Tuesday, November 16, 2010

State Agency Busy, Private Industry To Build Composites For Production LCA Tejas

With series production of the Tejas MK-1 to begin shortly to service an order for 20 (+20) aircraft for the Indian Air Force's inaugural LCA squadron, the Tata Group will, fortuitously enough, build the aircraft's most complex composite parts, giving the production series of the aircraft a decidedly more substantial private sector component that originally planned. The decision to rope in Tata's Advanced Materials Ltd (TAML) to build 20 sets of composites for the first 20 Tejas MK-1 jets was taken after India's state-owned National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) first accepted the task, despite being a strictly design and development agency, and then said its hands were full ("oh and hey, we're not a production agency") with reviving the Saras (more on that later) and other civil airplane programmes. Tata will produce 13 major composite parts for each of the 20 Tejas MK-1 fighters. These include parts in the centre fuselage, undercarriage doors, fin and rudder.

26 comments :

Anonymous said...

Good work!India should encourage private participation in defence

Gautam said...

Finally allowing some private involvement. Note that it only happened after all PSU options were exhausted(shows the reluctance of Antony's Socialist MoD).

But heh, the pseudo-Commies hanging around this blog must be having migraines now. Oh noes, baniyas are making money on the Tejas!

Anonymous said...

NAL is definitely not a production facility. NAL is kin to NASA. Do you see NASA producing components for rockets and planes: NO! HAL should have figured this out way way back.

Cheers,
Bharath

sahanshu said...

thanks for posting this shiv, this would really help our military aviation industry to learn and grow.

Anonymous said...

Why are these contracts being awarded without any bidding process? This arbitrary awarding on contracts reeks of corruption. There has to be a global tender for such high tech contracts.

Anonymous said...

Great news. I hope they outsource more and more to private industries which have the required skills, like Tata, L&T, Mahindra etc. DRDO should just act as a design agency and get the production outsourced to private agencies, so that overall quality will improve and also improve the technological capability in our country.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Yet another glowing example of a strategically dysfunctional MoD pressing the panic button in the nick of time! And thank the Gods for that! For we all know what happened in 2005 when a Dhruv ALH crashed due to life-expired composite materials imported from Switzerland being used by HAL for fuselage construction.

Ben - Yours truly said...

Might as well ask HAL to wind up its's assembly line after 40 mk1 and shift production to mmrca. the entire line may be transferred to L&T or tataS to manufacture rest of mk1 and Mk2 orders so that in future audit of quality control of HAL produced mmrca and indian industry produced ADA tejas can be compared decisevely.
qn is will HAL allow others into its turf. no doubt it will manufacture all three with delays and quality issues for years to come

Anonymous said...

Yep and you know who to blame when the LCA starts falling from the sky, when it attempts to do 7g manouvers.

Anonymous said...

ok shiv when the production is going to start and how many ge in20 engines that hal had

Anonymous said...

^^^ naturally HAL the whore for IAF will be blamed!!!!can you blame the Russians? can you blame the Europeans? can you blame the yahoo-dis? can you blame the Yankees?no our system will not allow to blame them!!! only HAL " the whore" for many will be blamed!!!

Anonymous said...

@ anon 10:01

If at all the lca starts falling from the sky, rest assured it will be due to some govt company manufactured component. The tail rudder etc manufactured by Tata would be found intact in the debris.

Mr. Ra said...

It is a good indication and mark of the things to come. At this stage it appears like a vendor development program, but soon such practice may develop into vendors development program.

Anonymous said...

JFI, check out Chinese 5th generation fighter in Google or Wikipedia.

Cheers,
Bharath

keshto said...

Prasun..

It was a tail rotor that was culprit at jaisalmer Dhruva crash. Composites are sturdy and long lasting as you know.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To keshto@1.10AM: I was referring to the Dhruv ALH crash-landing at Hyderabad in December 2005. The crash landing revealed a serious fault in the machine's tail rotor blades. "The fault was a combination of non-compliance of the stipulated manufacturing process as well as use of life-expired consumables that are not easily available," K.P. Puri, Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), said on January 15, 2006. These factors led to "de-bonding" of the raisin-based components in the composite tail rotor. This in turn produced extra vibrations, leading to imbalance of the tail rotor blades, which ultimately broke. The material used in the construction of the tail rotor was procured from a Swiss firm, which no longer produces the materials. Now similar material is being sourced from an Australian firm, which incidentally, belongs to an Indian entrepreneur.
The above admission by HAL proved at that time that faulty QC practices related to composites-made components were prevalent at the production stage.

sanu said...

tatas have done it!lets hope things go swiftly frm now on.hey,what abt f-insas prototypes they made,any news on that?

Anonymous said...

with Tata's Nano expertise...ignition will not be a problem... :P

Anonymous said...

WAY TO GO....

Spirit of Exuberance said...

There is another company "Kemrock" at Vadodara, Gujarat who is going to make carbon fibre composites for Indian aviation sector and off course starting with Tejas.
For people who think composites are poor in strength than metal alloys shall do some basic research on topic what kind of strength it gives.

Anonymous said...

After the nano, the Tata should start development of incendiary weapons.

Mr. Ra said...

The problems of Nano may be real and also may not be real. Unproven product of a brand name is under constant pressure of struggles and competitions.

Even Gripen would have met with more faults than Nano.

The problem is that the bourgeoisies are not always wrong. Lol...

Anonymous said...

@ MR.Ra
Nano has no competition (until the others come in i suppose) ..it made a new market niche...
The only thing it seems to be fighting are fires...
and its problems are real...Tata recently offered to(for free IIRC) fit stuff on to the Nano for safety (but refused to call it a recall)

and spontaneous combustion ..well...its no minor problem....its by sheer luck that many escaped

Gautam said...

Nano has problems, but they are seriously offering to solve them within a matter of months for free. If people want to use that as an excuse for comparison, I rate that level of dedication is something I'd rate even above NAL(which twiddled its thumbs about Saras' design deficiencies until it crashed and even then couldn't do a thing without running abroad) and HAL(which receives complaints all year round about quality control and maintenance from the IAF and CAG which are sometimes never resolved, like the HPT-32).

Anonymous said...

@ Gautam..
They fixed it post event(s) in both cases...
and if Nano's failure was something that was easily resolvable and not done before commercial sale of the vehicle..i'd say thats gross negligence...

Gautam said...

Given the speed with which it was fixed after detection it Tata definitely merits higher than HAL, NAL and ADA. There's a great difference in your 'Post event' scenarios.