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Friday, July 1, 2011

Tejas Mk2 MRCA’s R & D Effort Gathers Pace

The full-scale engineering development efforts of India’s Tejas Mk2 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) recently took a significant step forward when the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), in consultation with the Indian Air Force (IAF), froze the MRCA’s design, which will now have a length of 14.2 metres (1-metre more than that of the Tejas Mk1 for incorporationg a stretched nose section and a modified fuselage section aft of the cockpit for housing an expanded complement of mission avionics LRUs), height of 4.6 metres (as opposed to 4.4 metres of the Tejas Mk1) to accommodate an enlarged vertical tail-section, and a wingspan of 8.2 metres—same as that of the Tejas Mk1—that, however, will feature an increased wing area. External stores capacity will be boosted to 5,000kg (as opposed to 3,500kg for the Tejas Mk1), while the twin internal air-intake ducts will be minimally enlarged to cater to the increased airflow requirements of the 98kN thrust F414-GE-INS6 turbofan built by GE Aero Engines. The Ministry of Defence had, last January, sanctioned US$542.44 million (Rs2,431.55-crore) for ADA to develop the IAF’s Tejas Mk2 variant and the Indian Navy’s LCA Mk2 (Navy) variant so that the first Tejas Mk2 prototype can roll out by September 2013 and fly by December 2014, following which the MoD-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) would begin series-producing the MRCA by 2016. While the IAF is committed to procuring an initial 83 Tejas Mk2s, the Navy has expressed its firm requirement for 46 LCA Mk2 (Navy). Just like the Tejas Mk1, the airframe of the Tejas Mk2 will incorporate 13 major composites-built structures fabricated by TATA Advanced Materials Ltd (TAML), which was awarded the contract after the state-owned National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) expressed its failure to deliver the structures on time. Structures to be produced by TAML for each aircraft will include a rudder assembly, fin assembly, 60 carbon-fibre reinforced (CFC) wing spars, 38 wing fuselage fairing skins, 20 wing fuselage fairing blocks, 41 CFC centre fuselage components, two forward undercarriage doors and two aft undercarriage doors.

Vendor selection by the IAF for supplying various sub-systems for the Tejas Mk2 too is gathering pace. What has been confirmed thus far is that the two-way airborne operational data-links (ODL) will be supplied by HAL, which, among other systems, will be supplying a newly-designed mission computer (to cater to the increased processing requirements of the new fire-control system and IDAS), the RAM-1701AS radio altimeter, TACAN-2901AJ and DME-2950A tactical air navigation system combined with the ANS-1100A VOL/ILS marker, CIT-4000A Mk12 IFF transponder, COM-1150A UHF standby comms radio, UHF SATCOM transceiver, and the SDR-2010 SoftNET four-channel software-defined radio (working in VHF/UHF and L-band for voice and data communications), and the Bheem-EU brake control/engine/electrical monitoring system, all of which have been developed in-house by the Hyderabad-based Strategic Electronics R & D Centre of HAL. SAGEM Défense Sécurité will supply the Sigma-95N ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system coupled to a GPS receiver (which is also on board the Su-30MKI and Tejas Mk1). The open-architecture integrated defensive aids suite (IDAS), which has been under joint development by the DRDO’s Bengaluru-based Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) and Germany-based Cassidian since 2006, will include the AAR-60(V)2 MILDS F missile approach warning system, the EW management computer and Tarang Mk3 radar warning receiver (all to be built by Bharat Electronics Ltd), countermeasures dispenser built by Bharat Dynamics Ltd, and Elettronica of Italy’s ELT-568 directional jammers (now being installed on the IAF’s MiG-29UPGs), which make use of active phased-array transmitters for jamming hostile low-band (E-G) and high-band (G-J) emitters. The redesigned digital flight-control computer will be built by BEL, while the HMD chosen is the TARGO from Elbit Systems. For tactical strike missions, the ‘Tejas’ Mk2 will be equipped with the Litening-3 LDP, supplied by RAFAEL Advanced Defence Systems of Israel. The actuated retractable aerial refuelling probe, mounted on the Tejas Mk2’s starboard cockpit section, will be supplied by UK-based Cobham Mission Equipment. The same vendor will also supply the pneumatic air-to-ground stores ejection systems like release units, practice bomb carriers, multiple stores carriers, AGML-3 triple-rail launchers, and high-velocity ejection launchers, almost all of which are already operational on the IAF’s fleet of BAE Systems Hawk Mk132 lead-in fighter trainers. Cobham will thus join a growing list of foreign vendors associated with both the Tejas Mk1 and Mk2, which include Intertechnique SA, SAFRAN Group’s SAGEM Défense Sécurité subsidiary and IN-LHC ZODIAC of France; US-based GE Aero Engines, Hamilton Sunstrand, EATON Aerospace, MOOG, and Goodrich Aerospace; UK-based CHELTON Avionics, Penny + Giles, and Martin Baker (supplier of Mk 16LG zero-zero ejection seats); Italy’s Secondo Mona; and Germany’s Cassidian and Faure Herman. Indian companies involved include HAL, TAML, Data Patterns Pvt Ltd, Government Tool Room and Training Centre (GT & TC), and SLN Technologies Pvt Ltd.

By the year’s end, the IAF is expected to select the foreign vendor for supplying the integrated fire-control system (including an infra-red search-and-track sensor, or IRST, integrated with an AESA-based multi-mode radar), and a frameless canopy actuation system. The former, which will, in essence, dictate the Tejas Mk2’s combat capabilities, is likely to keenly contested by vendors from the US, France, Israel and Italy. US-based OEM Raytheon intends to offer its RACR AESA-based MMR along with a chin-mounted IRST sensor, while THALES Avionics is likely to propose a scaled-down variant of its RBE-2 AESA-based MMR integrated with the nose-mounted Optronique Secteur Frontal (OSF) IRST, which comprises two optical modules. The right-side module has a long-wave (8-12 micron) infra-red sensor used for target search and track out to 90km in ideal conditions. The left-side module carries a CCD TV camera for daytime target identification. The system also includes a laser rangefinder for use against airborne targets. The OSF is primarily an air-to-air search, track, identification, and localisation sensor, with a limited air-to-ground localisation and identification function as of now. A future enhancement of the OSF will include a night target-identification function (for precision air-to-ground strikes and anti-ship operations) based on a mid-wave IR sensor that would replace the CCD TV camera. The ELTA Systems subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is expected to proposed its EL/M-2052 AESA-based MMR integrated with an in-house nose-mounted IRST sensor, while Selex Galileo of Italy will most likely propose its Vixen 1000ES AESA-based MMR  integrated with its 55kg Skyward nose-mounted IRST. Choice of the optimum combination of air combat missiles (both within-visual-range and beyond-visual-range) will be totally dependent on which fire-control system is finally selected, with the principal contenders being Raytheon (AIM-9X/AIM-120C AMRAAM), RAFAEL of Israel (Python-5/Derby), MBDA (MICA family) and Russia’s Vympel JSC (RVV-MD/RVV-SD combination), which IAI/ELTA Systems will likely propose in case the Python-5/Derby solution is rejected by the IAF.—Prasun K. Sengupta

42 comments:

flanker143 said...

thanks a lot for posting such a wonderful update on the tejas mk2 !!!

anyways any news on the cfts for the mk2....plus if they are integrated with mk2 is there a chance of them being used on the mk1 ??

are the intakes going to be be slightly bigger but they will have the same design right ??

any news of rams being developed to reduce mk2 rcs ??

what will be the empty weight , fuel load and mtow of mk2 ??

which irst sensor has israel on offer for us to be used with elm 2052 radar ??

is there any update on the sudarshan lgb....there were news stating that they were also adding gps guidance to improve its accuracy ??

if an irst sensor in conjunction with a radar is able to detect a ground target and its gps cordinates be generated by the ranging done by the radar , can it be used to guide a gps guided pgm like in the case of mk2 and su 30 mki ??

are we going to use any towed decoy on the mk2 as u said in the previous post mk2 ?? plus if we use them will it be necessary to place them on the outermost pylons or do we have to sacrifice a pair of pylons in order to use the towed decoys ??

will tejas mk2 have the fuel dump capability , i mean even the iaf version ??

any news regarding the use of twin 8*20 displays you mentioned in the previous post ??

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

Thank You very much for this Wonderful news of progress in LCA MK 2

I Must say here that you put A LOT of time and efforts for giving Defence Information to us KIDS

And you patiently reply to ALL queries and too in detail

buddha said...

It looks Tejas mk2 will be a true multi-role 4gen+ aircraft....

Anonymous said...

Prasun,

Really excellent article. Thanks/i just hope things work out as planned on the Mk2.

On your earlier post regarding the Mirage 2000 upgrade, read an article by PTI that 3 Billion $ upgrade (2.1 a/c upgrade/0.4 weapons- 400 MICA's/0.5 for upgrade of infrastructure) is being put up by the MOD to the CCS for approval in their next meeting within July.

As your Post clearly and logically points out that the Upgrade does not make too much long term sense.......there must be some reason why the IAF would want it ??

One reason (not very logical) could be that the IAF/MOD, for whatever reasons, will go in for the Eurofighter (ties down 4 countries to India)....and, since it will take time to really develop it's ground attack capabilities (2014-15), the Mirage UPG would pitch in till then. (and, also keep the French on 'our side'); and the slow rate of Upgrades (82 months+) is to keep the minimum aircraft off operations. Does not make too much sense, and costs a bomb.

More logically maybe that...the Mirages form the frontline delivery systems of our Nuclear Command, more than any other System; tried and 'tested' SOP in place for a long while(specially the 2-seaters); Support Infrastructure well in place; pilots well trained/well practised on it; all hardwired and geared up for Nuclear delivery (with israeli/indian help............ which is what the IAF would not be able to do with the Rafale/Eurofighter for a long while. Also, that may explain the long-upgrade period (can't take too many aircraft off-line). So, we retain the Nuclear delivery Mirages till 2030 at least, till they are replaced by SRBM's/MRBM's etc.(land and sea based).

Guess my imagination working full time !!

Anonymous said...

Can you tell us what you think as the best combination of subsystems for Lca mk2 including weapons ?

I thought IAF will be inducting close to 200 LCA, any indication of IAF will be placing order in future ?

Is there any indication of production to be shifted to some other company ? Their were reports that ADA was looking for some other company...

What will be the cost of each LCA ?

Is it possible that ADA will meet their deadline because there are alot of tenders which they will be issuing and then the integration and testing of these components will take time ?

Do you think its safe to say that LCA mk2 will be in the line of 4.5th gen fighters which participated in MMRCA ?

Is LCA-n mk2 better than IN's Mig29 ?

What happened to the Mayawi EW suite which India and Israel were developing ? It was meant for our future fighters and Israel was planning to use it in their F35...

What is the progress of our aesa radar which we were developing for LCA ?

What is the progress of the new advanced version of Greenpine LRTR (1500 km range) which we were developing for our BMD program ?

Our BMD will take a few more years to get into service, are we looking for replacement for time being ? Because there were reports of our interest in Patriot system...

Has Sri Lankan government placed an order for 20 LCH ?/ I read it on wiki...

What is the progress of TCS project (Tactical communication system) and those dedicated fiber optics network for armed forces ??

Anonymous said...

sir plz explain what is the diff between virgilus ews , mayavi ews and idas
all the above stuff is very confusing...plz expain exactly what will be going into what ??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Flanker143: The use of CFTs is being explored only for Tejas Mk2, and not the Mk1. Based on flight-tests of the Mk2, the IAF will take a call on whether or not CFTs are reqd, since aerial refuelling capability will be available. In any case, the Tejas Mk2 will not be configured for deep interdiction, therefore a strike radius of 150nm will more than suddice. The air intake size will be minimally enlarged, but will retain the existing design. RAMs are already available to the IAF from the DRDO and will be applied for sure. The actual weight figures will be available only after the flight tests. Fuel load will be the same. IAI/ELTA has its own in-house IRST solution which has not yet been unveilled. No new updates on the Sudarshan LGB. GPS-guided PGMs are launched from standoff distances beyond the visual reach of IRST sensors or LDPs. No towed decoys will go on the Tejas Mk2 as of now. Fuel-dump capability is there on every fourth-generation combat aircraft. The PAMLCDs will be selected only next year.

To Anon@2.19PM: Mirage 2000THs were only ‘explored’ as nuclear bomb delivery platforms. They were never operationalised as such. Once the nuclear warhead-carrying air-delivered munition (ADM) becomes available, the Super Su-30MKI will be used as the launch platform, not the Mirage 2000.

To Anon@2.25PM: The ideal combination would be 12 150kg LGBs carried by triple ejector racks mounted on four underwing pylons, a Litening-3 LDP, and two within-visual-range air combat missiles. Lightweight LGBs like Israel Aerospace Industries’ MLGB, SAGEM’s AASM and Lockheed Marrtin’s Scalpel will be the optimum small diameter weapons against hardened static targets as well as manoeuvring armoured vehicles. Lightweight PGMs like Brimstone and Nimrod are also good options. Orders for the Tejas Mk2 can always be placed in batches, and not in one go. HAL will have the sole final assembly line for the Tejas Mk1/2. Each Tejas Mk2 is estimated to cost upwards of US$42 million. Testing the vendor-developed items is not time-consuming at all. Instead, it is the systems integration phase that is challenging and time-consuming. Yes, it will be in the league of Gen 4.5 MRCAs. Definitely! With an AESA-MMR the LCA (Navy) Mk2 will have superior air combat capabilities vis-à-vis the MiG029K/UPG. Mayawi IDAS is being developed along with Cassidian and ELT, not IAI. No one in India is developing an AESA-MMR with anyone. What will be co-developed will be the fire-control system and overall mission avionics architecture. There was never any programme to indigenously develop any AESA-based LRTR. The only such LRTRs presently on Indian soil are the two IAI/ELTA-supplied EL/M-2080 Green Pines. There is no immediate operational Indian reqmt for a BMD system. The DRDO-proposed system is unlikely to be perfected before the end of this decade. Why on earth should Sri Lanka order the LCH when it has no worthwhile target left anymore on its soil against which the LCH may be employed? The TCS is progressing on schedule but the fibre-optic network programme is way behind schedule because of BSNL’s inability to implement the turnkey project.

To Anon@2.25PM: Mayawi and IDAS are one and the same,i.e. the overall EW suite. This in turn is broken down into the Tarang Mk3 radar warning receiver, AAR-60(V)2 MILDS F laser warning receiver-cum-missile approach warning system, an EW management computer, and the Virgilius internal self-protection jammer.

Anonymous said...

Kindly share your opinion with respect to the advancement in UAV by China mentioned in the following article and what will be it's impact on India

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/asd/2011/07/01/02.xml&headline=Innovative New Chinese UAV Emerges&channel=defense

Anonymous said...

An encouraging article.

buddha said...

is there any news regarding HAL HJT 39 / CAT and HAL HTT-40 and NAL Saras '''
thanks

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasun.. A nice post... can you elighten on the following...
1)Will the hardpoints increase? with over 5 tonne it would be better to have more hard points
2)You have mentioned the fuel load will be same .. but i read an article which state that there will be more internal fuel especially on the ADA design manual..
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/media/AeroIndia2011/shiv/tejas-mk2.jpg.html
If so will there be any change in landing gear position just like Griphen NG?

Your inputs will definitely enlighten every one visiting the page

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.31PM: The Sichuan-based Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute has designed two turbofan-powered HALE-UAVs since 2000: the Xianglong Soar Dragon UAV, first shown in November 2006 and built by Chengdu Aircraft Corp (CAC), and the Tian Yi-3 or Wuren Zhencha-2000 (WZ-2000), built by the Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation (GAIC) and first revealed in November 2000. While the Xianglong Soar Dragon is optimised for high-altitude broad area surveillance for the PLAAF, the Tian Yi-3 or Wuren Zhencha-2000 (WZ-2000) is optimised for the PLA Navy for broad area maritime surveillance. The rollout of these two HALE-UAV models demonstrates China's mastery over 1) satellite-based real-time command and control over manned/unmanned airborne platforms, and 2) advanced airframe manufacturing processes such as injection-moulding. To date, 52 new UAVs developed by 70 state-owned R & D institutions have emerged. All operational MALE-UAVs and HALE-UAVs are considered strategic assets and placed under the direct command of the 2nd Department the Central Military Commission’s General Staff Department. To cut a long story short, India is at least 15 years behind China when it comes to developing and fielding UAVs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@2.56AM: There's absolutely no need to increase the number of hardpoints since the existing eight hardpoints are more than enough to cater to a varied mix-and-match of PGMs, LDPs and air combat missiles. The Tejas Mk2 will be optimised for undertaking effects-based operations (for both air superiority and tactical air interdiction), therefore, the tonnage of weapons carried is irrelevant and immaterial.
The Tejas Mk2 brochure does not say that there will be increased 'internal' fuel capacity. It instead says 'increased fuel capacity', meaning the Tejas Mk2 will be equipped with up to three different types of external fuel pods depending on the operational scenarios. The landing gear configuration of the Tejas Mk2 will be the same.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To buddha: The HJT-39 CAT was being mulled when the Hawk Mk132 LIFTs had not been contracted for. Now with the Hawk Mk132s available, there's no need for the HJT-39 and therefore it has been canned. Regarding the HTT-40, here too is a collosal waste of money, just like the money to be spent on importing LUH/LOH platforms. If the PC-7 Mk2 deal goes through along with that for the Eurocopter AS.550C3 Fennec LOH/LUH, the IAF and the Indian Army will then become the world's only air force and army to induct two separate, near-identical platforms--imported and home-grown (in terms of performance parameters) to perform the same missions. Since the PC-7 Mk2 basic turboprop trainers are an immediate necessity, logic demands that the HTT-40's R & D effort be scrapped ASAP, since the time for developing an indigenously designed basic turboprop trainer has long elapsed (in the early 1990s, when HAL's HTT-35 project should have been approved). As for the LOH/LUH reqmts, again logic demands that if HAL indeed is capable of delivering these helicopters on time, then the import of Fennecs should be stopped and as an interim solution, more than 80 existing SA.315B Lama/Cheetah helicopters should be re-engined with Turbomeca TM333-2B engines and upgraded with glass cockpits and a self-protection suite to serve as interim LOH/LUH platforms until the arrival of the HAL-designed LOH/LUH.

Anonymous said...

@prasun July 2, 2011 6:56 AM

I think your last comment explains why they have gone in for foriegn LOH/LUH inspite of planning an indigineous one, basically- 'Level of Indigineous capability and time taken to deliver this capapbility' wrt the IAF.

Having it is a good thing, but if I were a punter I would not bet on them coming on time.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir
Any news on NIRBHAY Missiles

Also whether India will INITIALLY Buy PAK FA

What if FGFA gets infintely delayed

Sangharsh said...

Prasun..., I think you are contradicting yourself here on AESA-MMR. See this...

" 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)...."

This was posted by you sometime back in LiveFist.

buddha said...

Rafale D Semi-Stealthy jets offered to India
How far it is going to influence India......hope it will provide a good way to build AMCA(4.5++) fighter

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Sangharsh: It isn't a contradiction, but a reflection of what was then said by the DRDO versus what is the reality today. At the time of commenting on LIVEFIST it was the DRDO that had issued statements and visual graphics to claim that an AESA-based MMR would be developed for the Tejas Mk2. By early 2011 it had emerged that not only had the earlier HAL-developed MMR had been dumped in favour of the EL/M-2032, but the IAF had subsequently mandated that an imported AESA-based MMR for the Tejas Mk2 be made available by 2013 for systems integration work to get underway ASAP. Imported, because the DRDO has yet to prove its in-house R & D capabilities, reqd for developing any kind of AESA-based radar, be it ground-based or airborne or space-based. If European countries take 16 years to field a modern AESA-MMR, it is anybody's guess how long the DRDO will take to develop one.

To buddha: Whatever follow-on versions of the Rafale are developed by Dassault Aviation will definitely be made available to India in case the IAF selects the Rafale as the M-MRCA. Let's not worry about the AMCA at the moment, and instead wait and see how the Tejas Mk2 and FGFA shape up.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@11.38AM: The Nirbhay will be a UAV-simulating drone. As you may be aware, the Lakshya drone has been an utter failure and presently Italian Mirach 150 drones are being used for air defence gunnery training purposes by both the IAF and Army at Suryalanka and ITR Chandipur. The Nirbhay will replace the Lakshya within two years, provided it is unveilled next year, as promised by DRDO Chief Dr V K Saraswat during the Aero India 2011 expo last February. Let's hope he keeps his promise this time.
As for the PAK-FA being procured in case the FGFA is delayed, that depends on whether the Russians themselves will be able to field the PAK-FA within the timeframe they're claiming, at this point in time.

Anonymous said...

sir we have option but most of them won't be viable....

elm 2052 is good but the missiles they have on offer arn't goof enough and as u said IAF rejected them....

racr is good but i don't think us will allow us to use them with signing those agreements....

vixen 1000es isn't gud enough...

and not much is known about rbe aesa...

so acc to u what wud be the best option (radar) with the set of armaments avaiable with it....

Anonymous said...

Which proposed Radar is best in your opinion and why. Please inform.

Anonymous said...

sir are ntejas like levcons proposed for the mk2....
Do levcons improve the agility as in the case of tejas ??
How can we integrate our astra missile on mk1 and mk2 platforms of vendor denies us the source code....!!??

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.53PM: I never said the IAF has rejected any air combat missiles as yet for the Tejas Mk2. The competition is still ongoing. Both the RACR and SABR AESA-MMRs are available without any preconditions. If the F414 turbofans are available without any preconditions, there's no reason why the AESA-MMRs from the US shouldn't be. The Vixen-1000es has already been selected by Saab for the Gripen-NG and it is derived from the Captor-E and therefore, there's no reason to doubt the Vixen-1000es' capabilities, just as the RBE-2 is maturing day by day. By in terms of proven performance parameters, no one can presently compete with the RACR (derived from the APG-79) and SABR (derived from the APG-81). Armaments packages can be acquired from anyone (US, France or Israel), depending on the operational reqmts.

To Anon@10.31PM: No LEVCONs for the Tejas Mk2, but the LCA (Navy) Mk2 will have LEVCONs. And no supplier of AESA-MMR has thus far denied India access to the reqd source codes.

Anonymous said...

What happened to ATGM ? Are we selecting Spike or Javelin ? When is the deal going to be signed ?

Is there any indication of our forces purchasing more Dhruvs or proposed LUH from HAL ?

Is HAL going to produce a naval version of LUH ?/

There are reports of French offering us the stealthy version of Rafale. Any truth in this ?

Are we really gonna spend 11-12 billion $ on Project 75I ? Turks recently signed a deal for 6 U214 subs at a cost of 2 billion euro. Why in the gods name we wanna spend so much on just 6 SSK ? There is nothing justifying this much spending...

How much a single Amur 1650 costs ?

When is our AIP fuel cells going to be operational ?

NAL will be producing a military version of RTA-70 and HAL will be producing civilian version of MRTA. Why are our companies producing 2 separate military transport aircraft in the same category ?

Is there any indication for a heavier aircraft to be produced by any of the two aircraft manufacturer ?

Is NAL Saras going to be used as a replacement for Dronier ? If yes then will there be a maritime surveillance version of Saras too ? How many Saras will be inducted in our forces ?

What is going on with IA's artillery modernization plan ? Is IA going to wait for DRDO or not ?
Any chance of BAE winning the order ?

Anonymous said...

Dear Prasun..Thanks for your kind reply on Hardpoints and increased fuel capacity... while it is really tricky how DRDO did there PR (seemingly look like internal fuel increase)... but what i want to know from your opinion is that.. Tejas is already carrying 2*1200 litre on the wing and one 800 litre in the center fuselage.. so are they going to increase to 2000 litre tank like Rafale does?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

That option always exists, since a higher-thrust turbofan will result in increased external payload capacity for the Tejas Mk2.

THINK TANK said...

First We Missed The Oppourtunity....When Sweeds offered us to co-develop a fighter(now known as GRIPEN)...now lack of vision is shown all arround. Atleast DRDO-HAL-MOD...should learn something from chinese tooo.A small LCA is of no use...I think it is not equal to Chinese J-10, India needs a fighter to match J-10 not F-7....Rest BHAGWAN HI MALIK HAI...:-[

joydeep ghosh said...

Dear

Prasun

I am new to your blog, going through it makes me feel that your blog covers extensive topics and you take time in relying to querries of readers, which is very good.

I am making some points, hope to get answered on them.

In the case of upgrades i heard IAF has issued RFI for upgrades and spares of IL-76 aircrafts, any news on that.

In case of Mirage 2000 upgrades do you really feel with MMRCA, LCA Mk2, AMCA in the pipeline we really need to upgrade them.

Dont you think IAF buying the Mirage 2000 from Greece as the country tries to get off a economic crisis and also because it cant maintain them, is a better option. We all know the Greeks have the latest Mirage 2000s that were the last to come out of the production line.

Also there are reports that UAE plans to replace its entire fleet of Mirage 2000s with Rafale, with Dassualt buying the jets. Buying some of these Mirage 2000s may be a better option. Awaiting your response

thanks

Joydeep Ghosh

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Joydeep Ghosh: The RFI was for outsourcing the maintenance of the IL-76MDs preferably to an outside party similar to what the Indian Navy has done with Rosoboronservice India and Krasny Marine. That's precisely the reason why the Indian Navy has never had a spares shortage for Russia-origin equipment of the kind the IAF is now facing. Secondly, the IAF's Maintenance Command now needs to retrain its existing human resource manpower to begin servicing the C-130J-30s and in future the C-17A Globemaster IIIs. Therefore, something has to give way, and the best option is to outsource the maintenance reqmts of the IL-76MD and IL-78MKI-90 fleets to an India-based private party. That's what is happening now.
Regarding the Mirage 2000s from Greece or UAE or Qatar or Egypt, it all depends on the price offer, since id India were to acquire them, they would not be able to get upgraded--unlike the MiG-29UPG---with new engines. For more on this issue, kindly read up: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.com/2011/06/giving-realistic-options-chance.html

joydeep ghosh said...

@Prasun

I dont understand your point that Mirages 2000s from Greece cant be upgraded. These are the newest planes, newest airframes and engines with the delivery of the last in early 2007.

Also I asked that in case of Mirage 2000 upgrades do you really feel with MMRCA, LCA Mk2, AMCA in the pipeline we really need to upgrade them.

Thanks

Joydeep Ghosh

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Joydeep Ghosh: The Mirage 2000-9s of Greece are highly unlikely to be up for sale, while the older Mirage 2000s acquired in the 1980s could be disposed off. I was referring to the upgrade options for these Mirage 2000s. But as I had explained earlier in my earlier posting, it makes no financial sense to upgrade the IAF Mirage 2000s as offered by the French. If at all the upgrades are reqd to be undertaken by the IAF, then other alternative options/offers need to be considered seriously, since the Mirage 2000s can be maintained in service until the early part of the following decade. It is all explained at: http://trishul-trident.blogspot.com/2011/06/giving-realistic-options-chance.html

Scott B. said...

Couple of quick questions, both of which based on this poster shown at Aero India 2011 :

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_o_no4M2xEPY/TVIIBU4v0hI/AAAAAAAAMcQ/yDV-C7UohmM/s1600/DSC00632_2-737172.JPG

1) Tejas Mk2 length :

a) It says on the poster that length for the Tejas Mk2 will be 13.7 meters (i.e. 0.5 meters more than Tejas Mk1).

b) You state in your blog entry that the Tejas Mk2 "will now have a length of 14.2 meters (i.e. 1.0 meters more than Tejas Mk2).

Has the Mk2 design been modified between Aero India and now, or is there another explanation that might account for this difference ?

2) Tejas Mk2 fuel :

a) The poster shown during Aero India 2011 mentions an "increased fuel capacity" for the Mk2 (last bullet point under Upgrades), which seems supported by the addition of internal fuel tanks visible in the inboard profiles shown during Aero India.

b) You state in the comments that "Fuel load [for the Mk2] will be the same [as the Mk1]".

Same question as above : has the Mk2 design been modified between Aero India and now, or is there another explanation that might account for this difference ?

Thanks in advance for any clarification you could provide on the above.

Best regards.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Scott B: The four-page booklet on the Tejas Mk2 which was prepared by ADA for distribution at Aero India 2011 was done at a time when the aircraft’s final design was still a work-in-progress. It was only last June that the final design modifications were agreed upon and it was then decided to stretch the fuselage by 1 metre to accommodate the extra avionics LRUs that the IAF wanted on-board. Regarding the term ‘increased fuel capacity’ it is interesting that the ADA booklet fails to qualify it with either ‘internal’ or ‘external’ wordings. In fact, the modifications reqd for enlarged air-intake ductings to cater for increased airflow for the higher thrust F414-IN56 turbofan have left very little room for additional internal fuel tanks. What is now being explored is whether or not it would be possible to ensure increased fuel storage on the wings, which would feature enlarged wing areas. To me, however, this appears unlikely and therefore in all probability any increases in fuel load will most likely come from larger external fuel tanks than the existing 1,200-litre fuel tank.

Scott B. said...

To : Prasun K. Sengupta

Thanks a lot for the clarifications. One more question if I may...

Based on the Aero India 2011 leaflet and various comments heard here and there, my perception was that the AESA was NOT going to b part of the Mk2 package INITIALLY, and would be retrofitted at a later stage.

In your very informative article, you seem to suggest that the AESA will now be part of the INITIAL Mk2 package.

Am I interpreting what you wrote correctly ? Is the AESA now firmly part of the INITIAL Mk2 package, or is it still subject to changes in the future ?

Thanks in advance.

Scott B. said...

To : Prasun K. Sengupta

One more comment...

I've heard rumours (during Bourget 2011) that, while the IAF was perfectly happy with the 98 kN delivered by the F414-GE-INS6, the IN was pushing for more thrust for a couple of reasons :

1) to compensate for the extra-weight of the Naval variant (400 to 500 kg ?).

2) to increase the T/W ratio so as to get the most on a parameter that's critical for STOBAR.

As might be anticipated, said rumours were clearly about the F414-EPE and its 120kN thrust...

Is this something you've heard about, or are these mere rumours at this stage ?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Scott B: AESA-based MMR will be standard fit on the Tejas Mk2 LCA as well as on the LCA (NavY) Mk2, according to IAF and Navy HQ, as was clarified and confirmed to me by the present-day IAF Chief of the Air Staff on February 11, 2011during Aero India 2011. For the Navy's reqmt for a 120kN higher thrust variant of the F414-IN56, it is still too early to take a call on this since the LCA (Navy) Mk1 will be used for carrier deck-landing trials between early 2013 and 2015, and only depending on how it all goes, design/re-engineering work on the LCA (Navy) Mk2 will begin by 2016. Therefore, it would be premature to discuss anything about the LCA (Navy) Mk2's assumed extra weight at this stage.

Anonymous said...

hello prasun, i would like know more about the aigility an maneuverability of the tejas mk2. upon watching the videos of the mk1 i am of the opinion that itl be a sitting duck in a dog fight. And compared to it the jf-17 was far more maneuverable. so what is your opinion about the mk2 with regard to its roll pitch yaw ,sustained turn rate things which would really make differnces in a close up fight..

rancho said...

I don,t like the range of TEJAS.850 km range is enough for any mission???? even it carry external fual tank then it has to sacrifice with weapon load.I am really confused on this project

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Samuel Diaw said...

LCA-MK2 is a potential game changer that could threaten fighter aircraft export industries of Sweden, France, and Israel. But, in order to achieve this dream there are many pit-falls:
#1.India absolutely needs an Indian fighter aircraft engine of the quality and specs of EJ200 Tranche-3 & F414-GE-INS6 with 360 degrees full TVC nozzles.
#2. Dependencies on foreign vendors engines for the LCA & AMCA projects is a disaster waiting to happen!
#3. In order to achieve indigenous reliable fighter aircraft engine technologies, a strong steering committee needs to be formed at center under Defense Ministry to strictly monitor GTRE's R&D efforts in this area. If GTRE appears to be failing in their endeavours then, fresh efforts with consultancies from Russia RD-33MK and EuroJet EJ200 engine manufacturers may have to be called-in.
#5. Bottom-line if not for the LCA series the AT LEAST for the AMCE we MUST have Indian built TVC engines!