Cosmo_R wrote:You misread the statement. What I am saying is that it is no less sanctionable than a F16/18/F35 because if the US wanted to sanction us for whatever reason, the Gripen won't be untouched.
Okay...so all the above aircraft are sanctionable? Am I reading your statement right now? And if you are saying it, then I am sure the policy makers in the GoI know the same.
Since we qualified that, then the next question that needs to be answered is what act from our part constitutes sanctions from Unkil? Are these planes only to be used in the manner that the US expects us to? Or do we have free reign with these aircraft? Can we do with the F-Solah or Gripen E that we did with the Mirage 2000 in Kargil against Unkil's all weather friend? I am sure these are questions that need to be answered by the policy makers.
Now since you brought up the issue of sanctions, let us review history and see how many nations actually sanctioned our fighters and helicopters post Pokhran II ? The MiG series? The Mirage 2000s? Perhaps the Jaguar? Or the Su-30MKIs? Oh I know. The Sea King. Parts for that helo was sanctioned by India's now strategic partner - Unkil. Was it not Unkil who imposed sanctions post Pokharn II which delayed our Tejas program?
Now one can argue that times have changed since Pokhran II. We need to stop being so "narrow minded" on BRF and look at the bigger picture. Unkil and India now have a common enemy - China. But wait a second, India has had that enemy for the past 70 years at her doorstep. What changed exactly? A resurgent China that threatens Unkil's dominance in that region? Come to think of it, how different is this new relationship compared to the China-Pak relationship? An enemy of my enemy is my friend as the saying goes. However let me not arm my friend to the point where he also becomes my enemy. Let me give him just enough to keep my real enemy at bay.
Now if Japan is purchasing F-35s to barr a resurgent China from knocking at her doorstep and the US plans to do the same, I ask again...would it not make better sense for the third partner (India) to operate the same plane to deter China? After all, you are only as strong as your weakest link. The F-35 must be one amazing plane - with tremendous growth potential - for Japan to invest in a FACO line and assemble it locally.
Cosmo_R wrote:Yes. The problem lies in dumb people making what they think are 'smart decisions'. And that equation stands the test of time.
+1 to you Sir. Well said. Considering the above aircraft are all sanctionable, then purchasing the Gripen E or the F-Solah or the F-18 or the F-35 must all be smart decisions being considered by dumb people. Because regardless of what is said or wished on a forum, the GoI pulls the trigger. True? And if the GOI is willing to purchase them, then they must be dumb. And like you said, that equation stands the test of time.
Cosmo_R wrote:Depends on who's making the decision. If I were dictator and running it, I would order my supply chain to produce fasteners, gaskets, sprockets and widgets at scale to meet MRO requirements of the global F16 fleet. It would help lower the unit costs of components for the Block 70s for the IAF. 'Parts' does not have to mean big LRUs. It's the small stuff (see Ramana's point about machining titanium parts for the SU30 and the scale it requires) which has incredible margins. And it does not have to be about 'upgrades'. Maintenance and repair business is very lucrative especially if you have a captive audience.
Wait a second now! Depends on who is making the decision? Assumptions my dear Sir are VERY dangerous. We are being asked to buy the F-Solah or the Gripen E based on promises that have not been thoroughly thought out? When are we expected to find out how this is going to benefit us? After we sign the deal and then realise that the devil is in the details?
Secondly, I have a hard time picturing you as a dictator. Neither am I. Since we are not dictators, we have no decision making ability at LM or at the GOI. That quantity is now known and verified. So then the question arises, who exactly is making those decisions? The GoI or LM/US? Who decides to produce x number of fasteners, gaskets, sprockets and widgets at scale to meet MRO requirements of the global F16 fleet? Are we following a concept of just-in-time manufacturing (have the exact number of parts to fulfill a confirmed export order) or are we going to invest money in producing parts that will sit as inventory in a warehouse till the orders come in? Who makes that 'smart' decision?
Thirdly, we need to determine what is the captive audience for the global F-16 fleet that wants to upgrade their F-16s to the Block 70 standard? I am sure we can eliminate the largest operator out of the equation because they are focused on replacing their F-16s with F-35s. Agreed? Israel does not need a Block 70 upgrade, because IAI is modifiying them with equipment that there is little public info on. Despite that, Israel is purchasing the F-35 as well. Pakistan's F-16s will be upgraded by the US. But there are still a host of other nations that operate hundreds of F-Solahs. How many of them has India mapped out that require an upgrade to the Block 70 standard. After all, since the line is being transferred to India...it is our responsibility to find out the captive audience correct? Or is LM going to do that for us? Will they have time to do that with them being focused on the F-35 production? Let us assume they do. Will they be collecting fees for finding the customers for us? Let me state at the outset, I have no problem with that.
So many un-answered questions about this deal, but yet being led to believe that everything will be just fine...as long as we sign on the dotted line. The details will come later, just sign it though. That is a SMART decision.