Total Pageviews

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

BAE Systems' TEMPEST 5th-Gen MRCA Unveilled

At BAE Systems’ Farnborough Airshow pavilion on July 16, the UK’s Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson unveilled a full-scale conceptual model of a fifth-generation MRCA that would be developed through international industrial partnerships. BAE Systems’ CEO Charles Woodburn said that the UK government’s new Combat Air Strategy—released on the same day—“is a powerful statement of intent to invest.” Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said that the RAF is "taking ownership of our next-generation capability.”
The conceptual model was generated by Team Tempest, a partnership between the RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) and the UK-based industry (including BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA UK and Rolls-Royce). The Tempest comes out as a large, manned twin-engine and twin-tail design with a near-delta wing, except for trailing-edge indentations for stealth alignment. Additional images on display next to the model also showed a scaled-down unmanned version, and industry officials have since cautioned that the model should not be considered definitive, although some wind-tunnel testing has been done already.
According to Williamson, more than US$2.65 billion would be invested in the UK’s Future Combat Air Strategy (FCAS) by 2025. The UK’s industry is contributing up to 50% of this on some of the 60 “national technology demonstrations” that form part of the FCAS. Williamson said that Team Tempest should deliver a business case by the year’s end and take “initial conclusions” on international partners (like Japan( by next summer. Further, he said, the partners could be “nations around the world, including ones that we haven’t worked with before.” He continued: “Early decisions on how to acquire the capability will be confirmed by the end of 2020, before final investment decisions are made by 2025. The aim is to have operational capability by 2035.”
Officials from Team Tempest later clarified that no commitment has yet been made to build a flying demonstrator in the near-term. “We could do some tests on existing platforms,” said BAE Systems’ Air Strategy Director Michael Christie. He added that the size of the model on display had been driven by the need for a large payload bay, whether for weapons, sensors or additional fuel. One accompanying illustration showed four small drones in the bay that could be launched in a "swarm" concept of operations. The MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Spear-3 air-to-surface PGM was also on display, but an MBDA official said that the definitive MRCA could carry future weapons from the pipeline of developments already projected by MBDA and the UK Ministry of Defence. They will likely include hypersonic and directed-energy weapons.
Conrad Banks, Chief Engineer for Future Defence Programmes at Rolls-Royce, described advanced engine technologies that would be incorporated. These include distortion-tolerant fan systems; two embedded starter-generators that eliminate the accessory gearbox and would provide greatly increased and continued electrical power; advanced composite materials providing a “step-change” in thrust-to-weight ratio; and a fully-integrated thermal management system.  Other characteristics of a future MRCA include a “virtual cockpit”; reconfigurable communications; network-enabled cooperative engagement; artificial intelligence and machine learning; “intrinsic ISR"; multispectral sensors fully integrated at the subsystem-level; and advanced digital manufacturing processes.
But Air Commodore Linc Taylor, Head of the RCO and Team Tempest, noted that a spiral strategy would be employed to leverage existing technologies. “We will re-use what’s good enough already,” he said, adding that this would particularly apply to mission data reprogramming. His boss, Air Vice Marshall "Rocky" Rochelle, Chief of Staff for Capability and instigator of the RCO, said: “We are working at pace, and breaking traditional paradigms.” He added that past lessons about unnecessarily complicated and protracted developments were being learned. While admitting, “We will get some things wrong,” he also accepted, "We should be measured by the outcomes.
In unveilling its vision for a potential successor to the Eurofighter EF-2000, the UK has thus upped the stakes in an ongoing European dogfight for supremacy in producing a fifth-generation MRCA. Nations including Japan, Sweden and Turkey are among those that the UK would be willing to work with, while the companies behind a separate Franco-German project have called for greater collaboration between European nations, potentially incorporating the UK. “The UK is fully open to international partnership,” said ACM Sir Hillier. “It is an entirely fitting way for the RAF to enter its second century.” Responding to the Tempest concept’s unveilling, Airbus Military Aircraft has said that it “is encouraged to see the UK government’s financial commitment to the project, which supports the goal of sovereign European defence capability”. “A FCAS of utmost importance to Europe’s armed forces and therefore we look forward to continuing collaborative discussions in this area with all relevant European players,” Airbus added.
Japan’s homegrown effort to develop a fifth-generation MRCA are led by the state-owned Technical Research & Development Institute (TRDI) which had, In July 2014, unveilled photographs of its then engineless experimental Advanced Technology Demonstrator (ATD-X) being towed out of a paint shop at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI) Komaki South Plant in Nagoya. The ATD-X was born out of a feasibility study programme that was launched in 2007. Originally, what is now the ATD-X was then given the enigmatic codename Shinshin, the two-kanji combination that has the general meaning of mind or spirit, but this appellation is no longer used. In addition to the undertaking of research into flight control systems that would enable super-manoeuvrable flight, a more sinister-looking, full-scale radar cross section (RCS) model was tested at a French government facility in the latter half of 2005 and displayed at the Japan Aerospace Expo in 2008 after the conclusion of that stage of development. The ATD-X’s low RCS-optimised fuselage cross section, described as like that of an abacus bead, arose from that research. The RCS model was followed by flyable, one-fifth scale models, one of which was revealed in 2006. From that year, five years of parallel research were conducted into the so-called smart skin, whereby the external fuselage structure is embedded with self-diagnostic micro-sensors.
Manufacture of the ATD-X and a ground-test airframe commenced in 2009. As its full name implies, the ATD-X will be used as a testbed for research and systems integration. The aircraft is intended to act as a stepping stone on the way toward the possible production of a scaled-up, next-generation MRCA, incorporating what have been dubbed i3 (informed, intelligent, instantaneous) technologies and counter-stealth features. Released by the TRDI, the early examples of digital mock-up (DMU) concept designs from 2011 and 2012 resembled the Lockheed Martin F.A-22 Raptor and Northrop/McDonnell-Douglas YF-23, respectively. Dubbed 25DMU (from the Japanese calendar year Heisei 25, or 2013), the latest known example incorporates some of the design features of its predecessors. Following the RCS model, a combination of a model displayed at a TRDI event in 2007 and a 1/10th scale wind-tunnel model displayed in October 2012 had already provided heavy hints with regard to the direction the ATD-X’s configuration was taking, but closer inspection of the photos from July 2014 revealed more details of the definitive version. Salient points included the four-sided horizontal tail surfaces, which had been five-sided in the full-size mockup, and the rounder air intakes. As tends to be the case in Japan’s aerospace industry, the ATD-X represents a joint effort, with one prime contractor (MHI) mating major assemblies from other companies; the wings and both the horizontal and vertical tail surfaces were supplied by Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI).
Building on earlier research that was also conducted in the 2000s, the ATD-X will be used to investigate axisymmetric engine nozzle thrust-vectoring, achieved by three “paddles” mounted around each tail pipe, similar to the system used on the Rockwell X-31. An axis-symmetric thrust vectoring nozzle is also being developed for the full-scale production model. Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) is developing the 33,000lb-thrust XF5-1 low-bypass turbofan using ceramic composites-made turbine blades. The XF5-1 has its origins in basic research carried out by the TRDI from 1991. The first of four test-engines was delivered to the TRDI in 1998, but a full five-year prototype programme began only in 2015. All things considered, the ATD-X marks an important step in Japan’s efforts to retain and build on the expertise accumulated in the production of its own MRCAs. The JASDF’s definitive F-3 fifth-generation MRCA is due to enter service in 2035.
Meanwhile, technological challenges encountered in developing the 153kN-thrust Izdeliye 129 turbofan being developed by a consortium comprising Ufa Engine Industrial Association (UMPO), MMPP Salyut Moscow Machine building Production Enterprise and Rybinsk-based NPO Saturn; as well as the unreliability of the transmit-receive modules made of Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) for the Tikhomirov NIIP-developed N0-36 AESA-MMR have forced Russia’s air force to limit its orders for the Su-57 fifth-generation MRCA to only 12 units. All these MRCAs will be powered by 147kN-thrust Saturn/Lyulka 117S/Al-41F-1S turbofans, and be equipped with N0-35 ‘Irbis’ PESA-MMRs.
Here’s the UK government’s new Combat Air Strategy document:


Just_curious said...

shouldn't India join hands with one of these mrca programs to realize its 5th gen aircraft dreams .. Its obvious that no single country can produce it on its own given the costs and tech challenges...the franco-german or the Japanese (with US collaboration) mcra
seem the most realistic ones to see the light of the day...

Ved said...

Dear Prasun,
Great article. The world is investing in 5th and 6th gen. technology and we are discussing about Tejas mkII that too at it's design stage which will be at best 4gen at best.

Why don't we seize the initiative and join any of these two or three parallel projects right from start so that by 2035 we would having 5gen. Fighters in our fleet.

jasss gill said...

Sirji any chance india co develop with BAE for next gen fighter jet.when we clearly said our so called drdo, ada, hal etc. "BETA TUM SE NA HO PYE GA"

buddha said...
Which gun they are refering.
If bulk ammount of gun is of home made it will be a good news financially and techomorally

Arun said...


How will U S look at this attempt by UK to make another Fifth Gen plane

UK has the F 35 technology

Will F 35 know how be used in this Tempest project

France and Germany are already making one new plane

Germany and UK worked on Eurofighter but now the Germans have dumped the Brits

Rajesh Mishra said...

Tempest was a British fighter aircraft participating in the WW-II. Why Britishers could not find another good name.

ashish gautam said...

(1) sir AMCA ka kya update hai latest?? full scale model?
i searched on net... nothing good found... all old stuff... ap he bta dijiye...
(2) Russians will be continuing to work on su57 in low priority mode or will completely abandon it?

bhoutik said...

*air force taking charge of the program, independence of foreign policy - seems like the brits watch the indian scene pretty closely and learn lessons. or maybe i'm reading too much into it?

*on page 15 of their combat air strategy paper, when they are talking about 'global cooperation 7 partnership', there's curiously, a picture of IAF birds with RAF ones. maybe just a coincidence, and i am again reading too much into it.

*the concept franco-german plane seems to have side facing radars exactly following the Su-57, also, this tempest mockups rear end, the section between the engine nozzles, rsembles the Su-57 as well. the russians, their struggles aside, seem to continue to be innovative and leading in many respects.

*what can turkey and sweden bring to the table? and where does the korean program fit into all this? and brazil seems to be completely missing from the picture.

*against all these developments, what do you recommend for India to do.

*that gap that you mentioned that will emerge between when India fields nuclear-powered carriers and china - is there a way to eliminate it, maybe lease an american carrier for that duration?

*what design did the Indian team pitch for the taiwanese sub contest, the german design that they bought (if memory serves correct, sorry if i'm wrong here), or something else. and what purpose does it serve, if it doesn't stand a chance. is it a political message?

bhoutik said...

*bringing up an old issue, you mentioned about many of these mughals being indian. i get the point prashun bhai, problem is their mentality and the psychosis behind it. they aspire for 'otherness' thinking it is superior or something. they imagine themselves as the conquering europeans, to us native 'reds'. most peope here in bangladesh never even heard of the marathas before the bajirao mastani movie came out, for them it was the mughals followed by the brits, nothing before, or after. if this is the case in this country, i shudder to think of the situation of pakis, and urdu speakers in India. look at the behaviour of the bollywood 'khans'. the desperation of ths shahrukh character to present himself as 'pathan'. we all know he is half south. but this guy, supposedly an educated muslim, writes articles about his 'ancestors, wind blowing in their hair, of warrior stock, riding into india', about how he was 'fair', etc. etc. the most revolting messed up mentality i've ever seen. this guy proudly once said during an interview how his wife the punjabi hindu, maintains 'purdah' in her own way! then there's saif who beleives in eugenics. the clearly central asian tribal-looking guy wants to talk race! how have Indians kept their mouths shut for so long. do i even dare bring up salman. or sania mirza. nurtured by the freedom of India, aspiring for a third rate retard form the cesspool. what explains all this behavior. point is bhai, reality might be something, but some people, many people, live in cuckoo land. and it is dangerous. and prosperity and education does not seem to work for them. they only try and rationalize their mythologies with ever more vigor. we need to re-evaluate our assumptions, like democracy did not automatically follow capitalistic economy, this might be a similar case. and there are systems that will make sure that they stay that way or get worse. u know the jamaat/islamist network in bangladesh. there have been reports out about the size of the economy they command. the madrasas now rival the normal education segment. i live with these people, interact with them every day, they are my friends and colleagues, parents and relatives. from all backgrounds and strata. the hindu-hatred is all encompassing. i kid u not prashun bhai. frightening stuff. like u say prashun bhai, irreconcilables. these strategic security reviews u keep talking about prashun bhhai, time's running out, India better get serious quick. India needs to be fixed. Don't know how. But jesus fuckin christ prashun bhai, if it isn't done within this generation... I hope u r doing something, anything.

Mohan said...

Prasun sir,
1."They will likely include hypersonic and directed-energy weapons."
Will the aircraft be using scramjet or ramjet for its future propulsion?

Anup said...

God knows when this topic will end.

Sidharth said...

Prasun da,

Can you please unveil the truth. Don't believe these defence experts.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JUST_CURIOUS: Yes, India should, but will Indis do so? No. Why? Because the technocrats & bureaucrats have succeeded in convincing the ‘netas’ of India that only the DPSUs & DRDO are blessed with all-knowing wisdom. And hence all they want to produce are technology demonstrators that fail each & every operational evaluation. And that’s why the Tejas Mk.1A will be rejected outright by the IAF faitly soon. How come? Just look at HAL’s CAD of the Tejas Mk.1A, which shows the aircraft carrying the EL/L-8222 EW pod on the outermost wing pylon! Does any other MRCA carry EW pods on its outermost underwing pylon? They are either on the inner wing pylons or on wingtips. And yest HAL hasn’t yet figured it out after 2 similar incidents in the 1990s, when it was decided to equip the MiG-27Ms & Jaguar IS with EL/L-8222 WE pods. After the DRDO/HAL combine presented its proposal to the IAF, the Ops Directorate of the IAF was shell-shocked. Why? Because HAL & DRDO were proposing to carry the EW pod on the underbelly centerline pylon, which would have meant foregoing the centerline external fuel tank, thereby resulting in combat radius reduction of the MiG-27M ^ Jaguar IS. These are just a few examples of what happens when one firmly believes that he/she is blessed with all-knowing wisdom!

To VED & JASSS GILL: Trust me when I say that the amount of money reqd for even co-developing such 5th-gen MRCAs is still considered as being cost-prohibitive by the ‘netas’ of India. They will never have the balls reqd for making such financial investments. As it is these ‘netas’ are of the firm belief that a gaping wound can be taken care of through just band-aids. These ‘netas’ are hell-bent upon upon perpetuating long-held myths (like it is cheaper to licence-build military hardware in India), i.e. they will always try to convince that 2 + 2 always equals either 3 or 5, but never 4!!!

To BUDDHA: The OFB Ishapore-developed Ghaatak SLR & the JVPC carbine. Yesterday at a seminar organized by CENJOWS, when I asked how come the US Army has totally given up using SLRs & instead relies solely on the M-4 carbine, none in the audience (which included several 3-star IA Lt Gens) could provide any answers!

To ASHISH GAUTAM: Latest yeh hain ki yeh sub AMCA ji batein sirg dhakosla aur Hawaii batein hain. Yeah log sirf apne khwaabon (dreams) main AMCA ki shakal dekhenge. Russia will continue developing the Su-57 until the Russian Air Force says it is satisfied with the final end-product. Right now, even the Russian Air Force finds the Su-57 to be a sub-optimal product.

To MOHAN: Those propulsion systems are for standoff PGMs & not for the aircraft.

To ANUP: It won’t end, but will instead continue for another 5 years, rest assured. And even after that no conclusive material evidence will emerge. That’s why the ruling party had met Christianb Michel in Dubai in an attempt to coerce him into falsely implicating Sonia Gandhi, if this programme is to be believed:

To SIDDHARTH: Yes, such armed MALE-UAVs are now being offered since India is now a signatory to the MTCR. But the offer is for armed Sea Guardians, i.e. for use over the IOR & not for use over land.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: It is Myanmar.

rad said...

hi prasun
i dont understand the hatred for hindus in Bangladesh as said by bhoutik! as we got the bastards freedom!! is it a blind hatred for all religions that permiates islam or some ting else?.Can you elaborate in that/?

pse give us some dope on the rocket -- satellite tracking ship to be commissioned it seems a record that the ship was built from 2014 and is ready by the year end??? what are the goods put on board? radar ,sensors etc , run by ntro ,?

why do you feel the iaf will reject the lca mk1 ? after all if the drdo satis fies all requirements then what will be the reason??

all these khan actors of bolly wood show their true Islamist colors once they get famous and powerfull , SRK,Salman , saif, etc inspite of being married to hindus. what will put them on track?they could not dare do it initially as they would have been kicked out of the industry?

just_curious said...


-such sad state of add more .. .. if true the this should be make it as a new benchmark for apathy!!! Can't the co's sue IN 'cuz they have invested time money & efforts to reach this stage... wot diff then between this govt & the prev ones?? the current govt seems to have gone into an extra cautious mode..
- why IA has sent out its reps for assault rifle hunting when interested parties had already showcased their wares in the recent defence expo.. it wud have been better just stick to those who have already set shop or have firm plans like iwi, lightow thales, SS LMT, Carcal, Ak, desert tech etc to set shop in India
- why are the paramilitary treated as children of lesser gods when they too face the same odds as the army
- Anything of interest for India in the farnborough air show?


Prasun Da, according to this report, MARCOS is purchasing (1) remotely operated underwater vehicles ; (2) Midget submarines . Probably being imported, but from which companies ? Thanks.

Unknown said...

In my personal assessment and I stand by it, this behaviour is because of deep rooted low sense of self esteem among indians. In goa I noted people taking pride in being half Portuguese! Low sense of self esteem and self respect explains the mess we r in today.



Harsh said...

I have had a doubt in mind for so long. Sharing it here. Except for POK and aksai chin.....whatever we see on a map of India....Do we really have that to last inch. Do we have every inch of arunachal, ladakh and uttaranchal and other bordering states as shown on map because each and every one of our neighbours is a backstabber and encroached except Bhutan.

ashish gautam said...

same is expected from them.
anyways VMT for info.
Article is really good, informative. Hope to get such a made in India (not assembled) aircraft till 2050.


Can you give a updated version if your


Anonymous said...

what is stopping India developing its own 5th gen --> only Indians themselves. Our standards are too high, except when we are importing.

Only sanctions or a real leadership will move us in the right direction. Maybe some of the NRI will come and take the lead.

I have been watching the elections in Pakland, through their papers. When they cover competition in each seat, apart from areas where Indian muslims settled-Karachi, most others are won via the tribal, clan loyalty way. All the chiefs are part of the elite. One brother is with PTI, other PMLN, other PPP. Never realized how tribal they are? Is this what gives them the stability, cohesiveness? What are your thoughts sir?


aritro data said...

when will you upload IAF gaganshakti part2??

Prranshu Yadav said...

Sir, is this the missile tracking vessel that you said is need to track MIRVs during their testing?

CSC said...


All the search results speak bat Barack er with 120km range being tested and inducted by Israeli navy, nowhere is it mentioned whether the Indian navy has even tested or inducted it. Given that it's a 60 percent range extension, we should switch to it Asap. Can you pls update

Can't understand why Lca mk1a and Lca mk2 can't proceed simultaneously given that Lca Mk 2 needs a redesign of the body itself

What are the primary differences between 1a and Mk 2

Why aren't the money saved from Fgfa being ploughed into amca and ucav with immediate effect

Rajesh Mishra said...

If Rafale were made in Italy, then it would have been the best deal on all counts.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To HARSH: How can you expect to acquire the last inch when there are no boundary pillars marking India’s northern borders, & where no joint surveys were conducted by China & India to determine where the last inches of each other’s sovereign territories lay? So, no need to get hooked on to steroids on such issues. Instead, think of the consequences of the Karmapa stazyiong put in the US for the past 1 year & about his intent to stay put there permanently. Now, try to link this with HH the Dalai Lama’s earlier statement about the next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama emerging outside Tibet. And what will happen if the Dalai Lama before he passes away decrees that his reincarnation will be authenticated not by the Panchem Lama who is under China’s custody, but by the Karmapa? Will it then mean the reincarnation could be a Tibetan who is born to Tobetan parents who are already naturalised US citizens? Such are the high-stakes games of poker played by the world’s sole superpower, unlike the gooli-danda’-type ‘surgical strikes’ that provide cheap thrills to most Indian citizens. And nowadays, these too provide temporary psychological relief to those afflicted with a very low sense of self-esteem:

Making of a Gaurakshak:

To PRRANSHU YADAV: Do go through this:

It will form part of the DRDO’s projected floating range, & will have nothing to do either with NTRO or with ballistic missile early-warning.

To CSC: Barak-8ER was never meant for the IN. It was always meant for the IAF. Where’s the quantum of manpower reqd for concurrently developing the Tejas Mk.1A & the LCA-AF Mk.2? The latter will be like the Miraghe 2000, i.e. larger airframe & greater MTOW. The former cannot even undertake tactical strike missions without its twin underwing fuel tanks. Consequently, a Tejas Mk.1A stationed in Ambala or Halwara will have to first proceed to Amritsar or Pathankot for being armed & equipped with the underwing fuel tanks, following which it will have to fly at a height of just 75 metres over ground to reach its target that’s only 15 minutes away in terms of flying time. That’s how the MiG-21FLs flew in 1971 at nighttime between December 6 and 9, 1971.

To RAJESH MISHRA: The ‘Pappu’ yesterday committed the ultimate sin by dreagging in the French President in to the debate & mentioning the contents of a private conversation he & his buddies had with the visiting French President. This is a new low in diplomatic norms in India’s history & from now on no visiting VVIP will trust the INC’s leaders when they meet in future. This all shows tghat the ‘Pappu’ is not only a moron, but is abso0lutely arrogant & uneducated—which in turn is a reflection of his poor upbringing by his parents.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAD: It is never hatred for any religion, but rather religiosity-inspired mathem that is put into play whenever there are issues of property inheritance. This was the casue during the time of partition between 1946 & 1947 & this continues to be the case, since forcible acquisition of real estate always involves big bucks. And it is this that is beautifully shown in the NETFLIX movie SACRED GAMES. As for the tracking vessel, I had already explained it all here:

As for Tejas Mk.1A, is this how the ADA & HAL satisfy the IAF’s reeqmts?

Can you shopw me any other L-MRCA in the world that carries jammer pods in their outermost underwing pylon? Can you even imagine what kind of drag penalty this will impose on the airframe?

To JUST_CURIOUS: It isn’t the IN’s fault, but that of the MoD’s bureaucracy. The IN ndever opens tender submissions, but the MoD’s finance & acquisition wing that does so. Sending out IA officials abrioad for visiti8ng various small-arms firms is an utter waste of the Indian taxpayeres’ money, rest assured. Not just paramilitary personnel, but all CAPF personnel & state police force personnel too are always treated like this, because that’s how cheap lives are in India.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: That will be supplied by L & T & I had uploaded its image in my DEFEXPO 2018 show report.

To UNKNOWN/KUNAL: That’s very true indeed, & the root of the problem is the current NCERT education syllabus, which since independence has been relying only on Caucasian interpretations of what ‘Hindustaan’ is all about.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ASHISH GAUTAM & RAT: What stops India from developing & producing her own homegrown 5th-gen MRCA? Well, you both are in luck as this explains it all:

It’s now crystal-clear that India hoped to have access to most of the critical technologies related to stealthy airframe, sensor fusion, super-cruise & supermanoeuvrability from Russia just so that they could eventually find their way on to the AMCA. I can ionly describe such aspirations as being SPECTACULARLY DELUSIONAL. By that, I mean of course this can happen, but in return India will be reqd to fork out at least Rs.2,000 crores per Su-57 MRCA. While it can be perfectly expected that India’s decision-makers are devoid of sound common-sense, their Russian counterparts certainly are not known to ditch their sound common-senses into the waste-paper basket. So what now? Elementary: no critical technological know-how/know-why from Russia through the FGFA route, & consequently no such technological applications on the AMCA either. Why so? Again, elementary: exactly how many experimental/theoretical/applied researches in particle physics, metallurgy, electronics & microbiology & chemistry are being undertaken in India for eventual application on AMCA-related hardware? How many DRDO R & D labs & academic institutions throughout India have been roped in to conduct such levels of fundamental R & D? The answer to both is ZERO. And it is for this reason that not even the project definition phase of the AMCA has been initiated. So, in the end, no RI or NRI or PIO neither internet fanboys hooked on steroids will be able to achieve all that’s reqd to. Meanwhile, the internet fanboys will continue to marvel at all the plastic-made scale-models of AMCA & will continue to ASSUME that such models are illustrative of the AMCA’s superb aerodynamic qualities (they did so & still do so WRT Tejas Mk.1A & Tejas Mk.2/LCA-AF Mk.2), while paying ZERO attention to detail WRT what is meant to go inside the airframe & how, i.e. these steroids-hooked retarded fanboys always display ZERO RESPECT for the subject of aeronautical engineering. From now on, I guess they will start making a beeline for anti-depressants! So my advice to you all is to stay sober & stay practical & rely much more on sound common-sense. If that’s not possible, then do take a stiff Patiala Peg to momentarily overcome one’s anguish & depression. I myself prefer to stick to my Guinness Stouts.

buddha said...

Really nice and eye opening discussion. I thought it to be more longer and more specific about the road map of AmCA.
The sollution of Air force lies to go for more rafale and SuMki 30 off the selvess and reject the tejasMkA 1 and opt for tejas trainer LIFT cum close air support version until tejas MK2 comes.
With My little understanding this AmCA project defination study and research and definite road map of aircraft engine and arms and stealth and radar must be started in way like the panellist pointed out with help of france in engine section and USA as design consultant.for that ultimate level quick dcsn making required.
If Rafale increases to more 6 to 8 squadrons from the current strength and off the shelves purchase of F16 Block 70 done as per 120 nos.
Indian air force no can be increased with capacity will be enhanced.
In Indian dirty politics nothing can be expected positively.

ashish gautam said...

ja sidhe sidhe shabdo mei gai bhais(AMCA) pani mei.... internet fanboys to apna b ktvaenge or dusro ka b...
anyways... better v stay on confirm contracts rather then amca etc...
rafale aa rhaaaa....
110 vala mei nai pta kon aa rha....
pappu k hath se 2019 ja rha....
or mai patiala p rha... :P
mera bank ka exam nai nikal rha..... SBI PO fir gya....
bhaaad mei jae sb kuch.... daaru/beer pio khush raho bhaiyo....

mad max said...

Prasun ji, i myself prefer Glenfidich single malt. so cheers to a lovely response and enjoy your weekend. P.S you should be the Defense Minister from 2019 onward, then probably we can make some progress.

Arun said...

Dear Sir

AMCA is atleast 20 years away

Everybody knows that

The real damage has been done by the Delays on Mk 2

When India had decided in 2010
Itself about buying GE 414
We should have started work on MK2 immediately and cancelled
Mk 1 in 2010 itself

If we had done so MK 2 would have been Fully operational by 2020

Instead we messed up the Mk 1 and went about Repairing the damage by Making Mk 1A

And only lost TIME in the process

Mk 1 is a small plane and you cannot fit all the Modern acessories and still get a decent Combat radius

This is what we are really aiming for by making Mk 1 A

Sudipta Pathak said...

Prasun Da,

1. Will LCA ever be used for strategic purposes?
2. If no, then why LCA is projected with carrying 2LGB & 1 LDP?
3. Why LCA is never projected as a tactical aircraft with multiple PGM?
4. As of my knowledge in tactical missions the laser tagging can be done hand held laser designator carried by Garud, Para SF or the soldiers on the battle field. Am I right or wrong?
5. Can the SPJ Pod be placed on the space reserved for LDP, if the LDP is not required in the mission?
6. Even if LCA needed to carry LDP for a bombing mission, so for a flight of 4 LCAs does each of them need to carry the LDP?

Suvo said...

Prasun da,your views please about this news:

Rajesh Mishra said...

Technically our main enemy is China. How much our Tejas Mk.1A is useful against China? If not much, then is it worthwhile purchasing it just against Pakistan? I think that either it should not be purchased at all or it may purchased in minimum useful numbers, if any.

Anonymous said...


With the VC11184 MRIS becoming operational by the end of the year, we should be ready to begin MIRV testing in one year to 18 months. Am I correct here ? Hopefully any land based MOTRs that need to be setup for this purpose have been set up.


RAT said...

Hi Prasun,
Thanks for one more wonderful article just shows the difference between the mindsets and approach of Japanese and the Indian aircraft developers. Just wanted to get some comments on this
It seems a curse in disguise with development of armed mini drones with AI capability will in future make it easy for precision strike or mass strikes also shows grave danger or out of control AI would spell doom for humanity. Your comments please.

Anup said...

Do u know any book or ur articles in ur blog to understand problem between Israel and the Palestinians?

Anonymous said...


Saw a recent report that the Paki SSGN is training deep seadivers from the Jaish to attack strategic assets such as our nuclear subs in port. Wo'nt a terror attack on such assets of successful require a full fledged nuclear response from our side? Is'nt commitment to full fledged nuclear retaliation in the event of sinking a nuke sub the only way to deter such attempts? Any other posture gives that side the opportunity to keep attempting indefinitely, and they need only one success out of hundreds of tries.


Kaustav said...


In your assessment, can any version/type/cateory of the Kaveri be used anywhere at all? Civilian /Transport aircraft like the Dara's or Dornier or a simple turbofan transport built around a non-afterburning Kaveri. What was the frigging logic behind setting up an independent GTRE when HAL had an engine division. If a simpler non afterburning version of Kaveri or other turbofan had been developed and flown on simpler aircraft, maybe the Trainer/LIFT versions of LCA could have been equipped with Kaveri or indigenous engines atleast.

Pierre Zorin said... these are the sort of people that should be listened to

asd said...

Dear Prasun,

Hasn't UAE kicked India's ass by handing over the wanted terrorist to Pakistan? Although India cooperated with UAE by handing over the princess by tracking her vessel, in turn got kicked. What's your say? What should be India's reaction now to UAE?

just_curious said...


Can you pls comment on the following 2 articles on their authenticity . this one talks about tejas MK1A using GaN radars!!! & is the Elta 2052 radar being 'co-developed'??

Jai Shankar said...

Bhai ashish gautam yaar itna udhas mat ho.

Ashutosh said...

Top brass of iran and pak military are continously deliberating their next synchronous steps . Thus pressure from iran border is mitigated by pak,just by chance and circumstances. I read in manishankar ayer s blog that this is one of the demirits of being 'major defence partner 'of US who will thus dictate you relations.some time ago pakistan was taught such a lesson. In this background there is a serious 2+2 talks in Sep. Pl enlighten us on the scenario build.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To BUDDHA & RAJESH MISHRA: There is ANOTHER option on the table as well, apart from acquiring additional Su-30MKIs & Tejas Mk.1 as LIFT. And that is this: the decommissioned MiG-23BN & MiG-27M airframes can easily be refurbished, they can be re-engined with AL-31F turbofans & be equipped with elements of the DARIN-3 avionics suite. The IAF’s Su-30MKIs up for mid-life refits can easily discard their existing AL-31FP turbofans in favour of the newer & greater thrust AL-41F1-S turbofans so that the discarded AL-31FPs minus their TVC nozzles can find their way on to the MiG-23BNs & MiG-27Ms. This option will easily make available up to 200 tactical interdiction aircraft available to the IAF along with substantial Indian industrial activity. In addition, this is already following:

To ARUN: Even the Tejas Mk.1A will prove to be sub-optimal for the IAF. Why? Just look at what was meant to be the original design of the Tejas Mk.1’s airframe:

One can clearly see that the wing-root is almost half-way below the copckpit-section. The existing Tejas Mk.1/Mk.1A is aerodynamically sub-optimal because thie wing-root was pushed further behind the cockpit. Fitment of LEVCONs can resolve the agility deficiencies. But the tail-section’s base will have to be broadened & fattened in order to accommnodate at least two rear-facing MAWS sensors & an ELT-568 AESA jammer for neutralising BVRAAMs like AIM-120A AMRAAM.

To SUDIPTA PATHAK: Lasing a target is always best achieved through LDPs since ground-basing target lasing cannot be done when the targets are inside hostile territory. However, in a four-aircraft formation, only 1 LDP can provide target designation/lasing for LGBs carried by all 4 aircraft. Similarly, not all platforms require ASPJs. The reqmt is for 1 ASPJ pod for two aircraft. Today several lightweight PGMs are available like the Paveway-4 LGB. Howevere, no effort is forthcoming from either ASDA or HAL to develop triple-ejector racks.

To KRITAVARMA: That’s correct.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

RAT: The threat from mini-drones can only be met by lasers. Hence I have been suggesting the development of such laser effectors that will rely on AESA-based radars for target-detection/tracking. AS version of the UTTAM AESA-MMR can easily be adapted to serve as the target detection/target engagement sensor for such laser effectors.

To SATYAKI: LoLz! The source of that was the same one that had declared that Malaysia was to deport Zakir Naik within 24 hours! And where exactly in Bahawalpur are the water-bodies where such training can be conducted? As was the case with the 26/11 attackers, training for such missions has to be conducted in areas like Keti Bundur off Karachi. But that is not the main worry. What is far more worrying is the total farce that now exists in the name of coastal security. Just read this:

To KAUSTAV: The answer is simple: NO. Just compare the photos of in-service turbofans with those of the Kaveri & you will realise just what the Kaveri is all about. One can see the photos here:

If in deed the Kaveri in its present form was a reliable solution, then by now it could easily have been down-scaled to serve as a turbofan for the Jaguar IS. But that isn;pt happening. And instead HAL is developing the HTFE-25 turbofan that has been on the drawing boards since 2007. Its core section was test-run only in December 2015 & at that time everyone was gung-ho about this engine being certified for use by 2017. Well, so far the HTFE-25 has not even flown on board any airborne testbed. The reality is that entities like HAL & DRDO have only thus far acquired the expertise to design & develop turbine-based hardware like APUs & jet-fuel starters. At least another 2 decades of further testing & refinements are reqd before the HTFE-25 can become a reality. And homegrown turbofans for MRCAs are still decades away.

To ASD: Has there been any news-report confirming that such wanted terrorists were Indian citizens? Or were they Pakistani citizens wanted by India? Let’s clarify that first before second-guessing the UAE’s motives & actions.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To JUST_CURIOUS: First report is authentic, the second one isn’t. How can an MBDA-developed LRAAM b e integrated with an Israel-origin AESA-MMR when neither OEM will part with their respective source-codes?

To ASHUTOSH: That’s not what has been happening. The PA faces a real threat from homegrown ISIS die-hards like this:

And many a time such folks are given safe haven inside Iran by the IRGC’s Al Quds Force.

MSA is the last person to lecture others about US hegemony. He always finds it highly convenient to distort historical realities. In reality, the US was a major defence partner of India between late 1962 & 1965 itself & even conducted EX SHIKSHA with the RAF & IAF in India in 1963. In addition, the US also agreed to India’s wish for stationing a US Navy carrier battle group in the Indian Ocean at that time. When several confused Indian ‘patrakaars’ asked Pandit ‘Chacha Nehru’ how this could be allowed, the Pandit had then rightly observed: how can India ever object to freedom of navigation of any foreign navy in international waters? Another example of MSA’s distorted historical recollections concerned his assertion about Pakistan’s riging economic growth rates in the 1960s when compared to India’s growth rates then. But what he failed to mention or chose to hide was that Pakistan achieved those impressive growth rates only in West Pakistan by treating East Pakistan as its colony & plundering all of the latter’s resources. Hence, it is always prudent to stay from the forked tongues & doublespeaks of creatures like MSA. And if indeed he wants to keep lecturing along, then he should try to first reform these HARAMIs who make a beeline for the US at the cost of maligning India:

Kaustav said...


VMT, After your clarifications on the AMCA, this is what I needed to know. We are indeed a client nation and our efforts on research are minimal whether fundamental or production. We need the support of developed nations to hold your kan against China. Against the Porkis of course, it is another story.they are our doppelganger, a poorer version at best.

Kaustav said...

Your reply to Ashutosh only backs up the view that India has been fortunate in being a democracy with the support of developed nations both from the western and eastern blocs. Again in that too,we have had a better existence than the Porkis who got more exploited.

Technology, Photograpy and Travel said...

the retired AF person is so frustrated any reason sir ??

Avi Das said...

Hi Prasun. I remember you having given a break up of the costs associated with the Rafale deal, or at least had discussed it. However, I can't seem to locate the particular response of yours. Could you make out a detailed response or piece on the Rafale acquisition costs and share it? With the hullabaloo happening on the Rafale deal, it would be great to have it as a reference.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To AVI DAS: Here is the breakdown:

Rajesh Mishra said...

"The decommissioned MiG-23BN & MiG-27M airframes can easily be refurbished, they can be re-engined with AL-31F turbofans & be equipped with elements of the DARIN-3 avionics suite."

This is a surprising relief. If possible, it seems this hybrid product will be more useful than the original but how much time this may take to come up. I think some short-sighted people may call it retrogressive too. Your Tejas-LIFT idea still stands undefeated. ThanX.

buddha said...

Sir under the present circumstances
Does India have the leverage or scope for going F16 in around 200 aircraft
Besides rafale counting atleast 90
Putin Trump meeting can bring relaxing mood of business russia america ..So that trade with russia and india may not face wrath of USA acts.

rad said...

hi prasun

Its high time to stop Russia playing india and china by seeing the same weapon system like the proposed corvette!

the question is why does china wan to import the corvettes when it has such ship building capabilities?

what made us give a waiver to india on the-400 deal?

as the levcons are coming on board the lca what are the benefits apart from slow landing speeds, agility comes at a price of drag for the levcons , how do qe go about it when we have a underpowerd ac?