Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby eklavya » 25 Feb 2015 10:39

^^^^
Since Jan 2012, INR vs USD has moved from ca. 50 to ca. 62. So, goods quoted in EUR have gained a significant advantage over goods quoted in USD.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Viv S » 25 Feb 2015 10:56



Total BS. Someone misread the news about Dassault's Egyptian contract.

eklavya wrote:^^^^
Since Jan 2012, INR vs USD has moved from ca. 50 to ca. 62. So, goods quoted in EUR have gained a significant advantage over goods quoted in USD.

See last line of post.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Kartik » 25 Feb 2015 10:59

Mort Walker wrote:Don't take offense. Indian labor is not as productive for a couple of big reasons. Expensive energy. Electricity for commercial/industrial use is very expensive in India and labor laws and rules need overhaul for a vibrant manufacturing industry. This raises the cost of labor per hour. Although HAL has expertise, overall within India skilled labor for advanced manufacturing is limited.


Well, whether we like it or not, the fact is that labour is less productive in India than in the developed nations. And HAL is quite notorious for having a very lax culture of work. That is something that afflicts all PSUs.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Mort Walker » 25 Feb 2015 11:22

^^^Work culture at many PSUs is not good, but let's assume HAL has great work culture and workers work hard. HAL is still hindered by limited skilled labor pool, bad labor laws/rules, high energy prices and lack of automation. This makes HAL less efficient than Dassault.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby nash » 25 Feb 2015 13:31

If we consider euro currency factor in this deal , then due to ECB bond buying of 1 trillion and weak euro economy might helpful in this deal.

Also in coming Qtrs if GoI see signs of economic recovery then this deal is coming soon without hurting the funding of domestic RnD.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Cosmo_R » 25 Feb 2015 15:56

ldev wrote:...

...And lets not kid ourselves, a country which imports both the aircraft and its ammunition is always susceptible to external pressure, whatever be the country of origin. To truly be a strong country, every major weapon system has to be designed and manufactured within the country.


Or, if you're Israel, you have a strong diaspora to press the case. But your main point us correct: relying on the French is no longer a guarantee—the Mistrale ships are a case in point. And as to whether the US will have more leverage over us, let me observe that they already have enough levers that they don't need to use defense equipment as a pressure point. In fact, having a lot of the defense majors in 49% or more ventures in India constitutes a lobby whose power we can only dimly comprehend.

The attitude of the IAF baffles me: on the one hand they don't want Russian stuff yet we seem to be going full tilt on the SU-50 PAK/FA/FGFA—an aircraft whose quality is suspect, whose engines are unreliable and we want to pump $5bn into a R&D black hole at the cost of all other programs.

Even at $11bn (original price), the Rafale is an expensive gap filler to beef up squadron strength which is falling because of execrable/non-existent planning just like the sub fleet.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby JTull » 25 Feb 2015 16:10

varunalh wrote:How true is this report of deal for 24 A/C inked?? http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-inks-a-deal-for-supply-of-24-Rafale-aircrafts/articleshow/46364875.cms
Tarmak just posted this link on FB.


Maybe, this the way to get some aircrafts coming in while the rest of the things get sorted out. Why would the French DM come otherwise? Not just to give guarantee on behalf of Dassault.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Karan M » 25 Feb 2015 16:16

TOI dunces mixed up India with Egypt :rotfl:

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby sooraj » 25 Feb 2015 19:55

NDTV.com Exclusive: The Sticking Points of India's $12 Billion Rafale Fighter Jet Deal

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/ndtv-com-exclusive-the-sticking-points-of-indias-12-billion-rafale-fighter-jet-deal-742368

Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer, has concerns about the carbon-fibre composite material that would be used by HAL to form the skin of the Rafale fighter. Though HAL prides itself in having mastered the use of these composites (which are also used on the indigenous Tejas fighter plane), HAL uses a manual technique. Dassault, on the other hand, uses an automated and much quicker process to manufacture super-critical carbon-fibre composite structures such as the wings of the Rafale. HAL and Dassault will now need to arrive at a consensus on how best to speedily develop carbo-composites to ensure that the time-frame for the manufacture of Rafale fighters is met. A slower process by HAL could mean that Dassault's delivery deadlines for the Rafale will not be met.


The Rafale's primary sensor, the RBE-2 Airborne Electronically Scanned Array, is manufactured in state-of-the-art laboratories in France to exceptionally rigid production and quality standards. HAL's avionics labs, which presently work on radars for the Air Force's Sukhoi 30 have different standards and technologies in place. French sources say HAL engineers will need a change in the work culture and the avionics labs in Bangalore will need upgrading to meet the French standards. This is, again, not seen as a deal breaker, but the French have flagged a concern that the modernization of HAL's technology could be a time-consuming process.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby GeorgeWelch » 25 Feb 2015 20:27

Cosmo_R wrote:The attitude of the IAF baffles me: on the one hand they don't want Russian stuff yet we seem to be going full tilt on the SU-50 PAK/FA/FGFA.


I think the point is they don't want any MORE Russian stuff.

They already have MKI and they will have FGFA, that's a tremendous part of the combat fleet already. They may view increasing the Russian percentage beyond that as undesirable.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby fanne » 25 Feb 2015 20:34

But to pay $20 billion - $40 billion for that?

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Rakesh » 26 Feb 2015 00:06

Fannie: Why do men (IAF) pay exorbitant sums of money to spend time with other women (in this case Dassault) when the wife at home (Sukhoi) cannot offer (albeit a false perception) what these other women can. Love and infatuation are expensive. Extrinsic vs Intrinsic value. Rambha is spicy and Katrina is the same...but has finesse.

Dassault: Excusez-moi....Parlez Vous Francais?

IAF: Oui, Oui

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby kit » 26 Feb 2015 00:14

that money is probably spread out ..But I want to remind everyone in BRF that India has one of the lowest offset requirements in the world ... compare to western countries offsets routinely are 200 to 400 percent of contract values !!

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Karan M » 26 Feb 2015 00:40

Rakesh wrote:Fannie: Why do men (IAF) pay exorbitant sums of money to spend time with other women (in this case Dassault) when the wife at home (Sukhoi) cannot offer (albeit a false perception) what these other women can. Love and infatuation are expensive. Extrinsic vs Intrinsic value. Rambha is spicy and Katrina is the same...but has finesse.

Dassault: Excusez-moi....Parlez Vous Francais?

IAF: Oui, Oui


Welcome back Admiral

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Shankk » 26 Feb 2015 08:50

Yes great to see you back in action, Rakesh.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby shiv » 26 Feb 2015 09:08

Karan M wrote:
Rakesh wrote:Fannie: Why do men (IAF) pay exorbitant sums of money to spend time with other women (in this case Dassault) when the wife at home (Sukhoi) cannot offer (albeit a false perception) what these other women can. Love and infatuation are expensive. Extrinsic vs Intrinsic value. Rambha is spicy and Katrina is the same...but has finesse.

Dassault: Excusez-moi....Parlez Vous Francais?

IAF: Oui, Oui


Welcome back Admiral

Adi kollu. Ban him now!

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Kartik » 26 Feb 2015 09:44

Mort Walker wrote:^^^Work culture at many PSUs is not good, but let's assume HAL has great work culture and workers work hard. HAL is still hindered by limited skilled labor pool, bad labor laws/rules, high energy prices and lack of automation. This makes HAL less efficient than Dassault.


True, there is a dearth of skilled and trained manpower in the field of aerospace but that isn't Dassault's problem. It is our own problem and the govt. will need to invest in engineering institutes and technical training institutes in a big way to remedy this.

Automation of processes will in general lead to higher quality and better repeatability. HAL will have to invest in this and it will benefit the overall aerospace industry in India, but once again, this won't happen overnight but will take a couple of years at the very least.

As for the lax work culture at PSUs, that is something that is a much more difficult thing to deal with. One can't just wish it away. Performance based incentives, as well as policies to reward productivity have to be instituted.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Picklu » 26 Feb 2015 09:51

Mithaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii :(( :(( :((

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Mort Walker » 26 Feb 2015 10:08

Kartik wrote:
Mort Walker wrote:^^^Work culture at many PSUs is not good, but let's assume HAL has great work culture and workers work hard. HAL is still hindered by limited skilled labor pool, bad labor laws/rules, high energy prices and lack of automation. This makes HAL less efficient than Dassault.


True, there is a dearth of skilled and trained manpower in the field of aerospace but that isn't Dassault's problem. It is our own problem and the govt. will need to invest in engineering institutes and technical training institutes in a big way to remedy this.

Automation of processes will in general lead to higher quality and better repeatability. HAL will have to invest in this and it will benefit the overall aerospace industry in India, but once again, this won't happen overnight but will take a couple of years at the very least.

As for the lax work culture at PSUs, that is something that is a much more difficult thing to deal with. One can't just wish it away. Performance based incentives, as well as policies to reward productivity have to be instituted.


Which is why the MMRCA-Rafale deal should be scrapped. The Tejas for whatever its limitations and faults allows India to build up its aerospace military-industrial complex like the US. Get research universities involved (like the IITs) and manufacturing industries by using government contracts, ministry of Defence plus the services to facilitate it. It will take a long time, but everyone will be far better off and a robust highly trained middle class is created. I am tired of India being looted for 400 years by the Europeans.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Philip » 26 Feb 2015 10:57

The crux of the matter is not diversification of our arms suppliers but cost. Merely for the sake of the same ,a blank cheque cannot be handed out by the GOI to any manufacturer. During the wars of '65 and '71,our armed forces were equipped with mainly Soviet eqpt.,especially in '71. The situation of spares/support has improved in recent times after many problems experienced after the fall of the USSR. True,placing all one's eggs in one basket has its risks,but as far as Russia is concerned,it has been our most loyal friend in times of trouble.

One solution is,as the good Prof. Pradyut pout it,is to have a heavy fleet of MKIs and a light fleet of LCAs,which he says could be the envy of many countries.The problem is that we have to get our LCA act right and truly on a war footing.The are still several ch*nks and wrinkles to be filled in and ironed out,production a main factor.But if we get our LCA act together,at a cost of each around just $25M+,these two aircraft could be the backbone of the IAF with the FGFA making up our advantage in stealth/quality. The rest of the legacy aircraft we have,MIG-29s,M-2000s,Bisons,Jags,etc.,could later on be replaced by just one aircraft,the AMCA.The Hawk could take up the slack for a cost-effective armed GA/close support bird. $12-15B could be spent far more wisely than on just 126 Rafales ,whose local manufacture by HAL still is in serious doubt and which would beggar not just the IAF but have an effect upon the other services which also are crying out for critical capital acquisitions and modernization.

Let HAL first deliver on the LCA ,still lagging behind schedules which have been amended again and again,before they claim that they can manufacture the Rafale to French stds! Instead of looking at the gourmet food on the French platter,they should first serve the IAF with desi dal and roti.


"Many a slip twixt the cup and the lip".

PS: Fanne,$20B+ for years of free tkts to Le Moulin Rouge and Le Crazy 'Orse (with escorts) !

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby member_28640 » 26 Feb 2015 12:21

Indian MoD, Dassault May Have Reached an Understanding on Rafale Deal
Quoting in Full:
Indian MoD and Dassault Aviation may have arrived to an understanding regarding the guaranteeing, costs and man hour issues in the $20 billion Indian MMRCA deal to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.

This follows a meeting yesterday between French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar.

“The major issues dealing with guaranteeing the quality of Dassault Rafale aircraft produced in India is being discussed. Man hours and the cost issues are now between Dassault and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to sort out and will be reflected in the report of the Cost Negotiating Committee,” NDTV quoted a senior Defense Ministry Official as saying today.

“Dassault will be provided an option of physically inspecting the jets and guaranteeing the quality. Dassault may also ask for counter-guarantee from HAL on the process and quality of inputs,” the official told the news channel.

Dassault estimates that the jets can be produced faster and with fewer man hours than calculated by HAL that will keep the cost of procurement low. However Dassault is hesitant to guarantee the quality of the jets produced in India as it does not control the process in India.

Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has countered Dassault’s claim that Indian labor isn't as productive as in France and also, the level of automation here is less.

I take this with a pinch of salt.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Cybaru » 26 Feb 2015 14:20

I hope this is not true!

Just order the PAKFA earlier or SU-30 upgrades. Spend money on lines we know for sure we are going to have.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Misraji » 26 Feb 2015 14:35

Cybaru wrote:I hope this is not true!
Just order the PAKFA earlier or SU-30 upgrades. Spend money on lines we know for sure we are going to have.

I would take a contrary view and certainly hope this news is true.

1. It would mean an end to this maddening saga.
How the eff a procurement can take 15 years is beyond me. The mother of all feature-creeps.
What could have been a simple procurement of Mirages devolved into this never-ending nightmare.

2. PAKFA isn't coming any time soon. More-over the work-share isn't guaranteed.
Our armored force is completely dependent on Father Russia and we have all seen how well the technology has been transferred there.

--Ashish.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby member_28882 » 26 Feb 2015 16:34

The reality is India and IAF need both Rafale and T50/FGFA for a variety of reasons. India should buy seven squadrons of Rafale which will give IAF enormous superiority over neighbors. We should be patient and let Modi do Gujrati style negotiation with the French and Dussault. French are notoriously bad in making deals. Gujratis are best at making deals. I am quite certain Modi and Parrikar will break them down to Indian terms eventually. They have to almost walk out of the deal to get the right deal. I believe that is what is happening right now and the French appears to understand that. IAF will get its Rafale at the lowest possible cost. Putin must have settled with Modi on FGFA in his last trip and IAF will get that too.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby vivek_ahuja » 26 Feb 2015 17:01

Geez. 15 Billion (with a capital "B") dollars about to be sent from the Indian treasury into that of the French one with the French smiling on their way home.

One can only imagine the vast number of local defense projects that could have been accomplished with that dough. Everything from infantry equipment to artillery to squadrons of LCAs and Su-30s.

But instead we will have Rafale, I guess.

Boy, I just hope the Frenchies don't pull the plug on these white elephants just as the war clouds start to rumble. Because that would suck (with a capital "S")!

-Vivek

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby nash » 26 Feb 2015 19:10

Anantha Krishnan M @writetake · 12h 12 hours ago
Watch out for the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting on Feb 28.


May be on this day...

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby NRao » 27 Feb 2015 00:49

Dassault will be provided an option of physically inspecting the jets and guaranteeing the quality


For a few billion? God, kicking the tire has a new meaning I guess.

I will do that for much, much less. Like $15 million?



Looks like this GoI has caved in to some preshure.

Dassault 1 - GoI 0

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby svinayak » 27 Feb 2015 04:19

Cosmo_R wrote:
The attitude of the IAF baffles me: on the one hand they don't want Russian stuff yet we seem to be going full tilt on the SU-50 PAK/FA/FGFA—an aircraft whose quality is suspect, whose engines are unreliable and we want to pump $5bn into a R&D black hole at the cost of all other programs.
.

This is a geo political play here and not about the choices. The Geo Political players are chosen based on the future trends. The future trend is a war front against China. All these nations are lining up behind India to make sure they are in the game and influence the future of geo-political Asia. India with this purchase is making sure that EU dont supply military eqpt to PRC.

Uncle and Russia are in a different level. Uncle is on both sides of India and PRC but it is careful that it does not upset the balance against Russia.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Cosmo_R » 27 Feb 2015 04:45

^^^ Wow, sounds like they want to fight the Chinese to the last Indian. FWIW, I can't see the Russians siding with us vs. PRC. They are looking to replace Europe with PRC for gas and oil.

I hope the reality is simpler: the IAF is tired of waiting and wants something/anything to arrive fast by 2018 in quantity if not capability. Unless of course, it's the LCA MK2 in which case, it has to be a fully finished battle-tested platform. :)

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Cosmo_R » 27 Feb 2015 05:15

NRao wrote:
Dassault will be provided an option of physically inspecting the jets and guaranteeing the quality


For a few billion? God, kicking the tire has a new meaning I guess.

I will do that for much, much less. Like $15 million?



Looks like this GoI has caved in to some preshure.

Dassault 1 - GoI 0


I read it a bit differently. I'll use an analogy to illustrate. An AMG engine builder is responsible for hand building the entire engine himself and he sticks his name plaque on the engine when he is done. He guarantees it and is backed by MBZ. The AMG master builder is a known quantity to MBZ.

HAL builds (OK does Ikea assembly) the Rafale and sticks their name plaque on it. At what stage does Dassault get involved? After it gets a final paint coat?, when it is being assembled (in which case it has to have Frenchies manning and observing, at each station)? x hours of flying time? Checking the parts quality? And all of this before the SNECMA M-88 engine assembly. :)

Someone once described the Avro Shackleton as 100,000 rivets flying in loose formation, later adapted to other a/c as 6,000 rivets flying in close formation. Herding rivets is not an easy task.

Once (if) Dassault agrees to this inspection, they are screwed. Without a 1:1 shadowing of Indian workers by the Gauls, they are guaranteeing the unknown.

Realizing this, the next six months will be spent on on narrowing down what 'inspection' means and expanding the exclusion zone where they disclaim any responsibility.

IOW, this dog ain't hunting soon.

GoI wants to kill this deal by making Dassault seem unreasonable.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2015 06:00

NRao wrote:Looks like this GoI has caved in to some preshure.

Dassault 1 - GoI 0


Dassault is agreeing to guarantee the HAL-built jets.

I'm not sure how you interpret that as a win for Dassault.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Feb 2015 06:10

If this is for $15 billion all inclusive, I'd complement the Modi govt on a fabulous bargain. That equals to about $120 mil per aircraft, don't remember a SINGLE. Western twin engined fighter deal going for that cheap, remarkable. The Saudis spent 10 Bill on 70 odd typhoons off the shelf. The Egyptian deal works out $5.5 billion for 24 units. Oz and Soko spen tons to get shornets and eagles. And forget TOT , manufacturing etc.

I would expect the deal to be close to $20 billion including weapons, support, license mfg, TOT etc., in today's world.

As far as diversification is concerned, I think the IAF is real serious about this, and I don't think the LCA+MKI combo truly takes away this threat.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Avarachan » 27 Feb 2015 06:15

vivek_ahuja wrote:Geez. 15 Billion (with a capital "B") dollars about to be sent from the Indian treasury into that of the French one with the French smiling on their way home.

One can only imagine the vast number of local defense projects that could have been accomplished with that dough. Everything from infantry equipment to artillery to squadrons of LCAs and Su-30s.

But instead we will have Rafale, I guess.

Boy, I just hope the Frenchies don't pull the plug on these white elephants just as the war clouds start to rumble. Because that would suck (with a capital "S")!

-Vivek


I don't think India will buy the Rafale. The geopolitical rationale behind the deal is no longer valid. Of course, the huge expense is also a major factor. Let's see.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby NRao » 27 Feb 2015 06:17

Dassault is agreeing to guarantee the HAL-built jets.

I'm not sure how you interpret that as a win for Dassault.


They have kicked the can (perhaps to meet some timelines).

I do not see any agreement here.

And that does not bode well for India.

This is a good deal for the IAF, but if HAL is going to do things her way, I just do not see too much value in tot, which to begin with has been the questionable.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Mort Walker » 27 Feb 2015 06:55

NRao,

It may be a blessing in disguise for HAL. The MoD and HAL will find out their deficiencies and see what building modern aircraft is like in an efficient manner. So far HAL has experience only in the Tejas and Hawk for modern fighters. The Jags are too old and the Russian junk is not a reliable manufacturing reference. I would have rather seen HAL learn from Boeing or LM.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby svinayak » 27 Feb 2015 10:20

Avarachan wrote:I don't think India will buy the Rafale. The geopolitical rationale behind the deal is no longer valid.

Can you elaborate

India has now an opportunity and for a brief time to influence the future of Asia.

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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Philip » 27 Feb 2015 10:39

The shahs of the military
Mohan Guruswamy | February 27, 2015,

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/150227/c ... s-military

Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the second and last Shah of Iran from the Pahlavi dynasty, was the son of an Iranian gunnery sergeant, who seized control of that country in 1925 and crowned himself king. Like Rajput kings, who gave themselves extravagant genealogies of being descended from the sun or moon, Mohammed Reza gave himself a 2,500-year-old lineage descending from Cyrus the Great.

To him, the surest and simplest way to greatness was to use Iran’s new petro-dollar millions to buy the latest weapons. In 1974, Iran became the first country to operate the then state of the art F-14 Tomcat fighter armed with the even now formidable Phoenix air-to-air missile. The Iranian Air Force bristled with formidable weapons like F-4 Phantom jets which the United States was using to pulverise Vietnam and with which Israel devastated the Egyptian Air Force and tank columns in 1973.

It was said that the Shah was an avid reader of the US weekly magazine, Aviation Week & Space Technology, which was fetched each week fresh off the press by diplomatic courier. Like a manic, who scours mail order catalogues, the Shah used to pick his toys from the weapons showcased in the magazine. Iran, then was a low-income country, but the Shah’s vision was soaring. The Americans encouraged him. The USAF and Navy loved him for he helped in defraying the cost of development of new weapons.

Flush with weapons, he imagined Iran as a great power and encouraged by the US, he appointed himself as the keeper of order in the near region. Mohammed Reza Pahlavi’s megalomania blinded him to the reality of Iran and to a Shia theologian called Ayatollah Ruhollah Nasrollah Khomeini. We know what happened next.

This should be a lesson in history for all those strategists who think weapons confer status. India’s diplomatic and military establishment seems gripped by grandiose visions of an India sitting on global high tables such as the UN Security Council. India’s new middle classes talk easily about India becoming a superpower and against this rising tide few are willing to question why.

Recent studies reveal that as much as 70 per cent of Indian households lived below the UN Development Programme’s minimum standards. India’s own poverty line is a starvation line that prescribes a minimum caloric norm. Even by that self-serving standard, a quarter of India is excruciatingly poor. Also, it is economically backward with a relatively small manufacturing base supporting a disproportionately large service sector, giving it the economic profile of a post-industrial society like the US or Europe.

India’s pursuit of iron-clad national security and global status makes it the world’s leading arms importer spending as much as $20 billion a year. Our military leaders want even more and to this extent they now have a vested interest in weapons acquisitions. Unlike our other engineering imports, which contribute to domestic production and to overall value addition, our military hardware imports are a one-way street that only benefits the exporting economies.

In the next decade alone, India will import over $200 billion of weapons. If we factor the military’s wish list, then we are really looking at infinity. And much of what is being planned for acquisition is not required. For example, the French built Rafale fighter-bomber that the IAF is desperately seeking. Each of these aircraft will cost at least Rs 1,100 crore and the IAF wants 126 of them. This will be in addition to the 272 Su-30 MKI the IAF is in the process of inducting. Those knowledgeable will argue that the Su-30MKI confers far greater lethality than the Rafale and costs about Rs 650 crore each. So why should we buy Rafale? This is the exact question the defence minister recently posed. Besides Su-30 MKIs are already being assembled by HAL at Nasik and its AL-31FP turbofan engines at Koraput.

Then let’s consider what is Rafale suppose to replace? It’s the now outdated MiG-21 series. The MiG-21 is as comparable to the Rafale as cheese is to chalk. It is described as a frontal aviation aircraft designed mainly to intercept enemy aircraft and on occasion to drop small bombs and conduct ground attacks. The logical replacement for the MiG-21 is another light single engine interceptor such as the Tejas LCA or even the more expensive Saab Gripfen, but not an expensive heavy twin-engine long-range fighter-bomber like the Rafale.

Lower unit and maintenance costs means the IAF can buy these light fighters in greater numbers. If we add 126 Rafales to our Su-30 MKIs, upgraded MiG-29s and Mirage 2000s, it will mean that the IAF will be operating over 500 four-plus generation heavy fighter aircrafts, possibly more than even the USAF does! Then let’s not forget the 200-plus Sukhoi-HAL FGFA in the works that will enter the fleet around 2020. This number might set off an arm’s race with China.

This is the time for defence minister Manohar Parrikar to put his foot down and order the IAF to forget the MMRCA and prepare to induct the Tejas. Also, he should order the ADA and HAL to get their act together and ramp up production of the Tejas LCA. The Indian Navy has cut its coat according to the cloth it has been given and has quickly moved with the development of the naval variant of the Tejas. Then why can’t the IAF?

More than numbers India needs a strategy to keep the Chinese deterred. This strategy must threaten to disrupt China’s economic interests and inflict huge costs on any Himalayan adventure, not just in the Himalayas, but also at other theatres of our choice. The People’s Liberation Army might have the advantage of interior lines in Tibet and Xinjiang, but the IAF and Indian Army maintain bases and formations close to the border on the plains giving them tactical advantages. Increasing troops and calling strike formations make little sense, as high altitude battlefields require acclimatisation and the conflicts in all probability will be long over before they can be deployed into battle.

The dependence of helicopter gunships for ground attack again is an iffy thing. There is much literature available now about how they may not be all that cost effective against well-armed ground forces. Let’s not forget how Afghan Mujahideen exacted a heavy toll of Soviet attack helicopters. Unfor-tunately, our commanders seem to have embarked on a number’s game, with the potential adversaries and between our services. If the strategy is to deter wars, accretion to numbers is definitely not the answer. India’s means are limited and we must think of defending India more intelligently.

The writer held senior positions in government and industry, and is a policy analyst studying economic and security issues. He also specialises in the Chinese economy

Cain Marko
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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Feb 2015 11:14

WHile I appreciate folks' balking at the cost of the Rafale and their support for cheaper solutions via the LCA and the MKI, the above comparison of current GOI to the Shah is a ridiculous analogy.

The question of overdependence on Russia and the suspicious nature of US foreign policy must weigh heavily on the IAF and rightly so - so far nobody seems to want to deal with these two issues: too many Russian types and the potential achilles heel of the LCA - a US engine.

Gurumurthy talks of the LCA and the Tomcat in the same vein, he should know that the very same Tomcats became nothing but white elephants once the US decided to sanction Iran. What happens to a fleet of say 250 LCA with GE engines if the GOI decides to do POKIII?

In any case, $15 billion for 126 Rafales is not a half bad deal as I pointed out earlier. There is not a single 4.5 Gen bird with 2 engines that will come cheaper unless we turn to Russia.

arthuro
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Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby arthuro » 27 Feb 2015 11:43

And the SU-30 is now obsolete. There is about a 20 years of technology evolution between the the two types.

Exept its size There is nothing extraordinary with the sukhoi.

The rafale has more range, more payload, better situation awarness, better ergonomics and better survivability.
Last edited by arthuro on 27 Feb 2015 11:48, edited 1 time in total.

Cain Marko
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Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: Rafale & MMRCA News and Discussions-9 August, 2014

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Feb 2015 11:47

^ Err Arthuro, I understand you are here for the Rafale but seriously! The newer MKIs (if they are to be chosen to replace the Rafale) are likely to be Super 30 standards, which will probably mean everything from a newer IRST, complete EW suite and 2000 TRM AESA. The pit is supposed to a be similar to the 35. Nothing to be scoffed at, and anything but "obsolete". Even the current MKIs are more than a handful for all but the very best.

And say what you will, there are few birds if any, that better the MKI in terms of looks (I am partial of course)


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