MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

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

Postby Rakesh » 06 Aug 2020 18:40

Khalsa wrote:If you go over his words twice and then watch his eyes and his face and when he begins talking about the almost reduced but equivalent capacity. I believe he is literally reading your words or maybe you talked to him before the interview.

I think there is a chance of 90 being the final number for the IAF. But the amount his body speaks about the 114 MRCA tells me he is damn confident about it being nothing more than a pipe dream

Thank you for pointing me towards the IAC I & II. I had my IAF blinkers on forgot about their (Naval) requirements.

What the IAF wants must translate into reality in the budget.

If it does not, either the entire program will be scrapped or the IAF will go with another phoren 4th generation fighter. If the latter scenario pans out, it will be a redo of the 80s' saga of the Mirage 2000 and MiG-29 acquisition. Only thing this time, another fourth generation fighter will be a Western bird. I don't see how the Russian planes are going to work out politically for the GOI or technically for the IAF.

Now if the GOI pulls a surprise (i.e. money growing on trees) and orders 90 Rafales, they could split the order between the IAF and IN programs. 54 aircraft for the IAF could raise three more squadrons, two of which will land up at Hasimara and Ambala and the third at Gwalior. The 36 for the IN will be based at INS Hansa in Goa. Since IAC-2 is 20 years away and the upcoming Vikrant shows no sign of accommodating Rafale on the vessel's lifts, those 36 birds (and the pilots who operate her) could be seconded for the IAF i.e. like how the MiG-29Ks are doing now.

Assuming the above scenario pans out ---> 2 IAF Rafale units now + 3 more IAF Rafale units + 2 IN Rafale units = 7 squadrons or 126 aircraft. The exact number of the MMRCA 1.0 contest. With jointmanship and CDS being the buzz words, this scenario (funds being the main thorny issue) could very well pan out.

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

Postby Rakesh » 06 Aug 2020 18:44

JayS wrote:I believe he is talking from the MRO/serviceability perspective and not comparing capability and saying x Rafale = Y some other fighter. If you buy 90 more Rafale, you have total 126 Rafales. But if you want to buy another X fighter then you have 36 Rafale + 90 X Fighter. You cant just numerically match these two cases considering different lifecycles, Maint schedule, availability requirements etc of the two types. So with some logic IAF came up with a number 114 which they think makes the second case equivalent to the first one ie. 126 Rafale = 36 Rafale + 114 other fighters.

I think this is what is saying. But then question arises, if Rafale is chosen as MRFA, why buy additional fighter over and above 90 and engage money in those 24 extra jets..? Surely the tender is not gonna change later once down-selection happens. So just to hedge against the possibility that Rafale may not be chosen for whatever reason, we are commiting for 24 more jets which is worth around 3B USD.. .!! Thats how disfunctional our procurement process is.

Satya Vachan! So true. Kudos to you Saar.

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

Postby Khalsa » 09 Aug 2020 15:23

OMG, the Navy is going to go for Raffy.
I am sure of it now. That pose is that of post flight.
:D

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

Postby Kartik » 10 Aug 2020 14:13

Khalsa wrote:OMG, the Navy is going to go for Raffy.
I am sure of it now. That pose is that of post flight.
:D


That image of Admiral Arun Prakash is well over 15 years old. Nothing to get excited about now. It was during the first evaluation of the Rafale M along with the MiG-29K and Su-33.

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

Postby Manish_Sharma » 10 Aug 2020 18:54

@livefist:
On the Indian MoD’s import ban list including indigenous items like the LCA Tejas, Light Combat Helicopters Pinaka, Astra & Akash missile systems, the MoD has a “clarification” just in: https://t.co/fxX4rsT2uv

Image
https://twitter.com/livefist/status/1292772080287535104?s=09
_____________________

^MoD clarifies that 'foriegn equivalent' of LCA, LCH, Astra, Pinaka & Akash will not be allowed to be imported.

So that means grippen will be removed from MRCA?

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

Postby Rakesh » 18 Aug 2020 00:21

Rakesh wrote:As Group Captain HV Thakur (Retd) so aptly points out...

https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/12356 ... 49856?s=20 ---> Abstract Ex - think about it. police gun range = 100 meters, but thief's gun range = 120 meters. Will this be reason enough for the thief to be allowed to escape? No. There's all kinds of tactics. For policing, as also, for air combat.

Read this tweet above and then read this tweet below....

https://twitter.com/TheWolfpackIN/statu ... 91713?s=20 ---> Report: Taiwan govt is requesting US to approve supply of AIM-120Ds for ROCAF F-16 Block 70s to improve deterrence against new Chinese BVRAAMS like PL-15.

=============================

Range of AIM-120D is > 160 km and range of PL-15 is 300 km. Range of Meteor is around 150 km. Astra is 110 km onlee. That 300 km range of the PL-15 is from the Chicom propaganda machine.

NaPaki/Lahori Logic conclusion from this is that JF-17 is superior & cheaper to Rafale and thus Rafale is a waste of money.

Solution from BRF's "import pasand, pro American" lobby --> Buy F-21 with AIM-120D and all problems will be solved! Better yet, just buy the in-development AIM-260 JATM which the Amreekis will be eager to sell along with F-21 :mrgreen: :lol:

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

Postby Rakesh » 18 Aug 2020 00:29

So much for MMRCA addressing squadron shortage.

https://twitter.com/Nik_Pandharikar/sta ... 71392?s=20 ---> 1. Submarines, AK 203 deal-two Make in India projects Modi govt set to push on priority - MMRCA to take more time.

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

Postby k prasad » 18 Aug 2020 03:37

Lets hope this is because there is increased confidence that AMCA, LCA Mk2/MWF, and Mk1a are mature enough to be ordered in bulk.

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

Postby nachiket » 18 Aug 2020 03:48

k prasad wrote:Lets hope this is because there is increased confidence that AMCA, LCA Mk2/MWF, and Mk1a are mature enough to be ordered in bulk.

More likely because there is simply no money to buy/build 100+ foreign fighters. The situation is no different than the last time and there is no reason to believe the outcome will be any different either. Proceeding with the usual RFI-RFP-eval process will be a monumental waste of time. It is even a bigger joke now than the last time with the F-15EX and Su-35 being pushed along with the Gripen and F-16 for the same requirement.

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

Postby k prasad » 18 Aug 2020 06:11

Well, the only real silver lining is, the longer this process takes, the closer AMCA and MWF will be to readiness. At some point, IAF will just end up biting the locally-made bullet in the face of decreasing sqn strength. At most, I suspect we'll buy another 2 sqns of Rafales.

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

Postby V_Raman » 25 Aug 2020 04:45

What is this?

Lockheed Martin Scores $62 Billion F-16 Sale
https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/08/ ... f-16-sale/

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

Postby brar_w » 25 Aug 2020 05:15

V_Raman wrote:What is this?

Lockheed Martin Scores $62 Billion F-16 Sale
https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/08/ ... f-16-sale/

The international aerospace thread has the details. This was long expected and now has been awarded. Basically sets the contractual framework and definitizes the value for the next 10 years of F-16 production for FMS customers.

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

Postby Aditya_V » 25 Aug 2020 07:54

This is one of the reasons why the US even though it knows will not state Paki Amraams missed and a F16 was taken down . The truth will cost a lot of money and given our position better for us keep the proof under wraps till these sales get complete. Former Eastern block are replacing Mig 21s with F16 at USD 100 million a pop. Politics is such that the opposition parties in these countries will not understand the difference between Bison various Mig 21 and F16 variants leading to some F16 deal cancellations.

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

Postby nam » 20 Sep 2020 21:17

Rakesh wrote:Moved over from the Tejas thread....

Dileep wrote:LM (and Tata JV and the Tier 1s) had been working with desi suppliers for the past few years. To be brutally honest, it would have brought all of us pvt entities to the next level of being aerospace suppliers. My jingo side is happy that it is scrapped. But my technocrat side is not sharing that feeling.


I agree. But it is worth it, if we can make a deal for something like F35. If Turkey can build F35 parts, TASL should be able to do it as well.

No point getting F16.

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

Postby Kartik » 21 Sep 2020 15:33

Rakesh wrote:Moved over from the Tejas thread....

Dileep wrote:LM (and Tata JV and the Tier 1s) had been working with desi suppliers for the past few years. To be brutally honest, it would have brought all of us pvt entities to the next level of being aerospace suppliers. My jingo side is happy that it is scrapped. But my technocrat side is not sharing that feeling.

Our current supplier ecosystem is still a couple of decades behind the curve in the system and processes. It works. We build a safe and performing plane. But that is it!. We are no way at the level to play in the international level. I have seen a few facilities that actually build the things that currently fly in our sky, and I will bet that the L3Harrises and Raytheons of the world will not even enter their plant.

For the offset programmes, we are still making mostly "machined parts" (low hanging, low risk fruit for both supplier and customer. Get the right material and machine, load the given CNC code and let the machine take care of things) and such simple things. F21 program was offering a lot more. Way lot more, that it would have taken us considerable time and effort just to take what was being offered.

Though in late 80s we were making cars that were not too backward technically, it took a Maruti to kick out auto industry to the global level. Having a programme with serious indigenization proposals would definitely help the aero industry for sure.


Valid points Dileep.

Most of the people on this forum want India's aerospace industry to prosper, but now look at JVs or ToT as being just screw-driver giri and thoo thoo on it, without realising that sometimes the private sector (and even PSUs) can benefit tremendously from working closely with leading aerospace companies.

I think I'm one of the few that believe that the F-21 offer during the Single Engine Fighter program was probably one of the best suited deals that we had..it would've given us affordable 4th gen fighters with very good avionics and access to a huge arsenal of integrated weapons. The private sector would've benefited from the work share and if it had been done in time, would've led to F-16Vs being exported from India instead of the new facility in NC. But on BRF it was fashionable to label F-16 variants as old and outdated, whereas what was offered was going to meet most of the IAF's needs easily.

All that's happened instead with the MRFA program is that we've kicked the actual acquisition by at least half a decade, and it will once again be as unaffordable as it was in MRCA 1.0.

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

Postby Kartik » 21 Sep 2020 15:36

Rakesh wrote:Moved over from the Tejas thread....

Dileep wrote:Buying the plane is the 'give' for the 'take' of technology. They come to us to sell the plane, not to buy parts.

The 'technology' I am talking about is not the "ToT" in the normal parlance. It is not anything with the wonderful technical things that make the gizmos tick. It is the simply 'know-how' of doing things that got accumulated over long periods and through multiple programmes. Those are not ITAR controlled. Those are not protected by patents / trade secrets. Those are not even considered valuable by the sources, since they take it for granted. But for us, those are of great value.


+100.

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

Postby Rakesh » 21 Sep 2020 23:46

Moved over from the Tejas thread....

Dileep wrote:LM (and Tata JV and the Tier 1s) had been working with desi suppliers for the past few years. To be brutally honest, it would have brought all of us pvt entities to the next level of being aerospace suppliers. My jingo side is happy that it is scrapped. But my technocrat side is not sharing that feeling.....

There is significant hurdle not just in front of LM, but to all the other contestants in MMRCA 2.0

And that hurdle is money. Does that GOI have the minimum $20 billion to spend on this program to transfer the production line from the US to India? There is negative growth in the economy due to COVID. From where and how is the GOI going to fund this program?

That does not mean, that a G2G deal cannot be worked between the US and India. But to scrap the MMRCA 2.0 contest and go in for the F-21, would require a valid reason that LM does not currently enjoy. With the Rafale, the argument can be put forth by Dassault (and even the GOI) that she is already in service with the IAF and getting another two squadrons would be (barely) sufficient to stem the tide of squadron depletion. Eric Trappier, Dassault CEO, said that he would be eager to sell additional Rafales to India at the Rafale induction ceremony at Ambala. Even the IAF would make that argument, if that option was put on the table for them. But there is no money for 114 Rafales or any other MMRCA and that number is important for any production line to move to India. And it is only then that the points you raised in your post become valid.

But to go in for the F-21 would require the IAF to complete technical trials, approve the platform and only then can the GOI go in for contract negotiation. Along with that, all the other contestants also have to undergo that technical trial process. So apart from money, now time becomes an issue. But that process cannot be changed, unless the GOI amends the rules i.e. the GOI makes the platform selection (only Amreeki fighters) and the IAF completes trials on those platforms only. And then all the other contenders in the MMRCA contest would cry hoarse over that rule change. Even the IAF may pipe in at that point. And then that is all that RaGa needs to start again.

Now as per Lockheed Martin, all wings of the F-16 are now being assembled by TASL in India. Perhaps someone can measure the value of that part of the F-16 assembly and then port it over to the rest of the Indian aerospace industry where applicable? And then perhaps someone can compare the difference (in quality, assembly, manufacturing process, tooling, etc) from F-21 wing assembly to say Tejas wing assembly? If more of the F-16 production can be transferred to India, then it will give the GOI leverage to go in for the F-21 over additional Rafales. The argument that can be put forth is that a F-21 factory is already in place at TASL, parts are being assembled/manufactured, so F-21 it is for the IAF. But in order for that to happen, LM would require a contract (or at least a MoU or a letter of comfort) of a minimum of 100 aircraft. But now we are back to the earlier issues raised above. And that deal will not cost anything less than $20+ billion.

Since MMRCA 2.0 has not moved beyond even the RFI stage, it would take a long time (in years) to reach contract signature (perhaps by the late 2020s) and then delivery of the first batch will arrive by the early 2030s, with the last deliveries by the end of the 2030s or early 2040s. It is not that TASL is incapable of replicating LM production rate of the 1980s (30 F-16s a month), but those 30 aircraft/month have to be paid for upfront by the GOI. Since that will not happen, it will be a staggered purchase at around 12 - 14 aircraft per year, or around 8 - 10 years for 114 aircraft. Planes acquired in that timeframe, will serve for 50 years in the IAF....so a retirement age of around 2080 to 2090. If anyone finds that hard to believe, please note that the Mirage 2000 and the MiG-29 will have served for close to 50 years by the time they retire in the early 2030s. Induction of both aircraft occurred in the mid 1980s. And the F-21 has a ridiculously longer airframe life than the Mirage 2000 and the MiG-29.

So we are back at square one i.e. money and also time.

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

Postby Rakesh » 22 Sep 2020 00:10

Moved over from the Tejas thread....

By the way, it is funny to read that many in BRF have negative views on the F-21. While true (and I am one of them), what BRF believes is not GOI or IAF policy. Those parties will make whatever decision is best suited for them. I am pretty confident that Air HQ does not log in to BRF everyday to determine what their next fighter purchase should be i.e. desi or phoren. If that decision happens to be F-21 for the IAF, then so be it. Nobody cares what anyone on BRF thinks (me included). Forum bias against F-21 means nothing among the decision makers.

It is just that many in BRF believe (like a number in the IAF do) that what value does the F-21 bring over the Rafale? Even a minimum of two squadrons will cost more or less the same as 36 Rafales. Does the GOI have money for anything more?

I read recent media reports that that Project 75I is to be given more importance over MMRCA 2.0, so now even more delay. Good for Tejas, I say. The answer to squadron depletion is Tejas and that answer is staring the GOI, the IAF and even India's aerospace industry in the face. She will not enjoy the fancy TFTA production line like the F-21 does, but is there money for anything else? Not that my opinion matters, but that is the reality.

The fancy cornish hen is a whole other story, but since that is fancy...we SDREs will likely not get it. We SDREs are not capable of handling such technology.

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

Postby Roop » 22 Sep 2020 06:18

Rakesh wrote:Moved over from the Tejas thread....

Rakesh wrote:By the way, it is funny to read that many in BRF have negative views on the F-21.

No kidding!

Rakesh wrote:It is just that many in BRF believe (like a number in the IAF do) that what value does the F-21 bring over the Rafale?

If, by "value", you mean technical/tactical advantages, then the answer is an emphatic "None!". Rafale was IMO clearly the best technical choice in the MMRCA competition. Personally, I was delighted that it was chosen, it was the obvious technical best. But there was (and still is) a reasonable/sensible case to be made that India should buy an American plane. Even the Americans who were grumbling about losing the MMRCA competition to the Rafale (I refer you to Ashley Tellis and various other Washington think-tankers) were not claiming that their planes (F16 and F18) were better than the Rafale. They simply said that India "blew it by selecting an aircraft over a relationship". Their arguments were/are not inherently ridiculous, but IMO still not as important as selecting a superb aircaft (Rafale).

Rakesh wrote:Even a minimum of two squadrons will cost more or less the same as 36 Rafales. Does the GOI have money for anything more?


This "we have no money" argument should not necessarily be accepted as final/dispositive in these discussions. I don't want to get sidetracked on this topic, but I think I should put this out there for possible future discussion/debate.

Rakesh wrote:The answer to squadron depletion is Tejas and that answer is staring the GOI, the IAF and even India's aerospace industry in the face.


I absolutely agree.

Rakesh wrote:The fancy cornish hen is a whole other story, but since that is fancy...we SDREs will likely not get it. We SDREs are not capable of handling such technology.


Okay, you lost me here, Admiral. What is this mystery Cornish hen? The F35?

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

Postby Vivek K » 22 Sep 2020 06:51

Yeah right you are admiral sir!! We have the money s let’s buy 2 squadrons of Su-35 (MKIed), 2 F-35 (35 is > 21) about $10B+ and invest $1B in spares plus training costs for support crew. We can afford it - IAF of the future, 2 Raffy taffies, 2 F35, 2 SU35s, 6- bis, 3M2K, 14 SU 30, 2 LCA, 6 Jags (while we’re at it, why don’t we re- engine Jags - we have the money).

And then people complain why Indian industry does not do more research :roll: !

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

Postby Rakesh » 23 Sep 2020 01:15

Moved over from the Tejas thread....

Roop wrote:If, by "value", you mean technical/tactical advantages, then the answer is an emphatic "None!". Rafale was IMO clearly the best technical choice in the MMRCA competition. Personally, I was delighted that it was chosen, it was the obvious technical best. But there was (and still is) a reasonable/sensible case to be made that India should buy an American plane. Even the Americans who were grumbling about losing the MMRCA competition to the Rafale (I refer you to Ashley Tellis and various other Washington think-tankers) were not claiming that their planes (F16 and F18) were better than the Rafale. They simply said that India "blew it by selecting an aircraft over a relationship". Their arguments were/are not inherently ridiculous, but IMO still not as important as selecting a superb aircaft (Rafale).

But to the IAF that argument - selecting an aircraft over a relationship - is perplexing. When Ashley Tellis (or anyone else from the US Govt) states that, he/they are displaying a lack of understanding on the acquisition process. First the technical trials are completed. It is only after this is done, can the aircraft that passed muster move on to the next stage i.e. determining who is L1? That happened on 27 April 2011, which ended with the selection of the Rafale and the Typhoon. To deviate from that acquisition process would reek of nepotism and corruption. I am sure you remember Bofors and how it castrated the MoD. No one - BJP, Congress, MoD Babu, IAF - wants another Bofors episode. Tellis Saar wrote an entire piece on the MMRCA 1.0 acquisition and he used that term (relationship-vs-plane) in that piece. I am surprised how he forgot that key part.

Neither of the Amreeki birds - in MMRCA 1.0 - were slouches. Both the F-18SH Block II and F-16IN were capable platforms and would have surely served the IAF well. But the Rafale and the Tyhpoon are no slouches either. When the IAF was asked to evaluate which is the best aircraft, the IAF did exactly that. It is no surprise that the European birds turned out to be winners. If the F-35 was participating in the contest (instead of the F-18 and F-16), the F-35 would have handily beaten both her European competitors on every valuable measure and it would have been the F-35 getting inducted at Ambala instead of Rafale. And during the technical evaluation stage, cost is not examined in depth or detail. That comes after the technical down select is done and the bids - from Dassault and Airbus - were opened to determine who was L1.

The GOI has an option to amend that process. So basically tell the IAF (because geopolitics and strategic political relationships is not the IAF's purview) that here are three Amreeki planes (F-18SH Block III, F-21 and F-15EX) for you to choose from for your next fighter. Do a technical down select and make a choice. Which Govt (BJP or Congress) or would the MoD make such a proposal? The Govt would be committing harakiri. Even the technical parameters cannot be altered to accept any bird. Even if a whiff of that comes out in the open (and you can be sure it will), it will be a political nightmare for the GOI who proposed it and for the IAF that went along with it. I am sure you are aware of the VVIP helo scandal in which the technical parameters were supposedly altered. So the Govt (and the IAF) is back to square one.

Thanks to RaGa and his fake Rafale scam, even doing a G2G deal on a new 4th generation fighter with GOTUS (or even dear old Russia) will now be a challenging task. That is the bitter taste left over from the fake Rafale scam. What argument can the GOI put forth to go in for a G2G deal for a fighter, when MMRCA 2.0 has not even creeped past the RFI stage? The only advantage that Dassault has - and it is a significant one if played judiciously - that two Rafale squadrons will be in service in the IAF by 2022. Adding two more units of the same type is not equivalent to acquiring a whole other type. Same argument was made for the 12 Su-30MKIs and 21 MiG-29s that just got DAC approval in July 2020.

I get the "relationship-vs-plane" argument. Even from the IAF's perspective, that argument does make sense. Lets not even get into the political benefits, because there is no other Unkil other than Unkil. So yes, the unit cost of the F-16IN or F-18 Block II would have been cheaper than the Rafale and Eurofighter. And yes, the weapons would have been cheaper as well (AMRAAM vs Meteor, AIM-9 variant vs MICA, GBU-XX Paveway vs the European counterpart, SCALP vs the Amreeki counterpart). But that argument only has merit, if the Amreeki birds went past the technical downselect stage in MMRCA 1.0. They have another opportunity though in MMRCA 2.0.

This is the same IAF that selected C-17 over IL-76, AH-64 over Mi-28 and CH-47 over Mi-26. In each of those acquisitions, the Amreeki bird was undoubtedly superior and infinitely more reliable. The acquisition process stood true with those Amreeki birds, just as it stood true with the Rafale and will also stand true assuming MMRCA 2.0 ever sees the light of day. But Amreeka cannot win them all. That has been clearly explained to the Khan with the S-400 purchase. What Khan does in retaliation is entirely up to Khan and India will have to face the music (good or bad).

Roop wrote:This "we have no money" argument should not necessarily be accepted as final/dispositive in these discussions. I don't want to get sidetracked on this topic, but I think I should put this out there for possible future discussion/debate.

The MoD has prioritized acquisitions due to COVID and MMRCA is taking a backseat. Project 75I - for the Indian Navy's submarine arm - is taking priority. To the GOI and the MoD, the IAF just got two new Rafale squadrons. Despite being vindicated twice by the Supreme Court of India, the GOI and MoD have been bruised. No one in the Govt has any stomach for a new fighter acquisition. The Govt will advise the IAF that you just got two new Rafale units, 83 Tejas Mk1As will be ordered by December 2020 and 12 Su-30MKIs & 21 MiG-29s will also be ordered. Survive with that for now and we will kick the can on MMRCA 2.0 till when the economic situation improves. And even then, perhaps 2 (maybe 3) units of MMRCA 2.0 will be looked into. But nothing more. And the IAF would gladly accept it in contrast to waiting in deep space for MMRCA 2.0 to be complete.

Also note that the longer MMRCA 2.0 takes, the more irrelevant the contest will turn out to be. No one in their right mind is going to spend minimum $20+ billion on a 114 phoren 4++ generation fighter program in the 2030s with a service life of 50 years. I believe that the contest will live on, but will morph into a VLO fighter contest at some point this decade.

If RaGa went into convulsions over the Rafale deal, he will start frothing at the mouth when he sees the cost of 114 phoren fighters. It is not just the unit cost of each aircraft at play here, there is the weapons, tools, spares, base infrastructure and finally the glorious factory to manufacture them. We are looking at tens of billions of dollars here. Nothing short of $20 billion. And that will be the bare minimum. No one has that kind of change sitting in their back pocket. The GOI did not have the money pre COVID and during COVID now...they have even less of it. That is the reality. There is no money for 114 fighters.

Unless Unkil pulls off some magical extended loan payment for India (which will require a lot of political concessions from India in return), perhaps and maybe 114 Amreeki birds could be acquired. The better bet would be for LM to transfer the entire F-16 production line to India right now. That would really solidify LM's position in MMRCA 2.0. But is LM willing to take that risk, if they lose the contest? Perhaps.

If F-21 wins, it will be because the F-21 was technically the superior choice over even the Rafale F3R. But those parameters have to be game changing for the IAF to come to that conclusion. With the F-35 obviously yes, but I am not sure how convinced the IAF is with the F-21. I could very well be wrong and I am confident that LM is putting everything on the table to win this deal.

Roop wrote:Okay, you lost me here, Admiral. What is this mystery Cornish hen? The F35?

Indeed. A term coined by Ramana-ji and became BRF parlance. Just like the Rambha is for the Su-30MKI and Katrina is for the Rafale.

The F-35 is truly a Fancy Cornish Hen. But she is a game changer. No doubt about that.

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

Postby Kartik » 23 Sep 2020 16:25

All things said- the most affordable option that meets the needs has to be the one selected. The question one has to answer is whether the MRFA is intended to fill up numbers or just run forever as an acquisition program on paper. The same mistakes that were made in MRCA 1.0 are being repeated and to expect different results this time would be foolishness.

While I'm all for 114 Rafale fighters, I don't think this Govt or any other Govt will be able to foot the bill for it. As things stand, the F-21 will be the most affordable of the lot, apart from the Gripen E and the MiG-35. And it will likely meet 90% of what the IAF wants from it's MRCA, with the exception of the Meteor. Ejecting it for non conformance in one or two areas is disingenuous given how we had to spend over $1 billion on ISEs for the Rafale which didn't meet all of the MRCA requirements either.

The MiG-35 is not in service ANYWHERE and will likely continue to remain an unwanted child in Russia, so it's best avoided. Falls far behind the Western birds in avionics and weapons and future growth prospects when one considers that it'll need to have to go through upgrades over a 40 year lifespan.

Either that, or we continue to request information, proposals, etc. etc. and then end up at square one 4-5 years down the line anyway because the most expensive fighters, the F-15EX and the Rafale will probably end up being the down selected contenders.

The other option would be to buy 36 more Rafales OTS to give the IAF some breathing room and then the IAF and GoI can play around with MRFA till 2030 or whatever before abandoning it a third time without any purchase. And meanwhile induct large numbers of Tejas Mk2 delivered at 24 fighters per year builds out the numbers, providing the cushion to allow MRFA to meander interminably.

The IAF may not have enough confidence in HAL's ability to deliver on it's promises in the second scenario. And I wouldn't blame them entirely for that. Their track record doesn't always inspire confidence, even if one is sympathetic to the reasons given. Delivering on time, building up the facilities and suppliers to be able to get to 24 per year, is still a work in progress and one can only hope that they'll manage to do it before Mk1A deliveries are slated to begin.

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

Postby Philip » 23 Sep 2020 18:48

Options in the time of CV.
1.LCA Mk-1A .Around $50-60M. Prod.rates guarantee reqd.,3rd. line in the pvt. sector a must.
I
2.More Rafales. Around $ 125M ,less than the $ 200M a pop for initial 36 which included the order baggage of infra,trg.,etc.

3.MIG-35s,.Supposedly on order for Egypt,around 50 or so for around $43M,are in fact upgraded versions of MIG-29s without the T5s TVC and latest AAMs ,but with better thrust-to-weight ratio and alt. of European equivs.
If the IAF is satisfied with our MIG-29 UPGs," extras", could partially fill the gap.Unless the aircraft is in service with RuAF and our pilots can fly it, we are most unlikrly to be the guinea-pigs for the same.

4.SU-35. The dark horse. Would be cheaper than the European options and easy to induct and build given the MKIs large no. in service. If accompanied with a package for MKI upgrades to SS std. incorporating 35 and 57 tech., a limited batch could suffice.
However a high-low buy of more Raffys and LCAs are most likely to win the day.

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

Postby LakshmanPST » 05 Oct 2020 15:26

X-post

https://twitter.com/livefist/status/131 ... 79425?s=19

"Important: IAF chief indicates deliberations still on to decide whether to buy more Rafales or pursue separate 114 MRFA. Decisions to be taken in the next few months, he indicates. "

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

Postby LakshmanPST » 05 Oct 2020 15:28

https://twitter.com/livefist/status/131 ... 48864?s=19

"IAF's acquisition priority ladder laid out by Chief of Air Staff today:
83 LCA Mk.1A
114 MRFA
LCA Mk.2
AMCA"

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

Postby Bharadwaj » 05 Oct 2020 15:29

LakshmanPST wrote:X-post

https://twitter.com/livefist/status/131 ... 79425?s=19

"Important: IAF chief indicates deliberations still on to decide whether to buy more Rafales or pursue separate 114 MRFA. Decisions to be taken in the next few months, he indicates. "


My interpretation- couple of more squadrons of Rafale and many many many more tejas.

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

Postby Kartik » 05 Oct 2020 16:01

Bharadwaj wrote:
LakshmanPST wrote:X-post

https://twitter.com/livefist/status/131 ... 79425?s=19

"Important: IAF chief indicates deliberations still on to decide whether to buy more Rafales or pursue separate 114 MRFA. Decisions to be taken in the next few months, he indicates. "


My interpretation- couple of more squadrons of Rafale and many many many more tejas.


More Tejas? the IAF is already stating that they'll go in for 83 Tejas Mk1As and then transition to the Tejas Mk2, with ~12 squadrons of the Mk2. If the IAF put it's faith in ADA, HAL and DRDO to deliver, will they still be able to deliver so many fighters in this decade?

If the IAF has to let go of the 114 MRFA tender, it'll want at least 3 more squadrons of Rafales plus options in case the Tejas Mk2 gets delayed.

At this stage, there is still no mention of the ORCA, the TEDBF derivative.

There's basically tons of work to be done within India by HAL, ADA and DRDO labs plus their private suppliers. The pace will have to be absolutely frenetic- 3 programs are to begin production this decade or early next decade if things go well - Mk1A, MWF and TEDBF in 2032 or thereabouts. Plus AMCA prototypes are to be flown. Mk1A risk is the lowest of the 3 programs but Mk2 is yet to clear Detailed Design Phase and TEDBF is still in the Preliminary Design Phase.

The IAF is understandably going to have to reduce risk by going with at least 1 proven solution and that is the Rafale or the MRFA.

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

Postby Bharadwaj » 05 Oct 2020 16:15

Kartik wrote:More Tejas? the IAF is already stating that they'll go in for 83 Tejas Mk1As and then transition to the Tejas Mk2, with ~12 squadrons of the Mk2. If the IAF put it's faith in ADA, HAL and DRDO to deliver, will they still be able to deliver so many fighters in this decade?

If the IAF has to let go of the 114 MRFA tender, it'll want at least 3 more squadrons of Rafales plus options in case the Tejas Mk2 gets delayed.

At this stage, there is still no mention of the ORCA, the TEDBF derivative.

There's basically tons of work to be done within India by HAL, ADA and DRDO labs plus their private suppliers. The pace will have to be absolutely frenetic- 3 programs are to begin production this decade or early next decade if things go well - Mk1A, MWF and TEDBF in 2032 or thereabouts. Plus AMCA prototypes are to be flown. Mk1A risk is the lowest of the 3 programs but Mk2 is yet to clear Detailed Design Phase and TEDBF is still in the Preliminary Design Phase.

The IAF is understandably going to have to reduce risk by going with at least 1 proven solution and that is the Rafale or the MRFA.


I suspect will be more mwf than the 12 squadrons. I would bet on additional Hal/private joint assembly line. The problem is further down the supply chain. If the IAF/MOD order additional frames upfront, the chain will respond. Else we are back to square one.

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

Postby KSingh » 05 Oct 2020 16:45

LakshmanPST wrote:X-post

https://twitter.com/livefist/status/131 ... 79425?s=19

"Important: IAF chief indicates deliberations still on to decide whether to buy more Rafales or pursue separate 114 MRFA. Decisions to be taken in the next few months, he indicates. "

With recent release of DAP the writing is on the wall, the IAF cannot afford 114 MRFA or just can’t afford to wait until 2030+ for them to begin arriving.

The path is clear for the follow on 36-54 (more likely 36) Rafales and that will be that as far as the IAF’s history with imported jets is concerned

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

Postby sankum » 05 Oct 2020 16:49



Harsh Vardhan Thakur Retweeted
Delhi Defence Review
@delhidefence
·
4h
Indian Air Force will get 450+ Indigenous fighters by the end of this decade, including all versions of Light Combat Aircraft and AMCA: Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria at #



Harsh Vardhan Thakur
@hvtiaf
·
Sep 28
Tejas LIFT (earlier SPORT) is being pursued as a full project.


My estimate
Add 60+ Tejas LIFT to total tally of indigenous fighters

Tejas mk1/a - 123nos.
Tejas mk2- 216nos.
Tejas LIFT- 60?
Total~400 nos?

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

Postby sankum » 05 Oct 2020 18:50

MRCA is over. 36 to 54 Rafale can be expected.
Other induction will be different version of Tejas and AMCA till 2035.

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

Postby Rakesh » 05 Oct 2020 20:42

Well said sankum.

LakshmanPST wrote:X-post

https://twitter.com/livefist/status/131 ... 79425?s=19

"Important: IAF chief indicates deliberations still on to decide whether to buy more Rafales or pursue separate 114 MRFA. Decisions to be taken in the next few months, he indicates. "

The fact that the IAF Chief has said this, indicates that Air HQ too realises that the timelines for 114 fighters is just not feasible, financially or technologically. But this decision will be punted till post Nov 2020 US presidential elections. It all depends on who wins - Trump or Biden.

Trump could mean a US fighter, but not 114. In fact, a purchase could be made outside of MMRCA. The President has taken the strategic relationship out of the equation and brought it more into reality i.e. transactional relationship. That is what the relationship has always been in the past and will remain so in the near future. So if India wants to avoid CAATSA, buy an American fighter. Otherwise how much pain can India absorb with CAATSA sanctions? A small purchase will be acquired (2 squadrons) with options for more in the future. That is what India can financially afford right now.

Biden could mean the end of MMRCA (or at least an American fighter), because a new US (Democrats) administration will be eager to punish India on CAATSA for the S-400 purchase. That is not out of malice for India, but rather for dealing with Russia. That is who the Democrats cannot stand right now, apart from Trump. That will not sit well with Indian policy makers. Putting ultimatums before India has rarely worked in the past and will force India to walk right back into Dassault's arms. For the IAF at least, it appears to be leaning that way.

EAM Jaishankar Sir has played his cards quite well and has succinctly explained India's view point to the present US (Republican) administration. That viewpoint, while not endorsed, has largely been accepted by the US Govt. India insistence on S-400 has made the realization that the era of the old military style alliances that the US enjoyed is over. See below...read the quoted part carefully. And this is post-Galwan, not prior.

U.S. needs to ‘go beyond’ alliances, says S. Jaishankar
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ ... 165698.ece
22 July 2020

“I think the U.S. really has to learn to work ... with a more multipolar world, with more plurilateral arrangements, go beyond alliances with which really it has grown up over the last two generations,” Mr. Jaishankar said.

“I am now specifically referring to India, given our history of independence and the fact that we really are coming [from] different places. There will be issues on which our convergence would be more, somewhere it would be less. I think the quest in the last 20 years, and I see that continuing into the future, is really to find more common ground.”


As I mentioned on this very page (in posts above), there is no money for 114 fighters. So if it is an American fighter, likely a 2+2 order could be placed with the US Govt. Two squadrons now and possibly two more in the future (perhaps those two could go to the Navy contest). Already the Navy has reduced the number of carrier borne fighters from 57 to 36. The only question that remains is which US fighter should that be. While the F-35 is a game changer, that is unlikely to happen. That leaves the F-21, F-18 Block III and F-15EX. If it is an American fighter, I would go with the F-18 Block III. The Growler variant would be pushing it though, but IMVHO would be the best option for the IAF and IN. Like the Rafale, will serve as a silver bullet for very mission specific roles. I prefer the F-18 for the sole reason of the common engine that the F-18 and the Tejas Mk 2 share. A local screwdrivergiri factory of the GE F414 would be nice or at least a MRO facility of the GE F414.

But forget 114 fighters and forget the factory. Get the aircraft from the OEM itself.

My first (and personal) choice would be two more Rafale squadrons and call it a day. Lot of geopolitics at play. Hop on for the ride. It is going to get interesting. Every now and then, you have to give the puppy a little bone for him to chew on. Otherwise the puppy will get petulant & piddle all over your fancy Persian rug and it will be expensive to clean up. Throw the puppy a bone, let him chew on it and pat him. Stroke the ego.

#DownWithMMRCA :mrgreen:

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

Postby Rakesh » 05 Oct 2020 21:41

:lol:

Saab unsure of Adani as partner for India combat jets project, seeks HAL tie-up too
https://defence.capital/2020/09/23/saab ... ie-up-too/
23 Sept 2020

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

Postby nachiket » 05 Oct 2020 21:51

Or perhaps Adani has felt which way the winds are blowing and isn't interested in a useless venture having no future.

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

Postby Rakesh » 05 Oct 2020 22:20

nachiket wrote:Or perhaps Adani has felt which way the winds are blowing and isn't interested in a useless venture having no future.

True. Saab also realizes that Adani has zero experience in this industry. They will have to hand hold Adani at every step of the way. Hand holding will require significant investment. LM and Boeing has the cash for that, Saab does not. And LM and Boeing have the industry support in India as well. LM is tied in with TASL and is partnering with them on components for the AH-64 and C-130. Boeing has also teamed up with HAL and Mahindra. The latter is only for show, with HAL doing most of the heavy lifting.

So much for job creation and rolling other sectors of the economy. Make in India (Defence) is a great program, but when it comes to fighters....it will only be a screwdrivergiri program. Better off investing $20 billion in the Tejas program, than wasting it on a program that has yet to cross even the RFI stage.

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

Postby Rakesh » 28 Oct 2020 20:54

BECA done, fighters and armed drones next as India turns US positive
https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-ne ... G6O6K.html
27 October 2020

An Indian official said New Delhi had been earlier offered F-16 and F-18 fighters, but India was looking at Boeing’s F-15EX fighters that the aircraft manufacturer hasn’t yet been licensed to sell abroad.

There is a possibility that the F-15EX could be sold on a government-to-government basis,” a top government official familiar with the discussions told Hindustan Times. “Never before have we achieved so much in so little time,” a second official said, underscoring that he had never seen “such a positive attitude” on either side of the talks table.

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

Postby nachiket » 28 Oct 2020 23:42

If there was some Quid Pro Quo agreed to for BECA, I hope we get some Growlers for a dedicated EW squadron instead of wasting money on the F-15EX. The Growler offers a capability which is extremely useful in the modern aerial battlefield and is very tough to get from other sources. The F-15EX offers little that some additional Rafales and a thorough upgrade of the MKI cannot.

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

Postby sankum » 29 Oct 2020 00:09

The advantage of US fighters is that in case of war with China and heavy attrition of IAF fighters take place then in service US fighters can be transferred to India which IAF pilots are trained to operate.
In practice we will be in US camp.

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

Postby Vivek K » 29 Oct 2020 00:16

Or in the event that we make our own hardware, if there is attrition, we can make up with our own production. Advantage - not have to be in any camp and be a sovereign nation.

It is a shame that the Indian DM goes begging around the world for hardware in times of need. Totally belies the claim of being a sovereign nation.

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

Postby V_Raman » 29 Oct 2020 00:19

India will only get silver bullets for foreign fighters from now on - what is that one? We have Rafale as the spear silver buller. What is our DPSA silver bullet?


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