MRCA News and Discussion

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Craig Alpert
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Craig Alpert » 02 Nov 2009 05:45

Image Image
Images copyrighted by SENGUPTA..
As many I don't trust his writing, but the brochures are released by MiG itself...

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Andrew DeCristofaro » 02 Nov 2009 06:02

saptarishi wrote: yakhont or brahmos was never offered for mig-35,RUSSIANS initially though of offering KLUb[ 3m-14e land attack version], but later offered 285km range kh-59mk2 being developed for pak-fa,
KLUB varients of 3m14ae and 3m54ae1 are still on offer

3m54ae1 missile is offered instead of brahmos because its lighter and serve same purpose with supersonic terminal speed but KH59MK2 has no such capability

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby dorai » 03 Nov 2009 16:39

Comments on the Brazilian process where half of the M-MRCA jets is on the short list.

Vive L’Empereur!

Bill Sweetman
Defense Technology International
November 2009
Editorial – Insight


What does the president of the world’s fifth-biggest economy, who stands 5 ft. 6 in. on a good day and is married to a stunning ex-model who does a mean job on some of Georges Brassens’ foulest lyrics, do for fun? The answer is: become the world’s greatest weapons salesman.

The idea that politics intrudes in arms sales has about as much news value as an assertion that Jenna Jameson’s virtue may not be intact. Mais sacre bleu, Sarko, there’s got to be a limit somewhere.
The mess that surrounds Brazil’s choice of a new fighter aircraft is not a case for international codes of conduct in defense business. They would never be enforced even if everyone agreed to such a thing. But they are an argument for national self-restraint.

There’s no dispute as to the facts. In September, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced that Brazil was going to buy 36 Dassault Rafale fighters. The air force responded by confirming that their evaluation (including the Gripen NG and Super Hornet) was still under way, thank you. Embraer stated that it regarded the Gripen NG industrial package as more attractive, and then rapidly retracted the statement.

In military terms, it was understantable that the decision was close. Franco-Brazilian ties are close, and in aviation date to Aerospatiale’s transatlantic flights in the 1930s. The Rafale is also a proven aircraft with a fully funded upgrade program. Twin engines and long range are an advantage for a country with maritime interests and a vast hinterland.

The Gripen NG promises lower cost and a remarkable level of performance and technology in a package barely more than half the size of Rafale. It’s also starting life in an era of commercially derived electronics and software, where Rafale may face some obsolescence issues.

But it’s a new program and people are understandably nervous that they will end up being the only operator of the NG, alongside with Sweden’s small air force. Industrially, Embraer’s preference for the Gripen is interesting. A company that’s energetic and smart enough to bound from nowhere in commercial airplanes to 30, 50 and then 90 seats in just two decades, and to break into business aviation as well, clearly has a better-than-average record of predicting the future. The company has a successful partnership with Saab on airborne warning and control systems.

I suspect Embraer has two reasons to favor Gripen. The first is that it wants to demonstrate it has the chops for a full-scale development program, not just an upgrade step for Rafale. The second is reflected in Lula’s statement that France would let Brazil build any other Rafales ordered in South America – but how many of those will there be? Embraer, it’s likely, believes that the Gripen has more upside.

More contradictions emerged as the story unfolded, with France apparently agreeing, to buy 10-15 KC-390 airlifters from Embraer and even becoming involved in the program. I will bet you Louis XIII to illegal rustic marc that the announcement was news to the French Air Force, which is committed to the A400M and has been searching under the mattress for the money to replace its decrepit tankers. I love the guys of Dassault as much as anyone, but let’s say that their last jet transport venture began with MER and ended in DE; their experience is in fighters and high-end corporate jets, and I am not sure what they could do on the KC-390, except make it more expensive.

Sadly, the time for logic may be past. Lula and Sarkozy have bypassed their professionals and created a strategic alliance, including a jointly developed nuclear submarine (a bold venture but one that may remain a unique toy, while most nations move into bigger conventional subs) and a helicopter industry. Now the problem is this: Sarkozy set out to prove that he could get Rafale sold where his predecessors failed. He has, according to Lula, accomplished that, and to back down would be an epic loss of face for the Elysee Palace.

At a conference on nuclear deterrence in Omaha, Neb., last summer, the boss of France’s strategic air force noted that France considers its nuclear weapons as a response to “an attack on France’s vital interests”, but that it deliberately does not specify what those are. Whether “Making M. le President look like an idiot” in on the list in the bunker somewhere, I don’t know, but I don’t think that President Lula wants to find out.

The deal has been done before the terms are settled, and that doesn’t often work well for either side.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 03 Nov 2009 19:44

Brazillian massala role combat a/cs logic does not apply for IAF.

I still don't get it why the Russians are luke warmed on the approach for an integrated solution, understanding from a client perspective rather from a selling point perspective.

We have the migs.. we know it!. It would be a great addtion to have a real mig++ upgrade, involving the technologies we are seeking for the next 50 odd years.

3 major weakness of migs:-
1. RCS and IR emmission, including shape based changes that did not happen in 35, say mimic JSF or EF2K [inlet design] + other composite skins... [iow, the 35 is a simple modification of mig29 airframe rather a new design in itself].

2. Engines:- they don't come close to Saturn al series.

3. RADAR/AESA. lagging way behind Europe.

If they can suprize the competitors by including a design change for the above, by involving foreign components of IAF's choice, then they are saying something.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Baldev » 03 Nov 2009 20:09

SaiK wrote:Brazillian massala role combat a/cs logic does not apply for IAF.

I still don't get it why the Russians are luke warmed on the approach for an integrated solution, understanding from a client perspective rather from a selling point perspective.
We have the migs.. we know it!. It would be a great addtion to have a real mig++ upgrade, involving the technologies we are seeking for the next 50 odd years.
3 major weakness of migs:-
1. RCS and IR emmission, including shape based changes that did not happen in 35, say mimic JSF or EF2K [inlet design] + other composite skins... [iow, the 35 is a simple modification of mig29 airframe rather a new design in itself].
2. Engines:- they don't come close to Saturn al series.
3. RADAR/AESA. lagging way behind Europe.
If they can suprize the competitors by including a design change for the above, by involving foreign components of IAF's choice, then they are saying something.
:?:
where is proof for this

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 03 Nov 2009 21:43

oldie link

http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories169.htm The EADS vision for the MRCA programme is to solidly and pragmatically bring the capabilities, skills and technologies to the Indian industry, from Defence Public Sector Undertakings and private large corporations to small and medium industries and enterprises.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 04 Nov 2009 01:44

I could be wrong here but yes this confusion of Typhoon's engine name runs deep even at BR. Ran a google search for 'EJ2000' and lot's of links including livefist came up. Even a search on BR shows the profound usage of EJ2000.

Agreed that the actual name is EJ200, but then why such widespread confusion in name among so many people.

Cheers....


talking about confusion regarding names, check out the name "Rafael". you'd be amazed how many people, some longtime BR members too, call the Rafale, the Rafael, even though Rafael is the name of an Israeli company whereas Rafale means Squall in French. Many call the Gripen , the Grippen. neither of the two cases above mean that the aircraft names are any different than what their manufacturers intended.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Baldev » 04 Nov 2009 07:56

gyrostabilized drives for T2 optical seeker in kh59

http://www.missiles.ru/_foto/MAKS-2005_ ... W_9599.jpg

standardized gyrostabilized drives [DG]1-128[A] and [DG]1-128[A]-1 of those representing by itself the triaxial gyrostabilized platform for the installation on it of the television- optical unit of TV- command [GSN] T -2 of rocket X -59. The channels of the X, Y and Z accomplish stabilization and attitude control of platform in the space.

Each of the channels of article consists of sensing element (in the channels Y and this Z the three-stage controlled gyroscope, in the channel the X sensor of the angular velocities), amplifiers and actuating element (electric drive with the direct-current motor).

Drives are achieved: - the stabilization of the position of platform in the space with the accuracy not more than ±3,4 of angular minutes; - the attitude control of platform in the space relative to the axes of gyrostabilizer; - delivery into the system of control of the object of the signals, proportional to the sines of the angle of rotations of platform and to the angular velocities of platform relative to the axes of gyrostabilizer.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Kailash » 04 Nov 2009 14:14

India-U.S. talks


The two proposed military pacts — Logistics Sharing Agreement (LSA) and the Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) — have been in the pipeline for long and have been discussed during visits by U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates.

By signing the LSA, India could theoretically avail itself of refuelling facilities in Diego Garcia, while the U.S. could gain access to Indian facilities without too much paperwork or money being transferred each time. But sources said the U.S. was more keen on CISMOA because installation of communication systems on the Special Forces configured C-130 planes could not happen without this. CISMOA is also a requirement for the 126 fighter jet tender.


LSA would be a one sided agreement - we have no use for it. Any country outside the range of our MKIs currently don't pose a threat to us. US has tremendous use for it - they can stop over, refuel in India on the way to Afghan and Pakistan.

Any idea about CISMOA and embedded risks?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Nov 2009 20:46

Kailash wrote:India-U.S. talks

LSA would be a one sided agreement - we have no use for it. Any country outside the range of our MKIs currently don't pose a threat to us. US has tremendous use for it - they can stop over, refuel in India on the way to Afghan and Pakistan.

Any idea about CISMOA and embedded risks?


US facilities in the ME, Japan, etc. Or even perhaps a USN (air and sea) tanker could refuel IAF/IN assets (USAF cannot)?

It may not help IN as we post, but certainly it will provide a framework for future strategists to base something on. Look 10-20 years down stream.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 04 Nov 2009 21:10

well..
U.S. was more keen on CISMOA because installation of communication systems on the Special Forces configured C-130 planes could not happen without this. CISMOA is also a requirement for the 126 fighter jet tender


I hope we are not legalizing the programmable kill codes rather, gaining an access into using them to our use, like say: the plane happened to be captured by enemy forces by some incident, then sending a kill signal destroys and blows up all circuitry.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sumshyam » 04 Nov 2009 21:24

I really do not understand...why should we buy from someone...who can not be trusted.... either with action or strategy....!!!

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sourab_c » 04 Nov 2009 21:30

sumshyam wrote:I really do not understand...why should we buy from someone...who can not be trusted.... either with action or strategy....!!!


I think people tend to underestimate the "political package" associated with the MRCA deal, which is wrong.

All that talk about "I hope the airforce gets what it wants and not the babus," is not happening! Politics will play a major role in this deal.

With the right equipment, you fight a good war. With the right politics, you can prevent one in the first place.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 05 Nov 2009 03:07

With the right equipment, you fight a good war. With the right politics, you can prevent one in the first place.

how about this: lets say wrong politics, we get the right equipment? IAF cares a little bit more about the right equipment over politics (good kind). i know, you can't avoid politicians, but "yes we can" very well avoid bad politics. its possible, should it even take the route of using a needle to remove a thorn.

but, if you say IAF is also surrendering under politics (i'd rather say politicians), then we can't help it, as the whole things doesn't stand any merit of even discussing which mrca plane is the best fit for them.

i still hope we pay a big respect to our armed forces because they keep away from politicians, and bad politics.

we need right equipment, good politics.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Brando » 05 Nov 2009 04:00

SaiK wrote:i still hope we pay a big respect to our armed forces because they keep away from politicians, and bad politics.

we need right equipment, good politics.


^^Isnt that an oxymoron ?

As for the armed forces keeping away from politicians, they might be doing so as institutional policy but I suspect on an individual level it is quite the opposite.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 05 Nov 2009 04:52

well, if tautology exists for it, then its not (i think it does). may be i am now culturally isolated to be speaking the false truth.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sourab_c » 05 Nov 2009 05:38

SaiK wrote:
we need right equipment, good politics.



You are absolutely right, war and diploacy go hand in hand. As you mention, the right equipment and good diplomacy is ideal, but India is not in a position to shell out $10 billion dollars everyday. This certainly restricts us from achieving that "ideal" scenario.

What we need is the right mixture of both and it is up to our selection committee for the MRCA deal to achieve that. Compromise will have to made both equipment wise and diplomacy wise.

You will also have to admit that our adversaries will have different perceptions of India depending on whether there are 200 F-18s parked on our borders or 200 Gripens. Again, not necessarily because one plane is better than the other, but because F-18s signify something more than just a fighter aircraft. That is just a hypothetical scenario and I am in no way suggesting that F-18s are the best choice for India. Just something to think about.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 05 Nov 2009 06:45

You don't need that kind of money at all.. $10b per day., and SH or any teen from amrika is no less expensive (including life cycle cost, logistics, weapons, etc..) than our friendly European counterparts, who are equally or better in terms of the offer.

Amrikan technology is good, if ToTed clean with no string attached.. but it does not come cheap nor without bad politics (poodling, sending troupes, geopolitics, unkill-yes sir and bootlicking).

I'd say if khan technology can be Toted for let say parts for Mig upgrade or LCA etc. I 'd doubt they would budge.. they wont spare AESA technology nor source code. Let them prove it by doing it on one that is not expensive as MRCA. The best project for that would be missile systems. Why not the khans supply AIM120s and pavewaves, and what not to be fired from MKI. By this we can establish two important things:

1. Trust
2. Technology & Strategic parternship

Next would follow automagicaly

I still doubt, they can even think about doing something like that... the agreements speak louder than their marketing gimmicks. No where in the world one can find a customer like India who would ask for these, and unkill has supplied, including Oz, poodling britain or other NATO country.

We have done MAWS with EADS, and we have excellent relationship with Israel and Europe (not necessary only France). We have also not so clean, but portrayable relations with Russia.

A good European plus a Strong Russian split on the inventory like 50:50, with heavy component and sub component ToTing with European and Israel nation would see our vision 20:20 and beyond.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Baldev » 05 Nov 2009 09:07

MICA IR seeker

General characteristics

Power requirements
- Power supply : ± 21 V
- Power consumption : 110 W

Overall dimensions
- Length : 625 mm
- Diameter : 160 mm
- Weight : 11 Kg

- dual band infra-red imaging
- Sophisticated processing package electronics (ASICS's)
- real-time digital signal processors.
- All-aspect attack capability

Image
Image
Image
Image

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Devesh Rawal » 05 Nov 2009 20:23

The Gripen Demo has had its first flight with the AESA radar:

Fair use excerpt from Flight global:
Saab's Gripen Demo aircraft has made its first test flight since receiving a key technology on offer to potential export customers including Brazil, India and Switzerland.

Now equipped with the antenna and other elements of Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems' Vixen 1000E/ES05 Raven active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the two-seat demonstrator resumed its flight activities on 27 October, when it performed a sortie from Saab's Linköping site in Sweden.

The heavily modified B-model aircraft had been on the ground in refit for the last several months, during which time Saab integrated its AESA array, new satellite communications equipment and additional internal fuel capacity. It has also gained new electro-optical radar warning receivers and missile approach warning sensors developed by Saab Avitronics.

The Demo airframe has now completed more than 80 flights since May 2008, and is being used to de-risk technologies intended for use with Saab's future NG (new generation) production standard of the Gripen.

The type has already been shortlisted in competitions in Brazil, India and Switzerland, and will equip the Swedish air force from 2014.

Selex says flight tests of its new AESA design, which uses a unique "swashplate" mounting to significantly boost the sensor's area of coverage, will also support the technology's possible future integration with the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The UK Ministry of Defence earlier this year confirmed a desire to equip its Tranche 3 Typhoons with AESA radars, and industry sources say a flight-test programme with the Selex design is expected to take place from 2012. EADS has previously flown an AESA array on a Eurofighter development aircraft in Germany.


FlightGlobal:
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/11/05/334440/picture-saabs-gripen-demo-makes-first-flight-with-aesa.html

Gripen press release:
http://www.gripen.com/en/MediaRelations/News/2009/gripen_ng_demo_returns_to_the_skies.htm

The Gripen site has links to pdf docs on the AESA, for those interested.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 06 Nov 2009 16:53

The MIG-35's engine is already being produced for the upgraded MIG-29s in IAF service and TVC can be added as an "extra" to the production line.This should be an added advantage for the MIG-35 as opposed to the other rivals.By contast,the US is reportedly closing down the F-16 line switching to C-130 production,that is unless India bcomes the last nation on the planet to buy the F-16! If the Brazilians do buy the Gripen then the chances of the aircraft in the IAF deal brighten enormously,as the IAF too wouldn't want to be the owners of an aircraft operated by a few developing nations.I strongly feel that a twin-engined aircraft will suit the IAF's needs best,but at what cost when compared with the Gripen?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Jean_M » 06 Nov 2009 18:15

Philip wrote:If the Brazilians do buy the Gripen then the chances of the aircraft in the IAF deal brighten enormously,as the IAF too wouldn't want to be the owners of an aircraft operated by a few developing nations.


Don't you think it could be quite the contrary ? It seems SAAB is willing to offer Brasil a great workshare on Gripen NG's development and production. What would be left to India afterwards ?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Baldev » 06 Nov 2009 19:31

this is how 9M1103 active radar seeker evolved

http://www.missiles.ru/_foto/9Bxxxx/1103.jpg

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 06 Nov 2009 19:46

why is this brazilian selection process giving much feedback to this thread? besides, what IAF uses is always unique even if its (baseline models) been used by other AFs. They like to be unique.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sam_kamath » 06 Nov 2009 19:47

Jean_M wrote:
Philip wrote:If the Brazilians do buy the Gripen then the chances of the aircraft in the IAF deal brighten enormously,as the IAF too wouldn't want to be the owners of an aircraft operated by a few developing nations.


Don't you think it could be quite the contrary ? It seems SAAB is willing to offer Brasil a great workshare on Gripen NG's development and production. What would be left to India afterwards ?



Did you know Brazil pits its currency against the Chinese yuan. The anti radiation missiles which were sold by Brazil to Pakistan were funded by Chinese bakshih...I very much doubt if we would buy the same aircraft type as Brazil.

Looking form a potential adversary list I feel that the ability to overwhelm the J-10 and the ability to conduct SEAD missions against the chinese HQ-9's is by far the most important ability the MRCA can have.

Again this is just my opinion...

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 06 Nov 2009 21:01


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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 06 Nov 2009 21:42

Jean_M wrote:
Philip wrote:If the Brazilians do buy the Gripen then the chances of the aircraft in the IAF deal brighten enormously,as the IAF too wouldn't want to be the owners of an aircraft operated by a few developing nations.


Don't you think it could be quite the contrary ? It seems SAAB is willing to offer Brasil a great workshare on Gripen NG's development and production. What would be left to India afterwards ?


Brazilian decision will not matter at all. In fact I very much doubt that there be anything in common between Indian and any other AF recs. Indian armed forces have matured to be on their own. check out teh strat page (and possibly the AF thread) - posted a brand new stuff on Indian armed forces. BR is behind the curve.

Having said that there is not reason for a Grip (as an example) to have 3-4 version - one for India, the others whatever. After all in the case of India it will be made-in-India.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 07 Nov 2009 14:37

When we are buying Embraer aircrasft as the platform for our indigenous AEW aircraft,I don't see why both India and Brazil will not benefit from the same tech.However,the French do have the inside line in Brazil with their signal deal on helping Brazil acquire a nuclear sub boat in the next decade.They could and have leveraged this asepct to their advantage as earlier reports indicated that the Rafale had been selected.The cost difference between a single-engined and twin-engined fighter will be a problem for the Rafale,but in the Indian context,with its numerous losses due to bird hits,a twin-engined fighter is preferable,especially as it can carry a heavier load and would have a greater endurance apart from survivability.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 07 Nov 2009 14:47

When we are buying Embraer aircrasft as the platform for our indigenous AEW aircraft,I don't see why both India and Brazil will not benefit from the same tech.


Simple.

You yourself stated it: "our indigenous AEW aircraft".

IF it is truly indigenous to India, what use would it be to Brazil - unless the ROI on Indian tech is far superior to what they already have? And, they already have such aircrafts - long back.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sumshyam » 07 Nov 2009 15:55


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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 07 Nov 2009 19:05

interesting that they are clever to get that 117 engines for sukhoi craft, slamming AL41f core-tech into AL31fp geometry. nice market for example chinese would get these anyway, and we could have mki upgrades as well.

I hope they can do a scale down version of Al41f technologies for RD geometry, that they could slam a saturn engine into Mig35. If they would integrate with Elta 2052-LCAMMR, and utilize much of the composite factory that we built for LCA, then I am all for Mig35!

Of course, I am thinking too much for migs.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Craig Alpert » 09 Nov 2009 00:54


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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Manish_Sharma » 09 Nov 2009 01:47

^^Would look soooo grrrreaaat in Brazilian Air Force!
:rotfl:

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby John » 09 Nov 2009 04:18

Andrew DeCristofaro wrote:
saptarishi wrote: yakhont or brahmos was never offered for mig-35,RUSSIANS initially though of offering KLUb[ 3m-14e land attack version], but later offered 285km range kh-59mk2 being developed for pak-fa,
KLUB varients of 3m14ae and 3m54ae1 are still on offer

3m54ae1 missile is offered instead of brahmos because its lighter and serve same purpose with supersonic terminal speed but KH59MK2 has no such capability

I was under the impression Alfa/air launched Klub has not been deployed/manufactured.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Jean_M » 09 Nov 2009 16:02

Monday's sunny today :)

DATE:09/11/09
SOURCE:Flight International
FLIGHT TEST: Dassault Rafale - Rampant Rafale

By Peter Collins

Most advanced Allied air forces now have operational fleets of fourth-generation fighters (defined by attributes such as being fly-by-wire, highly unstable, highly agile, net-centric, multi-weapon and multi-role assets).

These Western types include the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen NG. The Boeing F-15E and Lockheed Martin F-16 have an older heritage, but their latest upgrades give them similar multi-role mission capabilities. Of the above group, only the Super Hornet and Rafale M are capable of aircraft-carrier operations.

As these fourth-generation fighters' weapons, sensor systems and net-centric capabilities mature, the likelihood of export orders for such an operationally proven package becomes much more realistic.

On behalf of Flight International, I became the first UK test pilot to evaluate the Rafale in its current F3 production standard, applicable to aircraft for both French air force and French navy frontline squadrons.

The "proof-of-concept" Rafale A first flew in 1986 as an aerodynamic study, leading to the programme's formal launch two years later. The slightly smaller single-seat Rafale C01 and two-seat B01 for the French air force and single-seat M01 and M02 prototypes for the navy flew from 1991.

The first production-standard Rafale flew in 1998, and entered service with the navy's 12F squadron at Landivisiau in 2004 in the F1 (air-to-air) standard. Deliveries of the air force's B- and C-model aircraft started in 2006 in the F2 standard, dubbed "omnirole" by Dassault. Since 2008, all Rafales have been delivered in the F3 standard, which adds reconnaissance pod integration and MBDA's ASMP-A nuclear weapon capability. All aircraft delivered in earlier production standards will be brought up to the F3 configuration over the next two years.

The French forces plan to purchase 294 Rafales: 234 for the air force and 60 for the navy. Their Rafales are set to replace seven legacy fighter types, and will remain as France's principal combat aircraft until at least 2040. To date, about 70 Rafales have been delivered, with a current production rate of 12 a year.

Rafale components and airframe sections are built at various Dassault facilities across France and assembled near Bordeaux, but maintained in design and engineering configuration "lockstep" using the virtual reality, Dassault-patented Catia database also used on the company's Falcon 7X business jet.

Rafale software upgrades are scheduled to take place every two years, a complete set of new-generation sensors is set for 2012 and a full mid-life upgrade is planned for 2020

SUPERB PERFORMANCE

The Rafale was always designed as an aircraft capable of any air-to-ground, reconnaissance or nuclear strike mission, but retaining superb air-to-air performance and capabilities. Air force and navy examples have made three fully operational deployments to Afghanistan since 2005, giving the French forces unparalleled combat and logistical experience.

The commitments have also proved the aircraft's net-centric capabilities within the co-ordination required by coalition air forces and the command and control environment when delivering air support services to ground forces. Six Rafale Ms recently carried out a major joint exercise with the US Navy from the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

The air force's B/C fighters have 80% commonality with the navy's Rafale M model, the main differences being the latter's navalised landing gear, arrestor hook and some fuselage longitudinal strengthening. Overall, the M is about 300kg (661lb) heavier than the B, and has 13 hardpoints, against the 14 found on air force examples.

Dassault describes the Rafale as omnirole rather than multirole. This is derived from the wide variety of air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons, sensor pods and fuel tank combinations it can carry; the optimisation of aircraft materials and construction; and the full authority digital FBW controlling a highly agile (very aerodynamically unstable) platform.

This also gives the aircraft a massive centre of gravity range and allows for a huge combination of different mission stores to be carried, including the asymmetric loading of heavy stores, both laterally and longitudinally.

Other attributes include the wide range of smart and discrete sensors developed for the aircraft, and the way that the vast array of received information is "data fused" by a powerful central computer to reduce pilot workload when presented in the head-down, head-level and head-up displays.

The Rafale is designed for day or night covert low-level penetration, and can carry a maximum of 9.5t of external ordinance, equal to the much larger F-15E. With a basic empty weight of 10.3t, an internal fuel capacity of 4.7t and a maximum take-off weight of 24.5t, the Rafale can lift 140% of additional load, above its own empty weight, into combat.

Added to the "active" elements of the aircraft's design are Rafale's "passive" safety features, which protect the pilot in various ways. These include "carefree handling" and automatic loss of control/airframe overstress protection allowed for by the digital flight control system (DFCS); the visual and audio low speed warning system; the continuously computed "deck awareness/ground watch" system with audio warning and HUD guidance for pull-out; and the pilot-initiated "spatial disorientation" automatic recovery mode from both nose high and nose low situations. Dassault also plans to introduce an automatic "g-loc" recovery mode.

The aircraft has been designed from the outset to take on any role (air, ground, reconnaissance and strike), but still have the flexibility to rapidly switch roles effectively once the sortie is under way if operational requirements change. Dassault calls this concept "fight and forget", which means that the Rafale pilot can concentrate on the tactical situation and weapons delivery, secure in the knowledge that the aircraft's systems are continually guarding his/her back.

Sensors integrated into the Rafale F3 standard include the Thales RBE2 radar, which gives multi-track air-to-air, ship track, terrain following radar (TFR) and synthetic aperture navigation modes. The RBE2 will be upgraded to a fully active electronically scanned array starting in 2012. Dassault's large ownership share of Thales means it can have significant influence on how the radar is tailored to the aircraft and how it can be exported.

The Spectra electronic countermeasures system is fully internal and provides radar warning receiver (RWR), active jamming, infrared missile approach warning, laser detection and chaff/flare. Data from Spectra is also "data fused" and fed into the pilot's tactical display. Additionally, the system can be rapidly reprogrammed by frontline ground technicians, as demonstrated operationally in Afghanistan.

On the aircraft's nose is the front sector optronics (FSO) suite, comprising a high-magnification TV sensor for single-target identification, and an infrared search-and-track sensor for multiple target detection in a "ball type" housing. The Thales Optronique Damocles pod is used for laser designation and can also provide a forward-looking infrared picture into the HUD. The Reco NG/Areos reconnaissance pod, carried centreline, provides long-range optical IR/visual capability by day or night, with datalink transmission of the recorded data to a ground station. The data can also be viewed by the pilot in the cockpit.

COCKPIT IMAGE

Datalinks include NATO's Link 16 standard, the close air support (CAS) Mode M datalink (image) and the CAS Rover datalink (video). The Rafale system enables the pilot to display image or video on either left or right head-down lateral displays, or on the head-level display. The pilot can also choose the cockpit image from whatever sensor source he/she wants, to transmit to a forward air controller, rather than be bound by a single image type fixed to just one sensor pod.

The main air-to-air weapon type is the IR or radar homing Mica missile from MBDA. France is also collaborating on the same firm's beyond-visual-range Meteor missile, planned for 2016. An internal 30mm cannon with 125 shells adds short-range firepower.

For interdiction, the long-range weapons carried include the ASMP-A missile and MBDA's modular Scalp-EG, and the main anti-shipping weapon is the MBDA AM39 Exocet. For ground attack, the Rafale is cleared to carry laser-guided bomb types GBU-12 and GBU-22, with GBU-24 planned from 2010.

Sagem's 113kg AASM bomb is the French equivalent of the USA's Boeing JDAM, but has an aft rocket booster for additional range and features GPS or IR terminal guidance. It allows for a pre-programmed individual ground target engagement per bomb and from a multiple release profile, with three carried per bomb rack. In Afghanistan, the French call the AASM "magic bombs".

The Rafale has five "wet" hardpoints for fuel tanks. All five can accept the 1,250-litre (330USgal) (fully supersonic) tank, and the inner three central hardpoints can accept the larger (up to M0.95) 2,000-litre tank. An enhancing feature is that the Rafale can also carry a buddy-buddy refuelling pod.

The cockpit is fully night vision goggle compatible. Pilot helmet-mounted display and direct voice input are available as customer options.

The aircraft is a close-coupled design with two large canards, four leading-edge slats, four trailing elevons and one rudder to optimise lift/drag and reduce side-slip in all flight phases. The hydraulic system powering the flying controls operates at over 345bar (5,000lb/in2). Its DFCS is Dassault designed and manufactured in-house, and is the digital development of the Mirage 2000's analogue FCS.

The new system is better able to map the allowable flight envelope and give the aircraft even higher flying qualities than those of the Mirage 2000. The DFCS has three independent digital channels, with the fourth back-up channel being one of main analogue channels from the Mirage 2000.

The DFCS is a "g" demand system with +9.0g/29° angle of attack (AoA) limit in air-to-air mode and +5.5g/20° AoA limit in both of the two air-to-ground/heavy stores modes (ST1 and ST2) to cater for forward or aft centre of gravity. The aircraft continuously "recognises" the load it carries, but indicates and leaves the final DFCS mode selection to the pilot. Minus g limit in all modes is -3.2.

Engines are two Snecma M88-2E4s generating a combined 22,500lb (100kN) of thrust dry and 34,000lb in full afterburner. Time from idle to full afterburner is just 4s at any altitude. The aircraft has a fixed flight refuelling probe and its canards and elevons operate in conjunction to act as a fully variable airbrake, with both features intended to save weight. Maximum speed is M1.8/750kt (1,390km/h), service ceiling 55,000ft (16,800m), and typical approach speed at mid-weight (15t) and 16° AoA an indicated 125kt.

Powerful carbon brakes allow for landing distances as short as 450m without the need for a brake parachute.

FIRST PRODUCTION MODEL

My evaluation aircraft was two-seat Rafale B number B301, the first production model to be delivered, which Dassault retains for test purposes. The cockpit was to full F3 standard, with just a small additional test control panel (telemetry) fitted in the front cockpit. The sortie was flown from Istres, near Marseilles.

I did not have time for any simulator, avionics bench or groundschool training. I received a 1.5h cockpit familiarisation on the ground in a Rafale at Dassault's Istres facility on the day before the evaluation. Other than this, I would fly the complete evaluation myself from the front cockpit. The ease and success with which I could fly and cope with such a massively capable fighter would be a clear indication of the Rafale's "fight and forget" design concept.

My evaluation objectives were threefold. Could the Rafale properly be termed "omnirole" with the range of its on-board sensors and weapons? Was the aircraft truly a fourth-generation fighter in terms of performance? And would its safety features keep me safe in such a demanding flight evaluation profile having had no time for any familiarisation in the simulator?

My safety pilot for the evaluation was Dassault Rafale project test pilot Olivier "Nino" Ferrer, an ex-French navy fighter pilot and highly experienced on Vought F-8 Crusaders and Dassault Super Etendards. A chase Mirage 2000 was used to provide close formation, air-to-air refuelling and tail-chase evaluation, and was flown by Philippe Duchateau, another Dassault project test pilot.

Pre-mission planning was carried out on a standard commercial computer laptop with access to the loaded program (confidential) protected by a security dongle inserted into the laptop USB. The mission plan was then downloaded onto a solid-state mil-spec memory card and loaded by the pilot via a panel on the left side of the aircraft.

I thought this straightforward but simple planning system was a very enhancing design feature, especially when the aircraft would be detached on operations or away from its main base on land-away.

I wore standard French flying clothing, including life preserver and g-suit. With the Rafale's Martin-Baker Mk16 ejection seat raked back at nearly 30°, the French have found there is no operational need for an upper-body pressure suit. Entry and exit to the B/C models is via a ground crew-positioned vertical ladder, but the M model has an integral drop-down step. Seat height and rudder pedal adjustment is electric, and the cockpit is a classic fighter "snug" fit, but with all the required flight switches forward of the 3-9 body line, it fitted me like a glove.

The single throttle and sidestick controller contain over 34 separate switches, many with multifunctions, but the main switches such as airbrake, radio telecommunications, auto pilot and auto throttle were "chunky" and easy to differentiate.

TOUCH SENSITIVE

The left and right lateral head-down display screens were touch sensitive with additional L/R rotary and L/R finger switches to designate and control display modes. It is here, for some routine tasks, that a future direct voice input upgrade could be useful.

The head-level display (HLD) allowed for a wide-angle view of the tactical situation and is focused at infinity, so there is no need to refocus your eyes when scanning rapidly between head-up and head-level. Advances in display technology may enable a future HLD to retain the same advantages in a more flat panel display and give more cockpit space.

The wide-angle (30° x 20°) holographic HUD meant the displayed symbology was delightfully uncluttered and sharply focused and could be viewed completely without any head movement away from a design eye point position.

After the sideways-hinged canopy (designed to allow for unrestricted ejection seat removal if required) was closed electrically and with a rapid engine start using the auxiliary power unit completed, we were ready to taxi about 90s after engine stabilisation.

Taxi speed is easily controlled, because the residual ground thrust is limited by keeping both "mini-throttles" (acting as low-pressure cocks) in the "idle" position before setting them to "normal" for take-off. Ground steering was highly accurate and responsive, and the brakes were very smooth and progressive.

Our take-off mass was 16.1t (10.8t basic and 5.3t fuel) carrying one supersonic fuel tank centreline. Take-off was in full afterburner from the brakes and with a rotate of 125kt that came about 9s after brake release. Gear was retracted immediately after lift-off and afterburner cancelled at 250kt.

I was immediately aware after take-off of the sensitivity of the flight controls to any demand I made. The aircraft felt alive in my hands. I have never flown any aircraft that responded so instantly and so powerfully to stick input. The Mirage 2000 had previously been my favourite FBW aircraft in terms of handling qualities, but the Rafale with its DFCS betters it in every aspect of handling by a significant margin.

MILD BUFFET

Climbing to 15,000ft into the test area was flown at 350kt, full afterburner and 35° nose-up. In air-to-ground DFCS Stores Position 1 (ST1) at 350kt, mild buffet was encountered at +4.5g with 4t of fuel. In full dry power, a wind-up turn showed that the aircraft could maintain 350kt at +5.0g with just 10° of nose-down pitch.

Later in the sortie at the lower fuel weight of 2t and 500kt, with the DFCS Stores Position set to air-to-air, the aircraft was pulled rapidly and effortlessly through to +9g and could be held there over a significant speed range. A final level acceleration from 200-500kt in full afterburner at 5,000ft and 1.8t fuel weight can only be described as brutal, with the aircraft increasing speed at about 30kt/s and the force of acceleration hurting my spine as I was pressed backwards against the ejection seat.

The steady state roll rate at 350kt was 270°/s and the roll onset felt rapid but comfortable. At 450kt, the same steady-state roll rate was achieved, but the rate of roll onset was simply staggering. I have never experienced any fighter aircraft start or stop to roll so quickly.

The low-speed warning system was assessed by putting the aircraft into a 35° climb at 200kt at 15,000ft and closing the throttle. The HUD showed a "low speed" visual caution and the audio sounded "recover" as we went through about 100kt and flopped out.

The aircraft does feature an "anti-spin" switch but, to date, it has never been used, and even during the "spin phase" during development it proved resistant to spin even with the HUD indicated airspeed (shown in a video recording) falling to below 50kt in pro-spin manoeuvres.

The auto recovery button was evaluated and I activated it in nose-low and nose-high situations. The auto pilot and auto throttle instantly engaged to very positively roll and pull the aircraft (as required) to re-establish it in a 5° climb at 350kt. The system engagement was an impressive safety feature to recover from pilot disorientation.

Re-climbing to 25,000ft, the aircraft was put supersonic up to M1.2 in a shallow dive and then pulled back subsonic to M0.8 in a 4g turn with the throttle slammed closed. The manoeuvre was completely benign and with the canard/elevon airbrake function proving highly effective.

The formation and tail chase evaluation was initiated by locking up the Mirage 2000 chase aircraft on the RBE2 at over 55km (30nm) and identifying him visually using the FSO TV presented on the right lateral head-down display.

In close formation, I initially found the Rafale over-sensitive in pitch, but telemetry informed me that I was holding the sidestick too high up, and after changing my grip, I could hold echelon position without problem. However, it was another clear indication of just how agile the aircraft is.

In line astern, the refuel "RFL" DFCS switch was activated, which reduced the flight-control sensitivity and made the aircraft "feel" much more stable and conventional in response, much like a BAE Systems Hawk. With "RFL" selected, a pilot would find an in-flight refuelling probe contact to a tanker drogue to be routine.

Resetting the DFCS and with the warning system ensuring I had gone from ST1 to air-to-air mode, I dropped back to about 500m line astern on the Mirage for a short tail-chase. This just re-emphasised the power of the Rafale and the accuracy of its controls. The aircraft can be flown in a "bang-bang" manner between axes, rather than requiring "rolling pulls". The Rafale is an outstanding close-in dogfighter whenever it wants to be.

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: don't try that in a Panavia Tornado. Dassault says it may re-evaluate the fast jet format pitch ladder format to reduce pitch ladder "blur" at commanded high pitch rates.

I could not fault the carefree handling characteristics or the throttle response of the Rafale in any regime, and the only limit I ever had to remember in the flight was the gear limit (230kt). The Rafale was an absolute pleasure to fly, while remaining almost unbelievably responsive.

From medium level, I descended to low level and engaged the autopilot and autothrottle into covert terrain-following mode along our pre-planned mission route at 450kt/500ft above ground level (for noise abatement), first over the sea and then over the rugged terrain south-west of Arles.

LOW-LEVEL RIDE

The covert mode used a GPS database, but it can also use TF Radalt or the RBE2 TFR mode as back-up. Low-level ride was excellent in the gusty Mistral conditions, as was the accuracy of the TF profile followed by the aircraft over the semi-mountainous terrain, including flying towards sharply rising cliffs. The "ground watch" system painted a constantly updated escape profile floor in the HUD. With the TF engaged, Nino explained to me some more of the "data fused" symbology in the tactical HLD and altered the flight planned route and the time over target, which was then followed by the autopilot and autothrottle in speed mode.

At the same time, with both of us completely head-in and on TF autopilot, Nino locked up and the FSO TV identified airliners 10,000ft above us, and used the Spectra RWR to cue the FSO TV to do the same against a passing Mirage 2000 on a low-level mission.

Approaching the target, the release envelope ground "bubble" for the AASM was displayed in the tactical HLD, and "shoot" in the HUD. When within the AASM envelope, target bomb track is largely immaterial and, with the weapon button depressed and held, the five simulated programmed AASMs released to individual targets in a 0.5s separated salvo.

Breaking off from the attack run, I rejoined Istres for three visual circuits. The first two were "carrier" type and used the AT mode to hold 16° AOA around the final turn and which I found to be an excellent aid to reduce carrier pilot workload. The landing attitude in the flare from about 18° AoA while sitting on a seat raked back at 30° takes a little getting used to, because you tend to touch earlier than you expect.

The third circuit was flown aggressively at low level with manual throttle used around finals to a maximum braking effort landing using about 500m of runway to stop. The HUD approach symbology and especially the very rapid engine response made circuit flying simple. We shut down after a sortie of 1h 25min with 470kg of fuel.

It is worth remembering that stealth-optimised, or fifth-generation fighters such as the Lockheed F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are not only likely to be hugely expensive, but they can only preserve their stealth characteristics by carrying a very limited weapons load in their internal weapon bays.

Therefore, in the current and predicted financial defence climate, it could well be that so-called fourth-generation fighters will remain the aircraft of choice for most nations - perhaps even including the UK.

Moreover, the fact that the Rafale is the only European fighter in production that is carrier-capable gives it, in my opinion, a distinct advantage in any future export "fly-off" competition as a single combat type that can equip a country's air force and naval air arm.

In answer to my own evaluation objectives, it was obvious the Rafale has earned its omnirole definition, even though I barely scratched the surface of its sensor and weapon capabilities. The aircraft has an incredible level of performance befitting a fourth-generation type, and despite flying a highly complex and demanding evaluation sortie, I felt completely at home in the aircraft and retained full situational awareness. If it could keep me safe, it would also do the same for young first-tourist pilots coping with tactical operations.

The classic definitions of aircraft combat roles really do not do justice to this aircraft; the Rafale is Europe's force-multiplying "war-fighter" par excellence. It is simply the best and most complete combat aircraft that I have ever flown. Its operational deployments speak for themselves. If I had to go into combat, on any mission, against anyone, I would, without question, choose the Rafale.


edit: new link http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... afale.html
Last edited by Jean_M on 09 Nov 2009 17:01, edited 1 time in total.

Singha
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 09 Nov 2009 16:37

In line astern, the refuel "RFL" DFCS switch was activated, which reduced the flight-control sensitivity and made the aircraft "feel" much more stable and conventional in response, much like a BAE Systems Hawk. With "RFL" selected, a pilot would find an in-flight refuelling probe contact to a tanker drogue to be routine.

quite a useful feature. do any other fighters today have it?

Jean_M
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Jean_M » 09 Nov 2009 17:01

new link to paper (with nice pics): http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... afale.html
Last edited by Jean_M on 09 Nov 2009 17:02, edited 1 time in total.

RKumar
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby RKumar » 09 Nov 2009 17:02

Intresting development ...

Dassault denies Rafale price cut in Brazil

French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) denied a newspaper report on Friday that it was cutting the price of its Rafale fighter jet by 40 percent :eek: to secure a sale to the Brazilian army....

The paper, whose article cited "good sources", said Dassault was complying with French President Nicolas Sarkozy's wishes after he committed to getting the price of the Rafale down during his visit to Brazil in September.


May be we should also invite French President Nicolas Sarkozy for tea party :lol: :lol:

Le prix du Rafale en piqué pour favoriser une vente au brésil

Translated text
Competing in a tender to sell 36 fighter jets to the Air Force of Brazil (FAB), Dassault has reduced by 40% the price of Rafale learned Liberatio No good source. According to the Brazilian press, the original price before the FOB - considerably more than the two competing models, the F18 from the American Boeing and Gripen NG Saab of Sweden - was approximately 98 million euros the unit. During his visit to Brazil, September 7, Nicolas Sarkozy promised to bring Dassault to offer a price comparable to that paid by the French army (50 million euros). The manufacturer has followed - but added a surcharge due to the transport to Brazil. French side, there are fears that this discount is not enough to win, and that "Dassault expects a political choice of Brazil [ally of France, editor's note] for the Rafale not to lower its prices as much as the Paris wants, "said an informed source. Paris serait favorable à «un prix très bas pour amorcer l'exportation» du chasseur français.) photo afp Paris would support "a very low price to begin exporting" hunter's French.)


Another translation
In string in an invitation to tender to sell 36 fighter plans with the Brazilian air force (FAB), Dassault reduced by 40% the price of the Rafale, learned Libération from good source. According to the Brazilian press, the price of origin subjected to the FAB - definitely expensive than the two competitor models, F18 of American Boeing and Gripen NG of Swedish Saab - was approximately 98 million euros the unit. At the time of its visit in Brazil, on September 7, Nicolas Sarkozy had committed itself leading Dassault to offer a price comparable with that paid by the French Army (50 million euros). The airframe manufacturer followed - adding however a supplement due to transport to Brazil. French side, one fears that this handing-over is not sufficient to carry it, and that “Dassault counts on an policy option of Brazil [ally of France, note] in favour of the Rafale not to lower its price as much as Paris would like it”, indicates an informed source. Paris would be favorable at “a very low price to start the export” of the French hunter.)
Last edited by RKumar on 09 Nov 2009 17:19, edited 1 time in total.

Jean_M
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Posts: 60
Joined: 26 Aug 2008 16:08
Location: Paris surroundings

Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Jean_M » 09 Nov 2009 17:18

Sarko only told them they would get it the same price as the French airforce does. This doesn't necessarily means a 40% cut in prices. Disinformation campaign going on...

RKumar
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby RKumar » 09 Nov 2009 17:22

Jean_M wrote:Sarko only told them they would get it the same price as the French airforce does. This doesn't necessarily means a 40% cut in prices. Disinformation campaign going on...


Where is the disinformation ... it is just confirmation of what Sarko told you. It is still a speculation but a good development for India... when are trying to buy ~200 planes not 36.


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