HAL Blamed for Last Hawk AJT Crash

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by SajeevJino, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    HAL production under lens after Hawk trainer crash

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    Production quality of the country's only aircraft manufacturer, defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), is once again under the scanner after the crash of a Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT) last month.

    Sources said "quill-shaft failure" in the engine has emerged as the prime reason behind the crash of the twin-seat Hawk AJT, which went down in Odisha while on a training sortie from the Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal on June 3. Fortunately, the two pilots managed to eject safely.

    HAL is tasked with manufacturing 99 of the 123 Hawks ordered from BAE Systems, with transfer of technology, in the overall AJT project already worth well over Rs 16,000 crore till now. But the entire endeavor has been marred by politico-bureaucratic apathy, poor long-term planning, flawed multiple contracts and delayed delivery schedules.

    As it is, the crash of an AJT, which is meant to be a robust fail-safe flying machine to train rookie pilots in the intricacies of combat flying, is startling. But what has further raised eyebrows is that the ill-fated Hawk, with a Rolls-Royce engine, had clocked just about 1,050 hours of flying.

    "Holding that HAL's build quality is not up to the mark, Rolls-Royce has downgraded the TBO (time between engine overhauls) of the Hawk AJTs being made by the PSU to 1,200 hours from 2,000 hours," said a source.

    But HAL dismissed such claims. "With the court of inquiry into the Hawk crash yet to be finalized, HAL cannot be blamed for quality issues at this stage. The reduction of TBO to 1,200 hours from 2,000 hours is not true," said a senior HAL official.

    "The engine life roadmap for restoration to 2,000 hours has been provided by Rolls-Royce based on mid-level inspection, and components are getting certified for 2,000 hours," he added.

    But the fact remains that HAL has faced flak over the years for its poor product quality and maintenance as well as huge time and cost overruns in projects ranging from the 16-year-delay in the now-defunct Sitara intermediate jet trainer to the light utility helicopters.

    HAL, now faced with losing its monopoly in the domestic aviation sector, and its primary customer, the IAF, have not had the best of relations over the years. But neutral observers say the two urgently need to come together to resolve all outstanding issues dogging the country's air combat power.

    The two, for instance, need to work closely with their Russian counterparts to resolve the quality, spares and maintenance issues enmeshing the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets. Only half of the 195 Sukhois inducted - HAL is manufacturing most of the 272 Sukhois contracted from Russia for over $12 billion - are operational at any given time since the fleet serviceability rate is down to just 55%.

    Similarly, the Hawk issues also need to be sorted out on a war-footing. After decades of sounding the alarm over obsolete trainers for its cadets, the IAF had finally begun to induct the Hawk AJTs from November 2007 onwards. The AJTs provide the "requisite transitional training" for rookie pilots to graduate from sub-sonic aircraft to supersonic fighters, some of which like the single-engine MiG-21s are "highly-unforgiving" to pilot errors.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...r-Hawk-trainer-crash/articleshow/47952421.cms
     
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  3. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    It is hight time that criminal responsibility is fixed on people and organisations leading to the aircraft crash.

    With all concerned safely sitting in Govt. jobs continue to make the same mistake with impunity because they know that there will be no action taken against them.
     
  4. bennedose

    bennedose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Who makes the quill shaft for the Adour turbofan? Was this an imported engine or a locally made one? Was it made totally in India or were components imported? Was the maintenance proper? Could a lubricant failure have led to a structural failure?

    It is wrong to pin blame without answers to such questions
     
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  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ADOUR MK 871

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    Looks like it is being made by HAL since 1981, but there is no information as to who makes the quill shaft.
     
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    India's Central Bureau Of Investigation to Probe Rolls-Royce's Defense Deals With Indian Air Force Over Bribery Charges

    India's defense ministry on Monday ordered a probe into charges of bribery in Rolls-Royce’s (OTCMKTS:RYCEY) $1.2 billion defense deal with a state-run company for its jet engines.

    The deal, which was signed in 2011 between the British luxury automaker, which also makes airplane engines, and state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, or HAL, will be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, media reports said, adding that the country's defense minister ordered the CBI probe after references to the presence of illegal middle men were made in a letter to HAL. The Rolls-Royce aero engines were being bought to power Hawk advanced jet trainers, or AJTs, which have been a subject of controversy ever since India began using them in 2004.

    "The letter was received by HAL, which initiated an inquiry into the entire issue after the board discussed the matter. The defense PSU's chief vigilance officer, Anurag Sahai, an Indian Revenue Service officer, on investigation found the allegations had some prima facie credence about violations of contractual provisions and obligations. The matter was then forwarded to Ministry of Defense for further action," the Times of India, or ToI reported, citing a source.

    India has ordered 143 Hawk AJTs, powered with Rolls Royce’s Adour Mk.871 engines, out of which 24 were supplied directly by BAE Systems (OTCMKTS:BAESY) and the rest were made under license by HAL. The procurement, which has been made in several installments since 2004, has raised the question of why a bulk order that would have helped the government buy the engines at a lower price was not preferred, according to ToI.

    India’s defense procurement program, which is hobbled by bureaucracy, red tape and corruption issues, has reportedly forced the acquisition of substandard equipment from Russia. And, over the years, India's armed forces have seen its Russian-built MiG fighter jets crash with alarming frequency along with a rise in accidents in submarines, also built by Russia, the latest of which killed two officers last week and led to the resignation of the country’s navy chief Admiral D.K Joshi.

    According to ToI, India’s defense minister A.K. Antony ordered the probe into the Rolls-Royce deal after references to hiring middle men appeared in a letter to HAL, a method which is strictly banned in the country.

    Indian-born businessman Sudhir Choudhrie and his son Bhanu -- who are suspected of having acted as middle men in the defense procurement process -- were arrested in London last month on charges of bribery by the Serious Fraud Office for helping Rolls-Royce's dealings in China and Indonesia. Although both men have been under scrutiny from Indian regulators for a long time, both have denied any wrongdoing.

    London-based Rolls-Royce had said in February that defense cuts in the U.S. and Europe would put an end to a decade of growth in profits for the company.​

    Govt not to blacklist Rolls Royce for 'operational' reasons

    NEW DELHI: The Modi government has decided to go ahead in its dealings with Rolls-Royce, ruling out blacklisting of the global engine-manufacturer which is under the CBI scanner for allegedly employing agents and paying hefty commissions to secure contracts in India.

    Sources said the defence ministry will now give the green signal to those projects and deals with Rolls-Royce that are crucial for "operational urgency and national security", and there is no other alternative available.

    "The decision was taken after consultation with the attorney general/solicitor general. The user-agency (Army, Navy or IAF) will have to certify at a senior level the operational need for the engines/maintenance contracts concerned. But the CBI will independently pursue its probe," said a source.

    This will come as a huge relief to the three Services, which are heavily dependent on Rolls-Royce engines for their aircraft, helicopters and fast-patrol vessels. Rolls-Royce engines, for instance, power Jaguar fighters, Sea Harrier jump-jets, Avro planes, VVIP Embraer Legacy jets, C-130J "Super Hercules", Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJTs), Kiran mark-II trainers, Sea King helicopters and the like.

    The decision is similar to the earlier UPA regime's move in 2006 to not blacklist Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael since it would be "counter-productive" to national security despite the CBI registering the infamous Barak kickbacks case.

    READ ALSO: Rolls Royce to return to govt Rs 18 crore paid to commission agents

    But later, after A K Antony became the defence minister in the UPA government, several major armament companies like Israel Military Industries, Singapore Technologies Kinetics and Rheinmetall Air Defence (Zurich) were debarred after corruption allegations.

    Interestingly, the MoD is also currently grappling with the blacklisting issue in the now-scrapped Rs 3,546-crore VVIP helicopter contract with AgustaWestland, the UK-based subsidiary of Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica.

    Finmeccanica and its companies are already involved in several ongoing defence projects in India. Moreover, as per one estimate, the conglomerate is also in contention for Indian military contracts worth over $6 billion, ranging from helicopters and aircraft to missiles and guns.

    While MoD has sought a fresh opinion from the attorney general on the blacklisting matter, it has kept several projects on the hold for now. They include the long-pending Rs 1,800 crore project to buy 98 "Black Shark" heavy-weight torpedoes, manufactured by another Finmeccanica subsidiary Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquel (WASS), for the Scorpene submarines being built at Mazagon Docks in Mumbai.

    Similar is the case for procurement of naval multi-role helicopters (MRHs), with the contenders being European NH-90 helicopters, which have Finmeccanica as a partner, and the American Sikorsky-70B choppers. The first contract for 16 MRHs was to be followed by a bigger one for 123 choppers at a cost of over $3 billion.

    Timeline:

    December 2013: Rolls-Royce discloses to Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) that it paid 1.85 million British Pounds to M/s Aashmore Pvt Ltd in connection with sales transactions with the defence PSU despite a ban on agents and commissions.

    January 2014: HAL seeks instructions from defence ministry (MoD) before placing any further orders on Rolls-Royce and its subsidiaries.

    February-March 2014: MoD orders a CBI inquiry and puts all fresh deals with Rolls-Royce on hold.

    March 2014: Rolls-Royce contends Aashmore acted as its commercial advisor in dealings with HAL only in the energy sector from June 2007 to December 2011. HAL, through its Industrial & Marine Gas Turbine Division, buys and maintains gas turbines for ONGC and GAIL. Aashmore had no role to play in the defence sector, says Rolls-Royce.

    July-August 2014: MoD, after consulting attorney general\solicitor general, decides to give go-ahead to projects with Rolls-Royce to maintain operational preparedness. CBI inquiry to continue independently.
     
  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    The Kaveri engine was developed but was not used in the LCA. It might not be up to the mark, but is it operational yet for a jet trainer? We don't have to have the best engine in the world for jet trainers. For training purposes, we should seriously look at domestically sourced hardware, and avoid involving foreign companies.

    European companies have an inherent habit of giving bribes just like a dog has a habit of wagging its tail. Bribery is tax free in some countries in Europe. India cannot say "no" to such legalized corruption unless it makes its own hardware.
     
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  8. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    Damn Sajeev ...you HAL Basher ..Take this :angry:

     
  9. Yumdoot

    Yumdoot Regular Member

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    You still got eyeballs on the thread. If that is any consolation :biggrin2:.

    In any case, HAL does have a lot of issues though. Its run like a departmental store.
     

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