Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 31 Jul 2014 22:57

If the Umrikhans are going to make 7th or 8th gen in ~2045 then why are they planning for a 55 year lifecycle for the JSF


No 7th or 8th generation are in the works or will be by that timeframe.

Current plans include

F-22 - Modernization program all the way up till increment 3.4 with an MLU later in the 2020's
F-35 - Production to go on for decades, with a 2500+ aircraft demanded by the 3 US services. Operational life will be similar to that of the F-16 and F-18 fighters
F/A-X - USN fighter program designed around the F-18E/F 9000 hour replacement cycle. Should be operational by 2032-2035, it could well be a Super NG version of the F-35C just as the F-18E/F was the super hornet version of the Hornet design. It could also be a brand new clean sheet next generation design with requirements closely mirroring the F-14 rather than the F-18E/F it would be replacing
F-X - USAF F-22 and F-15C replacement, should be operational around 2035 or so.

Both the F/A-x and F-x are program studies at the moment with about 600 million already spent on propulsion with another 1 billion allocated over the next 4 years or so. The US Navy is in the process of studying the design submissions of the Request for Information held a few years ago. The Analysis of Alternatives is on and has been stated to conclude around 2015 or early 2016. Once that is done, the program moves onto the RFP stage which should see RFP's being handed over to the design teams (at least 2 perhaps even 3) to submit bids. That phase is probably going to last around 2 years and may or may not involve a fly off. Expect prototypes in the air around 2020-2025 with a down select around 2025 as well. No other 7th or 8th generation fighter is planned. The F-35 will fly alongside the F/A-X fighter just as the F-16's will fly alongside the 2 5th generation fighters. The Naval fighters last less than CTOL fighters because of harsh carrier environments and the Navy currently does not intend on conducting a SLEP on the F-18E/F's in the late 2020's. The USAF could afford to survive longer given that they will have F-22 MLU's and perhaps they could even re-consider a SLEP at a later date (although they do not plan to at the moment).

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby member_23694 » 31 Jul 2014 23:07

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... nt-402243/

USAF debates future fighter requirement

The next generation of weapons technology that replaces the Lockheed Martin F-22 and F-35 may not be a single-seater or even a fighter, but the end result should have a larger magazine, according to the retiring head of the US Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC)
“It isn’t necessarily another single-seat fighter,” says Hostage, according to an audio recording posted online by the AFA. “I’ve been telling the teams that work for me, ‘Don’t start into this process thinking single-engine [or] twin-engine. Don’t be thinking in terms of a platform'."

The document sought industry feedback on sixth-generation air dominance technologies, including ground-based and non-kinetic solutions to airborne threats

If it’s a single button on a keyboard that makes all our adversaries fall to the ground, I’m okay with that,” Hostage says.

He laments that although the F-22 can penetrate highly defended airspace, its internal weapons bay is limited to eight missiles.

“I can only whack eight bad guys in the process,”
Hostage says. “I’d like to go there and whack a whole bunch of them.”

It may seem early to start thinking about a sixth-generation weapon system, as the two fifth-generation fighters are still relatively young. The F-22 entered service in 2006, and the F-35A is not scheduled to achieve initial operational capability until fiscal year 2016.

Hostage, however, thinks the air force is already behind schedule for fielding a replacement aircraft in time.

Given that tortuous acquisition process, we’re already behind the timeline to get something on the ramp in order to properly phase out an aging fleet. I’m living with an ancient fleet at the moment,” Hostage says.


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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 31 Jul 2014 23:22

dhiraj wrote:http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-debates-future-fighter-requirement-402243/

USAF debates future fighter requirement

The next generation of weapons technology that replaces the Lockheed Martin F-22 and F-35 may not be a single-seater or even a fighter, but the end result should have a larger magazine, according to the retiring head of the US Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC)
“It isn’t necessarily another single-seat fighter,” says Hostage, according to an audio recording posted online by the AFA. “I’ve been telling the teams that work for me, ‘Don’t start into this process thinking single-engine [or] twin-engine. Don’t be thinking in terms of a platform'."

The document sought industry feedback on sixth-generation air dominance technologies, including ground-based and non-kinetic solutions to airborne threats

If it’s a single button on a keyboard that makes all our adversaries fall to the ground, I’m okay with that,” Hostage says.

He laments that although the F-22 can penetrate highly defended airspace, its internal weapons bay is limited to eight missiles.

“I can only whack eight bad guys in the process,”
Hostage says. “I’d like to go there and whack a whole bunch of them.”

It may seem early to start thinking about a sixth-generation weapon system, as the two fifth-generation fighters are still relatively young. The F-22 entered service in 2006, and the F-35A is not scheduled to achieve initial operational capability until fiscal year 2016.

Hostage, however, thinks the air force is already behind schedule for fielding a replacement aircraft in time.

Given that tortuous acquisition process, we’re already behind the timeline to get something on the ramp in order to properly phase out an aging fleet. I’m living with an ancient fleet at the moment,” Hostage says.



Its a systems approach to next generation. The current plan is to bring together R&D and S&T (science and technology) wings of the Navy, Air force and DARPA to list out the aspects that need immediate investment. Those were identified a few years ago, and the money has flown through the R&D pipeline. Each OEM has been provided with a white paper based on which they can begin developing their own technology to be ready for bidding once the AOA phase winds down for each program. As a whole there is a systems approach with each service picking these systems and capabilities for its own needs according to its own requirements and in its own timelines. The Air force has the F-22 which will last a while and can undergo extensive MLU's and SLEP's. The USAF can therefore absorb some delay as they field a 100 or so next gen bombers. The USN on the other hand cannot significantly increase the 9000 hour life of the Super Hornets without serious investment that offers diminishing returns. Here is Lockheed's take on the DARPA issued requirements -

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

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 01 Aug 2014 00:05

If the Umrikhans are going to make 7th or 8th gen in ~2045 then why are they planning for a 55 year lifecycle for the JSF.


I threw that 7/8 Gen number out there.

However, many factors influence such things.

Outside of politics, Department level Plans (Strategic Management Plan and such) (each Department has it - "long" range plans, in transportation we had 25 year plans). PMO itself should have a cyclic "plan". Then the Gov has its own R&D that contributes to these cycles - based on what is found in the research the content of these cycles change. The Services have their own compulsions, with R&D + Design Houses. Then of course the MIC - who can forget them? There are others that have a say, for instance the DLA (they need to provide the support for such projects) and many others. and, of course "enemies" - more the better.

From a USAF PoV, recall that the F-35 is a little late. And then the sequestration popped its ugly head.

The 2045 stuff from Britain is one such "look into the future" that gets the ball rolling.

Check this out: No AWACS by 2040

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 01 Aug 2014 03:27

srin wrote:x-posting from the multimedia thread. Must watch - rationale of MMRCA & life-cycle cost - from the mouth of Air chiefs and air marshals.

srin wrote:Vayu-Stratpost discussion on MMRCA & IAF strength

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:


Thanks for that post.

That vid tells me that there is no thinking behind the "Medium" class of air crafts. In fact there does not seem to be much thinking of any sorts. Vishal T claims that every time the IAF makes a noise the GoI sanctions 2 squads of MKIs!!!!

With all those Air Marshal (rtd) sitting in that room and participating in that discussion, seems to me that the IAF is lost in space.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Cosmo_R » 01 Aug 2014 03:36

NRao wrote:

That vid tells me that there is no thinking behind the "Medium" class of air crafts. In fact there does not seem to be much thinking of any sorts. Vishal T claims that every time the IAF makes a noise the GoI sanctions 2 squads of MKIs!!!!

With all those Air Marshal (rtd) sitting in that room and participating in that discussion, seems to me that the IAF is lost in space.


The whole light/medium/heavy stuff reminded me how much emphasis there is on numerology

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akshauhini

Everything in an Akshauhini has to add up to 18.

Lost in WWII. They are still into Biggles.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby member_26622 » 01 Aug 2014 04:02

NRao wrote:With all those Air Marshal (rtd) sitting in that room and participating in that discussion, seems to me that the IAF is lost in space.


Space is ISRO territory, better to say IAF is lost in air :lol:

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 01 Aug 2014 07:11

"Flatulent territory" what?!

Reg. the US and its needs.It is still the nation with the greatest assets and "kill" capability unmatched.It is why its vast conventional superiority in arms is being countered by asymmetric methods,mainly through terrorism and its inability to provide enough grunts on the ground to hold territory.Thus the advent of drone warfare,where the US.Israel.etc.,attempt to identify and eliminate the top leadership-LTTE style,enormously successful in Sri Lanka,in order to sow confusion and chaos in the ranks of the ungodly.The availability of highly precise PGMs to prosecute targets of opportunity has extended the longevity of legacy platforms,why Adm. Greenert,CNO of the USN spoke of "Payload centric" instead of "Platform centric" needs,"why buy a luxury car when a bomb truck will do?"

The constant attempt to raise the bar of technology,stealth,5th-gen,6th-gen,etc.,to gain the extra advantage has resulted in skyrocketing costs,technical difficulties,smaller orders and depleting numbers of alternative options.In the past we had dozens of defence corporations churning out a variety of systems.Today most coprs. have been amalgamated M&A style to cut costs,share tech,etc., but the US incredibly has just one fighter programme on right now,the JSF and the one-bird-fits-all mantra is experiencing major teething problems. Europe somehow has the luxury of 3 birds to choose from.The Russians and Chinese a few more.But however glorious though the new platforms may be,the issue that confronts mil. forces today is the sheer quantity of information that is arriving from an array of intel sources,overwhelming analysts,in an attempt to provide real time credible info to one's assets in the NCW environment."Information Dominance" (ID) is what is spearheading the USN right now as much as "air dominance" by aerial platforms."Non-Kinetic" EW ,cyberspace ops using information as a weapon,leveraging the EMS to pursue what is being termed "electro-magnetic manouevre warfare" EMW.EMW requires forces to understand,control and command the EMS and cyberspace.the Chinese have understood this rather early and their massive cyberwarfare "divisions" at work point to the future crises that will start with cyber attacks.

Hence the requirement for Growlers,E-4s,etc.,to assist late-gen air assets in achieving dominance of both the air and EMS. How much progress our "Biggles Boys" are making on this road is an unknown Q.While there is so much cyber-chatter on manned platforms,there appears less on PGMs,UCAVs, and specialised aircraft needs to dominate the EMS and work out or own ID concepts.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 01 Aug 2014 09:02

Today most coprs. have been amalgamated M&A style to cut costs,share tech,etc., but the US incredibly has just one fighter programme on right now,the JSF and the one-bird-fits-all mantra is experiencing major teething problems. Europe somehow has the luxury of 3 birds to choose from.The Russians and Chinese a few more


This is the most absurd twist i have seen to the argument in some time. Lets look at the facts. Europe's recent fighter developments include the Rafale, Typhoon and the Gripen. US's recent fighter developments include the F-18E/F - EA-18G, F-22A, F-35 A,B,C. The F-18E/F acquisition phase is near its end, it having been produced over the last few years in amounts slightly greater then the overall production run of the Eurofighter typhoon for all partner nations. The F-22A has been produced in a smaller amount but still larger then the french Rafale order. The F-35 is going to come over and replace three fighters with 3 aircrafts, primarily the F-16, F-18 and Harrier. I do not count the A-10 hear because there isn't any aircraft that is replacing it in CAS for a long time, and even then the replacement isn't arriving but the capability is being met through modernized concept of operations. There isn't any more fighter requirement at the moment. The next wave of replacement would come from the F-18E/F replacement cycle for the USN that is going to begin to occur around 2030-2032 provided no SLEP is ordered on the Super Hornet. The F-15C's are going to get a life extension to 12,000 hours and the F-15E's will be upgraded with Apg-82 radars, new mission computers, possibly IRST-21 and of course 5th to 4th gen data links. The Main driver is the F-16 replacement for the USAF and the F-18 hornet replacement for the USN. That is happening at the moment and the next decade will see this ramp up to a very high pace. The F-35B will begin to replace the Harrier in less then 12 months time. Things that the US have at its disposal for its fighter acquisition program -

- F-18E/F line extension (still some 2-3 years to go unless Boeing gets no new work)
- F-15 SE line extension - Line is good till 2018 or so given no new orders
- F-16 NG - Line is still open

These options can potentially offer a product with pretty much negligible development risk that in many areas are at par or superior to other 4.5 generation jets currently available in the market. The F-15C and E fleet has had AESA integrated in 2000 and 2013. The F-18E/F has AESA integrated with more than 500 units delivered and operational, more efficient engines option available, CFT's and internal weapon pods have been tested on the F-15SE and have flown on the F-18E/F International version. All of these things have been done, demonstrated and ready to go if they are required. The requirement however is not there, because there is confidence in the F-35 post 2010 restructure and the USAF BOSS reaffirmed this confidence just a few days ago when he said that no change is expected on the 2016 IOC date for the Alpha variant of the Jet in the USAF.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... p8d4sYAw1U

There is no 4.5 generation want from the USAF at the moment and the USN will wind down its 4.5 generation procurement with the Super Hornet and Growler program. These aircrafts are not suitable in the US doctrine given there lack of survivability and are therefore of no interest. The US is the only air force to have 2 mature 5th generation fighters in operation or development and the F-22's production plans, tooling, video recording of process have all been meticulously stored in air conditioned storage units in California for a day when there is urgent need to quickly get another 5th generation design in the air for whatever reason (threat or JSF failure). That need will not arise, as the increasing investment is for propulsion breakthroughs for next generation of fighter aircraft. The USN is at Stage 2 of the development process with a formal AOA that is undergoing at the moment. Stage 3 is the issuance of RFP to OEM's, and stage 4 is prototype testing and down-select.

ut however glorious though the new platforms may be,the issue that confronts mil. forces today is the sheer quantity of information that is arriving from an array of intel sources,overwhelming analysts,in an attempt to provide real time credible info to one's assets in the NCW environment."Information Dominance" (ID) is what is spearheading the USN right now as much as "air dominance" by aerial platforms."Non-Kinetic" EW ,cyberspace ops using information as a weapon,leveraging the EMS to pursue what is being termed "electro-magnetic manouevre warfare" EMW.EMW requires forces to understand,control and command the EMS and cyberspace.the Chinese have understood this rather early and their massive cyberwarfare "divisions" at work point to the future crises that will start with cyber attacks.


Colin Clark laid out what he could gather around from his Pentagon sources on the cyber capability of the F-35. The F-35 is also the first AESA equipped fighter that would have extensive Electronic Warfare ability from the start (both active and passive). Why do you think that Red Flag Dash -3 does not see any foreign military participation even from nations such as UK and Australia? Because thats when the USAF rolls out its space and cyber assets to train in joint warfare.

The ACC Boss at the USAF has said that the F-35 has all the electronic warfare needs in its EW suite to precisely target what needs to be targeted on its mission. He said this yesterday. He also said that he appreciates the work of USN EA-18G aircraft in dealing with the RF spectrum but he doesn't want a growler anywhere near his F-35 given the power of its jammers which have a negating effect on stealth and tactical surprise.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 01 Aug 2014 14:48

"Twist to what argument" ? There is no argument here.It is a simple statement of fact.The US now has only one fighter programme,the jack-of-all-trades JSF.Yes there are 3 variants but only one manufacturer. And only one engine manufacturer too.This has nothing to do with JSF developmental issues,debated in the JSF td., but commenting upon how the proliferation of defence companies worldwide has dramatically reduced with Ms&As,reducing options for air forces to suit their individual needs.Not all can trawl the market like India and have to buy within their obligations to military blocs,industrial blocs,etc. The US has taken the route that "one fighter fits all",while others have preferred "safety in numbers".That's their individual choice.If the votaries think that the JSF can go it alone without any help,well good luck to them.There are several analysts and experts who have different views.Here are a few.

http://aviationweek.com/blog/f-35-stealthier-f-22
F-35 Stealthier Than F-22?
Jun 9, 2014 by Bill Sweetman in Ares

I figured that there would be some kind of PR offensive out of the Joint Strike Fighter program in preparation for the floating of the UK carrier and the international debut of the F-35, and here it is, in the form of a two-part piece in Breaking Defense, here and here.

The first observation to be made is that the Air Force might be able to use an Eng Lit 101 course.

Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Hostage, according to reporter Colin Clark, "labels as 'old think' those critics who point to the F-117 shoot-down and the presumed supremacy of high-powered electronic-magnetic warfare."

“Oldthink”, of course, is a word straight out of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth. Oldthinkers unbellyfeel FifthGenerationTM, indeed.

That aside, we should remember that Hostage ruffled a few feathers with a quote earlier this year:

If I do not keep that F-22 fleet viable, the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant. The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22.


That was not exactly a ringing endorsement of the F-35, particularly for customers who had been assured that F-35 was, no kidding, a dominant air-superiority platform (as the Australians were, in sworn testimony to Parliament). So, particularly with Canada's government ready to announce another sole-source decision to buy JSF without a competition that would provide a full view of alternative fighters, it is good news for the program if Hostage talks over his previous statement.

In the new interview, Hostage talks up the F-35’s stealth and expressly takes issue with the Boeing/Navy picture of the F-35 requiring first-day support from the EA-18G Growler or other electronic warfare assets.

“In the first moments of a conflict I’m not sending Growlers or F-16s or F-15Es anywhere close to that environment, so now I’m going to have to put my fifth gen in there and that’s where that radar cross-section and the exchange of the kill chain is so critical. You’re not going to get a Growler close up to help in the first hours and days of the conflict, so I’m going to be relying on that stealth to open the door.”

However, note that Hostage is not saying that F-35s will go in unsupported: they will use numbers for mutual support:

“I’m going to have some F-35s doing air superiority, some doing those early phases of persistent attack, opening the holes, and again, the F-35 is not compelling unless it’s there in numbers,” the general says. “Because it can’t turn and run away, it’s got to have support from other F-35s. So I’m going to need eight F-35s to go after a target that I might only need two (F-22) Raptors to go after. But the F-35s can be equally or more effective against that site than the Raptor can because of the synergistic effects of the platform.”

The words “that site” imply that Hostage is talking about destruction of enemy air defenses (DEAD) rather than air superiority alone – where the F-22’s speed and larger missile load could be expected to yield an advantage over the F-35. But a four-to-one advantage for the F-22 in DEAD, which is one of the JSF’s prime design missions, is unfavourable in terms of cost-effectiveness: according to a 2008 RAND study of continuing production of the F-22 (at 30 or fewer per year) and the most optimistic F-35 numbers from Lockheed Martin (at 150-plus per year), the F-22 at worst costs twice as much as the F-35.

Hostage makes another, very interesting comparison between the F-22 and the F-35.

The F-35′s cross section is much smaller than the F-22′s. “The F-35 doesn’t have the altitude, doesn’t have the speed [of the F-22], but it can beat the F-22 in stealth.”

Now, we all know that a lot of things can go happen between the interviewee’s brain and the interviewer’s keyboard, but the idea that the F-35 is stealthier than the F-22 contradicts pretty much everything that has been said about the program for the past 20 years, including the reporting of my former colleague, the usually well-informed Dave Fulghum.

The statement is curious for other reasons. Nobody ever suggested in the program’s formative years that the goal was to beat the F-22's stealth - and indeed that would be extremely unlikely since the JSF was designed for export
. Stealth, along with other requirements, was also subject to trades in the development of the final JSF requirement, and less important than life-cycle cost.

The geometrical basics of stealth -- sweep and cant angles, minimized small-radius curves and nozzle design -- favor the F-22, and everything anyone has said about radar absorbent materials for years has been about life-cycle cost rather than performance.

Hostage is effusive about the value of the F-35’s sensor fusion and datalinks, too:

“Fusion says here’s what’s out there. You told me, this one right here’s a threat. Here’s what it’s doing right now. Here’s what your wingman (knows): he sees he’s got a missile on the right, so I’m not going to waste a missile because I already see that my wingman’s taking care of it.”

With all due respect, what is Swedish for “Hold the front page”? The datalink and tactical display system on the JAS 39A Gripen did exactly that, 15 years ago.

Finally, the second half of the Breaking Defense story talks a lot about cyber (very little of it from Hostage or any named source) and says that export buyers “went in to discussions with the Pentagon with a great deal of skepticism. But once country representatives received the most highly classified briefing — which I hear deals mostly with the plane’s cyber, electronic warfare and stealth capabilities — they all decided to buy.”

Three questions that all those export customers should answer to their voters: In what Block will those magic cyber capabilities appear? What guarantees have been provided that F-35 cyber weapons developed by the U.S. will be shared with non-U.S. operators? And, failing that, will international partners be enabled to program their own cyber-operations tools into the F-35?


http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2014/s3990813.htm
MARK COLVIN: Peter Criss is a retired Air Vice-Marshal with the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) and a former fighter pilot with over 5,000 hours flying combat jets.

He says the Joint Strike Fighter was conceived to be used in concert with another US war plane, the highly regarded F-22 Raptor.

But perversely, that aircraft is no longer in production, and Peter Criss told Nick Grimm that alone, the Joint Strike Fighter would be quickly out-manoeuvred in the skies.

PETER CRISS: I worry; I really do worry, if we ever go to combat with these things against an adversary that's got some capability. But I think it was better summed up just recently actually at the start of this year by the boss of Air Combat Command in the United States Air Force, General Hostage, who said that frankly, the JSF's (Joint Strike Fighter) irrelevant without the F-22.

Now, through a political decision made by the current administration in America, the F-22's production was stopped in favour of the JSF and so America's got themselves some F-22s - but not the number they actually wanted - but as he said, without the F-22 it's irrelevant.

And why is it irrelevant? Because the title of the aircraft speaks volumes: Joint Strike Fighter. Any time that you're trying to make a conglomeration out of an aircraft to make it do multi-roles, you should shudder. This is a classic case where you haven't got a fighter and you haven't got a strike aircraft, but you've got the best the West can deliver at present.

NICK GRIMM: Okay well just to clarify, the F-22 is a very highly regarded fighter aircraft that has been manufactured by the United States but is no longer being manufactured. Most critics of the Joint Strike Fighter regard it [the F-22] very, very highly - they consider it the superior aircraft.

PETER CRISS: Well as I said to you Nick, any time you try and build an aircraft that supposedly does multiple roles, inevitably you end up compromising, and in this case you've got an aircraft that's not going to be a fighter in a fit, and that's why the boss of Air Combat Command in America said frankly it's irrelevant if it hasn't got the F-22 because it can't turn, it can't run, it hasn't got any range.

It needs the protection of a real fighter to be able to operate in a hostile environment. It's got some neat systems in it, don't get me wrong, and I have no inside knowledge. I'm a has-been for too long to be able to claim any access to any classified information, but the open source material is such that there's nothing there that is going to stop the latest generation fighters coming out of Russia and out of China.

They're really up there and powering on, and what the West has done - and particularly in America - they've just bogged themselves down in a very slow development process with multiple problems with this aircraft that's held up production for year on year on year and in the meantime, as I said, there was a political decision made within the current administration in America to cancel the F-22's production favour of the JSF, and to be quite frank, it meant there were more jobs.

America is trying to get out of the global financial crisis, and there were more jobs in the JSF than what there were in the F-22 so it got knocked on the head, and now you've got a real compromise, because you've got a small fleet of F-22s for America only, and the poor old allies that go and buy this thing are left without a fighter capability.

NICK GRIMM: Given all that, the Defence Minister David Johnston said today that the Joint Strike Fighter has no identifiable rival in the air at the moment. If that is indeed the case, how long will it remain so?

PETER CRISS: The question to ask there is between New Zealand and Australia, he's quite right: there's no rival. But go a little way further north of this country and you'll start running into capability that will equal and in some countries be far superior to what the JSF is going to be able to do, and that's the real concern.

The later versions of the Russian fighters - the Su-35, the PAK FA-50; they are two very capable aircraft and they have been built to counter the F-22. They will eat the JSF for breakfast.

MARK COLVIN: Peter Criss, retired RAAF Air-Vice Marshal, speaking to Nick Grimm.


http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.in/2014/0 ... -poor.html
Friday, June 06, 2014
F-35 News. General Hostage admits the poor kinematic performance of the plane...
via Breaking Defense...

“The F-35 was fundamentally designed to go do that sort of thing [take out advanced IADS]. The problem is, with the lack of F-22s, I’m going to have to use F-35s in the air superiority role in the early phases as well, which is another reason why I need all 1,763. I’m going to have some F-35s doing air superiority, some doing those early phases of persistent attack, opening the holes, and again, the F-35 is not compelling unless it’s there in numbers,” the general says. “Because it can’t turn and run away, it’s got to have support from other F-35s. So I’m going to need eight F-35s to go after a target that I might only need two Raptors to go after. But the F-35s can be equally or more effective against that site than the Raptor can because of the synergistic effects of the platform.”

Wow.
Did you catch that?

This is the first time that the USAF has admitted that the Rand Reports assessment of the F-35..... "Can't Turn, Can't Climb and Can't Run" is actually spot on.

The little war fiction at the beginning of the article was cute, but consider this.

The Rand assessment was based on the F-35 facing SU-27 family of airplanes. How do you think it would fare against the like of the PAK-FA or the J-20? Have you noticed that we have not received any updated assessments against these threats?

I'm guessing here, but the tea leaves indicate that the F-35 is facing some pressure behind the scenes when it comes to numbers to be procured. Hostage saying "another reason why I need all 1,763" is in my mind telling. The cuts are coming, the death spiral is here...and just like Amos finally getting out of my beloved Marine Corps I couldn't be happier.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby member_28476 » 01 Aug 2014 14:58

Btw, from latest Air Fan magazine, in a 1vs2 secenarion mirage 2000 shot one of the 2 polish Mig 29, engagement concluded on a draw with the other.Seems that M2K has better nose authority, but during long fights Mig engines (more powerful) will give it an edge. (according to Cpt Clément who told the story).

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby brar_w » 01 Aug 2014 16:52

Philip wrote:[b]
[/quote]

Moving this over to the Turkey thread..

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 01 Aug 2014 16:55

AM Harish Masand in Vayu wrote of IAF internal face-offs between M-2000s and MIG-29s ,where the MIGs won every time,shocking the then CO of the M-2000 sqd.German MIG-29s were also highly rated.At a previous Aero-India,a Brit pilot told me of his experiences flying the legacy German MIGs.He said that nothing in the air flew like the MIG-35 with TVC. However,sensor fusion,etc. on the EF in his opinion was for him the best of the lot. Admittedly,he was touting the EF for the MMRCA contest.It does have a v. powerful powerplant with the EJ and can supercruise with ease.

Smith also said the Typhoons air-to-air capability and overall performance is massively increased by what he referred to as the aircraft’s “thrust to weight ratio.”

Defined as the weight of the engine compared to the amount of thrust the engine generates, the thrust to weight ratio is a key indicator of speed, maneuverability and aircraft performance.

The Typhoon engines’ thrust to weight radio is 9.3 to 1, making it the best in the world, Smith said.


“It has a thrust-to-weight ratio comparable to the F-22 Raptor, better than any other fighters out there,” he said.


This is accomplished in part by power emanating from the two Eurojet 2000 engines on board the aircraft and the light weight of the aircraft. The Typhoon is built with 70-percent carbon fiber composite and is therefore said to be fast and very agile.

“The Typhoon can travel at Mach 2. The difference with Typhoon is how quickly it can get high and fast and the ability to sustain that speed. Lots of aircraft have a top speed of Mach 2,” he added.

The multi-national Typhoon fleet of 410 aircraft just reached the milestone of 250,000 flying hours, something Smith points to as an indicator of EJ 2000 engine durability.

Read more: http://defensetech.org/2014/07/17/europ ... z398p1ET9p
Defense.org

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Manish_Sharma » 01 Aug 2014 19:44

Yes Mig 29 may've been more agile manuevering the M2k, but its availability was pathetic. It was high maintenance, in case of war 45 out of 50 M2Ks would have been available at any given time while only 10-15 out of 60 Mig 29s. That's why in 2000 Mirage was IAF's choice despite not being as much of a gymnast as Mig 29. Otherwise why would IAF ignore a more capable jet?

--------------------------------------------

Another news:

http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6025&p=1695792#p1696037

anmol wrote:A tape from Sep 10 2001 have come out in which Clinton says "I could have killed bin Laden but I didnt". Reacting to this tape, Andrea Tantaros (Sean Hannity's colleague at Fox News, republican, used to work in DC) said this:

"Presidents have to take such tough decisions, this does not make him bad president. Bill Clinton is the worst president because of his foreign policy: He gave Pakistan nukes..."

http://video.foxnews.com/v/370702550600 ... t-i-didnt/


:x

Such a relief american jets are not bought! No nationalist can ever pitch for american platforms. These $%)(*$%)(* who gave porkis there nuke capability.

The *&$%*$#%*&$

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby member_26622 » 01 Aug 2014 21:49

^^^ That comment is from a broad on Fox news panel - let's keep the source quality aside for now.

In that case we should not buy anything from French - supplied Mirage, Agosta to Pakis and currently pitching hard to remove EU embargo on China military sales.

Even Russians are supplying Mi-35 and RD engines to Pakistan, boatloads of advanced weaponry to China - we buy 4x of what China does from them but still no issues arming our enemies. Why do we cast a blind eye to Russian-China nexus?

US partnership have life expectancy similar to their marriage and divorce rates - less said the better.

British - now do we need to be reminded about 300 years of slavery/killings/Ra**es/ - turned us from a rich country to paupers. Even today they think of India as theirs to be robbed.

Everyone thinks of their interests only (with a short term perspective) and engage in face talk + promises of friendship. Real decisions are driven by $ at the end of the day

Their is no real partner when it comes to security of a country - all foreign partners will engage in price gouging or denial in times of need. But our import mania continues - MMRCA should have been long dead given the price tag!

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 01 Aug 2014 23:07

Yes,one can't deny that post CW and after the USSR's collapse,support for Soviet era weaponry was problematic. However,in recent times it has improved considerably.The MIG-29 engines are being manufactured here and by 2019,MKIs will be built from materials "100%" locally sourced. It is going to be interesting to see in comparison as to how much of the Rafale is going to be sourced locally iff the deal is sealed and in what timeframe.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 02 Aug 2014 02:43

Part 4 (in vids posted above), @ around 12.00 minutes, paraphrasing:

* MiG-29 is cheap, but its maintenance is terrible. He says that the West German AF Chief told him that the German AF sold their MiG-29 for some token money (1 Euro he says). The German Chief told him "you are rich"!!
* The IL-76, was given as another example of a fleet that was low in viability

Looks to me that the Russians were told not to participate in the MMRCA because of the cost of maintenance. Second, "Russia" seems to mean "cheap product" (as in low initial investment) (a comment from Adm Prakash to MoD, if you cannot afford the Scorpion, buy the Kilo was enough for MoD to sign on for the Scorpion.)

@ around 19 minutes:

* Rafale, per French gov numbers: Availability: 45%. Seems to be acceptable to the IAF. MKIs are around there too it seems (per the discussion on that vid)

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby member_26622 » 02 Aug 2014 03:15

I feel that Russian gear was never to be even considered for MMRCA contest.

Was this question ever raised - why IAF wants a western fighter? It's not Pakistan for sure, so that brings the next question -Is it the lack of trust in MKI for taking on China ? I believe it's a 'Yes' unless others can point a better reason.

But, 100 of these (or any other non stealthy western jet) will not be enough to make much of a difference with the numbers china will bring in to the game. The reality is that we have no choice but to play defensive with China given 3 x difference in economic heft (or blackmail an American uncle like Pakis do).

So a 'Non-Russian' jet ideally under 40 million $ and 500 + nos will do the 'defense' role far better than 100 of these expensive jets. Lo and behold - Tejas will fit this bill (engine, radar and missile package are western origin today).

(light hearted comment-start) Seems like the absent minded professor searching for his glasses, which are on his forehead! (end)

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 02 Aug 2014 04:14

Please listen to the roundtable talk linked a few posts back. The guy who signed the on the RFP is speaking there. Can't get a more legitimate source.

1. They did not want the Su-30s because they are expensive to procure, maintain and fly.
2. An open thought for MMRCA was to be able to create the mil-ind-complex for aeronautics. For that to happen, much more has to be there other than ad-hoc intent. None-the-less, IAF did not want to get a plane which was 40 year old tech. Hence Mig-29 derivatives did not make the cut.
3. I am convinced that we need the MMRCA, and urgently.
4. Even the SU-30s+FGFA+MMRCA, we would have a requirement of around 300-400 planes to fill up the squadron strength. This have to be filled with light aircraft, simply because we can't afford anything else.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Cosmo_R » 02 Aug 2014 04:46

^^^ If the M2Ks had been procured in 2000 would we be still in this position? 126 M2Ks replacing the MiGs (21s/23/s27s),

The MMRCA is still a gap filler @ $30 billion. The problem with gap fillers is that it leads to the next gap filler because we've spent our wad on the preceding gap filler. IOW, jugaad.

The Rafale will arrive in 2018 or 32 years after it's first flight. It may not be 40 year old tech but it is beyond 30 year old tech.

All we will have learned from the MMRCA is to make a 4G fighter in a 5/6G world

The SU30MKIs are great against Pakistan and marginal against PLAF.

At the end of the day, it is not about equipment but about clear cut goals against specific threat perceptions (some babooze on their third chota peg will label this 'fortune cookie' wisdom but then for them watching ant colonies on NatGeo is the spark of life).

Who is the enemy and are the same defenses valid against all?

We have to build weapons platforms/systems that reflect threats. Instead, the debate has been about number of squadrons.

We will also need to to rethink force structure in favor as the new Army Chief has indicated, in terms of 'theaterization': an integrated force e.g to achieve certain preplanned objectives against a paki action such as 2008, under a single command.

The Russians are not the answer. Only we are

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 02 Aug 2014 05:43

I am more than convinced that India is a chicken without a head, that chaos is an inherent part of the game and that only an external stress imposes a temporary order.

Those 4 vids (I think there are more) are worth saving. Gems.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 02 Aug 2014 06:17

Holistically speaking,the IAF has as its worst case to fight a two-front war,with the increasing PRC aggro. Therefore it needs to at least shut the PRC out in the Himalayas along with the IA on the ground,blunt any attempt to seize Indian territory in Ar.P and Ladakh,requiring much support of ground troops both logistically and in air dominance, and a total mastery of the air with Pak.China will be able to field large numbers of Flanker variants,its home designed Lavi clones,JF-17s etc,apart the large fleet of legacy bombers.We do not possess any strat. bombers after retiring our Canberras .This is a big gap.Either we add a couple of SU-34s sqds.,easier to acquire,train and operate,or we go in for a number of available Backfires which will require extensive modernisation.

Recent reports from the IAF indicate that the support problems with our MKIs,etc. have been resolved.As the % of indigenisation goes up (100% by 2019),the support will be even stronger.Same for the MIG-29.The UGs are quite different from the earlier MIG-29s acquired and with AESA radars,TVC ,newer missiles,etc. will be very cost-effective fighters to deal with Pak,superior to anything that Pak can throw at us,leaving most of the 270+ heavweight MKIs (with BMos and LR AAMs) to deal with the Chinese in greater number. MIG-29 engines are also being manufactured by HAL.

It is replacing the large numbers of MIG series,300+ that is the problem.Therefore augmenting them with cheaper MIG-29UGs/35s to deal with Pak is the most cost-effective way,apart from getting LCA production of MK-2 to at least start by 2020,with at least 16 per/yr,so that 160 MK-2s plus the 40 MK-1s already ordered give us a min. total of 200 LCAs by 2030,good enough to replace the MIG-21s.This leaves us with the 120 Bisons which will retire in 2025.This is where the extra MIG-29/35s come in.M-2000 upgrades cost as much as a new MIG-29K! The IN is very happy with the "K",therefore the "obsolescence" factor that some panellists spoke of relates to the past not present avatar,as even Russia is planning to build new MIG-29s for the RuN (45 ordered) and 35s for the RuAF. Look at the transformation that was made to the MIG-21 turning it into Bisons.

The Rafale/MMRCA needs are sorely required for the extra strike missions that the two-front war will demand.The MIG-27UGs and even Jaguars (planned upgrades too) have limited strike/survival capability.120+ MMRCAs will replace just the MIG-27s ,Tejas having to take up the slack for close support.As older aircraft retire,extra MMRCAs or LCA MK-2s (depending upon prod. rates) will have to fill the gaps.

Finally,the requirement for a 5th-gen fighter to counter the 2 Chinese stealth birds.The sooner the FGFA JV is sealed in whatever form suits us best,it will ensure that by 2020 we will have at least one sqd. in service with the lot of 120+ by 2030.AMCA dev. should start the moment the LCA MK-2 work is over,so that by 2030 at least,with the experience of the various aircraft operated by the IAF,a suitable design is developed and produced.If we are going in for the FGFA as the 5th-gen bird,then the AMCA should be a level above it,6th-gen whatever.

The big snag in the picture is the amt. of money available.If we don't have it,we have to "cut our cloth...",and compromise somewhere.The numbers do matter.One brilliant aircraft cannot be in two places simultaneously and ordnance carried is limited as well.

There is one option which the GOI/MOD could consider.That is beefing up the IN's Fleet Air Arm with extra 29Ks,naval Rafales,even FGFAs.The IN could be tasked with greater/sole responsibility of defending the island territories with extra (carrier capable) aircraft,allowing the IAF to relocate some of its assets to the north/west/mainland. Since the coordination with the IN is crucial for maritime air support,it would be better to have the IN tasked with the responsibility of all maritime air support,LRMP,strike,air dominance,etc. of island territories like "Fortress A&N",some coastal bases in the south,etc.,and transfer/lease the selected bases to the IN.

Thus far,apart from the '71 war,where we had to liberate BDesh,our conflicts with Pak and China have been mainly restricted to intense warfare on the ground.Thus having IAF sqds. doing sentry duty in the island territories ,cooling their heels while the battle wages on in the north appears a waste of valuable IAF assets.True,sqds. can be relocated as they were from east to west in '71,but who will mind the store after relocation,and if there is as many predict ,some action in the IOR with interdiction of PRC energy supplies,or a break-in into the IOR by the PLAN to kep us off balance? It will have by 2020 2 Varyag class large carriers,the second one being built at record speed in Chinese shipyards according to US intel.The IAF will initially howl no doubt,but will understand if its gets the extra aircraft,etc. required for the immense task of fighting a two-front war .This will release at least 2 sqds. of MKIs plus others if the right balance can be arranged.Carrier capable IN fighters can then also serve aboard our larger carriers as and when they arrive.China also has land based naval fighters to defend its coastline and island territories.

These are just a few thoughts that could stir the grey cells.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 02 Aug 2014 06:29

^^^^^

My impression - based on those vids - is that there is a strong leaning towards the "West". And, that, in the IAF, will remain. My thinking is that the FGFA is in warm waters and one that is getting warmer.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 02 Aug 2014 06:43

From this report its "Vive la France!"

https://www.google.co.in/search?newwind ... ElW_HkqQZA

MMRCA Misgivings Unfounded

By Manmohan Bahadur
Published: 02nd August 2014

The founders of our Constitution gave us the freedom of speech, but they possibly didn’t realise that there would be something called a Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) of the IAF that would be so set upon by some armchair critics as to blur the fine line between free speech and misinformation. Bharat Karnad’s “Why Rafale is a Big Mistake” (TNIE, July 25) does just that, besides being full of innuendos and disinformation. To be sure, this writer is just an academic now but one who spent the better part of three decades smelling burnt aviation turbine fuel on the flight line, including flight testing aircraft, and in a senior position pushing tri-service procurement proposals in HQ Integrated Defence Staff.

It would be good to give the readers of this newspaper a low-down on how the MMRCA requirement came about. The IAF, around the turn of the century, after carrying out a threat assessment found the need for a capability to be acquired to fill a void in its combat fleet to address the conflict spectrum that India was likely to face. Accordingly, a requirement for 126 Mirage 2000-5 aircraft (improved version of Mirage 2000) was projected to the government in 2000. The Mirages had performed very creditably in the Kargil conflict and since a drawdown in fleet strength was looming due to obsolescence of the MiG-21s and ground attack fleet, it was felt that the improved version of the Mirage would fit in as a replacement. But post-Kargil, the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) came into vogue in 2002 and a multi-vendor process (as mandated by the DPP) commenced with revised Qualitative Requirements (QRs). The Request for Proposal for the almost $10.5 billion project was sent in 2007 to all six aircraft manufacturers who make this class of aircraft, other than China, who then applied in the mandated two-bid format, with each vendor giving a technical bid and a commercial bid at the same time; it is important to understand this as it implies that the price bid of a company got fixed in dollar/Euro terms at that point. As per the DPP, initially only the technical bids are opened and the equipment put through an evaluation process which includes a field evaluation trial. This technical evaluation throws up vendors who meet the QRs that had been projected and only their commercial bids are opened and assessed to select the winner.

The MMRCA evaluation followed the DPP to the ‘t’ with not a whiff of any controversy, and after very rigorous ground and flight evaluations, two vendors qualified. The evaluation of their commercial bids saw the selection of the French Rafale in 2011. An attempt is now being made to make a textbook evaluation and selection process mired in controversy of performance criteria (QRs), costs, and surprisingly a corruption allegation.

That the cost of the project in rupee terms (and not dollar value) would increase is a no-brainer as more than three years have elapsed in decision-making and the rupee value has depreciated. Any further delay will jack it up further but that would have happened with whichever aircraft had met the criteria. What Karnad is now questioning is the force composition of the IAF arrived at by professional planners and, without being an air power expert himself, suggesting a new mix of “..Tejas Mk I for short range air defence, Tejas MkII as MMRCA and the Su-50 PAK FA as fifth generation fighter”. This is a perfect example of the ignorant trying to drive defence force structuring as the yet-to-be inducted Tejas Mk I is unsuitable for IAF operational requirements (and hence would limited to only two squadrons) and Tejas Mk II would have less than one-third the flight range and armament capability of the MMRCA and just qualify to be a MiG 21 replacement. Why the use of future tense? Because Tejas Mk II is still on DRDO’s drawing board and would NOT enter squadron service before 2020-22, just like the fifth generation fighter (which would be 2025 or later). But the requirement is literally now, as the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence (15th Lok Sabha) itself despairingly noted that the IAF strength was down to 34 squadrons (instead of the sanctioned 42) and reducing further, thus requiring new timely acquisitions.

It is most unprofessional to link defence acquisitions of one country with the threat perception of another as Karnad has done and it is downright spiteful for doubting the competence of test pilots and test engineers of the IAF by saying that the Brazilians had doubts about Rafale’s radar and its head-up display. Do Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Morocco (cited by Karnad as having rejected the Rafale) have two nuclear armed nations as adversaries? Have these nations ever gone to war with their neighbours in the past six decades? Costs, albeit important, don’t decide acquisitions; it is the capability one desires that is the driving factor and it’s our misfortune that HAL has not delivered this to the nation. The IAF just looks at getting the right product to safeguard the national skies, as it is its duty to do so. The IAF is accountable to the nation if it does not perform; pray, what is the responsibility attached to Karnad for his alternative force composition suggestion for the IAF?

The visit of the French foreign minister and his supposed canvassing for the Rafale, that Karnad finds fault with, is something that any politician would do for his country; hopefully, there would come a day when the Indian foreign minister would do the same for a HAL-produced aircraft, Inshallah! Till then, let the professionals do their job of recommending what is good for the defence of the nation. Please trust someone. In the case of the IAF, it is a crack team of test pilots and test engineers on whom the country has spent a fortune to train. Let armchair critics not derail a capability provider that successive IAF chiefs have urged the government to procure. This trend to doubt recommendations of service chiefs is dangerous and is conspicuous by the surety of it being raised each time a big-ticket item of any of the three services is close to fruition. Disagreements based on professionally sound arguments are always welcome—but they come with a caveat in matters of national security. The naysayers must be held responsible, too. It is only right that readers of this newspaper are made wise accordingly.

The writer, a retired Air Vice Marshal, is a distinguished fellow at Centre for Air Power Studies.


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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 02 Aug 2014 07:02

^^^^^

Well.

The people in the vids were *also* Air Marshals. Not one .............. some 4 or so. Including the one that wrote the RFP for the MMRCA. It is chaotic.

It is not as plain and simple as it is made out to be and understandably so. Many had to learn what life-cycle-cost is and how to compute it - on the job, in the time span they were given.

There were so many questions that came up that such articles make no sense - or make partial sense, in that some process has occurred and it need to be completed.

But, there will be a cost associated with completing the process and the growing feeling is that the cost would be unbearable.

Let us see what happens. My feel is that the consensus is that the Rafale is too expensive for what it brings to the table. And, more.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Rien » 02 Aug 2014 09:04

NRao wrote:^^^^^

Let us see what happens. My feel is that the consensus is that the Rafale is too expensive for what it brings to the table. And, more.


Your suggestion is that a $120 million dollar fighter is too expensive, therefore it makes sense to buy a 337 million dollar fighter? :rotfl:

The Rafale is too expensive, but your idea doesn't make sense. More Tejas/PAKFA and accelerated induction of Avatar and MCA is the way to go. This is a revenue neutral idea, since the Rafale costs more than all of them put together! But the IAF has 0% confidence in HAL/DRDO. And that is the real issue.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 02 Aug 2014 09:15

Yes, I must add that even after reading the good AM's piece and his strong endorsement for the IAF's decision,even the most wealthy countries are cutting back on orders for excellent aircraft that they simply can't afford.The US scaled down F-22 acquisitions to allow the JSF to progress,and allies have cut their JSF orders substantially. The US has even across the board cut defence spending,reduced numbers of aircraft sqds.,warships,carrier forces,etc.Fortunately for it what it possesses still is a massive mil. capability unmatched by anyone and if it doesn't indulge in extraneous conflicts,saving considerable money,will be able to stabilise its defence needs and maintain its forward posture globally,esp. in Asia rather well.

The argument that "if you don't buy it now it will cost more in the future",may be correct ,but can one simply print money ($$$) one doesn't have? The argument that the IAF requires sustenance right now and cannot wait is OK,everyone knows the pitiful state we're in nursing ancient MIG-21s well beyond their lifespan. A Jaguar crashed yesterday,numbers will keep falling. The attitude of "only this aircraft and no other" would collapse if we were on the verge of a catastrophic eco crisis.So compromises will have to be made.

What is going on now is a war between uniformed specialists with perhaps a more constricted perspective and analysts and strategists who have a more holistic view of the entire strategic picture.It is going to be very interesting how "Jet-Li" handles this issue and what decision he takes. In my view,there is no harm in once more taking a quick review of the entire perspective plans for the IAF,since this is a new dispensation,while allowing negotiations for the Rafale to continue apace so that numbers,options,etc. can be laid out for the CCS to decide upon.

PS:Rien has a point,but how does one turn around HAL,etc. to deliver and instill confidence in the IAF? I think it was Adm.Arun Prakash who said that for how long could we depend upon foreign imports? As we've been doing increasingly with warship and sub building thanks to the IN's innovative approach,the % of indigenisation in naval acquisitions has been steadily going up.The same strategy should be used for aerospace requirements. If the IN has succeeded to a great extent,then surely the IAF and HAL etc. can. In the long term we have no alternative.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby abhik » 02 Aug 2014 10:21

NRao wrote:* MiG-29 is cheap, but its maintenance is terrible. He says that the West German AF Chief told him that the German AF sold their MiG-29 for some token money (1 Euro he says). The German Chief told him "you are rich"!!

Whats quite ironic is that the Eurofighter Typhoon's operating costa reportedly exceed $100,000 per hour(of course the methodology to calculate would matter, but still). I think one of the panelists mentioned that they get only about 50 hours flying time per year, they spend more time in the simulator.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Viv S » 02 Aug 2014 12:05

Rien wrote:
NRao wrote:^^^^^

Let us see what happens. My feel is that the consensus is that the Rafale is too expensive for what it brings to the table. And, more.


Your suggestion is that a $120 million dollar fighter is too expensive, therefore it makes sense to buy a 337 million dollar fighter? :rotfl:


The F-35's procurement cost is currently about $160 million each and at full production will be fall to about $120 million each (comparable to the Rafale). Non-recurring flyaway cost - $75 million, possibly less.

The Rafale is too expensive, but your idea doesn't make sense. More Tejas/PAKFA and accelerated induction of Avatar and MCA is the way to go. This is a revenue neutral idea, since the Rafale costs more than all of them put together! But the IAF has 0% confidence in HAL/DRDO. And that is the real issue.


The MCA is a quite a long way off and the Avatar much more so. And there are significant questions about the PAK FA's RCS, IR signature, EMCON management, sensor fit, sensor fusion, maintainability & reliability, not to mention it'll most certainly cost more than the F-35 to acquire and far more to operate.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Rien » 02 Aug 2014 14:06

Viv S wrote:
The F-35's procurement cost is currently about $160 million each and at full production will be fall to about $120 million each (comparable to the Rafale). Non-recurring flyaway cost - $75 million, possibly less.


I've replied in the JSF thread, but 700 million is the current cost based on the ever rising price of the JSF. It's locked in a death spiral. Every time the JSF price rises, more orders are cut. The more orders are cut, the more expensive the JSF is. This leads to more cancelled orders. This increases the price even further.

This is the same death spiral that killed the B-2 and the F-22, F-117 and B-1. One dead egg. It won't ever be any kind of avian.

The Rafale is too expensive, but your idea doesn't make sense. More Tejas/PAKFA and accelerated induction of Avatar and MCA is the way to go. This is a revenue neutral idea, since the Rafale costs more than all of them put together! But the IAF has 0% confidence in HAL/DRDO. And that is the real issue.


Viv S wrote:The MCA is a quite a long way off and the Avatar much more so. And there are significant questions about the PAK FA's RCS, IR signature, EMCON management, sensor fit, sensor fusion, maintainability & reliability, not to mention it'll most certainly cost more than the F-35 to acquire and far more to operate.


The product design work of Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft has been started by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the vehicle is expected to be ready in 2018, Dr Tamilmani, Director General (Aeronautical Systems) DRDO, Bangalore has said.

As for the AURA

According to an earlier statement by DRDO Chief V K Saraswat, the combat drone, which will be able to detect and identify targets and fire weapons at them, will be controlled with command and control centres (CCC) spread across the country. The UCAVs will have short take-off and landing capability on prepared runway. While DRDO is confident on developing and designing these advanced UCAVs indigenously, it may seek consultancy or collaboration from foreign sources, especially in areas concerning stealth and issues related to take-off and landing. DRDO aims to develop the UCAVs for Indian air Force (IAF) by 2018.


http://www.defencenow.com/news/139/drdo ... hicle.html

That will be a lot sooner than we will ever see the JSF dogged by endless cost escalations and delays. With UCAVS, AMCA and Rafale and PAKFA there's no place for the JSF.

Russian planes have always been far cheaper than US planes to buy and operate. The historical record of hangar queens such as the B-2 and the F-22 compared to the cheap and reliable Mig-29 and Su-30 MKI shows that you're incorrect. The Rodina will always triumph! Likewise IAF Mig 21s prevailed over Pakistan's US fighters. The combat record shows US planes were underwhelming. Although Tejas is far superior to any US or Russian fighter in these categories.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby ShauryaT » 02 Aug 2014 14:27

Counter-response to Air Marshal Barbora, and others

Nowhere in my article – “Why Rafale is a big mistake” did I raise any question about the rigorous testing regime the IAF employed to shortlist the aircraft in the running for the MMRCA slot, and yet the former Vice Chief of the Air Staff, in what’s presumably the institutional response to my piece, makes it, nonsequiterishly, the centre-piece of his response – a tactic to divert from my main theme.

Nor is the American F-35 and its price the issue. This aircraft is a horrendously costly aircraft, which I have time and again trashed as a possible IAF option in my writings and even in a luncheon meeting (where other Indian commentators were present) with the US Assistant Secretary of Defence. F-35 is, as many in the US describe it, a boondoggle and “white elephant” – expensive to acquire, inordinately difficult to maintain in service and at, trillion dollars, unaffordable even for the United States in terms of its lifetime costing – and the last thing that IAF should have on its mind. It is another matter that in the run-up to the Rafale announcement many senior officers in the IAF and many more commentators in the media were actually gung-ho about this aircraft and championed its acquisition (in lieu of the F-16/F-18)!

But Barbora has been more honest than his service colleagues who have published their responses. Air Vice Marshal Arjun Subramaniam, was deployed by the IAF on a previous occasion when I called for terminating the Rafale deal as wasteful in extremis (See “”Stop wasteful military deals”, New Indian Express, November 1, 2013 featured elsewhere in this blog and at http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns ... 866740.ece. Subramaniam reacted (See his “Undermining national security”, New Indian Express, November 7, 2013 at http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns ... 876105.ece, by warning that such writings undermine national security – as if national security, other than being a special preserve of the uniformed brass, was some delicate exotic hot-house orchid that can weather no critical storm. Further, his doubts about the Tejas – the weaknesses in which project is due not little to IAF’s refusal to own up and be accountable for this project – were substantively answered by a flood of on-line reaction commentaries by technically proficient and knowledgeable writers who backed my contention that Tejas can be the answer to IAF’s prayers (and which commentaries have since mysteriously disappeared from the New Indian Express website (!) but are retained for posterity on this blog – refer the air force section in this blog).

But senior airmen are in a habit of not grappling with the central issues that are raised, jagging off, for example, into this analyst’s honest mistake of spelling CAS’ name as Saha, rather than the correct Raha, etc. Consider in this respect Air Vice Marshal (retd) Manmohan Bahadur’s critique of my case for a strategic bomber “Strategic bomber for IAF”, New Indian Express, February 7, 2014 on this blog and at http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns ... 042008.ece. He veered off on a tangent saying how difficult it is to produce a strategic bomber indigenously when the country cannot even manufacture a trainer plane, etc, when actually what I had suggested was leasing (as we do nuclear attack submarines) Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bomber from Russia as the manned strategic delivery option. In this diversion, he, of course failed to address the larger point about the IAF leadership in the early 1970s fouling up by not accepting the Tu-22 Backfire bomber Russia was keen India offtake, and what it revealed about the lack of the “strategic” sense of the IAF, etc.. To the extent this was taken up, Bahadur sought to pooh-pooh it by sloghing the responsibility off to the Government, referring to the straitened financial circumstances the country was in at the time, the trend of policy, and other such extraneous factors when actually the Tu-22 could have been secured on the same terms as was the MiG-23BN, which was IAF’s choice! (“Fallacies of strategic bomber”, New Indian Express, February 11, 2014 http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns ... 049378.ece

Unlike, Subramaniam and Bahadur, the more senior and apparently more responsible, ex-VCAS Barbora, is candid in acknowledging that costs are a factor, and that the unit cost of any fully loaded 4th generation fighter is presently in the $300 million-$400 million range, which is precisely the price range I said Rafale falls in. However, notwithstanding the quite extraordinary expenditure involved, which Barbora does not dispute, he is for acquiring it because, well, the long selection process was swell, IAF’s need has to be filled and, though he does not say it in so many words (see his last para), how Rafale in IAF’s inventory will raisie India’s stock in “the comity of nations”!

The Indian defence industry was crippled at the start by IAF’s hankering for Western combat planes. The fully locally developed HF-24 and its follow-on Mk-2, were ruthlessly killed off by IAF, doing away what little chance India had of emerging as an independent aerospace power in the manner that Brazil and Israel have done in recent years. The IAF’s role in ending the Marut project in the early Seventies to favor purchase of the Jaguar Deep Penetration Strike Aircraft (which as I pointed out at the time can, ironically, penetrate deep or strike hard but cannot do both at the samke time!) and its subsequent reluctance to nurse an in-country combat aircraft R&D and production project, especially the Tejas, lest its umbilical linkage to imported aircraft be severed, is there for all to mull over. Tejas, it must be remembered is a DRDO-driven programme. These are touchy issues for the IAF that I often bring up in my writings, and which are at the core of why India, fatally for a country with pretensions to great power, remains an arms dependency, but which issues no commentators from IAF want, for obvious reasons, to tackle.

What thus ends up being reiterated is the official service line, repeated ad infinitum, for example, (again) by AVM (retd) Manmohan Bahadur (“MMRCA misgivings unfounded”, New Indian Express, August, August 2, 2014 at http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns ... 359756.ece), who is apparently, IAF’s designated batter. He writes re: Rafale as MMRCA that “Costs, albeit important, don’t decide acquisitions; it is the capability one desires that is the driving factor and it’s our misfortune that HAL has not delivered this to the nation. The IAF just looks at getting the right product to safeguard the national skies, as it is its duty to do so.” His and IAF’s contention thus is that costs to the exchequer should be of less concern than IAF having the Rafale in its stable! And, moreover, as is the service’s wont, he covers up for IAF’s acquisition visioning and strategizing failures by telescoping IAF’s urgent needs with DRDO-HAL’s shortcomings.

The question the Indian government confronts is whether to take the easy way out and meet the MMRCA requirements but only half-way (80 or so Rafales) as is the first indication from the Modi regime, or will it bite the bullet, as it were, and decide to end for once and for all the policy of pell-mell importation of unbearably expensive aircraft, and order IAF to take charge of the Tejas programme and rationalize its force structure with just two main lines of combat aircraft, the mainstay Tejas Mk 1 for air defence, Mk 2 in the MMRCA role, and the Su-30 and FGFA Su-50. There’s no other way.

The pleas by the likes of Bahadur to “let the professionals do their job of recommending what is good for the defence of the nation” would be reassuring if the IAF brass actually knew what they were doing, or that they are even clear about the nonsense designation of the Rafale as “medium” combat aircraft. That IAF is in the dark on most such issues and the entire MMRCA schemata mainly reflects IAF’s mindless procurement thinking and confusion, may be evidenced in a 4-part video uploaded on youtube of a Vayu-Strategic Post hosted seminar on Indian airpower, July 4, 2014, the relevant 2nd part of this seminar is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... jCpOqAlvN8. All the IAF luminaries – ACM (retd) SP Tyagi on down, it is obvious, have no clue about what “life costing” metrics are all about, and routinely talk down Russian aircraft, but are mute when informed about the intricacies of lifetime costing of aircraft and about the fact of the 44% availability of Rafale in the French AF, which matches the availability of the Su-30 in IAF. This last is in the 4th part of the above seminar at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 9cjvVw#t=0.

There’s even more damning stuff about, such as the scale of “commissions””, etc. on offer or already deposited which, as one of my well-informed correspondents writes, tongue barely in cheek, would put the Rafale in the “heavy” class. And there’s lots more — all there for the BJP government to examine, enough reason, in any case, for it to revisit the matter of MMRCA, and just how and why the Rafale deal will not only beggar the country – not that the IAF cares — but take down the Tejas programme and the nascent Indian defence industry with it.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby member_28476 » 02 Aug 2014 14:42

Can anyone tell me why my comment about Karnad article was deleted? Oh wait i pointed factual errors... I do expect to talk with author here ;)

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Viv S » 02 Aug 2014 15:05

Rien wrote:I've replied in the JSF thread, but 700 million is the current cost based on the ever rising price of the JSF. It's locked in a death spiral. Every time the JSF price rises, more orders are cut. The more orders are cut, the more expensive the JSF is. This leads to more cancelled orders. This increases the price even further.

Duly replied on the JSF thread. Net orders have increased over the last three years. The life-cycle costs quoted are based on outdated estimates, the new figures put it at $400 million which is as good if not better than the Eurocanards.

This is the same death spiral that killed the B-2 and the F-22, F-117 and B-1. One dead egg. It won't ever be any kind of avian.

Nothing 'killed' the F-117 or B-1B. Both completed a full production run. The B-2 & F-22 production was capped as a result of the Cold War peace dividend.

The product design work of Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft has been started by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the vehicle is expected to be ready in 2018, Dr Tamilmani, Director General (Aeronautical Systems) DRDO, Bangalore has said.

Tejas Mk2 prototype in 2016, AMCA prototype in 2018? Not likely.

As for the AURA

AURA development might start by 2018. Even the West that is leagues ahead in UCAV development will not operationally field an aircraft before 2025, if not later.

That will be a lot sooner than we will ever see the JSF dogged by endless cost escalations and delays. With UCAVS, AMCA and Rafale and PAKFA there's no place for the JSF.

The F-35s cost has been continuously falling and will match the Rafale by the end of the SDD phase. The PAK FA will get its definitive engine only by 2019. No quick fix there.

The AMCA is most certainly worth the investment but its no solution to the capability shortfall over the medium term.

Russian planes have always been far cheaper than US planes to buy and operate. The historical record of hangar queens such as the B-2 and the F-22 compared to the cheap and reliable Mig-29 and Su-30 MKI shows that you're incorrect.

Their true analogues are the F-16 and F-15E. Cheaper? Yes. More reliable? Most definitely not.

The Russians don't field anything in the B-2 or F-22 class, let alone a more reliable aircraft.

The Rodina will always triumph!

(The world is fortunate that it didn't triumph during the Cold War.)

With regard to more recent times, decades of trying to break into the lucrative civilian market have yielded no joy for Russian planemakers. Airbus and Boeing continues to dominate the larger airliner market while Bombardier & Embraer dominates the regional jet market and share the business jet segment with Gulfstream & Dassault.

Likewise IAF Mig 21s prevailed over Pakistan's US fighters. The combat record shows US planes were underwhelming. Although Tejas is far superior to any US or Russian fighter in these categories.

There was greater technological parity between NATO and Russia in the 60s & 70s. And the IAF would have prevailed even with a Western origin fleet.

Tejas is not superior to US & Russian fighters, its at a match at best. Where it (hugely) succeeds is in cost effectiveness.
Last edited by Viv S on 02 Aug 2014 15:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Viv S » 02 Aug 2014 15:06

Pagot wrote:Can anyone tell me why my comment about Karnad article was deleted? Oh wait i pointed factual errors... I do expect to talk with author here ;)


Bharat Karnad is not a member here, though he's known to some BRFites.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby NRao » 02 Aug 2014 17:53

Your suggestion is that a $120 million dollar fighter is too expensive, therefore it makes sense to buy a 337 million dollar fighter? :rotfl:


Cannot help if one does not have basic comprehension skills.

Ohio-Federal in the other thread. And, now this!!

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby member_22605 » 02 Aug 2014 19:14

Viv s, the Americans and Israelis are ahead when it comes to UAV sensors but flight controls is an area where we are just as good if not better than them. People (very highly respected people even on BRF) are now talking of a ULCA and say its very easy to convert an LCA into a UAV.The level of autonomy is a thing specific to the purpose and here I think we can improve our capabilities which again comes with experience ciz we are now confident of ATOL using DGPS but there is certainly a scope for improvement. I read in some thread that Lockheed made the F35 optionally piloted, the LCA also almost flies itself and flies very well and its due its robust CLAW and FCS. So fielding a UCAV isn't that big a challenge, the real challenge is the sensor fit, the optics,the multi spectral sensor fusion, the engine etc. I remember an incident when an Israeli UAV got jammed when the command link of the rustom1 was switched on while the SDRE rustom 1 was unaffected and this is a very popular Israeli UAV that everyone speaks highly about. Today we have mastered flight control and jam proof communication for UAV ( over a wide band) . We are also confident about our radar payloads the challenge is the visual and IR sensors, once we master that then our UAS will be truly world class while being fully indigenous.
Regarding the PAK-FA's RCS, I believe everyone is falling for propaganda and publicity. Trust me the shaping is LO ( though not as insane and impractical as the F-22) and compares well with the F-35. The sensor fit is also impressive and if anything its the data fusion that needs effort but that according to me will be addressed eventually and again it might not be as good as the F-35 but it will be close and with the type 30 engines on the FGFA you are looking at a brutally powerful fighter which is LO and with a very high SA due to its radar coverage and custom made EW suite. Personally I would prefer this to the F-35 any day even over an F-22 if its WVR. :wink:
Cheers!

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Viv S » 02 Aug 2014 22:52

raghuk wrote:Viv s, the Americans and Israelis are ahead when it comes to UAV sensors but flight controls is an area where we are just as good if not better than them. People (very highly respected people even on BRF) are now talking of a ULCA and say its very easy to convert an LCA into a UAV.


'Flight controls' is a rather non-specific term. If you're referring to the FCS, that cannot be evaluated independent of experience with flight dynamics. In that context, its wrong to club together the US and Israel. They both export MALE UAVs but only the US has weaponized them and its so far the only operator of HALE UAVs. More importantly, its experience with high end platforms is in a different league altogether.

As far as UCAV programs go, the term nowadays being a euphemism for stealthy unmanned strike aircraft, the only (thus far) prominent programs outside of the US are the BAE Taranis and Dassault Neuron.

I read in some thread that Lockheed made the F35 optionally piloted, the LCA also almost flies itself and flies very well and its due its robust CLAW and FCS.


LM is just considering a unmanned variant of the F-35 among many other options. Neither the F-35 nor the Tejas as of now have anything in common with UCAVs.

Also for the record, the USAF operated 200 QF-106s target drones converted from retired aircraft, starting nearly 25 years ago. They were then replaced with QF-4s (converted from retired F-4s) and operated by the USAF & USN for some twenty years. And now that fleet is being succeeded by the QF-16, retired F-16s modified for unmanned flight. 125 QF-16s have been ordered.

Unfortunately, developing a top shelf UCAV is very different from 'drone-izing' a fighter jet. Aircraft of the type are about a decade away from service for the US military (which already operates stealthy UAVs, read: RQ-180), and much more for us even accounting for a faster learning curve.

Regarding the PAK-FA's RCS, I believe everyone is falling for propaganda and publicity. Trust me the shaping is LO ( though not as insane and impractical as the F-22) and compares well with the F-35.


No propaganda involved, just going by the published RCS figures for the PAK FA i.e. 0.1-1 m2. There have been attempts to qualify that figure with claims that the F-22 isn't much better but most official and unofficial sources state otherwise.

Coming to the second point, the F-22's shaping isn't insane or impractical - it does not impede the jet's performance which proved to be exceptional.

Also, the F-35's stealth has recently been revealed as superior to the F-22 and outperforming its originally specified requirement. So matching the F-35's signature standard would probably be a taller order than matching the F-22's.

The sensor fit is also impressive and if anything its the data fusion that needs effort but that according to me will be addressed eventually and again it might not be as good as the F-35 but it will be close and with the type 30 engines on the FGFA you are looking at a brutally powerful fighter which is LO and with a very high SA due to its radar coverage and custom made EW suite.

Most of this has already been discussed many times on the forum. Hmm.. I guess once more then -

- The Russians are yet to field an AESA on a fighter, the Americans have well over a thousand operational, the Japanese about a hundred and the French less than dozen units but with 60 or so on order.

- Sensor fusion too is something the Russian are now embarking on. The F-35 on the other hand features a standard of sensor fusion that's a generation ahead of what was cutting edge technology on the F-22 that IOCed in 2005, and driven by approximately ten times more processing power than the PAK FA.

- The Type 30 is a clean sheet design, the result still remains to be seen. The F135 is based on the tried-and-tested F119, has an overall stellar safety record and has nevertheless faced significantly hurdles culminating in the recent fire.

Also keep in mind, there is still a significant gulf between gas turbine technology in the West and Russia. The first FADEC engine in the AL-31 family entered service just four years ago, some 30-35 years after Pratt & Whitney introduced it on the F100 engine.

Personally I would prefer this to the F-35 any day even over an F-22 if its WVR. :wink:


As a result of the EOTS + VSI HMDS + Aim-9X Blk2 combination the F-35 will beat both the F-22 and PAK FA at WVR combat, most of the time. So that's where I'd place my bet. :)
Last edited by Viv S on 03 Aug 2014 02:05, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby member_23694 » 02 Aug 2014 23:12

Also, the F-35's stealth has recently been revealed to be superior to the F-22 and thus better than its originally specified requirement


I am curious about this. F 35 has better RCS , and host of other improved systems compared to F 22 , then why should US simply ban F 22 export while it encourages all its allies to purchase F 35. Japan was and is desperate for F 22 and F 22 assembly line is probably always ready to produce more aircrafts in a short notice.
US would have gained a lot more money selling an inferior F 22 compared to F 35. :roll:

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby TSJones » 02 Aug 2014 23:24

dhiraj wrote:
Also, the F-35's stealth has recently been revealed to be superior to the F-22 and thus better than its originally specified requirement


I am curious about this. F 35 has better RCS , and host of other improved systems compared to F 22 , then why should US simply ban F 22 export while it encourages all its allies to purchase F 35. Japan was and is desperate for F 22 and F 22 assembly line is probably always ready to produce more aircrafts in a short notice.
US would have gained a lot more money selling an inferior F 22 compared to F 35. :roll:


at the time of its design and fabrication it had certain attributes that the US did not want to disclose to rest of the world. the jsf is a different program meant for different purposes. we're not making anymore f-22's. we've got other fish to fry.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions

Postby Viv S » 02 Aug 2014 23:28

dhiraj wrote:I am curious about this. F 35 has better RCS , and host of other improved systems compared to F 22 , then why should US simply ban F 22 export while it encourages all its allies to purchase F 35. Japan was and is desperate for F 22 and F 22 assembly line is probably always ready to produce more aircrafts in a short notice.


Why should it not? What it'll gain by F-22 exports it'll lose with reductions in the F-35 order book. And the F-35's cost reduction (for all its customers including the US DoD) is being achieved through manufacturing at a huge scale. Japanese or Australian orders for the F-35 helps that equation, F-22 orders would obviously hurt it.

US would have gained a lot more money selling an inferior F 22 compared to F 35
.

Not necessarily. The former's higher costs would probably have resulted in smaller orders.

It hasn't been upgraded as per the original plan but its not necessary inferior (WVR combat is just one factor).


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