Saturday, October 27, 2007

LCA Weaponisation? Duh!

It just occured to me that the Ministry of Defence may be going slightly overboard with publicity for its defence development programmes. It took me only a second to copy and paste the day before's press release on the LCA Tejas successfully firing its first air-to-air missile (see previous post below). Read the press release carefully. It's positively shouting from the roof about something that should be routine for fighter development -- and not some impossibly glorious moment. If anything, it's a quietly supreme moment for its makers and creators. But to project this on the outside just makes us look stupid.

It's definitely significant, but making such a big deal about the "beginning of weaponisation" is a little rich -- it should have happened at least three years ago for starters. Second, the thing had darn well fire missiles by now if it's going to be scrubbed up for squadron service in a handful of years (with LSP units to be handed over by late 2008 or early 2009)! On the journey to self-reliance, let's get a little real about image while we're about it.

I bumped into HAL chairman Ashok Baweja at the CII Indian Aerospace Industry and was chatting with him round about the time that the Tejas in question was probably firing off its glorious R-60 off Goa. It was a very "LCA" day, because after lunch, I was accosted by Vice Admiral (retd) Raman Puri and given a twenty-minute tongue-lashing on the Tejas and how the wrong people were being blamed for its messy, prolonged incubation journey.

But there are hard questions about the Tejas that nobody asks -- the sort that make Admiral Puri scoff. Those who do ask such questions are national traitors without a shred of respect. Those who don't are happy allowing both HAL and DRDO to blame the air force, assuming no measure of the blame. This is something that must end. Sure, sanctions, mid-stream changes, and all the rest of it -- but are we positively sure that all the money we've spent on the Tejas will deliver a first-rate fighter at the end of it. More importantly, when will the IAF be in a position to judge? HAL has had an embarassing run with the radar now to be virtually outsourced to Israel for the first twenty fighters. The less said about that blackhole of cash called Kaveri, the better. The patriotism of patience wears thin.

So talk of the Tejas being considered for the MRCA contract (this was a real debate at the MoD level) are not only half-baked, but positively idiotic.

After the recent Arjun MBT special report I did recently, I received an SMS from a senior DRDO scientist which said, "Celebrate successes. Our country will become strong." I couldn't agree more with this statement. But let's get real about the Tejas. Let's cut out the hogwash, and get real. We're spending way too much cold cash on imported fighters for us to no longer have our own production line of our own fighter.

42 comments :

Anonymous said...

Looks like you are smarting from the b!tchslap Raman Puri gave you.

Good show Raman!

Anonymous said...

raman puri is an old fool. the fuddy duddy was bought over by drdo during the nineties especially when he was coming out and saying the trishul trials were all successful.. he does not have a tiny clue as to what sort of bullshit goes on in r&d circles. and if you have seen raman puri recently you will realise that he will never be able to bitchslap anyone... old fool.

j.m.

Abhiman said...

Mr. Aroor, I agree with your view that the enthusiasm for the firing of the missile may be far-fetched as many more milestones are left to be covered.

Maybe it can be seen in the context of the self-congratulations upon buying a family's first vehicle--a family milestone--even though there are thousands of vehicles bought daily.
Similarly if viewed in the way that this was the first time an indigenous fighter has fired a missile, the self-congratulations may be in order.

On the other hand, the 'self-pat' may not be entirely unjustified too, as missile integration is a capability of a few nations.

Thank you.

Mihir said...

Shiv, you say that HAL has had an embarassing run with the radar now to be virtually outsourced to Israel. I wonder if you ever talked to HAL engineers who used to bitch about the Hack being too expensive to test often. How does one develop a radar if testing it is expensive? The money spent on the Tejas won't be of any use unless we spend a ton of it.

Teews said...

For heavens sake Shiv, we get it, LCA is late. And within the new timelines this "is" the begining of the weaponisation, "duh". They just tested the platform before they begin the testing with the MMR radar.

And please don't get me started on your take on the "virtually outsourced to Israel" thingy. You do know which part was outsourced, don't you? And if you do then the way you have written it is just ... never mind.

BTW, I have always wondered this with the writers. They show us the problems but never the solution. So here's a question for you. Lets say LCA is too late for us. What do you think we should do? I am guessing you are going to say scrap the project and restart a new project like say MCA with clear responsibilites and accountability. You will further say that we should reorganize the DRDO.
But tell me something is reorganization the magical solution to build a technology that has never been built by us and that took other countries 60-70 years. Its easy for you and I to bitch about it. But if we have to go down there and help them do this, there isn't a chance in hell we can do that. But I can bitch, its easy, doesn't take much, just a bit of imagination. Let me know if you want me to do it, I am good at that, just like you.

Try writing a column with problems and especially add the solutions to that. Let me see you bringing that out in an honest effort. I will definitly appreciate it. I know it won't count much for you, but still it just might bring others to believe in you a bit more.

sniperz11 said...

Teews,

I doubt shiv will ever tell us his proposed solution to this conundrum. I've been asking the same question for some time.

Shiv, for gods sake, I request you to tell us your opinion. You say that the LCA is obsolete. Fine. You say that the Radar is being outsourced. Fine. You allege that Tejas is a black hole. Agreed. But could you show us the proof before asking us to believe in what you say. Coz published information doesnt back you up on many of the claims that you make. All that I see in your pieces are jibes at DRDO, and flowery language, without any substantiation of the facts.

While you're at it, you could perhaps share with us your master plan to improve the IAF and the LCA. Kindly explain that to me, like I'm a six-year old. Cheers.

P.S. Its R-73, not R-60. Perhaps if you read more carefully next time, you would make more sense to us.

Anonymous said...

meanwhile, shiv's much-hyped report about the failure of the arjun in exercise ashwamegh is nowhere to be seen. what happened to that report, shiv?

Anonymous said...

teews, i don't agree that other countries took 60-70 years to develop a fighter. May be because before 60 years, there was no such technology available. But as of now, taking 25 years to build a fighter is too much provided India had one jet fighter designed & built by its own people.

Look at China, they have designed jet fighters and missiles even when tech is denied for them a long period of time. You may say that China got help from Russia and some other countries. But the fact is India is not developing the tech on its own

Anonymous said...

If they dont publicize - we question ADA/DRDO's lack of transparency and say they are hiding their faults/failures behind a media blackout.

When they dispense information - we call it premature celebration.

We are like this only !!!

Remember Shiv - you leant to crawl before walked.. You leanrt to walk before you ran. The first time you stood on you both feet your mom would have celebrated.. so did she when you took your first fumbled steps..

I atleast admire Adm. Raman Puri for being a staunch supporter of self-reliance.

Abhiman said...

I think Mr. Aroor only stated that the self-congratulations may be a bit premature as more milestones are to be reached. Whereas the posters wrongly thought that Mr. Aroor was being critical of the entire program.

I think Mr. Aroor is right that ADA suddenly emerged from a "cocoon" and gave a more-than necessary enthusiastic report about the Tejas' missile-firing. Though true, that the ADA has made a concerted effort to publicize this genuine achievement through the media, they may have over-reacted while doing so. They must reserve the "party" for the "big day" when the Tejas gets IoC or when the Naval Tejas makes a deck-landing.

Nonetheless by not only issuing a press-release, but by also releasing a video of the event the same day, a genuine PR and media-relations effort is being made by ADA (as someone rightly mentioned on bharat rakshak forums). This should be continued by ADA.

However, Times-Now Channel can be lauded for appreciating the Tejas' milestone as its description was not merely a monotonous reading of a routine event (like 'The Hindu'), but was praise-full of the Tejas.

Its report is here :-
http://www.timesnow.tv/Newsdtls.aspx?NewsID=3822

The opening and last lines are truly appreciative of the Tejas. The video also showed a (albeit ficticious) countdown. The report was a good attempt to generate interest in indigenously developed weapon hardware, similar to Discovery-channel series that seek to intimidate with their showcasing of US fighter-planes etc.

Thank you.

Abhiman said...

The following statement by Mr. Aroor may summarize :-

If anything, it's a quietly supreme moment for its makers and creators. But to project this on the outside just makes us look stupid.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

We dont have a history of churning out planes from design facilities & production lines... this is one of our first serious efforts at a complex aerial weapons platform.. And the first time we tried integrating a foreign missile entirely on our own with the platform.. That is why it is an event worthy of celebration..

If you read carefully "The Hindu" - Russians chose to play hardball with R73 integration and said ADA/ASTE would not be able to do it. But they tried and succeeded. That makes it very much worthy of a boast.

Every SMALL STEP in this effort is a HUGE STEP FORWARD for Indian aviation industry.. So lets stop complaining and cheer the scientists & IAF team for their achievement.


There was/is a lack of foresight & iron will from the political leader ship who were/are busier time-wasting in number games, one-upmanship etc.... that we never had a visionary (like Bhabha or Sarabhai did for space & nuke tech )WITH HUGE CLOUT with the political establishment to push Aerospace industry forward.. Thats why our military aviation industry is where it is.. If there was a Bhabha or Sarabhai for aviation we wouldnt be in a position where we would be having to celebrate such small events.. but given the position - i see no debate on what ADA had done...

Anonymous said...

Duh!!. Ok.. You rambled on and on without any conclusion.. Do you have a point? .Is there a point at all in this whole article? Or are you just trying to impress people by dropping names like Baweja, Raman Puri and events like CII ?

So what are the hard "questions" that you want to ask and that Raman Puri scoffed?. Why don't you ask the questions in your column? .Too chicken for that, or is it that you don't have any and actually have to start doing the thinking now ?

Teews said...

To Anonymous addressing me...

"teews, i don't agree that other countries took 60-70 years to develop a fighter"

Please put it in context. Start from the Wright brothers till Spitfires with piston engine. Then think about the first jet engine which was by Germany. Then think about those German scientist going over to US and helping US with the jets. Then think about the progressive aircrafts with respect to Generation fighters. Add engines and radars and weapons systems and elecrtronics to it. And voila you get an F-22 from US. Let me put it this way, Russia, France, etc. inspite of all their experiences in all these fields, will take another 10 years to get a working (read FOC) 5th gen aircraft out there, very conservative timeframe. Meanwhile US will work on 6th gen aircraft. If you use the same time structure to say it took 25 years (don't know where you got that from) for India to make a 4+ gen fighter and its not good, what do you reckon your take on Russia, France, etc. will be? They should be there right now shouldn't they? So it no cake walk to get to this position especially when no one gives their IPR to others.

France needed M88-1, M88-2 and M88-3 (still in the works) over a period of time to get to where they want with the engines. And this with all the experience they have with already designed, R&D, production engines.

Abhiman, read Shiv's column from 4th paragraph. You just might get the hint.

To Shiv, I don't have a magic answer. And I believe neither do you. The only certainty is that the path of indegenization is sprawled with thorns and there is no other option but to walk through it. You want to add accountability to it, I am more than happy to support it. But when you talk about accountability, try including other key shareholders to it, you know who I mean.

The way I see it, the only way forward is get as much TOT when we buy things so the learning curve is shorter and keep hacking away at tech that is denied to us. Let me know if you have any other suggestions, Shiv.

Teews said...

One more point I missed for anonymous..

You gave an example of China. You are correct. They ahead of us in design and production capacity. But you do know how they got there, correct? I will list a few things.

Beg, borrow, steal/spy, self effort, bigger budgets compared to India, keyshareholders in sync, bbsolute power in making decisions (read political/military), etc...

Compare the above with us and you will see the lacking parts. So lets agree on doing all the above and more and I am sure we will leap foward a step from them. Albiet there are consequences to some of the things if we embrace them.

Anonymous said...

Not sure whether this is an example for Indian Defence R&D self promoting itelf. They says that Brahmos is the only supersonic cruise missile in the world but how do they classify Moskit ??

Anonymous said...

Anon @Brahmos

- Brahmos is a Indo_Russian venture. So not worthy of vitriol. It needs to be a fully indigenous effort to criticize it and kill it. Thats how imprt lobby makes money... and the commissions flow down to lifafas..

Anonymous said...

The entire article is about "getting real ". I am waiting to hear what "reality" is and what Shiv Aroor's thoughts on reality are. The problem is that there is none. He is still cooking them up and all the "lets get real" was just so much verbal vomit.

Abhiman said...

Anonymous, Mr. Aroor's line that I posted is the summary of his view and mine. The achivement maybe significant in the scientific community, but does not deserve a "shout from the rooftop", as Mr. Aroor said.

The ADA's media release could have avoided describing it as a "historic flight" and "the most significant milestone yet". The latter is definitely not true as there were more important milestones like breaching the sound barrier, flying at highest altitude, and the first flights of each prototype.

Anyway, now that the Tejas is "zooming" towards completion, "celebrating" each milestone may not be prudent. This is not to say that press or video releases to the media should not be done, but the language used could be more accurate.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

raman puri is an old fool. the fuddy duddy was bought over by drdo during the nineties especially when he was coming out and saying the trishul trials were all successful.. he does not have a tiny clue as to what sort of bullshit goes on in r&d circles. and if you have seen raman puri recently you will realise that he will never be able to bitchslap anyone... old fool.

wow, looks like his tongue lashing really hurt - poor you aroor!

i know puri and have met him professionally- those who know him would laugh at you media types instead. the man has more to his name than all of you media types will ever achieve. truth hurts.

and puri knows more about r&d and what goes on daily than you ever will either.

Anonymous said...

abhiman most forums have banned you for your rambling- thats ok

but just because you are around here, doesnt mean that you have to suck upto aroor even when what he says makes zero sense

If anything, it's a quietly supreme moment for its makers and creators. But to project this on the outside just makes us look stupid.

wtf is a quietly supreme moment? idiots like aroor were belabouring how weaponization was yet to begin. and when it does kick off of course he says above lines, with his usual bag of verbal vomit.

a public high impact program like the lca needs every milestone publically catalogued.

the jsf under similar criticism of delays and cost has recently come out with a report on how its electrical system was turned on. BFD but that is what a public program requires.

problem is that ppl like aroor are so full of themselves that they cant even begin to understand an alternative viewpoint and of course he is smarting over the tongue lashing by puri so this verbal diarrhea.

this is the same idiot who wrote "not just high alt chikki" and selectively ignored drdos other remarkable achievements in electronic warfare (besides an incoherent poorly written puff piece on dare) and radars

grow up aroor and grow a pair

Anonymous said...

Anyway, now that the Tejas is "zooming" towards completion, "celebrating" each milestone may not be prudent. This is not to say that press or video releases to the media should not be done, but the language used could be more accurate.

Sorry bob tejas needs a lot of brouhaha and praise from the mod to overcome all the prejudice started by your friend aroor and pandit and others.

The more the IAF, Govt praise it the better for the program and for critics.

Shiv Aroor said...

first, the comment on raman puri wasn't mine. i happen to be well acquainted with him, and speak to him frequently. i count him as one of the saner voices around. second, to anon@7.16PM, you need to read the piece again. growing a pair, a process you're obviously unfamiliar with, has little to do with half-baked publicity hunger (though it does throw light on your equations with machismo and technology, you quaint fool!). so relax, have a charminar. and read that piece again.

Anonymous said...

"If anything, it's a quietly supreme moment for its makers and creators. But to project this on the outside just makes us look stupid."

Yes, you are right, it was stupid because they started listening to the stupid "lifafa journos" of being more open with the program. They have listened to the stupids crying about being more open and when they open up, they should have known that the same stupid "lifafites" would call them stupid and laugh at their listening to their own stupidity. I concur absolutely with you that the media release was stupid and simply should throw out all the "lifafites" out of the country into a shit hole. Let us go to the roots of stupidity and remove it once and for all. Right on!!!

"It's definitely significant, but making such a big deal about the "beginning of weaponisation" is a little rich -- it should have happened at least three years ago for starters."
Based on which ASQR? Was that modified in between? If so, that timeline is not valid. Let me give you an example, "the teacher asks the class for submitting an assignment in 30 days on chemistry. After 15 days, he says that he doesnt want it on chemistry but on history and so for that he gives a total of 30 days from that point(i.e. 45 days from start). But a outside "lifafite" writes in the school paper that the class is the worst of the lot and they could not
a simple assignment in 30 days and they require 45 days for completing that.

"Second, the thing had darn well fire missiles by now if it's going to be scrubbed up for squadron service in a handful of years (with LSP units to be handed over by late 2008 or early 2009)! On the journey to self-reliance, let's get a little real about image while we're about it."

Induct foreign ships without essential equipment, dont ask questions there are lifafas to be distributed, but when it comes to indigenous, it has to work 100% from the starting, hey they come in the way of lifafas and they dont give them. We have absolutely stop it, right?

"On the journey to self-reliance, let's get a little real about image while we're about it."
See I am getting real and I know to see through the image as to see what is more important more than anything ? (the lifafa)

"Read the press release carefully."
"the Tejas in question was probably firing off its glorious R-60 off Goa."

I guess advices are meant to be given not followed. What the heck if I replace a submarine(R-60) with a aircraft(R-73), or from tommorrow I fly Pakistani/china flag instead of Indian flag? Both are flags right. by making such small mistakes, I am increasing my journo standards.

"I was accosted by Vice Admiral (retd) Raman Puri and given a twenty-minute tongue-lashing on the Tejas and how the wrong people were being blamed for its messy, prolonged incubation journey."

Truth hurts isnt it. No I do not want to be hurt. I will never speak truth. Right ??
Defending Lca, showing other view point from a person who knows inside outs of weapons, their use is tongue-lashing?

"
But there are hard questions about the Tejas that nobody asks -- the sort that make Admiral Puri scoff. Those who do ask such questions are national traitors without a shred of respect. Those who don't are happy allowing both HAL and DRDO to blame the air force, assuming no measure of the blame."

May we poor souls know those hard questions? and can we after your hard questions return the favour by asking you our hard questions about this whole issue? I believe national traitors would squirm when they see "lifafites" are being equated with them.

"Sure, sanctions, mid-stream changes, and all the rest of it -- "

Nah, Nah, asking one to write an essay in history and then changing it to chemistry shouldnt change the timeframe, right Mr. Aroor. Who cares about these stupid issues?

"More importantly, when will the IAF be in a position to judge?"
If IAF is only the judge, the product is an off the shelf product and do not name it as development. When will all these "lifafites" understand that the project has to be IAF being carried out by DRDO, not a DRDO project whose product is shown to IAF?


"HAL has had an embarassing run with the radar now to be virtually outsourced to Israel for the first twenty fighters. The less said about that blackhole of cash called Kaveri, the better."
Do you remember that this same Aroor calling for more foreign collaborations? anyone can you reread the express articles, Have you written those same articles?

again proof that attribution of stupidity is definite even if you do the things that these "lifafites" had called for. Even putting up an image that you are listening to them is the height of stupidity and let us get rid of the roots of stupidity!!!!!

"
So talk of the Tejas being considered for the MRCA contract (this was a real debate at the MoD level) are not only half-baked, but positively idiotic."
What was


"The less said about that blackhole of cash called Kaveri, the better."

Cost of single GE-404 engine =25 crores.
total cost ofkaveri(supposed to have better specs than GE-404) =~350 crores. = cost of 14 GE-404.

In the cost of these 14 engines, you should completely develop from scratch. You have no prior experience, no scientists with labs, you do not have testing labs for any equipment, you do not have any data to fall back upon. You do not have fabrication equipment. You do not have the right CAD design tools and you have to make them, but no data to test whether they are right or wrong. and I should develop them.
For example, tatas developing the indica was in a similar state. What is the cost of the Indica on road? approx 4 lakhs, and what is the cost of Indica develpment? 500 crores,i.e. in the cost of indica development you could make 125000 indicas, repeat one lakh 25 thousand indicas. and you want to develp kaveri in the cost of 14 ge-404s and call it what, "blackhole of cash". yea, right, it is comments like this, which makes write these sort of comments.


"but are we positively sure that all the money we've spent on the Tejas will deliver a first-rate fighter at the end of it"
"We're spending way too much cold cash on imported fighters for us to no longer have our own production line of our own fighter."

Good! the total cost of tejas development is approx $1billion,starting from zero experience and infrastructure. How many articles on which pages have you written on this?
Now let us see the pak-fa, $5 billion where I quote you "modification" ala MKI, and how many front pages have you written on this? In what pages were they published and how many series of articles have you written? Answer this honestly.

"But let's get real about the Tejas. Let's cut out the hogwash, and get real."
Yea! lets get real only the jingle of coins count.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to sign the above comment

Ravi

Shiv Aroor said...

ravi: a little more creativity is all i ask. you're becoming a real bore with this lifafa thing. think of something new to throw at me, mate! and btw, thanks for such an elaborate comment. keep the passion running, sister!

Anonymous said...

Again Shib you've disapperaed...I am not interested in all this defence boring stuff....can ladies and gentlemen here pl tell me whether TCs has opned in Priyas or is it all a hearsay.....pl tell....I am dying to go to TCs again

Abhiman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abhiman said...

Mr. Aroor, I would suggest you to moderate the comments section of your blog in order to avoid anonymous posters posting off-topic comments, profanities, etc.

Many are likely to be from bharat-rakshak forums (I suspect Anon@7:16 pm to be JCage). Criticism which are without abuses and foul language can be posted, whereas others can be filtered.

One example of a moderated blog is the following regarding Pakistan defences :-

http://grandestrategy.blogspot.com/

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

where be the all-elusive report on the ajrun, shiv? surely a journalist boasting the kind of integrity you do can't have convenienly misplaced it?

sniperz11 said...

Anon, He's probably working on a magnum opus of whats wrong with DRDO, and in general, with India today.

Or, he just doesn't have anything to stick on the Arjun any more. It would have been pretty clear once he started blaming Arjun for torsion bar problems...

Cmon shiv, step up, and stop ducking these questions.

Mihir said...

and in general, with India today.

Won't he get fired for that? :-P

Anonymous said...

Many are likely to be from bharat-rakshak forums (I suspect Anon@7:16 pm to be JCage). Criticism which are without abuses and foul language can be posted, whereas others can be filtered.

One example of a moderated blog is the following regarding Pakistan defences :-

http://grandestrategy.blogspot.com/


idiot Abhiman my name is Akash Sondhi not some half gora fool name jcage

that blog you luvvv is run by some Pakistani kid called Hussain where as usual your mouth is stuck to his butt and he only prints what he likes

and didnt somebody on livefist say dat you were banned from some 2-3 forums hainjee

u are like a broken record and keep sucking upto any place which allows u on ur truly a toady #1

try a david dhawan movie and shake ur hips baby

Anonymous said...

growing a pair, a process you're obviously unfamiliar with, has little to do with half-baked publicity hunger (though it does throw light on your equations with machismo and technology, you quaint fool!). so relax, have a charminar. and read that piece again.

i dont smoke but perhaps you do drugs becayse only that explains how u wanted publicity and now some press releases are out you come up wih your verbal vomit @ Puri and HAL.

so grow a pair AGAIN 'coz sister, only an inferiority complex ridden eunuch would constantly complain about a positive piece of news

sniperz11 said...

and in general, with India today.

Won't he get fired for that? :-P


I wasn't talking about the magazine, but of the country in general.

Anyway, wonder where shiv has vanished.

Shiv Aroor said...

mihir: sniperz obviously doesn't have a sense of humour. and sniperz11 -- the report i promised on the arjun was on hold until i got clearance to go down to avadi and see everything first hand. which is what i finally did. i reckoned that the only way to do a first hand piece was to visit the factory, which is what i did. my half-hour special report on the arjun (have you seen it? it's on youtube) is quite simply my last word on arjun. where it goes from now is entirely up to the programme (my admitted boo-boo about torsion bars notwithstanding!)

sniperz11 said...

Glad you cleared that up shiv. At least you've admitted the slip up. As for me watching the video... course i have. It was me that posted the youtube link to them on the post.

Now, we want more info about the Arjun, specifically the technical stuff that you had to leave out of the report. The TV report was good, but had little new that hadn't been reported before. It was mostly you driving the Arjun around.

about your LCA reporting, you keep criticizing the program, without giving us a proper idea of what you suggest. Fine, you want to stop it. What about the consequences. Do you suggest that we buy foreign... it would be great for you to clear up your viewpoint. Criticizing is easy. Thats all I'm asking. Ajai Shukla did that somewhat after his Arjun report. Now its your turn.

Lets hope you get another invite from DPI to visit LCA production facilities. That may change your outlook.

Shiv Aroor said...

sniperz: i offer no solutions, that's not my job, but it is to observe and write. the arjun report had a purpose -- get up close, iron out the BS. that's what i did. with the LCA, it's not a question of the programme is delayed so here's a solution -- there is no solution except for everyone concerned to wait with baited breath and hope that the final product is something that's worth the blood, sweat and untold sums of hard money. and of course i don't suggest we buy foreign.. a cursory look at any of my recent posts will tell you that we should be deeply skeptical about foreign purchases of fighters, especially the FGFA. but that said, what's the parallel with criticising the tejas programme? should we praise the fact that programme is delayed (forget all the other arguments for a moment). i've been to the tejas production facilities (though not as a journalist). but i'm far more clued into the tejas programme than i am the arjun (or at least was, the arjun).

Abhiman said...

I may say that public memory is short. As Mr. Aroor said, he did a ground breaking report on the Arjun tank, and wrote a scathing criticism of the Russian PAK-FA. Yet, a suggestion to not be "caught up" in self-congratulations has been misinterpreted as a general criticism of the entire program itself.

Mr Aroor's statement that it was a private sense of great achievement (and rightly so), but not deserving of such a disproportionate media release, which incorrectly states that this was the "most significant milestone YET". There were no comparable media releases on far more significant milestones, like breaching the sound barrier, the first flights of each prototype or even the performances on various air-shows that were nearly on par with foreign participants, in those maneuvers that the Tejas had clearance to execute.

Though I have no knowledge of metallurgy, it is unclear how missile plumes affect the composite frame and the air intake significantly. These are designed to bear various changes in pressures and temperature; I don't know about chemical reactions or corrosions that occur in mid-air.

However, the validation of the flight-control laws was an achivement in that an asymmetrically loaded Tejas was suddenly made to lose weight without a jitter in the overall stability and composure.
However, calling it a "historic" achievement" may not only be an exaggeration, but also ignoring other equally (if not much more) achievements of the past.

The new practice of the ADA to release a press report and also release a brilliant video of the same to be showcased to millions of citizens on the same day is laudable. This practice must be continued, however the "tone" in the reports can be more appropriate and accurate.

As the Tejas accelerates towards completion, such milestones may seem to be quick rising notes en route to the apex pitch, and can be made known (and very well too) but not "swamped".

Thank you.

sniperz11 said...

should we praise the fact that programme is delayed

Certainly not. But its our duty to understand these delays, many of which were of no fault of DRDOs. Plus, these delays were in the past. The 3 year delay because there were no funds, or the two years lost due to American Sanctions, and the delay because IAF dilly-dallied on the ASR (and the re-engineering of the wing, also courtesy IAF).

You made an excellent point in the Arjun piece- "The Past is just that". The same is true of the Tejas, wouldn't you say. The pertinent question would be "Is the Tejas facing delays now", "Is the work progressing smoothly". That is, will the project be on time, at least according to the revised schedule.

When you still keep saying "The much delayed LCA," and harp on it, doesn't that conflict with your previous statement. After all, these delays have not affected the project status till now have they. If the government and (very vocal) Services didnt shut down the projects at the height of their malaise, why would they cancel it now.

Plus, you have repeatedly suggested canceling these long drawn out projects. That doesn't compute with your job to just "observe & report", does it. When you analyze, shouldn't you also offer solutions.

Another point. This is a blog, and you are not bound by the duty of simply reporting., but can analyze and put forward your opinions, which you have done many times, and quite lucidly in some cases. So, its not out of your league to place your solution before us. After all, you do have more hands-on experience with DRDO. If you have criticized it in previous posts, its naturally necessary that you state the reasons for your opinion and the solution that you think would be ideal.

Abhiman, what makes you think that we've misunderstood Shiv's post. What was objected to was his implication that the weaponizatin was not a big deal. Should DRDO be ashamed of its achievements. Should it cower down and sulk just because the project was delayed in the past. Of course, weaponization should have happened 3 years ago. It would have if not for the delays. It would hadn't the IAF delayed on finalizing its ASR, requiring a change of the wing. Its this lack of appreciation for the causes behind the delay that I object to. Plus, most writers use wrong calculations. When referring to western programs, they are officially started at the prototype stage, which would be April 2004 for the Tejas, which was when PV-1 first flew.

Why shouldn't DRDO trumpet its own achievements, however small (which a missile firing certainly isn't). They have all the right to pat themselves on their backs, as long as they dont get complacent and sloppy, which they haven't. As you realize, everyone needs a break, including DRDO, which has been at the short end of the stick too many times in the past. Advertising is necessary, and DRDO is realizing it now... you can see the effects.

Anonymous said...

Why is Indian media full of pessimists? Creating a home-grown technology base requires the end-users to compromise for a while. Compromise does not mean waiting but make-do with "acceptable" fighters. How many "First rate fighters" did China produce until it started making its own jets JF-17, J-10, J-11B ? Even these may have lot of borrowed ingredients but still they will not have to face sanctions or costly imports in times of war.

Jesmin Khetlal said...

Fire and Fuel Apparel is committed to providing custom firefighter apparel, logos and merchandise for real heroes without capes.
To see more please visit these link bellow
firefighter
firefighter t-shirts
firemen
American firefighter
firefighter apparel