Originally posted by matej
Once again from the beginning...
A bit word about LCA and MCA: the LCA, developed in cooperation with france Dassault is no stealthy. India believe, that MCA will, but now it is only
the concept. My opinon is, that it wont be build. India does not have the experience for such a complex and advanced plane [the reason, why they
cooperate with Dassault on LCA is, that they went into troubles and did not have solution]. They will buy the new generation fighter from Russia or
will cooperate on the development [Sukhoi T-50].
India built the LCA (now Tejas) by themselves without any consultation or copying as you think
The MCA was a concept 3 years back. Now DRDO are considering building a portotype. The plan that i posted earlier was in a DRDO press release dated
march 1997, when work on the MCA first began .
The MCA will replace the Mirage-2000, Jaguar, and Mig-29 of the IAF whaen it does enter service after 2012.
The proven LCA delta wing gives good performance and its aerodynamics are now well understood to justify retention, however a higher wing loading has
been preferred. The fly-by-wire (FBW) controls in combination with a delta platform have certain advantages, especially in terms of high fuel storage,
increased manoeuvrability, less control surfaces and low radar cross section (RCS). The instability which occurs during low-altitude penetration with
significant payloads are minimised, thus the crew does not come under undue strain during long-range missions. The MCA will additionally use a
radar-absorbent material (RAM) coating to reduce RCS.
The MCA will have a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of about 18 tons. With the emphasis on stealth, the MCA will have two small, outward-canted fins
and the Kaveri engines will be without afterburners to minimise IR (Infra-Red) signature. For partial compensation for lack of afterburners, the
Kaveri engines on MCA will have a slightly higher dry thrust than the LCA engine. These engines will also have thrust-vectoring (TV) nozzles for
manoeuvring. Thrust-vectoring engines may prove to be invaluable to MCA. Apart from letting it use shorter airstrips for landing and take-off, TV
engines will prove to be of immense value in dodging incoming enemy beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missiles (AAMs) at extreme ranges.
A super-cruise capability of supersonically sustained flying without use of afterburners is not being sought for the MCA.
Also for stealth reasons, external conformal fuel tanks will be mounted above the wings, as is being considered for the LCA. Conformal fuel tanks
increase mission range to a considerable degree while the MCA will be free to manoeuvre to the full. Stores will be carried externally, however,
possibly conformally under the wing and fuselage, and will therefore increase RCS until released. This aspect is less than ideal and provision should
be made for internal weapon bays to carry weaponry in missions that demand extreme stealth attributes. Additional stores should be semi-recessed under
fuselage either in conformal style or laterally.
It is too early and speculative to go to details regarding avionics. An ASEA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar will be obligatory. ASEA
beams are difficult to detect while they can detect hostile emissions and neutralise them with their jamming transmitter. For passive navigation and
attack high-quality Forward-Looking Infra Red (FLIR) and Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) will be necessary. Combination of ASEA radar, IRST and FLIR
will ensure that MCA will remain aware of potential air-threats even while firmly focused on air-to-ground missions.
The EW (Electronic Warfare) suite should contain in addition to standard RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) and chaff/flare dispensers, towed decoys and
directed-energy weapons to snap the guidance of incoming AAMs. With wide choice of guidance methods for future AAMs like active-radar, infra-red,
imaging infra-red and passive homing, drastic countermeasures become obligatory.
As a bold step the MCA may be designed from outset as a naval strike-fighter with reinforced airframe and undercarriage and “arrestor-hook”. The
thrust-vectoring engines by default will permit shorter take-off and landing-approach speeds. It will provide our Naval Air Arm the flexible
Nuclear-delivery platforms if situation demands. MCA will in addition be able to make instantaneous post-attack assessment and may be recalled or
redirected to a different target even while it is enroute to its targets. In an “all-out” nuclear scenario usually the naval stealth SSBN
(Submarines, Ballistic missile armed, Nuclear powered) and Nuclear strike-fighters from mobile aircraft-carriers hold the key to massive punishing
retaliation. Land-based versions of naval-MCA could also be developed with relative ease.
Indigenous capability and self-reliance has many-fold benefits. A solid foundation on our own capability can be set up. Sanctions do have only a
marginal effect and can be ignored. Interestingly foreign collaborations are easy to attract if strong indigenous capability is built up as resources
can be shared.
Those who negatively criticize our indigenous capability and production are either ignorant or choose to ignore the fact that after USA, India has the
largest pool of scientists and qualified technical brains and personnel in the world. The United States does not suffer from such illusions. The
projected transfer of “dual-use” high technology between United States and India in fields of peaceful nuclear research and space exploration
through “glide path” program, indicates the deep American respect for Indian human resources, technical ability and knowledge absorption.
It is natural to harbour trust and reliance on branches of our Armed Forces along with our defence research scientists and personnel. For their part
the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and associate organisations should enter into reciprocal joint-development of military
hardware and software with established overseas consortiums for speedy delivery of items to our defence services.
The T-50 as you mentioned will constitute the heavy fighter category and will not affect or compete with the MCA.
IAF in 2015 :
> Light Conbat Aircraft > Tejas
> Medium combat aircraft
> Heavy fighters >> Su-30 MKI, PAK-FA (T-15?)
BTW matej, has the PAK-FA been named T-50 or what ??. have u got any pics ??