Sunday, February 05, 2012

Indian Navy Chief Snipes Carrier Tejas

The Naval Tejas programme really had this coming. After failing to get the LCA Navy airborne in January in what would have been the platform's hugely delayed first flight, Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma has rebuked the programme for its performance and delays.

Speaking to The Hindu at Port Blair, Admiral Verma has been quoted as saying, "They [ADA] focused largely on the Air Force programme and the LCA [Navy] did fall behind…. There have been many promises made by the ADA but they failed us... It is often said that there is only 15 per cent difference between both versions. The Navy has always maintained that it may be 15 per cent in terms of material and systems, but it is a substantial part. And they [ADA] underestimated it."

The LCA Navy effort battles huge odds, and has come in for some pretty harsh criticism recently. Last week, former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy wrote in a newspaper column, "A naval variant of the LCA seems unlikely to ever land on a ship’s deck. It may probably need a new engine apart from lots of testing and modifications. There is little demonstrated stamina to take these risks."
The programme is led by a retired navy officer, Commodore C.D. Balaji, who has been under tremendous pressure to show results. With the primary air force version of the Tejas also hitting technological roadblocks, it's bad news all round for the indigenous programme. Will update this post with more details on programme status. The last I heard is that the team were hoping to put the NP-1 prototype into the air at the end of January.


Anonymous said...

Good riddance..... Indian Navy should go for Rafale M variants !

Anonymous said...

It smells like Rafale M X)

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when one sector of the tri-forces is given more leverage over the other the ADA should have also focused on the naval variant as the navy is the only one emphasising on indegnisation

An Indian said...

Looks..decks are now being cleared for buying..JSF!
There is a buzz about another tender of 80 combat aircraft(40 JSF 35 B or C for NAVY + 40 Surgical Air Strike F-35 A for IAF ) to be floated...i.e. Govt may opt for Gov-Gov deal with US for it has done for C-130 , P-8I,WLR,Jalsawa..soon.

If FGFA T-50 matures soon...they too may offer a Naval Stealth version...


Anonymous said...

What shame , an independent country which boasts of high tech engineers (iits, recs) cannot produce a jet in 20 yrs? Obviously the engineers are not good enough, or external propoganda and efforts are stifling the prog, I tend to think the former

Anonymous said...

Finally someone is stepping up and saying that the LCA is a load of crap. Need to fire the moron's who milked the country of crores of rupees.

Anonymous said...


To be or not to be ?? Please , please remember that :-

a ) Tejas is not to be .( I hate myself for saying this but let it rest as far as navy is concerned.

b) Let us concentrate as of now on Mig KUB . Mig 29 is a great plane and the order can be increased to 50 and supplemented by Jags and later hamara Rafale.

c) Just look at the advantages of standardisation later on . Rafale can replace the Harriers , Jaguars , odd Mig 27's and finally the Mig 29's .

d ) Let Tejas serve as a light fighter to augment the numbers in the IAF later on - we cant kill the programme. But forgive me we need some immediate planes for IAF too . Five squads of Gripens should be immediately ordered for filling in the Mig 21 Gaap. In fact both Mig 29 M2 and Gripen can be squared off against each other if they can meet our tight requirements.

Anonymous said...

The goverment branches have no fear of loosing job even if their is a huge delay and time and cost over runs. This happands when u have given all money and contract to a single vender.

Anonymous said...

ADA , HAL , DRDO, CVRDE, NAL , GTRE all are goverment sectors. And we all know that how goverment sector works. And how much they are reliable on time and cost .

Anonymous said...

Hal failed in lca nal failed in saras and isro failed to put 4t sat in orbit even after 10 years of work all failed psus shame on them

Anonymous said...

The management problem with these programs are known for quite sometime. No one did anything to address that so far.

One possible solution is disband DRDO-ADA altogether. Start from decentralized ground-up organization development. Those guys got too comfortable. Tap into available talent from the entire country. They don't have to come, concentrated, from South Indian caste and tribe only. Fire them all. Decentralize initiatives with clear responsibilities. Move facilities out from Bangalore and Hyderabad. Gag order press appearance of all DRDO, ADA and HAL people. Don't sanction any 'pie-in-the-sky' project. Let all of them initiate down to earth and practical projects...

avinash said...

Do what happens in corporate life. Hold folks accountable for the delay, fire them as necessary so that the others get the msg.

Mr Singh said...

Calling it indigenous programme is like calling Sonia Gandhi indigenous Indian.

Ranjit said...

Just get the Rafale and dispense with this waste of money for an inferior aircraft.

On another note anonymous@1040PM, six spelling mistakes in two sentences is quite pathetic. Go back to school.

Anonymous said...

stop wasting public money and hopes...shut this useless ADA and HAL ..all these ppl can do is licence produce..and if at the end of the day we have to import then why waste billions and time on programmes like LCA, it wud hav been much better and cheaper option for India if it had partnered Russia or France in some programme in late 80's as Rafale's wud have been flying by now and we didn't had to suffer losses of human lives and time over run and more importantly jeopardise our national security...had we had 300 rafales in 2008 ...I swear pakis wud have pee'd in their pants after Mumbai attack or after Parliament attack...HAL is Sham and shame...despite 30 year wat we ineffective airframe an american engine, an Israeli radar, french avionics....wat is Indian in tat crap plane ..can anyone tell me..plzz...HAL can't even put a arrester hook ..they need consultancy even for the hell they r thinking they can make something as ambitious as doubt it will get tech from France and Russia...I think HAL can't even change tyres of a jet and may be they need consultants to learn tat...all corrupt lazy babu's..doing nothing..wasting country's all these crabs..

Lander said...

They really should scrap the Tejas program altogether. It doesn't deliver what's promised, it will neither be economical nor an aircraft in which india can fend of foreign enemies.

I'd say, India ought to procure the Gripen E/F to replace the Tejas Mk.1 and Mk.2 for the air force. That will give them a cheaper and better aircraft for the money which will give performance close or equal to that of the rafale and still making up for the lighter end of the fighter jets for India.

India should scrap the Naval Tejas and cancel their orders for the troubled MiG-29K and procure the Rafale M and Sea Gripens. The Rafale M could replace the dual-engine MiG-29K's which are old and unreliable. The Sea Gripen is the closest alternative to the Naval Tejas.

Anonymous said...

As an Indian American, I can say this. Most Indians are smart but lazy. Working with Indians in IT, I cannot count the times they have missed deadlines. I don't trust any deadlines anymore. Eventually the task gets done but its never on time. Ever. The chalta hai attitude is why India will always be inferior to China.

Anonymous said...

@An Indian

With the F-35B almost cancelled, and many doubts raised about the F-35C (arrestor hook, delays & costs), it seems unlikely to me that the Indian Air Force/Navy will pick up this airplane.
Alternatives ? Russian-made Sukhoi 33/Mig 29 ? I think these are too old designs, and eletronic equipments are supplied by western companies.
The two only credible planes are the Rafale M and the F/A 18 Super Hornet. American foreign policy will rule out the Shornet, despite its great capabilities.
The Rafale M will offer giant synergies with the ground version (HAL Rafale assembly chain). Industrially speaking, this is the logical choice, and the Indian Forces would spare a lot of energy & efforts by choosing the French plane. This has been proved already with the french Air Force and Navy.

Greetings from Paris

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous from France above

Well if you are going to Partner HAL in India, you are going to do biggest mistake in your life.
Its similar to handing over Carla Bruni to Laloo Prasaad Yadav (You should really read about him, He is the greatest man in Indian History, All HAL facilities have his pictures as a role model for their employees )

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem with all Indian defense R&D sector is they don't have a sense of urgency. A 'Do-or-Die' attitude is sorely missing. Many young engineers and scientists lack the 'fire in their belly' attitude. Most are concerned with their pay packets, salary hikes, promotions, post retirement benefits etc, more than their area of research. This is a well known fact. All this is due to the 'selection' process in these organizations. It clearly shows the political administrations inability in setting example of excellence. I would suggest the dumb bureaucrats and politicians to put the armed forces in charge of defense research organizations, and let them 'eat their own dog shit'. Once the armed forces are handed over the defense orgs, they should no longer be allowed to import any defense hardware. "Eat your own dog Shit" should be the mantra.

Anonymous said...

HAL baadnaam huyi..LCA tere liye...ab zandu balm ghise....LCA tere liye...

Anonymous said...

Time for reality checks for some horrendously ignorant people infesting this blog:

1. The LCA has been a reasonable success, as far as the air force variant is concerned. The IAF's Tejas is a potent light fighter with some very good features. Yes, it does not have a fully indigenous engine, avionics (including radar) or weapon systems, but full indigenization (especially considering we will settle for nothing less than the absolute state-of-the-art of international standards) is not a trivial job. In any case, even with 75% indigenization the Tejas saves us a lot of money that we can then use for other pursuits. There is no question of scrapping the IAF LCA programme, anybody suggesting otherwise is either ignorant or a foreigner with vested interests to sell us his junk.

2. Having said that, it is obvious that HAL, DRDO, ADA, LRDE, etc have time and again failed in their deadlines as well as technological output and cost overruns. The Naval Tejas failure (so far) is a clear indication of it and I agree some disciplining (fire-and-hire) etc must be necessary. Or other suggested methods to encourage competition and results instead of continuing to throw billions blindly into a black hole.

3. F-35B/C JSF, Sea Gripen and Sea Typhoon are all PAPER PLANES and have never been operationalized anywhere. The latter two have never even be constructed ever, forget flight or sea trials.

4. In any case, buying F/A-18E/F SH or F-35B/C JSF without signing the CISMOA/BECA/LSA (i.e. signing away sovereignty to the US) would not be possible. There are several more reasons why the US was (and is) an unreliable vendor and we need to steer clear of it.

5. That leaves the Rafale-M which is an excellent and proven (not to mention REAL, unlike all the paper designs mentioned above that may take 5 years only to come into existence) naval aircraft.

6. The problem is, ALL of the fighters: Rafale-M, F-35B/C JSF, F/A-18E/F SH, Sea Typhoon and Sea Gripen are ALL CATOBAR aircraft whereas ALL THE THREE Indian Navy aircraft carriers (present Viraat as well as Vikramaditya and Vikrant being constructed) are STOVL/STOBAR carriers that will simply not be able to support all these "superior aircraft" that you guys are suggesting. Yes, ALL THREE Indian Navy carriers are technically and operationally INCAPABLE of carrying ANY OF THE ABOVE aircraft.

7. That leaves only the MiG-29K/KUB, Sea Harriers (obsolete, no longer in production) and Naval Tejas (which are all STOVL/STOBAR type) which is exactly why our options are limited to these.

So yes, blast and fire-and-hire and reorganize the HAL/DRDO/ADA/LRDE as much as possible to encourage performance and results, but we must still persist with the Naval Tejas.

Anonymous said...

most people are putting emotions before logic. The fact remains that the fighter is a step towards indigenous capacity building and to instill self confidence. We can get better fighters from abroad at high cost but we will be perpetual buyers. I am not defending HAL and i too hate when it is delayed so much. But we have sunk in a lot of money and time. We can easily say scrap the project and buy. but what happens to crores of rupees and time. Instead what ever the delay we should force HAL to roll out a good fighter . If the project fails it is going to be end of ambitious and time taking processes indigenously the attitude will sink in. it is a point of no return (incase of money). Pressure is fine, but closing down the project is slap on our own face.

Anonymous said...

@perspicacious Anonymous above:

Thank you for the tip, I'll inquire about it ! ;)

Shantanu said...

It's human to make mistakes, but to make mistake and not learn from it is crime. We have brains, we have the might but we dont have the will because no body holds our so called sceintists, engineers and administration responsible. No doubt they are opposing the strong lokpal bill, wid lokpal they have to answer for everything.

Anonymous said...

Sad that the Naval chief is making such comments. The Navy is known for innovation, accepting stuff that's not perfect and building upon them to make perfect military gear. They were not known for complaining like the Army and AF. The Navy leaders has shown courage to innovate and induct ships like Godavari, Brahmaputra and today we have the Shivalik class to be followed by the more stealthy P17A class vessels. This is what we expect from our Navy. The Naval Tejas surely is a stepping stone and a learning process. The Mig-29 will be filling the role for time being. Even when the Vikramaditya gets inducted in 2013 and the process continues in 2014, the Mig-29's can provide the numbers. This is to be followed by the induction of Tejas mk1 in small numbers to be followed by mkII variant for the IAC. The Navy must stick with the Naval programme and see that it's just a start that's being made. They must learn the basics of building a naval fighter with the present Tejas Mk1 and then with the arrival of MkII, go on to make a better Naval fighter based on that version. This need to be followed by the Naval variant of AMCA. Also the Navy must start working with ADA and the IAF on programs like the AMCA. Hope the Navy continues with it's tradition of innovation, courage and foresight rather than complaints, criticisms and being losers.

Ram said...

F-35 is way behind the schedule and US has reduced its numbers fro the predicted 1800 to few hundreds. hence it would be impractical to wiat for a bride yet to decide whether she wants to marry or not.
The other option would be the Rafale Naval version. This could further give the govt to negotiate a better price. All said and done an indigenous Naval variant is necessary.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the deveopment of naval tejas. But India should work with UK in developing next generation sea harriers.

Anonymous said...

the RFI for a naval mrca was issued some time back. if a tender is floated in future it is for sure going to take around 5-7 years just for deciding which fighter is actually fit after trials. Then add another 3-4 years to make the roll out we are speaking of a fighter in mid 2020s. Also that time IAC-2 may be around which will make it feasible. Any fighter including Rafale M will have to go this route unless an FMS type is opted which seems unlikely. But if we are going to wait that long there is no fault in testing(even redesigning)our own fighter. It seems HAL is more inclined to roll out of MkII than naval LCA since the latter is challenging task and less numbers. Critisisms sometimes do good as the HAL may take more interest in the Naval programme and Navy is often quite smart in in its ambitions (Like the IAC earlier was named Air defence ship, just to keep the IAF cool that its maritime interdiction role is still intact while the carrier is for fleet air defence). i think it is a baby crying for more milk.

the terminator said...

It is great to see that we have some very rational, logical and perceptive people such as anon 7:49,4:10 and 3:52 among a whole load of rabid bashers of indigenous effort.

I for one do not condone or say the present chalta hai attitude that is prevalent in all our PSUs is the way to go. Those loud-mouthed slinkers in all the PSUs especially HAL, ADA and GTRE should be given a time frame to deliver or to get out. Those found to be delibrately delay the programme should be axed as a message to others who take the taxpayers' money and sabotage from within.

Only those with vested interest or in the pay of foreigners would bash indigenous effort and exhort the socalled advantages of being forever buyers of foreign wares. These guys have no love for their motherland. These are the very guys who would sell the country to foreigners for a few thousand/million rupees.

It would be prudent as well as a good impetus to the PSUs if the Army, Navy and IAF give all the necessary assistance and encouragement with indigenous efforts instead of only finding faults and shortcomings in military hardware produced in these PSUs. Changing their own requirements as and when they come across foreign brochures without understanding local R&D, production capability and manpower clearly shows that they do not make any due diligence exercis before demanding the moon.

What irks me most is the failure of the Armed forces to receive products in tranche versions which even the most advanced industrial nations are doing. If the J10 can be produced in numbers by the Paki/Chikis even before the aircraft is fully operational, why can't the Tejas mk1 be inducted as it is (it is supposed to be a better aircraft than the Mig 21s) when those Migs are already past their shelf-lives?

HAL has become the only mammoth aeronautical industrial complex in the country. It is also saddled with assembling and producing fixed wing and rotary aircrafts besides clamouring for more projects such as MMRCA and eventually even the FGFA. The management at HAL sucks as they fail to realize that they can't even deliver in time whatever they have in their order books. Boasting they have their hands full for another 5 0r 10 years only shows their incompetence and naivety.

It would be better if the private sector is brought in to give competition and quality to not only HAL but also the govt. owned shipyards.

shadow said...

Desk is cleared for Rafale-M:) Anyway better than Tejas naval.

Makapaka said...

To all Gripen lovers: unfortunately the Sea Gripen does not exist and will never exist out of Flight Simulators, so promoting it as an alternative to Sea Tejas is rather hopeless. Btw the same applies to Sea Typhoon...

Anonymous said...

Some plain speaking in private is far more effective than sound bites to the media, unless the navy is preparing the ground to ask for some more imported planes. In any case, it is high time we created a new outfit which uses only indigenous platforms. There will be more pressure to deliver if there is no alternative. The services at present only need an excuse to import. This attitude does not portend well for indigenous development.

Anonymous said...

Is it OK for ADA to comment about the ineptitude of the navy in stopping terrorists from landing in Mumbai, pirates to land in Gujarat, abandoned ships beaching in Mumbai after consuming far far more resources over the the years. Or is it that only the services have the right to wash dirty linen in public ?

Anonymous said...

@shadow 11:31 AM:

I cannot believe I will have to repeat everything I just said above at 3:52 AM, but it won't matter anyway; I'm sure you only post your own comments without reading what others with more knowledge have to say.

On topic, Rafale-M (requires catapult assist to take off) CANNOT be used by the IN. ALL of our aircraft carriers are STOBAR type. This fact rules out all the other PAPER PLANES mentioned here (namely Sea Gripen, Sea Typhoon, Sea PAKFA/FGFA) as well, even if they existed like the Rafale-M does. IN will acquire a CATOBAR capable carrier only years after 2020+ with IAC-2 a.k.a. INS Vishal.

Till then, to summarize, for reasons of indigenization, cost, as well as capability, we HAVE TO necessarily persevere with the Naval Tejas. Sure, we must initiate some proper "project management actions" (hire-and-fire) with HAL/DRDO/ADA/GTRE/LRDE and/or invite private participation, but persevere with the Tejas we must.

Anonymous said...

The Naval Chief could just be putting more pressure on the NLCA team. This time it was through a public forum and hence the storm. The LCA too has been through such depressing times and come out on top. Lets not write the NLCA off so soon.

I have a basic issue against developing an in house Naval fighter. The carrier forces are decades away from being realized and even when ready will have a much smaller requirement of aircraft compared to the IAF. Our initial effort should have been to get the LCA Mk1 and 2 to FOC and then to work start work on AMCA. Resources are limited - more limited in trained manpower. All hands were needed on the IAF version on priority. The NLCA to my mind was an unnecessary distraction taken up too soon. Much before at least the first aircraft was put into service.

Most carrier based aircraft have been shown to be unsuitable for a STOVL /STOBAR carrier (in an excellent post above). I am not sure but if there was no NLCA on the horizon would the navy have gone for CATOBAR carriers and eased the supply problem? Or were we stuck with STOBAR for some other reason?

However, now that we have gone ahead with it lets get it over with. There is no point leaving it. The navy does not have a single carrier sailing as of now. It has the planes ready Mig29KUB. We still have time before IAC1/2 are ready to receive fighters.

Anonymous said...

India does not possess CATOBAR setup technology (either steam turbine catapults or electromagnetic catapult systems like the EMALS on the latest under-construction US Ford-class supercarriers and UK Elizabeth-class supercarriers). Even the French had to get the steam catapults on the Charles de Gaulle installed by the Americans. The US is not willing to share this technology with India (at least not without extracting a significant strategic price, I guess) which left us with no option but to go with STOBAR.

Anonymous said...

If only indian blogs had objective and factual replies like anon @3:52am. To most of the rest, loose the emotion and offer solutions. Shutting down HAL, firing all and sundry is not one of them.

On another note anon @3:52am I did read somewhere that IAC 2 might just be catobar - then again it may just be bull dust flying around.

Gautam said...

Anon @ 12:59PM,

Do you know why the Rafale, F/A-13, F-35C etc use catapults for take off in the first place?


That does not mean it is impossible. ANY fixed-wing aircraft can perform STOBAR, albeit at reduced performance. The MiG-29K itself is only able to take off from the Vikramaditya at 2/3rds of its full fuel and payload capacity.

In fact LCA is the least suited aircraft in the world for STOBAR because its payload is already small(only 3 tonnes). For carrier ops without catapults it will have to be reduced to 1.5-2 tonnes which will make it useless for anything more than air-to-air missions.

Anonymous said...

disinvest these good for nothing psu's and start pushing forward pvt sector on the lines of american defence industry

Anonymous said...

go for 100 rafale M s scrap this so called lca project and kick out these so called hal nal engineer's they are doing nothing but rueining tax payer,s money and encourage p sector in defence sector hal dodo only built only plastic aero models

Anonymous said...

I hate to say but Admiral's comments only shows that corruption runs pretty deep. What happened to Gorshov, Chakra, and IAC?? Navy just needs to look at itself before commenting on a development projects such as NLCA which we have just started. US has by far the most experience, skilled manpower, and money but they are still struggling with F-35. It just shows that when you try to create something it takes a lot effort and perseverance before you get finally product that is a technological leap (in terms of what country had before). Now NLCA may not be F-35 but we need to learn how to crawl, walk and then run. You can not skip any of these steps.

India can speed up this process by reorganization. Currently there is no motivation for the brightest engineers and scientists to join ADA/HAL since it lacks the flexibility to attract and retain the best talent for n number of reasons. If our Babus can understand this, things would change for good. But as along as salary of IAS is benchmark for everyone else, there is hardly any hope. Until we can say that first company that gets invited for IIT/NIT campus recruitments is ADA, things won't change. Our engineers are just happy to invite McKinsey, Google,
and Goldman Sachs. This is what ADA is competing with in terms of attracting best and brightest. The sooner our Netas and Babus realize this and take corrective measures we will be perennial importers of high technology (may be this is what many of them want).

Anonymous said...

you said:

75% indigenization the Tejas

Do not maro such a poor joke yar !!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1245. I'm sure ADA (and the nation for that matter) has the right to complain about the times the Navy has goofed up. What I'd like to see is your comparison about the number of times the Navy (or Army /AF) have got things right for this country vs the same for ADA / HAL / DRDO.

Anonymous said...

As always, crazy swings of opinion. The same guys who were ecstatic about the NP1 rollout PR farce, are now chewing ADA/ HAL for the delays. Keep things in perspective, guys, and chill. Advice for ADA/ DRDO......false promises / untenable timelines make good short term PR, but will always come round and bite you in the behind time after time after time. LEarn your lessons and move on.

Anonymous said...

For those who say LCA is a failure, I say it's not. Before calling it a failure, one must remember that this is the first fighter jet that this current generation of Indians have built or are participating. Yes, Marut was built several decades ago, but the folks who built it are no-longer building anything. LCA has developed infrastructure to build future planes. Even if IAF does not buy them in large numbers, Indians now have learnet how to build one. The next step is how to build something bigger and better. That day too will come. To me LCA was an academic project that happens to have some use in the real world. And, as such it's anything but failure. The real success will be when LCA_II and AMCA etc are built. And only failure that can happen is if GOI cuts funding for future R&D, in that case all that is gained from LCA will be down the drain in a manner similar to what happened after Marut. Is it fair to expect that DRDO/ADA build a fighter that is way better than F-22, I say not, and many of you may dis-agree, but I think the day will come when home built stuff is just a good as anything else, unfortunately that day is not today.

Mr. Ra said...

Obviously the prospects of Naval LCA-I are not much brighter, so HAL/ADA may be concentrating more on their Naval LCA Mk-II version. However they should take sincerely the serious comments from the highest official of their end users and especially when the advances have been paid by them.

As India now can not purchase the Timbuktu fighters, so it is pertinent that the real progress and planning in this matter shall be heavily expedited and clarified to the concerned.

Anonymous said...

I have a relative who is a top scientist in the DRDO (and one of the people responsible for the LCAs control laws), and he says that the Tejas is like a body without a soul. The airframe, AFCS software, weapons, and most of the goodies are ready, and theoretically the LCA can out perform the likes of the Gripen and the F-16, in both the land based as well as the naval variants. But the engine and radar have been too much for the Indian agencies to bear, especially because the government is resistant to allowing public-private partnership in these areas. Now with Snecma's involvement we can kiss a completely desi engine goodbye, and flush the Swadeshi pride down the drain. But plans are on the board to give the new engine multi axis thrust vectoring, and equip the newer LCAs with AESA radars and advanced ECM and EW suites. All we can do at this stage now is wait and watch.

Anonymous said...

hahaha,this comments section is amazin..there r people who r criticising HAL, some r defending them some seemingly "more" intelligent ones r trying to keep things balanced...experience it is...hahhahahah and blog owner himself is busy somewhere else...hahha..but tat guy must be having loads of fun..he gets to read so much of entertaining rplys..without actually posting anything...hahhaahh...think abt those tat r rejected much fun he must hav had rading those ....Shiv hasn't posted anything substantial for almost a year now..quite like...sabse tej hahaha

Anon of 3:52 AM, 12:59 PM and 2:35 PM said...

@Gautam 7:15 PM:

Sorry, you can shout all you like, but that doesn't make you correct or any less ignorant, so first relax and calm down. What you said doesn't even make theoretical sense, let alone practical sense. Your three factual errors in three paragraphs aside, I have some questions for you anyway:

1. What good is a fighter (and why haul it around the oceans on a carrier) if it can't even carry half its payload?

2. "ANY fixed-wing aircraft can perform STOBAR"? Try it with a Boeing 777 or an Airbus A400 and let me know of your results ... repeat your experiment with reduced fuel, payloads, performance, whatever you like. So yes, sometimes it is *impossible*. (They are also "ANY fixed-wing aircraft", or are they not? STOBAR puts enormous stress on a plane's landing gear, arrestor hook and fuselage/airframe underbelly. So no, "ANY fixed-wing aircraft" CANNOT perform STOBAR even at reduced payloads or performance.)

3. Even a 14 degree jump-ski (which most STOBAR carriers necessarily have) can put unbearable stress on a CATOBAR plane's fuselage, let alone fail to give it the momentum to get it airborne. Those planes are CATOBAR-only for a reason, they are HEAVY!

4. The fact that LCA is *inherently* light, is precisely what makes it *most suitable* for STOBAR. Heck, in fact get in touch with almost anybody who knows anything about the project, YES, the N-Tejas will INDEED be a STOBAR plane.

5. Give *one* *single* example in *history* where a Rafale-M, F/A-18E/F SH or F-35C took off from a jump-ski / STOBAR setup (without any modifications to their design and construction).

@Anon 9:44 PM, @Anon 11:38 PM and @Anon 12:25 AM:

I agree with most of your points. What HAL/NAL/ADA/GTRE/LRDE need are bright, *young* engineers. Also, I don't see any reason why (partial) foreign and/or private participation in these projects should not be encouraged. Now that France has been given the lucrative MMRCA deal, we could involve Dassault, SNECMA and Thales, respectively, in the N-Tejas, Kaveri and indigenous AESA radar projects. Even foreign countries develop such complex systems via joint consortiums only. The BrahMos project has been such a successful model that should be replicated.

Anon of 3:52 AM, 12:59 PM and 2:35 PM said...

@Gautam 7:15 PM,

The Naval LCA Tejas is a STOBAR aircraft (in case you don't bother researching yourself):

"... naval version of the LCA which is the STOBAR (short takeoff but arrested recovery) version ..." from:

"... the Stobar (short takeoff but arrested recovery) version of the Tejas, the LCA-Navy, has ..." from:

Anita Mal said...

I guess Rafale Marine is the obvious choice. No development cost

aks said...

just release the Tejas as a light weight trainer aircraft. can it do that atleast ?

Anonymous said...

Give ADA a year to deliver NLCA and IAF LCA in fully operational configuration. If they don't, cancel the project and fire them all.

Saran said...

Dear Shivji, And Others, I just came across this video, what it means we started one thing and changing the specifications little by little we finally end up with something else i thing this is the situation with LCA, And Navy LCA, And ARJUN MBT
Please watch this video
(may be some Already DID)

Gautam said...

@Anon of 3:52 AM, 12:59 PM and 2:35

I don't know if it is blind jingoism or simply lack of common sense on your part. But allow me to show you that the ones insulting others' intelligence are the ones who know the least.(And yes, I know that in your pride you'll have a reply ready on the grounds of 'You're the one insulting intelligence blablah!')

1)I said two-thirds, not half. I don't know if you wanted to deliberately exaggerate my post for your own ends or merely have trouble reading English.

A fighter with two-thirds of its payload can still carry a useful combat load for a considerable distance depending on its design. All air-to-air missiles weigh less than 500kg each, and even the heaviest air-launched cruise missiles used in fighters(like BrahMos-A) weigh less than 3000kg.

For example the Russian Navy's Su-27s can carry upto 6500kg of load as opposed to 8000kg on the ground. This is more than adequate for both air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons fits.


The Russians, for instance, successfully fitted Su-25UB trainers with arrester hooks to Su-25UBPs for STOBAR carrier ops despite not having very powerful engines at all; the payload they carry is negligible and they are only used for unarmed flight training, but this shows that it is quite doable.

Likewise with the Eurofighter-N and Gripen-N proposals. They themselves have said in literature that they can be configured for both STOBAR and CATOBAR, only payload and range characteristics will be about 1/3rd less for STOBAR.

3) That's why the Su-25UB got adopted to STOBAR ops with minimal modifications?

The Rafale is no tin can. And note that being shot by a steam catapult also puts a fair bit of strain on an aircraft's body, it's not a joyride. Yes, the Rafale can certainly handle STOBAR ops. It may require some modifications to its landing gear but that will be quite doable.

4) Bakwas. The LCA is being developed for STOBAR simply because the IN currently has only STOBAR carriers to use it on. As with any other plane CATOBAR would actually benefit it for carrier ops.

In any case what I said about short take-offs is true: The LCA won't be able to use the full extent of its already small payload. There's no govt babu holy mantra to magically make its engines 5 times as powerful so that it can take off at maximum take-off weight on a runway that's only 1/6th to 1/10th the length of a typical land-based one.

5) The US Navy actually considered adding ski-jumps to their carriers in front of the catapult rails in order to improve climb on their F/A-18s and even experimented on it.

Suffice to say, aside from some possible reinforcing of the nose landing gear(quite doable in a short timeframe, certainly it'll take much less time than the Naval LCA's development), there is no reason the Rafale can't be used in a STOBAR role.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:01PM... that is the exact attitude that results in a sure failure. By following you instructions, the next time we need to build a plane, we will starting from square one. What you said sounds like, take a 5 year old child, teach him for a year and have him appear for a college exam, if he fails he does not deserve to go to college. Now does that sound dumb?

If ADA/NAL cannot deliver, the reason is we do not have the expertise to build one. What would be needed is to develop that talent so that the next project we start has a better success than this one. Aircraft builders in countries like France and US have been building air-crafts for decades, they too went through difficulties in their early days, but they continues with it and are today building better planes, why? Because they did not stop working on new technology. Innovation does not happen overnight, we must be willing to fail over and over, again and again, if we have the desire to succeed. If failure is not an option, I am afraid, then neither is success.

Rohan said...

Why no news on the Def Blogs about the big C-17 deal being signed? Surely in the MMRCA noise we havent lost track of our journalistic instincts have we?

Anonymous said...

♦♦♦ Bloggers,

Most of DRDO, ADA, ISRO technicians are from south, especially Tamil nadu with names like, subramanyam, santhanam, balaji... I have heard mostly tamil names..

These people have no knowledge, will or to research of modern technology.

They are mainly working to get salary or other benefits. These people have no interest in nation building or prestige. They only work for what is given to them and by assisting foreign technicals. They don't try to understand or absorb technology because of no benefits, no money.

These corrupt and incompetent people are occupying in most of our govt institutions and psu's like drdo, ada, isro etc.

They are not appointed by their academic degrees or knowledge. They either get appointed by backdoors or relation with top babu's....

Only god can save us...

Anonymous said...

I have seen three "DHRUV" flying over Bareilly.. Any updates??

Anon of 3:52 AM, 12:59 PM and 2:35 PM said...

@Gautam 9:37 PM,

I'm loving the massive climbdown in your successive comments already, now just accept you that you were wrong (scientifically as well as common sense wise) like an adult instead of pulling the "jingoistic" tantrum just because you lost a logical argument.

1. Ooooh, "two-thirds, not half"! Chorry! Wait, your point was? Did you even read what I said ... "what is the point"?

2. Sure, please keep correcting yourself ...

3. BTW, that is exactly the point of the argument, right? "Rafale can be adopted for STOBAR use with some minor modifications!" Why not put that money into indigenous research and finish the N-Tejas project WHICH IS ALREADY a STOBAR aircraft?! Oh wait, I am obviously getting too logical for your tastes, I guess.

4. Just click on the links I sent you at 8:16 AM, end of discussion.

5. Yes, and I "considered" joining the Indian cricket team yesterday ... have you ever worked on a real project instead of just speculating and "considering" from your arm chair lately?

It's not a crime to be factually wrong, dude, just accept it.

Gautam said...

Anon above,

Suffice to say, a Rafale adopted for STOBAR would both be far quicker and far cheaper to operationalize than the N-Tejas, which as of yet isn't even fit for flying. And a far more capable aircraft to boot.

There's no point arguing this any further because the superiority of the LCA is as already cast in concrete in your mind and nothing would make you budge from your current mindset of 'I'm rite, u wrong, admit it!'

If the Indian Navy ever goes through with its plans of purchasing 50 Typhoons/Rafales/Gripens/F-35s for the Vikramaditya you will get your rude shock of seeing them delivered sooner than the N-LCA and proving better performance.

Till then you can stick with your smug presumptions and fantasies.

Anonymous said...

I do not know what is wrong with Tejas but clearly China has no such problems making copies of SU-33 like fortune cookies.

The naval tejas appears to lack serious visibility rearwards with tha prominent bulge behind the canopy.

I do not know when is coming out the Indian carrier with Catobar, so until then forget about Rafale M.

Even the Royal Navy is getting help from the USN for the electric rail gun catobar on its future carrier. And the French catobar is basically a copy of the old USN catobar design. But I would look at the USMC America class 45000 ton amphibious/carrier which can launch/retrieve 20 F35C besides all the helos and tilt-rotors.

RAT said...


Anonymous said...

I cannot believe there are people stupid enough to think the LCA is less than a monumental failure. If the Tejas had flown on schedule to spec, there would be no need for the MMRCA in the first place!

Anonymous said...

What you said sounds like, take a 5 year old child, teach him for a year and have him appear for a college exam, if he fails he does not deserve to go to college. Now does that sound dumb?

I don't think it is dumb, because unfortunately you don't understand. To use your own example, this is not a five year old, but a 30 year old who has been coached for 20 years and still can't pass an exam. Now, are you going to turn a blind eye to this and keep funding his/her education. If you are, then do it with your money, because I sure won't spend a penny from now on.

It's time to realize that there exists no accountability for this program. In-spite of numerous delays, and scathing criticism by nobody less than the IAF and the IN chiefs, has any management shakeup happened? Anything changed to tell the nation that things are going to be different? Nope. If this was a private company, you would have seen heads roll 10 years back.

My proposal is to give them a hard deadline with significant penalties, if not met. If you can't finish the job in a year, you are all fired. Simple. We'll spend that money on other programs like UAV development, missile defence etc where are doing well and can monetize better.

After 25 years, enough is enough and believe me I've been a LCA supporter for the better part of my life but this has to be done.

Gautam said...

Anon @ 5: 03AM,

Brilliantly put. DRDO/HAL have had enough free tickets from the Indian taxpayer. Even after 50 years of monopoly and experience building and developing defence equipment they still have near-zero competence in developing their own products.

Either privatise or cultivate a private competitor to HAL. The heavenly babus have hogged the sky long enough.

captainjohann said...

One can see from the comments mostly from people who donot reveal their identity for importing planes or any armament from the west.This what the US funded think tanks do in our country.Import Import Import.When the Airforce variant itself was killed by the import lobby how it can produce naval version.Ask these guys where is the threat, they will keep quiet. The navy cannot even help our fishermen in palk striats which has become the lankan navy's play ground.maldives?Nuclear submarines but these guys cannot even produce sea scooters.

Nitin said...


Most of DRDO, ADA, ISRO technicians are from south, especially Tamil nadu with names like, subramanyam, santhanam, balaji... I have heard mostly tamil names..

While I think DRDO has done a pathetic job with the LCA, I request you to stop making racist statements. It's ignorance like yours that has also kept the country behind for a long time alongwith the ineptness that we see from *everyone* at LCA.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Naval Tejas LCA should be the best choice for the Indian Navy.

Contenders :

1) Sea-Gripen -- Does not even exist. Why should India bother ?

2) Sea Typhoon -- Also does not exist. IN should Avoid this.

3) Naval Rafale : This will kill N-Tejas. Besides, huge logistical costs.

4) F/A-18 : Shall also kill N-Tejas. IN must stay away from this.

Go Naval Tejas !!

Aman_ said...

There has to be accountability. 30 years is a long enough time frame to judge the competence of an organization.

The Market has to be opened for the private sector with huge SOPS and complete autonomy to procure tech, talent and a pay for performance model.

Alternatively, Hal can be privatized a la VSNL, which will provide a quicker jumpstart to private cos due to existing infrastructure, tech etc. There is no lack of domestic cos who can easily absorb the infrastructure quickly. Examples: Mahindras, TATA, Godrej, Bharat forge etc.

The country has waited long enough, media and similar institutions need to start making noise and exposing the disasters these PSU's are. There is enough information on the internet but one hardly hears anything about the incompetence of these organizations in the mainstream media.

30+ years to make a substandard fighter.....the local blacksmith could a better job.

Abhiman said...

Aman, please don't spread falsehoods.

Who told you that Tejas LCA Navy is a "substandard fighter" ? And for your kind (mis)information, the Tejas Navy has been in development since 2003 (even the air force version is in development since 1988 anyway).

Capt. Maolankar of the Navy himself has praised the Tejas a lot. The Navy pilots are in awe of it.

Let it join the Navy, I think it will be unmatched in the Indian Ocean Region.