F/A-18 India
Boeing India Partnership

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    What about Naval Tejas ? Has the IN forgotten about it ?

    Naval Tejas is in the final throes of development, whereas so-called Sea Gripen exists only in powerPoint presentations doing the rounds of Delhi. Yet, it is given a hearing, but nobody goes to Bangalore to see how N-Tejas is shaping up.

    Bad state of affairs.

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    Hi Shiv,

    Please get some update on Naval LCA. When are they planing the first flight?

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    Look Senors – the IAF and the Indian Navy have a mandate – to protect the sovereignty of our nation and to protect our borders. To do so , we need the best equipment that we can lay our hands on. I have no issues going with a foreign partner given that DRDO and HAL have had more than their fare share of time and resources to develop the Tejas. Unfortunately it has been only a technology demonstrator that is 10 years too late in technological time horizon.
    What good would it be to put eighties tech in the hands of our armed forces of that were to compromise our strategic goal of defending our nation against its enemies ? If you ask me – MOD should dissolve DRDO and open up the defense sector completely to private parties and allow FDI to enable the Indian partners like L & T and the Tatas collaborate with foreign outfits such as Boeing , Northrup, Thales etc. I guarantee you that the P.Es will do a better job of indigenously developing India' X -Gen fighter aircrafts.
    India needs to take cues from the lines of the Western world where that model seems to be working quite well .

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    Shiv , Does india has any near future plan for Sea gripen .

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    You have to take one look at the products dished out by Indian Pvt. companies to know their quality and standard.

    If Pvt. companies have to join hands with foreign companies to make quality stuff, it means only one thing, higher price for the same stuff. Now like the typical thieves our Pvt Cos are, they have sniffed crores of money that's being spent in the defense sector and they want to "wet their beaks". They don't have any capability to manufacture any decent stuff so get "Phoren" stuff and brand it as "Indian" and sell it at inflated prices.Our Babus, Top Sainiks, Netas and now Baniyas apart from foreign companies little better than East India Co., all get a piece of the pie. Only loser will be the poor, hungry, illiterate, unwashed billions of our country.


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    IMO India should go for F35B as it is the perfect replacement for Harriers.India should partner with the consortium involved in development of F35.This will help us gain knowhow in developing our indigenous stealth fighter the MCA.

    Purchase of F35 won't effect development of Naval Tejas as they are both very different ACs.

    Partnering with EADS etc. for development of Typhoon and with LM for F35, will give our defense industry a quantum leap. India must not be myopic due to cost constraints. In the long run such investments will pay back many times over what we have invested.


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    @Subho, your main premise that Tejas is 1980s tech is totally wrong from the word go. Do you know that Tejas incorporates all avionics of Su-30 MKI ? It's EW suite, Litening target pod, cockpit displays and core avionics computer are shared with Su-30 MKI. Most weapons (except Brahmos) too.

    So, Tejas is modern 21st century tech and not 1980s tech like you falsely claimed.

    And pray tell us, how is the pvt. sector going to develop fighter jets, if they don't have experience to make even a small 10 x 10 foot propeller driven plane ?

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    Commenters like Subho never learn. Even after this myth of "LCA took too long to develop, it is obsolete, it is inferior etc." has been blown out of the water by panel after panel of experts on BR, and Shiv himself has churned out reams of real info on how development works in India, the likes of Subho continue in the same groove like a badly worn out LP. The LCA even when it started set its goals very high and way beyond what Indian technology had progressed to. Out of it have come several areas of expertise, among which advanced materials, control systems and simulation are just three. We have developed 100s of vendors – some of which are at the mom and pop level, and others like Samtel which make stuff that is way ahead of what is available in consumer devices (flat screen displays) giving us self sufficient capabilities. Much more can be done – we have for e.g., not done enough on semiconductor processing and packaging or gas turbine tech. But these are the pinnacle of Western technology. And unless you master this yourself you will remain a mere buyer.


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    @ anon 6:51 pm

    I agree to most of your post but isn’t Samtel a JV with a Foreign collaborator (as Subho points out). How much of the final product is the actual result of Indian R&D as opposed to copy pasting (or changing the color of paint) would be a good guess.

    @ anon 3:57 pm

    I do agree that Pvt cos in India are corrupt and don’t have the tech to make a substantial defence contribution in the next 5 years or so.
    However, the PSUs and DRDO are the same. They are as corrupt and manipulative as they can be. In addition, they need a foreign collaborator for each project. And they overpromise and under deliver every time. National Defence preparedness means a big ZERO to them. The senior bureaucrats in these organisations run these Defence PSUs as their personal property. One former COAS is on record (on national TV) that PSUs didn’t allow the Army to buy Weapons Locating Radars as they wanted to develop it themselves (Kargil didnt wait for their timeline of “from scratch to actuality”). And if my memory serves right 90% of the fatalities during Kargil were from enemy shelling which IA could not locate hence could not eliminate. Here I agree with Subho 100%, the mandate of Indian armed forces is to protect Indian interest using (Indian or Foreign weapons systems). The origin does not matter to our enemies, they still die but our soldiers live to fight another day if and a BIG if their gear matches the best available.

    Now coming back to the topic (JV's are the key) whether PSUs or Private. DRDO is doing JV in almost everything now (Israel is a prime example)

    I though, would still support the entry of Pvt players in a big way cause the MOD or the Services can punish a private player but defence PSUs will never be punished regardless of what they produce.


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    @Anon 7.37

    Yes our PSUs and DRDO are inefficient etc. but they are not as corrupt as the Pvt. sector.

    My point is, the Indian tax payers shouldn't foot the bill for Pvt cos. to develop capabilities as they are private "enterprises".
    Whereas PSUs and DRDO belongs to the public not to some business family. If we start bankrolling Pvt sector participation in defense sector, we will be turning the clock back to the days of "license permit raj", where few business houses flourished at the cost of nation's well being.

    No one should stop the Pvt. companies from entering the defense sector. But, they can't ask special privileges for doing so. Let them develop weapons system through their own resources and also market them abroad instead of trying to offload rubbish to the gullible Indian public through the ultra corrupt babu-neta-sipahi-baniya nexus.

    Btw, DRDO has given us state of the art IRBMs, Cruise Missiles and next year ICBMs too. Whereas TATA's Nano, cheapest car in the world, is exploding in flames. Let our Pvt. sector first make decent two wheelers for the "aam janata" before they talk about cutting edge weapons tech.

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    Ok, I hear a few parochial voices trying to epitomize the LCA as an epitome of home grown ingenuity. seem to gloss over the fact that the airframe is two decades behind its time – fitting S.O.A control systems and avionics to a unsophisticated airframe design doesn't really make for a heady fighter air craft. They also seem to forget that these aircrafts will now be fitted with a choice of America or European engines because DRDO failed to get the Kaveri engine off the ground after unsuccessfully trying to reverse engineer Russian tech.
    If private equity has worked elsewhere it can in India. It gives an opportunity for the Indian private sector to learn from the front runners and mature and be prepared to deliver what the armed forces really need.

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    Subho your complaints against Tejas are "perenially pessimistic" and are backed by inaccuracies, misconceptions and "confounding" logic. So, you're the one who is being "parochial".

    If Tejas is 2 decades "behind it's time", please let us know your opinion on some of the MRCA contenders like F-16 (36 year old airframe), F-18 (20 year old frame), and MiG-35 (30 year old frame). Even the Eurobirds began development in the early eighties and are each a quarter century old atleast.

    The airframe of Tejas is more advanced than a Mirage-2000. It is a cranked-compounded delta wing. It is unstable, in that a quadruplex digital FBW controls it's flight. IAF pilots have said that it is a breeze to handle, and it lands and takes off better than the Mirage-2000.

    Also, note that it is one of the few jets like F-16 and Su-30 MKI that uses quadruplex digital FBW. Even Gripen and Rafale use a slightly older triplex FBW with an analog line.

    One final thing : Except in the US, most aviation companies are NOT private, but are public sector firms, in which governments have a huge stake. For example, Mikoyan and Sukhoi are under the UAC umbrella, controlled by the Russian govt. British Aerospace (BAe) is nationalized by the UK govt (much like our BEL). EADs also has significant holdings from the French, Spanish and Italian. Even Dassault has a large indirect holding of French govt. through other companies.

    In Sweden, SAAB is such a large employer and GDP contributor, that the Swedish govt. is it's de-facto controller and manager. It steps in whenever SAAB gets into trouble in overseas markets, and the row turns from business to diplomatic. I'm not sure whether it has a holding in SAAB.

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    "Also, note that it is one of the few jets like F-16 and Su-30 MKI that uses quadruplex digital FBW. Even Gripen and Rafale use a slightly older triplex FBW with an analog line."

    Please stop being stupidly nationalistic. The triplex digital with a analog backup system is not slightly older, its a different way off achieving the same thing. I have seen a lot of "anti foreign because it will hurt LCA/MCA/WhateverCA" types dredge this up but the only argument they have is in the good old "my cock is bigger then yours" category.

    The reason rafale and gripen uses that system is due to their design that allows them to fly with limited maneuverability even if their digital systems goes down.

    Other than that they neither lose nor gain anything with one or the other system.

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    Please stop being stupidly nationalistic. The triplex digital with a analog backup system is not slightly older, its a different way off achieving the same thing.

    And you please stop being the ignoramus-trying-to-be-clever here. Have you read the history of digital FBW development, before choosing to embarass yourself ? The earliest FBW systems were fully analog. The later digital ones still featured an analog backup (even the earliest F-16s and Mirages), because the designers weren't confident of letting them be digital all the way.

    The analog line barely makes a jet return to base, but a good quad system will allow the jet to fly as well with the fourth and the last digital line, as all the others before it. This ensures greater survivability, and the designers' confidence in the flight-control laws developed for it.

    The Tejas' designers in 1992 chose Lockheed's solution as compared to Dassault's offer, because they wanted the very best on offer. It is said that the Lockheed people remarked that the F-16 simulator flew better with Tejas' flight-control than it's existing one.

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    Guys don't eat too much on Sea Gripen and please have good look on other contenders. Even a simple look will tell you people that Navy have gone for this tender for procuring a carrier born M-MRCA on the lines of IAF's M-MRCA(+saga) to find out good substitute for Mig-29Ks on second IAC, which as per present informations is expected to be in 'QE' class.

    Talking about N-LCA getting replaced by unborn Sea Gripen is insane. As per analysis and talks with Naval people associated with N-LCA, the N-LCA was developed to serve two purpose cohesively and those are
    a. Having more numbers abroad relatively small carriers( thanks to LCA's small size and low price) b. Building in house capability to design, develop and operationalize.

    Navy putting their own money in the program and posting their men way before required endorses these assumptions.


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