Cain Marko wrote:
Yes sir, I get your point and everyone else's. My wonlee point is that can India afford to buy 114 units
of the bird that IAF would like to get (Rafale)?
If Yes? Then Lungi Dance
ElseIf No? Then get reduced amount of desired birds
Else Get MiG 35
There. I have tried to make it as IT savvy for BRFites as possible. Simple wonlee. Perhaps I should do a flowchart for this
The bolded part lies the problem. Let us not get fixated on that number. 114 is not coming, of any type. There is no money for this, as per the CDS. Even the MiG-35 (at 114 airframes) will cost around $10 - $15 billion. Investing that much money up front, will cause other equally pressing programs/projects to suffer (Project 75I is one).
So what do you do? You go in for a staggered procurement delivery schedule. Purchase, in principle, lets say 60 airframes at a fixed price contract. But you do not pay for 60 airframes up front. Neither do you pay for setting up a factory in India which will only increase the cost. Barring Sukhoi and MiG, none of the OEMs will agree to establish a factory for 60 aircraft anyway. Transitioning the Su-30MKI line to a Su-35 or MiG-35 line is not challenging for HAL to do. The HAL line will likely be converted to a Super Sukhoi line for a MLU for the Rambha.
Of these 60 airframes, the IAF perhaps acquires around 10 - 12 airframes per year. So the IAF only pays for only that amount of airframes each year. Way cheaper on the CAPEX than paying for 114 up front plus a dedicated factory. Over the course of 4 - 5 years, the IAF acquires 60 new MRCA in a staggered delivery schedule.
Among the OEMs, who stands to gain from a staggered procurement delivery schedule? Dassault. And that is what the other OEMs are now saying, that Dassault has an unfair advantage in the contest. And HAL is in talks with Dassault again. Ignore the title of the news piece below, DDM onlee.Hindustan Aeronautics Limited back on Rafale Radar, talks on for making jets in Indiahttps://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ne ... aign=cppst
But the key takeway is this, that HAL will manufacture some basic components of the Rafale in a follow on contract. And then there is this....Dassault in talks to buy out Reliance stake in DRALhttp://www.sps-aviation.com/news/?id=86 ... ke-in-DRAL
If the above occurs and it appears likely that it will, then it will be a joint venture between DRAL and HAL to manufacture some parts of the Rafale. Or perhaps the Rafale will come in SKD / CKD kits and India will assemble them at either the DRAL or HAL facility. I am going to go with the former, as Dassault can have full control over the assembly. HAL will probably ship parts from its facility.
But the key takeaway is that, even under a staggered procurement delivery schedule, 114 birds will not come. It does not make sense anymore. Even the 36 additional Rafales that the CDS is talking about, is just an estimated number that he threw out to the media. What the actual double digit number will be, is anyone's guess. Lot of negotiations are going on quietly behind curtains. Could be as low as 36 or as high as 72.
My only wish is that, if additional Rafales do come, that India negotiates for a MRO (Manufacture/Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) facility for the M88 turbofan in India. Have Safran deliver the hot section of the engine from France, but assemble the engine in India for the follow on batch of Rafales. And the same facility should be used for the maintenance and repair of the engine. That would be nice.
Therefore, from the limited resources available to the IAF for a purchase of phoren MRCA, it makes sense to go in for the most technologically advanced 4th generation aircraft available. And the MiG-35 or the Su-35 do not fit that bill. 36 Rafales are already purchased. What is the point in yet another bird of the same generation? And other than cost, what advantage does a MiG-35 offer over the Rafale F3R?