MRCA News and Discussion

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Indranil » 10 Aug 2010 03:15

indranilroy wrote:Austinji, the last 42 Su-30MKI bought were for 3.2 billion dollars. That brings it to around 76.2 million a piece . Besides this the MRCA in my opinion is also a learning experience. I think the reason for going for a "western" plane to get to know how the "western" planes are made and assimilate good practices. That way we will know the best of both worlds.

P.S. I don't believe the news report that one of Euro planes will win. Vishnuji has articulated my thoughts quite well in his post. I will wait till any official word is out.


And the price quotes keep pushing north. Cross posting from Su-30 thread.

India may buy 42 more Sukhois

the government could soon clear a defence deal worth over Rs 20,000 crore for procurement of another 42 Russian-origin Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft that are currently being manufactured under license from Russia by the Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL).


That's a whopping 100 million a piece

P.S. Corroborated here.

Answering another query, he (Defence Minister A.K. Anthony) said the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accepted the proposal for procuring 42 more Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft from Russia at an estimated cost of Rs 20107.40 crore and they are planned to be delivered between 2014 and 2018.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby b_patel » 10 Aug 2010 04:18

If I compare the unit price of MKI , Typhoon , Rafale and Su-35 as given in Wiki
Typhoon - €63 million, US$ 83 million
Rafale - €64 million, US$84
Su-35 - US$ 65 million
Su-30MKI - US$ 45 million
Now I am not sure how accurate these prices are but by and large these prices should be what it should be ( correct me if i am wrong on prices )
So some babu in MOF will be asking this question why pay ~ $ 35 million more for a European fighter that does not provide any thing more than an MKI does at ~ 50 million per piece


Aren't the wiki prices a year or two old? Those prices for the Typhoon and Rafale should be lower know b/c the Euro has gone down in price since the recession. All 6 companies re-submitted their bids so the price difference between the EF/Rafale and the rest has narrowed.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Arya Sumantra » 10 Aug 2010 04:46

Nihat wrote:I have always found that part hard to understand. Should we not assume that IAF and MOD would have enough foresight to order well in advance spares including extra engines, radar equipment , weapon systems etc. Enough atleast for sustaining a full blown 2 month conflict.


- A 2 month "peacetime" inventory is not the same as 2 months "wartime" inventory when the wear-rate+damage from enemy-fire is higher. The latter can only be estimated. Don't know which one IAF uses.

- A blanket use of 2 month inventory regardless of supplier-country is plain WRONG. The greater the supplier-country risk, the greater the inventory of spares for plane bought from it and stocked at all times. Based on strategic closeness different nations have with India, different countries have different country-risks associated with them. Just as a bank would not lend money to all borrowing countries at SAME rate of interest(%), but rather at higher % to a country with higher risk, same way inventory levels from riskier supplier-countries have to be maintained at higher levels than other strategically closer nations.

And greater spares-inventory---> greater operational costs ---> greater life-cycle costs

As an example: for sanctions-savvy unkil planes 5 month inventory would suffice, for french perhaps 3 month spares inventory, for EADS countries 2 months spares inventory and for russkies 2 months again. When you take such realistic considerations, True Life-cycle cost of Superbug would definitely exceed Rafale's and Typhoon's life-cycle costs. But since this is our first experience with life-cycle costing, I fear a same inventory may have been assumed for all planes regardless of the country-risk associated with its supplier. This could lead to misleading life-cycle costs.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby shiv » 10 Aug 2010 07:21

Good post Arya Sumantra. To boot - the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So if there are 25,000 different spare parts that have to be kept as "inventory" then the one that gets used up in 1 month is the one that grounds the fleet. The supplier will laugh all the way to the bank because he will have made billions supplying you with all the expensive spares and your fleet gets grounded because of some item like rubber liner for canopy seal.

This is of course why people can go only so far in keeping "spares" - the best is to keep entire spare aircraft that can be cannibalized.

The other unpredictable thing is what the IAF has found time and again. We buy aircraft and other equipment and under Indian climate and usage conditions there is failure/wear and tear of parts that the original manufacturer never saw, planned or expected. So the exact nature of "two months supply of spares" - while being a bad idea in itself, gets worse because the parts you have stored may not be the parts that fail.

Another point is that some things may require replacement after every 5 flights, other things every 2 months, something else in 6 months, something else in 12 months and something else every 1000 hours of flying. So what is the meaning of "2 months spares"?.

In fact this "keep extra spares" business is one of the reasons we need a body of accountants like teh CAG so we know what is happening in a large and complex organization. We have just seen a report in which the CAG has said that the value of imported components is more than 50%. Like someone pointed out - you can make 90% of components cheap in India but the foreign supplier whose profits and survival depend on exports will charge the highest possible price for the 10% of components that you buy from him/them. So more than 50% of the cost may come from 10% of the components.

So if you do an inventory and look at costs say 10 years after induction you may find that a whole lot of spares were ordered, but no war was fought, or war was fought and those spares were not used - and we are now left with date expired spares for which several hundred crores were spent.

Finally we look at things like missiles which have both an expiry date as well as a possibility of expiry if they are armed and flown in combat readiness. You buy an American jet and the US will sign EULA with you on XYZ missile Now how many XYZ missiles can you keep spare? If you keep too many and no war is fought - all with expire. If you have a time of tension like Kargil then you load the missiles and arm them and after being armed 4-5 times the missile "expires" and becomes a paperweight. this is how things work - but how do you "plan" for what you can't predict?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby chackojoseph » 10 Aug 2010 08:15

AFIK, EF is not just selling. We are going to e industrial partners. Logically, the profits will flow in. The technology will be available subject to contractual terms.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby chackojoseph » 10 Aug 2010 08:40

That's the cost of technology. You can't for ever keep the same stuff. You need to upgrade. naturally, profits will be looked at when spending. Also our manpower gets trained. addl employment etc.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 10 Aug 2010 08:50

but it will benefit if indian cos can get in as tier1 and tier2 suppliers and adopt the chi chi manufacturing standards and 'fit n finish' of the eu fighters.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby shiv » 10 Aug 2010 08:51

A thought strikes me. A huge arms deal like the MRCA deal perhaps is not planned so much as a buyer-seller deal but more like a strategic alliance.

In standard buyer-seller deals the seller makes money and also retains geopolitical clout in terms of supply of spares, upgrades and ability to place sanctions. In a strategic alliance, the idea should (hopefully) be to ensure jobs and comfort to the seller, but also make the buyer immune from the sanctions game.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 10 Aug 2010 09:52

indranilroy wrote:Answering another query, he (Defence Minister A.K. Anthony) said the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accepted the proposal for procuring 42 more Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft from Russia at an estimated cost of Rs 20107.40 crore and they are planned to be delivered between 2014 and 2018.


Arnt these the Super MKI with Brahmos , AESA and what not ?

If you compare the custom built Sukhoi MKI Mk3 with a cost of $50 million with also includes substantial TOT , the Rafale and Typhoon just matches these MKI while the latter outclasses both in persistance and range on internal fuel.

Probaly the $80 million cost of Rafale/Typhoon does not include the TOT cost .

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Sumeet » 10 Aug 2010 10:05

In addition to strategic alliance one should note that this fighter assuming it joins IAF by 2015 will stay with us for next 30 years ~ 2045.

In this period expect for more covert tension with US as India hedges for a multi polar world, while US doing its best to keep world order unchanged. It could be true that US may not be able to stop this from happening but it will try everything to slow it down or make it tough for us. India should make sure to keep dependencies as less as possible on US. There are other areas we can engage them with and of course cooperate with them in different arenas as it fits our mutual interests.

Europe on the other hand is more amenable to the fact that India's preeminence is a future reality. In this coming decade we will surpass economic strength of EU nations individually, and there will be a time [20-25 years down] when our GDP >= EU.

MRCA or no MRCA alliance with US will grow based on factors like Islamic terrorism, China, peaceful promotion of democratic & pluralistic values. The growth of alliance with EU specifically needs efforts like MRCA because that allows us to tap into previously unexplored hi tech sector all throughout western Europe. It will be helpful in the long run for our civilian/commercial industry as well. MRCA deal will lead to establishment of relations between public of these two old established civilizations.

As India re-asserts itself on the world scene perhaps it will be helpful to recall & publically reiterate/remember relations with ancient Greeks and Romans where we were equals in the world at large [multi polar world] and a dominant force in our region.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Igorr » 10 Aug 2010 10:14

Vishnu wrote:
Finally ... can I also say ... without having seen the files myself ... that the report on Times Now was INCOMPLETE if not inaccurate. In other words, some of the firms who may have felt that they had been hacked from the competition can breathe easy, for now.

Russian press published the answer from UAC: "There was no any letter from the Indian tender committee about a 'shortlist'. UAC is preparing its cost proposition according to what was scheduled by the tender conditions.'

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Indranil » 10 Aug 2010 10:32

Austin wrote:
Arnt these the Super MKI with Brahmos , AESA and what not ?

Probaly the $80 million cost of Rafale/Typhoon does not include the TOT cost .


I too have the feeling that the MRCA will stretch the 12 billion figure. I am also not contesting that the new Su-30s are overpriced (at 100 million a piece), but all I am saying is that we should stop quoting the 45 million price tag.

I don't think Russian equipment is coming dirt cheap these days. As for the new Su-30s, I can agree about the Brahmos, but from whatever I have read till now AESA is not part of it. Also please bear in mind that there is no (or almost no) TOT involved in these new planes! These planes are supposed to roll off existing assembly lines. Also given the time frame 0f 2018, HAL wouldn't even need to augment production rate! Everything is streamlined for these planes to get inducted, and yet ...

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby chackojoseph » 10 Aug 2010 11:33

Igorr wrote:Russian press published the answer from UAC: "There was no any letter from the Indian tender committee about a 'shortlist'. UAC is preparing its cost proposition according to what was scheduled by the tender conditions.'


You are right. They will not get one too until the purchase committee decides. There are all kinds of views existing. One is more vocal than others. So, we can chill.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 10 Aug 2010 12:37

indranilroy wrote:I too have the feeling that the MRCA will stretch the 12 billion figure. I am also not contesting that the new Su-30s are overpriced (at 100 million a piece), but all I am saying is that we should stop quoting the 45 million price tag


You will be surprised that HAL Chairman mentioned "HAL chairman Nalini Ranjan Mohanty has said that the Indian-built Su-30s will cost only about $22.5 million a unit against the current import price of about $37.5 million" link

We need some more details on the new 100 million dollar Sukhoi , Even the latest Su-35 sold directly is quoted a price of $65 million.

So what is new about these Sukhoi that they are charging $35 million extra ? Perhaps most significant portion will be cost of TOT , R&D involved Brahmos integration and other Western stuff that IAF wants ?

I don't think Russian equipment is coming dirt cheap these days. As for the new Su-30s, I can agree about the Brahmos, but from whatever I have read till now AESA is not part of it. Also please bear in mind that there is no (or almost no) TOT involved in these new planes! These planes are supposed to roll off existing assembly lines. Also given the time frame 0f 2018, HAL wouldn't even need to augment production rate! Everything is streamlined for these planes to get inducted, and yet ...


My understanding of the reading is these new 42 planes will be direct purchase

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 10 Aug 2010 12:45

Igorr wrote:Russian press published the answer from UAC: "There was no any letter from the Indian tender committee about a 'shortlist'. UAC is preparing its cost proposition according to what was scheduled by the tender conditions.'


Igorr it is now highly unlikely that Mig-35 can come through MMRCA considering IAF is looking for a Western fighter does not matter which Western fighter comes in.

The Mig-35 though could come in via separate purchase as few media reports indicated 60 numbers as part of separate deal , could be a hot gas as well.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 10 Aug 2010 12:52

Here is something I found on Sukhoi cost http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?386128

Rapping the Government for huge cost esclation risks in the project, the CAG said the total cost of 140 aircraft projected by the Ministry in 2000 was Rs 22,122.78 crores at the 2000 price level, while a detailed project report prepared by HAL in july 2005, the amount shown was Rs 39,224.9 crores, almost a hundred price rise.


So 140 Sukhoi cost 39,224 crores ? In dollar term how much does that translate to each aircraft ?

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Manish_Sharma » 10 Aug 2010 13:28

shiv wrote:
This is of course why people can go only so far in keeping "spares" - the best is to keep entire spare aircraft that can be cannibalized.



Years ago, sometimes between '86 to '90 my friend used to own a spare pats shop in "Kashmiri Gate market", which is all motor spare parts. At the time Lohia had launched T-5 model scooter which used to cost Rs. 20,000/-. My friend's shop used to sell its spare parts also including other. One day just for fun we sat together and made an estimate on how much it will cost to assemble the whole scooter instead of buying from the company and from the parts it came to around Rs. 35,000/-.

So it might be much better to cannibalize entire aircrafts instead of keeping warehouse.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby geeth » 10 Aug 2010 13:35

>>>- A 2 month "peacetime" inventory is not the same as 2 months "wartime" inventory when the wear-rate+damage from enemy-fire is higher. The latter can only be estimated. Don't know which one IAF uses.

>>>- A blanket use of 2 month inventory regardless of supplier-country is plain WRONG. The greater the supplier-country risk, the greater the inventory of spares for plane bought from it and stocked at all times. Based on strategic closeness different nations have with India, different countries have different country-risks associated with them. Just as a bank would not lend money to all borrowing countries at SAME rate of interest(%), but rather at higher % to a country with higher risk, same way inventory levels from riskier supplier-countries have to be maintained at higher levels than other strategically closer nations.


Unfortunately, that is not how the military inventory is managed. The buyer will order spares for 'years to come' for normal peacetime use, and it will be supplied along with the brand new equipment. Then there is something called "War Stock", which (IIRC) for the Navy is 25% - ie, if there are 4 compressors of a particular type procured, the war stock would comprise a-z items for one complete compressor. I don't know what is the norm for other services. The cost consideration is the last thing one bothers about, particularly when it comes to critical spares. Yours truely had seen Main Engine crank shafts of the old Brahmaputhra Class ships in its original packing from U.K, years after the ships were decommissioned.

Japanese concept of Just-in-time for inventory control cannot be applied to the military.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby geeth » 10 Aug 2010 13:38

>>>So 140 Sukhoi cost 39,224 crores ? In dollar term how much does that translate to each aircraft ?

There is a cost escalation clause in the deal, using which the Russians are milking us - Cost has really gone up from the original price level.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 10 Aug 2010 13:57

Hard questions will be asked if the MMRCA aircraft shortlisted by the IAF ,equal or or inferior to the SU-30MKIs,certainly inferior to the Flanker UGs which will carry Brahmos,cost as much or even more than the Russian bird.The extra Flanker buy is a pointer in this direction.What the "leak" is really meant to be is to scuttle the insidious efforts of the good doctor of snake-oil to oblige his US overlord when he comes-a-visiting later this year expecting to return to the House of White with the MMRCA deal in his pocket! The IAF is also playing safe,as the 5th-gen fighter,meant to be the numero-uno of the IAF for the next two decades is under development and undergoing flight testing.With one stream of tech and aircraft from Russia and another from the west,with the LCA making up the "tail",getting some much needed tech and input from a western MMRCA.The IAF will stand firm on the "two legs" of etch and innovation from both east and west.A sound policy which wills erve us well until we eventually are able to design and manufacture cutting edge aerospace products.Here our best bet is to leapfrog manned aircraft and design and build cost-effective UCAVs for the future.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 10 Aug 2010 14:19

Manish_Sharma wrote:.

So it might be much better to cannibalize entire aircrafts instead of keeping warehouse.


@ Manish


Isn't it being a bit naive to draw this conclusion? Let's take a simple example. Different spare parts have different lifetime rates. Say for example you have a scooter ($175) with only two parts, 1) Engine (Avg. Replacement rate twice annually, cost $100), 2) Body assembly (Avg. Replacement rate once annually, cost $100). So in a 2 year service lifetime, you end up with a bill for $400 if you buy spares (3 engines+ 1 body), whereas if you had gone the cannibalization route you would have been forced to cannibalize 3 scooters- a tab of $525.


Let's not jump the gun. While it is true that all vendors make a bit of extra money on selling spares to captive customers, it does not justify saying that they are shafting you. Please do not make categorical statements till you have proper data with respect to original costs, spare lifetime, and current costs.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 10 Aug 2010 14:27

geeth wrote:>>>So 140 Sukhoi cost 39,224 crores ? In dollar term how much does that translate to each aircraft ?

There is a cost escalation clause in the deal, using which the Russians are milking us - Cost has really gone up from the original price level.


Yes but the 2.5 % cost escalation year on year is mutually accepted to take into account the inflationary effect

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby geeth » 10 Aug 2010 15:19

>>>Yes but the 2.5 % cost escalation year on year is mutually accepted to take into account the inflationary effect

Later on, they demanded to make it 5%

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby prastor » 10 Aug 2010 15:44

Austin wrote:Prastor , Ok so in that case why was Sukhoi explicitly debarred from participating ?

How is then the IAF ASQR is so broad and encompasses any thing and every thing that any thing from the lightest Gripen to the heaviest F-18 can participate for the same piece of cake , its quite unfair to say the least ?

JimmyJ just because some one is willing to sell single engine F-16IN for say $ 50 million does not mean that Rafale and Eurofighter prices will go down to nearly the same amount , so the idea of having single engine participate just to reduce cost is a non starter. That probably like saying of a Honda City Sedan sells for 10L the competing BMW will reduce the cost drastically to match the Honda , cant be right ?


Austin, first of all this news report is not officially substantiated by the MoD or IAF. So, let us not argue over the western fighters part and why Mikhoyan was invited.

As far as Sukhoi's participation goes, I think IAF's ASQR had a weight limitation that kicked the Su-35 out of the contest by default since it weighs almost 26 tonnes in fighter configuration. Does Sukhoi make any modern "medium" weight fighters that are within the 20 tonne class? I wonder!

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby prastor » 10 Aug 2010 16:01

sunnyv wrote:
prastor wrote:For people who keep on pushing lies about the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet's performance by claiming it as a 9G (some here even claimed it is above 9G and limited to 9G by software), please read Boeing's own manual to clarify this once and for all.

http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/mil ... erview.pdf

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block II is a 7.6G aircraft BY DESIGN. All this 9G and software limit BS is just that, a bunch of BS.


Hi , don't know how much we can trust AWST , but they did manage to cover Field trials in detail .And had this article about F18-Stupid Hornet 9G potential

http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/3518/trial1.png

I have marked the concerned part with green arrow


To get an aircraft that is physically limited by its airframe design to a mere 7.6G perform 9G needs major structural changes, I presume.

I wonder what magic they worked to get it to 9G without any such changes and that too in such a short period!!! If only they shared this with HAL and ADA... lol... Our Tejas could be instantly uprated to 9G from its 8G status that IAF is so ashamed of.
Last edited by prastor on 10 Aug 2010 16:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Igorr » 10 Aug 2010 16:02

Austin wrote:Igorr it is now highly unlikely that Mig-35 can come through MMRCA considering IAF is looking for a Western fighter does not matter which Western fighter comes in.

The Mig-35 though could come in via separate purchase as few media reports indicated 60 numbers as part of separate deal , could be a hot gas as well.
Unregarding MiG's chances I repeatedly claimed (in my blog too) my guess Rafale - is a sole western MMRCA fighter which can fit Indian needs (due to the commonality, politics etc). All this doesnt make the last report reliable. Yeah, I heard the rumors about additional tens of MiGs (prob MiG-35 or MiG-29M/M2) bypassing the tender procedure. It seems to me digestible (as a possibility): 126 Rafales + 50-60 MiGs, i.e. smooth transfer to G5 via G4+. One thing is fully clear for me: the Americans are out.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby ravit » 10 Aug 2010 16:07

http://livefist.blogspot.com/2010/08/lockheed-martin-dismisses-rumours.html

Looks like F16 is out of competition.

What we do know is the F-16IN Super Viper would bring tremendous capabilities now and for the future to the Indian Air Force and would strengthen the strategic partnership between India and the U.S. and between the Indian Air Force and the United States Air Force.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby parshuram » 10 Aug 2010 16:18

@ Igorr But that will be a huge statement as per GOI policy is concerned. US is firing all cylinders to fetch the deal... {else i don't see Obama Coming here in November}....anyways right way to go indeed would love to see Rafale in IAF colours ...

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Avid » 10 Aug 2010 17:56

What we do know is the F-16IN Super Viper would bring tremendous capabilities now and for the future to the Indian Air Force and would strengthen the strategic partnership between India and the U.S. and between the Indian Air Force and the United States Air Force.


Inadvertent slip perhaps but definite resignation -- "would" instead of "will" -- doubt/uncertainty?

Rafale's merits have been discussed again and again, but EF/SH fanboys have been doing too much flight sim games :-)

Here's the rehash of age old arguments in favor of Rafale:
- Range without refuel
- Payload and Number of hard points
- Backwards compatibility with much of the ordinance
- With M2K upgrade, this transition is much more smooth
- Except for EF and Rafale, all others are M2K gen aircraft (gripen, as discussed is not really MMRCA, and the gripen-NG is not ready so there is little or no scope of it being awarded based on a prototype that is not yet certified)
- Only aircraft in the MMRCA competition that was designed with intent of multi-role from the beginning

EF is designed as an air superiority bird with cold war hangover and has been really hard-selling its strike capabilities, SH has no air superiority beyond that enabled by AWACS and BVR, Mig-29/35 is upgrade of an air-superiority fighter with identical hard-sell as EF. If we accept Mig-35 to be new gen then F-16IN is also, but kidding aside neither are. All said and done --

Multi-role ranking: Rafale, (EF/SH tied), F-16IN, Mig-35

Design recency ranking: Rafale, EF, SH, (F-16IN/Mig-35 tied -- common timing in roots and evolution)

Tech Levels: EF/Rafale (tied because of AESA), Mig-35/SH/F-16IN (trade-offs. Mig-35 would provide undiluted radar, but SH/F-16 clearly are not going to provide latest).

Tech Transfer possibilities: Rafale and Mig-35 tied (least inhibited by US -- note russians do not have a good track record in ToT) , EF (based on Jag experience, but still beholden to US), F-16IN/SH (least likely, and considering the risk from experience with LM, Boeing, and GE partnership offers in LCA -- if consulting participation is not cleared, there is no likelihood of tech transfer)

This has been summarized over and over and over.

All considered, we end up logical choice from IAF perspective (not including ToT abilities, political maneuvering, bargains, etc.):
SH/F-16IN/Mig-35 can be eliminated on technical grounds as not meeting the requirements.
Also, IAF is savvy -- it cannot eliminate Mig-35 and keep F-16IN in running. Both SH and F16-IN were fielding "export-versions" of AESA radar that are significantly poor.

Logical choices will end up as: Rafale and EF.

Leaves out both big guys out of the competition also, and is going to set off regional rivalry to compete. This also is going to eliminate currency-level and other economic disparities in negotiations.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Arya Sumantra » 10 Aug 2010 18:05

shiv wrote:Good post Arya Sumantra. To boot - the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So if there are 25,000 different spare parts that have to be kept as "inventory" then the one that gets used up in 1 month is the one that grounds the fleet. The supplier will laugh all the way to the bank because he will have made billions supplying you with all the expensive spares and your fleet gets grounded because of some item like rubber liner for canopy seal.

This is of course why people can go only so far in keeping "spares" - the best is to keep entire spare aircraft that can be cannibalized.

The other unpredictable thing is what the IAF has found time and again. We buy aircraft and other equipment and under Indian climate and usage conditions there is failure/wear and tear of parts that the original manufacturer never saw, planned or expected. So the exact nature of "two months supply of spares" - while being a bad idea in itself, gets worse because the parts you have stored may not be the parts that fail.

Another point is that some things may require replacement after every 5 flights, other things every 2 months, something else in 6 months, something else in 12 months and something else every 1000 hours of flying. So what is the meaning of "2 months spares"?.

In fact this "keep extra spares" business is one of the reasons we need a body of accountants like teh CAG so we know what is happening in a large and complex organization. We have just seen a report in which the CAG has said that the value of imported components is more than 50%. Like someone pointed out - you can make 90% of components cheap in India but the foreign supplier whose profits and survival depend on exports will charge the highest possible price for the 10% of components that you buy from him/them. So more than 50% of the cost may come from 10% of the components.

So if you do an inventory and look at costs say 10 years after induction you may find that a whole lot of spares were ordered, but no war was fought, or war was fought and those spares were not used - and we are now left with date expired spares for which several hundred crores were spent.

Finally we look at things like missiles which have both an expiry date as well as a possibility of expiry if they are armed and flown in combat readiness. You buy an American jet and the US will sign EULA with you on XYZ missile Now how many XYZ missiles can you keep spare? If you keep too many and no war is fought - all with expire. If you have a time of tension like Kargil then you load the missiles and arm them and after being armed 4-5 times the missile "expires" and becomes a paperweight. this is how things work - but how do you "plan" for what you can't predict?


Very informative post Shivji. Though there are different spares with different frequency of replacement but as a general understanding one would definitely stock up more spares inventory from riskier country like unkil than from strategically closer ones. That itself raises inventory related held up capital costs and life-cycle costs for unkils plane as against rafale and Typhoon. If we want to cannibalize we would probably need more units at hand for unkil's planes to be prepared for hibernation in relations. Either way total costs would be higher with the yank option. I hope a different "country risk" is assumed for each candidate to get the true life-cycle cost calculations.
Last edited by Arya Sumantra on 10 Aug 2010 18:08, edited 1 time in total.

Singha
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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 10 Aug 2010 18:07

if the intent is to push back the PLAAF in heavy a2a combat, EF would be better choice than Rafale. afterall it has better a2a specs than MKI while MKI has the longer range and payload for DPSA. if 300 MKI is there for strike role, why would we need another strike oriented MRCA? also Tejas once FOC'ed should be equal or better than the M2K in most aspects of strike role except perhaps a bit shorter range on internal fuel.

while rafale likely uses 2 drop tanks for strike missions, MKI needs none and hence can remain more agile for the occasional a2a engagement.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 10 Aug 2010 18:11

There may be an unstated factor ,the key consideration for the IAF,which they cannot openly state, which is evident from its preferences.China.The China factor has in recent times become the most alarming development for the GOI,which ignored the pleas of the services for far too long.Believing Chinese words as against their deeds,the GOI appears to have woken up only after the developments in Tibet and the Chinese temerity,effrontery,impudence and arrogance in stating that AP belonged to it! This was the equivalent of placing a bomb under the GOI's seat.It's continuous hostility towards HH the Dalai Lama only added to the insult.The numerous reports of Chinese incursions into Indian territory gripped the nation.In dealing with the Chinese military threat certain realities present themselves.

For the IAF,the movement of Sukhois to the North-East was a move made more to show the PRC India's resolve to stand firm and ready to meet any PRC adventurism rather than beef up our air defences,even though it does significantly.However,China also possesses a very large number of Flankers,far more than India,which it is also manufacturing and improving with its own homegrown modifications,as the Russians are angry at Chinese reveerse engineering without their permission.These Flankers are admittedly of inferior specs,but nevertheless they are from the same Flanker family and the PLAF would be familiar with their characteristics.In any spat,larger Chinese numbers could equalise any qualitative advantage that the IAF has.The Chinese have also recently publicly and pointedly stated how the Tibetan railway has helped the PLAF logistically.A massive road link,to be followed by the rail link all the way to Aksai Chin is in the pipeline.

Thus the MMRCA requirement has evolved enormously in the last year,where it was earlier intended to replace numbers of declining numbers in IAF service,especially our older MIG-21s,into giving the IAF a whole new strike capability to deal with the new realities and challenges and obtaining the neccessary TOT for local support for the future.In this context-the real Chinese threat that is growing by the day,the IAF wants a western aircraft of 4++ std. that when combined with our Flankers,can meet and defeat Chinese Flankers and deliver the neccessary payloads required to destroy PRC infrastructure and military assets in Tibet .At Farnborough recently,a Typhoon showed off its class with a superb display where all its hardpoints carried ordnance.The Rafale is also being put through its combat paces in Afghanistan.These two aircraft are the cream of European fighter tech,with their twin-engined advantage over the Gripen.With an AESA radar too,they would possess a marked qualitative advantage over anything that China has.The 5th-gen fighter being developed with Russia will start appearing in service only about 5 years from now and until that time the IAF has to find a solution to deter the numerical superiority of the PLAF.Thus the IAF appears to want as hard insurance against China ,a qualitative advantage from both east and west and simply wants for the MMRCA,"nothing but the best"!

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Lalmohan » 10 Aug 2010 18:12

singha - that would be a reasonable assumption, i would then contend that IA needs huge amounts of arty in order for the strategy to work!

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Avid » 10 Aug 2010 18:15

parshuram wrote:@ Igorr But that will be a huge statement as per GOI policy is concerned. US is firing all cylinders to fetch the deal... {else i don't see Obama Coming here in November}....anyways right way to go indeed would love to see Rafale in IAF colours ...


If you have not noticed there is a certain absence of bonhomie between Obama administration and GoI.

Obama foreign policy decisions towards India are being influenced through competition between Richard Holbrooke (AfPak envoy and defacto Sec of State for AfPak) and Hillary Clinton (sec of State for rest of world). This is not going to change.

India has hosted Robert Gates as much as Clinton, and has hosted more pentagon officials than state department or commerce officials.

Mis-perception that US is firing all cylinders to fetch the MMRCA deal. It was under GW, but is not anymore. Also, multiple partnerships in defense have been scuttled, so has the follow on deals for nuclear power (far bigger $$ fish than MMRCA). Every indication that MMRCA deal with US is more fraught with possibilities of damaging the relationship than building. Any souring of the deal on MMRCA will set it back by decades (whatever bonhomie remains) and influence all other deals under negotiation.

Current climate in India within GoI is more wary of and focused on containing Obama administration doing damage, than strategic partnering. There is no congruence in goals with respect to AfPak -- in fact, you are likely to see more conflict (silent or open) with AfPak situation than any congruence.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby karan_mc » 10 Aug 2010 19:04

MiG-35 stalls in Indian fighter tender contract


Russia’s MiG-35 multirole fighter aircraft has failed to make the short-list in a $10 billion international tender for 126 combat aircraft for the Indian air force, according to Indian media reports quoted by Kommersant daily.

The favorites to win the tender are the French Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon, Indian media say.

Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the holding company for most of the Russian aircraft industry, and its fighter subsidiary MiG, have not officially confirmed the reports.

“The official results of the tender have not yet been announced,” said UAC’s Press Secretary Konstantin Lantratov.

“The MiG-35 is not leaving the tender, and I have no official information about this,” said UAC First Vice-President Mikhail Pogosyan.

A MiG source quoted by Kommersant said it was too early to say what the Indians had decided.

“The envelopes with the commercial proposals should be studied by the tender commission only this week,” the source said.

Several sources quoted by the paper listed a raft of problems around the MiG-35 program, including a lack of financing to support it. One source said the lack of state funding to support the program had been noted by UAC President Aleksei Fyodorov as long ago as the end of 2008, but the issue was not resolved.

The MiG-35 is said to be a cheaper aircraft than its rivals but is said to have problems with engine life.

“Time between overhauls should be at least 2000 hours and overall life 4000 hours, but the RD-33 doesn’t meet these parameters now,” said one source.

India already operates the early model MiG-29A fighter aircraft and is taking delivery of the MiG-29K naval fighter, which it will operate from a Russian-built aircraft carrier which is currently under refit.

The selection of two favored aircraft for the Indian tender follows a long trials process, which also involved Sweden’s SAAB Gripen, America’s Lockheed Martin with the F-16, and Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet, as well as the Russian MiG-35.


http://idrw.org/?p=284

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Austin » 10 Aug 2010 19:08

geeth wrote:>>>Yes but the 2.5 % cost escalation year on year is mutually accepted to take into account the inflationary effect

Later on, they demanded to make it 5%


Yes they do demand but this is a mutual acceptable cost escalation , so we do bargain and get what is acceptable to both , I guess that is part of any negotiation we do with any body.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby nits » 10 Aug 2010 19:43

Lockheed-Martin Dismisses Rumours, Issues Statement

BY: http://livefist.blogspot.com/

Message given to Shiv aroor

” Lockheed Martin continues to be impressed with the disciplined acquisition process being followed by the Indian Air Force and Ministry of Defense. Under this process, as described by the Defense Procurement Procedure, the short list will not be decided until an assessment of compliance with the qualitative requirements is completed by the IAF and MoD. Therefore, any speculation about who is a front runner or who will be short listed is premature. What we do know is the F-16IN Super Viper would bring tremendous capabilities now and for the future to the Indian Air Force and would strengthen the strategic partnership between India and the U.S. and between the Indian Air Force and the United States Air Force.”

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby shukla » 10 Aug 2010 19:53

Financial Express: Interview with Michael R Griswold from LM on the MMRCA competition..

Michael R Griswold is on a special assignment for Lockheed Martin. As director, advanced development programmes for the American defence major, he is focused on winning the $10 billion medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) project and developing other broad-based opportunities with India. Griswold, who recently visited India, met Huma Siddiqui and shared his views on various programmes and technologies related to fighter aircraft.

Excerpts:

Q: Don’t you think that India’s MMRCA project has been a long drawn affair?

A: MMRCA is a very complex undertaking and it is understandable that it will take considerable time to select the winner. There is a large amount of information that the Indian Air Force (IAF) must evaluate and verify for each of the six competitors. Nevertheless, the process has proceeded at a deliberate pace that is consistent with the importance of the ultimate decision to India. Global competitions of this magnitude are rare. In addition, it’s Lockheed Martin’s assessment that the IAF team which evaluated our technical proposal and conducted field evaluation trials has been highly competent and extremely professional.


Q: how can the MMRCA project help India leapfrog fighter technology?

A: India has a unique opportunity to leapfrog fighter technology with MMRCA. All the aircraft being offered clearly represent the best that each nation has to offer in fourth generation fighters. What sets the F-16 IN Super Viper apart is that this aircraft provides a technology bridge to the only 5th generation fighters in the world—the F-22 and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The F-16 IN shares technologies with the F-35 and the F-22 and benefits from Lockheed Martin’s expertise in 5th generation fighter design. The F-16 IN uses technologies from the F-22 design and the F-16 IN’s core hardware and software are based on the emerging F-35 design. Many of the engineers and scientists working on the F-35 programme also participated in the development of advanced F-16s and are now participating in the development of the F-16 IN. This continuous flow of expertise and technology between the F-16, F-22 and F-35 form the 5th Generation Technology Bridge.

An example of the 5th Generation Technology Bridge is the AESA radar. The Super Viper APG-80 AESA radar was derived from technology developed for the F-22 APG-77 AESA radar. Likewise, the F-35 APG-81 AESA is built upon the APG-80 radar. All of these radars have many hardware and software commonalities and each generation adds to the overall maturity and operational capability of the entire radar family.

Q: How do you see India’s efforts to develop its domestic defence industry?

A: India has had great success in securing its place in many global commercial marketplaces such as IT, manufacturing and materials. It is only a matter of time before it has the same success in the defence markets. There are several good examples of nations using foreign military acquisition programmes to drive growth in indigenous technology. For instance, the business relationships that get established as a result of military acquisition programmes like MMRCA will lead to further tie-ups that can help drive indigenous technology development.

Properly crafted offset policies that recognise the value of actual technology transfer will provide more lasting benefits than policies that simply encourage monetary investments or offshoring of manufacturing work.


http://www.financialexpress.com/news/te ... s/657672/0

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 10 Aug 2010 19:56

Cosmo_R wrote:@GeorgeWelch ^^^

George, I don't know if you saw the article about the British Navy considering F/A-18s in lieu of some of the F-35s. I don't know if it's true but if it is, why do you think they would go for SHs when the Air Force has EF Typhoons and the French would have offered Rafale Ms?


First of all I really think the Brits will stick with the F-35.

But if they don't, the choice is obvious.

EF doesn't have a navalized version and to create one would cost money.

Rafale is much more expensive than the SH.

If budget issues drive them to drop the F-35 (which again I doubt), they will go with the cheapest option, which is clearly the SH.

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Re: MRCA News and Discussion

Postby Carl_T » 10 Aug 2010 20:40

Singha wrote:if the intent is to push back the PLAAF in heavy a2a combat, EF would be better choice than Rafale. afterall it has better a2a specs than MKI while MKI has the longer range and payload for DPSA. if 300 MKI is there for strike role, why would we need another strike oriented MRCA? also Tejas once FOC'ed should be equal or better than the M2K in most aspects of strike role except perhaps a bit shorter range on internal fuel.

while rafale likely uses 2 drop tanks for strike missions, MKI needs none and hence can remain more agile for the occasional a2a engagement.


Why do you say the EF has better a2a specs than the MKI?

Furthermore, isn't MKI primarily there for air superiority with M2Ks for strike?


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