Rakesh wrote:^^^ If one looks at the long term viability of the fleet...it does not look rosy with a fleet largely flying on American engines. Based on the numbers that are known, this is the scenario that the IAF is looking at;
40 Tejas Mk1: F404-IN20
83 Tejas Mk1A: F404-IN20
200 Tejas Mk2: F414-GE-INS6
AMCA: F414-GE-INS6 (Boeing's proposal with the selection of the F-18). Let us assume a production run of at least 100 aircraft.
114 MRCA: F414-GE-400 if it is the F-18 or likely the F110-GE-132 if it is the F-21.
423 desi aircraft and 114 phoren aircraft - that is close to 540 aircraft flying with an American engine. The only other birds that will be flying (along with the above) will be the 36 Rafales (M88 turbofan) and the 272 Su-30MKIs (AL-31FP turbofan). Even if the MRCA deal is cancelled and the 114 birds are replaced with Tejas or AMCA, the situation does not change. Either bird - AMCA or Tejas - will be flying with a GE engine.
When more than 50% of your combat fleet is flying with an American engine, how independent can India really be?
It is not the sanctions that is worrisome, but the lack of independence.
Lack of independence comes from continually purchasing foreign weapon systems. Be it French, Russian or American. The GE engine is the most reliable in the world until such engines can be made domestically. The Tejas at this stage will get a big push with the GE F404 and F414 engines that will give extensive knowledge and expertise.
Sanctions on GE engines would be the least of the IAF and IN worries. Spares on the C-17, C-130, Seahawk, Chinooks, Apaches, and 20 or so P-8Is would be the bigger problem. Yet, GoI continues to buy defensive and now offensive weapon systems from US Mil contractors through the FMS route.