MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

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

Postby Cain Marko » 26 Feb 2018 20:24

So 100 birds is the new hope, eh?

How about
36 x su35mki + upgrade
36 x Rafale
36 x Jsf

All g2g, they can thank me later...

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

Postby Rakesh » 26 Feb 2018 20:25

You can strike the first one off the list. No more Russian birds. Another 36 - 44 Rafales and 2+2 option of F-35A.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 26 Feb 2018 20:27

I think we may see an order for two sqds of su30/35 and the upgrade to keep HAL lines busy for a little while... Especially if the noise about fgfa being a dead horse is true.

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

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 26 Feb 2018 21:37

Having been a Rafale advocate during the earlier run of this melodrama; and supporting its continued induction in the IAF for it's significant capabilities -- If the call of the day is for a new look and perhaps a new bird; all things considered, the "X-2" should be given very serious thought.

That's my early "vote", until I study the Swedish 5th generation initiative.

I'll bet you dollars to donuts, the service 'uptime' of this plane from Mitsubishi will beat any other on offer. I also expect that Mitsubishi (with their extensive knowledge of designing things to be constructed by robots) will produce a highly manufacturable design with a shorter build cycle; and so will be able to deliver the plane in larger numbers than most other manufacturers.

And check out the tech!


Of course, the Tejas should fill in the numbers for a serious war effort -- India's needs are large enough and diverse enough to warrant a new type of this class; which does not diminish the needs for Tejas.

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

Postby brar_w » 26 Feb 2018 21:45

Ravi Karumanchiri wrote:If the call of the day is for a new look and perhaps a new bird; all things considered, the "X-2" should be given very serious thought.


The X-2 is a scaled technology demonstrators for a yet to be fully defined (or sanctioned) Japanese fighter program.

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

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 26 Feb 2018 22:00

^^^^^^
Yeah, I know. I know the tempo of what is to come.

Any Rakshaks expecting an order to be made soon after the next election; are kidding themselves. Rather, larger numbers of already inducted aircraft will fill in the gap (more MKIs, more Rafales and hopefully many more Tejas).

The F-35 lacks the range and has terrible wing loading for a plane that will be traversing the Himalaya. Seriously, look at that meagre range! And look at that puny internal carriage! Until someone invents a "stealth" tanker to accompany the F-35 on deep strike missions; the F-35 will not be suitable for induction by the IAF, IMHO.

For this platform, the calculus of Realpolitik must prevail, TO WIT: In the USA, any two-bit "pip-squeek" member of Congress can put a halt to an arms deal. All that is necessary to halt US supply is a little tamasha and deliveries can get delayed, spares denied.

By comparison: Japan actually is a natural ally of India. In many respects (from a national security perspective WRT fighter aircraft requirements), India and Japan face a common threat environment shall we say, and both are member of the burgeoning "quad".

Who is to say, if a new MMRCA is launched formally with a testing regime and everything, if the Japanese produce a couple of X-2 for the IAF testing; and can demonstrate the requirements and the tooling to produce in numbers - it shouldn't matter that the bird hasn't yet been operationalized.




Seriously, Rakshaks: Ask yourself how many PRC spies have already picked-over the F-35 and F-22 programs; then ask yourself how successful they've been in Japan doing similar things, and you'll see added value in the X-2 program that no American program can even approach.
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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 26 Feb 2018 22:13

This is why there is the AMCA. The MRCA-II is not the AMCA and is a seperate program. Choosing designs which are likely to take 15-20 years to mature, if they are even sanctioned is not really an option.

Second, on the combat radius, the F-35A is going to be much better than the other aircraft in the competition in almost all configurations that warrant combat or require survivability. Compared to the Rafale, all but the very few configurations where the latter is packed with large EFTs have the F-35A on top. In the USAF configuration (2x2000 lb bombs and 2 self defense AMRAAMs), the F-35A has a demonstrated combat radius of 1200+ km (this is radius not range). This is on internal fuel only (F-35 does not carry EFTs).

Ravi Karumanchiri wrote: And look at that puny internal carriage!


It's internal carriage is designed around the 2000 lb bomb. This is likely to be better or at the very most equal to that of the AMCA. Japanese design is unlikely to offer anything better here either. Secondly, the internal bay is also designed for a maximum of 6 Aim-120/AMRAAM class A2A weapons with the expanded carriage capability (moving from 4 of 3F to 6) in the works.

Ravi Karumanchiri wrote:By comparison: Japan


And Japan has not even sanctioned a program yet. What it has done is hinted at additional F-35 purchase and an inclination to consider operating the F-35B from its Izumo.

Ravi Karumanchiri wrote:Who is to say, if a new MMRCA is launched formally with a testing regime and everything, if the Japanese produce a couple of X-2 for the IAF testing; and can demonstrate the requirements and the tooling to produce in numbers - it shouldn't matter that the bird hasn't yet been operationalized.


Just to reiterate, the X-2 is a scaled technology demonstrator that weighs roughly the same as an empty F-16. It is powered by an engine that delivers sub 12,000 lb of thrust in AB. A prototype of the actual F-4 or NG figther has not yet been sanctioned and Japan will likely decide in the next couple of years whether it even wants to pursue one or not. If they do decide to sanction the program, it will likely result in a prototype in the next half a decade or more and will not really be ready till well into the 2030s.
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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 26 Feb 2018 22:18

brar_w,

We're talking air superiority fighter.

Dropping bombs is not the requirement. That's the job of Tejas and Jaguars and Rafales.

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

Postby brar_w » 26 Feb 2018 22:22

Ravi Karumanchiri wrote:enough to know that when you strap a couple of sidewinders onto an F-35, it no longer is a stealth aircraft.


You would not be strapping that for those type of missions. The Sidewinder has reached the end of its development. Future missiles will offer better capability and will be designed for internal carriage. The USN had such a missile which it set aside for now because the USAF is actively funding new A2A missiles for the F-35 and F-22. Aim-9 is to the F-35 what the Aim-7 was to the F-16. It is integrated and will be carried (although the Sparrow wasn't really on the Viper) but capability is in the works that will move them away for this need. Others are already working to that end. The British with the CAMM, and Israel with the Stunner.

Ravi Karumanchiri wrote:We're talking air superiority fighter.


Perhaps you may be, but the IAF is not. They from the very start wanted a multi-role fighter. Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA)
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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 26 Feb 2018 22:23

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

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 26 Feb 2018 22:29

brar_w,

You certainly do have an answer for everything, so do tell: What of America's long history of technology denial?

The Japanese X-2 program itself, was birthed from American technological denial intransigence.

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

Postby brar_w » 26 Feb 2018 22:33

Ravi Karumanchiri wrote:
You certainly do have an answer for everything, so do tell: What of America's long history of technology denial?

The Japanese X-2 program itself, was birthed from American technological denial intransigence.


These are matters for the MOD to consider on a G2G basis. This aspect is most certainly one area where the GOI can simply not decide to pursue the F-35 further but as things stand, as per some unverified reports they have sought classified briefings on the aircraft.

Japan decided to prepare a tech demonstration but is yet to commit to launching a formal fighter aircraft program. If and when it does launch one, it will likely spend the next 15 years developing it. Meanwhile it is going to continue to build the F-35As and is planning for a follow-on order of another 20 aircraft for its air and perhaps the maritime needs. It is rather absurd to suggest that the IAF should simply evaluate non-existent sub-scale prototypes (2 for India) with engines less powerful than that on the LCA and then engage on a 15-20 year developmental effort along with Japan to fulfill the requirements of MMRCA-II which does not really share those same timelines and schedules. It is even more absurd to suggest something like that when the MOD is invested in the AMCA and for now still committed to the FGFA/PAKFA. What do you suggest, the MOD sanction two sub-scale technology demonstrators and the evaluate them against the competition? What next, once we study up on SAAB's paper project we would suggest that the MOD also pay SAAB to build 2-technology demonstrators which it could evaluate against proposals based on operational aircraft?

On technical grounds however, the facts are pretty clear..your "questions'" regarding range and payload do not really stand the test of facts based on actual flight test demonstration data especially when compared to comparative performance from the others in this field like the Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen-E, MiG-35, or SHornet. The F-35 will under most missions have better or at worst comparable range/payload performances in all but the bomb-truck missions for which using a 5th gen aircraft will be a waste anyway. Similarly, the IAF has in both iterations of this competition sought Multi-Role platforms and not primarily A2A or interceptor roles. It has backed that requirement by investing quite a bit of money in short range and stand off PGMs specifically for that fleet. The SEF was a carve out of the MMRCA and it too focused on multi-role platforms. The MRCA-II now again will have similar requirements (and largely the same competition with perhaps the addition of the F-35 and omission of the F-16). You seem to be confusing your own wishes with IAF/MOD requirements.

Ravi Karumanchiri wrote:Dropping bombs is not the requirement. That's the job of Tejas and Jaguars and Rafales.


In case you did not notice but the MRCA is born out of the same MMRCA need that initially sough 100+ multi-role fighters. There is nothing out there (besides you) to suggest that requirements have now dramatically shifted to just Air-Superiority missions.

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

Postby shiv » 26 Feb 2018 23:12

MR of MRCA = Multirole
"Multirole" means attack (bombs) and defence (air superiority/anti-air) by definition

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

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 26 Feb 2018 23:12

brar_w,

I cannot trade points and counter-points with you at this time. It's a Monday, mid-day, after all.

Don't worry, though -- I'm sure we'll have months and years to debate this topic. (I sometimes wonder who is paying your way in this world, and I suspect you're a LM contractor; so I understand where you're coming from on a Monday morning with the glory of the F-35.)

I'll just ask: If the Rafale was already inducted by IAF after the MMRCA-1 process; what makes you think the IAF won't just buy more Rafales for this job? Or co-produce them? What makes you think the IAF wants another type for this same role?

Further: Just look at the existing IAF inventory, and consider if "putting too many eggs in one basket" is a constant concern for the IAF; so much so that just having further diversification of supply is a major draw for the X-2.

With the Japanese, the counterespionage and political jeopardy represented by the PRC is entirely negated (as the Japanese are not indebted to the Chinese; and I would be surprised to find a single Chinese person working on this project anywhere within the entire supply ecosystem).


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

Postby brar_w » 26 Feb 2018 23:22

Ravi,

If you are going to make absurd claims without any grounding in fact, then expect rebuttals. Same with your name calling and trying to claim I work for XYZ. Let me just say categorically (not that anyone here needs to respond to such stupidity) that I do not work for LM or even in the Aerospace and Defense sector. I will resist sharing similar personal impressions based on your posts.

Ravi Karumanchiri wrote:I'll just ask: If the Rafale was already inducted by IAF after the MMRCA-1 process; what makes you think the IAF won't just buy more Rafales for this job? Or co-produce them? What makes you think the IAF wants another type for this same role?


Quite reasonable that the MOD and the IAF look at simply placing an order for more Rafale's. However, they are willing to compete the program and are looking at other offerings at this time. What they have not said anything on is point you just inserted into the debate in that "We are talking about Air Superiority fighter here" etc etc. The MRCA, the title of this thread refers to the current news reports which point to a multi-role aircraft requirement which the MOD is perhaps considering competitively acquiring.

If you wish the IAF to buy a new air-superiority fighter, buy two sub-scale tech demonstrators from Japan, perhaps another 2 from Sweden (once you are done reading up on what SAAB has on paper) then do ask for such a program but do not begin confusing that with an actual plan that the IAF at an official level has laid out or something which has been reported in the press. Start a new thread and shop for opinions on what others have to say or think about it but do not confuse that with the MMRCA / MRCA-II or any other effort on part of the MOD to buy a single or twin engine multi-role aircraft.

The rest of your claims are equally baffling, especially one where you continue to stress that the MOD/IAF consider joining a project that the host nation itself has not committed to in order to fulfill a requirement under discussion where mature, and operational platforms are expected to compete.

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

Postby ramana » 26 Feb 2018 23:42

Ravi, Knock it off.

Go ahead and delete the name calling.

If admins have to do it you will get a warning.

ramana

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

Postby Will » 27 Feb 2018 00:37

The Japanese are not going to allow us anywhere near their top line tech. Soryu being a point incase. The Japanese psyche is still reeling under the WW2 atomic attacks. It will take another generation of Japanese to come out of their self imposed isolation militarily. Believe me the Chinese fear a militarised Japan more than anyone.

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

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2018 00:50

1. The IAF wants planes fast (G2G order, ie no Make in India)
2. The IAF wants planes cheaper to operate than the MKI (hence the initial single-engine requirement)
3. The IAF wants planes cheaper to acquire than then Rafale (hence the existence of this program in the first place, otherwise they would have just ordered more Rafales)

I don't think this about the F-35 because the push was specifically to allow twins in the competition

What twin engine aircraft best suits the AF's goals AND would have pushed the GoI to change the rules in the first place?

Why the SH of course ;)

From a GoI perspective, choosing SH for both IAF and the Navy keeps the overall fleet simpler, enhances engine commonality (LCA, SH and AMCA all using F414) and makes ordering carrier aircraft simpler. Instead of having to guess exactly how many carrier aircraft they'll need, they can just use the extra in the IAF. Then if greater naval needs arise, it's simple enough to transfer the planes over. Conversely in a situation that needs land-based aircraft, the SH is already integrated into the IAF infrastructure and it would be possible to shift a squadron from a carrier to an inland base.

The SH might be 'almost' as heavy as the MKI, but it's still substantially lighter and combined with less thirsty engines makes it quite a bit cheaper to operate.

The USN is working on another 3 year block-buy and upgrade programs continue apace. In fact the USN is doing another upgrade program for legacy Hornets, and if they're working on keeping those pieces of junk modern, you know the SH will be relevant for decades to come.

In terms of something that 'just works', is affordable, reliable, offers basing flexibility and is available quickly, it's hard to beat the SH.

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

Postby brar_w » 27 Feb 2018 00:59

The problem with the SH is that it is too late in the day. Not enough reason to ditch just buying more Rafale's, and not substantially cheaper than the F-35A to not go for the former's significantly better capability. Others around the world have looked at this and 100% of them have picked the F-35A. The cost curves are coming down as production inches ever closer to triple dights (while that of the SH will be sustained for a 20-25 a year). This is likely to continue in the future as well. For the MOD/IAF, it is likely to be a decision b/w the Rafale and the F-35 and things like G2G relations and deals influenced by those are likely to play an important role. The USN is unique and alone because it has a very large fleet that it can economically grow and it wants to save as much money as it can to support its multi decade ship building plan. They also have a sister service that can fork out $10 Billion over 5 years to fund cutting edge fighter R&D saving it the time and money required to fund it. Is the US-India relationship strong enough now for the F-35 to be viable candidate? I am skeptical but we'll find out if the current news reports have any credibility in them or not. Otherwise the IAF would prefer to buy more Rafale's..follow on orders generally tend to be quicker and less controversial.

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

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2018 01:30

brar_w wrote:Not enough reason to ditch just buying more Rafale's


The money absolutely is enough reason. They can't afford the hundreds of Rafales they want.


brar_w wrote:and not substantially cheaper than the F-35A to not go for the former's significantly better capability


That assumes they can get F-35s, which isn't entirely clear. Also while costs are coming down, the SH is still cheaper and that counts for a lot.

And the SH still has basing flexibility that the F-35 doesn't. If a bunch of your F-35Cs are lost for whatever reason (hangar fire, who knows), you can't shift your F-35As over.

brar_w wrote:The USN is unique and alone because it has a very large fleet that it can economically grow and it wants to save as much money as it can to support its multi decade ship building plan.


Yes, the SH is very economical, both now and in the future, which makes it very attractive for India to bolster their numbers.

brar_w wrote:Otherwise the IAF would prefer to buy more Rafale's..follow on orders generally tend to be quicker and less controversial.


I'm not denying that they want to increase their Rafale order, but clearly they ALSO want something more affordable to boost their numbers. As you said follow on orders are quicker and less controversial. Yet they didn't do that. Why is that?

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

Postby brar_w » 27 Feb 2018 01:36

GeorgeWelch wrote:
The money absolutely is enough reason.


Based on what? The IAF and the MOD have invested hundreds of millions on Rafale customization and incorporating India specific capabilities. A couple of more squadrons of Rafale's will be far more economical than spending on doing the same on a totally new platform. The SH makes some sense for the Navy or if the two requirements can be combined and it is substantially cheaper than the Rafale (for the same). You either have to be substantially cheaper or substantially more capable.

That assumes they can get F-35s, which isn't entirely clear. Also while costs are coming down, the SH is still cheaper and that counts for a lot.


Would have to call BS on this. The LRIP-11 price of the F-35A (URF) is already sub $100 Million. The likely lots where a perspective customer can order new aircraft are likely towards the end of LRIP or the beginning of FRP which would bring its URF down to the $80-85 Million. By the time the IAF and the MOD move on a new aircraft (if they actually proceed this time) the F-35 will be well into its MYP (likely the second one) and Full Rate Production. Come to think of it it would be into its block-4 and not block-3F capability so not only will it be produced at a rate that is > 140 aircraft a year, but it will be far more capable than the baseline block-3F SDD configuration. B/w 2022-2024 the number of F-35's in existence would exceed the number of F/A-18E/Fs and the global fleet growing at 4-5 times that of the F-18 (if not more). Hence, no one in their right mind is even considering buying the F-18E/F when given a choice b/w it and the F-35A. The one hope that Boeing had was Canada where politics more than anything else could have helped them..but they appeared to have scored an own goal there.

As I have said repeatedly now, there may be reasons why the MOD does not consider the F-35A, or the F-35A is not offered given requirements this time around. Cost or capability however have nothing to do with it.

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

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2018 01:46

brar_w wrote:
GeorgeWelch wrote:
The money absolutely is enough reason.


Based on what?


Based on the fact that they opened a brand new competition instead of just ordering more Rafales. (Also the fact they now say they can't release Rafale costs is . . . indicative, let's say, of issues with the price)


brar_w wrote:The IAF and the MOD have invested hundreds of millions on Rafale customization and incorporating India specific capabilities. A couple of more squadrons of Rafale's will be far more economical than spending on doing the same on a totally new platform.


They aren't going make those same customizations for the SH (or whatever they order through this). This is intended to be (mostly) an off-the-shelf purchase. The Rafales are their 'silver bullets', powerful, advanced, but too expensive to acquire in large numbers. This is intended to be the workhorse.

brar_w wrote:
GeorgeWelch wrote:That assumes they can get F-35s, which isn't entirely clear. Also while costs are coming down, the SH is still cheaper and that counts for a lot.


Would have to call BS on this. The LRIP-11 price of the F-35A (URF) is already sub $100 Million.


And the block price of the SH was sub $50 million. That price has likely gone up, but it's still going to be much less than the F-35A, much less the F-35C.

And look, there is no denying that maintenance costs of the F-35 are still (and likely always will be) far higher than the SH.


brar_w wrote:The one hope that Boeing had was Canada where politics more than anything else could have helped them..but they appeared to have scored an own goal there.


The SH seems to be back in the competition there.
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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 27 Feb 2018 01:48

GeorgeWelch wrote:
Based on the fact that they opened a brand new competition instead of just ordering more Rafales.


And there is no reason to doubt that if it comes down to the same metrics and competitors they turn around and pick the Rafale, knowing that there is already sunk cost that has been invested into customizing it. It could also be that they have now put themselves in a position to allow for the F-35 which was not operational the last time around.

GeorgeWelch wrote:They aren't going make those same customizations for the SH (or whatever they order through this). This is intended to be (mostly) an off-the-shelf purchase. The Rafales are their 'silver bullets', powerful, advanced, but too expensive to acquire in large numbers. This is intended to be the workhorse.


An off the shelf purchase of the Rafale now will come with those customization since they have been funded already. While for every other fighter (including the F-35 and F-18) those would have to be funded.

And the block price of the SH was sub $50 million. That price has likely gone up, but it's still going to be much less than the F-35A, much less the F-35C.


Good luck getting the URF on the F-18E/F Block III to anything below $75 Million in 2020 dollars. The IAF will not evaluate the F-35C.

GeorgeWelch wrote:And look, there is no denying that maintenance costs of the F-35 are still (and likely always will be) far higher than the SH.


Last I checked the F-35 was also SIGNIFICANTLY higher capability than the F-18E, and a lot of the sustainment costs have to do with manpower (and not consumables) given the higher cost elements - things that may not be as much of an economic issue with India and things which are now very seriously being addressed. No one in their right mind will buy a Rhino to operate it from land when they have the F-35 on offer. Australia did it because they needed frames asap and the F-35 was delayed, but the smartest thing they ever did was design some of their SH's so that they can be easily converted to the Growler role down the road.

The SH seems to be back in the competition there.


LOL..Good Luck to Boeing trying to win there now. It was always politics and keeping campaign promises (and re-investing in the F-35 program when no one was looking) and with the entire Bombardier mess, Boeing seems to have surrendered that card as well. It can simply not win over in capability nor on price and this has and will continue to play out in competition after competition.
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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2018 01:53

brar_w wrote:
GeorgeWelch wrote:
Based on the fact that they opened a brand new competition instead of just ordering more Rafales.


And there is no reason to doubt that if it comes down to the same metrics and competitors they turn around and pick the Rafale


But they aren't rerunning MRCA and it's not the same metrics. The most obvious one was that initially they said only single-engined fighters.

The MRCA ignored price and focused strictly on capabilities. It got them their silver bullet, but now they need something more affordable to bolster their numbers, so undoubtedly price will be given far more weight than it was in the MRCA.


brar_w wrote: It could also be that they have now put themselves in a position to allow for the F-35 which was not operational the last time around.


If the goal was to get F-35, why open it up to twin-engine fighters?

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

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2018 02:02

brar_w wrote:An off the shelf purchase of the Rafale now will come with those customization since they have been funded already.


. . . and that 'off the shelf' price will still be substantially higher than the SH's. No they aren't going to do all the same fancy customizations, but they don't need to. They already have Rafales.

(Yes there will undoubtedly be some customization cost, but it's going to be minor compatibility stuff, not adding new features)

I don't understand how you can be so resistant to the idea that the IAF can't afford all the Rafales it wants when they literally created a competition to get another fighter that was cheaper than the Rafale.
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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby brar_w » 27 Feb 2018 02:02

GeorgeWelch wrote:If the goal was to get F-35, why open it up to twin-engine fighters?


Competition. Who knows whether the F-35 is offered, if so with what terms, and customizatins etc. As a hedge any sensible person would want to keep others in the play as well including the Rafale which the IAF has picked in the past. SEF was too restrictive, more so because I sense that the IAF was not open to giving the F-16 a serious look.

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

Postby Rakesh » 27 Feb 2018 02:07

Brar: The IAF looks at viable platforms and not dead ones, as he claims the SH to be. If the teens come back into play, they will lose again. I think LM will likely not make the same mistake for a third time.

The F-18 is a dead platform as per his own admission. See here ---> viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7261&p=2123640#p2123640

GeorgeWelch wrote:
Cybaru wrote:So buy dead platforms because they are affordable? Bargain bin shopping at thrifty discount store?? :rotfl:


More like 'If you're going to be buying a dead platform anyways, might as well get the affordable one'

MRCA was already locked into those 6 aircraft. No other options were possible at that point. Given that one of them had to win, the SH was the best choice.

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

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2018 02:11

brar_w wrote:
GeorgeWelch wrote:If the goal was to get F-35, why open it up to twin-engine fighters?


Competition.


Which of the twin fighters can put price pressure on the F-16 or Gripen?

brar_w wrote:As a hedge any sensible person would want to keep others in the play as well including the Rafale which the IAF has picked in the past.


You cannot seriously believe that. If they wanted more Rafale, they would have just done an add-on order and avoided this whole mess. Instead they created a competition that specifically excluded the Rafale.


brar_w wrote:SEF was too restrictive, more so because I sense that the IAF was not open to giving the F-16 a serious look.


if they didn't like the single engine choices and they aren't ordering more Rafale and there's no way they're getting EF or MiG and path to F-35 hasn't been fully ironed out, it sounds like SH to me ;)

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

Postby brar_w » 27 Feb 2018 02:14

Rakesh wrote:Brar: The IAF looks at viable platforms and not dead ones, as he claims the SH to be. If the teens come back into play, they will lose again. I think LM will likely not make the same mistake for a third time.

The F-18 is a dead platform as per his own admission.\



Pretty much. The F-18 E/F works for literally one customer in the US Navy which can afford to surrender the most cutting edge and costly capability/R&D to its sister service as it focuses on other priorities (ships, subs, ballistic missile defense, electronic attack etc etc). They have decided to add another 110 to take their fleet to above 700. IAF on the other hand has a "numbers" fighter in the LCA and can iterate and develop the MK2 and perhaps beyond. They should be looking for a mix of capability and cost for a 2020s and 2030s environment (and beyond). This essentially leaves the Rafale (on account of it being selected already by the IAF and a previous government and hence being not only liked by the service but also politically less risky) and the F-35 (the only 5th gen medium role fighter likely to be on offer). These two will likely be on top of the MOD's list if the latter is offered and the terms of the deal are mutually acceptable.

GeorgeWelch wrote:if they didn't like the single engine choices and they aren't ordering more Rafale and there's no way they're getting EF or MiG and path to F-35 hasn't been fully ironed out, it sounds like SH to me


Obviously because if they don't order more Rafale's by the end of the week it must mean F-18...
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Re: MRCA (Many Rakshaks Choose Aircraft) Contest - Episode III

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2018 02:18

Rakesh wrote:Brar: The IAF looks at viable platforms and not dead ones, as he claims the SH to be. If the teens come back into play, they will lose again. I think LM will likely not make the same mistake for a third time.

The F-18 is a dead platform as per his own admission. See here ---> viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7261&p=2123640#p2123640

GeorgeWelch wrote:
More like 'If you're going to be buying a dead platform anyways, might as well get the affordable one'

MRCA was already locked into those 6 aircraft. No other options were possible at that point. Given that one of them had to win, the SH was the best choice.


Depends on what you mean by 'dead'. That was specifically referring to stealth. In that aspect they are all going to be limited in the future except the F-35.

As far as a program that is going to be maintained and upgraded and supported for years to come, the SH is very much alive and in fact is likely the most alive of any program besides the F-35.

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

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2018 02:20

brar_w wrote:IAF on the other hand has a "numbers" fighter in the LCA and can iterate and develop the MK2 and perhaps beyond.


You still can't explain the existence of this competition. Why didn't they just order more Rafales? Why didn't the just order more LCAs? Answer this and we'll finally get somewhere.

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

Postby brar_w » 27 Feb 2018 02:24

GeorgeWelch wrote:You still can't explain the existence of this competition. Why didn't they just order more Rafales?


You are asking questions knowing full well that no one here will have any answers that they can back up with evidence. The SEF was the single most absurd/pointless procurement plan floated by the MOD and I and practically everyone else here had been critical of it ever since it was first floated, including the two choices one of which was basically what AdA and HAL have been trying to get the MK2 to be and the other something that is way past its EOL and a total dead end. A Rafale follow-on will likely come based on the number of options that had been worked into the original contract. I doubt they would want to, for political reasons, sole source anything over and above that. These thinks have a very important political angle to it as well. The IAF too probably knows that a sole source award to Dassault for more Rafale's besides the number negotiated as a potential follow on, is a political non starter.

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

Postby Rakesh » 27 Feb 2018 02:38

GeorgeWelch wrote:Depends on what you mean by 'dead'. That was specifically referring to stealth. In that aspect they are all going to be limited in the future except the F-35.

- The entry of the Rafale into the IAF from Sept 2019 gives a great advantage to Dassault, that none of the other players can claim.
- Both airbases - Ambala and Hasimara - are earmarked for one additional squadron of the Rafale.
- Additional Rafales are not being ordered because of the political brouhaha caused by RaGa and the Congress. There is no other reason for this. Post 2019 elections, regardless of whichever party wins, more Rafales will come.
- The F-35 will likely come as well, but not in the numbers that the MoD has stipulated in Episode III. It will more or less mirror the Rafale acquisition. A second twin engine bird (via the F-18) is pointless.
- The F-18 will not come. You believe it will and you most certainly entitled to that opinion. For the Navy probably, but not for the IAF. But when additional Rafales come, it will be hard even for the Navy to argue for the F-18. Regardless, that is a moot point because if Vishaal turns out to be a ski-jump carrier (and not a CATOBAR one) it will likely be the F-35B.

GeorgeWelch wrote:As far as a program that is going to be maintained and upgraded and supported for years to come, the SH is very much alive and in fact is likely the most alive of any program besides the F-35.

If the IAF had to choose between the two (F-18 and F-35), the IAF would always choose the latter. It is the more technologically advanced of the two.

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

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2018 02:48

brar_w wrote:
GeorgeWelch wrote:You still can't explain the existence of this competition. Why didn't they just order more Rafales?


You are asking questions knowing full well that no one here will have any answers that they can back up with evidence.


Clearly you're a smart guy, you know the answer full well, you just don't want to admit it.

The are only 2 possible reasons they don't just fill out their squadrons with Rafales.

1. They aren't happy with Rafales. I have heard nothing to this affect, plus this competition was for SEF which are generally speaking less capable (F-35 excluded, but it wasn't part of this competition to begin with). I think we can safely rule out this option. That just leaves . . .

2. They can't afford to buy that many Rafales. There has been lots of stuff on how expensive the Rafale has been and how it forced them to do a smaller buy than they initially wanted and now they're trying to hide the price. Clearly the price of the Rafale is a significant issue. To pretend otherwise is fooling no one.

brar_w wrote: The SEF was the single most absurd/pointless procurement plan floated by the MOD and I and practically everyone else here had been critical of it ever since it was first floated, including the two choices one of which was basically what AdA and HAL have been trying to get the MK2 to be and the other something that is way past its EOL and a total dead end.


So, they opened it up to the plane that makes the most sense, the SH ;)

brar_w wrote: A Rafale follow-on will likely come based on the number of options that had been worked into the original contract.


There may or may not be a Rafale follow-on, but that is separate from this competition, which is all about getting more affordable fighters.

The IAF too probably knows that a sole source award to Dassault for more Rafale's besides the number negotiated as a potential follow on, is a political non starter.


1. They haven't filled all their Rafale options yet, so why worry about that now?
2. Didn't you just say

brar_w wrote:follow on orders generally tend to be quicker and less controversial

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

Postby Rakesh » 27 Feb 2018 02:54

brar_w wrote:A Rafale follow-on will likely come based on the number of options that had been worked into the original contract. I doubt they would want to, for political reasons, sole source anything over and above that. These thinks have a very important political angle to it as well. The IAF too probably knows that a sole source award to Dassault for more Rafale's besides the number negotiated as a potential follow on, is a political non starter.

In an open contest - the Rafale - holds a key advantage over the Typhoon, MiG-35, F-18, F-16 and Gripen. The MoD will be hard pressed to convice the IAF otherwise. Especially, since by the time technical evaluations are done, the IAF will already be operating the type. This contest has been re-opened to remove any perception of impropriety on the ruling govt.

Now, if the F-35 is offered (which seems likely now with the rejection of SEF) it will hold a distinct advantage. But there is the issue of how much control the US Govt wants and how much the Indian Govt is willing to allow. If the F-35 enters the competition, it will be down to the F-35 and the Rafale.

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

Postby Kartik » 27 Feb 2018 02:57

GeorgeWelch wrote:
Based on the fact that they opened a brand new competition instead of just ordering more Rafales. (Also the fact they now say they can't release Rafale costs is . . . indicative, let's say, of issues with the price)


Did that for political reasons. the ass Rahul Gandhi would've known perfectly well that there was no scam, but he needs some ammunition to target the NDA govt. And the Rafale deal became that scapegoat. Now, with the "Rafale scam" as the Congress party calls it, the NDA govt. can no longer just initiate discussions with Dassault and the French Govt. to build Rafales in India or just order 2 more squadrons off the shelf. Plus, there was the SEF program that was going nowhere.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the Rafale will be leading contender for the deal, with money already having been invested in an Indian variant, with support infrastructure being established for the first Rafale squadron and for obvious commonality reasons. the IAF will not want the Rafales to be limited to just 36 numbers and have an altogether new twin engine type.


GeorgeWelch wrote:
They aren't going make those same customizations for the SH (or whatever they order through this). This is intended to be (mostly) an off-the-shelf purchase. The Rafales are their 'silver bullets', powerful, advanced, but too expensive to acquire in large numbers. This is intended to be the workhorse.


Says who?? IAF specific IFF, datalink, weapons are already there on the SH? the Rafale, being an off-the-shelf purchase, still required IAF specific changes.

the Rafale is perfectly capable of being a workhorse. It is indeed the French AF's workhorse now and with all Mirages being withdrawn finally, will be the workhorse well into the 2040s.

GeorgeWelch wrote:The SH seems to be back in the competition there.


With little chance of winning, actually. The bad blood created by the C-Series fiasco and the overturning of the duties, plus the Airbus involvement in the C-Series clearly show that Boeing managed to go from being the likeliest candidate to being one of the outsiders for the program now.

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

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2018 02:59

Rakesh wrote: A second twin engine bird (via the F-18) is pointless.


It's not pointless if it's affordable enough to acquire in large numbers.

Rakesh wrote:The F-18 will not come. You believe it will and you most certainly entitled to that opinion. For the Navy probably, but not for the IAF.


I could very easily be wrong, but I'm just trying to read the tea leaves.

Rakesh wrote:If the IAF had to choose between the two (F-18 and F-35), the IAF would always choose the latter. It is the more technologically advanced of the two.


Sure, in a vacuum the F-35 is clearly the better choice. However this is not a vacuum and there are political issues on both the US and Indian side that might derail/delay such a choice. Also there is the fiscal environment. The F-35 is still expensive to acquire and operate and while the IAF would likely love to fill out it's squadrons with F-35s, that's just not in the cards.

So again we come back to numbers. That's what the SEF competition was to be for. A 'gap-filler' that could build up numbers quickly and affordably.

Reading the tea leaves, there was a specific reason the program was changed to allow twin engine planes. And the only twin that meets IAF's goal of something that's available quickly at an affordable price is the SH.

Rakesh wrote:Regardless, that is a moot point because if Vishaal turns out to be a ski-jump carrier (and not a CATOBAR one)


That seems unlikely at this point.

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

Postby Rakesh » 27 Feb 2018 02:59

GeorgeWelch wrote:So, they opened it up to the plane that makes the most sense, the SH ;)

Your entire argument of affordability rests on the premise, that they will order a 100 birds as this MoD contest states. As the first and second contests clearly proved, 100+ birds could not be afforded by the Govt. The second contest - SEF - was estimated at $20 billion. Not to mention, they could not arrive in the time frame required either.

100+ F-18 Block IIIs - with local assembly, tooling, jigs, spares, weapons - would cost around the same. They will order small batches, as an off the shelf purchase. It will be the Tejas that will fill the numbers in.

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

Postby GeorgeWelch » 27 Feb 2018 03:02

Rakesh wrote: If the F-35 enters the competition, it will be down to the F-35 and the Rafale.


You keep looking at the high end but it's pretty clear that this competition is for the lower end.

The IAF may get the F-35, but it won't be through this competition. And they certainly won't get the Rafale through this competition, especially when they initially set it up to specifically exclude the Rafale.

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

Postby Rakesh » 27 Feb 2018 03:06

GeorgeWelch wrote:I could very easily be wrong, but I'm just trying to read the tea leaves.

You read the tea leaves wrong on 27 April 2011, did'nt you? :lol:

You also said that rejection of the F-16 - during the SEF contest - would be most unfortunate for India. Yet another misread.

I believe now you are aiming for a hat trick!

GeorgeWelch wrote:Sure, in a vacuum the F-35 is clearly the better choice. However this is not a vacuum and there are political issues on both the US and Indian side that might derail/delay such a choice. Also there is the fiscal environment. The F-35 is still expensive to acquire and operate and while the IAF would likely love to fill out it's squadrons with F-35s, that's just not in the cards.

You have to look at capability. I can get maggots (which will later grow into flies) for cheaper than a F-18. But that will not solve the situation now, will it?

With better capability, comes increased cost. The filler is the Tejas, nothing else.

GeorgeWelch wrote:So again we come back to numbers. That's what the SEF competition was to be for. A 'gap-filler' that could build up numbers quickly and affordably.

Which never worked and thank goodness for that.

GeorgeWelch wrote:Reading the tea leaves, there was a specific reason the program was changed to allow twin engine planes. And the only twin that meets IAF's goal of something that's available quickly at an affordable price is the SH.

Okay :D


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