Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

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brar_w
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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby brar_w » 09 Jul 2014 16:32

Bottomline : when US makes a plane good or bad, it has a readily available market in terms of its allies for many many reasons.
So words like overwhelming support etc are exaggeration and it would be better to objectively stick only w.r.t the planes merits vis-a-vis any other options


Each on of those allies have other US planes to choose from if that is the only reason they are buying. At least 3 other fighters are available for sale.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Yashu » 09 Jul 2014 18:40

brar_w wrote:
Bottomline : when US makes a plane good or bad, it has a readily available market in terms of its allies for many many reasons.
So words like overwhelming support etc are exaggeration and it would be better to objectively stick only w.r.t the planes merits vis-a-vis any other options


Each on of those allies have other US planes to choose from if that is the only reason they are buying. At least 3 other fighters are available for sale.


None of these other choices provide any advantage against SU 30 family, Raffale or Euro fighter
So really no other choice

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Mihir » 09 Jul 2014 18:41

Viv S wrote:In 2025 the Indian Rafale fleet will be brand new and still in production at HAL. An MLU at that stage wouldn't be feasible. In contrast, the French fleet would be more than 15 years old on average, so an MLU in its case, makes sense. An Indian MLU would probably take place around 2035, for which it would need to sponsor new development or accept older MLU kits.

:?:

What does being in production have to do with MLUs? The MKI upgrade is already being planned while the aircraft afre in production at HAL.

I don't see why the Rafale has to be any different. Planning could start as soon as Dassault showcases its upgrades. Add a few years for RFIs/RFQs/RFPs, a few more for competitive tenders, negotiations, cajoling, threats, a UPA-III wreaking the kind of economic havoc that would make Sopwith Camels seem like the only affordable option for a while, and you could very well see the first MLU'ed Rafale roll out as early as 2040.
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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby member_23694 » 09 Jul 2014 19:25

brar_w wrote:Each on of those allies have other US planes to choose from if that is the only reason they are buying. At least 3 other fighters are available for sale.


If I am not wrong you are talking about F 15 SE, F/A-18Ei Super Hornet and F 16 block 70 right ?
Now the query, what is the most optimistic timeline for the production line of all the above three to be kept running. Max 2018 if no new orders .
Further what is the roadmap for any further upgrades for these three. Is there any ?
Considering the above Why would for ex. say Israel, plan to replace its 300 odd F 16s with any of the three above. Replacing an F 16 with the latest and greatest F 16 currently available, does it really make sense.
See, F 35 has to be a cut above the rest for both US and LM at least on paper at whatever cost. It does not meet this target and USAF will be in serious trouble since there is no worthwhile Plan B .
Till now Rafale has succeeded in its target of replacing all the other fighters in French AF, F 22 failed to replace all the F 15s while F 35 is still on its way of doing so .

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby brar_w » 09 Jul 2014 20:06

If I am not wrong you are talking about F 15 SE, F/A-18Ei Super Hornet and F 16 block 70 right ?


Yes

Now the query, what is the most optimistic timeline for the production line of all the above three to be kept running. Max 2018 if no new orders


Probably 2018 but maybe more for the F-15 (i'd have to check)

Further what is the roadmap for any further upgrades for these three. Is there any ?


Most of the SE features designed into the F-15 SE are retrofittable onto the latest K and SG variants of the jet. Expect Boeing to continue to market these features to the 3 air-forces that operate the latest version of the jet (South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore).
The Advanced Super Hornet features such as the internal weapons pod, CFT's, cockpit and enhanced engines all are designed to be retrofitted onto existing USN and RAAF Super Hornets. Expect some of these elements to be incorporated in the future. These upgrades are not connected to the production line.

Considering the above Why would for ex. say Israel, plan to replace its 300 odd F 16s with any of the three above. Replacing an F 16 with the latest and greatest F 16 currently available, does it really make sense.


Block 60 is not available for the IDF, they have the SUFA which are quite young. Why would the IDF wish to NG the SUFA? Well if they were interested in a genuine 4.5 generation jet that had huge commonality with their existing air force they would have done so. No? Yet, they are firmly committed to operate 5th generation aircraft going in to the future, and much like the USAF are only upgrading certain elements of their 4th generation fleet.

See, F 35 has to be a cut above the rest for both US and LM at least on paper at whatever cost. It does not meet this target and USAF will be in serious trouble since there is no worthwhile Plan B .


There are plenty of options, from upgraded 4th generation designs to reviving the F-22 raptor using many of the F-35's components. The entire F-22 production tooling, videos and manuals are preserved for the future in air conditioned warehouses in California of it is ever required to be brought back into production :). This will obviously not happen because the F-35 is in the last phase of testing before IOC which occurs in about 12 months for the USMC and 24 months for the USAF.

Till now Rafale has succeeded in its target of replacing all the other fighters in French AF


So the French operate an all Rafale fleet?

F 22 failed to replace all the F 15s


There was no need to do a one for one replacement. The cold war ended and with it the requirement to have 500-700 F-22A's. The US IOC'd the F-22A almost a decade ago when no one even had a prototype 5th generation jet in the air. Many in the US claim to this day that even the 180 odd F-22's were not required.

F 35 is still on its way of doing so


The rafale is a 4.5 generation design. BTW How many Rafales have been produced till date?

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby member_28476 » 09 Jul 2014 20:26

Loads of sound for paper planes...

The rafale is a 4.5 generation design. BTW How many Rafales have been produced till date?

Explain what is a 5th gen plane, using LM definition F-35 isn't... And make your homework.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby brar_w » 09 Jul 2014 20:29

Loads of sound for paper planes...


For Paper planes? I am not advocating F-35 for the IAF, in fact I am fully supportive of the Rafale induction if a foreign fighter is to be procured. I just wished the babus would have done this years ago, and that more aircraft come from france instead of the complexity of working out TOT and setting up production lines.

Explain what is a 5th gen plane, using LM definition F-35 isn't... And make your homework


I asked a simple question to a point made by the poster above. The Rafale flew years before the F-35. Its timelines are not the same as that of the F-35. Expecting the F-35 to be as mature as the Rafale is now is quite absurd. As far as 5th generation definitions are concerned, it isn't the OEM that decides the requirements but the customer.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby member_23694 » 09 Jul 2014 20:45

brar_w wrote:Expecting the F-35 to be as mature as the Rafale is now is quite absurd.

Sorry !!, where did I mention that F 35 is required to be as mature right now ?
I made a simple statement the F 35 will have to replace the legacy fighters just like Rafale is currently doing and French AF will have only Mirage 2000D and Rafale from 2015. What is so absurd about it.
F 35 not yet in service but suggested to be greatest , best and the most cost effective fighter ever built . Now this is absurd.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby brar_w » 09 Jul 2014 20:49

F 35 not yet in service but suggested to be greatest , best and the most cost effective fighter ever built . Now this is absurd


And who is suggesting that? It will definitely not be the greatest fighter ever built until it proves to be that. Cost effective? Not as much (to operate) as a gripen, Rafale or typhoon. The last procurement price is quite competitive to 4.5th generation designs given that those designs are fully mature and operational aircraft. If the trend holds (as it has been doing for the last 5 blocks) the prices at full rate of production (i.e. at the same maturity level that current 4.5 generation designs are at) would be extremely competitive. I expect the 5th generation aircraft to be 20-30% more costly to operate then 4th or 4.5th generation jets at a minimum and this applies to the F-35, J-31, J-20 and PAKFA or even the AMCA.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby NRao » 09 Jul 2014 20:51

Pagot wrote:
NRao wrote:On strategic assets .......................................

Do not think it really matters.



It doese, and it is critical for France. No use having ASMP/A if vector isn't credible.


To France, yes.

Why would it matter to India? (Curious)

NRao wrote:What is real cool is that France is actually reading and taking advice from BR!!!!! Maintain/upgrade M2Ks!!!!!

Imagine a bidding war between France and India for the M2Ks from UAE. Fun!!



1 squadron of mirage 2000-5F (already modernized, with MDPU etc.). Mainly a stamp to differ their retirement. About Mirage 2000 D they do the job nicely. Yes we have money issues, but those will have to be replaced. The later being the best so as to wait for further Rafale standard...


Understatement.

I am betting that without Indian buy-in, not much is going to happen outside of as a strategic asset.

My argument is that if there is a need a nation will find the funds and conversely if there are no needs they will either not fund a project or incrementally improve it. Even the incremental improvements are normally (per my view) to address the fear of loss of expertise and not because the nation *needs* the incremental improvements - two totally different things.

On MLU, my fault, should have done more research before I posted, apologies.

MLU - that I have found include RCF improvements, conformal radars and TVC (main ones).

Multiple topics here.

* Funding. France (I did as much research on this as possible) has no funding allocated for these - do not know if the vendors are funding them on their own, but if they need to be implemented in 2025, someone better start work on them now - and get funds. My gut says that those "funds" are sitting in Indian coffers. ?????? Comments?

* *ALL* those MLU features are pretty much a given for an Indian "next gen" plane (whatever that may be). So, why fund (or pay) for a Rafale MLU in a new Indian Rafale, when those total funds ($20 billion for the base Indian Rafale + MLU costs) can go towards a new "next gen" plane?

* Next - the IAAF evaluated a MMRCA and selected the Rafale. Would not the inclusion of a "MLU" require a re-eval of the MMRCA? With a "MLU" up front, this project is no longer a "MMRCA". ?????? Comments? (Unless Dassault provides the MLU free of costs, includes the MLU in the base plane)



From your 1/2 posts I am gathering that Dassault is already looking to fold the Indian Rafale into the French dream (based on your post about it would be stupid not to include India in the MLU). Are the two AFs that closely aligned in pretty much every respect? (Again curious - trying to get an idea)





And, finally, does France (the country - MoD, etc) have plans for a "next generation" plane or what is after the Rafale? (just curious) Has Dassault started any work - outside of teh UAV - on a newer platform?

(BTW, someone (KM?) had posted something about IAF considering the Rafale as a 4th gen. Here goes:

Rafale is as good as any existing 5th-generation aircraft: French defence minister

The Rafale is principally designed to counter the Chinese Air Force. Yet it is a fourth-generation fighter at a time when China is testing a fifth-generation airplane. Will Rafale be outdated by the time it is fully inducted?

The Rafale is an omni-role aircraft designed to address the entire range of challenges that countries like France, India or others may face. I would take all the excitement about third or fourth or fifth-generation aircraft with a pinch of salt.

As of today, the only operational so-called 'fifth-generation' fighter has never been used in combat. Frankly, in real terms, the Rafale is as good as any existing fifth-generation aircraft.

As the British say, "the proof is in the pudding". The Rafale has been used extensively in Afghanistan, Libya in 2011 and in Mali since January 2013.

Its performance has surpassed expectations. As minister of defence I can testify to its outstanding performance. The Rafale can be upgraded to integrate the latest technologies and it has a clear roadmap for future development. We will partner with India in this endeavour.

)

And

(
Will Europe Ever Build Its Own Fifth Generation Fighter?

Beyond these industrial commitments to the F-35, the European industrial status quo is not sustainable. The internal market cannot support the present size of the sector, and even export success is unlikely to be able to take up all of the slack.


Key!!!! Funds. Not there.

Indian setting aside $30 billion for MMRCA and another $35 for FGFA? Dunno. Does not seem money well spent. IMHO.

)

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Austin » 10 Jul 2014 15:46

Interview with Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha

IAF plans early induction of Rafale

IAF’s MMRCA Rafale Programme

On the urgent requirement of combat aircraft though, he pointed out: “The MMRCA CNC (Commercial Negotiations Committee) is presently negotiating various aspects of the contract with the L1 vendor, Dassault Aviation of France. The negotiations are progressing well. The contract for 126 MMRCA is expected to be signed sooner than later in the current FY 2014-15.”

He pointed out that as the Rafale induction was in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2006, “Transfer of Technology (ToT) is not eligible towards discharge of ‘Offset’ obligations” but that the latest “revised offset guidelines permit greater flexibility for discharge of offset obligations.”

(Indian armed forces are hungry for ToT, and as the DPP has evolved, so is the clarity on how to get the best while buying expensive, modern defence systems. The emphasis on ToT was also stated as a priority by India’s top scientist, Dr Avinash Chander, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and Director General of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in a separate interview with India Strategic. He also mentioned that India’s focus now was on induction of the latest hi-tech systems to support the armed forces and that the time has come for a “performance audit” to compare what is made in India with equivalent imported systems).

As for the Rafale induction, there is progress towards early finalisation in discussions. According to Ministry of Defence (MoD) sources, a few subcommittees are working to fine tune details towards the contract, and this should not take very long.

The big issue was the agreement between the vendor, Dassault International, and HAL which is the prime integrator for the project. HAL has negotiated more than 70 per cent work share for itself although Dassault was initially hesitant to agree as there were doubts about the state-run company’s credentials in meeting production timelines. Delays can result in penalties for the French vendor. Nonetheless, this issue is resolved.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Karan M » 10 Jul 2014 15:50

Great, lol - so now the IAF chief is + with a view that TOT should be counted against offsets. So much for the 50% offsets revolutionizing Indian industry then.

>>HAL has negotiated more than 70 per cent work share for itself although Dassault was initially hesitant to agree as there were doubts about the state-run company’s credentials in meeting production timelines.

As suspected, Dassault didn't want to give workshare to HAL either citing "delays", of course there are no other reasons possible. HAL bad, bad.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Paul » 10 Jul 2014 18:00

Is there enough money in IAF's CAPEX share of INR 31000Crore to pay for the $2 - $3 Billion as down payment should the Rafale be signed in the current financial year?

What else is in the menu for the IAF this year. This would give an inkling on the ETA for signing the deal.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby member_28476 » 10 Jul 2014 18:27

First my bad if i was a bit harsh, it was late here and i was tired.

About strategic asset, it simply means that France will keep modernizing Rafale so as to maintain it as a relevant threat to any country.

About MLU, i doubt about any TVC. Plane is agile enough. Mostly it would be stealthier resahping of frontal area and new systems including conformal GaN radar antennas, new weapons (mica NG etc.), most weapons encased, TRAGEDAC research plan results (plane using other plane sensors directly), third DDM-NG, more powerful engine and things like that.
AFAIK there is no real plane beside EFCAS, AdA would be more relying on a EFCAS/Rafale duo (EFCAS for very dificult SEAD/DEAD missions, Rafale to do the job).
But DA is very secrecive about that, and for good reasons as the DGA hasn't freezed any configuration yet.
Folding indian Rafale in the french dream isn't what a DA vice president told me. What he said is that MLU specs would be discussed with India.*
About the 30Billion $ price tag i'm dubious. Price tag willl certainly be higher than off the shelf purchase, but keep in mind i will include ToT and industrialization costs but i wouldn't think about 30 billions.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby RoyG » 10 Jul 2014 20:27

Judging by the budget and the state of the economy, I think the Rafale deal is simply out of the question. I'm not sure how Jaitely is going to fund this mammoth deal. I think we should focus on producing a homegrown engine and weaponry for the LCA and take it from there.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby NRao » 10 Jul 2014 21:02

About strategic asset, it simply means that France will keep modernizing Rafale so as to maintain it as a relevant threat to any country.


I could be missing something.

However, let us look at this from a totally different angle, visit 2045 (or so).

Here is one view (one that I consider plausible)

Global Strategic Trends - a UK perspective

As a result, by 2045, China’s defence spending is likely to match that of the United States, with both countries accounting for over 50% of global defence expenditure. Both are also likely to be the only nations capable of maintaining cutting-edge air forces and navies in 2045. Furthermore, India’s continued economic growth will likely allow it to occupy a second-tier of defence spending, and further steps towards the integration of defence capabilities within the EU will likely lead the bloc to join India as a second-tier power when one considers the combined total of the EU’s defence budgets. Individually, however, the European nations, and Russia, will constitute third-tier powers in this regard due to lower relative economic growth, population stagnation or decline and little prospect of significant increases in defence spending.


A very, very high level picture, but one that is likely.

So, by then the French Rafale would be end-of-life.

The Indian Rafale would be actually mid-life, and would be ready for a MLU. So, in theory (based on what has been posted here), Indian Rafale would come in the base form around 2018, get the French Rafale MLU folded in starting 2025 and be ready for another "MLU" (boy a women would love this) in 2045.

Q1: Considering Indian env (see above quote), would the Indian Rafale be relevant in 2035+ (asked this but have not got an opinion - yet)?
Q2: Cost: Base price + 1st MLU + potential 2nd MLU. ????/ Comments?
Q3: IF Q2 is right, cost has to be north of $60 billion


Q4: In 2045, what have the French planned? The thinking has to start now. So, what is in the works?

Q5: Even for France, is a Rafale MLU (in 2025) *really* worth it? Will a French Rafale remain relevant into the 2040s?

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby member_28476 » 11 Jul 2014 01:59

Indian Rafale would come in the base form around 2018

Would be a smart move from india, getting directly F3-R standard

Q5: Even for France, is a Rafale MLU (in 2025) *really* worth it? Will a French Rafale remain relevant into the 2040s?

Definitly according to AdA officers.

Q4: In 2045, what have the French planned? The thinking has to start now. So, what is in the works?

Gave you little hints, but as i sais Dassault is quite a secrecive company.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Picklu » 11 Jul 2014 02:21

IAF capex for aircraft and aero engine has been cut by 40% from last years budget, a reduction of 12.5k crore. I do not see Rafale or Apache this year.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Cosmo_R » 11 Jul 2014 02:32

With a 49% defense FDI cap now in place and flexible enough to go higher depending on the ToT involved. Maybe DA/GoF propose a JV on the Rafale with an Indian partner (can be HAL) . I believe that the new cap comes with possibility of management control.

ToT can mean percentage of locally sourced inputs. DA puts up 49% of the money, the Indian partner 51% and the IAF places an order for x planes so market risk is not an issue.

If ToT is redefined this way (and it makes mores sense) and it is a JV as above ^^^. your talking CAPEX cost that is ~40% of the current number.

JMT

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby NRao » 11 Jul 2014 03:55

Q4: In 2045, what have the French planned? The thinking has to start now. So, what is in the works?

Gave you little hints, but as i sais Dassault is quite a secrecive company


Thx. Will re-read your posts for these little hints.

OK, let me pose the question in another way. Could there be a possibility of a "JV" (no idea what that really means in this context - other than some form of cooperation) - an Indo-French Next Generation plane? Possible? {Assume cost is not an issue.)

The French Minister did mention that cooperation in some form is possible - but only if the Rafale went through.

I guess I need to learn French to be able to read between the lines, eh?

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby srai » 11 Jul 2014 04:21

Pagot wrote:...

Q4: In 2045, what have the French planned? The thinking has to start now. So, what is in the works?

Gave you little hints, but as i sais Dassault is quite a secrecive company.


Neuron UCAV would be one. Europe is bypassing "5th-Gen" and jumping straight into "6-th Gen" due to financial constraints while at the same time trying to catchup with the US.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby brar_w » 11 Jul 2014 05:28

Neuron UCAV would be one. Europe is bypassing "5th-Gen" and jumping straight into "6-th Gen" due to financial constraints while at the same time trying to catchup with the US


Neuron and Taranis are UCAV test beds, much like the Phantom Ray and X-47B. They are not 6th generation air superiority or multi role fighters like say a Miss February .
Last edited by brar_w on 11 Jul 2014 05:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby NRao » 11 Jul 2014 05:44

brar_w wrote:
Neuron UCAV would be one. Europe is bypassing "5th-Gen" and jumping straight into "6-th Gen" due to financial constraints while at the same time trying to catchup with the US


Neuron and Taranis are UCAV test beds, much like the Phantom Ray and X-47B. They are not 6th generation air superiority or multi role fighters like say a Miss February .


That Miss February is stealth. Here is the non-stealth version.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby brar_w » 11 Jul 2014 05:48

NRao wrote:
That Miss February is stealth. Here is the non-stealth version.


Realized that :) , anyway that link is not that significant other then early artist drawings. What is more important is this -

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/f ... curve.html

Since DARPA has 10+ program managers working on the air defense initiative which the companies (lockheed as it says) are picking for self funding with the USAF and USN collaborating on long lead R&D such as propulsion and networking.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby NRao » 11 Jul 2014 06:08


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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Philip » 11 Jul 2014 06:29

According to official reports,by 2018,MKIs will be built completely (100%) with Indian origin materials and components.A healthy production rate of 15/yr. is being achieved as of now with current indigenous content being 70%.
The Super-Sukhoi upgrades for the entire fleet which will total 272 will be BMos capable,bot for std. versions of BMos as well as the Bmos-M,a smaller version around 5-6m in length.BMos' range has been mentioned as 290+km,below the 300 magic MTCR mark.However,it is common knowledge that the Yakhont,its twin,has a range around 500KM.Thus there would be no need for any French ASMP whatever.There are also hints that this gives the MKIs a nuclear capability tx to the missle.

The MIG-29 upgrade programme is also running smoothly,with first versions already delivered to the IAF by MIG and locally conducted upgrades being carried out for the rest.Support facilities for the engine,radar,etc,. are also being established in India for lifetime support for both IAF MIG-29UGs and the IN's 29-Ks.

The big Q is in comparison is ,how smoothly and how long will it take for 100% indigenisation of the Rafale how many aircraft are contemplated ,how many can we afford at current and future prices? If there is no moolah in the budget for the IAF for such a large capital expenditure,then the IAF had seriously better work out alternatives,as even if it is acquired,perhaps in much smaller numbers.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby NRao » 11 Jul 2014 07:16

I just do not see Russia playing a big role any more.

With Japan pulling India into a different orbit - that includes the US to a great extent (EAS, etc) - the dynamics will need to change.

I still think that France offers a viable route, but do not see them going the longer distance. Again dynamics will change and France will become 8relatively* irrelevant (do not mean in a -ve way).

IF in the future the two poles are the US and China - as most expect it to be - the decision for India would be made. Or pretty close to it.

I would like to see what comes out of the NaMo visit to Japan next month (not too far) and then the Sept visit to the US.

My feel - right now - is that India will, no matter what, on military hardware, have to leave the Russian orbit - nothing really to do with "Russia", just that Russia happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. *IF* this is true, then we should see the FGFA slide out of the picture.

The question, then, would become what next. France or the US? Frankly outside of naval assets, France would be a very difficult sell. And, not because of immediate expenses, but real long term costs. 2050 onwards.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Viv S » 11 Jul 2014 08:11

Pagot wrote:Not really. If you follow th ehistory of the program the plane evolves incrementally (blocks 1, 2, 3,, peresently 3.3', soone 3.4 and 3R in 2018). µThe same will happen after MLU. So whatever is the date of MLU (saying 2025 i was optimistic maybe), India will get MLU + future upgrades for its own MLU.


The Rafale is still a very modern aircraft so constant upgrades are assured for now. At the time of the Indian MLU however, it'll be an older system. A good example here again is the Mirage wherein the last upgraded unit delivered in 2019 will only be at par with the Dash 9s delivered to UAE over 15 years ago.

Following your reasoning, you cant say that India will finance french MLU but get its own obsolete MLU ten years later...


Not obsolete no, but expensive and delivering reduced value.

Viv S
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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Viv S » 11 Jul 2014 08:19

Mihir wrote:What does being in production have to do with MLUs? The MKI upgrade is already being planned while the aircraft afre in production at HAL.


The MKI upgrades will likely start with the oldest units in service with the current (Mk3s) units in queue being upgraded, perhaps a decade later.

I don't see why the Rafale has to be any different. Planning could start as soon as Dassault showcases its upgrades. Add a few years for RFIs/RFQs/RFPs, a few more for competitive tenders, negotiations, cajoling, threats, a UPA-III wreaking the kind of economic havoc that would make Sopwith Camels seem like the only affordable option for a while, and you could very well see the first MLU'ed Rafale roll out as early as 2040.


If the first MLU'd Rafale is rolling out in 2040, the last will certainly roll out after 2045. The French MLU in contrast will probably start around 2025, if not earlier, and by 2040 the retirement process would in full swing. There's relatively little synergy to be achieved here.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Viv S » 11 Jul 2014 08:39

Philip wrote:According to official reports,by 2018,MKIs will be built completely (100%) with Indian origin materials and components.A healthy production rate of 15/yr. is being achieved as of now with current indigenous content being 70%.


The Su-30MKI production is to end in 2019. So that would be a total of 15 aircraft built with Indian origin materials and components. I doubt its worth the effort.

However,it is common knowledge that the Yakhont,its twin,has a range around 500KM.


'Common knowledge'? Its got the same range as the BrahMos and has been exported to Syria, Indonesia & Vietnam.

The big Q is in comparison is ,how smoothly and how long will it take for 100% indigenisation of the Rafale how many aircraft are contemplated ,how many can we afford at current and future prices? If there is no moolah in the budget for the IAF for such a large capital expenditure,then the IAF had seriously better work out alternatives,as even if it is acquired,perhaps in much smaller numbers.


If the Su-30 experience is any evidence, it'll take more than 108 aircraft to achieve 100% indigenization. Its a futile objective. Unaffordable given our current financial situation, and unwise even with available funding.
Last edited by Viv S on 11 Jul 2014 09:02, edited 1 time in total.

Mihir
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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Mihir » 11 Jul 2014 08:46

I was being sarcastic there, boss :)

Viv S
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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Viv S » 11 Jul 2014 09:00

Mihir wrote:I was being sarcastic there, boss :)


Ahh.. right. Well 2035 is about right for the MLU (15 years post induction). 2040 sounded quite plausible. :D

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby member_28476 » 11 Jul 2014 15:32

Apparently (but noon can be sure) future for France would be a Rafale NG+ FCAS.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Austin » 11 Jul 2014 16:07

Pagot wrote:Apparently (but noon can be sure) future for France would be a Rafale NG+ FCAS.


Any more details on Rafale NG and what is FCAS ?

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby NRao » 11 Jul 2014 17:31

Pagot wrote:Apparently (but noon can be sure) future for France would be a Rafale NG+ FCAS.


Ah. Thanks.

As I have said before, India should tie the knot with France on this effort.

The UK seems to be ahead on this curve:

Jul 10, 2014 :: France, UK To Sign Memo Kicking Off Combat Drone Study

By PIERRE TRAN and ANDREW CHUTER
Posted: Thursday Jul 10, 2014

Britain and France plan to sign a memorandum of understanding for the study of a combat drone, bringing their air forces closer to an advanced fighter program worth billions, defense ministry spokespersons of the two countries said.

On July 15, during the Farnborough International Airshow, Defense Ministers Philip Hammond and Jean-Yves Le Drian are due to sign the agreement to launch a two-year feasibility study for the high tech combat drone, the French spokesperson said.

The unmanned combat aerial system (UCAS) study is seen as a step toward preparing a successor to the Rafale and Typhoon fourth-generation fighters starting around 2035.

The memorandum lays the groundwork for a contract around September for an Anglo-French industry group to explore the technology and concepts, the French spokesperson said.

Dassault Aviation and BAE Systems will focus on the platform, Rolls-Royce and Snecma on the engine, and Selex ES and Thales on the sensors and electronic systems, the official said.

London and Paris have signaled high level political support for the planned UCAS. "Our target was set by our president and the British prime minister at the Brize Norton summit: to sign at Farnborough Airshow an agreement aimed at launching the feasibility stage worth more than €200 million (US $272 million)," according to prepared remarks for Le Drian on a June 12 visit to the Istres flight test center, southern France.

"The technology demonstrator project for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which aims to prepare together the generation of fighter aircraft after the Rafale and Typhoon, is without doubt the most ambitious cooperation plan on our road map in terms of equipment and defense industry," he said.

The FCAS is a concept based on flying manned fighters such as the F-35 joint strike fighter and Rafale alongside unmanned combat aircraft.

"This is an important step in building the French-British UCAS project, which prefigures the launch of a program in two years' time," Dassault Chief Executive Eric Trappier said. "This combat drone could be an operational complement to existing fighters such as the Rafale."

The feasibility study will work on "systems architecture, certain key technology and definition of the simulation methods," the French ministry said on Jan. 31 after a letter of intent was signed at the Brize Norton meeting.

"The work consists of identifying the key technology and validating the technology through the use of simulation," Trappier said.

Further tasks will be to examine the operational concept, set the specifications and estimate the cost of building a demonstrator, he said.

The study will also lay out the prospective FCAS program, including setting the role of each of the companies in the cooperative effort. There will be a search "for the most efficient cooperation possible," he said.

One British executive said the study represented a step back from the more ambitious program that had originally been considered, but the curtailing of ambition was the right thing to do.

"Last year we were talking about a demonstrator program, now we have a study involving experimentation, trade-offs and other things that will inform a future demonstrator program. It's building from the ground upwards," he said.

A second British executive said the FCAS study was an important first step in a program critical to industry retaining the ability to produce combat-capable jets, a skill that was endangered by the partnership with the US in the F-35 program.

"The F-35 gave Britain great opportunities but also a huge problem as so many of the critical systems use US technology," he said. "FCAS gives us a chance for some form of rebalancing. It's a way back to the mainstream of systems development on combat jets."

A joint FCAS program offers Britain and France the chance to retain industrial skills beyond Typhoon and Rafale, as well as improve operational sovereignty, he said.

The first British executive said the issue goes beyond the maintenance of skills and capabilities in France and the UK, but touched on the future of a number of leading aerospace suppliers across Europe.

"It's vital for European aerospace as a whole," he said. "There has been a lot of discussion about when or whether to involve other nations or continue to just align with France. My view, though, is that once we get beyond this stage we are going to need more money and more production volume than just two nations can supply."

For now, though, prompted by defense ministers and others, industry from both nations are "working more collaboratively than ever before on this," the second executive said. "There will be bumps along the road but the structure they have adopted with the industrial champions pairing off across the key sectors gives cause for optimism that we will get a balanced study which emphasizes the importance of systems, the power plant and weapons as well as the platform."

If the studies across the industry partnerships goes well it could open the door to further collaboration outside of the FCAS program for companies that are normally bitter rivals, the first British executive said.

What happens after the study is delivered in 2016 prompts some uncertainty. "Where we go after the study is a good question. The French will likely want to get on and build a demonstrator whereas the British may want to go for an early assessment phase as they need to be confident they can justify the funding," the second executive said.

Others disagreed, saying the British would likely also want to see a demonstrator as the next step, but that the strategic defense and security review set to follow next year's May general election would set the tone for London's future involvement in the program.

British Defence Procurement Minister Philip Dunne told Defense News that the two sides had moved forward on the unmanned air combat system study.

"Following the summit in January we are anticipating some further progress in the FCAS commitment and moving that on a step. That's happening through the summer. We have a very strong relationship with France and it continues to grow," he said.

Britain and France each has a technology base gathered from building and flying respectively the Taranis and Neuron UCAV demonstrators.

For the UCAS feasibility study, London and Paris will equally fund a total £120 million (US $205 million), and each country also will fund a total of £80 million for national studies on the unmanned fighter, a joint declaration from the Brize Norton summit said.

The study, which is predominantly technical, will involve the development and testing of elements of the systems required for a highly integrated vehicle like a UCAS.

Thales would supply the French components of the radar and electronic warfare, electro-optronics and sensors for targeting and situation awareness, line of sight and satellite communications, avionics sensors and computers, a company spokeswoman said.

Safran's Snecma and Rolls-Royce have agreed on how to share the work if the demonstrator is launched.

Last year, the two companies handed a preparation phase report to British and French procurement offices. The report detailed how to mature and demonstrate key technology and operational aspects for a future combat drone.

"Each stage is important and this is starting to be significant, certainly on the financial front," said Jean-Pierre Maulny, deputy director of think tank Institut des Relations Internationales.

Once the study is completed, an issue will be whether funds will be available to pursue the project, he said. Another question is whether the program will be opened to other European partners such as Germany and Italy.

The ministers are also due to sign an agreement for the exchange of British and French studies on an upgrade of the Scalp-Storm Shadow cruise missile, the French ministry said in a July 10 statement. MBDA builds the long-range weapon. ?

Email: ptran@defensenews.com; achuter@defensenews.com.
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NRao
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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby NRao » 11 Jul 2014 17:41

Seriously, India needs to get involved in such (FCAS type) projects in their foundational stages. Next, this "5th Gen" is ancient - no problem retaining the nomenclature "AMCA", but India should seriously consider moving to the next step - FCAS type of concept (it will not be as easy for India as it it should be for some of the other nations: France/UK/etc, in core areas they have very mature players to bring to the table - which India does not).

Time to leave the FGFA effort - not a knock on the Russians, just the way the leaves have fallen.

Finally, India better get real serious on the "engine" front. Need a big push to make-it-happen.

-ve in all this: France is using the Rafale deal to allow entry into such things. At the start itself it is not an equal-equal feeling. What will the future hold?

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby brar_w » 11 Jul 2014 18:22

Seriously, India needs to get involved in such (FCAS type) projects in their foundational stages.


These are closely guarded future technologies. No one will share these with us at the R&D stage. The AMCA experience should give us plenty of know how to rapidly make high technology combat UCAV's of equal or higher quality to the AMCA.

no problem retaining the nomenclature "AMCA", but India should seriously consider moving to the next step - FCAS type of concept (it will not be as easy for India as it it should be for some of the other nations: France/UK/etc, in core areas they have very mature players to bring to the table - which India does not).


Combat UCAV's even the stealthy ones are no substitute for 5th generation or 6th generation fighters. These are intermediate range, high loiter penetrative strike bombers. A multi role or an air superiority fighter performs a whole host of missions that these drones cannot pick up. They are critically important for any future minded air force, but side-by-side to the jet fighter plans.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby Philip » 12 Jul 2014 07:12

I agree.No one is going to drop into our laps 6th or even 5th-gen tech.We need to work in parallel,both JVs and indigenous projects,UCAVs and the AMCA.The Chinese have been doing just that.Reverse engineering mostly Russian aircraft and tech,incrementally improving them and even building their own stealth birds ,thanks in significant part to massive espionage activities,where much of the JSF tech has reportedly (US sources) been stolen by them.The Q is when will these programmes mature and finally be inducted combat worthy? Here are some interesting stats, reg. the Rafale:

Costs,now estimated to be $20B for just 126 aircraft.That's over $150M for the package per aircraft.If a contract is signed within the nxt. 12 months,the first of the 18 fast tracked will appear sometime during 2017-18,and final deliveries only by 2030. The first to be pensioned off will be in 2060! Will this 4++ aircraft be relevant after 2040 (25 years from now) when 6th-gen aircraft and a host of new UCAVs are in service with the leading air forces? The requirements of the IAF are vast and varied,from AWACS X2,desi AEW aircraft X 6, hundreds of rickety MIG-21s being pensioned off after serving way beyond their lifespan,needing immediate replacements,basic trainers (PC-7s),IJTs-whether the Sitara arrives or an import is chosen,plus whatever involvement we have with the FGFA project,the MTA,Chinooks and Apaches ,deals waiting to be sealed.

As to 100% indigenisation of the MKIs,it is not just the production of the type within India-and remember that there are still around 100 aircraft left in the pipeline where as of now 70% indigenisation has been achieved,means that for the lifespan of the aircraft,upto 2040 at least,we will not have to depend upon Russia for spares,components,etc. One can look at the indigenous content in the LCA MK-1 for comparison,60% say some sources.This is a major achievement for HAL.It will enhance the combat readiness of the entire MKI fleet,which is again going to be upgraded to carry BMos. No other country is manufacturing BMos or its twin Yakhont and therefore those who have bought the Yakhont will have received the reduced range version below 300 km conforming to the MTCR.However,there is nothing to stop us from exploiting the full potential as and when reqd. with our local improvements and production and another BMos production facility to be set up is being hinted at. The requirement is massive.The MKI and BMos programmes are perhaps the most successful of all JVs that we've engaged in.

It is still a Q whether the Rafale deal will on the face of it be as successful given its huge costs for one.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby member_28476 » 13 Jul 2014 03:26

Well according to AdA, Rafale will be relevant during 2050ies. (of course a NG version). Take a look on the article in latest avweek, many explanations about eurocanards and their EW, radar etc evolutions.

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Re: Raffy wins - Go Katrina!

Postby NRao » 13 Jul 2014 03:55

Those that want to take a tour of the Rafale on AWST: Here you go

Do not know the date it was posted


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