LCA Tejas Mk1 & Mk1A - News and discussions

randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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As per your own assertion , we have a difficult situation till 2025

So what else is a solution

There's no solution. It's just a lesson to all that if you screw up, you will suffer for it later. What goes around comes around.

Second-hand jets are not a solution. Neither Taiwanese nor French Mirage 2000s, even if available, will require upgrades, which won't happen until after 2025 even if we sign up today.

Our only immediate solution is to upgrade whatever we have with better weapons, like getting a decent number of Derby ERs for the MKIs and LCAs within the year. And hope that the LCA project is not delayed any more than it already has.
 

_Anonymous_

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Dec 4, 2017
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As per your own assertion , we have a difficult situation till 2025

So what else is a solution
The short term solution lies in re activating the MKI lines & producing another 50-60 of them. When the Super Sukhoi upgrade happens the IAF always have a choice of upgrading the MKIs inducted in the early 2000s into Super Sukhois or seeing they're the first to be retired by the 2040's . Alternatively they could see partial upgrades.

We could go in for the whole cache of the 50 odd MiG-29s in Russia & upgrade them.

We can go in for the re engining of the Jaguars although this is a bit of a sub optimal solution.

Finally, we can sign the contract for 36 Rafales immediately, insist on Dassault to start delivering them by 2023 onwards instead of the usual 30 - 36 months lead time , lean on the GoF to lean on Dassault & finally lease 1-2 squadrons of Rafales immediately till such time all the deliveries ( including that of the forthcoming 36 Rafales) are expedited.

Even if we accomplish some of the above suggestions , we'd be in a better situation in a few years. Yet we'd do no such thing & in a crunch we'd say we'd fight with what we have.
 

Lolwa

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Feb 6, 2020
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Its the operational cost. Single engine jets are less expensive to maintain compared to twin engine jets.
The maintenance time and take-off times is also comparitively shorter if I'm not wrong. So single engined Jets can do faster interception too. For a short distance like J&k airspace..
 

Lolwa

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Feb 6, 2020
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The short term solution lies in re activating the MKI lines & producing another 50-60 of them. When the Super Sukhoi upgrade happens the IAF always have a choice of upgrading the MKIs inducted in the early 2000s into Super Sukhois or seeing they're the first to be retired by the 2040's . Alternatively they could see partial upgrades.

We could go in for the whole cache of the 50 odd MiG-29s in Russia & upgrade them.

We can go in for the re engining of the Jaguars although this is a bit of a sub optimal solution.

Finally, we can sign the contract for 36 Rafales immediately, insist on Dassault to start delivering them by 2023 onwards instead of the usual 30 - 36 months lead time , lean on the GoF to lean on Dassault & finally lease 1-2 squadrons of Rafales immediately till such time all the deliveries ( including that of the forthcoming 36 Rafales) are expedited.

Even if we accomplish some of the above suggestions , we'd be in a better situation in a few years. Yet we'd do no such thing & in a crunch we'd say we'd fight with what we have.
Why don't we produce supersukhoi's instead of making more MKI's?? Producing More MKI's in the current form will be a futile exercise. It's much better if we decide the specs of the super-sukhoi and manufacture them with whatever we have developed like the uttam and the electronic warfare suite and mission computer and also the al-41. That will also make the upgrade for the rest of our mki fleet cheaper and we will have atleast a squadron of aircrafts that can take on the j-16's and j-10's..
 

Milspec

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From whatever little i've read, single engine jets have better response time than dual engine jets. Also, since the role being talked about is interception, those mere seconds saved are extremely precious. Apart from the monetary angle, its the role. For point defense role, a simple, small, single engine jet with a good radar, networking capability and a long range BVR will almost always be a better option than an uber expensive 4.5+/5 gen dual engine jet. With the advent of loyal wingman type concepts, again things are changing.
Just thinking out loud.
Would you then want large numbers of such point defence fighters that would focus on interception albeit being multirole, or would you rather have large number of air superiority/strike role aircraft that can take the fight to the enemy airspace?

Given the current fleet, would you focus on increasing MKI/Rafale/ORCA type fighters or should we focus on single-engine mk1A/Mk2/MWF type single-engine fighters?

Or neither of the two options and wait it out for the 5th gen developments/offerings instead of chasing numbers?
 

Lolwa

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Feb 6, 2020
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Just thinking out loud.
Would you then want large numbers of such point defence fighters that would focus on interception albeit being multirole, or would you rather have large number of air superiority/strike role aircraft that can take the fight to the enemy airspace?

Given the current fleet, would you focus on increasing MKI/Rafale/ORCA type fighters or should we focus on single-engine mk1A/Mk2/MWF type single-engine fighters?

Or neither of the two options and wait it out for the 5th gen developments/offerings instead of chasing numbers?
Well since it's just daydreaming. I personally wish we have a 1000-1100 aircraft combat fleet.
300 sukhois heavy,400 rafale class aircrafts and 500 tejas. Add another 100 AMCA for good measure. If we get close to these numbers we will be able to easily handle a 2 front war by 2030. Provided the Sukhois,rafales and tejas can seamlessly interact with each other. Which will be a far more difficult task than producing them..
 

Milspec

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The short term solution lies in re activating the MKI lines & producing another 50-60 of them. When the Super Sukhoi upgrade happens the IAF always have a choice of upgrading the MKIs inducted in the early 2000s into Super Sukhois or seeing they're the first to be retired by the 2040's . Alternatively they could see partial upgrades.

We could go in for the whole cache of the 50 odd MiG-29s in Russia & upgrade them.
With Current
We can go in for the re engining of the Jaguars although this is a bit of a sub optimal solution.

Finally, we can sign the contract for 36 Rafales immediately, insist on Dassault to start delivering them by 2023 onwards instead of the usual 30 - 36 months lead time , lean on the GoF to lean on Dassault & finally lease 1-2 squadrons of Rafales immediately till such time all the deliveries ( including that of the forthcoming 36 Rafales) are expedited.

Even if we accomplish some of the above suggestions , we'd be in a better situation in a few years. Yet we'd do no such thing & in a crunch we'd say we'd fight with what we have.
Put the nail in the coffin of the Jags and let them RIP.

My wish list.

2030 time frame
> With the current 13 Sqdns of MKI (including TACDE) 3 additional Sqdns (15 sqdns)
> With the current squadron 3 squadrons of M29 additional 2 squadrons, with a Phazatron Zhuk Aesa radar. (5)
>M2k Current fleet (2 sqdns)
>Tejas LCA 1P (2 sqdns)
>Tejas MWF (6sqdns)
>Rafale current 2 + 6 Sqdns as part of MRFA
> F35 JSF 4 sqdns.

42 sqdns total


Post 2030

replace 5 Mig29 sqds with AMCA and + 3 sqdns
Replace 2 m2k sqds with ORCA and additional 3 sqdns
Additional 4 Sqdns of F35 JSF

Total 52 sqdns.
 
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_Anonymous_

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Dec 4, 2017
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Why don't we produce supersukhoi's instead of making more MKI's?? Producing More MKI's in the current form will be a futile exercise. It's much better if we decide the specs of the super-sukhoi and manufacture them with whatever we have developed like the uttam and the electronic warfare suite and mission computer and also the al-41. That will also make the upgrade for the rest of our mki fleet cheaper and we will have atleast a squadron of aircrafts that can take on the j-16's and j-10's..
For a few reasons which come to the mind first up, namely the Uttam hasn't yet been completely developed nor certified ( PKS suggests we can't expect an Uttam before 2026-27 while DDR seems to suggest 2022-23) & neither is the Russian AESA or it's EW suite certified either.

The second issue seems to be with the engine. It looks like the IAF hasn't made up its mind on re engining it. Attached to that comes the budget for the upgrades which needs to be fixed. On top of all this we're broke as usual.
 

_Anonymous_

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Dec 4, 2017
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Put the nail in the coffin of the Jags and let them RIP.

My wish list.

2030 time frame
> With the current 13 Sqdns of MKI (including TACDE) 3 additional Sqdns (15 sqdns)
13+3 = 16. That's 320 MKI's @20/ squadron.
> With the current squadron 3 squadrons of M29 additional 2 squadrons, with a Phazatron Zhuk Aesa radar. (5)
Should be additional 2.5 squadron with 50 MiG-29s sitting idle on Russia. It's affordable too. If the Phazotron AESA is certified for use, I fail to understand why can't we use them for all the 5 or 5.5 squadrons of MiG-29s.
>M2k Current fleet (2 sqdns)
>Tejas LCA 1P (2 sqdns)
>Tejas MWF (6sqdns)
>Rafale current 2 + 6 Sqdns as part of MRFA
> F35 JSF 4 sqdns.

42 sqdns total
How exactly do you hope to get all 6 squadrons of MWF by 2030. What about the Mk1a?

Ditto for the Rafales Whether under a G2G or MMRCA-2.0.

Where did the F-35 come in from & that too in 2030 time frame?
Post 2030

replace 5 Mig29 sqds with AMCA and + 3 sqdns
Replace 2 m2k sqds with ORCA and additional 3 sqdns
Additional 4 Sqdns of F35 JSF

Total 52 sqdns.
ORCA is a paper plane. By the time ADA is through with the development of the TEDBF it'd be 2030 - give or take a few years. What's the point in going to the drawing board with a 4.5G FA in 2030 which would receive it's FOC by 2045 when you'd be witnessing the maturation of 6G FA with possible prototypes of 7G FA taking wings.

Besides the AMCA Mk1 could well be the ORCA you're seeking expected to materialise by 2030 - at least the IOC version followed by production of 2-3 squadrons.
 

randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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Just thinking out loud.
Would you then want large numbers of such point defence fighters that would focus on interception albeit being multirole, or would you rather have large number of air superiority/strike role aircraft that can take the fight to the enemy airspace?

Given the current fleet, would you focus on increasing MKI/Rafale/ORCA type fighters or should we focus on single-engine mk1A/Mk2/MWF type single-engine fighters?

Our MKI numbers are far beyond their limit. Even if 100 MKIs disappear tomorrow, we will still be well set for a two-front war with far more than 100% of our requirement within the limitations of its design. Even the USAF has less number of F-15C/Ds compared to the IAF. The Japanese have to cover far more airspace than we do, and still have only 2/3rds of our strength. So adding more MKIs does nothing. It's like adding 10 more formal suits to your wardrobe of 50 such suits but having nothing to wear to a pool party.

The Rafale is a next gen role replacement for the MKI. It's meant to do all the missions MKI does, and then add some more missions to its kitty above that, and do all that at a significantly smaller monthly subscription. If the MKI since the very beginning had a very small RCS, AESA radar and cost less than a penny to operate, then we wouldn't have gone for the Rafale. We went for the Rafale because the MKI did not have a future beyond 2015-20 in its current avatar. Plus we needed an alternative to the Russians. So, if we are to gain an edge over our adversaries, we need more Rafales.

In the high end segment, with 190 MKIs and 189 Rafales, we would be set for a two-front war. AMCA would follow up as the next gen role replacement for the Rafale and MKI. Their main jobs are deterrence during peacetime and BARCAP, SEAD/DEAD, fighter sweep, top cover and DPS during wartime.

The LCA Mk1A and MWF are meant to replace almost our entire non-MKI fleet, so they fit into an entirely different segment in our air force. Their main jobs are to become the first line of defence, escort heavies into enemy territory and support ground troops via CAS and interdiction.

So it's not an either/or choice. We need both Rafale and LCA/MWF, and we need them to be inducted in parallel and in the numbers the IAF has identified as necessary.

Or neither of the two options and wait it out for the 5th gen developments/offerings instead of chasing numbers?

A lot of people do not know that the IAF is actually an extremely forward-thinking air force. Well beyond the times. What the IAF had planned to do the previous century, even countries like the US are coming around to that thought process only now. But this is a topic for another day.

Today, without having the Rafale and MWF in numbers, we will lose 2 decades. And we are already late by 5 years for both, and are set to lose another 5 years even if a decision is made this year. As of today, the next major technology infusion is only slated to happen after 2035 and will become mature only in 2040. So the time in between will have to be covered up by the Rafale.
 
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Hydra

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The maintenance time and take-off times is also comparitively shorter if I'm not wrong. So single engined Jets can do faster interception too. For a short distance like J&k airspace..
Tell this to a twin engine Mig31. I mean interception time not maintanence.
 

Milspec

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Our MKI numbers are far beyond their limit. Even if 100 MKIs disappear tomorrow, we will still be well set for a two-front war with far more than 100% of our requirement within the limitations of its design. Even the USAF has less number of F-15C/Ds compared to the IAF. The Japanese have to cover far more airspace than we do, and still have only 2/3rds of our strength. So adding more MKIs does nothing. It's like adding 10 more formal suits to your wardrobe of 50 such suits but having nothing to wear to a pool party.

The Rafale is a next gen role replacement for the MKI. It's meant to do all the missions MKI does, and then add some more missions to its kitty above that, and do all that at a significantly smaller monthly subscription. If the MKI since the very beginning had a very small RCS, AESA radar and cost less than a penny to operate, then we wouldn't have gone for the Rafale. We went for the Rafale because the MKI did not have a future beyond 2015-20 in its current avatar. Plus we needed an alternative to the Russians. So, if we are to gain an edge over our adversaries, we need more Rafales.

In the high end segment, with 190 MKIs and 189 Rafales, we would be set for a two-front war. AMCA would follow up as the next gen role replacement for the Rafale and MKI. Their main jobs are deterrence during peacetime and BARCAP, SEAD/DEAD, fighter sweep, top cover and DPS during wartime.

The LCA Mk1A and MWF are meant to replace almost our entire non-MKI fleet, so they fit into an entirely different segment in our air force. Their main jobs are to become the first line of defence, escort heavies into enemy territory and support ground troops via CAS and interdiction.

So it's not an either/or choice. We need both Rafale and LCA/MWF, and we need them to be inducted in parallel and in the numbers the IAF has identified as necessary.



A lot of people do not know that the IAF is actually an extremely forward-thinking air force. Well beyond the times. What the IAF had planned to do the previous century, even countries like the US are coming around to that thought process only now. But this is a topic for another day.

Today, without having the Rafale and MWF in numbers, we will lose 2 decades. And we are already late by 5 years for both, and are set to lose another 5 years even if a decision is made this year. As of today, the next major technology infusion is only slated to happen after 2035 and will become mature only in 2040. So the time in between will have to be covered up by the Rafale.
Everything you said was well put.
My only objection "A lot of people do not know that the IAF is actually an extremely forward-thinking air force."
 

STEPHEN COHEN

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Everything you said was well put.
My only objection "A lot of people do not know that the IAF is actually an extremely forward-thinking air force."

If China and Pakistan were friendly countries , IAF would be happily flying
Canberras and Hunters

By the way it does look ODD that
In the 80s , when PAF bought 40 F 16s
We went "Berserk " and bought the following :
Mig 23 ,MiG 25 , Mig 27 , MiG 29
Jaguar AND Mirage 2000s

And Today we are faced with a Two front War , Yet we are crawling at a Snails pace

Feb 27 exposed many things

PLAAF might teach us some more lessons
 

Milspec

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13+3 = 16. That's 320 MKI's @20/ squadron.

Should be additional 2.5 squadron with 50 MiG-29s sitting idle on Russia. It's affordable too. If the Phazotron AESA is certified for use, I fail to understand why can't we use them for all the 5 or 5.5 squadrons of MiG-29s.

How exactly do you hope to get all 6 squadrons of MWF by 2030. What about the Mk1a?

Ditto for the Rafales Whether under a G2G or MMRCA-2.0.

Where did the F-35 come in from & that too in 2030 time frame?

ORCA is a paper plane. By the time ADA is through with the development of the TEDBF it'd be 2030 - give or take a few years. What's the point in going to the drawing board with a 4.5G FA in 2030 which would receive it's FOC by 2045 when you'd be witnessing the maturation of 6G FA with possible prototypes of 7G FA taking wings.

Besides the AMCA Mk1 could well be the ORCA you're seeking expected to materialise by 2030 - at least the IOC version followed by production of 2-3 squadrons.
Right now I think we have 13 squadrons of MKI: Squadron strength is not always 20 fix.
1610512340575.png

MKI's I would like to see 3 additional squadrons of MKI's in dedicated maritime strike role replacing Jaguar IS. MKI's with either current Air launched Brahmos and going forward the Brahmos M would be a beast in the maritime strike role. It will be the great white shark of the IoR.

MK1A > I wrote as 1P
I feel 40 of the mk1 is good enough, increase MWF numbers instead of putting in 4 sqdns of Mk1A

If IAF is as forward thinking as @randomradio states, First of MWF should show up hopefully by 2022-23, and run two product lines to churn out an average 9-11 a/c's per line 144 getting us 6-7 sqdns.

after the next cycle of Lok Sabha elections, we would need an urgent purchase to keep the Chinese 5th gen as well as a potential Pakistani-Chinese 5th at bay despite the Rafale. F35 fits the bill if India can play its hand well. 2 squadrons in the next decade would keep both neighbors guessing. Hopefully, we don't go the Pakfa route.

Post 2030, is just a guess based on maturity of Indian manufacturing. You can see we are still stuck with LCA while rest of the major players have serious 5th gen programs. one thing we will have to remember. By 2040, we will be the 3rd largest economy in most metrics, we will need to plan our strengths accordingly.
 

Milspec

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If China and Pakistan were friendly countries , IAF would be happily flying
Canberras and Hunters

By the way it does look ODD that
In the 80s , when PAF bought 40 F 16s
We went "Berserk " and bought the following :
Mig 23 ,MiG 25 , Mig 27 , MiG 29
Jaguar AND Mirage 2000s

And Today we are faced with a Two front War , Yet we are crawling at a Snails pace

Feb 27 exposed many things

PLAAF might teach us some more lessons
Remember, when we bought Mig29's our "experts" requested removing the plumbing for A2A refueling, as they didn't see any use for it. That is IAF's foresight.
 

Milspec

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Our MKI numbers are far beyond their limit. Even if 100 MKIs disappear tomorrow, we will still be well set for a two-front war with far more than 100% of our requirement within the limitations of its design. Even the USAF has less number of F-15C/Ds compared to the IAF. The Japanese have to cover far more airspace than we do, and still have only 2/3rds of our strength. So adding more MKIs does nothing. It's like adding 10 more formal suits to your wardrobe of 50 such suits but having nothing to wear to a pool party.

We have a large Navy, with 3-5 sqns of MKI's in the dedicated maritime role will be big insurance for the Navy. In maritime role with it's exceptional anti-shipping qualified ordnance, even a naval fleet that is overwhelmingly bigger than ours can be kept on their toes.


The Rafale is a next gen role replacement for the MKI. It's meant to do all the missions MKI does, and then add some more missions to its kitty above that, and do all that at a significantly smaller monthly subscription. If the MKI since the very beginning had a very small RCS, AESA radar and cost less than a penny to operate, then we wouldn't have gone for the Rafale. We went for the Rafale because the MKI did not have a future beyond 2015-20 in its current avatar. Plus we needed an alternative to the Russians. So, if we are to gain an edge over our adversaries, we need more Rafales.

In the high end segment, with 190 MKIs and 189 Rafales, we would be set for a two-front war. AMCA would follow up as the next gen role replacement for the Rafale and MKI. Their main jobs are deterrence during peacetime and BARCAP, SEAD/DEAD, fighter sweep, top cover and DPS during wartime.
For gaining a full air superiority over the western front we will have to take losses. Accounting for that, MKI numbers are important.

The LCA Mk1A and MWF are meant to replace almost our entire non-MKI fleet, so they fit into an entirely different segment in our air force. Their main jobs are to become the first line of defence, escort heavies into enemy territory and support ground troops via CAS and interdiction.

So it's not an either/or choice. We need both Rafale and LCA/MWF, and we need them to be inducted in parallel and in the numbers the IAF has identified as necessary.
Sure , but I say more MWF the better.



A lot of people do not know that the IAF is actually an extremely forward-thinking air force. Well beyond the times. What the IAF had planned to do the previous century, even countries like the US are coming around to that thought process only now. But this is a topic for another day.
Meh, it's action reflects otherwise.
Today, without having the Rafale and MWF in numbers, we will lose 2 decades. And we are already late by 5 years for both, and are set to lose another 5 years even if a decision is made this year. As of today, the next major technology infusion is only slated to happen after 2035 and will become mature only in 2040. So the time in between will have to be covered up by the Rafale.
the next major technology infusion is only slated to happen after 2035 > nah, if situations were that static then we are already in trouble. I have a feeling that in the next decade F35 will be on offer, and IAF will lap it up.
 

_Anonymous_

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Dec 4, 2017
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Everything you said was well put.
My only objection "A lot of people do not know that the IAF is actually an extremely forward-thinking air force."
"A lot of people do not know ".....
reminded me of this incident of Michael Caine playing the braggart & the late venerable comic genius Peter Sellers taking the Mickey out of him.... Thought I ought to share it. Enjoy & if you see any parallels, remember it's your view. Always endeavor to see better.

IMG_20210113_122220.jpg

IMG_20210113_122254.jpg


 
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