Austin wrote:They cannot afford more Rafale because if they did they would have gone for 36+36 or 36+54 with the original deal with outright purchase done.
Parrikar has clearly said that Rafale is a very costly aircraft and IAF does not need more than 36 and the original 126 AC deal would cost MOD 22 Billion USD in 2014 cost to be paid over 12 years something they cannot afford.
So some how we insisting that we should go for more 36 or 50 or 80 more has no basis whatsoever ...... If they could afford those they would have gone with those numbers with the original deal and would have got a much better cost than just buying 36 because of economics of scale of buying larger numbers.
Again incorrect. There was an urgent need to shore up the squadron numbers and the 126 MMRCA deal was going nowhere. Therefore the Govt ordered two squadrons worth of the Rafale. The same was done in the 80s, when the PAF acquired 40 F-16A/B. The IAF response was to the PAF acquisition of the F-16 was --->
1) Two squadrons of the MiG-23MF, the Indian Air Force's first BVR fighter. Armed with R-23, R-27 and R-40 BVR missiles. Later on, the R-73 close combat missile was also fitted I believe. However compared to the agile F-16, the MiG-23MF was a disappointment.
2) Next came two squadrons of the Mirage 2000 in 1985 - No 1 Tigers and No 7 Battle Axes. A much more potent platform and a worthy adversary to the F-16. Armed with the Super 530D and the Matra Magic II.
3) With local production of the Mirage 2000 fizzling out, then came the MiG-29. Initially two squadrons (No 28 First Supersonics and No 47 Black Archers) were ordered and a third one (No 223 Tridents) came later on.
The key point to note is that two squadrons are always the first batch. They are considered immediate. Additional aircraft are acquired depending upon need. Now please do not argue that since we bought three different type of aircraft to counter the F-16, thus the IAF will do the same with the next purchase. Those three different types were all for different reasons, as indicated above. Again, I emphasize the point to note is that two squadrons is the standard based on urgency.
Parrikar is gone. We now have another Defence Minister. Her name is Nirmala Sitharaman. You keep talking about Parrikar, as if his words are Gospel Truth. Defence Ministers come and go, Prime Ministers come and go and even IAF officers come and go! But if the IAF sees the value in additional Rafales, then additional Rafales is what they will get.
You keep talking about the cost of the original 126 deal and then argue for 110 MiG-35s, Gripen Es or F-16/F-21s. What do you think that deal is going to cost? This is not like buying bhel puri
off a roadside vendor. The new MMRCA deal for 110 fighters will cost nothing short of $20 billion by the time you factor in all the bells & whistles listed in the RFI.
That economies of scale
theory of yours is laughable. It does not work that way.
Austin wrote:Can you imagine how much Rafale would cost in 2020 compared to 2014 with Military inflation running twice that of civilian one and there was no clause in Original Rafale Deal that a follow up x numbers will be bought in some specified time frame to tie up the cost.
The idea of 110 fighter is to look at cheaper alternative that can be bought can be built in numbers to replace depleting squadron plus as a hedge against Tejas if the numbers do not bump up in the way IAF wants it.
The 110 fighter will be the low cost fighter option both in terms of LCC and LIC/TOT etc and even though you may agree or not , I dont see any thing other than F-16 , Gripen and Mig-35 making that cut.
One can calculate - fairly accurately - how much 2 additional squadrons of the Rafale will be.
Please see picture below and then read further on.
I am going to go with an additional 36 Rafales, based on the table above.
* 36 Rafales x $105 million (unit cost) = $3.8 Billion
* Air-to-Air/Ground Weaponry = $1.2 Billion
* India Specific Enhancements = $2 Billion
The above comes to $7 Billion as $2 Billion will be saved in base infrastructure. I have mentioned this a number of times before - Ambala and Hasimara are being built up to house two squadrons *EACH*
of the Rafale. Now even if you factor in inflation, it still will not be anywhere close to the $20 billion that 110 MiG-35s, Gripen Es or F-16/F-21s (your selection) will cost. Three additional Rafale squadrons would be ideal or 54 aircraft, so a total of 90 aircraft.
The remaining numbers could be made up via the following and will be ready well before all 110 MiG-35s, Gripen Es or F-16/F-21s are inducted;
* 18 Su-30MKI kits in negotiations with Russia
* 21 MiG-29 air frames in negotiations with Russia
* Additional Tejas Mk1 units, 2 - 3 more squadrons
* Complete the Darin III upgrade program for the Jaguar
* Another 20 Tejas Mk1A aircraft, therefore 1 additional squadron
* Additional Mirage 2000-9s (if available) to shore up No 9 Wolfpacks
Do all of the above and it will still work out cheaper than 110 MiG-35s, Gripen Es or F-16/F-21s. And it will also work out much quicker than completing the order for 110 MiG-35s, Gripen Es or F-16/F-21s.
The Tejas production is progressing fairly well. There is no bump, as you are insinuating. That is your imagination running wild. Just as you believe that the 110 fighters will be a low cost option. None of the OEMs - Rafale included - are low cost options.
The only cost effective option is the Tejas in different variants - Mk1, Mk1A and the Mk2. The Tejas will be India's mass produced fighter in triple digits. Cancel that RFI and invest in the above.