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India Dassault's Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon Ahead in Race for Fighter Plane Deal

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by kds1980, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    BANGALORE: In what could turn out to be the last lap of the high-profile $11-billion Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender competition, the ministry of defence on Thursday is expected to cull the list of contenders to two as it looks to place the order for 126 fighters for the Indian Air Force .

    According to defence and strategic blog, StratPost, the MoD has asked Dassault's Rafale and the pan-European consortium built Eurofighter to extend the validity of their commercial bids, the deadline for which will expire on April 28.

    The report would mean that global defence vendors such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Saab and MiG have lost out on what was often touted as the most lucrative defence contract in play.

    Ministry officials, when contacted by ET, refused to confirm any of the developments. "We can only confirm that the sealed commercial bids of the six competitors in the MMRCA fighter competition expires on Thursday. We expect to have a statement ready by afternoon," MoD spokesman Sitanshu Kar said.

    Eurofighter representatives said they need time to respond. Officials at Boeing declined comment.

    The 126-aircraft MMRCA contract is the largest defence procurement programme in India and the most-watched fighter competition around the world. In the running are Mikoyan's MiG-35, the Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon , Saab Gripen, Boeing F/A-18E/F and Lockheed Martin F-16.

    Earlier in the month, the ministry had asked all the contenders to resubmit their offset proposals, but according to the country's Defence Procurement Procedure, offsets are not the prime criteria for source selection. In February at Aero India, IAF chief, Air Chief Marshall PV Naik had announced that New Delhi would decide within two weeks about which aircraft it would buy, and actually sign the US $10 billion contract by September.

    "The CNC (Cost Negotiation Committee) is likely to start in a week or two. Taking that as the datum and giving them another 6-8 months, the contract is likely to be signed in September," declared Naik.

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com...or-fighter-plane-deal/articleshow/8107916.cms
     
  2. ac_marshall

    ac_marshall
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    Greetings,
    There are multiple dimensions involved in finalizing the deal along with the cost of the aircraft. The following additional factors other than the key combat capabilities in my opinion could have led to the shortlisting of Dassault Raphael and EADS Typhoon.

    i) Political Situation and reliability of Supply: There have been blooming defence ties with the US after Sep 11 attacks and panoramic business gains. But the ties with US have not been to an extent of military alliance. US supplies F16s to Pakistan, India's arch rival. Indian Navy has however given good business to US with maritime surveillance aircrafts and transport aircrafts. Though the Russian MIG-35 can outperform any other competing aircrafts, reliability in terms of supply, promptness in adhering to timelines have not been up to the mark. Availiability of spares has been a major problem. Sukhoi Beaureau has been quite prompt but not MIG atleast with the Indian airforce. Indian Navy has given good business to MIG with the aircraft carrier borne fighters i.e. MIG 29-K (a very close variant of MIG35).

    ii) Familiarity of the aircraft to the rival: Saab supplies Eireye AWACS to Pakistan and the RADAR signature of JAS39 Gripen would be familiar making it an easy target if Eireye is deployed in the combat theater. Same would be the case with F16s also.

    iii) Cost of overheads and dependencies: An aircraft would require frequent service and spares. The crews require rigorous training. Establishment of service facilities and workshops also depend on the type of aircraft, manufacturer's technology, extent of availability of design details. The service and workshop crew need to be trained for same. Both American and Russian manufacturers have generally been quite inflexible with the extent of disclosure of technical information. This would make the aircrafts too much dependent on external services. Diplomatic strains can make them sitting ducks. Facilities for MIG, Dassault and EADS already exist in India.

    iv) Ammunition Arsenal: The aircraft needs to be compatible with a variety of ammunition, sensors and warheads. The Jaguars(BAe) and Mirage2000Hs (Dassault) have been proven launch platforms for a variety of airborne warheads. This was seen during the Kargil war. The Infra Red tracking and guidance systems of Raphael and Typhoon have an edge over the other competitors.

    Regards-
     
  3. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    What I have read is that Russia was even giving the blueprint of technology with mig 35.Also I don't think India is capable of experimenting these over costly Aircraft with their own parts.Look at Tejas ,even it is running on imported engine .It will take few years to develop Indian engine.So even with typhoon Rafale we are going to be dependent on Them.
     
  4. ac_marshall

    ac_marshall
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    The organization structure in DRDO is different from that of the Air Force. The task of technology development rests with DRDO where as the task of maintenance and service of the commissioned aircrafts lies with the Air Force. The Tejas is primarily a DRDO project. The scope of this project kept changing every now and then and finally after nearly 2 decades it took to the skies. It is not that India is not capable, it is the obsolete procedures, internal politics that hinder the development.

    Inflexibility with respect to knowledge transfer and poor availability of spares were major causes for the alarming number of crashes of the MIG21s termed as "Flying Coffins".

    Being an aviator and aircrafts systems designer, I find nothing other than organizational will, transparency and recognition of talent lacking in the aeronautical sector. HAL takes so much time to build an aircraft designed by DRDO whereas the TATAs make avionics systems for aircrafts world over. A company near Bangalore called Taneja Aerospace Limited makes various parts for renowned Cessna aircrafts and also represent them for business. They also make customized business carriers. The LASER guided weapons used in Kargil war and their guidance systems were developed by the engineers in the Indian Air Force for the Mirage2000H.

    Unable to tolerate the bureaucratic stress, many talented engineers move out of DRDO or any government organization to greener pastures.
     
  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Politics or anything else the fact is we are unable to produce Aircrafts and we are still dependent on Foreign nations.I don't think even China at present can make Aircrafts ,so making aircraft is quite difficult.
     
  6. ac_marshall

    ac_marshall
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    We are still dependent on foreign agencies for combat aircrafts, this fact is acknowledged. Again, it's not due to incapability but due to lack of will among the decision makers to be independent. We make Tejas, but still buy Sukhois, Mirages, MIGs for our security needs. This is the ironical fact.
     
  7. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    O.K what about other weapons.isn't India among one of the largest importer of arms in the world ? Other powers of the export arms ,we have one of the weakest defence industry in the world.We can give this excuse of lack of will in many fields for example I was reading that if black money in swiss banks come back to India then we may be one of the richest nation in the world, but the lack of will of politicians make it impossible for that money to come back
    so does it mean at present we are not poor nation?
     
  8. ac_marshall

    ac_marshall
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    Like many other Indians, I also can't accept that India is a poor country. Ofcourse, there are millions below poverty line due to various reasons like illiteracy and exploitation. The amount of wealth people have can be seen by the overwhelming crowd in most of the jewelery shops across India. Coming to defence imports, yes India is the largest importer of arms. These include various things. One of the most recent purchases has been the Phalcon AWACS from Israel meant for airborne early warning and aerial mission control. But, on analyzing the industrial capabilities one can find that a Hyderabad based company makes a crucial part of it. The Swordfish RADAR meant for Missile Defence has been made indigenously after a licensed reverse engineering of an Israeli version. A prototype of a RADAR with the same principle and features was made by IISc Bangalore with IIT Delhi in 1990 but the project died out due to lack of funding. Capability is there, but not the will and direction.

    Looking at commercials, a DRDO scientist would get a monthly pay of Rs 50000 (all allowances included) after working for 6 to 7 years where as IT firms offer that within a year or two. Which place is a greener pasture for engineers? Where would a person like to work these days? A place surrounded by idle Babus talking internal politics most of the time or an organization with some professionals with opportunities to go overseas? Unless and until the administration of defence labs or rather the whole defence ministry is overhauled, little improvement can be seen. During my days of defence service, there was a defence and space exhibition for which the inauguration had to be done by defence minister accompanied by some politicians and officials. Looking at the static model of PSLV with its shiny surface a person among the dignitaries "Is me kitne kilo Chaandi hai?" I controlled my laughter with difficulty.

    Cheers(not alcohol) and Regards
     
  9. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    AC marshall ji

    Govt sector in India can never compete with private sector in terms of salaries.I was reading this Once in an article which mentioned about shortage of army officers.Army too wants highly talented youths but those Youths are Going to private sector so motivation in these sectors should come from somewhere else but not the money.

    As far Job satisfaction is concerned ,it is an alien concept to Indians.I was recently talking to this to guy who dropped IT career in lieu of banking one and He said nobody anywhere is satisfied with his/her job,whether it is politics,money working etc complaints just come on and on
     

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