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Why IAF is negotiating for French airforce's 31 JAGUAR jets?


Some six months ago the French airforce offered to sell its Jaguar ground attack fighter jets which were earlier used in French airforce and these were retired in 2005 and since then have been kept as reserve but now the French govt has offered the sale of 31 of these jets and India  has showed keen interest in these 31 jets. 

According to sources the Indian Govt has started negotiations for these 31 fighters jets. As IAF chief has headed to France for his 4 day visit it is expected that he will hold talks for the acquisition of these 31 jaguar jets along with visiting the manufacturing facilities of Rafale fighter jets and fly sorties in one of the jet himself. 

India airforce already operates Jaguar aircraft as deep penetration strike aircraft. IAF historically bought 40 jaguars offshelf from Europe followed by 120 licence made jets by HAL. Currently IAF operates 130 jaguar fighter jets. HAL is currently upgrading the IAF's fleet of jaguar jets to "DARIN III" configuration by upgrading its avionics and systems and also a possible engine upgrade. This has ensured that  the fighter service life is extended by another 20 years.


Though no price of these 31 jaguar fighters is known, India is expected to buy these fighters after negotiations. Now coming to  the question "why IAF is buying these old fighters?"

There are many reasons for it but the main reasons are

  • As a number of  old jets are being retired or are nearing the retirement the number of squadrons of  IAF is dwindling and so it is becoming a problem for IAF. Earlier governments did not pay much attention to this problem and today even when the airforce is inducting new fighters but still the rate of acquisition is not enough to plug the gap. This is one major reason why IAF is looking forward to buying retired jaguars and Mig 29 etc fighters from various nations. Also trials are being done for selection of a new fighter jet as discussed in my post MMRCA II - Is it necessary ?.
  • As these jets are in reserve and the governments are offering them the jets are dirt cheap compared to what they would cost if they were new, this economical factor also plays a major role as IAF is investing in many projects and acquisitions and due to this they have their hands tied when it comes to  spending.
  • These jets can be obtained faster and we will get these jets directly and there will not be long waiting time like in case of buying new jets so  the rate of acquisition will be faster and this is big relief for IAF which is currently having only 35 squadrons opposed to the allowed 42 squadrons.
  • These old jets can be easily refurbished and used by airforce directly or they can even use them as spares providers for the current fleet. The airframe of these jets itself can be used which will be very helpful for the existing fleet.

So these are the few reasons why IAF is looking to acquire the 31 jaguar jets of French airforce. If bought for right price these 31 jets can be an effective solution as these itself will be equal to nearly two squadrons (36 + training or reserve). Also the jet itself is very capable and if upgraded to DARIN-III configuration it can be very effective even today.


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Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Replies
    1. Yes if we get them for a good price they would be great

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  3. Bullshit. Replacing old aircraft with old aircraft. Have some sense man

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    1. Fighter jets cannot be purchased off the shelf like you can with underwear or T-shirts.The first problem is to get them and then to be able to handle them even if they are old. In that sense India is doing the smart thing by buying Jaguars. The IAF has been have been operating them for many years. Our aircrafts are as just as old as these which we are buying from the French airforce so therefore it is not that we're buying brand new old planes, rather we are buying more planes like what we already have. I think it's a smart move to fill in the gaps

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    2. Fighter jets cannot be purchased off the shelf like you can with underwear or T-shirts.The first problem is to get them and then to be able to handle them even if they are old. In that sense India is doing the smart thing by buying Jaguars. The IAF has been have been operating them for many years. Our aircrafts are as just as old as these which we are buying from the French airforce so therefore it is not that we're buying brand new old planes, rather we are buying more planes like what we already have. I think it's a smart move to fill in the gaps

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    3. Also if u just realise that jaguars are one of the best jets in IAF inventory and these jets can easily be used in one way or another. Plus it keeps costs down. We can easily upgrade them to Darin III configuration with rest of our jets which are undergoing same.

      Also as buddy mentioned above u don't get jets the next day u order. Orders can take decades to fulfill so getting them easily offshelf is always time saving and smart.

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  4. In fact, nonetheless 31 Jaguars but there are likely 2nd hand Mig-29 and Mirage-2000 to come soon (I've had echoes of talks about it) and reasons are obvious :

    The 245 Mig-21 should already have been retired and the 66-87(?) Mig-27 are ageing very badly and won't be kept for long too.

    In fact, extremely poor decision making in aircraft procurement in the last 2 decades end with no other choice :
    - Poor decision making ended Tejas being delayed while it has much more potential than a Gripen-C or Gripen-E oe a Mirage-2000. Actually, as SNECMA M88-9 (91kN) was already available in 2009, Tejas Mk1A could have entered mass production as soon as 2010-2011. M88-Kaveri (98kN) will be available in a few months. M88-9 could have been upgraded in a M88-Kaveri.
    As there are still 30-40 Su-30Mk1 to deliver, it is dubious that HAL switches production to Tejas Mk1A before Su-30Mk1 production ends.
    Thus, there will be a few mods (as I could hear about, already OK as blueprints at Dassault's), increasing a little intakes size and redesigning the insides as M88 is much smaller than F404 and room will be made for bigger tanks. It will even make Mk1A lighter. (GOSH : Kaveri has the thrust of the Mirage-2000-9 engine while Mk1A will be 1800k lighter!!! Be ready for Mach2.2-2.3!)

    - It took 10 years to negotiate MMRCA-I. Indian Navy wanted Rafale-M as soon as 2001 thus was imposed Mig-29K which end with a disastrous availability : they're happy when they can have 15 of the 45 units airborne at the same time.

    - Although already in discussion for 93 additional Rafales (36 for IAF, 57 naval-ones for INAA) and a joint order with a 3rd party nation for 60 units is in talks too. Thus, although deliveries of the 1st batch will be greatly advanced, these deliveries are waited to go for further contracting. Let's face reality : you don't open an assembly line before being sure you'll make money out of it. Such 189 global order is OK business that will trigger the opening of a factory.

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    1. # "Also as buddy mentioned above u don't get jets the next day u order. Orders can take decades to fulfill so getting them easily offshelf is always time saving and smart."
      => Exactly! 272 Su-30Mk1 were ordered in 2001-2002, there are still 30-40 to deliver. Moreover, wanting a full "make-in-India" implies creating an ecosystem with many subcontractors, creating assembly lines, trainng personnel...
      It'll take years to be able to replace the +300 old Migs which are already in end of life-cycle even with the 2 assembly lines running at the same time, one for Tejas Mk1A, the other for Rafale while actually, Tejas Mk1A only is supposed to replace Mig-21 and Mig-27, nevertheless, the 1st batch of 36 Rafales will allow in fact to retire 2 squadrons of Mig-27 although they are actually ordered to substitute to Jaguars, Mig-29 and Mirage-2000 but these still can be pushed until 2030

      Even by signing either Gripen-E or F-16V in parallel wouldn't allow a rapid replacement, moreover, while Tejas Mk1A and Rafale sharing the same engine will greatly help logistics, Gripen-E ($75-85M) or F-16V ($70M) would do a double-job on Tejas and each ends also as expensive as Rafale-C (€68M), not counting the integration of Indian, Russian and Israeli weapons (count $100M/integration).

      Thus, the best solution is getting 2nd hand aircraft already in service in IAF as an interim solution as they may last until 2030.
      Again, to your question "MMRCA-II, is it necessary", I'm tempted to really say "NO" : it simply makes no sense to end paying as much for light single-engined aircraft as you pay for a Su-30Mk1 ($75M) or Rafale (€68M) for less capable LCA, especially with a Tejas Mk1A with a planed $42M price having as much potential if not more as Gripen-E or F-16V, especially if decision is being made to install SPECTRA, thus getting active stealth then OSF-2 providing ultra-long range EO/IRST, add to this the serious cooling of exhausts in M88 allowing a very interesting low IR signature.
      There are only 3 reasons I could see for MMRCA-II :

      #1. A security blanket in case Tejas Mk1A mod ended being a failure or feasible on schedule. With Dassault advising, I seriously doubt Mk1A won't meet the goals : BAe or LMCO always pretend their stuff will be better than it is, Dassault is more into saying their gear less capable than it is (e.g. the Mach1.8 for a Rafale with 75kN engines is a sustained speed : it peaks Mach2 in fact. Any other builder points the peak speed while you won't maintain this more than 2-3 minutes and with no more than the two IR missiles on wingtips).

      #2. Compensating the attrition of the ageing Mig-21/27. This is nullified by the purchase of 2nd hand aircraft on the way.

      #3. Briberies : Lockheed-Martin has tremendous pas records while not a single Gripen contract except with Sweden hasn't been tainted with such scandal. Well, Saab is clean but 50% of the airframe is made by BAe. Note that BAe is also highly associated into Typhoon and except the countries into the consortium, guess what happened with Typhoon exports? BINGO...

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