine Naval Tejas Mark I into service – it is merely a test-bed for the aviation systems that will equip the twin-engine Naval Tejas Mark 2. The navy wants the safety back up of a second engine, the power to get airborne with more fuel and weapons, and a longer operating range.

“Using navy-specified technologies matured with the current Mark I, we are developing a twin-engine Mark 2 version, which we are calling the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TED-BF),” said Deodhare.

With the current Tejas’ single General Electric (GE) F-404 engine replaced by two, more powerful, GE F-414 engines, the TED-BF will be a far bigger and heavily armed fighter.

The current Tejas Mark 1 gets airborne with a total “all-up weight” (AUW) of 14 tonnes. The air force version of the Tejas Mark 2, which will have a single GE F-414 engine, will have an AUW of 17 tonnes. And the navy’s Tejas Mark 2 (or the TED-BF), powered by two GE F-414 engines, will have a beefy AUW of 24 tonnes, says Deodhare.

ADA is targeting 2025-26 for the first flight of the TED-BF. The navy wants the fighter to be inducted into service by 2031, to replace the MiG-29K/KUB that currently flies off INS Vikramaditya and will also serve on board the first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, when it is commissioned in 2021.

So the twin engine DBF is to use 2 X F-414s for an AUW that is squarely in the MiG-29K ballpark. So basically, it is aimed as a replacement for the MiG-29K in the early 2030s.

If it succeeds, I see no need for an imported MRCBF, either the Super Hornet or the Rafale M.