Additional response to AVM (retd) Bahadur on Tejas

A well informed correspondent pulled me up for not pointing out in my counter-response that AVM (Retd) Manmohan Bahadur (“MMRCA misgivings unfounded”) rather cavalierly dismissed Tejas. Bahadur declares that Tejas Mk-1 does not meet IAF’s needs. Strange, considering the Mk-1 is supposed to be the replacement aircraft for the large number of MiG-21s in the IAF fleet, which aircraft has been given an extended stay in the fleet into the 2020s with the Bison variant! And, in what way does the Mk-1 lag? Not in terms of weapons load capacity or even range, surely? And, certainly not in terms of its 4.5 generation avionics that’s a match for anything the Rafale features (except, perhaps, in data fusion (what to talk of MiG-21)! And, how then does he explain the Swedish Gripen NG, with almost exactly the same performance characteristics, being shortlisted by IAF in the MMRCA sweepstakes?

As a fighter pilot, Bahadur, in line with the IAF’s view, instead of hurrahing every imported or importable aircraft, may care to look inwards a bit and see how different the scene might have been had the IAF, especially in view of its, what many would call an “änti-nationalist”, terminator role in the HF-24 Marut Mk-II project — made amends and taken charge and responsibility for the Tejas programme, rather than attacking it from the sidelines, bemoaning weaknesses in the Tejas R&D and production schemes, and habitually pitching for cost-prohibitive Western aircraft. And whether or not the $30 billion plus — that India simply cannot afford — to be expended on the Rafale, will not be better spent at home beefing up the Tejas programme and fast-tracking the Mk-1s and Mk-2s into operational service. Perhaps, this is too much to expect of the IAF and veterans from the Service.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in Asian geopolitics, civil-military relations, Defence Industry, DRDO, Europe, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Air Force, Indian ecobomic situation, Indian Politics, South Asia, Strategic Relations with the US & West, Technology transfer, United States, Weapons, Western militaries. Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Additional response to AVM (retd) Bahadur on Tejas

  1. Himankan says:

    First thing, the LCA has very less hard-points and hardly 4 hard-points for weapons when you load it up with drop tanks and ECM jammers. If you do not want the IAF to procure the MMRCA, what better ideas do you have? Please do not talk about LCA Mk-II, FGFA or another deal because that will take another 9-10 years or even more to come.

    • Tejas has 7 pylon stations in all for ordnance, drop tanks, jammer pods and like. If you consider two hardpoints for drop tanks, that leaves 5 points for weapons, etc. — better than MiG-21 Bison. It is precisely the immediate need under which IAF has always snuck in foreign aircraft. Buy more Su-30, arguably the best combat plane fying as per even reputed Western analysts. For the Price of a single Rafale, IAF can secure 3-4 Su-30s. This is a far better option to maintain substantive fighter presence than the Rafale.

      • RV says:

        WRT: “For the Price of a single Rafale, IAF can secure 3-4 Su-30s.”, I believe 1.25-1.5 is a more accurate range. Nobody seems to have factored in the additional costs which will be accrued on account of the logistics if the Rafale is chosen. But then again, what’s a few billion dollars/year either way among friends?

    • RV says:

      The LCA MK-1 has 7 +1 hard points – 3 under each wing, 1 centreline, and 1 under the air intake on the port side for LITENING/IRST/FLIR…. In contrast, the Bison (which will remain on in service till 2025) has 5 hard points.

    • vivek says:

      LCA points 1,6 can have MRAAM and SRAAM. 7 can carry bombs,LGB or fuel.
      Fuel can be loaded on 1 and 2. I am not sure what u mean by only 4.

  2. Himankan says:

    And I forgot to tell, don’t simply compare Tejas with Rafale. Moreover maintenance cost of Rafale is far lower once procured. And lastly, we are fed up with your fight with the IAF. Stop it, or else people will stop reading your articles from now on.

    • Rafale upkeep costs lower than Tejas, really?!!! (Sorry for transposing Rafale and Tejas in my original note!!!)

      • RV says:

        Mr. Karnad, I believe you mean: “Rafale upkeep costs lower than Tejas, really?!!!”. This is, of course, unless you agree with the wisdom spouted by @Himankan!.

    • RV says:

      WRT: “Moreover maintenance cost of Rafale is far lower once procured”, far lower as compared to what – the B-52, Tu-160…? You need to be specific.

    • RV says:

      WRT: “Stop it, or else people will stop reading your articles from now on.” – where you at that conference shown on the Youtube clips as part of “the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”?

  3. Subhhash Bhagwat says:

    This discussion is getting way out of line now with accusations of the IAF being “anti-national”. If there is one institution in the country that has stood the fire test of national interest it is the Services. Mr. Karnad is not doing any good by succumbing to hyperbole. Let me ask whether he or any of his friends truly believe it to be the IAF’s brief to take charge of R&D of weaponry? On what grounds do they assume that the IAF did not or does not provide input to DRDO? Why has no government ever made sure to bring back thousands of Indian scientists and engineers working abroad and give them the needed help? Why has no one ever asked how much of the DRDO technology is truly indigenous? Do we have, for example,the metallurgical know-how to produce a jet engine for a fighter plane? Why has the government failed to demand accountability from DRDO? The armed forces need to be ready to fight at a moment’s notice and do not have the luxury to wait for the GOI or the DRDO to deliver hardware and make serial production possible. While attacking the IAF for wanting to “import” more you argue for Su30 as if thy were not imports.

    • RV says:

      The contempt in which science and engineering is held in general as a career choice in India is nauseating. Unlike China, Indians returning from the best possible centres of learning outside India and with experience are held in contempt, because the general feeling is that they couldn’t hack it overseas. So, the only alternatives are to “swallow/cop it”, or flee the system!

      Look at the who’s who in India. Many (and this number is growing) of them send their prodigious sons and daughters to do undergraduate studies overseas. What surprises me is the some of these prodigies are studying engineering overseas. The Indian engineering undergraduate system (IIT’s and some REC’s) is far better than that in many top Western universities, because in India the professors teach instead of concentrating on publishing and running off from one conference to the next, leaving the students in the “care” of inexperienced TA’s.

      Most if not all Indians would like their children to become FIRST MBA’s (iwho are Gods gift to humanity. It would help if they were employed by a foreign financial institution), cricketers (IPL stars preferably), Bollywood actors, stock brokers, ladies/men of the night in high society, and if they fail to become any of the aforesaid or anything else that is acceptable…, even a postal clerk, then maybe and regrettably they take to science and engineering. Now the chickens are coming home to roost and the Indians don’t even know the cause. The present situation is fast approaching stage where India will either go bankrupt, or lose a major war.

      I do not believe that anybody has the right to point a finger at the IAF, or any other entity. When and not if the inevitable (described above) comes, each Indian who is part of the system should go to a mirror and see the cause of the shame and disgrace.

    • DRDO is nowhere juxtaposed against the IAF. That said, unlike all combat ac programs elsewhere in the world where the host air force owns up, leads, and is responsible for the delivery of the aircraft in question, in India IAF has only sat on the sidelines and pointed out what ADA/DRDO were doing wrong w/o in anyway getting involved in the project to rectify design and other problems. Hard to conclude other than that it is more committed to buy foreign ac than develop an Indian fighter.

      • RV says:

        Karnad, why shouldn’t the IAF be more committed to buy foreign a/c than develop an Indian fighter. Don’t many (if not most) powers-that-be and who’s who in India have Green Cards and/or permanent residencies of foreign (read Western) countries. If these people who are the trend setters can show such preferences/inclinations, why blame the IAF or any other entity for showing equivalent preferences/inclinations?

      • Navy seems to be doing a better job with LCA Navy. Somehow NAVY is more commited to indigenization. The also have fewer operational & strategic constraints. Navy holds the key to future of India’s military power.

      • RV says:

        You are correct when you say that the IN is far more committed to indigenization than any of the other Services. The IN has supported the Tejas far more than the IAF. However, what has been the outcome of the IN’s support of the Tejas in concrete terms?

  4. Subhash Bhagwat says:

    Excuse me if I misread the comment that the IAF in an “anti-national” manner voted against HF24. If that was not juxtaposing the IAF against the DRDO, I wonder how one should understand it.
    I presume you have inside information that the IAF provides no input on design? If such info is coming from DRDO would it be not prudent to question it as well? I suggest a conversation with someone who has been at the contact point between the Services and the GOI, for example the Directors or Deputy Directors of Aviation or Naval Aviation or their equivalents in Delhi. They will tell you that technical expertise expressed in their recommendations regularly come back with hand written notes by the highest political office asking for consideration of a different technology from a different (foreign) vendor for political reasons. Whether it is the DRDO or any other National Labs, political influence and bureaucratic attitudes prevail. By the way, the notion that top brass officers in western countries are angelic is false. Anyone who has followed the discussion on the phasing out of the ground attack aircraft (Is it A10?) in the media will know how meddlesome and, in fact, strategically questionable, such a move would be. And then there is the case of F35! In fact, military historians in the U.S. have pointed out how the military often forced the hands of Presidents in decisions that should have been political, not military.

    Regarding the comment on quality of education it would be too simplistic to blame parents for sending kids abroad for undergraduate education. Undoubtedly, there are high quality institutions in India. But their annual admissions are insufficient in numbers to admit all deserving and desirous students, thanks in no small way to the reservations policy. Professors at U.S. universities are also increasingly skeptical of IIT graduates because admissions to IITs now are influenced by the “coaching classes” which teach students to beat the tests, not really to think. More and more Indian students from other colleges are making it to foreign universities with great results to show. India and the U.S. have very similar problems in education. American schools are not nearly as good as their colleges are and certainly far from being comparable to their graduate colleges. The country continues to get enough graduates because of the immigration policy. India, on the other hand lacks quality schools far more seriously than the U.S. A prominent India educator once said that Indian students succeed abroad not because Indian education is good but despite it. I won’t indulge the commentator on the remark that only when not even a clerk’s job is possible in a foreign country do Indians want to return. That comment is based on incomplete knowledge at best.

    • RV says:

      I don’t think I ever said that anything to the effect that even “only when not even a clerk’s job is possible in a foreign country do Indians want to return”. If I ever mentioned the word “clerk” and I stated “postal clerk”, it was to figuratively demonstrate how low a science and engineering career is valued and appreciated in India. From personal experience, I know of people who returned to India who had more than a clerks job in foreign countries. Some stayed, some left, and some managed to work overseas while also being able to spend quite a bot of time in India (but away from the system).

    • RV says:

      WRT: “By the way, the notion that top brass officers in western countries are angelic is false.”, I know from very credible sources that what you say here is true, and the situation is much worse. The unfortunate part is that most Indians believe that the Nirvana is only found in the West. There are many reasons for this, one of them being the fact that the Indian elite instinctively show a marked deference and inclination towards the West. There are others such as not obtaining independence the proper way, i.e. by fighting for it. A change of flags does not equate to a change in mind sets….

    • RV says:

      The statement:”India and the U.S. have very similar problems in education. American schools are not nearly as good as their colleges are and certainly far from being comparable to their graduate colleges.” ;lacks clarity and substance. In general, the attributes that make a good school or school instructor, differ from those that make a graduate college or college instructor, which in turn differ from the attributes that make a good graduate school or a good graduate school professor/instructor (which by extension differ from the attributes that makes a good National lab. or National lab. researcher).

      • Subhash Bhagwat says:

        I agree it is based on incomplete information. I have seen no survey to bolster it with numbers. But I have spoken to many Indian origin professors who work at U.S. universities who mentioned this. In the past, IITs were considered preferable over the MIT by many. Again no statistics but Diane Sawyer had reported it on sixty minutes. Regarding the U.S. system, the observation is based on the fact that professors at four year degree colleges are complaining how poorly prepared freshmen are for a college education, and at graduate level some universities had to urge their faculty to “please ensure that at least half of them are Americans”. All of this indicates to me that the quality at the bottom needs to improve. Fareed Zakaria had written about this not too long ago in a weekly magazine.

      • RV says:

        Bhaghwat, statements by Diane Sawyer and Zakaria are very poor indicators and/or references to cite on the quality of technical education. There is a fatal logic flaw in the alleged belief that: “…admissions to IITs now are influenced by the “coaching classes” which teach students to beat the tests, not really to think.”.

        Assuming that the claim that coaching classes teach students how to beat the IIT entrance exam is true, I fail to see how coaching classes can possibly train students to last 4 years in the IIT system. Getting into the IIT’s does not equate to graduating from them. This is akin to the fact that passing the qualifying exam and the prelim is not a guarantee that a Ph.D. will be awarded. You are however correct in stating that “More and more Indian students from other colleges are making it to foreign universities with great results to show”.

  5. RV says:

    BTW Bhagwat, your statement “Professors at U.S. universities are also increasingly skeptical of IIT graduates because admissions to IITs now are influenced by the “coaching classes” which teach students to beat the tests, not really to think.” is based on incomplete information and if and when true, is limited to a limited set of individuals. The Indians are trying their level best to put up more IIT’s and technical schools. The problems are many especially in obtaining dedicated and competent faculty, which include but are not limited to the quota system, pay, nepotism,….

    The problem in India is that there is no selection system, but an elimination system. Any rational person would know that elimination is no substitute for selection.

  6. Atul says:

    There are two-three main questions, which neither MoD nor IAF are willing to answer:

    1. Whether paying $25-30 billion for only 126 fourth generation fighter Rafale is the right price?
    The discussion on Rafale’s capabilities is not warranted here. Are you comfortable with its price because many are not? Especially when Tejas is $ 26 million a pop and AMCA with Kaveri engines have been asking $2 billion each in sustained funding. The entire development cost of LCA, even after horrible delays, has hovered around USD 1-2 billion and Tejas has turned up as a reasonably good fighter.

    2. If you pay $25-30 billion for these 126 Rafale fighters, where will you get money to buy fifth generation FGFA which is another $35 billion? Or you are planning to dump it? If you are, say so.

    3. In case, FGFA is out of IAF’s favor, whether a 4th generation fighter, Rafale, with minuscule stealth will be enough against Chinese fifth generation J-20/J-31 and other hordes of upcoming 5th generation stealth fighters?

    Instead of answering these crucial questions, all one can see coming from IAF is “you are not patriot enough”, “you are not the expert”, “you are arch-enemy of IAF” and similar arguments. First, IAF needs to understand that it is not the only expert in the world on fighters. Second, there is similarity between IAF’s stand and DPSU’s stand when they say only DPSU’s are patriot and all private companies are traitors. These lines of arguments are outdated and downright offensive. All one is asking is a serious debate on the IAF’s force structure and long term future acquisition planning.

    As it is, people like Robert Farley are advocating the abolition of US Air Force as an independent service.

  7. Pointless says:

    Air Marshal Barbora’s “justification” makes for depressing reading. That said, Bharat is missing the actual solution — the Tejas is not a viable combat aircraft as presently configured (Mk1) and a definitive version (Mk.2 or whatever you want to call it) is too far off. Also, HAL cannot produce any aircraft quickly enough. Even if the Tejas was sorted out and accepted tomorrow, the last aircraft of an order for 120 units would be delivered sometime in the late 2020s. The MMRCA programme exists to fill the gap opened by the LCA’s delayed induction, so to pitch the LCA (Mk.1 or Mk.2) as the solution to MMRCA is missing the point.

    Regarding the evaluation of the MMRCA competitors, the Air Marshal states that the American and Russian entrants (F-16, F/A-18 and MiG-35) were disqualified for a number of technical and performance shortfalls whilst the Gripen was excluded as it was “yet to certify MIL standards on many new aspects incorporated in the aircraft.” In the VERY SAME paragraph, however, he states that although the Rafale and Eurofighter also demonstrated same shortcomings (notably, AESA radars were not operational on either type at the time of trials), “these aspects were demonstrated to the testing team in laboratories/other platforms.”

    Assuming this is true, it is shamefully dishonest. If the Rafale and Eurofighter were allowed to demonstrate laboratory systems and submit a commercial bid, how did a mere lack of MIL standards disqualify the Gripen? Why was the Swedish entrant not extended the same leniency? The Air Marshal describes the evaluation process as “transparent” but it was anything but. To date, nothing more than vague phrases like “performance shortcomings” and “technical reasons” have been offered by Air HQ to explain the disqualifications of four out of the six candidates. If an acquisition process must be guarded and opaque, then so be it, but it is disingenuous at best and idiotic at worst to call something transparent and then obfuscate all relevant data.

    It is worth noting that today, somewhat ironically as far as the IAF is concerned, the Gripen NG has demonstrated AESA capability before the Typhoon and will be the first of the Eurocanards to integrate the game-changing MBDA Meteor BVRAAM. The Gripen has seen export success in a number of European nations and has just secured a massive deal with Brasil, while the Rafale and Eurofighter struggle for sales even in their home markets, let alone in competitive tenders elsewhere. As an example, Denmark has recently put out an RFI to four companies for their new fighter programme. The types are the F-35, F/A-18, Typhoon and Gripen E. No Rafale! But of course, the “80% solution at 50% cost” is deemed worse than the “90% solution at 200% cost” by the decisionmakers at Air HQ and South Block.

    The Air Marshal bemoans state of the Indian aviation industry and the state of several key programmes (LCA, BTA, IJT). And I agree. The LCA is too little bang for the buck. Floundering on the BTA and IJT is simply embarrassing and shameful. However, while the LCA delays are certainly lamentable, it must be said that the problem is of the IAF’s own making. The Indian Navy staved off precisely such a situation almost half a century ago when they committed firmly and completely to the development of an indigenous ship building capability. Today, Indian shipyards are constructing world-class vessels ranging from patrol boats to aircraft carriers, while the last remaining deficiency – submarines – is being addressed via a two-pronged approach of foreign technology absorption (Scorpene) along with indigenous trial and error (Arihant).

    Over the decades, the IAF has been presented with MULTIPLE opportunities but has been either unwilling or incapable of taking charge of any aspect of the Indian aerospace industry, be it merely production, or, as is the case in a number of other countries, high technology research and development. It is therefore a bit difficult to swallow the plaintive complaints of IAF leadership that capability gaps are emerging and force levels are at less-than-ideal levels. The Indian Army has been similarly laidback and finds itself in a virtually identical situation (see: Arjun MBT, FICV, INSAS etc).

    On the subject of the commercial bids themselves, the Air Marshal notes that “selection of [the] Rafale as the best choice was a joint decision of the IAF, MoD and GoI(CCS), where the IAF’s say was minimal.” This gives the lie to another often-bandied about statement that Dassault was selected simply by virtue of being the L1 bidder. Either it was L1, in which case it should have been selected by default, or it wasn’t, in which case selection would have required joint deliberation. That the Air Marshal confirms the latter situation is a damning indictment of the whole process.

    Responding to suggestions that the MMRCA programme be re-tendered with a different approach, Air Marshal Barbora suggests that such a move would take too long to fructify. Unfortunately, the Air Marshal himself gives us a timeline for the current programme, stating that the case to acquire additional fighters began in the late-1990s / early-2000s. This means over a decade has passed since the IAF decided it needed new aircraft and here we stand, with nothing in hand. Would a fresh approach really take too long? The IAF has certainly demonstrated its willingness to tolerate decade-long waiting periods, both for home grown programmes like the LCA and foreign buys such as the MMRCA. In any case, no one would suggest that any new attempt be conducted in the same manner as the last — if anything, the MMRCA project has laid excellent groundwork for future reference on how NOT to conduct an acquisition.

    Cost may well have been immaterial when the tender was floated (although it should never have been) but the fact is that funds are a problem NOW. The IAF and MoD cannot simply bury their heads in the sand and wish their present financial problems away.

    The most practical way forward is for Government to direct the IAF/MoD to invite all six contenders to revalidate/revise their commercial offers, providing current operational/technical updates — NO special treatment this time! Give them 3 months to submit, take another three to evaluate (flight trials should be unnecessary, kinetic performance hasn’t changed much/at all) and then visit the shortlisted types and recommend the best option within month. Thus within six months, contractual negotiations can begin and the programme launched ASAP. That should save money and minimise delays.

    A rider: so as not to waste the 30 years and 30,000 crores spent on LCA , make it mandatory for the selected company to put in money (take advantage of 49% FDI) and technology on the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA). That would be a win-win and I doubt anyone would disagree.

    • MMRCA is a synthetic requirement created out of thin air by IAF to escape what it considered Russia’s thrall. If Russian ac disappoint in term of spares and service support, Western aircraft are simply unaffordable. Between them, Russian aircraft make more sense — even as a bridging solution until the Tejas is inducted in large numbers — because we can somehow make do as we still have some leverage with Moscow. But Tejas is a must to get India off the zero-line in the aerospace sector.

      • Pointless says:

        > MMRCA is a synthetic requirement created out of thin air by IAF to escape what it considered Russia’s thrall

        Yes and no.
        No: The IAF faces a capability and capacity gap that began opening in 1999-2000 and has widened into a gaping chasm today. An acquisition programme to bridge the gap HAD to be conducted.
        Yes: Of course, said programme (MMRCA) was conducted in a way to conveniently shunt the Russians aside.

        > Western aircraft are simply unaffordable

        Are they? In capital and revenue costs, the Gripen and Block 60 Vipers are pretty competitive (the former much more so, but still). Russian aircraft cost more each year and spend too much time on the ground. When they work, they cost a bomb.

        > Russian aircraft make more sense

        Not in a month of Sundays. The general feeling one gets (particularly from the videos you posted earlier) is that the IAF is sick to the back teeth of Russian aircraft. Plus, now that they’ve tasted Western sales and support with the C-130, C-17 and so on, they see no reason to go back and deal with the Russians.

        > because we can somehow make do as we still have some leverage with Moscow

        Where has leverage ever been used by the MoD? Their favourite past time seems to be bending over for the Russians, not squeezing them when it matters.

        >But Tejas is a must to get India off the zero-line in the aerospace sector.

        Yes, that is a given. But Tejas is not a capable fighter. Remember, this is not just about replacing MiG-21/27 numbers. This is about balance of power in the region – matching (or outmatching) new capabilities and larger combat forces across the border(s). Tejas is good to pad numbers for the short term, but HAL/ADA will really have to hit the Mk.2 out of the park for Tejas to be a viable backbone for the military OR the aero industry.

      • The pivotal point here is that MOD has leverage vis a vis Russia it doesn’t use. But then it doesn’t insist on Western companies delivering technology (as per ToT clauses) the country has paid dearly for, either. Then, as you mentioned in a previous post, IAF had, still has, the opportunity to helm the Tejas Mk-1 & Mk-2 programs, which it shies away from. What’s one to make of a bunch of shrinking violets all over? But, despite every conceivable obstacle and handicap Tejas has come along then it deserves the chance to prove its druthers. The trouble is given half a chance the IAF as much as production agencies, such as HAL that I rail at as specializing in Meccano, will jump at anything that is least taxing! And as regards production of Tejas — it is time, I’ll argue in a future article, that the bulk of its manufacture is farmed out to the more efficient private sector, which may stir HAL’s competitive juices.

      • RV says:

        Karnad, given the current situation, when and if the FOC is given, setting up the production lines for the Tejas MK-1/2, establishing the supply chain, establishing standards,…, and in general “warming up” the production line, it will take a few years before even the first 12-15 fighters come off the production line. At this rate the IAF squadron strength will continue to deplete. OTOH, the wisdom and ability to pay USD 20++ billion for a 4+ gen aircraft like the Rafale is debatable. India is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

        Your claim “India’s leverage with Moscow” will be tested (say) by December 2014. The UPA regime virtually and irreparably damaged Indo-Russian relations in many key sectors. Modi needs to take bold steps, to ensure that India establishes its credibility with Moscow.

        Finally, below you have stated: “And as regards production of Tejas — it is time, I’ll argue in a future article, that the bulk of its manufacture is farmed out to the more efficient private sector, which may stir HAL’s competitive juices.”. This is a most noble task you have graciously committed to undertake. It is requested that you pay detailed attention to the realistic hurdles the “more efficient private sector” will face, such as sourcing and hiring skilled personnel, etc… Making hand waving statements like “Oh they will manage, etc…” simply won’t do. Please shed some light on HOW will they manage!

    • E.r.Sakthivel says:

      Selcting gripen will automatically terminate the MMRCA buy. that is why it was not shown the same leniency.

      Why?
      tejas mk2 and gripen NG are one and the same in many respects.

      The fact that gripen won many contests when fitted against the same copmetitors as a cost effective option shows the fallacy that this MMRCA tender is all about.

      That is in like gripen E we have tejas mk2 that can do all that any MMRCA winner can in shorter ranges,

      For longer range we have SU-30 MKis.

      Also how is IAF going to budget for rafale,tejas mk2,AMCA and FGFA all within the next two decades?

      Answer AMCA and tejas mk2 will be reduced to lab rats while money will be pumped into FGFA and RAFALE.

      In the same way Mirage-2000 upgrade and rafale buy are eliminating the squadron numbers for tejas with no obvious long range benefits(we have Su-30 MKI for longer ranges and nirbahy cruise missile).

      Same will happen to AMCA. It will als be a lab rat with funds fully eaten up by rafale and FGFA.o

      The huge operating and upgradation costs in forex of the above two fighters will starve IAF budget for Tejas mk2 and AMCA . And they will be content with what ever they recieves

      • Pointless says:

        >tejas mk2 and gripen NG are one and the same in many respects.
        >That is in like gripen E we have tejas mk2 that can do all that any MMRCA winner can in shorter ranges,

        Except one has a flying prototype and 90+ aircraft on order while the other… is mostly on paper. I don’t understand the fascination and faith so many people put in the Mk.2 Tejas. The Mk.1 already struggles with power-to-weight issues, adding a bigger, heavier engine won’t fix that. They have to address the weight issue first, then think about changing the engine. Otherwise the power-to-eight remains problematic AND you end up with a draggier airframe because of the enlarged intakes and fuselage required to accommodate the F414.

        >Also how is IAF going to budget for rafale,tejas mk2,AMCA and FGFA all within the next two decades?

        That’s the real question. Decades of dishonesty and mismanagement – both at Air HQ and MoD have led us to this problem. Now we have compromised fleet structure, a compromised plan for the future and no money to handle either.

        The key for the future will be for MoD and IAF to ownership of development programmes the way the Navy has done. There is simply no other way to ensure that recalcitrant bureaucrats and scientists are whipped into delivering what is needed. And it is ALWAYS better (and certainly more palatable) to be spending billions on bloated defence programmes within your own country rather than bankrolling the Russians, French and Americans.

        The AMCA programme is YET another opportunity for the IAF to take the lead – to fight in South Block for its goddamn RIGHT to control a programme that has a direct bearing on its future. Of course, once again, they won’t bother.

  8. Sancho says:

    “And, in what way does the Mk-1 lag? Not in terms of weapons load capacity or even range, surely? And, certainly not in terms of its 4.5 generation avionics that’s a match for anything the Rafale features (except, perhaps, in data fusion (what to talk of MiG-21)! And, how then does he explain the Swedish Gripen NG, with almost exactly the same performance characteristics, being shortlisted by IAF in the MMRCA sweepstakes?”

    On the one hand you say that LCA MK1 has more range or can carry more load than the Mig 21 and therefore IAF should start replacing the Migs with it, while you ignore the fact that it still hasn’t reached a level in it’s development, that provides ith with all the capabilities a modern 4th generation fighter should have. According to a recent report of Mr. Anantha Krishnan:

    “…Ahead of the FOC, crucial milestones that the project needs to complete include, integration of the missiles with the radar, integration of Russian-made 23 mm GSH gun, air-to-air refuelling probe, better braking system and change of nose cone radome from composite materials to quartz for an improved range.”

    http://tarmak007.blogspot.de/2014/05/tejas-completes-advanced-weapon-trials.html

    So today LCA MK1 has no gun or BVR missiles integrated, has issues with nose design and because of it with the radar performance. We also know that the indigenous radar development has problems and that crucial goals at speed, AoA, or the G-limits were not met so far, which means it is lacking in flight performance too! That puts the LCA MK1 operationally even behind the Bisons and not useful in any A2A role, while the real benchmark of the LCA MK1 normally must be a modern 4th generation light class fighter like the Saab Gripen C/D and that brings us to the next mistake in you argumentation.
    You claim that the LCA MK1 has “almost exactly the same performance characteristics” as the Gripen NG that was offered in the MMRCA competition, which is strange given the fact that the the LCA MK1 doesn’t have an AESA radar nor IRST for long range detection, it doesn’t have an uprated engine that offers the Gripen NG even Supercruise capability, nor has it the increased internal fuel and load capabilities of the NG. Most of these capabilities are so far only planed for the future LCA MK2, while the MK1 is only comparable to the older 4th generation light class Gripen C/D, but not to the medium class Gripen NG or any other of the even more capable MMRCAs.

    You simply picked certain capabilities of the LCA and hyped them the way they suited you. But even if it has 4th generation avionics, it can’t replace Bisons in A2A roles as of without propper detection and attack capabilities. Even if it can carry more loads and fuel than the Bisons, it still falls short in load or flight performance to any comparable 4th generation light class fighter, let alone to MMRCAs, that are at least half a generation ahead. And as long as these problems remain, LCA MK1 simply does not meet the need of the IAF.
    Denial of these problems and performance shortfalls, or even an unrealistic comparison to MMRCAs, will neither help the national security, nor the LCA as a fighter!

    Regards

    • The central point about Tejas is that it has limped all along without IAF’s interest or direct stake in it. Were one to be honest, to the latter can be attributed the problems still afflicting the LCA. In any case, even if the deal were to be signed today the first of the off=the-shelf Rafales won’t come in until 2018-19 by when it will already be a three decade old- plus platform. Time IAF was weaned off foreign goods.

      • RV says:

        Karnad, what you say above “Time IAF was weaned off foreign goods.” is true, but how is this realistically possible?

      • Sancho says:

        “The central point about Tejas is that it has limped all along without IAF’s interest or direct stake in it. ”

        True, but that is not the fault of IAF, but of DRDO’s which only asks IAF for some basic requirements and then develop things on their own. We have seen the same with N-LCA and IN, were ADA and DRDO were happy to take the funding of IN, but otherwise didn’t involved them much either. So yes, this problem needs to be solved, but not by buying LCA in in a medicore version, below 4 th generation performance standards, just by point on Mig 21s, which simply is not the benchmark of LCA. It’s like saying the Su 30 must meet or slightly surpass the performance of old gen Mig 23s, because that’s the fighter it replaces.

        “Time IAF was weaned off foreign goods. ”

        That’s a wish, but when you look at the reality, LCA is simply far away from being an alternative to a medium class fighter. And as long ans that remains, foreign goods must be procured, since we can’t compromise on the defence of the country, for nothing but the hope that LCA will be ready and offer the required performance someday. Let them fix things and fully develop it, let them learn from their mistakes, that’s what LCA as a project was meant for in the first place, while the protection of Indian skys will remain to depend on foreign fighters for a long time. But with constant improvement, we will be able to replace more and more subsystems and weapons for these fighters, be it on the MKI as we already can see and hopefully later also for Rafale. That is realistically what we must aim on and not delude ourselfs with too high aims, that would make India only vulnerable.

    • E.r.Sakthivel says:

      What is the AOA of Mig-21?
      What is the radar tracking range of Mig-21?
      What is the range and weapon load of Mig-21?
      What is the ITR of Mig-21?

      To say tejas is behind mig-21 is meaningless. test pilot Suneet Krishna and NTSE chief Riaz khokar have both rated tejas mk1 itself above Mirage-2000. Note the guys are no paper pushers they have extensively flown both Mirage and Tejas.

      Even with composite nose cone(quartz cone tech will be upgraded by FOC) tejas is superior in air to air role to both mig-21 and Mirage-2000 considering it has higher Thrust to weight ratio than both.

      8G itself coupled with much higer thrust to weight ratio and much lower wing loading(more lift) will give tejas mk1 a better performance than both mig-21 and mirage-2000. Test pilots have repeatedly said that take offs in tejas are sharper than Mirages .For good ITR the G onset rate is also very important. considering the low wing loading tail less delta in F-16 XL gives it more roll rate and G on set rate than high wing loading plain cropped delta F-16 the same should be the case for Tejas.

      If you hold G achieved alone as a criteria then in many other criterias tejas now leads many fighters in IAF . Only mig-29 has higher half fuel TWR than tejas.

      Same can be said of rafale too, it’s ASEA is not et reliably demonstrated in mil standards, it still has no HMDS integrate when it was chose as MMRCA winner. And IAF will integrate many Russian weapons later. Same was the case with SU-30 MKI. 40 planes were bought in much lower specs and then exchanged for Su-30 MKI standard once it was validated.

      Mirage-2000 spent three years in IAF with nothing but a gun. Gun integration in tejas is nothing big as HAL has the experience of assembling guns on many fighters in IAF. BVR missiles too are the same.Only a software validation.

    • E.r.Sakthivel says:

      You are also picking select capabilities of bison and ignoring many other.
      Even with compsite radome tejas has a matching detection and tracking range. Do you think Quartz radome tech wont arrive in say the next five years?

      Test pilots have repeatedly rated it to be on par with mirage-2000 and above,

      What is the AOA of Mig-21?
      What is the radar tracking range of Mig-21?
      What is the range and weapon load of Mig-21?
      What is the ITR of Mig-21?

      To say tejas is behind mig-21 is meaningless. test pilot Suneet Krishna and NTSE chief Riaz khokar have both rated tejas mk1 itself above Mirage-2000. Note the guys are no paper pushers they have extensively flown both Mirage and Tejas.

      Even with composite nose cone(quartz cone tech will be upgraded by FOC) tejas is superior in air to air role to both mig-21 and Mirage-2000 considering it has higher Thrust to weight ratio than both.

      8G itself coupled with much higer thrust to weight ratio and much lower wing loading(more lift) will give tejas mk1 a better performance than both mig-21 and mirage-2000. Test pilots have repeatedly said that take offs in tejas are sharper than Mirages .For good ITR the G onset rate is also very important. considering the low wing loading tail less delta in F-16 XL gives it more roll rate and G on set rate than high wing loading plain cropped delta F-16 the same should be the case for Tejas.

      If you hold G achieved alone as a criteria then in many other criterias tejas now leads many fighters in IAF . Only mig-29 has higher half fuel TWR than tejas.

      Same can be said of rafale too, it’s ASEA is not et reliably demonstrated in mil standards, it still has no HMDS integrate when it was chose as MMRCA winner. And IAF will integrate many Russian weapons later. Same was the case with SU-30 MKI. 40 planes were bought in much lower specs and then exchanged for Su-30 MKI standard once it was validated.

      Mirage-2000 spent three years in IAF with nothing but a gun. Gun integration in tejas is nothing big as HAL has the experience of assembling guns on many fighters in IAF. BVR missiles too are the same.Only a software validation.

      • RV says:

        WRT:

        1. “To say tejas is behind mig-21 is meaningless. test pilot Suneet Krishna and NTSE chief Riaz khokar have both rated tejas mk1 itself above Mirage-2000. Note the guys are no paper pushers they have extensively flown both Mirage and Tejas.”.

        I know Gp. Capt. Krishna has stated the above. BtW, it is Air Cmde. Parvez Khokhar, former Project Director Flight Test of Tejas (LCA) programme (AND NOT Riaz Khokar, a Pakistani diplomat, as you have incorrectly and carelessly stated).

        WRT:

        2. “Mirage-2000 spent three years in IAF with nothing but a gun”

        Actually, it is better known as a cannon,and from what I gather it was 5+ years.

        3. WRT:

        “Gun integration in tejas is nothing big as HAL has the experience of assembling guns on many fighters in IAF. BVR missiles too are the same.Only a software validation.”

        Cannon integration is indeed a non-trivial task, because the effect of the recoil needs to be analyzed. Further, to the leading order integration of BVR missiles is indeed a software validation, but it far from being a trivial task and could involve more than one critical systems, which could require some serious modifications if found unsatisfactory.

  9. RV says:

    First, I wonder why the IAF cannot/does not have its own version of the US AFRL and AFOSR. The IN is unique among the Services in that a naval architect can rise to the rank of Vice Admiral. Next, regardless of the cheap talk and gimmicks :strategic partnership”, blah, blah,blah,…there is a very long list of conventional weapons which are not to be made available to India. The moment India comes out with a prototype of a weapon that could lead to a credible system which can be produced in numbers, these sanctions magically come off.

    A case in point is the Patriot system which was previously unavailable to India, but was suddenly made available to India the moment the DRDO got its ABM program off the ground. One important concern for the LCA MK-2 is the lack of an AESA radar, since the US stopped Israel from selling India the Elta EL/M 2052.

    One can almost be certain that should the DRDO succeed in making a stable AESA for the LCA MK-2, representatives from Elta and other companies will be making a beeline for the MoD and the IAF HQ to sell or “co-produce” an AESA radar. Needless to state, the foreign entities may also in all probability also get large and lucrative orders. Thus, care needs to be taken that prototypes of the few successes by DRDO are not used as a leverage to buy hitherto banned foreign systems (either outright or in the form of that most misused route – JV’s) , but are pursued in India in whatever sector (public, private, public+private) to a sensible conclusion.

  10. Gessler says:

    @Bharat Karnad – Sir, how do you justify your proposal to scrap Rafale procurement at a time when our squadron strength is dwindling?

    1) So far, only 40 (20+20) Tejas Mk-1 have been ordered. As per latest reports, the most recently set deadline for Tejas FOC (September-to-December 2014) is most certain to be missed, again. So let’s consider (and hope) Tejas will get FOC sometime in 2015. Not even the first Series Production (SP) aircraft has even conducted taxiing runs as yet, first flight could only be expected next year – and I’m not sure how HAL will bring the first SP-1 plane from flight test to induction the same year…let’s give them the benefit of doubt and think LCA SP-1 will be delivered in 2015 itself.

    And now the real questions arise : By what time can HAL gear up the LCA production line to produce those promised 12-16 fighters an year? Keeping our prevalent industry practices in mind, it’s not possible by 2016-2017 at the earliest. This is also where an MMRCA production line would perform better because if the HAL-specified supplier does not deliver something on time, in the desired form, a secondary supplier (from the Indian private-sector) will deliver instead, this keeps the production lines on their toes at all times. But it won’t be like that at Tejas production line – thanks to the state-run companies’ ineptitude.

    Now about the much-talked about Tejas Mk-2. I think everyone here is going by the HAL’s claims that they will get the first plane flying by 2016 and production beginning by 2017-2018. Which is all but impossible, simply because the first General Electric-built F414-GE-IN26 turbofan engines haven’t even arrived in India as of today (August 2014), and would only arrive the next year (2015), as per the scheduled timeline. I’m not sure how anyone in their right mind would expect HAL to take the prototype to the sky in just an year after receiving the engine. For all we know, even the design work on the reworked airframe & inlets isn’t done as yet. Much of the final equipment for the definitive production variant haven’t been selected either.

    I don’t expect an LCA Mk-2 doing it’s first flight anytime before 2018. God knows when
    production will start – maybe around the same time as the HAL plants at Nasik/Ozar would be
    gearing up for FGFA production!

    2) By the time period discussed above, most (if not all) of the MiG-21 fleet would be in shambles, and out of service. Even if retained, they would offer nothing else expect more ways for IAF pilots to lose their precious lives. So let’s not consider keeping them any further than 2017-2018 at the downright worst. That would be about 150-200 fighters gone – and barely a dozen or so LCAs to replace them with. Now that does NOT look like the best we could do out of the options we have, to me.

    3) MiG-27s would be heavily aged (they already are, actually), and would also be on their way out. That’s another 140 planes out of service.

    4) Not sure for how long even the upgraded DARIN-III Jaguars would remain in service after 2020. There are about 135-140 of these planes in service, some dedicated for maritime strike with Harpoon ASCMs.

    So, in these circumstances, scrapping the Rafale deal (that too, after so much progress has been done around it, and the technology on offer for transfer is very lucrative) would be a folly like no another. Before anything else can be said, I must make it very clear that I understand what you are trying to say – pump all the $10-20 billion expected MMRCA cost into the indigenous industry is your basic argument, if I understood you correct.

    Well honestly, I think we are trying to fill a tank without plugging the hole through which the water is flowing out into the drain, first. I mean, billions have already been poured into our industry, and the results that were delivered are surprisingly poor! That said, as a final word, I wish to convey that without altering the very structure & functioning of our domestic arms industry, who’s problems are deep-rooted within the decision-making and management levels, just pumping more and more money into the same drain isn’t going to help! And in order to alter the functioning of these state-run companies, it takes a lot of time, and support from the top-level, the former of which is simply not available at this point.

    The bottom-line is that MMRCA is an inevitability. IAF needs Rafale, bad.

    • @parthu: Briefly, starting from last para up — There’s nothing inevitable about Rafale; in fact, I can almost guarantee you that GOI won’t ultimately approve the deal. There’s growing opposition to it in the BJP itself (to wit, Subramaniam Swamy & others). Billions of dollars in public monies have indeed been invested mostly in honing the aircraft assembling wherewithal of the DPSUs. The private sector defence industry that has arisen has done so on the basis of monies from its own hard-earned profits — not taxpayer’s money and, as I have consistently argued, should helm all military hardware-related design and production activity hereafter. Most of the problems facing Tejas Mk-1 & 2 can be traced to IAF’s recalcitrance and erecting procedural and other barriers. For instance, why orders of 20 aircraft or 40 aircraft, why not for 200 aircraft, for instance? My point is if IAF is told point-blank they’ll not get the Rafale and after the bridging procurement of Su-30 MKIs and MiG-29s tapering off of these aircraft as well, and if its ordered to do whatever is needed to do make the Tejas air defence and AMCA/MMRCA verions airborne at the earliest, IAF will DO it. IAF brass should be left no squiggle room on this. Rafale is something France is desperate to unload on us and we should say no.

      • RV says:

        X-POSTED
        ___________
        I am at a loss to see why India has opted to squander billions of USD of Indian taxpayer’s money in bailing out the C-17 in order to forestall closure of a Boeing plant, and now this monstrously expensive and operationally dubious proposed Rafale acquisition, to prolong the said a/c’s production and save French jobs.

        Why has wanton & unbridled corruption, and criminal neglect of duty to the Indian Nation by successive Indian governments converted the IAF from a fighting force, to being a veritable Salvation Army where ruinously costly shelter is provide to every derelict in town? The jury is still out on the Boeing P-8’s. However, if certain reports/feedback are to be believed, their performance falls well short of that stipulated in the brochures.

        I have yet to see a sound rationale for the Indian acquisition of C-17’s (especially in such large numbers), when the need of the hour is for more of the excellent C-130J’s. Matters seem to be coming to a head, and these are the questions that need to be asked by the Modi administration, especially since the MMRCA deal stands to bankrupt India, and ruin what is possibly the last chance for the Indian aerospace industry to get off the staring line.

        Finally, I notice that in the letter by AM, (retd.) Barbora to Bharat Karnad, the acronym MMRCA has been used quite repeatedly. What surprises me that in the Youtube clips whose links are put up by Karnad, neither Barbora nor his “expert and specialist” colleagues were able to qualitatively or quantitative the rationale for the classifications “light”, “medium”, and “heavy”. Despite this shameful exposure, Barbora continues to drop acronyms whose expanded form contains the word “medium”, something he was at a loss to provide the basic definition of.

      • E.R.Sakthivel says:

        Two french rafales with two external fuel tanks each and no weapons ,

        needed 5 refuelling for their 10.5 hour long 10000 Km trip from france to reunion islands

        Sure they must have had their tanks full at take off.

        So it amounts to a total of 6 fuel loads for a 10000 Km flight with no weapon loads and only two external fuel tanks for each plane provided that each plane had five refuellings enroute.Rreport does not states whether the 5 refuellings were for each rafale. But since it is an odd number it is safe to assume that it is five refuellings for each plane . Becuase both planes need exactly the same amount of refuelling . SO an odd number can not denote total refuelling for both the planes.

        Then range in tropical climate with two external fuel tanks in optimum altitude conditions(high altitude )comes only to 1500 Km around.

        Why?

        But AVM has claimed that tejas has just one third of rafale range. Even in IOC-2 press information bureau release the farthest tejas can fly without refuelling for tejas was stated to be 1700 Km. ANd its combat radius 500 km, means with weapons it can have close to 1000 Km range with needs for AB thrusts and fuel penalizing lo altitude flight and a few minutes of close combat needs.

        Looking at the fact they flew 10K Kms and needed 5 refuels + 1 to begin with i.e a range of 1600 km with no weapons and two fuel tanks quite clearly shows Rafale doesn’t have the famed deep legs as claimed since the start. Also such long range distances are covered flying at very high altitude i.e over 30K feet at optimal fuel burning cruise speed to minimize fuel consumption, these claimed long ranges would be much lower when slung with weapons flying in low in deep strike missions.

        whatever the optimum flying conditions if you add weapons worth their price, and do a lo lo penetration with reservation for AB thrusts and close combat and take off needs, the result will be the same

        Even if we believe such rafale brochure range of 3600 Km , the hi-lo-hi missions that can use this ,exist in libiya and mali where open skies with no enemy air defence spreads for a vast expanse of 1000s of Km.

        But on india -pak borders and india-china borders enemy air defence is just a couple of hundreds of KM away.

        SO practically those much vaunted 3600 Km ranges has no relevance to two front wars or in Tibet deep strikes.

        Reality is sobering. As I said before in lo-lo penetration flight the differnece between tejas and rafale combat range will hug a figure closer to their difference fuel fraction ratio.

        Dangling more and more external tanks and stuff will add to immense drag in lo-lo strikes . So the Rafale has thrice the range of tejas like statements made by people is just irrelevant in indian air space where enemy air defences are just next door.

        SO this issue needs to be looked into,

      • Atul says:

        @Karnad: Rafale negotiations seem to be going ahead which is not surprising because Indian Air Force is pushing it as the expedient option. How much difference, those six or nine Rafale squadrons will make on Indian air capability, remains suspect but economic impact is crystal clear. Its an un-affordable deal. It may be the best in its class but India can’t afford it. Period.

        However, if dwindling squadron strength has to be quickly replenished, creative options will have to be explored. Air Chief Raha mentioned recently in his interview to India Strategic Website that he was looking to buy two more Mirage-2000 aircrafts. As of today, he can do so only by purchasing used Mirage – 2000 from France, Qatar, Taiwan, Greece or UAE. Ironically, a few years ago, UAE had offered to sell its entire lot of 68 Mirage aircrafts to India if required. The second lot of Mirage-2000 in UAE were inducted in 2003 and older ones were also updated to bring them to Mirage 2000-9 status. No one knows, what stops Indian Air Force from looking into these options? At least, it will give them some breathing space to focus on LCA/AMCA and take consistent steps to improve their utility for the Air Force.

        Similarly, Americans are on the verge of putting about 340 of their A-10 Warthogs in reserve. A-10s are best for close-air-support missions, eliminating enemy attack helicopters and UAVs and for air-to-ground operations. India is yet to even utter a word in this regard. If it were China, they would have not only bought all of A-10s but also paid for transfer of the entire factory/production line to produce spare parts in the future. That way they would have also learnt how to use Titanium in air frame manufacturing. They did the same with Sukhoi-27 production line, so today they are producing same Sukhois as J-11 and J-15 and J-16 and many more but HAL is still waiting for Russian raw materials.

        Strange are the ways of Indian Air Force !!

  11. E.R. Sakthivel says:

    Which tech rafale has like

    1. 4 channel relaxed static stability fly by wire airframe,

    2. tail less delta with low wing loading, and high thrust weight ratio to excel in high altitude himalayan theater where taking off with meaningful load within the specified runway length depends on these factors

    3. All glass cockpit, and avionics that minimizes pilot loads and designed with active inputs from test pilots through out the flight test regime,

    4. RCS reduction mechanism,

    5.latest engine tech(present engine on rafale is more than two decades old in thrust levels)

    6.Ability to fire 120 Km range BVR missiles with a decent sized radar,

    7. A fly by wire airframe with wake penetration and all weather clearance,

    8. Ability to fire the deadly HMDS enabled visually cued R-73 E WVR missile? (described as one of the best in the world by Air marshal and former HAL chairman MSD Woolen. Even tejas mk1 has it now but it is proposed to be added to rafale later at extra cost to ourself).

    9. Higher percentage of weight reducing , radar refection minimizing composites that enable high thrust to weight ratio for a given airframe mass?

    10.The combination of high TWR and low wingloading RSS delta airframe which enables agile turns to evade BVR missiles and get a first shoot ability with Visually cued R-73 E like WVR missiles in close combat, which is a must have option in modern 4.5th gen airframes

    11.Ability to carry a mini brahmos like cruise missile weighing close to 1.5 tons on its center line pylon.

    12.OBORG for extended refuelled flying in high altitude with the aid of refuelling,

    13.A 1.8 mach top speed in its service ceiling with 9 G limits.

    14. A must have less than 1 sq meter clean config which enables to drop away from long range radars once heavy external weapons and fuel tanks are released.

    15. A good fuel sipping engine that is reliable and modern for some time to come.

    16.Ability to fire ramjets 120 Km range missiles like meteor with an ASEA radar that can track long enough,

    17. Modular in design and Ability to be upgraded in batches as and when new techs like better sensor fusion, better ASEA radar and better IRST devices arrive.

    18, An option to upgrade to a higher thrust engine,

    19. A flow separation postponing arrangement like ,

    canard or levcon or cranked delta which generates vortex over the top of wing leading edge in high angle of attacks to enables air suction over the top of the smoothly blended upper wing body fuselage,

    there by delaying the onset of stall and enabling the wing to reach designed max lift coefficient of the wing which is not present in older delta platforms like mirage-2000.

    Also these lift enhancing mechanism along with flawless Relaxed static stability 4 channel fly by wire tech that allows the hassle and easy flying at sea level which is not the case with earlier tailless deltas which did not have the above mentioned techs .

    That wont be present in tejas mk2 and( mostly present in tejas mk1 with a few exceptions like G limits, OBORGs and topspeeds and a bit lower TWR)?

    Answer -NONE.

  12. Robert David says:

    The reason why Tejas does not find favour with the IAF is because of its poor sustained turning ability which is the prime requirement in dogfights. It is fashionable among Tejas supporters to loftily state that dogfighting is not possible in modern air combat. There is no basis for this view and after the US suffered with their non dogfighting, missile only, Phantoms against far more agile Migs armed with guns in Vietnam they learned that dogfighting was here to stay. They quickly designed the light weight F-16,an out an out dogfighter, with a sustained rate of turn of 20 degrees per second,with a much smaller ,lighter radar, compared to the BVR phantom which could barely manage half that. The F-16 has gone on to be the fighter of choice in Europe, the middle east, and Asia. Not to be outdone the Soviets replaced their heavy radar equipped BVR fighter, the MIG-23 with the light Mig -29 which is reputed to be as agile as the F-16 – again for the dogfighting role. The Europeans replaced their BVR Tornado ADV with the Typhoon which is an agile dogfighter, and the French replaced their Mirage 2000 with the Rafale which is an agile dogfighter in addition to being a superb interdiction aircraft. The Swedish replaced their large, heavy ,Viggen with the small agile Gripen. The Chinese have come out with a whole series of agile dogfighters like the J-10,J-11,J-15, J-16, and the J-20.All the modern fighters mentioned above clear the benchmark of 20 degrees per second STR except for the Tejas which is suspected to be half that in keeping with the Mirage2000 on which it was designed 35 years ago.HAL/ADA are tight lipped about the STR of Tejas and will raise a cacophony of noise about other parameters which ,in no way benefit close turning combat in which international aviation majors have invested billions.
    The TEJAS will have to demonstrate an STR of 20 dps before the IAF can risk the lives of pilots against the F-16, and J-10 of Pakistan and the whole J series from China.

    • Interesting; will find out more on Tejas’ STR.

    • Sam Dawson says:

      Did u research Greek Hellenic AF scores of Mirage-2000 v/s F-16 kills dude? It was 100% – Why?? Becoz of ITR of the M2K; it can very quickly point radar-nose at F-16 and fire-away for a kill.. STR’s are cold-war era logic, and was disproven by MIG-21’s & Mirages during the Israeli wars. Tejas MK1 itself, has an ITR of more than 30dps! R-73 has been mated to TARGO HMDSS- to provide look-shoot-fire-kill capability on LCA-MK1 itself! Sufficient for a 1st kill against J-10; JF-17 & F-16’s. Read this link below:
      http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/threads/ada-lca-tejas-iv.43717/page-180/

      Delta winged pilots of IAF are trained, NOT TO engage in turning fights against T-birds like F-16/F-18 etc. Just, storm-in use ITR-HMSS to lock-on target, fire R-73’s and get out- come back in range again if necessary to engage new targets.. Most of our fighters have Israeli and Russian radars- very strong on the front lobe section detection rages!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s