MMRCA II - Is it necessary ?

In my post "Indian Air Force MMRCA I- All you NEED to KNOW" I discussed  about the known  and unknown part of the competition, about the contenders for tender and why the deal fell apart after RAFALE was chosen the winner. Later the Indian govt did a govt to govt deal with France for the acquisition of 36 rafale  jets for IAF and that deal also saw criticism due to the high cost of the deal but I also broke the deal down into various segments and explained the various costs involved in the deal in another post "Rafale Deal Breaking The Deal".

This post will be about MMRCA II & we will look for various factors and know why it is necessary so let's begin.


After the tender for MMRCA I was cancelled in 2015 end the Govt. was back to square one and realised that the IAF today has a fleet of about 33 fighter squadrons only with about 18 jets per squadron plus few reserved which means that the IAF currently has about 600 jets and 11 squadrons consist of  mig 21 and mig 27 fighters which have completed their life span and will be retired in some time. The Govt. and IAF realised that they require about 200-250 medium multirole fighters to fill the gap and to balance the number of jets being retired from service. IAF has a sanctioned fighter strength of 42 squadrons which is necessary to fight a two front war with PAKISTAN AND CHINA but  the strength has never exceeded 39 squadrons.

So in 2016 the Govt. launched MMRCA II to fulfill the requirements of IAF. The new tender however was more clear than the previous one and clearly stated that the fighter should be single engine jet and that selling jets to  India now means to MAKE IN INDIA, also the deal included full TOT.


To be true it will but not in the way people think. Tejas which is  our own jet is good but it comes in LCA category (even though  it can also carry similar load) and its major role is of an interceptor aircraft, it can be used for another roles too but ATM tejas mk1 and mk1a are not really in same league. Though tejas fulfills the role it was designed for (to replace ageing mig's) very well but still it is not a front line fighter.

Also another reason is that  IAF needs a large number of jets and alone tejas cannot fill the gaps . Tejas has received a firm order of 123 jets till now [40 mk1 (20 IOC+ 20 FOC) & 83 mk1a] and these orders will surely grow as the deliveries of mk1a starts and the mk2 is developed.

Also the TOT and shifting of production line to India  will only benefit our own jet program like TEJAS MK2 & AMCA etc which will incorporate the technology which we absorb by this tender.


Even though as stated above that this is a single engine jet competition but a tender for 200 jets is so large that even other firms which have twin engine jets have  offered their jets.

Currently Lockheed has offered their latest F-16 block 70/72 , SAAB has offered their futuristic Grippen E, Russians have offered their latest MIG 35, Boeing has offered their F-18 & Dassault has offered RAFALE.

Though currently only two competitors are actually being considered and those two being  Saab Grippen E and F-16 Block 70/72.



The one I would select is Saab Grippen E and I will discuss why in my next post the reason is  that  it is such a vast topic that i dont think can be and should be covered in a small heading and so  i would rather write a dedicated post instead of a small heading.

Shortly we can say Saab is offering better jet, better deal and better technology to India.


Well this is one imp question ad the answer to this is the selection should be completed shortly (it can be announced in few days or in a matter of a month or so) and contract could  be signed before the end of this year.


  1. I Agree that Choosing the Gripen is of more advantage than Choosing the F16..
    There are many factors that affect the choice....

  2. Well, the way to go is, IMHO, have Dassault really installing in India. A part of the job may be subcontracted to HAL, actually, Rafale is not a 4.5 Gen aircraft, it mixes passive and active stealth which do not only affect X and S-bands, it'll also be a logistical advantage to have Rafales for the Navy, moreover, Rafale is STOBAR compatible and with the M88-9 engine and, beginning in 2018, vectoring thrust, very likely to take-off at MTOW (if not : use JATOs, hey!).
    Note that French govt unclassified it was a stealth aircraft in Dec.2015 and air marshall SB Deo confirmed in Dec.2016 while asked about Chinese J-20.
    Rafale is doing the job of 3 Mirage-2000 and has a tremendous sortie rate.
    IMHO, the goal is, as both nations have aircraft carriers, which poses problem to France being the only one with 'real' ones in the EU in case of European aircraft. I think that what is sought is an osmosis between India and France as so, we'll be able to develop our fighters together, thus, being built in enough numbers and the R&D being shared. I think that we're looking for a win-win case and this was the reason of the offsets : have Dassault in India!
    Add to this that Rafale is already proven able to team with the nEUROn stealth combat drone and also has been tested at launching small satellites up to a 800km orbit! So, if spy sats are OK, a PGS (prompt Global Strike) weaponry can be considered like space kinetic strikes but also killer-sats, ASAT missiles, 'Golden Eye', MIRVs, a re-entry cone with 3-4 AAM or some anti-ship missile. These are capabilities nobody seems to think about

    Now, for the light fighter, don't go further!
    First, look at how much Brazil ends paying for only 28 Gripen-NG : $1.1bln more than India and the gear is far to be at the same level. It's not only the Brazilian-AF that is biting its nails with the Gripen-NG especially as they wanted Rafale.

    It's not a problem to notice that the Rafale contract's offsets pushes SNECMA to also enter the Indian market and there, the M88-9 is smaller/lighter than the GE F404 and near as powerful as F414, actually, F404 was mounted on Rafale's prototype waiting for M88! Thus, no need for a stretched Tejas MkII, now, just consider using the Rafale's baked-in radar absorbent materials, the principle of its radar-transparent tail and its systems -note that there was already Dassault's help in Tejas, it was their spare wheel if French govt rejected Rafale as too expensive! Just have a look : Don't both look similar somewhere?
    Add the Rafale's systems, the thrust vectoring and again, there is capability to share work between HAL and Dassault, moreover, same engine, same avionics, ECM and so it'll facilitate integration of weapons etc! Dassault may surely bring Tejas weight down too
    Note also that the Tejas dual seat would be a perfect trainer and, you know, France's Alpha-Jet are getting really old! Now, I have no idea if here they're thinking about it but a trainer being a baby-Rafale, potentially cheaper than M-346 Master with common parts and real capabilities as a light fighter.
    Again, we may have a real win-win situation and the platform is already here. I really don't think there is a need to go for some Gripen or F-16, especially when you know that 60% of Gripen is US and how Washington likes to use arms deals to pressure the clients.
    Note also how they arm-bound Norway into buying F-35 while due to their size as a country and needs, yeep, there, Gripen made sense :
    They also pressured Korea :

    1. I had to post in 2 parts, so :
      Note : just add full canards, upgrade it and... Mirage-2000 has more potential than Gripen-E.
      It's very likely, as the assembly line of M-2000 has been dismantled, that Dassault has it in storage somewhere and may be able to ship it, IMHO, this one was initially considered to switch to Rafale but, thanks to US pressures, although winning all competitions, strangely, nobody seemed to be willing to buy for a while. Now we know why. And they may have been terrorised by the ATLC 2009 meeting between F-22 and Rafale : nonetheless their crown-jewell could be beaten but these nasty French didn't accepted the LM/USAF lies and shown the world who was the real winner.
      Note that in real fight, Mirage-2000 downed F-16 and upgrading a M-2000 with Rafale's systems and maybe putting a brand new engine will surely be cheaper than a $60-70M brand new F-16V, actually, getting 2nd hand M-2000 with such upgrades could be a very interesting solution until the revised Tejas arrive in numbers and the Rafale's systems could be installed in while the original M-2000 ones being refit in, so oldest Migs can be retired and even if once the Rafale's systems are transfered to Tejas, the original M-2000 systems are surely more interesting than some 40-50y old Migs. 2nd hand M-2000 is the most interesting interim solution and more potent than Gripen or F-16V.
      Nevertheless, Tejas may not be the real shit with GE engines but in MkI size, M88-9 is really what this plane needs.
      I really ask myself why going further : once the right engine, the trust vectoring and the RAM light airframe with Rafale's systems including SPECTRA, the ECMs etc, Tejas will simply make all light aircraft look pussy. This platform is totally underestimated!

      Note : even if such refit Tejas can do it for the navy, DEFINITIVELY : better avoid single engined aircraft for aircraft-carriers.

      BTW, I have interesting ideas for an ultra-STOL cargo aircraft that can be used from STOBAR aircraft carrier without catapult/arrestor cables and would so be able to do an even more interesting AWACS than Hawkeye, it's a forgotten but impressive French 1961 design and I also consider there may be a way to get an ultra cheap bi-propeller aircraft capable nonetheless to do the A-10/Su-25 job but also to replace chopper-gunships like AH-64, Mi-28N, Mi-24/35 and well, even, in some ways, AC-130 while flying as fast as A-10, operate from even LHDs like a mistral ship.
      Note that with the new Siemens turbines which have a 60% efficiency, you can run an aircraft carrier with a single K15 reactor (C.deGaulle has two onboard, each develops 150MWt for €150M) and, give up idea of EMALS : the 1959 C14 catapult was willingly torpedoed : 95% of gear can be get off the shelves on civilian market, you use 4 gallons of kerosene per launch to compress air and they're 4x more powerful than EMALS (!) while the 1st one will cost $25-30M and any additional $5M. USS G.Ford's captain thrived to get at least one, it was refused to him 'cause NASA invested in EMALS, thus, due to the crazy price, US are crazy!

    2. 1st of all I really liked Ur elaborated post but Rafale projected figures is one thing which IAF is not really looking towards to. The MMRCA I itself was supposed to cost 8-12 billion but at the end Rafale wanted more than 30 billion till the end of tender and that too excluding any changes which we desired and limited tech transfer ( although now Rafale says yes for TOT but the extent is still not clear and they like earlier are still showing reluctance to take guarantee for HAL made fighters)

      2ndly the thing to be noted is that MMRCA II has specifically mentioned a single engine fighter jet and IAF is sticking with it so Rafale is automatically eliminated.

      For the naval carrier too IN is really not looking forward to Rafale.

      The main issue with engine in India is engine core which is a tough technology to master. Kaveri is being developed with snecma as part of offset and so by 2018 mid or end max we might see it's tests and once a proper engine is developed DRDO lab can work on bigger engines too.

  3. 1st, you know pretty well that the $7.8bln Rafale contract is not only for the aircraft : the 50% offset means it's only a $3.9bln contract, now, there are a bunch of pretty expensive (and efficient) weapons like Meteor, Mica-IR, SCALP-EG ordered, custom options like having Russian+Israeli weapons integrated and the Elbit HMD too, a 75% availability and servicing guarantee over more than a few years, many spare parts/engines, dedicated facilities, training, etc etc.
    Brazil signed a similar contract with Saab thinking Gripen would be cheaper than Rafale, now they are biting their nails : $9bln+ for 28 Gripen-E.
    You perfectly know that there are pretty big differences between flyaway cost and a package where you order everything around! If you consider the flyaway cost, a Rafale-C is $72.4M, the B is $76M and the M is $85M : you really are still in the $8-12bln fork. It's even less expensive than Super-Hornet except for the M but ECM are even more interesting than the $98M Growler and the stealth features are even much more interesting than F-22/F-35.
    Now, what happened is that after having reviewed HAL factory, I hope that it won't hurt some chauvinist pride but HAL simply can't build Rafales, not even, as wished initially, at a 70% level, 30% being built in France. So, re-tooling HAL, training the personnel, etc, etc, added to all the numerous features seen in parallel, would have ended with a $30bln cost.
    If you want to buy 128 Bugatti Chirons, it has cost, if you want spare engines, tires, brakes etc, it has more cost, if you want to move Bugatti factory or Bugatti to build a factory in India as you have your number of billionaires growing and they want such cars off the shelves, it's another price too ;) Here we have an expression about wanting "the butter, the money of the butter and the ass of the dairywoman" ;)
    Another point is, well, maybe Russians who have state-held factories and sent the Sukhoi/Mig parts that were just assembled @HAL could consider taking guarantee over the HAL built Sukhoi/Mig but welcome to the capitalist world, except with an insane CEO soon to be fired by his board of directors, you won't find a single private industry, and not only for aircraft, to accept to take guarantee over license-built products! This is simply suicidal! I hope I don't need to explain why.
    The IN contract plays competition but talks were already held last year as it'd be a logistic advantage to have the same aircraft for both IAF and IN, anyway, was it up to IN, they wouldn't even had received Mig-29K, they were already favouring Rafale-M as far as 2003-2004. Mark my words : Navy will find any excuse to dismiss any single-engined aircraft, hey, even if Tejas is overweighted for ski-jump use at MTOW, you can fit JATOs. Russians should also had made it for Su-33K BTW. Now, a Sea-Gripen? Well, Saab has no experience in carrier-aircraft, actually, if you except the 50's J-29 Tunan that did a little CAS in Congo, no Saab has ever seen combat (J-29 also killed 99 pilots for 661 units built). Moreover, if F-16V is unlikely to be selected and well, ripen is not better than a F-16 or Mirage-2000, it opens to more foreign pressure : F-16 is 100% US, Gripen is 40% US and 30% Brit. Now I've red that LM is considering proposing F-35. LMAO, read the DOT&E reports and you'll know that it's nothing else than a scam. LM+DoS+DoD are thriving to get the 452 orders they need to not need the Fed govt having again to inject money to save them as they did when the F-104/L-1011 trials were near to bankrupt the company (briberies + accidents) but the best feature for this technical fiasco is the ALIS logistic system : you simply can't take off without connecting to LM servers! In other terms, Washington can ground your fleet whenever they want! They have you by the balls!

    1. You may also note that Dassault is absolutely positive at building a factory in India but with a 36 unit order, it's still not feasible but, think about it : why having gone in a so huge offset if to not having Dassault and Safran installing in India??? Safran, as I have understood, is already in charge of full Kaveri's dev, IMHO, they won't bother more than opening a facility and delivering M88-9 instead as they simply already have what Kaveri is supposed to do!
      If think, even if it's not publicly expressed, that the goal, from the start, and that's why negotiations were so long, is that's smth running behind the scene at simply sharing the R&D between the two countries and both using the same jet fighters, especially as we both use aircraft carriers. It's even a problem for France in the EU as we're alone in this case, brits using only VSTOL (and F-35 is a tremendous error, it's a lemon, moreover, Rafale-M can also use ski-jump, anyway, since 1973, they never ceased to play against the EU as an US Trojan Horse, the sooner they BrExit, the better!).

      Now, to be frank, launching MMRCA-II is mostly... a stupid idea! Actually, even creating a Gripen-E with F414 is stupid, Saab should have played the EU card. Look at F404/F414 characteristics now, look at SNECMA M88 knowing that M88-9 has a 91kN PC thrust.
      You simply don't need to create a stretched Tejas Mk2 and once for M88-9 fitted in, you already have your MMRCA-II at hand! M88 is 37cm shorter, 19.4cm less in diameter and +200kg lighter than the GE engines, BTW these ones are much harder to maintain, more thirsty and the numerous F-18 crashes should make you have some doubts about their reliability.
      Add Dassault's magic in Tejas and Rafale's systems and now you have a baby Rafale with stealth features, enough room in for additional fuel, ECMs, shaffs+flares, a much lighter aircraft and moreover, a simplification in logistics. Personally, I'd even add a BRS (ballistic recovery system so, in case of engine or other failure, you can recover the plane)
      Actually, if made this way, well, our Alpha-Jet trainers are at the end of their life-cycle, the Tejas-Trainer would surely be more interesting as also being capable to be a real supersonic fighter!

    2. As IAF is now upgrading the Mirage-2000s (if they put Rafale's systems onboard, they gonna kick-ass, active stealth will seriously be a +), for me, the thing to do is, as IAF is already doing by gathering 2nd hand Mig-29 (i.e. from Malaysia), would be to get 2nd hand M-2000s from different users and also upgrade them. Thus, as for the Mig-29, this will be an interesting interim solution until Rafales and such an upgraded "Super-Tejas" can be fielded in numbers.
      Actually, it would have been a better choice for India to go Rafale at the beginning of the 00's : with it's payload, Flankers are mostly useless and even by adding some RAMs to make it a super-Flanker and if (not sure it's for sales) the Russians accept to sell their active stealth pod, well... Former Rafale's EO/IRST was already able to lock a Mach 1.7 F-22 from 270-285km/frontal, 430-450km/rear and Flanker is even bigger. Sorry to point this but heavy fighters, except maybe for PAK-FA/FGFA due to the huge L-band radar and R-37M/BrahMos which so could be used with 1-2 units per squadron as an anti-stealth AEW and in a A2A 'sniper' role or for ASUW (it's not without reason that Russia only considers buying 100-150. ?Maybe Dassault's radar-transparent tails could be a great add-on), well, when Dassault and Safran will be installed, it'll become feasible to have IAF with only 2 models of jet-fighters but also being able to get rid of both Kiran and BAe Hawk and... French could also run only with Rafale+Tejas.

      Personally, but it's my way to see aerial strategy, I wouldn't go for Flankers or PAK-FA/FGFA. Actually, as Su-34 is F-111 sized/weighted and FGFA has clear Flanker DNA, I'd consider a stretched version of FGFA, a little in the direction of FB-111H, so becoming 27-30m long with a large delta wing, X-44 Manta/FB-22 style in the goal to have a 18-24t payload over 7000km+, it so could be made a really powerful AEW platform, having strike capabilities on par with Tu-22M, be used as a serious long range Mar-Pat, a refueller and even a serious arsenal plane with i.e. a +100 Meteors, 200 Micas or 30-40 R-37M. Being capable to carry as much could simply help stopping swarming by cruise missiles like the attack against the Syrian airbase last week or compromise a pack-attack, Iraq-wars style, by beginning to deplete the packs thus helping 1st line fighters. But, such platform goes maybe further than France+India common capabilities, it'd be better to team India+EU, nevertheless, it'd end with some kind of supersonic B-2/B-21 for surely much cheaper and a more multi-role way of using the platform wich, BTW, wouldn't be without self-defence capabilities during strike missions and it wouldn't end with crazy cost of use like B-2 or even F-22, maybe having Safran creating a more powerful M88, using 4 onboard (and keeping the PC option to be able of short take off and if the aircraft has to run, moreover, M88 is extremely reliable and easy to maintain.
      In my view, such a 'bomber' would be much more interesting than a heavy fighter, moreover, if Rafale can already be fit with a 12t satellite launcher, here, we could consider smth of the 24t class. It'd give potntial to already launch interesting satellites or consider even more serious future 'space weapons' as, for me, a gen.6 fighter has more to be considered as an hypersonic suborbital platform (but who could afford? A LockMart brass said that with the jet-fighters price curve, by 2054, a single one would eat a whole year of US military budget) than the F/A-XX Boeing proposes for 2030 and, considering the features, Rafale is likely to be able to be upgraded to these or it'd be easy to play with Catia CAD and make a Rafale-2 but as I've heard Safran is studying a combo turbofan/scramjet, I wouldn't be surprised if it ended M88-sized.

      PS : sorry for the leght of text ;)

    3. Oh boy, I love ur elaborated replays to be true but getting back on topic

      F 16 block 70/72 VS SAAB GRIPEN E - MMRCA II JET RACE

      The above post explains the need of IAF ACC to their single engine demands which fighter is better, surely we got RAFALE at a stealing price of about 97 million $ ( excluding all changes we made to it) but still it's exp for IAF as 200 jets would mean the deal will go to about 30 million dollars with upgrades and changes which is a big NO NO for the govt and our defence budget.

      As for Brazil they did suicide by paying a large part of R&d cost for grippen E but their loss is our profit and as it looks we can get a grippen E at price of 70 million to 80 million which will include full tot and an entire ecosystem which I have talked about in that new post. Also the worry of it using an American engine is legitimate as one might feel that USA won't supply engines but it's ensured that even that won't be problem as Saab holds all rights of engine too and even tot won't be an issue for same.

      Also about streched Tejas which most people think will be streched to accommodate a new engine ( GE f414 as planned for MK2 earlier) the thing is it's not just the engine for which it is being streched but for various other reasons like for additional fuel etc. Kaveri which is under development is supposed to develop 98 KN thrust (wet) and if this is achieved by 2018 as planned we can develop a bigger engine with higher thrust and can use it on mk2 ( even Kaveri new fulfills the mk2 req but as IAF will get 98kn for mk1a they surely will ask for more in mk2 ).

      Yes grippen is also not a very affordable fighter as it once was but the new capabilities that grippen exhibits ATM at some level surpasses that of Rafale ( m talking about data link and networking and few mentioned in that post).

    4. In conclusion :
      I things are made this way, here we go again with serious logistics problems due to multiple platforms. The way to go is doing the same as with the purchases of 2nd hand Mig-29 that are now upgraded to UPG standard by gathering 2nd hand Mirage-2000 which can be had for peanuts. Those in Indian owning are already being upgraded.
      LCA Tejas will be a perfect fit once upgraded with SNECMA M88-9 and RAMs+Systems that are used on Rafale or else, it was simply useless to have a 50% offset in the Rafale contract if not to have Dassault and Safran to invest in India.
      Look, Saab's consulting is leading to a Tejas Mk2 that will take a while to develop as the Mk1 has to be stretched, thus securing their Gripen. For F-16V, once the Iraqi deliveries end, F-16 is finished, LM is simply trying to sell their Fort-Worth factory. Both platforms are simply 4th gen aircraft with upgrades while if Dassault opens their Indian factory, we'll have an osmosis as there is a real capability of inter-action as HAL could surely subcontract for Rafale while Dassault could subcontract for Tejas and, but I have no say in it but such a Tejas would surely make it to replace Alpha-Jet for us.

      MMRCA-II is not only not necessary but will simply kill Tejas in the egg. Moreover, Gripen doesn't opens to only Swedish pressure but also UK's and USA's and well, US have just pressured us over mostly all the arms deals we had with them, not counting that some of the companies implied in the MMRCA-II competition have tremendous records of briberies. India will only screw herself through this contract while being on the verge to get a serious osmosis capability where she'll keep her non-alignment doctrine. It was already an error to go P-8 : I wouldn't even consider a jet for Mar-Pat and with a C-17 that has closed its assembly line and the C-130 and C-17 price, I'd definitively go A400M especially with jets like Rafale or Tejas that can operate from roads, I'd consider mini airbases and the transport aircraft using a grass field

  4. Sorry, my 2nd part was posted after your answer as I was typing this while you were doing so.

    "Oh boy, I love ur elaborated replays to be true"
    => LOL, let's just hope for our both taxes and security things go this way!
    I hope not repeating myself too much, LOL.

    "surely we got RAFALE at a stealing price of about 97 million $ ( excluding all changes we made to it)"
    => Wrong! Integrating a type of weapon on any platform costs around $100M (although maybe not Mk-82 iron bomb that were

    integrated for Egypt as they have huge stockpile, LOL). If you consider all that was added to Rafale for the contract,

    yeep, it's a stealing price but on next order, integration will not be charged. Now, I can't tell about hardware custom

    features but they don't seem numerous. If you count these mods out, Rafale-C = $71.4M, Rafale-B = $76.65M and Rafale-M =

    $81.2M... If Made in France, having 15 squadrons, 3 Rafale-M for IN (57 units), 12 for IAF with 168 Rafale-C and 48

    Rafale-B would cost about $20bln for 273 planes. Now, visibly, a 2nd batch of 36 is in negociation to be delivered once the

    1st batch is finished and the tender for Indian Navy is for dual engines only. I doubt it will be Mig-29K again as these

    are real hangar queens and F-18is unlikely to operate both STOBAR and CATOBAR, so I don't see anything else than Rafale-M

    as F-35B/C and, if it's ever built, Sea-Gripen are out. 72 for IAF and 57 for IN => 129 Rafales, mhhh, doesn't it looks

    like MMRCA-I? And there are also rumours about at least 90 Rafales to be built in India. Note that Dassault doesn't

    communicates about what's cooking. If we don't consider what's external to the very planes and some eventual inflation so

    yep, we end with a $9.92bln for 129 aircraft.
    Now, Jaguars are being re-motorised in a way to postpone their phasing-out for a few years.

    You point the ecosystem with Saab in Brazil, errrr, the offset is only $1.7bln. The one with Rafale is €.3.9bln and at $70

    -80M per Gripen-E that STILL DOESN'T FLIES, actually, the 1st prototype flight has been postponed until this autumn and I

    wouldn't be too surprised if some problems occurred as although stretched, the wings are still the same so wing load will

    rise. Gripen-C has already bigger wingload than Tejas, this one having 25% more wing area so make Gripen stretched, well,

    hey, Super-Hornet or Mig-35/29K had also their wings stretched. Definitively, Tejas has more to give and if it's for price

    per plane, although dual engined, Rafale has more to give for the same price as a still non-existing Gripen-E too! Now, for

    the Gripen ToT, you should learn more : it's simply a kit plane! Sweden has no mean to fully develop jet fighters alone!

    Saab is associated with BAe for airframe so it's 50/50 Sweden+UK, engine, radar and avionics are US, it's why I'm laughing

    a little when you point a datalink/networking subsystem in terms of advance as, if I'm not wrong, due to the fielding of

    new recon-pod that gives a real-time following to HQs and also the replacement of Damocles targetting pods, these things

    are being improved on Rafales too ;). Now F404/414 is a very old engine : no evolutive modular construction, no FADEC, high

    maintenance and, as it's the F-18 engines, look at Hornet and SH crash records ;)

    1. Now, you've pointed Dassault wanting $30bln for 200 aircraft and full ToT. First, we're not playing in the same category. A

      Gripen, once stretched as a Gripen-E is nothing else than if you were building a Mirage-2000 with actual systems, adding

      canards, LOL, your ToT is 70's/80's technology, incl engine : Grpen should have been fielded at the same time as M-2k/M-4k!

      Swedish govt wasn't willing to pay at the moment, Viggen was still too recent!
      What Dassault simply pointed by this is that having HAL competing them with what they're actually selling is like sawing a

      tree's branch you're sitting on while visibly, Saab/BAe are turning to 5th gen aircraft (and Rafale is already 5.5th gen,

      what many seem have problems to dig!) as BAe has Replica/MDD JAST in stock and is seriously implied in F-35, they're now

      teaming with Mitsubishi for the X-2 Shinshin (which's stealth was tested at Dassault's facilities. SB Deo is not joking

      when talking about Rafale's stealth, that's why you don't see the French trying to do smth looking like F-22) and Saab with

      TAI for the TFX, you can near be sure that they'll soak these projects to do their own thing, it's exactly the same vicious

      process when Brazil ends paying for Gripen-E R&D or India for PAK/FA, BTW, BAe tricked French DCNS for the aircraft

      carriers : look at the 2 brit ones : France should have a 3rd ship, 1/3 should have been built by DCNS for each. We spent

      €200M for the R&D. Thus, DCNS was clever, not trusting BAe, there were rotten eggs in the blue prints, brits end paying

      $5bln/unit while the definitive DCNS blueprints would have cost €2.3bln for one ship with a single island and 2 catapults

      and €2bln had 3 been built! (and if C14 kerosene catapults then new Siemens turbines and Mermaid pods are used, it's

      feasible to make 'em nuclear probably for the same price as a single reactor K15 would be enough!).

      Nevertheless, what you or some may not have understood is that Dassault doesn't opposes to have Rafales in "Make in

      India" process at all or ToT, it's just that the form you see it is like having them to guarantee HAL-built Rafales : this

      would be suicide. How they are seeing thins is much more interesting : they are willing to really install themselves in


    2. Now, it's as impossible to you or me to know what may be cooking : all this is running in the 'backstage' and they're not

      eager to communicate, nevertheless, what is really wishable for our both countries for obvious reasons would be a 'mariage'

      between Dassault and -at least- HAL's jet division (without the bureaucracy, please! Note that there are rumours of

      privatisations in Indian defence industry. I'm not sure if the propeller chopper division merge is wishable but, again, I'm not in economixs/management) and have them moving the dismantled Mirage-2000 assembly line (if not scraped

      but I doubt they did it, as it was supposed to be Rafale-compatible), nothing would be more wishable for our both nations,

      as would have both DRDO and DGA (délégation générale à l'armement, the French DRDO) teaming together too. There we'll have

      a true joint effort in R&D at the public level but also at the industrial level : HAL is plagued by some structural problems that led to many failed projects but has VERY competent engineers and technicians, Dassault has always been very inovative and at the contrary, always managed to field high quality products, even if the project was scrapped, always on budget issues BTW : Mirage-III-V had much more potential than Harrier, Mirage-G would have been better than Tomcat or Tornado for sure and Mirage-4000 was already of Typhoon/F-15 class in 1979.
      If such a mariage is done, it's a total win-win :
      - ToT is 'free' as the R&D efforts become bi-national and it's not a competitor that is created but a super-company with a foot in India and another in the EU and the company secures both Indian and French military markets as a client-base, moreover, it may allow sales to clients that would be a millstone for French diplomacy and big contracts (Taiwan, Israel, etc)
      - Indian govt will be in the same situation as the French one : relying on a company you can trust. They may not be the cheapest on market but you get quality products, in the end, you pay for a Porsche and get a Ferrari (with BAe, Lockheed or Boeing, you pay for a Ferrari and end with a BMW, thus, with F-35, you end with a Lada, LOL).
      - India gets the number of Rafales needed and they are Make-in-India. Replacement of Mig-27, Mig-29/29K, Jaguar and Mirage-2000 is secured.
      - A Super-Tejas rises as what it's meant to be from the start : an affordable 'Baby-Rafale', Mig-21 will be replaced by a real beast with serious stealth features onboard. There will be a need for Mach2+ air-intakes and some structural mods to Mk1A but definitively no need for a Tejas Mk2, at least as it is seen now or any Gripen.
      - Serious logistic advantages at having common engines, avionics, RAMs, ECM and armaments on both Tejas and Rafale platforms.
      - Su-30MkI can be upgraded with active stealth.
      - Research for the nEUROn combat drone are already very advanced and DRDO's Aura may surely be merged in the project, thus, nEUROn is already implying many European companies but a more indigenous thing can be considered too, hey, aren't F-35, Typhoon and Gripen competing on international market while BAe is highly implied in all?
      - Research can begin for a 6th Gen. fighter : Safran is already working on a combo turbofan+scramjet, althouh I'm not fong on its aerodynamics, there are very interesting ideas in AMCA wishlist. If we consider Boeing's wishlist for F/A-XX, well, a Rafale-II could even be considered to the specs US wish for what they see as 6th Gen, gosh, they considr scrapping the tail to reduce RCS while Rafale's tail is radar transparent.

    3. - Having Dassault creating a modern Bréguet Br.941 would be wonderful : nonetheless there could become a STOL Hawkeye/Greyhound able to operate Indian STOBAR air-carriers, French Mistral LHD and STOLV-carriers but it'd be much more interesting than using C-295, go where no C-130 can but even compete thins like the Osprey for much cheaper, it was even more STOL than a Do-228. I still don't get the lack of forward viewing there was around this plane from potential buyers at the time it was fielded. French AF just bought a very few that mostly served for DGSE cover-ops while it had gigantic both military and civilian potential.
      - Dassault is the most praised business-jet maker. Importing Embraer EJ145, Bombardier Global 5000 or Gulfstream G.100 to make 'em AEW/spy-planes/EW platforms may become useless, moreover, it'd surely be more interesting to dev common platforms with France based on both Falcons and Br.941 for such purposes than buying them off the shelves. Note that French company Thales (ex-Thomson) proposed even to make a French 'E-3 Sentry' long ago but Govt. Had there been partners, we'd surely never had bought E-3 and surely E-2 too.

      >>> Where some disturbing feelings may rise :
      - Regrets not having implied in such a way around 15 years ago when decisions were made to go Su-30MkI/Mig-29K
      - Regrets to have purchased the Hawks as Tejas-trainer can do their job, can be purchased for cheap without all the combat systems onboard but also being upgraded to a full combat aircraft.
      - Regrets to have invested a lot in FGFA/PAK-FA as the 5th gen is already here with Rafale! Thus, as FGFA/PAK-FA investments/efforts could become smth much more interesting : as creating some Kaveri "+" is considered, well, I don't hide that I'm not a big fan of heavy fighters as their size/powerful engines make'em easy preys for long range IRST, thus, a stretched FGFA in order to make it a stealth bomber with a 24t payload over 7000km, which are the Tu-22M features but there, I think size could be about no more than 30m long and maybe feasible for $250M/unit with a bay that could carry 2 MOABs or 16 BrahMos-NG (or maybe not all as underwing pylons could also be considered). Note that a 125kN Kaveri+ would have half the power of the NK-25 on Tu-22M with the advantages of size/weight and reduced radar/IR signatures.

    4. "Also about streched Tejas.../...they surely will ask for more in mk2)."
      => Surely due to Safran input and the fact that Navy requests a dual engine, it seems that Tejas Mk2 is already scrapped.
      I thought that Safran input would be to put M88-9 on the table, it seems that Kaveri will be a M88-10 with 7kN more. No surprise if French govt is not so nervous at upgrading the 'old' M88-2/4 75kN to M88-9. It's not a 'new' engine : M88 is a modular engine (with reduced RCS+IR signature exhaust). As they gained DRDO trust and now have green light to do what they want and opening a production plant is surely on the way, they take profit of the modular design to simply modify a module (or several?). Such design allow being able to operate aircraft much faster, not even having to take the engine out, just replacing the module FADEC warns you having a problem. It's the main reason for Rafale having showed really crazy number of missions a day (it has been pushed to a 10-11/day for a full week during the Libyan campaign! Never seen on any jet-fighter!). There are no such features on GE F404/F414 and were it to end on Tejas, well, look at the F-18 losses...
      M88 being moreover much smaller and would Dassault re-work internal structure in Tejas, making it even lighter, there'd be more room for fuel. If range still being not enough to taste, adding conformal tanks would do the trick without a need for +4 years work to create a (useless) stretched longer/heavier plane. Note that Tejas has 25% more wing area than Gripen and is lighter. Gripen-E keeps the same wings, wingload will so gonna rise. I'm pretty sure that the delays to the 1st flight of the prototype are linked to this! Saab is falling in the same kind of bullshiting Lockheed and BAe are giving in for a while at selling planes/features that don't even exist.

      "the new capabilities that grippen exhibits ATM at some level surpasses that of Rafale ( m talking about data link and networking and few mentioned in that post)."
      => ATM it features nothing as it shall manage to take-off and first flight has been postponed, LOL. I think that such capabilities have been upgraded recently on Rafale or about to be so, mostly due to the new recce pod.
      You know, be it Gripen or Typhoon which initially are a BAe (P.106, 1980) and a MBB (TKF-90, 1976-78) projects, they're simply pure 4th Gen. things, exactly as Mirage-2000/4000. Rafale is the 5th Gen, as is F-22. Now, you know, on a glossy brochure, you can always do like BAe or Lockheed use to do since forever : put the characteristics of a Klingon 'Bird of Prey', the prove is even you seem to 'buy' their $70-80M Gripen-E which ends as expensive as a much potent Rafale while it even has less potential than a Tejas and even never flew. Now, what would happen in combat? Well, except for 1st gen J-29 Tunan, no Saab jetfighter has ever seen any fight and Tunan did just a little air support against Congolese rebels in 1961.

      >>> Maybe is it wishful thinking from me but I really see no better way to go. Personally, I always favoured the win-win deals and a mariage between HAL or a part of it and Dassault would really open interesting prospectives that both India and France would be stupid to neglect. We can only wish things go in such a way.
      I hope I wasn't too long (LOL), nevertheless, these are things that are VERY complex and often taken in too simplistic ways ;)

    5. Yes not many people know this but one of the dirst FADEC system was developed by India, even Russia lacked behind when it comes to FADEC ( sadly till then we were not able to develop an engine 😅) and FADEC is the reason why MTA deal fell apart ( Russia was not giving us engine with FADEC capabilities and were forcing their old engine on us because they lacked money)


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