India's fuel cell-based Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system has crossed several milestones in technology maturity, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has announced.
As previously reported, Naval Group India engineers are already working with the DRDO for the integration of an Indian designed AIP module. Initially, the 5th and 6th submarine should have received an AIP plug. But due to delays in the propulsion module design at DRDO, it was later decided that the AIP plug will be retrofitted to each Kalvari-class submarine during their first normal refit that occurs every 7 years.
The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) controlled by the Defence Research & Development Organization has revealed to Delhi Defence Review (DDR) that it will now develop a Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) for the Indian Navy (IN) instead of persisting with the development of a Mk2 variant of the LCA-Navy (NLCA) design. TEDBF is being projected to enter service with the IN in the early 2030s as a replacement for the existing Russian-built MiG-29K fighter. The program will run concurrently with ADA’s other programs such as the
So, why was the NLCA Mk2 effort abandoned in favour of the TEDBF?
The IN joined the LCA program in order to develop a fighter aircraft for its future aircraft carriers.
As a result, the IN leaned on ADA to develop a follow-on to the NLCA Mk1 design that would not entail such compromises and truly meet its requirements. For this purpose, Airbus (earlier EADS group) was roped in to provide design consultancy for what became the NLCA Mk2 project. However, the NLCA Mk2, a mockup of which was displayed at Aero India 2019, also failed to enthuse the IN and the service’s thoughts turned towards developing a navalized version of the AMCA. Nevertheless, it was felt by ADA that operational experience with a naval 4th generation fighter was very much needed before developing a next generation fighter for a naval environment. After several rounds of deliberations involving the IN and ADA it was mutually decided that the latter would instead develop a fourth-generation ‘plus’ twin-engine fighter, likely powered by the GE F-414 to meet the IN’s requirements. Thus, was born the TEDBF project.
Update on NLCA Mk1 Arrested Landing Tests
Meanwhile, even as the TEDBF project goes through its initial paces, the two existing NLCA Mk1 prototypes have carried out several arrested landings at the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) located in INS Hansa. These arrested landings, which are still underway, are being used to test various scenarios with more than 15 such landings taking place since mid-October 2019. The very first such ‘night’ landing was performed on November 13, 2019. As mentioned earlier, the stresses encountered by the airframe during such arrested landings is incredibly high. Remarkably, in all the tests so far, the only item to have detached has been a pilot’s visor,
In any case, landings at the SBTF account for only the first phase of trials. After all, during an actual landing on a carrier, an aircraft would experience significant headwinds (usually 10-15 knots) which are a rarity at the SBTF. On the other hand, aircraft landing at the SBTF experience 2-3 knot crosswinds which are not encountered at sea since the carrier sails into the wind. All this indicates that there is a not insignificant difference between an arrested landing at the SBTF and one on an actual aircraft carrier operating on the high seas. Nevertheless, once the series of tests at the SBTF are complete, studies will be performed to investigate the wake-characteristics of an aircraft carrier, since any aircraft landing on it would have fly through the carrier’s own wake prior to hitting the deck. This will be followed by carrier landing tests in calm seas which are likely to take place in December 2019. Further testing will continue based on carrier availability.
Coming back to the TEDBF, it can be said that the design is not going to feature the LEVCONs seen on existing NLCA Mk1 prototypes as their use has been found to be sub-optimal. LEVCONs require large sized actuators to maintain a zero degrees position during level flight at high speeds. Besides, failure at such high speeds would result in an unmanageable pitch-up moment. Also, modelling airflow behaviour at extreme deflections was found to be troublesome. Instead, the TEDBF is likely to use vortex flaps. Indeed, the NLCA Mk2 mockup displayed at Aero India 2019 also featured vortex flaps instead of LEVCONs. In case of failure, ADA says vortex flaps will remain in a safer natural position and will not require large actuators as is the case with LEVCONs. As such, some Tejas test units may be fitted with fixed vortex flaps to gather data for informing the TEDBF design.
Can't even make the engines or transmissions ! Russia sure does know how to do business. Remember when U.S.S.R sold monkey kits to other socialist states? Russia has not forgotten the tricks of the trade. Good for Russia.India pays Russia $1.2 billion in technology transfer fees for T-90S tanks
NEW DELHI — India has awarded a $3.12 billion contract for local production of 464 T-90S main battle tanks after paying a technology transfer fee to Russia.
The contract was signed with little fanfare earlier this month. The deal stipulates that Russian original equipment manufacturer UralVagonZavod and arms export agency Rosoboronexport will be paid $1.2 billion for technology transfer, while India’s state-owned Ordnance Factory Board will be paid $1.92 billion for local production of 464 T-90S tanks, according to an Indian Ministry of Defence official.
"A senior OFB executive said complete localization of T-90S tanks in India is impossible, as a large number of parts must continue to be imported. The parts that will be locally produced include panoramic night sights, thermal imaging fire-control systems and explosive reactive armor, he added. However, the engines and transmission system that makes up 45 percent of the cost of a T-90S tank will come from Russia."Can't even make the engines or transmissions ! Russia sure does know how to do business. Remember when U.S.S.R sold monkey kits to other socialist states? Russia has not forgotten the tricks of the trade. Good for Russia.
This is Russia's decade. I mean...it's all win for them in many fronts. It amazes me how Russia stays strong. It's not even funny."A senior OFB executive said complete localization of T-90S tanks in India is impossible, as a large number of parts must continue to be imported. The parts that will be locally produced include panoramic night sights, thermal imaging fire-control systems and explosive reactive armor, he added. However, the engines and transmission system that makes up 45 percent of the cost of a T-90S tank will come from Russia."
Wow... that's almost half the cost of the tank that still must come from Russia after a $1.2B transfer of tech and OFB is India's national producer so this is Indians saying it's impossible to make everything in India... Trump only talks about making good deals but Russia MAKES GOOD DEALS.