IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

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Viv S
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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Viv S » 19 Mar 2016 19:46

vishvak wrote:
its pretty much accepted as a defacto nuclear power

The entire NSG thing was a drama to keep India out in the first place, formed as a response to Pokhran-I Smiling Budhdha nuke tests.
Logic fails there in the first place. The power is about discrimination more/less, and not right/wrong.

Yes the NSG was set up in response to Pokhran-I. In 1975. But as Bob Dylan put it - the times, they are a changin'. No more 8-tracks. No more bell-bottoms. No more Soviet Union. With the appearance of a new emerging superpower in China.

So there is no point spending humongous monies to buy arms first and then rely on de-facto status as decided during war times by alphabet soup treaties and bean counters in foreign countries.

The one thing that hasn't changed is that most countries (especially major powers) prioritize their self-interest over this nebulous idea of 'fairness'. Where genuine common self-interest exists - countries will align themselves together. Where it doesn't, they won't. And where their interests clash, they'll actively oppose each other. Treaties, agreements et al. are merely a symptom of the underlying principle.

All this while Pakis get F-16s, air-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles to fight Taliban. There is no logic there either. No point in participating anymore than transnational basis or bother about what can be deployed where depending upon foreign constraints.

Aim-120s, Snipers, Harpoons etc. were all part of a single mega-deal back in 2005. The ongoing deal however is for 8 F-16s, but with the FMF aid withheld, they can afford just 4 F-16s at market price. And for the record, this trickle of equipment (as well as aid) will continue for the next two years, until the ISAF mission ends, and their rental agreement on Pakistani state lapses.

Unlike commentators on the internet like us, the MEA/MoD interact directly with the USG/Pentagon and plan and act accordingly.
Last edited by Viv S on 19 Mar 2016 21:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby srai » 19 Mar 2016 20:16

^^^

Pakistan and its ISI will not let US leave ever. They have too much to gain in keeping US engaged in the area. Billions of dollars in military aid is too much to let go off.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby vishvak » 19 Mar 2016 21:09

Aim-120s, Harpoons etc. were all part of a single sale back in 2005.

Does not matter after the sale. And even with the withheld aid, Pakis are still as jihadi, prolly more overt after 26/11 attacks or Pathankot attacks.

By the way, how will buying more aircrafts not affect preparedness, no matter how short term during times of war, when USA will most definitely enforce sanctions.

Fact is, it is not Indians sending terrorists across the border to attack Pakis, so what is the point in facing sanctions during times of war. An option is Su-30MKI, available already, without bother of deplyment constraints to begin with.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Viv S » 19 Mar 2016 21:25

vishvak wrote:Does not matter after the sale. And even with the withheld aid, Pakis are still as jihadi, prolly more overt after 26/11 attacks or Pathankot attacks.

By the way, how will buying more aircrafts not affect preparedness, no matter how short term during times of war, when USA will most definitely enforce sanctions.

Fact is, it is not Indians sending terrorists across the border to attack Pakis, so what is the point in facing sanctions during times of war.

That sanctions are inevitable is your opinion, which you're entitled to. It is, however, not an opinion shared by the defence establishment, the government (including the current BJP-led one), the bureacracy or the foreign service.

Nor is their any evidence of such planning in the US strategic community. If anything, such an action would be diametrically opposed to their goals wrt to the ongoing 'Pivot to the Pacific'.

Yes, the F-16/SH will be an unnecessary diversion of funds and focus, from the (domesticated) Su-30MKI and (indigenous) Tejas programs, but that's not because the aircraft is American. The same argument can (and should) be made for the Gripen and MiG-35 as well.
Last edited by Viv S on 20 Mar 2016 15:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Viv S » 19 Mar 2016 21:32

srai wrote:^^^

Pakistan and its ISI will not let US leave ever. They have too much to gain in keeping US engaged in the area. Billions of dollars in military aid is too much to let go off.

With the CSF in the last leg, and the US Congress exercising its veto on FMF funding, military aid has already shrunk to fraction of what it was five years ago. Inline with the shipping out of the bulk of US troops.

But yeah, they'll probably do their best to keep the US bleeding (both money & blood) in AfPak as long as they can. Its doubtful that the Chinese will be anywhere as generous (loans yes, investment yes, aid no).
Last edited by Viv S on 20 Mar 2016 15:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby chetak » 19 Mar 2016 22:19

Viv S wrote:
srai wrote:^^^

Pakistan and its ISI will not let US leave ever. They have too much to gain in keeping US engaged in the area. Billions of dollars in military aid is too much to let go off.

With the CSF in the last led, and the US Congress exercises the veto on FMF funding, military aid has already shrunk to fraction of what it was five years ago, as the bulk of US troops ship out. But yeah, they'll probably do their best to keep the US bleeding (both money & blood) in AfPak as long as they can. Its doubtful that the Chinese will be anywhere as generous (loans yes, investment yes, aid no).


After the pakis got shafted by the US post the soviet withdrawal, they must have learned the hard way and made some tough conditionalalities to prevent a repeat performance by the US post afghanistan.

Those conditions involved India and cashmere for sure and not in a good way either.

India's growth spurt and stability, market size and Modi's rather sudden appearance have surely spiked quite a few guns in both the US and pakiland.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Viv S » 19 Mar 2016 23:26

BTW on the topic of US fighters, here's a interesting factoid - according to the latest USAF budget, the recurring unit flyaway cost of the F-35A has fallen by $12M, down to $95M/unit (from $108M, last year) [and on course to be <$85M by 2019].

Closing the gap with the SH (who's production has already crashed down to Rafale levels: 10 EA-18G + 5 SH, for current year).

USAF IOC scheduled for Aug 2016 (objective). FOC around 2020.

Sounds like a Plan B to me (tip-of-the-<Sukhoi/Tejas>-spear), especially with the PAK FA program several years behind schedule (and possibly facing funding problems).

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby srai » 20 Mar 2016 05:34

^^^

Hundreds of JSF have been produced even before IOC. Hope the IAF can emulate that for domestic programs.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Kakkaji » 20 Mar 2016 06:59

I think the teens are looking more and more attractive, with the Rafale turning out to be unaffordably expensive, and the LCA production moving at snail's pace.

The only reason to get the F-16 would be the low cost and the offer to move the assembly line to India. Of course, the entire supply chain cannot move but, if substantial part of the build, and the MRO downstream, can be done in India, then it will be an affordable way to build up numbers. The real sweetner in this case will be buying about 100 JSF off the shelf at FMS prices, and getting a part of the JSF workshare at the LockMart facilities in India.

The SH also can be a winning proposition, if Boeing can replicate a large part of its ecosystem in India.

All these deals will have to be made carefully, with 'eyes wide open'. Get the US vendors to invest substantially in local facilities up front, so that they cannot easily renege on their promises later.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 20 Mar 2016 10:21

Interesting OTEC solution for offshore power being proposed for the A&N islands.read the full report.

Scorpene submarine to MU90 Torpedo: Here's a sneak peek into what DCNS will exhibit at Defence Expo 2016
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/new ... 456575.cms

"Teens" are now so old that they're geriatric aircraft .No point in acquiring either of them ,setting up manufacturing units and spend billions on reinventing the 4th-gen! If a Western bird is required,the Gripen is a better shot.Cheaper than the Typhoon and 120+ Gripens with another 200+ LCAs ,and 350 MKIs,should be sufficient to deal with Pak and China,along with 200+ upgraded MIG-29s,M2Ks,Jaguars,etc.FGFAs inducted when they mature.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby GeorgeWelch » 20 Mar 2016 10:51

First flight:
MiG-29: 1977
Rafale: 1986
Gripen: 1988
Su-30: 1989
EF: 1994
SH: 1995

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Singha » 20 Mar 2016 11:37

>> and the LCA production moving at snail's pace.

that will have to be fixed. and buying teens will not fix this at all.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby kit » 20 Mar 2016 13:06

Do people have short memory .. just see what the sanctions against India post pokharan did .. the helos , jaguars.. almost every item with western spares were hit

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 20 Mar 2016 16:51

GeorgeWelch wrote:First flight:
MiG-29: 1977
Rafale: 1986
Gripen: 1988
Su-30: 1989
EF: 1994
SH: 1995


That means little. If we go by this, the F-22 prototype flew before the SH, does that mean much? Also, the Rafale that flew in 1988 was a lot different, and the Gripen E is a lot different from the Gripen A and the C and the Super Hornet traces its heritage back to the F/A-18 as well which rolled out in the late 1970's, and which itself was based on the Northrop YF17 that flew in 1974 .

The F-18E/F BlkII/III, Mig-35 (once it goes into series production and has a customer delivery), Rafale F3R, Gripen E, and the Typhoon Tranch 2/3 all are significantly more advanced weapons systems than their original prototypes, test articles, technology demonstrators, or parent aircraft, and all can legitimately claim to be advanced fourth or 4.5 generation fighter aircraft.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby srin » 20 Mar 2016 17:40

If at all we are thinking of another aircraft being product locally, it seems we're chasing the wrong things. So what do we need ?
First, we need it very very quickly.
We need a plane where we control the supply chain (immune to sanctions). That means building it here.
Then, now that we're going to have our own BVR, ARM missiles, we need to own the avionics to integrate whatever we want irrespective of what the manufacturer thinks about it.
Then, we're developing our own capabilities wrt AESA radar, so other than engines (where we lack), we don't really need to care about what it has. We can put our own stuff there.

So - get the cheapest platform, get the full design of components, so we can substitute with local vendor later on.

To me - there are only two that seem to fit the bill: F-16 and Mig-35 (or Mig-29K). I personally dislike the F-16 because it means we'd be subsidizing TSP purchase. So Mig-35 it is.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 20 Mar 2016 18:20

The price difference between the F-16 and the F18E/F is not very significant given that the latter is considerably more future proof on account of it having quite a bit of room to grow internally while the former is rather maxed out unless a new variant is chalked out (F-16U) which would be counter-productive at this stage. If you want an empty shell, F-16, F-18 or Mig-35/29K then it would need to wait a long long time since development, integration and testing/certification is going to take a long time (perhaps even a decade) and frankly, going to the LCA MKII and a possible MKIII may just be a quicker option if that is the ultimate goal.

"Teens" are now so old that they're geriatric aircraft .No point in acquiring either of them ,setting up manufacturing units and spend billions on reinventing the 4th-gen! If a Western bird is required,the Gripen is a better shot.Cheaper than the Typhoon and 120+ Gripens with another 200+ LCAs ,and 350 MKIs,should be sufficient to deal with Pak and China,along with 200+ upgraded MIG-29s,M2Ks,Jaguars,etc.FGFAs inducted when they mature.


The Gripen E is hardly a cheap aircraft. Even if we go by what SAAB has claimed, it is still questionable since the development hasn't been completed. Moreover, I don't see how an aircraft that would see concurrent production in three continents for essentially a 3 digit production run, can be produced at an optimum price/cost. SAAB is essentially going around the world offering local production to whoever is interested and it remains to be seen how that model is sustainable going forward.

Even if it lives up to its promises, on performance and cost, there is nothing revolutionary about the Gripen E that the Rafale, Typhoon or the Super Hornet lack or can't get off the shelf. In fact the Gripen E tries to be too much like the Rafale, Typhoon and the Rhino while being essentially a small, single engined fighter. This is exactly what the F-16 faced over the last decade and if you do end up compromising growth if you go down that path and realizing that simplicity is no longer the dominant need (Mission systems are) SAAB have tried to craft a Gripen E to meet those needs but its something the LCA MKII can also grow up to.

If it is determined that a small, single engined fighter aircraft can grow up and fill the MRCA mission needs, then the solution is not the F-16 Blk 60/70, or Gripen E, but the LCA MKII.
Last edited by brar_w on 20 Mar 2016 19:02, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby fanne » 20 Mar 2016 18:23

one goal of MMCRA is to diversify away from Russia

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Viv S » 20 Mar 2016 19:37

srin wrote:If at all we are thinking of another aircraft being product locally, it seems we're chasing the wrong things. So what do we need ?
First, we need it very very quickly.
We need a plane where we control the supply chain (immune to sanctions). That means building it here.
Then, now that we're going to have our own BVR, ARM missiles, we need to own the avionics to integrate whatever we want irrespective of what the manufacturer thinks about it.
Then, we're developing our own capabilities wrt AESA radar, so other than engines (where we lack), we don't really need to care about what it has. We can put our own stuff there.

If we intend to modify the aircraft with our own AESA, weapons and avionics - we may as well stick to our own aircraft i.e. the Tejas Mk1A & Tejas Mk2. The F-16 & MiG-35 provide greater payload and range, but will otherwise not be significantly more capable than the Tejas Mk1A. On a capability-per-dollar basis, they're both less capable.

srin wrote:To me - there are only two that seem to fit the bill: F-16 and Mig-35 (or Mig-29K). I personally dislike the F-16 because it means we'd be subsidizing TSP purchase. So Mig-35 it is.

Unfortunately, the MiG doesn't have the ability to provide quick increment in numerical strength. The production line isn't scaled for high volume production (case-in-point: MiG-29K). As far as local production is concerned - it'll take at least 5-6 years, for even a SKD-assembled MiG-35 to be delivered to the IAF by HAL (and that's being optimistic!). The same applies to F-16 (albeit to a lesser extent).

If the priority is to build up the squadron strength there are three obvious means to do so -

1. Place further orders for the Su-30MKI. Another 40-45 should keep the line chugging to 2022.
2. Make further investments in the Tejas' production (24/yr min.), preferably involving a parallel line run by the private sector (that can also cater to exports).
3. Snap up every upgraded second-hand Mirage 2000 available (and integrate the Astra to keep costs down). Qatar, UAE, Taiwan, Greece and France.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby GeorgeWelch » 20 Mar 2016 20:20

brar_w wrote:That means little. If we go by this, the F-22 prototype flew before the SH, does that mean much?


Nope.

brar_w wrote:The F-18E/F BlkII/III, Mig-35 (once it goes into series production and has a customer delivery), Rafale F3R, Gripen E, and the Typhoon Tranch 2/3 all are significantly more advanced weapons systems than their original prototypes, test articles, technology demonstrators, or parent aircraft, and all can legitimately claim to be advanced fourth or 4.5 generation fighter aircraft.


Exactly.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 20 Mar 2016 22:26

Singha wrote:>> and the LCA production moving at snail's pace.

that will have to be fixed. and buying teens will not fix this at all.


I think that mod and parrikar have come to the conclusion that the only way to fix HAL and other problems is by setting up a competitive private sector with a hugely experienced phoren giant quickly getting local kid up to par in screw driver giri...that is equivalent to hal capability but far more efficient. In time hal and said player can compete for contract for future systems like AMCA.

Again, for the moment super hornet and boeing are the ideal candidates provided that they are politically viable. None of the other platforms, especially the single engined alternatives are going to remain competitive post 2035 because their upgrade potential is very limited. Otoh they have already tested a stealthish and more powerful version of the shornet. Not to mention the famed ew capability via the growler.

The other possibility, and a better platform in some ways is the EF2000, but I don't see it any different from the rafale, and will have the same pitfalls, mainly price.

The main purpose is to get private industry built up as cheaply as possible with great competence in production and supply chain areas at a relatively decent price and capability. Can't see a better option that Boeing frankly.

Another remote possibility is to start getting an extra tejas line in the private sector. this might ultimately prove just as fast....what with mods stellar speed in negotiating contracts as srai sahab pointed out earlier. But I think parrikar has already studied this option and had finally concluded that an import based second line is necessary.
Last edited by Cain Marko on 20 Mar 2016 22:39, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 20 Mar 2016 22:33

In the MMRCA context the EA-18G means little other than Boeing has a proven path to wire the aircraft for a stand off jamming role. The Next Generation Jammer will not be a factor since it will remain a highly protected system for years to come. The older pods are no longer in production and are quite inadequate for the types of threats proliferating TODAY, let alone those expected in the medium-long term.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 20 Mar 2016 22:37

Even so, the advanced shornet still has an edge in many ways

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 21 Mar 2016 00:28

The need is now not 6 yrs later with LCA MK-2 for which nothing is happening at speed.If reports that MIG-35 export prod hss begun,for Algerian orders,then the IAF have another cost-effective option.2 more MKI sqds to start with should be ordered asap to put further pressure upon Dassault so that a final decision is made at the earliest.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 21 Mar 2016 00:53

The first pre production Mig-35 apparently just rolled out (or is expected to). With the first delivery still in the future, there will be some time before its missions systems and components are operationally considered mature and have had all the niggles sorted out. Most others in the MRCA can deliver rather quickly if that is the metric however if the long term goal is to get something mature, technically solid, something that the IAF has seen and evaluated, and something that can be produced, perhaps after initial delivery from its home production line then the Mig-35 is possibly the weakest from technical grounds. Rafale has been rolling out current standard aircraft and is retrofitting the existing french inventory. The Rhino has had more than 500 AESA radars delivered, and ditto for other enhancements in the block II which as a configuration is widely prevalent in the fleet. The Tranch 2 Typhoon is also quite mature minus the radar which will take longer. The LCA MK1 is also quite mature and ready for production and getting an AESA will probably be a short term achievement.

MKII isn't going to take a whole lot longer than working out a new deal, arranging for local production and getting HAL to set everything up. If more MKI's could be ordered then there is really no long term need for the MMRCA. If the MMRCA is a legitimate long term need for the operator then if the rafale deal falls through the Mig-35 would only come in if nothing else is financially affordable, or politically acceptable which is unlikely. Frankly, some of the things coming in with the Mig-35 would have been great had they arrived a decade ago, and if by now there were multiple customers that were operating the aircraft in large amounts. Right now, we don't know exactly when and how many Mig-35's the RuAF would operate let alone other influential customers.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Viv S » 21 Mar 2016 01:03

Cain Marko wrote:Even so, the advanced shornet still has an edge in many ways

Thing is, there's no one around to fund the 'Advanced' Shornet, with the USN having passed on it. Not to mention, it may end up with a much higher unit cost than the plain-vanilla SH (which is already only $10M cheaper than an FRP F-35A).

As for the SEAD/escort jamming role, our go-to option would be the Su-30MKI equipped with a set of Elta EL/L-8251 EW pods and NGARMs.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Kakkaji » 21 Mar 2016 01:19

Singha wrote:>> and the LCA production moving at snail's pace.

that will have to be fixed. and buying teens will not fix this at all.


Of course it has to be fixed. But the problem is that it is taking an inordinately long time to fix it, and the IAF squadron numbers are depleting fast.

And what if HAL just refuses to transform ('Cholbe Na'), and employees go on strike if pushed to step up the pace?

A Plan B parallel line has to be set up quickly to hedge the risk which, in my opinion, is unbearable.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Cain Marko » 21 Mar 2016 03:43

Viv S wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Even so, the advanced shornet still has an edge in many ways

Thing is, there's no one around to fund the 'Advanced' Shornet, with the USN having passed on it. Not to mention, it may end up with a much higher unit cost than the plain-vanilla SH (which is already only $10M cheaper than an FRP F-35A).


That is not very different from most of the other possibilities Viv. Only the Gripen NG and Rafale are funded for current and future development. In case of the 16, the airframe size itself is a limitation as to how far it can be further modded. Otoh, the modded version of the Shornet has already flown and the engines, tested. There also some other advantages to the Shornet that I outlined in another post as well.

My guess, based on all the noises (and confirmed by that Hindu article) is that India is seriously considering a private line that can build fighters from ground up (not necessarily design). Ideally, this should be the LCA, but for some reason (possibly the lack of experience of the industry and the development agency, and the delays associated with the same), a foreign partner is being sought. Of course, it is entirely possible that the LCA is the default option for this line, but for now, Parrikar is also exploring other options..no harm I suppose - let us see what kind of offers are made.

This GOI is pretty decisive, and for all you know the Rafale might get the boot, and a G2G FMS type deal could see the light of day with a different vendor. If nothing else, it keeps dassault in check.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby srai » 21 Mar 2016 04:00

There is no doubt that the window of opportunity for winning more LCA orders is now. HAL needs to deliver its end of the bargain and start delivering LCAs from the next few months onwards as well as meet its projected ramp-up to 16/year by 2019/2020. More orders would likely follow to address squadron shortfalls. The effect would be to pacify the loud voices of the DDMs (and the import lobby groups) who are relentless in calling for yet another "panic" foreign purchase post-MRCA cancellation.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Kakkaji » 21 Mar 2016 06:13

Cain Marko wrote:This GOI is pretty decisive, and for all you know the Rafale might get the boot, and a G2G FMS type deal could see the light of day with a different vendor. If nothing else, it keeps dassault in check.


I hope there is a G2G FMS type deal soon for 100 JSF. That would be the real tip of the spear.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby shiv » 21 Mar 2016 08:57

I think Dassault will back down. The longer they stonewall, the worse things will be down the line for them. An India purchase if given at the right price and right conditions will keep them is business for a long time to come. They are facing a new India whose lawyers are reading and writing the fine print.

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 21 Mar 2016 14:18

The media report tioday that Lockheed is pushing as hard as poss. the transferring of its F-16 line to India,is a sad commentary upon the entire strategic planning for the Indian armed forces in general and IAF in particular.

After years of intense scrutiny,evaluation,negotiations,etc.,India chose the Rafale as the MMRCA choice.This was to beef up the IAF which had to retire hundreds of Soviet era legacy MIG-21/27 aircraft.The excruciating delay in development of the LCA was a primary factor.This "great brown hope" has yet to enter service 13 years after Dr.APJAK promised "200 in service by 2010".
The IAF wisely decided some years ago to upgrade all M-2000s and MIG-29s.The latter aircraft was so feared by Paki F-16s during Kargil that they broke off whenever a MIG-29 locked onto them! It is therefore bewildering,amusing and frankly incomprehensible how the MOD and IAF are seriously considering buying a legacy aircraft that is being replaced around the world,also operated by our mortal enemy only because the Rafale is too expensive!.

What happened to the highest technical standards demanded of the MMRCA that shortlisted only the Typhoon and Rafale?
The entire evaluation results are with the MOD/IAF.Surely if the Rafale is too expensive then the decision should be revoked asap and the other competitors called to give their wares a second chance. If the F-16 is chosen,nay,dumped upon us ,an aircraft whose future post 2020 is the junkyard,we will become the laughing stock of the world's air forces.If cost is the prime consideration today,then the most cost-effective of the contestants should be chosen.A buy of the single-engined F-16 I fear is seriously being considered because of the failure of the ADA/HAL to deliver the LCA on time and whose production rates are abysmal,with no light at the end of the tunnel.That might in truth explain the sudden attraction of the F-16.All hail the LCA MK-2,the F-16! :rotfl:

Embracing America’s war machines – F16 may roll out of an Indian factory
http://www.thehindu.com/business/Indust ... 377881.ece
NARAYAN LAKSHMAN
There are currently 3.500-4.000 F-16s in service worldwide and with these planes expected to remain in service at least until 2030 and beyond, there will be a major market for servicing these aircraft.
AP There are currently 3.500-4.000 F-16s in service worldwide and with these planes expected to remain in service at least until 2030 and beyond, there will be a major market for servicing these aircraft.

The elephant in the room is not an economic question, but a strategic concern: if fighting broke out with Pakistan, would the U.S. withhold supplies
India has been up in arms, so to speak, over last month’s announcement that the U.S. proposed to sell eight F-16 combat aircraft to Pakistan.

Yet less than one week from that announcement, New Delhi got a hint that it might have a great opportunity to undercut Pakistan’s F-16 force posture – an offer from F-16 producer Lockheed Martin to add its prized fourth-generation fighter to the list of Make in India products.

Now discussions seem to be steaming forward between one of the U.S.’s top defence producers and the Government of India, with a statement to The Hindu from the office of Lockheed Martin’s India head Phil Shaw noting that they were “in discussions with the U.S. Government, the Government of India, and our Indian industry partners about potential new production F-16 aircraft to address India’s fighter recapitalisation requirements.”


While the company added that details about the aircraft and industrial offer would be determined in conjunction with the two governments in question, Lockheed Martin, and Indian industry, some within policy circles have not ruled out the possibility that the package could include “unprecedented” technology sharing or other favourable terms to woo the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Lockheed Martin’s initial expression of interest in moving its entire production line for the F-16 to India, made by Mr. Shaw at the Singapore Airshow 2016, got surprisingly meagre play in the media. The reason, perhaps, was a lack of clarity on what might in some ways be a quantum jump in bilateral defence cooperation, but in other respects may entail certain strategic-economic risks that would have to be carefully understood.

A different league from Pakistan

Rewind a few decades back to the 1980s and it is evident that U.S.-Pakistan defence cooperation in the F-16 sphere had resulted in about 76 aircraft being transferred from Washington to Islamabad. Yet for several reasons, the latest notification of sale to the U.S. Congress by the Obama administration ought not to cause Pakistan-focused panic in South Block. First, it is unclear if and how Pakistan will finance the sale. In past instances the U.S. tax payer has effectively footed the bill under the rubric of the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) facility.

On this occasion, however, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, whose committee has jurisdiction over foreign arms sales, said less than a fortnight ago that he intended to maintain a hold on the FMF subsidy for the jets over Pakistan’s “duplicity” in the U.S.-supported war against the Afghan Taliban.

Secondly, the U.S. has for the most part sold Pakistan the Block 50/52 of F-16s, whereas Block 60 is said to be on offer to India. Indeed the F-16IN Super Viper that was earlier proffered to India under the now-withdrawn Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender was said to be more advanced than the F-16 Block 60 delivered to the UAE around the same time.

Block 60 not only comes with the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, but is the equivalent of two planes in one. This is because on the one hand it has conformal fuel tanks that effectively make it a long range strike aircraft, and on the other the pilot friendly controls, new defence avionics, and easy manoeuvrability give it an edge as an air-superiority tactical fighter par excellence.

In fact some experts say that given that the Block 60 is the most advanced range ever built it will never be offered to Pakistan for fear that the technology could leak to China.

Complex cost-benefit analysis

For India, the calculus underlying any decision to accept Lockheed Martin’s presumed offer, which could come as soon as April 2016 given that it would then coincide with the visit to India of U.S. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, is necessarily complex and multidimensional.

In terms of economics, the principal concern is that the F-16 is now in some senses going out of vogue in the developed world, and the U.S.’s defence production appears to be increasingly leaning towards the far more advanced, stealth-capable F-35.


In this context wouldn’t it seem more prudent for the Indian Air Force to continue relying on the Sukhoi and MiG platforms and the expected incoming 36 Rafales whose purchase was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January, and then cover any shortfall in capability with the indigenous Tejas?


While this approach may slow India’s progress in building up its force posture in the manner envisioned by the MMRCA tender, under which another 90 advanced fighters are required, it might make more sense from a cost perspective in that India could save money for a theoretical future purchase of the F-35 instead, a fifth generation fighter.

However, the economics of opting for F-16 production might appeal for other reasons. There are currently 3.500-4.000 F-16s in service worldwide and with these planes expected to remain in service at least until 2030 and beyond, there will be a major market for servicing these aircraft. Also, approximately 300-500 aircraft are likely to be needed by countries transitioning from older aircraft to modern fighters.

In this context, India accepting the expected offer from Lockheed Martin to transfer its F-16 production line, including machine tooling, implies three potential benefits: first, the addition of 90 airplanes for filling in the MMRCA order; second, India emerging as the production source for markets such as Indonesia that are still eyeing the F-16s as a means to modernise air fighter fleets; and third, India becoming the top maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) hub for the 3,500-plus F-16s in service worldwide – including those in Pakistan!

One additional consideration for India is technology transfer. And in this realm, Lockheed Martin would have to go much farther than it has in the past to convince New Delhi that it genuinely intends to build an equal partnership rather than strike a bargain for India to perform little more than sophisticated grunt work.

If, for example, the AESA radar is sold as a Made-in-USA black box as it has in the past, it may well be considered a disheartening signal of Lockheed Martin’s true intentions and prompt the Modi-led government to look elsewhere for a more trusting technology partner.

Decision time

According to Ashley Tellis, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Indian government’s choice will depend on both the unit and life cycle cost of the airplane and also on whether there will be a significant Make in India component.

Regarding relative cost, the Indian government has asked some of the original contestants in the MMRCA race to come back with proposals, which means competitive bids again from Saab, the Eurofighter consortium, Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

The F-16 would likely be the cheapest among these at about $80 million per piece, Mr. Tellis told The Hindu, with the Rafales and the other jets closer to the $250 million price range.

The elephant in the room, however, is not an economic question but the decades-old strategic concern holding India back from plunging headlong into an interoperable, full-commitment engagement with U.S. war-fighting platforms: fear that if fighting broke out with Pakistan, then the U.S. may withhold parts or ammunitions supplies to India.

Those observing the long trajectory of Washington’s evolving equations in the Indian subcontinent, including Mr. Tellis, note that if the F-16 production line is located in India in the future, it is going to be “virtually impossible” for the U.S. to curtail critical supplies in a crisis situation. Further, in a game theoretic sense, the supply-curtailment model may have limited applicability because the U.S. government likely realises that this would harm Washington’s global reputation as a reliable supplier, besides wildly endangering the much broader, ever-blossoming bilateral détente with New Delhi.

However before putting any ink to paper the Government of India would have to carefully think through the countervailing reasoning as well.

This includes factors such as the suitability of Russia, France and other nations as established, long-term defence suppliers for India;
the risk that a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency could lead to rising protectionism that weighs against offshoring projects; and the need for rigorous due diligence of the U.S. company.

Lockheed Martin’s wholly owned subsidiary Sandia Corporation in August reached a $4.7 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over allegations that it a paid a lobbyist with taxpayer funds to secure a $2.4 billion-a-year contract.

Reasons to invest

India’s current defence requirements are catered largely by imports. The opening of the strategic defence sector for private sector participation will help foreign original equipment manufacturers to enter into strategic partnerships with Indian companies and leverage the domestic markets and also aim at global business. Besides helping build domestic capabilities, this will bolster exports in the long term.
Opportunities to avail defence offset obligations to the tune of approximately Rs.250 billion during the next 7-8 years.
The offset policy (which stipulates the mandatory offset requirement of a minimum 30% for procurement of defence equipment in excess of Rs.3 billion) introduced in the capital purchase agreements with foreign defence players would ensure that an eco-system of suppliers is built domestically.
The government policy of promoting self-reliance, indigenisation, technology upgradation and achieving economies of scale and developing capabilities for exports in the defence sector.
The country’s extensive modernisation plans, an increased focus on homeland security and India’s growing attractiveness as a defence sourcing hub.
High government allocation for defence expenditure.


PS:Other news today about the IA's dumping of the Akash missile,the SAM allegdly costing $10M a pop,whereas a better firang equiv costs only $7M, has shocked observers.The "made in India" mantra is showing deep cracks barely two years into the NDA-2's reign.

srai
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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby srai » 21 Mar 2016 15:19

Philip wrote:...

PS:Other news today about the IA's dumping of the Akash missile,the SAM allegdly costing $10M a pop,whereas a better firang equiv costs only $7M, has shocked observers.The "made in India" mantra is showing deep cracks barely two years into the NDA-2's reign.


DDM reporting at its best!

Which foreign SAM system costs less than Akash? Besides, where did they get that $10M from?

Based on AKM reporting (snippet below), Rs 23,500 crore bought 2,500 missiles, 112 launchers, 28 MPARs & 100 3-D CARs along with all the other support vehicles. INR 23,500 crore in today's exchange rate translates to roughly USD 3.5 billion. So doing some simple arithmetic, even if we were to only factor in the missiles (excluding radars and vehicles here although inclusive in that pricing) the cost per Akash missile comes to around $1.4 million/unit max. AFAIR, the cost per missile was around $500K, which means 2500 missiles would cost around $1.25 billion. The rest $2.25 billion would be for radars and support vehicles.

HAPPY HOURS: 2,500 missiles, 112 launchers, 28 MPARs & 100 3-D CARs
...
Akash – the fifth and last missile project under India's ambitious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) had a happy ending with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army placing bulk orders in the last three years. The IAF has ordered for eight squadrons (2 + 6) of Akash systems and the Army for two regiments. The combined value for both orders stand at Rs 23,500 crore and Bharat Electronic Ltd (BEL) and Bhart Dynamics Ltd (BDL) will execute the orders.
...
The numbers of the current combined orders will definitely make any desi defence devotee proud: 2,500 missiles, 112 launchers, 28 multi-functional phased array radars (MPARs) and 100 3-D Central Acquisition Radars (3-D CARs).
...
Last edited by srai on 21 Mar 2016 16:25, edited 1 time in total.

Kakarat
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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Kakarat » 21 Mar 2016 15:21

I remember a test pilot at Eurofighter Typhoon stall at Aero India 2011 told me that all the fighters except Eurofighter Typhoon & Rafale struggled at high altitude test at Leh. Eurofighter Typhoon & Rafale had even flown with only one engine.

member_22539
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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby member_22539 » 21 Mar 2016 16:34

^The glee with which some people post (fake) negative news about indigenous products has to be seen to be believed. Sad, really sad.

Philip
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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 22 Mar 2016 10:47

Gents,don't shoot the messenger! This is what the mainstream national media is reporting.And where is any "glee" visible? As I said the news is shocking as we were made to understand in the very recent past that Akash met its parameters with flying colours.Members will recall that I asked over a year ago why there was no naval equiv thought of too.One can understand if the requirement is for S-300/400s whatever,something that we do not possess as of now and in the face of Pak's accelerated nuclear programme an essential. Surely as with all SAMs developed by the major nations,improved variants are inducted from time to time.Look at the USN's SM series,where the SM-6 is now being tasked to play the role of a supersonic SSM! It already is being tasked for anti-air and even ABM duties.

Today's juicy titbit."Tejas missed target at IAF drill watched by.Modi,Prez....." during the recent IAF Pokharan exercise .It says that the Mirage also couldn't find the target (bad visibility) but the the Jags and SU_30s found the target using the LGBs.(Ind Exp. Pg 7)

Another titbit.The Airbus tanker deal is in trouble because of high costs.Top echelons feel that the IL-78 is cheaper and a better deal.
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/new ... 381849.ece
Govt feels Airbus contract too expensive; also wants to first close Rafale deal

New Delhi, March 21:
The Ministry of Defence seems to be in a fix over plans to procure six new generation Airbus refuelling tankers or A330 MRTT worth nearly $1 billion for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

While the Ministry is keen on buying these twin-engine air-tankers, government support has not been forthcoming. The government thinking apparently is that the Rafale deal should be concluded first before the air-tankers are taken up as costs involved are huge.

Top echelons of the government find the deal with Airbus “too expensive with not enough output” and prefer the cheaper Russian Ilyushin-78, sources told BusinessLine.

The IAF is believed to be pushing the government to take a final call on the deal as it is in dire need of such tankers over and above the six Russian aircraft it has in its fleet, sources said.
A long haul
Senior defence officials feel that it will be a long haul before the deal gets done with the proposal now before the vigilance department. Airbus’ civil division has been facing a CBI case from the 1970s.

According to an official, the CBI case is government’s way of “finding a way out of the deal” as the Defence Ministry is engaged with Airbus on many other programmes.

The A330 MRTT was selected as the preferred tanker in January 2013. It had made the cut twice. However, the process of acquisition has been stuck with the Defence Ministry’s contract negotiations committee.

Airbus, on its part, has extended the validity of the bid without raising the price. Venkat Katkuri, President, Airbus Defence & Space Division, India, said: “There has been no update from the Ministry since 2014 on the MRTT. I do not think pricing is an issue stopping them from processing the case, because then they would have sought clarifications. We have diligently followed all processes, guidelines and the DPP rules as per the request for proposals. We are awaiting the MoD’s guidance on next steps.”

According to one Airbus spokesperson, it was evaluated twice as the lowest bidder inclusive of life-cycle costs by an expert committee following due process. He said that Airbus has corroborated its position on the cost by submitting the operational cost data of A330MRTTs deployed in other air forces around the world. The A330 MRTT has been ordered by France, Korea, Singapore and Australia, and has been selected by five more countries — the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Qatar and Spain.

(This article was published on March 21, 2016)


The media also report the DM saying that acquisitions will be "fast tracked".We sincerely hope so.

Coming back to the Rafale impasse,and the F-16 offer.It is akin to forgetting the need for a true luxury saloon like a Beemer.Merc of Audi and wanting instead the good old Amby,also salivating at becoming the global workshop for old Ambys!
Surely the prime objective is maintaining our air superiority over Pak both in capability and numbers and having enough of both virtues to also see off any mischief from China? As said before the older version of the MIG-29 saw off Pak's F-16s during Kargil,surely more upgraded ones or even MG-35s with their TVC engines would be the med. sized equiv of the MKIs.available at reasonable cost? Or cheaper and newer tech Gripens if a western bird is wanted?

There appears to be tremendous confusion in both the MOD and IAF and a healthy debate is needed in case the Rafale deal crashlands and the carpet-baggers swarm all over Delhi offering "old lamps for new"!.

member_22539
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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby member_22539 » 22 Mar 2016 12:07

^Again peddling nonsense regarding Tejas. Inside the article (I am sure read it and innocently forgot) it is mentioned that the guidance on the bomb itself, an Israeli Griffin kit, was what had failed.

You also forget that in 2013, Tejas had its laser guided bomb hit the target quite well (I am sure you innocently forgot that as well).

Sorry, I said gleefully. I am sure you are weeping rivers over this implied setback for Tejas.

Also, please link the article where it says Akash costs $10 million a pop, that would sure make for interesting reading.

Philip
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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Philip » 22 Mar 2016 12:21

Will do,was a report within the last 2 days.I think it is posted in the missiles td. pl ck.

kit
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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby kit » 22 Mar 2016 18:15

By one report the Rafale costs more than the F22 fighter :shock: :((

Over the years, the Raptor’s cost has been the subject of intense debate in the Pentagon, the White House, Congress and the media. But advocates and critics tend to quote different figures to serve their various agendas. Fans of the twin-engine fighter usually refer to the “flyaway cost” — that is, how much Lockheed charged the government to piece together each Raptor after all development has been paid for. In other words, just construction spending.

By that reckoning, each of the last 60 F-22s set the taxpayer back $137 million, only slightly more than the roughly $110 million apiece Americans pay for a new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — a plane specifically designed to be “affordable,” whatever that means.

http://www.wired.com/2011/12/f-22-real-cost/


The exact price the French are seeking is not known but sources told India Strategic that each aircraft was pegged nearly at $200 million, and the overall deal could be as much as $7 (Seven) billion (about Rs 47,000 crores approx at the current exchange rates) but inclusive of offsets. Media reports however have said the deal should be worth Rs 50,000 crores

http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories4547_India_concludes_Inter_Governmental_Agreement_to_buy_36_Rafale_Aircraft_from_France.htm

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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby brar_w » 22 Mar 2016 18:31

[quote="kit"]By one report the Rafale costs more than the F22 fighter :shock: :((

Over the years, the Raptor’s cost has been the subject of intense debate in the Pentagon, the White House, Congress and the media. But advocates and critics tend to quote different figures to serve their various agendas. Fans of the twin-engine fighter usually refer to the “flyaway cost” — that is, how much Lockheed charged the government to piece together each Raptor after all development has been paid for. In other words, just construction spending.

By that reckoning, each of the last 60 F-22s set the taxpayer back $137 million, only slightly more than the roughly $110 million apiece Americans pay for a new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — a plane specifically designed to be “affordable,” whatever that means.

http://www.wired.com/2011/12/f-22-real-cost/


Replied : viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5092&p=1995952#p1995952
Last edited by brar_w on 22 Mar 2016 18:36, edited 2 times in total.

Cosmo_R
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Re: IAF Rafale News and Discussions - 26 May 2015

Postby Cosmo_R » 22 Mar 2016 18:34

shiv wrote:I think Dassault will back down. The longer they stonewall, the worse things will be down the line for them. An India purchase if given at the right price and right conditions will keep them is business for a long time to come. They are facing a new India whose lawyers are reading and writing the fine print.


The longer they stonewall, the louder the cry from the IAF about depleting squadron strength. Point is the delay hurts us more at this stage than them. And it is this current stage where we don't have plausible alternatives that makes for a negotiating disadvantage for us.


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