Cain Marko wrote:There is no denying that the rafale or shornet are more advanced than the K so who can blame the Navy for wanting a better product? Perhaps it has something to do with getting better prices via a competition? IIRC the DPP requires acquisitions of large amounts to be via tenders. Further, those 57 might be for the Vishal or perhaps it has something to do with naval tactics and diversification? But to assume that it is solely because of problems with the fulcrum is reaching IMHO.... Especially in light of the rather direct statement of the Chief. BTW the RFI was also sent to Mig, who knows, it might just be more fulcrums.
But to completely disregard that the new RFP is driven as much by the host of problems with the K as with the unavailability of NLCA is "reaching" as you put it.
As Nachiket and Brar_w pointed out, IAF has been topping up on MKI numbers, despite other alternatives being available- Rafale, Eurofighter etc. (even if not in the same class). One can reasonably assume that IAF is pretty content with MKI despite the reported availability issues that were later overcome to an extent during Swargiya Manohar Parrikar ji's tenure. IAF established a SEPARATE RFP for combat jets in the class of Rafale, Eurofighter etc and Rafales were eventually procured under this category. They did not replace the MKIs. IAF is inducting both MKIs and Rafales.
However, IN has shown no indication whatsoever to pursue additional Ks AND and the same time procure Rafales or SH under a different programme. No, the RFP is to acquire 57 jets in the SAME category as the K. I do not think it needs a great leap to reason to assume that IN has some very serious concerns with the K, which has had them deciding against expanding their existing K fleet. As you said, there should be accountability at all levels, as to why this situation came to a pass. But to absolve the Russians and MiG corporation of any fault in this matter is highly disingenuous.