Wednesday, April 27, 2011

FLASH! Rafale & Typhoon Move To Next Level In M-MRCA, Others Out!


It's official! France's Dassault Aviation Rafale and the European consortium's Eurofighter Typhoon move to the next level on the Indian Air Force M-MRCA fighter selection process. Both companies have confirmed that their programme teams have been asked to be at the MoD/Air HQ tomorrow for a meeting where the process will be taken forward. While the two companies have been, in effect, asked to extend the validity of their commercial bids, the other four contenders -- Boeing F/A-18, Lockheed-Martin's F-16, UAC's MiG-35 and Saab's Gripen -- haven't received a message or a letter. This is, in effect, the downselect that you've been hearing about so much. More shortly. [Update @11.59PM - Gripen acknowledges elimination from the competition - PDF].

It must be said that it was TimesNOW's Srinjoy Chowdhry who first reported that the Rafale and Typhoon led the competition, followed by several posts here on Livefist which suggested that the two big European twins were likely to make the semi-final cut. Today's story about the hard downselect broke on Stratpost.

What has happened today is basically scenario 2 in my post from earlier today. The MoD's decision to issue requests for bid validity extension to only two of the six companies -- and by default allow the commercial bids of the other four to expire tomorrow -- could be problematic, but this isn't something the IAF and MoD haven't accounted for. This could be the most interesting phase of the competition, since the four contenders knocked out of the fray will be wondering why in hell the government waited till the end to shaft them.

Livefist has reported extensively on the apprehensions that could guide the Indian government's final decision against the Americans and Russians. Let's just remind ourselves, however, that is a down-select. The process of selection is not nearly over. This is, however, the first substantive decision that has been taken in the competition, and the only one so far that narrows the board. Stay tuned for what promises to be a huge amount of action from here on out. Oh, and here's a picture of the news breaking on Headlines Today's ticker earlier this evening.

Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

57 comments :

Anurag said...

Yo people......My wish of number 2 choice is fulfilled....yessssssssss..

And that too my two favorites selected.........Awesome......

Kumar said...

This indeed a very good news.

Bhavin said...

RAFALE will win the race.

Manish Kumar said...

Great News. Hail Mogambo........

Manish Kumar
Dainik Hindustan

Mirza said...

Good choice & god speed

Just another guy said...

Any official announcement on it?

indian said...

right choice....well done what about AESA radars.... ????
what about uncle sam(USA)???

shiva just suggest even british are grounded they Typhoon fleet for spears what about us

Anonymous said...

gr8 news..
thank god that there are no f-16 and f-18. i think typhoon will make the cut.

bugs :( said...

yeppy great.. shiv you always rock :)

Murali said...

Nice to see no Amrikhan's in the next level.. Good to hear that..

thanks for the update..

Anonymous said...

No need to throw in the towel until it is official, and probably not even then...

Anonymous said...

I cant find any such confirmation on the dassault / eurofighter webpages. Do you have a source for it?

Rahul Devnath said...

Wow.. unexpected. So, it has boil down to to Europeans, and same siblings for that matter.

Jaison Jose said...

Bravo.... Finally IAF and MoD has shown some professionalism....

Anonymous said...

thank god the yanks have been dropped....

both planes r good....but rafale has the edge in air-ground...typhoon in air-air...

for overall capability we should go for rafale

-vishal

Anonymous said...

This is so far from over. I'm sure the Americans will throw a monkey wrench into this and delay the whole thing even more.

Time to play the scandal/kickback -> CBI probe, court case and blacklist cards.

Cujo

Anonymous said...

This is really tough for the air force. How will they make up the numbers if they are gonna buy either which no one buys? The Russians and Americans need to have a chat.

Anonymous said...

This is so far from over. I'm sure the Americans will throw a monkey wrench into this and delay the whole thing even more.

Time to play the scandal/kickback -> CBI probe, court case and blacklist cards.

Cujo

Anonymous said...

i hope EF wins

Anonymous said...

A good decision by indian Mod

Anonymous said...

as the EF proved in libya it can't be more efficient than a Mirage 2000D, Rafale all the way..

Anonymous said...

I request the MOD to use this MMRCA contract as a bargaining chip not only for getting state of the art Combat AC technologies but also technologies related to missiles, space, nuke subs etc. Here France will beat UK/Germany/Italy. In case France is will to share such critical technologies with us or willing to partner us for development of such technologies, then we must award the contract to France. Unlike UK/Germany, France is no stooge of USA and they have their independent policies.

Anonymous said...

whats the credibility of this news?

there is no such news reported anywhere on any news channel or paper.

shiv you sure this ain't another of your fanfare stunt?

chandrabhan said...

Shiv,
Popcorn and beer time. The fun is just begun... What happened to the 'Natashas' and the 'Marie' job profiles :)

They will come out of the closet :)

Parthvader said...

I knew it. Sorry to sound self congratulatory but this is exactly what I have been saying all along. Typhoon or Rafale. Rest are old.

Aditya Agrawal said...

Grt 2 hear the newz Just hope it is true.. May the bst win with no delays.

Anonymous said...

This is so far from over. I'm sure the Americans will throw a monkey wrench into this and delay the whole thing even more.

Time to play the scandal/kickback -> CBI probe, court case and blacklist cards.

Cujo

Bhavin said...

@Anon..@10:10 PM

You are absolutely true.......

One can't trust USA, UK & now RU.

Anonymous said...

I hope this information is real.
rafale has the edge in air-ground and ... also in air-air against EF.
Please indian people, search real and good informations.

Anonymous said...

POOR brits, they could not stop some damning report about their EF drawbacks. RAFALE fav. then?

buddha said...

i think india should buy rafale

india may go for american cargo ship
helos and howtizar

Anonymous said...

Great news!!! Waited So long for this. I am glad that we are not going behind American and russian stuff.
EF will be a costly option. Even reports from UK about its coast overrun is not a good news. Raphale will be the best suite for IAF. May be we can fit kavery engine on it once it is ready. I am worried about the less thrust Raphale has though

srh said...

it would be good if we go through RAFALE rather than EF. so, that there won't be any spares problem.

Shubham said...

Yaaayyy..Rafale and Eurofighter are thru, hoping 4 some good news in the form of a confirmation of this news soon and of exact numbers that will be bought.. whether it will be 126 nos. of Rafale or EF, or 200 nos or EF & Rafale combined together, all in all its a great decision.

@ anon 10:18 pm, this news is very much credible, here you go with the link on MSN India:

Eurofighter versus Rafale in India's $10.4-billion combat jet tender: http://news.in.msn.com/business/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5142846

sahanshu said...

two scenarios
1-typhoon as air superiority fighter and the su 30mki as a multi role/strike fighter = typhoo wins

2-rafale as dedicated strike fighter and su 30mki as air superiority =rafale wins...

the game has just begun......thanks for the update shiv.

Som said...

RAFALE .... all the way !

Mirage to Rafale .... protecting Indian skies :)


Great news !!!

Jaidev Jamwal said...

Nice to see these two planes and equally nice to see tat Americans have been knocked out

Anonymous said...

So the mod and govt can make logical decissions....just a little slower then others though. I originally went for the typhoon but now question the cost benefit compared to the Raffel.....either one would be great and either one sends a clear MSG to the neighbours that India is crossing many thresholds in it defence capability.....great stuff. Additiionally, we should thank those who competed, not dis their products and ensure we can work in other areas of mutual interest ( I.e fgfa Russia, costal radars with Saab, c17 / herc/ weapons with us etc) this will be good for our relationships and our reputation. One other thing I am no us nri (I am an aussi one) I just don't get the anti us attitudes on this blog (is it because of nuclear sanctions or tech denial) whatever it is times change we should think strategically and for the beterment of India and the globe 10/4 out

Anonymous said...

Woooooh! Exhale!!!

Hope the TOT,industrial and commercial package is as attractive as the looks of both these planes.

Abraham said...

Wow.. does this mean the Govt of India and esp MoD grew balls !! Khan is out even though he had 2 out of 6, twice more than any other. Now the question is will GoI have enough hairy balls to stand up to the allegations of kickbacks etc the Khan stooges going to bring up.

Good choices and smart to select 2 to work one against the other.

Anonymous said...

Just reading stratpost makes it clear that this is not over.

Through their 'friends' in the media the losing contestants will do everything possible to scuttle or besmirch this process going forward.

Notice how everyone wanted some closure on the downselect. Now that it has happened and for some, may not be to their liking. The mud throwing will now begin. And the nations security could take another hit.

Oh India!

Anonymous said...

i was expecting gripen to be on the final short list. That is technically very good plane. Anyway, Rafale will be the true omnirole fighter.

Anonymous said...

In 2007, during excercice in the UAE, Rafale vs Typhoon in dogfight: 4-0/4-1. Well, the Rafale is better anyway but here it's the corruption wich will decide and at that, the french are badddd

Anonymous said...

This is not a good news to IAF.
None of the selected fighter has Production AESA coupled with BVR.

Ashutosh said...

I hope Rafale wins

Anonymous said...

How idiotic! Of all those planes entered the contest, the American ones are the most-battle experienced. None of the others had such time-tested experience in both the planes and the type of weapons they carry. As for the Rafale, oh yeah, they dropped a few bombs on an old Libyan fighter parked on the tarmac and claimed "shot down"... Enough said!

Anonymous said...

I dont think many expected the govt to reduce the number of contenders!!..big move

Shubham said...

To those thoroughly supporting the teens and opposing the Rafale and EF as not being battle proven fighter planes: against whom have these teens got valuable experience? against Iraq in the Gulf wars? or against Lebanon? Bosnia?Libya in the 80s? Afghanistan? the teens however good or battle worthy they maybe have also not exactly been tested against quality air forces. Lets not behave like kids in a candy store who wants all the candies. What were these people expecting? that USA is going to let India buy the Raptor on the basis of a teen buy? thats a long shot and a pipe dream to say the least. Just like USA has to take care of its interests, India has also has to take care of its interests and i think it has made a good strategic choice by shortlisting the EF & Rafale. Old arguments against the teens need to be repeated i guess- think independent policy matters, think sanctions, think grounding of crucial 126+ planes just becoz India did not toe USA's line in the future. Thats a risk India is not willing to take right now and rightly so, with the squadron numbers at historically low figures, we need reliable partners, and need not be guided/bullied by countries whose sole aim is to keep factories of these great but old planes running. Pakistan has been a Nato partner country and key ally in driving out the soviets in 80s from afghanistan? do u want to be treated like that? or like Iran, Iraq that at one point in history or other enjoyed US support? Most of all, lets not be driven into this "strategic partner and key ally of USA hogwash". There are no permanent friends in the post cold war era, only thing permanent is making the right strategic choices, and India through this decision has demonstrated that. Bravo IAF, Bravo MoD, lets sign the deal quickly now!

NJS said...

Both are best jets , but apart from (126 nos)this we need support from US (atleast 60 nos of f18 can be placed without ToT to gain support from US against chinks)

Arjun said...

In these harsh times India and the US need a strong strategic relationship with each other. The MMRCA could have given that. As an Indian living in the US I am quite disappointed with this downselect. Why couldn't they downselect to 3 instead of two, including the F18. The IAF and Shri Anthony are devoid of vice, but they also seem to be devoid of tact. Diplomats know the environment in which India lives better and therefore should have leaned on this process more. I think the Pentagon should have also taken Ashley Tellis's suggestions seriously. I feel that the Pentagon did not try hard enough, else it would have gone the extra mile to make this happen. Considering the highly competitive nature of this tender, the US should have pulled all stops, by agreeing to generous tech transfer and waiving laws such as CISMOA and EUMA. In the longterm, both parties have lost a great opportunity to create an amazing relationship, especially since the two countries need each other so much.

Arjun said...

@Shubham, India will actually be America's lifeline inthe 21st century. So, putting aside 20th century politics, where the dynamics were different, both countries should have tried harder to make this happen. Russia can teach many a thing to the US in terms of working with India. Look at the FGFA project and the amount of money earmarked for it, in comparison to the MMRCA contract. That is the way to go for the US, insofar as losing inhibtion towards close cooperation, if a serious relationship is to blossom here. India and more importantly the US need to shed the 20th century mindset.

Mousedog said...

I'm glad the american and Swedish planes are out

gossipking0104 said...

@ Arjun: I am all with you regarding the importance india should assign to the USA, and also know that in these harsh business climate times USA also needs India. I am not propagating any 20th century mindsets here. At the same time, which country or lets say which potential strategic partner and key ally puts in riders like the CISMOA that impede any potential partnership? All i am saying is that we are gradually entering into a strategic embrace with a country that till recently had no defence co-operation with us. However, as with any relationship, I think it is right to not put all eggs in the USA basket however good or cutting edge their technology may be (atleast not now.) We are already buying 12 P-8Is from them in addition to the follow on orders for C-130J and which combined together are in themselves worth around $ 7 bn, not to mention the GE-414 engine deal that will power the LCA Mk-2. Not only as a strategic partner, but also as a strategic buyer keen on improving the domestic (Indian) defence production, we should go in for investments and acquisitions that broad base our own industry and not threaten it when tough times come calling w.r.t sanctions. So I still hold that even though F-18 and f-16 may be good, but India should not buy them just because they are made in "the" USA, but like any buyer, we should buy aircraft that suit our needs, as has already been explained, IAF isn't quite keen on a large plane like the F/A-18, which is similar to our very own Su-30MKI, or the F-16- which the Pakistanis have operated for years. We need technology that suits our needs best, and our needs are best understood by our forces, and need not be dictated to us by anyone. Partnerships can carry on, but they can't influence/manipulate any one's buying behavior. If they do, then thats not a partnership, thats blackmail, (and USA's track record hitherto hasn't been so great) and as you yourself point out that they need to learn from the Russians regarding that. No offence to any one, but business is business, and India's needs regarding the MMRCA deal are best served by opting for Rafale and EF. And if India-USA relationship is truly strategic and holistic in nature as is claimed, then a $ 10bn setback to the USA should not be a problem, as the sheer magnitude by which the Indian defence industry aims to expand over the next 25 years, there is tremendous scope for co-operation, the USA need not sulk at having lost this deal, coz this is not the end of the road for India-US relations.

gossipking0104 said...

@ Arjun: I am all with you regarding the importance india should assign to the USA, and also know that in these harsh business climate times USA also needs India. I am not propagating any 20th century mindsets here. At the same time, which country or lets say which potential strategic partner and key ally puts in riders like the CISMOA that impede any potential partnership? All i am saying is that we are gradually entering into a strategic embrace with a country that till recently had no defence co-operation with us. However, as with any relationship, I think it is right to not put all eggs in the USA basket however good or cutting edge their technology may be (atleast not now.) We are already buying 12 P-8Is from them in addition to the follow on orders for C-130J and which combined together are in themselves worth around $ 7 bn, not to mention the GE-414 engine deal that will power the LCA Mk-2. Not only as a strategic partner, but also as a strategic buyer keen on improving the domestic (Indian) defence production, we should go in for investments and acquisitions that broad base our own industry and not threaten it when tough times come calling w.r.t sanctions. So I still hold that even though F-18 and f-16 may be good, but India should not buy them just because they are made in "the" USA, but like any buyer, we should buy aircraft that suit our needs, as has already been explained, IAF isn't quite keen on a large plane like the F/A-18, which is similar to our very own Su-30MKI, or the F-16- which the Pakistanis have operated for years. We need technology that suits our needs best, and our needs are best understood by our forces, and need not be dictated to us by anyone. Partnerships can carry on, but they can't influence/manipulate any one's buying behavior. If they do, then thats not a partnership, thats blackmail, (and USA's track record hitherto hasn't been so great) and as you yourself point out that they need to learn from the Russians regarding that. No offence to any one, but business is business, and India's needs regarding the MMRCA deal are best served by opting for Rafale and EF. And if India-USA relationship is truly strategic and holistic in nature as is claimed, then a $ 10bn setback to the USA should not be a problem, as the sheer magnitude by which the Indian defence industry aims to expand over the next 25 years, there is tremendous scope for co-operation, the USA need not sulk at having lost this deal, coz this is not the end of the road for India-US relations.

Anonymous said...

One of the key tactical issues for a fighter is to be able to perform in a BVR fight, with full situational awareness and decision support to know when to make the handover to the misslie.

It seems the Gripen was not downselected due to that it was not believed that it would have an AESA ready in time. However, the fun part is that the Gripen is to have the same AESA as the Typhoon (apart for some of the higher level software). Both programs are in the exact same stage of development by the same manufacturer in Scotland. Also the Rafale AESA has some way to go to operational status. When it comes to BVR weapons coupled to AESA performance, both the Rafale and Eurofighter has little or no experience. In the Meteor program, bot hte Rafale and Eurofighter has pulled out as trials platforms since they are not mature enough, only the Gripen fires Meteor today (and so it will be for another three years at least).

afasias said...

If they don't choose shortly ,the next year Rafale will go to India for exercise with AESA and this is big avantage for them .

The Typhoon until now they don't finish the developing and many of capability's of that design can't use from the user's .

Anonymous said...

With reference to Gripen BVR combat performance please allow me a few remarks. BVR combat success is a combination of platform kinematic capability (climb and acceleration performance and sustained turn rate capability at high altitude / speed to evade counterfire); sensors performance; firepower and EW suite characteristics. These are the key variables in the complex combat BVR equation.
In this respect Typhoon has more kinematic performance than Gripen (lots more) and Rafale (let down by underpowered engines among other things). Typhoon's radar antenna is far bigger than Gripen and Rafale and thus achieves higher detection ranges. Size matters and the antenna diameter--and ultimately the radar detection range--is dictated by the front fuselage section. Typhoon AESA antenna is also mechanically steerable (unlike Rafale's fixed installation), thus giving higher scan volumes and the capability to better evade enemy's counterfire. This increases considerably the fighter survivability. Especially when associated to towed decoys, which Rafale does not have. Apparently little details, but extremely important for the outcome of the BVR combat! All three aircraft will have the long range Meteor A-A missile. Typhoon key advantage here is the capability of launching it at higher energy levels, thus achieving higher lethality. This is because it will initiate the attack earlier due to the better detection range of its sensor suite. It will climb to higher altitude and accelerate to higher launch speed. This will always give it a winning edge. Coming second, even a close second, is no good in air combat. The big wing and low supersonic drag (note that the missiles are carried semi-submerged and that Typhoon can supercruise) will allow it to pull away from the closing opponents at higher g than either Rafale or Gripen. In summary higher lethality and much better survivability than Rafale and Gripen simply means far higher fleet effectiveness. In a nutshell that's what matters in a fighter!