LCA TEJAS MK1 & MK1A: News and Discussion

Spitfire9

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Mk1a a stopgap solution
And as rudra is there

And we should more focus on mwf and amca now
Though I would say more focus on delivering fighter aircraft to IAF is needed as well. Anything would do a lot better than nothing but there will be nothing delivered for a time after March 2022. Someone didn't think things through too well IMO.

When will the focus on MWF result in an IOC MWF landing at an IAF base? Until that happens MWF has made zero contribution to IAF capability. Ditto AMCA.
 

CentralPoint

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Setting up an aircraft production line is different - very different - from setting up a Howitzer (Heavy Machinery), Submarine (Dry Dock/ Long term Project) or even for that case a truck plant. Given the fact that the Tejas uses a high percentage of composites (esp. in the skin and subframe) it is even more difficult. Cutting metal which is already made to a certain specification is not the same as making a composite part.

Other than that there are various other aspects that make it tough to set up an aircraft assembly line. The cost of setup is also extremely high (Capital expense) and in the volatile environment that we operate in (Today the GoI is supporting an Indian Aircraft - what if the orders don't materialize in the future?). The timeline to recover the investment is high as compared to the actual investment in this. Moreover, an aircraft factory can manufacture typically only that - aircraft. A dry dock can manufacture boats, ships, etc. A truck factory can easily make 'civilian' trucks, a tracked howitzer plant can make multiple heavy vehicles. etc.

Setting up a factory is tougher for the private sector - The government owns large swathes of land, which can be then easily moved (e.g. Military farms) to other government entities involved in nation building. Of course, we have to contend with 'activists' of all kinds - the private sector even more are hounded by these so called 'activists' - (Sterlite is just one example).

The challenge is with giving piecemeal orders (83 aircraft) which hampers long-term planning. Moreover, the Tejas wasn't exactly made for rapid production - that's why the many LSP's which helped to identify and plan the overall structure of manufacture (the old Tejas manufacturing line) which helped to make the new factory. There are many LRU's that have changed position for ease of manufacture and maintenance. The advantage is that once we have Mk2 - all the lessons learned from the Mk1 will help us test and build them quicker.

Also HAL with all its constraints has actually kept the IAF well supported. Many changes to small critical parts, which were denied to us or had embargos were made by reverse engineering/ alternative identification. Its not easy, considering that aircraft parts have to be tested extensively. A simple actuator is tested over one lakh cycles in various temperature and altitude settings before even being tested on an actual aircraft (one that has other actuators as fail safe). Do take the effort to read about how HAL made spares for aircraft when the manufacturer became defunct, how they redesigned some parts to make the aircraft safer etc.

Of Course a private player will be really great - but it will take investment on their part - we have some smaller setups (Tata, Mahindra, L&T, Godrej Aerospace) that can be leveraged to make parts (which they already are making) and then use them like a final assembly line.

Having said that, I envisage that Mk2, AMCA, TEDBF will all come within the projected timelines. The lessons learnt from the Tejas will drive the next generation faster - thats certain (esp. if the current government stays in power for a decade more).
 

Rajaraja Chola

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Did L&T had experience in making parts of Nuclear Submarine or Howitzers ?

They did fantasic job in both and it within timeline, didn't they ?
L&T built the hull and not the complete submarine. I very much doubt the design is theirs. The design might have come from Russians or DRDO. It's an strategic project as well.
Same goes for howitzers. L&T invested money in a damn factory and guess what? It's lying unused. No follow on orders came. It's a screw driver ToT in the first place.
Now if L&T wins a tender to build MMRCA for 114 or 57 naval fighters with ToT, I am ok with it. Cos the final responsibility lies with the OEM. If the OEM Trains a new set of engineers who have a different work training than HAL it is worth it.

But you can't ask a project HAL as a company has invested in to move to a private sector when the primary workforce has to come from HAL or DRDO and expect it to be reliable from the word GO, particularly when some members blame HAL as the mother of all problems and as if using HAL ex employees in new ventures will solve that problem. HAL actually worked/delivered project for nearly 3 years with IAF/GoI owning them 20k crores that they were forced to get loans to pay employees. Good luck trying attempting that with private sector.
 

sorcerer

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India set to ink $700 mn fighter jet engine deal with US soon


2-3 minutes


India is all set to ink another major defence deal with the United States (US), to acquire fighter jet engines worth $700 million.
Negotiations are almost over for the engines that will be used to power the homegrown Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
The Indian Air Force (IAF) will buy a total of 83 jet engines of the LCA Mk1A version from General Electric (GE). All issues pertaining to supply have been straightened out and India will soon place an order for 100 of the GE 404 engines, sources told the Economic Times.


 

vishnugupt

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How do you know?

HAL has to maintain these engines at it's facilities. And if something was holding up this deal so far, it must've been related to offsets and some ToT related to maintaining the engines and doing overhauls.
That is called assistance, not the ToT. HAL is competent enough to maintain small issues but if any critical parts fail then HAL has to go to GE or have to buy parts off the shelf.
 

Spitfire9

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GE F-404-IN20?

Any idea on what the offsets for this deal will include? Bench testing and other test equipment will be obvious, before installing the engine on a Tejas Mk1A, but any other technology or items?
Why should there be any offsets?

HAL has to maintain these engines at it's facilities. And if something was holding up this deal so far, it must've been related to offsets and some ToT related to maintaining the engines and doing overhauls.
How are the F404 engines in Tejas Mk1 maintained? If HAL maintains them, they must already know how to do it. Major overhauls - how are they currently done?

That is called assistance, not the ToT. HAL is competent enough to maintain small issues but if any critical parts fail then HAL has to go to GE or have to buy parts off the shelf.
Anything unusual in needing to buy spares from the OEM?
 
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omaebakabaka

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Why should there be any offsets?


How are the F404 engines in Tejas Mk1 maintained? If HAL maintains them, they must already know how to do it. Major overhauls - how are they currently done?


Anything unusual in needing to buy spares from the OEM?
Ya, we gained nothing from TOT because if we did then we would have an engine by now from Russian TOTs and so on. All complex and fundamental things like metallurgy and so on are still not mastered on our side. Basic and deep maintenance is probably done by HAL but deep maintenance may have specialists fly in or engines sent out or just import of parts. Risk would be with US blackmailing and sanctions and pressure tactics, question is in these cases can HAL manufacture spares?

It is with in the realm of possibility that they will use pressure tactics to let Twitter do whatever it does to get critical spares for engines.....just an example. Especially dems as of now are very likely to do these immature things
 

Maharaj samudragupt

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Ya, we gained nothing from TOT because if we did then we would have an engine by now from Russian TOTs and so on. All complex and fundamental things like metallurgy and so on are still not mastered on our side. Basic and deep maintenance is probably done by HAL but deep maintenance may have specialists fly in or engines sent out or just import of parts. Risk would be with US blackmailing and sanctions and pressure tactics, question is in these cases can HAL manufacture spares?
They have already done so after 65 once , still dependence on us is rising
 

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