The F-16 was a non starter from the get go. The F-18 is anything but old fashioned. Containing 3rd gen AESA (while the Euros are still putting together a first gen and havent finished) and probably the most adv avionics (the Prowler option would have been unbeatable perhaps), the -18 was nothing to sneeze at. This completely escaped the Rafale fanbois on the Indian forums.
However, we had nothing to offer on ToT and plenty against us (CISMOA etc), and in the end that probably kept the -18 off the shortlist. The French are promising the world, and I’m sure will charge India the world as well. Their problem.
You still don’t seem to be interested in answering why people diss the Super Hornet on it’s aerodynamics-why is it that people keep crapping on it regarding its range, its turn rates and speed? India has purchased almost 10 billion USD worth of weaponry from US companies-the same restrictions on technology transfers existed there; so why did the Indian military buy it. Because those systems had significant advantages over the rest.