MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

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

Postby Rakesh » 21 Dec 2019 22:53

Vips wrote:If IAF wants to buy Rafale or Eurofighter then the Navy order will for sure go to the Hornet. I do not think US will again allow GOI to ignore its offerings. That is unless US offers the F35. I know there are issues about F35 if we buy S400 but then US makes or breaks rules and even changes the rules of engagement when it suits them so do not rule out any of the possibilities.

If the rumours (which is all that they are now) that the HMS Prince of Wales might be sold to India, then F-35 for the Navy will be a possibility. The IAF is not interested in the F-35, as per ACM Dhanoa (retd).

India doesn’t want F-35s or THAAD; little interest in U.S. hardware offered to replace Russian S-400
https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... sian-s-400
08 June 2019

Air Chief Marshal B. S. Dhanoa, speaking publicly in New Delhi on April 26th of that year, stated: "There is no talk on F-35. The Indian Air Force has not evinced interest and not talked to anyone. It is incorrect to report that we are interested in F-35.”

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

Postby Rakesh » 21 Dec 2019 23:18

ashishvikas wrote:Dassault Rafale M versus F/A-18E/F Super Hornet: carrier fighters compared

https://hushkit.net/2019/12/20/dassault ... ssion=true

Thank you for posting this article. Great find!

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

Postby TushS » 21 Dec 2019 23:54

Rakesh wrote:If the rumours (which is all that they are now) that the HMS Prince of Wales might be sold to India, then F-35 for the Navy will be a possibility. The IAF is not interested in the F-35, as per ACM Dhanoa (retd).


If my memory works well, that's a very very old rumour. And HMS Prince of Wales cost us huge, may be around $9 billion. Will that work for IN?

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

Postby Cain Marko » 22 Dec 2019 02:33

Vips wrote:If IAF wants to buy Rafale or Eurofighter then the Navy order will for sure go to the Hornet. I do not think US will again allow GOI to ignore its offerings. That is unless US offers the F35. I know there are issues about F35 if we buy S400 but then US makes or breaks rules and even changes the rules of engagement when it suits them so do not rule out any of the possibilities.

If there is any truth to this reacquisition of POK business, I'm thinking GOI will definitely open the coffers to keep respective state departments in motley countries bankrolled

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

Postby Rakesh » 22 Dec 2019 04:08

TushS wrote:
Rakesh wrote:If the rumours (which is all that they are now) that the HMS Prince of Wales might be sold to India, then F-35 for the Navy will be a possibility. The IAF is not interested in the F-35, as per ACM Dhanoa (retd).

If my memory works well, that's a very very old rumour. And HMS Prince of Wales cost us huge, may be around $9 billion. Will that work for IN?

A conventionally powered INS Vishal will cost nothing less, once you factor in the delays that will come. If the Navy is willing to spend upwards of US $13 billion for 57 naval fighters, what is US $9 billion for the vessel? But it is an unfounded rumour and has no basis whatsoever. What is confirmed though that the QE design has been offered to India.

If the HMS Prince of Wales is up for sale, India will get a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier like tomorrow :) There will be no 10 - 15 year timeframe and those lifts are great!

Lift on the HMS Queen Elizabeth

Image

Image

Image

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

Postby srai » 22 Dec 2019 04:26

...

If the HMS Prince of Wales is up for sale, India will get a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier like tomorrow :) There will be no 10 - 15 year timeframe and those lifts are great!

...


That will setback Indian shipbuilding by two decades. Skills and knowledge acquired building IAC1 will be lost.

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

Postby Rakesh » 22 Dec 2019 05:37

Rakesh wrote:If the HMS Prince of Wales is up for sale, India will get a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier like tomorrow :) There will be no 10 - 15 year timeframe and those lifts are great!

That will setback Indian shipbuilding by two decades. Skills and knowledge acquired building IAC1 will be lost.

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

Postby Rakesh » 22 Dec 2019 05:38

As of now it is only a rumour. However this is confirmed.

India, UK in talks to build copycat Naval supercarrier: Report
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ne ... 186727.cms
05 May 2019

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

Postby Vips » 22 Dec 2019 07:59

srai wrote:
...

If the HMS Prince of Wales is up for sale, India will get a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier like tomorrow :) There will be no 10 - 15 year timeframe and those lifts are great!

...


That will setback Indian shipbuilding by two decades. Skills and knowledge acquired building IAC1 will be lost.


No the Russian rust bucket -Vikramaditya that was forced on us is already 32 years old (Originally built as Baku and commissioned in 1987, the carrier served with the Soviet Navy and later with the Russian Navy as Admiral Gorshkov before being decommissioned in 1996). It will need replacing in another 10-15 years. Considering we take 10 years to build a carrier the skills and knowledge will not go waste if we start building a new one to replace Vikramaditya.

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

Postby Kartik » 24 Dec 2019 04:57

Nikhil T wrote:
Nihat wrote:What a colossal waste of resources.

We have Tejas, mki and rafale coming into the force as established platforms and yet we insist on wasting time and resources on creating a khichadi of an air force.

Have no doubt that this contract will be rigged in favor of the Rafales. Wait for a few months and we'll start hearing arguments in favor of the Rafale - commonality of equipment, lower acquisition costs because we already operate them etc.

As Indranil said, I would've liked to spend this money on keeping the Tejas MK1 production going until MK1A comes online - especially when the IAF claims that MK1 is at par or better than M2K and spend the remaining money on obtaining true game changers like AWACS, tankers, EW, and Meteors that we don't have the money for today.


TBH- it better be rigged in favor of the Rafale. Otherwise, the IAF will have a fleet of just 36 Rafale that'll end up being one heck of a costly force to operate and maintain through 40 years. 36 doesn't even offer attrition reserves to keep either of the 2 squadrons at normal 18 per squadron strength. However, I expect the US to make a very strong pitch this time around. A lot could depend on election results in the US next year..Democrats come to power and the US jets will stand a much poorer chance, given how relations seem stronger when Republicans are in power.

Ideally, just another 36-48 Rafales would have been sufficient to close this MRCA thing entirely. But IMO, this is the pound of flesh that those who want an imported fighter (for a host of reasons) will demand in order to keep the Tejas and MWF line going.

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

Postby Kartik » 24 Dec 2019 05:01

Vips wrote:
kit wrote:Rafale vs F/A-18E Flight Cost Per Hour
Image

Image

Holy Moly! The operational flight cost per hour and the unit cost difference between Rafale and the Hornet is HUGE. Correspondingly Is Rafale twice as potent as the Hornet - Certainly Not.


Until and unless we know what goes into the calculation of per hour operational costs, no such comparison can be done. There are just so many line items involved in the total cost calculation that we cannot say for sure whether this figure is rigged in favor of one or the other. For instance, if the CPH includes labor costs then keep in mind that our labor costs are nowhere near the same as those in Europe or US.

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

Postby Kartik » 24 Dec 2019 05:17

What the hell is this?!

RFPs- IN looks to buy 57 fighters for Rs 95,000 crore

The Indian Navy will soon invite requests for proposals (RfPs) for a Rs 95,000-crore tender to purchase 57 fighter aircraft. An official source said: “Companies including Sweden-based SAAB, Lockheed Martin, Boeing (both US-based firms), France’s Dassault Aviation and Russia’s MIG will be receiving the RfPs soon.”


Why Saab?! Is the Sea Gripen sprouting another engine for this tender?!

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

Postby souravB » 24 Dec 2019 05:24

^^Moreover what'll LM offer? F35?

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

Postby Indranil » 24 Dec 2019 07:31

Kartik wrote:What the hell is this?!

RFPs- IN looks to buy 57 fighters for Rs 95,000 crore

The Indian Navy will soon invite requests for proposals (RfPs) for a Rs 95,000-crore tender to purchase 57 fighter aircraft. An official source said: “Companies including Sweden-based SAAB, Lockheed Martin, Boeing (both US-based firms), France’s Dassault Aviation and Russia’s MIG will be receiving the RfPs soon.”


Why Saab?! Is the Sea Gripen sprouting another engine for this tender?!

How is SAAB Sea Gripen allowed when NLCA Mk2 is disallowed? What am I missing? NLCA Mk1 can trap on Vikad tomorrow if a decision is made today. Where is Sea Gripen?

This is a facepalm moment if this official represents IN's stand.

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

Postby Vips » 24 Dec 2019 07:34

souravB wrote:^^Moreover what'll LM offer? F35?


You never know. F35 variant which can operate from small flat tops can be a huge force multiplier and a cost effective solution to multiple ding dong carriers being planned by the chinese lizards.

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

Postby Rakesh » 24 Dec 2019 08:32

Kartik wrote:What the hell is this?!
RFPs- IN looks to buy 57 fighters for Rs 95,000 crore
The Indian Navy will soon invite requests for proposals (RfPs) for a Rs 95,000-crore tender to purchase 57 fighter aircraft. An official source said: “Companies including Sweden-based SAAB, Lockheed Martin, Boeing (both US-based firms), France’s Dassault Aviation and Russia’s MIG will be receiving the RfPs soon.”

Why Saab?! Is the Sea Gripen sprouting another engine for this tender?!

The single engine Sea Gripen, along with the twin engine MiG-29K, the Rafale M and the F-18 have been part of the competition ever since news of the RFP came about. Even the article - posted above - is from April of 2018.

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

Postby Rakesh » 24 Dec 2019 08:34

Vips wrote:
souravB wrote:^^Moreover what'll LM offer? F35?

You never know. F35 variant which can operate from small flat tops can be a huge force multiplier and a cost effective solution to multiple ding dong carriers being planned by the chinese lizards.

India will have to get a S-400 waiver for the F-35 to happen.

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

Postby Rakesh » 24 Dec 2019 08:42

While Group Captain HV Thakur (Retd) is not part of the selection process of MRCA 3.0, as a seasoned combat pilot see what he says about the F-18.

In fact, click on the link below and read the twitter feed.

https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/12080 ... 21696?s=21 —> IAF Rafale undergoing trials for HMDS & Meteor on Rafale. Will probably see their way into Rafale-Ms. That's op minuses killed right there. Rafale is Omni-Role with AF & Navy variants. Cross utilisation between fleets could be great. Big+ in favour of Rafales. For AF, SH is a no.

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

Postby LakshmanPST » 24 Dec 2019 08:58

souravB wrote:^^Moreover what'll LM offer? F35?


If (that is a gigantic if) F35 is offered, two questions--->
Can F35C take-off from a Ski-jump...???
Also, I think F35B don't have foldable wings... So, will F35B, or even F35C, fit in the lifts of VikAd and Vikrant...???

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

Postby Kartik » 24 Dec 2019 11:33

Rakesh wrote:While Group Captain HV Thakur (Retd) is not part of the selection process of MRCA 3.0, as a seasoned combat pilot see what he says about the F-18.

In fact, click on the link below and read the twitter feed.

https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/12080 ... 21696?s=21 —> IAF Rafale undergoing trials for HMDS & Meteor on Rafale. Will probably see their way into Rafale-Ms. That's op minuses killed right there. Rafale is Omni-Role with AF & Navy variants. Cross utilisation between fleets could be great. Big+ in favour of Rafales. For AF, SH is a no.


I hope no one from HAL sees that tweet. HAL is tied up with Boeing for the Super Hornet for the MRCA AFAIK.

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

Postby Rakesh » 24 Dec 2019 17:41

So true Kartik. But it is an open secret in the IAF. It is a Navy fighter as per the IAF. They feel it is slow and sluggish. Heck, even the previous head of Boeing India - Pratyush Kumar - said so as much. I have to find the exact quote, but he said something along the lines that Boeing hopes the IAF will look beyond WVR and focus on BVR in this present MRCA contest.

Good luck with the IAF doing that, especially post Balakot. The F-18 is a great multi-role fighter, but just not for the IAF. Both offerings from the US - F-21 and F-18 - are shown packed with a number of AMRAAMs enough to take out small air forces! :lol:

When the USAF/USN goes into a conflict, they have such an awesome support capability behind them that their fighters (F-16, F-18 and F-15) will prevail and overwhelm the enemy. That support capability does not exist in the IAF presently. Without that support, the F-21 and F-18 are pitted against platforms that were designed to be at least on par if not better than them in some respects. The Typhoon, Gripen E and Rafale are prime examples.

Rafale (and F-18) will still end up within the technical down select. That much is certain. What remains to be seen is whether Dassault can top the cost factor. That is going to be hard to do.

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

Postby Rakesh » 24 Dec 2019 23:00

US hopeful of bagging IAF, Navy orders for fighter jets
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ne ... 3db61fc8f5

"We have the best product technologically advanced F-21 for IAF and F/A 18 which I understand the Indian Navy is very much interested in. That competition will be concluding soon and I hope resolution will be satisfactory for both the parties," he told reporters on the sidelines of US-India Defence Ties Conference here.

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

Postby Kartik » 25 Dec 2019 02:45

The first Kuwaiti Eurofighter has been flown in the new export standard. Expect this to be standard offered to India for MRCA. And remember this is more expensive than the Rafale per unit and no money has been sunk into infrastructure as yet. So I would still prefer the Rafale over the Eurofighter Typhoon any day.

BTW, more than 43 months have passed since Kuwait placed the order for 28 Eurofighters from Leonardo in April 2016. And only now has the first one flown.

New beginnings - Eurofighter Typhoon

Image

On December 23 Eurofighter Instrumented Series Production Aircraft (ISPA) 6 made its first flight from the Leonardo Aircraft Division flight test center at Turin-Caselle. ISPA 6 is the first Eurofighter in the planned export configuration for the Kuwait Air Force, with the second iteration of the Phase 3 Enhancement software (P3EB) and fitted with the new Captor E-Scan radar (known as Radar One Plus, or Captor E Mk0), an active electronically scanned array (AESA) derivative of Typhoon’s highly regarded Captor radar. The manufacturer claimed, “This standard is the most advanced variant of the fighter jet ever made, with a package of capabilities that builds effectively on existing enhancement programs.”

Other test aircraft have been testing specific elements of the new export standard in different Eurofighter partner companies. BAE Systems’ Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) 5 and Airbus Defence and Space’s IPA 8 have been flying with production-standard AESA radars for some time, operating from Warton and Manching, respectively, while IPA 4 has been flying with Mk 80-series bombs in Spain.

However, the inaugural flight of ISPA 6 marked the first flight of the entire package that will be delivered to Kuwait and marked a key milestone on the journey towards Eurofighter’s entry into service in the Gulf nation. Kuwait ordered 28 aircraft in April 2016.

When the Kuwaiti Typhoons enter service, they will have the E-scan radar (EIS standard), a Lockheed Martin Sniper laser designator pod capability including downlink; the DRS-Cubic P5 ACMI combat training pod (providing real-time training for A-A gunnery, IRIS-T, and AMRAAM C7); Mk 82, 83, and 84 ballistic bombs; a medium-range missile capability using the AIM-120 AMRAAM (up to AIM-120C7); and a Meteor Initial Capability (Training). The aircraft will also have VOR navigation capability.

Full operational capability will include an upgraded E-scan radar, Enhanced Sniper full-range capability, a P5 ACMI pod enhancement, GBU-31 JDAM Precision Guided Bombs, and full Meteor capability.


With the flight of ISPA 6, a new era is beginning for the Eurofighter Typhoon even as production of the aircraft to meet the requirements of the original four partner nations is drawing to a close. The Royal Air Force received its final Tranche 3A Typhoon (ZK439, BS155) from the BAE Systems Warton production line on September 27, the last of 159 aircraft delivered to the Royal Air Force. The Warton final assembly line will also be responsible for the 24 Typhoons ordered by Qatar, and there are still hopes of an order for 48 more aircraft from Saudi Arabia.

In Spain, the final C.16 Eurofighter (SS058, C.16-78, 10235, 14-36) has been delivered, the last of 72 Spanish aircraft (58 single-seaters and 14 two-seaters). The last German Eurofighter EF2000 (31+53, GS113) was delivered from the Manching line on December 17, 2019, the last of 143 Eurofighters for the Luftwaffe, at least for now. (The Typhoon name is not used officially in Germany or Spain). The final Italian F-2000, (MM7356, IS082), was due to make its first flight before the end of 2019, and the Italian assembly line will also produce the 28 aircraft for Kuwait.

Though notional final deliveries for Germany and Spain have now taken place, further production for Germany seems likely. The German government and Airbus Defence and Space have launched the Quadriga project to replace the Luftwaffe’s 31 Tranche 1 aircraft with seven new-build two-seat Eurofighters and 26 or even 31 single-seaters. The Eurofighter is also the front-runner to meet the Luftwaffe’s 85-aircraft requirement for a Tornado replacement. These would be split between two batches, 45 aircraft with strategic capabilities, and 40 to meet the Luftgestützte Wirkung im Elektromagnetischen Spektrum requirement with an electronic attack and escort jammer capability. Spain might also select the Eurofighter to meet its requirement for an F/A-18 Hornet replacement.


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

Postby Philip » 25 Dec 2019 08:41

Kartik, since Leonardo has been blacklisted over the AW scandal,part of the group, how can the Typhoon be offered to us? Why I've said that with huge conglomerates encompassing land, air and naval eqpt., only the offending co. must be punished not the entire group. That way we shot ourselves in the foot over torpedoes for Scorpenes and our SSBNs!

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

Postby Kartik » 26 Dec 2019 02:56

Philip, Leonardo won't be the 'face' of Airbus when the Eurofighter is participating in the MRCA tender. It was Airbus Germany that was the lead for the previous Indian MRCA competition.

The way the Eurofighter Consortium works is that it makes each partner nation a lead for an export competition or sale. For instance, Britain with its long standing relations in the ME and their deep connects led in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar and all 3 contracts are executed with final assembly at Warton in the UK. Kuwait competition was handled by Leonardo, so it handles the Kuwaiti Eurofighters assembly. All Latin American exports are to be led by Spain (which will obviously never materialize given their tight budgets and the cost of the Eurofighter). I recall some had argued that BAe Systems should have led for India's MRCA too instead of Airbus Germany, given BAe Systems' existing relationships and previous export sales to India.

Anyway it makes little difference given how unlikely a Eurofighter is for the IAF in this MRCA 2.0 competition. It is as costly as the Rafale, we have zero investments made in ground infra for it, and it comes with the added headache of 4 European govts of varying degrees of liberal meddling habits. I would much rather the IAF took Su-35Es, but not Eurofighters.

My bet is on the Rafale, followed by F-21 and then F/A-18 E/F.

Gripen E/F would seemingly be less attractive to the IAF leadership given the Tejas Mk2 MWF. Of course, individual pilots may still consider the Gripen E/F to be a very viable alternative, and it is, but there is little to gain strategically from Sweden and it will directly compete with our own MWF for orders.

F-21 is a real dark horse IMO. From a multitude of pilot interviews and articles, it is clear to me that even today, the F-16 is an extremely capable and dangerous fighter in all respects. And it'll be the most affordable as well in the overall lifecycle costs (the Russian jets will fare somewhat poorly in overall lifecycle costs, but will be cheapest to acquire initially). People can say all they want about the age of the platform, but frankly, there is little capability difference today or in the next 40 years in what a F-21 would be able to do versus any of the other 4th gen fighters out there. Plus, 12000 hours of service life is outstanding. Will allow for long hours on station without pilots worrying about using up precious airframe life, something that struck me when hearing Air Marshal Harish Masand's interview on a youtube channel where he was describing how MiG-29 pilots never did anything that wasn't asked of the mission because conserving the airframe life was so important. Hence the short duration of training sorties.

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

Postby ramana » 26 Dec 2019 03:44

Taking totality of Indian needs, I would think Rafale.
But all weapon system buys are political. Buying a US fighter plane is an elusive Holy Grail since the 1960s.
And DT needs baksheesh.

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

Postby srai » 26 Dec 2019 11:57

Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 available in numbers. RAF and Luftwaffe retiring/replacing Tranche 1 with later Tranche production model. Wonder how much they would cost if the GoI were to purchase for the IAF?

  • 31 x Luftwaffe
  • 53 x RAF
Total = 84 (~4 squadrons)

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

Postby Aditya_V » 26 Dec 2019 15:49

Yes Yes lets buy an aircraft the home country does not want, a new type, training, engine, weapons inventory etc etc which does not have AESA or A2g needs. Sorry Makes no sense, I hope we order Rafale, SU-30 etc and loads of LCA Mk1/MK1A/ MK2 /TEDBF etc. No more new type 4+ gen aircraft from Other Countries
Last edited by Aditya_V on 26 Dec 2019 16:06, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby chola » 26 Dec 2019 16:02

^^^ It is TEDBF, Sir. I have never seem one of our acronyms mangled in so many forums...

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

Postby Aditya_V » 26 Dec 2019 16:06

Sorry correcting it

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

Postby srai » 26 Dec 2019 17:55

:mrgreen: Saga continues ...

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

Postby ldev » 26 Dec 2019 21:15

Kartik wrote:F-21 is a real dark horse IMO. From a multitude of pilot interviews and articles, it is clear to me that even today, the F-16 is an extremely capable and dangerous fighter in all respects. And it'll be the most affordable as well in the overall lifecycle costs (the Russian jets will fare somewhat poorly in overall lifecycle costs, but will be cheapest to acquire initially). People can say all they want about the age of the platform, but frankly, there is little capability difference today or in the next 40 years in what a F-21 would be able to do versus any of the other 4th gen fighters out there. Plus, 12000 hours of service life is outstanding. Will allow for long hours on station without pilots worrying about using up precious airframe life, something that struck me when hearing Air Marshal Harish Masand's interview on a youtube channel where he was describing how MiG-29 pilots never did anything that wasn't asked of the mission because conserving the airframe life was so important. Hence the short duration of training sorties.

I think a lot of the aversion to the F-16/21 is there in IAF circles because the PAF has it. No other rational reason. As you have stated, it will actually provide the most cost effective solution for the next 40 years.This irrationality is somehow not present vs the PLAAF also having the SU-30. And I daresay that the differences between the SU-30MKI used by India and the Chinese SU-30 will be at least as great as the differences between the F-16/21 on offer to India and the Block 40/52 versions of the F-16 with the PAF.

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

Postby Rakesh » 26 Dec 2019 23:34

srai wrote::mrgreen: Saga continues ...

Indeed. And more Rakshaks choose their aircraft :lol:

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

Postby Rakesh » 27 Dec 2019 01:22

ldev wrote:I think a lot of the aversion to the F-16/21 is there in IAF circles because the PAF has it. No other rational reason. As you have stated, it will actually provide the most cost effective solution for the next 40 years.

Please read the CAG report - released in 2019 - on the first MMRCA contest. I have provided the link below. The Rafale did not get a glowing review and neither did the Rafale meet all the ASQRs. To be very honest, it is not a pretty picture for the Rafale in the CAG report. But this line - as to why the F-16 and F-18 were rejected - is key. And that is not the CAG's opinion, but the IAF's.

Performance Audit Report of the CAG on Capital Acquisition of the Indian Air Force
https://bit.ly/2Stik7q

IAF also argued that though F-16/F-18 of M/s Lockheed Martin/Boeing USA were in similar class as the Mirage 2000 MK II, it could face difficulties in case sanctions were imposed by USA.

To be fair though, this concern was raised way back in 2003/04 as indicated in the report (page 112 in the above link). So sanctions from Pokharan '98 were still fresh in the minds of the IAF leadership at that time. However threats of possible CAATSA sanctions are still active. And the Indian Air Force will be the operator of the S-400, not the Indian Army or the Indian Navy. The IAF (and the GOI) is still waiting for the CAATSA waiver. So those concerns raised by the IAF is still very much present with the current IAF leadership. Just wondering though, how long does it take to print and sign a waiver? :)

Being most cost effective is pointless, if the customer does not want it. And whatever the reason (sanctions, lack of growth, technological obsolesce, etc) the IAF provides for rejection the customer is not the GOI, it is the Indian Air Force. And their verdict in the technical down select is the only one that matters. In fact, no else can weigh in on that measure. The Indian Air Force is judge and jury in the technical down select. Perhaps Boeing and Lockheed Martin realize that the Rafale and the Eurofighter are just as good (and better in a number of respects) as the F-16 and F-18. And thus Boeing and Lockheed Martin are leveraging their other strengths, in which they are the undisputed leader.

So all this while and till to this very day and beyond, the strategy that Boeing and Lockheed Martin have adopted is this ---> which provides the most industrial value for India and which provides the greatest strategic value for India. Neither of those factors however are the IAF's purview or concern. That is the GOI's concern. The way the contest is set up is is the technical down select is conducted first, some are dropped out technically and then the bids are opened for their commercial offerings to find out who is L1.

So as I indicated earlier....

1) Seasoned IAF test pilots will evaluate all the important parameters. Rafale is already now known to the IAF. So these pilots will basically look at what the other competitors are capable of, namely the F-18 and see how it stacks up against the Rafale. From the radar to the engine to the weapons to the sensors, everything will be cross referenced against the Rafale.

2) Then the question that will be asked is ---> what game changer is present on the F-18 (or any of the other competitors) that necessitates the need for a new type of aircraft to complement the 36 Rafales. There will be areas where the F-18 (or any of the other competitors) will trump the Rafale and vice versa. But are those areas critical enough to invest already scarce resources (and a sputtering economy right now) in not just the aircraft...but everything else that comes with it?

3) What tech can be ported on to AMCA? If it is an American bird that is chosen, will the IAF be allowed to mount the Astra Mk1, Astra Mk2 and SFDR on the F-21 or F-18 along with the AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM and AIM-9X air-to-air missiles? Or will that cause takleef to Raytheon, as Meteor integration on Tejas (failed) did to MBDA? Porting tech to AMCA will be a huge factor in the IAF decision making process and Boeing - IMVHO - holds an advantage here. The IAF is investing their entire future in the AMCA, so whoever wins will have to offer (and provide guarantees on those offerings) significant tech of value to India.

So if the Americans are looking to come out on top - in this contest - it would be better to have the GOI do the selection first (eliminate Dassault, Saab and Airbus out of the contest) and leave RSK-MiG and Sukhoi in the running. So only the offerings from Boeing, Sukhoi, Lockheed Martin and RSK-MiG will be left for the IAF to choose from. The GOI will have to provide a valid reason and Saab, Dassault & Airbus will be up in arms when that happens. RaGa tried that with the fake Rafale scam, but it did not work. So if American fighters are a must for India, then the contest will have to be conducted differently. There is no indication of that occurring, as the IAF is conducting a condensed version of a technical down select in 2020. Otherwise do a G2G deal directly with America and cancel the MRCA contest.

ldev wrote:This irrationality is somehow not present vs the PLAAF also having the SU-30. And I daresay that the differences between the SU-30MKI used by India and the Chinese SU-30 will be at least as great as the differences between the F-16/21 on offer to India and the Block 40/52 versions of the F-16 with the PAF.

The IAF reads the writing on the wall - the Russians have not sanctioned India. And thus that concern does not exist.

It is not the platform that matters to the IAF. It is the willingness of the platform's host nation to partner with the IAF (and the GOI) on areas that matter to it. How many nuclear boats have the Americans offered to India, as the Russians did with the Charlie and Akula Class of boats? Have the Americans provided reactor design for a SSBN, as the Russians did for the Arihant Class?

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

Postby Rakesh » 27 Dec 2019 01:46

X-Post from the India-US relations: News and Discussions IV thread.

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

The hot-pink India-US romance is ending; New Delhi needs to worry
https://www.cnbctv18.com/politics/the-h ... 928701.htm

* Even though President Donald Trump has often been supportive of the strategic partnership with India, the pile of unresolved issues has mounted.

*New Delhi needs to get its act in order — or risks having to negotiate the dark alleyways of our dangerous world alone.

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

Postby Kartik » 27 Dec 2019 02:39

srai wrote:Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 1 available in numbers. RAF and Luftwaffe retiring/replacing Tranche 1 with later Tranche production model. Wonder how much they would cost if the GoI were to purchase for the IAF?

  • 31 x Luftwaffe
  • 53 x RAF
Total = 84 (~4 squadrons)


If those were such great jets, they'd have sold out on the second hand market. UK has them, Italy has them and so does Spain and all 3 nations are trying to get rid of them. But nobody wants those second hand Tranche 1 jets and they keep losing out to upgraded F-16s in second hand export deals. Upgrading them to Tranche 2 or 3 is so damn expensive that Germany is simply going to retire them and buy new jets at the latest level.

Basically nobody wants them since they are so limited in capabilities and yet expensive to operate, as Austria keeps complaining about.

Best to keep as far away from these expensive duds as possible.

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

Postby ldev » 27 Dec 2019 03:06

Rakesh wrote: And the Indian Air Force will be the operator of the S-400, not the Indian Army or the Indian Navy. The IAF (and the GOI) is still waiting for the CAATSA waiver. So those concerns raised by the IAF is still very much present with the current IAF leadership. Just wondering though, how long does it take to print and sign a waiver? :)

I think the S400 is a must have given that the longest ranged SAM in IAF service today is the Akash with an intercept range of 30 km, (don't know how far away from deployment MRSAM is though that will have a 70 km range.) But the sanction waiver will be addressed at the time that the down select happens if it happens to include the F18 or the F16. Obviously any order for US aircraft will be contingent on the waiver happening in the form of some sort of a treaty i.e. something that will be binding on successive US administrations and not a plain jane waiver that can be annulled by another administration or a vote in the US Congress.

It is not the platform that matters to the IAF. It is the willingness of the platform's host nation to partner with the IAF (and the GOI) on areas that matter to it. How many nuclear boats have the Americans offered to India, as the Russians did with the Charlie and Akula Class of boats? Have the Americans provided reactor design for a SSBN, as the Russians did for the Arihant Class?


See, that is just the point. For how will the Russians continue to squeeze India's b*ll* because of the supply of nuke submarine reactors and other technology? For how long does DRDO require hand holding to build a submarine reactor? How many more Akula's is India going to need to lease from Russia? Yes, at one stage Russia and India were aligned geopolitcally. But today e.g. India cannot export the Brahmos to Vietnam because of the Russian veto. And the Russian veto is there because the Chinese have pressurized Russia not to let India supply the Brahmos to a country that could use it against China!! The fact that this has become an issue is apparent from this recent article. Supposedly Russia will not stand in the way of exports now. I will believe that India truly has a free hand when it actually signs a contract to sell Brahmos to Vietnam. The trajectory of relative national power between China and Russia is clear. A tipping point will be reached soon......

China not to come in way of BrahMos missile export

Also, I was reading somewhere that GOI has budgeted Rs 150,000 crores for 114 IAF fighters and Rs 95,000 crores for 57 Indian navy fighters. Given that the first 36 Rafale cost Rs 59,000 crores, 114 will cost about Rs 190,000 crores on a straight line basis. Yes, some of the initial Rs 59,000 crores was spent on a one time basis for India specific equipment development and for IAF bases, but then by the time this next contract is due, there will also be inevitable inflation pushing up prices. Ditto for the Indian Navy contract. So at least for the budgeted amounts both the IAF and the IN will get fewer aircraft than they want - if they select the Rafale. Back to square one, falling squadron strength....Supposedly the 36 Rafale will be the spear, and the 1114 MRCA competition is to provide the numbers needed to keep squadron strength from falling....

And as somebody else said earlier on this threat, I think in the end, this will be a political decision, irrespective of what the IAF wants.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Dec 2019 09:35

Rakesh wrote:
TushS wrote:If my memory works well, that's a very very old rumour. And HMS Prince of Wales cost us huge, may be around $9 billion. Will that work for IN?

A conventionally powered INS Vishal will cost nothing less, once you factor in the delays that will come. If the Navy is willing to spend upwards of US $13 billion for 57 naval fighters, what is US $9 billion for the vessel? But it is an unfounded rumour and has no basis whatsoever. What is confirmed though that the QE design has been offered to India.
If the HMS Prince of Wales is up for sale, India will get a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier like tomorrow :) There will be no 10 - 15 year timeframe and those lifts are great!

The design seems excellent. I for one would do lungi dance

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

Postby Rakesh » 27 Dec 2019 12:15

ldev wrote:I think the S400 is a must have given that the longest ranged SAM in IAF service today is the Akash with an intercept range of 30 km, (don't know how far away from deployment MRSAM is though that will have a 70 km range.) But the sanction waiver will be addressed at the time that the down select happens if it happens to include the F18 or the F16. Obviously any order for US aircraft will be contingent on the waiver happening in the form of some sort of a treaty i.e. something that will be binding on successive US administrations and not a plain jane waiver that can be annulled by another administration or a vote in the US Congress.

Are we now stating that the CAATSA waiver is tied into the MRCA purchase? I believe the US Administration denied that accusation. I thought the below article was "fake" news onlee.

Washington lets Delhi know: Buy our F-16s, can give Russia deal waiver
https://indianexpress.com/article/india ... r-5409894/
20 Oct 2018

There is a problem with "binding" agreements with the US. What one US administration agrees to, is not necessarily what a future administration will honour. The Trump Presidency is clear evidence of that. From the Paris Accord to NATO, the "Donald" has pooch screwed everything. But DT will not be President forever. Another administration - likely Democratic - will succeed him. But how long will that utopia - the absence of a DT type figure - last? 4 years or 8? What then? One would have imagined, that the citizenry in America would have learned from the GW Bush debacle after President Obama's election. But the Obama Presidency divided the country even further and DT was the result. What is the guarantee that a future President - even more hawkish and protectionist than DT - will not take over at the helm? DT proved that with 3 am tweeting and constant lying, one can weasel their way into the US Presidency.

And that poses a significant problem when purchasing fighter aircraft from the US. These aircraft will be in service for the next 40+ years in the IAF. Assuming every US President wins two terms going forward, that is a span of minimum five future US Presidents over the course of 40 years. How reliable and how binding can those agreements be made over the course of five administrations? And that is assuming that the ever changing US Congress will also adhere to those agreements as well over the course of four decades.

Take a look at the service of the Mirage 2000 in the IAF. Arrived in 1985 in India. From François Mitterrand in the 80s to Jacques Chirac in the 1990s to Nicolas Sarkozy in the first decade of the 21st century then to François Hollande and now to Emmanuel Macron, French Administrations have come & gone and the Mirage 2000 has completed 35 years of sanction-free service to date. And the upgraded variant is expected to soldier on till 2032. When all is said and done, that will be almost 50 years of service in the IAF. And as far as I can remember, there has not been a single episode from any of these French Administrations as to how and where the aircraft can be used by the Indian Air Force.

And these are 114 combat aircraft...a significant chunk of air power for any air force, barring the USAF. To put 114 birds into the hands of a wishy-washy US political environment is not very re-assuring for India. And if the IAF had that concern about sanctions in the past and likely still do (each time the US Govt "reminds" India about the S-400 purchase), it provides a shaky foundation to a supposedly strategic partnership. If the Americans are seriously concerned about containing China, they need to move beyond the transactional relationship - which is where it is right now - to a more meaningful one.

ldev wrote:See, that is just the point. For how will the Russians continue to squeeze India's b*ll* because of the supply of nuke submarine reactors and other technology? For how long does DRDO require hand holding to build a submarine reactor? How many more Akula's is India going to need to lease from Russia?

Is that not the point of technology transfer? We do not need hand holding for submarine reactors as the follow Arihant boats have proved. Depending on the sources one reads, there are two more boats in the water now. And even larger SSBNs, with correspondingly larger reactors, are being planned. Has not the goal being achieved then?

But America still has time. Would they be interested in giving the blueprints for the S9G reactor that powers the Virginia Class boat? India is working on a six SSN boat program right and the S9G reactor design would be a great boost to the program. I am sure the Russian design does not have the finesse of the American one. After the Russian ball squeezing, India can move to the American one. It will be more painful, but hey if you want to contain the Chinese...no pain, no gain right?

Equally enticing would be blueprints for the A1B reactor, which powers the Gerald Ford Class aircraft carrier. Since the DRDO-Indian Naval Design Bureau tussle on who should bear the costs for a reactor design, has forced the Indian Navy to drop the idea of a nuclear powered INS Vishal. After all, we were told on BRF that the next Indian carrier is about influencing events from Alaska to the South China Sea. And the Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC) would be the perfect backdrop to give India this technology.

If that is too much takleef for the Americans, how about leasing India a Virgina Class boat instead? Way more advanced that the Akula Class boats that India currently leases from Russia. The last time I read, America was "talking up" the strategic relationship with India, to contain China. So perhaps this would be a good way to really drive that relationship to the next "meaningful" level?

But even if that is not possible, how about handing over engine tech to India for the upcoming AMCA? The Jet Engine Technology Joint Working Group (JETJWG) crashed and burned. Safran of France gave India the shaft yet again! Now is the opportunity. Provide something of value that India can work with.

ldev wrote:Yes, at one stage Russia and India were aligned geopolitcally. But today e.g. India cannot export the Brahmos to Vietnam because of the Russian veto. And the Russian veto is there because the Chinese have pressurized Russia not to let India supply the Brahmos to a country that could use it against China!! The fact that this has become an issue is apparent from this recent article. Supposedly Russia will not stand in the way of exports now. I will believe that India truly has a free hand when it actually signs a contract to sell Brahmos to Vietnam. The trajectory of relative national power between China and Russia is clear. A tipping point will be reached soon......

China not to come in way of BrahMos missile export

Who do you see Philippines using the BrahMos against? Were the Chinese not successful in convincing the Russians against the Philippine sale as well? With the success of the Vietnam one, I would have assumed that Philippines would have been a cake walk for the Chinese. Philippines is right in the middle of the South China Sea after all. To contain Vietnam and then give Philippines a pass makes little sense.

ldev wrote:Also, I was reading somewhere that GOI has budgeted Rs 150,000 crores for 114 IAF fighters and Rs 95,000 crores for 57 Indian navy fighters. Given that the first 36 Rafale cost Rs 59,000 crores, 114 will cost about Rs 190,000 crores on a straight line basis. Yes, some of the initial Rs 59,000 crores was spent on a one time basis for India specific equipment development and for IAF bases, but then by the time this next contract is due, there will also be inevitable inflation pushing up prices. Ditto for the Indian Navy contract. So at least for the budgeted amounts both the IAF and the IN will get fewer aircraft than they want - if they select the Rafale.

Assuming Rafale is chosen and both services get lesser aircraft than what was initially planned (114 and 57 for the air force and navy respectively), it will not open the door for a future purchase of yet another fourth generation combat aircraft. So whatever the reduced amount will be for the air force, the remainder will be filled with additional Tejas aircraft. The GOI will not hold another contest. So instead of 114 Rafales for the IAF, if only 72 come...the remaining gap of 42 birds will likely be filled with Tejas. With regards to the Navy, if they get even 36 Rafales (two squadrons worth), they will jump at that chance. Anything to get rid of those MiG-29Ks. The TEDBF is coming and the Navy will address the gap with that. Assuming another aircraft wins the MRCA contest, the cost for setting up everything from scratch will be just as expensive. At that point, while the unit cost will be cheaper, the infrastructure and the logistical support will be just as expensive as the Rafale.

Whoever wins the MRCA contest, will likely win the Navy contest as well. It does not make sense for the GOI to split the deal. As I indicated earlier, why deal with two OEMs, when one OEM can fulfill the needs of both? And for that, only Boeing and Dassault have any meaningful path in the MRCA contest. These are the only two manufacturers that have one platform that can serve with the air force and the navy. None of the others, including LM, can make that claim. And only Boeing has an aircraft that can fit in the lifts of the Vikrant and the Vikramaditya. The Rafale, to date, cannot.

ldev wrote:Back to square one, falling squadron strength....Supposedly the 36 Rafale will be the spear, and the 1114 MRCA competition is to provide the numbers needed to keep squadron strength from falling....

And as somebody else said earlier on this threat, I think in the end, this will be a political decision, irrespective of what the IAF wants.

At a meagre 36 Rafales, she will serve as no spear. Attrition losses alone will reduce the effectiveness of the two squadrons. That is something that has been conveyed to the GOI. And please do not wish for 1,114 MRCA :)

The political decision will have to pre-empt the technical down select. Unless the GOI plans to inject itself into the process of the technical down select.

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

Postby Manish_P » 27 Dec 2019 14:30

Rakesh wrote:
There is a problem with "binding" agreements with the US. What one US administration agrees to, is not necessarily what a future administration will honour.

...

And as far as I can remember, there has not been a single episode from any of these French Administrations as to how and where the aircraft can be used by the Indian Air Force.



IMVHO that was because the Pakis were nowhere as important to the French as we were/are. OTOH if it was China then it might well have been a different matter...
(remember the French shafting the Argentinians during the Falklands)


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