VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby sivab » 14 Dec 2018 10:51

ANI
‏Verified account @ANI

Supreme Court dismisses all the petitions seeking a court-monitored investigation into the Rafale deal.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby sivab » 14 Dec 2018 10:54

Live Law
‏ @LiveLawIndia
8m8 minutes ago

#Rafale: Bench assembles..CJI Starts reading the Judgment
1 reply 4 retweets 6 likes



Live Law
‏ @LiveLawIndia
7m7 minutes ago

Power of Judicial review varies from subject to subject: CJI Gogoi #RafaleVerdict


Live Law
‏ @LiveLawIndia
6m6 minutes ago

There are 3 broad areas in this case, Decision making, Pricing,Procedure in this case: CJI #RafaleDeal


Live Law
‏ @LiveLawIndia
4m4 minutes ago

Breaking: We studied the materials carefully, Interacted with defence officials, we are satisfied with decision making process: CJI


Live Law
‏ @LiveLawIndia
3m3 minutes ago

Breaking: We cannot sit judgement of the Govt of purchasing the no of aircraft’s; Detailed scrutiny of #RafaleDeal deal is not required


Live Law
‏ @LiveLawIndia
3m3 minutes ago

Pricing - official respondents claim that there is better terms - it is not for this court to examine. CJI


Live Law
‏ @LiveLawIndia
2m2 minutes ago

Breaking: Supreme Court dismisses all the petitions seeking a court-monitored investigation into the #RafaleDeal deal.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 14 Dec 2018 11:16

Forget Akula-II, I am starting mithai distribution for this verdict!

Sare Jahan Se Accha, Hindustan Hamara!!!

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 14 Dec 2018 11:21

All tweets below from Manu Pubby....@manupubby

Offsets: SC says the defence procurement process was followed, press interviews (of Former French Prez Hollande) can't be basis for an inquiry. :lol:

Process: SC strongest on this, says it is satisfied that the correct procedure for procurement was followed.

Most significant part of the #RafaleVerdict I see yet - the Supreme Court has said it is satisfied with the decision making process and there is no occasion to doubt it.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Manish_P » 14 Dec 2018 11:28

Dare one hope that at least now this thread will start to focus back on the technical and operational aspects of the Aircraft and it's systems, production milestones etc

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 14 Dec 2018 12:30

No it's 3-1 judge shook-law is judging the competence of judges


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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Vips » 14 Dec 2018 19:06

prat.patel wrote:
Rakesh wrote:The Media's Supreme Court Judge has already given his verdict.... :lol:

https://twitter.com/ajaishukla/status/1 ... 1392721920 ----> Judgment Day tomorrow on the Rafale. The Supreme Court will pronounce its order on Friday on the Rafale petitions. Many will have sleepless nights tonight. But my assessment is that the SC will let the government off with a mild reproof... citing national security. Let's see.


What a ridiculous and nonsensical tweet!!!
Jeet bhi meri aur pat bhi mera

Sorry for the vent, but had to get it out of my system.

Love the "The Media's Supreme Court Judge" comment... :lol:


The bloody ass is missing being an influence maker under the Modi administration and hence is vomiting his frustration. Look at how lively he becomes at various Indo-Pak parleys and chai biskoot consuming sessions.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 14 Dec 2018 19:56

You guys missed the latest tweet from The Honorable Justice....

Just let the tweets below sink in for a second. Think about what these two are saying and then ask yourself who were the ones again who endorsed for this to go to the Supreme Court? The sheer lunacy! WOW :roll:

https://twitter.com/ajaishukla/status/1 ... 1794262016 ---> Respite for the BJP, three days after its election debacle. Today the Supreme Court — in a thoroughly flawed judgment — dismissed petitions seeking a CBI inquiry into the Rafale deal. Instead, three judges with no tech or military knowledge, cleared deal on all counts.

And his follower comes right behind, with this gem...

https://twitter.com/t_d_h_nair/status/1 ... 8708832257 ---> As in expected lines, SC dismissed the petitions on Rafale deal. SC says they are satisfied with the process followed by govt for the purchase of 36 Rafale. Thank You SC for confirming PM of India can take unilateral call when it comes to capital procurement for defence forces! :lol:

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby prat.patel » 14 Dec 2018 20:11

^^^
There have been few instances in the world history where the entire population of a nation had decided to shun democracy and choose other forms of government. I have always struggled to understand how could they do it? How could people en masse take such an horrible call?

Well, very saddened to say that today, I am feeling the pinch. When you see the rights and privileges provided by democracy being so blatantly abused by self serving group of people; it makes you doubt your beliefs sometimes :(

Don't get me wrong - I am not against dissent. That is an integral part of a democracy. People had the right to go to court. But you don't get to dismiss the judgement because its not in your favor and start questioning the credibility of the honorable judges. This is a terrible low!

Sorry for the OT, but that's the last from my end on this topic!

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 14 Dec 2018 21:21

Dassault is back in the game and is the front runner for the MMRCA competition....

https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1073600764956700679 ---> Dassault Aviation: Dassault Aviation welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court of India rendered today dismissing all petitions filed on the Rafale Contract signed on 23rd September 2016 in the frame of an Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and France.

https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1073601317380284416 ---> Dassault Aviation: Dassault Aviation is dedicated to establishing successfully Make in India as promoted by PM Modi. Dassault Aviation will ensure successful production in India through Dassault Reliance Joint Venture in Nagpur as well as through a full-fledged supply chain network.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 14 Dec 2018 21:26

As someone remarked on Twitter ----> Chowkidar Chor Nahi Hai, Chowkidar Sher Hai!

Rafale ‘scam’: A myth invented by Rahul Gandhi and his friends in the media
https://www.opindia.com/2018/12/rafale- ... the-media/

The French and the Indian Governments and Dassault have time and again issued clarifications on the matter. And yet, Rahul Gandhi along with his friends in the media created a narrative on the basis of half-truths and complete lies.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Kartik » 15 Dec 2018 00:24

Shameless Congi anti-nationals will try to come up with some new lies to counter the Supreme Court's decision. They will not let this go since it is the only issue they have been trying to malign the NDA govt. and specifically PM Modi with.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 15 Dec 2018 01:10

Kartik, this is the latest tactic. They lost in the SC, so now they want a JPC! They argued for this before the verdict as well, but now it is coming with a renewed push. Amazing *GREAT* service by Pappu and Congress! :rotfl:

If the SC was not the forum for this made-up issue, then why did you bother going to SC in the first place? :lol:

https://twitter.com/JantaKaReporter/sta ... 6150155264 ---> Article 136 & 32 are not the forum to decide the issue, the pricing, the process, the sovereign guarantee & the corruption in the Rafale contract. Only forum & only media is a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) which can probe the entire corruption in Rafale Deal.

https://twitter.com/CNNnews18/status/10 ... 2045012994 ---> SC’s Rafale verdict is a validation of what Congress said months ago that SC is not the forum to discuss the modalities of Rafale deal: Randeep Surjewala, Congress spokesperson tells media.

How deluded does one have to be, to turn the SC judgement into your favour? Wow! :roll:

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby CRamS » 15 Dec 2018 10:21

Guys, has this been discussed yet, but Pappu and his propaganda machine are claiming that SC used a non-existent CAG report to come to some of their conclusions. Does this have any validity?

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Aditya_V » 15 Dec 2018 12:02

CRamS wrote:Guys, has this been discussed yet, but Pappu and his propaganda machine are claiming that SC used a non-existent CAG report to come to some of their conclusions. Does this have any validity?


As much validity as Gobbels speeches were based on the truth.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 15 Dec 2018 18:20

CRamS wrote:Guys, has this been discussed yet, but Pappu and his propaganda machine are claiming that SC used a non-existent CAG report to come to some of their conclusions. Does this have any validity?

Please see below (although this will not satisfy the Congress and they will now scream Govt corruption and judicial collusion!)

https://twitter.com/ShivAroor/status/10 ... 1221393408 ---> JUST IN: Govt clarifies in affidavit that the Supreme Court has misunderstood/misinterpreted its input on CAG report on Rafale pricing, clarifies as follows, quotes from sealed envelope info:

Image

Image

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 15 Dec 2018 18:24

Remember Pappu was saying that the Prime Minister stole jobs from the nation's youth and he is going to bring Rafale production back to HAL? :lol: Now see this latest gem. Whether the criticism meeted out to HAL is right or wrong can be debated back & forth, but when your country's own PAC (Public Accounts Committee) is highlighting the failure of HAL, pray tell me why would you choose HAL If you were a foreign OEM? Dassault has a reputation to keep up, as would any other OEM. If you were the CEO of a foreign OEM, would you?

https://twitter.com/ShivAroor/status/10 ... 7494532097 ---> Interesting. While the Congress holds up HAL as a betrayed, victimised party in the Rafale deal, a Parliament body headed by Cong leader Mallikarjun Kharge (very rightly) bashes HAL for not delivering enough LCA Tejas jets.

https://twitter.com/MinhazMerchant/stat ... 1674899456 ---> This, Rahul Gandhi is why Dassault didn’t want HAL to make 126 Rafale fighters in Indian JV. Quality NOT assured. And yet HAL is part of Rs 30,000 crore Indian offsets along with 72 other firms, including Anil Ambani’s Reliance which has a fraction of the offsets.

Amid Rafale row, Mallikarjun Kharge-led parliamentary panel slams HAL for ‘failure’ to provide enough Tejas
https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-ne ... o7OsL.html

A parliamentary panel headed by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has expressed “serious concern” over Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s “failure” to provide the required number of Tejas aircraft to the Air Force, adversely affecting its combat potential and posing a security threat.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 15 Dec 2018 18:28

And the hits just keep on coming....read the entire piece. Very eye opening.

Year Before Shortlisting Rafale, UPA Govt Said HAL’s Hands Full
https://www.livefistdefence.com/2018/12 ... -full.html

Image

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 15 Dec 2018 18:34

I usually do not post political cartoons, but this one is an absolute gem. I almost died laughing....:lol: Just Brilliant!

Whatever one's political inclinations, this one deserves to be the political cartoon of the year. It captures the nation's mood perfectly.

https://twitter.com/Atheist_Krishna/sta ... 0561391616 ---> After Rafale Verdict!

Image

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 15 Dec 2018 18:50

https://twitter.com/MinhazMerchant/stat ... 2219684865 ---> With Rahul Gandhi doubling down on Rafale Deal despite SC verdict, it’s time all journalists participating in media debates on Rafale disclose any conflict of interest: 1) Family relationships with Gandhis or Rafale petitioner; 2) Commercial ties with arms vendors. #Transparency.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 15 Dec 2018 18:52

https://twitter.com/MinhazMerchant/stat ... 4590589952 ---> Oddly enough, Prashant Bhushan in his quote to ⁦India Today⁩ below backs govt on CAG/PAC controversy.

Image

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Austin » 16 Dec 2018 11:43

When Modi comes to power in 2019 without wasting time he should order 90 more Rafale for IAF and 20 for the Navy

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby chetak » 16 Dec 2018 14:47

Rakesh wrote:Forget Akula-II, I am starting mithai distribution for this verdict!

Sare Jahan Se Accha, Hindustan Hamara!!!


They will still stall parliament, create a ruckus, use sold out media and presstitutes to push for a JPC on the rafale deal.

This is being funded from outside by someone looking to scuttle the deal and force a re-tender and also de throne Modi. two birds with one stone.

Also, the pakis desperately want the lootyens goondas back.

Its also the kind of campaign that a cambridge analytica or a clone would orchestrate and use to scuttle the PM's 2019 campaign.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby chetak » 16 Dec 2018 14:49

Rakesh wrote:https://twitter.com/MinhazMerchant/status/1073853712219684865 ---> With Rahul Gandhi doubling down on Rafale Deal despite SC verdict, it’s time all journalists participating in media debates on Rafale disclose any conflict of interest: 1) Family relationships with Gandhis or Rafale petitioner; 2) Commercial ties with arms vendors. #Transparency.



pointing very specifically at one ex IA dirtbag

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby souravB » 16 Dec 2018 20:30

In a recent interview in Times Now, the One ex-IA dirtbag had been asked these two questions time and again. He had no answer.
Now it seems like BJP spokespersons have found solution for him. He's the only defense analyst I have seen who is against the deal. Even Vishnu Som of NDTV has come out gun blazing with some facts.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 16 Dec 2018 22:04

Vishnu’s tweets below are from a thread (which you can view on clicking the links below). I am only posting his responses, as the rest is fluff nonsense.

https://twitter.com/vishnundtv/status/1 ... 73536?s=21 —-> Oh please ! The basis of this controversy is the deal never going to PAC in the first place. Is the govt so stupid that they would tell the court 'Actually, it HAS gone to PAC?' And is the SC so silly that they dont know this basic fact?

https://twitter.com/vishnundtv/status/1 ... 36769?s=21 —-> Seems unbelievable that the govt would lie to the SC that a CAG report has been submitted to a Congress-headed PAC, sections of which have been released in public ! That would be shooting an unbelievable self-goal that doesn't further any cause.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby CRamS » 16 Dec 2018 22:34

chetak wrote:
They will still stall parliament, create a ruckus, use sold out media and presstitutes to push for a JPC on the rafale deal.

This is being funded from outside by someone looking to scuttle the deal and force a re-tender and also de throne Modi. two birds with one stone.

Also, the pakis desperately want the lootyens goondas back.

Its also the kind of campaign that a cambridge analytica or a clone would orchestrate and use to scuttle the PM's 2019 campaign.


This is not politics thread, but briefly: Absolutely, yes. If anybody thought SC verdict will put an end to Rafale, think again. Without Rafale cacophony, thugbandhan have nothing against BJP on corruption. But by letting the issue simmer and raising doubts through friendly media, both Eng language and vernacular (through sound bytes like 'cowkidar chor hai'), Congoons hope to stick the "corruption" tag on ModiJi. The Anil Ambani factor will have huge reception among free loading losers who given their dirt poor existence are seething with jealousy against rich anyway. Also, this will negate any fallout Congoons suffer from Christian Michael, Vijaya Mallya extraditions as also probably others. This, along with freebies and caste divisions (weaning away OBC and Dalits by hyping up hate crimes) will be thugbandhan strategy to take on ModiJi. More on the politics thread in sister forum.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 16 Dec 2018 22:38

Arun Jaitley shuts the door for a JPC. This drama will continue though.

Rafale deal: JPC cannot review Supreme Court order, says Arun Jaitley
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ ... 758585.ece

“The court conducts a judicial review; it is a non-partisan, independent and fair constitutional authority. The court’s verdict is final. It can’t be reviewed by anyone except by the court itself. How can a parliamentary committee go into the correctness or otherwise to what the court has said? Is a committee of politicians both legally and in terms of human resources capable of reviewing issues already decided by the Supreme Court?,” Mr. Jaitley said in a Facebook post.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 16 Dec 2018 22:40

@CRamS: where is the political thread in which forum?

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby CRamS » 16 Dec 2018 23:30

Rakesh wrote:@CRamS: where is the political thread in which forum?


https://forum.bharatganrajya.com/viewto ... start=1050

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby rakall » 17 Dec 2018 01:45

There is a lot of smoke and mirrors about the CAG-PAC stuff in the SC judgement..
Some are calling judgement null & void becasue of that paragraph and/or Speculating that govt lied to SC and SC got misled into this judgement, so the judgement must/will be reversed etc...

But....

The CAG audit and subsequent PAC report is a post-procurement evaluation process.

The case before SC was whether the Govt did not follow norms in the pre-procurement decision making process leading to favoritism.

The Govt submission w.r.t the post-procurement audit/evaluation process has no bearing on the court's judgement w.r.t pre-procurement decision making process. The Govt submission regarding CAG-PAC is only to appraise the court that despite Govt claims of secrecy, the price will be shared with the auditor (CAG) and empowered parliamentarians of PAC. Hence Govt is not hiding anything.

Also, any claims that Govt lied to SC are frivolous because the Govt has no grounds to lie about post-procurement audit process when the case involves pre-procurement decision making process.

Independant of the CAG/PAC report (post-procurement audit), the court has come to these conclusions on the pre-procurement decision making process:
1. There was no deviation from the procedure (DPP)
2. The Govt had no role in selecting IOP.


In essence, in the said paragraph, SC agreed with Govt.'s justification of non disclosure of pricing details and contextually added (erroneously) that there is a CAG report and PAC has examined it. If this error is rectified, nothing will change in the reasoning of judgment.

Addendum:
The court has not seen the CAG audit report or PAC report because it doesn't exist. Court independently studied the pricing details submitted by Govt, but decided that it is the job of CAG & PAC to evaluate the pricing. so whether the CAG/PAC report already exists or not has no bearing on the SC judgement.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby CRamS » 17 Dec 2018 02:29

rakall wrote:
....

The court has not seen the CAG audit report or PAC report because it doesn't exist. Court independently studied the pricing details submitted by Govt, but decided that it is the job of CAG & PAC to evaluate the pricing. so whether the CAG/PAC report already exists or not has no bearing on the SC judgement.


Thx, I was going to post that exact same question, namely, whether that typo or whatever had any bearing on the final judjmement, and your detailed analysis clarified NO.

But follow up question is, will the court come and explicitly say so? Or will it be a loss of face for them that they made an error in interpretation and would rather just side step it. If they issue a clarification along the lines you said, case is closed. But if they keep quiet or say something that even fractionally dilutes their earlier verdict, Pappu will go to town dancing to the military tunes of TSP and China.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 18 Dec 2018 03:26

CRamS wrote:
Rakesh wrote:@CRamS: where is the political thread in which forum?

https://forum.bharatganrajya.com/viewto ... start=1050

Thank You.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 18 Dec 2018 03:27

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 18 Dec 2018 03:36

VIDEO

Rafale row: Govt did not mislead Supreme Court, says Nirmala Sitharaman
https://www.indiatoday.in/agenda-aaj-ta ... 2018-12-18

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby ShauryaT » 18 Dec 2018 10:39

Posting the full judgment. The legal verdict is out and we all have to accept the judgment from the highest court. This should end all legal debate on the matter.

Although I have to say, a wise man said before all this started the government has no fear on the legality of the deal with the assurance that all the legalities and technicalities of the procedures have been complied with.

One thing that has changed is the self-claimed by ADAG Rs. 21,000 crores in offset to Reliance is now being projected to be only at about 10% of the offsets - for now. Time will tell what the actual numbers will be, what role with this new foray by Reliance become and to what degree will Rafale penetrate other orders in service of the IAF and IN and what role will Reliance play in the future.

A private MIC is sorely needed, hope GoI is in control of the game.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby ramana » 18 Dec 2018 22:54

Third para. All maya.

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 19 Dec 2018 00:34

As per article....Author is Gaurav Bhatia, BJP National Spokesperson and Advocate on Record, Supreme Court of India.

Please drag and drop article into new browser window to read clearly. Author raises a very good point at right most para (from top).

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Re: VayuSena Rafale: News and Discussions - 17 Oct 2016

Postby Rakesh » 19 Dec 2018 00:54

Author forgot the F-18 and perhaps like the IAF, assumed it was an afterthought :mrgreen: Regardless, a fairly decent BUT long article.

Rafale dogfight: Why the French fighter has the right stuff
https://www.businesstoday.in/opinion/co ... 01241.html

By Rakesh Kumar Simha, 16 December 2018

With the Supreme Court of India giving the Narendra Modi government a clean chit on the decision-making process to purchase 36 Rafales from France, the so-called controversy finally needs to be laid at rest. The bitter dogfight that has taken place in the political arena over the Rafale jet fighter has managed to obscure several important factors why the Indian Air Force (IAF) selected the French jet. Big-ticket defence deals are rarely based on technical merit alone. It would be naive to think the French-built jet was picked because it met all of the IAF's demands. But it came pretty close. The highly professional IAF (which operates over 700 aircraft and is the fourth largest air force after the air forces of the US, Russia and China) had listed 600 parameters during the selection process, with 590 being the pass mark; anything less than that and the Rafale would have been shot down. Geopolitical and strategic reasons certainly played a role in awarding the contract to the French. But that's exactly how it should be in multi-billion dollar defence contracts. India will - and must - extract its pound of flesh in terms of French support for New Delhi's positions in diplomacy, trade and technology transfers. One significant spinoff from the deal is that substantial French military sales to Pakistan can be ruled out for years, if not decades.

Dissecting the MMRCA deal

Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, wrote that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Let's look into why the Rafale was selected and eliminate the impossible in order to get to the bottom of the story. In the MMRCA competition announced by the IAF in 2007, the Rafale was joined by the Eurofighter Typhoon (built by a British, German and Spanish consortium), Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon (the US), Mikoyan MiG-35 (Russia) and Saab JAS 39 Gripen (Sweden). On April 27, 2011, after an intensive and detailed technical evaluation by the IAF, it reduced the bidders to two fighters-Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale. On January 31, 2012, it was announced that the Rafale had won the competition due to its lower life-cycle cost. Now let's look at how the other aircraft were eliminated, and also the reaction of the losing countries.

Typhoon: Flying on Bribes

The Typhoon made it to the final round of two but one of the reasons it got shot down was British corruption. There were two indications that the Typhoon was flying on bribes. One, the jet was embroiled in scandals in every market it had entered - Saudi Arabia, Czech Republic, South Africa, Romania and Tanzania. For instance, it was alleged the Brits had a multi-million-pound "slush fund" that was set up to funnel bribes to members of the Saudi royal family and government officials. Secondly, Britain's Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell left no room for ambiguity that the GBP 280 million in annual aid the British were routing to India, and which the Indian government had been trying to end, was to be diverted from development to what seemed like lobbying. In December 2011, he admitted the aid was "also about seeking to sell Typhoon jets". And indeed it soon became clear the British hadn't got rid of their colonial hangover. British MPs were reportedly "hysterical" after India's decision to award the contract to France. While the Labour Party's Barry Gardiner - ironically, a self-styled friend of India - called for "downgrading" of India-UK trade relations, other parliamentary fat cats spoke about India's "ingratitude" and demanded that it rethink the decision. India's decision to scratch the Typhoon was vindicated in 2015. During the 10-day Indradhanush air combat exercise held in Lincolnshire, UK, IAF pilots flying the Su-30 humiliated the top aces of the RAF, blanking the Eurofighter Typhoon jets 12-0. The IAF Sukhois were reportedly able to defeat the Typhoons not only in one-on-one combat but also in situations where one IAF pilot was pitted against two Typhoons. Besides clobbering the British during within visual range dogfights, the Sukhois also held an edge over the British jets in beyond visual range combat.

MiG-35: Corruption Capers

The MiG-35 was rejected for three reasons. Firstly, it wasn't a brand new platform but an upgraded MiG-29 Fulcrum of which India has several squadrons. The Fulcrum had performed brilliantly in the Kargil War when it scared off the Pakistan Air Force and prevented their F-16s from coming within 30 km of the Line of Control in Kashmir. The MiG-29's air dominance allowed other Indian fighter jets to operate freely and pound enemy positions with impunity, leading to Pakistan's quick capitulation. The MiG-35 was basically a MiG-29 on steroids and never really excited the IAF. Plus, with 70 per cent of its fighter planes being of Russian origin, the IAF was keen on a Western fighter in order to achieve a more diversified fleet. Secondly, the Indian Navy's MiG-29Ks suffered from serious maintenance problems. In a 2016 report, the Comptroller & Auditor General slammed the aircraft's abysmal serviceability which ranged from 15.93 per cent to 37.63 per cent. The auditors also highlighted defects in the engines, airframes and fly-by-wire systems. The third reason was the MiG aircraft bureau's involvement in one of the most notorious cases of military corruption in Russian history. It came to light in 2007 when Algeria cancelled a $1.3 billion purchase of 28 MiG-29 fighters and returned the ones already delivered, insisting some of the aircraft were assembled from used parts. According to the US military website Strategy Page, the publicity this scandal received caused the Russian government to look more intently into the counterfeit or defective aircraft parts situation. "Russian aviation officials were alarmed when, upon inspecting 60,000 aircraft parts, they found that nearly a third of them were counterfeits." Since the IAF had been reeling from a parts shortage because of supply issues faced by the MiG bureau, it surprised nobody when the MiG-35 became the first aircraft to get the boot in the MMRCA competition. Clearly, the IAF commanders had made a sound decision.

F-16: Seventies' Technology

The F-16 Falcon is a compact tearaway that is flown by nearly all NATO air forces and US client states around the world. It has a good combat record, albeit against small countries such as Iraq, Libya and Syria. Plus, it is a low maintenance aircraft which appeals to countries with small defence budgets. More than 1,700 of these aircraft have been built and the production line continues to produce odd batches for countries that cannot afford modern jets. In the hands of IAF highly trained and motivated pilots, the Falcon would be a war winner. Plus, it would make American lawmakers extremely favourably disposed towards India because the F-16 is a classic example of US military pork - it is made from parts that are sourced from as many as 49 of the 50 Americans states. Thousands of Americans jobs would have been guaranteed for a couple of decades had India gone for all planned 126 buys. However, the F-16 was developed in the seventies and does not really meet the IAF's quest for the latest aerospace technology. Also, the Pakistan Air Force has been flying the same aircraft since the 1980s so it wouldn't be a surprise weapon in a future India-Pakistan conflict. The Americans didn't take too kindly to the F-16's ouster from the MMRCA competition. According to media reports, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered the CIA to hunt for alleged mass graves in Punjab in a bid to revive Khalistani terrorism. The agency's local agents conducted a few digs but drew a blank.

Gripen: Sweden Can't Swing It

One of the little-known facts about the Gripen is that it was the IAF's first choice when it was looking for an advanced jet fighter in the late 1970s. However, the US - which was then a cold war adversary - blocked the sale of the Swedish fighter to India because it was powered by an American General Electric engine. India went on to buy the British-French Jaguar. During the MMRCA competition, the Gripen was always the outlier. It was an 'honest', reliable and low-cost fighter but the fact that it continued to have an American power plant made it a hot potato. This is because in the event of war if the US slaps sanctions, Sweden would have to play along, leaving the IAF scrambling for parts. On the positive side, Swedes were willing to produce the fighter entirely in India which would have created much-needed aerospace technical skills locally. But on the flip side, Sweden's lightweight status means India will never derive much geopolitical mileage from the Gripen.

Competition Summary

A deal for 126 advanced jet fighters was unprecedented in modern military history. The country that would bag the contract would walk away with multiple benefits. One, its production lines would keep humming for the next 20 years from the Indian order alone. Two, a large order from India would translate into more orders. This is because the IAF has a reputation as a highly professional service and therefore its decisions often become the benchmark for smaller air forces. For instance, until India inked the Rafale deal in 2012, the French didn't have a single order; not even the French air force was able to order because of the lack of economies of scale. The picture changed dramatically after the IAF gave it the go-ahead. Orders started trickling in from Qatar, Egypt and France. Potential customers include Canada, Finland, Malaysia and the UAE. You get the picture - when the IAF makes a purchase decision, it sends out a signal that the aircraft is competent. And that is precisely what has happened to the Rafale.

Rafale: Right Stuff

There are all kinds of pro and anti-Rafale campaigns going on in the media. The thing to note is that those who are in favour of the aircraft are mostly military experts and retired air force commanders who stand to gain nothing from the contract. On the other hand, the parties who are trumpeting all sorts of allegations (including that the government forced Dassault to pick Reliance as a partner) are people who have zero knowledge of military matters. Here are some of these 'expert' opinions and why they ring hollow:

1) Buy more of the tried and tested Sukhois instead of the Rafale

Strictly using an apples-to-apples comparison, the IAF can buy four Su-30s for the price of a single Rafale, which costs approximately Rs 1600 crore per plane. But such a comparison is meaningless. Each of these three aircraft is meant to perform different roles. For instance, the Sukhoi is India's meanest fighter and the IAF describes it as its "air dominance" aircraft. Its primary strength is in destroying strategic targets and establishing air dominance for other IAF aircraft to operate with impunity. As mentioned earlier, a good example of such a role played by an IAF aircraft was during the 1999 Kargil War when MiG-29s flying over Jammu & Kashmir prevented Pakistan's American-built F-16s from coming to the aid of the Pakistan Army. This is the role the Sukhoi is meant to play in any future conflict. Currently being armed with the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile, the aircraft can also establish supremacy over the oceans to prevent a re-enactment of the 1971 War when the US dispatched its Seventh Fleet up the Bay of Bengal in a show of support for Pakistan. While the IAF has used the Sukhois as a fallback option in times of dwindling squadrons, it can only be a short-term fix, not a permanent solution.

Just like a tradesman needs a number of specialised tools to be able to undertake and complete a variety of tasks, the air force needs specialised aircraft - light, medium and heavy, with different operating envelopes - to meet a variety of threats. For instance, the MiG-21 is a light interceptor and fighter escort, plus it provides combat air patrol. The Sukhoi being an air superiority fighter can perform these roles. But let's say the IAF wants to vector a couple of aircraft to intercept a Pakistani JF-17 intruder. The IAF's fighter of choice against this Chinese knockoff is likely to be the MiG-21 or Mirage-2000 rather than the Sukhoi. While the Sukhoi can do the job, it would be inefficient to use a strategic aircraft in a low-intensity mission. Also, sending an aircraft that weighs over 18,000 kg (unloaded) against the comparatively tiny JF-17 (6400 kg) would be an exercise in overkill. Or take the MiG-27 which was developed to support rapidly moving infantry and armoured columns. For instance, the aircraft is most likely to be deployed to take out a column of advancing Pakistani tanks. But what's bread and butter for the MiG-27 could prove suicidal for the Sukhoi because the much heavier Flanker isn't meant to be used in a battlefield support role. Risking a $75 million aircraft against a Pakistani Al Khalid tank that costs $5 million makes no military sense. Smaller jets or attack helicopters are better suited in this role.

2) Okay, then let's go for the indigenous Tejas

The IAF can indeed acquire huge quantities of the cheap as chips indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft; for the price of a Rafale, you can buy six Tejas fighters. But do you really want to? The Tejas is a modern jet but it's not in the same class as the Rafale. Firstly, it is a light combat aircraft whereas the IAF is seeking to fill its medium segment which is being depleted as the last squadrons of the MiG-21s and MiG-27s are slated for retirement. Also, let's not forget that another medium category aircraft, the MiG-23, has been retired without replacement. Secondly, in terms of technology, the Tejas is light years behind the Rafale. What the IAF is getting from France is a brand new weapons ecosystem that will enable the service to make a technological leap in terms of aircraft, missiles and radar. The Tejas is a promising fighter but it'll take several years and a couple of more iterations before the fighter can be tasked to lead combat missions. This is called incremental improvement and it is normal for weapons to go through demanding production cycles before final acceptance by the military. Making our pilots fly unproven aircraft is sending them on a suicide mission. The best case scenario is the IAF builds a couple hundred Tejas fighters - waves of these small and agile fighters can be used to launch saturation raids into Pakistani territory after the Sukhois and Mirages have established air dominance. But currently Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is able to build only 8-12 Tejas jets per year and it'll be a long time before that scenario can be played out.

3) Why not allow HAL to build the Rafale in India?

Former HAL chief T. Suvarna Raju claims the state-run aircraft maker could have built Rafale fighters in India had the government managed to close the original negotiations with Dassault. First of all, let's not attribute to malice what can be explained as stupidity. The idea of HAL building Rafales in India is a joke. With HAL hard pressed to build more than 12 units of the Tejas fighter (which took it 30 years of work), how will it undertake the production of a foreign fighter? The reality is that HAL is no position to absorb Rafale's technology without years of handholding by Dassault. The French had made it known that they would not undertake any guarantees for HAL made aircraft and it is understandable given HAL's history of failures. To be fair, HAL's problems are clearly owing to sabotage by India's military procurement lobby which has a vested interest in seeing indigenous defence manufacturing fail. In areas where there has been no political interference, HAL has produced usable weapons.

But the Rafale is beyond its capabilities, especially in the backdrop of the IAF's fighter crunch. The IAF doesn't need modern attack jets in five years; it needs them today. Take the Sukhoi Su-30 which HAL is licence producing in India. It's commendable they are manufacturing the aircraft locally but there is a cost difference. The price of a Russian made Sukhoi is Rs 270 crore but the cost escalates to Rs 350 crore when it is made by HAL. This is when HAL has more than 40 years of experience in licence manufacturing Russian aircraft. One can only imagine the cost overruns if the state-owned company had attempted to build the Rafale.

4) What about Hollande and French media claims?

After former French president Francois Hollande claimed that the Indian government had proposed Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence as the Indian partner in the Rafale deal and not given them a choice, the French government clarified that they were not involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners. Paris made it clear its role was just to ensure the delivery and quality of the aircraft. "The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies," the French government said in a statement. The French defence ministry added that "neither GoI (the Government of India) nor the French Government had any say in the commercial decision" to include Reliance. It is clear that Hollande was taking an opportunistic pot shot at his rivals; he has since backtracked. The Rafale offset contract includes 70 companies and Reliance Defence is just one of them. This is a singular fact that the Indian opposition parties have managed to cloud by repeated lies.

5) Still, how can you include Reliance which has "zero" experience?

There are several things wrong with this argument. Yes, experience is important. When it comes to running a company or country, flying an aircraft with passengers on board, experience is critical. But if experience was everything, they'd never send a man to the moon. Take Mahindra Aerospace, which was a new entrant in the crowded and cutthroat defence industry. In 2011 the company acquired Australian light aircraft manufacturer Gippsland Aeronautics for $20 million. It took just two years for Mahindra to leverage the technologies absorbed from the Gippsland deal and create something big. In 2013, the company inaugurated a 25,000 square metre Bangalore facility, equipped with a suite of sheet-metal, surface-treatment and assembly capabilities to meet the requirements of the global aerospace industry. Today, Mahindra assembles 8 and 10-seater aircraft in Australia, with most of the parts manufactured in India. Now imagine if someone had launched a campaign against Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra, asking him why he was getting into an area with no experience when Mahindra should stick with the car and farm vehicles manufacturing. Just so you know, Reliance Defence is currently building assemblies for Dassault business jets.

In response to Congress President Rahul's allegation, Anil Ambani said: "Not only do we have the necessary experience but we are also the leaders in several important areas of defence manufacture." Reliance Defence is, in fact, the company's former name; the old company was formed after Anil Ambani's takeover of Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company Limited. The company is now Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited (RNAVAL), which according to its website has the "largest engineering infrastructure in India and is one of the largest in the world". RNAVAL is the first private sector company in India to obtain the licence and contract to build warships. After the pioneering steps by Godrej (a leading BrahMos contractor) and Tata (which makes helicopter fuselages and other major parts for Sikorsky), an increasing number of private Indian companies are rushing into defence manufacturing. Mahindra and Reliance are integral elements of Make in India, and many are simply unaware that a large and sophisticated weapons ecosystem is forming in India, with the private sector taking the lead.

Bottom Line

Let's not forget that it was the previous government which shortlisted and picked the Rafale - and then did nothing. Had the MMRCA contract been signed in 2012, India would have acquired 126 Rafales for approximately $10 billion, with around 108 of these aircraft made in India. In this backdrop, Modi made the best of a bad situation. With the rapidly shrinking IAF having declared on a number of occasions that it wouldn't be able to fight a two-front war without the Rafales, the current government had no choice but to thrash out the 36-aircraft deal.


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