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LCA ( light combat aircraft ) from HAL INDIA

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hi guys, i want to know by when the LCA will be inducted into the IAF. also by when the naval LCA will be inducted in to the navy. how many LCAs will the IAF & navy order.
NAVAL LCA - i've seen the pic of the naval LCA, it looks real great.  will it be better than the mig-29 naval which indian navy is ordering. also how wld it compare to f-18, f-14, sea harrier & other naval airplanes.
AIRFORCE LCA - how does it compare with f-16 c/d, mirage-2000-5, mig-29, grippen, j-10 & fc-1.

India is very proud of its achievement of its own supersonic fighter, and rightfully so, if it lives up to its promises and expectations. However development and production have been severely delayed. And its indigenous engine development of the Kaveri is troublesome as well. It looks now, that with the US connection restored, all LCA Téjas might end up with the US F404 engine.  Which is no shame, because the Swedish did the same with their Gripen (although they didn't try to build their own engine).

The recent 126 multirole fighter requirement, to be bought from abroad, confirms my doubts in the LCA. Although I believe it might be a fine MiG-21 replacement, and well suited against the older Mirages, older F-16s, F-7s and even JF-17s it may face.

I am not sure if there has been a firm order yet by the IAF. But considering 300 MiGs need replacement, we might see an eventual order of 150-200 aircraft. I wonder what it will have costed the Indian tax payer when only 150 are ultimately produced. I don't see any export potential.

The Naval LCA is just a concept as far as I know. The MiG-29K can enter production now, Russia offers license production, so the order will be sufficient to fill its new carrier. India expressed no interest in the ex-RN Sea Harrier FA.2, which probably means that as soon as the MiG-29Ks are on strength, the existing fleet of Harriers will be retired as well as the carrier Viraat, or perhaps it might soldier on as helicopter ship. Now, India plans to build its own carrier, and I think that's what HAL is aiming at with this concept. The LCA will have matured by then, and the trainer version fully developed. So I don't think it should be compared to any of the aircraft you mentioned, but to the naval JSFs, F/A-18E/F, MiG-29K upgraded, and Rafale.

The Indian AF is to have a future airforce with 4 different "types" of fighter aircraft:

- A heavy multirole fighter Su-30MKI with a total of 190 to be purchased
- A Medium Fighter Today:  Mig-29 (how many?), M2000 (approx. 50)
                                                        Another 10 new M2000 are on order and the 12 Qatari M2000-5 will be delivered to India as well
                                                        The new fighter procurement program for 126 will be in this category, with the most important
                                                        bidders being the M2000-5, the Mig-29(new generation) and the F-16. I believe that the F/A-18 and
                                                        the Gripen are also being considered.
- Light Fighter    Currently the Mig-21. 125 Fishbeds were upgraded by Russia. The LCA Tejas will replace the old Fishbeds.
- Strike aircraft    The Jaguar (approx. 140) and the recently modified Mig-27M (approx. 165) will soldier on for a long time to come                                     

Yes, and it looks they plan to give the new Hawks an armed capability as well...probably mainly for advanced weapons training. But it's just another measure neccessary because of the delays in LCA programma in my humble opinion.

I too, think that LCA is a good achievement for Indian aerospace industry. But the project lacked good planning at the very beginning. First flight was planned for 1990 and first service entry was planned for 1994. There was 4.5 years of interval between first flight of prototype and IOC aircraft. That interval was 6.5 years for Gripen of Sweden. 16 years for Rafale and 17 years for EF-2000 passed from the production of the first prototype till service entry, this interval was planned to be 10 years for LCA... Compare the industrial infrastructure, experience and technological capabilities of these European nations (i.e Sweden, France, UK etc) with India. There had been a serious mistake somewhere, which resulted in a ~10 years of delay and lots of MiG crashes, and most important, loss of pilots.

On February 10th, first order for 40 aircraft was given by IAF, with a cost of Rs 4000 crore. This is a start, but the future does not seem so bright for Tejas, I think. 

This is the news about LCA order on 10th February. Sorry I don't have the link.

--- Quote ---AIR force to buy 40 LCA from HAL


The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday firmed an order for 40 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), including 20 opitional purchases at a total cost of Rs 4000 crore.

Announcing this at a press conference, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi said the first LCA was expected to be delivered in 2008 and the LCA induction into the Airforce would take place in the 2010-2012 time frame.

He said the ADA had already been asked to hasten the LCA project and was sure that the delivery would be on schedule with all necessry flying hours logged. Three developmental aircraft had already logged 357 sorties, he said and added the first twin seater LCA was expected to be ready within the next one-and-half years, he added.

Replying to a question, he said the decision of the Air Force to go in for 126 multi role fighters in the 20 tonne class had nothing to do with the delay in the induction of LCA. ''We needed different aircraft in the airforce fleet. Don't mix up purchase of 126 aircraft with the LCA'' he added.

He said the Airforce had sent in for request for information for the 126 fighters and hoped the complex process would be completed at the earleist. He asserted that the proposal would not be delayed as was the case with the acquisition of the Advanced Jet Trainer Hawk and said the process would be completed in a much faster pace.

''All decisions do not rest in Vayu Bhavan'' Tyagi said. Different ministries in the union government, besides a whole lot of agencies, including the HAL, were involved in the process and definitely it would take time. ''But we will complete the process as quickly as possible in view of the demand for the aircraft''.

The first 20 aircraft would be fitted with the GE F404 engines, he said adding that it would be fine if the Kaveri engine being developed indigenously was fitted on to the LCA. ''The Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) informed me that Kaveri engine will be delivered and I have no reason to doubt it''. However there is already an alternate engine option in the GE F404.

On weaponising the LCA, the Air Chief said the weapons had been identified and the appropriate agencies had been told about it.

Replying to questions about the HAL's plan for the development of a Combat Attack Trainer (CAT) whose mock up had been displayed at the HAL pavillion at the aeroshow here, the Air Chief said the project was still in the nascent stage. ''The HAL and the IAF had come up with some idea. A lot need to be done'' he added.

On the BrahMos missle being fitted into a fighter aircraft, he said the three tonne missle was a huge weapon and certain work need to be carried out to reduce its weight. Modifications need to be worked out on aircraft and the missle, he added
--- End quote ---


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