MRCA News and Discussion

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Cain Marko
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 13 Jun 2009 04:17

if you offer this as a reason for why the F-18 or F-16 shouldn't be chosen, then that leaves your argument for MiG-35s with no legs..its also a reworking of a legacy airframe or as you call it "3 decades old" (which IMO is a ignorant statement, because the SH was a reworked airframe, that came into being in the 90s, and the F-16 Advanced Block 52, 60. et all have majorly re-worked airframes as well)

and at least the F-16 and F-18 are supported by other Air Forces, whereas with the MiG-35, its almost certain that we'll be the only customers in the world, since even the parent Air Force is not interested in a token purchase.


There is one distinct and important difference between the 35 reworking Vs the teen series. It seems both the teens sacrificed Airframe performance in various flight profiles. The MiG otoh, has done the opposite, improved all basic parameters by A) increasing wing area, B) providing an even greater TWR, C) TVC, D) increasing internal fuel dramatically. By adding massive weight with no corresponding increase in wing area/internal fuel, the viper sort of becomes a bomb truck in the blk 60. The issues with the super hornet are well known.

CM.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Vick » 13 Jun 2009 06:58

If Mig-35 really is the proverbial bee's knees, let's see the VVS put its money where Mig's mouth is...?
Every other type, F-16IN (Blk 60) to a lesser degree, is entrusted by its country of origin's armed forces to defend it. Why is the VVS so reluctant to take up the banner of the Mig-35?

My unsolicited opinion is that the the Rafale should make the best case, if I was pressed to choose one type. Other wise, I espouse the ABM method: Anything But Mig!

Cain Marko
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 13 Jun 2009 07:39

Dunno if its the bees knees, but it surely is no slouch. Why doesn't the VVS order some?
Perhaps cause the Russian armed forces as a whole prefers to spend its few $$$s on strategic assets? The only a/c that they have really invested in is the Su-34 that too in v. ltd nos. But there is definitely talk of newer fulcrums and flankers.

By the measure of home airforces using MRCA candidates - the blk 60 by the USAF? If the blk 50 is representative of the blk 60 to a "lesser degree", the MiG-29As and SMTs are certainly representative of the 35 for the VVS. For that matter is the gripen NG a sure thing for the swedes? Also, who is to say what version of the Rafale will be offered to the IAF? More importantly, where is the MKI used by the VVS? Certainly did not stop the IAF on pigging out on them. This does not seem to be much of an issue.

While I agree with the initial part of your opinion - Go Rafale! I'd rather see the MiG-35 than white elephants prone to congressional/presidential whims. Not to mention as Philip points out, legacy airframes that have paid the price of one peculiar change too many.

CM.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Drevin » 13 Jun 2009 08:22

As of now there is only aesa from khan i.e. apg79 and apg80. There is no competition if the mrca is decided today .... it will be f18 or f16.

The whole crux of the matter is whether the draama aesa has caught up with the khan aesa radars ..... Only then do the euro canards truly become an option in the mrca.

Hopefully thales can destroy any doubts whatsoever regarding its capabilities. I'd really like them to prove that mk2 rbe2aesa can use all mk1.....mkn of meteor at full capacity. Otherwise there is no argument for going with a eurocanard!!

Cost is an issue but its not a deal stopper!! Hopefully strategic concerns are of prime importance than paying a couple more million bucks for these aircraft.

Top contenders should be just that .... offer the same tech as their competitors but without all the problems, both strategic and technical.

Among all the competitors the f16 and mig35 represent a solo effort for us and would need a mamoth effort to justify. With no future these planes need not have been invited for flight trials!!

Eurocanards have long lives in their respective airforces well into the late 2020's before europe moves to the 5th gen platform post 2030.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Vick » 13 Jun 2009 09:01

Aside from a few IN deliveries, MiG has no future. Even Algeria returned some Mig-29SMTs for poor build quality and surprise surprise lack of after sales support from MiG. Seems to be a continuing theme from MiG.

Regarding the MKI, the IAF knew that it was going to be a multi year project to get a custom bird up and running and into IOC, FOC and finally in the Mk3 config. The IAF was willing to wait. With the MRCA acquisition, the IAF has made it clear that the main point of the MRCA is to immediately stop the decline in force levels that will happen with the block obsolescence of the Mig-21, Mig-23, Mig-27 and early Jags next decade. Hence, IAF has been clear that it is looking for a turnkey solution, not a multi year codevelopment session. Requirements for the MKI prog is very very different from the MRCA prog.

Also, the difference between F-16 Blk 50 and Blk 60 is much much smaller than the difference between the Mig-29A and the Mig-35. The only things similar between a Mig-29A and the Mig-35 might be the copper in the wires and the aluminum alloy in the rivets. All the other innards are totally different, whereas the Blk 50s and Blk 60s share MUCH more in common.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 13 Jun 2009 09:13

NRao wrote:..
BUT, I do nto expect India to stand still - at least hope not. An Indian AESA should be out in 10 years I would hope.
....?

May be true, but no use for MRCA. Take for example Israeli Elta 2052 AESA for F16i. Raytheon and Mr Hyde jackalled and hounded the israelis saying if they tinker anything with radars, they would pull out of many contractual obligations for JSF.

Isrealies quietly kept these for Aero India demos and sales rather fitting them on their solas.

bottom line, Raytheon and SD would not be any different or better than they have been with Israelies. For India, it might be even tougher to integrate desh born AESA on to MRCA.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby PratikDas » 13 Jun 2009 09:50

pandyan, I hope you're being sarcastic!

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SivaVijay » 13 Jun 2009 11:07

Hi,

While there are so much discussions on Rafale , The Mig and the Americans.... the Typhoon does seems to be a strong contender...

- It is operational , so no ifs and whens it is here and now...(And tech is not as old as 16 or 18)
- It can supercruise... :twisted: (If we are planning this capability in MCA better to learn in advance)
- It's armament is not much different from Rafael and has got better T/W and service ceiling.

I couldn't get much on the Radar though, some gurus here can help here...even if it is not AESA , will it be difficult to marry one to the aircraft?

It's European so the Chinese embargo is there...

My question is Typhoon does seem to have a very good balance unlike the other contenders, then why not is that being seriously discussed even here in BR?

Since the whole MRCA is not only to enhance the fleet but also to bring the country's tech front I think typhoon is good since it will give us today's tech(not old nor expect tomorrow) and I think that is great cause we ca immediately apply lessons learnt to MCA...or even FGFA...

Are there issues in Typhoon TOT...?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby kit » 13 Jun 2009 11:57

X posting

Attn:Something for every one

Download the latest edition of Military Fleet Report 2009 here

http://www.flightglobal.com/milfleetreport (You will need to register .. if you don't want to, mail me at bspammail at gmail dot com

Also it underlines why the Indian MRCA contract has long term consequences for both the country and the Global fighter aircraft industry as a whole.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby b_patel » 13 Jun 2009 12:00

My question is Typhoon does seem to have a very good balance unlike the other contenders, then why not is that being seriously discussed even here in BR?

Since the whole MRCA is not only to enhance the fleet but also to bring the country's tech front I think typhoon is good since it will give us today's tech(not old nor expect tomorrow) and I think that is great cause we ca immediately apply lessons learnt to MCA...or even FGFA...

Are there issues in Typhoon TOT...?

The typhoon has been discussed in earlier pages. I have always said that it was the best possible choice for the MRCA contest. Its the best Air superiority fighter in the competition and after the A2G integration is completed it will match the others in that role. Most people rag on the Typhoon for its cost and lack of current A2G integration. But you get what you pay for, you're not paying for a cheap Mig the costs 50 Million your paying for the 2nd best air superiority fighter currently in production which costs twice as much. IT has the lowest RCS of any of the fighters
There are no issues with Typhoon TOT to my knowledge. India has been invited as a formal partner in the consortium. Which to my knowledge means full TOT, why would you otherwise be made a partner.
The second benefit of the Typhoon is that its engine can be used in the LCA, they have even offered a proposed TVC version of the engine especially for India.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SivaVijay » 13 Jun 2009 12:05

The typhoon has been discussed in earlier pages


What I meant is that the way the discussions are concentrating on a selected set of platforms, the Typhoon already feels as a also running....and since BR have a history of being bang on target I almost feel that the Typhoon is out of the competition :(

added later:
IMHO TVC on LCA is a overkill....

But it's great if we can be partners, we can very well have production line and cater to the Asian market :wink:
Surely when India goes for Typhoon some more will follow suit since we are a very demanding customer...

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby k prasad » 13 Jun 2009 13:32

PratikDas wrote:But the only country here that's not sleeping with both sides seems to be US, right?


Every seller is a courtesan... the punter who pays the most gets exclusive (almost) access :mrgreen: .

Now, coming to US, they unfortunately have the bad habit of one-night stands and weird infatuations... we never knw when they will fall in love with Ayatollahs of the Nuclear kind, or Musharrafs of the Pakistani Variety... and everyone knows that love is bad for business...

I'd rather trust a thoroughly professional France, rather than an unpredictable Khan... at least we'll know when France will sleep with someone else, and for how much... :lol:

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 13 Jun 2009 13:49

Kartik,with regards to the airframe or the aerodynamic aspects of the competing aircraft,at Aero-India a Brit pilot who has flown all the competing aircraft including early German MIG-29s,told me that when I asked him about the MIG-35's combat abilities with its 3-D TVC,said that "nothing,nothing flies like the MIG-35" and that generally speaking,Russian aircraft had the best aerodynamics.He was touting the Typhoon at the show because of it having the best "user friendly" cockpit where all the info was delivered to the pilot better than its rivals and could carry a massive and varied weaponload for multi-role use.Also remember that the MIG-29 does belong to a later generation than either the F-18 or F-16.

Having said all that,a lot depends upon the AESA radar's capabilities of the MIG-35.The Russians have unveiled an AESA radar which was on the MIG-35 that performed at Aero-India-for the benefit of our pilots,but it will have to prove to be the equal at least of other western radars,or meeting the specs required by the IAF,There is a chance that if this aircraft is chosen, an Israeli radar might be used aboard,perhaps the Elta-2052,which is also being touted for the LCA.EADS have offered a 3-D TVC for the LCA from Eurojet which was displayed in a poster at Aero-India.Here are some details.

http://typhoon.starstreak.net/Eurofighter/engines.html

The EJ200's TVC nozzle is a joint project lead by Spain's ITP and involving Germany's MTU. Preliminary design of the system began in mid-1995 at ITP, the proceeding years involved work by both ITP and MTU to deliver a fully functional EJ200 integrated system. The outcome of this research led to the first 3DTVC equipped EJ200 undergoing rig trials in July 1998. The nozzle requires relatively few modifications or additions to be made to the EJ200; a new hydraulic pump, reheat liner attachment upgrades, casing reinforcement, new actuators and associated feed equipment. More importantly the equipment fits within the engines current installation envelope and therefore no changes will need to be made to the Typhoon to accommodate the system.


While the possibility exists that the Typhoon can also be acquired with TVC,the cost would be perhaps prohibitive,as the basic aircraft is in the region of about "$120m per unit".Some reports even indicate that it would be $150m! The Rafale is according to some sources,about $50m+ only (offered to some countries,probably without the AESA radar,which ups the price for the aircraft with other sources saying that it would be $100m+ at least),upto If the latter figure is more accurate,the aircraft would have a much better chance than the Typhoon and a close conntender with the MIG-35 at $40m per unit.The F-18 at "flyaway cost" is at 2009 prices,$55 m per unit,while the F-16 ranges from $45m to about $75 for the Block-60 version.

Whatever the capabilities of the competing aircraft,unit price ,maintenance and operating costs and life span of engines,etc.,will definitely be a major factor given the current circumstances.

There is an interesting report on non-US AESA radar devlopment including India, at this site.
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread174590/pg1

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 13 Jun 2009 14:27

It feels like many people missed the first line in my post:

(note: The following assumes that technology transfer and sovereignty issues are worked out. If they aren't then, none of this matters. But assuming it is . . .)

The procurement staff is going to be extra careful to get the proper assurances that are iron-clad and sanction-proof (whether through treaties or blueprints or both or something else) and ferret out any unacceptable language in the contract. I have full confidence that IF they give it the greenlight, then there isn't going to be anything that can come back and bite India.

Some of you may also find this story interesting:

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2009/06/11/boein ... -policies/

It was a bit jarring to hear Boeing’s top military salesman say the Obama administration’s export polices are looking better than they did under the Bush administration
. . .
“I think we see a more active discussion on these things,” Raymond said, noting rhetoric from the Obama administration about working more closely with allies and ensuring they have the capabilities they need to work with the US.


Note that Boeing makes the SH.

Now let me address a few of the other issues that have been brought up:


1. Tech Transfer

If tech transfer is your goal, selecting the MiG-35 makes absolutely NO SENSE. You are already getting the best Russia has to offer (including AESA) in the FGFA. What do you hope to get from the MiG-35 that you can't get from the FGFA?

There are a lot of claims that the eurocanards are more advanced than the SH. The main argument seems to be aerodynamic performance of the airframe. The thing is, that is not something that transfers over well. Sure you can get the detailed specs of how exactly to build one, but that doesn't give you any insight into WHY it was made that way or HOW to design one yourself.

As far as actual manufacturing skills required (which is what you could hope to build up), they are all remarkably similar.



2. Kinetics

People still seem to think this is WWI and we're flying around in dogfights trying to put our nose on the enemy plane. In modern combat, the airframe is just a platform for its sensors and weapons. Those sensors and weapons are far more important than the platform. Now, obviously there are limits and you can't just load up a 747, but it has far less impact than many here suspect.

People bring up stuff like 'the EF destroyed 3 F-16 in Singapore!', but they don't realize that most of that was the sensors and weapon system. A modern SH would have destroyed the F-16s just as easily is not easier.


3. Obsolescence


While the SH may be inferior in kinetics, it is in no way inferior in the electronics, which is what actually matters. The others don't even have AESA yet! To say that their electronics are superior is laughable.

On the other hand, I actually agree that it is obsolescent. The fact is that ALL the aircraft in the MRCA competition are obsolete because none of them have stealth. So unless you're going to go for an all-stealth fleet like the US and get the F-35, arguing over which old design is slightly less obsolescent than the other is arguing over which of the Golden Girls is the hottest.

I could write a nice little article on the F-35 and India, but I'm limiting myself to planes that are actually in the MRCA competition.


4. The Future

No matter how good the MiG-35 is now, where will it be in 20 years? Given how absolutely crucial sensors and weapons are to fighter performance, I would rather be in an F-5 with 2029 sensors and weapons than be in a MiG-35 with 2009 sensors and weapons. Both the MiG-35 and Gripen-NG have no future outside of what India manages to do by itself.

The F-16 will undoubtedly have a lot of upgrades available for it, but none of it will for a tier-1 nation.

The EF SHOULD be fully supported well into the future since it is the frontline fighter of several tier-1 nations. That's certainly what I would expect. However . . . there are doubts. Despite showing a mastery of aerial combat, Singapore skipped it because it wasn't clear when or even if it's ground package would be funded. They still don't have an operational AESA.

The Rafale is in a similar situation, where you think it certainly SHOULD BE supported, but the evidence gives you pause as to whether it actually WILL BE.

The difference between the US DELIVERY and the Euro PROMISE of new technology is actually quite easy to explain. The US is at war more often than not and thus NEEDS the capabilities. Europe hasn't been heavily involved in a war in quite some time and the people and politicians don't believe they will be in a war for quite some time. Thus it is easy to justify stealing money from some military development program for a capability that will never be used and spending it on some social program instead.

If you believe that the US is going to be involved in conflicts for the next 20 years, then you have to believe that the US will continue funding and DELIVERING updates to its fighters.


4. Integration with the Indian fleet

Someone raised the concern about how the SH would integrate with the rest of the Indian fleet. Well, you could ask the same question about any of the contenders as they will all require separate logistics. You would be hard pressed to find much of any worthwhile commonality.

Would the Rafale be any cheaper because of the Mirage 2000, a plane with which it shares no engines or weapons?

Would the Eurofighter be cheaper because of (nonexistent) commonality with the Jaguar?

Even the MiG-35 doesn't share much commonality with the MiG-29.

Ultimately, this is a question about money and what is cheapest route. And if the question is money, then the SH is undoubtedly the answer, both for acquisition and life-cycle costs.

More importantly, the whole point of the MRCA is to REPLACE all those legacy planes. By the time the MRCA is arriving in numbers, the MiG-27 and MiG-21 and MiG-29 and Jaguar and Mirage 2000 will all be rapidly retiring.

To limit yourself because of planes that you soon won't have seems odd.


5. What is the point of the MRCA?

Vick wrote:Regarding the MKI, the IAF knew that it was going to be a multi year project to get a custom bird up and running and into IOC, FOC and finally in the Mk3 config. The IAF was willing to wait. With the MRCA acquisition, the IAF has made it clear that the main point of the MRCA is to immediately stop the decline in force levels that will happen with the block obsolescence of the Mig-21, Mig-23, Mig-27 and early Jags next decade. Hence, IAF has been clear that it is looking for a turnkey solution, not a multi year codevelopment session. Requirements for the MKI prog is very very different from the MRCA prog.


This is exactly right and why I have been stressing 'NO DRAMA'.

People say stuff like, 'Well even if the EF doesn't have AESA now, surely it could be integrated!'. Well sure it could, but at what cost and in what timeframe? With the SH there is no cost and no question.

The SH is guaranteed to be fully functional, to have world class support, and to have full funding for future upgrades.

I'll close with a cute little story some of you might like.

http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/politi ... king-good/

today the House Armed Services Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee appears set to pass along a multi-year request for Navy aircraft that includes the F-18s.

While no numbers of planes are mentioned, a multi-year request typically is for five years and 150 aircraft.


The President doesn't want this, the military didn't request this, but a couple of congressmen kick up a fuss about jobs in their district and suddenly ANOTHER 150 Super Hornets are on their way to the USN. That's practically the entire MRCA order added just like that. This obviously hasn't been finalized and anything can happen in politics, but it is clear that the SH has a bright future ahead of it. It's well on it's way to achieving C-17 status as a program that is simply impossible to kill ;)

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Lalmohan » 13 Jun 2009 15:40

^^^ SH makes sense as a 'medium interim' type until Pak-FA, but not if medium --> long, in which case the EF and Rafale give us more options. that is the nub of the matter

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Drevin » 13 Jun 2009 17:06

I thought the mrca is long term .... its replacement (mca) isn't even on the drawing board :P

Our sky warriors into 2020 will be:

-fgfa
-mki
-mrca
-lca mk2

Thats an awesome line up. jingo's would include mca in that list too :mrgreen:

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Jamal K. Malik » 13 Jun 2009 19:47

Vendors employing Direct Sales Agents for MMRCA deal?
http://www.stratpost.com/vendors-employing-direct-sales-agents-for-mmrca-deal
Now we can understand, some people with nice articles are doing here. Perhaps same jobs,I mean DSA :) :)

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 13 Jun 2009 19:51

Lalmohan wrote:^^^ SH makes sense as a 'medium interim' type until Pak-FA, but not if medium --> long, in which case the EF and Rafale give us more options


I'm curious as to what you mean by this.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby naird » 13 Jun 2009 20:52

GeorgeWelch wrote:
Lalmohan wrote:I'm curious as to what you mean by this.


Guess he means that F 18 airframe has been around for quite a long time...some people feel that the upgrade potential is considerably less when you compare it with Rafale or Typhoon (new airframes)..Also the fact that F18 will be replaced by F35 supports the above theory.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 13 Jun 2009 21:31

naird wrote:Guess he means that F 18 airframe has been around for quite a long time...some people feel that the upgrade potential is considerably less when you compare it with Rafale or Typhoon (new airframes).


And to that I would say upgrade potential is more driven by available room for new gadgets, and the SH is plenty big.

Just look at how the Su-27 airframe has evolved because it has space for upgrades. It was first introduced in 1977, but would you consider it lacking in growth potential?

The first Super Hornet flew in 1995, 18 years after the Su-27.

naird wrote:Also the fact that F18 will be replaced by F35 supports the above theory.


And that is based on a misunderstanding of the USN's procurement strategy. The F-35 is NOT replacing the SH, it is replacing the legacy Hornet (F/A-18 A-D).

The USN has almost 600 legacy hornets that are nearing the end of their service life, despite maintenance efforts to take from the designed 6000 hours to 10000 hours.

The USN has absolutely no plan to get rid of the SHs and they are very much a part of the Navy's future.

You don't contemplate getting 150 MORE aircraft over the next 5 years if you don't like them and see them as a part of your future

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sam_kamath » 13 Jun 2009 21:52

GeorgeWelch wrote:The first Super Hornet flew in 1995, 18 years after the Su-27.

naird wrote:Also the fact that F18 will be replaced by F35 supports the above theory.


And that is based on a misunderstanding of the USN's procurement strategy. The F-35 is NOT replacing the SH, it is replacing the legacy Hornet (F/A-18 A-D).


I have one small question Sir...
India never ever keeps the platform "Pure" It likes to mix and match avionics/missiles etc.. even the Mirage 2000 which was considered so perfect by the IAF was not spared. The IAF did add to it the capability to launch russian missiles from it.

The US track record suggests something else ..the Israeli Air force (americas best friends) was not allowed to even integrate their own avionics with the F/16...

Do you think it will be any different with India...

Other companies who have done business with India before are arguing precisely that..

some one says we will give complete source code.. some one else says we will take up joint integrations of third party avionics.. and some one else says we can make you partners so you have complete freedom to mix and match...

This is one thing Missing from any US offers... well they have not even told us if they will give TOT of the avionics present on the platform itself..

This is not a DRama Free but an extremely risky solution..
remember it is not a good idea to equate the US navy as a buyer with the Indian airforce.. one is a US entity and one is not.. ..and in this world it makes a BIG difference..

try seeing this point and then tell us what you think..

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 13 Jun 2009 22:05

sam_kamath wrote:the Israeli Air force (americas best friends) was not allowed to even integrate their own avionics with the F/16...


That appears to be incorrect

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... /f-16i.htm

The Sufa has been customized with new avionic technologies, internally mounted FLIR, forward looking infrared, viewers, and cutting edge weapon system hardware provided by the Israeli defense company Lahav - a division of Israel Aircraft Industries. The Lahav technology will allow for simultaneous, multi-target air-to-air engagement and increased standoff and survivability capabilities.



sam_kamath wrote:Do you think it will be any different with India...


Ultimately this is where you have to trust your procurement officials to do their job correctly and obtain all the necessary guarantees before signing off on any contract

If the US offer is unsatisfactory, I'm sure they will catch it and block it.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 13 Jun 2009 22:07

its the integration of el2052 aesa radar on f16i that was not allowed by raytheon., and google can provide you the details of the storyline. btw, ToTing the 2052s with an additional tinker license could enable us work towards more indigenous efforts on AESA radar, especially the indian tech schools/ institutions are focused on AlGaN research.

==PS:

NOT ON U.S. FIGHTERS

As for potential customers of the new radar, industry officials acknowledged that U.S. government restrictions prevent Elta or its parent company, Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd., from integrating the new radar in U.S. F-16 and F-15 fighters flown by the Israel Air Force. Similarly, the planned U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is not a candidate for the EL/M 2052, since the Pentagon is insisting that only a home-grown U.S. radar will be offered with the new aircraft.

http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/2005/ ... radar.html
Interviewed during a visit to Israel on March 28, the Lockheed Martin executive said: “The Israelis can’t add a radar to their own F-16s or any F-16s on the market, for that matter, without permission from Lockheed Martin and the U.S. government. Without approval to provide the software interface, those aircraft cannot be supported … and I seriously doubt that there will be a change in U.S. policy regarding software source codes anytime in the foreseeable future.”

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 13 Jun 2009 22:28

SaiK wrote:its the integration of el2052 aesa radar on f16i that was not allowed by raytheon.


Well, I'm not sure why you would want to replace the APG-79 anyways ;)

Israel has been free to add their own EW kits and AAMs

One thing to remember is that Israel has absolutely ZERO leverage on this issue since they are basically given the planes for free.

India's situation is very different as they are actually buying the planes and have a competitive bid process.

And I'm sure they will use that leverage to extract whatever guarantees they need.

sam_kamath
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sam_kamath » 13 Jun 2009 22:47

GeorgeWelch wrote:
sam_kamath wrote:the Israeli Air force (americas best friends) was not allowed to even integrate their own avionics with the F/16...


That appears to be incorrect

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... /f-16i.htm

Ultimately this is where you have to trust your procurement officials to do their job correctly and obtain all the necessary guarantees before signing off on any contract

If the US offer is unsatisfactory, I'm sure they will catch it and block it.


Well that was just a consolation prize ... The Israeli Air force have a very potent radar EL/M-2052 which was not allowed to be a part of the F/16 ... Can you please tell me why the Israeli AESA radar is not a part of the aircraft..

In any case as you said correctly nither you are selling those aircrafts nor am I buying them, and I certainly hope those who are spending the 12 billion know what they are doing. But I wanted to call out the "No Drama" part of your post... For an aircraft on which even the know how transfer of the existing tech is an ambiguity forget the part where we can mix and match things on it... it was a bit difficult to swollow when you to called it "No Drama"

I wish more people understood where India is technologically...
we are not looking for mere airframes..we have designed and built airframes which match F-22's for the use of composites, our mission computers replace Israeli and french ones on the SU-30..
Understand what we are looking at when we want a MRCA we are looking at something which is contemporary, available quickly yet something which is adaptable ..something which can be changed by us and can be a source of learning newer technology...BUt over and above all that we want something "which we can use when we want to use that platform" not when some third nation congress thinks it is correct to use it.. if you can search what the Malaysian air chief had to say about the F-18's they have you might know what i mean...

However if you can please make up a case for the F/18's with the above mentioned parameters ... yes I would be all ears...

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 13 Jun 2009 22:56

Well it is entirely based on rfp and to the level APG79 would be source coded to fire weapons of Israeli, Indian and Russkie origin.

Motivations are that IAF (Indian) desires to have weapons be fired from all possible future a/cs. I may have not read this as a requirement, but surely a nice to have feature that most or many ex-IAF and forces agree. The reasoning for such a requirement may be strategic, defence related or politics related, or a combination of all.

We have also read that APG79s would be the least tech transfered item perhaps along with precision engineering turbine components and mission computing software. One of the biggest advantage of having to go do Su30MKI is exactly to have a force multiplier to have a home grown mission computer in it, along with other communication and avionics LRUs, being Indian.

Hence, since MKI was the latest and the largest Indian order for fighter a/c, my understanding is that such features may be part of RFP.

assumptions of course, but most likely to have based on past experience. I understand that Indian bidding process should derive some of these aspects and we may see such is a possibility during the evaluation process to begin shortly., and news media might leak this and that.

SH is sure a hot candidate competing mostly with Rafale. An engine that supports both LCA Mk2 and SH can make this easy for Boeing like slicing the butter. If the engine order goes to EF200, then Rafale has a better chance from technical speak. The new Indo-US relationship can have entirely different set of attributes, that our parliamentarians (babooze) would en-cash.

It would be nice, if we have the inspection regime detailed documents made public.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 13 Jun 2009 23:04

sam_kamath wrote:For an aircraft on which even the know how transfer of the existing tech is an ambiguity


It is only an ambiguity to us because we aren't directly involved in the negotiations.

They will know exactly what tech transfer will be involved when they sign the contract.

sam_kamath wrote:forget the part where we can mix and match things on it


You will be able to put your own parts on it.

sam_kamath wrote:contemporary, available quickly yet something which is adaptable ..something which can be changed by us and can be a source of learning newer technology


Sounds exactly like the SH to me.

sam_kamath wrote:we want something "which we can use when we want to use that platform" not when some third nation congress thinks it is correct to use it..


You will be able to.

How do I know? Because it is a requirement of the contract.

sam_kamath wrote:if you can search what the Malaysian air chief had to say about the F-18's they have you might know what i mean...


Malaysia wasn't buying 126 and potentially over 200 either. Money talks.

My point is, it is not something for us to worry about.

Either they will come to acceptable terms with the US in which case all your concerns will have been alleviated, or they won't and the whole discussion is moot.

This is going to be such an intensely scrutinized deal, that if it passes you can be confident that there won't be any "gotha's".

Fretting over getting SH and THEN hitting a problem is nonsensical. If it gets that far, there won't be any problems.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 14 Jun 2009 03:27

This is one thing Missing from any US offers... well they have not even told us if they will give TOT of the avionics present on the platform itself..


Where did you get this one from? What does the RFP say?

As a FYI only:

USN :: Hornet vs. Super Hornet

can fly up to 40% farther on a typical interdiction mission.
can remain on station 80% longer during a typical combat air patrol scenario.



F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

The US Navy F/A-18 E and F Super Hornet maritime strike attack aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, flew for the first time on November 29 1995. The Super Hornet is about 25% larger than its predecessor, the F/A-18C/D, but contains 42% fewer structural parts. The single-seat F/A-18/E and the two-seat F/A-18/F fly greater ranges with heavier payloads, have more powerful engines and provide greater survivability.


So much for 1970 design. How current?

The first low-rate initial production aircraft was delivered in December 1998, and all 12 of the first batch were delivered by November 1999.

In February 1999, the US Navy placed an order for 30 Super Hornets, in addition to the 12 already ordered. Following successful completion of operational evaluation, in June 2000 the USN ordered 222 fighters to be produced over the next five years.

"The Super Hornet is a maritime strike attack aircraft." The first full-rate production aircraft was delivered in September 2001. Over 200 aircraft have been delivered.

A second multi-year contract was signed in January 2004 for 42 aircraft to be purchased between 2005 and 2009. Total requirement is for at least 545 aircraft.


And, to think of it only the SH came in full form. The rest either are not there at all (MiG-35) or come in versions (Grippen, EF, Rafale).

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby a_kumar » 14 Jun 2009 06:17

GeorgeWelch wrote:Either they will come to acceptable terms with the US in which case all your concerns will have been alleviated, or they won't and the whole discussion is moot.

This is going to be such an intensely scrutinized deal, that if it passes you can be confident that there won't be any "gotha's".


Leaving technical side of things aside, any deal that "NEEDS to be put in excrutiatingly great detail" is already set to be a messy affair. Getting caught up in choosing every word and phrase, will invariably create more chinks in armor. It sounds counter-intuitive, but infact, the greater the detail, the greater the loopholes, depending on how badly one sides reads the other side.

At some point, it comes down to faith in the opposite party. It is highly lacking, justifybly so.

US congress is notorious for being meddlesom and unpredictable beast. The only way to deal with Congress is to have either one of US polity/media/pentagon/think-tanks reasonably pro-India. While the winds in Indo-US relations have been changing in past decade, it is miles away from being capable of guarding India's interests, unlike Jewish/Arab influence, heck even China and Pakistan have better handle with sauve commentators and writers.

So please, "NO DRAMA" ?

GeorgeWelch wrote: If it gets that far, there won't be any problems.


Not so fast, ever heard of "sinker"?

There are two things at play here.
- lack of trust in US intensions to deal fairly (case in point : US Travel Adivisory?? when other countries are OK)
- lack of trust in the Indian side to be sauve/slick enough to play the US game

Until India gets a foot in the US centers of power, any buy should be big enough to keep US engaged, but small enough to keep US from getting any bright ideas.

So, where does MRCA fall in this spectrum?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby SaiK » 14 Jun 2009 08:17

well its not lack of trust on US travel advisory to India.. while India is free to do reciprocate or have its own trust on advisory that is entirely based on threat perceptions. the laws and implementation of such are stricter and hence every american is scared of the other filing a suite against.. hence its valid enough for them not to trust against H1N1 etc.. that argument is a simple OT.

furthermore, losing Indian MRCA order for Amrikhans is nothing.. the money can be gotten from obama's left pocket. Its about feel factor, defence and strategic tie ups, and establishing relationships. if that is a safe assumption, then US must feel safe enough to try out providing extensive tech transfer, while India adhere to the export laws, and tech and IPRs etc.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 14 Jun 2009 08:27

a_kumar wrote:At some point, it comes down to faith in the opposite party. It is highly lacking, justifybly so.


It is obvious there is a lot of distrust and dislike (even hatred ;)) for the US from the Indian side, but I can tell you from my viewpoint that it is totally one-sided.

India is well-regarded in the US. Sure there's some "They're stealing our jurbs!" sentiment, but everyone is quite positive about the country itself.

The US is not trying to screw India, looking through every detail and going "Aha! Now we've got them!"

If our export restrictions seem onerous and overbearing, they are the result of decades of experience and thousands of sales. We've exported weapons all over the globe and we have routinely been bit by customers using our weapons either against our interests or in ways that embarrass us. Each rule was created with the best of intentions, but the sum total sometimes becomes oppressive.

Just as you have had bad experiences with the US and are skittish about future deals with them, so the US has had bad experiences with weapons sales and is skittish about how they will be used.

I understand that rebuilding trust takes time, but I feel this is a good project to do it on. It's big enough to be substantive but small enough as to not endanger India's sovereignty or anything.

It's for a non top-of-the-line fighter that will comprise just a part of the fleet. Even without the MRCA, you will still have the Su-30MKIs and LCAs and FGFAs and either the MCA or the remaining legacy fleet.

From a strategic point of view, the only country that is a real threat to India is China. And if China tried to do something to India, I can assure you that the US would be all over that. Not only would there be no restrictions, we would be funneling you all sorts of supplies and weapons and intelligence assuming we didn't hit China directly ourselves.

The economic ties between our countries are far closer now than they were back then so suddenly there is a strong commercial incentive to keep India happy, but more than that, Americans genuinely like India and want to see it succeed. That might not come through in what you see, but it is true.

I realize that some of you might doubt that, and understandably so, but the question is what do you do now?

You can bury your head in the sand and unilaterally reject any American dealings now and forevermore or you can allow the US to demonstrate its goodwill and start taking steps to rebuild a strong and positive relationship.

As an American, I truly can not see anything that would cause the US to cutoff India at this point short of an attempt to annex Pakistan, so to me all the talk of risk is silly. I simply don't see anything drastic like that happening.

That said, I understand that you don't share my view, so the deal will include both legal and technical safeguards. With detailed blueprints of the plane and components, what could the US really cutoff anyways? Iran received nothing like that and yet managed to keep their F-14s (a far more complex plane) flying for 30 years without any US support. I'm sure the Indian engineers are at least as competent as the Iranian ones. But unless Indian students overrun the US embassy and hold the embassy officials hostage for over a year while shouting 'Death to America!' it simply isn't an issue.

Heck, the US still supports Venezuela's F-16s even after all the anti-US posturing of Chavez. True they don't sell upgrades to them (as that would be a new sale), but they do support what they have.

If the US will support the F-16s of the virulently anti-American Chavez, they will support the SHs of India.

ChandraS

Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby ChandraS » 14 Jun 2009 09:13

GeorgeWelch wrote:If our export restrictions seem onerous and overbearing, they are the result of decades of experience and thousands of sales. We've exported weapons all over the globe and we have routinely been bit by customers using our weapons either against our interests or in ways that embarrass us. Each rule was created with the best of intentions, but the sum total sometimes becomes oppressive.

Just as you have had bad experiences with the US and are skittish about future deals with them, so the US has had bad experiences with weapons sales and is skittish about how they will be used.

I understand that rebuilding trust takes time, but I feel this is a good project to do it on. It's big enough to be substantive but small enough as to not endanger India's sovereignty or anything.


The bolded part is self explanatory. I recall a US official making a statement sometime back that rival countries having US weaponry didn't fight or hardly fought! It was spun as a positive statement but its implications was what you wrote in bold. Hence the statement - One does not buy but merely leases US weapons :)

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby p_saggu » 14 Jun 2009 09:42

GeorgeWelch wrote: And if China tried to do something to India, I can assure you that the US would be all over that. Not only would there be no restrictions, we would be funneling you all sorts of supplies and weapons and intelligence assuming we didn't hit China directly ourselves.

That said, I understand that you don't share my view, so the deal will include both legal and technical safeguards. With detailed blueprints of the plane and components, what could the US really cutoff anyways?

:rotfl:
Now we are talking geopolitics. Making an assertion is as easy as pressing a few keyboard buttons. Reality is much different.
And to date reality and history and current happenings suggest the direct opposite of what you are outlining.

The fact is, the moment India does anything that US policy does not like (It does not have to extend to a level of holding the US embassy hostage for a year), all hell WILL break loose. The US WILL put on the squeeze at every possible choke point they have.
That is how immature the US government machinery is. These guys just think of their 4 years in office. Their vision and future planning it seems is just 4 years or 8 years deep.
Why get into unnecessary panga by giving the US that extra leverage, when we don't yet have the leverage to get the US to do something that is right and correct. (Terrorism directed towards India from Pakistan, the huge list of terrorists hiding in Pakistan)

Today, perhaps the only negative issue that the SH has is that it is an American Aircraft. Perhaps it just might be an issue that'll prove to be fatal.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 14 Jun 2009 09:55

p_saggu wrote:The fact is, the moment India does anything that US policy does not like (It does not have to extend to a level of holding the US embassy hostage for a year), all hell WILL break loose. The US WILL put on the squeeze at every possible choke point they have.


Venezuela does all sorts of stuff the US doesn't like.

The US still supports their F-16s.

Unless you anticipate India behaving significantly worse than Venezuela (and I don't), there isn't a problem.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby p_saggu » 14 Jun 2009 10:07

Why don't we wait until Venezuela actually has to use those F-16 should a 'situation' develop on its borders.
We'll all have our answers then.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 14 Jun 2009 10:55

2. Kinetics

People still seem to think this is WWI and we're flying around in dogfights trying to put our nose on the enemy plane. In modern combat, the airframe is just a platform for its sensors and weapons. Those sensors and weapons are far more important than the platform. Now, obviously there are limits and you can't just load up a 747, but it has far less impact than many here suspect.

People bring up stuff like 'the EF destroyed 3 F-16 in Singapore!', but they don't realize that most of that was the sensors and weapon system. A modern SH would have destroyed the F-16s just as easily is not easier.


You are wrong if you think that aircraft flight performance is not critical to BVR or WVR engagements. The MKI vs Typhoon simulations at Indradhanush were a good example. Cat and mouse is how one pilot explained it, and that means a LOT of things. For ex. endurance makes massive difference in terms of engaging on your terms. speed and altitude also make a difference to missile launches.
The latest teens lack in both these areas, which gain critical importance when fighters can stay passive and rely on AWACS to give you required data. It is one of the reasons why superflankers, eurocanards or superfulcrums are a better idea. You can always upgrade the sensors, but little can be done to a screwed up airframe. And all the bandages won't change that. The superhornet is a prime example with outwardly canted weapons or an IRST in a freaking EFT!

The EF btw, can do circles around a blk 52 (Which imho is more agile than the fat viper blk 60/IN being offered to India).

As far as sensors go, they can always be integrated. No matter who the winner is, the IAF will probly have a degree of customization (my guess is EW, ODL, weapons). The mig in this sense is hardly far behind the rest.

CM.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 14 Jun 2009 11:10

NRao wrote:F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

The US Navy F/A-18 E and F Super Hornet maritime strike attack aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, flew for the first time on November 29 1995. The Super Hornet is about 25% larger than its predecessor, the F/A-18C/D, but contains 42% fewer structural parts. The single-seat F/A-18/E and the two-seat F/A-18/F fly greater ranges with heavier payloads, have more powerful engines and provide greater survivability.


So much for 1970 design. How current?


Does not really matter how current, what matters is the end product. And the shornet turned out to be a dud (at least airframe wise). It carries more fuel, but burns a lot more too, especially with its draggy weapons carriage end result is poor range for such a large bird. Not to mention low speed, acceleration, climb rate, turn rates. Sure its no b-52, but it ain't no rafale either! Whats worse is that unlike a rafale or mig-29k, they can't even reduce weight for the landbased versions, there are "vibration" issues. So the shornet HAS to remain fat - no liposuction possible there. Those 25000lb engines better come quick! :D or the bird is lost and with it, so is the carrier (exaggeration of course).

And, to think of it only the SH came in full form. The rest either are not there at all (MiG-35) or come in versions (Grippen, EF, Rafale).


Yes but even the basic versions of the other candidates are superior airframe performance wise. Add the AESA and bingo, the shornet is naked! Btw, none of the MRCA birds (incdng the Shornet) are really in full form, the IAF will end up customizing all of these birds to varying degrees. .

Another problem with the teens is that in the near future (if not already) they will be eclipsed totally in terms of flight performance by india's neighbors (esp. the ones to the north). As far as superior sensors go, sooner or later the chinks and paks will get fancy gadgetry (AESA - already rumored to be on a J-10), what happens then? If not obsolete today, 30 years later these birds will be the biggest duds amongst all the MRCA candidates, there is little doubting that.

Take a tiffy or a rafale otoh, and we see some gleam of hope even at that late stage.

CM.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 14 Jun 2009 11:33

Vick wrote:Aside from a few IN deliveries, MiG has no future. Even Algeria returned some Mig-29SMTs for poor build quality and surprise surprise lack of after sales support from MiG. Seems to be a continuing theme from MiG.

Yeah they said similar things about a decade or more ago as well. Amazing how mig still hangs around.

Regarding the MKI, the IAF knew that it was going to be a multi year project to get a custom bird up and running and into IOC, FOC and finally in the Mk3 config. The IAF was willing to wait. With the MRCA acquisition, the IAF has made it clear that the main point of the MRCA is to immediately stop the decline in force levels that will happen with the block obsolescence of the Mig-21, Mig-23, Mig-27 and early Jags next decade. Hence, IAF has been clear that it is looking for a turnkey solution, not a multi year codevelopment session. Requirements for the MKI prog is very very different from the MRCA prog.


You'd be mistaken to think IAF will be buying off the shelf, there will be some amount of customization on all these birds. Problem for all other aircraft (and especially the teens) is that they are extremely pricey/rigid/inexperienced when it comes to such things, not to mention other issues (the case of israel and the 2032s on the sufa has already been pointed out). The russians also enjoy a solid amount of experience in catering to IAF needs. They already show the fulcrum with the Tarang, not to mention agreeing to hook up any (israeli) aesa if warranted. Teething problems will be the least with the Russkies. Mssrs. Pogo and Federov have the experience required to do the needful.

Also, the difference between F-16 Blk 50 and Blk 60 is much much smaller than the difference between the Mig-29A and the Mig-35. The only things similar between a Mig-29A and the Mig-35 might be the copper in the wires and the aluminum alloy in the rivets. All the other innards are totally different, whereas the Blk 50s and Blk 60s share MUCH more in common.


So? No point splitting hairs. The difference is one of degree hardly one of kind. Btw, the difference between a 50 and 60 is still quite considerable and not just in the electronics/sensors either. In any case, the IAF and IN will share ample commonality with the 35 considering baaz upgrades and naval Ks.

CM

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Cain Marko » 14 Jun 2009 11:56

Drevin wrote:As of now there is only aesa from khan i.e. apg79 and apg80. There is no competition if the mrca is decided today .... it will be f18 or f16.

Point is, it won't be decided "today". Expect another year for flight evals, then another for negotiations if you are lucky. So 2 years at least.

The whole crux of the matter is whether the draama aesa has caught up with the khan aesa radars ..... Only then do the euro canards truly become an option in the mrca.


The RBE2 is already ready @ production iirc. And was offered as equivalent of apg-79 for the Swiss competition. AESA hardly is that much of a BIG deal for any of the MRCA bidders it seems. And the more time it takes, the smaller the splash the aesa makes. IOWs, the AESA advantage of the US birds is running thin, fast.

Among all the competitors the f16 and mig35 represent a solo effort for us and would need a mamoth effort to justify. With no future these planes need not have been invited for flight trials!!


With the MiG-35, the bulk of the effort is already done - its called the MIG-29K. In effect, it requires probly the least effort from india as it will operate v.similar a/c in the K and the upgraded baaz.

CM.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sam_kamath » 14 Jun 2009 12:05

GeorgeWelch wrote:
sam_kamath wrote:For an aircraft on which even the know how transfer of the existing tech is an ambiguity


It is only an ambiguity to us because we aren't directly involved in the negotiations.

They will know exactly what tech transfer will be involved when they sign the contract.

sam_kamath wrote:forget the part where we can mix and match things on it


You will be able to put your own parts on it.

This is going to be such an intensely scrutinized deal, that if it passes you can be confident that there won't be any "gotha's".

Fretting over getting SH and THEN hitting a problem is nonsensical. If it gets that far, there won't be any problems.


George..
we have a very old saying "Future is uncertain but its in our past where we derive our confidence from" ... Money might talk but we have not seen it in Indo/US relationships yet... take a simple case
in your reply you said "You will be able to put your own parts on it" .. It could mean
a> something which you have done R &D on and you want to put on it or
b> some thing which you have legitimately purchased and is by all rights my own part.

Most of us here do not believe US would allow us to do "B"...even "A" is a BIt iffy..

can the company spell out if it will transfer the AESA technology in black and white terms.. the simple answer is no... it will say that depends on the how the governments go about it...

also the biggest issue in all this is end user validation clause for all US equipment.. I dont think it would be possible for the Indian government to get represantatives from the US congress to forward posts and show them the aircrafts..

I would say this is not quite unlike buying a car in the US car market...
There are quite a few cars which give me similar or better results than an american make ..yes the american car is a bit cheaper but am I ready to entertain the dealer every now and again just to show that i still own the car when a similar car abit costing a bit more does not have that tag attached to it.

Also when I know the economy is not doing good should i not wait and see if the american dealer say gives me free oil change and maintainance check up every time he comes to make sure I still own my car...
Just a thought :-)


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