HAL LCA as Fourth Generation Aircraft

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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Aks_20

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Unread post09 Jul 2006, 22:58

snypa777 wrote:AKs 20, thanks for the info.

I have done some reading, what I gather is that the LCA has no inherent stealth characteristics. It presents a smaller radar signature by virtue of it`s small size. It is actually a smaller aircraft than the JAS39 Gripen, a metre shorter. The LCA is the worlds smallest combat fighter. I don`t include trainer aircraft which can be used as emergency combat aircraft like the Korean Golden Eagle.


Hi Snypa,
The LCA's was designed to be low RCS, hence they chose composites ...it has one of the highest proportion of composites in any modern fighter today, if not the greatest. Basically, the small size and choice of materials has enabled it to reduce its signature. Of course, with underslung weaponry, that advantage is slightly negated.

I think it is very impressive that India has developed this aircraft from scratch. A lot of the systems had new industries created to build them.
I don`t think any modern fighter of 4th or even 5th gen` is ever created totally indigenously. Even the F-22 has foreign components.


Well said sir.


The LCA was built with help/input from Lockheed Martin, until sanctions put an end to it`s involvement. SNECMA, BAE Systems, Martin Baker, GE and MIG (engine testing) have had input into the design. The two most difficult areas seemed to be FBW (Fly by wire) and the "Kaveri" engine. The FBW, FCS problems were solved. The flight control laws were proven onboard F-16 VISTA simulators and aircraft I believe. That was impressive as no country used to export FBW know how which was classified AFAIK.


Very correct.

The biggest problem is certainly the local "Kaveri" engine. It must be very tough to build a modern combat jet engine from scratch. A variable cycle type no less. Even a local FADEC. GE flew in some retired engine experts at the request of the Indian government to help solve the problems. No one is saying what those difficulties were though. Everything else seems top notch. India is doing some things with composites that NO-ONE else is doing. I hope India solves the "Kaveri" problems soon.


The Kaveri is a typical example of the LCA approach, ie aim for the moon but spend Indian amounts and shoot for the stars...but it has been derailed because very limited experience exists in terms of building jet engines. The private sector in India could have hired top notch talent (purchased, from abroad) but Indian Govt procedures stuck as they are in legalistic bureaucracy forbid such "shortcuts".

The GE-F-404 will be used in the LCA for the first few squadrons. I think it would be wise to stick with the `404 in terms of export potential. Customers know what they are getting with that engine. Especially in terms of support, spares, upgrades.


I agree, but the sanctions issue and political issues crop up wrt the foreign engine. Plus the IAF and the Army in India are renowned for putting much more stringent conditions on locally produced equipment than that imported. So the Kaveri will continue to be important.

Apparently IAF pilots would prefer the F-404 unit, it is a proven engine.

Overall though, good show from India which was brave enough to go it alone and produce the thing. 8)


Thank you, its great someone gets the import of the program and its significance to Indias aeronautical industry.
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Aks_20

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Unread post09 Jul 2006, 22:59

Angels225 wrote:somehow i think the IAf was better of gettin more Su-30's or Migs than this thing


One day, one has to start making things, instead of always taking the easy way out via imports!
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akshaymehra

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Unread post24 Jul 2011, 05:52

my dear friend as an authority i would like to tell you and everyone here that Tejas is really a 4.5 gen aircraft with its reduced radar signature which is due to the highest amount of use of composite material in the world. it has semi stealth capability which makes it 4.5 gen. although it started in 1980 but actual work began only in 1994 and with your stupid logic the americal F18 hornet which was developed in 170 would be very bad then as per ur stupid logic of which year development started ?
Also IAF has initially ordered 20 aircrafts to check and suggest further improvements and at same time IAF has ordered 220 Tejas to be delivered in phases already and navy has 50 requirements. so first improve your knowledge about facts then open your mouth. without any relevant knowledge you people just keep barking
even the foreign pilots who came to aeroshow and studied its flight were dumbstruck and full of praise.
Tejas with its semi stealthy nature , MMR radar , d variety of advanced weapon control systems which are similar to rafale is far far better than J10 or F-16 which pakistan has.






IndianAirForce wrote:http://english.people.com.cn/200601/09/eng20060109_234043.html

This link to the people daily online article which states that the HAL Tejas is a "Fourth Generation Aircraft"

It also stated that the IAF is only ordering 20 some aircraft.

I was wondering if the HAL tejas is really a fourth generation aircraft. It was designed around the 80s along with many delays. I wouldn't exactly call it a fourth generation aircraft. It does not have as advances technology as the gripen, Raptor, or any other fourth generation aircraft.

It also said that the IAF is only buying some 20 aircraft. I have read previously that they were planning to buy at least 70 aircraft buy 2011.

There would be no point to buy only 20 aircraft.
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akshaymehra

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Unread post24 Jul 2011, 05:52

my dear friend as an authority i would like to tell you and everyone here that Tejas is really a 4.5 gen aircraft with its reduced radar signature which is due to the highest amount of use of composite material in the world. it has semi stealth capability which makes it 4.5 gen. although it started in 1980 but actual work began only in 1994 and with your stupid logic the americal F18 hornet which was developed in 170 would be very bad then as per ur stupid logic of which year development started ?
Also IAF has initially ordered 20 aircrafts to check and suggest further improvements and at same time IAF has ordered 220 Tejas to be delivered in phases already and navy has 50 requirements. so first improve your knowledge about facts then open your mouth. without any relevant knowledge you people just keep barking
even the foreign pilots who came to aeroshow and studied its flight were dumbstruck and full of praise.
Tejas with its semi stealthy nature , MMR radar , d variety of advanced weapon control systems which are similar to rafale is far far better than J10 or F-16 which pakistan has.
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keithmoon

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Unread post25 Jul 2011, 22:53

First of all, you should be a bit more respectful, Akshay. Your post lacks even the slightest bit of civility, even when considering the original poster was clearly mistaken about a few things.

Fighter generation classification is a hazy practice and mostly used for marketing purposes. But, I wouldn't consider Tejas Mk. 1 to be a 4.5Gen aircraft. It lacks an AESA radar and it's sensor fusion and man-machine interface is nowhere near it's western contemporaries. As a matter of fact, P.V. Naik has stated:

“Tejas is not yet a fourth generation aircraft. It can of course come up to that level given the technology, but it needs more work...Having checked and compared the endurance, performance, load carrying capacity, weapons delivering ability, accuracy, avionics and the radars, I think it is a MiG-21++.”

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/127 ... thers.html

I assume the Indian Air Chief is a better authority than you, Akshay. I have no doubts that Tejas Mk. 2 will be a more modern aircraft with better avionics and more refined aerodynamics. Perhaps, with enough work, it will be nearly as capable as the Gripen (it, after all, has a better engine). In my estimation, the only 4.5Gen Fighters are the soon-to-be-AESA-equipped Rafale, F-16_60, F-18E/F, Strike Eagle (and variants), and the Mitsubishi F-2 as they all are AESA-equipped and operational. Currently, Mig-35, Gripen NG, and CaptorE-equipped Eurofighter exist only on paper.

LCA uses an incredible amount of composites and this is respectable (especially in comparison to its 4th Gen contemporaries), but it doesn't mean that it has the most advanced airframe. Composites are useful in reducing RCS, but what about its thermal characteristics? The F-22, which costs over 6 times the LCA, uses huge amounts of Ti to control its thermal signature in addition to sporting a VLO airframe. It is hard to track by either radar OR IRST! But, it is obviously a 5th gen fighter.

The F-18 was indeed designed in the late 70's, but it will soon be replaced by the F-35, which is decades ahead of the Tejas. It is very likely that Tejas Mk. 2 and F-35 will be inducted at the same time. Furthermore, F-18E/F was designed in the late 80's/early 90's, and will likely be substantially more advanced than even Tejas Mk. 2. I don't think any country, or consortium of countries, can touch the Americans' electronics prowess quite yet.

Where did you find that India will buy 220 Tejas Mk. 2? Clearly, this is just speculation, as no one in the IAF has commented on how many Tejas Mk. 2 will be purchased. The Press speculates anywhere between 100-200 specimen will be inducted, but no firm order number has been established and no comment has been made anywhere by either the CCS or IAF.

Lastly, Pakistan's F-16_52 are substantially better aircraft than the LCA. LCA is not meant as a counter for these planes (Su-30MKI, Mig-29UPG, and MMRCA are). The LCA is a replacement for the Mig-21/BISON and its direct Pakistani competitor is the JF-17. The Tejas is more advanced than the JF-17, certainly. No one knows how advanced Chinese avionics technology is. How then can you be certain that Tejas is more advanced than J-10B? It might be, but it is not certain. The Radar and electronics suite for LCA Mk. 2 has neither been finalized nor announced, so it would be impossible to comment on the efficacy of Tejas Mk. 2 vs. any other fighter.

In reality, Tejas Mk. 1 is a near-4th generation fighter and is an excellent replacement for India's low-end Mig-21. It is constructed with a high amount of composites with some novel fabrication processes and likely sports a very small RCS when equipped as an interceptor. It is an excellent attempt by India to create an affordable fighter and develop its indigenous industry. It does not compare with F-18E/F, Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen NG, etc... as it was never meant to! With a better electronic suite, Tejas Mk. 2, per the estimation of P.V. Naik, will be a 4th generation aircraft. I estimate IAF will purchase between 60 - 150 LCA Mk. 2 and opt for an additional 3-4 squadrons of MMRCA after the first 6 squadrons are delivered.

Before you bash others, calling them stupid, unknowledgeable, and liken them to dogs, I suggest you further research this topic which you self-proclaim to be an authority in...because you seem to be mistaken about quite a number of things.
Last edited by keithmoon on 25 Jul 2011, 23:58, edited 2 times in total.
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keithmoon

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Unread post25 Jul 2011, 23:54

oops...double post.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post26 Jul 2011, 00:01

It's a little small by modern standards, but I think it will serve its purpose. It could also be a serviceable, low-cost alternative to more advanced airframes should economics or politics interfere with other purchases.
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mintsauce

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Unread post02 Aug 2011, 19:38

keithmoon, it seems you are little misinformed about HAL tejas as well.

the ACM was talking about the Mk1 standard as it stood right then, at IOC level and FOC yet to be completed.
this is what he thinks about the whole generation business.

http://spsaviation.net/story_issue.asp?Article=736
SP’s: Could you give the latest update on the indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas development/acquisition programme? ....

CAS: As of now, we have seven LCA aircraft and these are being put through their final paces, before induction into the IAF this year. We are expecting two more limited series production aircraft to join the fleet by the third quarter this year. The LCA, in its present form, is a fourth generation aircraft and we are working with HAL to enhance its capabilities. I am hopeful that the aircraft, in its final operational clearance configuration, will be a much more potent platform, to be a ‘fourth generation plus


so clearly, he thinks that Tejas Mk2 will be a 4.5 gen fighter.

I have no idea why you think a fighter with a 3 axis digital quad FBW, internal jammers, an open architecture avionics system that enables quick upgradation etc is near fourth gen.
avionics developed for the LCA project are in fact used to upgrade the su-30mki, IAF's premier fighter and will find its way into the PAKFA in the near future. what's more, the Mk2 version will also feature an AESA radar.
all in all, the only thing it would really lack is an IIR sensor, but then that's the case with many 4th gen aircraft.
it would surely not be able to match the range or payload performance of a F16 but I don't see how tech wise it is lagging behind.

as for numbers, unlike other air forces IAF does not order hundreds of aircraft in one go, the MRCA is an exception in that regard. current firm orders are 40 from IAF and a commitment from IAF chief of 140 or more. add to that the 50 naval version the navy wants, the total comes quite close to 220 doesn't it ?
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Unread post03 Aug 2011, 01:19

I'd be interested to see the Tejas LCA-Naval variant fly with next-gen F414 EPE upgraded power. That could enable quite an interesting cost-effective capability, not necessarily limited to Naval based operation imho.
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Unread post09 Oct 2011, 20:10

Naw, it ain't THAT ugly. The Typhoon and Rafale are far worse.
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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 10:46

Couldn’t find a better thread to put this in so hope this one is sufficent.

HAL gets nod to produce weaponised version of LCA Tejas

Updated: Jan 04, 2019, 05.57 PM IST

BENGALURU: The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been given the nod to manufacture weaponised version of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas for the Indian Air Force and the first such aircraft is expected to be out by the year-end, according to a company spokesperson. The Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) has given the green signal to start manufacturing of Tejas Mk1 under Final Operational Clearance (FOC) configuration, he said. …

… "The IAF has ordered 40 LCA aircraft. Of this, 20 will be FOC-configured. Another 20 are IOC (Initial Operational Clearance)-configured," the HAL spokesperson said. Some 10 to 11 IOC-configured Tejas have been given to the IAF, which flies them to get acquainted with the LCA's competencies, he said. Asked when the first weaponised aircraft would be out, the spokesperson said, "Our objective is to deliver it with FOC configuration by year-end -- between October and December."


https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ne ... 379924.cms
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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 11:52

The title is a bit misleading. The IOC Tejas Mk1 is weaponised with a WVR missile that is the R-73E (originally R-60, its that old) w HMD. FOC was delayed due to the after-thought selection of Derby (non-ER) with Python 5 combo which will "eventually" be fitted into the IOC version. IOC also integrated Russian M-62 1000lb bombs.

The IAF actually ordered a bit more than 40 if one includes the 2 tech demos, 5 prototypes and 7 LSPs (LSP 1-8 minus 6 which was not built). The Indian Navy ordering another 2 prototypes. The 40 also includes 8 trainers which has not been IOC-ed, relying on 2 of the prototypes (PV4 and 5 which for training, the former later converted to PV6).

Janes recently reported the selection of EL/M-2052 AESA as the radar for the Mark 1A and a SPJ (EL/M-8222). The IOC and FOC version are equipped with the EL/M-2032 radar, compatible with the Derby/Python 5. The FOC version will have air refuel. The Tejas also had issues with the RWR and CMDS (counter measures dispensers).

The original production schedule of FOC Tejas was 3 years from 2017-2018 to 2019-2020 followed by Mk 2. 2017-2018 refers to April 2017 to Mar 2018 which is the Indian fiscal year. The now realistic schedule will likely be 2019-2020 start to 2021-2022 complete, followed by the Mk 1A with a completed delivery date of 2026/2027. This is consistent with first deliveries by Oct-Dec 2019. At 8 a year, FOC should complete by Dec 2021. CAG indicated the original intent was to acquire 11 squadrons, the first 2 being based at Sulur. 45 Squadron has started to operate from Sulur in Jul 2018.
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element1loop

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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 12:25

Yeah, thanks for the detail, I expect to counter 28 x JF-17 BKIIIs bound for Pakistan by 2022 (to support the existing 62 x BKII JF-17s) which were themselves a response to India selecting 36 x Rafale. The dance continues.
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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 15:05

Hard to imagine Pakistan has been producing the JF-17 for a decade by mid-2019. Its a credit that despite having an engine that has been a plague on the Mig-29 and chinese avionics, they managed to build a plane that's a match for the Tejas and fairly reliable. 6 prototypes with 8 pre-production added to 50 block 1s + 50 block 2s by end 2017 + 50 more block 2 in the next 3 years is an achievement esp in the context of the Pakistani budget. Exports to Nigeria, Myanmar have opened up a whole string of 3rd world countries order potential that is even making China look pricey. India could have achieved the same 20 years ago but got sidetracked on "made in india" with things like the Kaveri engine.

JF-17 block 3 will be inducted at roughly the same time as the Tejas Mk 1A but the bonus is the likely retrofit of new capabilities into older blocks e.g. AESA radar that is keeping the Indian sub-continent militaries finely balanced. The original SD-10 has been improved to later marks. A whole suite of AGMs including GB-6, AKG400 cruise missiles is appealing matched with targeting pods and chinese EW. Its decent on paper and the biggest irritant to India is the new ZDK AEWs that neutralises in part the effectiveness of the much more capable Su-30MKIs.

The Tejas matches the capabilities on paper but the Pakistanis have been training on their JF-17s for far longer. The Rafale is also a capable plane but the IAF doctrine is too diverse to give assurance on operational effectiveness. Individual performance is normally high for Indian pilots but the network effectiveness of the IAF is suspect.
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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 15:35

Considering that CAC did all the development work here, it's easy for Pakistan to "build" a fighter bettter than what India managed to. The one thing CAC did right is to just freeze the design originally and told PAF to take what they built. And now that they are up to the third block, it looks to be the right pragmatic way of doing things. And the cost is cheap enough that even Pakistan can afford it in large numbers. In the mean time, IAF takes forever to evaluate and make decision on everything so they can get exactly what they think they need. By the end of it, projects like MRCA have huge inflated costs and are delivered years behind original goal and at fewer numbers.
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