ldev wrote:It is a question of the price value equation that is adequate to be superior to the PLAAF and PAF as of now. It is not about absolute superiority. Any 4th gen aircraft Rafale included is a stop gap until the IAF gets a true 5th gen stealthy fighter if HAL can deliver the AMCA or some other 5th Gen. It is also a question of delivery when needed. Wars do not wait for the IAF to be ready for them or for Dassault to deliver Rafale to the IAF. As they say perfection is the enemy of the good. Yes, the Rafale is the perfect fighter the IAF always wanted. But today we have war clouds on both horizons. Where is the Rafale?
Assuming the GOI signed a deal with LM, instead of Dassault, for 36 F-16IN (the version that was offered in MMRCA 1.0) how many of them would have joined the IAF now? Senior LM executives have all said that the first batch of aircraft will be delivered three years after the contract is signed. That is no different from what Dassault did. Contract was signed in Sept 2016 and the first batch was handed over to the IAF in Oct 2019. And again as per contract, the first batch was due to arrive in May of 2020. That was been delayed by two months and delivery is now set for July 2020.
And yes...wars do not wait for the IAF to be ready for them or for LM to deliver F-16 to the IAF