Originally posted by Daedalus3
Can't drop indigenous aircraft production..
That's like sitting on the wrong side of a tree branch and sawing it off!
The $$$ spent are a problem, but the solution isn't to close the program itself.
If India has to have a sustained fighter industry in the future, the LCA has to see FOC and production.
Its not a bad a/c; just a budgetary fiasco..
Its a decent a/c; believe me!
The ~126 F-16/F-18(or others) etc are coming irrespective of the LCA numbers.
I'd prefer a Rafale/MiG 35/Eurofighter to an F-16 blk 70 or a superhornet though
Limited Series Production (LSP) aircraft:
Currently, 8 LSP series aircraft are on order.
* LSP-1 (KH2011) - 25 April 2007
* LSP-2 - Expected to fly in mid-2007.
* LSP-3 - Will be the first aircraft to have the MMR and will be close to IOC
* LSP-4 to LSP-8 - Planned to fly by late 2008.
Originally posted by Daedalus3
In other news reports, the INS Vikramadtiya, the new carrier for the IN, has been grossly delayed and run in overcosts..
Because of an underestimation of cable lengths!!
Still looking for more news reports(Russian even) to confirm this.
As part of the counter-measures against the Chinese build-up of military infrastructure in the Tibet Autonomous Region and south China, India will progressively base squadrons of its most potent fighter Sukhoi-30MKIs in the eastern sector from 2008-2009 onwards.
"The first two squadrons, with 36 fighters, will be based at Tezpur airbase. The MiG-21s at Tezpur were phased out earlier this month. Now, the runway at the airbase will undergo a renovation, coupled with an infrastructure upgrade to house the Sukhois," said an IAF officer. The move is significant since the multi-role Sukhoi 'air dominance' fighters, which have a cruising speed of 3,200 km, can strike targets deep inside China after taking off from Tezpur.........
........Incidentally, the People's Liberation Army (Air Force) has established at least four airbases in Tibet and three in south China to mount operations against India. But since these bases are located at an average height of 10,000 feet, the weapon-carrying load of Chinese fighters is somewhat restricted.
India, on its part, has so far based its Sukhois only at Pune and Bareilly, though they have operated from as diverse places as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Halwara......
DRDO DELIVERS ENVIRONMENTAL SURVEY VEHICLE (ESV) TO INDIAN NAVY
An Environmental Survey Vehicle (ESV), developed by the DRDO, was formally handed over to the Indian Navy here today. Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and DRDO Chief Shri M. Natarajan handed over the ESV to Vice Admiral Nirmal Verma, Vice Chief of Naval Staff, at a function held at DRDO Bhawan.
Defence Laboratory, Jodhpur has designed and developed this ESV for Indian Navy. ESV is a radiological laboratory on wheels and is equipped with the state-of-art instruments. It is capable of estimating radioactivity in field conditions in solid, liquids and air. The qualitative and quantitative assay will be helpful to certify the suitability of eatables, drinkables and inhaleables in the field conditions from radiation safety angle for coastal areas. It is capable to measure alpha, beta and gamma radiation quantitatively and qualitatively to even very low level of radioactivity thereby facilitating early detection of any unusual increase in radioactivity in the area. The ESV is also capable to detect any intentional or unintentional release of radioactivity in a marine environment. Needless to say, the capabilities of this vehicle will find increased utility in the changing security environment.
Accepting the ESV on behalf of Indian Navy, Vice Admiral Nirmal Verma commended the DRDO for its efforts in completing the project in the stipulated time.
Foreign Bidders Seek Deadline Extension for India’s MMRCA
The deadline for submitting bids for India’s $10 billion Medium Multi-Range Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) is likely to be extended by another six months.
Foreign vendors have made repeated requests for the Ministry of Defence to extend the acceptance of bids beyond the current March 8, 2008, deadline, ministry sources said.
The foreign vendors say they need extra time to submit their technical bids, especially in view of the conditions India has attached to the contract, including requirements for 50 percent in offsets and the transfer of several critical technologies.
A senior executive for one foreign vendor invited to bid on the program said privately that his company is finding the Indian request for proposals (RfP) vague and unclear on several points, so compiling the technical bids could require extra time.
The RfPs were sent out 18 months after the request for information was floated in December 2005. An extension of the bid deadline would further delay the procurement. Moreover, the tenure of the United Progressive Alliance government, which ends in mid-2009, is likely to be another drag on the process.
It is estimated that the first MMRCA will not be inducted until after 2017, adding to the pressure on the Indian air force’s depleting fleet strength, a senior air force official said.
India Aircraft Tech Proposal May Be Hard To Enforce, Ministry Says
NEW DELHI — India wants technology transfer from whomever it picks to supply its 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), but Defence Ministry sources say it will be tough to enforce that provision, especially if a U.S. aircraft is picked.
In its request for proposals in the estimated $10 billion program, ministry officials required that all but 18 of the aircraft be at least partially manufactured in India, with licensed production of the engines, avionics, radar, equipment, tooling, and various systems and accessories. The foreign plane maker will be required to assist Indian firms so that manufacturing can begin within 48 months of signing a contract.
It also requires that Indian partners handle depot-level maintenance and support for the aircraft and associated equipment.
Some say negotiating such a large amount of technology transfer could delay the program up to four years.
Ministry sources said transferring technology will be easier for Russian and European firms, which are more familiar with Indian procurement procedures, than for American companies, which will find it difficult to negotiate without involving the U.S. government.
“India’s considered political stand on some geopolitical issues as Iran is likely to create some challenges, so it may entail a delay,” said defense analyst Rahul Bhonsle, a retired Indian Army brigadier.
Several foreign vendors said they had begun looking for Indian firms to work with on bids for the contract.
“Boeing really doesn’t look at [offsets] as obligations, but as long-term opportunities to bring win-win business and industrial benefits to India and to Boeing,” said Vivek Lall, who runs Integrated Defense Systems-Boeing India, voicing the same kind of sentiment publicly expressed by EADS and Lockheed Martin, as well.
But privately, several said they doubted the firms were ready for the kind of multibillion-dollar, high-tech infusion the government is seeking. Hindustan Aeronautics has been designated the lead production agency for the airframe, engine and assembly, with production of other systems to be given to private or state-owned firms.
They also voiced displeasure with the recent increase in offset requirement from 30 percent to 50 percent. Defence Ministry sources also said the cumbersome offset laws would delay progress by more than 20 months.
All told, it could take 10 years to settle the procurement details in this contract, India’s biggest since independence, and another four or five to begin production.
“The obstacles, especially the political obstacles, will vary widely depending on who lands the deal,” said Dhruva Jaishankar, South Asia analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
“The Russians are the status quo military supplier to India, so a decision to buy MiGs will produce no backlash from the political establishment. After the purchase of Mirages and Scorpene subs by India, the French have also proved politically uncontroversial, and the expectation is that other European manufacturers in competition — the Eurofighter consortium and Saab — will prove generally agreeable.
A political backlash may follow a decision to buy American — either the Super Hornet or the F-16, especially if the decision comes soon upon the heels of the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement.”
Deba Mohanty, defense analyst with the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation, said strategic considerations likely would dictate the decision.
“It does not seem to me that the government will find difficulties in selection on technological grounds, as all of the systems in question meet almost all operational requirements,” Mohanty said. “The technical and commercial evaluation may not necessarily be a hindrance, although the former could cause some anxiety on a variety of grounds.”