Thursday, August 19, 2010

MMRCA BUZZ: MiG-35 Was Never In The Running?

Quick disclaimer: with nothing official on the MMRCA competition available from the Indian government -- at one level, rightly so -- the only available information is hearsay. And I don't think debate about rumours is going to ever affect a professionally managed competition. This is a pot that stirs itself. It could be bang on, it could be totally off. I'm hoping everyone will look at the assertions on their own merit. These are bits of conversations with officers, ex-Chiefs etc over the last few weeks strung together. Ok, let's get down to it.

The overriding sense I get from my sources is this: It is not a question of what chance the MiG-35 has in the MMRCA sweepstakes but whether the MiG-35 ever had a chance in the first place. From the start, it turns out, both the MoD and a controlling section of the IAF have agreed on one crucial thing -- the next aircraft the IAF operated would need to be a truly modern platform that "broke the mould". That was to be the starting point of everything that followed. The IAF's next aircraft needed to be a top-of-the-line aircraft that broke out from the old mould and signalled new things for India in every possible sense: technology, diplomacy, security cooperation, political opportunity, military interoperability, logistical exchange and economics.

As late as mid-2006, a time when there was a breathless guessing game about precisely when the Indian MoD would send out its MMRCA RFP, there were apparently quiet discussions on over whether Moscow could be brought on board and persuaded to stay out of the proposed MMRCA competition. It was suggested that this be made possible through interactions at the highest levels, but first the MoD and IAF needed to figure the feasibility of such a proposal. It is said that the Russian Ambassador to New Delhi at the time was called in for an unofficial discussion on the highly controversial possibility of Russia actually being kept out of the sweepstakes. He was accompanied by Russia's Air Attache. As the IAF expected, the Russian envoy was incredulous. He said there was no way on earth his Russian bosses would ever be persuaded to agree to that. Obviously. A month before that in January 2007 was an important event -- India and Russia finally formalised their joint fifth generation aircraft plan, though actual agreements came later.

In February 2005, Russia had sent a MiG-29M/M2 MRCA to AeroIndia 05. For AeroIndia 07, MiG pulled out all the stops.

In February 2007, the "MiG-35" (actually the MiG-29M2 No. 154, a 17-year-old airframe with blue-painted fins) was officially unveiled to the world at AeroIndia 07 at the IAF's Yelahanka base. Coupled with the bright red and blue thrust-vectored MiG-29OVT, the two aircraft put up a deeply memorable show. But IAF officers who had a chance to check out the aircraft came away very unimpressed. "It is an old aircraft with a few MFDs," one of them said at the time. At the time, it indeed was, but Russia had said it was merely a proof-of-concept platform that would be evolved into a formidable new Fulcrum.

Six months later, on August 28, 2007 -- two days after the MAKS 2007 air show at Zhukovsky (see photo, me and MiG's Stanislav Gorbunov after our sortie) -- the Indian government finally and belatedly issued its long-awaited RFP to six vendors, 211 pages long and delayed ostensibly by the offsets and selection model sections. This probably means nothing, but in all MoD and official acquisition council papers concerning the MMRCA competition since the RFP, the MiG-35 is first in the list of six competitors. As a matter of record, the official order of the remaining competitors is Gripen, F-16, F/A-18, Typhoon, Rafale. A senior IAF officer who was part of a delegation to MAKS 2007 met UAC boss Alexei Fedorov on August 22-23, 2007, and is understood to have had a very "frank chat". Fedorov was told that the Indian government was willing to consider the MiG-35, though its chances were slim, considering the three explicit guiding principals of the selection process, and the two unspoken ones (more on these later). Fedorov is understood to have said that the Russian government was fully aware of the "winds of change" in New Delhi, but was confident that MiG would put up a good fight, politically too.

On a political level, it was conveyed to the Russians that the flagship Russian airplane, the Su-30, was being patronized extensively by India (plans were afoot already then to up orders), and that the MiG-35 was hardly a platform the Russian Air Force itself was interested in.

On March 7, 2008, the Indian government, after prolonged cost negotiations, finally concluded a $964.1-million contract to upgrade the IAF's entire fleet of over 60 MiG-29s (the Indian phase of the upgrade began in June this year). Shortly thereafter, on April 28, 2008, RAC-MiG/Rosoboronexport submitted an MMRCA technical bid for the MiG-35/35D to the MoD, offering a Fulcrum with an improved airframe, new generation avionics and an AESA radar, the Phazotron Zhuk-AE.

In October-December 2008, during evaluations of the MMRCA technical bids, two Russian MiG-29s crashed after critical structural failures of their fins, forcing the Russian Air Force to ground its entire fleet shortly thereafter. Coming as the accidents did so soon after the upgrade contract was concluded, the IAF generated a query, routed through the Russian Air Attache, asking for a full brief on the accidents on why the Russians had been forced to ground their entire fleet. In April 2009, Russia responded, saying there were structural faults in the MiG-29 platform, and that the accidents had been caused as a result of structural failure of the aircraft's fin root ribs. Significantly, the Russians conveyed that a specific "repair scheme" would be included in the March 2008 upgrade manifest. The IAF, however, demanded to know what immediate checks needed to be carried out and requested full accident reports. These were provided. The Russians grounding their entire Fulcrum fleet created a huge stir. Sections of the MoD/IAF debated the possibility of manipulating the entire issue to somehow put the MiG-35 out of the reckoning, but nothing whatsoever in the RFP terms would allow it. Also, by this time, the "guiding principles" as expounded by the MoD had begun to echo like a mantra.

The explicit principles -- first, the IAF's operational needs should be fulfilled. Two, the selection process needed to be competitive and transparent, and finally, that the competition would lead to a legacy leap for Indian industrial capabilities. The unspoken principles -- first, the competition should provide robust leverage to India's multifarious 21st Century political aspirations. And second, as previously stated, the competition needs to break old moulds in every sense to create strategic space for other partnerships.

A former IAF chief, who served during a crucial phase of the MMRCA planning, admits that the competition is a political opportunity that incidentally gives the Indian Air Force a chunky stop-gap to tide over legacy jet phase-outs and delays in the Tejas -- not the other way round. "You can argue ad nauseum about sanctioned strength and squadron strength. The fact is the IAF's requirement is not only much simpler, but much smaller too. As long as the pilots get a top-of-the-line airplane, nobody is complaining. Let the politicians do the politics. That is their job," he says, adding, "The IAF's requirements for a fresh batch of medium fighter jets came at a time when our strategic aspirations were in a state of great flux. It will be an enabler in many ways."

In March 2010, around the time the crucial MMRCA field evaluation trials were winding down, the Indian government exercised options and signed up for 29 additional MiG-29K/KUB shipborne fighters for the Navy at a cost of $1.46-billion, taking its total order to 45 planes. In other words, since the time the IAF first approached the government with a requirement for a quick induction of medium fighters (it wanted to quickly contract for 60-70 more Mirage-2000s at he time), the Indian government has pumped approximately $3.5-billion into procuring MiG-29 platforms or platform related services.

The maximum I could squeeze out from informed sources about the MiG-35's performance in the field evaluation trials is that the platform achieved "average compliance". Areas of poor compliance are said to have occured at the Leh leg (engine related and emmissions issues), avionics exploitation and PGM delivery routines in Russia. The IAF are also said to have been fairly unimpressed with what the Russians had managed to achieve with the aircraft since they first saw it in February 2007. If the MiG-35's performance was average in the trials, they know about it, since the IAF trial team briefed every contending team about their horse's performance after trials concluded. There are more specific details about the MiG-35's performance during the FET, but I was requested not to include those.

The Indian government remains utterly unconvinced of Russia's ability to provide any meaningful industrial package to India as a mandatory part of the MMRCA. The India-Russia relationship is anything but new -- it stretches back 47 years. India has learnt much from Russia, and has been provided the opportunity to cookie-cut airplanes through decades. But when it comes to meaningful industrial collaboration, the Indian government feels the Russians are better at selling and license building, rather than true blue industrial cooperation. And it is not as if there has been no framework for cooperation.

"It is not as though they have not had a chance to deepen their relationship with us industrially. Nobody knows the Indian industrial capability better than the Russians. They have exploited our weaknesses to the hilt for over four decades. But even then their industrial base is in tatters. In my opinion, whatever we can ever get from the Russians, we have already got or are soon to get. To expect anything more is unreasonable," says a former IAF Chief. Apparently, the Indian government also doesn't believe the Russians have anything to offer over and above what the Indians are already signing up for -- the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) will be an ostensibly joint effort.

While the initial Naval MiG-29K deal was too good not to go for (at least in 2004!) and the upgrade of the IAF MiG-29s was something the IAF could postpone but not sidestep, sources say the government has very low confidence in the industrial health of MiG Corporation, tottering as it apparently is from airframe to airframe. Russia's inability to stick to delivery timeframes, especially for MiG Corp, is another spoiler.

A point frequently raised in favour of choosing Russian aircraft is the quality of the Indo-Russian relationship; the fact that Russia has been a faithful friend in times of need/distress. Interestingly, as one Chief pointed out, India has done more than enough to earn Russia's friendship. He says, "Russia has been a time-tested friend in our time of need, but what about the other way round? India has bailed out Russian politicians and leaders time and time again. The MMRCA is also a chance to demonstrate that India is a level partner, and nothing can ever be taken for granted. India is no longer a push-over. I say push-over because there was a time when we undeniably were. In the last decade, there have been instances of flagrant disregard for this so-called partnership. At the same time, we have to be careful about our new prospective relationships. For one thing, the US has an even worse record of reneging on promises."

The same Chief points out that Russians have provided us technology for decades, but we still have a highly flawed, delayed indigenous fighter program. In other words, the perception is that if the Indian military-industrial complex (read HAL and DRDO) is to blame for India's lack of maturity as an aerospace developer, then Russia is at least as much to blame for not allowing it, but rather remaining content with what has essentially been a buyer-seller relationship. "Let it be recorded at some point, that for every time the Russians have said yes, there has been another time they've said no. And let me also say that this is precisely the sort of scenario you may expect to have with the Americans. The quality of relations with Russia and US may be different, but not in any way that would matter to India's own aspirations. Both countries are similar in more fundamental ways. That is an important thing to be remembered," he says.

Another officer, a Naval aviator this time, had a very evocative phrase to describe where India-Russia relations were: "strategic menopause".

Overall, the sense is that the path taken by the MiG-35 so far in the MMRCA competition needs to be seen in the light of the unspoken guiding principles and what the IAF and MoD originally wanted to persuade the Russians about. If the MiG-35 makes it past any potential downselect, it may be seen as having weathered a great deal to get there, no least a concerted attempt to completely discredit Russian technology by virtually all of the other five contenders in the Indian competition. I've put this post up now, but will be adding more to it over the next couple of days.

58 comments :

Mr. Ra said...

The presentation may be a real possibility.

The Russian industries may still be under restructuring. At this stage, they may be having more of knowledge and potential but less of concrete results.

They themselves may understand it and learn from their relative weaknesses and concentrate more on T-50/FGFA.

Anonymous said...

bravo shiv.........you clearly gave a very impressive article why MIG-35 should be dropped.so better India should go for European typhoon or French rafale aircraft or F/A 18E/F.clearly send message to Russians to cooperate industrially and train our guys technically,so that we can build our own aircraft better in future.

Dilemma said...

The MiG 35 is just a MiG 29K with an AESA radar and a different paint job, nothing else. It is still an A2A fighter with A2G capabilities just for the namesake. I'd be really disappointed to see if the MiG 35 wins. I'd even go with the F-16IN instead of the MiG 35.

Anonymous said...

Makes good sense. Its to diversfy our fighter inventory. There is much to learn fron the western world.

Anonymous said...

Hey Shiv,

Any idea why the follow on order for the 42 SU-30 MKI's balooned to 15,000 crores ($ 3.6 Billion) meaning unit cost of $80 Million? By comparision, the 2007 order for 40 SU-30 MKI's (Irkutsk made)worked out to $ 40 Million each.

Can't blame the Russians because this batch is being built by HAL, there is no new equipment too (Not the SU-35 BM). Also HAL has come out in the public saying the unit manufacture prices of the SU-30 MKI's have come down to the $ 35 Million range (and impressive indigenous build % levels to boot).
Can't be blackmail (like Gorshkov)since we already have manufactured140 odd and are sitting pretty on the indigenisation level too. Very low chance of corruption/kick-backs since HAL is doing the manufacturing.


So, why the sudden cost increase by 2.5 times? There has to be a black hole somewhere. What is it?

Anonymous said...

How many times must the Russian force us to accept less than premium products for increasingly premium prices before Indians say no. The world has changed and combat has changed and even a country with no military imports like China is willing to learn from the West. At the moment the Indian Army with it's focus on mass tank assaults, flanking infantry and point defence fighters like the Tejas are more similar to Iraq pre 1991 then any modern Western military. The gap between us and USA is at least 30 years. Where Iraq had sharpened American doctrine and made it more flexible, Kashmir has hardened Indian doctrine into low tech flesh slug outs.

Wake up stop being arrogant stop acting smart and learn. Before a new regional power takes us apart. And stop gobbling stale Russian cock you dark skinned homos.

R said...

Let's be frank Shiv, how much did the Americans shell out to "help" you write this?

Anoop A said...

very fluently written piece. I enjoyed the overall aim/idea/theme of this article without losing the scientific/technological aspect of the topic. More like a story telling but with all the suspence and anonomity. One of your best literary works. Thanks for posting, hoping more posts would be on par with this one.

Anonymous said...

Incredible!! Awesome article....



Solution provider not from HAL ;)

Anonymous said...

"But when it comes to meaningful industrial collaboration, the Indian government feels the Russians are better at selling and license building, rather than true blue industrial cooperation."

Doesn't that line gives the smell of Typhoons in the air?

AK said...

Excellent article Shiv. It puts a lot of things in perspective regarding not only the MMRCA but also India's strategic approach in the 21st century.

Russia and MiG can no longer provide the technology and political clout that India needs today. It has to be USA and Europeans. They play the game along with China.

Anonymous said...

Well the Migs should be used to bring overall cost down if bought in conjunction with Typhoon/Rafale.

If only this much enthusiasm was shown in knocking down f-teens.

Anonymous said...

Shiv, excellent article, really; one of your best so far ..............kudos.

And, Shiv : are you a betting Man ????? Stick your neck out and re-confirm.........who'll win the MMRCA ?? Grapevine has it that .....Eurofighter Tranche III, Block 5..........and, we tie down Germany(+help on Arjun II/2nd line of Subs), UK (+HawkII), Italy (+2 Tankers for the Navy/Rumours of the C-27J Spartan) and Spain (for whatever that is worth)..............BUT (inevitable).....the Yanks are really pushing and pushing hard.

Look forward to your next post..........

Ram said...

Good Article. However, you seem to forgetting that the Indian Airforce meat was always the MIGS. I guess apart from Russia, India is the only country to manufacture various variants and versions of the MIGS. We did win wars with the Migs. However all said indigenisation should be the back bone. The best example is the Naval variant of the TEJAS. I am sure its a much more better option than any other Carrier based aircraft. The Harrier Jump jets that we have are almost obsolete. Apart from this up gradation of components or avionics could be a matter of continuous process.
Comming to the issue of MMRCA, India still needs to keep its options clear. The F-18 and F-16 had been in service with the US. Except for better avionics the main air frame have not undergone any major changes in these aircraft. In so far as the European one like Typhoon or the Rafael are concerned the technology is prone to regular misfires due to the weather conditions in India. Its a call that MOD has to take keeping in view important factors like cost, technology , political stand etc. All said and done the MMRCA truly a modern platform.

rajiv said...

Shiv Puran at it's best.
But the best of the best that shiv has to offer is yet to come.

Prashanth said...

Enjoyed the article Shiv. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

if the US insists on the EUMA then even the F-16 might not find favour.could be rafale or typhoon ?

dreamsout said...

really a great article...... nice work shiv.... if ur path of article is follow, IAF somewhat don't need any US fighter too then... Neither they are providing help to our home industry, nor they are new fighters..... it will left with three European fighters in the fray, which could make IAF delight....

Anonymous said...

Мы были обмануты достаточно русских во имя friendship.but мы не можем
доверие к западу и США либо. Какой ужас мы находимся в!! Су-30 МКИ роста расходов ошеломляюще высока!!

roach said...

"Wake up stop being arrogant stop acting smart and learn. Before a new regional power takes us apart. And stop gobbling stale Russian c*** you dark skinned h****."

Holy shrek Shiv, I thought you moderated comments.

Anonymous said...

All the kahani and gyan is ok but where is the news, whats the story?

Shubham said...

@ roach 11:24 am .. exactly my thoughts!!

Anonymous said...

"This probably means nothing, but in all MoD and official acquisition council papers concerning the MMRCA competition since the RFP, the MiG-35 is first in the list of six competitors. As a matter of record, the official order of the remaining competitors is Gripen, F-16, F/A-18, Typhoon, Rafale."


THIS looks like a possible order of elimination to me

Anonymous said...

any update on Indian Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1) under-construction at Cochin Shipyard?

Gautam said...

This entire pathetic drama should have ended a long time ago. Given the IAF and MoD's intentions simply allowing MiG-35 was a huge waste of time. Let's hope the Russians won't bribe our babus into submission (Something they are very experienced at, I even read an official Russian article about it). Considering the IAF has already made its choice its very likely that the reason for another year's delay is for the Defence Ministry to circulate another 'tender' for bribes among the contenstants.

Γάμμα said...

Saab Grippen NG AESA radar has some synergy with the Saab ERIEYE platform (which Pakistan operates) ... though Saab has contracted SELEX Galileo to develop some parts of it. Will it be prudent to go with an a/c which has an AESA radar that could be possibly jammed by enemy ??

Kunal said...

In the final analysis these are the benchmarks:
1)Politically nonaligned and fiercely independent.
2)Deep technology partnership on equal footing in a broad-spectrum across land,air,n sea systems.
3)New-mold modernity with cutting-edge tech. Scope for both horizontal n vertical growth.
4)Cost/price - price-performance value proposition.
5)Absolute transparency.

The award goes to the Swedes - the Gripen NG/IN has it (IAF's preference for single-engined plane). It seems quite obvious; isn't it?????? The new era begins - a new chapter in Indian defense n security.

Anonymous said...

russia has been a trusted ally for the past 50 years' we cant just forget that..... I'm not saying that we shud pick the mig 35 but that we should at least be grateful for all the help they've shown us..... And in todays world india needs a strong strategic ally like russia or usa.... And believe me if we pick usa we will end up like pakistan in another ten years

satya said...

good job shiv, looking forward to your updates on this article. it would be great if you could write similar descriptive articles about the other competitors in MMRCA as well as the indigenous aircraft carrier and tejas mk-2 program

Anonymous said...

Me thinks that this entire MRCA bid will end with Lockheed offering the JSF and India latching on to it.

If not, the next best option is the French Rafale. We are already upgrading our Mirage fleet and the Rafale will bring in economies of scale for operational maintenance.



Right now we have maintenance lines for the MiGs (3), Mirage, Sukhoi, Jaguar, LCA and adding one more service line is just too cumbersome.

Either way the vendor should be allowed to partner with a private company rather than HAL

Anonymous said...

The only help Russia has given India is a deep culture of socialism that has held India back for 30 years before Mamohan and erupted in communist guerilla attacks around the country.

All these babus, all these netas, all these useless, non-productive, lazy government practices are all born of socialism.

The most dynamic countries, like singapore and korea have some of the best government systems.

What did Russia do GOOD for India? Standing beside is not always a good thing. china is standing beside north korea for example - do you want to live in north korea?

stupid, dark-skinned, horny-mouthed, buck-toothed, idiots on here.

Anonymous said...

"we have already got or are soon to get. To expect anything more is unreasonable"

I think IAF officials you spoke to are being a 'bit' immature. What more than a 5th gen aircraft can be offered at this point?

I honestly think they are ranting for the wrong reasons. The bottom line is if the partnered country will help us stop a Chinese onslaught. So who between US, Europe, and Russia will risk their neck the most for India in a war against China? I think the answer is US.

India because of what the Chinese have done to the region cannot stay unaligned. Who does India align with?

Gautam said...

Those who think Russia has the slightest concern for our security, let alone the desire to intervene in our wars, is deluding themselves. The bitter truth has become clearer and clearer in recent years: the India-Russia relationship is just business: they are the sellers and we the clients. Money is all they want from us, one way or another. This is how it's been ever since Putin's dreams of an anti-US Russia-China-India axis crashed, and the recent hyperinflation in the prices of all their products is a sign that they also know the honeymoon is over and are milking us as much as possible before the divorce.

Anonymous said...

Even if russian products are not so great, its available to us when we wnat it and its sanction proff, cause our engineers can do something on their own to keep it flying.
Buy an American Jet and u will come to know its impossible to rely on. Evey little thing is electronic controlled. The microprocessors are designed in such a away that u are depended on them. They can F&*K us any time they want. Rather have old crap technology but under our control than having shiny flashing high tech tech which controlled by white house

Anonymous said...

We don't need anyone fighting for us. We need arms free from any sort of control.

If you shell out the moolah, everyone will sell to you. You don't need any alignment for that. You just need to buy enough.

Anonymous said...

""Me thinks that this entire MRCA bid will end with Lockheed offering the JSF and India latching on to it.""

I strongly agree with the comment above and it is a real possibility if we push LM to that desparate position.

Mallik

Gautam said...

The Russians will sell to anyone: dictators, fascists, war criminals and so on. That's the only reason they're 'sanction-proof'. But the other strings that come attached(vetoing third-party upgrades like Tu-142, nonstop price inflation, poor servicing and supply of spares) nullify that advantage. We are just as much at the mercy of Russia(financially/logistically) as we are with the US(politically). And unlike the US who only sanctioned us for rare events like the nuclear tests and withdrew them afterwards, the Russian blackmail is a perpetual problem.

Anonymous said...

Even if the USA gave us the F-35 tomorrow, do we know how to maintain it, do we know how to build a world class logistics operation and are the crazy twats on here who keep talking about sanctions shutting the fuck up?

Anonymous said...

^^What a troll!! Yankee lover go home!!

Anonymous said...

Shiv your post has become a magnet for some unabashed Russia haters. They sound like wide-eyed neo-yankees newly settled in USA. This is what comes from reading pop history in between munching burgers.
Slandering Russia repetedly is not going to help us. Russia is an old and trusted friend while US has been a constant irritant. Its just that US propaganda machine is much too rich and powerful and more successful in brainwashing the easily gullible.

Anonymous said...

"Γάμμα said...

Saab Grippen NG AESA radar has some synergy with the Saab ERIEYE platform (which Pakistan operates) ... though Saab has contracted SELEX Galileo to develop some parts of it. Will it be prudent to go with an a/c which has an AESA radar that could be possibly jammed by enemy ??"

Pure FUD. (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt if someone wonders)

The Erieye and ES-05 have nothing to do with each other. While it is possible that Finmeccanica consulted SAAB on the design of the Erieye AESA radar in the early 1990's its very different from what SELEX (Formed 2005 as a JV between BAE and Finmeccanica) works on in 2010.

And i don't see why it should not be able to jam any other radar but the one on JAS39, Have the other competitors figured out how to make radars immune to jamming? Or why only the Erieye is the only thing they have that could even jam anything.

As i Swede i would love to see India go for Gripen (One P by the way) i can as a realist say that the chance of that is so small its almost negligible.

But SAAB's business plan is something like "Quitters Never Win". So the wont back out, And maybe something unlikely happens.

And for the record. Due to our neutrality and non alignment thing we have had going for the past 200 years (really 250 but that napoleon guy came along so we had to go help the brits kick him to the curb). Sweden sells anything to anyone as long as they meet certain criteria and can pay for themselves (The other option would be sell nothing to nobody but that's bad for business). And since late 2007 Pakistan apparently does not meet certain criteria, i wonder what happened. (Only a UN embargo can stop ongoing deliveries of products already bought and paid for)

Gautam said...

Having been completely defeated in arguments the US-o-phobes are now responding solely with personal attacks and accusations of Yankee-ism. Typical. "If you can't discredit the argument, try to discredit the arguer."

Anonymous said...

Childish references to "burger-munching" are very much in line with Soviet/Russian propaganda, and add nothing substantive to the debate (incidentally the biggest and most profitable burger joints in the world are in Moscow and St. Pete. Same applies to whatever mass media/culture phenomenon of American provenance one may want to "bash" - Russia has more of it.)

Anonymous said...

The Sweedish plane is too weak (and don't even exist yet!), the political influence of sweeden is near zero... The IAF will never go for the Gripen! The best choices for India are F-18 or Rafale.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous at 2:51PM: 1. The A/C do exist, and have wrapped up ca 170 test flights, including ferry flight to India in may for test flights in Leh. 2. "too weak"... Based on what criteria? Thrust/weight for the Gripen IN is better than for several of the other contenders. Flight performance will not be second to any contender. 3. "Political influence is near zero". That is correct. But then again, India is a super power today, and will be even stronger in the coming years. You really don't need a political ally to claim your rights and protect your souverignity!

Anonymous said...

@ anon 12:27 AM

I agree with you, some people on this board and i strongly believe in the Indian Gov thinks this deal will propel India to become a land of Milk and Honey (politically).......hmmm....They are sadly mistaken.

The ONLY political influence India seeks actually means to make Pakistan stop exporting terror to India. No country and i mean absolutely no country other than US (without the explicit threat of war) can achieve that. Will US do that if we give them 12 billion?...........

What other political goals we think we might have

1) Peace in mid east - laughing my guts out.

2) More oil from Arabstan - they will sell their mothers if we pay (need i say more?)

3) Treat Indian workers in the Gulf with care – Hehe, now that was a good one

4) A belligerent Chine - Not even US can do anything, Russia will sell anything to them as long as they don’t copy it and sell it for 1/3 the price.

5) Peace in Africa - haha, all we want from them is petro/ earth and rare earth minerals. As long as we buy chateaus on the Normandy for the Afro dictators, we are cool.

6) SAARC countries performing a song and dance routine every time an Indian PM shows up - Not happening any time soon

7) Better political relations with Japan - for what? (its the business that matters, Toyota is selling in India because there is market for it just like Toyota tundra is hot property for taliban)

8) EU - politics will not enhance trade with them. Cheap labour work force will. Recently a UK company in India shifted its outsourcing base to Philippines (cost of labour is more in Bangalore than in Manila)

9) UNSC seat with Veto power - i don’t think 12 billion will get us that and frankly speaking India does not need it (no practical help to millions of Indians)

10) Fracas like Copenhagen - India will produce as much CO2 as needed whether Scandinavia likes or not.

11) Civil Nuke deal - Unless US has already bagged MMRCA when MMS signed on the dotted line, supplying civil Nuke tech to India makes good business sense to the NSG.

12) Sanctions on dual tech stuff - its there and will continue to be so unless we become part of NATO or Australia - not happening.
So unless the MMRCA vendor promises prime real estate on Mars i really don’t see the supposed benefit of enhanced political influence to India in lieu of 12 billion $.

Ask yourself why the Scots freed Megrahi?
A = political influence of Libya to free him
Conversely the political influence of the US to stop it

or

B = Oil money? aka BP

And this when US UK are buddies in crime since ages.

Cecx Fable & Gas

Anonymous said...

India is a superpower? Then what are US and China? Galactic superduper vacuum-cleaner powerplus?

Idiot. When you have people who don't build their house out of cow shit and your airport don't smell like Satan's loin cloth then come and claim superpowerdom.

Anonymous said...

Even though it has been repeated Ad Nauseaum that you need to have weapons with no strings and fully in your own control, the sell-outs pretend as if they didn't read and keep yak-yaking about "personal attacks".

WE DO NOT LEASE, WE BUY - get it you Thickskulls. We do not buy weapons with handcuffs.

There is no book, "Strings for Dummies" if you still don't understand

@Gautam who wrote: "And unlike the US who only sanctioned us for rare events like the nuclear tests and withdrew them afterwards"

>> When did it withdraw sanctions. It is still active on our institutions. Stop the lies.

@anon@4:48am who wrote:"Wake up stop being arrogant stop acting smart and learn"

>> Being independent is not arrogance. Last we heard it was your nation that abused the term "freedom" the most despite tying everyone up.

When you are ready to teach(no strings+ToT) we will learn(buy) from you too.

Anonymous said...

Buying doesn't mean you can violate the IP rights, idiot.

No strings + TOT? Typical nickle and diming, snake-like, arrogant Indian chootiya.

Anonymous said...

@anon@10:10 who wrote "Buying doesn't mean you can violate the IP rights, idiot."
>> Do you see any cheap flanker knock-offs coming from our country. Moron

@anon@10:10 who wrote "Typical nickle and diming..indian..."

>> Ever seen the ubiquity of $1 stores and Walmarts in your country? Hypocrite.

Gautam said...

Anon @3:09, you rock! Finally someone pointed out all the overacting here in politics.

Anon@8:28AM

When you stop making arguments and simply scream 'Ah! Pro-Russia/ Pro-US! Now I am rite & you are wr0ng bwaha US/Russia lover!' what else is it but a personal attack?

Most of the US sanctions were withdrawn after 2002. A few remain admittedly, but they mostly pertain to our nuclear weapons and missile programs and in that sense there are restrictions not only from US but also Russia, China and Europe(like the MTCR). They won't go away anytime soon because we need these programs, and ae therefore not relevant to deals like this.

And further proving my point you have conveniently shied away from the topic of Russian blackmail even as you rail on about US sanctions. Why the shyness?

Anonymous said...

@Gautam who wrote: "And further proving my point you have conveniently shied away from the topic of Russian blackmail even as you rail on about US sanctions. Why the shyness?"

1) Monetary blackmail is more tolerable than political blackmail. It's about lesser devil.

2) Why must not buying any yank plane mean going only for Russian ? When did we say choose ONLY the Migs and nothing else? There are Europeans too. Any non-yank plane or combinations thereof would be fine.

3) If you want to put blinkers on your eyes about strings and simply not want to understand its consequences then don't argue.

Gautam said...

Anon @6:00,

You pathologically skim over any sentence that makes you uncomfortable, like the entirety of my reply except the last line. Never mind, no need to embarrass you further.

I brought up the issue of Russia, 'long-term strategic ally' and supplier of most of our equipment to answer yours and others' stubborn misgivings about US 'strings'. And YOU are the one who wants to pull wool over everybody's eyes(including your own) by singling out American 'strings' and pretending everyone else is our friend.

And given developments ranging from the Gorshkov Saga to the MKI hike, the MiG upgrades to the T-90 denial of ToT, I should think the Russian brand of blackmail costs us a lot more monetarily and logistically than any other kind. But it's tolerable, right? Otherwise our armed forces will become 'sellouts' like you blindly and deafly accuse me of without elaborating on anything.

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