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World’s biggest French kiss-IAF picks Rafale for deal that can reshape Europe’s defence industry
The Telegraph, India ^ | February 1 , 2012 | SUJAN DUTTA

Posted on 01/31/2012 7:54:43 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki

World’s biggest French kiss - IAF picks Rafale for deal that can reshape Europe’s defence industry

SUJAN DUTTA

New Delhi, Jan. 31: A flying French kiss is in the air.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation’s Rafale fighter jet is best suited for it.

The Rafale bid was less than the price quoted by four-nation European consortium EADS Cassidian’s Eurofighter Typhoon.

In a race that has lasted five years and tantalised not only India’s military establishment but also first-world countries and half-a-dozen of the globe’s largest companies, the sleek twin-engined Rafale with its ergonomic looks has beaten the Typhoon. Both aircraft were last year seen in action over Libya.

This will be India’s costliest defence contract — totalling close to $20 billion (Rs 1 lakh crore) — and is currently the single largest international military aircraft deal in the world, big enough to inject millions of euros into France.

The Financial Times reported that the deal has “the potential to reshape the European defence industry at a time companies are suffering from cutbacks in their traditional developed markets”.

Not to be faulted for passion, President Nicolas Sarkozy with Carla Bruni kept up a persistent and intensive diplomatic engagement with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at both Rajpath and on the Champs Elysees. France’s refusal to impose sanctions on India after the 1998 nuclear tests and the Indian Air Force’s familiarity with the French-built Mirage 2000 aircraft would have shaped New Delhi’s choice.

Sarkozy, who lost no time in formally welcoming the developments although the final deal is yet to be sealed, is certain to flog the breakthrough as a coup, which should come in handy as he heads to elections. The conservative President is now trailing a socialist rival in opinion polls.

“The realisation of the Rafale project will illustrate the depth and scale of the strategic partnership between France and India,” the French embassy in New Delhi said.

For France and Rafale-maker Dassault Aviation, this is a huge boost because they have not been able to secure a single customer for the fighter plane apart from the Armee de ’air (the French air force).

The share price of Dassault Aviation — Sarkozy is said to be close to the industrial group that also owns the pro-government Le Figaro newspaper — jumped almost 20 per cent in Paris today after the Indian news broke.

Dassault Aviation said the company and its partners “are honoured and grateful to the government and the people of India….”

For the (IAF), there was also the desperation to replace its ageing fleet of MiG 21 fighter aircraft with jets capable of matching up to Chinese and Pakistani capabilities and also the price.

The Rafale will not come cheap. The cost has not been announced by the companies or the government. But an approximate figure can be gauged by a Swiss competition in which the Rafale lost to the Swedish Gripen aircraft two months back. France had offered to sell 18 Rafale aircraft for $2.9 billion or $162 million (or about Rs 800 crore) each.

But the IAF would be buying 126 aircraft and the economies of scale would bring the price down a couple of notches. India proposes to buy the aircraft over 10 years — 18 in ‘fly away’ condition over three years after the contract is signed and the rest to be assembled with Hindustan Aeronautics possibly at the defence firm’s Bangalore establishment.

When India sent out the request for proposals (or tender) to six firms in 2008, the cost of the deal was pegged at $10.4 billion (Rs 42,000 crore). The final figure could be close to twice that amount.

“Next fiscal,” defence minister A.K. Antony replied this morning, asked when a contract for the aircraft could be signed. Sources said later that the Rafale has emerged as “L1” — jargon for lowest bidder.

The India representatives of the two competing companies had been informed. Price negotiations leading to the signing of a contract would begin in the next 10 days.

“It is a long process. The file has not come to my table,” Antony said. The final contract would come only after the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by the Prime Minister.

The IAF has the option of ordering an additional 63 aircraft but that will be at a re-negotiated price.

The Typhoon and the Rafale were shortlisted after 643-point technical and flight evaluation tests by the IAF through 2009 and 2010.

They edged out four other competitors — the F-16 Super Viper (made by Lockheed Martin, US), the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet (Boeing, US), Saab’s Gripen (Swedish) and the Russian MiG 35 — to be shortlisted for the final leg.

The Eurofighter, built by companies from the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain — has now been beaten by the Rafale for the Indian order.

Endre Lunde, a consultant with IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, described the deal as a “major win for France, and a major loss for the UK”.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; france; iaf; india

1 posted on 01/31/2012 7:54:46 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

European death machinery is exclusively for export. They depend on the US Taxpayer for their defense.


2 posted on 01/31/2012 8:01:43 PM PST by DManA
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To: DManA

Dma, “European death machinery”

Hug a tree, fly that tree.

Dumb comments abound.

R.


3 posted on 01/31/2012 8:13:43 PM PST by Rabin
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To: Rabin

I don’t understand your comment. Please explain?


4 posted on 01/31/2012 8:20:41 PM PST by DManA
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To: sukhoi-30mki

With the sukhoi-30mki and Rafale, India went for a high-higher approach. These are expensive aircraft, equivalent to the F-15. Is India still pursuing the Tejas for the ight Combat Aircraft (LCA) program?


5 posted on 01/31/2012 8:42:47 PM PST by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: rmlew

Not necessarily. The Rafale (and the rest of the MMRCA contenders) are lighter/smaller than SU-30 and F-15 and would at least on paper, have lower operating costs and higher sortie rates. So it’s essentially a high-tech work horse. Which is why it was called the Medium-MRCA aircraft. The SU-30, while having a heavy payload, has a significantly larger radar cross section and an older array of Russian built strike munitions.

The Tejas is still being pursued albeit in a reworked Mk2 variant which uses the GE F-414 engine. You could say the Tejas-Rafale-SU30 form a light-medium-heavy combination. The reason why the MMRCA deal was pursued and could in fact be jacked up in numbers is the continued uncertainty over the Tejas as well as the possible need for cover for possible delays with the Russian PAK FA fighter.


6 posted on 01/31/2012 8:51:19 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: DManA

Dman, “I don’t understand your comment. Please explain?”

Too little back checkand, to much mouth. Got you wrong Dman, forgive SVP

Rab


7 posted on 01/31/2012 9:55:45 PM PST by Rabin
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Hi Sukhoi!

Great post.

So, what is your opinion on the French sharing the Rafale technology with the Chicoms eventually?

Also, will they sell to the Pakistanis?

Keep the good work up!


8 posted on 01/31/2012 10:26:28 PM PST by SoftwareEngineer
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To: SoftwareEngineer

Firstly, it’s unlikely that the Pakis will be able to buy the Rafale since its very expensive for their pockets and secondly, Indian pressure would be enormous.

There are factors which hinder a sale of the Rafale to China-

1. The EU embargo is still officially in place and even if it falls, selling overtly offensive systems to Beijing would provoke heavy domestic and regional European opposition.

2. Hawking such a system to the Chicoms will result to France running the risk of alienating a number of pro-Western Asian powers among them- India, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia (in addition to Japan), all of which have strong defense ties with Paris. I’m willing to take a calculated bet and say that a successful Rafale deal in India could open the floodgates in Malaysia and possibly Vietnam, which is looking at non-Russian fighters.

3. Does China really need technology from a fighter like the Rafale or Eurofighter, both are at the end of the day 4.5 generation aircraft? The Chinese have progressed to 5th gen aircraft and are rationalising their current fleet around the J-11 and J-10 (ala. the US F-15/F-16).

HOWEVER that doesn’t mean that the French or the rest of Europe wouldn’t want to sell to China-that will very likely happen in this decade.


9 posted on 02/01/2012 1:07:23 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki
I had a bit of a soft corner for the Typhoon because it has better air to air capability then Rafale. And that maybe crucial since the Chinese are already on to 5-gen fighter with the J-20. Eurofighter could have been the only fighter in the IAF that could have been able to counter that. I am not sure so much about Rafale, it seems to me it is more of a multi-role air to ground fighter.
10 posted on 02/02/2012 9:33:02 AM PST by ravager
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To: ravager

There is very little capability difference to decisively separate the Rafale and the Eurofighter. The EF is more oriented to the air to air role with a larger nose, higher engine thrust and an airframe which was designed around ensuring maximum carriage of air to air missiles (4 BVR weapons at all times).

But the Rafale is not necessarily inferior-it’s smaller (and some say more stealthy) and its close-coupled canards would help in a low-altitude dogfight. And in the days of datalinks and AEW, the RBE-2’s range to utilise the Meteor or the Mica is not leagues behind the Typhoon. And assuming it get’s an engine upgrade, it’s high speed/high altitude performance would also improve.

But that’s beyond the point; both fighters could only do so much against a genuinely stealthy fighter (and we don’t know if the J-20 will turn into that) since their basic configuration is essentially the same. As Spetznaz said a while back-they are twins.


11 posted on 02/02/2012 11:17:04 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki
RBE-2’s range is nothing like the Euroradar CAPTOR. In fact (I have heard and I am not sure if it is correct) the RBE-2’s range is even less then the Pakistani F-16’s AGP-68 not to mention AGP-80. Also the Rafale does not supercruise like the Eurofighter. Eurofighter’s service ceiling is at 65,000 ft, nearly 10,000 ft more then Rafale. These two factors will make it difficult for Rafale to escape enemy fighters or surface to air missiles.

Against most modern fighters Eurofighters would totally dominate the air warfare. Rafale is a damn good plane no doubt, but it wouldn't be dominating the airspace. Rafale would have a tough time against the latest block of UAE F-16E/Fs (with AGP-80) or even Chinese Sukhois. Rafale is a VERY EXPENSIVE plane that does not give any massive advantage to justify its enormously exorbitant cost.

12 posted on 02/02/2012 1:15:18 PM PST by ravager
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To: sukhoi-30mki
RBE-2’s range is nothing like the Euroradar CAPTOR. In fact (I have heard and I am not sure if it is correct) the RBE-2’s range is even less then the Pakistani F-16’s AGP-68 not to mention AGP-80. Also the Rafale does not supercruise like the Eurofighter. Eurofighter’s service ceiling is at 65,000 ft, nearly 10,000 ft more then Rafale. These two factors will make it difficult for Rafale to escape enemy fighters or surface to air missiles.

Against most modern fighters Eurofighters would totally dominate the air warfare. Rafale is a damn good plane no doubt, but it wouldn't be dominating the airspace. Rafale would have a tough time against the latest block of UAE F-16E/Fs (with AGP-80) or even Chinese Sukhois. Rafale is a VERY EXPENSIVE plane that does not give any massive advantage to justify its enormously exorbitant cost.

13 posted on 02/02/2012 1:15:32 PM PST by ravager
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To: sukhoi-30mki

And if low altitude low speed dog fighter is what India was looking for, a Mig 29/35 (or maybe even LCA Tejas) would have very easily done the job instead of an out of the world expensive Rafale.


14 posted on 02/02/2012 1:24:31 PM PST by ravager
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Also I think Rafale should have given India the option of replacing the Mirages like they are probably doing for Qatar and UAE, instead of charging India enormous amount of money for the Mirage upgrade. Considering the fact that they got the Scorpene deal, Tejas MKII engine deal and also the MMRCA deal, they should have been flexible on the pricing or should have offered to replace the Mirages altogether. Personally I am not very happy with this French deal.

I had a feeling Sarkozy would Carla Brunie to clinch this deal. Otherwise I don't see any merit to this deal.

15 posted on 02/02/2012 4:02:30 PM PST by ravager
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To: sukhoi-30mki
HOWEVER that doesn’t mean that the French or the rest of Europe wouldn’t want to sell to China-that will very likely happen in this decade.

I doubt that China would be interested in buying. They want to make their own. The only interest China would have in the Rafael would be in stealing some technology.

16 posted on 02/02/2012 4:16:41 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (I'd agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.)
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To: ravager

The Rafale is said to be supercruise capable-the French navy certified there M variant as capable of doing so with four Mica missiles and a centreline tank. Now that figure would be lower than the Eurofighter, but it highlights the narrow gap. And anyway, neither would supercruise with a meaningful strike or even full air superiority complement capability.

Again radar range is not everything-the RBE-2, in its current PESA variant is said to have more flexible air to ground modes, superior scan volumes and multi-target tracking as well as lower probability of interception capabilities as far as material that comes on various military forums go.

Is the Rafale expensive-so is the Eurofighter? Not only is the latter more expensive, but it’s future upgrades are far less assured since the four consortium members have shown little inclination to do anything about it. The Eurofighter’s AESA radar has only flown on a test rig and the less said about integration of strike munitions, the better. The only thing that the EF has is lots of PR about its agility. The Rafale at least has two assured upgrade paths for which the French will have to bear a good chunk of the costs for the simple reason its their only fighter.

I hark back to what I’ve thought about this deal for about the past two years or so. We need to look at the MMRCA from the perspective of where it fits into the IAF; If you are getting the PAK FA, the Eurofighter’s air to air capability becomes redundant. However what the IAF currently lacks and will lack is a truly multirole mudmover with good kinematics-something which the F-16 was originally kitted out to be. The Jaguar, Mig-27 and even the upgraded the Mig-29s are all one-dimensional jets. The Mirage-2000s are low on range and the SU-30’s strike capability is limited by its huge size and the age of Russian air to ground munitions (unlike the more versatile F-15E). That’s where the Rafale would come in. Not to mention strategic benefits which the French are more likely to offer (nuclear/missile/space).

The last thing I’d suspect is the Carla Bruni connection!! For one Silvio Berlusconi who was around till about a year ago could have activated his own connections and it would have been politically suicidal even in the treachorous world of Indian politics. All that being said, I would have been perfectly happy with the Typhoon as well but only from an basic operational view.


17 posted on 02/02/2012 7:21:27 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: ravager; sukhoi-30mki
RBE-2’s range is nothing like the Euroradar CAPTOR. In fact (I have heard and I am not sure if it is correct) the RBE-2’s range is even less then the Pakistani F-16’s AGP-68 not to mention AGP-80. Also the Rafale does not supercruise like the Eurofighter. Eurofighter’s service ceiling is at 65,000 ft, nearly 10,000 ft more then Rafale. These two factors will make it difficult for Rafale to escape enemy fighters or surface to air missiles. Against most modern fighters Eurofighters would totally dominate the air warfare. Rafale is a damn good plane no doubt, but it wouldn't be dominating the airspace. Rafale would have a tough time against the latest block of UAE F-16E/Fs (with AGP-80) or even Chinese Sukhois. Rafale is a VERY EXPENSIVE plane that does not give any massive advantage to justify its enormously exorbitant cost.

The choice of the Rafale was the best choice for India considering what the nation wanted (more on that later), and it should also be noted that not only was it the L1 of the two airplanes, but that it was also the preferred choice by the Indian Airforce.

Before I go into why the Rafale was a better choice for India than the Typhoon, please also consider all the competitions where the Rafale has been pitted against the Eurofighter Typhoon. There is India (where the Rafale won). There is Switzerland where the Rafale scored the highest in technical parameters against the Gripen, the F-18E/F, and (yes) the Eurofighter Typhoon (the Gripen won due to cost, but the Swiss airforce rated the Rafale the best – there was a post I made a couple of months ago when the decision was made where I linked that analysis). Also please look at which aircraft won the Singapore and the South Korea decisions - when it comes to technical evaluation – between the Rafale and the Eurofighter (both losing out to the F-15SG and F-15K respectively due to political and other reasons).

18 posted on 02/03/2012 5:29:31 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: ravager; sukhoi-30mki
I have attached a chart below showing how the Rafale performed against the Eurofighter and the Gripen …and please note, in air-to-air. I have said before that the Rafale and the Eurofighter are most definitely ‘twins’ (they were even born out of the same program), but it seems that the Eurofighter has a far better PR team. Even in Libya, where the Rafale’s performance was definitely better, the Eurofighter-affiliated magazine tried to make it like it was the opposite.

Apparently in the Swiss evaluations the Rafale scored 7/1 against the Eurofighter in BVR and 8/0 in WVR.

19 posted on 02/03/2012 5:30:20 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: spetznaz
Now, back to the Rafale vs the Eurofighter for India. Either of the two airframes would have been a great choice for the Indian Airforce and India’s national security. They are both some of, if not the, most advanced active generation 4.5 fighters in the world, with some avionics packages that are gen 5. For both of them the critical factor that prevents them from being gen 5 airframes are their approach to stealth, with both lacking passive stealth characteristics that can be seen in aircraft like the F-22, F-35, T-50 prototype and J-20 prototype. There was actually a very interesting article, from the same Eurofighter-affiliated magazine I referred to earlier, that had the Eurofighter chaps showing how the Typhoon is ‘more of a 5th generation platform than the F-35.’ Sukhoi-30MKI had linked to the article sometime in 2011. Anyways, Eurofighter PR aside, either of the two planes would have worked well for India. However, there has to be a winner! India will be operating, in the next ten years, the PakFa (a 5th generation fighter that in air-to-air will be a superlative machine), and the Super SU-30 MKI (the upgraded MKI with AESA radar that will be very good in air-to-air). India will already be well covered in the aerial game. Adding the Eurofighter to the mix wouldn’t really be adding much value (and to quote what you had said earlier, but changing the Rafale for the Eurofighter, the Typhoon would ’ VERY EXPENSIVE plane that does not give any massive advantage to justify its enormously exorbitant cost). As an example, it would be like the US buying the Eurofighter Typhoon for the USAF when they already have the F-22 and upgraded AESA-enabled F-15s. Ok, it is a nice plane, but it is adding a component that is already well covered. Where India has deficiencies is in strike capabilities …proper first class strike capabilities. The Rafale shines brightly here, with a carry capacity that is astounding (almost F-15 level), and some very sophisticated avionics. Add to this the fact that in air-to-air it can perform as well as the Eurofighter (and even though on paper the Eurofighter is better due to its bigger nose that can accommodate a bigger radar and its higher maneuverability above certain speeds - based on actual evaluations the Rafale has performed better, which is quite ironic considering what a certain magazine says). The Rafale gives India several advantages – a superlative strike capability, extremely advanced avionics, an air-to-air capability that is as good as that of the Eurofighter, a more mature platform (the Eurofighter development program depended a lot on India signing up, with India expected to provide a good share of AESA developments, TVC work, and, if necessary, a navalized platform – but the Rafale is ahead of the Typhoon program). At a cheaper price.
20 posted on 02/03/2012 5:30:58 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: ravager; sukhoi-30mki
Now, back to the Rafale vs the Eurofighter for India. Either of the two airframes would have been a great choice for the Indian Airforce and India’s national security. They are both some of, if not the, most advanced active generation 4.5 fighters in the world, with some avionics packages that are gen 5. For both of them the critical factor that prevents them from being gen 5 airframes are their approach to stealth, with both lacking passive stealth characteristics that can be seen in aircraft like the F-22, F-35, T-50 prototype and J-20 prototype. There was actually a very interesting article, from the same Eurofighter-affiliated magazine I referred to earlier, that had the Eurofighter chaps showing how the Typhoon is ‘more of a 5th generation platform than the F-35.’ Sukhoi-30MKI had linked to the article sometime in 2011. Anyways, Eurofighter PR aside, either of the two planes would have worked well for India. However, there has to be a winner! India will be operating, in the next ten years, the PakFa (a 5th generation fighter that in air-to-air will be a superlative machine), and the Super SU-30 MKI (the upgraded MKI with AESA radar that will be very good in air-to-air). India will already be well covered in the aerial game. Adding the Eurofighter to the mix wouldn’t really be adding much value (and to quote what you had said earlier, but changing the Rafale for the Eurofighter, the Typhoon would be a ’VERY EXPENSIVE plane that does not give any massive advantage to justify its enormously exorbitant cost').

As an example, it would be like the US buying the Eurofighter Typhoon for the USAF when they already have the F-22 and upgraded AESA-enabled F-15s. Ok, it is a nice plane, but it is adding a component that is already well covered.

Where India has deficiencies is in strike capabilities …proper first class strike capabilities. The Rafale shines brightly here, with a carry capacity that is astounding (almost F-15 level), and some very sophisticated avionics. Add to this the fact that in air-to-air it can perform as well as the Eurofighter (and even though on paper the Eurofighter is better due to its bigger nose that can accommodate a bigger radar and its higher maneuverability above certain speeds - based on actual evaluations the Rafale has performed better, which is quite ironic considering what a certain magazine says). The Rafale gives India several advantages – a superlative strike capability, extremely advanced avionics, an air-to-air capability that is functionally (i.e. in the real world and not just paper stats) as good as that of the Eurofighter, a more mature platform (the Eurofighter development program depended a lot on India signing up, with India expected to provide a good share of AESA developments, TVC work, and, if necessary, a navalized platform – but the Rafale is ahead of the Typhoon program). At a cheaper price.

21 posted on 02/03/2012 5:48:39 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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