Tuesday, 28 April 2009

India set to build Medium Combat Aircraft

(Photo: courtesy Ajai Shukla)







The Tejas Light Combat Aircraft aerobatics display at Aero India 09 in Bangalore in Feb 09. The LCA is now set to be followed by an Indian-developed Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA).

by Ajai Shukla
Bangalore, India
Business Standard


With India’s home-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) --- the Tejas --- flying successfully through its testing process, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has now signed up for an indigenous Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA). Within days, the IAF and a team of aircraft designers will formally set up a joint committee to frame the specifications for India’s own MCA, which will be built largely in Bangalore.

The MCA’s design team will centre on the agencies that have built the LCA: the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA); the National Aeronautics Laboratory (NAL); Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); and a host of Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) laboratories that will develop futuristic sensors and systems for the MCA.

The Director of ADA, Dr PS Subramaniam, confirmed to Business Standard, “The joint committee is likely to be formed within two or three weeks. This committee will finalise what will go into the MCA, as well as the budget and development schedule.”

According to Dr Subramaniam, the programme will aim to develop the MCA and build 5-6 prototypes at a cost of Rs 5000 crores. That is approximately the same amount that has gone into the LCA programme.

With this, Indian aeronautical designers will be working in all the fighter categories. In the light fighter category (10-11 tons), the Tejas LCA is expected to get operational clearance in 2011; the MCA will be India’s first foray into the medium fighter category (14-15 tons); and in the heavy fighter category (20 tons plus), currently ruled by the Russian Sukhoi-30MKI, Indian designers plan to partner their Russian counterparts in developing the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA).

Interestingly, the decision to develop an indigenous MCA comes alongside the overseas procurement of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for an estimated Rs 50,000 crores. Senior IAF planners point out that the MMRCA procurement is unavoidable for replacing the MiG-29s and Mirage-2000s that will become obsolete while the MCA is still being developed.

By 2020, when the IAF’s current fleet would have been largely phased out, MoD planners forecast a requirement for at least 250 medium fighters. This has raised hopes amongst the MMRCA contenders (the US F/A-18 and F-16, Russia’s Mig-35; the Eurofighter Typhoon; and the Swedish Gripen) that the winner could end up supplying twice as many fighters as the current tender. But a successful Indian MCA programme would cap the MMRCA procurement at 126 fighters. After that, the MCA production will kick in.

The MCA designers plan to pursue technologies superior to anything currently on offer. The ADA Director points out, “None of the MMRCA contenders will be state-of-the-art in 2015-2017. But the MCA will; it will incorporate the technologies of the future, which currently feature only on the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor.”

India’s aeronautical designers see the MCA programme as crucial for taking forward the expertise that has been painstakingly accumulated in the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme. The IAF is in agreement; and the Rama Rao Committee, set up for restructuring the DRDO, has recommended that programmes must be created to provide continuity for designers.

Says a senior MoD official: “With great difficulty we have built up a team that can design a complete combat aircraft. After a couple of years, when the LCA goes into production, there will be no design work left. Without another aircraft programme to work on, we will lose this team, having attained this level.”

33 comments:

Harpreet said...

I hope MCA development is headed by HAL and not ADA. Only projects undertaken by the industry in a competitive environment can ever hope to succeed. Consequences is the only way to enforce accountability, consequences that a government agency like ADA never has to face regardless of success or failure of projects undertaken by them.
BTW why do we need a whole array of LCAs, MCAs and HCAs. Isn't IAF inventory fractured enough? USAF did well with just F15s and F16s for over 30 years.

Anonymous said...

Have they obtained Boeing testing information on getting the new developed fighters qualified? The LCA has 1000+ tests already and is still years away from being fully inducted. New methods like concurrent engineering, manufacturing methods must be used.

Maybe there is a reason for letting out the photos showing them climbing, sitting all over the planes, the MCA will not suffer the same fate.

Anonymous said...

The sheetmetal windi tunnel models look like the JSF: nose curved to clean up the air before reaching the engine etc. Whats missing are the embedded antennas, makes the JSF non-symmetric and a bit ugly. Like seeing for first time the original diamond shaped stealth planes.

Hopefully all these new embedded antennas, electronic warfare stuff will be incorporated.

Anonymous said...

Harpreet, please dont make me laugh. HAL doesnt anywhere have the capability to design an aircraft at the level ADA has achieved. ADA's work in LCA shows a level of accountability and bending to IAF requirements the HAL would have never done (with good reason!)- its the reason why the same org has been given the MCA project as well. DRDO simply does not have the negotiating power of a PSU.

Anonymous said...

Its not that ADA has done earth shaking designs! They do not anymore projects after LCA. Anyhow which original designer of LCA is still available in ADA. All of them either retired form service or joined lucrative posts in Honeywell,moog etc. its not the question of who built what! Definetely LCA is designed by ADA and manufactured by HAL. The same should continue for MCA also. Whether HAl or ADA and DRDO , all are with in India. each organization has its pluses and minuses!

Harpreet said...

To Anon@16:51: Depriving HAL of design opportunities has been the greatest undoing of our aeronautical industry.
A market driven company has the vision to predict trends, ADA chose to keep their eyes closed when IAF migrated from R60 to R73.
As for negotiating power, DRDO has veto over imports and for every project delayed a gaping hole is left in our armor until it comes to a point where DRDO cannot shamelessly stand in the way anymore.
If LCA fails HAL may loose manufacturing and exports to imports/licensed assembly but what ADA has to loose, they just stay in job by dragging on projects.
Product design & development is a function of market requirement, government labs can only run science projects and develop technologies, exactly what DRDO should be doing instead of importing tech and creating half baked products.

Anonymous said...

thanks for your article on this Ajai !

Looking forward to hearing more on this project from you, considering that you're not at all a biased lifafa DDM journo, like some other journalists.

Anonymous said...

It looks like there is no participation of the IAF in the joint committee. The last thing we want is a repeat of the LCA saga. Hope ADA or HAL (whoever drives the program) include the end client right from the begining.

Anonymous said...

Dear Harpreet, Please don't parrot the same thought that Prasun's presenting.HAL is not a R&D firm ITs organisation culture does not suit for research. However, the PSU is good manufacturing. Developing an aircraft requires a lot of research. If a research intensive project is given to a PSU that will merely float a tender and scout for itnernational partners. HAL has never developed anything by itself. All those indigeneous stuff they present to the public are co-developed with one or another foreign companies. They also have not collaborated with any educational institutions in the past. Whereas, ADA is doing that. Apart from research, this method also grooms new researchers in educational institutions. That is a plus.

Anonymous said...

anon@4.53! Dont present ur bullshit views of HAL,as if its entire public opinion. HAL or any PSU cannot survive by building mere tech demonstrators dragging for years together.its foolish to put everything made in india to call made in india! what is that we have to be called made in india? Does DRDO ANURAG chips are as popoular as other chips. HAL like orgs have to survive by selling products to customer and have to hard earn their salaries. The same is not true for DRDO. NAL made SARAS crashed like a duck? whome will you blame? Atleast ALH has come out after a design collaboration with eurocopter and ready mix of indigeneous and imported avionics!
Except for some wires and some components, nothing is available in India! ppl in ADA have become SC'F' and G with out actually doing anything. MMR is a good example of screw up by ADA ,HAL and LRDE.when HAL& LRDE have failed to deliver in time ,what ADA project management is doing? They should have whipped HAL and LRDE and said beg,borrow or steal ,but deliver! True! HAL is not an R&D org ,like DRDO surviving on white elephents! you open up any israeli or European or american systems,not every thing inside will be made by that company which is selling the end product.RCMA of DRDO is called as
Regional center for misuse of Authority and their parent organization CEMILAC is called Center for milking additional Cash!
such is the contributions of these organisations of DRDO!

Harpreet said...

To Anon@04:51: The point I am trying to present is that we need to encourage design & development in corporates that deal with the market. There is a good reason why no single organization in the world develops every single defense product like DRDO is trying to do. The key is to develop specialized capability in the industry.
There is a difference in basic research and technology development which is done by universities and government labs(which can be done regardless of market demand and deadlines) against product design which is done by corporate design labs to meet market demand using technologies developed by the former. This is the model followed the world over. Sadly DRDO is little interested in developing technologies that our industry could use and is instead denying corporates the opportunity to develop products for the market they understand.
I don't need Prasun to tell me how our government has screwed R&D. My opinion on ADA hasn't changed since it's inception.

Shiv Aroor said...

great stuff, sir.

the terminator said...

It is good to note India has decided to build the MCA. However those involved in this project should also have the end-user from day one as to the design parameters and capabilities of the aircraft. Most important would be a set time frame and requirements are not shifted by the end-user as and when they come across some brochures of the fantastic capabilities of foreign aircraft.

Another area should be NOT to reinvent the wheel. If systems are avaiable off-the-shelf, they should source it and produce it locally with complete TOT if possible.

A very obvious shortcoming is India's inability to come up with a modern and workable aircraft engine. Either the Kaveri should be developed into its intended role with or without foreign collaboration.

As Indians have the penchant to declare lofty design goals, it would be prudent not to advertise until the set goals have been met and productionized.

Hope MCA does not end up as another LCA saga.

pmukherjee said...

Looks like a whole lot of guys, each with some axe or the other to grind, washing their long unwashed undies in public. Way to go guys a democracy doesnt get any better.

Anonymous said...

Thanks pmukherjee, only this democracy can prevent Déjà vu of LCA.

Anonymous said...

as far i know that till they guys think of help/ importing tech from eurofighter and coping airframe of f22+f35=mca and internal bay and there u have so called 5th gerneration aircraft but i know how ada labs works .This same think thought about lca i.e. airframe from mirage, and f-18 engine copy and fire by wire from mirage but they were given only analogy fire by wire ,engine f404 was stoped from us from 1998-2001 and not only this they keep lca prototype for 3year in their wind tunnel test facility .So forget mca think of mmrca bcoz that is only think that will safe india from its enengy

Anonymous said...

@anon..above
Try to push some decent ENGLISH into ur head.Then talk abt 5th gen fighters.

Anonymous said...

PAK FA will be 2 engined and

HAL/ADA better develop single engined 5 gen aircraft or develop internal bays for tejas

going for PAK FA AND 2 engined MCA is nothing but a foolish thing to do

by developing internal bays for tejas is much more easier thing to do and accomplish than going to develop two engined aircraft from bottom up

Anonymous said...

To Mr Shukla

The MCA designers plan to pursue technologies superior to anything currently on offer. The ADA Director points out, “None of the MMRCA contenders will be state-of-the-art in 2015-2017. But the MCA will; it will incorporate the technologies of the future, which currently feature only on the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor
-----------------------------------
well MMRCA contenders are already obslete against su30mki and
su35bm carrying IRBIS E or future AESA radars in all parameters and 2017 is too far yet

so if none of these MMRCA contenders will be state of art in 2017 then what is the reason to procure them why not save this 10 billion for PAK FA development

and timeline for MCA IS 2017 but look at russia they haven't yet flown their PAK FA so how will much less experienced ADA will do it

Anonymous said...

to mr shukla

IAF planners point out that the MMRCA procurement is unavoidable for replacing the MiG-29s and Mirage-2000s that will become obsolete while the MCA is still being developed.
-------------------------------

MMRCA contenders aren't much different from mig29 and
mirage2000 ,if these two fighter can be upgraded with AES radars they will still be more than a match to any MMRCA contender

Anonymous said...

MMRCA is required to replace 125 upgraded Mig-21 and not Mirage 2000 & Mig 29 which are being upgraded and will remain in service till 2030. IAF issued MRCA request as a stop gap measure because of LCA delay in 2002. Given the continued delays in LCA program and GOI taking 5 years to act on IAF request MRCA requirement was upgraded to M-MRCA. 125 MMRCA are unavoidable as upgraded Mig-21s will start retiring early next decade. More may be required if LCA Mk2 or MCA gets delayed.

Anonymous said...

To Anon@16:51: Depriving HAL of design opportunities has been the greatest undoing of our aeronautical industry.
A market driven company has the vision to predict trends, ADA chose to keep their eyes closed when IAF migrated from R60 to R73.
As for negotiating power, DRDO has veto over imports and for every project delayed a gaping hole is left in our armor until it comes to a point where DRDO cannot shamelessly stand in the way anymore.
If LCA fails HAL may loose manufacturing and exports to imports/licensed assembly but what ADA has to loose, they just stay in job by dragging on projects.
Product design & development is a function of market requirement, government labs can only run science projects and develop technologies, exactly what DRDO should be doing instead of importing tech and creating half baked products.
Harpreet,

congratulations for making amongst the most stupid posts i have read so far on the internet. it takes some skill to do so, and you have achieved this dubious zenith.
first, its quite clear you have next to no knowledge of what has actually been the case in indian aerospace. for your dear information, several HAL ex biggies themselves rued the fact that HALs management lazed and allowed almost all its design talent to whittle away. if that was not the case, when the LCA project was offered to them, these same bravehearts refused to take it up. later on, people like RN Sharma ex head of HAL even tried to sabotage the project and own HALites contribution (and yes, HAL has done lot for the LCA) by deliberately making it a go slow approach from HAL end.
now let us come to half baked products, DRDO has dozens of products to its credit today in different streams of different research, how many products does HAL have?
you are equally foolish when you say ADA did not predict change from R60 to R73- of course they knew but they cannot TOUCH the design unless the IAF decides to change the ASRs. and it is ADA which led the wing redesign with HALs help and got it done.
finally you say "importing tech and creating half baked products" - at least to its credit, DRDO tries creating products, and working with different groups, it has baked many cakes, now please put on your great hat and tell us how many cakes HAL has baked?
apart from ALH and now IJT there is almost NOTHING from HAL end for 2-3 decades. that is not the fault of HALs own people who are good engineers but some really lazy people in management and MOD who decided HAL would be just license manufacturer.

if you were industry insider, you would know of cost+margin approach of HAL which only mr mohanty stopped fully and pushed HAL towards a modern organization with competitive pricing. earlier HAL just did its license production and charged a margin on top of cost. where is the market driven approach?

you kids only go on internet to prasuns blog and other places and repeat all the bakwaas verbatim. but you have next to no idea of the reality in india.

Anonymous said...

anon@4.53! Dont present ur bullshit views of HAL,as if its entire public opinion. HAL or any PSU cannot survive by building mere tech demonstrators dragging for years together.compared to the bullshit you write my words are very nice smelling.
HAL did even worse, it did not even produce tech demonstrator. so called PSU, basically living off the tax payers money?

where are 100 designs of HAL if it was so great and fools like you know everything?

now you will come crying and say but there was no technology in india, then why the f*** do you think drdo takes time?

its foolish to put everything made in india to call made in india! what is that we have to be called made in india? more bullshit from bullshit master! so is dhruv made in india or not? do you even know the difference?

Does DRDO ANURAG chips are as popoular as other chips.drdo anurag chips are for special application in sanctioned areas. u do not even know this! both drdo and BEL have captive facility only for this purpose!

HAL like orgs have to survive by selling products to customer and have to hard earn their salaries. earn their salaries!
so tell me hero, why is HAL making the Sukhoi, or the Dornier?
all you did was get the design and are making it, and now are claiming you are better?
to HAL credit, it has now woken up and is making IJT, Dhruv designs, but waking up now does not excuse your stupid arrogance.

The same is not true for DRDO. NAL made SARAS crashed like a duck? whome will you blame? NAL is not DRDO. and NAL saras is going to be made at HAL also. people died in the NAL crash. you are so shameless you try to pass blame using that? or have you forgotten death of suranjan das?

Atleast ALH has come out after a design collaboration with eurocopter and ready mix of indigeneous and imported avionics!
Except for some wires and some components, nothing is available in India!
ha ha ha, wires and components. who are you fooling, i have personally inspected LRU sheet of Dhruv and cleared it with many many item taken in india. you are just a bluffmaster!


ppl in ADA have become SC'F' and G with out actually doing anything. MMR is a good example of screw up by ADA ,HAL and LRDE.when HAL& LRDE have failed to deliver in time ,what ADA project management is doing? They should have whipped HAL and LRDE and said beg,borrow or steal ,but deliver! True! HAL is not an R&D org ,like DRDO surviving on white elephents! you open up any israeli or European or american systems,not every thing inside will be made by that company which is selling the end product.phir bakwaas, you sound like mamta banerjee on toddy! are you even working in any organization? as if you can "beg borrow or steal", whom will you beg from borrow from or steal from. you think peri james bond is working in HAL or DRDO to go running and get your stuff?

and HAL is not surviving on white elephants, dont make me go open..if i open my mouth, your izzat will disappear!

RCMA of DRDO is called as
Regional center for misuse of Authority and their parent organization CEMILAC is called Center for milking additional Cash!
such is the contributions of these organisations of DRDO!
and should i start with what HAL is called by IAF? you will wet your underwear if i say so.
or what IAF is called by indian army. and what IA is called by Indian navy.

all this is bullshit. only people with idle minds and idle hands talk nonsense like this. it simply proves they cannot think beyond own nose.

talking of corruption, last speech i was attending, poor MD Nayak was telling everyone to be honest and not corrupt at HAL.

basically fools like you are the real problem in india.

small egos, unable to work in teams, absolute lack of professionalism and ethics, and always bragging about own organization at expense of others.

there is no unity or national purpose in your brains. you are shallow individuals obsessed with next ego rush, and can only run other organization and people down, but as far as work is concerned, you are all a collective zero.

i have seen many good people at HAL who make india proud. then there are jokers like you.

i was at an navy party other day and some guy was yelling about army, then other fellow held his shoulder and said "brother service" he shut up.

you jokers should understand what that means.

Anonymous said...

apart from ALH and now IJT there is almost NOTHING from HAL end for 2-3 decades. that is not the fault of HALs own people who are good engineers but some really lazy people in management and MOD who decided HAL would be just license manufacturer.anon@23:13 - thats not exactly accurate. the point to note is that HAL in the 1980's is not the same as HAL in the 1990's or even today.

HAL does have a wide contribution to the LCA itself, which ADA definitely does acknowledge, plus it has made some avionics items and is now increasing its avionics focus. earlier this year, they started a group around the same. plus, they are also increasing their local contribution to the overall aerospace industry by tieing up with local firms.

i understand your irritation at the flamebaits but dont let that make you lose your cool.

Harpreet,

To Anon@04:51: The point I am trying to present is that we need to encourage design & development in corporates that deal with the market. There is a good reason why no single organization in the world develops every single defense product like DRDO is trying to do. The key is to develop specialized capability in the industry.
There is a difference in basic research and technology development which is done by universities and government labs(which can be done regardless of market demand and deadlines) against product design which is done by corporate design labs to meet market demand using technologies developed by the former. This is the model followed the world over. Sadly DRDO is little interested in developing technologies that our industry could use and is instead denying corporates the opportunity to develop products for the market they understand.
I don't need Prasun to tell me how our government has screwed R&D. My opinion on ADA hasn't changed since it's inception.
I think you would do well to actually gain some knowledge about the indian defence set up before making impressive sounding but fairly pointless statements like the above.
No corporate in india worth its salt wants to deal with the indian defence setup as represented by the MOD and the services without guarantees of financial success. You are basically accusing the horse of not going to the water, when it is partly the horses choice not to do so! try talking to some people who have seen what has occurred close up, and then you will realise where DRDO, DPSUS all fit in to their respective niches.
You make the cardinal mistake of taking the western model - and then say it is the same model used the world over, and apply it to India - BIG MISTAKE!
Sorry - thats not correct. Most countries with a nascent military infrastructure sought state control - to both safeguard investments and keep continuity. That is what occurred in India as well. With a privat sector next to non existent, how will it makes guns, radars, and stuff like that? Today is a different bag of fish, and they can contribute. Next you say, DRDO is not developing useful technologies and denying corporates the opportunity..etc. This is very silly and frankly, shows that you need to some basic awareness of the topic. In India, it is DRDO which has actually held the private sectors hands and made them partners in defence research:
http://www.blonnet.com/2004/02/06/stories/2004020601500900.htm

Second, it has always been DRDO which has pushed the MOD to open up the manufacturing arena beyond just DPSUs and start exploring more private manufacturers. Overcoming institutional resistance, DRDO actually worked with L&T and TATA for various IGMDP and other projects, WIPRO, Infosys for software and now the DPSUs are following suite. From DRDO's POV, it does not matter what the color of the cat is as long as the cat is indian, viable and can catch fish.
I would suggest you actually educate yourself about the topic before making such claims as you have - this very blog has an article on the NE laboratory which is busy distributing its tech to as many manufacturers as possible so as to maximize industrial ability. DRDO is not perfect by any means but the manner in which some of you come up with half baked opinions and statements, is quite frankly - a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

"i have personally inspected LRU sheet of Dhruv and cleared it with many many item taken in india. "

Hello annon joker@23:29. you must be one of those bed bug parasites called RCMA & DGAQA, who have killed TALENT in HAL R&D centers! Did you beg the navy also to invite you to the party? Because these bedbugs resort to or habituated to stooping to such levels! if you are not invited, you will be putting a spoke in the wheel!

Harpreet said...

To Anon@11 MAY 2009 23:48:
If the corporates in India feel hesitant to take risks in Defense development its because they have been denied this opportunity for over 50 years. This would have not been so if DRDO had not taken matters in their own hands and blocked corporates from developing their niche capabilities.
Where they were given a chance the private sector has delivered wonders like MTU Instavest. Ever heard similar praise for a DRDO product?

If I have described the western model its because its the only one that works. You can expect no accountability unless there are explicitly stated consequences. Even the Soviet scientist feared landing in Siberian prisons if they failed.
Most countries with a nascent military infrastructure that sought state control failed. Those who succeeded went the competitive way. This is how Brazil's Embraer despite having received far less foreign technological input compared to HAL has made its mark in the world. There are numerous other examples of small states being market leaders in one sector or another. DRDO became the jack of all trades and master of none.
This is how DARPA (US equivalent of DRDO) describes its work
"DARPA looks beyond today’s known technological needs and requirements. DARPA’s approach is to imagine what capabilities a future military commander might need and accelerate those capabilities into being through technology demonstrations. DARPA program managers are constantly in search of revolutionary high-payoff ideas on the far side to create DARPA programs that will bridge the gap between fundamental discoveries and new military capabilities."DRDO was compelled to push the MOD to open up the manufacturing arena beyond just DPSUs given their performance, overcoming institutional resistance that comes when a monster like DRDO is created. What you fail to recognize is when gov departments like DRDO are created they take a life on their own. DRDO kept diversifying its activities and expanding labs as a way to create more work for themselves. Chillies and fruit juices cannot compensate for their grand failures. Try to justify the money spent on DRDO by the tech they have created. Mind you there aren't many.

Anonymous said...

hey anon@ above, also known as the profound idiot vramanarao, the well known joker of HAL who is not able to do his job but spends all his time on the internet..GET A FRIGGING LIFE.

idiots like you at HAL, at PSUs and who knows where are spoiling the work environment by NOT colloborating with your peers but just making gas everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Harpreet,

Congratulations on yet another utterly wrong post. DRDO never blocked any SME from developing, go to SIATI and attend a conference. It is India's key aero org acting as the CII of aero SMEs started by DRDO with HAL to consolidate and improve the industry.

You quote embraer without even realising that embraer practically operates in the civil market and is closely tied to worldwide OEMs for engines, avionics and systems. They are merely system integrators. In India, DRDO has to make every screw with own resources and industry participation like those of PSUs and SMEs since India has been sanctioned since the 1970s. Instead you quote webpages and talk of praise!

MTU Instavest LOL- some PR release and you guys quote it as gospel.
Tell me where are the hajaar MTU instavest in Indian army! And how was MTU founded, where did MTU source its steel for initial batches of vest from - yes DRDO and SAIL designed Steel supplied to EVERYONE who wanted to get into armour. Now they provide ceramics the same way!Talking of praise there has been enough praise at various DRDO establishments and in the user community over products. If praise is what you want then you should have been at the LRDE campus when AHQ brass came visiting and praised the development teams and personally congratulated senior and junior scientists. Or you should have been at ECIL when first drdo designed ECIL integrated Brahmos command post was delivered.

It is not praise alone but production and acceptance by the USER which DRDO considers the yardstick. It is here where DRDO has delivered in several areas.
You are absolutely open about your lack of understanding when you compare DRDO to DARPA, when will you US obsessed gentlemen look beyond the US.

DRDO is NOT DARPA. DRDO cannot be DARPA. Not in India where R&D in organizations is lacking.

DRDO is the equivalent of the internal design houses in the US which are in various conglomerates and the private sector. DRDO's startup was made at a fraction of the cost, and kept to design technology and operationalize it because there was no guarantee that a private sector firm would be able to operate with any success.

It was the only way forward given the lack of direction in PSU management to develop own R&D capability and funding constraints. I know it may surprise you younger lot but we were very tight on economic terms throughout the 70's and 80's.

The only exceptions were BEL which did pioneering work with the Navy and started central R&D units along with DAE's ECIL, which went bankrupt and came back by dint of hard work and much needed R&D work for DRDO and others.

""DRDO was compelled to push the MOD to open up the manufacturing arena ... "

More verbose stuff without a clue of the reality. In the 1980's Kalam sahab personally approached key players in the Indian private sector to take up defence projects and promised them help and he delivered. This is how Prahlada, Saraswat and other pioneers led their programs by involving industry. This is why G&B is today involved in the Brahmos, because they began with the Prithvi.

DRDO is anything but a monster but an underfunded barely there entity struggling to meet the needs of Indian defence. Grow up and visit equivalent labs abroad, and there are entire establishments dedicated to just one tech and with little to show for it. They are quietly wound up & restarted later. India does not have the money to operate with such ability.

Anonymous said...

>>>hat you fail to recognize is when gov departments like DRDO are created...ate more work for themselves.

Again misguided arrows thanks to a brain full of misinformation. Do you understand the concept of clusters?

DRDO operates with multiple labs because it has to. The electronics cluster has LRDE for radars, DARE for airborne mission avionics including EW, DLRL for ground and naval EW systems and so on.

Each develops specific competencies and delivers them. DARE has over 5 generations of RWRs to its credit with series production of both the last and prior to last batches for ALL IAF aircraft.

The SPJs are in production, so are the MCs. In one decade, LRDE has delivered 12 radars and launched several into series production after they cleared trials, this is a world class achievement by any standard by DRDO and BEL and shows what funding and technology maturity can do.

DLRL has delivered the Samyukta for ARMY, the Ajanta EWS and ELLORA for NAVY. Each of these is being succeeded by next generation systems. Many many such success stories, but only few interested people like Ajai to even discuss them.

>>>Chillies and fruit juices cannot compensate for their grand failures. Try to justify the money spent on DRDO by the tech they have created. Mind you there aren't many.

There are enough DRDO items in service which have made sure imports are closed in several areas.

The problem is you guys dont know it and depend on people like Prasun to feed you info and inflate your already misinformed opinions.

Those chillies and juices keep people alive which by itself is worth every bit as much as the radars, the missiles and fancy things you guys love to dream about.

Anonymous said...

anon@29may 1:03 pm lets leave names etc out shall we.

and anon@ 1:32, thanks for some really informative posts without even losing your temper. thank you sir!

Harpreet said...

1) DRDO is the equivalent of the internal design houses in the US which are in various conglomerates and the private sector.
-------------------------------
Except DRDO is not in private sector. Venturing into design was an idea flawed from the beginning.

2) DRDO is NOT DARPA. DRDO cannot be DARPA.
-------------------------------
DRDO should have been DAPRA. That is what a govt organization is supposed to be. Pure research.

3)DRDO never blocked any SME from developing
-------------------------------
They just sucked away the funds that should have gone to corporates for design projects.

4)yes DRDO and SAIL designed Steel supplied to EVERYONE who wanted to get into armour
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This is what DRDO should have done more often. Develop technologies and give them to corporates to develop products.

5)It is not praise alone but production and acceptance by the USER which DRDO considers the yardstick
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This is a joke not worth commenting on.

6) DRDO's startup was made at a fraction of the cost, and kept to design technology and operationalize it because there was no guarantee that a private sector firm would be able to operate with any success
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Wow, no guarantee that a private sector firm with do or die prospects would be able to operate with any success but DRDO with no accountability by way of consequences provided such guarantee.

7)It was the only way forward given the lack of direction in PSU management to develop own R&D capability and funding constraints.
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So instead of developing their capability and competitiveness we created another sarkari department.

8)DRDO is anything but a monster but an underfunded barely there entity struggling to meet the needs of Indian defence. Grow up and visit equivalent labs abroad, and there are entire establishments dedicated to just one tech and with little to show for it.
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This is why DRDO should not have expanded mindlessly and should have kept itself to manageable tasks.

9)DRDO operates with multiple labs because it has to.
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DRDO operates with multiple labs because it committed itself to develop every conceivable technology in the world. I know every story of every project DRDO has delivered and I can say I am least impressed. Tiny companies around the world have developed similar systems and to your surprise with even lesser investment.

10)Those chillies and juices keep people alive which by itself is worth every bit
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yes and they are also available in grocery stores. Was this worth defense research?

Anonymous said...

Finally the waking up-
India's DRDO To Concentrate on Core Technologies

Anonymous said...

Harpreet,
Some of the statements that u have made show the lack of understanding that you have about our Indian govt policies during 60,70,80's.
And during these decades Govt did not allow much private involvement in these industries.
2) DRDO is NOT DARPA. DRDO cannot be DARPA.
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DRDO should have been DAPRA. That is what a govt organization is supposed to be. Pure research.

There was no way DRDO could have been DARPA, DARPA exists in USA because they have private R&D labs with their own IP on basic technologies.
For example no country would give India the technology for the turbine blades meant for jet Engines, thats some technology that has to be mastered by spending billions on research. No private company which cares about its investors dares to venture into that stuff.
private companies in USA did invest R&D in those technologies because they had the IP for the same technology of previous generation. with that IP its not hard to develop newer materials as compared to start afresh.