Austin wrote:I see no harm in ordering 200 Rafale , Most to be Made At HAL under Make In India Category similar to MKI program where we can get TOT and Build it with Indian sourced materials and get to manufac Snecma at HAL. End to End Comprehensive deal for Rafale like MKI so that we can maintain and upgrade on our own.
Build another 57 for Naval requirement for New Fighter Program.
Its a wonderful fighter and speaking to pilots at AI they vouch by its capabilities , It would also streamline our logistic for IAF in the next 20-30 years reducing the number of types and weapons employed rather than have a zoo of dozen types in double digits which will make it expensive to maintain in long term. Order more Tejas , Rafale and MKI all built in India and get done with it.
You are not going to get 200 Rafales. Assuming that 200 includes the 57 navy fighters, where is the Govt expected to cough up the cash for the other 143? Assuming you minus the already ordered 36 from that 143, from where is the money going to come from for 107 Rafales? At the most, another 36 Rafales will come. That much is a likely possibility.
Secondly, Dassault has made it quite clear to the GoI - and rightfully so - that they cannot guarentee the quality of the Rafale if they are assembled by HAL. Any future Rafales will either come directly from France or by Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL). The IAF loves to operate a zoo of many types and will continue to do so in the years to come.
The right question to ask is what is the cost IAF has to pay for not buy additional Rafale and streamlining the logistics.
If you consider the life cycle of Rafale in IAF for 40 years then building an infrastructure for Rafale like we did for MKI in India along with manufacturing it at HAL or Reliance or who ever will work out to be cheaper including capex cost.
Now if we limit our self to 36 and say we buy another 80 Twin Engine type for IAF then another 57 of another type for the navy ,you end up with 3 different types with the logistics , operating cost , infra , weapons and xxx things that you need to maintain it for 40 years will end up being exponontial higher.
Remember the mistake we did when we opted for 40 M2K in 80's and then when the French offered M2K lic built for the type at HAL we pondered and then jumped to Mig-29 and we thought we will build Mig-29 in India , we ended up doing neither as post 91 economic crisis and break up SU meant it was dead deal.
Today we are opting for MMRCA for the same reason why we did not manufacture M2K in mid-80's like we did for Jags in Mid 70's and you see HAL is still building Jags in various Darin configuration.
Even IG was questioned then why were we procuring expensive M2K spending precious forex ( at that time India had forex of just $2 billion ) and her answer was interesting which I think you would know.
Coming back to the point lets bite the bullet and build 150 or 200 Rafale including for the Navy and lets streamline the logistic like we did for MKI i.e logistics chain and infra for Rafale that can take care of MRO/Upgrade for the fleet for next 40 years down the line when we are discussing this topic we wont be regretting for not doing so. These things looks expensive intitially but if you do a 40 years life cycle cost for Rafale in IAF it would be worth every penny we put into it rather than operating 3 types in IAF and IN