Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bangalore: Although more cautious than the all-out performances of the established fighters, Tejas, the Indian-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), went far beyond anything it had ever displayed before, surprising the spectators with steep climbs, an inverted pass, high-gravity turns and loops.
But even amidst success, the Tejas is struggling to overcome major development hurdles. Its maker, Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has taken the crucial decision to bring in a design consultant, a global aerospace major that would assist Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to overcome persistent design glitches that dog the LCA, including fuel distribution, uneven braking, flight controls, environment controls and testing.
And while US-based Boeing has declined to supply such know-how, German-Spanish consortium, EADS, one of the makers of the Eurofighter, has aggressively pursued the consultancy as a way of flying into the Indian market.
In multiple interviews with senior Indian and EADS officials, who requested anonymity, Business Standard has pieced together the EADS strategy. The company has decided to supply India with high technology for Indian products that are not directly competing with an EADS product. The Tejas is not in the same category as the heavier Eurofighter.
Having established its presence in the Tejas programme, EADS is confident that it would be well positioned to get its Eurojet EJ200 engine accepted for the Tejas. India is currently deciding between the EJ200 and the GE-414 engine for powering future squadrons of the Tejas. And EADS believes that winning the contract for the EJ200 engine, and producing it in India, would position it perfectly for the lucrative medium fighter contract; twin EJ200 engines power the Eurofighter.
While willing to part with the technology assistance needed to get the LCA over its hump, EADS worries about the possibility of eventually being held responsible for a possible failure in the Tejas development.
“Let’s be clear that we are not underwriting the LCA programme," says a senior European official related with the contract. The contract with EADS is expected to be signed shortly.
The German and Spanish governments have already permitted EADS to part with the technology needed for the Tejas programme; the US government, in contrast, imposed stringent restrictions on Boeing.
12/02/09 Ajai Shukla/Business Standard

Labels: , , , , ,

To read the news in full | PermaLink

© 2006 Aero India 2009 News | Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly.

blogspot stats