Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

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Viv S
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Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 26 Oct 2013 21:31

With the Rafale negotiation proceeding less than smoothly, its worth examining a possible plan B.

Including but not limited to the Super Hornet, Gripen, PAK FA/FGFA, F-35, Tejas Mk2, additional Tejas Mk1s or Su-30MKIs. Or a combination thereof.

Existing debates on the Rafale thread should be continued here. Also any pertinent news or updates with regard to other option can also be posted here.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby karan_mc » 26 Oct 2013 21:41

Plan B should be 50 MKI direct import and 40 more orders for Tejas MK-1

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 26 Oct 2013 21:53

pragnya wrote:i noted that. even if you separate operating cost from acquisition cost - it is still a cost which has to be borne by IAF. isn't it??

besides as i noted, we have no idea of flyaway, operating or acquisition cost of Rafale. we have some metrics abt CPFH which give an indiaction on operating cost though.


Its to be borne by the IAF yes. The total cost is a sum of the acquisition cost, operating cost and support cost.

While the operating cost for the Rafale is no doubt lower (by $48 million/unit acc. to the study), it unfortunately will be more expensive to acquire and support.

Overall the F-35 is likely to prove cheaper. Question is the ToT and access provided by Rafale more valuable than the F-35's lower cost (delivered off-the-shelf), and superior combat effectiveness? I don't believe it is.
Last edited by Viv S on 26 Oct 2013 21:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 26 Oct 2013 21:54

Pulled this out of my behind:

Single seat Su-35?

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 26 Oct 2013 21:58

Thats a pretty big behind, saar.

(sorry could not resist) :mrgreen:

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 26 Oct 2013 22:00

^^^^^

Nice. : )

(I am gald I did not go with teh two seater.)

With that in mind, how about teh single engined Su-27? Single seat too.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby vishvak » 26 Oct 2013 22:02

Specs for Su-35S from wickei: from link
Cost:US$40 million[2] to $65 million (estimated)

Specifications:
few points-

Empty weight: 18,400 kg; Loaded weight: 25,300 kg; Max. takeoff weight: 34,500 kg.
Powerplant: 2 × Saturn 117S with TVC nozzle turbofan
Dry thrust: 86.3 kN each; Thrust with afterburner: 142 kN each
Fuel capacity: 14,350 litres

Maximum speed: Mach 2.25 (2,390 km/h, 1,490 mph) at altitude

Range:
High altitude: 3,600 km (1,940 nmi)
Ground level: 1,580 km (850 nmi)
Ferry range: 4,500 km(2,430 nmi)with 2 external fuel tanks
Service ceiling: 18,000 m

Guns: 1× 30 mm GSh-30 internal cannon with 150 rounds
Hardpoints: 14 hardpoints, consting of 2 wingtip rails, and 12 wing and fuselage stations with a capacity of 8,000 kg (17,630 lb) of ordnance

Radar: Irbis-E, along with jamming pods, EW suit, Search and track system.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 26 Oct 2013 22:11

NRao wrote:Pulled this out of my behind:

Single seat Su-35?


Same downside as the Su-30MKI - very expensive to operate (but without the advantage of local production). In fact, the only types costing more to operate would be the F-22, Su-34 and MiG-31. I'd venture to say, even the current mix of IAF might too heavily tilted in favour of the heavies, given that unlike Russia or even the US, long range deployment isn't as much of a priority for us.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby TSJones » 26 Oct 2013 22:21

vishvak wrote:Specs for Su-35S from wickei: from link
Cost:US$40 million[2] to $65 million (estimated)

Specifications:
few points-

Empty weight: 18,400 kg; Loaded weight: 25,300 kg; Max. takeoff weight: 34,500 kg.
Powerplant: 2 × Saturn 117S with TVC nozzle turbofan
Dry thrust: 86.3 kN each; Thrust with afterburner: 142 kN each
Fuel capacity: 14,350 litres

Maximum speed: Mach 2.25 (2,390 km/h, 1,490 mph) at altitude

Range:
High altitude: 3,600 km (1,940 nmi)
Ground level: 1,580 km (850 nmi)
Ferry range: 4,500 km(2,430 nmi)with 2 external fuel tanks
Service ceiling: 18,000 m

Guns: 1× 30 mm GSh-30 internal cannon with 150 rounds
Hardpoints: 14 hardpoints, consting of 2 wingtip rails, and 12 wing and fuselage stations with a capacity of 8,000 kg (17,630 lb) of ordnance

Radar: Irbis-E, along with jamming pods, EW suit, Search and track system.


I would say if you can get a knows-all-sees-all radar like Irbis-E coupled with a destroys-everything air missile system then go with that. Why worry about anything else? Get the SU-35. Problem solved. Don't worry about the Verticle launch/land short stubby aircraft. Why are decisions like this so darn hard?

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby karan_mc » 26 Oct 2013 22:28

Instead of Su-35 how about Super Su 30 MKI ? , or Second hand Mirages 2000 ?

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby pragnya » 26 Oct 2013 22:49

Viv S,

Its to be borne by the IAF yes. The total cost is a sum of the acquisition cost, operating cost and support cost.

While the operating cost for the Rafale is no doubt lower (by $48 million/unit acc. to the study),


a clarification first -

CPFH for Rafale - $14000 - $16500 (avg - $15250)

CPFH for F 35A - $24OOO - $31900 (avg - $27950)

you arrived at $48mil by taking the MAX for Rafale and reduced it from MIN for F35A which would be incorrect IMO. the correct one would have been 'min, min' or 'max, max' or 'avg, avg' combo which translate to these figs - $60mil/aircraft, $92.4mil/aircraft and avg - $76.2mil which - for 126 aircrafts gives a fig correspondingly - $7.56billion, $11.642billion and avg $9.6billion. these are very significant operating costs one can wish away.

atleast that settles the operating cost as you agree yourself.

it unfortunately will be more expensive to acquire and support.


i don't know how many times i have to say this. who has the details of the cost of acquisiton for Rafale as bid by Dassault?? or even flyaway cost?? it is very difficult to guess on those figs. besides CNC is there to squeeze Dassault if the costs are too high.

as for support i would think Rafale may turn out cheaper as IAF operates M2Ks and lot of support equipment, tools, training etc will be common.

besides as for F 35 it is too early to speculate on the acquisition cost as US govt/forces are themselves battling it over with LM and it is still in developmental stage. i don't even want to make a guess. it is better to wait for the din to settle down in 5 years time when F 35 would be operational with everything sorted out.

Overall the F-35 is likely to prove cheaper. Question is the ToT and access provided by Rafale more valuable than the F-35's lower cost (delivered off-the-shelf), and superior combat effectiveness? I don't believe it is.


while cost is one factor TOT/offsets is the bigger factor as it would allow Indian industry (both pvt/public) value addition and get a better foothold in the sector which will help india's future.

my last post on this.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Gurneesh » 26 Oct 2013 23:24

Of the many available options,

Order Mig29K/35: IMHO not feasible as they are completely different that the types we have in IAF service. Unless we convert the entire MMRCA order to these planes; which means all eggs in one basket.

Order Su35: IMHO not feasible as it is also completely different that the types we have in service. Also is a heavy fighter and we already have too many of those. Also i doubt that Su35 costs only 40 - 65 million as we payed much more than that for our recent MKI batches.

More MKI: possible but again a heavy fighter.

Get second hand Mig29: possible if we can get viable airframes. Would be easily upgraded to the Indian UPG standard and will not require new support, logistic, maintenance, or training facilities.

Get second hand M2000: possible if we can get viable airframes. Again, can be easily upgraded to the Indian UPG standard and will not require new support, logistic, maintenance, or training facilities. However, buying and upgrading second hand m2000's might be very expensive as IIRC the Indian m2000's cost around 40 million per plane to upgrade. Though the cost of upgrading a M2000-5 to the Indian upgrade standard might be less.

Order more Mk1 LCA: very viable if we can get HAL to deliver these birds faster than what is planned now. Obviously, while not as capable as the others mentioned here, these will provide much more capability than the outgoing Migs; more so when compared to non-bison Mig21s. Ideally we should be making atleast 20 planes per year from next year to get 80 - 100 planes till 2017 - 2018 after which Mk2 will come into picture. It is criminal that our defense setup is not planning or working towards this.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 27 Oct 2013 00:12

pragnya wrote:Viv S, you arrived at $48mil by taking the MAX for Rafale and reduced it from MIN for F35A which would be incorrect IMO. the correct one would have been 'min, min' or 'max, max' or 'avg, avg' combo which translate to these figs - $60mil/aircraft, $92.4mil/aircraft and avg - $76.2mil which - for 126 aircrafts gives a fig correspondingly - $7.56billion, $11.642billion and avg $9.6billion. these are very significant operating costs one can wish away.

atleast that settles the operating cost as you agree yourself.


Sorry, I actually arrived at the $48 mil figure by misreading the figure from the study by Jane's, I used the figure for the F-18E/F instead (I think I might need glasses :idea: ). Only just figured it out.

As per the correct figures -

Rafale - $16,500/hr
F-35A - $21,000/hr

So for 6000 hours, we'll arrive at a cost difference of $27 million per aircraft. Not too bad.


i don't know how many times i have to say this. who has the details of the cost of acquisiton for Rafale as bid by Dassault?? or even flyaway cost?? it is very difficult to guess on those figs. besides CNC is there to squeeze Dassault if the costs are too high.


Well, you'd agree that the Rafale is unlikely to be cheaper for India than it is for France, right?

Well the production cost for the Rafale in 2010, according to the French auditors was $145 million/unit. While I wouldn't venture a guess as to the upper limit, I don't see how its possible for India to get it for under $150 million/unit in 2017?

And even at $150 million, that works out to be about $19 billion for the 126 aircraft. Which would explain the Dassault CEO's statement about the contract value being much more than $20 billion.


as for support i would think Rafale may turn out cheaper as IAF operates M2Ks and lot of support equipment, tools, training etc will be common.


The two aircraft will have different training and maintenance syllabi. But I suppose there will be some spares shared between the two, but I haven't been ever able to nail down what exactly is common. The two aircraft have different engines and different transmission systems. AFAIK LRU/SRUs employed by the two are not interchangeable. I doubt there's a lot of savings to be achieved on typical consumables; lubricants, fasteners and like. However I'd be happy to learn different, if there's more to it.


besides as for F 35 it is too early to speculate on the acquisition cost as US govt/forces are themselves battling it over with LM and it is still in developmental stage. i don't even want to make a guess. it is better to wait for the din to settle down in 5 years time when F 35 would be operational with everything sorted out.


Actually the thing to note with the F-35 is that its not built in the usual manner. Normally an aircraft is developed, tested, refined and then into production. With the F-35, they realised that the main bottlenecks related to software development, rather than the aircraft design. There an approach called 'concurrency' was adopted wherein the aircraft was put into production before the development flight testing was complete. And the produced units are being upgraded with both newer software and retrofitted with fixes for hardware issue while 'in service'.

Point is, the production cost for the F-35 being referred to is not an estimate, its the actual cost for the 'Low Rate Initial Production' aircraft. Eventually as production is scaled, those costs will fall so the final cost is remains to be seen. Its expected to fall from about $115 mil right now to under $100 mil at full production. Even if it doesn't achieve those targets, it'll still remain a lot cheaper than the Rafale.
Last edited by Viv S on 27 Oct 2013 00:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby arthuro » 27 Oct 2013 00:16

While the operating cost for the Rafale is no doubt lower (by $48 million/unit acc. to the study), it unfortunately will be more expensive to acquire and support.

Overall the F-35 is likely to prove cheaper. Question is the ToT and access provided by Rafale more valuable than the F-35's lower cost (delivered off-the-shelf), and superior combat effectiveness? I don't believe it is.


The rafale is far cheaper to buy and operate than the F35. Canada and the Netherlands are currently pretty unhappy with the F35 high costs. Given the price quoted for the F35 for canada (65 airframes) the MRCA deal with the rafale looks like a bargain.

Unfortunately for the dreamers (LCA mk2, FGFA, AMCA which all look not very credible options except for fanboys) the IAF is fully committed to the rafale deal and detailed negotiations are intense. This fact alone should be a wake up call for the all dreamers as if the LCA mk2, FGFA, AMCA, F35 etc were really viable options and bringing all the advantages some would like to believe you would not see Indian officials pushing so much for the rafale deal. Unfortunately it is not the case at all hence the "no plan B" option.

But some will prefer leaving in denial than accepting the fact that the rafale has been chosen after a fair competition on performance and costs.

oct 22 ; Dassault CEO interview:

[...]
The number two of the Indian Air Force has announced the signature of a possible Rafale contract before March 2014. What is your reaction?
The Indian Air Force has always confirmed its choice and need of the Rafale. We are very pleased. We still have work to conclude the contract. We remain optimistic for a signature in the coming months.

Are the negotiations going well?
Discussions about technical definition are done, discussions about industrial shares are in full swing, whether between French and Indian parts or between Indian companies themselves. We have a partner imposed by the tender : Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd [HAL], responsible for assembling. We are discussing all the details. It takes time. This goes until the 5 mm screw, which is made locally! The gestation of a program of this type takes several years and, given my experience of India , I can tell you that this program is proceeding rapidly. The negotiations are intense. Mobilized teams from both sides have very busy and intense workdays.

http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/po ... le.N210687

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 27 Oct 2013 00:53

arthuro wrote:The rafale is far cheaper to buy and operate than the F35. Canada and the Netherlands are currently pretty unhappy with the F35 high costs. Given the price quoted for the F35 for canada (65 airframes) the MRCA deal with the rafale looks like a bargain.


Really? :D Canada's spending $9 billion for 65 aircraft i.e. $138 million/unit. Which sounds about right since Israel is procuring 19 F-35s for $2.7 billion or about $140 million/unit.

I can't speak for others on the forum but the Rafale looks very far from a bargain to me.


This fact alone should be a wake up call for the all dreamers as if the LCA mk2, FGFA, AMCA, F35 etc were really viable options and bringing all the advantages some would like to believe you would not see Indian officials pushing so much for the rafale deal. Unfortunately it is not the case at all hence the "no plan B" option.


Hmm...I can make this kind of argument too. Observe. 'If Indian officials were pushing so much for the Rafale deal, it would have been signed by now. Unfortunately this is not the case at all hence "all is not well"'


But some will prefer leaving in denial than accepting the fact that the rafale has been chosen after a fair competition on performance and costs.

oct 22 ; Dassault CEO interview:


The Dassault CEO says its all going smoothly. Well... okay.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 00:56

arthuro,

Has India rejected the Rafale? This is the "alternativeS to MMRCA" thread please.

We ALL KNOW that the Rafale is coming, just that some of us think it is a lemon. Or too expensive to buy at $22 billion.

So per rules could you take the Rafale topic to the MMRCA thread. Please.

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NO RAFALE

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 01:06

Someone please modify the main subject to include "NO RAFALE"

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby arthuro » 27 Oct 2013 01:12

Just to refresh your memory on F35 costs (from Bloomberg):

Dassault Aviation SA (AM), maker of the Rafale combat jet, said Canada has commenced talks about an order for the plane as it reviews options amid mounting costs for the Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Discussions began in January, and Dassault considers the chances of Canada making a purchase sufficiently good that it’s willing to spend the money to undertake a sales campaign, the French company’s Chief Executive Officer Eric Trappier said.

Canada’s minister of public works and government services, Rona Ambrose, said Dec. 12 that the country had “hit the reset button” on a deal for 65 JSFs after consultant KPMG said the estimated $25 billion bill could jump to $46 billion.

“Canada was the first to raise difficult questions about the F-35 and we’ve been talking to them since the beginning of the year,” said Trappier,
who was appointed Dassault’s CEO in January after Charles Edelstenne stepped down upon turning 75.

Other countries may be less inclined to consider breaking ranks with the U.S., the executive said at an earnings presentation near Paris, where Dassault in based.

While the JSF has 10 customers for the plane, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia and Norway are full partners with a share of work on the project. Denmark, like Canada, holds the same status, and it, too, has re-opened the order process, while not including the Rafale.

Battle Proven

The Rafale’s performance in engagements in Libya and more recently in Mali, where France used the jet to help retake territory held by Islamic militants, will provide military officials with examples of its combat ability, Trappier said.

The F-35, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, hasn’t yet begun combat testing and isn’t scheduled to complete it until 2019, seven years later than planned, according to a recent report by Pentagon chief weapons tester Michael Gilmore.

Dassault was selected last year by India for the purchase of 126 Rafales, though is still negotiating the final deal. The jet has yet to conclude a single export contract, even though its predecessor, the Mirage, drew two-thirds of orders abroad.

The United Arab Emirates shortlisted the Rafale for a 60- plane deal, though other models are under consideration. The Dassault plane is also competing with the Boeing Co. (BA) F/A-18 Super Hornet and Saab AB (SAABB) Gripen for a contract in Brazil.

Dassault is currently producing 11 Rafales a year for the French government and couldn’t drop below that level without sacrificing quality, Trappier said after reporting a 25 percent jump in full-year net income to 524 million euros ($677 million), aided by the delivery of 66 Falcon corporate jets.


The rafale is a bargain indeed compared to the F35 and it looks like a credible enough alternative so that Canada has approached Dassault to seek possible alternative. It looks like even air forces traditionally close to the US are fed up with F35 price and performance.

The Dassault CEO says its all going smoothly. Well... okay.


Such a weak argument. You can easily swallow LM propaganda but when a Dassault CEO is interviewed no doubt he is a liar. But I guess you would have preferred that I quote an IAF official:

MMRCA Deal Will Be Inked Within This Financial Year: Air Marshal S Sukumar, Deputy Chief of Air Staff

Air Marshal S Sukumar, Deputy Chief of Air Staff said that MMRCA Deal Will Be Inked Within This Financial Year while speaking at Brochure Release of 8th International Conference on Energising Indian Aerospace Conference jointly organized by Confederation of Indian Industry, Indian Air Force & Centre for Air Power Studies at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.[...]

http://www.livefistdefence.com/2013/10/ ... um=twitter

LCA mk2, AMCA, FGFA, F35 for india is just wishful thinking. Even the regular LCA is not even operational in large numbers so the rest do not look credible at all and IAF knows it and that's why they need the rafale.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Mihir » 27 Oct 2013 01:22

Viv S wrote:With the Rafale negotiation proceeding less than smoothly, its worth examining a possible plan B.

If the negotiations for the Rafale fail, then the Typhoon automatically would be back in reckoning. That was the reason for the shortlist followed by the declaration of a final winner. Everything else is khayali pulao onlee.

Viv S wrote:Actually the thing to note with the F-35 is that its not built in the usual manner. Normally an aircraft is developed, tested, refined and then into production. With the F-35, they realised that the main bottlenecks related to software development, rather than the aircraft design. There an approach called 'concurrency' was adopted wherein the aircraft was put into production before the development flight testing was complete. And the produced units are being upgraded with both newer software and retrofitted with fixes for hardware issue while 'in service'.

And we all know how that turned out. When hardware problems crop up, they have to retrofit all aircraft that were produced (without adequate testing) with fixes, or worse, drag them back to the assembly lines to make big changes. And with 700+ problems still to be fixed, we can see what a mess this is leading to. The approach is coming under heavy criticism from every conceivable quarter right now. Only the fanboys are singing peans to "concurrency" and how superduperfantabulouslykewl it is.

Acknowledging that software is becoming more complex, expensive, and relatively easy to update is one thing. But when this begins to blind you to the fact that the development of new hardware is still difficult and fraught with risks, or that hardware fixes are still bloody expensive, you're in trouble.

Viv S wrote:Point is, the production cost for the F-35 being referred to is not an estimate, its the actual cost for the 'Low Rate Initial Production' aircraft.

At the risk of repeating myself, these aircraft have 700+ flaws, most of which are nowhere close to being fixed. Hell, they can barely fly right now, leave alone shoot, and we have people bandying these costs as if they are the final numbers which won't change no matter what. Personally, I would prefer to wait until it can fly properly, fire weapons without any problems, and have a functioning HMD.

Viv S wrote:Eventually as production is scaled, those costs will fall so the final cost is remains to be seen. Its expected to fall from about $115 mil right now to under $100 mil at full production. Even if it doesn't achieve those targets, it'll still remain a lot cheaper than the Rafale.

As more problems crop up and expensive solutions have to be engineered for every problem, those costs will skyrocket, just as they have been over the last decade.

Viv S wrote:Canada's spending $9 billion for 65 aircraft i.e. $138 million/unit. Which sounds about right since Israel is procuring 19 F-35s for $2.7 billion or about $140 million/unit.

Going by that logic, India is purchasing 126 Rafales for $13 billion, which works out to $103 million per plane including ancillary cost. Also, if we're making like-to-like comparisons, we need to find out what the Rafale's price without the engines is going to be. Some more research into Lockheed's financial calisthenics would also be a good idea. Gawd onlee knows what else they deleted to arrive at the costs you quote.

Viv S wrote:The Dassault CEO says its all going smoothly. Well... okay.

Double standards much? Is there a reason the Dassault CEO is any less reliable than Lockheed's PR machine?

PS: Shameless self-plug :P
http://www.livefistdefence.com/2011/11/ ... -ride.html
Last edited by Mihir on 27 Oct 2013 01:59, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby arthuro » 27 Oct 2013 01:34

Have you read this article over MRCA deal ?

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/articles/51156 ... rafale.htm

One thing is striking : Indian official urge to sign the MRCA deal as quickly as possible but strangely not a single alternative is quoted...And especially not those we can read here on this forum like the LCA mk2, mk3... FGFA, AMCA, F35, typhoon...

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 27 Oct 2013 01:58

arthuro wrote:Just to refresh your memory on F35 costs (from Bloomberg):

Canada’s minister of public works and government services, Rona Ambrose, said Dec. 12 that the country had “hit the reset button” on a deal for 65 JSFs after consultant KPMG said the estimated $25 billion bill could jump to $46 billion.


You want to compare the cost of acquisition for one, to the total cost of ownership for the other? :D



The Dassault CEO says its all going smoothly. Well... okay.


Such a weak argument. You can easily swallow LM propaganda but when a Dassault CEO is interviewed no doubt he is a liar.


I can also restate that as - you can easily dismiss LM material as propaganda but are willing take the Dassault CEO at his word.

In any case, I haven't posted quotes by LM employees or used their marketing material to make my case, so I believe this is what's called a non sequitur.

But I guess you would have preferred that I quote an IAF official: MMRCA Deal Will Be Inked Within This Financial Year: Air Marshal S Sukumar, Deputy Chief of Air Staff


Would you like me to post quotes from officials about the deal being concluded in the FY 2012? The contract is being negotiated by the MoD, the ball's not in the IAF's court any more. And thereafter it will be forwarded to the Ministry of Finance and you can bet that they'll have a thing or two to say as well, before returning it to the MoD. Finally, it'll reach the Cabinet Committee on Security which needs to sign off on it, and only then will it be implemented.


LCA mk2, AMCA, FGFA, F35 for india is just wishful thinking. Even the regular LCA is not even operational in large numbers so the rest do not look credible at all and IAF knows it and that's why they need the rafale.


AMCA, F-35, FGFA may not credible but a $20 billion+ order for the Rafale is certainly starting to look incredible.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby asprinzl » 27 Oct 2013 01:59

The time now is way past the MMRCA. The IAF needed the Mirages more than a decade ago after evaluating the performance of the M2K during Kargil. The Indian government botched it BIG TIME. For whatever reason. Imagine an additional 100 plus M2K in Indian arsenal would have had in the minds of the guys who planned the Mumbai mayhem in 2008? Its all too much water under the bridge now.

Anyways I posted a couple of years ago that I doubt the govt was serious in completing the MMRCA deal. Currently, I hold the same opinion. 1) The planes selected will be outdate very soon in light of the aviation developments taking place in the world. 2) The Congress govt was never serious in the first place. 3) The current account situation only made it worst. 4) The economy is slowing down and that is just adding to the mish mash.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 02:11

Indian government botched it


"it"?

Is. Will.

No matter what happens it will be botched. Rafale, Eurofighter, JSF, MKI, LCA, AMCA, whatever, it will be botched big time.

Whatever happens, it will be late and costly.

There seems to be a cost even to doing things the right way.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 02:14

arthuro wrote:Have you read this article over MRCA deal ?

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/articles/51156 ... rafale.htm

One thing is striking : Indian official urge to sign the MRCA deal as quickly as possible but strangely not a single alternative is quoted...And especially not those we can read here on this forum like the LCA mk2, mk3... FGFA, AMCA, F35, typhoon...


Officially the alternative is the Eurofighter. Officially there can be none others.

What is being posted here is just BRiets having fun when there is nothing else to talk about. Addicts.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 27 Oct 2013 02:32

Mihir wrote:If the negotiations for the Rafale fail, then the Typhoon automatically would be back in reckoning. That was the reason for the shortlist followed by the declaration of a final winner. Everything else is khayali pulao onlee.


If the Rafale negotiations fail, it'll be another year long slog on EF trail and we might just get the PAK FA in service before the MMRCA.


And we all know how that turned out. When hardware problems crop up, they have to retrofit all aircraft that were produced (without adequate testing) with fixes, or worse, drag them back to the assembly lines to make big changes. And with 700+ problems still to be fixed, we can see what a mess this is leading to. The approach is coming under heavy criticism from every conceivable quarter right now. Only the fanboys are singing peans to "concurrency" and how superduperfantabulouslykewl it is.


Well, I just was hoping from something more specific than that. Hopefully figures and such. I agree its certainly come under heavy criticism. Then again -

Pentagon Says Cost to Retrofit F-35s Drops $500 Million

The estimate on upgrades for the first five contracts of 90 aircraft has dropped to about $1.2 billion from $1.7 billion, the Pentagon said in a new report to Congress on “concurrency.” That’s the system under which the fighters are being built even as they’re still in development.

The revised estimates bolster findings by government analysts that the military and the contractor are making progress in managing the jet’s simultaneous development and production.


In addition, for the further production the cost overruns will now be split with the contractor.


Acknowledging that software is becoming more complex, expensive, and relatively easy to update is one thing. But when this begins to blind you to the fact that the development of new hardware is still difficult and fraught with risks, or that hardware fixes are still bloody expensive, you're in trouble.


According to the latest DoD report, the cost of concurrency for the 289 aircraft acquired before the development flight ends is $1.7 billion i.e. less than $6 million per aircraft.

'Bloody expensive'? I wouldn't go that far.


At the risk of repeating myself, these aircraft have 700+ flaws, most of which are nowhere close to being fixed. Hell, they can barely fly right now, leave alone shoot, and we have people bandying these costs as if they are the final numbers which won't change no matter what. Personally, I would prefer to wait until it can fly properly, fire weapons without any problems, and have a functioning HMD.


The cost of production is known. The cost of concurrency is known. And the aircraft will have its flight tests completed, weapons qualified and HMD bug-free before its declared operational for combat.


As more problems crop up and expensive solutions have to be engineered for every problem, those costs will skyrocket, just as they have been over the last decade.


Except that costs have been falling, not skyrocketing for while now.


Going by that logic, India is purchasing 126 Rafales for $13 billion, which works out to $103 million per plane including ancillary cost. Also, if we're making like-to-like comparisons, we need to find out what the Rafale's price without the engines is going to be. Some more research into Lockheed's financial calisthenics would also be a good idea. Gawd onlee knows what else they deleted to arrive at the cost.


France is buying Rafales for $145 mil per unit (perhaps somewhat less for just the B/C variant), but we'll get them at $103 million each including ancillary cost?

Also at all stages I've given the cost of F-35 with engines. They're negotiated for separately, (independent of Lockheed Martin) its quite obvious that there's no 'deletion' involved.


Double standards much? Is there a reason the Dassault CEO is any less reliable than Lockheed's PR machine?


I try to avoid LM's 'PR machine'.




Which one of the gentlemen in the picture are you? :D

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby vishvak » 27 Oct 2013 02:40

Imagine an additional 100 plus M2K in Indian arsenal would have had in the minds of the guys who planned the Mumbai mayhem in 2008?

The attackers, trained in pak, weren't scared either about any superpowers hurting pakis either for terror strikes. It is one thing to lecture others and another to give a damn even. Fourfathers of pakigs seem to have gone with excuses to avoid penalizing pakis and gone about business as usual.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Victor » 27 Oct 2013 02:43

How about a Super Bison with FBW, AESA and more powerful engines like AL31? Do a Kfir on the MiG-21? It will have single-engine economies and adequate range and payload for our immediate needs. It will come quickly and it will be almost entirely Indian. Best of all we already have everything we need, including MiG qualified workers at HAL and pilots who know it inside out. We also know that they rattled the USAF.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby arthuro » 27 Oct 2013 02:53

France is buying Rafales for $145 mil per unit, but we'll get them at $103 million each including ancillary cost. Also at all stages I've given the cost of F-35 with engines. They're negotiated for separately, (independent of Lockheed Martin) its quite obvious that there's no 'deletion' involved.


That's a completely wrong, bias, dishonnest and inaccurate reading of France "cours des comptes" which includes development costs and VAT as you forgot to explain !!! Both of which are not going to be paid by India. France is certainly not buying its rafale 145 mil $ a copy when a rafale C fly away cost is around 55M euros.

It was clearly written that the 140+ Meuros price included development costs just above the chart :

Par ailleurs, les devis de production prennent en compte la « cible » (nombre total d’exemplaires à produire) telle qu’elle est arrêtée au moment de leur chiffrage. Or, les cibles retenues ne cessent en général de décroître au fil du temps. Cette décroissance induit mécaniquement une baisse du coût global du programme (ou un ralentissement de sa hausse), mais également une hausse du prix unitaire des matériels commandés, les coûts non récurrents de développement restant évidemment inchangés dans l’opération ; de plus, cette même réduction de cible a des conséquences sur le déroulement du processus industriel, le rendant plus onéreux compte tenu du ralentissement de son rythme.


Actually you were comparing rafale unit costs inclusive its development which is only relevant for france and irrelevant for export with an F35 price in fly away condition...That's completely stupid.

Now you understand how cheap the rafale is compared to the F35 and you better understand CANADA willingness to bring in the rafale in the competition as the F35 is clearly overpriced, overbudget and underperforming !

for the record (article from bloomberg):

Dassault Aviation SA (AM), maker of the Rafale combat jet, said Canada has commenced talks about an order for the plane as it reviews options amid mounting costs for the Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Discussions began in January, and Dassault considers the chances of Canada making a purchase sufficiently good that it’s willing to spend the money to undertake a sales campaign, the French company’s Chief Executive Officer Eric Trappier said.

Canada’s minister of public works and government services, Rona Ambrose, said Dec. 12 that the country had “hit the reset button” on a deal for 65 JSFs after consultant KPMG said the estimated $25 billion bill could jump to $46 billion.


“Canada was the first to raise difficult questions about the F-35 and we’ve been talking to them since the beginning of the year,” said Trappier,


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-1 ... -soar.html

Conclusion : the rafale is far cheaper to buy and operate than the overpriced F35.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Viv S » 27 Oct 2013 03:13

arthuro wrote:That's a completely wrong, bias, dishonnest and inaccurate reading of France "cours des comptes" which includes development costs and VAT as you forgot to explain !!! Both of which are not going to be paid by India. France is certainly not buying its rafale 145 mil $ a copy when a rafale C fly away cost is around 55M euros.


:D

Well I may be wrong, biased, dishonest and inaccurate (a cornucopia of character flaws! :mrgreen: ) but as it happens I included both aspects in my post on the Rafale cost. (link)


Actually you were comparing rafale unit costs inclusive its development which is only relevant for france and irrelevant for export with an F35 price in fly away condition...That's completely stupid.


I was comparing the Rafale's 'prix unitaires de production' (correct me if I'm wrong but that mean 'unit cost of production') which I'm well aware is not the flyaway cost, with the F-35's flyaway cost for context.

If we want the Rafale total cost i.e. including the development, its a simple matter of dividing the program cost - €40.69 billion with 286 giving €142 million. At 2010 exchange rate that's $203 million/unit. Assuming that's inclusive of VAT we get - $170 million. Of course since the total production has been cut to 225, that numbers not valid anymore.


Now you understand how cheap the rafale is compared to the F35 and you better understand CANADA willingness to bring in the rafale in the competition as the F35 is clearly overpriced, overbudget and underperforming !


The talks are to appease the public that other options are being considered. I think we both know Canada's going to buy F-35s and nothing else. :)

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Mihir » 27 Oct 2013 03:53

Viv S wrote:
Mihir wrote:If the negotiations for the Rafale fail, then the Typhoon automatically would be back in reckoning. That was the reason for the shortlist followed by the declaration of a final winner. Everything else is khayali pulao onlee.

If the Rafale negotiations fail, it'll be another year long slog on EF trail and we might just get the PAK FA in service before the MMRCA.

Whatever the timeline, my point is that there is a procedure to deal with the breakdown of negotiations, and will be followed.

Viv S wrote:
And we all know how that turned out. When hardware problems crop up, they have to retrofit all aircraft that were produced (without adequate testing) with fixes, or worse, drag them back to the assembly lines to make big changes. And with 700+ problems still to be fixed, we can see what a mess this is leading to. The approach is coming under heavy criticism from every conceivable quarter right now. Only the fanboys are singing peans to "concurrency" and how superduperfantabulouslykewl it is.

Well, I just was hoping from something more specific than that. Hopefully figures and such. I agree its certainly come under heavy criticism. Then again -

Pentagon Says Cost to Retrofit F-35s Drops $500 Million

The estimate on upgrades for the first five contracts of 90 aircraft has dropped to about $1.2 billion from $1.7 billion, the Pentagon said in a new report to Congress on “concurrency.” That’s the system under which the fighters are being built even as they’re still in development.

The revised estimates bolster findings by government analysts that the military and the contractor are making progress in managing the jet’s simultaneous development and production.

Ooh, more estimates! Given how spectacularly the project has overshot previous cost and time estimates, I wouldn't put much faith in these. And I find it hilarious that the JPO and Lockheed don't have a clue as to how they are going to tackle the 700+ problems, but they come up with confident estimates of how much it would cost to fix them :lol:

Viv S wrote:In addition, for the further production the cost overruns will now be split with the contractor.

Indeed? So Lockheed will go to the extent of selling the plane at a loss if it comes to that? What makes you think they would do so willingly? What makes you think the DoD will let Lockheed take such losses and risk possible bankruptcy/dissolution, effectively giving Boeing a monopoly on the US fighter market?

More importantly, what makes you think that Lockheed will split costs with India as well? Hell, if the DoD forces them to sell them F-35s on the cheap, they will likely try to extract this money from countries like India. In effect, India would be subsidizing the US acqusition of F-35s.

Viv S wrote:
Acknowledging that software is becoming more complex, expensive, and relatively easy to update is one thing. But when this begins to blind you to the fact that the development of new hardware is still difficult and fraught with risks, or that hardware fixes are still bloody expensive, you're in trouble.


According to the latest DoD report, the cost of concurrency for the 289 aircraft acquired before the development flight ends is $1.7 billion i.e. less than $6 million per aircraft.

Of course! Another cost model. Too bad there's little in terms of precedent to justify all the heady optimism.

Viv S wrote:
At the risk of repeating myself, these aircraft have 700+ flaws, most of which are nowhere close to being fixed. Hell, they can barely fly right now, leave alone shoot, and we have people bandying these costs as if they are the final numbers which won't change no matter what. Personally, I would prefer to wait until it can fly properly, fire weapons without any problems, and have a functioning HMD.

The cost of production is known. The cost of concurrency is known. And the aircraft will have its flight tests completed, weapons qualified and HMD bug-free before its declared operational for combat.

Nope. That knowledge is based on "estimates", "projections", and "models". Nothing is known. There are 719 flaws that need fixing, and nobody knows how long it will take or how expensive it will be to fix them.

Viv S wrote:
As more problems crop up and expensive solutions have to be engineered for every problem, those costs will skyrocket, just as they have been over the last decade.

Except that costs have been falling, not skyrocketing for while now.

Yes, buy deleting parts from the bill. Today it's the engine. Tomorrow it may be the wings. The fuselage might follow next.

Viv S wrote:
Going by that logic, India is purchasing 126 Rafales for $13 billion, which works out to $103 million per plane including ancillary cost. Also, if we're making like-to-like comparisons, we need to find out what the Rafale's price without the engines is going to be. Some more research into Lockheed's financial calisthenics would also be a good idea. Gawd onlee knows what else they deleted to arrive at the cost.

France is buying Rafales for $145 mil per unit (perhaps somewhat less for just the B/C variant), but we'll get them at $103 million each including ancillary cost?

Yes, because Wikipedia says so. Not a penny more than $13 billion. The MoD hasn't revised the figure yet. Who knows, Dassault may just agree to bear the remaining cost. Stranger things are being claimed on this very thread.

Viv S wrote:Also at all stages I've given the cost of F-35 with engines. They're negotiated for separately, (independent of Lockheed Martin) its quite obvious that there's no 'deletion' involved.

Oh please! Read the Reuters article Negi posted on the Rafale thread.

Viv S wrote:


Which one of the gentlemen in the picture are you? :D

Why, the dashing young one with a full mop of hair, of course! Not the bearded old coot :mrgreen:

*runs away and hides*

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby SaiK » 27 Oct 2013 05:18

lot of hurdles i'd say for f35 selling to IAF, but it would not be as much for IN. i'm thinking it is a non-starter considering numerous jackal and hidings, and running away after dropping the interest for a few. ;)

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby chackojoseph » 27 Oct 2013 06:57

As mentioned and linked before, We were the first one to write about need for relook at MMRCA. These two articles are being linked for records. Both acknowledge that Rafale deployments will be too late.

Should India cut down IAF MMRCA Rafale Combat aircraft numbers?

My view is cut down Rafale numbers to half and produce more SU-30 MKI and LCA.

Does Indian Air Force need Rafale at all?

More radical views and call for using existing and future projects including UCAV to rationalize.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby negi » 27 Oct 2013 08:05

Cutting down the Rafale MMRCA order for LCA is a good thought and in principle there is nothing wrong with it but the catch is MMRCA is long due now the issues with conclusion of the Rafale deal are endemic to us it is not a Rafale problem per se look at the Scorpene , T-90 all these deals involving offsets , TOT and such gup are taking a lot of time , Su 30 MKI too could have been clubbed in the same category save for the fact that resulting platform is as promised/envisaged . Unless someone says that scrap Rafale and we will offer you 'X' in less time there is little merit to scrap Rafale argument because whoever the alternative party is will have to go through the ever inept and incompetent the GOI.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby pragnya » 27 Oct 2013 08:21

Viv S

i don't want to argue for the sake of it on the acquisition cost - as Rafale's is only known to GOI/IAF/CNC while F 35's is hypothetical.

as for operating cost, i am sorry, again you are choosing and using it to favour F 35. i gave many links which broadly gives a range for CPFH for both Rafale and F 35. let me give it again.

Rafale $14000 CPFH

so if you consider the Janes study article you have 2 broad fig for Rafale.

Rafale CPFH : $14000 - $16500. AVG : $15250

now F 35A fig.

$24000 as per PEO F 35 PROG which is contested by Pentagon chief who says -

The plot thickens on the F-35 cost-per-flying-hour discussion.

Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall says the cost-per-flying-hour figure for the F-35A recently provided by the stealthy fighter’s program executive officer to The Netherlands is more aggressive than the official figure that will go next month to Congress.

USAF Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told Dutch lawmakers that the flying hour cost for the F-35A would be about 10% higher than the F-16, a sharp reduction from earlier assessments.

“It is with a certain set of assumptions,” Kendall told reporters during a roundtable April 24 at the Pentagon, that Bogdan arrived at that figure. “I’m not sure we want to use that set of assumptions.”

The figure forthcoming to Congress next month, however, will be lower than that provided in last year’s selected acquisition report (SAR) to Capitol Hill, he says. That report cited the F-35A flying hour cost at $31.9 thousand versus $22.5 thousand for the F-16 C/D.

“That’s going to come down this year. I don’t think that is going to come down as much as Chris Bogdan indicated,” Kendall says, adding that he “doesn’t like the metric very much.”


He says that there are at least six different ways to calculate F-35 cost per flying hour, depending on what assumptions go into the figure. And, it can be misleading. If you fly a fleet less – as the F-35 is expected to be used owing to advances in simulators – the per-hour cost goes up. But, the overall ownership price may be as much or less than legacy fleets.

“The question that I think matters is what is the cost of ownership?” Kendall says. “What is it going to cost you to have comparable levels of readiness for that aircraft? … And, that is going to vary by country.” This depends on how much each operator flies the aircraft, how many spares are procured and what level of skilled maintainers are used for specific tasks, among other things.

But, operators are struggling to come up with a total ownership cost figure. The Navy has estimated total ownership cost for 50 years at over $1 trillion, though F-35 overseers have been hard at work to refine assumptions in an attempt to bring that number down.

Company officials have conceded the cost per flying hour for the F-35 could be higher than legacy fleets the single-engine fighter will replace. But, they argue that total ownership price will be lower than all of those fleets – such as the F-18, F-16 and A-10 – combined; this was a selling point for the aircraft in its early days.

Cost per flying hour is just one factor of total ownership cost. And sustainment is the area that Kendall says is the most ripe for opportunities to reduce cost. Development is well underway, with more than 40% of flight testing complete. Though risk is still present, especially in software work, Kendall says he is “cautiously optimistic” about the development portion of the F-35. And, production is, for now, fairly known based on “actuals,” or numbers gleaned from early production lots, he says.

Kendall’s staff is conducting yet another look at sustainment for the F-35, the latest in a series of reviews on the subject. This is after the Pentagon received feedback from contractors during an industry day. He says that performance-based logistics is being considered for the fleet, which is slated to replace Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force fighters.

Figures for the cost per flying hour of the F-35A, B and C are expected in Congress in about one month when the Pentagon sends its latest SAR to the Hill.


More than $24000 but less than $31900

so even if i take avg of the 2 to be fair i get the following -

F35 CPFH - $24000 - $31900. AVG - $27950

now read viewtopic.php?p=1532474#p1532474

now even if i forego $31900 i get figs of additional 'operating cost' of $7.56bil to $9.6bil!!!

will the 'additional' acquisition cost (only GOI knows) for Rafale be so much more than the F 35 acquisition cost which is - hypothetical to say the least - that 'operating cost' of F35 will offset the Rafale's 'acquisition' cost??

no more from me. :)

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby darshhan » 27 Oct 2013 08:34

Order 150 LCA MK1. If anything this should be Plan A. MMRCA acquisition should be Plan B. Not to say this approach will pay huge dividends while negotiating with Dassault. For one when they will know we have a backup in place and are not solely dependent on their products, their whole attitude will change. Who knows as part of grabbing the Rafale deal,they might also offer Mirage upgrade project free of cost just as sweetner.

I mean these things are basic when it comes to negotiations. You should always negotiate from a point of strength. Hence when I look at our defence procurement system I come to only two conclusions.

1. The people in charge of Defence procurment both in Services and MoD are hopelessly incompetent and pathetic.

or

2. The people in charge of Defence procurment both in Services and MoD are hopelessly corrupt and compromised.

Now we have given impression to Dassault that survival of our Air Force depends on the fast acquisition of MMRCA (which in reality is not the case). Once they know we are desperate, why will they play ball.

I am curious about one thing though. Did or did not Dassault furnish any Earnest Money Deposit(EMD)/Security deposit when it submitted its MMRCA bid. Generally clients require such a deposit accompanied with the bid. Because if they have furnished and are now refusing to cooperate, we can cancel the tender and encash this EMD. Dassault can go home.

Anyways LCA MK1 is a very good aircraft. Often I have heard the quote " perfect solution being the enemy of good enough solution" or something to this effect. This is exactly what is stymying our Defence Procurement efforts.

Wars are won by Good enough weapons which are mass produced. Gold plated weaponry has never won anything other than extremely limited war.
Last edited by darshhan on 27 Oct 2013 09:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby darshhan » 27 Oct 2013 09:02

Remember one thing, even the Best Fighter aircraft is just a Platform. A Weapons Carrying Platform. It is not a weapon by itself. The weapons are the missiles and munitions that an Aircraft/Platform carries. Now even if one aircraft is slightly better than another, the latter can nullify this superiority by using better weapons and tactics. And the most important factor is still the Pilot.

Now why our MoD and Air Force is putting so many Man Hours for analysing the Acquisition of a Platform , is actually beyond my comprehension.

IMO LCA MK1 stands a fair chance against any aircraft in WVR scenario, provided it is equipped with top of line weaponry. The same goes true for BVR scenarion also after taking stealth aircraft out of the equation.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Singha » 27 Oct 2013 09:14

my personal plan-B would be 70 more super-30 and 70 more Tejas Mk1. it will also pressurize HAL & ADA to deliver and complete the mk1 properly than just get the easy meat of TOT production and completed documentation and procedures. they need to 'grow up' and deliver a domestic product in volume on fixed wing side and Mk1 is it. on Dhruv side they have grown up.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby darshhan » 27 Oct 2013 09:33

Singha ji, I can think of one more permutation and combination. Will need feedback on this idea though. Some numbers of Mig-29K. Indian Navy is already operating them. Get their inputs. If they are satisfactory, just place an order of 50 more on Mikoyan on nomination basis. The actual operational experience of Indian Navy is the qualifier here. The further trials(desert, Leh etc) can be carried out by the same aircraft. Some tweaks might be required. But then within months of placing the order, first deliveries will start coming in.

We can also try to keep the Supply contract conditions same. Will cut down on lengthy procurement time.

I do understand this approach requires high level of trust and synergy between the two services, which is probably not there.

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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby Philip » 27 Oct 2013 10:04

For those peddling the JSF line,listen to veteran aviation expert Bill Sweetman,on his piece about the SoKo "wimp-out" in style,succumbing to pressure from ex-air force top brass only because ancient enemy and rival Japan plans to buy a few!
"In the event of such a conflict,both sides F-35s would succumb to software maladies and stop working rather quickly".This is because the JSF is so heavily dependent upon layer upon layer of software,each layer essential for the next level of performance,which still hasn't been completed and is a major cause for the delays.

The MMRCA acquisition has to be seen in the overall light of the IAF's problems.Firstly,the successor to the hundreds of MIG-21s built at the exorbitant cost of 1.2 crores(!) each,was intended to be the LCA way back in the '90s. Two decades on,the IAF hasn't even received its first sqd. of underperforming MK-1s. In 2003 ,APJAK told the nation that "200 LCAs would be built by 2010".A decade has passed since he made those remarks.It was thanks to the Soviet Union and its fondness and great support for India that we were able to match Chinese and Paki forces with hundreds of aircraft in our inventory,built at a very low cost in times of great financial strain,when no western nation was also willing to sell us its latest and best products.

Current LCA production even when MK-1 deliveries start is at the official rate of "8 per yr".Which means that by 2020,if deliveries start from end 2014/15 onwards,we will have a max. of 40-50 aircraft built by 2020.So straightaway we have a shortfall of 150 aircraft (legacy MIG-21s).Add to that the retiring upgraded 100+ MIG-27s from 2020 onwards too.Add to that again the 120+ upgraded 120+ Bisons which we're trying to stretch out to 2025 at the most! That is a staggering figure of almost 400 aircraft!
At least 200 light fighters are required for replacing the MIG-21s ,etc.,and another 200 for tactical strike of which the MIG-27 was the mainstay of the IAF.One cannot count as replacements the existing upgrades underway of the 40+ M-2000s (UG $2.5B),60+ MIG-29s (UG 0.95 B),120+ Jaguars (UG yet to be determined, yet to begin).This shortfall in numbers and capability was expected to be the MMRCA,120-200 being the figure that would replace these legacy fighters. All that is left with the IAF as of now is about 170 SU-30MKIs -to be raised to 270+,which are carrying virtually the major burden of the IAF.Thus the MMRCA was required to fulfill the emerging role of a 4++ gen aircraft capable of penetrating deep into enemy defences,fighting off threats and delivering PGMs and N-munitions and return safely,in far superior capability,range,payload,air combat capabilities than the so-called DPSA the legacy Jaguar.

Therefore one can see that the IAF requires the foll:

1.MIG-21 replacements....namely/intended the LCA .Numbers 200.

2.Multi-role strike aircraft to replace MIG-27s,Jaguars,etc....namely the Rafale.Numbers 120-200.

3.Air dominance stealth fighter from 2020....The FGFA.Numbers approx. 140+

Total sqd. strength approved/planned 42.

By 2020 the shortfalls are going to be about 150 for the LCA,plus 120-200 for the Medium multi-role workhorse.Thus within the next 6 years,as 2013 is about to end,we require at least 250 aircraft even assuming that 50 LCAs will have been built by that time! Pray,where are these aircraft going to come from and at what cost? Forseeing this crisis way back a decade + ago,Jasjit Singh wanted the MIG-21 line to be kept open for another 100+ aircraft. The IAF had to develop the 21-Bison because the LCA was late.Now a decade on,even the Bisons need replacing within a few years! Well-knowing the inordinate delays in the kingdom of the MOD and its Babus,any new procurement will take at least 5 years to consider and evaluate and award-as has been the case with the MMRCA.Therefore,both the IAG and MOD really have no choice if they want to keep the nation's airspace safe. There is enough time (6 months) to focus on resolving the contentious issues reg. the Rafale acquisition.That should be the No.1 priority.Even if the numbers have to be cropped and TOT limited to key components.This td. is all about "what if"?

For argument's sake let's take up the issue,not just an MMRCA acquisition but also the 150 or so replacements for the MIG-21! The simplest way to avoid further delays in procurement issues is to buy "more of the same",hopefully at affordable prices given the eco situ.Namely MKIs and those in service like the Jaguars,M-2000s and MIG-29s.Unfortunately the M-2000 is no longer in production.Buying old ones and upgrading them is horrendously expensive,our 40+ being upgraded cost $2.5B! ($40-$50M/aircraft) The cost of 60+ MIG-29 upgrades is just under $1B ($16M/aircraft).Therefore on economics alone the M-2000 is ruled out.The MIG-29 on the other hand is still in production for Russia as well as India.The IN is acquiring 45+ 29-Ks for the carriers.These are of far higher capability than the earlier 29s.Either this version/similar std. or even the 35 with TVC would be a very-cost effective solution,cheaper than buying more twin-seat heavy MKIs. Moreover,the cost of a MIG-29/35 would be half that of a Rafale making it very cost-effective,requiring little extra training and using the same weaponry already being used too.

Therefore,the twin acquisition requirements starting from 2015 onwards would best be met with an assortment of MIG-29/35s and Rafales-even in reduced numbers,plus limited numbers of extra MKIs or even SU-34s.experts.2 sqds. of SU-34s would enhance the deep strike capability even better than the Rafale.The lack of a dedicated bomber has been expressed several times by analysts.Whatever LCAs we are able to manufacture would be a bonus maintaining numbers.This would pose the least amount of time to acquire since all these aircraft have been chosen (Rafale) or are in service already.If the Rafale chickens out in the worst case scenario,then the EF Typhoon has to be given first peck at the order,having been the runner-up.

chackojoseph
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Re: Alternatives to MMRCA - News & Discussion

Postby chackojoseph » 27 Oct 2013 10:34

negi wrote:Cutting down the Rafale MMRCA order for LCA is a good thought and in principle there is nothing wrong with it but the catch is MMRCA is long due now the issues with conclusion of the Rafale deal are endemic to us it is not a Rafale problem per se look at the Scorpene , T-90 all these deals involving offsets , TOT and such gup are taking a lot of time , Su 30 MKI too could have been clubbed in the same category save for the fact that resulting platform is as promised/envisaged . Unless someone says that scrap Rafale and we will offer you 'X' in less time there is little merit to scrap Rafale argument because whoever the alternative party is will have to go through the ever inept and incompetent the GOI.


If that is the case then deployed 18 Spanish EF is being offered with less flight times. In addition, some countries are ready to exit the consortium and their share of production will be shifted to India as IAF gets acclimatized to the EF's. Technology is accessible to participating nations.

Participants are even willing to defer intake so that India can take its deliveries.


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