Sunday, November 06, 2011

If They're Square, Which MMRCA Finalist Makes More Political Sense?

If the commercial bids in the MMRCA are as close as reports suggest, and if it comes down to a political call (after all that!), which aircraft/nation(s) offer the better political package? If it boils down to a decision overtly based on strategic/political benefits (and few have had doubts that it would), then it would go against the MoD's strenuous insistence all along that the winning aircraft would be chosen strictly on its merits, and politics would have no hand. Either way, as the MoD sits down to crunch numbers and zero in on a lowest bidder, it's worth considering which aircraft -- the Typhoon or the Rafale -- makes more political sense for India. Will be posting more on this shortly. Meanwhile, I'd love to know what you think. There's a poll below for you to vote, but more importantly, comment with your thoughts -- serious ones please!


Yawn said...

I'd argue that the MOD's arguments over a 'transparent/non-political' approach remain valid for a simple reason. The IAF had shortlisted the two finalists on technical grounds and theoritically cannot complain over which one is chosen. Neither can the two finalists.

(That being said, I do subscribe to Sanjay Baru's argument that the shortlisting phase had a political line to it-by keeping it strictly technical).

Besides, the strategic/political gains in the Eurofighter vs Rafale are not exactly as clear cut as in let's say 'Eurocanard vs US teen fighter vs Russian Mig'. There is considerable commonality between the two aircraft in weaponry and infrastructure. Which brings me to the opinion that the commonly held belief that choosing four EU members vs one is not exactly valid. Fact is that the individual benefits to the four member states (with varying investments) are actually going to be limited. The need to curry favour with countries like Italy and Germany can be accomplished through other stand-alone contracts; arguably off greater value than the individual worth of the MMRCA benefits.

Anonymous said...

France offers the best political package because it will be truly efficient. In a five nations deal, the risk of disagreement is very high.

- Germany and England are always opposed in internatinal matters (Irak War, Lybia). What will they decide in case of war between India and someone else? Germany will refuse to sell weapons and spares to India, while England will agree? And what about the two others? That's a huge risk for India.

- Don't forget that while the Rafale is nuke capable, the EF is not and none of the four nations have this kind of technology.

- France has still a key role in Africa (remember Ivory cost and Lybia), in South America (french Guyana), huge influence in Europe and it is a good friend of India's old friend, I mean Russia.

- France support to India has never fail in 50 years, even in hard times it has never been a pet of the US foreign policy. It is a reliable partner, remember that the M2000 gives full satisfaction.

- The EF is the first and the last fighter of EADS because England considers it is a waste of money (see NAO 2010 report). English and French political leaders are betting on a Dassault/BAE cooperation for the next generations of fighters. What will be the situation of the EF consortium in ten years with Italy and Spain not able to pay a cent and German tax payers refusing to spend money for weapons? Will India be forced to fund itself the needed upgrades?

Yawn said...

Anon @ 4.54,

'Nuclear capability' is something none of the 6 fighters will offer India. The Rafale, while having a nuclear strike profile for the French military will be delivered without the wiring and weapon control modifications, for delivering nukes. So will the Eurofighter.

France has supplied weaponry to Pakistan (of late, it's changed) and does not mind begining sales to China, so it's a question of selfish national interest, not friendship.

Mirza said...

French are business men and reliable but like double edge sword like America,selling both side.

first thing we should follow that how fast any of these thing can localized, I mean how fast could we şelf reliable on these thing like hardware part and software source code.
these two thing we must look into

Anonymous said...

Well I think France Rafale is better suits our Air-force but if it is close call and end up political decisions it should be euro fighter. But it all dependence on what package they are giving. If it is decision of CCS (Cabinet committee on Security) our PM will take good decision which will help the country in future.

Anonymous said...

Rafale it is. Due to 100%technology transfer including AESA radar. Excellent spare parts supply and after sales maintenance by Dassault. Reliability with France, not depending on any country, to take any decision. Also Rafale has better air to ground attack capability. No aircraft sales to Pakistan. India can modify anything in the aircraft, which will help to develop our own indigeneous industry.(LCA or AMCA).

Anonymous said...

If it is not France Rafale, it should be split contract since rafale suits our AF very well. I don't say it should 126 into 2. we use additional optional as second fighter which is 60+ and also the Mirage upgrade should not take place. In the place should additional France Rafale should be order and it has Aircraft carrier version which will help Navy in compatibility.

Euro - 126
France - 60+ and Navy order

Anonymous said...

If Rafale wins the MMRCA contract the Naval requirement will also be taken care of though the Indian Navy would always want a suitable replacement for its Sea Harriers to complement the LCA Navy and the Mig-29Ks. What if the Eurofighter is preferred over the Rafale certainly the F-35( VTOLor STOVL) version would be the choice since Typhoon does not have a navalized version.Politically Rafale is better of the two keeping in mind French support for India. By 2017-18 the Su-50 Stealth fighter will find its way into the IAF's inventory. EADS has offered partnership for the Typhoon but it remains to be seen whether it is superior to the Rafale in an A2G role as the Franch Jet has performed remarkably well in Libyan operations.5th gen aircraft are still some years away and probably the F-35 and SU-50 will together see action around the same time.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

i think the Typhoon would make a better choice if it boiled down to a political call. Given France's
arm twisting during the Mirage upgrade,poor performance on the Scorpean contract, the fact that the rafale dosen't fly with anyother airforce (limits cooperation and interoperability i think)and France's own economic woes (which will limits its influence around the word eventually), i think the typhoon will make better sense.
The typhoon also demonstrated its capabilities in Libya and also agreed to make us a partner to the programme.
France has always stood by us and is a reliable friend but I think it will have to miss out on this one. Thats my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

The only thing GERMANY, ITALY, UK, SPAIN can agree on is that they don't want anymore Eurofighters.

Aside from this, this "alliance" is a complete mess. Just look at the situation in Europe.

Anonymous said...

As for as i understand the relation between This country's
I can categorize like this

1,UK, already we have many Deals and political views not reliable in any situation (OK)

2,Germany, Deals i read an article long before mentioning that they don't want to give (sell) some guns for our home security so in need of help they will tel what ??? not reliable in any situation (OK)

3,Spain, i dont here much about them doing valuable help not reliable in any situation(Normal)

4,Italy, It is going to boil to get the deal from fellow country Woman (Mrs Sonia)otherwise we already have deals with them like Navy Tankers not reliable in any situation (OK)

Now France
As above mentioned we have deals with them and proven relationship

As for as i Know, The country Which is supporting us fully and reliable in any situation,
politically it is independent, not much depended in any other country for technology or economy, so politically or strategically and value for money we need to go with FRANCE, COMES UNDER THE CATEGORY OF (GREAT)

ENEMY IS Pakistan and now China

Correct me if i am wrong?

Anonymous said...

My vote for FRANCE

Anonymous said...

I heard when bids were opened, rafale was leading the bid with lowest direct costs but the question is does that really matter? it has been only an official matter of disguise that the decision will only be a merit based, oh we all know india would juice out political and strategic benefits from this major major deal. as far as the fighters go, they all are already on merits. the only technological question that at this stage could come in would be of how much technology transfer india gets with each fighter.

it is a very difficult thing to say which fighter gives more strategic benefit, since the hype that this deal has created has already pissed off other vendors, namely the US, swedes and the russians and there are now reports (and could be credible at least in next few years) that having turned down in mmrca, swedes and russians could offer pakistan their planes, you never know how geopolitics change in the world and odds are it changes every 20,25 years. so basically its right its all a matter of strategic and political gain now. the growing alliance now seen forming up is china,pak,turkey,iran,etc. india on the other hand has growing alliance with the US and pakistan is far splitting up from US.

so its again a matter of which country or countries india can better AFFORD to piss off as a result of this deal. mark this, this will be the basic criteria now to choose a fighter. on one hand you have the french and on other hand a bunch of EU countries.

i predict at this point, that india will choose to piss off the french, not because its only one country at this point to piss off but also because india is already taking good weaponry from the french and having turned down in MMRCA, french would still be juicing out alot from india in naval and other warfare in which they might have bigger contracts on the queue. so, with that, yes, india can safely afford to piss off france more than the other countries. see this basically as india already turning down the US fighters in this very deal, nothing really happened despite US crying alot and obama getting to burn more fuel on india visits. in the end, india is still on its way to forming its alliance with US and US is still getting its weaponry sold to india. this will be the same case with french, india will turn down french only that it wont be a bigger damage. and with rafale also not having gained any other partner in selling rafale to, odds are less for french.

it is also a matter of forging new alliance than just keeping old ones. india at this point has growing strategic alliance with every weapon making country in the world from russia to US. india has been so wise in this, that despite two countries not getting along with each other, india has been able to forge its part of the alliance with them. if india, chooses to turn down french, it will not shatter any grounds that india cant hold.

india will therefore choose to form new alliances with the EU countries more closely. giving mmrca to EF2000 means gaining alliance of a couple of more countries and basically this has been india's strategy in last few years. india for this matter, will never turn down welcoming new alliances and it will manage to keep old ones together mainly because its a big market for weapons and is to be for years to come.

when MMRCA kicked off years back, i predicted eurofighter will take this battle when there were six contenders. it has come down to three and i still say eurofighter will take this deal easily. its simple logic if you understand.

MMRCA decision in december: India's next MMRCA is Eurofighter !

Der Hacker, Der Nie War said...


Ajai Shukla says that Rafale will cost Brazil $6.2 billion for 36 fighters. And even this is a discounted price. That comes to a $172 million unit cost for the rafale. Mind you , he quotes trustworthy Brazilian sources.

UAE wants to buy 60 Rafale fighters. And the figure being quoted in the media is $10 billion.
That comes to a $166 million unit cost.

So I think we can safely say the Rafale costs above $150 million.

On the other hand, an F-35 will definitely cost less than $150 million per unit.

The unit costs for the Typhoon seem to be less than that of the Rafale based on figures concerning the Saudi Arabia deal ($110 million). So why does everyone think that Typhoons are more expensive than Rafales ?

It seems pretty clear to me that the Rafales are more expensive than both Typhoons and F-35's.

Please give some clarity Shiv.

Anonymous said...

With Russia and US out of the race, I do not think there is an important political advantage to gain with this final choice.
India should now simply choose the best offer. Rafale is the best aircraft overall and is also less expensive, so ....

Anonymous said...

It's better to have one reliable partner (France) than four stooges.

During the Libyan Air War, UK was strongly in favor of this operation, Germany and Italy were strongly against this operation, Spain was half-heartedly in favor and didn't want to contribute much. Four different countries, four different agendas.
It is impossible to have a strong and fruitful relationship with a weak group which has no cohesion and an unreadable foreign policy.

iguru said...

tough thing to predict, several factors play a major role, but specially two....ToT and Technology..

1) EF: It has better technology than RF, radar range, RCS, Thrust Vectoring Engines(in upgrade), air superiority factors like agility, maneuverability is better than RF.. The capability of challenging any 4.5Gn and 5th gn fighter is good..

But, the list of nations behind them is bad,which questions the ToT, high price is bad..

2) Rf: Single nation behind it, good performance and reliability,and ToT is good for us. Capability to challenge any 4.5Gn fighter only. Good in the role of Strike.

I wish EF, if ToT and Price are answered.. Bcz Air Superiority is the game changing key of war, shaking enemy lands comes automatically if there is an Air Superiority.

Anonymous said...

pls check this video why india needs desperatly new aircraft....

Mr. Ra said...

Since it is going to be a contract for very long time, so even with a single window, the four nation theory may not look so much justified. In MMRCA we need a multirole workhorse, so Rafale is better in-spite of the fact that it may be a shade lesser in air superiority than EFT.

The only politico-economical point that may go against the Rafale is that they have already received a large order for Mirage2000 upgrade albeit technically this should make a positive point as well.

Abhishek Guha Thakurta said...

@anon 9:17
Well if you see correctly offering planes to pakistan means ,it will certainly go to china indirectly.At present economic scenario of pakistan is not at all in good shape plus the ethnic conflict is killing them slowly.Definitely even if they get saab gripen which itslef has components of various countries,they will be able to take batches in small numbers due to the acquisition cost,considering the fact they have only J-10 assembly facility.So even if they want to get huge nos. they will take the help of china and ceratinly with economcies of scale and chinas popular reverse engineering mechanisms can get gripen copies.

Problem lies after that.China having satified pakistan will like to sell it to other countries and very naturally gripen is the ony player to lose.

Next comes to russia.I'm sure Fgfa/T-50/Mta is partnered with india and being an all weather friend nobody likes to lose a permanent ally over a temporary and that too a war mongering one.Although i read reports where india had already asked russia to keep their planes out from this.

Taking Ef means satisfying Eu block to a great extent but then u cannot compromise with the nation's safety and we all have heard TOO MANY COOK SPOILS THE BROTH .Plus more different planes means more complex scenario of maintaineance and after support.
Though ej-2000 is a great engine,but i think enhanced M-88 will be offered and it looks a ready replacement of Mirage.Plus u get the Indian Navy problems too.All in all Rafale packs more punch keeping in mind internal nations interst but if u consider the indias role in the global scale Ef fits more aptly.
This will def have serious implications on Indias Un permanent seat too ,and might be for that reason Ef can be taken.

But i will go for rafale any day.It means to rule

Rahul Reddy Pogula said...

Dassault Rafale it is! Given that EADS pushed the unit cost of the Eurofighters close to that of the Rafales points to the possibility of number-play in either production costs or ToT. Either way, these next few weeks of detailed analysis will weed out any such number-plays and establish the Rafale as the choice for India!

Anonymous said...

I dispute the idea that IF India ends up deciding between the two based on non-price consideration, that it would discredit the process. Both of the platforms are technically capable, unlike the platforms that were rejected. By putting price up-front as a consideration, all bidders are forced to have a price on-par with the other... This certainly results in a better price to India than if this wasn´t given prominence. If the TOTAL prices are very close (which we don´t know yet, since life-time costs haven´t been calculated yet, Rafale is currently ahead) then India has reserved a right to look at specific ´qualities´ of the bids: quality of ToT, quality of off-sets, prospects for future development cooperation for upgrades, performance of the platforms themselves, etc.

But there is nothing to suggest that the contest is leaving the realm of L1 wins all and into that subjective realm. Everybody knows that lifetime costs are the larger part of costs, and some unattributed source calling Rafale´s up-front per-plane price ´marginally´ ahead doesn´t really provide any basis to say whether the total price is(will be) close enough to trigger non-L1 considerations.

But this type of coverage isn´t surprising when many papers responded with ´the up-front price wasn´t VERY different, SO instead of an immediate winner, life-time costs will be calculated, etc...´. Up-front per-plane cost is a red-herring, an interesting factoid, but never something that would be determinant of L1... But a surprising number of people expected an announcement on the winner when the bids were opened, so this is what you get.

Anyhow, my bet is still on Rafale.

Anonymous said...

Rafale would be the best political, as well as operational, financial and industrial choice.

- Political: France, India's all-weather friend for decades, is the most non-aligned of NATO allies and only European world power with a genuinely independent strategy (remember the Nassau accords? UK's nuclear deterrent is partly US made and subject to a dual key with US). Hence, Rafale has neen designed with national sovereignty in mind, like non GPS-dependent all-weather penetration for nuclear strike or uncompromising independence from foreign suppliers. Also, France has a presence in the Indian Ocean Region (Reunion and Mayotte islands are sovereign French national territory, Djibouti and Abu Dhabi host permanent French bases).
By comparison, arithmetics don't apply to EF partners, maybe this time 1>4:
* the only EF foreign policy heavyweight is UK, but 100% aligned to US; Germany foreign policy has cold feet at best. Italy and Spain have nothing to offer in foreign policy terms other than more proxy US interference.
* finally, don't fall for look-alikes: Eurofighter is not related to EU. France remains the staunchest proponent of an autonomous EU defence policy, while no European country is more anti-EU than UK. Buying Typhoon therefore has no bearing whatsoever on India-EU ties.

- Operational: if the contest is a financial draw, then operational considerations should also play. Rafale has brilliantly demonstrated its omnirole capability during the Libyan campaign. It performed all required air-to-air and air-to-ground tasks, including sppression of enemy air defences with its SPECTRA suite and AASM "Hammer" smart bombs. It also provided unique data collection capabilities (Reco NG recce pod, ELINT through SPECTRA). Whereas it always had a useful mission to perform, EF did mostly No-Fly zone work, which after a few days was utterly useless. In air-to-ground it was dwarfed by the much older Tornado. That role was obviously undertaken for solely commercial purposes. Even in its supposed area of expertise, EF has proven no-match for the Rafale in numerous "1 vs 1" or "many vs many" training exercises. Despite better thrust to weight ratio, Rafale's all round better optimisation wins the day: limited stealth, superb fly by wire (Dassault's forte, already obvious with Mirage 2000), E-scan radar (AESA development testing is complete) and much better integration (FSO TV camera gives VID at dozens of nautical miles; I doubt EF can lob a missile at an opponent in his six, by designating an RWR track, as Rafale does with SPECTRA?).

- Financial and industrial: the EF programme is a sinking ship, that India would be well advised to not board. All bets are that tranche 3B will never happen (UK and Germany have coancelled their orders). Any one of the developments promised to make it relevant in today's world (AESA, other tan token air-to-ground capability, navalisation, ...) would be a at the expense of interested export customers, which would foot the bill and endorse development risk.
National acquisition prices and per-flying-hour operating costs suggest that a financial stalemate could be only caused by excessive French demands, which may yet be reduced, or by EF bending over backwards to cut prices, which means that every possible bargaining chip has already been sunk into their price.

Anonymous said...

though i have always been a supporter of eurofighter but as this contract matured my view too and hence i believe that taking france past experience in co operation it will be wise to have rafael as the winner, because its as good as eurofighter but also will be a natural choice for the navy too also it can be used to carry nuclear weapons.and even if rafael wins the contract all european nation will benefit as they have dasault and eadas in common.
hence my vote is for rafael...

godanov said...

This is stupid, the answer is neither.

Anonymous said...

i think india should accept us offer for 5th gen fighters if the us gives sources codes and aesa radar for f35 fighter and india should scrap mmrca deal... why to waste money in older 4.5 gen fighter????

Anonymous said...


EF has the biggest RCS of all the 4.5gn fighters.

Ravi Khanna said...

dont you guys think that rafale has more edge in terms of technology because only flying will not help we need the missles that is the mail part of fighter.. ef or rafale.. missle technology is more important and india needs missle badly. indian knows that the dont have the missle technology and india want to get good missiles for their fighters which can be integrated with mig 30mki also. so try to see the missles of both fighters that can be used with mig 30mki. india will also spend the money because india does not have choice because russian weapons are useless. india knows it but it needs other countries to help her in terms of missle technology. one question to you all??? why is india inking lots of money in mmrca?? only for getting migs 21 replaced. then i think no... tejas can be used for replacement. but twin engine requirement !!! i think technology for tejas or its own mca - medium combat aircraft???? watch youtube for more information.. the day india has inked billions for aircract carrier with russia. russian president says that the technology they use are not good enough for their country.. then why did india go for such a deal?? many questions ??? shiv can u pls elaborate why does india go for many russian equipment which are no use????

Anonymous said...

one more question to you shiv??

Pentagon says that india is one of their best friends then why is us helping paks rather than helping india?? india needs missile and nuke technology badly.. why does us not helping india.. us knows to tackle china it will need india's help. us will target china by keeping india in front? is that true dont u think??? when india has already gone rigorously for choosing the aircraft in mmrca us offers india wigh 35 lightening aircraft why??? india has asked pentagon for patriot missiles but no info on that..?? is us thinking of something else?? uav's to pak why not to india?? why is us favoring to paks everytime??? f16 to paks free of cost?? why??? us helps paks in many was secretly as well as infront of media... why??
only to kill osamabin laden??? dont u think only for this i dont think so?? intention of us is not clear?? 1 hand us says india will play a crucial role in asia pacafic region and second hand obama says pakistan is an important country in asia pacafic. when obama came to mumbai to st xaviers?? one question to obama by one lady from mumbai asi irani ? - why did obama did not tell paks a terrorist state?? so far america has not called pak's a terrorist stare??? but obama was not clear on this question but has tackled the question very calmly. other end gilani says pak doesnt need help from america?? why is that happen suddenly???

Orel said...


Politically the Rafale would be better. Don't think the Rafale is cheaper. Look at this new about the offers from Dassault and EADS to Netherlands: Rafale would have been twice more expensive than the Typhoon:

Technically and operationally the Eurofighter is better, as it has demostrated to indian pilots. Specially in hot and high conditions, as is usual in India, and in short runways.

For really interested people, read this report, from an Asian defense expert:


Anonymous said... - answer needed from you shiv ???

Anonymous said...

To , Anon 1:17 pm
''india has asked pentagon for patriot missiles but no info on that..??

US already offered as its latest Patrio SAM , indirectly NATO also offered india for same SAM , but india shown no interest in it , Russia is also willing to give S-400 SAM to india (which has been refused to china indirectly by russians)

Anonymous said...

The saga continues....nearly 7 months to officially find out the final price from the downselect[And we ordinary folk still do not know!!].

Now Life cycle price calculation 6-8 weeks. Who are we kidding. All that the MOD/IAF would have needed is a simple excel sheet. Feed in the aircraft price[as a parameter] and life cycle costs should be automatically calculated.

At 6-8 weeks the winner if any will not be announced before the new year, maybe 1st week of Jan.

Unless they feel like talking and thinking some more, Hell!.

Anonymous said...

to anon@ 2:09pm - if us had given access of patriot india would have taken it as india needs missle tech badly go to youtube and search u will get the answers???? and about china russians know that china is a copy maker they will copy the tech and will tell its their own so russia has denied as the china has copied the russian plane... one more thing if india chooses ef in mmrca its doing the mistake pls check the wiki sites for more answers all of the ef missles are in for future development phase while none in rafale so french knows how to sell their jets the answer is why their jets are so expensive because of the missles they provide. india knows that if they opt for rafale they can get variety of missile choices... so gather more info from the net... u will know the answer.... india should choose wisely ... if ef is chosen it wont get that kind of support in war operation india knows... u need missiles which is of more deadly than the fighter... think..

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Eurofighter Typhoon is tainted by huge corruption issues (on going investigation in austria). This cannot be ignored as it is a big red flag !

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4.06PM,

I really think you need to get a clue about what life-cycle costs are. They involve a host of factors ranging from fuel, weaponry, modifications for weaponry, upgradation, downtime, routine repairs, specific costs at specific bases and for specific roles and so on. If it were all about excel sheets, life would have been very easy. If anything, what will be produced at the end of 6 weeks would be estimates since other variables such viability of the manufacturer(s), state of diplomatic ties and India's own economic conditions cannot be predicted.

Dinakar Peri said...

I believe Eurofighter Thypoon makes better strategic sense, but being practical and giving a thought to it I think Rafale will bag the order given the Italian connection through Sonia Gandhi about which there was news some time back.

Anonymous said...

In the realm of geo-politics, the weight and influence in political, military, economical and financial affairs of four major European nations is by far more relevant than a single middle-ranking European country. That seems to me undeniable.

For a long-term project such as MMRCA, where ToT and true co-operation are of paramount importance a good track record in joint venture is very relevant. The organisational structure of the four EF nations and of the industrial consortium (EF /EJ), the culture of shared know-how makes the inclusion of a new partner a natural progression and evolution of this co-operation governance model. A single company project, driven by a culture of exclusivity, is unlikely to offer the same guarantees of delivering real value in this vital area.
The combined economical, financial, technological and product portfolio power of EADS, BAE SYSTEMS and Finmeccanica is immensely superior to Dassault. In a project of the MMRCA magnitude, this multilateral relationship can be the best foundation for expansion in adjacent areas of mutual interest. This represents great value, even if at the moment is intangible. One has always to look at the potential for expansion and the power of four is immensely superior to the power of one (dwarf).
Finally the aspect of customisation of weapon systems is a cost-intensive affair. Only one nation means fewer solutions and less opportunities to share non recurring costs.

Anonymous said...

In geopolitics there are no friends and no real partners. Only NATIONAL INTERESTS matter. Does the US know that the Pakistan establishment is at the heart of the "terrorism" problem? Of course they do. They created the Mujahideen and now Pakistan has created the Taliban the Hizbul Mujahideen, the Lashkar etc. This proxy war is not Pakistan's creation they have just reverse engineered it. The only problem is Hade's dog has three heads and does not care whose blood is spilled. That's generally why most people prefer professionally organized military forces to carry out the dirty business of war. It usually saves you the trouble of being labeled a sponsor of global terrorism. But Pakistan thinks it can get better mileage out of a second hand vehicle that cost it almost nothing. All they needed to do was provide some parking space. The Americans used the same methods against the Russians, Pakistan has been using the same against India and America and Pakistan are allies in the global war against terror. How does it make sense? Well the NATIONAL INTERESTS of America lie in not having Osama or a wannabe Osama knock down buildings in New York. The Taliban came along long before 9/11; going about their merry business of brutality. Nobody's feelings were hurt until they had the misfortune of standing in the way of American national interests. If they had given up Osama immediately on 9/12 they could have probably continued with their merry ways today. Same goes for poor Saddam, what was he thinking? He should have just let the Americans know through some back channels, that he wanted Kuwait and was willing to offer concessions to a few American oil corporations. He might have still been smiling across the many murals of his in Iraq. Handsome smile the poor chap had but fell through on geopolitics maybe spent too much time torturing his political adversaries. Well the Americans didn’t want him around anymore, after all if the Saudis, the Egyptians, Jordanians, etc are all on board then who is Saddam to hold on to all that oil to himself? Well that was that, out came the Texas law and found Saddam hanging from the noose. (Even the Taliban would approve.) Similarly Mr. Gaddafi has been helped to his grave. Assad and Ahmadinejad better be careful otherwise they might find themselves summarily dealt with next. History shows us nobody intervened in Rwanda where so many were butchered and Hitler was only opposed once he moved west and became an immediate concern. Fact of the matter is that, national interests of nations are paramount to their conduct and relations across the globe.<1>

Anonymous said...

Add to all the above the self interest of politicians, arms vendors, various lobbies etc and you can all forget about guessing what is in whose interest in this deal. The best way to look at this deal is to understand what we need from the MMRCA which aircraft system fulfills this best. While both are excellent modern aircraft with room for growth there are some relative differences between the two. (All this obviously from open data available and public analysis). The Rafale exceeds in tonnage it can carry and the maturity of its Air to Ground options. On the other hand the Eurofighter comes into its own, in the air to air domain; and while the Rafale is no slouch it is overtaken by the sheer aerodynamic performance of the Typhoon. Everything else is same if not identical to a greater or lesser extent. What does the IAF need? Does it need a 21st century mud mover or a future defender of the skies? With the superb Su-30MKI which is equally capable against air or ground targets where does the MMRCA fit in. Is it a filler of numbers or are we looking for a qualitative leap forward? In my opinion what we are looking for is a fighter with class enough to hold off superior numbers pouring in from the east while freeing up the Su-30 MKI to stretch is its long legs and take the fight to the enemy. At the same time it should have enough gadgetry to carry out precision strikes once air superiority is gained. Granted they will need to be phased out soon however for the time being the IAF has sufficient mud movers. The Jaguar, the upgraded Mig-27s and even the SU-30 can be counted on to fulfill this role adequately. What we really need to guard against is a fighter gap creeping in. In my opinion the best bet here would be the Eurofighter, just on the merit of it being more a pure fighter from concept to design and production. You can get a fighter to drop bombs but there are no second places in a dogfight. Like I said before both are pretty evenly matched and all this is in relative terms. What I am leery of is a situation where we have excellent attack/strike aircraft but we can’t get them through for lack of adequate and agile fighters to clear the way. <2>

Anonymous said...

Wars today and tomorrow will hinge on the air superiority contest. I know a lot has been said about swing role fighters and how the Rafale and Hornets can do air and ground tasks simultaneously. The recent experience of the west has been mainly in lightly contested or uncontested airspace; be it the gulf in 91 or Kosovo or Afghanistan, the northern and southern no fly zones, Libya etc. The Rafales going in to Libya have been unopposed in the air and the same can be said for the Hornets over the Gulf. I do not foresee us being afforded this luxury in any future conflict on either of our borders. Going in to contested air space is a whole different ball game. We are likely to be pounded by quantity that has of late gained some quality. The scenario is likely to be the same as during Kargil. Dedicated fighters escorting dedicated strike aircraft in a multi platform package leveraging the strengths of each platform to get the job done. This is where the Eurofighter might make more sense than the Rafale as it is exactly this scenario for which it was designed albeit the borders would have been that dividing NATO and the WARPAC nations. The Eurofighter as I see it would be crucial to hold the defensive line dealing with waves of intruders. (Our SAM and ground radar coverage being what it is this becomes even more critical). This allows our SU-30MKIs to do some intruding of their own. Once the initial onslaught has been nullified the Eurofighter can take over the precision strike role under cover from the SU-30 MKIs. Once the IADS has been suitably suppressed the Jaguars and -27s can be escorted in or carry out independent strikes along with the Typhoons. Final task for the Typhoon would probably be high precision CAS missions being taken up. (That if the boys ever figure out that they are on the same team).So all in all, my vote is for the Typhoon regardless of any short term gains or losses in geopolitical brownie points. In my opinion it has that little bit of edge that could make all the difference the day a 20 something straps it on goes to take care of that dirty little business called war.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 7:11,

Spain and Italy are major European nations but France is a middle-ranking country? Do you have any idea about what Europe looks like on a map, or who in the world has permanent UNSC seats, nukes, etc?

Anyway, EADS cannot completely lose this game: it owns 46% of Dassault Aviation :-)

Anonymous said...

rafale of course - nuclear capable amongst other contender..

Gilberto Rezende said...

As a brazilian observer of India's MMRCA I think that the short-list is like a plan B for emergency fail of India's participation on PAK-FA.
I doubt Russia had not advice India's IAF oficials, long ago, that is not possible to operate at same time in India esquadrons the PAK-FA with any kind of american aircraft sourronded by american technicians and militares (very curious about the russian tech).

That reality is worth to MMRCA and to the last minute offer of F-35 by USA...

Any move like that by IAF may result (if russians hava the normal concern of their tech security and put me in their shoes) a summary ejection of the PAK-FA program is in order...

The exit of the russian contender of the MMRCA may be the counterpart for the acceptance of the no-yankee choise...

The French Rafale MUST be the choice because:

1) the potencial industrial-operational sinergy with the yet decided indian program of modernization of it's fleet of mirage 2000;

2) due IAF already decided to mantain in service, for more 30 years, their mirage 2000 fleet.. It make sense, equaly, to receive the entire spoil of mirage 2000-9 fleet from UAE(United Arab Emirates) to be return to Dassault(if they adopt also the Rafale). If not to speed up the retirement of the old India's MiG-21s by a enlarge mirage 2000 fleet, the vast UAE spoil in engines, parts e more itens can asure the operationaly of the fleet for the future;

3) the operarional naval variant of Rafale;

4) IF the PAK-FA India's program fails for any unwanted reason, as the leading contractor of nEUROn 5º genaration UCAV program, Dassault is the best "plan B" for a 5º generation aircraft partner;

Is also worth to REMEMBER a certain sentence in the wikipedia page of Typhoon:

"On 29 September 2008 the United States Department of State approved the sale, required because of a certain technology governed by the ITAR process which was incorporated into the MIDS of the Eurofighter."

I will be very surprised if India not adopt the Rafale...

Anonymous said...

Why not pick the Gripen NG IN, and convert the Tejas to live fire practise so they come to any high quality use. Next generation with PAK-FA/TGTF will be a fabulous air dominance fighter, inferior to none. It will rule the skyes. But before that you must open your eyes and se how much power you could by when choosing the Gripen NG IN, it really has no competition. You coud by Rafale or Typhoon for 200% of tha Gripen NG IN price, then you actally have to fly them and burn double fule, crave double maintenance och man hourd inbetween flights, Is that cheaper or do you just try to keep a blind I for the less than rosy outcome. Dont be anal, be practical, what IAF need is lightweigt nasty wasps as Gripen NG IN, kombined with heavy twin power SU3oMKI - a great plane, and in a few yearsa time the PAK-FA/TFTG in Indian use and colours. People, open your eyes; what is the real price for Rafale / Typhoon, the maintnence, the fuel burn rate, downtime, actual perfomance, etc etc. The cheapskate alternative Gripen NG IN just shines more, the more you compare it to the competition when conting real money, not any ficitional Eurobond-money. You really really should consider what the Indian money should be spent at. I to will change car (have Porsche 996) and would like to buy a Ferrari 599, but in reality that is to expensive, and I could get even better track performance from Lotus Exige 260Cup, or Nissan GTR at a snippet of the cost of the maranello 599. Fanboys always wants the hippest, that which is seldom anchorde to realpolitik. Aint raining money from the sky today, goddamit.

Anonymous said...

@anon 5:23 PM, talk about calling someone clueless and then going forward and validating their point. LOL!

'Future' life cycle costs as you have mentioned are estimates. These estimates can vary and thats why they are sometimes called budgets.

Budgeting is a process carried out in most organizations and they do not take 7 months + 6-8 weeks to sort for a new product.

This process has fixed variables which when altered change the budgeting/estimate required. Most Private companies have automated tools and hopefully the IAF/MOD went out and bought one for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Poll closed and RAFALE is the winner all the way!!! RAFALE!!RAFALE!!!

Anonymous said...

The choice of reason and effectiveness !

The Cartoonist (aka anon@5.27 AM) said...

anon@7:23PM: what good having interoperability with Typhoon countries? Except UK (but seldom seen in the IOR) I don’t see India siding with Italy (broke and peace loving), Germany (hardly ever operates outside Germany due to constitutional constraints), Spain (?) or Austria (:-)). Maybe Saudi Arabia? I don’t see any such scenario (saving Arabian oilfields?) where France wouldn’t also be present. France frequently deploys aircraft carrier to Indian Ocean and has permanent presence of 6 Rafale in Abu Dhabi. Typhoon air-to-ground "performance" in Libya was to a large degree a PR stunt. Heavy lifting was done by Rafale, Tornado and Mirage 2000D.

anon@9:17PM: number of alliances isn’t relevant. What counts is: what can an international partner do for you? France has shown sympathy to Indian Nuke program, provided great aircraft in Kargil (M2000) and is helping with new gen submarines (Scorpene) and indigenisation of engine technology (one of India’s critical technological gaps) with Kaveri. UK can’t boast anything close. Italy, Spain and even Germany are irrelevant as Strategic partners.

anon@11:14PM: in domestic markets and international competitions where they were opposed Rafale has always been cheaper than and assessed ahead of Typhoon. No reason it should change this time. Media has reported marginal price differential between MMRCA bids (in favour of Rafale). But does Typhoon flyaway price include the billions to complete its AESA and AtoG developments and integrations?

anon@11:54PM: Who says EF has better techno than Rafale? Rafale surpasses the EF in almost all combat exercises, Dassault’s knowhow in Fly by wire far exceeds EF’s, incompetent in the area (the programme was almost cancelled several times due to critical problems in developing FBW), hence better perf in practice despite lesser performance figures on paper. System integration, data fusion, electronically scanned radar (experience in that area 15 years ahead of EF), EW and (limited) stealth incomparably better on Rafale, hence better all round operational efficiency.

anon@1:56PM: never believe what "Asian defense expert" Mr. Tellis says about MMRCA. His sole objective is supporting US exports, with no objectivity whatsoever.

anon@7:11PM: the main reason for EF programme’s many failures was indecisiveness of a four nation partnership with no leader, classic recipe for disaster. Not the “governance model” I would recommend. Who is the dwarf? The only non-US power who has a nuclear carrier and the number one contributor (ahead of the revered Britishers!! and to the reluctant Americans) to recent Libyan operations? Recommend you abstain from derogatory comments.

anon@7:25PM, anon@7:25PM and others: assuming that EF is superior in Air-to-Air just because it is specialised is a logic flaw. In effect it is not, as shown by repeated simulated encounters between the two types and in spite of much Typhoon PR to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

sonia says rafale and so did manmohan has signed a deal with france in G20 summit.. manmohan u did really a great job congrats...

Anonymous said...

@ the cartoonist,

wait and watch how eurofighter takes it. there's a very wise foreign policy making going in under MMRCA. my estimates are very calculated on what india is trying to achieve thru MMRCA, you will see. French won't make a sound :)

/anon @ 9.17.

Anonymous said...


1) France is spending its money like mad and about to go into debt (They have already sent their carrier away because of rising nuclear price.).

2) France building reactors in other countries to get money to save themselves (Nuclear expensive remember).

3) France weapon programs in order to keep India an ally, though these programs arent very effective has there ever been a weapon developed by the two or is this a way of keeping India on leash?

4) France has already given technology to India in the past so what else can they have?

5) The Mirage 2000 jets are one the best in the world, however Rafale has already has quite a few deaths considering its not even been flying that long. Only 120000 hours compared to 100000 for typhoon even though there are 200 more typhoons than Rafales?? Typhoon has only had ONE death.

6) France has shown desperation (and the fans) in selling its jet the Rafale even though they try to keep its problems a secret:

Kinda makes you wonder what Brazil was talking about.

People, before putting your bets on somthing ACTUALLY LOOK INTO IT??

That includes the Cartoonist that doesnt even know that Typhoon is a high altitude interceptor:

Thats all need to say. Bye bye

Anonymous said...


1) France is spending its money like mad and about to go into debt (They have already sent their carrier away because of rising nuclear price.).

2) France building reactors in other countries to get money to save themselves (Nuclear expensive remember).

3) France weapon programs in order to keep India an ally, though these programs arent very effective has there ever been a weapon developed by the two or is this a way of keeping India on leash?

4) France has already given technology to India in the past so what else can they have?

5) The Mirage 2000 jets are one the best in the world, however Rafale has already has quite a few deaths considering its not even been flying that long. Only 120000 hours compared to 100000 for typhoon even though there are 200 more typhoons than Rafales?? Typhoon has only had ONE death.

6) France has shown desperation (and the fans) in selling its jet the Rafale even though they try to keep its problems a secret:

Kinda makes you wonder what Brazil was talking about.

People, before putting your bets on somthing ACTUALLY LOOK INTO IT??

That includes the Cartoonist that doesnt even know that Typhoon is a high altitude interceptor:

Thats all need to say. Bye bye

Anonymous said...

People who go with Rafale dont even look into the aircraft because they just hate Typhoon:

France is desperate to sell the aircraft because their economy is going down the drain.

parvas24 said...

RAFALE is the L1 bidder ... and the winner of MMRCA contest....

So you all know that you heard from me first!!!.

Anonymous said...

lol, typhonn in libya : late on the battlefield and first to leave the battlefied because it was too expensive and was outperformed by old Tornados. Typhoon is a diva for airshows, not a warhorse.
This is the proven reality.

Anonymous said...

in case eurofighter was never sell to other country, only by partnership project, saoudi arabia buy someone beceasue relationship with UK but are unhappy and prefer buy more F15.
It never win a market face to face.
India, swiss would be the case.
In libya eurofighter drop 91 bomb instead of tonardo trop 455 bomb, some rumor told tornad give credit to eurofighter.
Eurofighter lost two time vs rafale in confrontation bvr & dogfight, it was not a defait but humiliation. That why Dassault claim the air superiority on eurofighter. doesn t better, winer or loser, the most important thing, in war rafale is so much better than ef2000 in all case.
And it go better and better, i wait the rafale f5 full stealth.

Anonymous said...

During the Libyan operations Rafale is the aircraft which holds the record for most missions aborted or not accomplished. Having been cleared to target, too many times could not prosecute the attack for systems failures.
This poor performance not as well known as the many emergency landings in Malta!

Anonymous said...

One make some confusion, some mirage F1 or some M2000 must land to Malta, only 4 rafale land emergency malta.
in 5 month conflict.

See difference
35% strike in 5 month

Nato source :

France: 33%, approximately 2,225 strike sorties (out of 6,745 total sorties by August 4)

Britain: 10%, 700 strike sorties (out of 7,223 total sorties by August 15)

For Francee
950 bombs,
240 missiles air-ground,
225 A2SM.