indranilroy wrote:Avarachan sir,
I have never doubted the IAF's claim that we need medium fighters. In this very forum, I have fought people who said LCAs can do the work of medium-weights or that the Su-30s are the panacea to all of India's fighter needs. But is Rafale/EF, the absolutely most expensive fighter aircrafts on the military market our solution to medium weight fighters. I don't think so. I completely agree with you that Gripen is nothing but LCA++, and should not be pursued at any cost. Parrikar has made many mistakes. I hope he does not commit that blunder.
Also, I can't see the strategic angle. Because, we buy the Rafale, would be get technological help for the LCA. History has proved elsewise. The French were with us at the beginning of LCA, they left. They were with us on the Scorpenes, but they have never helped us on our indigenous submarine efforts. They have been providing us helicopters, and helicopter engines for decades, and yet when the time came to help HAL with LUH's transmission or GTRE with Kaveri, they asked for such astronomical amounts for such small incremental work, that everybody backed down. even in the civil sector, you can look at the nuclear sector.
I also do not buy the transfer of technology with the current 36 Rafales. They are to be bought off the shelf with 30% scredrivergiri at home. It does not bring us any technology. RAM coatings etc. are coming from the Russian side, with the work on the Super Su-30s and the FGFA.
There are only two angles:
1. The government is not technically savvy. They listen to those who are. And those who are, can't see beyond the Rafales. It was a sad day for me when the IAF chief says that there is no plan B for the INDIAN air force, if it can't import the Rafales. And I say this without any nationalistic fervour. (I hate the word nationalistic and its acceptance in modern day Indian political parlance. India was never a land of nationalists, and it never should be. India was, is and should remain the land of the patriots).
2. This military buy should be viewed in the larger theatre of geo-politics, in which case everything I said is moot.
Indranilroy-ji, there's no need to call me "sir." You know much more than I do.
As a sidenote, I agree with you on the distinction between nationalism and patriotism.
1) The MMRCA contest was driven by geo-politics. (I've written about this previously, in case anyone is curious.) By the way, the Scorpene purchase was decided on geo-political grounds, as well. The technical specifications did play a role, but they were in the background rather than the foreground. That doesn't necessarily produce a contradiction: if a state is strong enough to help India strategically, they're probably also capable of producing good weapons. That is true in the case of France (at the present time, at least).
2) Of course, you're wise to be wary of French promises. I don't deny any of what you said. Let's see. I've heard that the GoI has become more skilled in framing contracts. Also, because India is now more experienced, India knows what it needs and can tell whether the guidance offered is helpful or not (by running simulations, etc.).
3) I can't believe that India is going to buy the Gripen E (or any second MMRCA). That would be insane.
4) One thing I respect about the Chinese is that once they have a good design, they pump it out. As far as I can tell, the Yuan-class submarine is a modified copy of the 636 Kilo (albeit with AIP). And just look at how fast the Chinese are producing it! It's impressive. In my opinion, any less than 300-400 Tejas's (of different variants) is a crime.