MRCA News and Discussion

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Bob V » 02 Aug 2009 15:55

The Indian Express (print edition) has carried a full 2 page advertisement about the capabilities of the Typhoon, in the Sunday supplement .....the article of that kind seems to be first in the Indian print media.....can be quite informative for amateurs ...but the author seems to suffer from a severe case of DDMitis ....he has jumbled up the pics and description of the a/c presently operated by IAF.....also he has placed arrowheads depicting Bvraams, wvraams randomly all over the a/c body :mrgreen:

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 02 Aug 2009 16:03

At ~ $140 for Rafale F3 is so expensive , I can get a fully loaded two MKI at that price and then some.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 02 Aug 2009 22:09

Hiten wrote:Some news about Typhoon's AESA

Eurofighter Tranche 3A Product Deal Signed


So here's where we are with Typhoon upgrades:

AESA: "a study . . . is due to be completed this year. That will help define a suitable upgrade roadmap"

In other words, they still don't know what (if anything) they're going to do.

Meteor: "support to integrate [Meteor] is growing"

In other words, they don't have the necessary support yet.

This one just boggles my mind. The Meteor will be the culmination of well over a decade of work and $2 billion and they AREN'T SURE if it will be put on the Typhoon? Are you kidding me?

I'm sure that they will eventually integrate it because they have no choice after investing so much in it, but I think it is a very stark warning about the future of the Typhoon as the partner nations are simply unwilling and unable to fund even the most obvious and necessary updates.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Vipul » 03 Aug 2009 03:53

Eurofighter sweetens its India offer.

With the four-nation Eurofighter consortium facing the uncomfortable reality of dwindling orders at home, India’s tender for 126 medium fighters, worth some $11 billion, is now crucial. So, Eurofighter has reworked some of its most fundamental tenets and structures, to appear more appealing to India.

Next Friday, Eurofighter boss Bernhard Gerwert will fly into Delhi to offer a new sweetener to the ministry of defence: if India chooses the Eurofighter, it can become a full-fledged manufacturing partner, the first “outsider” to crack a tightly-interwoven four-country manufacturing chain.

The consortium that developed the Eurofighter — comprising the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain — had decided on a unique manufacturing structure. Each part of the Eurofighter is manufactured in a different country; e.g. the right wing is made in Spain, the left wing in Italy. After that, all four partners assemble their own aircraft, bringing the parts together from the plants where they are manufactured.

This EU-style compromise distributed manufacturing jobs (100,000 jobs in 400 companies) amongst the four partners, while creating a mutual dependency.

If India becomes the fifth Eurofighter partner, it will manufacture complete assemblies — say, as a random example, the front fuselage and tail fins — for every new Eurofighter across the world. That will include fighters for the air forces of the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria and Saudi Arabia. In addition, Switzerland, Japan, Romania, Greece and Turkey, which are currently evaluating the Eurofighter, could also be on that list.

Kicking off its India campaign in early 2008, Eurofighter had suggested that India could play a major role in the programme, even using the word, “partnership”. But that was never elaborated; only now will India unambiguously be offered a share of the manufacture. All four European partners have agreed to forgo a part of their work share to bring India in.

An order like India’s is badly needed. Earlier this year, a budget-strapped British Ministry of Defence (MoD) tried to pull out of buying its contracted share of 88 fighters from the latest batch (called Tranche 3). Eventually the UK honoured its commitments only because default would have cost London billions of Euros in penalties. The other Eurofighter partners are equally cash-strapped; all have jointly agreed to cut back on their orders for now.

In contrast to the gloom in Europe, the future in India looks rosy. EADS — Eurofighter’s major shareholder — has enjoyed notable success in penetrating the Indian market. Early this year, EADS signed a $20 million contract to help resolve persistent niggles in India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme. US companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin were ruled out of that bid by Washington’s unwillingness to grant permissions (called Technical Assistance Agreements). EADS points to the LCA consultancy as a major victory that highlighted the comparative ease of doing high-tech business with Europe.

Buoyed by the LCA consultancy, EADS is now focusing on the $600 million tender — floated by the MoD on 17 July — for supplying 99 fighter engines for India’s single-engine LCA. Eurojet, an EADS subsidiary, has offered EJ200 engines, which power the twin-engine Eurofighter. The rival engine is the General Electric GE-414, which powers Eurofighter’s big rival, the twin-engine Boeing F/A-18. Getting the engine selected, both rivals believe, is a sure path towards getting the fighter selected as well.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 03 Aug 2009 04:15

It would be a travesty if India were to mix the LCA effort with that of the MRCA. It is OK if the MRCA provides assistance to the LCA, but I do not think it is worth it if it is some mix-match stuff.

How much customization goes into these EFs on a country basis - any idea?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 03 Aug 2009 04:26

cross posting from the tech discussion thread
Dunno if this has been discussed before, but the SAAB offer for the dutch cost about 4.8 billion Euros for 85 gripen NGs. This included training, support and so on (no weapons though). April 2008 prices.
http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cach ... l=en&gl=us

I was looking at the EW suite and was really impressed by this little bird. Packs quite the punch. Has everything from Digital RWR, ELS, Jammers, MAWS, LWS, towed decoy, you name it.

Very, very comprehensive package overall (integrated IRST too with a swashplate AESA). Incredible range too (3500km ferry with just one EFT) and meaningful supercruise to boot. Sweet.


Note that the price of the gripen ng offered to brazil roughly matches the one offered to the dutch. However, the latter bid (and therefore I assume the former as well) was offered without weapons but includes support+training.

My guess is that the Rafale is with weapons otherwise it is ridiculously expensive. Can Jean elaborate?

CM

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Igorr » 03 Aug 2009 16:51

Vipul wrote:Eurofighter sweetens its India offer.

With the four-nation Eurofighter consortium facing the uncomfortable reality of dwindling orders at home, India’s tender for 126 medium fighters, worth some $11 billion, is now crucial. So, Eurofighter has reworked some of its most fundamental tenets and structures, to appear more appealing to India.

Next Friday, Eurofighter boss Bernhard Gerwert will fly into Delhi to offer a new sweetener to the ministry of defence: if India chooses the Eurofighter, it can become a full-fledged manufacturing partner, the first “outsider” to crack a tightly-interwoven four-country manufacturing chain.

IMHO it's all but pre-crisis way of thinking. Now with the recession the preferences were changed as well. Now I doubt if totaly new aircraft can be 'digested' by Indian AF considering the finance problems. It's if briefly, in more broad way have written too.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby rakall » 03 Aug 2009 17:03

Igorr wrote:
Vipul wrote:Eurofighter sweetens its India offer.

With the four-nation Eurofighter consortium facing the uncomfortable reality of dwindling orders at home, India’s tender for 126 medium fighters, worth some $11 billion, is now crucial. So, Eurofighter has reworked some of its most fundamental tenets and structures, to appear more appealing to India.

Next Friday, Eurofighter boss Bernhard Gerwert will fly into Delhi to offer a new sweetener to the ministry of defence: if India chooses the Eurofighter, it can become a full-fledged manufacturing partner, the first “outsider” to crack a tightly-interwoven four-country manufacturing chain.

IMHO it's all but pre-crisis way of thinking. Now with the recession the preferences were changed as well. Now I doubt if totaly new aircraft can be 'digested' by Indian AF considering the finance problems. It's if briefly, in more broad way have written too.



The budget allocation for defence only went up in last month's budget.. No hint of recession there..

though, I hope, the conclusion in the last para of your blog - "may be american planes wont get MRCA", does indeed become true..

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Drevin » 03 Aug 2009 17:47

I ask, is the eurofighter product sooooooo bitter that it needs such regular sweetening. :-? why-o-why ?

On the other hand everything looks sooooo calm with the Rafale ..... it almost feels like something dangerous is hiding below this calm and we aint supposed to see it until its too late. :(

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 03 Aug 2009 19:00

Igorr's conclusions (on his blog) are wrong.

There is a crisis, but it is within EADS - which is why they are offering sweeteners. Indian eco is still chugging - at a slower pace granted. But, it is still on the +ve side. (BTW, the offsets are at least at 30% and some reports claim 50% - so the cost computations are bound to be wrong.)

Most of his arguments are old and tiring. They have been discussed on BR.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby negi » 03 Aug 2009 19:40

I think major reason for EF consortium sweetening the deal is this

BAE Systems' Eurofighter Typhoon factory faces closure

Britain's last fighter aircraft factory faces closure within five years after the government’s decision last week to curtail its purchases of the Eurofighter Typhoon.

The industry, founded on the Sopwith Camel in the first world war, is expected to come to an end when the last of the Typhoons rolls off the production line in 2014. The BAE Systems aircraft manufacturing plant at Warton, Lancashire, would close with the possible loss of 20,000 jobs at the site and in support trades
8)

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Drevin » 03 Aug 2009 19:53

There are two sides to this:

Firstly, I feel this is just the beginning. How many more industries will close shop in Europe because of shift in interest to the F35 fighter. Supposedly even Italy will get gradually affected. I am guessing Spain's resolve may also start shaking ....

Secondly, since we in India consider the typhoon as an MRCA contender we see it as a deadend for the indigenous UK aviation manufacturing sector. But if you turn this around...... britishers will be freaking rejoicing silently. They dont care one s@#$, because people will be employed building the absolutely fab F35. So its silly to think they are feeling sad about it. UK doesnot have to prove anything to anyone - in their own mind.

I am glad France jumped ship in the early 1980's and built the Rafale. Its got a reallllll future you know. :wink:

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Igorr » 03 Aug 2009 20:45

NRao wrote:There is a crisis, but it is within EADS - which is why they are offering sweeteners.
It could be also because they still very well want to sell their overpriced aircraft but yet realized they go to loss.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Jean_M » 03 Aug 2009 20:50

Cain Marko wrote:cross posting from the tech discussion thread
Dunno if this has been discussed before, but the SAAB offer for the dutch cost about 4.8 billion Euros for 85 gripen NGs. This included training, support and so on (no weapons though). April 2008 prices.
http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cach ... l=en&gl=us

I was looking at the EW suite and was really impressed by this little bird. Packs quite the punch. Has everything from Digital RWR, ELS, Jammers, MAWS, LWS, towed decoy, you name it.

Very, very comprehensive package overall (integrated IRST too with a swashplate AESA). Incredible range too (3500km ferry with just one EFT) and meaningful supercruise to boot. Sweet.


Note that the price of the gripen ng offered to brazil roughly matches the one offered to the dutch. However, the latter bid (and therefore I assume the former as well) was offered without weapons but includes support+training.

My guess is that the Rafale is with weapons otherwise it is ridiculously expensive. Can Jean elaborate?

CM


A bit because I don't speak portuguese (a bit of spanish) but latin related languages are quite similar. It seems full details of the offer are not available but the journalists seems to think that given the prices, the offers would include a logistical support, a weapon package and maintenance for at least 5 years.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Rahul M » 03 Aug 2009 20:55

Igorr, Indian economy grew @ around 6% and that is expected to rise, nowhere near negative growth.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 03 Aug 2009 21:25

Igorr wrote:
NRao wrote:There is a crisis, but it is within EADS - which is why they are offering sweeteners.
It could be also because they still very well want to sell their overpriced aircraft but yet realized they go to loss.


Igorr,

You have to stick to a line of thinking (irrespective of what someone else thinks).

Yes, you are right there. (IMHO - EADS is a bad option, because it is broken up (unless India gets to build the AESA + engine, I really do not see any benefits)(Then there is no future control - in which direction will the product will roll.). Their offer of engine/s for the LCA effort is perhaps great.)

The part that I disagreed with you is with your blog!!!! India does NOT have funding problems. Besides the MRCA project will (or rather should) pump into India 30-50% of the cost of the MRCA as offsets. So, when we compute costs of the MRCA please take that into account too. As I have said on numerous occasions the ERP systems that could come with a F-18 (as an example) will do tremendous good to India. More MKIs cannot help with supply chain (it does provide other benefits for sure - as you state).

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 03 Aug 2009 21:39

My opinion is that the MRCA deal will be a political decision.

At best it will be split between the US and France and at worst it will go to the US.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Igorr » 03 Aug 2009 22:19

NRao wrote: The part that I disagreed with you is with your blog!!!! India does NOT have funding problems. Besides the MRCA project will (or rather should) pump into India 30-50% of the cost of the MRCA as offsets. So, when we compute costs of the MRCA please take that into account too. As I have said on numerous occasions the ERP systems that could come with a F-18 (as an example) will do tremendous good to India. More MKIs cannot help with supply chain (it does provide other benefits for sure - as you state).

I have note too there in my blog that India suffered less then many others with the last financial turmoil. Besides, I personally glad, that the recession didnt affect India as it did in US, Europe and Russia. Always said and follow to say we have many to learn from Indians about how to organize the financial system.

But the way of Mr. M.Singh thinking may be little bit different: he as a professional more thinks about the future, not about the past but. And as I have written, the prospects arent clear yet, second wave of crisis is very possible since the main problem - the American deficite- isnt solved and even gonna worse further. So the economic atmosphere is far from to be clear and doesnt encourages excessive expenditures in reserved currencies. So, I think Manmohan will now try to keep the Indian reserves close to body, since India has no such a luxus to print dollars or euros...

On this basis I could say, that is impossible to speak about MMRCA like as the fin-capitalistic crizis and recession didnt ensue. It's global and I say about changing in polytico-economic thinking outright around the World. Nobody can assert now that politicos will follow rule like nothing happen. The name of new political mood is uncertainness and doubtfulness, the World is full of concerns about its economical future. I feel the current discourse in this thread didnt take these new changes to consideration yet.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 04 Aug 2009 00:47

Igorr wrote:
NRao wrote: The part that I disagreed with you is with your blog!!!! India does NOT have funding problems. Besides the MRCA project will (or rather should) pump into India 30-50% of the cost of the MRCA as offsets. So, when we compute costs of the MRCA please take that into account too. As I have said on numerous occasions the ERP systems that could come with a F-18 (as an example) will do tremendous good to India. More MKIs cannot help with supply chain (it does provide other benefits for sure - as you state).

I have note too there in my blog that India suffered less then many others with the last financial turmoil. Besides, I personally glad, that the recession didnt affect India as it did in US, Europe and Russia. Always said and follow to say we have many to learn from Indians about how to organize the financial system.

But the way of Mr. M.Singh thinking may be little bit different: he as a professional more thinks about the future, not about the past but. And as I have written, the prospects arent clear yet, second wave of crisis is very possible since the main problem - the American deficite- isnt solved and even gonna worse further. So the economic atmosphere is far from to be clear and doesnt encourages excessive expenditures in reserved currencies. So, I think Manmohan will now try to keep the Indian reserves close to body, since India has no such a luxus to print dollars or euros...

On this basis I could say, that is impossible to speak about MMRCA like as the fin-capitalistic crizis and recession didnt ensue. It's global and I say about changing in polytico-economic thinking outright around the World. Nobody can assert now that politicos will follow rule like nothing happen. The name of new political mood is uncertainness and doubtfulness, the World is full of concerns about its economical future. I feel the current discourse in this thread didnt take these new changes to consideration yet.


Igorr,

Couple of quick questions:

1) Will they show the latest MiG-35 (preproduction) model , the one with the cranked wing this MAKS? Will you be there to get the latest on the 35 and the K as well as any info on the IAF fulcrum upgrade?

2) Any inside scoop on the empty weight of the MiG-35 ?

Thanks

CM.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Hiten » 04 Aug 2009 01:25

lotsa quasi-obituaries being written about the EF


The Half-Full, Half-Empty Eurofighter Glass, Too


....It is pretty obvious that unless WW3 descends upon us, this will in all likelihood be the last order by the four member countries, and there will be no Tranche 3B contract. This, however, is only too logical, given the radical evolution of the strategic scenarios, and the drastic reductions in defence spending since the Eurofighter programme was originally launched.....

....None of the improvements and advanced features that were expected to be introduced with the Tranche 3 standard, and which the Eurofighter desperately needs in order to both adapt itself to the evolving operational scenarios and remain competitive on the export market, will actually be implemented.

There will be no AESA radar, no conformal fuel tanks, no TVC nozzles, no integration of weapons such as Meteor, Storm Shadow or Taurus – NOTHING. The aircraft will be fitted with electrical systems and interfaces to allow for the possible future integration of new weapons and electronic systems through retrofit programmes, but this is projected into a vague future......

.....Be this as it may, the unpalatable conclusion is that development of the Eurofighter is effectively terminated at Tranche 2 standard level. The aircraft’s development potential toward a true multi-role configuration is being thrown away......


I for one, believe this is a golden opportunity for India to step in and become part of the program. India's money would help further development and considering the sense of desperation that the original partner countries seem to be displaying, India should be able to acquire them for a good price [maybe they could then decide to deduct from India's revenue earned from mfg the export order EF's sub-assemblies, thereby showing the contracted price of the MMRCA as very low].

With other expected export orders and India being offered to be made as a hub for mfg sub-assemblies, we would stand to gain a great deal from it - both monetarily and exposure to EF's technology.

Believing that they now have no money to continue AESA development & Meteor integration, India's contract would give them that. For some years IAF should try to do with the non-AESA variant and then upgrade it to the intended specs, a Su-30 MKI redux. AFAIK TVC is not a requisite for the MMRCA

To a lesser extent, we would also get some leverage with these countries with our involvement in the programme

Would be a mighty shame if MMRCA goes to the Vipers or Grippen. IMVVHO, the EF offers a fine balance between military capability and political reasoning
Last edited by Hiten on 04 Aug 2009 01:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Aug 2009 01:35

With just one country - Russia - in the picture India has problems. What with four nations, India will never have any say in the matter. The EF - IF it is true that it does not have much support from within - needs to be sent a bunch of flowers and a thank you note. No use getting emotional and pouring funds into it.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Aug 2009 01:45

With other expected export orders and India being offered to be made as a hub for mfg sub-assemles, we would stand to gain a great deal from it - both monetarily and exposure to EF's technology.


How exactly? What am I missing? India would possibly get a wing, parts of a tail, some other components. Each nation has a task - all combined make up the entire plane. India will have access to "how it is made" - but will not make most of the stuff.

Believing that they now have no money to continue AESA development & Meteor integration, India's contract would give them that. For some years IAF should try to do with the non-AESA variant and then upgrade it to the intended specs, a Su-30 MKI redux. AFAIK TVC is not a requisite for the MMRCA


It is not they do not have funds. They see no NEED for these techs, therefore they are not willing to allocate the funds.

Same with France. France does not see a need for a AESA - they seem to have justified an AESA in support of exports.



Which is why I feel that the US is the best fit - not an exact fit nor a political fit.

As long as Pakistan exists there will be terrorists. And, as long as that threat exists - and it will for some time to come, there is bound to be a forced convergence of Indo-US "interests".

Even with Russia - very unfortunately - such a fit does not exist.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby b_patel » 04 Aug 2009 02:01

This is actually an interesting read about the EF. EADS is as desperate as Dassault to win this order. They are giving india a damn good offer Full partnership in EF consortium, involvement in future tranches (if there are any!) actual production of parts etc. The EF actually has a pretty sound export base. Saudi Arabia purchased 72 most likely will purchase more in the future, has a good chance of clinching the Swiss order, and Japan could purchase it (there is no way in hell they will recieve the F-22)
Regardless of the partner nations financial siturations I still believe that the EF is the best option for India (best exportable aircraft, best A2A fighter, virtually sanction proof all partner nations would have to agree if sanctions are to be placed with india being a partner it would never happen). Pakistan or china won't have anything comparable for 20 years atleast. Mock A2A engagement vs. F-16's is pretty impressive considering it was the tranche 2 that took on the block 52's.

Joint Force
Eurofighter prides on the support of the four countries
A FORCE Report

When Bernhard Gerwert, CEO, Military Air Systems, an integrated Business Unit of EADS Defence & Security, recently told FORCE: “It is well known, after all, that this campaign will have both a technical and a political dimension”, it was evident that Eurofighter is a serious contender for the 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirement of the Indian Air Force. The other fourth-generation MMRCAs in the race are the Gripen International’s Gripen NG, Boeing Integrated Defence System’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-16IN Super Viper, United Aircraft Corporation of Russia’s Mig-35 and Dassault’s Rafale F-3.



Let’s take the political aspects first because these will matter once the flight evaluation trials are done with. Gerwert says, “India is more than just a market; it is our preferred partner in Asia.” There is little gainsaying that the twin-engine multi and swing role Eurofighter has all that it takes to be the winner in the over USD 10 billion deal: state-of-the-art technology, enormous growth potential, technical prowess of four powerful European nations, and a determined team prepared to prove the product. Just in case the point gets missed, a senior member of the EADS team rubs it in. “Do Indians really believe that the US will transfer the electronically-scanned radar technology to them,” he wonders aloud. Whether this happens or not is a bit into the future, what FORCE saw over an extended visit to Germany and the UK was indeed scintillating.

There was the visit to the Fighter Wing JG 74, Neuburg, a tour of the sprawling Manching production plant where Eurofighters for Germany are assembled, the Royal International Air Tattoo 2009 show in Fairford, UK, where Eurofighter was a star attraction, and of course, meetings with Gerwert, and the Chiefs of the Royal Air Force and Luftwaffe amongst others in the relaxed ambience of the rural Fairford airfield.

Before FORCE had a close look at the Eurofighter progress since it flew at the Aero India 2009 in Bangalore in February, and the earlier visit of FORCE to 4th Wing at Gresseto in Italy in May 2007, Gerwert explained his strategy for the coming competition: “The challenge for us is India, where we have been invited to participate in the flight evaluation. The flight evaluation schedule will probably consist of the first part in Germany; and the second part in India for which we have been invited in February-March 2010. The third part will be the firing of missiles and dropping of bombs in Europe. I expect the flight evaluation to be completed by April-May 2010. While it is still under discussion, we could split the flight evaluation trials between Germany and the UK: the German aircraft could go to India, while the flight evaluation in Europe may become the responsibility of the Royal Air Force in the UK. If the two companies (EADS and BAE Systems) and the two nations (Germany and the UK) agree on this flight evaluation schedule, this could accrue us three advantages: One, the RAF is already equipped with the air to ground capabilities and could do the second part of demonstrating weapon systems in the UK, while the German Air Force could take its aircraft to India. Two, this will allow us a sharing of burden because flight evaluation is an expensive exercise. Moreover, the aircraft when on evaluation are not available to the respective air forces for operational purposes. And three, along with our other two core nation partners, Italy and Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom will be in a good position to display the combined capabilities of two strong nations to India.”

On the E-Scan radar (AESA), he said: “The Eurofighter Typhoon does not have this capability at present. Considering that the flight evaluation campaign is expensive, we have already told the Indian customer that this capability will not be available for the flight evaluation trials. However, when the first aircraft is delivered to them (if Eurofighter wins the campaign), it will come with the E-Scan radar capability. We have told the Indian customer that three years after the contract is signed, when we deliver the first 18 aircraft off the shelf to India, we will do so with the full capabilities, including the E-Scan radar that we have promised. The advantage that we bring to the flight evaluation trials is that we will be the only competitor which will have a contract to show for the development of the Tranche 3 capabilities which include the E-Scan radar to the Indian customer. This means that the four-nations have already agreed to develop this capability. Such a situation is not available to the other competitors. The Eurofighter consortium has already agreed to deliver the fully developed E-Scan radar to India. This is not all. EADS Defence & Security has announced the formation of a jointventure with Larsen & Toubro...

for defence electronics in India. The new company will design, develop and manufacture equipment in the fields of electronic warfare, radar and military avionics for military applications. Once the government of India approves this joint venture, it will be easier for us to transfer the E-Scan radar capability to the India customer.”

As they say, the winner stays a step ahead and Gerwert’s steps are well thought through and impressive. He says, “As part of our strategy to win the MMRCA campaign in India, we have signed a support contract for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Through this route we will bring technological know-how to India. As a second step, we are establishing our own engineering centre in Bangalore, where in the next three years I hope we can employ about 200 Indian engineers. We will allocate some defence related work from Germany to India. The consultancy contract for the LCA means that we will support with flight tests and flight evaluation. There is another dimension to our work in India. The RFP for a new engine for the LCA has just been issued and the European engine consortium Eurojet is a strong contender for that. What we are trying now with our Eurojet partners (Eurojet powers Eurofighter) is to support the LCA. This means that we could bring engine technology to India. This means that through the LCA and the joint venture with L&T, we are already on our way to bring technology to India, even before India has accepted Eurofighter Typhoon as its future MMRCA.”



The final question that FORCE could not resist asking was on the cost of the Eurofighter. It is rumoured that the aircraft is one of the most expensive one in the competition and given the fact that annual budgets are finite and in the Indian operational environment, quantity matters as much as quality, cost of the machine will not be an incidental issue. Gerwert was unruffled by this query, suggesting that he has answered it many times before. “It is an incorrect assumption to say that Eurofighter is an expensive aircraft. It is the best that you can get for your money. The only other comparable aircraft is F-22, which is more than double the cost and is not available on the market. Comparing the Eurofighter with the other competitors may not be correct as some of them are old aircraft; it is like comparing a 20-year-old car with a new car. The feedback that we are getting from India is that they are looking for the best value for money. Given the performance and the capabilities of Eurofighter, I do not think that it is an expensive aircraft,” he said.

While listening to Gerwert was interesting, visits to the manufacturer and the user were of equal importance especially when Full Operational Capability (FOC) means different things to the two. For the industry, FOC implies issues concerning hardware and software and its integration, while for the user it means a whole lot more including training on various mission profiles. FORCE’s visit to the expansive Manching plant was about knowing the manufacturer. The visit was across two sections of the assembly line; the first where parts of the aircraft brought from the four companies in four nations are assembled to make the whole machine, and the other where the power-pack and sensors are fitted inside the aircraft and it is extensively tested before being given to the user. There are two types of assembly line: flow production and node production. The first is when the parts/assemblies are fitted to make the whole aircraft; the semi-built aircraft moves through various points where specialised workers fit their assemblies/parts. The people do not move, instead the aircraft-in-the-making journeys towards completion. The second assembly section is where the aircraft, being heavy, is stationary, and various specialists come in groups to fit and test engine and sensors. While taking photographs of the flow production assembly was allowed, the nodal assembly was out of bounds for photographers. The Manching production line had delivered a total of 17 Eurofighters to the Luftwaffe in 2008 (India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bangalore assembles 13 Su-30MKI each annually). Manching also made 60 Centre Fuselage in 2008, which is its responsibility as part of the four companies division of labour, and are sent to the three partner companies; EADS CASA in Spain, Alenia in Italy and BAE systems in the UK.

EADS Germany officials are upbeat about the Eurofighter production which is already secured until 2016-17. Gerwert told FORCE that, “We are in the final stage to sign the contract for Tranche 3 in Europe and I am confident that we will get this contract before the summer break.” Eurofighter Typhoon programme started with 148 Tranche 1 aircraft with more or less air to air capability. At present, the programme is in the delivery phase of Tranche 2, which comprises a total of 236 aircraft. The difference between the two is that Tranche 2 has more air to ground capability. Tranche 3 aircraft will also comprise a total of 236 aircraft. Officials informed FORCE that it is agreed amongst the four nations that Tranche 3 will be split into Tranche 3 A with a total of 108 aircraft and the remaining Tranche 3 B aircraft. In terms of time frame, the last Tranche 2 aircraft will be delivered until 2012/2013. It is important to note that given the time frame, there will be no production gap between finishing Tranche 2 and continuation of Tranche 3. Eurofighter Typhoon also has to consider 72 aircraft which will be delivered to Saudi Arabia. Moreover, of the 15 aircraft to be delivered to Austria, 11 were given within two years, and total delivery will be completed by September this year.

This is not all. Right now, Eurofighter campaigns for exports are running in Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Japan (by BAE Systems) and of course, India. The immediate one is Switzerland, for which offers have been submitted, the flight evaluation is done, and the customer is working on the final evaluation of the competitors. The decision is expected by February 2010. The reason for reeling out these statistics was to make known that Eurofighter is an excellent fourth generation frontline aircraft which is joining the inventory of the four partner nations.

Fighter Wing 74, Neuburg

The FORCE visit to the Fighter Wing 74 in Neuburg on the picturesque Danube river was about getting to know the Eurofighter operational viewpoint. Commanding officer Wing Commander Oberst Andreas Pfeiffer came across as an affable officer and this reflected in his command; all officers of the wing that FORCE met so far took pains to answer the asked questions. In terms of time-lines, the wing acquired the first Eurofighter in July 2006 to replace the F-4 Phantom aircraft; in June 2008, the wing was assigned to NATO in the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) role, which requires the aircraft to be on a 15 minutes alert during day and night. The tasks are essentially air defence and surveillance; the aircraft flies with ease at the altitude of 45,000 feet. This wing has air policing role, wherein it can undertake intervention, stabilisation and support missions. This wing has 10 Eurofighters and will eventually get 35 aircraft. Four interesting aspects of the wing and Eurofighter were explained. The wing senior flight engineer showed the Main Data panel on the left side of the aircraft, where all activities of over 100 computers in the cockpit get automatically recorded. This is extremely useful for de-briefing as every flaw/activities worth knowing during flight is duly recorded and appropriate lessons are learnt. The second aspect is the little maintenance required by the aircraft. The senior engineer was serious when he told FORCE that his job is of a mere supervisor; even as large spares inventories are not needed, the faults are fixed quickly. This, of course, has to do with the wing organisational set-up where the wing hangers are under direct supervision of EADS experts. The airmen are tasked for maintenance work alongside the EADS staff to ensure high aircraft availability rates. The third aspect relates to training where special emphasis has been placed on simulation training. The wing has a spacious room where the real cockpit simulator has been kept. The dome on top provides real-time situational awareness to the pilot to practice tackling emergencies and air to air combat. FORCE was informed that the dome would be extended further to provide a larger picture to the pilot; this underlined the importance of the simulator which cuts the real flying time for training by half. The pilots were euphoric about the Captor fire control radar that has greater capabilities than any mechanically scanned radar. Developed and produced by the Euro-radar consortium, led by Selex Galileo’s Radar and Advanced Targeting line of business, the Captor is an X-band (8 to 12 GHz) Pulse-Doppler Radar incorporating Identification Friend Foe and S Mode transponder. The great power, about twice that of competing products, gives the Captor high resistance to active and passive ECM, as well as a long range of action.

Probably the last thing to know about the wing was its history itself. The Neuburg wing which started as a flying school in July 1912 was completely devastated in 1945 by the Allies bombing; nearly 10,000 bombs were dropped on this place. It was the proverbial rising from the ashes when this wing came alive in May 1961 and was named Jagdgeschwader 74; it was provided with F-104 Starfighters and was assigned to NATO. The wing acquired F-4F in May 1992, and finally got its present name of Flight Wing 74 in March 2005. Seeing the wing, it is difficult to imagine that it was once reduced to rubble. The next stop was to see the Eurofighter flying at RIAT 2009.

RIAT-2009

The Eurofighter does a small taxi, takes off quickly, and then pulls into a steep climb in a short and tight turn. The noise of its engines was deafening; the effect on the spectators was of total silence and nearly everybody unconsciously stood up to get a closer look at the callisthenics being performed by the aircraft. This was at the Royal International Air Tattoo 2009, a unique and impressive air show organised annually by the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. RIAT is a more informal affair than the regular air shows where the motive is business; here the opportunity is for colleagues of various air forces to meet. As ACM Sir Glenn Torpy of the RAF puts it, “It is a means of demonstrating the importance of Air Power to our collective defence”; he was referring to the fact that the theme of RIAT 2009 was to commemorate 60 years of NATO. RIAT 2009 was about small chalets packed with air forces and industry people. Outside on the grounds there was festivity. On the bright sunny day (RIAT 2008 had to be cancelled because of incessant rains), it was an outing for families, where there were three favourites: souvenirs, the flying Eurofighter and the Vulcan that provided a contrast of sorts. The Eurofighter is the newest aircraft in the four nations’ inventory, while the Vulcan, designed over 60 years ago was the RAF bomber in the Sixties.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby b_patel » 04 Aug 2009 02:09

Rafale F3 R$ 263 = 141 USD
Gripen NG R$ 132 = 71 USD
Super Hornet E/F R$ 188 = 101 USD
The airforce says all three aircraft is suitable for them so it's all about a political decision now with focus on strategic plans and ToT.

HOLY SHITBALLS!!! the Rafale is so expensive. Im going to assume that this is estimate includes training and spares and maybe an armament package? I have a feeling that Brazil will pick the Rafale. Dassault announced that they would be willing to build the 36 Rafales in Brazil if it was chosen. Honestly this is Dassault's competition to loose. The US won't transfer as much tech and the Gripen is inferior to the SH and the Rafale. But I have a feeling that Dassault will screw this up somehow I just know it.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Aug 2009 02:21

b_patel,

You NEED to provide URLs for these things. A Must.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Aug 2009 02:31

On the E-Scan radar (AESA), he said: “The Eurofighter Typhoon does not have this capability at present. Considering that the flight evaluation campaign is expensive, we have already told the Indian customer that this capability will not be available for the flight evaluation trials. However, when the first aircraft is delivered to them (if Eurofighter wins the campaign), it will come with the E-Scan radar capability. We have told the Indian customer that three years after the contract is signed, when we deliver the first 18 aircraft off the shelf to India, we will do so with the full capabilities, including the E-Scan radar that we have promised.


:)

I suspect outside of the two US planes the rest of the vendors will make the same statement.

On top of that this guy is stating that the US will not provide AESA ToT? A vendor who cannot provide a working AESA?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby ramana » 04 Aug 2009 02:49

Maybe the Rafale or Mig 35 can be considered if access to other places for research in collateral areas is allowed? That would rule out the Grippen and EF as they dont have such places or are multi-lateral partnerships. US wont give access to thise places.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby b_patel » 04 Aug 2009 02:59

b_patel,

You NEED to provide URLs for these things. A Must.
b_patel,
You NEED to provide URLs for these things. A Must.

I actually copied and pasted the article from another forum, Key Publishing (its under IAF news and discussion if you want to see it). I'll try to find the link gimme some time.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby b_patel » 04 Aug 2009 03:02

I suspect outside of the two US planes the rest of the vendors will make the same statement.
On top of that this guy is stating that the US will not provide AESA ToT? A vendor who cannot provide a working AESA?

Well the Rafales being flown in have the prototype AESAs on board. Do you really believe that the US will provide AESA tech to India for the MRCA? In your dreams, they won't give India anything. EADS and Dassault on the other hand might. They are desperate for this order, it could potentially save the programs (extend the EF production line, give the Rafale credibility with India being the first export order).

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby abrahavt » 04 Aug 2009 03:09

Rafale F3 R$ 263 = 141 USD
Gripen NG R$ 132 = 71 USD
Super Hornet E/F R$ 188 = 101 USD
The airforce says all three aircraft is suitable for them so it's all about a political decision now with focus on strategic plans and ToT.

If I was Brazil I would go with the Grippen. 90% of the Rafale's capability for 50% of the cost. Both are offering same level of TOT I presume.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Aug 2009 03:13

Do you really believe that the US will provide AESA tech to India for the MRCA?


Yes and No. (For the nth time.)

Per news reports, the RFP does NOT ask for full AESA ToT - so no on that count. What it asks for is unknown, but ALL vendors have claimed they can meet what the RFP asks for - so yes on that count. LM has stated they will provide entire book on AESA tactics. Luckily for the rest there are other techs involved. US AESA is in USE - the REST are not even in production. The most advanced IIRC - Rafale - among the non-production is not even supposed to come on line till 2012!!!

where is the contest? The guy saying "US will not provide ............." is only asking India to take the eye off the ball. Can they deliver an AESA that is as mature as what the US has got? They are so far behind.

However, at this point in time THAT is not even an issue. Even with my leaning towards the Rafale and Grip, I cannot ask them to show me what they can do when i want something they cannot provide.

This stuff about will be delivered with AESA 24 months after we win contract ...................... is a joke. What is the IAF testing when it comes to radar, when the RFP clearly asks for AESA?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Gagan » 04 Aug 2009 03:25

The Shornet is on the home stretch already, and the trials haven't begun just yet.
So the sooner this thing is wrapped up, the more beneficial it is going to be for the Shornet, the longer this takes, the eurocanards get a foot in the door.
The GOTUS is going to bear down on GoI on quickly wrapping this thing up. Also the longer the eurocanards take to deploy the AESA the lesser bargaining power GoI has over Boeing and the GOTUS, since a serious competition will be lacking.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Aug 2009 03:27

I think they have published the time line for evals.

FYI: F-18E Cleared to Fly at Higher Altitudes, Reducing Fuel Costs

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Hiten » 04 Aug 2009 03:43

NRao wrote:How exactly? What am I missing? India would possibly get a wing, parts of a tail, some other components. Each nation has a task - all combined make up the entire plane. India will have access to "how it is made" - but will not make most of the stuff.

Sir, compared to how a Viper is made, learning about how the Ef is made, would, I believe, be far more beneficial to us, esp keeping in mind the MCA & possibly LCA. Also taking in to account the inherent rigidity associated with a mass produced system of production, the mfg process associated with the SH too would bear more resemblance to the Hornet-era than anything of the late 80s- early 90s EF

Also according to Ajai Shukla's article today, as part of the sweetening, India would not just be component mfg, but also the sole system integrator of a given number of sub-assemblies which would then be shipped to other partner countries, something akin to the JSF's mfg process - a hands on experience on a more contemporary system of mfg should be beneficial for our future ventures - solo or otherwise

NRao wrote:It is not they do not have funds. They see no NEED for these techs, therefore they are not willing to allocate the funds.

Same with France. France does not see a need for a AESA - they seem to have justified an AESA in support of exports.

Considering that the Brits and the Italians are going to get an AESA with their JSFs, assuming that the Germans and Spaniards are not looking to acquire an AESA for themselves is a little difficult to accept. The AESA should very much be on their wish-list & its delopment is taking its normal course of time with all the inherent delays associated with such programs or may be constrained by a genuine fund allocation issues for it

Considering that the Brits are being hard-pressed to fund their 2 carrier building projects, the latter too could be a reason for the AESA delay


NRao wrote:Which is why I feel that the US is the best fit - not an exact fit nor a political fit.

As long as Pakistan exists there will be terrorists. And, as long as that threat exists - and it will for some time to come, there is bound to be a forced convergence of Indo-US "interests".

Completely agree with you Saar on this point. But do we have to gift all contracts to the yanquis for this. LM would be neck deep in aircraft building till 2040-50 with the JSF. Boeing too has its U(C)AVs. Not seriously affected by loss of the MMRCA. Besides we're purchasing the Reactors, P-8Is C-130 amng other things from them - lotsa money going their way. The French and EF group OTOH need a more concrete order for their crafts, both of which look very good on paper, with or without taking int account its future development.

Even the AESA, I believe, will materialise in time

India championed the NAM. Would be nice now for us to adopt an All Aligned Movement approcach The MMRCA going the European way should help further this

All said, though, if its is announced that Boeing could also offer the Growler[lite] and permission to fit it with, say, Israeli jamming pods, I might have change of heart :)

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Aug 2009 04:41

There seem to be plenty of misunderstanding I feel:

compared to how a Viper is made, learning about how the Ef is made, would, I believe, be far more beneficial to us, esp keeping in mind the MCA & possibly LCA.


Why would India need help with LCA - for sure and MCA (which perhaps needs a proper engine). India is self sufficient in design/manufacture. Unless I am missing something (and it is possible that I am), there is really nothing that they can contribute towards the LCA for sure (outside of the newer engine) and the MCA (which is modeled for all practical purposes?).

Recall that India is actually contributing towards the Russian FGFA. And, the MKI is totally an Indian thought out plane.

Also according to Ajai Shukla's article today, as part of the sweetening, India would not just be component mfg, but also the sole system integrator of a given number of sub-assemblies which would then be shipped to other partner countries, something akin to the JSF's mfg process - a hands on experience on a more contemporary system of mfg should be beneficial for our future ventures - solo or otherwise


So? what is great about that?

On contemporary mfg - there is really nothing to beat the US - supply chain, as far as I know they are the best.

Besides the RFP should rule. It is not that any vendor can provide less than that and get away. (IF India gets more than RFP, then it will have to be weight against all else - such as AESA.)

The AESA should very much be on their wish-list


that is very true. However, the wish list has to be prepared WRT reality. The problem seems to be that all EU govts seem to think they really do not have an enemy to use the AESA against - to spend all that kind of funds.

Getting an AESA with the JSF? The US spent the funds doing the research - the UK/Italy are paying for that research. France, Germany, Sweden, etc see no need (the Govts that is) to spend funds for a tech they really do not need. That does not mean their AFs do not see a need. Funds come from civis.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 04 Aug 2009 09:47

How exactly? What am I missing? India would possibly get a wing, parts of a tail, some other components. Each nation has a task - all combined make up the entire plane. India will have access to "how it is made" - but will not make most of the stuff.


Raoji,

Don't be too sure, the euros have offered the greeks not just TOT, but co-development for all critical aspects of the T3 including AESA. India can expect a LOT more. Rest assured, these boys know how to play dirty.

HOLY SHITBALLS!!! the Rafale is so expensive. Im going to assume that this is estimate includes training and spares and maybe an armament package?


Did you miss what Jean_m wrote about that particular deal (it includes weapons + support). The Gripen as pointed out earlier does not include weapons @ that $ 71 million price (based on their similar offer to the dutch).

CM.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby k prasad » 04 Aug 2009 10:43

abrahavt wrote:
Rafale F3 R$ 263 = 141 USD
Gripen NG R$ 132 = 71 USD
Super Hornet E/F R$ 188 = 101 USD
The airforce says all three aircraft is suitable for them so it's all about a political decision now with focus on strategic plans and ToT.

If I was Brazil I would go with the Grippen. 90% of the Rafale's capability for 50% of the cost. Both are offering same level of TOT I presume.


This sort of a comparison is not correct... in a war, even a 2% improvement will leap you over the enemy... and this is what every single development programme aims for. Its like a classroom, with a large number of student's bunched in the 80-90 range. But only a rare one may vault over to get to 93-94, which gets him selected. In a war, that is the advantage that you need.

The better analysis would be how many gripens u need to do the same job as one rafale - gripen has half the payload capability, and inferior EW suite. That gripen:rafale number would probably be greater than 2:1, so buying rafale may still make sense.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 04 Aug 2009 10:50

I would prefer to see IAF opts for Mig-35 on Cost , Performance standardisation of Logistics ,Weapons , Training across IN and IAF , maximum or full TOT for Mig-35 possible , maximum flexibility offered for Avionics , Weapons integration from India.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Charu » 04 Aug 2009 12:51

Mirage-2000-H has served the Indian Air Force extremely well and there is no doubt about their reliability and battle worthiness. They have also proved to be one of our frontline fighter aircraft. Now with the upgrade (Mirgae-2000-V) the IAF will be extending the lifespan for some more years.

Would it not be prudent to go for the Rafale (which is a natural successor to the Mirage line) and I think the GOI can negotiate a good price. Quality indeed comes at a price and there is no compromise when it comes to qulity and futuristic capabilities for Rafale. Rafale also has a carrier launched variant making it more prudent to induct into both Navy and Air Force.

I believe that France has been a more reliable arms supplier to India and the sale of weapons have not been undermined by large geo-political interests as has been the case with USA. USA comes with a host of agreements and treaties attached with all its arms sale. Technology R&D in aerospace / defence is in no terms inferior to USA when it comes to France, Germany and the rest of Europe. It is a wrong notion that USA always have technology superiority.

I would definitely put Dassault Rafale on the top of my wish list :)

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby rakall » 04 Aug 2009 13:24

Austin wrote:I would prefer to see IAF opts for Mig-35 on Cost , Performance standardisation of Logistics ,Weapons , Training across IN and IAF , maximum or full TOT for Mig-35 possible , maximum flexibility offered for Avionics , Weapons integration from India.



I would think the same.. Since we are upgrading the older Mig29's, it would mean commonality of fleet, weapons, logistics, training & tactics, maintainence infra etc.. OLS on Mig35 should be a huge asset.. But the fear is Unkil will force his way in..

Rafale has priced itself out.. And Mig35 with the AESA development going on - will offer India the best chance of learning the required tricks for the LRDE AESA development..

If we play our cards right - we can get ToT for SC blades.. an opportunity which we lost with the AL31 manufacturing - we shud self-whiplash our backsides for the blunder w.r.t ToT terms on AL31 manufacturing.. somewhere I read HAL decided it was more economical not to pursue ToT for SCblades due to costs involved -- what ever happened to vision?


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