LCA TEJAS MK1 & MK1A: News and Discussion

abingdonboy

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HAL has 6 weeks to respond to the RFP from Malaysia. I don't know how these things work but unless HAL can line up a deal with an LDP supplier by then (which I see as impossible), I don't see how they can offer an Israeli-free product. Even if HAL came to an agreement with an LDP producer and knew what it would cost, how long would it take to integrate? And all that cost to be carried by 36 aircraft - not viable to me.

Then there is the production problem. What confidence can Malaysia have that HAL will adhere to a delivery schedule? Can HAL demonstrate a good record in adhering to past Tejas delivery schedules?

Additionally all Mk1A production - given current assembly resources in Bengaluru - is committed to IAF for years to come. Sure, Nashik could assemble Mk1A but how long would it take to get up and running? Remember, HAL does not want to spend money on increasing production capacity based on potential future orders. It wants the orders first - a no risk approach to building an export business.
LDPs and weapons will fall under the customer nominated equipment element

HAL will respond with what they have and also a proposal to customise/integrate whatever else the RMAF desire as per the RFI.

It’s no different to Dassualt proposing the Rafale and then agreeing the ISE package at a later date. Of course like for the IAF, if the RMAF want certain customisations it’s going to have to pay for it.

+ unlike dealing with the bipolar Indian armed forces/MoD this will be a solid contract (if signed with RMAF) with money paid upfront and a binding agreement- with that HAL and it’s supply chain can happily expand production to whatever degree is needed.
 

Rajaraja Chola

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Nasik is effectively earmarked for the AMCA protection consortium.
I am not sure. Thought AMCA is supposed to be a JV with a private party to create second manufacturing ecosystem to be based in Sulur. That was the plan. But no updates on it yet. It will cost more ofcouurse.
Nashik will be earmarked for Super Sukhoi upgrades. Even if they do 24 per year it would take 10 years. And Nashik manufacture only 12/year Su.
 

Spitfire9

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Production follows commitments everywhere on this planet. Do not fall into the trap of thinking the laws of economics do not apply to India.
Right, so I want to produce a new car model. My market research indicates demand for 100,000 a year for the foreseeable future. My dealers are not going to commit to buying 100,000 a year. Do I drop the idea at that point or do I organise sales and marketing to enable the factory to sell its planned output?
 

abingdonboy

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I am not sure. Thought AMCA is supposed to be a JV with a private party to create second manufacturing ecosystem to be based in Sulur. That was the plan. But no updates on it yet. It will cost more ofcouurse.
Nashik will be earmarked for Super Sukhoi upgrades. Even if they do 24 per year it would take 10 years. And Nashik manufacture only 12/year Su.
there was news recently that HAL was proposing to lease NASIK to the AMCA consortium

Right, so I want to produce a new car model. My market research indicates demand for 100,000 a year for the foreseeable future. My dealers are not going to commit to buying 100,000 a year. Do I drop the idea at that point or do I organise sales and marketing to enable the factory to sell its planned output?
Totally asinine comment. There are 100s of dealers in India, 1000s internationally and no car costs >$45m PER UNIT

fighter jets have a handful of potential buyers and in India there’s only 1 (sometimes 2) very difficult customer. Do you actually think any fighter jet maker is simply producing units with no order commitments? Instead every single one is earmarked before metal cutting even takes place. Look at Dassualt- they cut Rafale out by 60% to 11/year purely to elongate the production run.

Proposing that HAL simply stockpiles LCAs hoping that one day the IAF gets around to paying for them is so utterly absurd I don’t even know what to say. 10 units lined up is the best part of HALF A BILLION dollars just sat idle, show me what other companies will accept half a billion dollars worth of dead inventory on their books.

maybe HAL would have the the funds to pay their suppliers to do that if the armed forces had actually cleared their dues with them.

Of course the obvious antidote to your point is the tragic LCH story. HAL commenced production for the LSP units years ago and is STILL begging for the IAF/IA to place orders for airframes that have already been made.


HAL is a convenient whipping boy for these import hungry MFers.
 
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Rajaraja Chola

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Right, so I want to produce a new car model. My market research indicates demand for 100,000 a year for the foreseeable future. My dealers are not going to commit to buying 100,000 a year. Do I drop the idea at that point or do I organise sales and marketing to enable the factory to sell its planned output?
And then blame HAL for wasting tax payers money to create infra but sitting idle with no orders? It's tax payers money and the govt / HAL has to utilise it efficiently. You can't equate a private sector car investment with fighter manufacturing. Even F35 costs have been brought down only by scale. If US is to induct only 200 F35 it would cost a whopping 200m per place. Since the US armed forces have placed orders for 2400 F35 planes and it's allies around 400 places. That plane had orders even before production began. Now with 2800 orders they can being the production cost down to 80m per pops. You can't order 20+20+83 and then expect HAL to waste money to create infra.
 

Rajaraja Chola

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there was news recently that HAL was proposing to lease NASIK to the AMCA consortium
That was an attempt of HAL to prevent losing the Amca production contract to going to private JV. Hal did not want an competitor. Private sector called out HAL on this. But there is no change in plan yet.
We need to have an second defence company partly owned by govt for competition
 

abingdonboy

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That was an attempt of HAL to prevent losing the Amca production contract to going to private JV. Hal did not want an competitor. Private sector called out HAL on this. But there is no change in plan yet.
We need to have an second defence company partly owned by govt for competition
The plan for AMCA production is a public-private consortium of which HAL will be a partner (not terrible as they have the resources and expertise to help).

Nasik may or may not be used for this but the latest I heard was the lease option was proposed by HAL for this purpose. The Sulur talk with AMCA is from a while ago.
 

sorcerer

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HAL ready to export LCA-Tejas, Mark-2 getting ready


Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas, the indigenous fighter plane being made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF), has got foreign countries interested and the public sector unit is confident of getting one such contract soon, said Chairman and Managing Director R. Madhavan on Monday.

LCA-Tejas Mark 2, the second generation fighter prototypes are underway in association with the DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). “We expect the first prototype to be ready by next year-end. It will be lengthier and is under design stage with structural and systems plans in place. It will take one year for the ground runs and the then flight trails will start to be completed by 2026-27,” he said.

 

abingdonboy

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HAL ready to export LCA-Tejas, Mark-2 getting ready


Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas, the indigenous fighter plane being made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF), has got foreign countries interested and the public sector unit is confident of getting one such contract soon, said Chairman and Managing Director R. Madhavan on Monday.

LCA-Tejas Mark 2, the second generation fighter prototypes are underway in association with the DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). “We expect the first prototype to be ready by next year-end. It will be lengthier and is under design stage with structural and systems plans in place. It will take one year for the ground runs and the then flight trails will start to be completed by 2026-27,” he said.

Has HAL made any comments on first flight of TEDBF?
 

Spitfire9

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@abingdonboy, @ajaraja Chola

I was not suggesting that HAL build white tails, aircraft without orders.

From what I have read, HAL is an unusual entity. It seems to me that it is essentially a builder and integrator (for Tejas) content to live off orders given to it by GOI. It does not appear to have much interest in marketing or selling, in penetrating the world market with a marketable product. It seems happy just to supply orders received from GOI. As long as the Indian drive for export orders for fighter jets is led by this company, I doubt that all potential, gettable orders will be got.

India has thrown perhaps $2 billion at the Tejas project. I don't how big the world market is for light supersonic fighters up to 2030 but I would not be surprised if it were 100+ (places like Vietnam, South American countries will need new kit). I see no reason why India should not capitalise on its investment in Tejas and try to win some non-captive customers. To me MWF has better prospects but getting export sales + support up and running and debugged with some Mk1A orders would be wise.

Her I am, a foreigner, and I seem to be about the only person on the site exhorting India to make the most of its investment in fast jet technology. Mostly I read a lot of reasons why that is too risky, can't be done. Anyone able to suggest how it can be done without taking any risks?

By the way, I am aware that late government payment is very disruptive, especially if the government is your main customer. I once had a business I closed down because the UK PSU I dealt with a lot was so late in making payments, I ended up in a position where I would not be able to pay my suppliers if I carried on buying. So I have some sympathy for HAL.
 

FalconZero

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And then blame HAL for wasting tax payers money to create infra but sitting idle with no orders? It's tax payers money and the govt / HAL has to utilise it efficiently. You can't equate a private sector car investment with fighter manufacturing. Even F35 costs have been brought down only by scale. If US is to induct only 200 F35 it would cost a whopping 200m per place. Since the US armed forces have placed orders for 2400 F35 planes and it's allies around 400 places. That plane had orders even before production began. Now with 2800 orders they can being the production cost down to 80m per pops. You can't order 20+20+83 and then expect HAL to waste money to create infra.

Just one point, i think spitfire already stated it indirectly but i want to emphasise which shows the difference between companies like Lockheed Martin vs likes of HAL, i agree that there's no 1:1 to comparison cuz one is private and other is psu but point is that every org has some internal assessment, did HAL have any assessment on how many jets they are going to push for IAF or export? Based on that they should keep their supply chain ready.

The lack of planning from HAL side shows that they were not confident in their own product, hate to say that but this is what we can conclude, i know that building aircraft is not the same as any other product and needs serious investment but all of this shows a bottom line failure ranging from how HAL perceives IAF, how IAF has behaved historically for indigenous systems and how GOI (MOD) had lack of foresight about how they want to pursue indigenisation of Indian products, a clusturefuck without plan.

Eventually we will sort it out but it will cost us in terms of delays like these, which are partly because of IAF and partly covid and HAL.

HAL is not aggressive and confident enough, every company has idea about upper limit and minimum limit of its production, there's a ideal situation for production so that they don't have products stockpiling in the inventory.

To summarise, it's just 'chalta hai' attitude all over again.
 

Rajaraja Chola

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@abingdonboy, @ajaraja Chola

I was not suggesting that HAL build white tails, aircraft without orders.

From what I have read, HAL is an unusual entity. It seems to me that it is essentially a builder and integrator (for Tejas) content to live off orders given to it by GOI. It does not appear to have much interest in marketing or selling, in penetrating the world market with a marketable product. It seems happy just to supply orders received from GOI. As long as the Indian drive for export orders for fighter jets is led by this company, I doubt that all potential, gettable orders will be got.

India has thrown perhaps $2 billion at the Tejas project. I don't how big the world market is for light supersonic fighters up to 2030 but I would not be surprised if it were 100+ (places like Vietnam, South American countries will need new kit). I see no reason why India should not capitalise on its investment in Tejas and try to win some non-captive customers. To me MWF has better prospects but getting export sales + support up and running and debugged with some Mk1A orders would be wise.

Her I am, a foreigner, and I seem to be about the only person on the site exhorting India to make the most of its investment in fast jet technology. Mostly I read a lot of reasons why that is too risky, can't be done. Anyone able to suggest how it can be done without taking any risks?

By the way, I am aware that late government payment is very disruptive, especially if the government is your main customer. I once had a business I closed down because the UK PSU I dealt with a lot was so late in making payments, I ended up in a position where I would not be able to pay my suppliers if I carried on buying. So I have some sympathy for HAL.
Your comment would be more suitable for companies which had been designing and selling aircrafts for decades. HAL is a newbie. Tejas is the first modern aircraft developed within India to some extent. Countries like US and Russia can sell products even without their own armed forces buying their product. India is not at that stage yet. They will want to see how the AC performs with IAF. Before that HAL only contract manufactured foreign aircrafts.

With less than 20 Tejas inducted by the IAF it would be a tough sell to convince Airforces to buy them. Let that product mature.

Hal could have done better in Helicopter business. It did win a tender in Ecuador but they did not sign an performance based logistics agreement with HAL and they were grounded/crashed. Lots of bad name in that contract. It definitely could have done better in Heli arena. But it's too early to call that in fighter business
 

Rajaraja Chola

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Just one point, i think spitfire already stated it indirectly but i want to emphasise which shows the difference between companies like Lockheed Martin vs likes of HAL, i agree that there's no 1:1 to comparison cuz one is private and other is psu but point is that every org has some internal assessment, did HAL have any assessment on how many jets they are going to push for IAF or export? Based on that they should keep their supply chain ready.

The lack of planning from HAL side shows that they were not confident in their own product, hate to say that but this is what we can conclude, i know that building aircraft is not the same as any other product and needs serious investment but all of this shows a bottom line failure ranging from how HAL perceives IAF, how IAF has behaved historically for indigenous systems and how GOI (MOD) had lack of foresight about how they want to pursue indigenisation of Indian products, a clusturefuck without plan.

Eventually we will sort it out but it will cost us in terms of delays like these, which are partly because of IAF and partly covid and HAL.

HAL is not aggressive and confident enough, every company has idea about upper limit and minimum limit of its production, there's a ideal situation for production so that they don't have products stockpiling in the inventory.

To summarise, it's just 'chalta hai' attitude all over again.
The development of Tejas is a matter btw ADA and IAF. HAL is only an manufacturer. Now from HAL point of view, they are caught quite badly. They can't invest too much in Tejas assembly or marketing cos IAF didn't want it!!!! Now how the hell HAL is supposed to market an aircraft IAF didn't want, which ADA is the developer of the aircraft. Before 2016, there were so many hit jobs that it would seem Tejas would be cancelled. It was only of MP push that IAF was forced into line. In this time period of uncertainty, as a business owner, will you spend money marketing a product which the original intended might not induct as it is or worse cancelled?

Now it's time for IAF to give an satisfactory report on Tejas which the HAL would then and should use to market Tejas. With promising initial feedback from IAF pilots, HAL is starting to market the product in Qatar and then in Malaysia. It's even competing in US Navy tender. None of the competitors in USN trainer tender has an ac that can land on an ac. It definitely looks promising. But again the primary job of the Hal is to supply IAF. Anything extra are bonus. We are just learning to walk.
 

FalconZero

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The development of Tejas is a matter btw ADA and IAF. HAL is only an manufacturer. Now from HAL point of view, they are caught quite badly. They can't invest too much in Tejas assembly or marketing cos IAF didn't want it!!!! Now how the hell HAL is supposed to market an aircraft IAF didn't want, which ADA is the developer of the aircraft. Before 2016, there were so many hit jobs that it would seem Tejas would be cancelled. It was only of MP push that IAF was forced into line. In this time period of uncertainty, as a business owner, will you spend money marketing a product which the original intended might not induct as it is or worse cancelled?
Fair and i agree that's why i said that partly it was due to GOI and IAF there.

Now it's time for IAF to give an satisfactory report on Tejas which the HAL would then and should use to market Tejas. With promising initial feedback from IAF pilots, HAL is starting to market the product in Qatar and then in Malaysia. It's even competing in US Navy tender. None of the competitors in USN trainer tender has an ac that can land on an ac. It definitely looks promising. But again the primary job of the Hal is to supply IAF. Anything extra are bonus. We are just learning to walk.
About this, orders itself speak:
> Almost 83 mk1a were ordered, which is the biggest proof of trust that IAF has bestowed upon HAL.
> IAF chief has re-iterated multiple times about the importance and capability of Tejas
>Biggest highlight was the Exercise Gaganshakti itself during which tejas flew 6 sorties per day and it has been mentioned that IAF loved it and were happy with its performance, IAF chief again commented on it.
> As you stated before Tejas' successful landing on an AC itself was a highlight which speaks for its capability

So it has enough juice to market it, now IAF earlier did made mistakes and our gormints were not very supportive but things have changed, from getting orders from Mk1a to actively backing of IAF Chief, it itself speaks a lot about the faith of IAF so ball was in HAL's court, how do they plan, market and execute was upto them.
 

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