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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 07:40 
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BRFite

Joined: 20 Feb 2011 18:41
Posts: 605
NRao wrote:
You do not have to wish, get a degree in predictive analytics and you too can join the crowd. Nothing great there.

I do not know what Dassault knows, but, I came to this conclusion based on what is out there in open source - part of which I provided above. (You chose not to consider the one reason I provided there.) (Note: If data set changes, so would my conclusion/s.)


i will consider your suggestion on 'predictive analytics' but am not joining the crowd. :lol:

Quote:
From two months ago, Here is another data set, but, same conclusion:

Quote:
"If UAE is signed, this could put pressure on India, which would be the only export customer for Rafale and could bring Typhoon back into the picture, although India is not in our forecasts or expectations," they say.


It is not rocket science. It would help you IF you read more - do not have to agree.

Also, I would suggest that you read up on what transpired between dassault and the UAE - I feel that is a critical (and expensive) exchange that will play out with India some time.


what makes you think i am not reading any?? and simply jumping in??

situations are not set in stone. they are ever fluid and can swing whichever way. consider these -

http://vanguardcanada.com/mission-satis ... apability/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/ ... 2C20130619


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 12:30 
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BRFite

Joined: 06 Sep 2008 13:35
Posts: 452
The rafale vs F35 comparison is irrelevant as the F35 was never a serious option for the IAF and for good reasons :

-The F35 is much more expensive to buy and operate than the rafale. Even countries traditionally politically close to the US like Canada are considering an open competition with the rafale due to F35 huge price tag.
-There is close to no room for industrial cooperation with the F35 for india
-ToT would be extremely limited for India with the F35 and with no access to source codes
-With no access to source codes and no license build F35, india would become completely dependent from the US.

It seems that there is a bunch of armchair generals that still can't swallow the result of a fair and transparent tender.

Besides the LCA Mk2, mk3 whatever is just dreaming at this stage. Just look at facts and how long it took to bring the regular LCA which is not even operational in large numbers despite being designed as a cheap, simple, lightweight fighter. For this reason future standards do not look very credible. Furthermore the LCA is a very small, lightweight fighter and it is very limited "by design" in terms of range and carrying capabilities.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 12:34 
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BRFite

Joined: 06 Sep 2008 13:35
Posts: 452
Here is a critical and well documented analysis that counterbalances the Lockheed Martin and its supporter media offensive that is often copy past on forum with any critical sense:


Quote:
America’s F35s: Can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run
AUGUST 19, 2013
POSTED IN: DEFENSE TECHNOLOGY, HEADLINES, SECURITY

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was meant to improve the U.S. air arsenal but has made it more vulnerable instead
From all the recent sounds of celebrating coming out of Washington, D.C., you might think the Pentagon’s biggest, priciest and most controversial warplane development had accelerated right past all its problems.

The price tag —currently an estimated $1 trillion to design, build and operate 2,400 copies—is steadily going down. Production of dozens of the planes a year for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps is getting easier. Daily flight tests increasingly are hitting all the right marks.

Or so proponents would have you believe.

“The program appears to have stabilized,” Michael Sullivan from the Government Accountability Office told Congress. “I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen,” chimed in Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, head of the program on the government side. When War is Boring asked Lockheed spokesman Laura Siebert about the F-35, she said she expected a “much more positive” article than usual owing to what she described as the program’s “significant progress.”

But the chorus of praise is wrong. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — a do-it-all strike jet being designed by Lockheed Martin to evade enemy radars, bomb ground targets and shoot down rival fighters — is as troubled as ever. Any recent tidbits of apparent good news can’t alter a fundamental flaw in the plane’s design with roots going back decades.

Owing to heavy design compromises foisted on the plane mostly by the Marine Corps, the F-35 is an inferior combatant, seriously outclassedby even older Russian and Chinese jets that can fly faster and farther and maneuver better. In a fast-moving aerial battle, the JSF “is a dog … overweight and underpowered,” according to Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight in Washington, D.C.

And future enemy planes, designed strictly with air combat in mind, could prove even deadlier to the compromised JSF.

It doesn’t really matter how smoothly Lockheed and the government’s work on the new warplane proceeds. Even the best-manufactured JSF is a second-rate fighter where it actually matters — in the air, in life-or-death combat against a determined foe. And that could mean a death sentence for American pilots required to fly the vulnerable F-35.

‘Can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run’

The F-35′s inferiority became glaringly obvious five years ago in a computer simulation run by John Stillion and Harold Scott Perdue, two analysts at RAND, a think tank in Santa Monica, California. Founded in 1948, RAND maintains close ties to the Air Force. The air arm provides classified data, and in return RAND games out possible war scenarios for government planners.

In Stillion and Perdue’s August 2008 war simulation, a massive Chinese air and naval force bore down on Beijing’s longtime rival Taiwan amid rising tensions in the western Pacific. A sudden Chinese missile barrage wiped out the tiny, outdated Taiwanese air force, leaving American jet fighters based in Japan and Guam to do battle with Beijing’s own planes and, hopefully, forestall a bloody invasion.

In the scenario, 72 Chinese jets patrolled the Taiwan Strait. Just 26 American warplanes — the survivors of a second missile barrage targeting their airfields — were able to intercept them, including 10 twin-engine F-22 stealth fighters that quickly fired off all their missiles.

That left 16 of the smaller, single-engine F-35s to do battle with the Chinese. As they began exchanging fire with the enemy jets within the mathematical models of the mock conflict, the results were shocking.

America’s newest stealth warplane and the planned mainstay of the future Air Force and the air arms of the Navy and Marine Corps, was no match for Chinese warplanes. Despite their vaunted ability to evade detection by radar, the JSFs were blown out of the sky. “The F-35 is double-inferior,” Stillion and Perdue moaned in their written summaryof the war game, later leaked to the press.

The analysts railed against the new plane, which to be fair played only a small role in the overall simulation. “Inferior acceleration, inferior climb [rate], inferior sustained turn capability,” they wrote. “Also has lower top speed. Can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run.” Once missiles and guns had been fired and avoiding detection was no longer an option — in all but the first few seconds of combat, in other words — the F-35 was unable to keep pace with rival planes.

And partly as a result, the U.S. lost the simulated war. Hundreds of computer-code American air crew perished. Taiwan fell to the 1s and 0s representing Chinese troops in Stillion and Perdue’s virtual world. Nearly a century of American air superiority ended among the wreckage of simulated warplanes, scattered across the Pacific.

In a September 2008 statement Lockheed shot back against the war game’s results, insisting the F-35 was capable of “effectively meeting” the “aggressive operational challenges” presented in the Taiwan scenario. RAND backed away from the report, claiming it was never about jet-to-jet comparisons, and Stillion and Perdue soon left the think tank. Stillion is now at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments think tank in Washington, D.C. Perdue currently works for Northrop Grumman.

Steve O’Bryan, a Lockheed vice president and former fighter pilot, targeted the war game analysis and its authors. “It was policy people who did that report, [people] with no airplane experience,” O’Bryan said, adding that many critics of the F-35 “are people who are self-proclaimed experts who live in their mom’s basement and wear slippers to work.”

But Stillion and Perdue are both veteran aviators. Stillion flew in RF-4 recon planes and Perdue in F-15s during the Gulf War. “I don’t live in my mom’s basement,” Perdue said.

Even if its results were disputable, the 2008 war game should have been a wake-up call. Since the mid-1990s the Pentagon has utterly depended on the F-35 to replenish its diminishing arsenal of warplanes built mostly in the 1970s and 1980s. If there’s even a small chance the new plane can’t fight, the Pentagon should be very, very worried.

Indeed, the military should have been concerned more than 40 years ago. “What you have to understand is that problems with the F-35 are the result of pathological decision-making patterns that go back at least to the 1960s,” explained Chuck Spinney, a retired Defense Department analyst and whistleblower whom one senator called the “conscience of the Pentagon.”

Among the pathologies inherent in the F-35′s design, by far the most damaging is the result of a peculiar institutional obsession by one of the new plane’s three main customers. Early on, the Marine Corps contrived to equip the JSF as a “jump jet,” able to take off and land vertically like a helicopter — a gimmick that the Marines have long insisted would make its fighters more flexible, but which has rarely worked in combat.

The JSF comes in three variants — one each for the Air Force, Navy and Marines — all sharing a mostly common fuselage, engine, radar and weapons. The wings and vertical-takeoff gear vary between models.

Altogether the three F-35 variants are meant to replace around a dozen older plane types from half a dozen manufacturers, ranging from the Air Force’s maneuverable, supersonic F-16 to the slow-flying, heavily armored A-10 and, most consequentially, the Marines’ AV-8B Harrier, an early-generation jump jet whose unique flight characteristics do not blend well with those of other plane types.

Engineering compromises forced on the F-35 by this unprecedented need for versatility have taken their toll on the new jet’s performance. Largely because of the wide vertical-takeoff fan the Marines demanded, the JSF is wide, heavy and has high drag, and is neither as quick as an F-16 nor as toughly constructed as an A-10. The jack-of-all-trades JSF has become the master of none.

And since the F-35 was purposely set up as a monopoly, replacing almost every other warplane in the Pentagon’s inventory, there are fewer and fewer true alternatives. In winning the 2001 competition to build the multipurpose JSF, Lockheed set a course to eventually becoming America’s sole active builder of new-generation jet fighters, leaving competitors such as Boeing pushing older warplane designs.

Which means that arguably the worst new jet fighter in the world, which one Australian military analyst-turned-politician claimed would be “clubbed like baby seals” in combat, could soon also be America’sonly new jet fighter.

Where once mighty American warplanes soared over all others, giving Washington a distinct strategic advantage against any foe, in coming decades the U.S. air arsenal will likely be totally outclassed on a plane-by-plane basis by any country possessing the latest Russian and Chinese models — one of which, ironically, appears to be an improved copy of the JSF … minus all its worst design elements.

If the unthinkable happens and sometime in the next 40 years a real war — as opposed to a simulation — breaks out over Taiwan or some other hot spot, a lot of U.S. jets could get shot down and a lot of American pilots killed. Battles could be lost. Wars could be forfeit.

World war origins

The oldest of the roughly 50 F-35 prototypes currently in existence is barely seven years old, having flown for the first time in December 2006. But the new plane’s design origins stretch back much farther, to a time before China was a rising world power — and even before jet engines. In many ways, America’s new, universal jet was born in the confusion, chaos and bloodshed of World War II’s jungle battlefields.

In August 1942 a force of U.S. Marines stormed ashore on Guadalcanal, part of the Solomons island chain in the South Pacific. Less than a year after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. and its allies were still fighting a defensive action against Japanese forces. The Guadalcanal landing was meant to blunt Tokyo’s advance.

But the lightly-equipped Marines ended up surrounded and all but abandoned after Japanese ships wiped out a portion of the Allied fleet. The Navy withdrew its precious aircraft carriers, and for months the Japanese planes, opposed by only a handful of Marine fighters flying from a crude beachhead airstrip, pounded the hapless Americans.

Robert Leckie, a Marine rifleman on Guadalcanal, described one of his squadmates breaking under the strain. The rattled Marine grabbed a light machine gun — a totally ineffective weapon against airplanes — and charged against a strafing Japanese Zero fighter. “He could not bear huddling in the pit while the Jap [sic] made sport of us,” Leckie wrote in his memoir Helmet for my Pillow.

Luckily, the Marine survived his nearly suicidal confrontation with the Zero. But as an organization, the Marine Corps was forever changed by its exposure on Guadalcanal. “The lesson learned was that the U.S. Marine Corps needed to be able to bring its air power with it over the beach because the large-deck Navy aircraft carriers might not always be there,” said Ben Kristy, an official Marine historian.

In the 1950s and ‘60s the Corps bought hundreds of helicopters, a new invention at the time. But what it really wanted was a fighter plane that could launch from the same amphibious assault ships that hauled Marine ground troops. These big assault ships had flat helicopter flight deck areas, but with neither the catapults nor the runway length to support the big, high-performance planes favored by the Navy.

The Marines wanted a “jump jet” capable of taking off from these helicopter decks with a short rolling takeoff and returning to land vertically, lighter because of all the fuel it had burned.

Besides launching from amphibious ships, the new planes were touted to fly in support of ground troops from so-called “lilypads” —100 foot concrete patches supposedly quickly installed near the front lines.

The concept became known to engineers as Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing (V/STOL) or Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL). It was subject to extensive, crash-plagued experimentation throughout the early years of the jet age — every STOVL or V/STOL prototype from 1946 to 1966 crashed. “USMC interest in a working V/STOL attack aircraft outstripped the state of aeronautical technology,” Kristy pointed out.

Then in the late ‘60s a British company invented a new jet with complex, rotating engine nozzles that could point downward to provide vertical lift, allowing it to launch from short airstrips or small ships. The Marines fell blindly in love with this temperamental new plane, nicknamed Harrier after a low-flying hawk, and schemed to acquire it for their own air wings.

The Navy was the biggest obstacle. The sailing branch controls the Marines’ weapons funding and was not keen to invest in a single-use airplane that only the Corps wanted. At the time the Navy was working with the Air Force on the F-111, an early attempt at a one-size-fits-all jet that the Pentagon believed would replace nearly all older planes with a single, multipurpose model.

Thanks to what Kristy described as “very, very shrewd political maneuvering,” a small group of Marine officers alternately convinced and tricked Congress, the Navy and the U.S. aerospace industry into taking a chance on the Harrier. The Corps ended up buying more than 400 of the compact planes through the 1990s.

But the Harrier, so appealing in theory, has been a disaster in practice. Fundamentally, the problem is one of lift. A plane taking off vertically gets no lift from the wings. All the flight forces must come from the downward engine blast. Forcing the motor to do all the work results in three design drawbacks: a big, hot engine with almost no safety margin; an unsafe airframe that must be thinly built with tiny wings in order to keep the plane’s weight less than the down-thrust of the engine; and minimal fuel and weapons load, also to save weight.

As a result, in vertical mode the Harrier carries far fewer bombs than conventional fighters and also lacks their flying range. And the concentrated downward blast of the Harrier’s vertical engine nozzles melts asphalt and kicks up engine-destroying dirt, making it impossible to operate from roads or even manicured lawns.

In the 1991 Gulf War, the front-line concrete lily pads never showed up, so the jump jet had to fly from distant full-size bases or assault ships. With their very limited fuel, they were lucky to be able to put in five or 10 minutes supporting Marines on the ground — and they proved tremendously vulnerable to machine guns and shoulder-fired missiles.

Even when it isn’t launching and landing vertically or being shot at, the Harrier is delicate and hard to fly owing to the complex vertical-flight controls and the minimal lift and maneuverability of the tiny wings. By the early 2000s a full third of all Harriers had been destroyed in crashes, killing 45 Marines.

“The Harrier was based on a complete lie,” said Pierre Sprey, an experienced fighter engineer whose design credits include the nimble F-16 and the tank-killing A-10. “The Marines simply concocted it because they wanted their own unique airplane and wanted to convert amphibious ships into their own private carriers.”

And the Corps stuck with the V/STOL concept for the same pathological reasons. With the crash-prone Harriers dwindling in number and showing their age, in the early ‘80s the Marines started working with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s high-tech dreamers on R&D for a new jump jet. One that had to be supersonic and had to evade radar detection in addition to launching vertically — in essence, tripling down on the Harrier’s false promise by piling on additional requirements that were all “grossly incompatible,” according to Sprey.

After a decade funding Lockheed design and wind tunnel work, mostly through DARPA’s unauditable “black” money, the dreamers concluded that the best way to push a V/STOL jet to supersonic speed was to replace the rotating engine nozzles with a dual system combining a single, rearward-thrusting engine plus a second engine, called a lift fan, installed horizontally in the mid-fuselage.

New but unproven concept in hand, in the early 1990s the Marines emerged into the light to urge Congress to start a mega-procurement program for their supersonic, stealthy jump jet.

Jump jet 2.0

In 1993 and 1994, the Navy and Air Force also wanted new jet fighter designs — ones with the same radar-evading characteristics of the new F-117 stealth fighter and B-2 stealth bomber. As chance would have it, all three jet-operating military branches approached Congress at roughly the same time asking for tens of billions of dollars to develop and buy new planes.

“Congress said we couldn’t afford that,” said Lt. Gen. Harold Blot, a Harrier pilot who headed Marine aviation in the mid-’90s. Lawmakers asked Blot and other aviation chiefs whether the three services could combine their new fighters into one universal model.

Such jets had a spotty past: some worked; most didn’t. The F-111, the universal fighter from the 1960s, had grown too complicated, heavy and expensive as each branch piled on equipment; only the Air Force ended up buying it — and only a few hundred of the 1,500 copies originally planned.

The less complex F-4, however, began as a Navy fighter and was eventually adopted by the Air Force and Marines as well, serving through Vietnam and the Cold War. Congress was hoping to duplicate the F-4′s relative success in the 21st century, equipping all the military branches with new, radar-evading jets and saving money in the process.

But the concept for the new universal plane, known early on as the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter, included a fatal flaw. Where the F-4 had been a conventional plane taking off and landing from runways, CALF (soon renamed Joint Advanced Strike Technology) would be a STOVL plane — because the Marines insisted. “We’re on a 40-year path to get an airplane that’s more responsive,” Blot explained. And to the Corps, that meant a jump jet.

Despite the history of failures, Congress bought into the idea of a universal stealth fighter that was also STOVL. But legislators’ embrace of the risky concept did not take place in a vacuum. It was, in part, the outcome of a focused influence campaign by the Lockheed, the company most likely to win the competition to build the new plane.

Lockheed had made its name building specialized interceptors, spy planes and bombers. The F-117, the world’s first operational stealth warplane, was a Lockheed product. An aggressive campaign of corporate acquisitions also brought Sprey’s bestselling F-16 into the Lockheed fold. Those programs positioned Lockheed to make a hugegrab for greater market share.

Meanwhile, the company’s secret tests for the fringe-science DARPA, meant to prove that a STOVL jet could also fly faster than the speed of sound, provided the basis for the company’s pitch for the universal jet fighter.

Granted, the tests had produced plenty of theories but no working hardware. “The technologies available were not yet advanced enough,” was the government’s official conclusion. But Lockheed spun the experiments as stepping stones to a supersonic jump jet that could also be adapted to suit the Air Force and Navy’s needs.

With just one swappable component — the downward-blasting second engine — a single airplane design could do the jobs of the Marines’ vertical-launching Harrier and of the faster, farther-flying conventional planes of the Navy and Air Force.

Convinced by Lockheed and DARPA that the universal STOVL jet concept could work, in 1996 Congress directed the Pentagon to organize a contest to build the new plane. General Dynamics, Boeing and Lockheed drew up blueprints but Lockheed, having worked with DARPA since the ‘80s, clearly had the advantage. “It wasn’t truly competitive,” Sprey said of the new fighter contest. “The other companies were way behind the curve.”

General Dynamics, whose main airplane-making division had been bought by Lockheed, dropped out of the competition. Boeing cobbled together an ungainly supersonic prototype called the X-32 whose gaping engine inlet resembled a grouper in mid-swallow. Rushed, amateurish and overweight, the X-32 was an ungainly thing.

But it flew — barely — starting in September 2000. For the critical vertical-takeoff test the following June, Boeing engineers had to strip off non-critical parts to get the weight down — a glaring flaw the company took pains to keep from the press, but couldn’t hide from government referees.

Lockheed’s X-35 was less of a disaster. Sleeker and more efficient than the Boeing plane thanks to Lockheed’s two-decade head start, the faster-than-sound X-35 needed no help taking off vertically for the first time in June 2001. And on the afternoon of Oct. 26, Pete Aldridge, the military’s top weapons buyer, stepped up to a podium in the Pentagon briefing room and announced that Lockheed had won the $19-billion contract to begin developing what was now known as the Joint Strike Fighter.

As Aldridge spoke, 2,600 miles away at a top-secret facility in Palmdale, California, 200 Lockheed engineers whooped and cheered. They had every reason to celebrate. The Pentagon wanted thousands of copies of the JSF to start entering Marine, Navy and Air Force service in 2010, replacing nearly every other jet fighter in the military arsenal — in other words, a monopoly. Once production was factored in, the program was expected to cost at least $200 billion.

Even adjusted for two decades of inflation, that estimate would turn out to hopelessly, outrageously, low. Among other problems, the fundamental flaws of the STOVL concept inexorably crept into the JSF’s 20-year development, adding delays, complexity and cost.

Fatal flaw

Where the Harrier has its rotating engine nozzles for downward thrust, the F-35 has a new kind of vertical-lift system combining a hinged main engine nozzle at the back of the plane that points directly backward until the pilot shifts into hover mode, at which point the nozzle swivels 90 degrees to point down.

Simultaneously, a complicated system of shafts, gears and doors activates to reveal the horizontal lift fan installed in the center of the aircraft just behind the cockpit. Together the fan and nozzle produce more than 40,000 pounds of thrust, enough to lift the nearly 20-ton aircraft straight up off the ground like a gargantuan dragonfly.

The lift fan, devised by Lockheed and DARPA in the early 1980s, was the only workable solution that anyone had come up with to give a plane vertical capability plus supersonic speed and radar-evading stealth, the last of which demands an airplane with a smooth outline and nothing hanging or protruding from it.

But this mix of characteristics came at a price to all three F-35 models, even the two that don’t need to take off vertically. “The STOVL requirements have dictated most if not all of the cardinal design elements for all three aircraft,” said Peter Goon, an analyst with the Air Power Australia think tank.

The addition of a lift fan to the baseline F-35 design started a cascade of problems that made it heavier, slower, more complex, more expensive and more vulnerable to enemy attack — problems that were evident in the 2008 war game set over Taiwan.

Of course Lockheed exec O’Bryan rejected that assessment, claiming the JSF’s stealth, sensors and aerodynamics make it superior to other planes. “It’s not rocket science,” he insisted.

But in many ways the JSF did become rocket science as it grew more complex. The original X-35 from 2001 had the advantage of being strictly a test plane with no need to carry weapons. But the frontline F-35 needs weapons. And to maintain the smooth shape that’s best for avoiding detection by radar, the weapons need to be carried inside internal bomb bays. Bomb bays would normally go along an airplane’s centerline, but the F-35′s center is reserved for the 50-inch-diameter lift fan. Hence Sprey’s claim that STOVL and stealth are incompatible.

To keep down costs all three JSF variants — the Air Force’s basic F-35A, the Marines’ vertical-takeoff F-35B and the Navy F-35C with a bigger wing for at-sea carrier landings — share essentially the same fuselage. And to fit both the F-35B’s lift fan and the bomb bays present in all three models, the “cross-sectional area” of the fuselage has to be “quite a bit bigger than the airplanes we’re replacing,” conceded Lockheed exec Tom Burbage, who retired this year as head of the company’s F-35 efforts.

The extra width violates an important aerospace design principle called the “area rule,” which encourages narrow, cylindrical fuselages for best aerodynamic results. The absence of area rule on the F-35 — again, a knock-on effect of the Marines’ demand for a lift fan — increases drag and consequently decreases acceleration, fuel efficiency and flying range. Thus critics’ assertion that supersonic speed can’t be combined with STOVL and stealth, the latter of which are already incompatible with each other.

“We’re dealing with the laws of physics,” Burbage said in his company’s defense when word got out about the JSF’s performance downgrades.

But the hits kept coming, chipping away at the F-35′s ability to fight. The addition of the lift fan forces the new plane to have just one rearward engine instead of two carried by many other fighters. (Two engines is safer.) The bulky lift fan, fitted into the fuselage just behind the pilot, blocks the rear view from the cockpit — a shortcoming that one F-35 test pilot said would get the new plane “gunned every time.” That is, shot down in any aerial dogfight by enemy fighters you can’t see behind you.

O’Bryan said the JSF’s sensors, including fuselage-mounted video cameras that scan 360 degrees around the plane, more than compensate for the limited rearward view. Critics countered that the video resolution is far worse than the naked eye and completely inadequate for picking up the distant, tiny, minimal contrast dots in the sky that represent deadly fighter threats ready to kill you.

But there are plenty of other problems with the F-35 — some related the airplane’s layout, some stemming from inexperienced subcontractors and still others resulting from poor oversight by a succession of short-tenure government managers whose major contributions were to grow the bureaucracy involved in the F-35′s development.

Lockheed’s F-117 stealth fighter was developed in a breakneck 30 months by a close-knit team of 50 engineers led by an experienced fighter designer named Alan Brown and overseen by seven government employees. Brown said he exercised strict control over the design effort, nixing any proposed feature of the plane that might add cost or delay or detract from its main mission.

The F-35, by contrast, is being designed by some 6,000 engineers led by a rotating contingent of short-tenure managers, with no fewer than 2,000 government workers providing oversight. The sprawling JSF staff, partially a product of the design’s complexity, has also added to that complexity like a bureaucratic feedback loop, as every engineer or manager scrambles to add his or her specialty widget, subsystem or specification to the plane’s already complicated blueprints … and inexperienced leaders allow it.

“The F-35 — that whole thing has gotten away from us as a country,” lamented Brown, now retired.

Many of the JSF’s problems converged in 2004, when Lockheed was forced to admit that the Marines’ F-35B variant was greatly overweight, owing in part to the addition of the lift fan. Ironically, the fan and other vertical-launch gear threatened to make the new plane too heavy to take off vertically.

“The short takeoff/vertical landing variant would need to lose as much as 3,000 pounds to meet performance requirements,” Lockheed manager Robert Elrod revealed in an annual report. Panicked, Lockheed poured more people, time and money (billed to the government) into a redesign effort that eventually shaved off much of the extra weight — basically by removing safety gear and making fuselage parts thinner and less tough.

O’Bryan said the weight reduction ultimately benefited all three F-35 variants. But the redesigned JSF, while somewhat lighter and more maneuverable, is also less durable and less safe to fly. In particular, the elimination of 11 pounds’ worth of valves and fuses made the JSF 25-percent more likely to destroyed when struck by enemy fire , according to Pentagon analysis.

Problems multiplied. Originally meant to cost around $200 billion to develop and buy nearly 2,900 planes expected to make their combat debut as early as 2010, the F-35′s price steadily rose and its entry into service repeatedly slipped to the right. Today the cost to develop and manufacture 2,500 of the new planes — a 400-jet reduction — has ballooned to nearly $400 billion, plus another trillion dollars to maintain over five decades of use.

To help pay for the overruns, between 2007 and 2012 the Pentagon decommissioned nearly 500 existing A-10s, F-15s, F-16s and F/A-18s — 15 percent of the jet fighter fleet — before any F-35s were ready to replace them. The first, bare-bones F-35s with half-complete software and only a few compatible weapons aren’t scheduled to make their combat debut until late 2015, the same year that Boeing is slated to stop making the 1990s-vintage F/A-18E/F, the only other in-production jet fighter being acquired by the Pentagon. (F-15s and F-16s are still being manufactured for foreign customers by Boeing and Lockheed, respectively.)

At the moment the first operational F-35 finally flies its first real-world sortie two years from now, it may truly represent an aerospace monopoly — that is, unless additional orders from the U.S. or abroad extend the F-15, F-16 or F/A-18 assembly lines. The JSF could be openly acknowledged as the worst fighter in the world and, in the worst case, still be the only new fighter available for purchase by the U.S. military.

Instead of revitalizing the Pentagon’s air arsenal as intended, the JSF is eating it — and putting future war strategy at risk. In 2012 an embarrassed Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, called the F-35 “acquisitions malpractice.”

But Kendall was referring only to the new plane’s delays and cost increases. He didn’t mention the more deadly flaw that had been revealed in Stillion and Perdue’s 2008 air-war simulation: that regardless of when and at what price the F-35 enters service, owing to its vertical-takeoff equipment the new fighter is the aerodynamic equivalent of a lobbed brick, totally outclassed by the latest Russian- and Chinese-made jets.

To add insult to strategic injury, one of the most modern Chinese prototype warplanes might actually be an illicit near-copy of the F-35 — albeit a more intelligent copy that wisely omits the most compromising aspects of the U.S. plane. It’s possible that in some future war, America’s JSFs could be shot down by faster, deadlier, Chinese-made JSF clones.

The F-35 that could have been

At least twice since 2007 Chinese hackers have stolen data on the F-35 from the developers’ poorly-guarded computer servers, potentially including detailed design specifications. Some of the Internet thieves “appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel claimed.

The September 2012 debut of China’s latest jet fighter prototype, the J-31, seemed to confirm Hagel’s accusation. The new Chinese plane, built by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, bears an uncanny external resemblance to the F-35: same twin tail fins, same chiseled nose, same wing shape. “It certainly looks like the Chinese got their hands on some [F-35] airframe data,” said Richard Aboulafia, a vice president at the Teal Group, an arms industry consultancy in Virginia.

But the J-31 lacks many of the features that were included in the F-35 “mainly or entirely because of STOVL,” according to Aviation Weekwriter and fighter expert Bill Sweetman.

Namely, the J-31 does not have a lift fan or even a space for a lift fan. The omission apparently allowed Chinese engineers to optimize the new plane for speed, acceleration, maneuverability and flying range — and to add good pilot visibility and a second rearward engine — instead of having to build the plane around a pretty much useless vertical-takeoff capability that slows it down, limits it to one motor and blocks the pilot’s view.

It could be that China doesn’t know how to build a working lift fan and that’s why they left it off, Aboulafia said. But for a country that has unveiled two different radar-evading stealth warplane prototypes in just the last two years, that seems unlikely. It’s more plausible that China could build a lift fan-equipped plane and has chosen not to.

The F-35 was compromised by, well, compromise. A warplane can be maneuverable like the F-16, tough like the A-10, stealthy like the F-117 or a STOVL model like the Harrier. A plane might even combine some of these qualities, as in the case of Lockheed’s nimble, radar-evading F-22. But it’s unrealistic to expect a single jet design to doeverything with equal aplomb. Most of all, it’s foolish to believe a jet can launch and land vertically — a seriously taxing aerodynamic feat — and also do anything else well.

Jet design like any engineering practice requires disciplined choices. The JSF is the embodiment of ambivalence — a reflection of the government and Lockheed’s inability to say that some things could not or should not be done. “It’s not clear with the F-35 that we had a strong sense of what the top priority was — trying to satisfy the Marines, the Navy or the Air Force,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Ward, an expert in weapons acquisition who has been critical of complex, expensive development efforts.

By contrast, the Chinese J-31 does not appear compromised at all. Surrounded by rivals with powerful air forces — namely India, Russia, Japan and U.S. Pacific Command — and with no grudge-holding Marine Corps to hijack fighter design, it would make sense that China prioritized the air-combat prowess of its new jet over any historical score-settling.

That apparently apolitical approach to (admittedly illicit) warplane design appears to have paid dividends for the Shenyang-made jet. “With no lift fan bay to worry about, the designers have been able to install long weapon bays on the centerline,” Sweetman wrote. The centerline bay helps keep the J-31 skinny and therefore likely fast and maneuverable — in any event, faster and more maneuverable than the F-35, which in a decade’s time could be pretty much the only new U.S. jet the Chinese air force might face in battle.

If Stillion and Perdue’s simulation ever comes true and the U.S. goes to war with China in the air, F-35s dragged down by their lift fans could be knocked out of the sky by Chinese-made F-35 clones that are faster and more maneuverable, because they never had lift fans.

Sprey, the fighter engineer, said he expects the Pentagon to eventually come to terms with the unpleasant truth, that its new universal jet fighter with the foolhardy vertical-takeoff capability could spell the end of an epochal half-century in which America truly dominated the world’s skies. “My prediction is the F-35 will be such an embarrassment it will be cancelled before 500 are built,” he said.

Straus Military Reform Project Director Wheeler advocated replacing the F-35 with upgraded A-10s and F-16s pulled from desert storage plus new Navy F-18s fresh off the Boeing production line. These moves would “reverse the continuing decay in our air forces,” Wheeler claimed.

Ward said any future warplane should have clear and narrow requirements, as opposed to the F-35′s broad, incompatible guidelines. Development timelines should be fast, budgets should be inexpensive, the overall concept should be simple and hardware should be as tiny as possible, Ward recommended. “What you don’t do is hold up complexity as a desirable attribute,” he said.

Sprey warned it could take years of expensive experimentation and a steep learning curve for American aerospace engineers to relearn the principles of sound fighter design that have been lost during the F-35′s emerging monopoly — and that the only way to get there is to fund a series of inexpensive head-to-head competitions based on head-to-head mock dogfights between rival prototypes.

But that investment of time, talent and cost would be better than continuing with an over-budget, past-due warplane that can’t turn, can’t climb and can’t run because it’s hauling around a lift fan that makes Marines feel better about World War II but isn’t actually practical in the present day.

Replacing America’s useless, universal fighter would be a headache, according to Wheeler, but keeping it would be far worse. The F-35, he wrote, “will needlessly spill the blood of far too many of our pilot


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 13:34 
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arthuro wrote:
Here is a critical and well documented analysis that counterbalances the Lockheed Martin and its supporter media offensive that is often copy past on forum with any critical sense:


The article claims that the F-35 cannot hold its own against the J-31 being developed at Shenyang.

Maybe, maybe not. Lets not pretend that the Rafale can do better.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 14:03 
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arthuro wrote:
It seems that there is a bunch of armchair generals that still can't swallow the result of a fair and transparent tender.


Armchair generals can discuss what they want but really speaking the decision is taken at MOD/IAF level and Rafale has Won Fair and Square in perhaps the most exhaustive trails that any Weapon Purchase thats done till date in India .

Not even the competitors have brought it any serious allegation in the fairness of the process or the trials with post result some analyst complaining about the lack of strategic culture in selecting the winner ... but thats a different story and unrelated to MMRCA process.

Frankly speaking I am not against purchase of American Weapon system and recent buys like C-17 or C-130 has been one the best buys IAF has made in this decade.

But the recent peddling in of F-35 for every purchase that IAF is planning to invest in be it MMRCA or FGFA has gone beyond being Amusing to being absolutely Fanatical about it and its no more amusing but irritating to bring in F-35 in the MMRCA discussion every now and then

I wonder if MODS can atleast let the F-35 fanboys be happy on the dedicated F-35 thread out there even though it unrelated to any serious Armed Forces buy but atleast we can have discussion on MMRCA and not about some fighter and comparison when it was not even part of the process.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 14:24 
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The F 35 can be considered as a next gen platform. When contrasted with the MMRCA. Perhaps, post signing of the MMRCA deal the IAF can evaluate the F 35 as a FG combat platform. To enter service from 2020s.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 14:31 
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pragnya,

I was only responding to your: "i wish i could see 27 years into the future and predict TODAY so confidently as you did!!".

So, I gave you a means.

The article was an example of how someone else came to the same conclusion based on a totally diff set of data.

You seem to be close, if you feel you have enough info (about say the Canadian situation) go ahead and make a prediction based on what you know. Which is what I did.

So, up to you.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 14:37 
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arthuro wrote:
-The F35 is much more expensive to buy and operate than the rafale. Even countries traditionally politically close to the US like Canada are considering an open competition with the rafale due to F35 huge price tag.


The F-35 based on most sources of information has a far lower flyaway cost, albeit with higher operating costs.


Quote:
-There is close to no room for industrial cooperation with the F35 for india
-ToT would be extremely limited for India with the F35 and with no access to source codes
-With no access to source codes and no license build F35, india would become completely dependent from the US.


All true. Counterpoint -

- Given the delay in the contract, the technology isn't going to assimilated before 2020, therefore there being little that can be fed into the Tejas program. ToT isn't there for the heck of it. As far as the AMCA goes, its all but certain that a foreign consultant will brought onto the project, with Lockheed Martin the most likely candidate and Dassault the least likely.

- Rafale has an expected build order of only 225, compared to over 3000 for the F-35. To start with, its upgrades are bound to be pricier, on top of which Dassault will have an absolute monopoly, which its bound to exercise to the fullest extent possible.

- Bombing Libya is all well and good, but there is little to prove that a Rafale loaded with even minimal external stores can ingress highly defended airspace with first-rate ground and airborne surveillance systems networked into a very modern C4I system, reinforced by 4.5G as well as 5G fighters.


Quote:
It seems that there is a bunch of armchair generals that still can't swallow the result of a fair and transparent tender.


The result so far, is two years of negotiations with no end in sight.

Its not over before the ink dries on the signed contract. Until that day, this debate will remain alive.


Quote:
Besides the LCA Mk2, mk3 whatever is just dreaming at this stage. Just look at facts and how long it took to bring the regular LCA which is not even operational in large numbers despite being designed as a cheap, simple, lightweight fighter. For this reason future standards do not look very credible. Furthermore the LCA is a very small, lightweight fighter and it is very limited "by design" in terms of range and carrying capabilities.


The Rafale will be delivered no earlier than 2017. And a HAL built Rafale no earlier than 2020. The LCA program took time because it was the first attempt at developing a fighter since 1960, with all the infrastructure and technical competence having to be built up from scratch. The Tejas Mk2 development will hardly face the same restrictions.

As for the 'light' design, both of the India's primary adversaries share long borders with it, unlike the NATO forces that have significant expeditionary tasks. All the same, the bulk of the IAF's fleet i.e. the Sukhois are designed for long range operations, so most contingencies are catered for.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 14:52 
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Quote:
It seems that there is a bunch of armchair generals that still can't swallow the result of a fair and transparent tender.


To be clear, the trials were related to technologies - which, yes, it was won fair and square.

The introduction of F-35 came in as a cost effective alternative. IF Dassault in its infinite wisdom had sold the Rafale for $10 billion there would be no talk of a F-35 as an alternative.

The cost that Dassualt seems to be asking for is ridiculous. Not worth it. But, who knows what will happen. My bet is that GoI pay for it and Indian kids in 2040 will work to feed french kids.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 14:53 
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Austin wrote:
I wonder if MODS can atleast let the F-35 fanboys be happy on the dedicated F-35 thread out there even though it unrelated to any serious Armed Forces buy but atleast we can have discussion on MMRCA and not about some fighter and comparison when it was not even part of the process.


It almost 2014. No contract has been signed or is even on the verge of being signed.

The contract estimates have jumped from $6.5 billion originally, to $10 billion, then to $12 billion and now well past $15 billion.

Meanwhile France has cut its future Rafale orders by 60%.

I fail to see how a plan B is not relevant to the Rafale acquisition.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 15:02 
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Thats because there is no Plan B as IAF puts it.

Contract will get signed as and when both parties think its done and its not the first time we are seeing delays and MMRCA is by far the biggest deal till date so it will be delayed even trails were long and exhaustive.

So if F-35 is plan B why not bring in J-20 , J-21 , PAK-FA and cancel the MMRCA and fund the AMCA in this debate.

When we bought M2K we were were the first country after france to buy it and so was Mig-29 so if we are buying the Rafale its not the first time we are doing so.

I am not sure why we are discussing F-35 in this thread ......unless there is some official statement to cancel the present MMRCA and opt for Plan B which includes F-35 ,I see no merit in discussing F-35 but I leave that for MODS to decide.

MODS need to give direction on this thread is what I feel , there is a dedicated thread on F-35 which practically is pointless but it still exist.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 15:07 
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Quote:
I am not sure why we are discussing F-35 in this thread


Because we are idle.

IF Goi and Dassault came to a conclusion in a day, we would not.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 15:08 
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But, I do like the idea of closing the FGFA (and perhaps even the MMRCA) and devoting all the funds to the AMCA.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 15:20 
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^^ Will leave that to the MODS.

Air International Issue on Rafale

http://www.crocko.com/B2EF1D1E355F4FBF8 ... al201306(1).rar


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 15:25 
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Austin wrote:
Thats because there is no Plan B as IAF puts it.


Well the debate on this forum doesn't have to mirror or take precedence from IAF statements. The discussion/evaluation of the Eurofighter and Rafale for example started well before their inclusion in the competition. And if there's anything one can take away from the Arjun-saga, its that the armed forces are not infallible and debate here need not be restricted by their public statements.


Quote:
Contract will get signed as and when both parties think its done and its not the first time we are seeing delays and MMRCA is by far the biggest deal till date so it will be delayed even trails were long and exhaustive.


Sure. But the PAKFA, F-35, Tejas development carries on unabated, as does the J-20 and J-31 development. We cannot overlook the changes in the environment under which the Rafale acquisition is being negotiated.


Quote:
So if F-35 is plan B why not bring in J-20 , J-21 , PAK-FA and cancel the MMRCA and fund the AMCA in this debate.


Cancellation of the MMRCA is precisely what I'm suggesting and I'm not the first to do so. The F-35 is only one of the alternatives, the Su-30MKI, SH & Tejas Mk2 being others that have merited debate. Also, this being the MMRCA thread, or at least the successor to that, a possibly cancellation of the MMRCA is hardly irrelevant. It would have been different if this were the 'Rafale News Only (No discussion)' thread.


Quote:
When we bought M2K we were were the first country after france to buy it and so was Mig-29 so if we are buying the Rafale its not the first time we are doing so.


Not the first time we've bought equipment from France, yes. Probably not the last time either.

That said, just upgrading the Mirage 2000 avionics cost us a pricey $50 million per aircraft. I'm surprised some members think that the Rafale can be had for under $100 million, all inclusive.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 15:43 
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My limited point is there is no Offical word on Cancellation of MMRCA deal and from all recent statements indeed IAF would like to see the Rafale deal get signed ASAP.

So as long as there is no intent to cancel MMRCA there is no need to bring in Plan B or F-35 to the debate.

IF there is merit in discussing a hypothetical Cancel MMRCA versus Plan B/F-35 then we need a separate thread MODS approving the same.

This thread should be limited to Rafale News and Discussion and Technical Merits or Demerits within existing IAF setup would make sense.

Bringing in F-15,Su-35 , F-35 etc simply derails it based on some Hypothetical assumption.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 16:16 
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Cross posting from viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5450&p=1532301#p1532301


India’s Share in Joint Fighter Project With Russia Likely to Growl

Positive talk but lets see if Russia walk based on the talk.
Please note : end price of each plane will be US 200 million as of today's estimates. (144 planes will cost US 25-30 billion)

Quote:
MOSCOW, October 25 (RIA Novosti) – India’s share in research-and-development work for the joint Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) project with Russia is currently limited by India's domestic industrial capabilities but will gradually increase with the project’s implementation, a Russian military expert said Friday.

India’s The Economic Times newspaper reported on October 17 that Indian military officials were concerned over the country’s work share in the FGFA project, which is currently only 15 percent even though New Delhi is bearing 50 percent of the cost.

According to the paper, India’s defense minister is expected to raise that issue during his visit to Russia beginning November 15.

“The figure cited by the Indian side reflects current capabilities of India’s industry, in particular the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited [HAL] corporation,” said Igor Korotchenko, head of the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Global Arms Trade.

“With the progress in the implementation of this project, we expect the Indian engineers and designers to approach the share determined in the [Russian-Indian] agreement: 50 percent,” Korotchenko said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.

Russia will certainly provide all necessary knowledge and logistics support to Indian specialists, but developing skills and acquiring experience in design and development of advanced fighter aircraft takes a long time and substantial effort, the expert added.


The FGFA project began following a Russian-Indian agreement on cooperation in the development and production of the perspective multirole fighter, signed on October 18, 2007.

The Indian fighter jet will be based on the Russian single-seat Sukhoi T-50 or PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter, which now has four prototypes flying, but it will be designed to meet about 50 specific requirements by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

In December 2010, Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi Company signed a preliminary design development contract worth $295 million for the new aircraft.

Currently the $11 billion final design and research-and-development contract is under negotiation between the two countries. The total program is expected to cost India about $25 billion to 30 billion.

The IAF had initially planned to order 166 single-seat and 48 twin-seat fighters, but India’s chief of air staff said in October last year that New Delhi would now go for only 144 single-seat jets, with domestic production slated to begin in 2020.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 17:36 
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Quote:
The F-35 based on most sources of information has a far lower flyaway cost, albeit with higher operating costs.


That's untrue and that's precisely why Canada is planning to start an open competition and why Dassault think it has its chance. The rafale is by far cheaper to buy and operate.

Quote:
Dassault Aviation SA (AM), maker of the Rafale combat jet, said Canada has commenced talks about an order for the plane as it reviews options amid mounting costs for the Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Discussions began in January, and Dassault considers the chances of Canada making a purchase sufficiently good that it’s willing to spend the money to undertake a sales campaign, the French company’s Chief Executive Officer Eric Trappier said.

Canada’s minister of public works and government services, Rona Ambrose, said Dec. 12 that the country had “hit the reset button” on a deal for 65 JSFs after consultant KPMG said the estimated $25 billion bill could jump to $46 billion.

“Canada was the first to raise difficult questions about the F-35 and we’ve been talking to them since the beginning of the year,” said Trappier, who was appointed Dassault’s CEO in January after Charles Edelstenne stepped down upon turning 75.

Other countries may be less inclined to consider breaking ranks with the U.S., the executive said at an earnings presentation near Paris, where Dassault in based.

While the JSF has 10 customers for the plane, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia and Norway are full partners with a share of work on the project. Denmark, like Canada, holds the same status, and it, too, has re-opened the order process, while not including the Rafale.

Battle Proven

The Rafale’s performance in engagements in Libya and more recently in Mali, where France used the jet to help retake territory held by Islamic militants, will provide military officials with examples of its combat ability, Trappier said.

The F-35, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, hasn’t yet begun combat testing and isn’t scheduled to complete it until 2019, seven years later than planned, according to a recent report by Pentagon chief weapons tester Michael Gilmore.

Dassault was selected last year by India for the purchase of 126 Rafales, though is still negotiating the final deal. The jet has yet to conclude a single export contract, even though its predecessor, the Mirage, drew two-thirds of orders abroad.

The United Arab Emirates shortlisted the Rafale for a 60- plane deal, though other models are under consideration. The Dassault plane is also competing with the Boeing Co. (BA) F/A-18 Super Hornet and Saab AB (SAABB) Gripen for a contract in Brazil.

Dassault is currently producing 11 Rafales a year for the French government and couldn’t drop below that level without sacrificing quality, Trappier said after reporting a 25 percent jump in full-year net income to 524 million euros ($677 million), aided by the delivery of 66 Falcon corporate jets.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-1 ... -soar.html

See : Even Canada consider the rafale to challenge the F35...Must prove something.

Quote:
- Given the delay in the contract, the technology isn't going to assimilated before 2020, therefore there being little that can be fed into the Tejas program. ToT isn't there for the heck of it. As far as the AMCA goes, its all but certain that a foreign consultant will brought onto the project, with Lockheed Martin the most likely candidate and Dassault the least likely.

- Rafale has an expected build order of only 225, compared to over 3000 for the F-35. To start with, its upgrades are bound to be pricier, on top of which Dassault will have an absolute monopoly, which its bound to exercise to the fullest extent possible.

- Bombing Libya is all well and good, but there is little to prove that a Rafale loaded with even minimal external stores can ingress highly defended airspace with first-rate ground and airborne surveillance systems networked into a very modern C4I system, reinforced by 4.5G as well as 5G fighters.


The first point is very weak : getting the capability to build a modern fighter is a long term effort. To believe once the LCA mk2 is done (which I don't believe) india would not need ToT is plain absurd. Just like saying LM will be AMCA consultant. This is all fanboy dreaming : LCA Mk2, AMCA....

Then India will have full access to the source codes which will allow to independently upgrade the rafale at lower costs if needed. This will not be possible with the F35.

To finish in a first tier defended airspace as you describe even the F35 will struggle and as describe in the above article, LM claims are far from being proven. with SCALP and AASM and a highly advanced EW system the rafale while not invincible like any aircraft has good assets as far as survivability is concerned.


Last edited by arthuro on 26 Oct 2013 17:42, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 17:38 
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Quote:
MMRCA Deal Will Be Inked Within This Financial Year: Air Marshal S Sukumar, Deputy Chief of Air Staff

Air Marshal S Sukumar, Deputy Chief of Air Staff said that MMRCA Deal Will Be Inked Within This Financial Year while speaking at Brochure Release of 8th International Conference on Energising Indian Aerospace Conference jointly organized by Confederation of Indian Industry, Indian Air Force & Centre for Air Power Studies at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.[...]


http://www.livefistdefence.com/2013/10/ ... um=twitter


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 18:15 
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NRao wrote:
The introduction of F-35 came in as a cost effective alternative. IF Dassault in its infinite wisdom had sold the Rafale for $10 billion there would be no talk of a F-35 as an alternative.


F 35 being cost effective alternative for whom?? are we privy to Lifecycle cost of Rafale or even the flyaway cost for that matter - as bid by Dassault??

what about CPFH?? isn't that part of total acquisition cost??

here check -

Image

part of Janes study for the Gripen as below -

go from here - first result - https://www.google.co.in/search?newwind ... 2A1asrcu3s

the figures can be corraborated from links which quote PEO C Bogdan of F 35 programme. ranges between $24000 as per the PEO and $31900 for F 35A version.

compare that to Rafale which ranges from $14000 (quoted in one link i gave you before which purportedly is for intense combat situation - Libya) to $16500.

are those good enough to see where the total acquisition cost for F 35 going to reach??

besides what TOT can we expect from USA forgetting for a moment EUMA/BECA/CISMOA etc..

Quote:
The cost that Dassualt seems to be asking for is ridiculous. Not worth it. But, who knows what will happen. My bet is that GoI pay for it and Indian kids in 2040 will work to feed french kids.


as against American kids, yeah.


Last edited by pragnya on 26 Oct 2013 18:31, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 18:25 
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arthuro wrote:
That's untrue and that's precisely why Canada is planning to start an open competition and why Dassault think it has its chance. The rafale is by far cheaper to buy and operate.


The F-35 purchase was put under review because of public pressure generated by a great deal of negative publicity for the F-35 program as well as critical auditor reports (similar to those in the US). Both the govt and the RCAF wanted to continue the program.

Since, then costs have fallen, the program has gotten back on track, three new non-partner customers are on board, with half a dozen others likely to join them. Point is, you'll find Canada is sticking to the F-35 regardless.

But coming to costs, Dassault hasn't quoted any cost to Canada yet, so this is hardly evidence of the Rafale being an economical option.


Quote:
The first point is very weak : getting the capability to build a modern fighter is a long term effort. To believe once the LCA mk2 is done (which I don't believe) india would not need ToT is plain absurd. Just like saying LM will be AMCA consultant. This is all fanboy dreaming : LCA Mk2, AMCA....


ToT isn't irreplaceable. The utility of foreign technology is bound to fall with time, especially when there is a domestic effort on going. The value of a certain bit of tech in 2020 isn't the same as it would have been in 2010.

As for the Tejas Mk2, your general beliefs aside, what aspect of the development (I'm assuming you're keeping with the specifics and not talking out of your hat) do you think is evidence of it being a product of 'fanboyism' rather than of deliberate effort over decades? Timelines? Technology? And please don't generalize.


Quote:
Then India will have full access to the source codes which will allow to independently upgrade the rafale at lower costs if needed. This will not be possible with the F35.


On one hand, you want to claim that India doesn't have the technical competence to build a Tejas Mk2, and on the other you're suggesting it should independently upgrading the Rafale.

France is the type's primary user and vendor, so its incumbent upon the French to provide cost-effective upgrades to the aircraft, rather than expect its customers to adopt a do-it-yourself approach. With a fleet strength at just 225 aircraft (assuming there are no further cuts), its fairly obvious how well that will turn out. Case in point: $50 million to upgrade the Mirage 2000H.


Quote:
To finish in a first tier defended airspace as you describe even the F35 will struggle and as describe in the above article, LM claims are far from being proven.


Struggle as much as the Rafale? Even you can't honestly believe that. There are still questions about its performance in air combat vis-a-vis enemy stealth fighters, but there is little doubt that its unparalleled as a strike aircraft, in a completely different league from the Rafale.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 18:32 
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The two huge issues with the JSF are US politics and lack of TOT ( which mean dependence on US for spares). Otherwise there is little doubt that when the JSF comes, being stealth, it will be far harder to deal with than a Rafale in BVR and can also be a possibly better striker against advanced IADS.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 18:35 
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pragnya wrote:

part of Janes study for the Gripen as below.



Assuming accurate figures above, the operating cost of the F-35 is $8000/hour more than the Rafale. Over a period of 6000 hours, that amounts of $48 million per aircraft.

That would barely cover the difference in acquisition cost. Add in the cost of upgrades/MLU, dropping operating and support costs, and the F-35 will comfortably work out to be cheaper.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 18:40 
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Viv S wrote:
pragnya wrote:

part of Janes study for the Gripen as below.



Assuming accurate figures above, the operating cost of the F-35 is $8000/hour more than the Rafale. Over a period of 6000 hours, that amounts of $48 million per aircraft.

That would barely cover the difference in acquisition cost. Add in the cost of upgrades/MLU, dropping operating and support costs, and the F-35 will comfortably work out to be cheaper.


surprising you say that. $48mil X 126 = $6048mil. if that is ok for you, i have nothing to say to you.

even LCA 1/2 will cost less than $48mil, i guess.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 18:45 
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pragnya wrote:
surprising you say that. $48mil X 126 = $6048mil. if that is ok for you, i have nothing to say to you.

even LCA 1/2 will cost less than $48mil, i guess.


I suggest you read that post again, I don't think you got the point. $48 mil is the differential on purely operating cost, not total cost.


Also, believe me, I want stronger commitment to the Tejas from the IAF/MoD, as much as anybody else.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 19:06 
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Viv S wrote:
I suggest you read that post again, I don't think you got the point. $48 mil is the differential on purely operating cost, not total cost.


i noted that. even if you separate operating cost from acquisition cost - it is still a cost which has to be borne by IAF. isn't it??

besides as i noted, we have no idea of flyaway, operating or acquisition cost of Rafale. we have some metrics abt CPFH which give an indiaction on operating cost though.

Quote:
Also, believe me, I want stronger commitment to the Tejas from the IAF/MoD, as much as anybody else.


that i don't doubt at all. i note even in this debate, lot of +ve points you have made particularly wrt SU30MKI and LCA combo which i appreciate.

Viv, i have no issue with the debate which has been a good one in terms of aircraft comparison but F35 as a MMRCA is 'wishful thinking' when nothing is known about the deal which selected Rafale is going to be cancelled.

besides issues like TOT/BECA/CISMOA/EUMA all remain. even Americans have not spoken with any clarity on F35 offer which makes it even more irrelevant. besides IAF can't be expected to pack it's squadrons with too many 5th gen aircrafts like FGFA, F 35 forgetting AMCA for a moment (due to budgetetary reasons) - which is more important from an Indian POV.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 19:22 
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I think it's a valid point that F-35 is not a part of MRCA, shows no sign of being one and hence should not be discussed here.
especially since it has its dedicated thread.

in other words, no more F-35 discussion in this thread.
- Rahul.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 19:49 
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Rahul M wrote:
I think it's a valid point that F-35 is not a part of MRCA, shows no sign of being one and hence should not be discussed here.
especially since it has its dedicated thread.

in other words, no more F-35 discussion in this thread.
- Rahul.


What about the Super Hornet/Gripen or Tejas Mk2/Su-30MKI? Trouble is, any discussion of the MMRCA itself is incomplete without an analysis of all of India/IAF's alternatives. I think we need an MMRCA thread in addition to one for the Rafale.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 19:57 
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PAKFA has its own thread.
if you want , go ahead and start a Plan-B thread for MMRCA which can discuss all alternatives down to JF17.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013 21:32 
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Please continue the debate here -


Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013 01:09 
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IAF Chief Concerned about India’s Air Capability over Rafale Deal


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013 01:25 
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Image


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013 02:21 
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Now only if they could find a good radar for it.


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013 03:30 
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Viv S wrote:
Rahul M wrote:
I think it's a valid point that F-35 is not a part of MRCA, shows no sign of being one and hence should not be discussed here.
especially since it has its dedicated thread.

in other words, no more F-35 discussion in this thread.
- Rahul.


What about the Super Hornet/Gripen or Tejas Mk2/Su-30MKI? Trouble is, any discussion of the MMRCA itself is incomplete without an analysis of all of India/IAF's alternatives. I think we need an MMRCA thread in addition to one for the Rafale.

You know what why don't you even include F-22 in fact we should ditch the entire manned fighter program and go for a UCAV or wait it will be CHEAPER to mass produce Prithvi in numbers as production volumes bring down unit fly away COST . So Prithvi it is for the MMRCA , oh btw it has a bigger nose cone than Rafale and other fighter jets so it wins in that department too. COST and Nose cone that is all to MMRCA.


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013 05:25 
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that is a nice pic of rafale.. should be <100 ft above sea.


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013 07:21 
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French Rafale Production To End If No Exports

Quote:
Dassault Aviation will end production of its Rafale combat fighter jet if France does not land any export orders, the country’s defense minister said on Wednesday [Dec. 6].

Construction would not stop until Dassault has completed an order from the French army for 180 planes, Gerard Longuet said. The last delivery is expected in 2021.

Dassault has struggled to find a foreign buyer for the multi-role Rafale, which is billed as one of the most effective fighters in the world but also one of the most expensive.

It faces tough competition from the Eurofighter—built by Britain’s BAE Systems, Italy’s Finmeccanica and European aerospace group EADS on behalf of Germany and Spain—Boeing’s F-18 and Sweden’s Saab Gripen.

A deal in the works since 2008 to sell at least 60 Rafales worth an estimated $10 billion to the United Arab Emirates was dealt a fresh blow last month when the UAE said proposed terms were “uncompetitive and unworkable”.

The Rafale lost out to the Gripen last month on a 22-plane order from Switzerland [more here, with tech details].

Earlier this year, France was close to a deal with Brazil before the government delayed a decision on replacing its fleet of Mirage 2000 jet fighters until at least 2012 [tons more here from Defense Industry Daily]…


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013 07:30 
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Even if they win Indian order, they will have to close production lines as only 18 will be manufactured in France. Even if they bag 1 export order, they might be afloat for max 2-3 years.


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013 07:42 
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well french production will then eventually end after few more years if they get IAF order.. in the sense, the first 18 will be assembled, and the rest has to be done in desh.. However, it remains to be seen (wonder why no media is interested in digging the details about ToT - what component, technology, production, import component %, etc). still, i'd only see french sub-component manufacturers surviving with Indian order than Rafale assembly at france, if no other orders come by.


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013 08:11 
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I think it would have been better if India had ruled to talk with both Dassualt and EADS at the same time.

I bet if these talks fail that talks with EADS will be no better.

I feel that if teh talks with Dassualt do nto materialize then India should scrap the MMRCA effort and look elsewhere.


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2013 09:38 
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it seems the RBE2AA has found a new application - in upg Altantinque planes!
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/17956-017956/
France Upgrading its Atlantique Maritime Patrol Planes

Oct 06, 2013 18:05 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff

As the so-called government shutdown continues, maybe the Americans should take a leaf from the French. Instead of allowing a refusal to negotiate with the House of Representatives to shut down government web sites, they could just copy France’s defense minister and Dassault Aviation – who announced their upgrade deal for France’s Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft via Twitter.

France is the latest country to discover the usefulness of maritime patrol aircraft over land, as Atlantique aircraft over Mali went beyond mere surveillance to deliver “buddy-designated” Paveway-II laser guided bombs. DGA head Laurent Collet-Billon likened the plane to a Swiss Army Knife, and the experience helped push Atlantique modernization to the front of the budget queue…


Even so, the fleet’s modernization was cut back from 18 planes to just 2/3 (15) of France 22-plane fleet. Work on the EUR 400 million contract will be conducted by co-contractors Dassault Aviation and Thales, in partnership with DCNS and SIAé.

Work is expected to include deep structural refurbishment, in order to extend service life to around 2032. The planes will also receive a completely new suite of sensors, controlled by a new combat system.

That combat system has been expected to be Thales’ AMASACOS, developed under Turkey’s Meltem maritime patrol aircraft contracts. Instead, however, Dassault Aviation will use the DCNS’ LOTI (Logiciel Opérationnel de Traitement de l’Information) mission software as the base, and will be responsible for subsystems integration and the conversion of a flight-test demonstrator aircraft.

DCNS will develop their LOTI combat system software, which provides the overall tactical picture and manages weapons deployment.

Thales will still have a significant role. The Atlantique’s new radar system will be based on technologies developed for the Rafale fighter’s new RBE2-AA AESA radar, and Thales will add its own IFF systems. Below the waves, the new Atlantiques will rely on the STAN digital acoustic processing subsystem, which aims to detect targets over wider frequency ranges to counter new types of threats.

France’s SIAé support service will be responsible for developing the upgraded tactical display consoles, and managing full-rate aircraft upgrade operations.

Once the modifications are done, the refurbished turboprops will join France’s small fleet of converted Falcon 50 business jets.


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