Monday, November 01, 2010

[UPDATED] Work Officially Set To Begin On LCA Tejas MK-II

India's Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is currently in a blur trying to meet two heavy-duty milestones in the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme -- the first flight of the carrier-borne LCA Navy in the next few weeks and initial operational clearance (IOC) of the primary air force variant of the light fighter by Christmas. But with a decision finally made recently that the GE F414 will power the MK-II, work has officially started at ADA on a part of the programme that will finally deliver a full-fledged multirole fighter plane -- the Tejas MK-II.

The next one year will see most of the Tejas team focused on the landmark induction of the LCA into operational service with the Indian Air Force. But a wing of ADA, headed by Principal Director H Siddesha, will kickstart a string of parallel processes to get the souped up MK-II variant of the fighter jet going.

Along with a team from GE, ADA will shortly begin multidisciplinary design optimisation (MDO) of the Tejas airframe for its new engine, and therefore, operational envelope, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) studies of all new components, failure mode, effect & analysis of aeroengine components, fresh numerical master geometry & inboard drawings, a digital mockup of the entire MK-II, and of course, a wind tunnel model.

Immediately, however, the team will embark on the all-important tasks of F414 engine-airframe bay interference studies and clearance, powerplant and fuel systems design and optimisation, integration and then ground tests.

The first flight of the Tejas MK-II is scheduled for the second half of 2014, with full rate production to commence in 2016.

33 comments :

Anonymous said...

Good news Shiv! Do you have any information on whether LCA-II will see an increase in length? Are they considering adding canards if they increase the length of the aircraft? What about payload capacity and hard-points increase?

More information on the changes being considered for LCA mark II would be very helpful!

Anonymous said...

What is a souped up MK-2 Shiv? Any first hand info here? Can we see LCA do a f-16xl, kind of wing design?

Thank you for the lca update,
appreciate this,
Bharath

Anonymous said...

Dear Shiv,

Thanks a lot for this update. I have been eagerly waiting for this update.
Hope to hear more about our beloved Tejas soon

Max

Raj said...

I dont know how long will it take for MK-II to get the IOC.
Another 30 + yrs..
I dont know why do we need at that time when FGFA will be in operation.

Anonymous said...

Obviously there will be tesing after all that. From the amount of work said here, it seems it will take another 10 years for induction tejas Mk 2.It Seems HAL and DRDO labs are more of training laboratories for doing experimentations with no results

Anonymous said...

Dear Raj,

U cannot always use heavy fighters for each and every purpose.
LCA though a modern aircraft, as per IAF requirement fill a defence role for limited area.

Due to their low cost and maintainence they can be maintained in gud numbers at all our bases and will act instantly when any threat is perceived.

Anonymous said...

The West - whom we despise so much - has a much better track record of giving up when they found that it was not workable and whats more calling a spade a spade. The F111 -as originally thought as a TFX - British, TSR2, American Comanche, German VAK191, are some names that immediately come to mind. In our case National Pride sadly comes in the way of sense and sensibility.

Anonymous said...

I am reminded of a dialogue by Amitabh Bachan from the classic movie 'Anand' - "Ek mara nahin, aur doosra marne ke liye paida ho gaya"

Gautam said...

The mk.II is what HAL should have delivered to the IAF in the first place, not the overweight version currently undergoing testing with a payload capacity reduced to a measly 2000kg.

Hopefully they won't treat this as an all new plane and start testing ASAP. The mk.2 has already been delayed by a year due to the MoD's lethargy in selecting the new engine. There isn't much hope of it getting inducted by 2012 like the IAF wanted. Maybe 2014-15.

Anonymous said...

will they take another decade to get the mk 2 in full operation.Agreed the scientist are working hard but they should speed things now

Anonymous said...

HAL will deliver initial batch of 10 LCA's only by April 2011.

mathi man said...

I agree . The primary purpose of LCA is to :
provide impetus to our fighter aviation capabilities and technology
and
bolster the numbers to negate the "numbers" advantage currently with Chinese airforce

Gautam said...

No, not 2014. I read that HAL isn't even planning to conduct flying tests till 2014. This plane won't be inducted at least until 2017. The LCA is pretty much finished as far as being a replacement for MiGs. IAF will just order more MMRCAs by then and PAK-FA will also become available.

Sam said...

Well, the LCA can be salvaged even now by simply involving foreign consultants and the private sector. Fact is that the ADA is a research organization and did an above average job with the aircraft.

It is time we involved the private sector (with FDI participation) in the production process.

Anonymous said...

I find it very hard to believe in those timelines -- first flight in 2014 and full-rate production in 2016? That will simply not happen, not with all the work that needs to be done.

Mr. Ra said...

Very good news...

If LCA-mk2 is provided with stronger A2G capabilities, then they may be very useful in dissolving the resistances from the remnant pak hideouts and even strongholds on a day to day basis.

Anonymous said...

Tejas MKII delivering capability 25 years behind Gripen A. Should have scratched it and gone all in for 5th gen MCA.

Anonymous said...

Shiv -

Can you please provide some difference between LCA & LCA MK-II

BR,
SK

Anonymous said...

Regardless of all the drawbacks, indigenous effort to develop a well rounded must continue. The west that we are quick to compare ourselves with ( and Russia) had the advantage of getting tonnes of German(Nazi)scientist (a lot of them aerospace pioneers)after the 2nd World War. Also, they have spent numerous man hours and an unsurmountable amount of money( and resources) to establish the required infrastructure to build a well oiled aerospace industry.Even then they had several failed and "not so successful" combat aircrafts, some of which saw service for less than 2 decades. Tejas is our first true attempt in the direction ( HF Marut was essentially Dr Kurt Tank's brainchild. We need to be more patient and let DRDO and associated labs mature. If nothing else, we would have gained valuable experience from this venture, and you cannot put a price tag on that.

P.S. : Its been many years since I left India, and as such I am not well aware of the current state of affair of DRDO etc. Please pardon any assumptions that might be incorrect.

Max

Anonymous said...

Tentative induction schedule in IAF:

1> FGFA/PAK FA - 2021-2023
2> AMCA/NGFA - 2030 (subject to Tejas clearing all the decks by 2016).
3> Tejas-II - more likely in 2017 and that too provided HAL does not play politics with ADA by giving precedence to its own FGFA at the cost of neglecting Tejas.

Anonymous said...

nis-TEJAS

(Sanskrit/Bengali vernacular - could I spell it right?).

- nanovacuum (US)

Parminder Grewal said...

@Max: I agree with you. The Soviets, Americans and British has entire teams that worked to salvage technologies from the German, especially V2 rockets, U2 boats and stuff. All the same they had sophisticated technologies comparable to German technologies at the time of ar. The Japanese Zero was a plane that was unparalleled in climb rates and was a major scare in dogfights. Its is two world wars that made the Western powers so evolved in armaments. We are joining this evolutionary cycle of weapons development kind of late and it is no doubt going to involve some growth pains

Parminder Grewal said...

Furthermore, the technology denial regimes that have hit India and bereft us of mature technical knowhow that is so often shared with other countries rather easily also leaves us in the lurch but that does not mean we must not develop that know how. ISRO is a great example and I am confident DRDO will reach ISRO levels some day. Lets hope

But all this talk about abandoning research and buying from outsider while practical is shortsightedness. We need to give up on our myopia. I think very smart people head these organizations and they do their level best. Give them time and they'll do us proud

Anonymous said...

Very are lagging behind the schdeule to bring the defence products delivery due to the Organiasations are run by Govt.,as we usually see other govt.noramlly we contact day to day works,like EB,GAS,RTO office,housing board offices like that...These GOvt.concerns dont have the work curiosity and they will take to complete small job for weeks.this concept is going on our defense also.this is not at all good.Pls.make the govt.concers ar pvt.ltd and we havt to give time stgamp for each defense products.

Gautam said...

Provided MRCA tender isn't scrapped the IAF will prefer ordering more of it just like the MKIs by the time Tejas mk.2 reaches IOC in 2016. I don't expect more than 40 or so token orders for this.

Anonymous said...

MKII is only to correct the capability the MKI was unable to meet. It's still a aircraft that is comparable to JAS 39A of 25 years ago but without the impressive avionics suite and weapons integration. Why bother?!

Anonymous said...

operational envelope, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) .......??

It was always being stated that whatever engine i chosen for LCA MK2 , would be integrated seamlessly into the airframe without many changes. The above seems to sound like 10-15 yr long task for DRDO or indications for same.

Is the nation and airforce going to wait another decade to get what should have been logically the MK1. This doesnt sound good

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested, can read this article (for comparison):

"China Masters Modern Weapons Technology"

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htproc/articles/20100928.aspx

- nanovacuum (US)

Raj said...

Its complete waste of tax payers money.
Going to re-invent the wheel ?
Same thesis/project (from Google) submitted every month by bunch of idiots in DRDO / HAL in the name of R&D.
Most of the time talking about Caste groups, Politics , Movies etc in the lunch room and doing nothing.
why do we allocation on DRDO based on Caste ?
It kills the complete org.
how can i go up ?
whom i can give bribe to go up?
This is what happening in DRDO & HAL.
soon ISRO will join on this list.

I joined DRDO from campus from a prestigious institute. Served for 2 yrs. this is my exp.

Mr. Ra said...

Indians can not become Chinese even if they squeeze their own eyes or punch their own noses.

However there is a consolation that Tejas-mk1 is at least a shade superior than JF-17 and the LCA-mk2 may be as good cost effective and comparable to J-10 except for the weights and payloads.

Gautm said...

The consolation goes away when you consider the LCA mk.1 & 2 are yet to become operational even years after the Pakistanis and Chinese are inducting and flying their JF-17s and J-10s.

satbir said...

Shiv,
Are U sure that mk2 would fly in 2014!!
like IAF even navy have decided to go for more powerful engine i.e GE414 for thier Tajes which is said to be ready by 2014 for IAC1. Ofcorse NP1 n 2 will have 404 engine.
if ur correct tht means navy mark2 will come b4 IAF mark2.
Ofcorse there are structural diff in them lik the nose drop, LEVOCS n strong undercarrier!! Is that ADA was already aware of change in engine while working on naval prototype tht will helps them to bring naval mk2 b4 IAF mk2, or they will give more priority to naval mk2 as IAF is upgrading mig21 hence not in hurry.
so there are many questions!! plse get more detail.
By the way I saw a powerpoint image of naval Tajes, how it will be diffrent from Tajes mk1. Its look awesome. The nose drop looks beautiful and the LEVOCS will not only give stabality will landing and in air bt will also give high Angle of attack. Plse get some pics of NP1. I hope nose drop, LEVOCS will make into IAF mk2.

Anonymous said...

if any 1 is smart enough,just watch the design of naval lca with levcon and (which are far better than canards in technology but have similar funtion to that of canard but none of its disadvantages).hopefully the iaf version also has it.Note:PAKFA is also using levcon instead of canards.hahahaha.lol