It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
With the first flight of its Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) now put back to mid-1999, nearly four years after its roll-out, the program appears to be plagued with difficulties and delays and the target date of 2003 for first deliveries to the Indian Air Force looks increasingly over-optimistic. Not so, according to the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which is responsible for the program. For the ADA, India's project to develop the LCA is frequently underestimated, highlighting that the aircraft is the first 4th-generation multi-role fighter to be developed from the ground up in Asia. Japan's Mitsubishi F-2 is a substantial upgrade of the US Lockheed Martin F-16, and China's new Chengdu F-10, based on technology from Israel's cancelled Lavi fighter, India's Ministry of Defence's agency points out.
ADA emphasizes that the LCA is the first Asian-designed fighter to have an ingeniously developed engine, unlike the F-2 (powered by a General Electric F110-GE-129 turbofan) and the F-10 (which uses a Russian engine - the Saturn Lyulka AL-31F). Combining a new airframe and engine puts development of the LCA in the same class as the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon, according to the agency. Add to that the requirement to develop a naval variant, and the scale of India's undertaking becomes more evident. The task is complicated by the country's lack of recent experience with combat aircraft development. India's last indigenously designed fighter, the HAL HF-24, first flew in 1967. India blames this lack of experience on the fact that the first LCA technology demonstrator, aircraft TD-1, has not flown since its roll-out in Nov. '95.
Reports that the delays have been caused by systems integration problems are off the mark, says Dr. Kota Harinarayana, LCA program director at ADA. In an exclusive interview with Flight International, he explains that the entire development test infrastructure has had to be built up from scratch. Standalone test rigs have been developed for over 500 line replaceable units (LRUs) in the LCA's avionics and systems, he says. All the test rigs were developed in-house, which took time. "We have developed numerous rigs; a dynamic avionics integration rig, iron bird for testing flight controls, environmental control system rig, fuel control system rig, and the like," he explains. Certification of each rig was a major project in itself, he says, but it will minimize the testing which has to be done on the actual aircraft. Another time-consuming step has been the independent verification and validation of all on-board software. India has worked to ensure that documentation is up to the U.S. Mil. Std. 21 67A level, and that the software design and coding meets all requirements, says Dr. Harinarayana.
Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
Rock the world? Hardly, Indian fighters can be good, but they don't have the same ammount of expirience as USA or Russia so it's impossible to comapre.