Tuesday, August 28, 2007

MoD Announces Release of MRCA RfP (Rs 42,000 crore!!)

The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the procurement of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) at an estimated cost of Rs. 42, 000 crores for the Indian Air Force  was issued today to six vendors – Russia's MIG-35(RAC MiG); Swedish JAS-39 (Gripen); Rafale (France); American F-16 Falcon (Lockheed Martin); Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon (Made by a consortium of British, German, Spanish and Italian firms).   The 211-page document deals with various issues relating to initial purchase, transfer of technology, licensed production and life-time maintenance support for the aircraft.   The RFP contains the selection model that would involve an exhaustive evaluation process as detailed in the Defence Procurement Procedures (DPP) – 2006. 

The proposals from the likely contenders would first be technically evaluated by a professional team to check for compliance with IAF's operational requirements and other RFP conditions. Extensive field trials would be carried out to evaluate the performance. Finally, the commercial proposal of the vendors, short-listed after technical and field evaluations, would be examined and compared.   The aircraft are likely to be in service for over 40 years.  Great care has been taken to ensure that only determinable factors, which do not lend themselves to any subjectivity, are included in the commercial selection model.   The selection would be transparent and fair.

Under the terms of purchase, the first 18 aircraft will come in a 'fly away' condition while the remaining 108 will be manufactured under Transfer of Technology.  The vendor finally selected would also be required to undertake 50% offset obligations in India.   The ToT and offset contracts would provide a great technological and economic boost to the indigenous defence industries which would include Defence Public Sector Undertakings, Raksha Udyog Ratnas and other eligible private sector industries.   Foreign vendors would be provided great flexibility in effecting tie up with Indian partners for this purpose. 

t may be recalled that the Defence Minister Shri A K Antony while chairing the Defence Acquisition Council Meeting on June 29, 2007   had outlined three guiding principles  for this procurement scheme. 

First, the operational requirements of IAF should be fully met. Second, the selection process should be competitive, fair and transparent, so that best value for money is realized. Lastly, Indian defence industries should get an opportunity to grow to global scales.


Anonymous said...

When will the Americans agree to part with their secrets? Or for that matter even the french or the swedish? the way i look at it, this is aimed at the Russians and the Eurofighter

Anonymous said...

If there are smart people in IAF,for God sake they should stop the stupidity of spending $10 billions on 4/4.5 gen aircrafts.

Does the IAF think the government is gonna give another billions dollars money sack for 5 gen aircraft induction? IAF will be still in the process of inducting 4.5 gen aircraft when the world will be inducting 5 gen stealth fighter.

IAF has such a good opportunity to virtually dominate the Asian airspace by trying to induct 5 gen instead of 4.5 gen. We still are in the mentality of filling the "depleting squadron strength" instead of obtaining overwhelming strategic power.
The first aircraft is suppose to be inducted during 2012,by the time LCA would in mass production.There will be more LCAs that the MRCA. And the delay in LCA is one the main criteria for MRCA!
I have no idea what is the objective here...MRCA,LCA,5 Gen with Russia!!!!

Sniperz11 said...

^^^ Dear sir, the way you say it, makes it seem as if 5th gen aircraft are waiting to be released like movies on a busy weekend. 5th Gen aircraft are not yet there... and will not be, for another 10 years at least. the MRCA contenders are the best in the world, and will be fighting fit for another 20 years at the very least.

You do forget the fact that these 4.5 gen aircraft are top of the line, and will be used by the first world nations for another 30 years at least. What makes you think that they will be obsolete in their field of battle, much less in ours...

Do you expect that we'll face A PAF that has F-35s? not very likely, although even if that does happen, we'll surely have something on par by then to counter it.

Let us assume that what you say is true, and we need 5th gen aircraft.
Even at most optimistic timelines, the induction of a 5th gen aircraft will be no earlier than 2015-2020. If you need it earlier, the only option wil be to go in for the Yank fighter- the F-35.

Of Course, you do forget that the cowboys will never part with their secrets, and any plane will be so downgraded that they'd probably be on par with our MKIs.

Of course, if we do choose the JSF, the queue is quite long, and FOC will itself be achieved only by 2010. After negotiations, and customization, and waiting for the backlog to clear (the yanks will certainly not allow foreign production of it), we'll get the first units earliest by 2015-2016.

The Alternative is indigenous or Russian 5th Gen Aircraft, which will fly only by 2009 at the earliest. An indigenous one will fly even later. Add to that the time for certification, and you get a tentative FOC date no earlier than 2015. Which means that the first sqns will be in service earliest by 2016-17.

Of course, given that the IAF is in a crisis state at the moment, and needs new aircraft yesterday, immediate acquisitions are crucial, the MRCA is crucial in that need. It is not a contract that will lead to phase out of old aircraft. It is a contract that will boost up the numbers lost due to aircraft already deinducted. Its not an upgrade plan, its a replacement plan. and an urgently needed one at that

The smart people at Air HQ and South Block know your point, which is why they will only buy 126 aircraft, not 200 (which the IAF really needs) or more. Instead, you'll see the old jaguars, bisons and Migs being replaced by swanky new 5th gen aircraft by 2015-20. Dont worry... your wish will come true, with some patience

Abhiman said...

The requirements of IAF must be fully met by this tender. TIt should be totally independent of politics or matters other than IAF's requirements (like Indo-US nuclear deal). However, it was disappointing that HAL did not recieve a tender contrary to speculations that it was being considered.

Most probably the MiG-35 might be chosen as IAF has familiarity with MiG-29. Rafale might also be preferred on similar grounds. If IN has requirements, then F-18 may also stand a good chance.
I don't think F-16 will be chosen as PAF already operates it

Thank you.