Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is the Adour MK 821 a natural progression for the IAF Jaguar?

Earlier this month, Rolls Royce Turbomeca installed and demonstrated the performance of the Adour MK 821 turbofan engine on a Royal Air Force Jaguar at the RAF Station, DCAE Cosford. This was a ground-test. The Air Attache of the Indian High Commission in London was invited to witness the demonstration. Rolls Royce is pitching the MK 821 as a natural evoluation from the MK 811 that currently powers the IAF Jaguar. The company is also pitching from the angle that the new engine has a high degree of commonality with the Adour MK 871 which powers the Hawk trainer now in use with the IAF.

Two Jaguar pilots I spoke to say it seems natural for the aircraft to be souped up with new engines of the same make, since integration and maintenance would be made more seamless that way. However, American firm Honeywell, which has pitched the F125IN turbofan for the competition says integration will not be a problem, and that the upgrade will be possible with no modifications to the airframe. Sources also say the weight of the F125IN goes in its favour against competition. The engine was demonstrated to the IAF in 2007. An official who was present for the demonstration says the American engine has far superior tolerance to debris damage and bird hits than the Adour MK 821.


Anonymous said...

good to see that you have posted a report on engine upgradation for the jags. commonality aspect goes in favour of RR. will RR is going to give TOT to HAL? The test done is only a ground run.Hope RR MK821 comes with a FADEC.Has the IAF and HAL flight tested F125IN? performance,cost,reliabilty,availability of spares and TOT makes a difference! HAL has a long standing association with RR. HAL is also making Engines for Honeywell as well! hope IAF and HAL will be given fairhand to choose the right one,instead of middlemen and marketing agents!

Vivek said...

I don't know how good an idea it is installing the F125 on the Jaguar. The F125 is derived from the TFE731 which was originally designed for business jets. When the ROCAF installed F125s on their Ching-Kuo fighters, the results were poorer than expected as the engines were unable to respond to the rapid throttle changes demanded by a combat aircraft.

Anonymous said...

F125IN is the way to go. There is significany reduction in life cycle cost with a more efficient engine. While integrating Adore may be easier I dont think that "Unacceptable risk" can be associated to F125IN option.

Anonymous said...

F125IN is the way to go.
first thing TOT by US its a big question but i am pretty sure RR will give TOT and RR isn't going to ask end user question too.

higher thrust and light weight of engine isn't everything but thrust has to be controlled otherwise jaguar will become like rocket or may become uncontrolled if thrust/weight ratio increases uncontrolled

but RR solution isn't bad either because jaguar is flying with RR engine for last 30 years then this engine should not be problem and it will be better than older adour

Anonymous said...

i am pretty sure RR will give TOT

Oh I am sure they will. Just like Russians gave all the stuff with SU-30. Lot of good that did to India, since the problem is not with the theoretical aspects of technology, but actually building the stuff.

LCA and Kaveri are still struggling even though we have been begging and overpaying for this "TOT" for decades.

बंदर के हाथ में तलवार दे दो....but that does not mean the monkey knows how to use it properly. Both engines are sanctionable, might as well get the US engine. Will save some fuel and maintainace costs.

NJS said...

For F125in we need to consider Tot , but the tech seems to be better than its competitor . Hal need to restart the production line for next generation Jaguar .Its a welcome move of purchasing( rfp issued ) 100 nos short range derby or AIM-9 AAM . with some modifications( along with Darin ) in basic structure/ cockpit , RAdar / new weapons, jaguar will have 4 + gen capable.

Vivek said...

I agree with you that the Jaguar as a platform is still very capable and we should definitely make use of it to bulk up our inventory of strike aircraft at a lower cost. I've been tracking sales of aircraft for quite some time now and IIRC the last batch of Jaguars delivered by HAL to the IAF cost us around $18-20 million, well below any other competing aircraft.

A hypothetical Jaguar II should have a new sensors and a self-designation capability for laser-guided bombs. Also required would be a new nav-attack system, preferable identical to or derived from that on the Su-30 which I've heard good things about. Another good thing to have would be the capability to carry a buddy refueling pod. The limited number of tankers available with the IAF means that refueling capabilities will be severely stretched in the event of any conflict. Most importantly, any new Jaguars will need more powerful engines.

The existing Adour turbofans on the Jaguar are good enough at low level. But a heavily loaded Jag at medium to high altitudes needs afterburning to maintain speed and altitude which severly cuts into its range. As mentioned in the post above, our choices are limited to the new Adour and the F125. On paper, the F125 is a very capable engine, with class leading fuel efficiency and thrust figures. However, in actual service it has several shortcomings - chief among these the long spool-up times, all caused by its civilian heritage. The Adour has the advantage of having the necessary infrastructure in place and switching to its production will not entail the retooling required by an all new engine.

Just my Rs. 0.02

Anonymous said...

RR solution is safer option than honeywell engine

if in future there are some problems with US or if their govt blocks honeywell from supplying spares for engines then whole fleet of jaguars will be sitting idle

because there is never 100% tot given to buyer and some parts of engine still need to be imported from manufacturer