MoD Backs HAL in Turf War With Air Force on BTA Project

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Jagdish58, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    In the ongoing turf war between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL)and the Indian Air Force(IAF) over the development of the indigenous Basic Trainer Aircraft(BTA), the Ministry of Defence(MoD) winds seem to be blowing the public sector undertaking’s way.

    Following a year-long public spat between HAL supremo R K Tyagi and the then IAF chief N A K Browne, the MoD has acquiesced to the HAL continuing with the BTA project despite the IAF stand that it was no longer interested in the ambitious programme.

    In fact,the MoD has come up with funds from its internal resources to aid the project undertaken by the defence PSU instead of asking the IAF to bankroll it. And the ministry’s abiding interest in the programme is particularly significant since no formal approval has been given for the same.

    Interestingly, the new twist to the HAL-IAF tussle came after Browne, who vociferously rejected the HAL’s HTT-40 for a BTA, retired in December and Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha succeeded him as IAF chief.

    And an MoD representative told a Parliamentary Standing Committee recently that the HAL was going ahead with the development of the BTA with the help of its internal resources. This was clearly in line with the view of the HAL chief, who has been pushing for the HTT-40 project. However, the MoD representative said the revised detailed project report of HTT-40 “is yet to be approved” by the Director General (Acquisition).

    HAL had informed the MoD that it felt the aircraft would be less expensive compared to the imported BTA on life cycle cost basis and the funding would be borne by the PSU internally.

    http://www.newindianexpress.com/nat...-on-BTA-Project/2014/03/03/article2086690.ece
     
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  3. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    IAF resists Antony's order for indigenous trainer aircraft | Business Standard

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) continues its quest to hand Pilatus Aircraft Ltd of Switzerland a Rs 6,000 contract for 106 PC-7 Mark II basic trainer aircraft (BTA), over and above the 75 Pilatus trainers already bought for Rs 3,850 crore (Swiss Franc 557 million). Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is currently developing these 106 trainers in India, a project the IAF is sparing no effort to scuttle.

    A new IAF "Request for Information" (RFI) - a pre-tender enquiry - floated on the ministry of defence (MoD) website invites Indian companies to submit preliminary bids to supply the IAF with 106 PC-7 Mk II trainers, in partnership with Pilatus. This envisages the import of an unspecified number of BTAs ready built, with the remainder being assembled in India. In MoD's procurement rule book, this is termed a "Buy & Make (Indian)" acquisition.

    In floating this RFI, the IAF has openly defied the MoD. In 2009, while giving nod to the acquisition of 181 trainers, Defence Minister A K Antony ruled that 106 trainers would be built in HAL under the "Make" category, while 75 would be imported. Since then, the IAF has repeatedly sought to subvert this decision. The MoD has confirmed to Business Standard that the 2009 decision to build 106 trainers in HAL, which was taken by the apex Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), remains valid.

    "This RFI is a preliminary inquiry that the IAF has sent out, presumably to enlighten itself. This doesn't mean that an RfP (Request for Proposal, as a defence tender is called) will be issued," said the MoD spokesperson.

    The IAF has consistently resisted HAL's indigenous trainer - the Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40). As Business Standard reported (July 29, 2013, "Indian Air Force at war with Hindustan Aeronautics; wants to import, not build, a trainer") former IAF boss, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, wrote personally to Antony, claiming that the HTT-40 would be costlier than the PC-7 Mk II. A cost analysis by this newspaper, however, suggested the HAL trainer would be much cheaper over its service life. The MoD did not accept the air chief's request.

    The IAF next asked HAL to scuttle its own BTA project and instead build the PC-7 Mk II trainer in Bangalore with Pilatus technology (October 14, 2013, "IAF to HAL: Build Swiss trainer aircraft, don't develop your own"). HAL, which has worked steadily on the HTT-40, flatly rejected this proposition.

    Bizarrely, Air Chief Marshal Browne next suggested that the PC-7 Mk II be built in an IAF base repair depots (BRDs). Admitting that BRDs were meant only to maintain and overhaul aircraft and engines, he claimed last October that they could also assemble aircraft. The MoD simply ignored this suggestion, which was hastily rebutted by the IAF's maintenance chief, Air Marshal P Kanakaraj.

    Now, with Air Chief Marshal Browne having retired and been cleared by the government to be an ambassador, reportedly to Finland, his successor, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, has proposed that Indian private companies build the PC-7 Mk II with Pilatus technology.

    Industry experts say there is little in this proposal for private Indian companies. With each BTA priced at about Rs 35 crore, the 10 per cent profit margin from building 106 aircraft would be barely Rs 370 crore. This is a small compensation for the costs and risks of a company's first foray into aerospace manufacture.

    Meanwhile, HAL continues work on the HTT-40. With MoD funding blocked by the IAF, HAL has already committed Rs 137 crore of its own money; and stands ready to allocate another Rs 200 crore. On a recent visit to HAL, Business Standard was briefed that the design of structural components is done; assembly drawings will be done by April. A first flight is targeted for early 2015.

    "We had planned to build one flying prototype of the HTT-40 and one ground test specimen. Now, to speed up design and flight testing, HAL will build three flying prototypes and two ground test models," says Prashantsingh Bhadoria, one of HAL's talented young designers who is deputy head of the HTT-40 project.

    HAL designers are confident that, given their major role in developing the Tejas fighter; and the Sitara intermediate jet trainer (IJT) that is nearly complete, there is little doubt that the company will build a successful basic trainer.

    IAF planners know that the procurement cost of an aircraft is just one-fifth to one-tenth of the cost of operating it through its service life. For that reason, an indigenous aircraft is significantly cheaper in the long term than an overseas purchase, where the IAF remains dependent for spares, overhauls and upgrades on foreign vendors who invariably jack up prices after the initial sale. HAL designers say they are ensuring a high degree of commonality in parts and sub-systems between the HTT-40 and the IJT. This will reduce production costs and also ease inventory problems in training establishments.

    IAF pilots need three types of trainer aircraft. In Stage-1 training, rookie pilots learn basic flying on aircraft like the PC-7 Mk I, and the HTT-40. Stage-2 training involves more complex flying on aircraft like the Kiran Mark 1, or the Sitara IJT. Stage-3 training, which prepares pilots for occupying the cockpits of frontline IAF fighters, is done on Hawk advanced jet trainers, which are built in HAL.
     
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  4. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    Im not sure who is right & who is wrong , IAF or MOD or HAL

    HAL should have started HTT-40 project when HAL HPT-32 Deepak started wearing out not after IAF selected Pitalus MK2

    IAF needs to re-think on home grown projects & back them up

    MOD Antony should first lost & never even dare to step in as defence minister if by hook or crook UPA gets the central ruling again
     
  5. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Last Air-chief got himself in VIP scam with his relatives too ..

    Wonder how this will end up ..
     
  6. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    Kunalji did India really require new choppers for VIP?? MI-17V5 could have been modified because i feel this is not much more important then a soldier without proper boots who guards the border

    There is no Tank ammo , night vision goggle, low number of submarine inspite of big private shipbuilding companies like PIPANAV etc with open hands but still empty:lol:


    Im sorry if is bit off topic , but im really frustrated

    If Mahindra , Tata etc can do business automotive business through out the world . We import Tatra trucks & license produce :lol:

    IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA , REAL ENEMY OF INDIA IS WITH IN , WE NEED NOT LOOK ELSE WHERE:sad:
     
  7. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    All major Infantry gear can be updated by a company call MKU India, They are Pvt and outsource foreign factories and exporting quality helmet, Vest and Plates, Night vision to foreign countries and we are looking for Russia, Us for these things at triple price, It is not a scam ?

    Berrata 9mm carbine failed in trails and forced induction, latter the cause of failure was told that indian made 9mm ammo is responsible, We at range use the same ammo without any issues, Further purchase of 9mm carbine for RR by a swiss company done by MOD, 9mm is left long time back for CT ops, Was these not scam ?

    OFB ammo failed coz of faulty and old barrels, OFB ammo was banned and the propellent ( Main accused item ) so does the rods ( Nothing to do with explosion ) were destroyed further Tank ammo are being produced by Mahindra ( Training rounds ) with tot from ARDE, Same can be done for live rounds, But will it ?, 66,000 rounds are imported from Russian at triple price, Is this not a scam ?

    Ever import let it be small or big has scams, Which are effecting operational preparedness of our Military and National security ..

     
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  8. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    No comments just feeling ashamed & sadden that in India we have lack of commonsence and still haveing trend of 30:70 local & import of ARMS:lol::thumb:
     
  9. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    How did this dispute reach this stage without any resolution?

    AERO INDIA: Indian air force chief slams HAL trainers - 2/8/2013 - Flight Global

    I think maybe there are no, or too few, competitors to HAL in India?
     
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  10. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Flameout: Why the IAF won't accept HAL’s jet trainer | Russia & India Report
     
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  11. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Indian Air Force, MoD fight it out over basic trainer plans - IHS Jane's 360
     
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  12. acetophenol

    acetophenol Regular Member

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    May be MoD can order a 50 HTT-40 for themselves,may be Antony will qualify to be a pilot himself.
     
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  13. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    IAF game for PC-7 is well exposed in past,

    # When HTT-32 had issues, HAL provides HTT-32 with new engines = Rejected
    # Back to drawing boards, HAL offered HTT-35 ( Similar to PC-7 ) back in late 90s = Rejected
    # HAL then offered HTT-40 = Not Interested

    Suddenly PC-7 deal came up, Passed immediately just like VIP chopper scams, When HAL objected, The respose was simple to close HTT-40 and make inferior PC-7 ..

    Certainly these are fishy ..
     
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  14. Jagdish58

    Jagdish58 Regular Member

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    This link has inside out on out poor state of affairs:frusty:

    TRISHUL: Updated: RIP HTT-35, HTT-40, HJT-36 & LUH, Thanks To The Grifters' Long-Cons


    RIP HTT-35, HTT-40, HJT-36 & LUH, Thanks To The Grifters' Long-Cons






    The above three photos graphically illustrate both the missed opportunities for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to deliver new-generation basic turboprop trainers (BTT) to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy (IN) almost two decades ago. The first photo is that of the long-forgotten HTT-35 advanced turboprop trainer, in particular its full-scale mock-up, which was designed and fabricated in-house by HAL in the late 1980s and rolled out in the early 1990s—all in all a four-year effort. The objective at that time was to team up with a global avionics supplier (most probably THALES) and co-design the semi-glass tandem cockpits and offer the aircraft for evaluation by the IAF by 1998. However, after 1994 the HTT-35 disappeared, literally! One can only speculate on what exactly happened to this full-scale mock-up, or on why did the MoD or IAF HQ develop a coordinated ‘memory loss’ on the need to series-produce the HTT-35 almost a decade ago! For it was realised as far back as 1998 that the induction of fourth-generation combat aircraft such as the Su-30MKI, and the impending induction of Rafale medium multi-role combat aircraft (M-MRCA), Tejas Mk2 MRCA and the fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) would force the IAF sooner than later into undertaking a critical revision of its flying training practices that included primary/basic flying training, advanced flying training, and lead-in fighter training (LIFT). Despite this, the HTT-35 BTT was scrapped, and instead of calling for the development of the HJT-36 as a swept-wing advanced jet trainer, the IAF in its all-knowing wisdom wrongly decided 14 years ago to have the HJT-36 as an intermediate jet trainer (IJT), a decision it is now regretting and that perhaps explains why the IAF has, since 2008, been maintaining sustained silence over HAL’s inability to develop the HJT-36.

    And now that a precedent has been set by the MoD with the HTT-40, a similar fate now looks set to befall HAL’s single-engined Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) project as well, since logic will henceforth dictate that it is indeed unwise to operate fixed fleets of aircraft that are intended to perform the same mission, UNLESS the MoD cancels the on-going tender evaluation process for off-the-shelf procurement of 197 single-engined reconnaissance-and-surveillance helicopters (RSH) from abroad and instead authorises HAL to upgrading almost 80 of the Army Aviation Corps’ and IAF’s existing SA.315B Lama/Cheetah LOHs into the Cheetal RSH configuration that will see such helicopters being equipped with glass cockpits, FLIR turrets and defensive countermeasures suites. The Cheetals will thus be able to serve for at least another decade, thereby giving HAL enough time to complete development of its homegrown LIH/RSH platform.

    The MoD, which has a stated requirement for 384 LUH/RSH units, has split the order between a global tender for 197 2-tonne helicopters (of which 60 will be procured off-the-shelf and the remainder to be licence-built) worth US$550 million, and has asked HAL to develop and build 187 LUH/RSH units by 2017, which itself is an impossible target to achieve. The global tender is mired in uncertainty, with the MoD cancelling and re-issuing it more than once. Of the 197 LUH/RSH machines, 64 are for the IAF, and 133 for the Army. However, it is fairly logical to conclude that the MoD will sooner rather than later reach the same conclusion as that reached for the BTT project: it will be far cheaper to acquire only one type of LUH/RSH platform (i.e. procuring all 384 units from the chosen foreign OEM), instead of splitting the orders between an imported solution and an indigenous one.

    Presently, HAL’s in-house Rotary Wing R & D Centre (RWRDC) is going full steam ahead with fabrication work on the 3-tonne LUH/RSH’s first prototype, which will be powered by a single Turbomeca/HAL Shakti/Ardiden 1H engine. Rollout of this prototype is targetted for late 2013, almost a year behind schedule, with flight-tests commencing a year later and deliveries beginning in early 2017 and lasting till 2019. While the RWRDC is designing the main rotor, tail rotor, gearbox, transmission and weapons-launch systems, the fuel control/supply system, environment control system, hydraulics/accessories and cockpit avionics will be outsourced from local and foreign suppliers. On paper, the LUH/RSH will feature a roof-mounted stabilised optronic turret housing an integrated long-range observation system comprising a thermal imager, laser rangefinder and daylight TV.


    What needs to be noted is that HAL, by being a wholly-owned MoD military-industrial entity, cannot undertake any R & D project aimed at producing an indigenous weapon system or sub-system without receiving authorisation from the MoD. What this means is that HAL’s management has neither the financial nor managerial autonomy to develop even a single product that is not required by any Indian end-user. Therefore, when HAL took up the task of developing the HTT-35 BTT, it was only after being instructed by the MoD to do so at the IAF’s behest. For it was a fairly well-known fact since the early 1980s that the HAL-developed piston-engined ab-initio primary HPT-32 ‘Deepak’ was not what the IAF wanted and HAL consequently had been mandated to develop the HTT-34 turboprop trainer with side-by-side seating, and a flying prototype was indeed built. The IAF then changed its mind and asked HAL via the MoD to develop a tandem-seat BTT (probably after watching the advent of Pilatus PC-7As and PC-9As, and Embraer/ShortsTucanos since the mid-1980s), to which HAL responded with the HTT-35. What happened next is that sometime in 1995, HAL was instructed by the MoD at the IAF’s behest that this project was not a priority and was told to cease all further R & D activity, probably due to India’s reduced defence spending-levels in the period 1989-1999 (the so-called ‘lost decade’) as a result of the 1990 financial crisis.
    Similarly, HAL began developing the HJT-36 IJT in 1997 after being told by the MoD to do so at the IAF’s behest, since no one from the IAF was expecting any Govt of India to have the guts to recommence significant military hardware procurements from non-Russian OEMs after the unearthing of Bofors and HDW scams. Consequently, the IAF, faced with the prospect of not receiving its long sought-after AJTs, instead settled down for an IJT as part of a compromise formula. It was only in March 2004 that the initial 66 Hawk Mk132 AJTs were ordered (to the IAF’s utter surprise) from BAE Systems and when this happened, the IAF realised that the requirement for IJTs had become totally irrelevant and what had become more important was the procurement of BTTs and LIFTs, with deliveries commencing by 2010 (this being expected by IAF HQ in order to have a three-stage flying training curriculum comprising BTTs, AJTs and LIFTs, as is the universal norm). This is where things got very murky, since even by 2004 no one from the MoD or IAF HQ asked HAL to resurrect the HTT-35 project and complete its R & D cycle. Had this been done, then by 2007 a few HTT-35 prototypes would have been airborne for flight-tests. Instead, six more years were allowed to go waste before IAF HQ refloated its requirement for a BTT (even though the HPT-32 was found unsuitable since the early 1980s!) and given the urgency of requirement, the only option then left on the table was the direct importation route. Therefore, someone or some party who/that is obviously adept at doing the math and is a grifter beyond match when it comes to playing the long-con, came up with a plan that would, on the surface, seem great, but in reality would be totally ludicrous (and thereby be a self-defeating and financially unviable exercise), i.e. splitting the BTT procurement exercise into two by importing a little less than half of the requirement (75 units) and developing an indigenous alternative for the rest (106 units). Now, imagine a fleet of PC-7 Mk2 BTTs powered by PWC turboprops/Hamilton Sunstrand propellers having to co-exist with a fleet of HTT-40 BTTs powered by Honeywell (Garrett) turboprops/Hartzell propellers, which will only serve to double the BTT fleet’s annual MRO budget for the IAF’s Training Command. Therefore, it was a known fact since 2009 that there can be only one BTT in service and at the same time (June 2011) that the PC-7 Mk2 was selected by the IAF as its BTT of choice, the BTT-40 project should have been terminated. In fact, I’m highly surprised that both the MoD and the IAF took such a long time to come clean by admitting that the project to develop the HTT-40 was, after all, just a con-job.


    In order to get down to the bottom of this rip-off/con-job, the MoD’s archives need to be declassified so that one can get to the root of the decision-making process prevailing in the period 1992-2010. Only after this is done will one be able to zero in on the true culprits/wrongdoers within both the MoD and IAF HQ. However, there are strong indications that the HTT-35 project was terminated by 1995 at the IAF’s behest, with the MoD having a minimal say in this matter. One must also note that it is not just the IAF that will be procuring the PC-7 Mk2 BTTs, but also the IN (which requires 30 BTTs), just as both the IAF and IN have also procured the Hawk Mk132 AJTs. However, between the two armed services, the IN seems to have come out as the wiser one since, unlike the IAF, it never got involved in the con-job of supporting either the HJT-36 IJT project (despite the fact that the IN too has been using HAL-built HJT-16 Mk2 basic jet trainers) or the HTT-40 BTT project.

    And the same type of long-con is now being played out for the RSH procurement project (for the Indian Army and IAF) and thus it is only a matter of time before HAL’s LUH R & D project too will meet the same fate as that of the BTT. For, in today’s world of competing priorities for defence funding allocations (given the ever-increasing costs of procuring new-generation platforms), even countries like China or India cannot afford the luxury of procuring two almost-identical platforms for doing the same job—that’s the elementary and cold-blooded truth. Those who choose to believe otherwise are only deluding themselves and residing in a make-believe world.
     

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