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ghostrider883

Rafale knocked out from Indian MRCA contest

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The French Rafale twin-engine multi-role fighter has been knocked off a $10-billion contract for 126 combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force. One of six contenders, Rafale was officially rejected by the Ministry of Defence for what an official called the failure to meet qualitative requirements of the contract.

 

The IAF has been maintaining that all six contenders — American F-18 and F-16, Eurofighter Typhoon, Russian MiG-35, Swedish Gripen NG and the Rafale — for the Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract have met technical requirements.

 

But a senior official of the Ministry of Defence today said that Dassault Aviation's Rafale was rejected at the technical evaluation stage for failing to meet minimum performance requirements detailed in the tender document. Flight trials for the remaining five fighters are expected to commence within three months, the official said.

 

“They (Rafale) did not meet the requirements and will not proceed to the next stage. We hope to begin trials within three months with the others that have qualified,” the official said.

 

The French fighter, always an underdog in the competition for what is considered the largest international defence contract, was aggressively pushed by the French government. Former President Jacques Chirac and successor Nicolas Sarkozy spoke about the fighter in their interactions with India.

 

Incidentally, a separate contract, valued at close to $2 billion, for the upgrade of the IAF Mirage fighter fleet has also been stuck for several months with India and France still in commercial negotiations. While the IAF requires an urgent upgrade, the price being quoted by France for the upgrade of over 50 fighters has been a dampener.

Edited by ghostrider883

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IMHO it's probably more politics than the jet

cause the A\G capabilities of the Eurofighter are not the best for a MMRCA

 

anyways, the remaining jets that are tested are hard to choose from..

good luck to them :)

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Makes you wonder which technical requirement it failed. My guess would be range, as I've never seen a Rafale in operational use without 3 mega external tanks and maybe they don't want to have to fly around with those all the time just to get decent range.

I don't know the MiG-35s range, but I'm guessing it's better than the MiG-29.

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They should toss in the Silent Eagle too! Someone's gotta consider it so we can make it for SF. Otherwise, I'd say the grippen or latest F-16E/F as not many are using either.

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I guess the russians will get the deal. The IAF used MiG's since decades. The indian industry built them in licence.

The F-16 has the problem that Pakistan, Indias old well loved enemy, use it.

The Eurofighter is to expensive for his capabilities.

And the Gripen ...? I dont think that Sweden can push it so like the russians push the MiG.

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For political reasons I'm thinking the Russian entry will be pushed to the bottom of the list. I think at this time India would prefer to buy from pretty much anyone else to show Russia they shouldn't be taken for granted.

I personally would like to see the Gripen make it because Sweden could use it among other reasons, but I think the Super Bug is probably the odds-on favorite.

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I don´t think that Indians are gonna buy their first US aircraft, now that they could become a regional disturbance to the US

interests, a powerful rival now that India tries to grow in terms of power and influence. As ghostrider once said, Indians won´t

rely on the US while collaborating with Paks.

 

About the EF2000, it is an air superiority fighter, a role relatively well covered by Su-30MKI. Too expensive, and never intended

to be the massive numbers, multirole combat aircraft that India is looking for.

 

The Gripen could be what they are looking after. I think that it might be a good option. Perhaps it would serve also as a way

to show russians that they do not depend on them. Having supply from different blocks is useful if you are big enough to be a

target, but not to build up on your on, but depends also on how much commonality is available among the MiG-35 and MiG-29s

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Would be nice to see the Gripen get the export success it deserves or for that matter (cant believe I'm saying this the F-16) but one only read readily available documentation regarding the IAF bias towards single engined multi-role aircraft a few types like the SU-7 and MIG-27 excluded since the Soviet did'nt really have multi-engined strike aircraft available. With the entry of the Marut into the IAF service and given their combat experience the upper echelons of the IAF were convinced that for survivability multi-engine was the way to go. Small wonder that the IAF chose the Jaguar for the strike role.

 

Something like a F-15 (IN?) would be superb :biggrin: cant see it happening though.

Edited by Atreides

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Small wonder that the IAF chose the Jaguar for the strike role.

 

If my memory serves me right, ghostrider told me the IAF was going to choose the Viggen until the US said no due to the engine.

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My money is on the MiG. Im prety sure the Rafal was kicked out because of range and payload restrictions. The aircraft doesnt seem to have too many hardpoints and using up 3 for fuel means even less room for weapons. The MiG seems to me to have the best chance for several reasons. Russian aircraft are famouse for their ease of maintenance relativey cheap price tag and extreme flight performance. It also looks to me like it can pack a punch with Russia's up and coming high tech weapons (a-a missiles, and LGBs)

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the same story every time that french try to sell an aircraft.....

first of all, they sell in high price, secondly, they sell also the entire arsenal to make the planes capable.third, their upgrades cost at least haf the cost of the original plane, and for last, they try to buy the older mirage 2000 at scrapped -price, to re-sell them all over the world.

dassault rafale is a very capeable aircraft, with various armament and very effective.personally i prefer it from ef 2000 or even su27 -f 15.the real cost reaches 100 million usd for each plane.india has to buy all the missiles and bombs to make it operative, just because the existing ones from mirage 2000 doesn't fit !!!! then, for sure, french goverment doesn't accept the joint production for the plane,something that india will not accept for sure,seeing on the amount in investiment.for 72 ef 2000 the saudi arabians will create an entire aircraft factory!and then comes the upgrade for the airframes in about 20 years of service, in extremely high cost, if there should be ever...

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If my memory serves me right, ghostrider told me the IAF was going to choose the Viggen until the US said no due to the engine.

 

Yeah, that's right. No way US would have allowed to manufacture a US built engine. But now the present day situation is completely different. The P-8I, USS Trenton & C130J were ordered during President Bush's reign. But with President Obama in power, who knows? New restrictions? Further improvment/decline in Indo-US relations?

 

I think it was the cost of the a/c that made the IAF reject it, probably EF-2000 would go down as well. If the current govt remains in power after the next elections, I bet it would either be F-16 or F-18 that will be selected. P-8I & C-130J were selected without any competition. The RFP for 22 Attack helicopters were cancelled to give more time to Boeing & Bell.

 

Read this:

Rafale shot down for real or victim of the Gripen syndrome?

 

by Edouard Billet

in Paris

 

If we believe in recent press reports (Dow Jones, Reuters, etc.), Dassault would be about to make its Rafale fighter remain a true “French exception”. The news is still not confirmed but an anonymous MoD official is said to have announced to the media that the French combat aircraft has been rejected from the IAF MMRCA contest.

 

What happened? Is it really true? Is the Rafale a victim of the Gripen syndrome? Remember January when rumors popped up suggesting that Saab's JAS-39 Gripen might be left out of the field trials following the IAF's Technical Evaluation Committee report.

 

The news (if confirmed) sounds very. The aircraft, among the six contenders, is maybe one of the most pertinent for the IAF in terms of technical and operational aspects given the wide range of capabilities but let's try to put some distance between us and the aircraft first.

 

I think it is useless here to make yet another technical description of the aircraft itself. Every reader of this blog knows now the different features of each contender and their strengths/weaknesses. But maybe we should do the right assessment, instead. This recent announcement (if true) was released just after Air Chief Marshal FH Major, the Chief of Air Staff, said the first technical evaluation made by the militaries is over. Field trials have not begun yet and will probably be launched just after the elections in mid-May, and Dassault’s offer has already been rejected. In other words, it looks like the offer has been rejected instead of the Rafale.

 

But what really happened? The debate seems now to have jumped from the technical/technological sphere into the commercial/strategic sphere. The Rafale is a really good plane and shows its potential almost each day in Afghanistan or simply during its test campaigns in the hands of the French flight test center (CEV) teams. Its potential and its present capabilities are really great, no doubt about that. But let’s question ourselves about the way the Indian commercial campaign has been led by its maker and the French authorities. The problem might be here.

 

Some Indian observers believe that Dassault does not really believe the fact that the RfP process will survive the coming elections. Except this hypothesis, nothing can really explain the lack of communication from the French side that many observers have highlighted compared to the commercial show orchestrated by Boeing, Lockheed Martin (even the flames on the runway… the Americans always bring some special FX with them!) or even EADS.

 

Many things are not clear at all because of a lack of official communications from the MoD. But would it be reasonable to put into perspective the MMRCA deal and the future contract to upgrade the IAF’s Mirage 2000?Did Indian authorities make Dassault understand that Mirage + Rafale is an impossible equation given their will to reinforce their ties with the US? Because if we remember the words that Indian officials said few months ago that clearly signified “We won't sign any other strategic partnership apart from those with the US and Russia” Therefore, is the die cast?

 

Another element that should be taken into account in the ‘unconfirmed’ statement made by the anonymous MoD official is the price of Dassault’s offer. This argument seems to be recurrent concerning French offers in general, and was notably heard concerning the Mirage 2000 upgrade program. If some observers and militaries sometimes reproach French programs to be expensive, the most part of them also admit in the same time that French products have very good records in terms of serviceability, and are not linked to any constraining end-use monitoring agreements. Maybe quality and sovereignty have a cost. That's a thought.

 

Let’s try to stay careful for now since the “rejection” has not been formalized yet. Dassault itself, according to one of its spokespersons, still has not been informed of anything by the Indian government.

 

Even if we try to get out of technical discussions, many readers here would probably agree with that: it is quite frustrating to totally ignore technological aspects to only focus on commercial reflections. Because, indeed, one question remains. What makes possible the fact that the Rafale is excluded for technical reasons and not the Gripen, for instance? Neither the Gripen IN/NG nor the MiG-35 are operational and field trials expected to start next month, which could become a strange mix of prototypes and operational aircrafts test flights. The Rafale in its F3 standard is today a very competitive aircraft. Neither the cheapest nor the most expensive solution, its abilities have a strong point: they are proven (Red Flag, Afghanistan) and, a minima, at the same level of the five other contenders.

 

What can we have against it? Maybe its good “omnirole” nature. So good that it is not the “best” in a particular mission, except maybe deep penetration missions in air-to-ground attack mode given its small EM/IR signature and its important survivability with its SPECTRA self-protection system.

 

What is censurable in its configuration? Mainly two points:

 

1) Its thrust -- an engine able to deliver 90kN would have been better, notably for high-altitude take-off and landings, but technically the solution already exists with the M88 ECO. Even if this engine is not yet in production, an agreement seems to be possible (and is thought) between the DRDO (and more specifically the GTRE) and Snecma as a possible way to boost the Kaveri program (but here again the IAF expressed its reluctance due to the level of proposed ToTs).

 

2) Its radar: an AESA is said to be required in the IAF's ASQR. Thales has been finalizing the development of its new RBE2 AESA for months, which is now ready for low rate production. This system has been flight tested many times in France and was recently evaluated by Swiss pilots in the frame of Switzerland AF own contest to replace its old F-5. According to local sources, pilots are really enthusiastic and enjoyed its performances (range, precision) in various tactical environments (mountains, jammed areas, etc.). Those sources also said most pilots who have flown the Rafale and the other proposed aircrafts (i.e. Gripen and EF) expressed their preference for the French fighter. Furthermore, ToTs proposed to India by Thales for the RBE2 AESA seemed to be very interesting.

 

So where is the logic? Probably Dassault's offer would have been rejected in the last part of the MMRCA evaluation process at the political/economical level, given the strategic interest to opt for an American solution. But such a rejection now is quite hardly understandable. So wait and see, for two reasons: 1) to see if the announcement is true and 2) to gain more distance with all these parameters.

 

If ever the announcement is validated by Indian officials, maybe French authorities will have to take in turn some distance with their way to support the French industry abroad. Here again, let's do a flashback two months ago during Aero India 09 and let's remember the words of Nicolas Sarkozy’s adisor on International Affairs Jean-David Levitte. According to him the Rafale was under damageable political pressure in India. He said he asked the Indian government to consider the Rafale the same way it does with the five other contenders. These words, carefully listened by any polemist, would have been read as: "If you do not select the Rafale that means you are corrupt".

 

So maybe we should imagine that the French government didn't really help Dassault's efforts. Such a hypothesis could be read in the light of the recent Rafale defeat in Morocco, partially caused by a lack of coordination of the French Administration with Dassault's commercial stance.

But all these are only suppositions and ideas to deepen, of course the discourse. Let's wait, savoring a good French red wine. I'm sure you know that wine possesses neuroleptic effects, i.e. it blunts the peak of emotions and reduces anxiety and stress, providing a mild euphoria and some moral appeasement?

http://www.livefist.blogspot.com/

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I think the Indians would be shooting themselves in the foot in the long term if they go the American route. Why ? Simple, each administration has its own view of what balance of power in the region should be like. Plus, the Indians would be wise to learn from Pakistan, as in their F-16's embargo. The reason the Indians have had such good luck with the British is due to the little know fact that when SEPECAT and specifically the British were trying to sell the Jaguar to India, the Indians quite rightfully questioned the possibility of sanctions, which is when British Prmie Minister James Callaghan gave his unequivocal commitment that Britain would never again impose any sanctions on India in the future.

 

Can the U.S say the same even for the sale of aircraft ? Doubt it and since the purchase is going to be a substantial one India would be foolish to go that route.

 

Sadly, though the EF-2000 is definetly a forgone conclusion (out) cost and complexity is probably the biggest factor .

Edited by Atreides

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I would go for the MiG-35 for 4.5 Gen due to the familiarity India already has and versatility of the airframe and cost / tech transfer - but would have to see that the avionics are up to a good standard.

As an airframe its got 2 engines, its very agile, M2.4 top end, great acceleration, and it can operate from poor / dusty runways.

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Nice try :wink:

 

That tail stinger is too long for carrier ops, though! That's another differentiation between the 27KUB and the 32/34. All carrier-based Flankers have a stinger shorter than the 27, while the 2-seat land-based ones have a longer one.

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