IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Karan M » 27 Sep 2016 04:20

The F-35 will ultimately come good because umreeka will throw enough dinero at it, that it will finally do most of what it will be claimed to do.
Russia took a look at the complexity, all up stealth etc and went with something less challenging.
The Chinese as usual copied and called it equal equal. :rotfl:

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Karan M » 27 Sep 2016 04:22

But what use is that super F-35 because huma madam ensures spares are cut off to hindu india because it dares to attack islamic pakistan? When diplomats get strip searched, what are things like spares. Plus, F-35s downing F-16s.. confusing PR no.. for those 3rd world states still being peddled F-16s.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby SaiK » 27 Sep 2016 06:15

k_k, none peddled JSF as junk.

India's own stealth can work wonders if they can do complex things in simple ways. I think our concerns are more on the engine than stealth.

LCA Mk-2 should make the numbers.. and AMCA will dance then.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby ashbhee » 27 Sep 2016 08:48

Is the deal signed just for 36 or is there option clause we can exercise to buy more without going into lengthy negotiations?

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Manish_Sharma » 27 Sep 2016 08:52

^Conflicting reports, vishnu som says no option for more, while iirc ajay shukla says yes there is option for more.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Kashi » 27 Sep 2016 08:53

ashbhee wrote:Is the deal signed just for 36 or is there option clause we can exercise to buy more without going into lengthy negotiations?


Some reports say that there's an option for an additional 18, while others say that no such options exist. Personally, I would like to believe that leaving the door open for future acquisitions (should it not come with additional strings and costs) is better than having none at all. Option to purchase doesn't necessarily mean an obligation to do so.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby shiv » 27 Sep 2016 09:32

When there is a seller and a buyer the option for "more" always exists. Please excuse me for saying that the thought that "We will buy more later" is only a mental prop to feel better if one feels 36 ain't enough. But if that is the case, why Rafale. Why not other cheaper alternatives in numbers not excluding LCA

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Austin » 27 Sep 2016 10:15

Karan M wrote:Parrikar really needs to stop the farce of a 2nd MMRCA type and commit to the Rafale. We have taken this, now double or triple the order & ensure a long term spares purchase & production agreement.


Even if Parrikar cannot commit to more Rafale , Which I think he should atleast 3 more squadron ( Total 90 Rafale ) but lets assume he doesnt.

It would still make more sense to order 3 more Squadrons of Tejas Mk2 ( 60 Tejas ) and 2-3 ( 40-60 MKI ) more squadron of Super MKI ........ that would be real make in india aircraft with spares and logistic available and improved upon.

Why would any one in right mind order a Gripen or Teens or Eurofighter and make IAF looks like 80's with half dozen different types operation is any bodys guess .......I hope Parrikar is not stupid enough to do that .......there are many other things that IAF needs to invest in beyond aircraft and money saved can be used elsewhere Very Wisely When he himself was complaining about saving every penny when negotiating for Rafale deal !

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 27 Sep 2016 13:18

F-35 "turkey or talisman" td was stopped some time ago. Once the aircraft enters regular operations we will see more flaws being found out.At the moment it is still in the sanitised zone of development and initial deployment which has been suspended. The bird needs to fly in the real world. Perhaps the first batch of birds meant for Israel will iron out nagging problems as the IAF will certainly out it through its pacces.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby andy B » 27 Sep 2016 14:09

Just for kicks in case wasnt posted here before. Has some good in cockpit footage of hud and mfd symbology etc.


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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Singha » 27 Sep 2016 14:54

cockpit looks fairly small.....more brawny american or russian pilots might have trouble fitting in.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 27 Sep 2016 15:32

Philip wrote:F-35 "turkey or talisman" td was stopped some time ago. Once the aircraft enters regular operations we will see more flaws being found out.At the moment it is still in the sanitised zone of development and initial deployment which has been suspended. The bird needs to fly in the real world. Perhaps the first batch of birds meant for Israel will iron out nagging problems as the IAF will certainly out it through its pacces.


viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6922&p=2049974#p2049974

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby JTull » 27 Sep 2016 17:26

Philip wrote:F-35 "turkey or talisman" td was stopped some time ago. Once the aircraft enters regular operations we will see more flaws being found out.At the moment it is still in the sanitised zone of development and initial deployment which has been suspended. The bird needs to fly in the real world. Perhaps the first batch of birds meant for Israel will iron out nagging problems as the IAF will certainly out it through its pacces.


US and rest of the buyers aren't waiting for Israeli nod before operational clearance. The engine fire news was from an operational deployment against Surface to Air threats. So it is being put through paces.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 27 Sep 2016 17:52

If the preliminary findings hold true once the authorities conclude their investigation the fix could be as small as just tweaking the procedures for engine restarts and aborted starts in heavy tail-wind. The 2014 Class-A mishap was a technical issue which P&W developed and implemented a fix for out of their own pocket (all aircraft have bee retrofitted and performance limiters lifted). This one is most likely a lower level mishap and the fix will most likely have more to do with how the aircraft is handled than hardware changes.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby SaiK » 27 Sep 2016 19:46

SaiK wrote:and this guy has lost his mind too
http://www.rediff.com/news/column/four- ... 160923.htm

he can be now the khujli wala of defence news



Here is one of a response

Rafale deal: Is it really an “exorbitant deal” as claimed by “experts”
http://www.opindia.com/2016/09/rafale-d ... y-experts/

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby kit » 27 Sep 2016 20:30

not to mention junk F35 is simply not the plane for India ..its performance tweakable to a very high degree and is software driven ..much like a flying sensor fused super computer ..with its lock and software keys at the Pentagon !!

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby SaiK » 27 Sep 2016 20:33

Absolutely... that is exactly we need to learn. implant our own programmable arrays when we sell our equipment in the future.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Viv S » 27 Sep 2016 21:16

SaiK wrote:Here is one of a response

Rafale deal: Is it really an “exorbitant deal” as claimed by “experts”
http://www.opindia.com/2016/09/rafale-d ... y-experts/

Several serious errors in the response as well -

1. Dassault has agreed to make India-specific modifications to the planes, allowing the integration of Israeli helmet-mounted displays. The aircraft will be customised in line with the requirements of the IAF which include radar warning receiver, Doppler beam radar, infrared search and track among others.

2. The deal includes the supply of Meteor, an air to air missile, and Storm Shadow (also known as SCALP), an air-launched cruise missile with a range of over 560 km, with the Rafales. These additions mean the IAF can hit targets inside both Pakistan and Tibet while still staying within India’s own territorial boundary.

3. The deal is said to include a provision for a complete transfer of technology, including for the Thales RBE2-AA radar and software source code, spare parts and maintenance. The French have agreed to supply spares for a period of seven years at initial cost.

4. In addition, the French are also guaranteeing performance-based logistics support, which means that 75 per cent of the fleet will have to be airworthy at any given time. Till three years ago, only about 48 per cent of the Sukhoi fleet was able to fly at any given time, because of poor maintenance.

5. The deal provides for free training of 9 IAF personnel, including three pilots. The IAF will also get a guarantee for an additional 60 hours for the trainer version of Rafale fighters, and a concession to keep the weapons storage in France for an additional six months without any charge (in case the Indian infrastructure is not ready for storing the weapons).

6. The deal comes with a 50% offset clause which means that Indian companies, big and small, will get businesses worth over €3 billion. One main point of the offset was that 74% of it has to be imported from India. This means a lot of business and job opportunities in India, people familiar with the matter said.


- "radar warning receiver, Doppler beam radar, infrared search and track" are not India specific modifications. All available on the baseline Rafale.

- That the 75% guaranteed availability is better than the Su-30's is more a reflection of issues with the Su-30 fleet than it is a strength of the aircraft. That said, the MKI's availability is already at 60% and climbing (though the author chooses only to use the older figure).

- The 50% offset clause breaks down into 20% workshare and 30% ToT. So Indian companies big and small will actually get business worth over €1.4 billion.

- The offset deal is yet to be finalized so assertions about ToT or local content are unfounded.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 27 Sep 2016 21:40

kit wrote:not to mention junk F35 is simply not the plane for India ..its performance tweakable to a very high degree and is software driven ..much like a flying sensor fused super computer ..with its lock and software keys at the Pentagon !!


Every modern aircraft procured for the 2020's and beyond should rely on advanced sensor fusion, advanced computing which is largely driven by software. The F-35 pairs it up where software enables the impressive hardware. The rafale is no different here. Your concerns are with the control and where it resides in the JSF program, not that it is any more or any less software centric aircraft. Any time you are fusing data and information from onboard and offboard sensors you are looking at a very large software footprint. The only difference is that the F-35 takes it to another level when it comes to multi-spectral sensors and waveform management but that is where all combat aircraft are heading over the next few decades.

Regarding operational control vis-a-vis ALIS, there is an opt-out option available to all partners and FMS customers. In addition that customers can pick and choose which parts of ALIS to buy in to and which to opt out of, and Israel is exercising that option. The main problem with the JSF for India would have been exercising control over misison systems since there is no scope to do that and one would not be able to get the level of control one could on the Rafale, Typhoon, F-16 , 18 etc. . That is a G2G issue and where OEM rights come into play and something the program is really not designed to or well suited to deal with at this point of time. This is/was the main reason I always thought that the F-35 in IAF colors was and is an extremely unlikely possibility if not an outright impossibility.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Rudradev » 28 Sep 2016 00:10

I'll admit to being relatively ignorant of most military hardware matters, but nonetheless, I'm going to throw a grenade here and run away. :mrgreen:

I contend that the whole idea of inducting the Rafale (or for that matter, ANY of the serious MMRCA contenders) in any significant quantity is stupid.

This is why.

http://www.thestrategybridge.com/the-br ... imited-war

The article details how the staggering cost of combat systems is becoming the decisive factor in determining the conditions in which ANY military action is taken... for the US military definitely, but all militaries.

The examples of the U.S. spending its way to a point requiring limited war are numerous. The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the jack-of-all-trades vessel comes in at a price-reduced $345 million.[8] In FY15 the Navy allocated $1.053B for 3 vessels, representing 36% of the Navy’s budget for weapons procurement.[9] An even more extreme example of Navy hardware that can hardly be risked in war is any of its 10 nuclear powered aircraft carriers. The current Nimitz class carriers cost $8.5B each, and the new Gerald R. Ford is under construction for the staggering sum of $12.9B.[10] Can the U.S. afford to risk any of these in combat? Perhaps the highest profile weapons program today is the F-35, a system that according to some is breaking the U.S. defense budget with only a minimal return in battlefield capabilities.[11] Costing up to $337M each, according to one analyst, what would the loss of even one or two of these aircraft cost the U.S.?[12] They certainly cannot be quickly and easily replaced, so therefore at what point are these assets worth risking?

The exact dollar cost of weapons programs is often difficult to pinpoint, and critics may argue against these numbers. However, even if one only considers the scale of these procurement costs versus how many platforms can be fielded, it is clear that the U.S. will go to war with significantly fewer, higher price pieces of hardware than ever before.


Do note that the Chinese recognize this (especially as regards US naval assets) and plan their strategy asymmetrically. They have developed DF-21 "carrier killers" for exactly that purpose. They know that if they hurt the USN in its pocket, everyone in Washington will suddenly start clamouring for more limited engagement that can only achieve more limited strategic aims.

To be fair, one must consider the counter-argument that highly priced systems are more effective than earlier generation systems. The F-35 is supposed to replace several aircraft in the U.S. inventory, and is touted as having advanced capabilities.[13] This may someday prove true, despite current issues with its development. But these advancements do not guarantee survivability in any conflict, and if potential losses cannot be replaced quickly even advanced capabilities may not entirely offset lower numbers. The cost of modern military systems, along with their complexity, will not allow quick replacement. Leaders already face replacement issues. Simply look at the U.S. Marines plan to replace the 6 AV-8B Harriers destroyed by the Taliban in 2012, where the service will wait 6 years for F-35Bs to back-fill that particular combat loss.[14]

The echoes of limited war are resounding. The princes of the 17th and 18th centuries feared the loss of expensively trained soldiers (the combat “systems” of their day). Modern soldiers are also expensive, but the dollar cost of a single soldier pales in comparison to those of ships, tanks, and planes.[15] Present day militaries must fear the loss of a few aircraft or a single ship in a manner not seen since in at least a century.


Most damningly...

The loss of one or a few of these systems would be cataclysmic to the U.S., not least because budgets simply will not allow replacement. Therefore, elected officials and military commanders will be forced to weigh potential losses against any possible battlefield and political success. Leaders have faced similar contemplation in terms of individual lives lost in limited conflicts, such as the soldiers lost in Mogadishu in 1993 forcing a U.S. withdrawal, but now the calculations will revolve primarily around systems lost.[16] The bar for entering conflicts will most certainly be raised. The days when the U.S. Air Force could afford to lose 1599 combat aircraft in a limited conflict such as Vietnam are past.[17] It is possible that the determinations for entering limited conflicts such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya would have been different if the latest generation aircraft were the only ones available. A single F-15E was lost in Libya due to mechanical failure at a cost of approximately $30M.[18] Would leaders have risked the $337M F-35 to mechanical failure in a combat zone or hostile fire for the same objective? Although it impossible to know for sure, the answer may be no.


Ok, so what has this got to do with India? Scale it down and you will see. $337M for an F35, or even $30M for an F-15E are the kind of costs that make the great Khan blink. In proportion to our relatively SDRE economy, I contend that ~Rs. 700 crore a pop for a Rafale is policy-prohibitive for exactly the same reason. Right now we are getting two squadrons of the things, fine, fly them over Rajpath on Republic Day and milk the French for all the ancillary benefits we can accrue.

But seriously, what if we bought 126 Rafales, and they were a *main-line* fighter of the IAF? Would we be willing to risk them at all? If it became a policy prescription (written or unwritten) that "whatever you do, don't lose that thing, it costs Rs. 700 crore"... then what are all the downstream effects of this on our strategic thinking? As it is we are agonizingly cautious about undertaking even a limited war. What happens after we induct weapons whose very cost has the effect of further limiting the scope of war? Will the Rafales ever leave the hangar, even as enemy flankers, F-solahs and bandars begin to swarm the skies over Ladakh? Will we send them out over the plains of Lanzhou or Chengdu military prefectures, guarded as they are by multiple S300 units? I am sure our IAF will be willing to do it. But critically, our Babus will be so overwrought with the rupee value of the Rafale that they'll find still more excuses never to get us into the position of actually having to use them. At worst, this will mandate a policy paralysis in which many options, particularly of the punitive sort, are simply yanked off the table forever.

IMHO far, far, far better to produce huge numbers of Tejas as a light fighter, acquire large numbers of the well-integrated MKI as our heavy platform, and evolve a doctrine based on maximizing the role spectrum of each of those in conjunction with AEW and other assets. After all, per the Lanchester equation, the attritive combat power of an air force is proportional not to the number, but the square of the number of units we can put in the air. Ultimately (as we learned in '65 when our humble gnats overwhelmed TFTA Paki Sabres) it's the quality of the men who fly the machines that matters as much as the hardware, if not more. That may be less applicable when facing an opponent that is an order of magnitude more advanced in tech (such as the USAF) but I am sure it counts when we're thinking of PLAAF.

What do our mil forum experts think?

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 28 Sep 2016 00:50

Ok, so what has this got to do with India? Scale it down and you will see. $337M for an F35, or even $30M for an F-15E are the kind of costs that make the great Khan blink.


A basic check of facts should have been done. 30 Million F-15E? Can you get an F-15E for 30 Million? 377 Million F-35? Take a look at the APUC, URF and other cost data over the entire program duration, or the last negotiated annual lot purchase that has already been made, with a fixed price contract for both the airframe and engine. A very substantial deal for well over 150 aircraft is being negotiated as we speak - Expect cost to come down further compared to LRIP-8 Negotiated URF cost data sited in the link below.

Image

Even at a 1/3rd of its planned production rate, an LRIP-8 F-35A has a Unit recurring Fly-Away cost of $108 Million. This contract has been signed and sealed and deliveries are currently underway.

URF = Current unit cost of a fly-away aircraft with full mission systems (including helmet) and engine.
APUC = Average per unit cost which is essentially taking the URF cost for the entire order over its anticipated production life and dividing it by the total quantity procured. Current APUC estimate is - 102.2 Million in Base Year Dollars. APUC is higher than URF because aircraft over the first few LRIP's, and aircraft towards the end of production cost a lot more for obvious reasons.
PAUC = Program Acquisition Unit cost = All money spend on the program (includes development cost + Acquisition Cost + Military Construction Cost) divided by the total quantity procured. PAUC for the F-35A is 154 Million in base year dollars.
Last edited by brar_w on 28 Sep 2016 01:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Rudradev » 28 Sep 2016 01:04

^^ The fact is not mine but from the article I quoted. He provides the following references:

1) $30M F-15E, citation #18: Associciated Press, “U.S. F-15 Fighter Jet Down in Libya, Crew ‘Safe,’” CBS News (March 22, 2011), http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-f-15-fig ... rew-safe/; U.S. Air Force, “F-15 Eagle,” (March 14, 2005), http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/FactSheets/Di ... eagle.aspx.

This seems about right. F-15E strike eagle costs around $31.1 M according to many sources.

2) $377M F-35, citation #12: Winslow Wheeler, “How Much Does an F-35 Actually Cost?: Up to $337 Million - Apiece - For the Navy Version,” War is Boring (July 27, 2014), https://medium.com/war-is-boring/how-mu ... f95d239398.

This may be an exaggeration. Other sources I have seen say between $98M and $160M per unit.

That said, do you contest the premise that (whatever the exact dollar figure) US policymakers find the cost of weapons systems so prohibitive that it constrains their options to more limited conflicts than otherwise?

Since you bring up APUC, URF, and the entire program duration... this may actually bolster the argument the article is making. Since F-35 and F-15 were indigenously developed, the development costs stay within the US economy throughout the program; meaning that the actual unit cost of these aircraft to the US economy may well be less than the face value if you consider investments made into R&D, industry and so on. Yet EVEN with a lower effective cost you still have reluctance to deploy and policies are made accordingly.

How much worse is the effect on India which has to depend on foreign suppliers who need to paid per unit in hard cash? The money is not being recycled into our economy to anywhere near the extent that cost per unit of F-15 or F-35 is into the US economy.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 28 Sep 2016 01:12

The sources say it all. Look at them and think about why one would go to them? The entire Selected Acquisition Report is avaialble for 2012, 13 , 14 and 15. That is the gold-standard of Independent cost estimates and used by budget making process, by the General Accounting office, and the CAPE office to advise across the spectrum of military systems. A SAR is congressionally mandated for all ACAT-1 programs.

The author looks at a loss of an aircraft procured in the 80's or 90's in the 2010's and somehow thinks its a true cost of acquiring that capability in 2016? What sort of math is that? can you replace a lost F-15E for 30 Million if you were to loose one? Look at some of the last few sales for the aircraft, you'd be lucky to get a brand new F-15E/K/SG/SA for lower cost than an F-35A even at LRIP-8 levels, speaking nothing for much further along in the cost curve where the next two contracts will be (Those that currently in advanced negotiations and likely to be announced by the end of the year).

Why not pull out a few F-4s from the boneyard and do a comparison where if lost, they would only constitute a loss of $4 Million instead of $377 million for the F-35? Since the author clearly has a time-machine and can go back into the 70's and pick an F-4 up for exactly the same price the USAF paid for it then. The absolute highest unit cost for an aircraft under the standard reporting protocol is the PAUC since it looks at air-base modernization, construction, aircraft and weapons system development. Even that is 154 or so million. @ 377 Million he is probably adding 3+ decades of operational and upgrade cost i.e. cost of fuel, pilot and crew salaries etc all of which are estimated in the SAR.

Research and Development cost does not need to be repaid when you loose an aircraft and go out to replace it. That is sunk cost. If I go out and need to replace an F-35A lost to an accident or combat loss in 2020 it would cost me approximately $80-90 Million to do so. I would be paying the URF cost to get it. Simialrly, if I need to replace an F-15E lost in 2015 I would not be going back 30 years and paying the unit development cost all over again. I'd simply pay boeing to deliver one F-15E from its production line - that would probably cost me $100 or so million at the current rate for that aircraft.

Even if nothing changed (things like avionics upgrades, material upgrades, new electronics, weight etc) you are still looking at a pure cumulative rate of inflation between 75% and 90% for something produced for $X in 1990 vs 2015. We know capability is not static, so you would for damn obvious reasons not buy something exactly at the same level of capability in 2015 since it would be an idiotic decision (threat advances). Then look at where F-15 production is now. Its at a trickle which means that economies of scale that existed at its peak production do not exist anymore. Just wait a few weeks / months and see what Qatar pays for its F-15E's.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 28 Sep 2016 01:29

Rudradev wrote:^^ The fact is not mine but from the article I quoted. He provides the following references:

1) $30M F-15E, citation #18: Associciated Press, “U.S. F-15 Fighter Jet Down in Libya, Crew ‘Safe,’” CBS News (March 22, 2011), http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-f-15-fig ... rew-safe/; U.S. Air Force, “F-15 Eagle,” (March 14, 2005), http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/FactSheets/Di ... eagle.aspx.

This seems about right. F-15E strike eagle costs around $31.1 M according to many sources.

2) $377M F-35, citation #12: Winslow Wheeler, “How Much Does an F-35 Actually Cost?: Up to $337 Million - Apiece - For the Navy Version,” War is Boring (July 27, 2014), https://medium.com/war-is-boring/how-mu ... f95d239398.

This may be an exaggeration. Other sources I have seen say between $98M and $160M per unit.

That said, do you contest the premise that (whatever the exact dollar figure) US policymakers find the cost of weapons systems so prohibitive that it constrains their options to more limited conflicts than otherwise?

Since you bring up APUC, URF, and the entire program duration... this may actually bolster the argument the article is making. Since F-35 and F-15 were indigenously developed, the development costs stay within the US economy throughout the program; meaning that the actual unit cost of these aircraft to the US economy may well be less than the face value if you consider investments made into R&D, industry and so on. Yet EVEN with a lower effective cost you still have reluctance to deploy and policies are made accordingly.

How much worse is the effect on India which has to depend on foreign suppliers who need to paid per unit in hard cash? The money is not being recycled into our economy to anywhere near the extent that cost per unit of F-15 or F-35 is into the US economy.


Detailed response -

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6922&p=2050189#p2050189

This may be an exaggeration. Other sources I have seen say between $98M and $160M per unit.


It is an exaggeration. There is only ONE definitive source on the F-35 program cost and that comes through the Selected Acquisition Report. The latest is from 2015.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Rudradev » 28 Sep 2016 02:44

Fair enough. I take your point that USAF cannot buy an F-15 off the shelf today for the same price as it cost when it was being produced originally for large-scale induction, and that furthermore it would make no sense to do that given the much higher capabilities of an F-35 for a comparable URF cost today. So for the USAF, it makes eminent sense to replace that lost F-15E with an F-35 rather than with another F-15E.

I don't think the author is contesting that per se. What he seems to say is that replacing a lost F-35 is, in and of itself, a serious challenge in terms of time and budget, even for the US DOD... to the extent that it limits the appetite to deploy F-35s and many other modern weapons systems at all, and thus has a profound impact on overall war doctrine.

The F-35 is supposed to replace several aircraft in the U.S. inventory, and is touted as having advanced capabilities. This may someday prove true, despite current issues with its development. But these advancements do not guarantee survivability in any conflict, and if potential losses cannot be replaced quickly even advanced capabilities may not entirely offset lower numbers. The cost of modern military systems, along with their complexity, will not allow quick replacement. Leaders already face replacement issues. Simply look at the U.S. Marines plan to replace the 6 AV-8B Harriers destroyed by the Taliban in 2012, where the service will wait 6 years for F-35Bs to back-fill that particular combat loss.


If we agree that the F-35 is in fact $100 million URF cost per unit, as opposed to $337 million, then the budgetary challenge is ameliorated somewhat relative to what the author claims. (I also don't think he is arguing that the Marines should buy more Harriers to replace the six that were lost, but simply pointing out that there is now a gap in capability represented by the inability to replace them while the F-35 comes up to scratch.)

All this said, however, does it not still hold that:

The loss of one or a few of these systems would be cataclysmic to the U.S., not least because budgets simply will not allow replacement. Therefore, elected officials and military commanders will be forced to weigh potential losses against any possible battlefield and political success.


Considering not just F-35s but also assets like the Nimitz Class ACCs and LCSs.

Again, I would remind readers: we're talking about the world's #1 military, and #1 economy, by a long shot, here. Yet if even they have such concerns, how much more concerned should we be about systems like the Rafale? Rs.700 crore is approximately $100M. We are paying as much for a foreign-made aircraft (none of its development or production costs recycled into the Indian economy) as the US pays for an indigenously produced F-35. If the US finds that the costs of its F-35s (like its ACCs, LCSs etc) are so high, and replacement of lost units so challenging, that they begin to formulate their military doctrine along more limiting parameters... what about India?

We would likely need to factor in the possibility of losing more aircraft in a war against Pak/PRC than the US has lost in any of its recent military operations. All of those, we have to replace. If the Rafale becomes a mainstay of our air force, how will the babus who formulate policy react to the reality that every replacement for a lost Rafale is going to cost $100M?

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Cosmo_R » 28 Sep 2016 03:20

"^^ The fact is not mine but from the article I quoted. He provides the following references:..."

By quoting, one agrees with the premise and seconds the conclusion with one's own imprimatur. It's called citation theory.

The Rafale probably buys us access to

http://www-lmj.cea.fr/en/simulation-program/index.htm

Which in turn gets us past the 'testing sanctions' hurdle of the US...with their wink.

We underestimate the Chinese at our peril. GoI scoffed when Deng Xiao Ping aligned PRC with the US to build its economy and then watched as China vaulted ahead of us in the 1980s.

At present, we are behind the PRC in both technology and numbers not to mention economy. Our survival as a state depends being able to deliver a bloody nose and then diving behind a nuclear deterrent (who has more to lose?).

We are not going to fight the PRC with LCAs/SU-30MKIs. They have tech and numbers lead.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 28 Sep 2016 03:24

Rudradev wrote:Fair enough. I take your point that USAF cannot buy an F-15 off the shelf today for the same price as it cost when it was being produced originally for large-scale induction, and that furthermore it would make no sense to do that given the much higher capabilities of an F-35 for a comparable URF cost today. So for the USAF, it makes eminent sense to replace that lost F-15E with an F-35 rather than with another F-15E.

I don't think the author is contesting that per se. What he seems to say is that replacing a lost F-35 is, in and of itself, a serious challenge in terms of time and budget, even for the US DOD... to the extent that it limits the appetite to deploy F-35s and many other modern weapons systems at all, and thus has a profound impact on overall war doctrine.

The F-35 is supposed to replace several aircraft in the U.S. inventory, and is touted as having advanced capabilities. This may someday prove true, despite current issues with its development. But these advancements do not guarantee survivability in any conflict, and if potential losses cannot be replaced quickly even advanced capabilities may not entirely offset lower numbers. The cost of modern military systems, along with their complexity, will not allow quick replacement. Leaders already face replacement issues. Simply look at the U.S. Marines plan to replace the 6 AV-8B Harriers destroyed by the Taliban in 2012, where the service will wait 6 years for F-35Bs to back-fill that particular combat loss.


If we agree that the F-35 is in fact $100 million URF cost per unit, as opposed to $337 million, then the budgetary challenge is ameliorated somewhat relative to what the author claims. (I also don't think he is arguing that the Marines should buy more Harriers to replace the six that were lost, but simply pointing out that there is now a gap in capability represented by the inability to replace them while the F-35 comes up to scratch.)

All this said, however, does it not still hold that:

The loss of one or a few of these systems would be cataclysmic to the U.S., not least because budgets simply will not allow replacement. Therefore, elected officials and military commanders will be forced to weigh potential losses against any possible battlefield and political success.


Considering not just F-35s but also assets like the Nimitz Class ACCs and LCSs.

Again, I would remind readers: we're talking about the world's #1 military, and #1 economy, by a long shot, here. Yet if even they have such concerns, how much more concerned should we be about systems like the Rafale? Rs.700 crore is approximately $100M. We are paying as much for a foreign-made aircraft (none of its development or production costs recycled into the Indian economy) as the US pays for an indigenously produced F-35. If the US finds that the costs of its F-35s (like its ACCs, LCSs etc) are so high, and replacement of lost units so challenging, that they begin to formulate their military doctrine along more limiting parameters... what about India?

We would likely need to factor in the possibility of losing more aircraft in a war against Pak/PRC than the US has lost in any of its recent military operations. All of those, we have to replace. If the Rafale becomes a mainstay of our air force, how will the babus who formulate policy react to the reality that every replacement for a lost Rafale is going to cost $100M?


Discussed here - viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6922&p=2050208#p2050208

Lets avoid discussing the F-35 in the Rafale thread.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Manish_Sharma » 28 Sep 2016 06:10

Rudradev ji,

1.) Yes Rafale jets will be risk prone to crashes during the peace time, as IAF has shown that they push the platforms to their limit while preparing tactics for war. As we saw original Su 30k were used up so much that they had to be sold back as scrap. We also saw how one C-130J crashed while on excercise mission there was even a talk of some risky manuever being done. "You sweat in peace, so don't bleed in war"... motto and all that.

2.) Just few days ago I was watching discovery and they showed how human muscles are less densely made than cat muscles, cat muscles has much more fiber threads constituting than humans, so they have more strength. Also that heart is also a muscle like biceps but made of superior stuff hence never stops beating due to tiredness. So army/airforce/navy is made of different quality platforms.

Think of Rafale as Special forces unit or Shishumar submarine.

A Rafale carrying 2 Scalp missiles with 450 kg warhead and 560 km lo lo range and 1000 km per hour speed, with best western terrain following equipment sensons etc. while only weighing 1200 kilo. Scalps will be used to attack the enemy where it hurts most, while keeping a big distance. Even Brahmos carries only 300 kg warhead while weighing 2.5 tons.

Imagine a time when intelligence report comes that out of 4 agostas, 3 are standing in their pens while 1 has just left for patrol. If 6 Rafale each carrying 1 Scalp, 2 fuel tanks and 2 meteors goes over arabian sea, dive low release All 6 towards the Agosta pens and their mfrg. factory how big a blow we have dealt to porkis?

Or during the war some vital bridges deep in pork-occupied-kashmir need to be blown up to stop the rasad for their troops in Neelam Valley and Haji Pir pass during war.

No need to send them deep into china, but even staying in our borders Scalp will have hit them 560 kilometers deep inside.

So while platinum bullets like Tejas-Rafale-M2k will carry out super precision strikes while self escorting, the mud mover bomb trucks like Mig 27-Jaguar-MKIs will do their job.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby maxratul » 28 Sep 2016 06:37

Rafale, Brahmos, S400 are just the sort of "kick down the door" capability required to pursue a doctrine like cold start.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby RoyG » 28 Sep 2016 06:57

Manish_Sharma wrote:Rudradev ji,

1.) Yes Rafale jets will be risk prone to crashes during the peace time, as IAF has shown that they push the platforms to their limit while preparing tactics for war. As we saw original Su 30k were used up so much that they had to be sold back as scrap. We also saw how one C-130J crashed while on excercise mission there was even a talk of some risky manuever being done. "You sweat in peace, so don't bleed in war"... motto and all that.

2.) Just few days ago I was watching discovery and they showed how human muscles are less densely made than cat muscles, cat muscles has much more fiber threads constituting than humans, so they have more strength. Also that heart is also a muscle like biceps but made of superior stuff hence never stops beating due to tiredness. So army/airforce/navy is made of different quality platforms.

Think of Rafale as Special forces unit or Shishumar submarine.

A Rafale carrying 2 Scalp missiles with 450 kg warhead and 560 km lo lo range and 1000 km per hour speed, with best western terrain following equipment sensons etc. while only weighing 1200 kilo. Scalps will be used to attack the enemy where it hurts most, while keeping a big distance. Even Brahmos carries only 300 kg warhead while weighing 2.5 tons.

Imagine a time when intelligence report comes that out of 4 agostas, 3 are standing in their pens while 1 has just left for patrol. If 6 Rafale each carrying 1 Scalp, 2 fuel tanks and 2 meteors goes over arabian sea, dive low release All 6 towards the Agosta pens and their mfrg. factory how big a blow we have dealt to porkis?

Or during the war some vital bridges deep in pork-occupied-kashmir need to be blown up to stop the rasad for their troops in Neelam Valley and Haji Pir pass during war.

No need to send them deep into china, but even staying in our borders Scalp will have hit them 560 kilometers deep inside.

So while platinum bullets like Tejas-Rafale-M2k will carry out super precision strikes while self escorting, the mud mover bomb trucks like Mig 27-Jaguar-MKIs will do their job.


I have a different take. If Pakistan does come apart or we help it along we'll need to divert the bulk of our air power to the North to blunt a Chinese response. China will not let Pakistan go down w/o a fight. They will sucker punch India if they have to.

We will need to crack the egg and then pull out our air assets asap.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby shiv » 28 Sep 2016 07:04

Cosmo_R wrote:By quoting, one agrees with the premise and seconds the conclusion with one's own imprimatur. It's called citation theory.
<snip>
We underestimate the Chinese at our peril. GoI scoffed when Deng Xiao Ping aligned PRC with the US to build its economy and then watched as China vaulted ahead of us in the 1980s.

I quote to disagree with the premise. India did not scoff but could do nothing to stop Deng and Reagan serving each others' interests to defeat the Soviets via a Pakistani ally.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby shiv » 28 Sep 2016 07:19

Let me simply throw a pigeon among the cats and wonder if anyone will pounce.

I think the Rafale will end up being an extremely capable aircraft with excellent reliability and maintenance with seamless swing-role capability where tapping a touchscreen will allow ground staff to load up AAMs on one Rafale and AGMs on another.

Rafales will be able to work with Sukhois and even MiG 21s to vastly increase the deadliness of the IAF fleet. The F-35 argument is peripheral. The Rafale deal might help build up a set of private suppliers who are capable of making high tech stuff to supply to HAL for integration rather than go the Soviet way of making jet engines starting from iron and titanium ore in one massive factory in Koraput

Rafale's - like Sukhois will be able to operate fron North Central India and hit targets in the east or west with very little modification. An air defence sortie in the east can be quickly followed up by a strike sortie in the west by a 30 minute software tweak and weapon load and a change of pilot and one air refuelling well within Indian air space. A Rafale that penetrates deeper into enemy airspace will be able to guide a separate weapon load on Sukhois flying a 100 km away. Incidentally this was done even in 1971 - will find the cite from PC Lal's autobiography if anyone wants

About peacetime loss of Rafales - all air forces account for peacetime attrition. That said - the safety record of the single engine Mirage 2000 has been great - with Mirages being lost to hangar collapse in a storm and a belly landing in Mauritius when the pilot did not lower the undercarriage.

The Rafale will be a fantastic asset and will one again serve to help our younger designers and engineers see the contrast between Russian simplicity and robustness versus western attention to quality, finesse and reliability and apply both to our own products. I am not complaining

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Viv S » 28 Sep 2016 09:08

shiv wrote:Let me simply throw a pigeon among the cats and wonder if anyone will pounce.

Doubt it. That the Rafale is a very capable fighter and like most western aircraft, has a good serviceability & safety record, is not in dispute.

What is in dispute its the cost-benefit equation (at a time when we're being massively outspent by China). And the lunacy of placing piecemeal orders or worse.. capping the acquisition at two squadrons (it isn't clear which way the govt will go).

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby uddu » 28 Sep 2016 09:55

Tejas way. Mark-1 Mark-1A Mark-II and may be when the first lot of Rafales are in service, we may be starting manufacture of Mark-II and talking about Mark-III

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Singha » 28 Sep 2016 10:57

engines will have parts that are durable (casing, hot section internals) vs parts that might need more frequent checks and replacement - perhaps the first few compressor fan stage blades... india could focus on getting the manufacturing knowhow and details to make and stock up high on the frequent replace parts like fan blades, tires , brake shoes , hydraulic fluids to keep the service levels high.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 28 Sep 2016 12:11

Given our limited resources,we need to have a mix of heavy and light aircraft.Rafales accompanied by LCAs carrying similar stand-off weaponry could get their targeting from the Raffy/ or alternatively MKIs and beef up the attacking force numbers. Key bases where the Rraffy will be located should also have LCAs and MKIs if poss so that their synergy operating together can be maximised.Raffy numbers at this huge unit cost will never be enough and the slack has to be taken up by MKIs,LCAs and in the future FGFAs.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby shiv » 28 Sep 2016 15:20

MMRCA saga is the only deal that I have heard of for which a price and number of aircraft was announced even before the aircraft was selected. IIRC it was touted as India's biggest deal 40,000 crores for up to 126 aircraft. We also cheered on BRF in 2011 sayng that China must attack before 2013 because the MMRCA will be here after 2013.

Describing the deal as "only 2 squadrons" and "piecemeal" is basically because everyone swallowed the crap that was put out in the media and reinforced on this agonizingly boring (to me) thread. Rafales are expensive. We chose them and found that we could not afford 126. Rejecting them meant a definite contraction of IAF to dangerous levels before 2020. We can barely afford 36 now when tailored to our needs. If we need more and have money later we will have to order more later. It is naive to imagine that a seller will not sell more to a buyer as long as the latter pays for it and the item is available for sale.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby JayS » 28 Sep 2016 15:25

shiv wrote:The Rafale will be a fantastic asset and will one again serve to help our younger designers and engineers see the contrast between Russian simplicity and robustness versus western attention to quality, finesse and reliability and apply both to our own products. I am not complaining

I hope so but for that we cant keep buying stuff from everywhere just to learn these things. Sometime down the line we have to put money on desi products as well, which is not happening. No signs so far it will happen in near future (we are talking of buying one more jet from outside instead of fast tracking Tejas MK2..!!). How much M2K and MKI helped us in LCA really and how much we just learned by just doing it ourselves??

I once read a very interesting statistics - how professionals learn new things - 10% through training, 20% from colleagues, and 70% by hands on - doing it themselves.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby shiv » 28 Sep 2016 15:56

JayS wrote:How much M2K and MKI helped us in LCA


This topic must come up time and again so I will repeat.

There are two separate issues here
1. Operational readiness of the IAF for national defence
and
2. National technical capability development for high tech design and manufacture

In the US and in France 2 and 1 are closely connected because the technical capability exists to meet their national defence needs.

M2K was for operational preparedness. MKI was for a bit of both. I think many avionics items developed for MKI got applications in the LCA and other aircraft. I don't know if we even manufacture flatscreen displays or touch screens in India - but I guess some progress has been made.

In India the technical capability is still being built up and it has been screwed time and time again by vested interests. Unfortunately vested interests have had it easy because killing national technical competence in favour of imports definitely solves the problem of operational preparedness, but does nothing for national technical capability. We killed the HF 24. We killed our Submarine line and are probably in the process of killing Arjun and any infantry assault weapon.

Ultimately someone had to force the issue and "risk" operational readiness to give time for national technical capability to develop. That risk is being taken now but it would be wrong to think that a strong PM or strong defence minster are enough. The system rot runs so deep that there are people who will sabotage local manufacture and plumb for imports because there is money to be made. This will change only slowly and here I pray for Modi to stay longer simply because of something I heard in the news today - unconnected to defence but it pleases me greatly. I was always pissed off by the way people called ministers "Sriman or "Right Honourable". Seems like Modi has issued orders to put an end to this colonial nonsense - one more blow to pull elected reps and their babus down from the pedestal they put themselves on

All is not well yet by a long shot. The Rafale deal could have had any outcome from 126 made in India, to 126 bought outright to cancellation. It so happened that we are buying 36 with some blahblah clauses to go with them and an acceptable (to both governments) price.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby kapilrdave » 28 Sep 2016 16:30

Rudradev wrote:Ok, so what has this got to do with India? Scale it down and you will see. $337M for an F35, or even $30M for an F-15E are the kind of costs that make the great Khan blink. In proportion to our relatively SDRE economy, I contend that ~Rs. 700 crore a pop for a Rafale is policy-prohibitive for exactly the same reason. Right now we are getting two squadrons of the things, fine, fly them over Rajpath on Republic Day and milk the French for all the ancillary benefits we can accrue.

But seriously, what if we bought 126 Rafales, and they were a *main-line* fighter of the IAF? Would we be willing to risk them at all? If it became a policy prescription (written or unwritten) that "whatever you do, don't lose that thing, it costs Rs. 700 crore"... then what are all the downstream effects of this on our strategic thinking? As it is we are agonizingly cautious about undertaking even a limited war. What happens after we induct weapons whose very cost has the effect of further limiting the scope of war? Will the Rafales ever leave the hangar, even as enemy flankers, F-solahs and bandars begin to swarm the skies over Ladakh? Will we send them out over the plains of Lanzhou or Chengdu military prefectures, guarded as they are by multiple S300 units? I am sure our IAF will be willing to do it. But critically, our Babus will be so overwrought with the rupee value of the Rafale that they'll find still more excuses never to get us into the position of actually having to use them. At worst, this will mandate a policy paralysis in which many options, particularly of the punitive sort, are simply yanked off the table forever.

IMHO far, far, far better to produce huge numbers of Tejas as a light fighter, acquire large numbers of the well-integrated MKI as our heavy platform, and evolve a doctrine based on maximizing the role spectrum of each of those in conjunction with AEW and other assets. After all, per the Lanchester equation, the attritive combat power of an air force is proportional not to the number, but the square of the number of units we can put in the air. Ultimately (as we learned in '65 when our humble gnats overwhelmed TFTA Paki Sabres) it's the quality of the men who fly the machines that matters as much as the hardware, if not more. That may be less applicable when facing an opponent that is an order of magnitude more advanced in tech (such as the USAF) but I am sure it counts when we're thinking of PLAAF.

What do our mil forum experts think?

OT for this thread but I'll try to sneak in with this one and be mindful to keep it short...

RD sir,

US's wars are artificial, and more like "commercial wars" (for lack of a better word). So they have to keep economics in mind. Also, they are thinking about cost only after becoming the world beater. It's like Sridevi cutting her expense from 25 lakh to 20 lakh per month :mrgreen: .

Ours are civilizational wars. Ideally for us, economy should be but a tool to win the 1000 years old war, not the other way around. Our forefathers have sacrificed a lot to give us the chance that we have got today. Time doesn't remain the same all the time. Currently we are in the best position in a long long time. We need to cash in this opportunity (which Marathas failed to do). Even if we don't care about our history etc., pakistan is still posing the existential threat to us. The sooner we completely get rid of it, the better.

On the other hand, china's attitude is also not inspiring. For some unknown reasons, it has chosen enmity with us. In all likelihood, even china is also going to become our long term enemy and perhaps challenge our existence too. It has potential to become our long term civilizational enemy and will compete for the world resources with us. In any case, intentions can change anytime, but capability takes long time to change. Therefore we must develop the capability and let the intentions part not influence it.

For the above mentioned reasons, I want to see India's defense budget raised to say 4-5%. That would be ideal for at least next 15 years till we become an unbeatable force with indigenous military wares. History taught us the hard way that building only economy, culture and intellectual power while ignoring the military power is setting ourselves up for yet another millennia of slavery. The so called "soft power" stands no chance against barbarians. We need brute power to crush them.


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