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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2012 19:09 
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The Rafale : An Opportunity Towards Indigenous Aircraft Design And Manufacture
IDSA Comment


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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2012 19:16 
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rahuls wrote:
Just saw Headlines Today, Rafale deal in Turbulence as 2 members of MoD questioned the process of arriving at L1. It seems they are members of contract negotiating committee.



Ohh man...Looks like Brits have switched on the moles and is playing dirty games..Now is the real time when we need magic from St. Antonio...


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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2012 19:28 
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how come no one is questioning the C-130 deal ??


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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2012 21:36 
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MoD officials question Rafale deal

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The country's biggest defence deal for the purchase of 126 Rafale fighter jets, estimated to be worth around Rs.62,000 crore, seems to be running into rough weather.

Top government sources said on Friday that two senior officials of the ministry of defence (MoD), who are members of the contract negotiation committee, have questioned the methods adopted by it to conclude that French company Dassault's Rafale had the lowest bid for the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal.

The contract negotiation committee comprises senior officials from the MoD and the Indian Air Force.

The contract is yet to be vetted by the ministry of finance before it is finally approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security.

Rafale was declared as the lowest bid after the evaluation of the commercial bids made by the different companies to the MoD. Rafale had pipped British fighter jet Eurofighter Typhoon, while the other rivals from the US, Russia and Sweden were eliminated in different stages of competition.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 00:07 
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^^ Raising questions and making notes on files is a common CYA exercise by bureaucrats. It is similar to asking a car mechanic, "why did you remove topmost bolt first instead of the lowermost bolt in the wheel while replacing the flat tyre?" followed by a note "it is possible to replace a flat tyre by removing the left, right & lower bolt first in the wheel instead of the top one as done by this mechanic"


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 00:16 
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Austin wrote:
The contract is yet to be vetted by the ministry of finance before it is finally approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security.

The biggest hurdle is yet to be crossed.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 00:45 
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krishnan wrote:
how come no one is questioning the C-130 deal ??


The C-130 deal was through FMS route, i.e. we purchase is government to government, and not from Lockheed directly. The pricing etc. for FMS is arrived at differently. It is also the reason for the speedy negotiations and contract execution.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 00:58 
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Rafale will find that these "Contract Negotiators" are now coming into their real avatar of "Kickbacks Negotiators".


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 01:53 
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Screw th MoD officials. Always placing hurdles have become a phenomenon for GOI. Airforce is the end customer and their decision should be final . Bureacracy is still a major problem in India. This is killing the nation. Once the deal is final and communicated to the world, placing objections at this point shows how inefficient and corrupted the system is. These babus should be fired and fined for placing hurdles.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 02:15 
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One should see what their objection is and then decide.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 03:55 
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ramana wrote:
One should see what their objection is and then decide.


What were they doing before the deal is finalized ?. Are they sleeping. I don't think there is any genuine concern here. It is all as usual beuracratic hurdle they want to create. Or may be some foreign vested interest is trying to use them to stop this deal.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 05:50 
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already posted, sorry


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 06:08 
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Mother of all India's defence deals: Rafale Jets dodge a 'dissent dogfight'
Daily Mail

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The two officials - additional financial advisor and a joint secretary in the ministry Prem Kumar Kataria, and finance manager (air) R.K. Arora - are members of the negotiation committee that comprises senior ministry officials and Indian Air Force (IAF) officers. The two officials noted that certain assumptions had been made about Rafale's bid to declare it as the lowest bidder, but no one had validated it. The officials initially refused to sign the minutes of the committee.

They later signed after making their reservations known. They put written notes on the file on January 24, according to officials privy to the negotiations. Sources say defence minister A.K. Antony wants to steer clear of any controversy and has instructed that the committee should settle the issue internally.

Quote:
According to sources, while evaluating the commercial bids, a new system was followed that not only took into account the unit prices but also calculated the 'life cycle costs' - which takes into account the cost of maintenance and spares for the period, estimated at 40 years, the aircraft would remain operational.

The sources said the whole formula was based on certain assumptions, which have now been questioned. The contract negotiation committee's report goes to the defence minister, who forwards it to the finance minister. Since the finance ministry will evaluate the MoD's recommendation, the objections made on the file could create a problem. The government, already facing a lot of heat over several corruption scandals, will not like to be questioned over the biggest defence purchase. However, these are early days and the signing of the contract is still a long way, as the defence minister said on Friday.

Antony said: 'It will have to pass through scrutiny in eight stages. After the negotiation committee, it will come to the ministry where there will be at least four stages of scrutiny by defence finance. Then it will go to independent monitors appointed by the CVC and then to the National Security Council secretariat and the finance ministry.' He also ruled out a review of the deal, as urged by the British PM.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 06:12 
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So far so good..

India opens negotiations for Rafale
The Hindu

Another six months for 126 combat planes deal: A K Antony
Economic Times


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 06:19 
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you all see how the french are actually not that excited.. this is all long way to go!.. after it gets mod-ed, it has to get mof-ed!


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 07:25 
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tsarkar wrote:
^^ Raising questions and making notes on files is a common CYA exercise by bureaucrats. It is similar to asking a car mechanic, "why did you remove topmost bolt first instead of the lowermost bolt in the wheel while replacing the flat tyre?" followed by a note "it is possible to replace a flat tyre by removing the left, right & lower bolt first in the wheel instead of the top one as done by this mechanic"


I'm amazed that such a routine matter even made the news ! Clearly tells me that journos are on the lookout for the smallest bit of "news" that they can sensationalise in an attempt to trip up the process.

Every major decision in any major procurement goes through reviews- and people who review the documents or the analysis have a right to ask questions about how certain results were arrived at. And if assumptions were made (and for calculating total lifecycle costs, there will be a lot of assumptions, made with the best knowledge available at that time) there is NOTHING wrong in that.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 07:31 
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skganji wrote:
Screw th MoD officials. Always placing hurdles have become a phenomenon for GOI. Airforce is the end customer and their decision should be final . Bureacracy is still a major problem in India. This is killing the nation. Once the deal is final and communicated to the world, placing objections at this point shows how inefficient and corrupted the system is. These babus should be fired and fined for placing hurdles.


THey have a right to question assumptions - it is the job of those who came up with the report to justify the assumptions, which I am sure they will. As simple as that. Asking for someone to be fired for that is retarded.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 07:43 
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I am advised that this is not abnormal. There will be a query and it would be recorded. Importantly, they were a minority.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 08:12 
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If they are a minority, we can wrap this thread up now.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 09:40 
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Where is the comma,why no full stop? This is only to be expected as the loser will pull out every stop to try and sabotage the conclusion of the contract.Expect more dirty tricks .


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2012 18:23 
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If the objections are made in writing and have been made known, the detractors know that AK Antony to protect his squeaky clean image will pick up the gauntlet in trying to review it , or there is enough scope for any one of the 4 stage MOD clearance determinants to pick this up, not to speak of the CVC, the NSC or the Ministry of Finance. We have to remember that it was the MOF which had taken objection to the Airbus tanker deal after the MOD had approved it and is now going through the retendering process.It will be interesting to see at what price the deal will now be clinched as compared to the "previous high" prices.
It will be very pertinent to find if these bureaucrats have objection to the life cycle cost parameter and the calculations thereof just in the case of Rafale (Nit-picking to sabotage it) or if they object to the indice/methodology in general and are thus contesting the resultant life costs arrived both for Rafale and Eurofighter.If it is the former then Dassault will have to be very savvy with these thick skinned, pot bellied and rank pulling bureaucrats.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 05:11 
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AKA told IAF Chief that MRCA will be scrapped if anything dodgy (read: Corruption) by IAF in the L1 evaluation is found.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 05:57 
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pandyan wrote:
so, what's wrong in asking questions? it is part of the review process.


There is nothing wrong in questions if they are asked with a genuine interest . How much does this MoD officials know about a Military aircraft, technical aspects of it . Do they really understand the intricacies of a military aircraft selection ?. These officials may be just corrupted . Who knows what happens in the government circles in Delhi and how the money flows through the hands of these officials. Enough of these non-sense by GOI in Bofors scam. Recently read about Amar Singh's involvement in Cash-for-Votes scam and how UPA-I survived buying MPs. The GOI can't be trusted that it will be corrupt free even in this aircraft selection. Already Britain is upset with Raffy's selection. Who knows what the Brits might be secretly doing in Delhi pulling the strings to scrap Raffy's selection ?. Just wait and see Tamasha till the MoF clears this deal. Overall it should be based on Technology and other factors like Cost and overall management of the aircraft are essential in making this selection. IAF can't waste their precious time again they spent on this selection .


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 08:03 
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An old article on the flight test of the Rafale by Peter Collins for FlightGlobal magazine. The best details you'll ever get on the Rafale anywhere! A must read for all BRFites interested in knowing what the Rafale is like.

Flight Test- Rampant Rafale


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 08:11 
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Its a whole new process (that not only took into account the unit prices but also calculated the 'life cycle costs' - which takes into account the cost of maintenance and spares for the period, estimated at 40 years, the aircraft would remain operational) and is the FIRST of its kind in the world, ever! When calculating life-cycle costs for the coming 40 years, aren't certain assumptions bound to be made?? There is no way to be 'precise'. The assumptions were probably made with the 'most likely' predictable use of the aircraft over a number of years based on the information available today. There is no way in hell one can come up with precise numbers without making certain assumptions.

Its like someone asking them to precisely predict the future and even if they come up with most probable scenario, its not good enough.. If its a matter of miscalculation, its understandable but when a finance minister questions officials about cost associated with respect to their assumptions (for example..) of likely flying hours, sorties, fuel consumption for those sorties, service hours, etc over the course of the life of the aircraft, it seems ridiculously unreasonable. I just hope common sense prevails.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 08:17 
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Kartik wrote:
An old article on the flight test of the Rafale by Peter Collins for FlightGlobal magazine. The best details you'll ever get on the Rafale anywhere! A must read for all BRFites interested in knowing what the Rafale is like.

Flight Test- Rampant Rafale


Absolutely fantastic.. Thanks Kartik.

Love his conclusion :)

Quote:
If I had to go into combat, on any mission, against anyone, I would, without question, choose the Rafale.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 08:30 
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methinks IAF is not too worried about radar size limitation. with lots of MKI and lots of PAKFA plus increasing awacs cover they are confident of big radar coverage so they went for the best strike oriented plane which no doubt is the rafale.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 08:37 
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Thanks Karthik ji, how inept are the french they can produce only 12ac/year. They are as inept as the HAL which can only produce the same number of LCAs. LCA MK3(if at all there is ever one) would be what raffy is right now


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 08:42 
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shukla wrote:
Its a whole new process (that not only took into account the unit prices but also calculated the 'life cycle costs' - which takes into account the cost of maintenance and spares for the period, estimated at 40 years, the aircraft would remain operational) and is the FIRST of its kind in the world, ever! When calculating life-cycle costs for the coming 40 years, aren't certain assumptions bound to be made?? There is no way to be 'precise'. The assumptions were probably made with the 'most likely' predictable use of the aircraft over a number of years based on the information available today. There is no way in hell one can come up with precise numbers without making certain assumptions.

Its like someone asking them to precisely predict the future and even if they come up with most probable scenario, its not good enough.. If its a matter of miscalculation, its understandable but when a finance minister questions officials about cost associated with respect to their assumptions (for example..) of likely flying hours, sorties, fuel consumption for those sorties, service hours, etc over the course of the life of the aircraft, it seems ridiculously unreasonable. I just hope common sense prevails.


Its not the first time in the world. Companies like Boeing and Airbus do such analyses regularly while pitching aircraft for airlines. Boeing especially has some very good analysts who have some good models on airplane performance, lifecycle costs including introductory costs and maintenance costs. From being personally involved in such analyses, I can say that a LOT of assumptions are made because some real world scenarios just cannot be modelled without making a model that becomes extremely complicated.

For instance, how does one know the exact utilization per day (in flight hours) that an airline will make of its fleet for 50 years? They go with a simpler calculation that basically looks at the routes that the airplane will serve, the estimated time for each route, the network efficiency factor for the airline and then come up with the number of flights per day- using that they devise the maintenance schedule for 50 years (when a A, B or C check must happen) to come up with the estimated costs of operating that airplane over 50 years.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 08:45 
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suryag wrote:
Thanks Karthik ji, how inept are the french they can produce only 12ac/year. They are as inept as the HAL which can only produce the same number of LCAs. LCA MK3(if at all there is ever one) would be what raffy is right now


They aren't inept. THey are simply producing what is the least number of Rafales they can while maintaining that assembly line. The French govt. cannot afford to acquire the number of Rafales that Dassault can produce, so the 12/year is a mutually agreed number. Dassault can scale up that line to 36 per year if they need to.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 08:51 
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Kartik wrote:
For instance, how does one know the exact utilization per day (in flight hours) that an airline will make of its fleet for 50 years? They go with a simpler calculation that basically looks at the routes that the airplane will serve, the estimated time for each route, the network efficiency factor for the airline and then come up with the number of flights per day- using that they devise the maintenance schedule for 50 years (when a A, B or C check must happen) to come up with the estimated costs of operating that airplane over 50 years.


So in essence, there are bound to be assumptions (which is what I was trying to point to in a round about way as well)..then why the questions? Why not just accept that assumptions are going to be a part of such a complicated calculation process and move on? Why question the assumptions? Is to come up with an alternate set of assumptions as these ones were not representative enough of the potential use of the aircraft? And who's to say those won't be questioned? In which case it sounds like a never ending story..


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 10:43 
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Assumptions are based on some historical data, which IAF used to calculate the figures. It may be that the Defence ministry officers might not be aware it, or need more clarifications. One cannot make assumptions in vacuum. There needs to be some basis for assumptions. And some members are asking how those assumptions are arrived at. So whats the big deal, happens in many companies too. We are making a big deal of the file notings.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 13:56 
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shukla wrote:
So in essence, there are bound to be assumptions (which is what I was trying to point to in a round about way as well)..then why the questions? Why not just accept that assumptions are going to be a part of such a complicated calculation process and move on? Why question the assumptions? Is to come up with an alternate set of assumptions as these ones were not representative enough of the potential use of the aircraft? And who's to say those won't be questioned? In which case it sounds like a never ending story..


The reason may be that in this case, some of the assumptions may have been made after consulting with the customer. In Boeing's case, they know their equipment and its time before breakdown or failure, so they can give a good ballpark figure of how much it costs to keep a particular piece of equipment in service before a scheduled check comes up.

In this case, the IAF has no way of knowing when a particular equipment on board the Rafale may fail except for asking Dassault and AdlA to provide some data that they could use in their calculations. Some equipment may not even be in service, so how is one to come up with their longevity or their maintenance headaches? When we got the Kopyo for the Bison, its advertised MTBF was one thing, and its real MTBF quite another. Which would mean that had they done a life-cycle cost analysis of how many man-hours it would take to keep the Kopyo in service and how many spares would be required for that, they'd find that their calculations would've been wrong because they had gone with the manufacturer's data.

Of course, this doesn't mean that the calculations are skewed in Dassault's favour- the same is true of every other manufacturer as well who would've been consulted and asked to give data that was used in the life-cycle costs calculations.

Companies like GE, that provide turbofans to airlines have to keep a very very tight watch over their predicted failure rates, since they basically provide warranties for each turbofan that end up costing them a bundle if the engines fail for any reason that cannot be blamed on the user. So they do very detailed failure analyses using methods to statistically determine the odds of a particular failure occurring over a very large number of simulations (Monte Carlo simulations where thousands of cases are run with each variable being randomly varied). If the odds of it failing are very low, they are more comfortable making claims of a certain piece of equipement lasting as long as they claimed it will when they sold it to the customer.

If the IAF is going to introduce clauses in its contract that hold the manufacturer responsible for penalties if their equipment fails to meet the MTBF data they've given for the life-cycle cost calculations, then they may find out to their shock that the MTBF numbers may suddenly drop dramatically. After all brochure figures are one thing, and in-field figures are another. This is also what has happened to the IA, with the T-90, where the manufacturer's claimed performance and reliability specs are hugely bloated and are routinely exposed as being unreliable when the equipment is used in conditions that are dramatically different from bench test conditions or the relatively benign environments of the OEM nation.

That is one of the reasons why some Air Forces are now literally renting out the hours for operating some aircraft, such as trainers (Israel is also following that route, with an IAI/Elbit JV called TOR to buy the M-346 Master and then rent out each flying hour to the IsAF). Why be responsible for all the hassles that arise out of the equipment failing prematurely if another company is willing to do it for you, make sure that your reliability goals (which are paramount for any service) are met AND go run after the OEM when equipment doesn't meet reliability requirements?

Another model is where the OEM offers to meet the customer's reliability requirements with support contracts, but this is again basically money in their pockets for doing something that they claim their aircraft can do anyway. For e.g. Boeing offers a warranty with the C-17 that the user can buy, which basically takes care of this situation arising- they offer the guarantee that a specified range of requirements will be met. If they cannot meet that requirement, they stand to pay for not doing so.

Quote:
Reliability and maintainability are two outstanding benefits of the C-17 system. Current operational requirements impose demanding reliability and maintainability. These requirements include an aircraft mission completion success probability rate of 92 percent, only 20 aircraft maintenance man-hours per flying hour, and full and partial mission availability rates of 74.7 and 82.5 percent, respectively. The Boeing warranty assures these figures will be met.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 16:59 
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PHOTO of Me, Shiv & Dassault Test Pilot Dominique Sébastien who gave me his 'France' Patch which he has worn while & since flying Rafale missions over Afghanistan.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 17:21 
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Kartik wrote:
shukla wrote:
So in essence, there are bound to be assumptions (which is what I was trying to point to in a round about way as well)..then why the questions? Why not just accept that assumptions are going to be a part of such a complicated calculation process and move on? Why question the assumptions? Is to come up with an alternate set of assumptions as these ones were not representative enough of the potential use of the aircraft? And who's to say those won't be questioned? In which case it sounds like a never ending story..


The reason may be that in this case, some of the assumptions may have been made after consulting with the customer. In Boeing's case, they know their equipment and its time before breakdown or failure, so they can give a good ballpark figure of how much it costs to keep a particular piece of equipment in service before a scheduled check comes up.


I see your point. Just hope its just a routine part of the process and doesn't serve as seeds for unwarranted and unwanted media attention to derail, what should be, a reasonably smooth acquisition process.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 19:01 
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Kartik wrote:
suryag wrote:
Thanks Karthik ji, how inept are the french they can produce only 12ac/year. They are as inept as the HAL which can only produce the same number of LCAs. LCA MK3(if at all there is ever one) would be what raffy is right now


They aren't inept. THey are simply producing what is the least number of Rafales they can while maintaining that assembly line. The French govt. cannot afford to acquire the number of Rafales that Dassault can produce, so the 12/year is a mutually agreed number. Dassault can scale up that line to 36 per year if they need to.


Yet this logic won't apply to the LCA or the Rafale itself if made by HAL, another example of the negative bias against anything remotely native.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 20:16 
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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 21:06 
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^ :rotfl:

so its the PLAAF which is kimono shivering this time - the writer saying the J-10B and J-11 even with improved engines and radars would be insufficient to deal with the rafale.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 22:12 
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Kartik wrote:
An old article on the flight test of the Rafale by Peter Collins for FlightGlobal magazine. The best details you'll ever get on the Rafale anywhere! A must read for all BRFites interested in knowing what the Rafale is like.

Flight Test- Rampant Rafale


Even if it is Nth time, always fresh to read.

Quote:
The final handling manoeuvre was to complete a low-speed loop in full afterburner starting from 170kt and maintaining 16° AoA. The loop was simple to fly and control and I used just over 2,000ft vertically to complete it:
There was a debate here whether a/c can employ afterburner in low speed loop seen in Airshows.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2012 23:49 
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so babudom adds the real strategic aspect of expenses for the enemy.. the more time we take to decide, the enemy goes into faster acquisitions.. and suddenly, for the enemy all those investments are a waste since the new delayed acquisition of India is much much superior! haaha!

still.. I would say superior, only when we get GaN for Rafale, and if possible slam a mig29ish retractable refuler pod.


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