India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Part 2

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Viv S
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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 01 Jan 2012 04:44

arthuro wrote:Viv, you often selectively answer to what I post without addressing all my previous post. Just an example:

I said:
That’s where you’re wrong: simply because Dassault has not communicated on this issue does not mean that they are behind. In fact with the full control of the program (Thales main shareholder is Dassault) they have much more room and leeway to propose extended partnership than with Typhoon Gmbh which have to cope with four different countries that are not necessarily happy to sacrifice too much compared to their neighbor.

And you answered:
There is no evidence of Dassault having offered India any participation in future upgrades and any assertions of it being so is pure speculation.


Either you have not properly read was I have written either you are arguing for the sake of arguing which is time consuming and not very respectful. I just answered to your speculation that Dassault did not offer any partnership to India. I told you that nobody knows as they did not communicate about their commercial offer and that Dassault should have more leeway and more room to propose cooperation if they wanted to. Then you accuse me of saying that Dassault have proposed a better partnership. That’s not a very honest way of arguing.



Oh I did get your point about Dassault offering India a workshare in future Rafale development, but lets face it - we can only debate here on basis of publicly available information. When new facts emerge, we alter our position. For example, I was convinced the Super Hornet offered the best overall value for money by virtue of having a host of cost effective munitions available with it. When it was revealed that the MoD will be negotiating the munitions package independently and that Raytheon was gunning for that contract, I changed my opinion (the winning MMRCA aircraft would have a superior airframe as well as the option of the American munitions).

Point is, if and when Dassault releases information in public about an outstanding industrial offer, I will revisit my opinion and see where I stand. But until that day arrives, based on available public information (not speculation) - the EF does offer a considerably better deal to HAL and the Indian industry, in addition to having better ties with them.

Same goes for:

“So its only in the event of an export order being signed that frictions will arise? Disregarding the fact that the workshare will be allotted as soon as India joins the consortium (not when an order in the offing).”


You can disagree which is you very right but you should avoid distorting my previous answers to make your point. I also mentioned friction due to the necessary investment that partner nations are unwilling to pay and I also mentioned potential risk due to government changes of some of the partner nations. So if you want to debate you are welcome but you have to do it in a transparent way. I consider that you have not fully addressed my previous points.


I didn't realise my answers were less than transparent (still don't as a matter of fact). Frankly, I can't fathom a situation where political uncertainty in the consortium would affect India's participation. If a production workshare could have been allotted to Italy and Spain, I'm sure an arrangement could worked out with India as well, especially with subcontracting work for the follow-on MMRCA order being a distinct possibility.

That said, this only becomes an issue if the Eurofighter bags an export order after 2016 which, lets face it, is unlikely. India's interest on the other hand is likely to be with regard to upgrades where it can invest in partnerships with the multiple companies involved, at the initial stage. That way HAL or BEL could customize and implement them, without protracted negotiations with the European govts. or companies (like that in the case of the Mirage 2000).

Dassault in contrast has been criticized (both in the international and French media) for having a lackadaisical approach to exports particularly in the wake of the UAE order coming unstuck. The general opinion is that its satisfied with French government orders for Rafale with its real focus being on its Falcon business jet line. And where it has participated, its approach has been less than ideal, like blaming political equations for the Swiss loss. Even in competitions where political factors did play a role like South Korea - making its grievances public, was hardly good business.

Typhoon developments:

CAESAR is not a prototype it is a demonstrator that flew a few series of flight in 2007 if I remember well and is not flying anymore since a longtime. CAESAR is similar to rafale DRAAMA AESA demonstrator was. Besides there is no such thing as full scale development for the CAPTOR-E, they attributed Selex with a 6 million pounds envelop a few weeks ago which is clearly not enough to start any meaningful development. There is still not a single prototype flying and it is not even close being tested in a lab.


Tsk tsk ... now we're debating the semantics of it. If you're referring to a production or pre-production variant being flight tested of course you're right. But that doesn't mean one wouldn't be operational by 2014-15. The same arguments you've made also apply to the Gripen NG's Raven AESA. Yet the IAF accepted Eurofighter's offer while rejecting Saab's. The IAF's evaluation included a detailed study of the Captor-E's development including flight trials conducted for its benefit, and they found EF's proposal acceptable.

-As for AtG weapons apart from one type of 1000 pound LgB and the GBU-49 to come there is absolutely nothing in the pipeline except vague claims. Not a single penny has been officially attributed to integrate further AtG weaponry. I would be curious if you bring me the official press release stating a Raytheon Harm integration and so on…


Between the PW II, PW III and dual mode EPW II, EPW III & PW IV, most staple air to ground missions are covered. In addition, all the munitions are qualified with the EF's Litening III (which is the IAF's standard laser designation pod) while the Rafale will have probably have to start the Litening's integration from scratch.

With regard to the HARM, it'll be some time before its integrated, since the Tornado ECR is still a while away from retirement. But their integration is in the pipeline. The JDAM on the other hand is already in the process of being integrated. The Saudis too will looking to use their new JDAMs with the RSAF's EFs).


Germany Awaits Air-to-Ground Eurofighter

Luftwaffe officials confirmed that the air-to-ground aircraft will initially be optimized for use of the GBU-54 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). Luftwaffe acquisition of this weapon was announced by Boeing in July, and Germany is the first international customer for the weapon.

Boeing said that delivery of LJDAM kits is expected to begin in mid-2009, although the Luftwaffe admits that a full air-to-ground capability will not be realized until 2011-12. In the interim, ground-attack training will focus on use of the Eurofighter's internal 27mm gun.



I'll see if I can locate the article about the EF eventually replacing the Tornado ECR in the SEAD role with HARMs.


-As for CFTs it is not even about turning Typhoon in a deep strike aircraft it more urgently giving it a meaningful endurance with a heavy war load. Typhoon is limited with 1000L drop tanks and it is bigger and heavier than the rafale. Given it size and its cost it would be hard to accept an endurance of the magnitude of a Tejas or a mig-21.


Huh? Oh come now, you're telling me that you think the Eurofighter has the same endurance as the MiG-21!! Lets not get carried away please.

On internal fuel it will have range comparable to the Rafale. Right now it can carry upto 3000L externally on three wetpoints. 1500L fuel tanks were tested but they limited the aircraft's g-limit and its ability to go supersonic, so they were shelved. Point is that the EF's endurance is more than sufficient for the IAF's requirements. If it required the extreme fuel carrying capacity that the Rafale brings to the table, it would have integrated fuel tanks on the Su-30MKI as well.

CFTs are being developed because the RAF would like to employ the 2 Storm Shadows in addition to 2 fuel tanks, for Libya-style air strikes in the future (when its Tornados have retired). Its a capability that neither the RAF nor the IAF urgently needs.


Rafale upgrades:

To answer you on rafale upgrades : a ready AESA radar, a new engine called M88-4E which offer better costs of ownership (less fuel consumption, less maintenance), a new enhanced frontal sector optronic (OSF-IT for Improved Technologies) and a new Missile warning receiver called DDM-NG which has an angular accuracy compatible with DIRCM.
All these capabilities are already fully developed. First aircraft with these upgrades will be delivered to French air force in 2012 and the first squadron will be operational as soon as 2014. So that makes a rafale deal transparent, low risk and easier to induct.


'M88-4E which offer better costs of ownership' compared to what? Obviously the preceding engine. The same goes for all the other new goodies. Its like Boeing saying that the IAF should buy the Super Hornet because its better in all respects to the original Hornet.

The aircraft needs to be judged on its merits, not because it has new components. For that matter, the EF too is being upgraded with new DRFM, TRD and new DASS antennas, but its not a factor as far as the IAF induction goes.

Also, getting an upranged AESA in quick time doesn't help much when the primary air to air weapon i.e. Meteor isn't going to be operational until about 2015.


mirage 2000 upgrade :

As for mirage 2000 upgrade we have to disagree: no one forced the IAF to sign this deal and there were other options. You are also downplaying synergies with the rafale fleet and you are wrong on the remained life span of the mirages as they will undergo an airframe modification to increase their potential for another 20 years if too much fatigue is found during the upgrade.


Yes no one forced the MoD to sign the deal, and yes there were other cheaper but riskier options available. That said, it doesn't mean that the IAF and MoD are going to look back at the entire process (starting 2007 if not earlier) with any degree of delight.



Price negotiations for the Mirage-2000 upgrade have travelled a rocky road over two years. Initially, Dassault quoted Rs 13,500 crore ($2.9 billion), which it brought down to the current level of Rs 10,000 crore ($2.1 billion) after the IAF diluted its upgrade requirements. But the MoD believes Dassault’s reduced bid only reflects the diluted requirements, rather than any flexibility on the latter’s part.

The IAF, traditionally a staunch supporter of Dassault and the Mirage-2000 fighter, is apparently changing its views. Dassault, say pilots, has badly damaged its credibility during the recent negotiations by arm-twisting the IAF over the supply of spares for the Mirage-2000 fleet.


http://www.business-standard.com/india/ ... er/373419/



It might seem like I'm downplaying synergies between the Mirage and Rafale, but that's primarily because I'm less than convinced about the prospect. Both the Rafale and EF will share one air to air missile (MICA/ASRAAM) as well as most air to ground munitions, with other parts of the IAF's fleet. Some avionics are common - but I doubt there are great savings to be made on maintenance for the mission computer, INS/GPS modules etc.

Every 2000 hours the aircraft goes for an overhaul where it checked for signs of fatigue but that does not prevent the aircraft from ageing. Like I said before, an airframe life extension doesn't appear to be a part of Dassault's upgrade offer (and judging from the USN's $15 million airframe upgrade of the Hornet, its not a cheap endeavour). In addition, ignoring its all metal airframe and 80s era engine, even the Mirage's avionics and munitions will be obsolescent by 2025.


You also did not provide anything about BAE enjoying the reputation Dassault enjoy. I am not saying the relation between BAE and India is not good just that it is not at the same level, especially after Dassault/mirage performance during the Kargil conflict.


How do you measure reputation? Especially when one party's role has been enabling HAL to actually manufacture Jaguars and Hawks for the IAF, while the other's role was limited to after sales support (and now upgrades) for the Mirage 2000.

What do you mean by Dassault's performance during the Kargil conflict? A lot of information from that period is contradictory, but the general consensus is that it was the Israelis who assisted the IAF with the supply of PGMs and Litening integration.

In any case, why do you think its a zero sum game, where the IAF can be very satisfied with either Dassault or BAE, but not both? Also, at this stage the IAF has passed the ball into the MoD's court, where the HAL's input will have greater weight.


Source told idrw.org, that good serviceability of the aircraft and high mission availability of the Mirage-2000 in IAF fleet has lead to go with the French upgrade package, Mirage 2000 in last two decade in IAF fleet was the best weapons delivery aircraft and had an enviable safety record, and even Su-30MKI doesn’t have such a distinguished record.


Again, just because the IAF is very pleased with its Mirages doesn't mean that it values Dassault over BAE. As the most expensive fighter acquired (inflation adjusted) by the IAF to date, one would expect it to be better than the rest of the fleet at least as far as serviceability and availability go. Certainly better than the cheaper Russian types in service.


Last point about mirage 2000 retirement: the time frame is 2025-2030 when the rafale will become the only type in the French airforce and I assumed 2000D and 2000-5 will be the last out as they are the most potent one which is a reasonable bet. I’ll look if I find a specific source on the 2000-5 and 2000D.


The 2000D I can understand, being almost a decade younger than the older Mirage variants, but I'm skeptical about the Mirage-2000-5. I'll await your source. :)
Last edited by Viv S on 01 Jan 2012 04:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 01 Jan 2012 04:51

Short Mission: Let us say road moving terrorist targets in urban setting [assume a bunch of MPVs], and we have couple of only either fully loaded Rafale or Eurofighter at our disposal to choose from. Which one you would choose and why?

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 01 Jan 2012 04:59

SaiK wrote:Short Mission: Let us say road moving terrorist targets in urban setting [assume a bunch of MPVs], and we have couple of only either fully loaded Rafale or Eurofighter at our disposal to choose from. Which one you would choose and why?


They both perform it well. But if I had to pick one, I'd go with the Rafale. Everything else being similar, it can carry a greater external fuel load without any of its traditional drawbacks (RCS or supersonic performance don't come into play).

Also, I must point out that the IAF's Su-30MKI's can carry out that the task better than both the EF and Rafale.
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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 01 Jan 2012 05:01

Thanks, that pretty much says an enhanced MKI is more worth than Rf or Ef.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Kovy » 01 Jan 2012 06:18

Viv S wrote:Also, getting an upranged AESA in quick time doesn't help much when the primary air to air weapon i.e. Meteor isn't going to be operational until about 2015.


If you think that better range is the main reason to get an AESA, you miss 80% of the advandages of such an antenna.

Its a capability that neither the RAF nor the IAF urgently needs.


That's only your opinion, and the IAF may disagree with that.

'M88-4E which offer better costs of ownership' compared to what?


Well, you can compare to the EF upgrade schedule which promises a TVN engine. Not the best way to lower the costs of ownership imho.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 01 Jan 2012 08:02

Kovy wrote:If you think that better range is the main reason to get an AESA, you miss 80% of the advandages of such an antenna.


While think '80%' might be overstating it, I'm aware of the advantages - reliability, emission control, jamming resistance, versatility, LPI characteristics etc etc. With regard to the Rafale, its been often presented as the prescription to the PESA's range issues. But until the Meteor arrives on scene, the Rafale is still limited by the MICA's range. Personally, I'd much rather see the IAF temporarily lease a squadron of EFs from the RAF or Luftwaffe, (if they're required for training), and take deliveries on schedule of a EF equipped with a 1425 TRM Captor-E.


Its a capability that neither the RAF nor the IAF urgently needs.


That's only your opinion, and the IAF may disagree with that.


Of course its my opinion but that doesn't mean its not grounded in fact.

First off, the IAF will have to await the conclusion of the LRSOW competition. Then they have to wait for it to be integrated and tested. It also be delivered in appreciable quantities before it becomes completely operational. At the same time you need to get pilots (who're still working their way through the EF/Rafale's training syllabi) qualified with the weapon. We're tentatively looking at 2016 or after. Also, the selected munition will be integrated across most IAF aircraft, not just MRCA, and the primary cruise missile platform would in all probability be the Su-30MKI (similar to the Tornado in the RAF and Luftwaffe service). In addition, the induction of the 1000km Nirbhay missile in the near future, will give the IAF other alternatives for precision strike (assuming that ballistic missiles are a no go).

Coming to the operational aspect, if both fuel tanks and ALCMs are required, it implies that the target is likely to be at considerable distance (especially if you account for the missile's 300km or so range). Pakistan simply doesn't have the kind of strategic depth to necessitate a strike of that nature. China does, but as anyone familiar with their AD environment will tell us, its not to be scoffed at. No aircraft short of the F-22 can ingress and egress deep in PLAAF's backyard with a decent assurance of safety, especially not the kind of radar magnet that an aircraft laden with two heavy fuel tanks and two (?) cruise missiles would be. Also, there aren't a lot of targets deep inside China that would require urgent attention in the event of a war, with the possible exception of the Xining-Lhasa railway line. Unless a symbolic strike like the Doolittle raid is called for.


'M88-4E which offer better costs of ownership' compared to what?


Well, you can compare to the EF upgrade schedule which promises a TVN engine. Not the best way to lower the costs of ownership imho.


:-? Not sure what you're getting at. Until EJ-200 acquires TVN, it cannot compare with the M88-4E's cost of ownership? There's no comparison possible without a baseline. Both engines were designed for different aircraft with different design parameters. Just because the M88-4E enter service recently doesn't necessarily mean its technically superior.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Philip » 01 Jan 2012 08:35

Happy New Year to all....awaiting with breathless anticipation the great decision! While the oxygen cylinders and nitro tablets are being handed out,here's some food for thought which will require some antacid to be at hand!

One major Q,in all this talk of "partnerships",producing components in India for export,etc.,what are the actual prospects of these two Eurobirds in the future? If you ask me,the road is going to be downhill all the way once the IAF decides!

US allies generally possess F-15s,F-16s or F-18s and in view of the "turkey's" late arrival on the Thanksgiving table,have planned alternatives in buying upgraded versions of their legacy aircraft,which like the F-16 originated 30 years ago (AWST).Thus the Saudis,Oz,SoKos,some Europeans, and perhaps the Japanese who desperately want the JSF,will eventually buy these upgraded models.The EF partner nations have almost all recd. their aircraft,or have cut down requirements and only need to upgrade their Tranche 1 aircraft to Tranche 3 if they so desire it.They will also zealously safeguard theiur production facilities to preserve jobs at home in the shaky Eurozone.The Saudis are right now the only other major non-EU buyer.At these phenomenal costs in an era of deep recession,it is most unlikely that there will be a queue of nations waiting to buy either the Rafale or EF in the future.After the Indian contest,Brazil and the UAE are the two next battles to be won,but much smaller than our deal.

In fact,I predict that if we can fast-track the LCA MK-2,this "cheap" aircraft ,like the Gripen will have some future in exports to smaller nations who require a cost-effective multi-role aircraft to replace their legacy MIGs and other western equivalents.At the moment,the Gripen and JF-17 are the two options open to medium powers and developing nations.If the perfected LCA can be offered at $5m less than the Gripen,it has a good future ahead.China will try and push "friendship" sales to the Africans,poss. also the Afghans,with whom they've just concluded a major agreement for oil exploration.Sometime ago,when there was no movement on the new engine for the LCA MK2,there were some members who smelt a conspiracy against the LCA,with vested interests both at home and abroad who wanted to scuttle/delay the project,so that imports could flourish. With the apparent lack of concerted "push and shove" from the MOD on this project,especially when the entire nation are the "stakeholders" in it,those who smell a conspiracy might very well be right.

So,therefore in all this expectation of full TOT,off sets,etc.,exceptional care muts be taken to see that the offsets and tech that comes with these beauties slots in and fills the major gaps in our aerospace industry ,and helps us not to reinvent the wheel.The incredible speed with which UAV/UCAV tech is maturing is hard to even track by the day.The latest successful flights of the X-47B and the sheer proliferation of UAVs/UCAV being developed around the world, show that that is where the real growth is in the industry.Hugely expensive manned fighters will be the dinosaurs of tomorrow.They have reached perhaps their highest altitude possible,barring any manned hypersonic bombers, and must now gently coast down.At the last Aero-India,some western UAVs/UCAVs were displayed including the British Mantis.Is UAV/UCAV tech on our list to come along with the winner?

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby arthuro » 01 Jan 2012 14:14

Germany Awaits Air-to-Ground Eurofighter

Luftwaffe officials confirmed that the air-to-ground aircraft will initially be optimized for use of the GBU-54 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). Luftwaffe acquisition of this weapon was announced by Boeing in July, and Germany is the first international customer for the weapon.

Boeing said that delivery of LJDAM kits is expected to begin in mid-2009, although the Luftwaffe admits that a full air-to-ground capability will not be realized until 2011-12. In the interim, ground-attack training will focus on use of the Eurofighter's internal 27mm gun.


I will not have the time to answer everything right now but do you realize that this (old?) article is completely wrong ? None of what is announced here has became true. Where are the LJDAM kits the Lufwaffe was supposed to have ? And full Air to ground capability in 2011-2012 ? That must be a joke. Luftwaffe's Typhoon squadron are used for Sky policing only and there is no AtG configuration operational yet in germany and that will remain true still for some times. Have you heard about germans front line Typhoon pilots training in the AtG role with their Typhoon ? Never do I.

In fact that article just make my point : there is still no robust multirole capabilities with the Typhoon despite all the talk we have heard for years and the investment required is still considerable to integrate the full range of AtG weapons needed.

As for the CAESAR it just did a few flights in 2007 and that's all. It was just to show the feasibility of replacing the Mech antenna by an AESA one but there was no work on the software to implement operational modes. It was not even related to the Captor-E as the concept did not even exist so that's what your idea of the CAESAR being a prototype is a fallacy.

It remains that in those early days of 2012 there is still not a single CAPTOR-E prototype and that full scale development is not even here which makes the 2015 limit increasingly doubtful. India might have done some credit to the Captor-E development so the Typhoon could be shortlisted but that was provided this program gained some momentum afterward. And it seems to be almost dead development wise.

Now for the CFTs yes they are urgently needed if you want any meaningful range with heavy configurations. With two cruise missiles it can only carry one 1000L drop tank compared to 6000L external fuel with the rafale. In this condition Typhoon range should be not far of a mig 21 or a Tejas. The limitation is such that without CFT it would be absurd to integrate cruise missiles.

And you are wrong to underestimate the tactical impact of range as it will allow you to take longer but safer routes toward an objective to create an effect of surprise or to avoid SAMs. It also allow you to be a more potent platform for CAS due to more playtime on a given zone. Range allows you to do less refueling which is much more efficient operationally and for your wallet.

As far as the SU-30 is concerned the same can be said for AtA it has the biggest radar and it is the fastest. So in this case no need of Typhoon and rafale. But this view is over-simplistic : Rafale and Typhoon are more integrated more survivable platforms (sensor fusion, SA quality) and why should india discount the qualities of those jets when they are going for one of them ?(range, speed etc) The more the better.

Last point on the M88-4E : it is a ten year newer engine than the EJ-2000...Given the pace of technical improvement in that field (look at civil aviation) you can make a safe bet that the M88-4E will be significantly cheaper to operate than the EJ-2000, let alone the fact that it is a smaller engine.

Point is, if and when Dassault releases information in public about an outstanding industrial offer, I will revisit my opinion and see where I stand. But until that day arrives, based on available public information (not speculation) - the EF does offer a considerably better deal to HAL and the Indian industry, in addition to having better ties with them.


How can you say "considerably better" when you don't know rafale offer ? That's just not logic. And if you look at the comments it is generally acknowledge than dealing with on country is easier than with four. You can find this idea in the indian press written or TV when I watched an indian debate right after the selection after the Typhoon and rafale or in the arguments from Dassault or the French MoD.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby NRao » 01 Jan 2012 22:40

Latest DTI (not on-line as yet) has an aritcle on French economic woes. Does not look too promising. Looks, to me, no matter which one of these India selects, India will be stuck with large bills at the end.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Philip » 01 Jan 2012 23:57

I tend to agree with Art and others that the Rafale is a far better developed ,operational fighter than the Typhoon.One might remember
a recent post of mine,reg. the experience of the aircraft involved in the Libyan campaign,where the Gripen astounded everyone with its radar,and the "Rafale also performed well".There was little comment about the Typhoon's performance,other than that it attacked ground targets,which however had to be lit up by Tornado pods.Therefore,the statement that there is much to deliver by the Typhoon in its strike mode rings true.The aircraft was originallly meant to deal with Soviet Fulcrums and Flankers in the air-superiority/dominance BVR envisaged air warfare scenario.However,its sensor fusion is such that in the "fullness of time",its strike capability will also be ensured,but when and at what cost?

Will the political aspect of the deal over ride the technical? Will the French lose out because of their exorbitant costs for the M-2000 upgrade and inflexibility on the same wiht the Rafale? As said right from the start,the contest is one that with the advantage right from the start with the French,since the IAF have operated with success the M-2000 and are upgrading it.Having seen off the Americans thanks to the IAF/MOD,the result of the contest is almost entirely in the hands of the French, to win or lose.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 02 Jan 2012 00:20

I would not agree with french pricing though, where they might pass all their overheads to us. if India buys Rafale, then we would the solo international customer unlike mirages. It would be heavy cost of upgrades for anything and everything.. Just look how they are chewing us for the mirage 2k upgrade in spite of wider sales.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Indaruta » 02 Jan 2012 00:26

When the EURO was down they were sitting on there asses now that the Rupee is down they are in hurry to close the deal

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 02 Jan 2012 00:31

The problem is discipline and responsibilities. If you ask me, even if you give me 5000 parameters to check, and if I can do 10 parameter a day to compare and conclude, it would take a single person to wrap the process in 500 days. That is like within 2 years from RFP quote receipt.

World over it is 80-20 rule where only 20% do their job. Our baboozed world, it is always 99-1% only do their job to a reasonable level. If you ask them, they have no clue what these numbers mean nor have any idea what makes sense in terms of cost saving.

Logical thinking and coherency is not in the definitions.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby NRao » 02 Jan 2012 00:35

The issue of currency fluctuations is not a long term problem.

The problem will be that India, facing a increasingly growing bad pair of neighbours, will certainly have a more immediate need for enhanced set of tools to deal with them - in the future (2020+). France has not such need. Syria perhaps - at the very most. So, when India wants something done (by tomorrow), India will have to go to France for upgrades. And, even with protracted "negotiations" France is not cheap. I would expect France to be prohibitive expensive in dire need.

The very best we can hope for is that the MMRCA transfers enough know-how for India to be able to build out in a reasonable time frame AND Pakis stumble and fall, thereby reducing the risk in the region.

France will never help the situation without her pound of flesh and blood.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 02 Jan 2012 00:38

I like being a partner like in taking decisions what to change and how to do it, with all the technical know how shared. That way, we can work out the deal on actual cost basis.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 02 Jan 2012 01:20

arthuro wrote:I will not have the time to answer everything right now but do you realize that this (old?) article is completely wrong ? None of what is announced here has became true. Where are the LJDAM kits the Lufwaffe was supposed to have ? And full Air to ground capability in 2011-2012 ? That must be a joke. Luftwaffe's Typhoon squadron are used for Sky policing only and there is no AtG configuration operational yet in germany and that will remain true still for some times. Have you heard about germans front line Typhoon pilots training in the AtG role with their Typhoon ? Never do I.


The LJDAMs have been delivered to Germany. It'll be to the Luftwaffe what the Paveway IV is to the RAF, i.e. the standard dual mode PGM for most air to ground missions. And yes, while the PW IV has been integrated on RAF EFs, its possible that LJDAM integration with the Luftwaffe EFs is behind schedule. It doesn't change the fact that it is in the pipeline.

In fact that article just make my point : there is still no robust multirole capabilities with the Typhoon despite all the talk we have heard for years and the investment required is still considerable to integrate the full range of AtG weapons needed.


Define 'robust' multirole capability. Here I'd have thought having the EPW II, EPW III, PW IV integrated and LJDAM in the pipeline was pretty darned robust, but apparently we differ on what robust implies.


As for the CAESAR it just did a few flights in 2007 and that's all. It was just to show the feasibility of replacing the Mech antenna by an AESA one but there was no work on the software to implement operational modes. It was not even related to the Captor-E as the concept did not even exist so that's what your idea of the CAESAR being a prototype is a fallacy.

It remains that in those early days of 2012 there is still not a single CAPTOR-E prototype and that full scale development is not even here which makes the 2015 limit increasingly doubtful. India might have done some credit to the Captor-E development so the Typhoon could be shortlisted but that was provided this program gained some momentum afterward. And it seems to be almost dead development wise.


Again, no offense, but you and I have to pore through news reports, magazine articles and read between the lines to form an opinion. The IAF on the other hand can get access to the highest levels of the EF program. A Captor-E prototype was flight tested for the IAF's evaluation team who examined the program in depth before declaring it viable. And their rejection of the Gripen NG's AESA clearly proves that the evaluation was not cursory.

So saying that the IAF team was '[doing] some credit to the Captor-E development' is implying that the evaluation was less than professional, and that EF was granted favours where the Gripen was refused the same.

Now for the CFTs yes they are urgently needed if you want any meaningful range with heavy configurations. With two cruise missiles it can only carry one 1000L drop tank compared to 6000L external fuel with the rafale. In this condition Typhoon range should be not far of a mig 21 or a Tejas. The limitation is such that without CFT it would be absurd to integrate cruise missiles.


First off, I have point out the assumption you're making about the Tejas and MiG-21 having the same or similar ranges isn't factual. While about 25% heavier, the Tejas carries about twice as much fuel internally and the GE F404 is far more economical vis-a-vis the Tumansky R25.

Heck, the Tejas' range might well be in excess of the Mirage 2000's (again.. slightly higher internal fuel load and better engine).

Also, the point with regard to the EF was that having the MRCA fly long ranges with two cruise missile wasn't an urgent requirement. The RAF and Luftwaffe will need one when their Tornados are retiring, the IAF may not need it even then, operating as it does fairly new Su-30MKIs.


And you are wrong to underestimate the tactical impact of range as it will allow you to take longer but safer routes toward an objective to create an effect of surprise or to avoid SAMs. It also allow you to be a more potent platform for CAS due to more playtime on a given zone. Range allows you to do less refueling which is much more efficient operationally and for your wallet.


When its lugging three massive 2000L tanks, the Rafale loses its biggest advantage over the Su-30MKI i.e. its low RCS. Sure it will gain the range to fly round and round SAM sites, but every radar, be it ground based, fighter based or AEW&C based, will detect the Rafale at a far greater range. Which is fine if you're flying all the way from France to bomb near obsolete Libyan air defences. But in the Indian scenario where flight time from wheels up to entering enemy airspace is 10 minutes, its in very rare cases that you'd see a Rafale (assuming the IAF opts for it) with that third external fuel tank.

That said, I do agree that having the option of carrying 6000L of fuel externally instead of 4000L on the EF, is good. Its just that its more valuable for European air forces wanting the capability to reach across the Mediterranean, or strike Argentina from the Falklands or for a naval carrier needing to strike deep inland, rather than IAF which needs aircraft that can scramble quickly, operate from high altitude airbases, fly exceedingly fast and high while minimizing RCS against hostile PESA and AESA radars.


As far as the SU-30 is concerned the same can be said for AtA it has the biggest radar and it is the fastest. So in this case no need of Typhoon and rafale. But this view is over-simplistic : Rafale and Typhoon are more integrated more survivable platforms (sensor fusion, SA quality) and why should india discount the qualities of those jets when they are going for one of them ?(range, speed etc) The more the better.


In the scenario that SaiK proposed, the Su-30MKI enormous loitering capability and dedicated WSO give a clear edge. It also has an edge over the EF and Rafale, in roles like maritime strike/patrol or operation as a mini-AWACS or mini-refueler.

That said, yes the MRCA has its place thanks to its low RCS, cutting edge EW systems and superb sensor fusion/MMI. For interception missions in particular, the EF is second only to the F-22.


Last point on the M88-4E : it is a ten year newer engine than the EJ-2000...Given the pace of technical improvement in that field (look at civil aviation) you can make a safe bet that the M88-4E will be significantly cheaper to operate than the EJ-2000, let alone the fact that it is a smaller engine.


Come now Arthuro, surely the crux of your argument cannot be that the M88-4E is somewhat newer and therefore superior. That assumes that ten years back the EJ-200 and M88-2 were at the same exact place, which is a subjective question. The M88-2 was smaller and lighter, but the EJ-200 had a superior thrust to weight ratio as well as a better SFC in both dry and A/B conditions.

The Rafale probably offers better range/unit fuel than the Eurofighter, but that's because the aircraft itself lighter and is therefore likely to have lower lift induced drag, not because the M88 is smaller or more fuel efficient than the EJ-200.


How can you say "considerably better" when you don't know rafale offer ? That's just not logic. And if you look at the comments it is generally acknowledge than dealing with on country is easier than with four. You can find this idea in the indian press written or TV when I watched an indian debate right after the selection after the Typhoon and rafale or in the arguments from Dassault or the French MoD.


I'm saying 'considerably better' on the assumption that the Rafale's industrial offer is restricted to what the terms of the RFP stated (where too it was less than confident on the offsets from), and does not include the degree of participation that EF is offering. Also it doesn't have the industrial size of EADS, BAE and affiliated companies and doesn't appear as eager to join the Indian domestic industry.

At least that's what all public information seems to suggest. If Dassault pulls a rabbit out of the hat, I'll be the first to amend my opinion. :)

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 02 Jan 2012 02:03

Philip wrote:I tend to agree with Art and others that the Rafale is a far better developed ,operational fighter than the Typhoon.One might remember
a recent post of mine,reg. the experience of the aircraft involved in the Libyan campaign,where the Gripen astounded everyone with its radar,and the "Rafale also performed well".There was little comment about the Typhoon's performance,other than that it attacked ground targets,which however had to be lit up by Tornado pods.Therefore,the statement that there is much to deliver by the Typhoon in its strike mode rings true.The aircraft was originallly meant to deal with Soviet Fulcrums and Flankers in the air-superiority/dominance BVR envisaged air warfare scenario.However,its sensor fusion is such that in the "fullness of time",its strike capability will also be ensured,but when and at what cost?



Some strikes were carried out with paired Tornados lighting targets. Not all. And the limiting factor was the availability of pilots retaining currency, not the aircraft itself.



As the Royal Air Force looks beyond the Libya air campaign and the combat debut for the Eurofighter Typhoon, the force is eager to keep at least some of its pilots in air-to-ground combat.

The move would mark a shift from the situation prior to Libya, when Typhoon pilots qualified in air-to-ground combat had to regain their currency in order to full participate in the operation. In the end, all pilots involved in the Libya operation were qualified for air-to-ground missions, with 50% cleared to operate the Litening III laser designator pod.

In addition to conducting air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, Patounas says Typhoon’s defensive aids subsystem was used to provide situational awareness also for Tornado GR4s. Even in the absence of surface-to-air missile attacks, the electronic warfare system proved useful. In one case it detected an SA-3 that had been hit early in the conflict only to be repaired. The radar warning receiver information was used to strike the target again.


Aviation Week

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 02 Jan 2012 02:22

From a Hi-Lo chase, firing an A-A missile at the enemy fighter say flying at 100ft or so above the ground in a terrain hugging chase dog fight, which radar be most useful in trying to get a lock, among the ground clutter.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby NRao » 02 Jan 2012 02:35

arturo,

Perhaps someone else has already mentioned it or you may have read it, but, at this point int time the technical issues are non-issues. Once the (famous) files moved from the IAF to the MoD, both the planes are considered equal to the MoD, give and take some. The issue before the current set of evaluators is financial and then at some point in time it will become political.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby nash » 02 Jan 2012 07:33

is there any news regarding extension of bidding date...??

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 02 Jan 2012 08:14

so, no news means automatic cancel, and offers are invalid. Both Rf and Ef can re quote? this is all goes banana if things don't move per schedule time.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby rajanb » 02 Jan 2012 08:23

SaiK wrote:so, no news means automatic cancel, and offers are invalid. Both Rf and Ef can re quote? this is all goes banana if things don't move per schedule time.


Not necessary that it is a cancel. Could be any of the following:

a) The request for extension can come any time.
b) Most likely that since the bids were submitted there may have been changes in the a/c systems, # of a/c, oprions for more a/c etc. and new pricing to reflect those changes were requested for.
c) or MoD not releasing any info. and asking vendors not to, either due to political manouevres by lower cost vendors not in the deselect.

The suspense continues.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 02 Jan 2012 08:57

With regard to the entire competition, getting the a well performing aircraft is important, but a major takeway at the same time, regardless of whether the Rafale or Eurofighter wins, will be in terms of the transferred technology.

I'm fervently hoping that the Indian produced PAKFA/FGFA diversifies extensively from whatever the Russians come up with. Much more so than the Su-30MKI. I'd as to see Russian technology in Indian variants limited while availing of as much western and/or Indian input as is possible without compromising the pace of the program, whether its in composites, GaN technology, manufacturing techniques, HMS, ESM & EW systems or even FLIR/IRST systems. While I'm sure the Russians will produce an aircraft with superlative performance, I'm less enthusiastic about its ability to deliver cutting edge avionics in the same timeframe. Assuming we play our cards right, I'd like to see a fusion of European avionics and American munitions into a Russian/Indian aircraft.

I'm sure this has been posted before, but it still remains a good example of the kind of technology that can feed into the FGFA and MCA programs -


Eurofighter Typhoon: Rafting out the moon

Warton, UK: BAE Systems engineers building the Eurofighter Typhoon at the assembly plant here on the Lancashire coast, face up to a unique challenge with every tidal movement. Every time the moon pull's the tide in and out, the gravitational pull actually causes the ground to move beneath their feet, which can affect the manufacturing accuracy that goes into the building of the aircraft's airframe.

This is a problem for the engineers as the tolerances now used to build the Typhoon's airframe, and of similar advanced aircraft, are so fine that if the movements of tides is not accounted for in the manufacturing process, it could result in throwing a jet fighter's tolerances out.

According to Martin Topping, Typhoon's final assembly operations manager: "Every time the moon pulls the tide in and out, the ground under our feet actually moves by between one and two millimetres. That might not sound a lot, but given the tolerances we are working to on Typhoon, two millimetres is two millimetres too much."

BAE Systems has addressed the problem partly by putting in special automated alignment facilities, which use laser-trackers and computer-automated jacks. The company's main effort, however, has gone into building giant 'floating' concrete rafts on which the aircraft and measuring equipment sit. These rafts actually ensure that each Typhoon's airframe is built as close to perfection as is humanly possible.

"Each of these concrete rafts is over three metres deep and 18 metres long," says Martin. "All 9 automated jacks and both laser trackers are positioned on one surface ensuring all movement is relative, achieving a near perfect alignment whatever the moon may be doing." BAE Systems has spent over £2.5million in the design and installation of these systems.

The result, according to BAE Systems, is one of the most perfectly aligned jet airframes in the world. Every Typhoon that leaves the BAE Systems plant in Warton varies from the true by no more than the thickness of a matchstick. The unstable, but hugely agile, Typhoon is 15 metres long, tip to tip, and such build accuracy helps the Typhoon's fly-by-wire computer system to accurately control the aircraft.

Thanks to such build accuracy there is a minimal need to 'trim' the flying surfaces, allowing pilots to make maximum use of the aircraft's flying potential.

Pioneered on the Typhoon, this advanced manufacturing technology is now being utilised for the manufacture of the US F-35 Lightning II, slated to be the world's first stealthy, supersonic, multi-role fighter.



While I'm sure ISRO and DRDO would have considerable experience with manufacturing to very fine tolerances, this should be a new experience for HAL.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Kovy » 03 Jan 2012 00:43

"Every time the moon pulls the tide in and out, the ground under our feet actually moves by between one and two millimetres. That might not sound a lot, but given the tolerances we are working to on Typhoon, two millimetres is two millimetres too much."


I wonder what happen when the user need to change a part of the airframe (a tail or a canard for example)
Does the operation can be done on site or need to be done at the assembly line to keep the accuracy ?

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 03 Jan 2012 01:09

did not understand the 2mm shift.. if the whole platform is shifting, where is the tolerance problem? Both the object and reference are on the same plane right?

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 03 Jan 2012 01:46

SaiK wrote:did not understand the 2mm shift.. if the whole platform is shifting, where is the tolerance problem? Both the object and reference are on the same plane right?


Not completely sure really. But I believe it meant that the ground shift due to lunar gravity wasn't uniform, which could cause a minute pitching movement, interfering with build accuracy. Putting the assembly on a solid concrete raft would ensure that any shift on the ground was the same throughout.
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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 03 Jan 2012 01:51

Kovy wrote:
"Every time the moon pulls the tide in and out, the ground under our feet actually moves by between one and two millimetres. That might not sound a lot, but given the tolerances we are working to on Typhoon, two millimetres is two millimetres too much."


I wonder what happen when the user need to change a part of the airframe (a tail or a canard for example)
Does the operation can be done on site or need to be done at the assembly line to keep the accuracy ?


Does that happen? I thought aside from deep overhauls (usually performed by the OEM), the airframe wasn't supposed to be tampered with. The most complex activity I'd expect the base workshop to perform would be an engine change.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 03 Jan 2012 02:12

I can see the ground shift may not be uniform.. but the solution is sooooo simple and cheap.

Have the assembly platform on wheels, and the whole platform is totally integrated. I don't see this as a big technology aspect at all.. unless i am missing something here.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 03 Jan 2012 02:26

SaiK wrote:I can see the ground shift may not be uniform.. but the solution is sooooo simple and cheap.

Have the assembly platform on wheels, and the whole platform is totally integrated. I don't see this as a big technology aspect at all.. unless i am missing something here.


Actually wheels aren't required, all you need is a very large and very rigid base. You can use a metal platform but if its sufficiently large, it will deform though very slightly, which is probably why they resorted to concrete.

Technologically this particular aspect isn't very deep. But when combined with everything else, HAL will probably find the whole process an excellent learning experience.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Philip » 03 Jan 2012 02:53

Every time the "tide" in my glass of whisky is pulled in and the level shifts downward by a few mm,I will also try and feel if the ground is "shifting" beneath! I must admit that it has happened before when in a standing position but only when tsunami like shifts in the glass have taken place.Things do start rocking then!

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 03 Jan 2012 05:49

sure.. a steel connecting frame is good enough..ensuring the whole platform moves synchronously.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 03 Jan 2012 06:43

SaiK wrote:sure.. a steel connecting frame is good enough..ensuring the whole platform moves synchronously.


That's the thing, if for whatever reason you're looking for an extremely fine fit, the sag in a steel frame will prevent that from happening (steel is a very elastic material). If you consider the entire size of the aircraft plus allied equipment, preventing minute aligning distortions is very hard to achieve.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 03 Jan 2012 07:04

what I meant is it can take load without being rigid or fixed on the ground. you may substitute the steel to reinforced concrete or additional cross sections.. the point being, don't be rigid and fixed, but having a platform not fixed but moves as a whole like a big heavy block on a specially built flat platform.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 03 Jan 2012 07:29

SaiK wrote:what I meant is it can take load without being rigid or fixed on the ground. you may substitute the steel to reinforced concrete or additional cross sections.. the point being, don't be rigid and fixed, but having a platform not fixed but moves as a whole like a big heavy block on a specially built flat platform.


I'm afraid I don't understand what you're getting at.

Basically you have a ground that's undulating. If you want to prevent relative motion between your assembly equipment and components, you need mount them all on a single rigid platform. Now if you use a steel platform or thin reinforced concrete, while it may not be visible to the naked eye, it will flex.

Think of it this way - you have several floating build components in the sea. You can cluster them together, but joining them will be hard because they're bobbing up and down. So you need to get them all onto a single platform before you can start assembly. If your platform is an inflatable rubber or plastic life raft, you'll still have trouble putting it together. What you need a large rigid wooden or metal raft so that all your components are perfectly stationary relative to each other.

That's the case here, just on far far smaller scale.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby shiv » 03 Jan 2012 08:05

Viv S wrote:
Eurofighter Typhoon: Rafting out the moon

Warton, UK: BAE Systems engineers building the Eurofighter Typhoon at the assembly plant here on the Lancashire coast, face up to a unique challenge with every tidal movement. Every time the moon pull's the tide in and out, the gravitational pull actually causes the ground to move beneath their feet, which can affect the manufacturing accuracy that goes into the building of the aircraft's airframe.

This is a problem for the engineers as the tolerances now used to build the Typhoon's airframe, and of similar advanced aircraft, are so fine that if the movements of tides is not accounted for in the manufacturing process, it could result in throwing a jet fighter's tolerances out.

According to Martin Topping, Typhoon's final assembly operations manager: "Every time the moon pulls the tide in and out, the ground under our feet actually moves by between one and two millimetres. That might not sound a lot, but given the tolerances we are working to on Typhoon, two millimetres is two millimetres too much."


I suspect this problem can occur if you have an aircraft part on a moving assembly line being worked on by a robotic arm that sits fixed next to the assembly line. The robot and the conveyer "belt" or moving platform can develop minute differences in their positions relative to each other. One millimeter of course is too much. You don't want a 6.56 mm bullet in your 5.56 mm rifle unless you win by saying "Mine ij bigar"

But this may be a geography problem in Lancashire - I wonder if this is BAe Preston close to the coast and a nearby river that where the tide causes millions of tons of water to shift and change the contour of the land.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby shiv » 03 Jan 2012 08:15

SaiK wrote:I can see the ground shift may not be uniform.. but the solution is sooooo simple and cheap.


SaiK - huge piskolgical difference between you and BAe. Yes it may well be a simple engineering problem to solve, but it sounds really TFTA and Discoverychannelish to talk about the connection with the moon and say how clever the problem solvers are. In India you would solve the problem and curse the government for setting up the plant near the sea where tides affect the ground level. In Britain they solve the problem and pat themselves on the back.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby lakshmikanth » 03 Jan 2012 08:19

^^^A lot of aerospace and precision manufacturing needs extremely accurate measurement real time, usually done by laser trackers. I suspect that the tracker might be heavily depending on the geometry of plant, and if that changes it affects the calibration and that ends up screwing up the control parameters for manufacturing.

Its a very simple issue, geometry of the plant changes causing the manufacturing parameters to go out of whack. The way they describe it is as if they figured out the solution to describe Quantum-Gravity

Edit --> just saw shivs post about cursing Indian govt above :D
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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby SaiK » 03 Jan 2012 08:23

:rotfl: .. I was only mentioning it cheap in the sense, the platform could be rigid and sturdy [no bending wending etc] given the load and specifications. Outside the platform it may bend.. by tide or rasto roko strike protesting against lack of future preparation for tsunami.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Viv S » 03 Jan 2012 08:54

shiv wrote:But this may be a geography problem in Lancashire - I wonder if this is BAe Preston close to the coast and a nearby river that where the tide causes millions of tons of water to shift and change the contour of the land.


It is actually quite close to the sea and sits almost on top of a delta. I'd expect the earth tides are amplified by ocean tides in the region.

In India you would solve the problem and curse the government for setting up the plant near the sea where tides affect the ground level. In Britain they solve the problem and pat themselves on the back.


Well yes, but the facility's been used for assembling aircraft since 60s, from the BAC Lightning to the fairly modern Tornado, so it was probably not economical to move it elsewhere. And then again, £2.5 million to overcome it isn't a very large figure relative to the aircraft's cost and production infrastructure. Also, that figure's amortized over 160 EFs as well as F-35s and Taranis-type stealth drones in the future.

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Re: India selects Typhoon & Rafale for MMRCA shortlist - Par

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 03 Jan 2012 09:19

A certain famous Englishman once offered a pithy phrase that encapsulates the above...

"Much ado about nothing"

Don't get me wrong, I am not discounting the need for precision, but to put this kind of hammy crap out there as part of your promotional messaging is pretty cheesy, IMO.

Perhaps it also says something about an aircraft that needs a fix to address an inconvenient legacy in order to make a successful go of the old ways of doing things.

That's quite a statement, and I'd like to elaborate: The problem with the pull of the moon messing with the alignment of your manufacturing process is indeed a significant one *particularly if you're working in machined metal*, like with the Eurofighter. By comparison, the Tejas LCA is constructed of epoxy-reinforced composites that are not machined the same way metal is, but rather, through a process known as "vacuum forming", wherein the pull of the moon should not be such a factor, owing to the inherent gravity-defying process stresses intentionally imparted with negative pressure (which would counteract a "sag" naturally, probably without laser-corrected jigs).

As I understand it, the Rafale has a high proportion of composites too, whereas the Eurofigher makes more extensive use of exotic metals (that are much more expensive and difficult to machine than composites, which are 'machined' through vacuum forming processes, not slow-moving, expensive-to-operate CNC machines).

Of course, that's just my impression, given what I've read. I wouldn't stake my name on the above, without having an opportunity to actually hands-on inspect these a/c. It would be tempting to make the assertion if I knew how much weight of each aircraft was attributable to carbon composites, metals of which kind, etc., but that would also lead to a false assumption, because what really matters is machine hours and machine costs -- both of which are more dear when working with metals, than with composites.

Please, if you know otherwise, I would welcome your correction. Thanks, RK


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