F/A-18 India
Boeing India Partnership

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17 Comments

  1. 1

    Rohit

    Who the hell is this guy?
    He replied “Joke. Thirty years of development to produce an aircraft with short range, poor payload, and severe quality control issues throughout the manufacturing process leading to badly fitting structural components, slow delivery rates and high costs due to re manufacturing and alterations requirements.
    Does Livefest just ask random guys for approval?

    1. Tejas Project Defination stage started in 1988 and Phase 1 of Full fledged development started in 1993 with the induction date being IOC -2 that is Dec 2013. So the development time frame was 25 years or 20 years depending on from where you wanna start the count.

    2. Short range ? Tejas carries 2458 kgs of internal fuel giving it a range of 1700 kms. Gripen C in comparison carries 2270 kgs of fuel with a range of 1600 kms. However Gripen advertises its range with 3 x drop tanks , that is 3200 kms , roughly equivalent to Tejas’s 3000 kms with 3x Drop tanks.

    3. Poor Payload ? Tejas can carry upto 4 tons of external payload, as compared to 5 tons of a Gripen C

    4. High costs? Thats laughable! The Tejas mk1 unit costed just around 25-30mil$ a piece fly away , as against Gripen C’s 40-60 mil$. (This point is the most laughable among all)

    “licence to manufacture Gripen C/D.” I think it is fair to say that it is inferior in almost all metrics to the similar Saab Gripen.”

    Why? And pay more for what?
    An inferior flight control system?
    Lower Thrust to Weight Ratio?
    Lesser use of composites in the airframe?
    Higher Wing loading?
    Lesser Stealth?
    No Naval version?

    No Thank You! Tejas anyday above Gripen!

    Reply
    1. 1.1

      Chandra Shekhar Singh

      Perfect. Saab is just an assembler with every nut and bolt imported.

      Reply
    2. 1.2

      Hush Kit

      Hi Rohit, Thanks for the feedback. I will attempt to answer your questions & points.

      1. The quote is from Justin Bronk, he is a Research Fellow specialising in combat airpower and technology in the Military Sciences team at RUSI. He is also Editor of the RUSI Defence Systems online journal.

      2. The Indian Air Force disagrees with you on this point (https://www.indiatoday.in/mail-today/story/tejas-indian-air-force-f-16-mig-21-fighter-planes-ajit-doval-1083350-2017-11-10)

      3. According to the ADA, it can carry up 3500kg of external stores,
      only marginally more than a BAE Systems Hawk 128 (3085 kg)
      (https://web.archive.org/web/20150206093524/http://tejas.gov.in/IOC-Brochure.pdf) Even current Gripens can carry 5000kg. E/F will be 6000kg

      4. Depends how you arrive at your figures. Dividing the number of aircraft built by project costs to date. Fly away unit costs alone are a bit misleading for the producer nation of a system.

      “An inferior flight control system? ” In what sense?

      “Lower Thrust to Weight Ratio?” CAG reported decencies in both thrust and weight.

      Lesser use of composites in the airframe? I think you’re correct on this. A quick look puts Tejas at 45% of weight (which is very impressive) and Gripen at 25% https://ihsmarkit.com/pdf/Composites-Aerospace-Applications-whitepaper_264558110913046532.pdf http://csirturns75.in/light-weight-composites-future-of-aircraft-materials/ This is maybe to be expected as there were 13 years separating their first flights. Composites are a means to end though, I was speaking to a stress engineer the other day about how composites are often unnecessarily included (in civil designs anyway) in the name of modernity, but often the cons outweigh the pros.

      “Lesser Stealth?” There are no reliable public domain sources for this.

      “No Naval version?” Not currently, but Brazil takes the idea seriously.

      I’ve yet to speak to an analyst who would favourably compare Tejas to the Gripen.

      I hope this helps, and thanks again for your feedback. Sorry to inspire ire, I know military aircraft (and their relationship to feelings of national pride) are an emotive subject. I hope I have not caused offence.

      Thanks Hush-Kit

      Reply
      1. 1.2.1

        Rohit

        2. Im sorry, but the Indian Airforce has a NAMED Spokesperson , in most cases the Air chief. Such anonymous or nameless Hit jobs using the paid media does not change the fact that legit people such as the Air chief or Sq leader Ranga or anyone associated with the programme, speaks very highly of the Tejas – and they arent anon or nameless. Also those claims are simply lies, one of which I will clarify in my next point.

        3. From the Official brochure , Tejas Loaded Weight is 9. 8 tons(100% internal fuel). While from most other sources, the Max Take off weight is 13.5 tons, leaving about 3.7 tons has external payload.

        Now coming to Gripen C : https://saab.com/air/gripen-fighter-system/gripen/gripen/the-fighter/gripen-c-series/gripen-cd/
        http://aviationweek.com/site-files/aviationweek.com/files/uploads/2014/09/asd_09_25_2014_jas7.pdf

        The official link has advertised the payload to be 5.3 tons, but is that with 100% internal fuel? Lets find out
        6800(empty) + 2270(100% fuel) = 9070 kgs.
        Max take off = 14000 kgs
        Payload – 4.9 tons.

        But is that the real payload? No! Apart from Empty weight + Internal fuel, the Loaded Weight also includes the Weight of the Pilot, His Suite, the HMDS , Liquid Oxygen Cylinders carried and other on board systems.

        The same has been calculated for the Tejas and it comes down to some 780 kgs and has been included in the Loaded Weight of 9.8 tons.

        Thus, the real effective payload of the Gripen C is much lesser than 4.9 tons at 100% fuel?
        Now where does the 5.3 tons figure comes you may ask?
        The answer is by sacrificing Internal fuel.
        To paint as rosy a picture on brochures, the payload for Gripen is advertised with roughly 70-80% internal fuel.

        The same can be done for Tejas to get a payload of 4 tons.

        Hence in my original comment, I mentioned 4 tons vs 5 tons.

        4. Total programme cost divided by the number of fighters? Isnt that unfair to the one who has recently started production and has far lower fighters in service? Further the figures are dynamic and will keep changing as more fighters enter service

        Fly away cost figures are very easily available and are fixed.

        5. Tejas employees the most advanced Quadruplux or 4-channel Digital Fly by Wire System, comparable to the Flight control systems on the Eurofighter or Rafale. Gripen on the other hand uses an inferior Triplex or 3-channel Digital Fly By Wire system.

        6. Have you ever tried calculating the Thrust to Weight Ratios? The TW ratio is calculated Dividing the Thrust with the Loaded weight (at 100% internal fuel). For the Tejas mk1 its 0.96, while for Gripen is about 0.90.

        The latest ASR for the Tejas required a TW ratio of over 1.00 which is planned to be achieved with the GE414 on the Tejas mk2 . And hence the CAG has put that as a “deficiency” , by simply comparing it with the ASR.

        7. Developing and integrating advanced composites on an aircraft is not a easy process and not something everyone can achieve. I dont see why so much investment and effort on something where the cons outweigh the pros. Future 5th generation fighters would aim for 100% composites on the airframe.

        8. There is no official figures available for the cross radar section of any fighter for that matter. However the fact that Tejas has 90% of composites by Surface Area on the Airframe which minimize reflection of radar waves and a few other signature reducing features, apart from a smaller size , it can be estimated to have a lower RCS than the Gripen.
        Further on my visits to Def Expos , I was told that Tejas’s radar signature is estimated to be just 1/3rd of the Mirage2000, which is also flown by the IAF.

        Also its not about national pride. I havent come up here saying Tejas is superior to a Rafale or an Eurofighter.

        But through my years of research I have got a fair share of how things work in the Defence industry.
        Painting rosy pictures on the brochers , using paid media to sabotage competitors, etc are not uncommon.

        Thats where your own research and calculations come into play.

        Reply
      2. 1.2.2

        Rohit

        So my reply to this was deleted.

        I guess its pretty much known what paid media journalism is today.

        Reply
      3. 1.2.3

        akash

        Hi Hush-kit, reading comprehension seems to be lacking in your reply.

        1. Justin Bronk – and what makes him any sort of expert on India or Indian aviation? He has neither visited India nor does he have any significant technology experience. What you did was provide an appeal to authority, and a flawed one at that. IAF serving personnel rank the quality of systems in the Tejas, including many indigenous items as being above anything else they have in service and matching the best of imports. The high threshold established by the IAF SQRs is such that even so, the IAF wants continued improvements in the Tejas. Do google for Commander Maolankar interview Tejas to get an idea as versus relying on Bronks or beancounters.

        2. Your comment citing a Mail Today article misses the point that the IAF, in a disingenous move, compared the Tejas Mk1 to a Gripen E/F. Something which the MOD picked up on, and hence the Tejas Mk2 program was launched.
        Instead you might want to read up on Tejas from serving IAF pilots who compare it favorably avionics and flight control performance wise, to the upgraded Mirage 2000 in IAF service.

        3. Carrying weight is only one part of the answer. The bigger issue is to what range and with what overall airframe performance. Comparing the Tejas to the Hawk, hence is a joke. One is a pure fighter, the other a mostly subsonic platform whose only real transonic oriented platform was barely sold abroad and has not even been kept really current. Those 3.5 Tons on Tejas can be spread across BVR, WVR, LGBs and a host of other weapons. Good luck finding a Hawk which can do the same today. Your E/F brochure bashing is equally flawed. SAABs empty weight targets are yet to be met. Their paper specs remain that.

        4. The Tejas had a Quad FBW from day one. CAGs comments are meaningless without the context of how ambitious the IAF ASQRs are.
        As regards analysts and their opinions, who cares? These analysts have no access to IAF or ADA data and like Justin publish ridiculously inaccurate claims on programs they have literally no idea about.

        5. Its amazing how patronizing you are viz programs you are literally ignorant about. You run an aviation website and when corrected, bring in references to national pride. To what end?
        Do you seriously think the whole world revolves only around the west?

        Reply
        1. 1.2.3.1

          akash

          ” He replied “Joke. Thirty years of development to produce an aircraft with short range, poor payload, and severe quality control issues throughout the manufacturing process leading to badly fitting structural components, slow delivery rates and high costs due to re manufacturing and alterations requirements.

          One may well think this refers to the Eurofighter, a platform Bronk constantly plays up as the best thing since Sandwiches and Tea.
          Clearly, the chap has no idea of aerospace and real world efforts and how arduous they can be.

          Reply
        2. 1.2.3.2

          Rohit

          2. I would add to the fact, that the mail today article has purposely downplayed the capabilities of the Tejas mk1, whether it be the range or payload or maintenance.

          3. At 100% fuel, Tejas can carry 3.5 tons while Gripen C can carry round about 4.5 tons (exact figure is hard to know as Gripen is not publishing its loaded weight figure)
          However to make it look more rosey Gripen C advertises its payload at 5.3 tons which can be achieved by sacrificing fuel.
          According to Group Capt. Ranga, the Tejas can hit a 4 tons payload as well, most likely using the same means.

          Reply
  2. 2

    Vild

    So many factual inaccuracies in this that i stopped reading, lol. This guy works in a firm selling news and views on aerospace, seems to be know very little about Tejas though. 20 years dev time not 30. And its not inferior in all specs to Griphen.

    Reply
  3. 3

    Chandra Shekhar Singh

    He seems to be an expert of some other areas. He clearly lacs any substantial knowledge in aviation. Ya he is looking like a Saab agent.

    Reply
  4. 5

    Nitesh

    This guy is saab or lm agent.

    Reply
  5. 6

    Ram

    As long as foreign propaganda BS like this “opinion piece” continue to be peddled in Indian media websites, what can we say, pish-posh. If import lobby sections within IAF suffer from best of brochuritis to selectively target Indian programs, the brochure experts like these are most happy to oblige only.
    To my fellow Indians don’t worry have curry, SP-09 flew yesterday. Let’s move on.

    Reply
  6. 7

    Shyam Prajapati

    while reading this, I remembered Jan 2001, just few days before Tejas’s first flight, how DRDO send letters to many aerospace giants worldwide for some guide before the maiden flight and the kind of response DRDO got, and how they were all proved wrong……… just saying

    Reply
  7. 8

    St. PT Barnum

    Desperately trying to get a kind word LiveFist & ShivAroor talk to Joe Coles of Hushkit

    Factless & Clueless Coles at his smug-best!

    Fact1
    #Rafale with French-AA (AA : Armée de l’Air) have availability of 49% – lower than nearly any aircraft with IAF!
    Dassault has guaranteed 75% availability for Rafale in India! I wonder why they cant do it France?
    https://t.co/rpogzxaj98
    http://www.defenseworld.net/news/17812/Rafale_Fighter_Jet_Serviceability_Rate_With_French_Air_Force_Is_48_5_Percent
    http://www.liberation.fr/futurs/2015/06/19/armee-de-l-air-la-flotte-francaise-en-partie-clouee-au-sol_1333006

    Fact2
    Corruption in India?
    How can India’s corrupt bureaucracy get the lowest rates for avowedly the best aircraft that the global vendor base can offer? I wonder if @Hush_Kit has read anything about the $21 trillion scam in USA DoD?
    https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2017/msu-scholars-find-21-trillion-in-unauthorized-government-spending-defense-department-to-conduct/
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlikoff/2017/12/08/has-our-government-spent-21-trillion-of-our-money-without-telling-us/#459eef1a7aef

    Fact3

    Tejas Delayed?
    First prototype flight in Jan., 2001
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_HAL_Tejas#2001
    IOC-I – Jan., 2011
    IOC-II Dec., 2013
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_HAL_Tejas#2001
    Any clean-slate product that has moved faster in the last 50-yr?

    Fact4

    Tejas Costly?
    R&D cost ~US$1 billion?
    Any jet fighter started production at a lower development cost?
    Marginal costing – ~25 million?
    Slice & dice it any way you want … Any jet fighter at comparable cost?

    Fact5

    Tejas has low range

    Gripen D combat radius 500 km for most of its CAP missions!

    Anyways, this will be further enhanced by #Tejas MK2
    https://t.co/lk2uKm5263

    Reply
  8. 9

    Kartik

    That’s it. I won’t ever again be visiting Hushkit.net. This joker is an aviation journo for Hushkit with this level of limited knowledge of another nation’s aviation industry and its challenges?

    And do we need a “gora” to come tell us whether our programs are jokes or hopes? What rubbish!!

    Let him go peddle the Gripen to Botswana, which needs fighters ugently. To fight off God knows whom. No corruption there, seriously.

    Reply
  9. 10

    Srikanth

    This guy looks like a joke, with no clue of LCA Tejas and its capabilities. He might be driving trucks.

    Reply

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