krishna_krishna wrote:There was also clause in the acquisition of Gorky that no non Russian A/c would operate out of it.
Ok, that is news to me Krishna that the Russians only wanted the MiG-29K to operate off the Vikramaditya. Not surprising, but still.
If Vikramaditya will only operate the MiG-29K, then the new Vikrant can also only do the same. Only the F-18 can operate from the Vikrant's lifts, as per Boeing. Why they designed lifts at only that size, boggles the mind. But that is what it is. So we have to live with that. In that case, the Russians will whine and complain if we station the SHornet aboard the Vikrant, if she is to be deployed with the MiG-29K. So it appears that the Vikrant may fly only the MiG-29K as well.
Before we jump on the bandwagon that the Vikrant is an Indian vessel and thus the IN can do whatever it wants with her own vessel, please remember the MiG-29K is not. The Russians will turn off the spares & maintenance
tap of the MiG-29K and we will be left with white elephants. Come to think, she is already that right now
Tejas is out of the question anywhere in this puzzle, because the Navy has categorically said they do not want the aircraft deployed operationally aboard the vessel. They will continue to fund the development of the naval Tejas to validate concepts, but beyond that...nothing. So expect to see trials of the naval Tejas aboard the Vikrant.
If the above scenario pans out, then it is an open contest for both the F-18 and the Rafale to be stationed aboard the Vishaal (IAC-2).Advantages of the F-18
- Mature platform. No question about that.
- The AN/APG-79 AESA radar is par excellenceDisadvantages of the F-18
- American bird and thus comes with all the mental headaches. Like marriage onlee --> emotional drama, inspections, suspicions, having the freedom to whatever (but within the boundaries of what the wife tells you), etc.
- Desi Jugaad with the F-18 Super Hornet is out of bounds. Good luck with that!Advantages of the Rafale
- Commanality with the IAF - a huge plus point.
- Dassault Reliance Aviation Ltd (DRAL) to MROU Rafales of IAF and "potentially" IN birds is an equally similar plus point.
- Commanality on weapons, training and spares will be hard to look over.Disadvantages of the F-18
- Cost. Will be more expensive than the F-18.
Dassault's win on 31 January 2012 (date of MMRCA selection) and eventual contract signing (even at a paltry 36 aircraft) on 23 September 2016....was a big win for France. The naval contest is for Dassault to lose.