Monday, July 05, 2010

India's Own Naval Fighter Emerges Tomorrow, Team Readies Full-Fledged Test Centre At Goa



At 12.10PM tomorrow, the aviation world will for the first time see the first prototype of India's Light Combat Aircraft (Navy), the country's first indigenous combat aircraft for carrier operations. Defence Minister AK Antony and Chief of Navy Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma will preside over the event.

After the LCA Navy conducts its first few flights starting December this year (if all goes well, i.e.), the platform will begin formal testing at the Shore-based Test Facility (STBF) under construction by Goa Shipyard Ltd at the INS Hansa naval air station in Goa which will be the centrepoint for the entire schedule of testing for the platform. The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is making preparations at INS Hansa with a mobile telemetry station, a full-fledged monitoring facility, a data storage and retrieval facility for all flight data generated, an optical and satellite link for transferring data between Goa and Bangalore, a calibration room, a data processing room and briefing conference rooms, offices for project director, engineers, flight-test crew, chief of flight test and supporting staff.

Stay tuned for updates and photos.

20 comments :

Abhishek Nayak said...

yahooooooooooooooooo.....

hope so that this project is on time

Anonymous said...

Drear Shiv post 1st flight video also if possible

Shiv Aroor said...

last anon: the first flight is scheduled for december this year. tomorrow is the official roll-out ceremony ahead of ground and systems trials.

Abhid-d said...

Excellent news ! Can't wait for the roll out !

Anonymous said...

Shiv,
while your at it...........what now happens to the Sea Gripen/F-18/naval RFI for a 2nd type of fighter alongwith the MIG 29's ????

Also heard that the Navy is going ahead with 17 Hawks from HAL ?????

have a great time............

Vin said...

Shiv, is it live on HT?? U are good defence journalist than being a other field journalist..

Wish u anchor programs related to defence on HT, than being for other programs like that of anchoring on Mahi's marriage report(y'day u were doing that on HT)....

This wonderful blog of yours is itself mirror to you being good defence Journo.. I relish reading this wonderful blog which is providing info of our respected defense forces...

Anonymous said...

I really dont care too much of being a spoilsport - But how many of these grandstand events do we celebrate with actually nothing to show for in the military. The ARIHANT induction was celebrated probably 4-5 years ahead of its induction in the navy; some days ago they handed out awards for the AGNI-V with a probable first test date sometime in 2011, awards were also handed out for the LCA, NAG so on and so forth; with this dopey beehive of an activity small wonder priorities take back stage.
LOL
One must not forget that if ARJUN MBT is 60% imported. lord help us, LCA, LCH, LC?? have a higher import content. Are these festivities the offset accrual before the LCA(Navy) gets capitalised and depreciated?
LOL
However, lets spank the cracking jokes! The program schedule looks very cool. Yea! The enjoyment should never cease.
LOL

Ra said...

Country like India does not have many occasions to celebrate except for its festivals. So we must learn to celebrate even for the smaller national and defense achievements even at the cost of being laughed at by aliens.LOL

Welcome to Naval Tejas at whatever stage it is. Time and technology are the essence.

Anonymous said...

I think we are getting overboard with very little actually being done here-

1. The powerplant for the naval variant has to be the EJ-200/F414. Leave the story of the indigenous jet engine (Kaveri is now being "sold" to the AF/Navy with a modified M-88 core), it is done and dusted. The current 404 engine with 53(dry)/85 (afterburner)kN thrust is NOT enough for carrier operation (it is not even enough to carry full weapons load and achieve design performance for the AF version). Even the RFP for the EJ/200/F414 is delayed by more than a year. So what are we displaying/introducing now? An Air Force Tejas with Navy colors?

2. Has the other mechanical modifications been done on the Tejas? I mean the strenghtened landing gear/under-carriage, arrestor hook, airframe/fuselage strengthening, fuel dump system, foldable wings, and lowering the nose to enable better vision to outline a few. Could you provide these details in your next post?

3. What is the update on the MMR radar? Or is the Elta EL/M-2032 radar gonna be OEM on the Tejas for the next decade? Part of me thinks, the MMR may already be dead (before it comes alive)because it would be not able to match the Elta capabilities (reportedly 150 km in air-to-air). Even if the MMR wakes up in say 2015, will the users want to buy a radar with lesser capabilities than what they are using?

4. The Kaveri i guess, is officially dead-Snecma is now trying to sell us the M-88 core (which means the Kabini core is buried, 15 years went into building the Kabini-what were they doing is the first question that comes to my mind) in the "new" Kaveri and if we suck it, Snecma will increase the price of the M-88 core to negate the cost advantage the Tejas has now.

Lastly, Is there any performance appraisal system in the Govt orgs? I mean, some team worked on the Kaveri for 15 years and could not come up with a working engine. Ditto for the MMR. Don't they get fired/scolded/publicly remanded?. In the private sector (where i work), they would be history in 2-3 years (if they are lucky, else 1). Anyone in HAL/ADA/LRDE-any answers?

What did the Tejas team do in the last 30 years-they built the airframe,the landing gear and the cockpit displays? Ohhh, i forgot the electricals. Bravo HAL, NAL, ADA, LRDE, ABCD, EFGH....

Shiv Aroor said...

anon@10.31: you're right. there's a huge amount of work ahead, and nobody can really second-guess these rituals. there's a large amount of modification that still needs doing, including critical modifications to the landing gear assembly. good point about the radar -- the Elta radar will be used for the foreseeable future. LRDE is developing an AESA for the LCA, but there are no formal goalposts. Until that happens, the Elta-MMR hybrid must do. The engine angle is the worst of the lot. You're right -- the Kaveri-Eco engine holds no real value as far as indigenising is concerned. For now, the Kaveri project stands de-linked from the LCA programme, so there's no official possibility of it being thrust on the platform until it meets technological demands. To your last point, in a word no -- there is no real system of accountability as far as lab performance is concerned. The DRDO often says it has enough checks and balances, but that's patently untrue. The new Rama Rao Committee reccomendations, ironically, may actually make DRDO a lot worse unfortunately.

Abhid-d said...

Mr. Aroor, I don't understand why you think DRDO is not accountable. I think that the problem with them is that they tend to underestimate the tasks at hand, which increases timelines and costs.

Its the same story with ANY program being implemented for the very first time in India or US. So regardless of whether ADA slipped timelines and budgets for the Tejas, or whether the Pentagon missed deadline after deadline in the obscenely expensive F-22 project --> the reasons are the same i.e. underestimation of the tasks at hand.

So, I do not think we can blame DRDO for being "unaccountable" or lackadaisical".

Pavinda said...

I was just reading some of the issues the LCA is having wrt to opening up its flight envelope, and comments made by its test pilot. In the light of this, what is the point of celebrating? This is a dud aircraft. Question is would you let your only son fly this to war or would you prefer him to fly M2000?

The news is also out wrt to how indigenous the indain engine shakti is? especially now that the french want more money and we claim to be a superpower. No wonder paks don't even acknowledge us even as regional power and laugh at us.

Shiv Aroor said...

@Abhid-d: I wasn't talking just of accountability on cost, but delivering a product that meets certain requirements. I've said this before -- DRDO has superb examples of prudent programme management and efficient delivery on time on cost and on expectation. unfortunately, it also has superb examples of execrable programme management standards. agreed, the DRDO isn't solely to blame, but a culture exists within the organisation that allows its labs to assume for themselves no real standards of accountability. a lot of criminal waste happens in the name of military research.

Shailendra said...

@Anon 10:31 PM
Wow you are a champ !!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry this nation is driven by fools like in DRDO and GOI. Good people like you, just suffer.
This nation is 50 % runs with corruption. Its corruption which keeps HAL, NAL, JAL, THAL,........... all that crap alive. I can not believe that they came out with almost nothing in 30 years.
Thats why MOD always kept private sector firms away from Defense products.
I can not believe that we are not at the level of any other nation in terms of Engineering. I know many INDIANs working in SAAB, and they are doing great. When I speak to them about India, they just say one thing. Do you think we will go and be part of that corruption, where people do not know what is a team and just compete with their own team members in a bad way

Anonymous said...

By looking at fantastic artwork ones nerves would get pulsating to know the detail of the piece thats going to get unveiled. Not until one reads the realistic and holistic comments under. Considering the comments and author agreeing to some, I dont think its worth the effort. I wonder how India's image as global IT power came to light by able effort of private firms. Thank God there is no Govt of India invovlement. Time is now to support private firms like L&T, Mahindra aerospace etc..

I wonder if enemy of ours would waste a missile by targeting these so called premere establishments where there is nothing to destroy. He must be aware by bringing them down he would help India than keeping them intact.

Anonymous said...

Shiv,

The event description says it is a Naval Trainer. By looking at the pic of yours i thought its going to be single seater fighter. I thought we have already launched a trainer version. If this is going to be the same apart from tagging, I wonnder why the celebration is for. BTW the comments above were quite informative. Youre a great blogger by presenting us the inside picture otherwise kept secret for next few generations. Keep up ur good work.

Shiv Aroor said...

anon@4.49am: the aircraft rolling out today, NP-1, is indeed the naval trainer. NP-2 will be the single seat fighter. you'll get more details of the aircraft if you run a search for LCA Navy on the blog.

Anonymous said...

some bad news the MK2 Tejas of IAF cannot pull a alfa over 22 degree and the blame is on the inlets of the engine that they were not designed properly

Anonymous said...

Anon@12:55,

You must be a pakistani. I can see you have already thought through your argument against MK2.

If there were issues with the design, IAF and HAL would have modified the design while they are still testing it, now.

Anonymous said...

Anon @3:26 PM

Actually, you are a Pakistani corrupted worthless tabalchi, who knows nothing excepting talking nonsense.
Where have you been while DRDO was protyping all its world class products? I suppose they take school from Chinkis like yourself on how to make error free products?
Right,
Allow people to speak - whatever and whoever you are!
Only Pakistanis forbid freedom of speech.
If you like the Tejas so much, go marry it!