Wednesday, July 1, 2015

News Roundup: LCA Mk-2 Maiden Flight in 2018-19, AMCA Development Cost Just Half of 36 Rafale Pricetag, T-50 Product-30 Engine Prototype Ready

AMCA model at Aero India 2015

AMCA Development Cost Just Half of 32 Rafale Price Tag

AMCA development would cost half of 32 Rafale acquisition, estimates outgoing ADA chief.

On June 30, 2015 outgoing ADA director P.S. Subramanyam told Business Standard that the AMCA's configuration is finalized, and preliminary design is about to commence.

While it will be possible to accurately estimate the cost of the project only on completion of preliminary design, Subramanyam says, "I am confident that the AMCA project would cost less than any fifth generation fighter project anywhere. My estimate would be in the region of $4 billion (Rs 25,000 crore)."

Acquisition cost for 36 Rafale aircraft is estimated to be around Rs 8 crore.

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AMCA Preliminary Design Poised to Commence

LCA Mk-2 First Flight by 2018-19

On June 30, 2015 outgoing ADA Director P.S. Subramanyam told the Business Standard, "The preliminary design of the Tejas Mark II fuselage is already completed, without surprises. The detailed design will not cause delay. The fighter will make its first flight by 2018-19; and will begin joining the IAF fleet by 2021-22."

ADA is scouting for a consultant to validate the detailed design, but is ready to proceed independently if it cannot arrive at a satisfactory consultancy arrangement.

During the visit of MoS for Defense Rao Inderjit Singh to France during PAS 2015, Airbus Industries reportedly offered to provide LCA Mk-2 design consultancy.

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LCA Mk-2 First Flight by 2018-19, Airbus Industries Offers Design Consultancy

Product-30 (Stage-2 Engine for T-50) Prototype Built

In June 2015 it was reported that United Engine Building Corporation (UEBC) has built a prototype of the new engine. Two prototypes of the engine are scheduled to be built in 2015.

UEBC CEO Vladislav Maslov had earlier said that work on developing the stage-2 will be completed in 2020.

It maybe noted that the IAF is reportedly not happy with the capabilities of the Product 117 engine currently fitted on the T-50 for the stage-1 phase of the aircraft's development.

Moscow-based Salut and NPO Saturn are building a brand new stealthy power-plant for the T-50, which is not a derivative of the AL-41F1 (Product 117) engine that powers it. Called Product 30, the new engine will be 30% lighter than the Product 117 engine and come with 30% lower life-cycle cost.

The new engine is expected to offer about 17.5 tons (171.6 kn) of thrust in full after-burning mode and somewhere in the range of 12 tons (117.7 kn) in dry mode, allowing the aircraft to comfortably super-cruise at around Mach 1.5. The Product-30 engine will compare favorably with fifth generation engines made in the west.

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Product-30 (Stage-2 Engine for T-50) Prototype Built

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