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MiG-35 stalls in Indian fighter tender contract

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MiG-35 stalls in Indian fighter tender contract

 

10/08/2010 © RIA Novosti. Ilya Pitalev

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

MOSCOW, August 10 RIA Novosti

 

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India plays down reports of MMRCA decision

 

The official spokesman of the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has downplayed media reports that France's Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon have emerged as favourites to win India's Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contest.

 

Speaking to Jane's on 10 August, Sitanshu Kar said no decisions have been made about the programme following the MoD's receipt of a comprehensive trial report on the six rival fighters competing for the INR420 billion (USD9.1 billion) contract.

 

Some media outlets in India had earlier reported that the results of the MMRCA technical evaluations, which concluded in mid-2010, had prompted the Indian Air Force (IAF) to recommend to the MoD that the shortlist be narrowed down to just two aircraft: the Rafale and Typhoon.

 

The other platforms competing for the 126-aircraft tender are Boeing's F/A-18E/F, Lockheed Martin's F-16IN, the Russian United Aircraft Corporation's MiG-35 and Saab's JAS 39 Gripen NG.

 

<H4 class=smalltext>146 of 439 words

Copyright © IHS (Global) Limited, 2010

 

Form Jane's

 

http://www.janes.com/news/defence/jdi/jdi100811_1_n.shtml</H4>

 

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While the MiG-35 makes sense from a logistical standpoint, as well as cost, I wouldn't count the others out yet. India may be eager to get a plane that's not from Russia for a change, since their last batch of Mirage 2000s.

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I'd bet my left nut that the F-16IN is only on the tender to make sure the document runs to a second page. It's technical superiority to other Vipers notwithstanding, no Indian official would get away with selecting fighter that Pakistan uses. I'm thinking the Eurofighter is in with a chance for that very reason Jedi.

 

Something came to mind before, this is the medium MRCA tender, yeah? Isn't the Eurofighter classed in the heavy (high) class and the Gripen in the light (low) one? If they choose the Eurofighter, that's going to be one buff air force the IAF has. Think about it, outside of the USAF, the Russians, the JASDF, few nations have fielded two heavy classed front line fighters simultaneously.

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I think the Gripen would be a great MiG-21 replacement, but the other contenders other than the F-16 are much bigger and give the impression that's not the lone perspective on this competition. I've not actually seen the requirements for what they want, though.

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Gripen would be a very nice addition, and long overdue IMO. A thoroughly underrated aircraft. There was talk about SAAB (and BAE??) whipping up a carrier based variant for Brazil which could also work out nicely for the Indian Navy too.

 

Pitching Gripen with tail hooks.

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The chances of Gripen winning the tender is very remote...too many foreign components in it which are probe to sanctions. I don't think neither F-16 nor F-18 would win it because of recent political developments.

The whole deal will end up contradicting itself. As Saywhat suggested, this new a/c was supposed to be a replacement for MiG-21s and was supposed to be in the medium weight class. F-18, Eurofighter and Rafale fall into the heavy class. If either of three wins, we might as well have gone in for the same number of Su-30MKIs(at a far lesser price).

Gripen fits in perfectly as MiG-21's replacement but will never win the tender.

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I think that the EF2000 would make a great job replacing other air superiority fighters, and that´s for Israel and Japan. But if you are looking for such a multirole fighter, the EF2000 may be too expensive.

 

If i were the Indian authorities, i would think of the Rafale, provided that it could be used also in the navy, with a large commonality of spares, training, et cetera, and that it is a french aircraft, being the French already dealing with the Indians. However, the aircraft wich better fits the IAF requirements is the Gripen. Including policy and so on, i would still bet on MiG-35

 

I think that the better solution would be for the Indians to invest on the Tejas and make it a better fighter, i feel that this shouldn´t be more than a close-gap or an alternative in the event the Tejas failed to make it. Look at the USAF. They didn´t do it too bad despite heving aircraft as light as the F-16 as the core of their strike-fighter force. So Gripen or Tejas are, IMHO, the way to go

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yup investing in tejas mk2 is a gud idea and if the IAF still wants a 4.5 gen western fighter rafale is best,going by the m2k record in indian service its the only a/c with very few crashes (i think 3 or 4) from 1985 when it was first inducted,french equipment is expensive but not as ef-2000,also its not prone to any sanctions and as many have said IAF is familiar with western equipment only downside is its underpowered engines.

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The upgraded Rafale engines are in development, but the lack of French military interest combined with the dearth of export sales has put it on a slow development track.

However, that further hurts export prospects as whoever decides to buy the plane with that engine in effect becomes the launch customer and then has to deal with all those headaches that normally the developing country would work out first like reliability, performance, and availability.

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I'd bet my left nut that the F-16IN is only on the tender to make sure the document runs to a second page. It's technical superiority to other Vipers notwithstanding, no Indian official would get away with selecting fighter that Pakistan uses. I'm thinking the Eurofighter is in with a chance for that very reason Jedi.

 

Something came to mind before, this is the medium MRCA tender, yeah? Isn't the Eurofighter classed in the heavy (high) class and the Gripen in the light (low) one? If they choose the Eurofighter, that's going to be one buff air force the IAF has. Think about it, outside of the USAF, the Russians, the JASDF, few nations have fielded two heavy classed front line fighters simultaneously.

 

The eurofighter's size and weight are somewhere between F-16 and F-18 (and less than those of the MiG 35). I don't think those are heavy fighter numbers.

Edited by shotdown

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