Friday, November 19, 2010

Fifth Tejas Limited Series Fighter Flies

The fifth limited series production Tejas fighter (LSP-5) flew for the first time today, piloted by Lt Cdr Ankur Jain of the Indian Navy. The aircraft is fully representative of the configuration that will achieve initial operational clearance next month. The platform joins four previous LSP series jets and two prototype vechicles currently logging hours on the programme (the PV-1 hasn't flown since January this year, and the two tech demonstrators haven't flown for some time now).

The successful flight came on an otherwise terrible day for the Indian Air Force, which lost 10 personnel (three crew + seven enlisted personnel) in a Mi-17 helicopter crash in Bomdir, Arunachal Pradesh earlier today. One Army officer also lost his life. RIP.

Photo DRDO via M Anantha Krishnan

45 comments :

sanu said...

any new upgrades?

Anonymous said...

so what all is loaded in this LSP-5??

Anonymous said...

is it flying with ELTA/DRDO Radar hybrid?

Anonymous said...

shiv please post some lsp-5 pics if possible video and also about lsp6,7,8 and a detailed coverage about mi17 accident

Anonymous said...

shiv please post some lsp-5 pics if possible video and also about lsp6,7,8 and a detailed coverage about mi17 accident

Anonymous said...

shiv what changes are going with experimental LSP6 please shiv

VJ said...

Mi-17 must be retired and replaced at the earliest.

Amit Sri said...

Very good news. Our fighter aircraft finally, This must have the radar in its nose, time to see some
bvr integration, Do you have any news on that Shiv?

Anonymous said...

why the speed is recorded only MACH 0.8 ??

gerard said...

I see that the pilot is wearing a HMD (topsight!!!?)

sanu said...

a matter of serious concern about transfer of technology!how effective is it?we hear the term TOT almost synonymously with every indian defence deal.a missile,a tank or an aircraft is a combination of many parts built by different firms belonging 2 different parts of the world,do they only handover the list of manufacturers?how well we have absorbed it,can we build those from scrach?there is an article about it on the internet,search for it.after reading this article i m a little worried.folks over here and also shiv please help!!

Anonymous said...

when is the first crash for Late crash aircraft (LCA) ?

Total 5 + 2 aircrafts produced in 30 years of R&D what a shame !!!!!

I dont know how many precious IAF lives its going to claim if its fly in 2 digits..

All these panparag Dumbos and big belly Dumbos sitting and chatting about politics,caste, movies in HAL and DRDO should realize that they are going to kill IAF pilots in the name of machines.

GOD please save IAF from this Late Crash Aircraft LCA.

Regards,
TAX PAYER

KETAN said...

If the flight test was done in goa,i have seen it.i saw 2day LCA, flying up high, through my window.

Anonymous said...

This is good news indeed. The time between IOC and the first flight in the final configuration seems too short. I bet the IOC gets pushed out. But then again beting on a schedule slip is a safe bet in the LCA program and also in the 787 program.

Cujo

gilli said...

Shiv can you please update the photos of LCA LSP-5's cockpit. We want see how good the new cockpit looks.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To VJ@12.33AM: Have you ever paused to think about the possibility of the Mi-17 crashing due to pilot disorientation under bad weather conditions (i.e.controlled flight into terrain)? And if that's the case then even the most advanced helicopter can become a write-off.

To Amit Sri: Long before any MMR of any vintage is installed on board a combat aircraft, it has first to undergo a series of flight-tests on an airborne testbed where all the modes of operation are validated and full-scale systems integration is undertaken with the combat aircraft's weapon delivery and navigation system (WDNS). At the same time, the airborne testbed is required to flight-certify the ECS of the combat aircraft's avionics bulkhead. It is ONLY AFTER all these hurdles are overcome that the MMR can be installed on board the combat aircraft. Now ask yourself this question: has ADA ever released any photo or news about all the above-mentioned tasks for the new MMR being undertaken on board an airborne testbed? Which platform is supposed to be the airborne testbed? If the answer is 'no', then I'm afraid you're expecting the impossible to occur (i.e.having the radar on LSP-5's nose).

To Anon@1.07AM: Are yaar, the pilot did apply full throttle, but exceptionally strong prevailing headwinds prevented the LSP-5 from generating the sonic boom (LoL!!!)

To gerard: The Tejas Mk1 uses the Dash Mk3 HMD from ELBIT Systems. Topsight is for the MiG-29K/KUB only as of now.

To sanu: The ToT that you've been hearing since the mid-1960s is ONLY the production technology for few selected items. There has never been any transfer of design technologies from anyone thus far. Even the aiframe materials for the Su-30MKI till this day are arriving from Russia, and HAL is only doing the machining. And the same will happen for the Kaveri's engine core (and possibly the single-crystal turbine blades) as well, which will be supplied directly by SNECMA Moteurs. Nobody is a fool to transfer any such kind of design technology to anyone.

To Anon@1.50AM: Where did you get this figure of 30 years? Actual work by ADA and GTRE began only in 1984. And from 1989 till 1994 there was hardly any funding made available to ADA to continue R & D actitities. If you're so concerned about 'projected' LCA crashes in the time to come, then why don't you draft a concept paper (for ADA)detailing how the LCA, by incorporating an autopilot and autonomous navigation system, can be modified into an unmanned combat aircraft? After all, if it can be done for SA.316B Chetak-based NRUAV, why not the Tejas Mk1?

To KETAN: If the maiden flight was conducted in Goa, then pray explain how exactly did the Tejas LSP-5 make it to Goa from its fabrication facility in Bangalore. By sea or road or rail? Or is there an Area 51-like facility existing in Goa where the LSPs are covertly assembled? Your choice. Kamaal karte ho yaar!!! Khaamokha sabko sardard dete rahete ho!

Heberian said...

RIP the men who went down in the Mi 17.

Do you know if the chopper was too close to our border with China?

ani78i said...

Hi Shiv please post the true configration and capability of Tejas mk1 and futured Tejas mk2. Please as soon as

Shashank H R said...

Why do all LCAs have wing tip missiles by default?

Anonymous said...

TAX Payer,

You are a moron.. Anything more is just a waste of time and effort.

IPayUrTax

Anonymous said...

What are the plans for lsp1,2 upgradation to lsp5 standard. Any inputs on where lsp7 and 8 stand w.r.t their first flight ?

Anonymous said...

Dear Shiv,

Could you please ban Mr. Tax Payer, who is really annoying and is definitely a Pakistani in disguise of a humble Tax payer. He might after all reply me back saying he is one of those 'Indian' who is praying for success. So, please please ban him.

Thank you.
Rohith

keshto said...

Why do all LCAs have wing tip missiles by default?


Its not by default, some (F-16, F-18, Rafael, Gripen) have them, others dont. Wingtip free space means, you diminish your attack capability. The more hard points, the more missiles or ECM pods.

However, stealth fighters maintain different criteria.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Shashank H R: None of the LCAs built thus far have any wingtip-mounted missiles. In India, only the Su-30MKIs have wingtip missile hardpoints.

KETAN said...

brother i said if it test flied in goa....i dnt say it did...but i m dam sure i saw tejas aircraft...no double thots on it....and i m in goa.wch tejas version it was have no idea.kind advise,pls read carefully b4 comment.i knw u have vast knwldge than me..ne ws thnks.

Ben - Yours truly said...

Are they auxillary intakes on the rear of the aircraft?

sanu said...

@prasun k sengupta then how should we deal with it?we r doing joint ventures on couple of projects,like pakfa-most of the designing was finished when we joined the programme,we r doing mere 15-20% work.my question is-can we expect complex technologies will be shared with us?(we still dont posess the seeker tech. of Brahmos) they wont even share their test results with us.r we mere financers?if we develop things on our own,it will be obsolete when we complete(do i need to give examples)we waste 2 much time on em.guys what should we do.

Anyways Thanks 4 the reply sir.

pranav said...

The most worried fact is the absense of a good radar on the LSP-5. DRDO/ADA are claiming to devlop an AESA and even LSP-5 is flying w/o a capable radar. Also compared to gripen or any other fighter the air intakes are very small , dnt know how engine receives sufficient air intake??

Overall its a big dsappointment , we should take a lesson from this and scrap our MCA project and saving a lot of monet that would be otherwise wasted.

Just look at pakistanis and chines e, they have F-7's, a copy of Mig 21 yet there accidental rates are very less. Its not neccesary to devlop everything , you can copy somegood stuff too.

Abhid-d said...

This is very good news. IAF must order atleast 4 squadrons of the Tejas Mark 1. Tejas Marl 2 orders are already stretching over 100+, and hopefully something like 140-160.

Anonymous said...

Article on Chinese Drones:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703374304575622350604500556.html

Mr. Ra said...

Good news again. I hope it will be flying to its specifications and shall surmount all the obstacles.

It has to. After all it is not donated free from USA at the cost of American Taxpayers hard earned money.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To sanu: Let's get the fundamentals clear first. No one, India included, will share any indigenously developed cutting-edge technologies with anyone. Then, why on earth should one expect others to fall head-over-heals to share technologies with India? As for India's FGFA programme, it is distinctly different from that of the PAK-FA. The FGFA will be in the 18.5-tonne cvategory, while the PAK-FA is in the 22+ tonne category. Externally there could be a few similarities between the FGFA and PAK-FA, but kindly note that the PAK-FA will not become the FGFA in any manner. Secondly, the R & D workshare quantum between Indian and Russian entities is still being worked out, therefore talk of 15-20% or even 30% is premature. In any case, the Model 117S (AL-41F1A)engine for the FGFA will come directly from Russia (it will be a 20% uprated AL-31FP from NPO Saturn that is still under development).
It is also wrong to say that indigenous solutions become obselete once all R & D work is completed. To be fair, the LCA/Kaveri projects were severely affected by the financial crisis which India faced in the 1990s. Almost an entire decade worth of time was lost, and had it not been for Gen Musharraf's "Operation Koh-e-Paima" or Mountain of Resolve in 1999 (the Kargil war), India's defence spending would have been much lesser than it is now. At least thanks to the likes of Gen Musharraf, India got the long-awaited wakeup call and started allocating more funds for defence expenditure.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To pranav: The DRDO will co-develop an AESA-based MMR for the definitive Tejas Mk2, and not for the Tejas Mk1. We don't know for sure now what kind of MMR is on board the LSP-5, since no one from ADA appears to be PR-savvy. And surely the LSP-5 cannot be compared with the Gripen, since the latter is a production-standard product while the LSP-5 is still in the experimental category (especially since CEMILAC has still not awarded the CofA to the Tejas Mk1).
Now, a word sbout the Sino-Pakistani JF-17. I don't know how old you are, but you must take note that the JF-7 was born in the late 1980s as the Super Sabre, then it morphed into the Super 7, and then into the FC-1/JF-17. And mind you, all the while no one was even talking about developing a new-generation turbofan for this MRCA. Even today, its SMR-95-derived RD-93 turbofan has a TBO of only 350 hours. Therefore, one cannot compare the Tejas Mk1/LSP-5 with the F-7 or JF-17, it's like comparing apples with oranges.
It is still too early to say whether or not the AMCA project ought to be scrapped. One will have to wait for ADA to spell out how exactly the AMCA will be technologically superior to the FGFA. No one from ADA has spelt that out as yet. Secondly, by the time the AMCA enters service around 2030, its peers would from Europe and North America would mostly be unmanned. Therefore, it is totally premature to even speculate whether or not the AMCA will be a single-seater or two-seater combat aircraft.

coolgeek said...

@Prasan: The Tejas maiden flight was made on 2001 and still can get to IOC ?? So i presume you would blame this also on lack of funds from govt etc etc...
Please get real here... Everybody wants our nation to succeed... but we all know how our PSU's operate... just compare our private industries and public entities... just compare Hindustan motors and Tata motors if you will...
For us to successfully compete and become selfsufficient we got to involve the private sector in a big way... there is no 2 thots on that... and what did our govt do, gave the rustom to PSU again leaving pvt companies fuming...
ITS ALL POLITICS brother... If u still dont believe and stick to the jingoistic bandwagon then please refer THE TEJAS STORY... hope that would be convincing hearing stright from horse mouth...

Anonymous said...

@ coolgeek
TATA motors..the ones who built the incendiary device called the Nano...

PS: Hindustan Motors is not a PSU...its not even a company wholly owned by GOI...its a Pvt company of the Birla group....

FYI: colleges in India are building race cars (Forumula SAE)...technology is easily available for them..unlike a fighter a/c

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To coolgeek: I'm afraid you've joined the rest in oversimplifying the entire issue. Objectivity is called for here and if you want to start with prototype development till IOC in the Indian context, then you should compare the Indian experience with similar foreign entities that had no prior experience in developing a fourth-generation multi-role combat aircraft and had to begin work from scratch. To be fair to ADA and other DRDO institutions, one has to bear in mind the following:
1) Allocation of R & D funds for the LCA programme was always a problem since the late 1980s. As I said earlier, almost an entire decade was lost due to unavailability of adequate funding required for setting up the supporting R & D labs, workshops and industrial facilities. History, afterall, provides us with invaluable insights for only as long as we’re willing to take a walk down memory lane.
2) The R & D efforts required for acquiring the core technological competencies really got underway once the two Technology Demonstrators (TD-1 KH2001 and TD-2 KH2002) and three Prototype Vehicles (PV-1 KH2003, PV-2 KH2004, PV-3 KH2005) became available.
3) Consequently, if you want to compare the Tejas Mk1's (and not the LCA TDs) development process with that of the JAS-39 Gripen, for instance, you will have to take as the point of departure April 25, 2007, the day the first Tejas Mk1 LSP flew for the first time. Now, you compare the Gripen's development period with that of the Tejas Mk1 (excluding the Kaveri’s R & D effort since the Swedes—from day 1—had zeroed in on the F404/RM12 from GE as the standard powerplant for the Gripen and hence had no need to expend valuable resources on propulsion systems development). This distinction has to be made because Saab Aerotech has been an established combat aircraft developer-cum-manufacturer for the past 50+ years, whereas the same cannot be said for any manufacturer in India, be it a defence PSU or a private-sector entity.
I totally agree with anyone and everyone who says that the private-sector should have been involved from the LCA's R & D inception stage and many of them indeed were. But sadly, even the private-sector in India has yet to acquire the balls to make seed investments of the type reqd for acquiring core technological competencies in areas like MMR, flight control systems, sensor fusion, and systems integration. They're good in areas of production engineering, but not in fundamental R & D areas. Consequently, one cannot compare the intricacies of MRCA development with those of automobiles development.
As far as the Rustom UAV is concerned, if I’m not mistaken, Taneja Aerosapace is still involved in the project in a sizeable manner. And again, for comparison purposes, when exactly did entities like TATA begin rolling out their own UAV prototypes? How long ago was that? I for one saw them only two years ago. If their solutions were that good or superior, then by now they would have achieved successes in export markets like in Indonesia, or Thailand or Cambodia or Columbia or Venezuela. But have they? Therefore, let’s be objective in our assessments and expectations and not join the “jingoistic bandwagon” as exemplified by THE TEJAS STORY.

GT said...

Will the retards who keep spouting about the Nano's fire problems shut the hell up? They know perfectly well that it is a rare problem that's already been fixed, and yet are making a mountain out of a molehill.

Meanwhile their retarded brains have selective amnesia about Tata's extensive automobile range BESIDES the Nano. Even though they'll have driven in one within this week.

IITians have built UAVs and even small aircraft with negligibly small budgets that would put the likes of HAL and DRDO to shame. They're not comparable to LCA? Well, of course, they are student efforts! It is guaranteed that they'd outperform our vaunted PSUs if they had the same funding and manpower given to them.

coolgeek said...

@Anonymous 1:01 PM: I am not saying this with any bias... this is purely based on experience... My uncle is a scientist who worked for GTRE initially and have to shun and go abroad (US) purely because of the politics in the machinery... Hes still nostalgic about it and feels the entire bunch of talented individuals in GTRE and DRDO would do wonders if they were allowed to do what they do the best... Its not that we dont have talent... our country has plenty of it... but we dont properly use them and create an environment for them... just see the perks for junior scientists at ADA and other laboratories... its peanuts compared to what an average software professional gets... although politics and corruption exists in every organization it is a lot less in private sector as there is more accountability, meritocracy and better control... as i quoted earlier just get a copy of "The Tejas Story" by philip Rajkumar and read for urself... The day we move towards involving more students (Like what ISRO is doing... they have really ignited a fire among students with pico statelite launch) and private companies we would leap ahead than any other country in the world... this is a country which taught the world how to count.. so...

Anonymous said...

@ GT..
such a rare problem that Tata announced a free "upgrade" to all customers...(no no..not a recall)

about IITs...
as long as they dont face any technology restrictions...ya..they will develop a stunning product & that too very quickly...

but if it comes to the point where any technology they want is scrutinized & restricted ...they will take time....

sitting in your office you can order the latest in say...processors...but if drdo/hal/ada tries..they might run into some issues with respect to denials...

Ben - Yours truly said...

Its certainly heartening to see her all grown up into a fine aircraft of her own league.
Though I found the identification debate amusing,The doofus comment could have been avoided.
I did quite a bit of research on how much demand is there on the open market for tejas, from what I've found. Few airforces apart from the Indian air force are in quite desperate need of aircraft. I've categorised them into look east and look west. In the east we have vietnam looking to replace 200 mig-21 and indonesia looking for 50 kfx. In the west we have egypt which needs to replace j-7, mirage 5, mig-21 amounting to 173 and turkey f-5 at 77.

Ben - Yours truly said...

Lets say after 40 tejas mk-1 IAF doesn't want anymore, so what I propose is in the words of godfather "an offer they can't refuse" that IAF will transfer air worthy Tejas 10 each to two nations it is operating from the second squadron which was formed after FOC to either of the west or east consortium, while Hal replaces tejas in Iaf 2nd squadron through 2016, since by then tejas mk-2 will be ready for production, the assembly and production lines that are exclusive to tejas Mk-1 can be transferred then to the east or west consortium completely free of charge provided they pay for transportation and oppurtunity cost, i.e to sum up zero profits, atleast the work put in by scientists and engineers for mk-1 will not be wasted. Wastage of resources is criminal by all accounts, since the IAF will never realise this, we rather make some friends through these unprepedented gestures. I'm also open to transferring the line to a single nation, if they are so committed, but lets not waste it.

Anonymous said...

@ coolgeek
not denying that problems exist in PSUs..
but this fawning over pvt industry and terming of govt scientists as absolutely useless people is too much

you talk about salaries
there is no way the govt can afford to pay them like the private sector..
the govt unlike pvt sector does not run profit industries... for eg the drdo does not ask for royalty on its technology ...
if it were so..development and unit costs would be much higher...

If salary is what you look for in a govt research agency...u r screwed..

oh n ask any core engg graduate..he will have immense respect for these people inspite of all the failures and issues....he has an idea of what goes into making such products...

coolgeek said...

@Anonymous 6:03PM,
I am not against PSUs. What i am against is the unfair monopoly and favouritism given to them by MoD. I am totally OK with a fair playing field in which both private and PSU entities compete...
On the salary front, if the PSU's cannot match the industry standard then it will slowly but surely lead to people turning to greener pastures... as it happened to the LCA project.. just after the first TD flew many from the project were poached by the likes of Honeywell, GE etc.,
Secondly PSU's do earn a lot of money through sales to our defence. However due to their dismal products their export revenue is even lesser than Pakistan. Whether we like it or not v r living in an era of globalization and market economy... where if u dont compete u wouldnot last long...
Even on the cost front too our equipments dont come cheap from DRDO... If we look at the overall & overshooting if i may add, timeline, quality of products, the growing and imminent eastern threat and the number of deaths resulting due to bad equipment (ex.,http://ajaishukla.blogspot.com/2008/04/feeding-monster-called-monopoly.html I CAN GIVE MORE EXAMPLES) i think it is worth to allow more private participation than just depending upon PSU's alone...

I was at least hopeful that the UAVs would from scratch be given to private sector... well as expected it was not to be... huh...

GT said...

Anon @ 12:41PM,

When will HAL offer the free upgrade for HPT-32s? Oh wait, never ever...

Well, at least NAL is fixing the Saras for free. No wait, that's some Russian firm, and they're charging taxpayer money for it. Oh well...

PS: I read your mind. The recovery parachute? That's not an upgrade, that's an embarrassing last-ditch safety measure much like safety wheels on a bicycle. That too supplied by a foreign firm.

Disgust said...

Don't waste your time, coolgeek. You'll just get some repetitive comments about how private sector is full of evil corrupt profiteering baniyas with assorted insults and zero or bakwas examples.