Vivek K wrote:Admiral sahab - Ghar ki murgi daal barabar! After ordering 72 Rafales @ $215 million a pop, 18 more MKI and One new Mig-29 UPG squadron where will the money for additional LCAs beyond the 40 FOC come from? They haven't even ordered the 83 yet. So effectively swap Rafales and their "tremendous capability" for more LCAs.
The fact that the GoI has not yet ordered the 83 Mk1As yet is indeed frustrating. I agree with you. I even mentioned that in my post.
But additional Rafales do indeed make sense because of the investment made in the first deal of 36 Rafales. And 36 airframes, despite the 75% PBL agreement, can only be in so many places at one time. 36 airframes x 75% = 27 airframes. That is what will be available to the IAF in a conflict. That is too little for a two front war. Now if another 36 aircraft do come, the number of airframes available increase substantially. 72 x 75% = 54 airframes. That is three squadrons (54) worth of Rafales available, versus 1.5 squadrons (27) of Rafales. Secondly, the 18 Su-30MKI (for attrition replacements) and 21 MiG-29UPG aircraft will also be a quick stop to address the squadron shortage.
Many on the forum are arguing for just that i.e. two to three more Rafale squadrons. There is no money for 114 Rafales or any other MRCA. The economy is in free fall. Not going to happen. The rest of the numbers should be made up with subsequent Tejas variants.
But let me talk about the Rafale in particular. We are not buying aircraft to sprinkle rose petals on the enemy. The Rafale is being purchased for very unique roles in the IAF - nuclear strike, SEAD, etc. In a conflict with China....If one expects to enter Tibetan airspace uncontested, they are in for a very nasty surprise. The Chinese have a very robust AD network all along the Indo-China border. And the Chinese have the S-400 system as well. If the IAF sends in their strike packages without suppressing enemy air defences first, the attrition losses will be unacceptably high. During Ex Gagan Shakti, the IAF factored in attrition losses. It would be imperative to not exceed those figures.
Now there are two aircraft that comes to my mind when one wants to do an effective SEAD mission ---> the F-22 and the F-35. Neither of which India is going to get. The next best bet is the Rafale. Not in the same league as the F-22 or the F-35, but from an Indian threat perspective....it is really good and extremely effective. The Spectra EW suite is indeed a really good system. You need the Rafale to break down the door effectively and rapidly, sanitize the airspace and then send in your strike packages (Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000, Jaguar, Tejas, etc). Otherwise, the IAF losses will be really high. The IAF can certainly give the PLAAF - as Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa (retd) said - a bloody nose, but at what cost?
And you cannot mount SCALP on Tejas. Not going to work. And the Tejas Mk1/Mk1A does not have the endurance that the Rafale has. She was designed to be a MiG-21 replacement and she does that job with elan. She was not designed to complement the Rafale. BTW, I have posted a couple of pictures of a possible Rafale SEAD mission at the bottom of my post. Do check them out. The Rafale is a silver bullet, meant for very important missions. Thus the purchase of additional Rafales should be treated as such. Not 114, but definitely another 2 - 3 squadrons more.
I am going to go off a rant now, but there is a reason for it. And believe me, none of this is directed at you
. There is no one on this forum who supports local products and local industry, more than you. For you it is indeed personal. In my eyes, FWIW, you are a Patriot.<rant mode ON>
When we talk about ~ $250 million per Rafale (as the first deal worked out to be), one has to also include everything else that came with it. We have discussed this to death and I am not going to rehash it again. But there is one thing that has been discussed very little about. And that is the pilot who sits in the cockpit. Every year, in Parliament, the MoD releases the numbers of IAF losses - both in terms of men and material.
And someone on BRF will post that and we will lament about the statistics. But it ends there. We don't reflect too much on it. We close the thread and move on to the next one. Usually, we are surfing BRF at our office. Sitting in our executive cabin, sipping on a no-foam, fat-free, skim milk Starbucks latte. At the end of the day, we shut down our computer, go to our S Class Benz, drive home listening to opera music and pull into our six BHK luxury mansion with circular driveway and six car garage. We open our gilded front door, SHQ is there to greet us with a smile and our kids are happy to see us. Please do not take what I have said above in the wrong spirit. I am not judging anyone's success. You studied and worked hard, so you deserve all the success.<rant mode OFF>
But for the family that has lost their loved one, it is not the same. Her husband and her children's father are not coming home. How can one even imagine such a scenario? Unlike us, they do not have the luxury to imagine - they are living that reality. Each time a pilot takes to the sky, he has a reasonable expectation that he too returns home at the end of the day to his family. It may not be the same level of luxury - as described above - but that is not the point. He needs to go home to his family, safe and sound. You cannot replace Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja or Squadron Leader Samir Abrol or Squadron Leader Siddhartha Negi. They are gone. There are no words in any language to describe the pain and gaping hole that their families feel. We can shrug our shoulders and say that fighter flying is an operational hazard.
Try explaining the term operational hazard
to the family that has just lost their husband and/or father or brother or uncle.
We celebrate Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman's act of bravery (as we rightfully should) and he deserves the best platform that the country can afford to give him. If a second batch of 36 Rafales cost the same (not going to happen) as the first batch, India should still sign on the dotted line. We are asking Wing Commander Varthaman to put his life on the line! What is $250 million compared to his life? Because at the end of the day, he needs to go home to his family. That is what matters most
. I am not in favour of 114 Rafales or any other MRCA. But we need to spend money judiciously and wisely. Capitalize on the investment made in the first batch of 36 Rafales. It makes perfect sense. In a future conflict, the IAF needs more than 27 Rafale airframes - at any point in time - for a two front war.
Also sign the deal for 21 MiG-29UPGs and 18 Su-30MKIs. Retire those MiG-21 and MiG-27UPG squadrons. And yes, order additional Tejas aircraft as well
. Another 3 - 4 squadrons of the Mk1A variant are most definitely required. And way cheaper than ordering 114 MRCA aircraft.
Pictures below courtesy of Rafale Blog ---> http://rafalenews.blogspot.com/p/rafale ... d-out.htmlStand off Strike #1 : 3 RPL 2000L + 2 Scalp/EG + 2 Mica EM + 2 Mica IRStand off Strike #2 : 2 RPL 2000L. + 1 Scalp/EG + 4 Mica EM + 2 Mica IR