MRCA News and Discussion

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Kartik
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 24 Feb 2010 00:20

nitinm wrote:Another angle to the story! Going back 5 years! I tend to be a big fan of standardization! I have seen in so many industrial cases, it brings down costs dramatically!

We should have expedited the MRCA and tried to standardize on a carrier capable aircraft like the Rafale rather than buy the 45 units of Mig-29. Also, rather than upgrading the Mirage for something as crazy as $40m/aircraft (which is still pending), only make minor upgrades and replace it sooner.

With 126 of MRCA, I would say 200, and another 40 for the Navy, this is would have been the No 1 & No 2 biggest fighter aircraft deal in the world. Imagine the negotiation leverage and the consistency in platform. It would have made so much sense over starting a new engine line for the existing RD33 engines. Ofcourse, we need the engines for the upgrade of the existing Migs but this move will keep the line open longer and these aircrafts are going to around for decades, increasing future maintenance costs. While everyone is replacing their aging fleet of Mig-29s with Rafale, we continue to buy them anew!


First of all, who is this “everyone” that is replacing their aging fleet of MiG-29s with Rafales? Name one of them, leave alone “everyone” else

You need to look at the timelines to see that while this idea of yours may sound great, this was not possible at all.

The IN was looking for a carrier capable aircraft well before the IAF began to get really serious about the MRCA. That was a time when the IAF was still knee-deep involved in the MKI deal and obviously the Su-33 was too large for the IN, so no commonality could be found with the MKI.

The IN had 2 choices- the MiG-29K and the Rafale. The two biggest issues with the Rafale were cost and the fact that it is a CATOBAR fighter whereas the IN was getting a ski-jump assisted but arrested recovery carrier. In those days, the Rafale M wasn’t as uber-expensive as it is now due to the dollar-euro exchange rates being more favourable. Yet, it was more expensive than the MiG-29K. The former Naval Chief of Staff Admiral Arun Prakash said in an article he wrote for a Strategic Defence Review that the latter reason basically ruled out the Rafale after evaluations. He himself was personally involved in the flight evaluation and I have a pic of him (originally from B. Harry) posing with the Rafale M in France.

In the same article he went on to state that the MiG-29K variant offered all the capabilities that the IN wanted and hence it was chosen. And looking at what a fighter the MiG-29K is as we see it today it’s a fine fighter for the price tag of $45 million. The issue of standardization and commonality would have come up only if the Rafale was at that time even a contender for the MRCA- it wasn’t. Instead, the Mirage-2000 was still on offer and the IAF was toying with the idea of a Strategic Strike Command. BTW, the variant of the Rafale that was available at that time was not as great as it is now- it was the Rafale F1 and the Rafale M was similar in capability level. They had the PESA RBE-2 whose range was considered a little low and the OSF and SPECTRA suites weren’t fully ready.

So, when the IN finalized on the MiG-29K, the IAF didn’t seriously look at the MiG-29M/M2 for the MRCA and focused on the Mirages. Later on as the competition kept dragging on, that line closed and the Rafale was offered instead. By then there was no chance of any standardization because the MRCA was nowhere close to completion as the new Defence Procurement Policies were being framed.

Regarding the Mirage-2000, what is not being taken into account by most people commenting on it is the fact that it’s a package deal that includes the sale of MBDA weapons. These will surely not be restricted only to the MICA air-to-air missiles, but will have a large air-to-ground element as well. And as the IAF officer said in the article, the scope of this upgrade is larger and deeper than the MiG-29UPG upgrade. From radar, cockpit upgrades, communication and datalinks, mission computers, electronic warfare systems, HMDS to weapons, everything is going to be changed.

And the fact that he said that it will serve another 15-20 years means the OEM (Dassault) will use its fatigue test data to re-clock some of the Mirage’s airframe to make it last that long. The test data is available to the OEM because they generally keep a fatigue test specimen that undergoes accelerated fatigue tests to determine the structural life of the aircraft and whether it matches their prediction. Now, 15-20 years roughly translates to about 3000-3500 hours of additional airframe life (keeping an average use of 200 hours per year). Keep in mind that the average fleet age for the Mirages is 20 years (except for the 10 new-builds that constitute the No.10 Wolfpack), so assuming they fly 200 hours on average per year, they’d have used up nearly 4000 hours of their airframe life. Having originally had a TTL of 6000 hours means that we’re getting around 1000-1500 hours additional from the airframe after this upgrade.

So, the IAF will eventually get close to 3000 hours additional from its upgraded Mirages than its upgraded Fulcrums. That is quite a lot by any standard.

When comparing the price with the Russian upgrade for the IAF’s MiG-29s, keep in mind that it didn’t include any sale of weapons. Even while Russian weapons are cheaper, if the IAF had purchased new R-77 Adders or R-73Es or its newer variants as well as the Kh-31Ps and other air-to-ground weapons, the costs of the deal with Russia would have gone up substantially. As it stands, the MiG-29UPG can use the existing stocks that were procured for the Su-30MKI and MiG-21 Bison. However, much of this stock will need to be renewed before the MiG-29UPGs retire, as the shelf life of the weapons is also limited.

After this upgrade, the IAF’s Mirages will be at Mirage-2000-5 Mk2 level, which is good enough to counter ANY fighter in the PAF or PLAAF’s arsenal, including the brand-new F-16 Block 52s and J-10s/J-11s.

If the Indian Air Force was not happy with the Tejas, it would have made sense to finalize the MRCA 5 years ago and divert HAL's resources to development of UAVs and Helicopters, we have learned a lot, nothing wrong. I think Helicopters are going to play a very critical role in the future of Indian armed forces. If we have air superiority and after the air defense is suppressed, the helicopter is an ideal machine. Especially given the highly rugged terrain that borders India. You need to fly low and slow! Hunt down the rats!

I am not completely sure about the role of Tejas in the IAF here, help me! Some people compare it to the Mirage but its not in the same category, for one the payload is much smaller! Is the IAF going to use it like some sort of trainer or what? It is not that cheap!


I don’t understand your rant- you first talk about standardization. Then you somehow drag the Tejas into the discussion.

The IAF’s biggest worry at the end of the 1990s was the fact that its MiG-23 fleet was going to retire and so it floated the MRCA with the Mirage-2000-5 as the prime candidate due to its proven strike and multi-role capabilities. That was close to 120 airframes. Another squadron of recon MiG-25s would retire as well. That meant that nearly 6-7 squadrons worth of strike and recon aircraft were going to retire. The MRCA was primarily intended to replace those. In addition, earlier variants of the MiG-21s were going out as well in the early 2000s and they were to be followed by the MiG-27s.

As it became clear to them in the late 1990s and early 2000s that the Tejas (which would replace the MiG-21s) would be late, they got even more worried because even if the MRCA came through on time, it would lead to a shortfall in numbers as the MiG-21 squadrons wouldn’t get replaced. So get this- the Tejas was and is still, meant to be a direct weight class replacement for the MiG-21.

To make up for the shortfall in numbers as the MiG-23s would retire without getting the MRCA, the IAF ordered 37 new build Jaguars so that 2 new squadrons were added in their place. It asked for expediting the Su-30MKI intake as another measure to offset the MiG-23/MiG-21 retirements. It had to upgrade the MiG-27s so they could last longer with better avionics.

Yet, there are 6 squadrons of MiG-21 Bison that still form the backbone of our defence on the western sector. The Tejas Mk1 and Mk2 will be a direct replacement for these Bison. And from watching interviews with the Test Pilots of the Tejas, all senior IAF and IN pilots (like Gp. Cpt N Harish who was CO of No.3 Cobras), they are happy with the Tejas and see a lot of potential in it.

Initially the IAF was upset with ADA/HAL who were building as well as testing it because they felt that they were always underestimating the effort required and giving dates to the MoD that were too optimistic. However that attitude has now given way to genuine coordination and help and the IAF now has a big stake in the success of the Tejas if they want to reach the squadron numbers they’ve always wanted.

And you talk about the Tejas being expensive?! None of the MRCA fighters are anywhere close to $25-30 million per unit and only with the Tejas can they build up numbers at an affordable cost. Even bog-standard trainers like the Hawk come at $18-0 million apiece, and the newer M-346 is even more expensive! And what capability do they have to wage war? Rudimentary, to be polite. I can tell you that for sure the Tejas has the lowest RCS amongst any fighter in the IAF today and its avionics are amongst the best.

I will add another point to this- you talk about people comparing the Tejas to the Mirages? Payload wise they are not comparable but that is not a fair comparison because the Tejas was meant to replace MiG-21s not Mirages. The LCA designers aspired to be able to produce something as good as a Mirage eventually. We already know from a Test Pilot that the Tejas is easier to land than a Mirage, and that is high praise since landing is one of the most testing parts of any sortie.

I’ll tell you that the Tejas’ Flight Control System is so good that when it’s CLAW (Control Law) was first tested on the F-16 VISTA, the Test Pilots found that the F-16 was easier to control during the crucial take-off and landing phases with the Tejas CLAW than with its own CLAW itself! This remarkable fact was mentioned by none other than Air Marshal P Rajkumar in his book. He goes on to mention that when he emphasized this fact the second time during a debrief meeting to Martin Marietta Control Systems (MMCA, later on Lockheed Martin) engineers in the US, their Chief Engineer finally snapped at him “We got that Chief!”.

So don’t for a moment talk about how good the Tejas is or is not based on media reports alone. The guys who are a part of its development know what it is capable of when they commit to procure it in large numbers. India’s media is very prone to being influenced by other factors and the PR on the Tejas has been mis-managed from the very beginning, leading to every other person in India to think that this program has been a failure. That is the public sector mentality at its worst where they feel public opinion doesn’t count as their main focus remains on convincing the Govt. and then their customer.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby nitinm » 24 Feb 2010 00:25

sharma.abhinav wrote:Well mate you are not just missing something, you are missing the entire point. LCA Tejas is not just meant to be a replacement of Migs. The idea behind Tejas was to build design capability to build a world class 4th generation fighter aircraft in-house. Besides this Tejas will replace:

Mig 21: In Point Air Defence, CAS and CAP
Mig 27: In CAS and Air Interdiction

Besides this Tejas will be used in:

SEAD using precision guided munition and LGB's
Maritime strike using Anti Ship missiles and Fleet Air Defence aboard IAC 1.

Apart from these roles Tejas will be the primary mover in increasing number squadrons in IAF service. So as I see it Tejas connot afford to be a failure. And we cannot do all this by buying out an air force.



Great, makes sense to me! Point Air Defence, CAS, CAP, Air Interdiction and SEAD! Perfect! If this works out, it will be great!

"So as I see it Tejas connot afford to be a failure." - Again great, I would not like to see my tax money be wasted either. Lets all write a petition to HAL about this!

If Tejas platform can deliver all this we have no reason to buy a medium weight fighter and nor do we need to start work on Medium Combat Aircraft!

First point is that if somehow this is not working out, then it might be a problem of escalating commitment. Which is very dangerous! There are certain platform based rigidities that are already built deep into the design. If somehow operational goals don't seem to being met, lets move on!

Second, its important to ask weather a Indian/foreign medium weight fighter could meet these requirements better? If yes, I would personally not hesitate one bit to go ahead with it! Ultimately, we don't want to leave gaps open in our current defense system hoping something will possibly work! Although we have come far, I would still not like to have an Indian product that needs more work to be inducted into service! These aircrafts are serious commitment and are going to be around for decades!

As I said, I think Tejas will make it into the fleet but the question is in what numbers and what role!

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sharma.abhinav » 24 Feb 2010 00:44

nitinm wrote:Great, makes sense to me! Point Air Defence, CAS, CAP, Air Interdiction and SEAD! Perfect! If this works out, it will be great!

"So as I see it Tejas connot afford to be a failure." - Again great, I would not like to see my tax money be wasted either. Lets all write a petition to HAL about this!

If Tejas platform can deliver all this we have no reason to buy a medium weight fighter and nor do we need to start work on Medium Combat Aircraft!

First point is that if somehow this is not working out, then it might be a problem of escalating commitment. Which is very dangerous! There are certain platform based rigidities that are already built deep into the design. If somehow operational goals don't seem to being met, lets move on!

Second, its important to ask weather a Indian/foreign medium weight fighter could meet these requirements better? If yes, I would personally not hesitate one bit to go ahead with it! Ultimately, we don't want to leave gaps open in our current defense system hoping something will possibly work! Although we have come far, I would still not like to have an Indian product that needs more work to be inducted into service! These aircrafts are serious commitment and are going to be around for decades!

As I said, I think Tejas will make it into the fleet but the question is in what numbers and what role!


Well buddy you need to read a lot more on Tejas and its development. The questions that you are asking have already been answered on LCA thread. Check the archives please. I have been following BRF since 2001, and I haven't found any question regarding the role of Tejas in IAF and indian aviation industry that has been un-answered. As far as MCA/AMCA/FGFA is concerned it is a future project which is still to get approval. Till now no qualitative requirements have been floated. I for one don't expect to see first prototype of MCA coming out before 2020. Besides MCA will replace Mirage, Jaguar and MRCA in IAF service and not LCA

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Carl_T » 24 Feb 2010 00:48

sharma.abhinav wrote:Well buddy you need to read a lot more on Tejas and its development. The questions that you are asking have already been answered on LCA thread. Check the archives please. I have been following BRF since 2001, and I haven't found any question regarding the role of Tejas in IAF and indian aviation industry that has been un-answered. As far as MCA/AMCA/FGFA is concerned it is a future project which is still to get approval. Till now no qualitative requirements have been floated. I for one don't expect to see first prototype of MCA coming out before 2020. Besides MCA will replace Mirage, Jaguar and MRCA in IAF service and not LCA

May be wrong but I think what he is saying is: MRCA was a necessity when the Tejas was delayed, but now that they are being rolled out at the end of the year, what is the need for the MMRCA?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sharma.abhinav » 24 Feb 2010 01:01

Carl_T wrote: May be wrong but I think what he is saying is: MRCA was a necessity when the Tejas was delayed, but now that they are being rolled out at the end of the year, what is the need for the MMRCA?


Yes I agree, it was a necessity back then and was meant to be a quick purchase of medium weight multi role fighter aircraft (Mirage 2005). But now it has become more of a politically oriented purchase and a purchase to buy some exotic western technology. How long will this MRCA go on in arresting the depleting sqaudron strength of the IAF remains to be seen. With Tejas MK1 already on the horizon giving almost similar capabilities as Gripen C/D and Tejas MK2 comparing quite favorably to the Gripen NG, I don't think that IAF would order more than 126 airframes of MRCA.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sharma.abhinav » 24 Feb 2010 01:02

Marten wrote:
If Tejas platform can deliver all this we have no reason to buy a medium weight fighter and nor do we need to start work on Medium Combat Aircraft!

Although we have come far, I would still not like to have an Indian product that needs more work to be inducted into service! These aircrafts are serious commitment and are going to be around for decades!

Please do go through the LCA threads in the archive. Let's please not derail this thread with a discussion on the LCA that has been conducted several times. I'll refrain from adding any fuel to the fire, but please read Kartik's posts above once again. This discussion is going the deafndumb forum way.


I agree.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 24 Feb 2010 01:24

Carl_T wrote:I thought the AESA was what this MMRCA was all about along with getting a western fighter.

thats the tail wagging the dog. No, the AESA was a major requirement but its not that the IAF wanted the MRCA because of AESA. When the MRCA originally started the Mirage-2000-5's RDY-2 mechanically scanned slotted array mechanically radar was the one that the IAF was looking at.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 24 Feb 2010 01:42

sharma.abhinav wrote:As far as MCA/AMCA/FGFA is concerned it is a future project which is still to get approval. Till now no qualitative requirements have been floated. I for one don't expect to see first prototype of MCA coming out before 2020. Besides MCA will replace Mirage, Jaguar and MRCA in IAF service and not LCA


Actually it has been approved. It is explicitly mentioned as one of the projects on which DRDO will focus during the year 2010 as per their Monthly report that came out in January 2010. Thats where the name AMCA came from. But yes, it will be at least 6-8 years before a prototype emerges as a lot of new technologies will need to be understood and systems designed around them.

But there is a lot of learning from the Tejas program which will obviate some of the delays associated with that program due to inexperience. Just for e.g. the case of the DFCC (Digital Flight Control Computer)- the IAF wanted a back up to be provided even with a quad redundant FCS. They insisted on this and ADA didn't know whether this was required or not. BAe consultants said it was not required as the aircraft would be back on tarmac before all channels failed. MMCS (US) did not say yes or no, simply saying that the choice depended on how confident India was about the FCS. For settling the issue as the IAF did not budge, the ADA guys said that they would develop a separate Digital FCS Backup system (which was basically a simplified Control LAW) to be fallen back up in case all 4 channels of the FCS failed. However, when it came time to test the main CLAW, ADA realised how much effort was needed in the simulators and in real-time simulators. They queried BAe consultants on whether or not the Digital FCS Backup would need similar thorough testing or not and they replied in the affirmative. What was worse is that since one couldn't predict when the main FCS would fail, the Digital Backup system would need as much testing as the original FCS in all parts of the flight envelope. That would basically double the effort and finally when this was made clear to the IAF, they relented on not needing a Digital Backup Unit. Had it not been for BAe consultants ADA would've been pressurised by the IAF and said ok we'll build it and that would have added some 2 more years to the program. Next time such a situation hopefully won't arise as ADA has built a 4th generation fighter literally from cradle to at least college if not the grave as yet.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby sharma.abhinav » 24 Feb 2010 02:03

Kartik wrote:Actually it has been approved. It is explicitly mentioned as one of the projects on which DRDO will focus during the year 2010 as per their Monthly report that came out in January 2010. Thats where the name AMCA came from. But yes, it will be at least 6-8 years before a prototype emerges as a lot of new technologies will need to be understood and systems designed around them.


Well ok I missed that, but that's a great news. Thanks. But that is what I pointed out to Nitinm that MCA is actually a programme of the future. I agree with you that first prototype will take at least 6 to 8 years to come, but that too I guess would be tech demonstrators. Around 2020 tech demonstrator phase would have been over and only then we would see definitive prototype vehicles going in for operational testing. With IOC around 2025 and FOC in 2028 time frame.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby shukla » 24 Feb 2010 07:13

NRao wrote:The news sources just state what LM has stated. "India" (read LM) will still have to go through the proper channels to actually sell them. Just like any other deal (outside of FMS I guess).

Which is my point. LM offering India OR Iran is the same.


Your absolutely right.. Check this out, to get the point Nrao is trying to make..

Although the best of the weapon systems in the US are developed by private companies, the funding for their research and development is provided by the Government which exercises full control on the resultant products and their sale to any foreign country. ToT is a serious issue and in most cases, technology, particularly source codes, is not shared even with Washington’s best allies in the West or East.

Lockheed Martin apparently made the presentation to India after authorization by the US Department of Defense (DOD), but Prins pointed out that the F 35 could be sold only after clearance from the US State Department, for which bilateral negotiations between New Delhi and Washington would need to be held once India expressed interest.


http://indiastrategic.in/topstories462.htm

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 24 Feb 2010 14:03

If the LCA/Tejas fills the role that the little Gnat once did,provding us with an inexpensive deadly little air defence fighter,with both BVR and dogfighting capability,that can be built easily in large numbers,it should suffice.Any GA role that also is inherent with the bird,comes in as a bonus.

The MMRCA however has several other ambitions for the IAF.It is supposed to be truly multi-role,with the ability to penetrate Paki defences and deliver an assortment of ordnance,plus shoot down any Paki intrduer within BVR range.The third requirement of delivering cutting edge ToT to the Indian aerospace industry is a more debatable aspect of the deal though.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby nachiket » 24 Feb 2010 14:26

Well regardless of which aircraft is chosen, it will be the most advanced aircraft in IAF service (until the FGFA finally shows its face), forming the spearhead of any offensive action undertaken by the IAF along with the Su-30 mainly Offensive counter air and deep strike missions. The LCA, Mig-29 and Mirages will be crucial for providing Defensive counter air over our assets. The LCA can also carry out CAS missions with equal ease and can eventually replace the Mig-27 as well in addition to the Mig-21s.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 24 Feb 2010 15:56

spies near HAL keep a sharp eye for the Typhoon here for trials. saw it clearly yesterday - very quiet engine and difficult to get advance notice unlike tejas.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 24 Feb 2010 16:52

The good General has put his finger firmly on the spot.The MMRCA choice should be part of the masterplan for the IAF's future force conception,based upon the PAK-FA 5th-gen fighter as its supremo.The "low" end of the IAF's force should be based around the LCA and any future developmnts of it like the MCA whatever.In the "middle" zone should the MMRCA fit in,complementing the LCA in tech,etc.Since we have very few global winners in military tech,apart from some of our strategic missiles,for the next 50 years one can see that we will have to depend upon two streams of eqpt.,tech and accompanied doctrine,Western and Russian,to be modified and meshed into the Indian armed forces.Choosing western tech for the LCA is the first and best step forward towards self-sufficiency and the same is apparently being done for the engine,radar,etc.Whether acquiring another western aircraft from another stable,with another dose of differing western tech-that might actually duplicate what is being acquired for the LCA at exrobitant cost, is debatable.Our two principal enemies Pak and China are rapidly acquiring large numbers of 4th gen capable aircraft.With the prospect of having to fight on two fronts in the future,there is always "safety in numbers".This should be the guideline towards the MMRCA deal.The dream of building up a contemporary indigenous aero-space industry for India need not neccessarily depend upon the MMRCA choice.

It is more prudent and pragmatic to choose for the MMRCA what we need right now,numbers of a capable, affordable multi-role aircraft that will last us for at least 25 years and spend our hard money on perfecting the family of the LCA,LCA Mk-2 and AMCA and the second family of the Russian Flanker,stealth Flanker which the PAK-FA resembles.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby nitinm » 24 Feb 2010 17:13

Philip wrote:The good General has put his finger firmly on the spot.The MMRCA choice should be part of the masterplan for the IAF's future force conception,based upon the PAK-FA 5th-gen fighter as its supremo.The "low" end of the IAF's force should be based around the LCA and any future developmnts of it like the MCA whatever.In the "middle" zone should the MMRCA fit in,complementing the LCA in tech,etc.Since we have very few global winners in military tech,apart from some of our strategic missiles,for the next 50 years one can see that we will have to depend upon two streams of eqpt.,tech and accompanied doctrine,Western and Russian,to be modified and meshed into the Indian armed forces.Choosing western tech for the LCA is the first and best step forward towards self-sufficiency and the same is apparently being done for the engine,radar,etc.Whether acquiring another western aircraft from another stable,with another dose of differing western tech-that might actually duplicate what is being acquired for the LCA at exrobitant cost, is debatable.Our two principal enemies Pak and China are rapidly acquiring large numbers of 4th gen capable aircraft.With the prospect of having to fight on two fronts in the future,there is always "safety in numbers".This should be the guideline towards the MMRCA deal.The dream of building up a contemporary indigenous aero-space industry for India need not neccessarily depend upon the MMRCA choice.

It is more prudent and pragmatic to choose for the MMRCA what we need right now,numbers of a capable, affordable multi-role aircraft that will last us for at least 25 years and spend our hard money on perfecting the family of the LCA,LCA Mk-2 and AMCA and the second family of the Russian Flanker,stealth Flanker which the PAK-FA resembles.



If we go ahead with 126 MRCA now, we will have the Mig-29 (IAF & Naval), Mirage, Jaguar & ofcourse MRCA in the medium weight category at least upto 2030. This is a very fragmented fleet.

We should have consolidated the fleet with MRCA. Around 2005 had we chosen to buy some medium MRCA that was Naval capable, we could have bargained for deep technology transfer. Rafale was an option then and as someone stated, Russia was offering something. We could have GENERATED options has we wanted, its a very big deal! I guess we would have needed 250+ units, the number needed would have been large enough to get what we want.

With MRCA we could have practically gotten our own medium fighter platform (foreign or Indian is not black and white)! We would have saved on all the costly upgrades and duplication. See, now Mirage is getting the MICA whereas we are using the Vympel R-73 on other platforms. Assuming the IAF sees a role for the LCA (meaning MRCA and LCA are not substitutable), MRCA would complement the LCA and LCA would have been productionized by now with engine and radar that we get from MRCA. This would have not only consolidated out medium weight fleet by 2020-2025 but also greatly harmonized systems between LCA and MRCA, I guess about 70% of our fighter fleet.

Obviously one can write a 10,000 page report, like the IAF/GoI always does and some people here show a tendency to like, on why this is not possible or was not possible but then the challenge is to get things done! The deal is big enough to get things our way! Most people seem to be arguing about operational issues, but the discussion essentially is a strategic one!

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Carl_T » 24 Feb 2010 21:25

Kartik wrote:
Carl_T wrote:I thought the AESA was what this MMRCA was all about along with getting a western fighter.

thats the tail wagging the dog. No, the AESA was a major requirement but its not that the IAF wanted the MRCA because of AESA. When the MRCA originally started the Mirage-2000-5's RDY-2 mechanically scanned slotted array mechanically radar was the one that the IAF was looking at.

I understand that this was originally meant to replace the Mirage, however, which need does it fill in the current fleet? Is this now about getting new tech with ToT, or is it about replacing the Mirage, or is it about getting a capable multirole fighter to solve the issue of numbers, or is it about making new political links?

This has certainly been discussed before, but everyone has a different take on it!

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Samay » 24 Feb 2010 22:14

a bit OT,no offense meant
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Image

मेने खरीद लिया, मिग -29
ये क्या कम था
की तुम देख रहे हो ऐसे
क्या कुछ गम था?
चार आ गए विमान मेरी सरकार में
ये क्या कम था?
??
.
.

जल्दी न करना
मेरी आदत है
इस आदत से मेरे बाबू ,
मालामाल है

sorry NRao sir
here is the translation , saptarishi almost did it
-
-finally, i have purchased the mig-29
wasn't that enough?
what makes you stare at me
are you saddened??? (expecting some more??)
four planes have been inducted in my reign,
is that less??
.
.
.
.not going fast is my habit
this habit of mine makes my Babus rich.
Last edited by Samay on 24 Feb 2010 23:45, edited 3 times in total.

NRao
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 24 Feb 2010 22:58

^^^

Per BR "rules" you need to post a translation too!!

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby saptarishi » 24 Feb 2010 23:19

Samay wrote:a bit OT,no offense meant
.
.
.


मेने खरीद लिया, मिग -29
ये क्या कम था
की तुम देख रहे हो ऐसे
क्या कुछ गम था?
चार आ गए विमान मेरी सरकार में
ये क्या कम था?
??
.
.

जल्दी न करना
मेरी आदत है
इस आदत से मेरे बाबू ,
मालामाल है


i have purchased the mig-29
wasn't that enough?
what makes you stare at me
are you saddened???[what's there to be sad???]
four planes have already been inducted during my government's reign,
is that less
.
.
.
.it's my habit to go slow[ as far as defence procurements are concerned]
this habit of mine makes the Babus rich.

satirical indeed.poor innocent MR DEFENCE MINISTER, EXACT TRANSLATION TAKES AWAY THE JEST FROM THIS PIECE OF WRITING,,, PHILIP SIR CAN u contribute here in your usual charming way of writing :rotfl:

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 24 Feb 2010 23:52

nitinm wrote:If we go ahead with 126 MRCA now, we will have the Mig-29 (IAF & Naval), Mirage, Jaguar & ofcourse MRCA in the medium weight category at least upto 2030. This is a very fragmented fleet.

We should have consolidated the fleet with MRCA. Around 2005 had we chosen to buy some medium MRCA that was Naval capable, we could have bargained for deep technology transfer. Rafale was an option then and as someone stated, Russia was offering something. We could have GENERATED options has we wanted, its a very big deal! I guess we would have needed 250+ units, the number needed would have been large enough to get what we want.


I tried to explain to you about why it was simply not possible to consolidate the IN's fighter purchase and the MRCA. You either chose to ignore it or simply didn't understand because what you've written above is pure drivel based on a complete dis-regard of the facts on the ground.

but then again, this is the MRCA thread, so anyone and everyone will post their opinion of how every problem could have been or will be solved by following their mantra rather than facts. The assumption being that everyone else actually involved in the process is incompetent and fails to see some simple solution that the poster sees. :roll:

With MRCA we could have practically gotten our own medium fighter platform (foreign or Indian is not black and white)! We would have saved on all the costly upgrades and duplication. See, now Mirage is getting the MICA whereas we are using the Vympel R-73 on other platforms. Assuming the IAF sees a role for the LCA (meaning MRCA and LCA are not substitutable), MRCA would complement the LCA and LCA would have been productionized by now with engine and radar that we get from MRCA. This would have not only consolidated out medium weight fleet by 2020-2025 but also greatly harmonized systems between LCA and MRCA, I guess about 70% of our fighter fleet.


a load of BS since its a lala-land scenario of "what if" which generally ignores the ground realities. "we could", "this would"..of course one needn't bother with facts when dreaming up these types of posts.

Obviously one can write a 10,000 page report, like the IAF/GoI always does and some people here show a tendency to like, on why this is not possible or was not possible but then the challenge is to get things done! The deal is big enough to get things our way! Most people seem to be arguing about operational issues, but the discussion essentially is a strategic one!


really ? can you write a 10,000 page report full of facts rather than drivel and post it here ? simply ignore the facts and ground realities and type away thinking of yourself as some strategic mastermind ? :roll: You're really overestimating yourself here.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 25 Feb 2010 00:41

For a fellow who has been here for just a few days he seems to have picked up BR tendencies pretty fast!!!

Sorry for being rude.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 25 Feb 2010 00:41

Carl_T wrote:
I understand that this was originally meant to replace the Mirage, however, which need does it fill in the current fleet? Is this now about getting new tech with ToT, or is it about replacing the Mirage, or is it about getting a capable multirole fighter to solve the issue of numbers, or is it about making new political links?

This has certainly been discussed before, but everyone has a different take on it!


Now you're thoroughly confused :). The MRCA was NOT meant to replace Mirages. It was meant to replace the MiG-23 BN and MF primarily and then the oldest MiG-27s as the MRCA entered service in full speed. In fact the original choice was to go with 126 Mirage-2000-5 Mk2 as the MRCA because the IAF had the infrastructure, the training setup and the experience with the type to be able to easily absorb them. So it was very much an interim fighter to tide the IAF over till it got its 5th generation fighter. The aim was fast entry and easy absorption into service. the ToT that we'd have gained with the Mirage-2000 assembly line would have been good, but not cutting edge as Dassault was already working on the Rafale production.

Also, at that time the Typhoon and Rafale were simply entering service and were not yet mature fighters and the Gripen was available as the Gripen A/B which was its first avatar and not as capable as the Gripen C/D or the NG.

As the deal dragged on, the GoI did not want the IAF to go with a single vendor (Dassault) and instead wanted a competition where global vendors would be invited so that no accusations of bribery arose. Saab was invited and initially the Gripen C/D was looked at. So at that time it was Saab, Dassault, MiG (with the MiG-29M2 MRCA) and LockMart with the F-16 Block 50. All these fighters had regular mechanically scanned array radars only, not AESA. LM was working on the Block 60 Desert Viper for the UAEAF but this wasn't the fighter originally being offered to us. The price of the competition too was around $5 billion for 126 fighters at that time.

Then, Dassault had no orders left for the Mirage and couldn't afford to keep the line open any longer, so closed it and instead offered the Rafale which was being produced for the French forces. Then MiG started work on the MiG-35 instead of the MiG-29M2. Later Boeing got in with the Super Hornet and that introduced the AESA into the competition, which really upped the ante and everyone else had to match it. Now, Lockheed Martin claimed it would offer the F-16 "Block 70" as they called it, which would be derived from the Block 60 which was already in service and then EADS was the last to enter the fray with the Typhoon. Saab then converted a concept into reality and offered the Gripen NG instead of the Gripen C/D. By now the cost ballooned to $10-12 billion due to the higher costs of these fighters as well as inflation. And when it became such a costly competition, and the US entered the fray, its political weight increased exponentially. As Gen. Shankar Roy Chaudhary put it, for the US and Russia its a matter of prestige. For the EU nations involved, its a question of whether or not India considers them to be reliable partners or not and continues with its decades old relationships with them, or whether it moves over to the US side or moves further towards the Russians. Now it's upto the GoI to decide which political relationship it feels is most valueable to India. and most people (including me) are afraid that these political considerations may cloud other very important factors in the final selection.

As the in-service date for the MRCA went from mid-2000s to mid-2010s, the IAF realised that it would be wise to get an AESA radar that was considered mature technology and demand ToT for it as well since that primarily helped them to service these easily without having to go back to the OEM. In the early 2000s, AESA was only available with US types and that too first-generation AESA radars only, which didn't have that big a performance advantage over the best mechanically scanned array radars like RDY-2 or Captor so the IAF wasn't concerned that its MRCA candidates didn't have AESA radars.

However, almost all the competitor nations were working on AESA programs and it was plausible that they'd have them in service by the mid-2010s. That is why the AESA radar became an almost mandatory requirement. Even then, I don't believe that the IAF states AESA as a mandatory requirement (though its considered as a "must-have" for final selection), otherwise the Typhoon wouldn't have made it past the first stage of technical evaluations. As per the Eurofighter CEO, they conveyed to the IAF that they would have it ready by 2014-15 or so which will likely be when the MRCA enters service. So here, there is a difference between a requirement and what is a preference. It is not mandatory to have AESA, but the IAF would prefer that you have it.

And the ToT for the AESA is not to allow India to reverse-engineer its own AESA radars or that sort of thing. Its meant basically to allow the parts to be produced in India itself, which will allow for faster maintenance and higher up-times for the IAF. One of the reasons for this demand was the MiG-21 Bison upgrade where Kopyo radars didn't have the reliability as advertised by the vendor and failed earlier than their stated MTBF. And since Phazatron didn't do ToT and no depots were set up to stock parts, radars that had issues were taking too long to be repaired. You don't hear that happening with the Su-30MKI do you ? Thats because it's radar is produced under ToT in India, so parts are available easily. Anyway, this is considered an area where AESAs are very reliable due to not having moving parts and that will improve their MTBF significantly. The only one that may have issues here is the Selex/Ericcson ES-05A Raven which has the "swashplate" arrangement that is mechanically driven.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby nitinm » 25 Feb 2010 00:46

NRao wrote:For a fellow who has been here for just a few days he seems to have picked up BR tendencies pretty fast!!!

Sorry for being rude.


I am a quick learner! :wink:

Others I choose to ignore for their shear lack of imagination and incompetence! :P

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Carl_T » 25 Feb 2010 00:53

Kartik wrote:
Now you're thoroughly confused :).

Very much so. I've read too many contradictory posts on this forum. However, appreciate the info.


One more question - what advantage do these fighters have over the MKI apart from the future inclusion of AESA? The Rafale and the Typhoon are more expensive I believe.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Samay » 25 Feb 2010 01:03

nitinm wrote:
NRao wrote:For a fellow who has been here for just a few days he seems to have picked up BR tendencies pretty fast!!!

Sorry for being rude.


I am a quick learner! :wink:

Others I choose to ignore for their shear lack of imagination and incompetence! :P

Only thing quick here in this world of mrca discussion is Zhuk AE aesa ,which has detected a MOD missile few seconds before someone declared himself as the ultimate guru of MRCA gyan .

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Samay » 25 Feb 2010 01:28

Marten wrote:^^ Nitinm, Samay: Your last posts are flame-bait at best and have been reported as such to the Mods. Kindly refrain from derailing the thread for the sakes of the other readers here.

^^ my intention was not to derail the thread , although you could take it lightly ,whatever I said above was only to derail ongoing ego-wars ,

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 25 Feb 2010 04:27

Samay wrote:^^ my intention was not to derail the thread , although you could take it lightly ,whatever I said above was only to derail ongoing ego-wars ,


what ego-wars ? so I can come to this thread and act like I'm smarter than the IAF and the rest and suggest some fantasy ways in which every problem in India or the IAF "could" have been solved without having a clue as to what the ground realities were ?
the guy doesn't even know the background to the IN"s MiG-29K purchase or the MRCA and he thinks that we missed out some great opportunity. the fact that they simply didn't occur in the same time-frame doesn't sink into his head. and then he comes and goes on in the same vein.

of course, one can choose to ignore such tripe, but then there's a limit to how much ignorance one can withstand on this thread..thats precisely the reason why this thread has become a garbage dump. anyone and everyone with nothing technical or fact related to add comes up with strategic gameplans of how India should do this, or that or should have done this or that. some other guys on Keypub forum had once mentioned that BRF has very few technical discussions and a lot of uninformed posting especially by newbies and I'm coming around to that view as well. its very sad to see though, having been a lurker and member for around a decade.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 25 Feb 2010 04:42

nitinm wrote:
NRao wrote:For a fellow who has been here for just a few days he seems to have picked up BR tendencies pretty fast!!!

Sorry for being rude.


I am a quick learner!

Others I choose to ignore for their shear lack of imagination and incompetence!


Appreciate your immense patience.

There is another thread, perhaps, you care to read up on first: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only. (Started on May 29, 2007!

(It is a tech resources thread, so please do NOT discuss anything there.)

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby nitinm » 25 Feb 2010 04:59

So, kartik you are too old to be wrong! My grandmother thinks the same too, only she is not literate!

For every $10,000, you can educate a couple, make them employable and buy them a small house in a small town! And know what, they will starting paying taxes after that which will be used for the development of this country! This is 100,000 families per $1bn. When we are spending $45bn every year on defense and you say that fleet is fragmented because A, B & C were not happening in the same timeframe, it is SHAMEFUL to put it mildly!

Everyone in the Govt, armed forces, etc is responsible for ever rupee spent of taxpayers money, like a manger of a firm is to its shareholders. A honest salary earner or businessman is at least as patriotic as someone in the armed forces. I don't know what you do, but if see how well a $10m technology firm is managed, you will understand what I am talking about! For its size, the IAF is vastly lagging the private firms that can actually look ahead and plan (and incredibly brilliantly). If the planners of Indian Armed Forces can't plan their fleet, we should kick they ass and hand them over to Pakistan so that they can be made PoW.

I somehow smell the same IAF/GoI mindset in you where one can't accept reality beyond what has been poured into ones brain through Russian "technology transfers". You see, you actually need 'imagination' to look beyond the current constrains, which I admit clearly exist! But then you need to look beyond them to find a better way of doing things! Outright rejection or ridiculing someone's opinion is a clear sigh of weakness.

As for the competence of the IAF, I am sure these guys pull the sticks and triggers well, but technology management is not their core strength. Especially if the reasons they do what and how they do it are what you have mentioned. I have irrefutably a upper hand on this, being a soon to be PhD from a world leading university in Technology Strategy.

Besides, I am free to express my opinion irrespective of how lame it might be! You don't like it, simply ignore it or just say that they facts are not correct. If you want to vent your life's frustration, show off your knowledge/experience or if simply your ego hurts too much, thats not my problem!

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Carl_T » 25 Feb 2010 05:06

Let us move on.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby nachiket » 25 Feb 2010 05:13

nitinm wrote: If the planners of Indian Armed Forces can't plan their fleet, we should kick they ass and hand them over to Pakistan so that they can be made PoW.



Do you ever stop to think before you type? :evil: Your post has been reported.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Surya » 25 Feb 2010 05:25

I have irrefutably a upper hand on this, being a soon to be PhD from a world leading university in Technology Strategy.


:eek:

a little humbleness please

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 25 Feb 2010 06:22

nitinm wrote:So, kartik you are too old to be wrong! My grandmother thinks the same too, only she is not literate!

For every $10,000, you can educate a couple, make them employable and buy them a small house in a small town! And know what, they will starting paying taxes after that which will be used for the development of this country! This is 100,000 families per $1bn. When we are spending $45bn every year on defense and you say that fleet is fragmented because A, B & C were not happening in the same timeframe, it is SHAMEFUL to put it mildly!

Everyone in the Govt, armed forces, etc is responsible for ever rupee spent of taxpayers money, like a manger of a firm is to its shareholders. A honest salary earner or businessman is at least as patriotic as someone in the armed forces. I don't know what you do, but if see how well a $10m technology firm is managed, you will understand what I am talking about! For its size, the IAF is vastly lagging the private firms that can actually look ahead and plan (and incredibly brilliantly). If the planners of Indian Armed Forces can't plan their fleet, we should kick they ass and hand them over to Pakistan so that they can be made PoW.

I somehow smell the same IAF/GoI mindset in you where one can't accept reality beyond what has been poured into ones brain through Russian "technology transfers". You see, you actually need 'imagination' to look beyond the current constrains, which I admit clearly exist! But then you need to look beyond them to find a better way of doing things! Outright rejection or ridiculing someone's opinion is a clear sigh of weakness.

As for the competence of the IAF, I am sure these guys pull the sticks and triggers well, but technology management is not their core strength. Especially if the reasons they do what and how they do it are what you have mentioned. I have irrefutably a upper hand on this, being a soon to be PhD from a world leading university in Technology Strategy.

Besides, I am free to express my opinion irrespective of how lame it might be! You don't like it, simply ignore it or just say that they facts are not correct. If you want to vent your life's frustration, show off your knowledge/experience or if simply your ego hurts too much, thats not my problem!


you're just so full of it ! I first thought you didn't know about the MRCA being a newbie and so I ventured to try to straighten out the facts, but now I realise its something else- you think you know (but you dont), you don't care about the real-world truths and facts which apply to long-term plans because they're not in line with your master theory of opportunity grabbing and so you choose to ignore it and continue with the IAF bashing and drivel posts.

Almost nothing worth noting has come out of yours posts to date. And you're theorising how we lost out on some mega-opportunity to make a 126 order even larger and in the process lost out on some super-duper opportunity to standardise and what not.. :roll:

I remember another chump who used to compare oil refinery experience to defence R&D..forgot his name. But the attitude was the same. "I do so well, I am so smart, I apply such high-fundoo knowledge and planning skills in my work, I manage so well, my tax money, why is it that IAF, DRDO, ADA, HAL, GoI are all such bumbling idiots who don't do anything right".

as for your credentials- if they're even true, well you only go to show that without real-world experience, theory is useless. In theory you cannot take into account the thousands of other factors that can derail the best laid plans. And especially when your plans depend on someone else's plans and they depend on some other thousand political factors.

I don't need to boast about my credentials on an open forum but there are those who know what I do and what my education is, and thats enough. And considering that you say that you're finishing a PhD, I'm probably younger than you. :P

And unlike you I do work in the Aerospace industry and I know what I'm talking about (if I don't then I don't open my mouth which is why I stick to aerospace discussions only) and I also know that there is a world of difference between what is publicly admitted and the real facts and on-going behind the scenes activities. Sitting on some chair and strategising, one can forget all real-world constraints and theorise about how wonderful things could be made if only some bright spark had thought of something rather simple. I'm afraid thats how theories like communism also came about. In the real-world however, things don't quite work the same but only experience will show you that. Till then have a nice time in your la-la-land.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby pgbhat » 25 Feb 2010 07:56

nitinm wrote:I have irrefutably a upper hand on this, being a soon to be PhD from a world leading university in Technology Strategy.

Re quoted for posterity. :mrgreen:
When one cannot reason logically bring up alma mater to prop up echandee. :rotfl:

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby shukla » 25 Feb 2010 07:58

Moving on......................

US playing its "political" advantage card?

The Obama administration is trying to persuade New Delhi to buy American jet fighters instead, a shift White House officials say would lead to closer military and political relations between India and the U.S. It would also be a bonanza for U.S. defense contractors, and has dispatched senior officials such as Mr. Gates to New Delhi to deliver the message that Washington hopes India will choose American defense firms for major purchases in the years ahead.


Still in the pipeline is India's planned $10 billion purchase of 126 multirole combat aircraft for its air force. U.S. firms Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp. are vying with Russia and European companies for that deal, which would be a near-record foreign sale for the firms. An agreement last summer allowing the U.S. to monitor the end-use of arms it sells to India is expected to facilitate such deals.

"That's the biggest deal in the world right now," said Mr. Captain. "If it goes to an American firm, that would be the final nail in the coffin in terms of India shifting its allegiance from Russia to the U.S."


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 11454.html

Is that really how the world's going to look at this deal?? This deals become such a prestige issue now that India will have to be careful of sensitivities of the ones loosing out as well. I am sure the winner will blow the trumpet of a new strategic alliance.. I just hope the looser doesn't take it as a personal snub, whoever looses out. (especially if the US wins & Russian's loose out) Like Kartik said I hope that the political considerations doesn't take priority over the best choice of craft.. Its going to be an interesting decision..the worlds watching. I sometimes empathise with the GOI, only sometimes :wink:

I think it would make life of the GOI real easy if the Mig & F-16 & the EF & the Gripen fails & Rafale fail evals.. leaving them with only one choice and noone to answer :twisted:

I am really curious to find out who wins the LCA engine contract..that will surely be early pointers!

Any thoughts?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby ramana » 25 Feb 2010 08:20

Nitinm, Your post is contributing to the general decay in this thread and is a flame bait. Since you are a new member I am not issuing warning in the hope that you will realize the error of your ways. If not there is the ban option despite your qualifications. Please self edit your post and I will delete the others responses in turn.

Thanks,

ramana

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby ramana » 25 Feb 2010 08:24

From WSJ article posted above

"We do straight commercial deals with India, while Pakistan effectively uses the money we give them to buy our equipment," said a U.S. official who works with the two countries. "But we think that's ultimately in our national interest because it makes the Pakistanis more capable of dealing with their homegrown terrorists."


It would be foolish to buy US as the Indian money will get recycled to weapons for TSP. If US doesn't have money coming in from outside the money towards TSP will lessen.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Prem » 25 Feb 2010 09:11

Things must not be going their way as last i heard even Boeing folks were using Duuur ki Asha lafaz repeatedly. No doubt political card being played.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 25 Feb 2010 09:29

I am having some trouble with some of the topics:
* TSP will get funds. They have been getting funds. They will continue to get funds. Is it related to Indian decisions? India MUST get what is best for her - both technically and politically. There are more items of interest in this arena - l8r perhaps
* Also US vs. RU on the MRCA deal. Would the RU "win" mean a US "loss" on the 5th Gen plane? Considering it is not 1900 and that Indian economy will started dictating a few more things India cannot make decisions based on a zero sum game theory

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby shiv » 25 Feb 2010 09:58

nitinm wrote:I have irrefutably a upper hand on this, being a soon to be PhD from a world leading university in Technology Strategy.

Image

Wow!! Can I have your autograph please! Imagine. A PhD! In a forum full of illiterates!

But I have a claim to fame too. I have actually met and shaken hands with a PhD. Now I know not many of you have done that - but I can tell you his name - Ramnarayan Goldstein and give you his email. He sends out autographs for Pakistan $1 apiece.


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