LCA Tejas Mk1 & Mk1A - News and discussions

SrNair

Member
Mar 12, 2018
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74
Kerala

What is the maintenance cost of MKI?
At point we had heard Russians thrice the unit price of MKI through maintenance .
Even now the maintenance cost is cla

What is the maintenance cost of MKI?
At point we had heard Russians thrice the unit price of MKI through maintenance .
Even now the maintenance cost is classified
 

SrNair

Member
Mar 12, 2018
72
74
Kerala
Yeah right. When a french see a 90-degree steep climb on a hill 8,800 feet above sea-level his natural instincts kick in and 'surrender'!

Dropping bombs above some African countries with no resources and calling it a victory with no shame.

Well , bombing on African nation is different.
Challenging French Sovreignity is different.
Due to lack of our capabilitieswe had to reduce the war tothe Kargil only.
If the Italians doesthe same in Alpas ,French will use their entire might because they canand that is different
 
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Arpit

Vox Populi
Nov 30, 2017
273
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Delhi
And as obviously the weapon integration be like BrahMos, Astra SFDR , SAAW PGMs in future, it be true cutting edge fighter.
 

Nilgiri

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
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I have a feeling that the unit cost of GE404 is cause for this price. It just might be the Ghost of GTRX Kaveri biting IAF in the butt. And might I add rightly so.

Remember Honeywell was asking for 3.12 million for F125IN, roughly if GE has similar pricing then for a 90KN you are looking at close to 10Mil, but then single vendor situation so they can put us through the wringer.

Yeah and the AESA radar. ELTA AESA is probably pricier than the mk1 doppler one.

Uttam capital cost they are probably already frontloading right now - as apparently the last "batch" of this 83 will have it.
 
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Hydra

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May 19, 2020
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Mumbai
So are you suggesting, they don't do any wargaming or exercise and don't believe in protecting your own interests, and don't want to do any actual deployments, but they are still superior while blaming Americans? How is that possible?

ISIS directly killed French people, and if still, their citizens are not asking for true retribution, then there is some problem. And BTW, the person who was responsible for the Paris attacks, Al Baghdadi was killed by Americans, not the French.

They have carried out an aerial bombing mission soon after the 2015 paris attack. Nothing more can be done against a terrorist organization who doesn't have proper governing body.
 

JustCurious

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Aug 2, 2020
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All of those are being done, but none of them are the solution to solving the problem of missing LCAs. Also, the LCAs are needed for the Pak border since the time to react is very low as the bases are just 100-150Km away from the border on either side.

The idea behind the LCA's design is to support our CAPs during an enemy attack. So its all about how quickly they can be scrambled. The Mig-21 takes 1.5 min, LCA will take 2.5-3 min, a twin engine jet takes 5 min.

If a JF-17 is 50Km away from the border, it can cross it within 3-4 min. So that's the time you have to scramble your aircraft and meet it in the numbers needed. Pretty much everything you have mentioned doesn't help counter this. Only the Mig-21, LCA and other single engine jets can.

So if a JF-17 is ready to fire 100Km standoff weapons at our bases that are 100Km away from our own border, then by the time the it covers that distance of 50Km and is ready to fire its bomb, the Mig-21 will be engaging it, LCA will be at altitude facing it, while any twin engine jet will still be taxing towards the runway. Nothing beats the Mig-21 in this mission, while the LCA is the minimum necessary to pull this off. Whereas the twin engine jet is a sitting duck.

Based on the points you have brought up, 1 is what we generally need anyway. 2 will still have blindspots. 3 doesn't help with the IAF's neeed for QRA.

We need Mk1A at the Pak border and we need the extra persistence MWF at the Chinese border for QRA. Right now we are using Mig-21s and Mirage 2000s at both borders.

The alternative is to quickly induct second-hand single-engine jets, but there's nothing available that's immediately able to stand up to the brute capabilities of an AESA-equipped JF-17 with a long range BVR missile, the alternatives are all without AESAs and PL-15/Meteor class weapons. The Gripen E, F-16V and LCA Mk1A are what we need in this class, and none of them operationally exist as of today, and the J-10C is not available. Hence there is no immediate solution until 2024-25, even if all three points you mentioned are carried out to a tee.
Frankly, I had little knowledge of the facets you unveil..e.g. comparison of sortie rates, scrambling time etc. That's why I am here on this forum to enrich myself with nitty-gritties of operational-conduct (of warfare), ORBAT and things like that...

These are not the answers, these are counter questions.

When even the USA, the greatest military and economic power cant afford to have their whole fleet with F-22 & F-35, how we expect this from a developing country?

And we shouldn't dream of adopting OrBat & force-mix of European powers, those are fcuking idiots (and i am not going to sugarcoat it), who never used airpower in conventional warfare in the last 50 years.

Even the French had to revisit their offensive plans against ISIS, within a month. Warfare is not just pen and paper, that 1000 F-22 or Rafale secure you a win.
Warfare is statecraft.

And seriously if we are going to waste flight hours of Rafale and MKIs on CAP or CAS or interdiction missions, instead of deploying on missions of air-superiority, DPSA missions, SEAD/DEAD then there is huge problem with IAF.

BTW, if Super Sukhoi still not taken off till 2023, Tejas Mk1A going to be more superior aircraft (generation-wise) than MKIs. Dream that
Ok, you were buttressing the arguments laid down by @randomradio
Thanks for explaining in English.

The USAF hopes to get to that point, based on Roper's words, in 50 years.
References, please ? 🙏
To cure the belching indigestion :LOL:

The IAF do the planning. The execution is done by MoD and DRDO. We didn't fail in the planning, it's the execution part that failed. The IAF still wants what they planned more than a decade ago and they haven't changed anything much as of yet. It still remains 200+ MKI, 200+ Rafale and 150 AMCA.

The MKI's production wasn't planned until 2021, it was supposed to end in 2017. And in 2006, the schedule was moved up to 2014 by increasing the production numbers. HAL failed to deliver the numbers necessary. It was a 14-year production run for 140 jets. You know there's a pretty big problem when the line delivers 16 jets a year, but takes 19 years to deliver 140 jets. Is it surprising that the forces question HAL's ability to deliver the LCA in time considering their track record? Even Jaguar, M2000 and Mig-29 upgrades have been delayed. MKI overhaul was also delayed. Furthermore, the MKI was supposed to be upgraded starting in 2010, alongside its first overhaul, but the govt didn't have the money for it, it was all needed for the Rafale contract. It was supposed to have gone the Su-35 way since back then.

LCA went through a number of iterations before they zeroed in on the current designs. In the 80s, the US defence budget was greater than India's GDP, so they obviously had more options. Now that we have such new options, we are also exercising them, for example, getting competitors for HAL and creating competition within the industry even for R&D through the SPM program.

If the LCA and AMCA designs don't work, then they wouldn't get to the FSED phase in the first place. But since the IAF has planned for 4-6 generations of jets in just 3-5 decades, an alternative is always ready, albeit with a delay. Not so with air forces like the US or France who are stuck with 1 or 2 designs and have no choice but to make them work. The F-35 is the best example. If they screw up, they don't have an alternative. This is what's so amazing about the IAF's ability at thinking ahead, there are plenty of alternatives coming up and there's not a single air force with so many choices and with decisions already taken. Their planning has properly covered all bases. Since we can assume FGFA has failed, the alternative still remains Rafales and a quicker induction schedule for AMCA by splitting it into Mk1 and Mk2, and even then there's still some window for the Su-57 to squeeze through. So only the numbers and types have changed. If the US screws up the F-35, they are screwed for the next 2 decades. Similarly, if they screw up NGAD, they got nothing to fall back on, they can only buy more of the old stuff, basically modernised F-35s.

For each individual program at the high end, there is no real fall back strategy. As the IAF has already pointed out a long time ago, there is no plan B for the Rafale. All you can do is get some more of what you already have, which is what the IAF unfortunately did by pushing the MKI numbers up by 80+ more jets when the Rafale and LCA got delayed, or get an alternative at a later date. The IAF never planned to operate this many MKIs, IAF officers, including two air chiefs, have already pointed that out publicly. If AMCA fails, then the IAF will have to chase after whatever's available in the global market, which could either be the Su-57 Mk3 or the F-35 Mk2. So there is a strategy in place for imports, which is the point of the DPP.

Most of the IAF's plans are stuck due to budgetry issues, not technical or bureaucratic issues. The MKI upgrade was cancelled due to not having the money for it. The Rafale contract was not restarted due to money crunch. FGFA didn't go through because of our poor finances. And now, AMCA is yet to start since it's still awaiting funding. Only LCA was stuck due to the incompetence of our industry, this program never lacked resources.

You see, nothing here is the IAF's fault. HAL screwed up MKI production. MoD screwed up MKI overhaul and upgrade contract. ADA screwed up LCA's development. HAL and MoD screwed up MMRCA. MoD and DRDO (along with the Russians themselves) killed FGFA. And now, MoD has delayed AMCA. These are the facts, with reasons covering financial, technical, bureacratic arenas and with a healthy dose of incompetence. But let's blame the IAF 'cause it's easy, when not a single decision is made by them for any of the above. They only do the planning and create QRs (and pretty modest ones at that), and unfortunately fight with what they have.
Excellent post..highly informative eye-opener.
Outside SFO, do you write/post/publish - under any pseudonym ?

A more advanced version of the jet now costs less than $25M in Russia because of the exchange rate doubling for the ruble.
This is mouth-watering stuff. Shouldn't we cover up our critical deficiencies & acquire new game-changer capabilities from Russia under imports. Alluding towards really cutting-edge stuff Hypersonic (missiles, artillery, Armata etc.) & acquiring their design-bureaus, acquire massive equity & ownership-stakes in their arm-manufacturing companies etc...

What's your suggestion ?
 

JustCurious

Member
Aug 2, 2020
70
58
India
If a JF-17 is 50Km away from the border, it can cross it within 3-4 min. So that's the time you have to scramble your aircraft and meet it in the numbers needed. Pretty much everything you have mentioned doesn't help counter this. Only the Mig-21, LCA and other single engine jets can.
S-400 & LR-SAM do help eliminate the very possibility of a JF-17 Block 3 firing a stand-off missile at us.

2023 onwards, all PAF aircrafts (especially those in FOB) would be sitting ducks, as they would be shot down at will, even before they have gained enough altitude.

Something to this effect has been repeated umpteen times by our serving as well as Retd. IAF officials & so-called analysts. Thoughts ?

IIRC, we have posts (with schematics) in this forum corroborating this hypothetical future scenario.
 

JustCurious

Member
Aug 2, 2020
70
58
India
We need Mk1A at the Pak border and we need the extra persistence MWF at the Chinese border for QRA. Right now we are using Mig-21s and Mirage 2000s at both borders.

AFAIK, we do use Mig29 as well for CAP from Adampur base (despite dual-engines), which have all characteristics to fly in Himalayan mountainous terrain.
 

JustCurious

Member
Aug 2, 2020
70
58
India
Based on the points you have brought up, 1 is what we generally need anyway. 2 will still have blindspots. 3 doesn't help with the IAF's need for QRA.
Could you please elaborate 2) - blindspots ?
The alternative is to quickly induct second-hand single-engine jets, but there's nothing available that's immediately able to stand up to the brute capabilities of an AESA-equipped JF-17 with a long range BVR missile, the alternatives are all without AESAs and PL-15/Meteor class weapons.
How about trying to conclude the Qatar/Taiwan deals for 2nd-hand Mirages quickly, within 2 year & get them all modified/upgraded within next 2-3 years with: Uttam + I-Derby ER/Astra MK2 or Meteor (since Uttam's IP is India-owned, not Israeli like ELTA2052, France shouldn't hesitate with this integration).

Any reasons why this cannot be done within 3-4 years from now (apart from MoD-Babudom Lethargy).

We do have the ForEx & apparently, the political will & gumption, to tread this route....thoughts ?

My point is even after the doklam incident we have taken Chinese intentions lightly, and we didn't learn any lessons in Doklam or previous salami slicing incident.
I would agree to this. Our Defence Chief (or someone similar) has recently admitted so - 2-3 days ago.
The statement said - we were aware of their planned exercise near our borders. But couldn't understand the intent.

In other words, we had the data captured, but couldn't analyze it enough for generating the required "intelligence"

2-3 min for SE and 5 min for TE.
SE & TE stands for ?
 

randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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Yeah and the AESA radar. ELTA AESA is probably pricier than the mk1 doppler one.

The Jaguar upgrade was first contracted for the 2032, the Israelis offered the 2052 at the same price instead.

If the LCA's radar is GaN, then the pricing would change though. Jaguar's is GaAs.
 
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randomradio

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Frankly, I had little knowledge of the facets you unveil..e.g. comparison of sortie rates, scrambling time etc. That's why I am here on this forum to enrich myself with nitty-gritties of operational-conduct (of warfare), ORBAT and things like that...

Cheers.
References, please ? 🙏
To cure the belching indigestion :LOL:

 

randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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Excellent post..highly informative eye-opener.
Outside SFO, do you write/post/publish - under any pseudonym ?

Nope. Some people asked me to, but I am busy with other stuff. Going mainstream requires either a lot of time if you want no compensation or you gotta get paid, and I have no interest in either.
 
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jetray

Well-Known member
Mar 15, 2018
1,118
806
India
I think it would be better to compare the Tejas with Gripen or other same class western fighters.
Russians deal is very different.
They had actually surplus weapon production capacity with a messed up economy and like Chinese they can churned out weapons.
Another thing for a newly designed jet 83 is not a big order .If they manage to exports in else where it will again come down and HAL also squeeze for investment in infrastructure .
Once everything stabilised a newly efficient Mk2 might be cheaper than this .
Need to get our own engine for exports, if not we are at the mercy of so & so powers.
 
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randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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This is mouth-watering stuff. Shouldn't we cover up our critical deficiencies & acquire new game-changer capabilities from Russia under imports. Alluding towards really cutting-edge stuff Hypersonic (missiles, artillery, Armata etc.) & acquiring their design-bureaus, acquire massive equity & ownership-stakes in their arm-manufacturing companies etc...

What's your suggestion ?

We don't have a reference for the S-400 package, so we don't know much about its pricing. But it should have benefitted from the lower exchange rate. Other than that, even with cheaper rates, we are not really interested in importing from Russia anymore. Most of our current deals are just continuation of our older deals signed more than a decade ago, like the Mig-29s, MKIs, Talwar, Akula, Phalcon etc. So none of those benefit from cheaper prices.

Right now they are busy milking us using old deals and selling us stuff we need at exhorbitant prices citing emergency purchases. And in tenders they are offering their products based on prices with a large profit margin, but ensuring they stay well below the competition's pricing.

And most of our deals now are headed towards joint ventures and local production, so the benefit from low prices won't matter. With 100% of the AK-203 to be made in India or nearly 70% of the Ka-226T etc, there is not enough room to take advantage of it.

The only area where we can really benefit is if we get our hands on the Su-57Mk2 whenever it becomes ready after 2025. 2 or 3 squadrons can easily come in cheap, especially if the US offer an alternative as competition at the time, like the NGAD or F-35. Right now, the Russians are getting their Su-57Mk1s at $35M each.

One of the main agendas behind CAATSA was to remove Russia as a competitor from tenders due to their ridiculously low prices. No one can compete with them today. Even the JF-17 is now more expensive than a Mig-29. Egypt paid over $5B for 24 Rafales, but are paying only $2B for 24 Su-35s.
 

randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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S-400 & LR-SAM do help eliminate the very possibility of a JF-17 Block 3 firing a stand-off missile at us.

2023 onwards, all PAF aircrafts (especially those in FOB) would be sitting ducks, as they would be shot down at will, even before they have gained enough altitude.

Something to this effect has been repeated umpteen times by our serving as well as Retd. IAF officials & so-called analysts. Thoughts ?

IIRC, we have posts (with schematics) in this forum corroborating this hypothetical future scenario.

That's not how SAMs work though.

SAMs have to obey the laws of physics, so they cannot shoot beyond radar horizon on their own. For both S-400 and MRSAM, the horizon is at 30-40Km against a low level target. For example, the PAF can fire RAAD from well beyond that distance while flying at low level. That is the point of standoff weapons. Also acquiring and shooting down small targets like fighter jets is also not easy as the distance increases.

The S-400's fighter-jet specific missile has a range of 120Km when the target is at high altitude, and the MRSAM's range is 100Km. If the fighter jet is at low altitude, then the missile's range also decreases. So all I need is a 120Km range SAAW to be able to safely fire my weapon and leave when flying at high altitude. This is what standoff means, the ability to attack your enemy beyond the range of their defensive capabilities. The S-400's longer-ranged missiles can be defeated by dropping down to a low altitude, below the ground radar's radar horizon.

Also, the PAF cannot go unchallenged. We can't afford to have them firing at us and then letting them go after that. Which is why Abhinandan crossed the LoC. Such a move can only be done by jets that are scrambled because only scrambled jets can create surprise. The jets on CAP cannot as the enemy will know the exact number and type before engaging them. Stealth jets on CAP can also create surprise, but we don't have any.
 

randomradio

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AFAIK, we do use Mig29 as well for CAP from Adampur base (despite dual-engines), which have all characteristics to fly in Himalayan mountainous terrain.

That's because the Adampur base is deep enough that it gives enough time for twin engine jets to scramble and become effective. Even the MKIs can be scrambled from longer distances. But Pathankot, Awantipore etc are practically next to the border and require SE jets.

Could you please elaborate 2) - blindspots ?

Radar horizon and coverage. Since the Earth is a sphere, the enemy can hide behind the curvature of the planet itself. SAMs are not effective beyond radar horizon. So the S-400 can see a target at 400Km only if the target is at an altitude of 12Km. When the target is at lower altitudes, the range decreases.

No one in the world has enough SAMs to cover the entire airspace. All we can do is protect a small area. These areas are generally called vulnerable areas and vulnerable points. Outside these areas, the enemy can fly around witout being challenged, unless you have fighter jets.

How about trying to conclude the Qatar/Taiwan deals for 2nd-hand Mirages quickly, within 2 year & get them all modified/upgraded within next 2-3 years with: Uttam + I-Derby ER/Astra MK2 or Meteor (since Uttam's IP is India-owned, not Israeli like ELTA2052, France shouldn't hesitate with this integration).

That's impossible. Any such upgrade will take 4-6 years once it starts. Not counting all the time lost in all the red tape and negotiations.

I would agree to this. Our Defence Chief (or someone similar) has recently admitted so - 2-3 days ago.
The statement said - we were aware of their planned exercise near our borders. But couldn't understand the intent.

In other words, we had the data captured, but couldn't analyze it enough for generating the required "intelligence"

What he meant is the govt was aware of the Chinese buildup in Ladakh, but didn't know why they were doing it. In hindsight, now we know that the Chinese move was stupid on their part.

It's basically a, "What the F are you doing, you Fing psychos?" moment.

SE & TE stands for ?

Single and twin engine.
 
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Nilgiri

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Dec 4, 2017
535
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The Jaguar upgrade was first contracted for the 2032, the Israelis offered the 2052 at the same price instead.

If the LCA's radar is GaN, then the pricing would change though. Jaguar's is GaAs.

In any case, I don't think we will get a precise cost breakdown to see where exactly the quoted price is coming from.

All kind of PSU cost flow and capital cost and stuff like that... so when govt orders from PSU, you get cost A.

But cost B (lower + "true" ) is something different later when its being bid on more competitively etc.

Tejas would need some foreign bidding process for export etc, to compare on pricepoint with other fighters in world market.

But we would have moved onto MWF and AMCA by then largely anyway I think, production lines are gonna be stretched for Mk1A as it is....unless something can be done by a private defence conglomerate to augment the HAL one for local developed a/c. That will need to be done for MWF and AMCA anyway, we cannot rely on just HAL for production long term.
 

Nilgiri

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Dec 4, 2017
535
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That's not how SAMs work though.

SAMs have to obey the laws of physics, so they cannot shoot beyond radar horizon on their own. For both S-400 and MRSAM, the horizon is at 30-40Km against a low level target. For example, the PAF can fire RAAD from well beyond that distance while flying at low level. That is the point of standoff weapons. Also acquiring and shooting down small targets like fighter jets is also not easy as the distance increases.

The S-400's fighter-jet specific missile has a range of 120Km when the target is at high altitude, and the MRSAM's range is 100Km. If the fighter jet is at low altitude, then the missile's range also decreases. So all I need is a 120Km range SAAW to be able to safely fire my weapon and leave when flying at high altitude. This is what standoff means, the ability to attack your enemy beyond the range of their defensive capabilities. The S-400's longer-ranged missiles can be defeated by dropping down to a low altitude, below the ground radar's radar horizon.

Also, the PAF cannot go unchallenged. We can't afford to have them firing at us and then letting them go after that. Which is why Abhinandan crossed the LoC. Such a move can only be done by jets that are scrambled because only scrambled jets can create surprise. The jets on CAP cannot as the enemy will know the exact number and type before engaging them. Stealth jets on CAP can also create surprise, but we don't have any.

Indeed, I was talking about this just recently with the PL-15 claimed range being apples-oranges with proven BVR systems deployed.
 

randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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In any case, I don't think we will get a precise cost breakdown to see where exactly the quoted price is coming from.

All kind of PSU cost flow and capital cost and stuff like that... so when govt orders from PSU, you get cost A.

But cost B (lower + "true" ) is something different later when its being bid on more competitively etc.

Tejas would need some foreign bidding process for export etc, to compare on pricepoint with other fighters in world market.

But we would have moved onto MWF and AMCA by then largely anyway I think, production lines are gonna be stretched for Mk1A as it is....unless something can be done by a private defence conglomerate to augment the HAL one for local developed a/c. That will need to be done for MWF and AMCA anyway, we cannot rely on just HAL for production long term.

It appears private industry will take the lead on AMCA. HAL is still doing their best to keep AMCA in their facilities by getting the private industry to choose them, while ADA wants the jet assembled in Sulur, outside HAL.

MWF will remain with HAL. They will build it where the MKI line was.