WITH THE largest-ever deal for domestic defence manufacture signed on Wednesday – for 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A and 10 LCA Mk-1 variations – it was the end result of a undertaking that kicked off in 1983. However, officers of the company that designed and developed the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) say now that the core know-how is prepared, it would act as a catalyst for a number of other initiatives which can be lined up.
Three new fighter jets can be flying by 2026, of which two can be for the Air Force and one for the Navy, Girish S Deodhare, chief of Aeronautical Development Agency of the Defence Ministry, which has designed the LCA, advised The Indian Express.
He stated the primary to roll out by the tip of 2023 can be a brand new LCA, the Mk-2 model. It consolidates the applied sciences which have matured in Mk-1 “into a bigger more capable platform”, stated Deodhare.
He stated the 123 Mk-1 and Mk1A plane procured by the Air Force are alternative for the MiG-21 class so their “design parameters were such that it was a light, small aircraft, very maneuverable and mainly for air defence, that is guarding our boundaries, so it has a certain capability of carrying weapons and fuel”. The Tejas, he stated, can carry 3.5 tonnes of exterior payload.
The LCA Mk-2 although, Deodhare stated, is a alternative for the Mirage 2000 class of plane, “which is much bigger, and it has got a bigger engine also” and might carry 6.5 tonnes of payload. “It’s a much more capable aircraft, but what is important is that the technology is already developed in LCA. That is why this is something targeted very fast,” he stated.
The roll-out is deliberate for 2022 and first flight by 2023 and manufacturing of the Mk-2 model by 2026, he stated.
This can be adopted by the AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft), which is fifth era whereas the LCA is 4.5 era, he stated. “The design activity was started in 2010, and a lot of new developments had to be done,” he stated.
It is a stealth plane so it’s designed for stealth and in contrast to the LCA, which is designed for maneuverability, the AMCA has a singular form to attain low radar cross-section and has obtained inside carriage of weapons, he stated. “When you remove the external weapons, this aircraft has enough fuel and weapons inside to do a very capable operational role in the stealth mode,” Deodhare stated.
It can have a spread from over 1,000 km as much as 3,000 km in numerous modes, he stated. “We will be reaching the forefront of technology.”
Deodhare stated the AMCA’s design is full and the Air Force has “frozen their requirements”. “We are starting into the manufacturing phase,” he stated. The prototype can be prepared by 2024, and the primary flight, instantly after that.
While AMCA Mk-1 can have an imported engine, similar as LCA Mk-2, the AMCA Mk-2 can have an indigenous engine. The LCA Mk-2 engine will be changed with an indigenous one at a later stage.
“Two squadrons of the AMCA Mk-1 will have an imported engine. Subsequently in Mk-2, which Air Force wants in bigger numbers, will come with a more powerful indigenous engine,” he stated. The plane can be made in a means in order that the brand new indigenous engine will slot in with very minimal adjustments, he stated.
The third new fighter jet, which is most difficult, is the Twin-Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF) for the Navy, which can be flying by 2026. “The TEDBF is a much bigger challenge,” Deodhare stated, including that it took time “maturing those technologies”.
Aircraft carriers, he stated, are a “very high-value asset” and further warning is required to stop any injury to it. After profitable on-shore assessments in November 2019, they obtained permission for ship trials in 2020. “When we went to the ship, in five days we did 18 landings, and not a single miss… Now the Navy is clear that we can make the aircraft, because the Air Force technologies were all there, this was the key.” The Navy’s necessities have been finalised in May 2020 after which “we started the concept design”.
He stated the Navy is wanting for its induction in 2031.
The AMCA, he stated, will go in the direction of sixth era and “one of the technologies that is required for the AMCA Mk-2 is to be optionally manned”. The plane will be flown with or and not using a pilot, relying on the mission. “So that is a capability that is coming on AMCA Mk-2, and that is being proven on Naval prototypes. Even the TEDBF will have the capability, with automatic take-off and landing.”
What many individuals don’t know, he stated, is that “the take-off is already automatic, it’s a hands-free take-off” within the Naval LCA prototypes.
Each Tejas Mk-1A prices Rs 309 crore
HAL CMD R Madhavan stated that whereas the price of the Tejas Mk-1A deal is round Rs 48,000 crore, of it round Rs 9000 crore are taxes and about Rs 11,000 crore are for spares, upkeep and other heads. He stated the efficient price of one Tejas Mk-1A is round Rs 309 crore. He talked about that some Southeast Asian and West Asian nations have proven curiosity in procuring Tejas fighter jets. —ENS