Letter: DFI to Defence Minister: Please don't kill Tejas Mk2

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Adioz, Oct 10, 2017.

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Will this letter make a difference?

  1. Its got a snowball's chance in hell.

    22 vote(s)
    27.2%
  2. Better to try than sit and do nothing.

    57 vote(s)
    70.4%
  3. I don't think Tejas Mk2 should happen.

    2 vote(s)
    2.5%
  1. delbruky

    delbruky Regular Member

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    In my opinion besides writing to Rakha Mantri about Tejas Mk2, there is a need to mention that efforts must be made from HER END to prop up The Kaveri Jet Engine research Project and bring it to conclusion. How many more years do the tax payers have to wait for a successful kaveri for Tejas 1A, Tejas 2 and for AMCA.
    If I were in her place I would have held captive all the research engineers and research staff within the bounds of GTRE and ADA reseach area for 2 years. No Family, No love, NO kids, no fancy food (only satvik bhojan), the captive staff can talk to wife and kids for only 15 mins per day using a land line. YES this is an extreme and almost in human step BUT VERY MUCH REQUIRED for the successful development of an indigenous jet engine which performs as per expectation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  2. delbruky

    delbruky Regular Member

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    If security forces at border, mostly guys and girls in their early 20s can give the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE for the country while being away from family and loved ones THEN why cant research scientists and research staff at HAL Tejas MK2/AMCA and Kaveri engine programs spend two years in CAPTIVITY under one roof and resolve all the issues akin to a GRAND CHALLENGE PROJECT like DARPA (USA). For two years no worrying about family, entertainment, love sex etc etc only thinking about INDIA FIRST, INDIA FIRST INDIA FIRST.
     
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  3. delbruky

    delbruky Regular Member

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    IF cost of failure for a young Indian soldier guarding the border 24X7X365 either a man or a woman can be a "chopped head" like Shahid Hemraj THEN what is the cost of failure as a group for the research fellows taking in fat paychecks and enjoying perks working at the salubrious premises at GTRE, ADA, HAL and DRDO which by the way are no way close to the dangerous at borders??????????
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  4. SanjeevM

    SanjeevM Regular Member

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    I also favor LCA project. Please also count me in.

    Also note as F-16 was sold to AF of many countries, if we can increase production lines of Tejas and reduce costs, in the present configuration also several 3rd world countries will be interested to buy LCA Tejas, if we market it well. We can earn handsome profits. This we can finance further R&D and reduce the cost of production due to economy of scale. HAL, MoD need to do a little marketing. Modi is the best salesman.

    We can do it. IAF can place it's orders at its pace. HAL should in fact increase production to 24 LCA a year. Once IAF orders are fulfilled, LCA should be exported. This will generate employment in Aerospace industry within India. We have great potential in exporting LCA to Asian, African, South American and middle east. R&D can continue and we can subsequently make MK2. With time indigenous content can also go on increasing.

    US, Russia, Europe cannot digest India making its own fighter jet as they will loose selling to India. If let's suppose F-16 sells for 100 million, Tejas sells for 70-80 million and we have better sales support, we can win in the race.

    If MoD wants F-16 for better relationship with U.S., we can set up F-16 factories in India. But it shouldn't be tied to IAF or Indian government buying F-16. We can support F-16 customers worldwide but don't force us to buy F-16 or any other foreign maal.
     
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  5. gpawar

    gpawar Regular Member

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    It is ludicrous to think that India will succeed in AMCA project leaving Tejas program merely as tech demonstrator & making small numbers. Count me in as well.
     
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  6. Indibomber

    Indibomber Regular Member

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    :india2:count me in...dharna, pradarshan aur pathrav ke liye bhi sampark kar sakte hain..
     
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  7. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    They already work in snake infested laboratory ..

     
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  8. Johny_Baba

    Johny_Baba अज्ञानी

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    Adioz likes this.
  9. smestarz

    smestarz Senior Member Senior Member

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    Like Adioz said, the three most important facets that come in mind are economic, Technological and Strategic.
    But let me first start with a line which perhaps many of us have echoed,
    NO ONE BECOMES A SUPERPOWER USING WEAPONS PRODUCED BY OTHERS.
    The various countries that became super power in their era are
    1. Greeks -- Hoplites (bronze armour and bronze weapons)
    2. Macedonians - Sarissa and small shield.
    3. Romans - Their ballistas, Gladius and scutum (sword and shield) and their fighting formations of Century and Legions.
    4. Mongolians with their mounted composite bows and arrow.

    So historically, those countries which became super power made and used their own weapons., They might have taken the design but they did not buy and use weapons from someone else and become super power.

    India is at the crossroads where it now wondering what is more important, to ensure its security or to be a super power, and honestly both is possible. One of the most important aspects of being a super power is self reliance on domestic industry and technology and hence better and more investment in research and development.
    India is at the doorstep to take the first step in becoming super power and the first step is to rely on its own products. In some areas we can buy weapons or technology, but these should not be so critical that their refusal makes us weak.

    I am very much in favour of Mass producing Tejas Mk 1A, rather I have a different vision for India of my dreams. I want the Indian navy to also have land based Tejas squadrons which conduct reconaissance in the maritime zone of India and thus co-ordinating with the naval fleet as well as P-8 IN, thus allowing IAF to use its air assets more judiciously.

    When comparing F-16 to Tejas
    F-16 has a lot of advantages, firstly it product of many decades of experience of American Defence and Aerospace. They have billions of dollars of research and development, for India it will be difficult to make a plane like F-16 Block 70 at first try and that too within half a decade. since we have to develop out technology, that takes time (already has) We have developed Avionics like RWR, AESA Radar etc and even an Electronic warfare system. Thus we are almost getting there.
    At a point due to lack of right numbers or export order Tejas might look an expensive plane, but that is because of all the knowledge that collected and indexed, this knowledge would then be used as basic to build on it various newer technologies, without such base we would always struggle to make a new plane. Thus as an Indian citizen and understanding how it goes, it would be better for GoI to not only induct Tejas Mk1A in IAF to replace MiG-21 but also use by Indian navy as Ground based Maritime defence and recoinssance plane. Remember among all our neighbours, we have the biggest coastline and also the one most susceptible to attacks. I would not be thinking of Mark 2 right now, for a simple reason is that let the users IAF/IN come with their list of improvements in the plane, since new technologies would be developed to upgrade Mk 1A, these technologies should then slowly but surely be incorporated into Mk1A, and almost after say one and a half decade, based on the improvements suggested by IAF, new plane can be developed or the base of Mk 1A used to further development of new version (Mk 2) or maybe a twin engined light MRCA (using two smaller engines so that the combined thrust is higher than the single engine of Mk1A, the idea should be very similar to F-5 which was built to be a simple and easy to maintain plane.

    Thus even if Tejas Mk1A becomes expensive than F-16 (which is not possible as yet) it will be cheaper in the longer run (due to bigger orders and even export orders) but importantly it gives Indian aerospace industry the push that it requires to say that GoI will support a good project and see it to fruitition. In 70's then govt opted to purchase cheaper MiG-21 from Russia and it made economic sense, but how did it effect us? that even 3 decades after that we do not have our own fighter plane which can be used as back bone of Indian air defence. We became dependent on Russia, and France for planes and thus we ourselves closed the doorway of being super power and so here we are still dreaming of being super power and yet not having the guts to take a difficult decision of being self reliant. I would give you a classic non defence related example here. Pre independence, it was cheaper to buy English clothes in india as they were mass produced in factories of Manchester. And yet after the call was given for using Swadeshi, it created a new pride for India, people started to buy Swadeshi and Khadi to help self reliance, And this call was given by none other than Gandhiji, why have we forgotten this please? Don't you see how it changed india? People started to use Khadi and Swadeshi and that was perhaps the first step for self reliance and also for Independence., If the call for Swadeshi was not taken, then perhaps we would still be under british rule, or at least be a british dependency.
    I know that F-16 Block 70 is an advance plane, but we have all the advance technology except the engine technology which we are in the process of getting and learning, its just a matter of time before we master the art of super alloys. Americans took a lot of time for this development and Billions of dollars, we are achieving the same in lesser time and lot lesser funds. F-16 and tejas are both 4th Gen planes, and at this point of time the Americans do not have funds to develop F-16, its at the fag end of its life. Though Tejas is in the same generation, the present cost of Tejas is much cheaper, and we can in a way be a super power and offer this small and cost effective planes to our strategic allies like say Vietnam, Malaysia, and other countries which could have a need for a small plane which they can fly regularly and be our true strategic partners economically and also militarily.

    Strategic advantage is more for buying from America, but does it make sense to buy an outdated American tech for something which we already have developed. Would this be the cost of friendship? If Friendship is going to cost us self reliance, then that is not a friendship that we can have as that effects our self interest. we have done this mistake before in the 70s and if we do the mistake again, it means we have not learnt anything even after 4 decades.

    I truly hope that GoI can take the bold step for self reliance and favour and support Tejas for being the backbone of IAF and IN. Tough decisions are difficult, but those decisions make super powers. And if we want to be super power within our lifetime, then the step has to be taken NOW, and the first step is inducting Tejas in big numbers.
     
  10. smestarz

    smestarz Senior Member Senior Member

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    There are countries like Vietnam which are not getting defence products from USA, And Russia is not building a single engine plane which these countries can use for protecting their borders and hence these countries have to rely on Russian Su-30 which is actually an overkill and also due to it being twin engine, the cost of operation will be higher. per flight hour


     
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  11. Mikesingh

    Mikesingh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Firstly, the F16 blk 70/72 is not outdated technology as you say. It is an entirely new platform.

    Secondly you must understand that there is no aircraft in the world that is indigenous except the US F-22 and the B2 stealth bomber because of top secret technology incorporated from the R&D at LM Skunk Works and Boeing's Phantom Works - the US black projects. But at what cost? Billions of dollars have been spent on them and the reason why US have stopped producing themas they are no more affordable.

    Instead the world is going in for joint production like the F-35 where more than 32 subcontractors of Lockheed Martin based in the US and the EU are working in the project.

    Even our future Tejas Mk 1A or even Mk2 will never be fully indigenous. Most of the avionics etc would be imported from the US/Israel/EU. And by the time the Mk2 becomes operational it would be outdated! There's no change to my post #9.
     
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  12. smestarz

    smestarz Senior Member Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, I do not fully agree with you.
    True that many of Tejas parts are imported, but the idea is to produce it by JV.
    F-16 is an old design with new avionics, and certainly that can be done with Tejas also,
    Indian GoI and IAF have to give final time frame to HAL and give them 100% support same as LM gets from US Gov. We can upgrade our plane Tejas, how we want to and without interference from others, but on other hand, any upgrade in the F-16 design will cost hugely, unlike Tejas


     
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  13. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    I don't know why you would say that. Indigenous means you can make it yourself. The Rafale only imports nuts and bolts that could easily be made domestically. Most US fighters are the same way, anything they import can be domestically made. Russia was that way until their semi-conducter industry fell too far behind to keep up. China could get there if they ever overcome their deficiencies in engines and radars.
     
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  14. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    The avionics is not imported rather license produced, The Tejas MK2 is actually block 2 of Tejas series so does MK1A as a midterm solution, This is evolution of Tejas series ..
     
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  15. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    After Mk 1A ;We should directly Go for AMCA
     
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  16. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why no mention of me ?

    Count me in !

     
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  17. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    You have to understand first, the role of light fighter class and Tejas along with it in IAF..

     
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  18. Adioz

    Adioz Irregular member

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    • It looks like most of the posters on this thread did not read a word of what I said in the first post itself.:doh:
      • @Mikesingh @pankaj nema we can make good use of you. Let us first write the letter, and once the final draft is ready, we'll have you read it and share your thoughts with us. Till then, I request you to please stay out of this thread. I'll tag you in here once we have completed writing the letter.
    • To all those asking for me to include their signatures (@Skdas @Hemu Vikram Aditya @roma @aditya10r @Flame Thrower @varun9509 @rohit b3 @Willy2 @Indibomber @Johny_Baba @Srinivas_K and everyone else) I will (or rather the DFI admins will) indeed include everyone's signatures, but that happens after we have made the letter. First we need to write the letter.Anyways, the response is good. I am happy about that.:)
    • To all those who are miffed that I did not include their names (@Pandora @Srinivas_K and anyone else who felt left out) brothers I could not possibly write all the names of all the active members. I did try my best, but got tired in the end. Sorry bhai.:sad:
    Now back to the main point:-

    @TPFscopes are we doubly sure that the Air Force is leaning towards Gripen? Could it be that there are multiple factions within the Air Force with one supporting F-16, and one supporting Gripen. We need to be very sure because based on this, we are going to set the tone of the letter.

    @binayak95 @roma @Sakal Gharelu Ustad @Kunal Biswas @varun9509 @Project Dharma @Sidd @delbruky @SanjeevM @smestarz @Armand2REP made good points. I have tried to include most points in a skeleton of the letter that I have created. If I missed out any points, feel free to add them under the appropriate header. I also took the liberty of fleshing out certain guidelines for writing this letter. These dictate the tone of this letter. Please try to adhere to these at all times:-
    • Sound civil
      • Be very formal, no casual tone, no slangs.
      • Do not threaten.
      • Sound polite and humble.
      • Make her see your viewpoint but do no trash the viewpoint of another faction.
    • Write in point form.
      • In each point ensure positive sounding sub-points are placed before negative sounding ones.
      • Avoid using adjectives or making emotional appeals when stating facts on which both DFI and MoD have a consensus upon.
    • The first person to read this letter is going to be a babu, so ensure that you do not trash them.
      • Further we need to find a way to ensure that the Babus place the letter on the RM’s table. We need ideas about this.
    • RM will not read entire letter (if the letter somehow makes its way to the final boss)
      • She’ll scan through it and might read a bit here and there. Which part she’ll read in full, we’ll never know. (Just like we at DFI skip through many posts)
      • So key is to choose impactful headers for each point.
      • Further, ensure that you write in bold the key point in an argument under each header.
    • Research everything you possibly can
      • Triple check your arguments because if our letter does not withstand the scrutiny of the Babus, the entire letter gets trashed.
      • The points would carry the weight of something more than just our words.
        • So wherever possible, try to cite reports and recommendations that some committee made in the past, but which has not been implemented.
        • If you make such a citation, make sure that it reinforces the point you are trying to make.
    • If we don’t get a satisfactory response from MoD, we might have to start a social media campaign with this letter at the forefront.

    Skeleton of the letter:-
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    All members

    Defence Forum India

    www.defenceforumindia.com


    <Date>


    Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman

    Hon'ble Raksha Mantri

    #104

    Ministry of Defence

    South Block

    New Delhi

    Pin- 110011


    Subject: Independent report on the danger to Tejas Mk II program from foreign single-engine fighters.

    Respected ma’am,

    We understand that the squadron strength of Air Force is below the sanctioned strength and is going to deplete further in the absence of any decisive action. We realise that this particular issue has already absorbed a lot of your time and energy as defence minister and hence we are confident that this issue has your complete attention.

    We respect the fact that someone in your position has a very able staff working under you and that this staff and the Air Force are extremely competent at their jobs. This is mere conjecture on our part, but we believe that since your staff create their reports for a living, they are susceptible to a little boredom on the job, or at the very least, a certain lack of enthusiasm due to the toil of such a demanding job. We here at DFI, on the other hand, discuss defence issues out of a pure enthusiasm devoid of any hope for monetary gain. Therefore, we contend that our letter might contain something that your staff might have missed. What we request of you is to consider this report as an independent and unbiased source on the subject. We have made a few arguments hereunder:-
    1. Tejas Mk II is not far behind SE fighter contenders F-16 Blck70 and Gripen E
      1. Will not stay far behind for long
      2. Extra point: Gripen’s foreign content (from US) extremely high
    2. Upgrade potential of Tejas Mk II far more than the others
      1. F-16 has had “?” major upgrades from A to Block 70.
      2. Gripen has had 5 major upgrades from A through to E.
      3. Tejas has had no upgrades yet, and MkII will be its first upgrade (Mk1A is half an upgrade)
      4. Hence Tejas has far more upgrade potential than Gripen or F-16.
    3. The Indigenisation argument
      1. This is how contenders of SE fighter tender (Gripen and F-16) evolved.
      2. The effort it took to create an indigenous aircraft industry
      3. Previous attempts at indigenization and why they failed (Hf-24 Marut and Hf-73)
      4. Future attempts (AMCA) that might also fail if cycle not broken
      5. Continuously rising degree of indigenization and generations of Indian defence equipment.
      6. Export argument
        1. Need to keep production lines running until export orders can be achieved.
        2. Export orders will not be achieved if we junk further development of Tejas Mk1A.
      7. This is what all great powers do: China’s example
      8. If we junk development of further variants of Tejas and leave it as unfinished business, it would amount to gross neglect and we will never create an indigenous industry
      9. Knock-on benefits to other aircraft projects.
    4. Protect India against foreign lobby.
    5. Technical argument
      1. Simplifies logistics
      2. Allows for easier upgrades and feedback as upgrades not dependent on foreign permissions.
      3. Wartime logistical lines exist entirely within country allowing
        1. Prevents wartime embezzlement eg:- Israeli embezzlement scam in Kargil: Heron UAVs.
        2. Wartime production of spares can easily be cranked up.
      4. Wartime use of F-16 might face backlash from USA.
    6. Air Force’s preparedness will not be adversely affected
      1. Aircraft that are being replaced vs Tejas Mk 2 in terms of capability
      2. Induction of SAM systems that had no equivalent in the past
      3. Interim numbers can be filled with Rafael
        1. A lot of money has already been paid for India-specific upgrades, subsequent aircraft will be
        2. An option for 36 more aircraft already exists.
        3. Keeping the number of types of aircraft in Air Force limited leads to lesser logistical strain and training strain.
      4. Induction of newer stand-off weapons that limit need for longer sorties during offense.
    7. ADA/HAL will not miss deadlines this time
      1. Reason why Tejas came late
        1. Aircraft industry had to be created from scratch
        2. Frequent changes in ASQR
        3. Procrastination under UPA regime
      2. Technological and experience gains since then
      3. Existing facilities including research, design; manufacturing ecosystem already in place.
    8. Job growth and indigenous industry growth more in case of Tejas MkII
      1. Localised production of components more in Tejas Mk2, much of the ecosystem already in place, will loose jobs if Tejas line shuts down after Tejas Mk1A.
    9. Additional argument: Air Force’s apparent lack of confidence in Indian products stems from a lack of an airforce design bureau. Navy’s example that Army is also now emulating.
    10. India-US dependency worrisome.
      1. Not the sign of an independent great power.
      2. Makes us vulnerable to US influence.
      3. Irks Russia, as is evident from its recent overtures to Pakistan.
    11. We aspire to be a superpower not a pseudo-power.
      1. @smestarz 's points.
    In conclusion, we would like to add that <conclusion>

    Expecting a detailed reply from your end.

    Thanking you,

    Yours expectantly,

    DFI members

    <Signatures of all those asking to sign will go here>
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    When suggesting an improvement in an existing point, please refer to its number such as point number 1.3, 3.5 and so on followed by the correction/improvement/any other suggestion.
    When suggesting a new point, please indicate the number of that point.

    We need to significantly expand this letter. I expect everyone to help.:india2:
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  19. binayak95

    binayak95 Regular Member

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    @Adioz, the draft letter is very well written. Would like to make two suggestions:

    1. you mention additional Rafales to make up squadron numbers. DON'T!!
    The Govt is miffed with both the IAF and Dassault over the Rafale deal. The Rafale has become our primary offensive strike force for counter force strikes. Thats why we bought two squadrons - Pak and China.
    And, the govt is decided on the F-16IN with Boeing's counter offer causing some rethinking. I would suggest add the Boeing offer to the list and ignore Rafale.

    2. Suggest that LCA Tejas is the only jet of its kind. Light, agile, multirole and cheap. It is (apart from the Gripen) the only 4.5 gen SE fighter in production. Extremely marketable to SE Asian and African nations.
     
  20. Adioz

    Adioz Irregular member

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    Well, we need a counter argument to the Air Force's immediate need to induct more fighters. That was the best that I could come up with. What is the Boeing option?

    The argument that Tejas is not in the same class as F-16 will give wind to F-16 induction.

    Will be added to the body of point no. 3.6.2
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017

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