Saturday, January 01, 2011

Month Before IOC, MoD's Tejas Update In Parliament

One permanent fixture in all reports by the Indian Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence is the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA Tejas) programme. And exactly month before the programme achieves initial operational clearance on January 10, the panel's latest report was released, containing the following updated account of the Tejas programme so far. Much of it is the same, but with the level of interest in the programme, especially now, there are several new bits scattered around this update. Here it is in full:

The programme of indigenous development of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) had been initiated in August‟ 1983 with the Government sanction of an interim development cost of Rs 560.00 Cr. This sanction was to initiate the programme and carry out Project Definition Phase (PDP). After completing the PDP, the report was submitted to Government and proposal to build 07 prototypes was made. The Government of India split the programme into Technical Development Phase and Operational Vehicle Development Phase. The Full Scale Engineering Development Programme Phase-I (LCA FSED Phase-I) was sanctioned in April‟1993 at a cost of Rs 2188 Cr (including the interim sanction of Rs 560 Cr given in 1983). The scope of FSED Phase-I was to demonstrate the technologies so that a decision could be taken to build operational proto-vehicles at a later stage. LCA FSED Phase-I was completed on 31 Mar 2004. While Phase-I programme was in progress, the Government decided to concurrently go ahead with the build of operational proto vehicles. The scope of FSED Phase-2 was to build three prototypes of operational aircrafts including a trainer and also to build the infrastructure required for producing 08 aircrafts per year and build eight Limited Series Production (LSP) aircrafts. Government sanctioned FSED Phase-II of the programme at a total cost of Rs 3301.78 Cr on 20 Nov‟2001. The Phase-II programme has been split into two phases namely, Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and Final Operational Clearance (FOC). Standard of
preparation of operational aircraft was finalized in 2004 with changes in weapons, sensors and avionics to meet the IAF requirements and overcome obsolescence. (Original design was made in 1990s). This contributes to additional time and revised cost for Phase-II.

Governing body of ADA in its 41st meeting held on 22 Nov 2007 had detail review of the Programme and deliberated on achievements vis-à-vis objectives of LCA FSED Phase-II programme and recommended the extension of FSED Phase-II likely date of completion till 31 Dec 2012 (IOC by Dec 2010 & FOC by Dec 2012) with GE-F404-IN20 Engine and to develop & productionise the Mark 2 variant of Tejas aircraft and also recommended the constitution of Cost Revision Committee to assess additional requirement of funds. The need for extension of PDC for LCA FSED Phase-II was due to:

(a) Complexity of the system desgn and very high safety standards lead to extensive testing to ensure flight safety.

(b) Incorporating the configuration changes (for example R60 close Combat Missile (CCM) was replaced by R73E CCM which required design modifications) to keep the aircraft contemporary|

(c) Due to non-availability of indigenous „Kaveri Engine‟ design changes were carried out to accommodate GE404 engine of USA.

(d) Change in the development strategy of Radar and associated changes on the aircraft.

(e) Major development activity of Avionics was undertaken in order to make aircraft contemporary, which took time but yielded results (for example, development of obsolescence free open architecture avionics system).

(f) US sanctions imposed in 1998 also led to delay in importing certain items and developing alternate equipment, since vendors identification and development to production cycle took time.

The need for revision of FSED Phase-II fund sanction was mainly due to:

(a) To neutralize the effect of inflation/delivery point cost against the sanctioned level at 2001 and the increase in manpower cost of HAL.

(b) To meet the programme management expenditure due to extended time line till Dec 2012

(c) Maintain and operate 10-15 aircraft for four years upto 2012

(d) To maintain & upgrade the design, development and test facilities upto 2012, in keeping with modern technology

(e) To complete the activities which were not costed in the original estimates.

Cost Revision Committee after careful consideration of the projections made and taking into account the increase in the cost of material, manpower, additional activities to complete the IOC & FOC, maintenance of facilities and expanded scope of the programme etc., recommended additional fund of Rs 2475.78 Cr for completing FSED Phase-II activities with PDC Dec 2012, Rs 2431.55 Cr for developing Tejas Mark 2 with alternate engine (LCA FSED Phase-III Programme) and Rs 395.65 Cr for Technology Development Programme (Total additional funds of Rs 5302.98 Cr). Recommendations of the Cost Revision Committee was accepted by Government and in November 2009, sanction was accorded for continuing Full Scale Engineering Development of LCA till Dec 2018 with an additional cost of Rs 5302.98 Cr.

LCA (Tejas) Programme is progressing satisfactorily as per schedule mutually agreed with IAF to meet their requirements. Flight Test phase on nine Tejas aircrafts to obtain IOC for Tejas, which is mandatory for induction of Tejas into IAF is in advanced stage. Establishment of Tejas production facilities for the production rate of eight aircrafts per annum is progressing concurrently with development activities. On 31 Mar 2006, IAF has executed the contract with HAL for production of 20 Tejas aircraft (series production) powered by GE-F404-IN20 engines in IOC configuration and production activities are in progress. Follow on order of another 20 aircraft is in an advanced stage of negotiation between IAF and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The issue of Kaveri engine has been delinked temporarily from Tejas Production Programme and use of Kaveri engine on Tejas will be considered after successful completion of mandatory development tests on engine. Initial batch of Tejas production aircraft (Tejas Mk-1) will be integrated with GE-F404-IN20 engines and will be inducted into IAF progressively from Jan 2011 onwards. Development of Tejas Mk-2 with alternate imported foreign engine (LCA FSED Phase-III) to improve aircraft performance has been launched concurrently with LCA FSED Phase-II programme.

In addition to the weekly reviews conducted at ADA and the Governing Body & Annual General Body Meetings, the Honourable Raksha Mantri has set up Special Review Committees with the Chief of Air Staff reviewing the programme once every quarter and Deputy Chief of Air Staff reviewing every month to ensure that the objectives of Tejas Programme are achieved without any further cost and time overrun.

Photo by Debarka Banik


PSYCLONE said...

Can anybody please tell me the annual rate of production of Su-30MKI by HAL.....


Ben - Yours truly said...

Can u ask IAF atleast to make that additional 20 order quick so that our defunct production agency HAL can plan earlier?

Since the F404 engine series would be closes down after F/A-50 orders are up, wouldn't it be necessary for HAL to buy more F414 when the engine change for 1st and 2nd squadrons of Tejas mk-1 is due, if we have extra engines we can churn out more Tejas mk-1 if flight testing of tejas mk-2 with F414 INS6 is delayed?

Anonymous said...

Manpower costs will it remain the same for HAL through out the development and LSP production cycle? Blame it on inflation,Anti poaching measures by HAL to retain manpower from joining Honeywell, wipro, TCS etc..etc...during the software boom boom!!!! What about the plane ticket costs,foreign sojourns in search of phoren maal by ADA DAADAAS? HAL is an unpaid whore for these Guys!!!

Anonymous said...

Tejas is a pure example of simple living and high thinking I am sure it must be a superb aircraft one cannot lay all their cards on the table otherwise what is the secret left.The opponents will plan for them, yes constant improvements will show results in times to come

lspk said...


HAL produces about 8to10 su-30mki per year. [Note that India had ordered 280 of these fighters from Russia and as of July 2010, the IAF has 124 MKIs under active service with plans to have an operational fleet of 280 MKIs by 2015 so that's 156 more fighters in 5 years or 30 fighters per year... MoD should have allowed private players to produce it !!]

Anonymous said...

I believe TEJAS will be a good aircraft. The IAF dosen't take a machine without rigourous testing. Whatever the pressure, the IAF must have seen something to go ahead and order these flying beauties.
I think once the IAF starts using the TEJAS, more countries will queue up to get these cost-effective technological gems.

Anonymous said...

See this before commenting on the LCA:

Anonymous said...

But unless the West say it is good, how can I ever say that LCA is good. Because they are the true judge of anything technical

Anonymous said...

Dear Shiv,

I thank you for providing a forum to the people in boots (flying or walking or sailing) to be acquanted and familiar with the ways these guys in DRDO and PSUs think and express.

I have been reading their views for quite sometimes. I am surprised that they are more of a UNION rather than professionals. They think and advocate only in terms of their jobs, perks and their empires, vested interests. I am also alarmed to conclude that majority of them are instinctively anti Armed Forces and think in an isolated environment and illogical framework.

They speak as the lobby rather than thinking Indians primarily focused on the safty and security of India.

Then, why keep them with and under the Govt ?? If they behave like "Reservationists" ??

PSYCLONE said...

thanks for the info,but sad to hear this rate it will take 16 years to complete the task.
what about hawk,dhruv,HJT sitara's annual production rate?

Anonymous said...


Production rate of SU-30 MKI at HAL currently is between 20-24 fighters/per year-to be stabilized at 24/per year (On a sidenote-i heard we produced 28 of these in 2010-not a confirmed source though). The initial contract for 140+40 Sukhois to be produced by HAL would be over by 2016. The add-on order for 42 Sukhois would be executed by HAL by 2018. The 50 Sukhois ordered from Russia would be delivered between 2012-2014.

IAF has close to 140 Sukhois currently. The figure of 124 was as of early 2010.

Hawk production: HAL has delivered around 45 of the 66 aircraft initially ordered till now. All 66 to be delivered by 2011 and the follow on contract will be started in 2011.

HJT-36: 12 are close to being delivered/already delivered to IAF (was supposed to be delivered June 2010).The first 2 are still being used as testing prototypes.

Dhruv: Annual production rate is 40+ at HAL,total deliveries around 100+ so far to all armed forces. HAL plans to increase production rate to 60 per year.


lspk said...

Dude its of no use that we get worried about HAL or debate about deficiencies.. just hope & pray that Chinese will not try to teach us a lesson[1962].. let shiv aroor report these figures [16yrs for su30mki] in headlines today & bring nation's attention towards these probs... i just hope at least mmrca would be produced by a private player so that more aircraft integration is outsourced to India & the Indian MNC will at least produce indigenous world class avionics subsystems

PSYCLONE said...

thx a ton.

i m just worried that we might
be biting off more than we can chew.....

Anonymous said...

anon5.09!!! HJT-36 not even a singlep lane is delivered.... verify !!!

Anonymous said...

anon @5.26 PM

I made it clear in my post that HJT-36, 12 are either close to being delivered or have not yet been delivered. 12 were SUPPOSED to be delivered by Jun 10.


satbir said...

Development cost of Rafel 36bn
Of Tejas 2.5bn including Mk2 cost.
126 MMRCA jet cost 10bn
120(80 mk2) Tejas cost 2 bn.
We should support tejas.