LCA Updates Tejas again?

Tejas LCA MK 1. Wikipedia Commons

SHAH ALAM: LCA updates, Tejas again? India’s Economic Times has reported that a team from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will be visiting Bengaluru within the next two months to evaluate the HAL Tejas LCA Mk1 . Bengaluru is of course the capital of India’s Kartanaka state where the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd LCA-Tejas plant is located.

Since February, Indian media have been reporting that Tejas was among the favourites for the RMAF LCA programme.

HAL Tejas MK 1 LCA. Indian Air Force

From Economic Times

A Malaysian Air Force team is expected to visit India soon to assess the suitability of the light combat aircraft (LCA), a locally developed system that has recently been ordered in large numbers by the Indian Air Force (IAF), as the force looks to acquire aline of new fighter jets. The Malaysian team is likely to visit Bengaluru within two months, depending on travel restrictions, and will be given a full tour of the LCA production facilities, test infrastructure as well as a demonstration of i ..

One of the two Tejas landing at the Langkawi airport on Friday. Alert 5 photo.

For more go here. I have no further information about this apart from the article above.
One of the two RTAF T-50 at Kuantan airbase in Jan,. 2018. via @KaptRahmat

It is interesting to note however that Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry Mohamed Azmin Ali during his official visit to South Korea this week attended a dinner hosted by the Korean Aerospace Industries. Mohamed Azmin stated in his social media
RTAF T-5OTH 40101 at Kuantan airport in 2018.

I was delighted to attend the dinner hosted by the President of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), South Korea’s leading aerospace and defence company, with global competitiveness through indomitable will and continuous efforts.

KAI has developed the Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV)-II and a variety of satellites. KAI’s production include several foreign-designed aircraft via licensing arrangements and it has produced its own aircraft designs.

The President of KAI indicated support in developing human capital in the aerospace industry in Malaysia including transfer of technology and establishing a Centre of Excellence to train Malaysians in defence aerospace industry.

KAI also expressed interest to cooperate with RMAF in MRO activities. In this regard, KAI will continue discussion with RMAF.

A photo on RTAF FB page celebrating the delivery of the two T-50THs on Jan. 25, 2018.

I am not conflating the Indian news article and the senior minister posts as confirming that the LCA programme is on the move but it does indicate that industry is looking towards something definitive from Malaysia very soon or at least by year end. For my take on whats going on go here.
HT to Alert 5

— Malaysian Defence

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  1. Even if this project is to bodek India to buy more palm oil or India want to barter tejas with palm oil then my personal answer is no.

  2. No just no..even equally as bad i’ll take jf17 over tejas anytime anyday..or i’ll take hongdu L15 now

  3. Please RMAF, just get the FA-50 in great numbers to replace the F5s, Migs, Hawks n Macchis and forget the rest.

  4. I guess both China and India are large palm oil buyers which means possibility of barter trade – palm oil for weapons.

    So what is the consensus? No deal, rather go without planes than can sometimes fly (because of parts issue), or no planes at all and save the money for better times (when the budget is bigger).

    Personally, rather go without planes. Seeing for example, how the SU-30 ended up being a huge resource hog because of supply chain and reliability issues – have planes that cannot fly, and need more money than anticipated to keep them flying.

    Wonder whether it will be better to shrink the Su-30 fleet to 12 planes. Would it yield better operational readiness and operating costs?

  5. Kel – “So what is the consensus?“

    My view is that the RMAF already knows what it wants and the trade offs it’s willing to make. It has to factor in technical performance, costs of spares, per hourly operating costs, upgrade growth, etc, etc. Alas, it’s a political decision as to what to get.

    For obvious reasons it will be the F/A-50 and M-346 which comes closest. Both have their respective advantages; both better at slightly different things. As I’m never tired of saying; buying the right platform is merely the first step.

    The next step is ensuring that platform is fully integrated to operate alongside other assets. No point buying the right or most ideal platform if we’re going to operate in on a platform centric level.

    Kel – “that cannot fly, and need more money than anticipated to keep them flying”

    Whatever we bought; there would still be occasions when planes are not operational. From the very start we knew that the Su-30 would be resource intensive; it’s a big plane with large engines which comes with various parts/components with a lower TBO/MTBF than Western equivalents and we heavily modified it with non standard parts/components. Also some of the issues related to spares and overhauls were our fault due to funding delays.

    Kel – “Would it yield better operational readiness and operating costs”

    How on earth will reducing the number of airframes lead to increased readiness? As it is; at any given time several will be non operational; undergoing maintenance.

  6. Better focus on strenghtening our GBAD’s instead of wasting money on more expensive to procure and mantain jets regardless of what type

  7. If RMAF choose the Indian or Chinese made fighter aircraft it will be catastrophe since their aerospace technology know how still in early stage level, both of them were mix with other source which from others countries. But worse come to worsen RMAF should consider Korean made FA-50 if the European or US made light fighter are expensive to get.. But Korean aircraft also influenced from European and US company.. that’s consideration also must take in any account as well..

  8. Sigh – “Better focus on strenghtening our GBAD’s”

    GBADs are intended to be employed with a strong air umbrella. One is not a substitute for another

    There has never been a conflict in which GBADs played a decisive role preventing air power from operating.

    Far – “worse come to worsen RMAF should consider Korean made FA-50”

    What do you mean “worse come to worsen”? The F/A-50 is believed to be one of the favourites and is an extremely capable and versatile platform.

    .Far – “. But Korean aircraft also influenced from European and US company”

    It’s a joint development between KAI and a U.S. company but so what?

  9. This is probably sensationalist news from the Indian press. I think they made a similar claim during Mahathir’s visit to India (and Pakistan) pre-Covid. In any case, I trust the RMAF has already decided what it wants to get, this visit may just be a formality. But there’s no harm at just looking at what India has to offer and see if these planes may (eventually) meet future RMAF requirements.

    Relying only on GBAD for air defence is ignorant. An air force job is not just securing the skies, but also being able to provide air cover and support for the other services (land and sea) as well as conduct operations in enemy air space. Besides that it has also peacetime task of conducting air patrols and intercepts. Going by your suggestion any wayward aircraft should be blown out of the sky instead of going up there to check on it first?

  10. ASM – “I trust the RMAF has already decided what it wants to get, this visit may just be a formality”

    Indeed. It’s merely a team visiting a OEM to perform technical evaluation as part of the elimination probes. Normal occurrence. Doesn’t mean Tejas is a serious contender or a preferred one.

    The RMAF has been receiving various offers for years and prior to approval being granted to procure LCAs; has received technical briefings. At this stage it has a pretty good idea what it needs.

    ASM – “Relying only on GBAD for air defence is ignorant”

    It’s not “ignorant” it’s sheer folly …

    Whether in Iraq, Kosovo, the Arab/Israeli wars, Vietnam, WW2 or the Korea War; GBADs have never checkmated air power …

    The lesson is that no matter how modern or extensive a IADS is; without a strong air umbrella it will eventually be degraded by an opponent which has full command of the skies and a effective SEAD/DEAD capability.

  11. @Kel
    “Personally, rather go without planes”
    Sure, lets not have any QRA planes because we can’t get the best Western LCA. Lets not have any SPH because we can’t get brand new Caesars. Lets not get used Kuwaiti Hornets because our MRCA buy is still in the air.

    Lets not have anything that is not the most new, the best, and most expensive toys because we are in peacetime mah and our boys are so kebal they can fend off any threats barehanded like a Bollywood hero.

  12. On the subject of ‘ground based air defence systems (GBADs) they have to be part of a ‘integrated air defence system’ (IADS). Buying a battery of Aster 15s enables a GBAD capability but not necessarily a IADS one; unless it’s fully networked.

    There has to be a variety of systems which are all intended to deal with a variety of threats (whether a high flying fighter or a tee hugging micro UAS). It all has to be networked and there must be redundancy (i.e. if a radar in a certain sector is knocked out there must be another radar – not necessarily in the same sector – to take its place).

    We also need to ability to deconflict our airspace (i.e. not engaging a friendly fighter operating where GBADs are present).

  13. I guess the point is, knowing budget is limited. Why buy things in small numbers that wouldn’t make a difference? Why not invest in proper deterrence? What’s the point of 18 SU-30 with most not flying? Why get shirty LCA and not take the money and buy just a few more F18s? Yes we loose capability, but overall deterrence posture might have improved with 12 instead of 8 F18.

    Self propelled howitzer is great. But what will one or two minimum sized batteries really accomplish? Save money get more cheaper towed artillery and more MLRS. Yes, capabilities eroded. But overall deterrence posture probably hasn’t.

    To me it isn’t always about having a bit of everything just for the sake of it – tell the world we have, national day parade to show off. Invest in planes no money? Maybe get cheaper option. More land and ship based anti air assets? Can’t get LCS? Well get smaller ships and use the air force or rely on land based assets to engage ships? Not ideal but that’s the reality in a small budget armed forces.

    Have to priorities.

    Yes having priorities are a good thing but it must also be based on the expectations of the outcome. A lot of small ship sounds a good idea but it also depends on the circumstances. Twenty small ships are wonderful in the Malacca Straits but it won’t be useful in patrolling our EEZ in the SCS. The conditions there are not suitable for small ships so 20 such vessels are useless. One cannot depend to patrol a stretch of water with only airplanes, they need to refuel etc so to its better to have ships which are suitable for that body of water to have the quality of presence. As you say priorities matters but it all depends on various issues as well.

  14. Kel – “d. Why buy things in small numbers that wouldn’t make a difference”

    ‘Not make a difference’ in what operational context exactly? If against an opponent with a numerical and qualitative edge; even twice the numbers of certain things might not suffice.

    Kel – “What’s the point of 18 SU-30 with most not flying”

    Do you indeed with certainty know that ‘most are not flying’ or are you being presumptuous? Or are you basing your claim on the low availability rates of some years ago because of delays in funding for overhauls?

    As for the 18 number; that was the number approved by those in charge of allocating funding… We were originally supposed to augment the MKMs and other fighters with a MRCA buy some years later.

    Kel – “Why get shirty LCA and not take the money and buy just a few more F18s”

    The answer is plainly obvious; it has been discussed to death here and other places : we desire a high/low end mix because we can’t afford an all MRCA fleet and because not every tasking requires a MRCA.

    Kel – “ave money get more cheaper towed artillery and more MLRS@

    – There has long been a requirement for another MLRS regiment.

    – What ‘cheaper’ towed artillery? Unless it’s pre owned D-30s (130mm) or FH-70s (39 calibre); there is no “cheaper’ artillery. All modern gen arty pieces have gone up in prices.

    Kel – “Well get smaller ships and use the air force or rely on land based assets to engage ships”

    “Smaller’ ships simply do not have the range, sea keeping endurance or deck space for anything more than limited patrols on a littoral environment. Why do you think the LCS has to increased in displacement compared to the Lekius and Kasturis?

    Air power and coastal based assets for coastal strike and sea denial is great but it must also be employed in conjunction with various other assets and fully networked.

    Kel – “Have to priorities”

    Contrary to popular misconception the armed services do prioritise …. They have long term plans based on the progressive induction of various types of gear driven by operational requirements and threat perceptions. Unfortunately politics gets in the way.

    To understand why certain things are done certain ways: first understand our overall approach to defence and the fact that procurement is driven by a multitude of factors which are in turn unfortunately politically driven ….

    Kel – “what will one or two minimum sized batteries really accomplish”

    In what context?? In a full scale war or a minor border clash? Depends doesn’t it…

    Note that our long term policy has always been focused on the need to have a minimal (based on actual national resources) deterrent capability.

    Indeed; I’d like dozens of 155mm regiments backed up with a ISR capability but alas present plans merely call for another 155mm self propelled regiment.

    Kel – “Why not invest in proper deterrence”

    Define what’s a “proper deterrence’. It can mean many things based on various factors.

    Note that one major disadvantage we face is that we actually don’t have a state threat which would enable us to focus on. Vietnam can focus almost all its external defence requirements on China (a centuries old enemy with which several wars/clashes have been fought) abc Singapore can focus on its policy of maintaining an edge over its immediate neighbours.

    With us it’s not as clear cut – no single threat we can channel our resources and focus on. We have unresolved overlapping disputes with several countries; all of whom are countries which we also have deep economic ties with and with all; the chances of an all out war is extremely slim.

    On top of that we are also worried about non state threats in
    various forms. So whom is your “proper deterrence” intended to “deter” exactly?

  15. Actually what’s discussed by Kel has been exhaustively debated before here in this forum. You want the best for your forces but know the ideal budget simply isn’t available. The problem lies in ‘ascertaining’ what is the Next Best Option. There’s no Best Option here. Your point about the extra FA18s is well taken to get a full squadron. But the reservations held by the air force isn’t made known to ‘us’. Sufficient to believe the powers that be @ the purser aren’t keen on 2nd hand items. The juggling act is still ongoing as we speak. So there’s still some room to criticize and discuss a possible buy here. Hopefully, the inputs we have here are helping the politicians and generals or admirals find the best fit for our defence needs. We don’t have generals forming a quarter of our Parliament’s representatives so we won’t see our armed forces showing assertiveness to our political masters. Nor do we have a general sitting in the PM’s chair. What we do have is tiny forums like this discussing the plans and decisions of MinDef. At least they know we’re watching their moves and not allowing them room to do more hanky panky as before…

  16. If Tejas Mk1 (not Mk1A) was offered at a price cheaper than FA-50 with ASRAAM, AMRAAM, Sparrows, Aim9x (any of those) integrated with them accepting palm oil barter trade, then it would be a win-win situation for RMAF and politicians (assuming RMAF wanted Tejas). My bet is still on FA-50 with the option for going for more Korean-made weapons (AT-1K ATGM, ships, Cheongung-II SAM, KFX etc). The thing that make me warry is the ToT offered by KAI but usually the Koreans would deliver on time and on budget.

  17. Luqman- “ The thing that make me wary is the ToT offered”

    The only things that should worry you about ToTs and offsets are that they are fully paid by the Malaysian taxpayer and that although they are the political in thing; on the premise it benefits the nation; the bulk do not result in any long term sustainable tangible benefits.

  18. @Kel
    Well what choice does ATM have? They are only afforded ‘x’ amount to spend on countering threat ‘A’, ‘B’, & ‘C’. Sure they can prioritise funding to ensure threat ‘A’ is eliminated but what about threat ‘B’ & ‘C’? Just cuz we taken care of one threat doesn’t negate the fact that other threats exist.

    That is the conundrum of ATM, they have to split 1/3 of ‘x’ to counter threats ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ but only sufficient to barely manage each of them sometimes not even then. The easiest answer is to increase defence budget but to what levels and whether can our rakyat and politicians swallow the cost of upping to that level?

  19. Luqman – “ Tejas Mk1 (not Mk1A) was offered at a price cheaper than FA-50 with ASRAAM, AMRAAM, Sparrows, Aim9x (any of those) integrated with them accepting palm oil barter trade, then it would be a win-win”

    It goes behind the price tag. The RMAF will have to determine various things; namely growth potential, operating costs, costs of spares, the level of integration and certification needed for non standard stuff, what targeting/navigation pod it comes with, etc.

    Any major integration certification for non standard stuff will have to be paid by the Malaysian taxpayer. We can discount Sparrow as it’s not in production anymore and has been superseded by AMRAAM.

    As for the palm oil barter arrangement. If it’s accepted we wouldn’t reject it of course but this angle was brought up when a different government was in power.

  20. I use to take the view “what choice do we have” and “beggars can’t be choosers”. Obviously that hasn’t worked well for the Armed Forces. They want new equipment, but only if it meets their requirements. Buying wrong equipment means either the Armed Forces have no use for them, unable to maximise the assets potential, and have to redirect valuable resources away from equipment that they really want.

    Example: Air Force has LCA requirements. They want Hawk replacements, they want Mig-29 replacements. They want more helicopters. They want AEWC. They want more F18s. Army wants more mechanised vehicles. They want new 6×6. They want scopes for their rifles. They want more LAW type weapons. They want more MBT. They want SPH. Navy wants their LCS. They want MPSS. They want ASW helis. Navy wants replacement for the corvettes. They want more submarines.

    Lots of requirements, very little resources. If the LCA candidates the politicians will accept is not what RMAF wants, why not push the budget to something they can get that they need and want?

    Unless the LCA is designated to replace the Hawk and take on the LIFT role. Then we have no choice take the Tejas. If not, keep the Hawks flying and prioritise something else.

    Same with the LCS. Continue to pour buckets of cash into a black hole, or scrap it, accept the losses and put the remaining funds into other projects that can deliver and its what the RMN wants or can actually make use off. We might be less capable but doesn’t mean the overall deterrence posture has weaken. After all its not like the Navy is losing any capability by scraping the LCS – since they never had it in the first place.

    In war time, LCS has higher survivability. In peacetime, 10 LMS class or sized (but better equipped) can better cover our maritime borders than 2 LCS – the Navy still has requirements to replace their ageing gun and missle boats. So loose capability (no LCS – extreme firepower) but deterrence posture not significantly impacted in peacetime.

    If we ever go to war with a reasonably sized and equipped adversary, 6 LCS and a bunch of Tejas wouldn’t make a difference. However, an armed forces with 0 LCS, 0 Tejas, but has 24 F-18s might make enemies think twice – throw some Superhornets and Growlers in the mix.

  21. Kel – “Unless the LCA is designated to replace the Hawk and take on the LIFT role”

    That is indeed the case as has long been known and several of the contenders meets the requirements.

    Kel – “ the Hawks flying and prioritise something else@

    The Hawks are getting increasingly expensive/resource intensive to operate on account of age and the Hawk can’t perform the LIFT role.

    Kel – “If we ever go to war with a reasonably sized and equipped adversary, 6 LCS and a bunch of Tejas wouldn’t make a difference”

    You are generalising : what type of war? A limited one? A prolonged full spectrum one in which the full resources available to both states are fully utilised?

    Kel – “Buying wrong equipment means either the Armed Forces”

    “Means” interoperability issues; hard to fit in with CONOPs, a drain on resources to operate and maintain, etc.

    Kel – “s 24 F-18s might make enemies think twice”

    Not as simplistic as that …. First of all which enemies and in what contract?

    What will make “enemies think twice” is a MAF which has balanced full spectrum capabilities. One which can sustain itself over a certain period and one which receives sustained adequate funding by politicians which understand the use of military means in a larger political/security context …..

    Kel – “Lots of requirements, very little resources”

    Those requirements have piled up into a lung lift because of politicians. All were part of long term plans which would have progressively improved the MAF without causing too large a hole in the piggy bank …

    Ke – “ After all its not like the Navy is losing any capability by scraping the LCS – since they never had it in the first place”

    Not as simple as that. Look at the overall picture. The LCS was part of the RMN’s modernisation efforts. Delays in the programme will not only affect the RMN in the short to long term but will also have an adverse affect in other areas as well …. Not too mention the lack of hulls to even maintain current peacetime requirements.

    Kel – “In war time, LCS has higher survivability”

    Only if they operate in conjunction with other assets and depending on the overall threat level ….

    Kel – “e might be less capable but doesn’t mean the overall deterrence posture has weaken”

    Of course it does ……..

    A MAF which is short of resources will only be able to generate and sustain ‘x’ fighter sorties for a limited period; has less ships it can sustain at sea and a limited number of combined arms manoeuvre unis it can deploy and sustain in the field in the event of a conflict with an opponent with a numerical edge.

    So how can one “be less capable” whilst also maintaining a overall deterrence posture” which has not “weakened”?

    Kel – “I use to take the view “what choice do we have” and “beggars can’t be choosers”

    Cliches which are dependent on the circumstances, are misleading and can mean zero.

  22. Kel – “10 LMS class or sized (but better equipped) can better cover our maritime borders than 2 LCS”

    First of all; we can’t confirm yet that only 2 LCSs will be commissioned.

    Secondly; whether in war or peacetime the LCS and LMSs are intended to supplement each other; both good for different things in different operational contexts.

    Kel – “ccept the losses and put the remaining funds into other projects that can deliver ”

    Sounds great on paper – like many things.

    In reality how many more years will it take for the RMN to finally gain the capability the LCSs were intended to provide? Adding more LMSs are great but are no direct substitute for LCSs …

    Kel – “– the Navy still has requirements to replace their ageing gun and missle boats”

    By a follow batch of LMSs built to a different design to the Chinese ones.

  23. You know what J find interesting yet, disturbing at the same time? I have followed this forum for 5+ years, more in fact. Some of us ARMCHAIR GENERALS here make better Evaluation and Procurement Decisions than the powers that be in the 3 services, at MinDef and in the Cabinet. I am serious… Hopefully, InsyaAllah, we’ll see more positive feedback and news from MinDef for 2021. I don’t and never liked the idea that the current Home Ministry and Finance Minister is more influential than the Defence Minister.

  24. @Kel,

    The thing is the any defence procurement is subject to government approval. The key word here is “GOVERNMENT APPROVAL”, which means if the government of the day does not approve of the purchase, regardless of the merit that it presents to the defence of the country it will not go through.

    The Armed Forces have their own planning and the quantities required for each asset, but at the end of the day if it’s not approved for whatever reason (usually money and politics) then they get nothing. But the Armed Forces have a job a to do, so they have to find a workaround to maintain at least some sort of capability when it’s needed. Hence the situation that we are in now.

    TLDR, ATM needs government approval for any purchase, no approval no purchase.

  25. @Kel
    “push the budget to something they can get that they need and want”
    Who to push? Certainly not the politicians as they would use the money for other rakyat based policies. ATM? They are subservient to Govt and really only receive what sum is given. Rakyat itself? Too few to give a f*ck, they prefer money goes to them thru rakyat based policies.

    LCA role is to replace; MB339 for LIFT, Hawk for light strike, Mig29 for QRA and support to MKMs & MRCAs.

    LCS is to be our premier surface warfighter for the next 10-20 years against peer stealth ships. Any cheaper (read: inferior) ship would compromise that capability and risk our boys. If we’re gonna keep it for that long, we better damn sure it should have tech longevity & survivability in the front line.

    If we’re arming solely for peacetime, LMS is overkill and overpriced better just get more MMEA OPVs that are built to civvie standards.

  26. Taib – “Some of us ARMCHAIR GENERALS here make better Evaluation and Procurement Decisions than the powers that be in the 3 services, at MinDef and in the Cabinet”

    To be fair: there’s a lot of info we’re not privy to; which enables us to make the assessments we make.

    A good example is the issue of pre owned but aged airframes. A lot of people will take things at face value and weight the paper facts : “available, cheap and thus logical we buy them”.

    In reality there are various factors which most people don’t consider.

    – The politicians and RMAF both have their own reasons why they’re reluctant to go down this route.

    – For the RMAF; a resource limited air arm to begin with; it’s major concern is costs. A 30 year old airframe in good condition and with many hours left; is still a 30 year old airframe which will get increasingly resource intensive to operate/maintain.

    – There is also the political angle at play (as Marhalim has mentioned. Getting pre owned airfares might give the politicians an excuse to further delay the acquisition of MRCAs.

    – Just because others have no issues induction pre owned gear dissent necessarily mean the and applies to us. Others have more resources, different requirements and are willing to incur certain penalties.

  27. Taib – “we’ll see more positive feedback and news from MinDef for 2021”

    Any “positive feedback” will be a temporary measure. Just like how it matters not who heads MINDEF.

    The whole system is highly flawed and self defeating from the top down : to our overall attitude towards defence, to our procurement policy, to the part the local industry plays …

    Just like how a temporary (not sustained) budget increase accounts for nothing in the long run; temporary “positive feedback” does not change the fact that the MAF is under resourced and that defence is on the bottom of our list of priorities.

    Take the MPAs. It’s an understood fact that the main challenge we face is along our maritime domain; yet we’re all overjoyed the government has approved a measly 2 MPAs (the RMAF has been seeking them for more than a decade now) and the only reason we’re going to have 3 other ones is thanks to the U.S. taxpayer.

  28. @Kel

    “However, an armed forces with 0 LCS, 0 Tejas, 24 F-18s might make enemies think twice – throw some Superohnets and Growlers in the mix.”

    So you say we should further underfund the already underfund TLDM and TDM to buy a mix of a few legacy hornet, a few super hornet, and a few growlers?

    – Firstly, the other branches definitely will not agree to this.
    – Second, 24 F18 (legacy and super hornet) is not enough for RMAF, even they required 36 LCA/LIFT + 2 MRCA squadrons. Even the current 8 legacy hornets would last 10 years more in service.
    – Third, LCS was designed with ASW role in mind with top of the line towed array sonar (TAS) for the ship’s size. Going with smaller corvette size LMS definitely will need a lower performing TAS thus compromising ASW capability.
    – Fourth, China does not care even if we have 24 Super Hornet along with 0 LCS and 0 Tejas because the can deploy 2.5X more fighters compared to mere 24 hornets along with deploying much more submarines and ships in SCS. What they need to think twice is intervention from USA.

  29. The LCS is a multi role corvette/frigate (depends on who one asks) combatant intended for littoral ops. The addition of a towed array is intended to provide it with a superior ASW capability over the Lekius but is not a ASW vessel per say.

    The lack of a ASW configured helo with the needed range, endurance and lift capacity will be a prohibiting factor; notwithstanding the towed array.

    A LMS fitted with a ASW module doesn’t necessarily have to be less capable than a LCS; depends on the operational context and the fact that both are intended to operate alongside other assets.

    The question of how many fighters is enough really can only be answered if with certainty we can say who the potential opponent is – we don’t have a potential opponent in which we can channel our resources and attention to.

    Our traditional contingency planning with regards to state on state threats was the potential of clashes of a limited duration and intensity with certain neighbouring countries.

    A major problem in significantly expanding the fighter fleet is the lack of a LIFT and the number of pilots we are able to recruit: who will qualify for fast jets and who we can train.

  30. do u guys realize that FA-50 can’t fire BVR missiles at all and no anti-ship role????

    Its an LCA it’s not supposed to have the capability. We can put BVR and anti ship missiles on it if we want to, of course we have to pay for it.

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