MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby shukla » 19 Feb 2011 01:46

Indian Air Force May Be Nearing a Decision on Fighter

India recently revised its offset criteria, which has already delayed the MMRCA selection process, and caused the manufacturers of the contenders to beef up their industrial co-operation offers


No down-select from these six has been announced. According to news reports, Naik said all six vendors "meet 95 percent of the requirements".

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby SaiK » 19 Feb 2011 02:09

so, now the question is who all met 100% of the requirements.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Viv S » 19 Feb 2011 03:44

Doddel wrote:- One Gripen jam the EF radar while the other is tracking - both gripens will have a full radar picture while the EF will be blind.
- Both Gripens have there radars in in passive mode and is tracking the EF:s radar. Two gripens is enuogh to by triangulation calculate speed and position of the EF.
- The two radars can be operated in different modes to increase detection possibility and increase resistance to jamming.
- One gripen stay at long range (out of range of missiles) while the other is closing (preferably from another direction) with the radar in passive mode (sneaking). Both gripens will have a full radar picture. After the closest gripen has fired its missiles it can turn away to escape while the other gripen is providing the missiles with tracking info. The missiles (meteor) tracker will be switched on when it is too late for the EF to react.


Trouble with that scenario is twofold

- Almost all air missions are performed by two or more aircraft. Put in 2 EFs against 4 Gripens and the EF can employ the same strategy as well.

- Detecting a LPI radar, let alone jamming it, is a tough proposition given that it can be operating on dozen of frequencies simultaneously, as well as switching them at a rapid rate. Barrage jamming is the only realistic way to jam an AESA, but that will make the jamming platform a juicy target for an ARH missile.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Viv S » 19 Feb 2011 04:14

Henrik wrote:
Viv S wrote:Yes other buyers are happy and yes, Austria knew the present and future configuration of the aircraft they were receiving. If they wanted a true multi-role aircraft they'd have waited and ordered the T2 instead. And even the critics of the EF wouldn't call the T1 'obsolete'.

As far as I know the Austrians are deeply regretting their EF buy. What I've heard, the Germans "made an offer the Austrians couldn't refuse" by saying: "If you don't buy EF, Mercedes will close down it's factories in Austria". It explains why Austria in the last minute (with very short negotiations with Germany) suddenly turned around and picked old EFs.


Well that's because of circumstances of the purchase then. The aircraft itself was exactly what was promised. One can claim Austria was strong-armed into purchasing them but saying they scammed is inaccurate.
Last edited by Viv S on 19 Feb 2011 06:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby kit » 19 Feb 2011 06:19

kmkraoind wrote:HAL dismisses doubts about ability to work on advanced fighter programmes

HAL’s N.C. Agarwal, director Design and Development at HAL’s design complex in Bangalore, said: “If the Americans really thought in this fashion, it is self-contradictory to find them in the fray for the MMRCA deal. There need be no doubt about HAL’s ability to work with any partner. After all, the Sukhoi-30 licensed production programme (with the Russians) is for an aircraft as advanced or more in terms of its structure and aerodynamics, in comparison to the F-18 Hornet.


HAL directors seems to be giving a veil hint that F-18 has been selected.



How so ?

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Doddel » 19 Feb 2011 08:07

Viv S wrote:
Doddel wrote:- One Gripen jam the EF radar while the other is tracking - both gripens will have a full radar picture while the EF will be blind.
- Both Gripens have there radars in in passive mode and is tracking the EF:s radar. Two gripens is enuogh to by triangulation calculate speed and position of the EF.
- The two radars can be operated in different modes to increase detection possibility and increase resistance to jamming.
- One gripen stay at long range (out of range of missiles) while the other is closing (preferably from another direction) with the radar in passive mode (sneaking). Both gripens will have a full radar picture. After the closest gripen has fired its missiles it can turn away to escape while the other gripen is providing the missiles with tracking info. The missiles (meteor) tracker will be switched on when it is too late for the EF to react.


Trouble with that scenario is twofold

- Almost all air missions are performed by two or more aircraft. Put in 2 EFs against 4 Gripens and the EF can employ the same strategy as well.

- Detecting a LPI radar, let alone jamming it, is a tough proposition given that it can be operating on dozen of frequencies simultaneously, as well as switching them at a rapid rate. Barrage jamming is the only realistic way to jam an AESA, but that will make the jamming platform a juicy target for an ARH missile.


Do you have a source that say that EF can use the same strategy? I guess that i can't because Gripen has a brilliant datalink and NG will also have AESA. The datalink on Gripen NG will be even more advanced. The old gripens datalink is described below:

The Gripen is fitted with the "Tactical Information Datalink System (TIDLS)", which gives the fighter four high-bandwidth, two-way datalinks with a range of about 500 kilometers and very high resistance to jamming. The datalinks allow the Gripen to engage in combat using another aircraft's sensors or from targeting data provided by other defense systems. Data acquired from remote sources is fused and displayed on the fighter's main MFD. The link is fully operational when the aircraft is on the ground, allowing a pilot on standby to have high situational awareness of the battle environment.

One Gripen can provide radar sensing for four of its colleagues, allowing a single fighter to track a target, while the others use the data for a stealthy attack. TIDLS also permits multiple fighters to quickly and accurately lock onto a target's track through triangulation from several radars; or allows one fighter to jam a target while another tracks it; or allows multiple fighters to use different radar frequencies collaboratively to "burn through" jamming transmissions.


A basic use of the datalink is "silent attack." An adversary may be aware that he is being tracked by a fighter radar that is outside missile range. He may not be aware that another, closer fighter is receiving that tracking data and is preparing for a missile launch without using its own radar. After launch, the shooter can break and escape, while the other fighter continues to pass tracking data to the missile. In tests, Gripen pilots have learned that this makes it possible to delay using the AMRAAM's active seeker until it is too late for the target to respond.

But the use of the link goes beyond this, towards what the Swedish Air Force calls "samverkan," or close-cooperation. One example is the use of the Ericsson PS-05/A radar with TIDLS. An Ericsson paper compares its application, with identical sensors and precise knowledge of the location of both platforms, to human twins: "Communication is possible without explaining everything."

"Radar-samverkan," the Ericsson paper suggests, equips the formation with a super-radar of extraordinary capabilities. The PS-05/A can operate in passive mode, as a sensitive receiver with high directional accuracy (due to its large antenna). Two PS-05/As can exchange information by datalink and locate the target by triangulation. The target's signals will often identify it as well.

The datalink results in better tracking. Usually, three plots (echoes) are needed to track a target in track-while-scan mode. The datalink allows the radars to share plots, not just tracks, so even if none of the aircraft in a formation gets enough plots on its own to track the target, they may do so collectively.

Each radar plot includes Doppler velocity, which provides the individual aircraft with range-rate data. However, this data on its own does not yield the velocity of the target. Using the TIDLS, two fighters can take simultaneous range-rate readings and thereby determine the target's track instantly, reducing the need for radar transmission.


http://jas39gripen.blogspot.com/

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Drishyaman » 19 Feb 2011 08:55

Doddel wrote: NG will also have AESA.

By when ? Mig - 35, F - 18 and F - 16 are already flying with AESA. Saw the photograph of a Rafale with AESA fitted on to its nose in this forum.
Did someone try to say Gripen is in the same Generation as others ? Yes, Gripen is not much behind the others, just .5 Gen behind some of its competitors.

Doddel wrote: The datalink on Gripen NG will be even more advanced.

That sentence seems relative (better then old Gripen ? that is ought to be). Is it better than the others in MMRCA competition? Please, make a comparative analysis and enlighten us. Doubt Gripen’s datalink is better then Unkil’s. Not sure about others.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby johnny_m » 19 Feb 2011 09:54

The SH and F 16 are the only ones in the competiton with production AESA radars. The Rafale is close as well with the first one to be delivered on 2013. The Gripen and MIG are flying with prototypes both of which should be ready by the time the first MRCA fighter is to be delivered. The Typhoon has a flurry of plans wrt to its AESA but currently is not even flying with a prototype, but if a decision is reached it can too deliver a radar on time.

Excellent post by Scorpion on the Typhoon radar @ keypubs, he is considered an expert on all things tiffy.

http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showpo ... tcount=680

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Viv S » 19 Feb 2011 11:32

Doddel wrote:
Do you have a source that say that EF can use the same strategy? I guess that i can't because Gripen has a brilliant datalink and NG will also have AESA. The datalink on Gripen NG will be even more advanced. The old gripens datalink is described below:



There's nothing very novel about it. Even the IAF's Su-30MKIs can employ the same tactic. As a matter of fact, most modern AEW&C aircraft operate the same way as well - the fighters flying silent while the AWACS 'paints' the target.

The Eurofighter flies with the Link 16 datalink and will have an AESA as well. Also, whichever aircraft the IAF picks will be customized with Indian datalinks compatible with the IAF's C4I network.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Viv S » 19 Feb 2011 11:45

Saudi Arabia seeks Tranche 3 capabilities for Typhoon fleet

Saudi Arabia could modify its Salam programme acquisition of the Eurofighter Typhoon to equip part of the fleet with Tranche 3 capabilities. BAE Systems disclosed the potential contractual shift on 17 February within its annual results report.


"Whilst deliveries on the Salam programme remain on schedule, the programme is likely to be adjusted to accommodate some customer changes," says BAE. "These may include relocating final assembly of the last 48 of the 72 aircraft, the creation of a maintenance and upgrade facility in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and, in addition, the last 24 of the 72 aircraft might be delivered with modifications to allow future incorporation of Tranche 3 capability."


Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK have already signed up for Tranche 3A production of the Typhoon, with new capabilities to potentially include the incorporation of MBDA's Meteor beyond visual-range air-to-air-missile, Storm Shadow cruise missile and an active electronically scanned array radar by 2015. Approved in 2009, their combined commitment is worth €9 billion ($12.2 billion).

With regard to another government-to-government sales opportunity in the Middle East region, the company says "significant activity is ongoing to agree an order for the supply of Typhoon aircraft to the Royal Air Force of Oman".

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Sandeep_ghosh » 19 Feb 2011 12:49

dear friends,

what would be the implications of spliting the MMRCA deal among two contenders, eg: 70 Rafales and 120 Mig 35/Gripens

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Henrik » 19 Feb 2011 13:59

Drishyaman wrote:By when ? Mig - 35, F - 18 and F - 16 are already flying with AESA. Saw the photograph of a Rafale with AESA fitted on to its nose in this forum.
Did someone try to say Gripen is in the same Generation as others ? Yes, Gripen is not much behind the others, just .5 Gen behind some of its competitors.

Like I said, they're all of the same gen. The Rafale AESA won't be fitted on the aircrafts until a couple of years, so yes the Gripen NG is in the same gen as the Rafale.

That sentence seems relative (better then old Gripen ? that is ought to be). Is it better than the others in MMRCA competition? Please, make a comparative analysis and enlighten us. Doubt Gripen’s datalink is better then Unkil’s. Not sure about others.

Yes, better than all of the competition. The US is just now catching up with the datalink for the F-35 which will have similar capabilities as the Gripen datalink.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Victor » 19 Feb 2011 15:31

It would make sense for India to partner with a company like Boeing via the P8I Poseidon, Globemaster, Hornet, Chinook and Apache besides other military and civilian aircraft. The mutual benefit from a large Boeing footprint in India is far greater than the sum of the parts.

Boeing announces expanded partnership with India
BANGALORE, India, February 8, 2011 – The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced plans to further deepen its relations with suppliers and partners in India. The company has outlined a comprehensive strategy to develop India’s industrial capabilities, with a keen focus on India’s indigenous aerospace community.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby kit » 19 Feb 2011 16:08

Sandeep_ghosh wrote:dear friends,

what would be the implications of spliting the MMRCA deal among two contenders, eg: 70 Rafales and 120 Mig 35/Gripens


The official stand is that of a single aircraft type.But it increasingly looks like that it will be a split order in the ratio 1:2 or 3,kinda weird but maybe it is done to placate the jingoes here at BR :mrgreen: (dont talk about a lot of aircraft types,museums,circus etc etc) ., an american aircraft will be there in the finals.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Indranil » 19 Feb 2011 20:04

kit wrote:.But it increasingly looks like that it will be a split order in the ratio 1:2 or 3

How?

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Vishnu » 19 Feb 2011 20:17

Hi folks ... All sorts of rumors now doing the rounds presently as follows ...

1. The overwhelming one being that the IAF wants a twin engine jet ...
2. There is bound to be a split order if the order size goes up to 250 odd jets for cost reasons ... 250 twins are too expensive whichever way one measures costs ...
3. The top two in the race are the Eurofighter and the Rafale.

Still ... the IAF wanting a jet doesnt mean it will end up getting it. The cost issue and the tech transfer issue is critical ... and thats in the MoD's hands now.

The BIG concern is that the IAF has technically disqualified some of the competitors because they are clear about the plane they want ... That may be all very well ... but there are bound to be question marks if they have disqualified jets which actually meet the requirements. In other words ... technical qualification is not necessarily an entirely objective scenario ... There is enough leeway to disqualify the planes you dont want ...

Thanks
Vishnu

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Baldev » 19 Feb 2011 21:27

Vishnu wrote:Hi folks ... All sorts of rumors now doing the rounds presently as follows ...

1. The overwhelming one being that the IAF wants a twin engine jet ...
2. There is bound to be a split order if the order size goes up to 250 odd jets for cost reasons ... 250 twins are too expensive whichever way one measures costs ...

Vishnu
well minister says that only aircraft merits will be considered and on the other hand bidder which meets requirements with lowest price will win,these are two contradictory things.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby sumshyam » 19 Feb 2011 21:51

assuming F16 has no chance of being selected for its operational history with PAF. I hope there is no point in Buying Grippen as a single engine fighter. IAF should support LCA.

Perhaps I should be sorry to say like this but, Supporting or buying anything foreign over Indigenous ones, IAF would just be a blot on National Industries and more over Self-Reliance Programs. If, this happens, all involved must be brought to schools.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Drishyaman » 19 Feb 2011 22:00

Some one says that all the fighters met 95 % of the IAF's requirements.
Considering the L1 clause and the new speculation of twin engine requirement not prone to sanctions we can zero into one aircraft only.
This is only aircraft which is having TVC which will make it more maneuverable in a potential dog-fight.
Incidentally, the earlier Iterations of this aircraft is combat proven.
This aircraft is also flying with AESA Radar.
This aircraft has commonality with existing Aircrafts in IAF's inventory.
Also, the decision for MMRCA has been deferred to 2012 and by that time Mig - 35 will be much more improved.
So it has to be Mig - 35 only.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Vishnu » 19 Feb 2011 22:33

Baldev wrote:
Vishnu wrote:Hi folks ... All sorts of rumors now doing the rounds presently as follows ...

1. The overwhelming one being that the IAF wants a twin engine jet ...
2. There is bound to be a split order if the order size goes up to 250 odd jets for cost reasons ... 250 twins are too expensive whichever way one measures costs ...

Vishnu
well minister says that only aircraft merits will be considered and on the other hand bidder which meets requirements with lowest price will win,these are two contradictory things.



Lots of contradictions here ... but what the Minister said was in response to the question I asked him at the press conference at Aeroindia ...

The question was whether there would be any political decision which would decide the MMRCA buy to which he said .. quite categorically ... that there would be no political influence. I see this as meaning that India will not accept any American pressure or Russian pressure to push a purchase of their jet and that the Air Force would get the plane it wants as per the acquisition process.

What I am suggesting ... and I repeat suggesting .. is that there MAY never be a scenario where the cheapest fighters will be considered ... because they have been deemed to have failed the technical evaluation ... The question which may be asked is whether that process of technical downselect (which we are now told HAS happened) is fair since ALL the competitors have reasons to believe that their jet meets the RFP requirements.

What this means is that there is a solid window that exists for losing bidders to complain ...

Just to take this hypothesis further ... if the single engine jets have been ruled out ... SAAB and LockMart can argue that its unfair that Rafale and Eurofighter have gone through since none of them had a viable AESA during the trial process ...

Can the MoD ... run by bureaucrats ... be in a position to assess the viability of complaints by losing bidders who question the technical evaluation process ? I doubt they can ... so, assuming they have a valid complaint ... who is the competent authority to judge the merits of the complaint ? A retired panel of pilots ? BRfites ?

This is crystal ball gazing ... but here is what I can see happening ...

* Eurofighter wins ... The MoD moves quickly to close the deal under intense pressure from the IAF worried about its depleted squadron strength.

* The others complain ... slamming the Air Force for disqualifying them on technical grounds ...

* The deal is delayed ...


Scenario 2:

* Eurofighter or Rafale win.
* The MoD ignores pressure and complaints and inducts the aircraft.
* This is done at the cost of serious questions on the fairness of the IAF's evaulation process ...

Scenario 3:

* Eurofighter or Rafale win ..
* The MoD agrees to increase the deal size to 250 jets
* One of the single engine bidders gets lucky ... and happy ... since they get orders since its too expensive to buy 250 twin engine birds ...
* The extent of the protests are muted.

Which brings me to the central point ... and this is simplistic ... the acquisition process in the MMRCA deal remains fundamentally flawed ... and susceptible to challenges ...

Cheers
Vishnu

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby nachiket » 19 Feb 2011 23:26

Regardless of who wins, the MoD must make sure that the deal is not delayed. It is obvious that the IAF is really worried about this from the comments made by ACM Naik during Aero India. This is a question of national security and that should trump any complaints of injustice by foreign aircraft manufacturers.
The MoD has the power to do this I assume but perhaps not the will.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby nachiket » 19 Feb 2011 23:30

Vishnu, it is interesting that all three of the scenarios you envision consist of either the EF or Rafale winning. Is the size of the deal that is usually quoted ($10-11 billion) less than the actual amount the govt. is willing to spend or can 126 EFs or Rafale's be actually bought for that amount along with spares and support?

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Rahul M » 19 Feb 2011 23:45

a split decision would be the silliest possible outcome of this circus.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby eklavya » 19 Feb 2011 23:46

A decision taken by the Union Cabinet of the Government of India in possession of all the relevant facts and figures can only be appealed if it is unlawful/unconstitutional. Who will the 'losers' appeal to: the Supreme Court? Even the judiciary realises that there are limits on its intervention in the executive function. To believe that political and diplomatic factors will not play a role in the Government's decision is naive.

If all the potential brides (Hema, Zeenat, Rekha, Parveen, Madhuri, Kat) are beautiful and leggy enough, notwithstanding the bridegroom's particular preference(s), the heads of the household may still prevail in their wish for the one with the right family connections.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Indranil » 20 Feb 2011 01:45

Rahul M wrote:a split decision would be the silliest possible outcome of this circus.

Couldn't agree with you more on this.

Also, if it is true that we are going in for 260 of these planes, apart from the F-16 and the F-18 we will be the single largest users of these planes and sometimes by a quite a margin. I didn't know that we had become such a big economy that we could support EF/Rafales (presently the most expensive planes on this earth) of such numbers! To give you some perspective, a medium plane which costs the same to acquire and operate as the fifth-gen FGFA!

Also given that all the planes satisfy 95% of the requirements ... hmmm

JMT.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby shukla » 20 Feb 2011 01:59

The Big Deal nears the finish
Deccan Chronicle

It's a big deal — in fact, the biggest defence import deal for India so far, and the biggest contract up for grabs for the world’s military equipment giants. It’s also the most complicated military buy decision that the IAF and the political leadership face. For starters, just the technical and field evaluations had over 600 test points for each aircraft. Yet, if a decision is not made in the next few months, it could be a very big disaster for the IAF’s short to medium-term warfare capability.

To be sure, the MMRCA procurement process has reached an advanced stage. The IAF has given the ministry of defence its report on the technical and field trials of the six aircraft in contention, reportedly without picking a favourite or even a shortlist — Lockheed Martin’s F-16IN, Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F, the Eurofighter (UK-Germany-Italy-Spain) Typhoon, the French Dassault Rafale, the Swedish Gripen IN and the Russian MiG-35 are vying for the contract — leaving that task to the MoD bureaucracy.

An MoD Technical Oversight Committee is currently looking at the ‘offset’proposals — a requirement that the winning contractor source a certain amount of the value of each aircraft that India buys from Indian industry — submitted by the contenders for the deal. Simultaneously, their proposals for transfer of technology, critical for the rapid development of an Indian capability to build advanced fighters, are also being examined.
At the end of this process — expected to end in a week or two — the TOC will ‘down-select’ a few companies to go to the next stage of the bidding process. The price bids of the short-listed companies will then be opened in front of the bidders. The lowest price bidder, designated L1, will be called by a Contract Negotiation Committee to finalise the terms of the deal. Once that’s done, the defence minister, then the finance minister and finally the Cabinet committee on security will have to sign off on the contract.
At the recent Aero India show, ACM Naik said this will be done by September, but MoD officials have told this newspaper it will happen no sooner than the end of the year or early next year, if all goes well. That caveat is important.

Corruption has always been the big bugbear, but the MMRCA process has, so far, been admirably unaffected. The IAF and the MoD have, in fact, gone out of the way to ensure that the process is clean and transparent.

Trouble, however, could come from elsewhere. For one, as the air chief himself said, a losing contender could put a spoke in the wheel — such corporate sniping has forced the MoD to re-tender or even cancel procurements in the past. Or, the finance ministry could well play spoilsport, as it did with the refueling tanker deal recently.
No matter who puts the spoke in the wheel, ultimately it is the country’s security that will be put at risk unless the IAF can begin to induct the aircraft by 2015-2016. Beyond that date, the MMRCA will either have to be scrapped or the aircraft will become a costly, even unnecessary, acquisition.

Nonetheless, it’s not an easy decision to make. For starters, should India buy an aircraft to meet merely IAF's capability requirements or, when it is spending over $10 billion — potentially $25 billion — should its choice be based on obtaining critical technology and strategic benefits? Even if only the IAF's capability requirements were kept in mind, should it go for a ‘combat-proven’ fighter essentially of 1970s/80s design (f-16), but whose development potential is at an end? Or, should it go for the newest, albeit relatively unproven, fighter that has ‘potential’ for improvement for the next 40 years (Typhoon, Rafale)?

Should the IAF insist on a fighter that has a working active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar today (F-16, F/A-18) or should it take the risk of choosing one for which an AESA radar is still under development?

Should the IAF simply go for the cheapest aircraft, while keeping its resources for a future acquisition of a so-called 5th-gen fighter, the F-35? Should it scrap the MMRCA, forget the F-35 and simply buy more of the most capable fighter it already has — the Sukhoi-30 MKI? Or should it buy the most expensive, but also apparently the most capable aircraft in the race — the Typhoon — to hedge against a possible failure of its own future aircraft project?
And what should India’s political leadership look to gain from such a big contract?
In March 2005, America declared its intention to “facilitate India’s defence transformation” by not only selling fighters but also “transformative systems” that would “help India become a major world power in the 21st Century”. Should India take the promise at face value and buy an American fighter, to possibly build an alliance against China?
Or, should India buy the Eurofighter Typhoon, and give the European defence industry a fillip in an attempt to preserve our preferred multi-polar world order? Should we buy the French Rafale because France, like India, likes to keep its independent flag flying and is ready to give us “100 per cent” technology?

In the end, it is very likely that even within the tight two-stage bidding process, India’s bureaucracy and political leadership will find creative ways to ensure that political and strategic considerations and India’s need for technology decide the final choice of aircraft.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby SaiK » 20 Feb 2011 02:23

what nearing finish? it is never ending saga..

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby NRao » 20 Feb 2011 06:24

shukla wrote:The Big Deal nears the finish
Deccan Chronicle


The importance of the 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) — which, per the armed forces’ Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan will go up all the way up to 260 fighters — cannot be overstated.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby kit » 20 Feb 2011 08:26

Rahul M wrote:a split decision would be the silliest possible outcome of this circus.


Yes, like i said., a bit weird.Once the result is out, one would start to think why they had all these deliberations in the first place ! It could have been much simpler and taken much less time in any other country.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Vishnu » 20 Feb 2011 09:25

Hi ... Just revealing ... clearly ... for the first time ... my personal views on all this ... and a lot of you out there are gurus on this ... so plis forgive for DDMitis.

As I see it ... FGFA is our frontline ... we have invested 30 billion dollars on it ...

Sukhoi 30 is our bedrock ... our present state of the art ... and with upgrades to its radar and engine .. it will remain relevant for a long period of time ...

As I see it ... MMRCA comes in where the LCA programme has failed to deliver so far (for whatever the reasons may be) .. In other words, it is our MiG-21 replacement. Whats more it will replace the MiG-23BN, the MiG-23 MF, the MiG-27, the Jaguar and ultimately the upgraded MiG-29 and upgraded Mirage 2000.

If any of you were Air Chief, would you be happy with a scenario where your young 21 year old fighter jock eventually graduates from the IJT to a 100 million dollar Rafale or Eurofighter ? Shouldnt there be a process of transition for pilots coming in ?

I dont think any of the single engine fighters compromise on an acceptable level of capability (the manufacturers will argue that they are the most capable despite their cheaper costs) ...

We may be a nation with increasing access to financial resources ... but I think there is a danger in our Air Force selecting the best and most expensive when, in the context of a particular purchase its just not necessary ...

My 100 million dollar bit ... cheers, Vishnu

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby nachiket » 20 Feb 2011 09:33

I disagree. The MRCA is not a Mig-21 replacement. It was never intended to be. It was meant to help get the IAF's squadron strength back to the sanctioned level of 39.5 from the present 28-30. The LCA is the Mig-21 replacement. It has been delayed, but it has not "failed to deliver" anything. I cannot fathom how a person with your knowledge and experience can still make such a statement. In fact it has delivered a lot more than it was originally intended to.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby NRao » 20 Feb 2011 10:23

Vishnu,

I agree for the most part.

I think India will have to have youngsters deal with expensive toys. I am not sure that there is an option in the near future.

On LCA, I had said this about 1-2 years ago. I still feel that the LCA will not meet with the curve it is supposed to be on. However, I am not one of those that feel it is a loss. Certainly NOT a Marut HF-24 comparison. With the loss of the 24 India lost it s ability to design, etc, I just do not see that happening with the "LCA" - the plane itself may not mature (in time), but the knowledge base will meet the challenges moving forward. (For the same reason I do not see the Gripen being a threat.)

Techs are moving so fast that I am not sure that the LCA can keep up.

Ouch. that FGFA statement hurt. I would have liked the AMCA to be the flagship product. Unless you meant it in the near time frame. In fact I do not think the FGFA will meet Indian expectations - it will be good, but not as good as India would like it to be.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Victor » 20 Feb 2011 10:53

If the LCA was available in numbers, the MMRCA tamasha would never have taken place. I recall that the search was started only after the LCA failed to appear when needed. This is not to take anything away from the achievements of the LCA program, just to state facts as I remember them. I am rooting for the LCA, MCA and Kaveri programs as much as anyone else and am certain that they will bear tremendous dividends soon. But I think the realization has dawned that this will not happen without help in critical areas in which reinventing the wheel is not the best strategy. That's why I am convinced that the MMRCA choice will not be made due to political pressure but on the basis of what's strategically the best for India. I believe that it is in India's best interests to be a player for and in an ecosystem like Boeing and to a lesser extent, BAE, because that is what will help us the most when 5th gen goes mainstream in less than a decade. There are going to be protests and accusations of a political sellout no matter what happens and I hope our people are strong and bold enough to squash any further delay no matter what the decision is.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Vishnu » 20 Feb 2011 10:58

nachiket wrote:I disagree. The MRCA is not a Mig-21 replacement. It was never intended to be. It was meant to help get the IAF's squadron strength back to the sanctioned level of 39.5 from the present 28-30. The LCA is the Mig-21 replacement. It has been delayed, but it has not "failed to deliver" anything. I cannot fathom how a person with your knowledge and experience can still make such a statement. In fact it has delivered a lot more than it was originally intended to.


nachiket wrote:I disagree. The MRCA is not a Mig-21 replacement. It was never intended to be. It was meant to help get the IAF's squadron strength back to the sanctioned level of 39.5 from the present 28-30. The LCA is the Mig-21 replacement. It has been delayed, but it has not "failed to deliver" anything. I cannot fathom how a person with your knowledge and experience can still make such a statement. In fact it has delivered a lot more than it was originally intended to.


Nachiket ... its failed to deliver because it did not arrive in the form the Indian Air Force wants it. The Air Chief still describes the Mk1 as a MiG21 + +, not as a plane of the capability the IAF expected. This isnt to say the LCA project has failed to make progress ... thats not what I am saying at all. All I am saying is that the MMRCA ... if speedily inducted .. will replace everything from the MiG-21 to the MiG-29 (evenually). You could argue that the LCA-Mk II will be the true replacement for the MiG 21 .. which may be the case .. but the IAF is NOT holding its breath for the Mk-2. They seem to be far more confident of the ability of one of the MMRCA competitors ... at least, at the moment. Again, this isnt to say that they dont want the Mk II ... I think the sense is that the MMRCA and the MkII can live together ... and in a sense the MMRCA is a hedge for the MK II.

If they had so much confidence in the LCA Mark II, they should have scrapped the MMRCA deal .. invested heavily in modifying the LCA and living with that outcome.

Thanks
Vishnu

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Viv S » 20 Feb 2011 11:01

Vishnu wrote:If any of you were Air Chief, would you be happy with a scenario where your young 21 year old fighter jock eventually graduates from the IJT to a 100 million dollar Rafale or Eurofighter ? Shouldnt there be a process of transition for pilots coming in ?


Umm... if you were Air Chief would you be happy if your young 21 year old fighter jock eventually graduated from the IJT to a 100 million dollar PAK-FA/FGFA?

If the USAF can send rookie pilots to fly the F-22 and F-35, and the RAF and AdA can do the same for the Eurofighter and Rafale respectively, then I see no reason why the IAF should have any extra anxiety. But its scarcely fair to the IAF's training regime/program to fear a EF/Rafale purchase because you may have youngsters flying it.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Nikhil T » 20 Feb 2011 11:31

I want to play the devil's advocate and say that cost should be a big consideration as well in the MMRCA race. There is no pressing need for a small additional advantage that a $100 million plane will bring. That is why I support the Air Force's L1 method. If the requested tech criteria is fulfilled and the offsets taken care of, the L1 method will not limit our capabilities, since tactics play a significant part as well. We could always find better use in other areas with the saved money for increasing our overall defence capabilities - like more AWACS, mid-air refuellers and Akash batteries.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby chackojoseph » 20 Feb 2011 11:37

Vishnu wrote:Nachiket ... its failed to deliver because it did not arrive in the form the Indian Air Force wants it. The Air Chief still describes the Mk1 as a MiG21 + +, not as a plane of the capability the IAF expected.

If they had so much confidence in the LCA Mark II, they should have scrapped the MMRCA deal .. invested heavily in modifying the LCA and living with that outcome.

Thanks
Vishnu


What IAF chief said is that Link "some systems and maneuvers have to be finalized leading to the FOC. "

They wouldn't have scrapped MMRCA as the force wants a mix of proven and indegenious capability. Nobody fields a nacent capability in toto.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Cain Marko » 20 Feb 2011 12:12

Quite frankly the problem is not whether the LCA can deliver in terms of performance - the problem lies in whether it can be on time. In any case this MRCA thing is a bloody circus - I have always felt so. Esp. in light of 5 gen a/c coming in. The push should be to indigenize, period. Whether they (IAF) like it or not - they should buy LCA, AMCA. It should not be a matter of choice. It never was with any of the major aerospace powers. VVS/USAF/Adla etc didn't just dump indigenous programs because toys from other countries looked better!

In the case of India, and IAF, the focus should be on MKI, LCA, Pakfa, MCA. If they need fighters in a hurry, pick up a few sqds of used Mirage 2000-5s and perhaps newer Jags and Fulcrums, that is it.

At the same time the technocrats shouldn't treat this project as some kind experimental project and aim for the stars everytime, and then run off to the US for every damned thing. Perhaps run two programs in parallel - one focusing on R&D and the other a little more practical.

CM.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Viv S » 20 Feb 2011 12:36

Nikhil T wrote:I want to play the devil's advocate and say that cost should be a big consideration as well in the MMRCA race. There is no pressing need for a small additional advantage that a $100 million plane will bring. That is why I support the Air Force's L1 method. If the requested tech criteria is fulfilled and the offsets taken care of, the L1 method will not limit our capabilities, since tactics play a significant part as well. We could always find better use in other areas with the saved money for increasing our overall defence capabilities - like more AWACS, mid-air refuellers and Akash batteries.


When going up against a foe of the same technological standard, its that small additional advantage that will determine whether the $100 million aircraft comes back to base or not. In the 70s and 80s, aircraft could go into combat, maneuver till their fuel ran low and return back to base. Today, most aerial encounters will have a decisive result and a losing aircraft will barely be worth its weight in scrap metal.

Also, while I haven't seen the bids, I'd venture that the cost differential isn't quite as high as it would seem. The F-16 aside, the cheapest aircraft would cost at least 75% of the most expensive one. Which is akin to buying (say) 5 Gripens in lieu of 4 Eurofighters/Rafales. Not necessarily a great deal.

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Re: MRCA Discussion - October 2, 2010

Postby Boreas » 20 Feb 2011 13:40

Cain Marko wrote:Quite frankly the problem is not whether the LCA can deliver in terms of performance - the problem lies in whether it can be on time. In any case this MRCA thing is a bloody circus - I have always felt so. Esp. in light of 5 gen a/c coming in. The push should be to indigenize, period. Whether they (IAF) like it or not - they should buy LCA, AMCA. It should not be a matter of choice. It never was with any of the major aerospace powers. VVS/USAF/Adla etc didn't just dump indigenous programs because toys from other countries looked better!

In the case of India, and IAF, the focus should be on MKI, LCA, Pakfa, MCA. If they need fighters in a hurry, pick up a few sqds of used Mirage 2000-5s and perhaps newer Jags and Fulcrums, that is it.

At the same time the technocrats shouldn't treat this project as some kind experimental project and aim for the stars everytime, and then run off to the US for every damned thing. Perhaps run two programs in parallel - one focusing on R&D and the other a little more practical.

CM.


That's not best of advices i heard from you!

I think the reason "acquiring fighters in hurry" was superseded by the reason "to acquire new technology (read western) that could be applied in homegrown programs and to gain political ground" and above all the reason "to maintain a quality-wise superiority on PLAAF"

Jags/M29/Mig-2k are passe' LCA is for an entirely different purpose and AMCA is more then a decade away.

There are many voids we have to fill - void in terms of number, void in terms of our technological knowledge and void in terms of our industrial base. WE want this deal to fill all the voids.. not just one.


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