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Ozair
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India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:55 pm

The Rafale contract continues to remain in doubt. Not being able to finish this contract with the Indians as well as doubts on the delivery of the Mistral vessels to Russia may spell the doom of the Rafale on the export market.

NEW DELHI: India plans to take a final call, one way or the other, on the gigantic $20 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project to acquire 126 French Rafale fighters before Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits France and Germany in April.

Sources said the defence ministry is now hopping mad with French aviation major Dassault's continuing refusal to take "ownership" of the 108 Rafale fighters which are to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in India with transfer of technology after the first 18 jets are delivered off-the-shelf to IAF.

The MoD is also upset with Dassault's attempts to "change the price line", which led to its selection over the Eurofighter Typhoon as the L-1 (lowest bidder) three years ago, by deciding the "costing" for HAL on its own. "It will amount to a de facto hike in the L-1 price," said a source.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...h-weather/articleshow/45847253.cms
 
angad84
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:56 am

I have no concrete information on this, but the word on the street (not gospel, please don't hold me to this) is that the MoD/GoI is just looking for an elegant way to dump this without completely arsing up diplomatic relations with France.

That's literally it — They need to s**t-can this deal without trashing any of the other stuff going (Mirage upgrades, future tech/hardware buys like ships, subs, ammo and so on...) and without kicking Indo-French relations back by five decades.

OTOH, the good folks at Air HQ don't really want more Su-30MKIs and certainly don't want the Tejas LCA to be backbone of the combat fixed wing fleet — with good reason! To paraphrase a criticism of the F-35, the Tejas can't turn, it can't run, it can't see and it can easily be seen. The Su-30MKI is a huge target in the air, has limited A2G capability (although they're trying to turn that around now) and regardless of the ability to produce it in India, is a very expensive aircraft — maybe not so much in capital terms, but maintenance and cost per flying hour are sky-high. That's not to mention abysmal availability figures, something that is also likely to figure in the Tejas fleet once (if?) it makes FOC.

Check this out:

http://www.stratpost.com/video-vayu-stratpost-air-power-roundtable-ii

Quoting IAF Air Marshal Matheswaran at 35:25 in the video linked above:

We had to actually bring in this Medium Multi Role Combat – because it was originally MRCA – primarily because you had to – although I’d said that weight consideration is no more a relevant issue – to categorize aircraft by weight limitations – we had to keep the Su-30 out because otherwise the Su-30 would have come into the competition, as well. And the question would have been raised, ‘Why can’t you buy more of the Su-30s’. Now you can’t put all your eggs in one basket – strategically, it’s unwise. That’s one of the primary reasons. And therefore you created this Medium Multi role Combat Aircraft (competition) which is 30 tons and below. Okay, so the Su-30 is 34 tons and above – 34 tons category. So the heaviest aircraft in this entire category was the F/A-18, which is 29 tons. The costliest aircraft was the Eurofighter, as per our estimation at that point of time. The cheapest aircraft was – and the lightest aircraft was the Gripen. The F-16 would have been the cheapest. But the point is, you had the original contenders who were there in the fray – you couldn’t have removed them because that process had started off. But you had the new technologies – 4 and half generation aircraft and you also had a spectrum of cost differentials from one end -I would say, averaging about 40 million dollars to almost 100 million dollars – or 85 million dollars.” – Air Marshal (retd) M Matheswaran

Matheswaran was in charge of Air Staff Requirements at Air HQ when the MMRCA RFI went out, so he knows what he's talking about. It's another thing that a decent idea was so utterly perverted and subverted by the time the RFP went out and then when L-1 selection was made.

There are other videos from the same session that are well worth watching (full disclosure, I was part of the organising team). A lot of the issues facing the IAF, particularly the MMRCA problem, are discussed in detail. The general consensus, although sadly not explicitly stated by anyone, is that an aircraft along the lines of the Gripen NG would have actually been an ideal fit.

So. Long story short, the IAF wants to avoid putting all its eggs into the Su-30MKI basket and needs to hedge against the LCA turning out to be a huge turd (which, let's face it...). That's the genesis of the MMRCA. To scrap it because Dassault is being intractable makes sense if you're the MoD/GoI and it's your $30 billion that's walking out the door, but if you're the IAF, this talk about canning the whole contract is going to make you nervous as all hell.

Cheers
Angad
 
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seahawk
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:28 am

They could still try to find a solution with Eurofighter.
 
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moo
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:29 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 2):

And watch the same thing happen with that deal?
 
angad84
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:49 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 2):
They could still try to find a solution with Eurofighter.

MoD procurement rules do not allow them to do so. If Rafale fails, they must abandon MMRCA or re-tender.

See here: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-...al-air-chief/article1-1259339.aspx

Quote:
“Rafale has run through the finish line. It’s too late in the day to parachute into the race. The door is closed,” a senior defence ministry official said on the counteroffer made by the European consortium.

[...]

The official said there was no provision in defence procurement rules to re-open the fighter competition at this stage to the consortium -- backed by Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain. It can make a comeback only if India is willing to scrap the deal and start from scratch.

and here: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...-fighters/articleshow/45287664.cms

Quote:
But, as reported earlier, there can be "no comebacks" in the ongoing MMRCA project as per the Indian defence procurement policy and CVC [Central Vigilance Commission — an anti-corruption watchdog] guidelines. India can either ink the deal for the Rafales or scrap the entire MMRCA selection process undertaken since August 2007.
Quoting moo (Reply 3):
And watch the same thing happen with that deal?

Sad but true...

Cheers
Angad
 
Ozair
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:01 am

Quoting angad84 (Reply 1):
The general consensus, although sadly not explicitly stated by anyone, is that an aircraft along the lines of the Gripen NG would have actually been an ideal fit.

I'm not sure the Girpen NG is even an ideal fit. Evidence is it will be over US$100 mil, still be reliant on a US engine, which apparently India didn't want to do, and suffers from a number of the same issues the Tejas does. It would also have the same engine as the Tejas which would introduce both economic savings from commonality but also additional embargo risk. But India has come a lot closer to the US in the last 3 years since the MMRCA was chosen.

If we look at all of the contenders again it still remains hard to chose an ideal aircraft.

F-16 - No go because Pakistan has them.
F-18 - My leading candidate. It ticks all the multi-role requirements, has an open production line and 500+ in service aircraft. It also remains the one of two flying with an AESA which was apparently quite important to India.
MiG-35 - Lacks range and capability as well as no other customers.
Rafale - Clearly cost has become an issue. Whether Dassault bid too low initially to win the contract or not, it doesn't look like they can make money unless the price rises significantly.
Eurofighter - Again remains expensive and recent press on airframe issues and operating costs doesn't help.
Gripen NG - Brazil choosing Gripen NG may help but the key issue is the airframe has only limited capability compared to F-18, Rafale or Eurofighter and SAAB can only provide 60% of an aircraft.

So, if I were India and I could overlook the US dependance I would choose the F-18. Boeing is keen as mustard for another customer, especially one the size and scope of India and it remains affordable to acquire and operate.

Quoting angad84 (Reply 1):
if you're the IAF, this talk about canning the whole contract is going to make you nervous as all hell.

It would terrify me having to go through that procurement process again let alone the continued reduction in operational combat aircraft.
 
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seahawk
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:07 am

So old style in India. Imho it keeps the winner honest, if the contract can be given to the second place candidate if the winner fails to reach an agreement and fulfil his bid. Now it is Rafale or no fighters for another decade, which puts the IAF in a difficult position.
 
angad84
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:30 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 5):
I'm not sure the Girpen NG is even an ideal fit. Evidence is it will be over US$100 mil, still be reliant on a US engine, which apparently India didn't want to do, and suffers from a number of the same issues the Tejas does. It would also have the same engine as the Tejas which would introduce both economic savings from commonality but also additional embargo risk. But India has come a lot closer to the US in the last 3 years since the MMRCA was chosen.

The Gripen is a Tejas that actually does what it says on the tin. Don't think anyone can ask for more. The Tejas is a flying science project, lots of promises and hot air but very little substance. There's no question which is a better or safer bet.

Your point on sanctions is spot on - if the Tejas, a purportedly "indigenous" fighter (whatever the hell that means, when the power is American, the weapons Russian, the radar Israeli and so on) can be accepted with an American engine, why not another fighter? Even if it's not the engine, sanctions will affect ALL US-origin or US-controlled components. Somewhere, in each of these aircraft, is a part made by some American firm...

Quoting Ozair (Reply 5):
If we look at all of the contenders again it still remains hard to chose an ideal aircraft.

OK, except:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 5):
F-18 - My leading candidate. It ticks all the multi-role requirements, has an open production line and 500+ in service aircraft. It also remains the one of two flying with an AESA which was apparently quite important to India.

Don't forget it's a bit of dog aerodynamically. Short legs too. The IAF has already (for reasons best known to them) demonstrated a willingness to wait for AESA in favour of stuff like better manoeuvrability and supercruise, so I'm not sure that'll really swing things for the Rhino.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 5):
and it remains affordable to acquire and operate.

It would be nice if the people in charge thought in these terms...

Quoting seahawk (Reply 6):
Imho it keeps the winner honest, if the contract can be given to the second place candidate if the winner fails to reach an agreement and fulfil his bid.

Indeed. Sadly, corruption is the reason this is not possible.

For example, there can be a situation where the L-2 bidder greases palms to engineer a situation where L-1 is ejected for "failing to reach an agreement," and then walks away with the contract (at a higher price to boot!).

So to protect against corruption, the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) and various other guidelines make it impossible for a second-place candidate to be called to the table. Sadly, what this also does is erases most of the negotiating advantage with the buyer, and gives all the power to the L-1 bidder.

Cheers
Angad
 
bennett123
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:32 am

If they choose the F18, by the time it enters service most other operators will be retiring them.
 
Ozair
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:09 am

Quoting angad84 (Reply 7):

Don't forget it's a bit of dog aerodynamically. Short legs too.

Aerodynamically it suffers from the canted pylons but from a maneuverability perspective it is comparable to the Rafale and Eurofighter, just using a different philosophy. It is short on range but my understanding was the Indian Hornets were essentially what Boeing morphed into the Block III, with the option of conformal tanks and higher thrust engines. Same engine as Tejas as well...

Quoting angad84 (Reply 7):
a willingness to wait for AESA in favour of stuff like better manoeuvrability and supercruise

I think they need to make up their minds. Every option has a compromise in one way or another, personally I think the IAF would be better served by a more strike orientated aircraft than one geared for A2A. From an A2A perspective in the F-18s favour are a HMS, superb HOBS missile and high AoA, which renders the degree or two a Rafale or Eurofighter may have void.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 8):
If they choose the F18, by the time it enters service most other operators will be retiring them.

The USN is planned to operate the Super Hornet until at least 2030 and probably further. The advantage would be sufficient airframes to provide spares when the USN rolls the fleet over.
 
angad84
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:27 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 9):
but from a maneuverability perspective it is comparable to the Rafale and Eurofighter

Not according to the trials team.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 9):
I think they need to make up their minds.

That would be nice, yeah.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 9):
personally I think the IAF would be better served by a more strike orientated aircraft than one geared for A2A.

Agreed, particularly with the Flanker in the mix and some sort of 5th gen bird on the horizon (whether T-50 based or our own AMCA).

I always thought the IAF could use a modern-day Jaguar equivalent. Something to kick the door down and smash the enemy's teeth in, with a decent ability to protect itself but NOT really tangle with bad guys. In short, something like the Chinese J-20 (if it really is geared to do what it looks like).

Quoting Ozair (Reply 9):
The advantage would be sufficient airframes to provide spares when the USN rolls the fleet over.

Ideally, they'll want to be rolling the fleet over around then as well. They're trying to close the technology gap, not keep it constant. Acquiring one of the Eurocanards is seen as a good way to do this, versus a Mirage 2000/F-16/F-18. Whether that's true is a different matter — FWIW, I feel the smarter way to do it would be strategic tech acquisition, not platform acquisition. The two can go hand in hand, but these guys don't have the brains to work multiple angles, so I say do it one step at a time.

Cheers
Angad
 
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moo
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:30 pm

Quoting angad84 (Reply 10):
I always thought the IAF could use a modern-day Jaguar equivalent. Something to kick the door down and smash the enemy's teeth in, with a decent ability to protect itself but NOT really tangle with bad guys. In short, something like the Chinese J-20 (if it really is geared to do what it looks like).

Sounds like a job for the Gripen imho...
 
wingman
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:06 pm

Talk about a country that needs the very best. It's hard imagine a country like India worrying about $5-6B difference when faced with neighbors like Pakistan and China armed to the teeth. Just do the deal and get the aircraft the professionals need to do their job. If that's the Rafale then drop the BS and do it.

Reading articles about government procurement in India just makes my head explode.
 
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moo
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:37 pm

Quote:

Sources said the defence ministry is now hopping mad with French aviation major Dassault's continuing refusal to take "ownership" of the 108 Rafale fighters which are to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in India with transfer of technology after the first 18 jets are delivered off-the-shelf to IAF

Why should Dassault take ownership of aircraft built by another company in another country? Thats the whole point of licensing the design to that company - its theirs, they get to handle all support contracts and problems.

Sounds like the Indian MoD want it both ways - local offsetting and no comeback for using local offsetting.

And if setting up that offsetting is proving most costly than the Indian government first agreed on, why should Dassault eat that additional cost?

This line is particular interesting:

Quote:

Dassault's reluctance to stand guarantee for the fighters to be made in India in terms of liquidity damages and production timelines.

Dassault would be truly dumb to make guarantees about either of those things to cover a third party manufacturer.
 
angad84
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:46 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 13):
Dassault would be truly dumb to make guarantees about either of those things to cover a third party manufacturer.

The idea — which I must say I disagree with in principle and practice — appears to be having Dassault hold HAL's hand through the production run, as a sort of QA enforcement. wThe only way to ensure this happens is to have Dassault on the hook with penalties for screwups. It's unfair and borderline malicious, but you can see where they're coming from.

I don't know why they care so deeply about this particular issue though. Maybe HAL has made a hash of the Su-30MKI and/or Hawk licence production runs and the IAF wants to avoid a repeat... and they know they'll get nowhere by holding a gun to HAL's head, so they're f***ing Dassault instead? Pure speculation on my part, but I wouldn't be surprised in the least. The Sukhoi fleet definitely has major QA issues and no one seems to want to assign or accept responsibility for them.

Cheers
Angad
 
Chaostheory
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:17 pm

Quoting wingman (Reply 12):
It's hard imagine a country like India worrying about $5-6B difference when faced with neighbors like Pakistan and China armed to the teeth.

Pakistan has the tech in their fleet but no money. China has the money but their AF fleet is still a generation or two away.

Quoting wingman (Reply 12):
Reading articles about government procurement in India just makes my head explode.

India loves her bureaucracy. As does Pakistan next door.

Quoting angad84 (Reply 14):
Maybe HAL has made a hash of the Su-30MKI and/or Hawk licence production runs and the IAF wants to avoid a repeat

Can you expand on this?

I do recall there was a bit of a tussle between the IAF and HAL when the AF went and bought the Pilatus trainer over the HAL HTT-40 product.
 
angad84
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:58 pm

Quoting ChaosTheory (Reply 15):
Can you expand on this?

HAL is not known for QC. Everything they have ever built, maintained, or overhauled has had major issues. Things I have either personally seen or had relayed to me by primary sources include:

- MiG-21s delivered from o/h with misaligned shock cones (!)
- Seeker window on DARIN II Jaguar smeared with *something* and the modified portion looking generally "off" compared to SEPECAT-spec Jaguar airframe (by comparison, the original LRMTS 'chisel' noses are pristine)
- HJT-16 Kirans can't interchange identical parts (eg: a panel cover on a/c #1 won't fit on #2) because of poor manufacturing tolerances and subsequent QC
- parts aren't tracked correctly when sent for o/h, often resulting in life-expired components coming back to squadron service, to be caught by IAF technicians on site
- Engine o/h has long been HAL's achilles heel, particularly of Soviet turbojets that form the backbone of the fleet (MiG-21/27)

Then there are the myriad issues in the public domain, with the Su-30MKI coming udner particular scrutiny: http://www.newindianexpress.com/thes...fins/2013/08/25/article1750209.ece

Quoting ChaosTheory (Reply 15):
I do recall there was a bit of a tussle between the IAF and HAL when the AF went and bought the Pilatus trainer over the HAL HTT-40 product.

I'd have to stand behind HAL on that one, though. Sure, the IAF can go ahead get PC-7s to fulfill current and near-term needs given that Indian industry has failed to deliver a viable primary trainer for decades now, but there is no need to crap on the HTT-40 programme. Let HAL plod on and try to deliver. Turkey is doing this with a domestic trainer under development in parallel with purchase of Korean KT-1 turboprop trainers. You build your MIC without compromising military needs. It's not like India is in position where it absolutely must choose between the two...

Cheers
Angad
 
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moo
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:14 pm

Quoting angad84 (Reply 16):
HAL is not known for QC.

No wonder Dassault doesn't want to guarantee work from them then.
 
BarfBag
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:48 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 2):
They could still try to find a solution with Eurofighter.

The EF is not a solution. It's an even bigger problem, having to deal with not one but several moralizing EU countries. Ditto for Gripen. At least France is comparably much more well behaved, but even they can't change the fact that we increasingly just do not want this deal.

My bet: India will can this deal in favor of additional Su 30MKIs and LCA Tejas MK 2s . It's obvious the government has no desire to follow through - it has refused to fund the acquisition in successive DAC meetings even as several other projects gain traction. The very rationale for this deal becomes increasingly shaky as the days pass.
 
angad84
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:09 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 18):
The EF is not a solution.

Agreed.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 18):
Ditto for Gripen

Why? If the MoD pulls the plug on this, the smart money says Gripen is the most likely of the original contenders to be considered for a round-2.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 18):
My bet: India will can this deal in favor of additional Su 30MKIs

Sadly, yes.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 18):
and LCA Tejas MK 2s

Bite your tongue.

All the data suggests that the Mk.II will be an unmitigated disaster. Wouldn't wish it on my worst ene-- hang on a second.

Yeah, we should totally build the Mk.II and then export it to Pakistan or China or both.

Cheers
Angad
 
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moo
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:22 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 18):
At least France is comparably much more well behaved,

Really? I'd say they were one of the worst for blocking stuff in particular cases in light of international opinion - Mirages to Israel, warships to Russia, weapons to Argentina etc etc
 
angad84
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:45 am

Quoting moo (Reply 20):
Really? I'd say they were one of the worst for blocking stuff in particular cases in light of international opinion - Mirages to Israel, warships to Russia, weapons to Argentina etc etc

No, I'd give BB this one. France has been reasonably pro-India even when times were rough between us and the international community. What they do with RUS/ARG/ISR etc is different.

cheers
angad
 
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moo
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:11 pm

Quoting angad84 (Reply 21):
What they do with RUS/ARG/ISR etc is different.

Only up to the point where it isn't.

France was on very good terms with Israel right up to the point where they withdrew the Mirage III sale due to international pressure.
 
dtw2hyd
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:16 pm

Personally I doubt India will dump a 4+ generation fighter which has seen some action.

It could be just India dragging for few more months until next budget, and also is Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act applicable to defense purchases, 5% of GDP limit on sovereign guarantees causing lot of headaches.

HAL should let go low profile projects, free up schedule if it wants to get high profile project. Start with Do-228, transfer it to TASL ASAP. More than quality Dassault is worried about HAL's ability to deliver with its busy project schedule.
All posts are just opinions.
 
sovietjet
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:31 pm

Quoting angad84 (Reply 19):
Quoting BarfBag (Reply 18):
My bet: India will can this deal in favor of additional Su 30MKIs

Sadly, yes.

Why sadly? I think the Su-30MKI is a pretty good aircraft! At least comparable to Rafale IMHO
 
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seahawk
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:49 pm

But at least the Indian version seems to have a few problems. Personally I think it will be F-16s or F-18s as the deals for the cargo planes and the P-8 are going very well.
 
BarfBag
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:45 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 20):
Really? I'd say they were one of the worst for blocking stuff in particular cases in light of international opinion - Mirages to Israel, warships to Russia, weapons to Argentina etc etc

Who cares about others. I'm not Russian or Argentine. I only care about their behavior with India. France has historically been a good defence collaborator, and a good strategic partner. Indian politicians may come and go, but our strategic community, for better or worse, has the memory of an elephant.

For example, they very keenly remember who pissed on us when we last tested nuclear weapons or fought a war. US, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia and Scandinavia - all of these folks were falling over themselves to condemn us or sanction us. France refused and kept it business as usual. Perhaps they understood our compulsions, considering their own Fangataufa nuclear tests around that time. They even helped by feeding M2000 supplies going in wartime. Ditto for the Israelis and Russians.

It's not slick presentations in the good times that the strategic community remembers, but behavior when we need the support most. This is a weapons system, being used under an independent foreign policy of a sovereign nation. That's why the SHornet or EF2K are disasters - they're not planes but foreign policy baggage with two wings and engines.

Quoting angad84 (Reply 19):
All the data suggests that the Mk.II will be an unmitigated disaster. Wouldn't wish it on my worst ene-- hang on a second.

I don't think it's anywhere near that bad. Modi seems particularly pissed with the lackadaisical attitude of the DPSUs, especially in the context of the removal of DRDO's Chander. Until the Mk.2's already out and demonstrated shortcomings, it's far too early to make such a judgement.

The Gripen has far too much overlap with LCA, plus the Scandinavians aren't any better than the EF consortium nations, as far as foreign policy baggage goes.
 
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Revelation
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:02 pm

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 26):
France has historically been a good defence collaborator, and a good strategic partner. Indian politicians may come and go, but our strategic community, for better or worse, has the memory of an elephant.

You shouldn't just worry about India's institutional memory, but also France's. As the investment ads say, past performance is no indicator of future performance, etc.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
BarfBag
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:42 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):
You shouldn't just worry about India's institutional memory, but also France's. As the investment ads say, past performance is no indicator of future performance, etc.

Absolutely. France's recent behavior under Hollande lacks the past streak of independence under Mitterand or De Gaulle. Their poor mishandling of the Mistral sale will not help the case with the Rafale.

On the other hand, it's even more true that the US and rest of EU are absolutely not in a position to offer advice. Unlike France, both these entities have a consistent record of being unreliable, not just in the distant past, but quite recently as well. France (or Russia or Israel) merely has the potential to not be as reliable as it once was.
 
bunumuring
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:12 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 26):
It's not slick presentations in the good times that the strategic community remembers, but behavior when we need the support most. This is a weapons system, being used under an independent foreign policy of a sovereign nation. That's why the SHornet or EF2K are disasters - they're not planes but foreign policy baggage with two wings and engines.

Hi mate,
I'm curious to know why you think the Super Hornet is a 'disaster'... The RAAF, to the best of my knowledge, loves them and the RAAF is considered to be one of the best, most professional and technologically capable air forces around.
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
BarfBag
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:40 am

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 29):
I'm curious to know why you think the Super Hornet is a 'disaster'... The RAAF, to the best of my knowledge, loves them and the RAAF is considered to be one of the best, most professional and technologically capable air forces around.

It's not about the plane, but the seller's foreign policy. This does not apply to Australia, who are - compared to India - a willing follower of whatever lead the US takes.

People fail to understand this - this is a weapon of war being sold to a nation with an independent foreign policy. That means, the seller needs to be prepared to deal with these weapons being used in a manner that interferes with your foreign policy interests, and still be willing to uphold your contractual obligations to supply spares or support.

India does not accept safeguards agreements of the 'don't use these against our interests' kind. We decide what we're going to do with the weapons and others supply us on our terms if they're willing to.

Neither the US nor EU are remotely qualified in this regard, with a decades-long history of temperamental and unreliable behavior. The SHornet and the F16 lost the MRCA deal simply because they're American.
 
checksixx
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:03 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 30):
People fail to understand this - this is a weapon of war being sold to a nation with an independent foreign policy. That means, the seller needs to be prepared to deal with these weapons being used in a manner that interferes with your foreign policy interests, and still be willing to uphold your contractual obligations to supply spares or support.

Just as many don't understand US FMS policies/procedures. There are things in place for such an event, and in such an event as a country reversing course causing a serious conflict with US foreign policy, the purchaser's (govt) is well aware what will happen. The contractual obligation from the maker becomes moot if the govt shuts it down for some reason. Then again you could say ANY nation could be subject to this course of action regardless of whom they're buying military hardware from. Would not be the first time its happened by any measure.
 
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seahawk
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:45 am

So the best option is more SUs and then PAK-FA. Which probably is more cost effective any way. If you want to diversify for a case of technical trouble and groundings, you could add some MiG-35s - which would be no additional burden as the supply chain would be in place for the Naval MiG any way.
 
BarfBag
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:14 am

Quoting checksixx (Reply 31):
Then again you could say ANY nation could be subject to this course of action regardless of whom they're buying military hardware from. Would not be the first time its happened by any measure.

The US makes a particularly bad candidate seller because they've too many foreign policy interests in too many places. France or Israel are sufficiently small or far enough away that their interests rarely interfere with ours. The Russians are simultaneously temperamental but loyal.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 32):
So the best option is more SUs and then PAK-FA.

Defence Minister Parrikar already stated his preference for Su-30MKIs + LCAs . PAK-FA / AMCA will come in future. For the naval program, the NLCA just completed its first ski jump take off tests from the shore based test facility in Goa a few weeks ago:
Launch Video
 
tommy1808
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:16 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 28):
Absolutely. France's recent behavior under Hollande lacks the past streak of independence under Mitterand or De Gaulle. Their poor mishandling of the Mistral sale will not help the case with the Rafale.

unless you invade your neighbors, France is a reliable defense supplier.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 18):
The EF is not a solution. It's an even bigger problem, having to deal with not one but several moralizing EU countries.

Did they change the export scheme between the Tornado and the Eurofigher? I didn´t hear they did. With the Tornado a potential export customer had only two governments to worry about: The one he planned to buy from (i think always the UK for the Tornado) and the USA (because of the Tornado Radar) as all Partner nations could sell where ever with the other governments not having a say in it. I think it was the UK that insisted to have it that way, mostly because they worried about the German governments moralizing getting in the way. For the Eurofighter that should mean only one government to worry about.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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autothrust
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:40 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 5):
Again remains expensive and recent press on airframe issues and operating costs doesn't help

Care to show some sources to this claim?

Quoting Ozair (Reply 9):
Aerodynamically it suffers from the canted pylons but from a maneuverability perspective it is comparable to the Rafale and Eurofighter, just using a different philosophy.

That is just wrong    , the F-18 is aerodynamically totally not comparable and inferior to the Eurofighter. Turn rates of the Typhoon are about 100°/sec faster then F-18. Also supersonic agility of the F-18 is non existent. Lower Thrust to weight ratio, higher wingloading etc..
Flown on: DC-9, MD-80, Fokker 100, Bae 146 Avro, Boeing 737-300, 737-400, 747-200, 747-300,747-400, 787-9, Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330-200,A330-300, A340-313, A380, Bombardier CSeries 100/300, CRJ700ER/CRJ900, Embraer 190.
 
Ozair
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:12 pm

Quoting autothrust (Reply 35):

Care to show some sources to this claim?
Austria’s Kurier pegs flight-hour costs for Austria’s Eurofighters at an astonishing EUR 70,000
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...ugh-ride-in-austria-updated-02701/

IHS Jane's has learnt that the decreased availability of the aircraft is based on a mixture of spare parts policy and their overall costs.
http://www.janes.com/article/44111/g...hters-facing-serviceability-issues

The error detected involves drill holes in the planes’ fuselage and results from insufficient sanding down during manufacture of that part by BAE Systems in the UK.
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2014...-production-on-costly-eurofighter/

Quoting autothrust (Reply 35):
the F-18 is aerodynamically totally not comparable and inferior to the Eurofighter.

We can talk about aerodynamic efficiency and maneuverability separately. As I said, the F-18 suffers from the canted pylons and is definitely inferior, but SH is designed to fly and fight under M1 with an A2G payload, unlike Typhoon which is designed to fly and fight just above M1 with an A2A payload.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 35):
Turn rates of the Typhoon are about 100°/sec faster then F-18.

LOL, I assume you are having a joke here. In no universe can a Typhoon pull 100°/sec faster then F-18 nor any other fighter aircraft from the last 50 years.

The actual difference is probably in the region of 2°/sec depending upon altitude, speed and configuration. From a WVR perspective, the F-18 overcomes this by pulling double the AoA and a very mature and capable HMS and HOBS missile combination. Irrespective, both aircraft fight a WVR engagement in different ways and the airframes are close enough in performance that the pilot who was able to maximize his airframes strengths and limit his opponents would win (or doesn't make a mistake).

Evidence of how close the two jets are can be found from the Swiss evaluation done in 2008.

http://files.newsnetz.ch/upload//1/2/12332.pdf

The standard in that contest was the existing Swiss F-18C. While the Eurofighter was better than the F-18C the difference is not great and the F-18E is a better overall aircraft that the classic Hornet. The Swiss evaluation also shows how limited the original Gripen is and from extrapolation the Gripen NG.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:52 am

Part of the issue between India and Dassault is that Dassault changed the aircraft being offered, from the Rafale F3 to the Rafale F3R, which incorporates a number of upgrades, including some major software updates to take advantage of the new Thales RBE2 AESA radar, Meteor integration, along with improvements to the aircraft's Thales SPECTRA self-defence system and Mode-5/Mode-S-compatible IFF's.

This has doubled the price of the Rafale, from $65 million to $120 million. The Indians are demanding that Dassault stick with the F3 version of the Rafale, as changing the aircraft version and increasing the price is not allowed in the RFP.
 
BarfBag
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:56 am

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 34):
unless you invade your neighbors, France is a reliable defense supplier.

France supplied M2000 support in the middle of the Kargil War in 1999. The French behavior in 1998 and 1998 very likely had a strong influence on India's original decision. However, Hollande's recent actions will be viewed with great interest by India. France traditionally avoided toeing the Anglo-Saxon line, and Hollande changing tack will be seen as a sign of their potential future unreliability.

Of course, others pointing out the possibility of French unreliability is a little ironic to begin with. The likes of US and Germany have a worse record, and referring to potential French behavior does not mitigate circumstances for them.
 
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seahawk
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:50 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 36):
Austria’s Kurier pegs flight-hour costs for Austria’s Eurofighters at an astonishing EUR 70,000
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...2701/

That is because they do add all costs into that. From the cook at the airbase to the fuel used. Add that they are probably using modern accounting, so they are writing off the purchase costs over time and you come to this high numbers.
 
tommy1808
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:32 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 39):
That is because they do add all costs into that. From the cook at the airbase to the fuel used. Add that they are probably using modern accounting, so they are writing off the purchase costs over time and you come to this high numbers.

And if you do your accounting like that, reducing flight hours will online inflate those numbers more...

But heck, in Austria they even publish the whole construction plan, bunker spaces included, of their only Eurofighter base on the internet....

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
Pyrex
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:10 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 17):
No wonder Dassault doesn't want to guarantee work from them then.

I have a friend of mine who got sent by his German employer to India to do Quality Assurance for a factory they had there that made wind turbines. After working there a couple of years he had to basically be evacuated out of the country by his employer as he was on the brink of grabbing a sword and going postal on his employees. Dassault would have to be nuts to agree on the quality of the aircraft produced by HAL.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 37):
This has doubled the price of the Rafale, from $65 million to $120 million. The Indians are demanding that Dassault stick with the F3 version of the Rafale, as changing the aircraft version and increasing the price is not allowed in the RFP.

How does some software upgrades and improved self-defence capabilities double the price of an aircraft? Or does that include the price of the new radar as well? Even still...
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
ThePointblank
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:03 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 41):
How does some software upgrades and improved self-defence capabilities double the price of an aircraft? Or does that include the price of the new radar as well? Even still...

Yep, the costs of the new radar is added in. There is also a whole slew of technical and software upgrades intended on making maintenance easier as well.

Still, the French are well known for how expensive spare parts, support, and weapons costs are. I remember reading a report from Taiwan that compared the cost of the Taiwanese fighter jet force and support. The Mirage 2000's were significantly more expensive than the F-16's the Taiwanese were operating, and part of the blame laid at the costs for spare parts and specialized equipment for the French aircraft.
 
tommy1808
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:17 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 42):
The Mirage 2000's were significantly more expensive than the F-16's the Taiwanese were operating, and part of the blame laid at the costs for spare parts and specialized equipment for the French aircraft.

It is their prime air defense fighter, somehow costs seem to be justified. They had a lot of trouble with their engines, driving fh-costs to about twice that of the F16, by ramping maintenance costs to 5x that of the F16. Part of that was due to currency exchange rates though. But that has been sorted out years ago with Dassault paying compensations, providing equipment, training and some major parts FOC. Usually with a good 6.8 hours MTBF, just 10 Maintenance Man Hours/ Per Flight Hour (MMH/FH) it is quite good, having direct operating costs of just 2700us $/hour vs. 3600 for the block 50 F16 if I recall correctly from the Italian RFP.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
BarfBag
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:44 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 41):
I have a friend of mine who got sent by his German employer to India to do Quality Assurance for a factory they had there that made wind turbines. After working there a couple of years he had to basically be evacuated out of the country by his employer as he was on the brink of grabbing a sword and going postal on his employees. Dassault would have to be nuts to agree on the quality of the aircraft produced by HAL.

Ah, 'the Indians are incompetent' line. You realize the Americans would have been compelled to do exactly the same thing had they won ? Why does the west have no problem selling billions worth of arms, collaborating whenever it looks financially lucrative, but if India decides not to do a deal, suddenly everyone 'remembers stories' ? It doesn't make someone look very good, especially if they happen to be affiliated with a losing party: sour grapes.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:09 am

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 43):
It is their prime air defense fighter, somehow costs seem to be justified. They had a lot of trouble with their engines, driving fh-costs to about twice that of the F16, by ramping maintenance costs to 5x that of the F16. Part of that was due to currency exchange rates though. But that has been sorted out years ago with Dassault paying compensations, providing equipment, training and some major parts FOC. Usually with a good 6.8 hours MTBF, just 10 Maintenance Man Hours/ Per Flight Hour (MMH/FH) it is quite good, having direct operating costs of just 2700us $/hour vs. 3600 for the block 50 F16 if I recall correctly from the Italian RFP.

From what I've read, details from the Taiwanese Air Force list the costs of its Indigenous Defense Fighter, F-16 and Mirage 2000-5 fighter ground service stations. The production and procurement costs of the ground service stations of these three types of fighter aircraft are respectively NT$1.2 million (US$37,500), NT$2.5 million (US$78,000) and NT$7.5 million (US$234,000). In other words, the cost of a Mirage 2000-5 ground service station is three times that of the F-16 fighter.

Furthermore, a source from the Taiwanese Air Force who is in charge of frontline maintenance of the Mirage 2000-5s indicated that there had been no difficulty in the supply of spare parts, but that the cost of these parts was at least two times higher than those for the F-16, on average.
 
tommy1808
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:20 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 45):
Furthermore, a source from the Taiwanese Air Force who is in charge of frontline maintenance of the Mirage 2000-5s indicated that there had been no difficulty in the supply of spare parts, but that the cost of these parts was at least two times higher than those for the F-16, on average.

per piece or per flying hour?

However, it can only be one way or one other: either the Mirage 2k is much more expensive to fly than the F16, in that case it has to be much more capable, or it is less capable and cheaper. Otherwise it wouldn´t be flying and no-one would dare to re-order or update. Fact of the matter is that the Mirage 2k is the best interceptor of its generation and while that is just a niche, it is the niche the ROCAF is using it in, and where they seem to believe it is worth the hassle.
There are HAF F-16 pilots on record saying that their F16, while the much better multi-role aircraft, are no match for the Mirage if flown by a competent pilot in A2A. Apparently the much higher instantaneous turn rate gives them enough first pass superiority to make up for lack of dogfighting capabilities, which are only good at low altitudes and quite excellent at lower speeds, where the M2k can even become problematic for the Typhoon, which in turn at low altitudes isn´t much superior to the F16.

Considering how mightily France pissed of the Junta across the Taiwan Strait with this sale, the US Government didn´t have the balls to sell them active radar BVR missiles back then, i find it rather unfair to paint France as "lets see where the wind blows today" supplier as some seem to do.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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seahawk
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:52 pm

But then France was causing problem to Taiwan when it came to supplying spare parts. The service ability of the M2K fleet was bad for a few years, before n new agreement could be reached.
 
BarfBag
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:09 pm

All this talk about cost per flying hour is moot in India's context. Not only have the MoD beancounters computed far more detailed calculations, but none of that is going to matter a whit if we buy EF2K and then when we're in the middle of war evicting another steaming pile of terrorists, and some flunky in Berlin says "Nein, Herr Indisch MoD oberleutnant, we are ze peace loving people. We cannot zupply ze spares right now." That makes the cost per flying hour effectively infinity, for a bunch of gleaming and cutting edge hangar queens. Saying "just don't go to war" or "don't override our interests in the region" sounds atrociously stupid in this context. These aren't a bunch of MAN trucks plying goods between Delhi and Bombay to be advised "just take the other road".

Spares supply situation to Taiwan is not a case study for India. Taiwan's roadblock is the 800lb gorilla next door . There's no such concern with India. In our case, unreliability is a direct bilateral thing .
 
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bikerthai
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RE: India's Struggle With Rafale Continues

Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:21 pm

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 44):
Ah, 'the Indians are incompetent' line. You realize the Americans would have been compelled to do exactly the same thing had they won ?
Quoting Pyrex (Reply 41):
Dassault would have to be nuts to agree on the quality of the aircraft produced by HAL.

  

At the risk of putting my foot in my mouth . . .

So far my experience is not that "the Indians are incompetent" . . . but rather, it will be difficult to work with HAL.

We do work with Indian sub contractor on our project. Two companies who have met our expectation and have performed well are DTL and TAML. We had less success with HAL. Unfortunately HAL seems to be the only operation large enough to handle such a big project.

I am sure that in due time we will be able to cooperate with an Indian company to set up an FA comparable to what they do at home. But getting there will be long and arduous. You either rehabilitate HAL or build up the other companies capacity to handle the job.

bt
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