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Thread: Tejas Mk1 and Mk2 thread

  1. #31
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    bigger engine..

    why not just go for a wider fan on the Kaveri? and you got 90kN or even more? Especially in a bigger jet as the AMCA?

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twinblade View Post
    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will no longer ask French aircraft engine builder Snecma to help it in resurrecting the indigenous Kaveri jet engine, which has reached a dead end in development.
    IIRC Snecma was selected to be the partner to "rescue" the Kaveri project years ago. Why did it take years to decide this partnership would not work?

    “To develop a more powerful Kaveri engine quickly and to become self-reliant in engine design, we need a foreign partner which can bring in core technologies. Otherwise the next cycle of engine development could take another 15-20 years,” admits Ramnarayan, frankly.
    If Snecma would not transfer key technologies required for India to become self reliant in engine design, was the problem that Snecma refused to transfer critical technology or was it that the price asked was too high? If the problem was not price, will any other engine manufacturer be prepared to transfer the key technologies required?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire9 View Post
    Why did it take years to decide this partnership would not work?
    Money and rights to the finished product. GE is making a push as well.

  4. #34
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    Perhaps Snecma also wanted a guarantee from Indian govt that it would purchase a minimum number of kaveri-snecma engine when completed. And the minimum number could not be agreed upon.

  5. #35
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    Will the Mk2 have all these things the author mentions or is he blowing smoke?

    http://trishul-trident.blogspot.com/...hers-pace.html
    Smert spionem

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Will the Mk2 have all these things the author mentions or is he blowing smoke?

    http://trishul-trident.blogspot.com/...hers-pace.html
    There are comments dating from July 2011 below the article. Makes me wonder what year the following refers to:

    "By the year’s end, the IAF is expected to select the foreign vendor for supplying the integrated fire-control system (including an infra-red search-and-track sensor, or IRST, integrated with an AESA-based multi-mode radar), and a frameless canopy actuation system. The former, which will, in essence, dictate the Tejas Mk2’s combat capabilities, is likely to keenly contested by vendors from the US, France, Israel and Italy."

    Is it still intended to use a foreign sourced AESA?

  7. #37
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    The above blog is owned by Prasun Sengupta - the biggest BS'er when it comes to anything Indian defence. He just makes stuff up, plain and simple.
    Only thing worthwhile in his blogs are the copy pasted brochures and PR material, and even there, he uses these to spin wild yarns.

    There is no plan to import an AESA for the Tejas. The plan was and is, to have a partner work with LRDE (India's radar development specialist) to develop Tx/Rx modules which would be integrated with the radar back end developed by LRDE (receiver, exciter, processor) and also assist with the overall design & development of the radar (including trials and certification). That way, India would have its own AESA fire control radar, while doing what it could to minimize developmental challenges and delays. Relying on a proven partner for Tx/Rx modules (for the initial development) while transitioning to a local/codeveloped source, would be the prudent method.

    Coming to the IRST, DRDO has significant experience with FLIR and image processing, so developing an IRST is not beyond them. They have integrated FLIRs which are in production for various land systems, naval platforms and airborne platforms including UAVs. So leveraging that experience to build an IRST is possible (though the requirements will be different)

    Albeit with assistance for the detector arrays, since these require significant capital expenditure and will delay any project if developed abinitio.

    However, there is no firm statement from the developers noting that an IRST is indeed on the MK2. The need of the day, from the IAF perspective is to get the basics (including the radar and weaponization) completed.
    This CAD image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-I40Q_WKDw8...as+LCA+Mk2.jpg

    Shows for instance, the radar rack on the LCA MK2- but it does not show an IRST
    Last edited by Teer; 12th January 2013 at 21:07.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teer View Post

    Coming to the IRST, DRDO has significant experience with FLIR and image processing, so developing an IRST is not beyond them. They have integrated FLIRs which are in production for various land systems, naval platforms and airborne platforms including UAVs. So leveraging that experience to build an IRST is possible (though the requirements will be different)

    Albeit with assistance for the detector arrays, since these require significant capital expenditure and will delay any project if developed abinitio.
    I was looking up on IRST program of IRDE some time back. The trail goes cold past 2007 and the last mention of IRST I found was in a paper on IRST tracking algorithms and sensor fusion by NAL in 2009. I believe there are no plans as of now, or they have been abandoned.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teer View Post
    The above blog is owned by Prasun Sengupta - the biggest BS'er when it comes to anything Indian defence. He just makes stuff up, plain and simple.
    Quote Originally Posted by Teer View Post
    There is no plan to import an AESA for the Tejas. The plan was and is, to have a partner work with LRDE (India's radar development specialist) to develop Tx/Rx modules which would be integrated with the radar back end developed by LRDE (receiver, exciter, processor) and also assist with the overall design & development of the radar (including trials and certification). That way, India would have its own AESA fire control radar, while doing what it could to minimize developmental challenges and delays. Relying on a proven partner for Tx/Rx modules (for the initial development) while transitioning to a local/codeveloped source, would be the prudent method.
    So is technology for Tx/Rx module development/production the key capability that is lacking domestically? It sounds like the other things you mention could be done by LRDE but teaming with a foreign partner reduces the risk of delay. When does the AESA need to be ready to fit in with the Mk2 development schedule? Has a partner been lined up yet?

  10. #40
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    What about the claims of frameless canopy, MAWS, 1 meter extension, etc? I thought the Mk2 would have a 0.5m plug, where is the 1m plug info coming from?
    Smert spionem

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire9 View Post
    So is technology for Tx/Rx module development/production the key capability that is lacking domestically? It sounds like the other things you mention could be done by LRDE but teaming with a foreign partner reduces the risk of delay. When does the AESA need to be ready to fit in with the Mk2 development schedule? Has a partner been lined up yet?
    From the hardware side, yes. But there is a lot more that goes into a fire control radar, including the algorithms and the software to implement those. Then there will be the painstaking certification process. Now in terms of A2A radar tech, the LRDE has moved ahead significantly with the XV-2004 program (an A2A and A2S program for a lightweight MMR for helicopters), whereas the Tejas MMR program (completed with Elta's help) is another plus - in the latter though, a lot of the software was provided by Elta. The primary AESA radar for the CABs AEW&C (also a LRDE responsibility) is another program that can be leveraged to some extent for the Tejas program. In this, the hardware and software is all from LRDE. It will surely be a huge assist in terms of tech development and building up the right experience to leverage for a similar program (fast moving AESA to detect/track other fast moving targets, with both A2A and A2S modes).

    But all said & done, a partnership with an international partner which already has an AESA FCR or significant building blocks to leverage (e.g. Selex, Thales or Elta) will definitely help. The choice of a partner has not been made public as of yet.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    What about the claims of frameless canopy, MAWS, 1 meter extension, etc? I thought the Mk2 would have a 0.5m plug, where is the 1m plug info coming from?
    Take whatever Sengupta writes as a joke. Guy has no clue of whats going on in India. He has an import fetish and a severe inferiority complex and keeps banging on about this fancy toy and that toy from some other manufacturer. As if life is so easy that India can just go with a shopping list, buy mission computers from Israel, radars from Europe, MAWS from Germany, and integrate it all in India and then call the Tejas done. That's Sengupta's logic for you. He just wants to brag about some local program or the other by making them all fancy with some gee whiz jargon copied from websites.

    In reality, there are a variety of local programs underway for core capabilities, some entirely local efforts and some with foreign participation/codevelopment, for programs like the Tejas. They don't sound as fancy as the jargon heavy stuff he sees on websites, so he ignores them.

    For instance, his blog claims that India has stopped working on LF Sonars for the Navy and everything is imported. In reality, only a handful of navy ships have imported towed array sonars, local programs to make these critical towed array sonars continue, while the Navy continues to evaluate imported systems only for the interim. The same approach it took for EW suites, while local ones got ready. Meanwhile, Sengupta was blogging up a storm, copying everything from Israeli sites and claiming it was all in India.

    Coming back to the LCA..

    The mission computer for instance is not an import, but the DARE one. A similar one has been developed by HAL, but the one for the LCA is the OAC, which was developed earlier, and uses PPC processors vs the 486/386 class chips used in the earlier LCA TDs and leveraged for DARIN-1 and the Su-30 MKI (which too will be upgraded with new IMAs under the Su-30 MKI program). These OACs take over the function of several discrete computers in the LCA TD and can drive advanced software functions as they have more processing power...such as sensor fusion, mentioned in at least 1 report as earmarked for the LCA MK2.

    The RLG-INS is currently from Sagem, but will be replaced by one from RCI, developed for both the LCA and variants for the Agni/BMD/strategic missile programs.

    The EW suite is a derivative of an Indian program to field a common suite of EW suites across the MiG-27, MiG-29, LCA and Su-30 MKI programs, called the RWJ (Radar Warner Jammer). India is cooperating with Elta and Elettronica for codeveloping the jamming hardware, which will be manufactured at BEL but the ESM & the core analyis matrix is DAREs IP. (You can add jamming elements to the detection/analysis/signal generation part)

    Similarly, the radar is LRDEs with codevelopment and tech development assistance for the overall program..

    Display Map Generators will be from one of the two partners (local) chosen by ADA, one of which is Comavia.

    Radios may be either from HAL or a CAIR/BEL SDR.

    Displays for the original LCA MK1 were from Sagem but will clearly be indigenized as Samtel is now supplying large Su-30 sized MFDs for the MKI production at HAL.

    And so it goes..

    In short the import percentage for the LCA will decline or at most remain constant, but it certainly wont zoom up, with magical tech from every manufacturer in the world, added to the plane, just to satisfy Prasun Sengupta's lurid dreams. The IAF would never agree to such a method of just adding anything and everything just because its jargon-cool. The LCA is actually the platform being used to develop local items which are then used across IAF upgrades to drive commonality

    The space allocated length wise, per previous CAD images is 0.5mtrs not 1 mtr. Sengupta in his deliberate smoke and mirrors leaves out the specifications part of the brochure (13.7 mtr length for the MK2 versus 13.2 for the MK1).

    Re: the canopy, the ADA with NAL has figured out how to reduce the RCS by putting metal oxides into the glass. They certainly haven't mentioned it will be frameless or the like. I wager that stuff came after Sengupta decided to copy something from the F-22.

    In the past, he has copied entire magazine articles about the F/A-18 E/F, Gripen, EF and made them part of the Su-30. Now, his kind attention is towards the LCA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Twinblade
    I was looking up on IRST program of IRDE some time back. The trail goes cold past 2007 and the last mention of IRST I found was in a paper on IRST tracking algorithms and sensor fusion by NAL in 2009. I believe there are no plans as of now, or they have been abandoned.
    If its as recent as 2009, then its likely the program is continuing as a TD program. But it may be directed towards the future as an upgrade option or for the AMCA, but not directly towards the LCA MK2 as a necessary fit.
    Last edited by Teer; 13th January 2013 at 17:55.

  13. #43
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    Teer,

    Do you know any remedial measures taken by BEL to provide updated RWR's? As a recent report suggeted that most of the rwr's supplied by BEL were unreliable and unsatisfactory.

    Out of the 336 systems developed by state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited, only 73 could actually be integrated on aircraft and that too seven years after their procurement
    Till 2012, only 73 RWRs were integrated on just four types of aircraft
    Out of these 73 systems, the performance of as many as 69 systems was found to be unreliable or unsatisfactory
    http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121219/nation.htm#10

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anant View Post
    Teer,

    Do you know any remedial measures taken by BEL to provide updated RWR's? As a recent report suggeted that most of the rwr's supplied by BEL were unreliable and unsatisfactory.

    http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121219/nation.htm#10
    Hi Anant,

    This is news from 2012, and relates to a mismatch in both planning/acquisition of tech which was supplanted by newer tech (which IAF then ordered), obsolete platforms (which meant the IAF doesnt have aircraft to put some 50 RWRs on), plus delay in installation.

    Anyways, BEL supplied 336 RWRs but only some 20% were integrated. Rest were awaiting certification clearance for integration, plus in some cases, IAF may order new RWRs as tech has moved on.

    Basically, the IAF decided in 2002 to get some 300 odd RWRs, ordered them in 2005 for delivery till 2010. BEL delivered them all by 2007 itself and warranty expired on many of these units.

    A full third of the RWRs were awaiting installation early last year (as versus not having been delivered by BEL etc) since the RCMA was certifying them and the certification was awaited by the IAF.

    In all likelihood, another third of these will never be integrated as originally planned, because tech moved on in the interim, and the IAF has now contracted for better RWRs from BEL itself.

    Net, some 200 may be integated, and the issues will be solved by BEL as is usual (advantages of having the manufacturer in country). CAG will be unhappy about cost and having to pay BEL again (as warranty expired), but its all money back and forth, within the GOI anyway.

    If we check the BEL CEO's interviews circa 2011, he mentioned at the time that BEL was working with the IAF to rectify serviceability issues with the initial tranche of RWRs.

    The ones that will be "spare" will mostly fitted onto the Hawks - thats the IAF plan.

    Coming to the performance of these units, remember the IAF's MiG-21 Bisons (with the same Tarang MK1B RWRs) detected F-16CJs (from Kadena) first, making the IAF happy about their performance.

    Coming to the point about some of these initial units having serviceability issues, its to be expected that since these complex systems were mass produced and integrated en masse, for the first time in the country, teething troubles would exist. Such issues occur worldwide. For instance, when the IAF contracted for new, first in class recce systems from Israel, there was a delay in both development and supply, and even after induction, work was ongoing to get them to the desired level of reliability.

    When IAF got the Bison upgrade from Russia, MBTF of the first few radars was of the order of a few hours as versus the desired 125 hrs plus.

    About the upgrades and as to why the original plans may no longer work out, I give more details below.

    The Bisons all have the Tarang RWRs, nd the 40 odd MiG-27s upgraded. While so do some of the 100 odd Su-30 MKIs produced locally The earlier Su-30 MKIs (MK-1/MK-2) from Russia have Pastel RWRs.

    The Jaguar DARIN-2 upgrades also have local RWRs of the Tarang class.

    However, current Su-30 MKI MK-3s in production should have a new fitment - with better coverage of the RWR antenna.

    This new RWR for the Su-30 MK-3 is called the R-118 and replaces the Tarang MK1B for the Su-30 MKI MK-3. Its lighter, more compact and has better coverage (with 6 antenna versus 4 on the original) without giving up on the Tarang MK1Bs sensitivity (which translates to range).

    Its not the final version however. DRDO (DARE) with BEL is developing the Eagle Eye suite for the Su-30 MKI Upgrade. The Su-30 MKI Upgrade has also been seen with wingtip jammers on models, which means a variant of the RWJ suite or Russian jammers.

    So the Su-30MKI MK3s may all have planned a Tarang, but its going to be R118 and Eagle Eye instead.

    Interestingly, you carry a SPJ - and it will work with the existing setup to warn you of incoming threats. SPJs like the EL/L-8222 have both Rx and Tx capability.

    For the LCA - as mentioned before - it will get the RWJ (as will the upgraded MiG-27s) which will complement the originally planned RWRs. So again, the original plans for Tarang, superceded.

    Jaguar DARIN-3s will also get a new RWR (in all likelihood a derivative of the R-118) and a new EW suite.

    MiG-29s Upgrades are already getting the new RWJ (with multiple "new" receive and also transmit antenna). The Tx part is being codeveloped with Elettronica, leveraging the latter's high power AESA Tx aperture tech. For the LCA and MiG-27, its conventional TWT based jammers, but with several apertures. So, upgrading the MiG-29s with Tarang, whats the point?

    Mirage 2000s will have the Thales ICMS suite and the upgrades will take place over the coming decade.

    Net, is this a huge issue for the Indian forces, not really. It will be solved. If these were all systems acquired from a foreign vendor, then yes, it would be an issue. Because, the IAF would get bogged down in issues of warranty, cost, having to retender to get it solved etc. It has happened before.

    In the case of these, its BEL & they'll work with the IAF to solve the problems, they have done so in the past as well.
    Last edited by Teer; 13th January 2013 at 18:50.

  15. #45
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    Thank you very much Teer for the detailed reply. I really appreciate that the time you took out to explain the situation. CAG report tends to give half picture. Its quite expected *any* new system will face initial problems in integration or serviceability. 3 years for certification (2007-2011)!! That was quite some time taken for certification. What surprised me was that it took such a long time to integrate that by the time they were integrated, many of the rwr systems warranty had expired!

  16. #46
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    Thanks for all the info, Teer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anant View Post
    Its quite expected *any* new system will face initial problems in integration or serviceability. 3 years for certification (2007-2011)!! That was quite some time taken for certification. What surprised me was that it took such a long time to integrate that by the time they were integrated, many of the rwr systems warranty had expired!
    To me this kind of thing belongs to the domain of the absurd. Is there something badly wrong with the way I see things or is there something badly wrong with the way "the system" in India sees things? Perhaps the absurd is so ubiquitous that it is not seen as abnormal.

    Re: Tejas Mk2, various sources state first flight will take place in 2014 and production should start a couple years later after Mk1 production is complete. If it is not yet known which company will be assisting with designing and producing the AESA, what are the chances of Mk2 being delayed due to the AESA arriving late?

  17. #47
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    Is it really that absurd? Taken a look at worldwide procurement lately and what is common knowledge about how many programs are beset by delays, cost increases, certification challenges? As systems get more complex, better tech becomes available, program management struggles to keep pace.

    If we look at the EF program and how successive items were enabled by software upgrades or tranches. Or the umpteen procurement challenges that invariably happen with the UK and any technology acquisition. Been following the Astute class saga?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/no...ow-leaky-rusty

    Or what of the Collins class in Australia?
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-...209-2b3zb.html

    The former link shows how endemic the problem of technology development running into challenges is. The latter shows that procurement planning is easy to talk about, but even decades into service, cost estimations etc remain a challenge.

    The only way to avoid such stuff is to induct heavily tested, mature stuff, but then be prepared to pay heavily if upgrades are required.

    In this case, part of the problem is that technology changes so rapidly & India is moving up the curve, that sometimes procurement is struggling to keep pace.

    I have posted on this in the past, but lets discuss RWRs and RWRs alone, over the past decade.

    India has developed - Tarang1, Tarang1B, Tarang2, R118, RWJ (different variants for LCA, MiG-27, MiG-29, Su-30 MKI) and these are for fighter/transports, whereas now for AEW&CS etc platforms, there are are entirely new ESM systems in progress.

    Besides the above, there are other ESM suites for multiple platforms.

    Thats like 8-10 types of RWRs and variants thereof for different platforms. In the same timeframe, India also developed a special pod (HADF) to use their Russia supplied Kh-31 ARMs. It also developed a new jammer (Tusker) which is now being supplanted by the combo warner and jammer (RWJ), taking away the need for the IAF to carry dedicated SPJs.

    So even as the IAF ordered Tarang1/2, and deliveries took place, something better was developed and is in the trials/certification process, and hence the IAF has asked for its inclusion instead of the original. That is the R-118.

    And even as that happens, DRDO has developed the RWJ and has better tech for the Su-30 MKI program itself. The IAF has now asked for these on the upgrades.

    Clearly, the certification authorities which were hitherto used to once in a while imports, with documentation all ready, are also struggling to cope, and are being expanded as a result.

    There are two ways to look at this. Gee - the systems are not perfect the first time around. Procurement planning is not exact either, and should have got all the right systems ordered at one go.

    Having tracked these things across multiple country programs - I can reasonably say, that won't occur.

    India is right now in "boom time", its the wild wild west. Local programs are dime a dozen, with many succeeding, the best of western gear is on offer - the israelis and russians are also there...

    Procurement with so many options is a challenge.

    What is important, is whether the capability (technological & administrative) exists to rectify any observed shortcomings of mass produced systems and have them retrofitted. This is clearly there for local systems as legal challenges etc dont exist in getting stuff done.

    For Project Sangraha, DRDO/BEL developed an ESM system for helicopters/light transports which cleared all Naval trials. In service, the Navy wanted better for its light aircraft variant, they were unhappy. The DRDO/BEL are now fitting TDOA antennae on that variant to improve performance.

    So rectification capability exists..the scale of development has to be observed closely for it to be understood.

    I just posted about radars in the IAF thread. In that space, in the past ten years, one lab alone has managed to push 8 local designs into production.
    Take a look at the scale of production.

    BFSR-SR: 1470 radars (Armys standard short range battlefield surveillance radar replacing israeli imports)

    Akash/Battery Level radar family
    WLR: 28 radars (weapon locating spinoff )
    Akash BLR: 28 units, 12 for Army/ 16 for Air Force

    3D CAR family (3D surveillance radars)
    Rohini 3D CAR: ~37 Radars for IAF
    TCR for Army: ~20-30 radars
    Revathi Naval Surveillance Radar: ~3 radar

    LLLWR family (low level light weight)
    Bharani: 20-30 for Army
    3D Aslesha: 21 for Air Force

    Then there are the many other designs in development..
    These are all AESA systems: LLTR and MFCR for BMD (MK1s ready, MK2 with enhanced range in development), MPR for AF, AEW &CS radar, LLTR for AF etc etc.

    Point is technology is changing rapidly & as it improves, so do the expectations of the customer.

    And apart from the above, the IAF/Army/Navy are also busy acquiring technology from abroad, which too will face teething challenges.

    Some of the stuff India is buying is first in class, from the manufacturers end. India is the launch market

    The good thing - from my perspective - is that now, the CAG reports - when they mention local programs - also mention solutions. CAG of course being an auditor is not happy that any planning snafu led to the problem to begin with.

    But as versus imports, where invariably the CAG report used to mention..

    MOD is looking into its legal options OR has asked the vendor to repair as many serviceable items as possible (meaning rest got junked) OR the concerned service is not using the item at all, since it will not be repaired and contract has to be renegotiated.

    Net, the advantage of going local, with local design, development and production, is that problems get resolved relatively sooner.

    When the IAF faced serviceability issues with the ALH, it browbeat HAL (which also reports to the MOD) into setting up a service center and keeping spares and taking that cost burden.

    When the IAF has faced challenges with its Russian or Western items - do you think they could pull that stunt with MiG or Thales? Not really. IAF has had to stockpile excessive spares (some quite clearly obsolete) just to hedge these items going out of production. In some cases, these are no longer required.

    For instance, IAF just acquired 10 Mirage 2000s a few years back - these were newer H models, so they have RDM-7 radars. Now we have to stockpile their spares, plus those of RDM-4s for the earlier Mirage 2000-Hs, even as the entire Mirage 2000 line goes through an upgrade to entirely new avionics, so pretty much all the stuff we have, unless we use it, is going to the junkyard.

    Perhaps thats the one positive of the slow Mirage upgrade timeline, that we do use up a lot of the stockpiled spares.
    Last edited by Teer; 14th January 2013 at 12:58.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire9 View Post
    Re: Tejas Mk2, various sources state first flight will take place in 2014 and production should start a couple years later after Mk1 production is complete. If it is not yet known which company will be assisting with designing and producing the AESA, what are the chances of Mk2 being delayed due to the AESA arriving late?
    The AESA is not mentioned as the key must have for the MK2.
    http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/media/.../tejas-mk2.jpg

    It just mentions the MMR.
    Net, the AESA is being developed for the MK2 as an improvement, but the key must have for the AF is the new engine (the GE414) boosting its performance enabling it to carry larger warloads, and improving its performance to ASR levels and above in the two areas where it lagged.

    If the AESA runs into problems, imports are available as a backup (Selex & Eltas products come to mind).

    Thing is there are so many programs running right now in India, that the MOD is not going to insist on only Indian systems running on the LCA as the clincher.

    For instance - airborne AESAs? DRDO also has the primary radar for the EMB-145 AEW&C, and following that - the larger Phalcon sized platform.

    BTW I just remembered, a local firm has already developed x band Tx/Rx modules for the MMR - which is what I meant by pace of development overtaking earlier plans..

    The earlier RFI was widely construed as akin to a foreign consultant providing both Tx/Rx module tech and being the consultant of choice..
    Now that a local firm is supplying the modules, a foreign consultant may be tapped for the rest of development assistance or certification or different firms for different parts..

    Net, the AESA should not be a challenge..

    The big issue right now is for HAL to concentrate on the LCA & not prioritize its own projects over the LCA (as the LCA is ADAs bird etc). There have been several exasperated comments on these lines from the IAF/others already..

  19. #49
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    In 2010, this was what LRDE sent out a RFI for

    The Bangalore-based Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), a laboratory under the DRDO, has invited bids from global radar houses to be the development partner (DP) for India's in-house active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the LCA Tejas programme. In a tender issued on December 4 last year, LRDE wants the partnership to be initiated with the supply of an Active Array Antenna Unit (AAAU) supplied by the development partner chosen.

    According to the bid invitation, India wants the development partner to be responsible for "detailed design, development and realisation" of (a) antenna panel constisting of main antenna, guard antenna and sidelobe cancellation antenna, (b) transmit/receive modules/groups, (c) RF distribution network consisting of RF manifold/combiners, RF interface, (d) antenna/beam control chain consisting of T/R control and T/R group control, and (e) array calibration/BITE among other areas. The final requirement in the comprehensive list of ten requirements from the development partner is listed as "AAAU Integration on Tejas A/c".

    "DP (development partner) must have experience in design, development, integration, testing and flightevaluation of AESA Radar systems for fighter class of aircraft. DP must ensure that the items/components used for the development of AAAU are not protected by International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR). DP must have delivered AESA class of operational systems for fighter class of aircraft meeting delivery schedules of the international customers," the bid invitation states.
    But by 2012, DRDO had a local partner already to do some of the above.

    Check twinblade and my posts here:

    http://forum.keypublishing.com/showp...&postcount=189

    http://forum.keypublishing.com/showp...&postcount=190

    Astra notes that it partnered in the development of the product and two modules supplied, user is testing the same.

    Saraswat says that a 1/8th array is in test at LRDE already. So thats two modules of 1/8th arrays each or a single 1/8th array which consists of two modules.

    A 1/8th array would be around 125 modules. The LCA nose is sized for an array in the size of ~1000 TR modules.
    Astra MWP is one of 5 local firms DRDO works with for Tx/Rx modules for its AESA radars.

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teer View Post
    Is it really that absurd? Taken a look at worldwide procurement lately and what is common knowledge about how many programs are beset by delays, cost increases, certification challenges? As systems get more complex, better tech becomes available, program management struggles to keep pace.

    If we look at the EF program and how successive items were enabled by software upgrades or tranches. Or the umpteen procurement challenges that invariably happen with the UK and any technology acquisition. Been following the Astute class saga?
    I take your point that lousy procurement process is not peculiar to India but I do think that the stifling bureaucracy that exists there only helps to make matters even worse than elsewhere.

    I have worked as a contractor for just about every sector - small business, big business, small banks, big banks, non-commercial organisations, government (including defence) and others. In my experience the least effective of all in terms of focus on objectives and organising itself to achieve those objectives is the defence sector.

    I appreciate that defence procurement is a complex process. I do not accept that is a valid excuse to manage that process badly. Unfortunately "security" means that the most spectacular of failures can be covered up to avoid embarassment which simply serves to perpetuate procurement failure.

    It's good to hear that progress is actually being made with the AESA for Tejas Mk2.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spitfire9 View Post
    I take your point that lousy procurement process is not peculiar to India but I do think that the stifling bureaucracy that exists there only helps to make matters even worse than elsewhere.
    If you see the examples I posted and there are many many more, the point is that the world over, most MODs seem to be suffering from lousy procurement as much as if not more than India is.

    In the UK for instance, its become commonplace to issue urgent operational requirements & then procure "interim" systems that make up for lousy battle kit from standard procurement. Take Bowman for instance.

    Australia some would argue represents the actual nadir of procurement snafus, with far too many to count.

    Russian MOD chief (as i recall) was critical of his nations MIC/procurement a year or so back.

    USAF chief went onto be very critical at an industry meet last year, and told industry primes that their behaviour was becoming intolerable. Businessweek ran an article about how German military staff were incensed with EADS over their constant delays, design issues and cost increases.

    The US's with programs like Comanche, Crusader etc which cost more than what India spent in a decade of procurement!

    ..etc etc.

    India's travails with procurement stem as much from its lack of access to technology & its struggles to develop its own, whilst balancing operational needs.

    My point is that apart from a few areas (e.g. artillery, aircraft development, armor) - in several other areas - e.g. electronics, naval platforms etc - India has steadily progressed in terms of local design, development and production.

    These delays which you point to, are neither exceptional given the state of similar programs worldwide (I believe RAND is doing a special program for the US to come up with a new way to run software intensive programs on time and on budget..) or avoidable.

    Like they say, you have to pay the boatman his due. Whether India likes it or not, decades of avoiding any investment in miltech, will ultimately cause delays when jumping generations.

    If India was making RWRs in the 70's, then yes, today, it would not have to compress the development of some 10 designs into 1 decade. But it didn't, so it can only progress rapidly, and it will cause procurement challenges.

    But in the process, they learnt the lessons about actually designing and making these items, something nobody would just give them. A rather long, and declas (so you have to read between the lines) presentation from 2 years back from BEL is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZO_Il6-Puw

    Similarly, if India did not screw up the post Marut experience, it would not have had to pay such a heavy price for the LCA in terms of building up experience..

    But it did, and it has to pay the boatman ...in terms of building up knowledge and skills. And since Pakistan & China keep upgrading as well, the local forces will not accept 3rd Gen kit in an era of 4.5 or even 5Gen..

    But when the programs do come good, after delays etc, they do represent a massive return on investment, take the Akash program for instance.

    http://tarmak007.blogspot.in/2011/12...launchers.html

    http://tarmak007.blogspot.in/2011/03...times.html?m=0

    Using this program, India developed not just a SAM system but also managed to develop radar tech (proper 3D surveillance radars and PESA FCRs) because of which it can now go on for more complex systems..

    So, the alternative would have been to place bulk orders for license manufacture of (say) the Aspide 2000 or Hawk - but the spinoffs for other programs would never come about.

    Every nation is seeking to preserve its own MIC, whether state owned or private, and one of the ways to support local industry is to make their own defence services captive customer

    So, in the UK, the Brit forces will complain about BAE, in the US, they will wonder when LM etc will ever deliver on time and on budget, and in India, you'll have complaints about local firms, in the same vein.

    In some cases, the problems are entirely of India's making and point to serious structural challenges. For instance, the state owned BEL, BDL or even HAL - for all their issues, do work to a reasonable standard in manufacturing DRDO designs en masse. First handles electronics, second missiles, third, aircraft. These are all manufacturers.

    The same cannot be said of the state owned OFB, which is notorious for poor QA (for everything from grenades to uniforms). Ironic, that a nation which can assemble AESA radars or make IRBMs ..cannot get rifles made to a standard quality.

    But even here, the advent of other rival firms (both state owned and private) may mean that OFB either shapes up or ships out. Thats happening in all the other areas..

    Till that occurs however (if), Russia (and everyone else will continue to make hay).

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...w/16868426.cms

    Since vital ammunition for ground units remains the preserve of the OFB and they constantly mess it up..

    My point is its not all white, but its not all black either. And fairly similar to whats happening worldwide.

    I have worked as a contractor for just about every sector - small business, big business, small banks, big banks, non-commercial organisations, government (including defence) and others. In my experience the least effective of all in terms of focus on objectives and organising itself to achieve those objectives is the defence sector.
    I appreciate your point. Its not the first time I have heard this, and it could well be that world wide, defence seems to have layered itself in miles of red tape and legerdemain (or rigmarole). Making defence procurement unnecessarily opaque, and hence ineffective.

    There is also however, the fact that defence requirements tend to be very exhaustive & posit unique requirements which others don't face. I mean, who gives a fig if some x chip in a private device comes from y source, but for a defence network it could be a potential liability. Such stuff is so common..and adds miles of work..

    I appreciate that defence procurement is a complex process. I do not accept that is a valid excuse to manage that process badly. Unfortunately "security" means that the most spectacular of failures can be covered up to avoid embarassment which simply serves to perpetuate procurement failure.
    That is why democracies like UK, India, US all have their checks and balances. We have the CAG, you have the NAO (?), the US has the GAO...i would posit the CAG is probably the least effective since it is yet to make the transition to technology understanding & just looks at the bean counting aspect. But it does give transparency. Whatever the CAG says is then looked into by the Public Accounts Committee (depending on the gravity of the situation) and reports are public. The Standing Committee on Defence also takes up defence related topics and they too are public. Its not a perfect system by any means, but it does allow the system to correct some of the more dangerous tomfoolery of the Govt.

    Interestingly enough, it also means that all of our warts and flaws are open, whereas the gentlemen to our west/east run by quasi authoritarian models, get by with staged pics and "All is well", PR.

    It's good to hear that progress is actually being made with the AESA for Tejas Mk2.
    Yes, but its a long way betwixt the cup and the lip.

    They have to get both the software and hardware right.

    I do hope though, that with the AESA program for the AEW&CS, plus the XV-2004 program for a naval surveillance radar, they have managed to get some of the requisite tech to port on to this MMR, without having to rework the wheel.

    One of the big steps in the direction of getting the AESA MMR in place, would be to first complete the FOC with the current Indo-Israeli hybrid MMR with BVR trials etc done. And then we have a flying testbed for the AESA..

    The problem of running all these programs on a shoestring - as India usually does - is that delays get baked into the program. Funds will be made available is what they say, but then, they never are, as politicians mismanage the economy, dole programs/subsidies mean that defence programs also get a cut..
    Last edited by Teer; 14th January 2013 at 17:46.

  22. #52
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    Thanks Teer for your detailed replies. This year's AeroIndia should shed some more light on the details of the Mk2.

    MiG-29s Upgrades are already getting the new RWJ (with multiple "new" receive and also transmit antenna). The Tx part is being codeveloped with Elettronica, leveraging the latter's high power AESA Tx aperture tech. For the LCA and MiG-27, its conventional TWT based jammers, but with several apertures. So, upgrading the MiG-29s with Tarang, whats the point?
    Regarding the Mig-29UPG, the EW suite includes those new blisters on the vert stabs. Is that whole thing Indian or the back end Indian and the Rx/Tx modules foreign? Thanks.
    Smert spionem

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Thanks Teer for your detailed replies. This year's AeroIndia should shed some more light on the details of the Mk2.
    Glad you found them useful. I hope AI has more stuff, the lectures scheduled so far seem to be pretty boring.

    Regarding the Mig-29UPG, the EW suite includes those new blisters on the vert stabs. Is that whole thing Indian or the back end Indian and the Rx/Tx modules foreign? Thanks.
    The blisters are the empty radomes which will be fitted out with the RWJs Tx/Rx modules in India.

    The RWJ works like this - it has receive antenna linked to a central matrix, which has a receiver, a dsp for analysing the signals, a signal generator module, with an exciter for actually creating the jamming signals, in turn linked to the transmit matrix. As you can see, depending on the requirement, this matrix can be changed. The core Indian IP is the receive, analysis, signal generation part. The codevelopment part (For the MiG-29) are the AESA modules which will be linked to the RWJ core (receiver/exciter and processor). These will basically be variants of an existing Elettronica design (the same proposed for the MiG-35, if my memory is correct) and will be license produced in India at Alpha Design Technologies (with whom Elettronica has a tieup) and then integrated into the RWJ by BEL (who will make the rest of the setup).

    http://www.adtl.co.in/

    Lousy website, but the company is impressive. Setup by ex BEL folks, is a startup, spends somewhere around 30% of sales as R&D and is rapidly ramping up, and even competing with BEL

  24. #54
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    I was going through my old notes on the RWR etc - from talking to some of these folks at some seminar, stuff that was from AI seminars etc - and it just reinforces the above point about rapid events + the challenges India/DRDO faces in upgrading legacy aircraft of different types, which were never designed to be upgraded to 4+ Gen avionics. I mean, look at the MiG-27, it was never designed to receive a state of the art radar warning jammer, or a RLG-INS, but its being fitted nonetheless.

    In 2009, an IAF team made a presentation which catalogued the challenges in upgrading Soviet platforms with western/indian gear. Or even legacy western platforms. The IAF was basically trying to standardize its upgrades across all its aircraft, so it chose a common fit. Elta HUD, Sagem Sigma95 INS, Sagem MFDs, Indian RWRs, Elta LDP, Indian cockpit/environmental cooling systems, Israeli digital map generator, Indian radios etc. All tied together to Indian Mission Computers.

    Common challenge discovered. Lack of space to fit in some of these items. For instance, put in sensitive electronics at the wrong areas, and they face vibration challenges. Weight has to be carefully tracked so as to not mess up original Center of gravity etc or the flight control gets messed up.
    Generally, the Russian aircraft eqpt were designed to very large-ish EMI tolerances, which the modern western gear just couldnt take. So a lot of careful cladding/redesign of bays had to be done to compensate. Space simply wasn't there to put in some advanced gear but it was done somehow with a lot of trouble - e.g. MiG-27s getting internal jammers (heat problem, power supply location challenges)

    Basically, the IAF has the habit of getting its platforms from outside, and then deciding to upgrade them from stuff validated via the LCA or the best of class subsystems it could get from vendors. In many cases, the OEMs would charge an arm and a leg for such stuff and had not done it themselves, end result DARE/DRDO/HAL/BEL have had to do it, its time consuming, painful and not plug and play by any means.

    With the Rafale, the IAF is getting a platform that it will hopefully not have to tinker around with much, and will come sorted out to a common standard. That in itself should save a lot of valuable engineering effort.

    Lets get back to RWRs.
    The Tarang series was basically developed in 2000, put into production by 2003, and IAF ordered them in 2005. The IAF decided it would simply standardize on this one RWR across all transports, helicopters, fighters. It had decent performance in tests at ASTE and would replace the legacy systems some of which were proving challenging to maintain, and would also simplify training & maintenance procedures.

    As mentioned before, it got overtaken by events. First, new/better tech became available, even as the installation of this "proven RWR" was facing challenges on aircraft it had not originally been tested for. Each of the IAF's legacy planes come with its own set of issues!

    In some, the RWRs and other items, proven via flight trials at ASTE/lab tests etc worked. For instance, In 2009, another DARE presentation on the MiG-27 Upgrade, showed that the Tarang 4 antenna placement had worked on the MiG-27, giving it full 360 degree coverage without masking! So given the timelines and performance, its likely these aircraft will continue to retain the Tarang (most likely the MK1B variant). These existing RWRs may be modified to work with the RWJ upgrade being tested on the MiG-27. MOD Annual Report mentions kits had been made available for the MiG-27, so its likely all will receive the RWJ (IAF only upgraded 40 MiG-27s, rest will be junked once the Rafales come in)

    But things weren't necessarily the same elsewhere. The RWR installation on the MKI was a challenge, as its a much different platform than the original testbeds.

    By 2007-09, the DARE had developed the new R118. They would have also been looking into why RWR installation was facing challenges on some platforms like the Su-30 MKI, even after these designs met serviceability and performance goals on smaller aircraft AND were reengineered to fit into the EMI/EMC constraints of other platforms.

    Simply put, the forward fuselage of the Su-30 MKI "masks" the RF signals & the conventional 4 antenna placement adopted by most fighters worldwide, was not working.

    By 2011, DARE at a seminar presentation, showed it had solved this problem, which was a huge challenge for the IAF as several foreign vendors too only offered the conventional 4 antenna suite. DARE solved the issue by taking a brute force approach, evaluating all the areas where masking occurred, and then designing a 6 antenna configuration, and adding new hardware & software to interface with the earlier 4 antennas. This overcome the masking issue.

    So clearly, this is the RWR mentioned as "better technology" by the CAG when they mention the IAF regarded some of its original 2005 orders for Tarang, only as interim.

    The R118 in turn (6 channel/6 antenna variant) would be fitted onto the Su-30 MKI. But it gets better.

    Again, technology moves ahead. By 2011, DARE had also developed a new digital receiver card to upgrade the R118 further, which was headed for airborne qualification trials. This lightweight card, developed keeping future requirements in mind, would allow the RWR to further discriminate advanced/exotic threats, even those which were synchronized.

    So consider, if the IAF had ordered the standard R-118, its now available in a further variant.

    And - the R-118 is not the RWJ, or Radar Warning Jammer, which is a combined RWR and ECM suite with embedded DRFM.

    Having fun yet?
    It gets even better.

    In 2012, BEL (the designated manufacturer for all these devices) reveals it has received a Rs 85 Crore (Rs 850 Million or $150Mn) order to make the Eagle Eye ESM system for the Su-30.

    Presumably, this is the new EW suite developed by DARE, for the Super 30 MKI upgrade. Possibly another variant or derivative of the RWJ.
    The Tarang orders came at about 1.5 Crore per RWR. Assuming the same sparing factor here, we are looking at around 56 systems - well in line with the numbers that would be required for the first batch of the Super30 upgrade. Or these could be specific ESM systems intended to operate in parallel to the onboard ESM in which case they'd be much more expensive.

    Bottomline, India is engaged in a first of its kind endeavour when looking at the scale of its activities, en masse on its own, upgrading all sorts of platforms (3rd Gen russian and western, 4 Gen western, 4.5 gen western and local) with technologies and modules that its trying to keep common (for obvious reasons). Even proven tech needs rectification, modification and upgrades to keep pace.

    Proven kit, such as Sagem RLG-INS or Indian RWRs, all of which get flight tested in x,y platforms - may end up facing entirely challenges on platform a which was designed to entirely different standards by an entirely different aerospace industry.

    In the meantime, pace of change is rapid, and local industry is coming out with advancements and upgrades on a regular basis. In some cases, these cannot be retrofitted onto earlier modules. The IAF then has a hard choice of writing off its earlier orders and taking what is much better.

    I am pretty sure that the earlier plans to outfit the helicopters & transports with just the Tarang, will now be dropped. Because, a new light weight MSWS has been developed which, on one display, tracks laser threats, missile threats and radar threats.
    The RWR component is the aforesaid R-118 (which was upgraded further with the digital receiver card). The suite has reportedly already been ordered by the Army for some of its helicopters. The IAF would clearly likely follow suit, which mean the original Tarang RWRs ordered in 2005....

    I dont know. As many as possible will be put on the Hawks and low end transports/older helicopters I guess.

    For its newer/latest platforms, the IAF will seek the best tech.

    Another interesting snippet. The above MSWS was tested on the Hack (original LCA radar testbed) and so far has been advertised only for the transports and choppers. For the transports & helicopters, DARE chose MILDS over SAAB (since at the time, SAABs product was missing a feature, which they later did add). So the MSWS as it stands, has a R118 RWR, a MILDS MAWS and an Avitronics (now SAAB) LWS, all customized to Indian requirements with DARES input.

    However, Standing Committee on Defence, reports that in 2008, a project was sanctioned for "Development of Dual Colour Missile Approach Warning System for Fighter Aircraft", clearly explaining why MAWS have not been seen yet on IAF aircraft. At one of the seminars, DARE had noted that with their evaluation of various off the shelf MAWS for fast moving aircraft, they had not scored high marks, either sensitivity or false alarm rates were not suitable. So clearly, they have tied up with a technology partner to develop a specific fighter MAWS, most likely an Israeli firm.
    An Israeli firm is also the partner of choice for a specific DIRCM being developed by DARE.

    Changes are rapid & coming in fast..
    Another bit DARE worked on - a unified RWR & ESM system - this is for India's new AEW&CS program. More details can be seen here:
    http://drdo.gov.in/drdo/labs/CABS/En...?pg=iress.html

    Another interesting bit? It can do geolocation.

    Note, that it too integrates the digital receiver tech previously mentioned for the R118.

    Another interesting bit - at Aero India, BEL mentioned the R118 itself has built in signal processing to do full sensor fusion, taking the inputs from the MAWS and LWS. Basically, it acts as the node for the MSWS. However, if need be, it can even do so with the radar.
    So, a local sensor fusion capability for the Su-30 MKI, Tejas etc may not be far fetched.

    If that's not clear as a tech generator, well it is happening via the CABS program:
    http://drdo.gov.in/drdo/labs/CABS/En...missionsc.html

    Mission System Controller (MSC) is the nerve centre of the AEW&C system offering the command and control facility, sensor data fusion, identification and classification and threat evaluation to arrive at the air situation picture, advanced threat assessment, interception control and guidance along with data storage by using compression techniques.


    With the rapid development of tech. in India, access to world class partners, and a ready user, there are many programs that can be leveraged. Especially since many of these key ones are being driven by a single org which mean that issues of IP sharing/conflict, resource duplication are avoided.

    So, as I said, the key challenge is to drive all these programs together & keep the upgrade/induction plans in synch.

  25. #55
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    LSP-8 nearing first flight. Extracts from article:

    "The limited series production (LSP-8) version of India’s Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, is said to have incorporated all features sought by the Indian Air Force (IAF), so that it qualifies for the initial operational clearance (IOC).

    Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) head P S Subramaniam told Express that Tejas LSP-8, the last aircraft from the test flightline, is tailor-made to suite pilot’s needs.

    “All designs are final. All systems are as per the final IOC standards and have matured with the aircraft,” he added.

    The ADA head said building of LSP-8 aircraft, its first flights and subsequent tests will be the last stepping stone towards the programme entering the series production phase. The IAF has placed an initial order of 20 Tejas."

    He said the pilot-vehicle interface features supported by avionics software are excellent in LSP-8 and as desired by the users."

    http://newindianexpress.com/states/k...cle1434826.ece

    I wonder about the frames that are already in production. Will they need to be modified to incorporate the improvements made to LSP-8 (as per the final IOC standards)?

  26. #56
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    I reckon there would mostly be avonic changes only at this stage.

    And as for airframes in production... you never know how many screws they have actually put together as yet after all this is HAL.

  27. #57
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    Some new mugs of the little birdie.





    ^^ 10 internet dollars for anyone who guesses the location in this pic .
    Hint: The fort is a give away.

  28. #58
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    Rajasthan?

    Have to say, beginning to like the looks of this plane. With pylons and many items fitted out, it looks business like and well put together

    These ones are also cool.




  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teer View Post
    Rajasthan?
    Jaisalmer to be precise

  30. #60
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    Another good one of Tejas from what looks like Leh Air Station.


    The whole gallery.
    http://gallery.tejas.gov.in/Gallery/...3213&k=JWZQNP4

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