MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 26 Feb 2020 22:19

Cain Marko wrote:Let me repeat one more time:

IF the 114 number that the IAF is looking for is critical and holds, there is little choice in the mrca race other than the mig 35.

Rest assured ideas such as buying limited number of rafale with more Tejas are simply preaching to the choir.

I've advocated for the same many times.

I highly doubt the IAF wants to anything to do with the MiG-35. The Su-30MKI is there in ample quantity (nearly 275 examples). That is the Russian component and with the Super Sukhoi upgrade, she will be a lethal platform. The IAF now wants a Western bird/technology. The Rafale is the preferred choice, but cannot be acquired in 114 quantity. So a staggered purchase will be sought. As per CDS, perhaps 36 more in a few years. Push come to shove, they will take F-21...but not the MiG-35 :)

At the end of the day, the same rule is true now as it was during the Single Engine Fighter contest. The customer is the Indian Air Force and not the Govt of India. You have to cater to the customer and MiG has nothing to offer. Sensor fusion, operational AESA, reliability and serviceability, etc ---> on virtually every parameter, the MiG-35 (and the Su-35) really comes up short to the rest of the contestants in the contest.

If the IAF is only looking to build up numbers, with marginal increase in capability, then the MiG-35 is great. I do not believe that is what the IAF is looking for in this contest. After reading the RFI for MMRCA 2.0, one can clearly see the inferences to the AMCA.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Indranil » 27 Feb 2020 00:46

It looks like this Contest is fizzling out to additional 36 Rafale orders. If Dassault plays hardball, it should convert to MWF orders (hopefully)!

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Kartik » 27 Feb 2020 01:07

Cain Marko wrote:Let me repeat one more time:

IF the 114 number that the IAF is looking for is critical and holds, there is little choice in the mrca race other than the mig 35.

Rest assured ideas such as buying limited number of rafale with more Tejas are simply preaching to the choir.

I've advocated for the same many times.


The F-21 and Gripen E will be far better choices, if the 114 number is to be kept as is. Along with the MiG-35, these 3 will be the most affordable in the contest.

F-21 and Gripen E both offer superior choices in terms of demonstrable capability and a roadmap with upgrades and good weapons coming up in the future. Gripen E's only drawback is that it is in the same class as the MWF, which is a reality now. If they could co-exist, without the Gripen E's assembly line taking over MWF orders, then a good choice. But that is unlikely to be the case, which makes me think the F-21 is the best choice, if it cannot be the Rafale.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Kartik » 27 Feb 2020 01:12

brar_w wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:What sub system on the 35 is buggy/untested? Other than the aesa of course. And that too we don't know where it currently stands. A non aesa variant of the bird is flying in one form or the other... From the mig29k to the mig29M in a variety of services. All other sensors and components seem to be doing just fine.


In 2011, the MiG-35 was positioned as a turn-key operation..an "almost ready" platform with high maturity to serve IAF's needs at par with something like what Boeing, Dassault, Lockheed, or Eurofigther were proposing. It was rejected. How many MiG-35's (like the one promised) are currently in service? If you can just provide that data it will put this entire argument to rest. How have the other platforms progressed since 2011? Are they being backed by their domestic or export customers? The MiG-35 appears to be stuck in time..it has barely moved since 2011 with the first Russian order for 8 (or six) placed in 2018, 7 years after it was offered to the IAF. Therewas an order in between but that customer switched it to MiG-29M. Nothing since then has been announced. Maybe Syria will order some..or maybe Serbia..but until then, Russia has to keep the lights on.


the IAF's attitude towards the MiG-35 (and the variants offered before that monicker was coined) has always been rather uninterested, cold and distant. there has been a turn towards a Western type and with the likelihood that MRCA may be the last imported fighter, it is very unlikely that the IAF will want a jet that is so immature and with such a unsecure future roadmap.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby vishvak » 27 Feb 2020 03:34

Could check out naval Rafael (advance version of available) and keep it for flat tops. Who knows what works in future.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Kartik » 27 Feb 2020 03:49

brar_w wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Point again is that this is exactly the argument that can be used to negotiate and bring the entire line to India with liberty to customize and support the product to India's standard. Migs poor market position is the leverage that can be used to get a good deal on terms of price and customization. Can't do that with the others.


No it isn't. It is a non-mature product that has little to no backing besides the piecemeal order placed by Russia to keep the lights on and to prevent the line from sun setting. Arguing that the IAF/MOD should bankroll yet another non performing Russian program in the hope that this will get some concessions the IAF's way and result in a net net better solution than others available out there is quite absurd IMHO. If this were the case, then the MOD wouldn't have walked away from the PAKFA - a program that is delayed, economically challenged, a program that had no other international customer, and one where the Russian side has significantly scaled back. By your logic the MOD would have been able to pocket a 5FGA program just like that. Instead, they thought rationally and scaled back and exited the program unitl such time the Russians side retires risk and demonstrates the platform as a viable in service platform with the desired maturity level. IAF rejected the MiG-35 back in 2011 and since then the program has barely moved the needle forward. Even the IN wants to explore western naval fighters despite being the only *real* MiG-29K carrier operator. The MOD/IAF can do without being a *foster parent* to the MiG-35 or any other fighter. It has the LCA, MWF and AMCA to support. The entire point of going out to get a fighter to fill the numerical gaps is to pick something that doesn't need a financial benefactor to exist let alone thrive and enhance capability over time.


+1. That's a good term- "foster parent". Since the RuAF itself has barely any interest in the type and we have some BRFites thinking that adopting the program will somehow end up helping us.

Sadly for the MiG Corp, Sukhoi's influence is far stronger and that shows in the number of their fighters and fighter bombers entering RuAF service in significant numbers from Su-30SM, Su-35E, Su-34 to Su-57 when compared to the piddly order for 24 MiG-29K and some dozen MiG-35s or so. The Egyptian MiG-29M2 order was big for MiG, but beyond that there is no other major customer on the horizon but India. They'll without doubt be more amenable to ANYTHING compared to the other contenders but it land up on the IAF and DRDO's head to make it mature. And with all the indigenous programs going on, the last thing we need to foster and develop is the MRCA.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Manish_P » 27 Feb 2020 08:19

Rakesh ji,

Could you please highlight only the main differences between the RFI of MRCA 1.0 and MRCA 2.0.

Any significant changes might justify another exhaustive evaluation exercise but if there are no significant changes then it will again conclude to the Rafale right?

EDIT - I found discussion of the RFI on Trishul Trident blog (Prasun Sengupta). Not sure if it a good idea to bring that article on this forum.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby arvin » 27 Feb 2020 11:24

Indranil wrote:It looks like this Contest is fizzling out to additional 36 Rafale orders. If Dassault plays hardball, it should convert to MWF orders (hopefully)!

Its imortant that the contest is buried before 2024 by govt so that pappu and co have one avenue less to do what they do best in case they return to power.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby nachiket » 28 Feb 2020 03:16

Indranil wrote:It looks like this Contest is fizzling out to additional 36 Rafale orders. If Dassault plays hardball, it should convert to MWF orders (hopefully)!

Chaiwallah info or did I miss some news report?

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 28 Feb 2020 06:24

Manish_P wrote:Rakesh ji,

Please no ji :)

Manish_P wrote:Could you please highlight only the main differences between the RFI of MRCA 1.0 and MRCA 2.0.

Any significant changes might justify another exhaustive evaluation exercise but if there are no significant changes then it will again conclude to the Rafale right?

EDIT - I found discussion of the RFI on Trishul Trident blog (Prasun Sengupta). Not sure if it a good idea to bring that article on this forum.

I do not have the RFP of MRCA 1.0 to highlight any significant differences with MRCA 2.0

I know as much as you do with regards to MRCA 1.0 ---> 18 to be bought in fly away condition and 108 to be made by HAL. There was ToT involved. But you and I both know what that means i.e. screwdrivergiri.

Secondly, only a RFI has been issued in MRCA 2.0 and the RFP (yet-to-be-issued) is the real deal. However, I do not forsee the RFP changing that dramatically from the RFI.

But be forewarned, this is just a RFI and the buyer can write whatever they fancy in there. The RFP will be the more authoritative document and the real deal. From the RFP will follow the technical trials. Once that is concluded, the costs (unit cost, life cycle cost, etc) are calculated and a winner is chosen. I have simplified the process to a large extent and gurus will be able to highlight more. However with the budgetary shortfalls, I doubt a RFP will ever be issued.

But regardless, below is the link to what the RFI and it should be much more detailed than what was in MRCA 1.0

Look under the LIST OF KEY TECHNOLOGIES subheading (Page 60) and it is for precisely the info sought below, that the MiG-35 offers little to the Indian Air Force. And link below is from the official Indian Air Force website, which is the same place where Prasun Sengupta got it from.

https://indianairforce.nic.in/sites/def ... rcraft.pdf

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Manish_P » 28 Feb 2020 09:36

Rakesh ji - Thanks. I have the RFI for the MRCA 2.0 (same link as shared by you)

I had put it up in an excel sheet - wishing to put it up side-to-side with the RFI of the MRCA 1.0, to see if/what are the changes (ignoring the non-technical stuff) in the functional specs.

And then see if there can be any change from the down-select of the first MRCA

If there are no significant technical changes, then there is no need for extensive trials right?

Anyway I tried but (as of now) have not found the RFI for the MRCA 1.0.

Only thing i have found is some discussion/analysis by P sengupta on some points of the RFI of the MRCA 2.0 and which of the contenders are the most suitable (and who do not meet the requirements) for that specific point.

This forum might have such a discussion (but spread over many pages, some in the previous iteration of this thread) but it will be a bit tedious to collate, hence i thought of asking you.

It's 'ji' for seniors in knowledge and 'Sir' for serving/retired Mil folk. After a decade+ on this forum, it's become ingrained, almost automatic. Can't change. Don't want to either. Request your understanding

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Cain Marko » 28 Feb 2020 09:42

Rakesh wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Let me repeat one more time:

IF the 114 number that the IAF is looking for is critical and holds, there is little choice in the mrca race other than the mig 35.

Rest assured ideas such as buying limited number of rafale with more Tejas are simply preaching to the choir.

I've advocated for the same many times.

I highly doubt the IAF wants to anything to do with the MiG-35. The Su-30MKI is there in ample quantity (nearly 275 examples). That is the Russian component and with the Super Sukhoi upgrade, she will be a lethal platform. The IAF now wants a Western bird/technology. The Rafale is the preferred choice, but cannot be acquired in 114 quantity. So a staggered purchase will be sought. As per CDS, perhaps 36 more in a few years. Push come to shove, they will take F-21...but not the MiG-35 :)

At the end of the day, the same rule is true now as it was during the Single Engine Fighter contest. The customer is the Indian Air Force and not the Govt of India. You have to cater to the customer and MiG has nothing to offer. Sensor fusion, operational AESA, reliability and serviceability, etc ---> on virtually every parameter, the MiG-35 (and the Su-35) really comes up short to the rest of the contestants in the contest.

If the IAF is only looking to build up numbers, with marginal increase in capability, then the MiG-35 is great. I do not believe that is what the IAF is looking for in this contest. After reading the RFI for MMRCA 2.0, one can clearly see the inferences to the AMCA.


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 :)

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Manish_P » 28 Feb 2020 10:09

Actually it is not that simple Saar.

The IAF not just wants 114 units of a bird. It want's that many units with certain minimum specific levels of capabilities, specific levels of availability/uptime, specific levels of support/upgrade paths. If you go through the details of the RFI you will see many those things clearly mentioned.

These capabilities are clearly important to the IAF and not merely seat/hangar filler numbers.

Now if those specific capability levels are not attained (by the 'cheaper' contenders), the IAF might well want to change the numbers (probably upwards revision, maybe staggered purchase) in which case the CAPEX will go upwards nearer the levels of the costlier ones, and the comparative OPEX might well surpass it.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Cain Marko » 28 Feb 2020 12:59

Manish_P wrote:Actually it is not that simple Saar.
If you go through the details of the RFI you will see many those things clearly mentioned.

These capabilities are clearly important to the IAF and not merely seat/hangar filler numbers.

Now if those specific capability levels are not attained, the IAF might well want to change the numbers (probably upwards revision, maybe staggered purchase) in which case the CAPEX will go upwards nearer the levels of the costlier ones, and the comparative OPEX might well surpass it.


Actually it is quite simple. There is only enough money to either get a less developed product from Russia in the numbers advertised OR get a more developed product from elsewhere in lesser numbers. Period. Staggering and all that simply means that you can have follow on orders if such a clause is built in - nothing new here, it has just been done with the Rafale. Bottomline does remain that only 36 of the advertised number (126) were purchased. And I don't see how MRCA 2.0 will be different in this regard.

Now coming to the MiG-35
So what capabilities in the tables (pp.60 onwards) are not available via russia? The most exotic stuff is on pg 70 - internal weapons bays etc. They've worked on those since the berkut and definitely have more experience here than the Euros. In fact the technologies sought makes the 35 even more of a choice given that Russia is likely the one to share tech to a greater and deeper degree than anyone else, and at a price that is more attractive.

Ya, it'll be like pulling teeth as usual but one doubts such tech/IPR sharing is going to be possible with the other OEMs.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Manish_P » 28 Feb 2020 13:33

Cain Marko wrote:Actually it is quite simple. There is only enough money to either get a less developed product from Russia in the numbers advertised OR get a more developed product from elsewhere in lesser numbers. Period...


Concur with this if-else loop

Cain Marko wrote:Now coming to the MiG-35
So what capabilities in the tables (pp.60 onwards) are not available via russia?


That's the fundamental question to which we I am seeking more info

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby srin » 28 Feb 2020 13:58

On MMRCA, I think there is a difference between the govt objectives and IAF objectives. I'm using the term "Govt" in a pretty nebulous way here.

IMO, the Govt doesn't have money to buy 100+ aircraft in an open contest where Rafale may again be the winner. I don't think it intends to anyway. It had to start this MMRCA 2.0 daga to weather the political storm created by cancelling of MMRCA 1.0 and Rafale getting order for 36 ready aircraft and HAL not getting assembly work.
I suspect that the MMRCA 2.0 file will meander through the MoD with nothing happening for many years till one of the following happen: IAF decides to get only 5th gen aircraft, or Tejas Mk2, AMCA and/or ORCA are showing promise, or vendors start dropping out one by one due to fatigue.
I don't know the terms of agreement for Rafale purchase, but if there is an option clause, we may exercise them to get 36 more to arrest falling squadron numbers while keeping the MMRCA 2.0 on slow and futile boil.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Cain Marko » 28 Feb 2020 14:40

Manish_P wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Now coming to the MiG-35
So what capabilities in the tables (pp.60 onwards) are not available via russia?


That's the fundamental question to which we I am seeking more info

in one word, I'd say its the lack of an AESA that is well integrted with the other sensors - sensor fusion. But this is not a deal breaker. Note that the Rafale got an AESA only in 2016. Only the US has a clear lead in this regard. And it is not as though teh Russkis won't be amenable to customizing with another FCR - if that is truly what the customer wants. Yes, integration costs will be incurred but then again, India has the experience and the possibility of using Israeli, Indian an Russian weapons gives it a great variety as well.

Other tech, the Russians are not so far behind - the 35 is much more modular than any russian bird as I understand it and is pushing its ability to be serviced painlessly. The airframe has come a long way with up to 30% composites and a 6000 hour life and engine changes can be done in < 1hour. Not to mention that they have now created an independent company with the express purpose of after sales support, which should help overcome problems typical to Russian hardware.
I'm not sure how much this translates to reality but recent news on both MKI and Baaz fleets are not bad at all. They were pushing for 80% availability. Even the K iirc. Add to this the fact that the IAF an HAL have oodles of experience in servicing and upgrading this bird and its engines, and such issues could be resolved.

The next issue is - how many will truly be in service worldwide? This is not as important as it is made out to be imvho. The 35 and its supply chain is still very, very closely integrated with existing 29s, which number in 100s. And then you have the K and M variants as well. Its not like the Gripen E is being purchased in the 1000s. Frankly, I'd expect more orders from African and possibly Asian countries for this bird, which is priced beautifully.

All in all - this certainly won't be on par with birds like the Rafale in terms of performance, but then you don't pay that much. And then again, its not a slouch either - A2A, its very capable and A2G, has a competitive 7ton payload with 2000km internal fuel range.

Ideal scenario is G2G with France for 36 follow on rafales and rest are all Tejas variants. If urgent numbers are still needed, get those SMTs and perhaps another MKI sqd or some M2ks. I'm simply not sure what they are trying to achieve with the MRCA 2.0 circus.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Manish_P » 28 Feb 2020 15:09

^ Thanks for some specific pointers.

To be frank, as a non-engineering newbie, i am still struggling to even understand seemingly open ended questions like:
page 23
What is the total cost for obsolescence management (if applicable) for the 15 years life of the aircraft? This cost should be indicated along with the overall ROM cost for procurement


questions which seem to have direct impact on the OPEX costs like:
page 24
Performance Based Logistics: (a)What is the ROM cost of PBL for an aircraft availability of 75% and an average flying effort of 150 hrs/aircraft/year for a period of ten years?(150 hr /aircraft/year is equivalent to 225 hr per Sqn/month, for a Sqn with 18 aircraft.) (b)What is the maximum duration which is possible to fly during one month over a rolling period of six months under this PBL or what is the maximum activity flying per month per Sqn which could be repeated during a maximum consecutive period of three months over a rolling period of six months? Specify any other condition/s.


page 60 (with more heavy duty emergent tech specific stuff) seems very very far away :oops:

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 28 Feb 2020 21:39

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 India
https://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 DRAL
http://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?

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Rakesh » 28 Feb 2020 22:14

Manish_P wrote:If there are no significant technical changes, then there is no need for extensive trials right?

They were not supposed to do extensive trials. But all the aircraft in the contest are not the same as in MRCA 1.0

* F-16IN is now F-21
* F-18 Block II is now F-18 Block III
* Gripen NG is now Gripen E
* Rafale F3 will likely be Rafale F4
* Su-35 was never there in MRCA 1.0, so will have to be tested

And so on. I do not know how they plan to fairly evaluate the aircraft in the absence of extensive trials. The IAF knows best I guess.

Manish_P wrote:Only thing i have found is some discussion/analysis by P sengupta on some points of the RFI of the MRCA 2.0 and which of the contenders are the most suitable (and who do not meet the requirements) for that specific point.

What did he say?

Manish_P wrote:It's 'ji' for seniors in knowledge and 'Sir' for serving/retired Mil folk. After a decade+ on this forum, it's become ingrained, almost automatic. Can't change. Don't want to either. Request your understanding

My claim to fame is reneging on mithai delivery and putting names of Bollywood actresses to fighter aircraft (F-18 is Rakhi Sawant, Rafale is Katrina, Su-30MKI is Rambha, etc). Just saying.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby nam » 28 Feb 2020 22:49

mahadevbhu wrote:I have Chinese friends - and used to have good strategic discussions with them - they were frankly horrified that India could get American arms and ammo. The JSF in particular.



The value of importing even a sqd of F35 and the sheer panic on Pak & Chini is priceless. Instead of wasting our time with another 36 Rafale, we should get 36 F35 as a silver bullet sqd. We have a wonderful opportunity, but then we are not known of being proactive.

S400 & F35 you say? Now that the turks have been bombed, soon we will have solution as Turks start receiving their F35.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby mahadevbhu » 28 Feb 2020 23:26

nam wrote:
mahadevbhu wrote:I have Chinese friends - and used to have good strategic discussions with them - they were frankly horrified that India could get American arms and ammo. The JSF in particular.



The value of importing even a sqd of F35 and the sheer panic on Pak & Chini is priceless. Instead of wasting our time with another 36 Rafale, we should get 36 F35 as a silver bullet sqd. We have a wonderful opportunity, but then we are not known of being proactive.

S400 & F35 you say? Now that the turks have been bombed, soon we will have solution as Turks start receiving their F35.


Absolutely right. It's America. Follow the money and India as the fifth largest economy has money. Get those silver bullets.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Vips » 29 Feb 2020 00:09

As of now the F35 is not on offer. If India continues holding out (not succumb to pressure) and does not consider F21, F18 and F15 then Uncle Sam will be forced to offer us the F35. USA just cannot afford to not have India as its customer for military ware. This is not so much for the $$$ it would earn but for ensuring the missed opportunity cost for the Russians.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Bart S » 29 Feb 2020 00:19

nam wrote:
mahadevbhu wrote:I have Chinese friends - and used to have good strategic discussions with them - they were frankly horrified that India could get American arms and ammo. The JSF in particular.



The value of importing even a sqd of F35 and the sheer panic on Pak & Chini is priceless. Instead of wasting our time with another 36 Rafale, we should get 36 F35 as a silver bullet sqd. We have a wonderful opportunity, but then we are not known of being proactive.

S400 & F35 you say? Now that the turks have been bombed, soon we will have solution as Turks start receiving their F35.


What does that panic get us other than them bolstering their defenses and trying to counter it? It might be worth it for Pakistan as they cannot afford an arms race but still pretty wasteful.

If we wanted to buy American, there are a lot of less glamorous but much more effective and less sanction prone technology on offer, from naval tech to ultra-cheap AR-15 based ecosystem, sniper rifles, high quality ammunition, thermal imagers and sights and smart munitions.

While our folks chase expensive pie in the sky kind of stuff, Pakis have focused on the basics like ammo and importing used howitzers from the US etc that have made a difference in actual combat. Same story with the WLRs a couple of decades back, and we had to play catch-up.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Manish_Sharma » 29 Feb 2020 01:29

mahadevbhu wrote:

I want India to be part of the biggest arms supply chain in the world, the US one.


That's pathetic aim to have....

Bharat has it's own radars, fighters, artillery, missiles, PGMs, attack helicopters,
Dhruv helicopters ..... we should stand on our own feet FULFILLING NOT ONLY OUR OWN NEEDS BUT EXPORTING COMPETING WITH YOU AMERICANS.... WHY DO WE NEED TO BE A PURCHASER OF YOUR AMERICAN ARMS?

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby nam » 29 Feb 2020 02:40

Bart S wrote:What does that panic get us other than them bolstering their defenses and trying to counter it? It might be worth it for Pakistan as they cannot afford an arms race but still pretty wasteful.

If we wanted to buy American, there are a lot of less glamorous but much more effective and less sanction prone technology on offer, from naval tech to ultra-cheap AR-15 based ecosystem, sniper rifles, high quality ammunition, thermal imagers and sights and smart munitions.

While our folks chase expensive pie in the sky kind of stuff, Pakis have focused on the basics like ammo and importing used howitzers from the US etc that have made a difference in actual combat. Same story with the WLRs a couple of decades back, and we had to play catch-up.


Practical advantage: A stealth fighter would allow us un-detected incursion in to Pak & Tibet. How about a F35 inside PoK monitoring or dropping ordinance on Pak artillery position during ceasefire violation?

The panic for Pak is there could be an undetected IAF fighter inside Pak at any time... may be over their crown jewels!

Just because the Chinese will figure out a counter, does not mean we don't use it. You wouldn't have SR71 is Americans were worried about counter.

Lets face it, Americans are the only ones who have operational 5G jets. So 36 is not a huge number to be effected by sanctions. I mean come on, we will be having 123 jets flying on US engines... and we are worried about 36.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby nam » 29 Feb 2020 02:46

And let's lay the WLR during Kargil story to rest. Most of our artillery strikes were in direct mode as we were doing frontal assaults. How would WLR help Pak? And in mountains, there is no point knowing the direction of fire, as artillery are placed in reverse slope. You cannot use artillery for counter fire effectively because of this "reverse slope" problem. Only mortar help, but there is no mortar with range of a Bofors gun!

WLR did not add any major advantage to Pak during Kargil, not did it change any result of the battle. So let stop using this story.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Kartik » 29 Feb 2020 03:32

srin wrote:On MMRCA, I think there is a difference between the govt objectives and IAF objectives. I'm using the term "Govt" in a pretty nebulous way here.

IMO, the Govt doesn't have money to buy 100+ aircraft in an open contest where Rafale may again be the winner. I don't think it intends to anyway. It had to start this MMRCA 2.0 daga to weather the political storm created by cancelling of MMRCA 1.0 and Rafale getting order for 36 ready aircraft and HAL not getting assembly work.
I suspect that the MMRCA 2.0 file will meander through the MoD with nothing happening for many years till one of the following happen: IAF decides to get only 5th gen aircraft, or Tejas Mk2, AMCA and/or ORCA are showing promise, or vendors start dropping out one by one due to fatigue.
I don't know the terms of agreement for Rafale purchase, but if there is an option clause, we may exercise them to get 36 more to arrest falling squadron numbers while keeping the MMRCA 2.0 on slow and futile boil.


Strangely enough, the 36 Rafale deal had no options clause.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Kartik » 29 Feb 2020 03:38

As far as the Su-35S is concerned, if AESA is a mandatory requirement for the MRCA 2.0, which is almost guaranteed, the Su-35S will need to offer a Su-35 equipped with the Su-57's AESA since it currently is equipped with the PESA Irbis.

My real hope is that the IAF decides on a max weight limit that limits the types to be evaluated and removes the Su-35S from contention. A great fighter, but essentially analogous to the Su-30MKI and with the Super-30 upgrade, capability wise, it won't offer anything more. Operating costs will be as high as the MKI, with only 1 advantage, that of being a single seater. High RCS as well, with no apparent RCS reduction features or RAM treatment that we know of.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby ldev » 29 Feb 2020 08:37

There’s space for using force for retaliation without fear of conflict: IAF Chief

The biggest learning from the air engagement that followed the day after the Balakot (where Wing Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG-21 was shot down), the air chief said was the loss of a significant technological edge over the PAF.

We had a BVR edge over the PAF at the time of Kargil, we allowed that to slip and thereafter it took a decade and a half to get back a similar or a better capability, he said referring to the acquisition of the Rafales armed with Meteor BVR missiles
.


What the IAF chief is really saying is that Russian R-27 & R-77 AAMs do not give the IAF a technological edge over the PAF. The Meteor does. And maybe the Astra will also. In fact the IAF Chief has spoken of his wish to have the SU-30 fleet equipped with the Astra, an indication that he is not happy with the performance of the Russian AAMs. So I would say that neither the SU-35 or Mig-35 have any chance of getting the MRCA order.

I also believe that the IAF is tired of the sheer effort needed to keep Russian aircraft flying, high maintenance, poor after sales service from the OEM etc. When the SU-30 was ordered in the mid 1990s the IAF did not have much of a choice as it does now.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby UlanBatori » 29 Feb 2020 08:40

Ppl here have to be wacko to want the F-35. With all respect and pranaams to Brarji, that is a complete disaster for anyone but the USAF/USN. It needs a whole circus to go along with each plane, probably a welcome mat for landing so its farts don't dig up the tarmac and send stones through its fan and intakes. Plus it can't shoot straight. It's like buying a $300M cellphone that needs an entire telephone exchange and a hundred telephone poles with it to make it work. To dial a wrong number. IF you have a couple of thousand of these (Like the USAF) it may make sense, but with the numbers that India can afford it is complete garbage. Plus the Flying Cellphone feature is no good without turning the whole Indian Army and Air Force into a Net-Centric Warfare delirium.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Cain Marko » 29 Feb 2020 08:52

UlanBatori wrote:Ppl here have to be wacko to want the F-35. With all respect and pranaams to Brarji, that is a complete disaster for anyone but the USAF/USN. It needs a whole circus to go along with each plane, probably a welcome mat for landing so its farts don't dig up the tarmac and send stones through its fan and intakes. Plus it can't shoot straight. It's like buying a $300M cellphone that needs an entire telephone exchange and a hundred telephone poles with it to make it work. To dial a wrong number. IF you have a couple of thousand of these (Like the USAF) it may make sense, but with the numbers that India can afford it is complete garbage. Plus the Flying Cellphone feature is no good without turning the whole Indian Army and Air Force into a Net-Centric Warfare delirium.

Actually it makes a lot of sense for the Indian Navy to procure a couple of dozen of these to operate from it's current carriers. If they fit the lifts of course. They are already stobar capable iirc..
It's a perfect silver bullet force that can easily talk to existing infrastructure including the ever growing p8 force. Their ability to act as force multipliers and ncw platforms make them ideal to integrate with mig29ks. Will cause headache to Chini surface combatants and serve will as openers in a hit on Karachi.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby saumitra_j » 29 Feb 2020 09:17

With all due respect CMji, UBji is spot on! The F35 works only for US and its close allies who have the requisite infrastructure to exploit its potential. For India, the bells and whistles don't matter simple because we don't have the radars, the comm systems, the satellites, the network integration and all the other things required by the F35 to really make it worthwhile. To be honest, F18 will make far more sense than the F35!

We will be fighting our next war based within our neighbourhood with what ever we can afford - and we simply don't have the infrastructure to come anywhere close to what the US or close NATO allies possess given the size of our economy and we probably don't need to either given our Bhikari neighbour is far worse. We are building our OWN network centric infrastructure which will be quite incompatible with what the US/NATO have and there is unlikely to be any kind of cooperation on this because of all the complex treaties that the US makes its allies sign which we won't! Integration of those capabilities with F35 are unlikely!

Remember, we don't even have adequate quality of BVRAAMs in our arsenal until Astra/Meteor come online - we have some distance to go!

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Cain Marko » 29 Feb 2020 09:42

saumitra_j wrote:With all due respect CMji, UBji is spot on! The F35 works only for US and its close allies who have the requisite infrastructure to exploit its potential. For India, the bells and whistles don't matter simple because we don't have the radars, the comm systems, the satellites, the network integration and all the other things required by the F35 to really make it worthwhile. To be honest, F18 will make far more sense than the F35!

Remember, we don't even have adequate quality of BVRAAMs in our arsenal until Astra/Meteor come online - we have some distance to go!


Hmm Saumitra saar. You are thinking of Indian Navy of 90s and 80s. All the new surface combatants are linked in. The Navy today has a dedicated satellite and ncw is something that both the IAF and Navy demand from it's new acquisitions. One of its most critical network nodes is the p8i, a cutting edge US platform that even NATO countries don't have. Soon we'll have the sea guardians as well. Remember the idea is not to buy a massive number, just a few. To start the innings when the game begins.

Also our neighborhood is a rather large one called the IOR and here the trouble is with a very powerful adversary, the PLAN.

More importantly, smaller forces, Non NATO also are capable of using. Jsf. Singapore and Israel for example.

As far as bvraams are concerned. The russki missiles are more than capable. No less than the C5, which btw the MKIs actually dodged. However, the meteor is indeed a game changer.
Last edited by Cain Marko on 29 Feb 2020 09:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby mahadevbhu » 29 Feb 2020 09:48

The presence of the JSF will do far more to prevent misadventures by China / Pak. In that way it is a game-changer frankly. The optics of it prevents bad behaviour.

https://www.livemint.com/opinion/columns/opinion-a-new-normal-has-now-been-set-for-india-us-relations-11582733654341.html


The argument that Trump’s visit was all optics and lacked substance is bogus. High level visits like this are always about optics. The fact that a supposedly transactional Trump decided to travel to India without any substantive deliverable is the real story here. It tells you more about the state of India-US ties than any deal would have.


And net-centrism is present in the Indian Armed forces. It may not be to the degree that the US has, but it's present nonetheless.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby UlanBatori » 29 Feb 2020 10:17

^^ I happen to be a customer of IndusInd Baink, Indian Baink, and a taxpayer who has to fill out the Saral IT-2 and convert it to Java/XML or use the Excel Utility each year. A bit too aware of the hype- and the realities- of Indian Eye-Tea prowess, thank you very much! Please don't make me laugh. Anyway, sorry I commented on these. Not my place.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby saumitra_j » 29 Feb 2020 10:27

I will give a detailed reply on the Indian Naval aviation thread later but for some perspective, please read this article

I know it is from Abhijeet Iyer Mitra who is not the most trusted fella but still.... will replay in the Indian Naval Aviation thread on the specifics later.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby mahadevbhu » 29 Feb 2020 11:44


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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Manish_P » 29 Feb 2020 12:03

Rakesh wrote:They were not supposed to do extensive trials. But all the aircraft in the contest are not the same as in MRCA 1.0

* F-16IN is now F-21
* F-18 Block II is now F-18 Block III
* Gripen NG is now Gripen E
* Rafale F3 will likely be Rafale F4
* Su-35 was never there in MRCA 1.0, so will have to be tested

And so on. I do not know how they plan to fairly evaluate the aircraft in the absence of extensive trials. The IAF knows best I guess.


All the aircrafts are not clean sheet designs, rather iterative upgrades (avionics, sensors, subsystems). Even the Su35 (from the Su30). But i get your point that they need to be extensively evaluated. Shiny brochures and slick videos are meant only for the baboos anyways.

Rakesh wrote:What did he say?


It's from 2018. Will not go into the details here. But will post just 2-3 points, purely as sample of the article format

RFI: It should be possible to indigenously integrate new weapons and avionics of Indian, Western and Russian origins.
Analysis: This again is another impossibility now, since in the aftermath of Russia’s April 2014 invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent annexation of Crimea, Western sanctions were levied against Russia and since then it has become impossible for Western aerospace OEMs to share design/engineering data with their Russian counterparts, which in turn rules out integration of Western weapons on Russia-origin platforms and integration of Russia-origin weapons on West-origin platforms.


RFI: Is the aircraft integrated with a NATO-standard buddy refuelling pod? What is the minimum refuelling rate from this pod?
Analysis: Barring the MiG-35 and members of the Su-30 family of MRCAs, all others can easily make use of the Type 754 AAR pod. What this also means is that by specifying its preference for a NATO-standard refuelling pod, the IAF is rejecting the Russian UPAAZ-1 pod, which is used by the Indian Navy’s MiG-29Ks.


RFI: What is the type and capacity of integral onboard oxygen system? Does the system have Onboard Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS)?
Analysis: Barring Ruissia-origin MRCAs, all other contemporary MRCAs have OBOGS.


For the above point our ingeniously developed (OBOGS), currently in progress with the DRDO, might well resolve the issue for the SU35.

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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby LakshmanPST » 29 Feb 2020 17:23



"This first appeared in 2018 and is being reposted due to reader interest."

It is evident that this is an old article...
Anyways, F35 is not on offer unless we give up S400s, which we are not ready to...


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