Thursday, 10 April 2008

Nostalgia: HAL builds the last four Jaguars


(Photos: please credit Ajai Shukla)

One of the last four Jaguars that will be built by HAL is being transferred to the Final Assembly Hangar in HAL, Bangalore




HAL is completing the last four Jaguar fighters, in a production run that has lasted almost 20 years.  During this period, the Bangalore Complex of HAL has built 37 Jaguars. Of these 20 are single-seaters and 17 are twin-seaters.

In addition, the IAF operates 30 Jaguars that were built by BAE Systems. All these aircraft have been extensively upgraded by HAL during their service lives. Upgrading will continue, with avionics developed by HAL and DRDO.

The hangar in which the Jaguars have been built for the last two decades, will now become the Hawk assembly line. The overhaul of Jaguars in service with the IAF will be carried out by HAL's Overhaul Division.

25 comments:

Ankur said...

Thanks for the pretty pictures. I cannot believe that we are still flying these birds (let alone building them!) - the original customers retired these a couple of years back.

Also - have HAL simply put these things together or built them from scratch (i.e. can we supply all the spares for these?).

Thanks in advance, Mr. Shukla!

left wing nut job said...

Something is wrong with this statement:
"HAL is completing the last four Jaguar fighters, in a production run that has lasted almost 20 years. During this period, the Bangalore Complex of HAL has built 37 Jaguars."

37 Jags over a 20 year prod run? I believe that these 37 were built within the last 5-6 years.

Anonymous said...

The photos are perhaps a more telling comment on our "Defence PSUs" than was intended. Where one man on a small tractor would have sufficed, we have around 20 men pushing a squeaky trolley.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@11
you are right. They get hefty salary and enough time to think about strike s. Along with the above, they slowdown the manufacturing process a lot. No wonder why it took 20 yrs to build (sorry assemble) 37 Jaguars.

Anonymous said...

Are those "DRDO scientist" unloading the Jaguar fuselage. Let me guess they will install the super duper tarang MKI to make it indigenous.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if this Jaguars would have made by China. Then they would have called it a J-XYZ. And pakistan would have acquired its licence to assemble it at PAC. They would have called it a great technological success. Their ACM would have said "Now PAF has surpassed IAF with induction of this jet".I(ACM PAF) congratulate our scientists........What a Joke!

Akash said...

buradiah, ie anon@16:43 why dont you take your pak (lack of) brains back to defense.pk?
and btw, tarang is now at mk1B version and is a fully capable RHAWS- unlike you pakis, india makes its own stuff and has the brains to improve upon it - ouch!!

ankur,

HALs indigenization count of the Jag airframe, including avionics, hydraulics etc stands at around 88.4%.

Engine wise its 84.2%.
Source: 17th report standing committee on defence, 2006-07

Anonymous said...

the production quality of that aircraft looks great, no rivets, no screws visible. good job, but Hal should seriously use a motorised conveyance to transfer the birds between assembly facilities.

Anonymous said...

Akash,Cool down man it was just for fun....Abhi tak bacha huaa hai matlab nahi Burah...........he heh

Anonymous said...

Akash, well said.

About Indigenous, what exactly is the definition here? That we can metal cut to the specification and locally built the structure?

Is this the definition of Indigenous for all this, nothing but locally assembled?

Akash said...

dear anon@12:45 would appreciate if you could post in a reasonable approximation of an understandable language. totally lost you @what you meant to say.

anon@14:57,

indigenous would mean, in this context, locally manufacturing the aircraft from raw material, locally. hence HAL releases indigenization targets.

in the larger sense, true indigenization would mean we make our own aircraft - that is the LCA and ALH etc.

but here, the term is being used in terms of ankurs original question - can we make the jaguars locally, and if so can we supply all the spares for these?

the answer is - we can supply most of the spares, but not all. some items will continue to be imported since their tech was not available when the aircraft agreement was signed, or because it is not economic to produce these items in india. if IAF asks for 3 LRUs once in a while, it makes better sense for HAL to get them from the oem who has economy of scale from manufacturing for global fleets rather than HAL itself.

Ajai said...

Dear all,

You could have indigenisation of manufacture... which would mean building up a local supplier base to manufacture components and sub-assemblies... which would then be assembled into the overall weapons system by a "lead integrator". That is what has been done by HAL in the case of the Jaguar.

Then you could have indigenisation of upgrades... which means that DRDO/HAL scientists carry out R&D to develop improvements on small but important components of the aircraft. One of the big successes in indigenised upgrades for the Jaguar was the DARIN nav/attack system, which was far superior to anything supplied by the original manufacturers. Over a period of time, indigenised upgrades improve not just the weapons platform on which they are fitted, but also the abilities/experience of the scientists who develop them. Many of the scientists who cut their teeth on indigenous upgrades for the Jaguar, went on to develop high quality avionics for the Tejas LCA.

And finally, there is indigenisation of the entire process of conceiving, designing and manufacturing a full-fledged weapons system, like you are seeing in areas like the LCA, the Arjun project, and warship design.

Each on of these processes feeds into the next one; each is a stepping stone in the march towards developing comprehensive indigenisation of defence capability.

So even if a metal turner in Coimbatore is producing a screw on his lathe... that's not to be scoffed at. It is an essential step in the overall indigenisation process. He will send his product to a small-scale manufacturer in (let's say) Pune... who will use that in a sub-system, which he will send to (let's say) Kirloskars who will use that in a Arjun tank generator... which he will send to let's say) Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi, which will use it in an Arjun tank.

Few countries have actually indigenised the entire process chain. India aims to be one of them. It's moved a long way down that road. But there's still a fair distance to cover.

Anonymous said...

this is to reply to the first comment about the IAF still flying the Jags when the "original customers have retired it couple of years ago"..

firstly, the RAF only fully retired its Jags a few months ago. and it was not a popular decision within the RAF-especially the Jaguar force which holds the attack/recon capabilities of the Jaguar in very esteem.

there was a very interesting article in AF Monthly written by a RAF Group Cpt. Dheeraj Bhasin, a very experienced Jag pilot. read it if you can and you'll see that the decision to retire the Jags was a political one, just so even with budget cuts, the Typhoon could be inducted in numbers.

Also, Ajai Shukla has made a big gaffe in this article..the 37 Jags were made only in the last 5-6 years. But, HAL has made 80+15+37= 132 Jags in all.

the breakup is:

58 Jag IS + 10 Jag IB + 12 Jag IM initially. then 15 Jag IBs were ordered and finally 20 more JagIBs/ISs were ordered.

Ankur said...

Akash, Ajai, and Anonymous(immediately above) thanks for the much-appreciated feedback on the Jags and indigenisation.

I admit that I spoke without checking all my facts on the retirement of the Jags from the RAF. The French retired them in 2005. All other customers are secondary (Nigeria, Equador, Oman).

And is it truly out of order to question why we are still producing these birds, when others top Air Forces have moved on to (apparently) better machines?

Regarding that article Anon suggested, this is all I could find:

http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafconingsby/newsweather/index.cfm?storyid=96F941F0-1143-EC82-2E1785ABE5B4E429

I daresay that it was not the one you had in mind - for nothing is mentioned about the performance of the Jags vs the Typhoons.

Regarding Indigenisation, I am truly happy to hear that our scientists made substantial improvements on the Jags, and previous posts are correct in pointing out how clean the finishes look.

However, could somebody please spell out what tech we still solely depend on outside help for (engines?, some avionics?) - and I understand that it is both for economic and historical reasons, and not just technical.

Thank you very much in advance!

Ankur

Ankur said...

Further to Akash's excellent source, here is the link he refers to:

http://164.100.24.208/ls/CommitteeR/Defence/17threport.pdf

Interesting to see we are exporting Jag spares to Oman! How *sweet* is that?

Ajai said...

Thx, anonymous, for that feedback. Will check with the people in HAL who gave me that figure.

I'll post an amendment if you turn out correct on this.

Anonymous said...

Akash thanks for your Indigenous definition and Ajai for Elucidating the same.

The question that keep coming back is the objective of LCA, Is it not completely independent of external sources a guiding principle of LCA?

Looking at the 85% local content in Jaguar, do we hope to achive anything of that sorts with LCA? All said and done local content "value' wise hardly makes up 50% in LCA. So what "Indigenous are we talking about in LCA?
without engine LCA will not fly.

Without Isreali radar LCA could never be fighter.
Without FBW actuators.....LCA will crash before takeoff.
Without french dispalys LCA is blind.

Without Israeli litening pod LCA is no more than slinging dumb bomb like LTTE!

In other words LCA is more dependent on foriegn suppliers than Jaguar and Migs.

What is this charade of "Indigenous" we have been hearing for the last querter of century??
W

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@11:51 said:
"Without Israeli litening pod LCA is no more than slinging dumb bomb like LTTE!"

I dont really want to contest your claims about the "indigenous" because its a long debate ; but that is a very wrong concept.LDP is for laser and TV guided bombs mainly.For unguided bombs , rockets and cannon only the radar is required which calculates the CCIP(Continuously Computed Impact Point) and those are aimed using the piper on the HUD.No need for LDP there.

And no the radar isnt fully Israeli maal.

Akash said...

dear buradaiah,

Your claims are without substance.

Looking at the 85% local content in Jaguar, do we hope to achive anything of that sorts with LCA? All said and done local content "value' wise hardly makes up 50% in LCA. So what "Indigenous are we talking about in LCA?
without engine LCA will not fly.


the design and development of the lca is being done within india, and secondly the indigenous LRU count in the LCA, even with an imported engine is 65%. Not 50%. This is far more than that of the Gripen.

Without Isreali radar LCA could never be fighter.

the israeli radar is just for the short term.

Without FBW actuators.....LCA will crash before takeoff.

same holds true for the Gripen and all other aircraft which source actuators from 4 manufacturers worldwide. India has already indigenized some 3 actuators while the remaining for the wing are being done


Without french dispalys LCA is blind.


production LCAs will have HAL-SAMTEL displays and BEL ones

so dont worry, this is no painted bandar like the JF-17 Thandarr

Anonymous said...

green painted bundar (if I may add) !

Anonymous said...

the sad part is that the green bandar is getting a russian engine.

Ankur said...

The Russians aren't contractually obliged to supply only India.

One of the many great reasons to indigenise!

Anonymous said...

Dear Akash i may be Buraidiah/paki/arror/ddm does it matter?

the design and development of the lca is being done within india, and secondly the indigenous LRU count in the LCA, even with an imported engine is 65%. Not 50%. This is far more than that of the Gripen.

Humm ... design development??? are we forgetting Dassult cheque of $100 Million for the same....... 80's dollar precious thing.
About LRU, I take you counted them right..... should i take your word;) Then again LCA local content difficult to breach 50% mark.

the israeli radar is just for the short term.

Tell me some more, which is not interim, everything is from engine to last nut. Are we not hearing that for a querterof century???

same holds true for the Gripen and all other aircraft which source actuators from 4 manufacturers worldwide. India has already indigenized some 3 actuators while the remaining for the wing are being done

What is the purpose of "indigenous aircraft" when we can source better aircraft in grippen form??
If actuators is blocked what do you do with that aircraft??
Lets source complete system, instead of piece meal from different vendors which make the aircraft so much susceptible to foreign whimps and fancies.

so dont worry, this is no painted bandar like the JF-17 Thandarr,
You do know JF-17 is nothing compared to LCA, DON'T YOU? Then Why do you compare LCA to JF-17,to get some kicks perhaps.

Ankur said...

Anonymous, why not use a name so that we can reference it? Makes sense, given that you are more of an active poster.

First things first: I don't agree with the name calling that has been going on in this blog. Frankly it is childish. Thanks for not indulging in it.

Regarding your indigenisation qualms:

"What is the purpose of "indigenous aircraft" when we can source better aircraft in grippen form??
If actuators is blocked what do you do with that aircraft??
Lets source complete system, instead of piece meal from different vendors which make the aircraft so much susceptible to foreign whimps and fancies."

1. The Gripen does not fully suit mission parameters for the IAF - *no* foreign aircraft does, because they are never designed to (even the SU 30MKI is a tweaking, not a ground-up design solution for India). The LCA is designed entirely from an Indian point of view.

2. The whole point of having many vendors is to keep them from having the ridiculous bargaining power that every single supplier has - witness the Russians and the Gorshkov. Basic game theory tells us as much.

3. The IAF has been operating nothing but foreign equipment for its entire life. And it suffers chronic (re)supply problems from vendors (e.g. getting more Harriers for our aircraft carrier was hard, because we did something to piss off the Brits). Indigenisation is the *only* way to stop us being subject to foreign whims and fancies. When we are in control, we specify exactly what we want, when we want and get a much better price for it in the long run. Not to mention the potential export market from others who are sick of buying expensive equipment with more strings attached than spaghetti.

4. The LCA is not perfect, but it is a leap straight into fourth generation technology. Fine, it has taken 25 years and has its fair share of problems - but *all* programs of this complexity do - especially for newcomers. You are right to not compare this to the J-17. Because we actually designed this from scratch. The main benefit of the LCA is going to be seen in future versions - the mark 2s and the MCAs of this world will be massive beneficiaries of the LCA.

Rahul said...

Don't make Broadsword a Porkistani Forum. JF-17 is a chinki Bandar with russian lungs, heart, kidney etc. And i have no word to explain Porkistani's claims...simply blank!

LCA's contribution is more than just a jet. For more see these videos
http://youtube.com/watch?v=9jPh930A1FA
http://youtube.com/watch?v=755G4aqQ9mk