Some people in this forum always seem more interested in speculation and FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) about MMRCA and Dassault Rafale than in facts. So, I will just say that the development of standard F3-R is already funded and launched :http://www.defensenews.com/article/2014 ... lectronics
Thanks for that link (guess I need to refine my searches in google).
Next: I am not sure if I have company on this matter, so I doubt that there are "people" on this site ............ just me that has
Also: It is not based on speculation (as far as I can see).
So, on to your own link
:Jan 10, 2014 :: France To Upgrade Rafale Arms, Electronics
France has signed a development and integration contract worth around €1 billion (US $1.4 billion) to upgrade the Dassault Aviation Rafale fighter with arms and systems, including a long-range missile, and make improvements on a targeting pod and active electronic radar, the procurement office said in a Jan. 10 statement.
So far so good. $1.4 billion is a healthy investment.
(Side: Perhaps we need more details, but that list is hardly something to talk about. More precisely, from an Indian point of view, spending $20 billion on this plane for now and expecting such upgrades is not worth it. Armament is extra - some $10 billion extra.)
OK, so on to the next phase of the discussion:
The deal, agreed by the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) Dec. 30, will raise the Rafale to a new F3-R standard, support jobs and is intended to boost the fighter’s export prospects.
“This is a very clear signal of our commitment to invest in the Rafale — certainly the fighter industry is a strategic sector — and to maintain its position at the highest world level,” Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on a visit to the Rafale plant at Mérignac, southwest France.
"fighter industry is a strategic sector" - totally agree. And, it needs to be shored up - no two ways about that.
Also, "support jobs" - agreed. France (every nation) has to do that - to the extent possible.
But "is intended to boost the fighter's export prospects" - is where I get hung up.
You see a nation investing in such fields has two categories: national and export, export being the watered down version of the national. This is not a knock on France or any other nation, but that is how it is. *Then*, it would be rather stupid of such nations not to make enough profits to support their own needs - or, in other words, for work that the nation would anyhow pay for ("strategic"), if and when possible, nations would love to have other nations pay for it.
Britain did that for ages when it ruled India (again, a data point, not a knock or a complain).
France will do that with the Rafael sale. Again, it is business.
*However*, from an Indian point of view, *if* there are options, India needs to protect herself. Especially now.
Continuing on .........................
“It is also to have a guarantee to have over the long term a line of products which meet the demands of the export market,” he said.
Wonder who that "export market" is. No brownie points for guessing that one.
Specialist publication Air & Cosmos reported the contract with prime contractor Dassault was worth €810 million.
The development program is a plan to prepare the Rafale for the environment in 2018, the DGA said.
So, $1.4 billion only till 2018? Would that mean another upgrade is planned for 2025/30/35/40/45? (I can hear that point of sale machine going wild out there.)
The program will allow the upgraded Rafale to be armed with the MBDA Meteor, a radar-guided ramjet air-to-air missile. MBDA expects to receive €50 million, an industry executive said.
Thales signed a separate development contract worth €119 million for a new-generation laser-designated targeting pod, with production due in 2018. The pod will be available for Rafale and Mirage fighters, Thales said.
The electronics company will upgrade datalinks, the active electronically scanned array RBE2 radar and the Spectra electronic warfare system. MBDA is a partner on Spectra, providing an infrared function, while Thales supplies detection and radio jamming.
Thales receives about 25 percent of the value of the fighter program.
A laser version of the air-to-ground Sagem armement air-sol modulaire powered smart bomb will be integrated on the Rafale.
The French forces requested the smart bomb as it meets the rules of engagement requiring a man in the loop, an industry executive said
Music to anyone who is selling the Rafale.
Upgrades, upgrades, upgrades, ........................... that is all there is. All for the "export market".
Speculation? Perhaps. I cannot control that thinking.
But, like always, I have my data points.
FUD? Up to you. I sleep well.
Comments are always welcome.