Indranil wrote:Left to me, I will sit down with HAL and say I will order 300 Mk1A to be delivered in 10 years. Kitna me doge.
I guarantee you it will be cheaper than this 200 fighter program (83+110) to acquire and to maintain. If the su-30s are used for long endurance and long range tasks, 300 Mk1A ms will be more effective than 190 fighters. No fighter, no matter how advanced can be at two places at the same time.
I disagree (and would shamelessly claim, IAF disagrees too). Yes one fighter cannot be at two places (no particle can, only waves do), but the one place it is, Rafale can ensure that it shoots down it's adversary 99% of the time and force a mission kill.
Lets take a scenario where TSPAF has launched two attacks, and we have 2 LCA to face them off or 1 Rafale to face off 1 attack. Let the opponent be AIM-120C equipped F-16. Rafale will be placed at the more strategic asset and it will guarantee shoot down the F-16 , the other will of course get through at other point where no one is stopping it. Both LCA have a fighting chance and can perhaps stop both or can be beaten at both the places, and both attack of adversary can succeed (or fail).
If I have to absolutely succeed in my strategic/tactical mission, Rafale is the way to go. Now TSP is as well hard pressed for planes, we still have the number advantage today (cannot say of tomorrow), even considering 2 front war. So most likely it will be at one place and not two, and we will have Rafale there. In Indo-TSP context, the two areas that will be hot (from Air war perspective) is - JK chicken neck/North Punjab and area south of Gujrat. TSPA/TSPAF most likely will focus in JK/Punjab sector with offensive capability and will do a defensive Air combat in all other sector (with occasional offense here and there in other sectors). In that one area, I would rather have 36 Rafale than 100 LCA, rest of the IAF will be holding off TSPAF elsewhere and perhaps squatting them.
But it is really not a choice between either 36/100 Rafale or 100/300 LCA (and thus my rant against whoever is responsible for this). We can have both, some reduced Rafale numbers (My take 60 is a good number, 10 more than M2K, good for 2 front war) and perhaps 200 LCA. It will give us the cheap desi low end fighter (it is really not low end) and the silver bullet. The thing is everything else is being blocked for this silver bullet.
If I can have a wish, if we had 36 F-35 instead of 36 Rafale (perhaps for the same cost, maybe cheaper), it would have been idle. We can never have F-22 (US wont sale), but it is selling F-35 to everyone (thank God not TSP so far). But since it is not available, Rafale is the next best thing.
It is within our capability now to mature LCA/MWF to Rafale level in some x years (x less than 10).