IAF Chronicles - A side view of whats going on behind the closed doors in New Delhi

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Staff member
Nov 30, 2017
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Hearing a strong chatter that originally IAC1 lift design after numerous alterations over last 7 years has finally settled with planned 10x14m

But the housing of the entire Lift segment still has enough space to expand the dimensions by at least 1m in each of the 4 sides reaching a possible 12x16m dimension.

Some more talks are on complete landing system change and smaller bays/Lift for Weapon/Munition carriage

A senior team of officials comprising of MOD, IN, CSL senior Management and experts from Naval Group have visited the site and inspected the same some time back.

The planned changes were offered to an outside consultant first which was dilly dallying it in fear of lowing the air wing component. But Now CSL themselves are in a position to do the changes and get this whole set up done and running.

This also puts out that probably the date of commissioning IAC1 may get delayed a bit to accommodate such changes..

Interestingly this dimension rules out one aircraft all together from MRCBF,,, Final Decision pending with MOD for approving such changes,,,


Staff member
Nov 30, 2017
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The other strong chatter talks about a total of 12 hulls under various stages of fabrication and fitment into 3 projects. The first 4 hull supplied are in fitment stage in eastern India, another 4 in Mumbai and 3 have been supplied to another black project.. 1 is pending delivery for the same...


Staff member
Nov 30, 2017
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Russian side has recently provided us a a small model of a DE submarine comprising of 6 torpedo tubes and 6 VLS option. The projected sub design is proposed under P75I.

Otoh for P75I, French side has sweetened their propsoed talks of offering
1. Additional Scorpenes
2. Can upgrade Scorpene design and use technology from Shortfin Covnetional
3. Shortfin Conventional and tech to Nuclear.
4. MdCN or Scalp naval Cruise Missile
5. AIP for all under a DRDO AIP (if successful) or else French side new Fuel Cell

India's interest in MdCN is very good bcz it eliminates the need of vertical tubes completely...

vstol Jockey

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Dec 1, 2017
New Delhi
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The problem of lift is not such a big issue as the non folding wings are. The space inside the hanger and on deck is limited which must be utilised most effectively with each aircraft taking lowest amount of space inside the hanger and on the deck.

vstol Jockey

Senior member
Dec 1, 2017
New Delhi
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IN wants to take over the entire defense of coastal areas including their own assets which till date are being defended by two squadrons of IAF ear marked for this specific role. The final count for MRCBF will be over 160 units and may touch 200.

A Person

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Dec 1, 2017
A Place
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When Australia selected the Barracuda Shortfin, there were mentions that they got an exclusive claim on it -- the design couldn't be exported to other countries. (Which was accepted because that design was created for France's own needs anyway.) If India is looking at it, does that mean there has been an agreement between India and Australia to allow it? Or were the claims of exclusivity wrong?


Staff member
Nov 30, 2017
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Brief Genesis

IAF in a Crisis

Well folks i dont know where to club and post this bcz of various topics it covers ...

Will try to cover most here

Genesis of the Single Engine Requirement

There was a time when an internal assessment was made by MOD approximately 2 years ago. The contents of many to and fro communication are pretty big but few of the points in nutshell is these below

  1. The communication to begin with states that IAF is skeptical on PAK-FA
  2. New improved counter measures in Rafale "N.V." is as good as a planned T-50.
  3. IAF recommends to buy more Rafale's or points of improvement for PAK-FA to make it better than Rafale "N.V."
  4. France especially Dassault team is asking a lot for ToT and its not even complete ToT
  5. Government is opposing everything non-ToT wise and has told explicitly that deal might break unless they understand the expectations and also reduce this demand for high cost.
  6. IAF is very interested in getting huge numbers of Rafales as per every communication (in excess of XXX stand alone for IAF and XXX for IN - thats the overall plan) but its ego is making them write checks that the government cant cash due to existing liabilities and commitments.
  7. The Su30 MKI were also IAF idea from start to finish contrary to the public opinion and perceptions.
  8. The MKI project no matter what anyone says in public is in deep shit
  9. Right now IAF have termed it as a liability on FW Bases

Thus this was the genesis for requirement of a western fighter cheaper than Rafale, better than LCA and should be capable enough to withstand missions which normally MKI could have taken.

Since FW bases liability is known, these birds will be basically placed there so they dont need long legs.. anything around a combat radii of 600-800 km is more or less fine but they should be ready for multiroles and fill in the gap of Mig21, Jags and MKIs ( CAS, CAP, DPSA partially and SEAD, DEAD + Air Superiority role secondary)

This prompted Parrikar to initiate the fighter replacement program and Single Engine Jet plan was mooted. Initially it was hoped that Gripen C/D will be bought and thats why IAF chief took it for a spin too. But lacunae were found in term of roles defined above.

All boiled down to F-16 Block 70 (rumour is that a block 80/82/84 is in works and will be offered as MLU or may be if we bargain hard it will come sooner, borrowing more sub systems from F-35) and Gripen E/F

Parrikar has stated that it will be cheaper to Rafale by at least 1/3rd and also a meaningful TOT could be obtained at a much lower cost addressing the core issues which teh letter raised above.

This will also facilitate easier access to funds and FGFA project which helps to consolidate India Russia relationship further and a long term support for MKI becomes easier to access.

Unfortunately Parrikar went back and what you see now is very marginal cost differential.. Much lesser than 33% planned and much lower access to technology as well.

Whats the status Now

  • MKI status in temporary, FW bases will work with other aircrafts for now .
  • Infact North of Delhi bases will be hosting two Tejas next week and seeing how this base comes under FSS (Facilitators Sharing Session) umbrella that is something to be said.
  • France is flexible but they cant offer what F16 and Gripen are offering at a lower price.
  • Talks went from give us full ToT for X billion to give us Max ToT for X-- billion. Stuck bcz of inflexibility
  • PAK FA is stuck because of linking to new generation missiles in the bird and excess funding for its development.
  • Keep in mind that this funding is not only for the PAK FA but also for the missiles so its quite expensive and had the missiles been bought alone there would have been a better discount.
  • These missiles are suppose to be used in Super MKI as well post upgrade.
This is the situation in hand

Fractured Thinking and Analysis
  • The best out of all according to IAF is France's deal and given that they will help with 5th gen platforms they say its worth it.
  • But till now the Indian 5th Gen concept shared base with PAK FA and even AMCA gets most of the tech from this PAKFA only.
  • A retake will take much more time and France does not have a 5th gen platform anything they will make will be based on Rafale in short term.
  • There was an offer from them for pseudo stealth Rafale that used missile encloses but those lead to bad stability and handling.
  • IF France does offer us something concrete to build on expertise of Rafale together with our vision, we can always do something about it.
Growing Indo US Relationship and gaining momentum for a Political Deal

  • It is all a political game (Indo US relationship) and since India is not a military run country the recommendations of IAF are exactly only Rafales
  • US stance for F16 is simple "Excellent Radar + LRM" (Long Range Missile in BVR)
  • They plan to control India with these LRM supply.
  • Integration of India/Russia weapons on F16 is at a stand still and at most the MRM might get integrated but LRM will be American sourced. (some missiles of say approx 40-60kms )
  • The F35 is a carrot for the F16 deal they said in a meeting that the only thing that differentiates the F16 and the F35 mainly is the stealth and other bases remain the same so F35 adds "Stealth" to "Excellent Radar + LRM" giving access to no fly zones.
  • If Rafale is 100% F16 with LRM would be 60-70% but cost wise more than 1 F16's would come under the same cost making F16's fleet more effective than a single Rafale squadron.
  • That is the deep discount American are ready to give out in order to relocate the partial assembling and in turn control India.
  • By ensuring almost all the parts are under USA MIC and only doing limited Assembling in India, LM hopes to reduce cost even further.
  • What of course they wont say is the Opex costs over years and dependency on USA MIC
  • To add to the hurt of France the new investigation includes Rafale, MKI and the retrofitted Jags. (since Darin 3 is proposed for just 65 Jags and even engine till now is not finalised)
  • Investigation by MOD to find solutions and mix of options to address requirements and propose to IAF
Meanwhile back in USA...




Its clear that there will be a more Political shift and with China Bogey its inevitable. What the above amendment clear is the CISMOA and BECA is clearly a part of initial baby steps but under Common Security Challenge the whole Umbrella of China Bogey is covered.. Under last point of any other matter appropriate means Pakistan is more or less covered along with another amendment which requires Secretary to certify their anti terror work for accessing funds

What also made situation worse for France and Dassault is DRAL does not have all technology access as well inspite of being a specialized factory in Dassault setup. You see that would have helped easily to push for costs saying money is going to Indian Pvt Sector instead of paying France directly and tieups to local ecosystem. Hence you have this situation. The cost escalation for TOT could have been justified if the local MIC was getting access, benefits and can use it for LCA and future versions and AMCA

This is the issue in hand.

Or else there is a high chance a political decision will come and IAF wont get birds of its choice.

A certain group wants Rafales for IAF curtailed at just 80 . 18 more options and another 36 outright and thats all.. the end of Rafale. It also favors American Jets for Navy and says it helps to strengthen the American Indian relationship further..

Thus we have the Crisis Situation in IAF. Linked deal in Russia, Conditional deal in USA, Expensive deal in France and Fractured deal in Sweden all have their evils. And Root of all these Evils is our Indecisiveness and inability to do what we set out to do in the first place.
Contrary to whatever people write and quote saying a Single Engine fighter with Russian Engine derivative doing 1000 km+ combat range, Tejas does a descent 500-600 km combat range in mission loads and tanks. Thats adequate to what its planned missions are for.

There is no long leg SE fighter. F16s with CFTs and mission loads does around 800-1000km and so also Gripen E (on paper). The rest of the numbers they quote is silly bcz they do have engines are not solar powered to do 3000 km as they claim

BTW F16s with CFT over wings as per IAF has a limited radii.. It requires the more powerful engine to sustain additional weights and that engine is not the best SFC engine available or known.

About Price it was said in initial assessment that IF
Rafale =$100
F16/Gripe E = $66

and capability
Rafale =100
F16/Gripen E = 80+

TOT transfer
Rafale - Limited/partial only upto Offsets
F16/Gripen - Maximum TOT for full localisation from Day 1 and all Technology available for multiple systems usage.

What we have received as offers
Rafale =$100
F16/Gripen E = $80+ reaching $85-90 with Customizations

and capability
Rafale =100
F16/Gripen E = 60 and with Customization 66
Handicap -
1. Pathetic high altitude performance implying it cant do anything over Tibet region and is not suited for Eastern Front
2. Only suited for Conventional Strikes with no Hardening at all. Missions limited as defined in the so called documentation agreement between nations
3. No commonality of spares, ammunition, missiles, maintenance schedule, skill set of IAF personnel, training and pilots Flight hours and most importantly strategic mission plan outs.

TOT transfer
Rafale - Limited/partial only upto Offsets
F16/Gripen -
1. Limited Technology transfer for Gripen E as some of the systems are from black listed entities and IPR sharing /access is declined by multiple parties and including a friendly nation based parties which is its launch customer. In fact the government of friendly nation declined to entertain India's request and stood by its local company's decline (and they are correct doing so)

2. F16 - India will get limited assembling as its still made in USA MIC based product. Even if its line participants shift to India, it will still be under USA control not India and thus what we will get is limited or less than Limited access to TOT.

Carrot dangled is LCA MK2 interior will be based on F16 Block 70 with LM helping it to design and thereby fitting F16 systems inside LCA MK2 for their own MIC and line folks for 3 more decades beyond the general Indian F16 orders...

Thus the initial assessment became hopeless and reality is very tough to swallow for MOD.

This is why China Bogie will be used for this order in order to camouflage the real shortfalls for both SE jets
What is surprising is the extent of False Representations and Promises made by LM as part of its Presentations

  • LM said Under MII two F16's are suppose to come around the price of a imported Rafale according to a slide presented by the makers.
  • LM forgot that DRAL slides for Rafale showed MII Rafale at Rs 640 Crs , a 20% reduction from Rs 800 Crs per plane produced in France for India.
  • With rudimentary style, F16 per plane is same at Rs 800 Crs for MII but they say its half of imported Rafale 36 deal to camouflage it.
  • In short MII Rafale and MII F16 are almost similarly priced.
  • What they dont realise the imported Rafale of 36 deal has many components which is for a fleet customization and also has hardened set up which costs additional owing to "specific' requirements sought.
  • When made in India , DRAL will have almost everything for which India already paid a "price"
  • Furthermore LM claims attack maneuvers and training will be shared and with flight costs for two F16's just near that of a Rafale.
  • When grilled for Opex and CPFH, they could not explain much.
  • No where they have been able to prove that Heat Signature of F16 will not cause any issue inspite of its engine being a huge source of IR
LM Marketing along with Saab Marketing makes many in MOD blind and not see the pifalls

BTW an internal investigation talked earlier now covers network infestation with sleeper code in MKI digital suit, its recently been expanded to include other aircrafts in IAF as well.

This implies the anti hack capabilities and suits against cyber warfare is of prime importance. Both F16s and Gripen E is found wanting in this category and a Israeli solution is expected to eb put additionally to safeguard these jets. That also means its additional cost and LM/Saab did nt declare its vulnerability, rather IAF found it in assessment

Well basically a frontline American hardware sends two msgs - one our belief in them and second it showcases the strength of the relationship.

If i have the option, i would rather advocate naval ships. I dare say instead of $15 Bn planned for 90 Jets by MOD under MII, i would rather advocate two things here

  1. Use $ 5 Bn and set up a line for LCA under pvt sector and order first batch of jets under a targeted purchase order of say 100-150. This helps us have two lines - one at HAL capable of say 16 Jets a year and a pvt sector having another 16/year capacity. This helps address the shortfall quickly and gives a big boost to local MIC. This is inspite of all teh hassles in thsi project.
  2. Use $ 10 Bn and purchase 10-15-20 Ships from USA Shipyards and build them in flat 3-5 years. These 10+ ships armed to the teeth with LR SAMS (Barak 8 and Barak 8 ER) and some new LACMs and Anti Ship Missiles will be an awesome addition. Arm them with ASW capability and they go a long way for our CBGs as well.
There is no precondition of F16 procurement.

The only place F16 is made pre condition when we wanted F35 instead of F16 and USA /LM clearly said we have to take F16 first and later get F35.

As of now no prototypes are envisioned due to Item 30 test being pending and requisite Flight hours of testing pending. Assuming it does 1200 flight hours with I-30 new engine it will attain IOC with this new engine and 2000 flight hours for FOC as per standard conditions. If a waiver is given, then it will be an Indian IAF/MOD joint call but generally i do believe they will wait for at least 1200 hours of new flight time.

Since we had a issue with our MKI engines, i wont be surprised if IAF insists on 2000 hours flight hours as well to cross check everything.

Thus i dont see the 3 PMF protos arriving so soon.

Certain avionics needs a further improvement as required by IAF. Russian solutions are robust but not everything meet western standards.. IAF after using Israeli and french avionics know these needs to be put from Day 1 so these customizations are part of FGFA.

Down rating depends upon whether we are paying for accessing that technology or not. We might not pay for few since we already know we are going to procure off the shelf solutions and thus they may come at lower standard than typical PAKFA birds.
Point 1 : How about Mig 35 as the lowest cost fighter for FW bases?

Point 2: What about a scenario if Mig35 with maximum possible production from Indian line comes along as a packaged deal with PAKFA TOT signing amount Bonus?

Point 3: What about a scenario if Point 1 becomes precusor for accessing Missile Defence and AD system - S400+ other HTK components?

Point 4: What about a scenario if Super upgrade has the same radar, armaments and other commonality points as Mig 35 and packaged price of Super Upgrade contains these already?

Take a Guess :This is what is being proposed By Russia with Point 1 as counter to F16/Gripen?

Part 2 : The Merry Go Round Circus of IAF Acquisitions


So a new DM NS finally was appointed. But whats the status change really? In a candid discussion with few of the folks from IAF and MOD brass, the understanding we could gather is as below.

Continuing on the last article, the whole defence acquisition itself is in doldrums again. Part of it is to be blamed on our morbid acquisition process, part on the lack of spine by our authorities. What is everybody doing is to play safe and not get a blot of stain called corruption in their clothes and yet doing so, we magnificently screw up the whole modernisation drive.

We will touch base on few topics

1. The SE figther Saga

No sooner had we heard that its finally a F16 Block 70 vs Gripen E/F out in open for IAF Single Engine (SE) tender for approx 90 birds or 4.5 squadrons to begin with which can go to a max of 7.5 sqds or 150 Birds , the challenges seems many to this whole process.

The latest meeting of DM NS and all stakeholders has showed the following brief data points (taken from other open sources to point here)

The SP Model process

The SP Model progress as of now

What Aatre Task Force suggested was this


What SP Policy (out in May 2017) stated clearly is that SP is basically an integrator and targets to create an ecosystem with all concerned parties.

The declared parts as of now includes just the fighters/helos, submarines, AFVs/MBTs

The selection process is defined as


Both to be done in parallel to speed it up

What also must be noted is "OEM must submit a 10 year PBL and Maintenance based costing" as well in the commercial offer. along with "technology being transferred to various stake holders"

So Whats the issue now?

Well, the issues are many.. Lets summarise it in short here

In the words of Ernst & Young research,
  • In the path to progress with great emphasis laid on “Make in India,” it is highly likely that the cost of design, development, supply chain management and production may be higher than a foreign made product.
  • However, since the development, ecosystem and production will take place within the geography of the country, the taxpayers’ money so billed against the Indian manufactured system under consideration is circulated within the same geography many times.
  • The knock-on effects of indigenization are far higher and outweigh the initial higher cost. Thus, the cost to the country would be far less than the L-1 cost, if seen in this perspective.
  • Corporates need to gear up now. Delivering the desired strategic system within the timeframe and conforming to the highest quality standards while dealing with restricted availability of military grade raw materials will challenge their supply chain.
  • Corporates must map the existing industry in terms of their preparedness, quality and capacity.
  • Many corporates have made investments in multidisciplinary sub-sectors of defence. It is time now to build on the supply chain for the segments and develop an aerospace and defence manufacturing ecosystem.
  • Although it might take around 3—4 years before we see actual action on the ground concerning the policy, every positive development toward the end result is welcome.
  • Having a policy is just the beginning.


In the meeting of new DM NS with all stakeholders, the updated presentation on SE acquisition covered the following points
  • The whole Process will take 3 (three) years in effect. (subject to certain conditions)
  • The break down is as under
    • Year 1 - Submission of Applications and Documentation of all Commercial offers + support dox
    • Year 2 - Scrutiny of all applications and all requisite evaluations including trials and TOT points to be firmly put in paper, evaluated and considered as needed or not as requested by teh forces in their requirements.
    • Year 3 - Picking the potential L1 applicant and initiating the finale closure of IGA and Contract
  • Now there are 2 school of thoughts here
    • The old school want this process to be followed as laid down for the most transparent procurement with proper timelines
    • The new school wants taking back this RFI and issuing a new one with emphasis on G2G process and shortening the whole timeline to just 1 year (overall)
  • The chief challenge to the present government is by the second half to end of next year 2018, code of conduct for elections will be in place and thus it wishes to close the deal before that timeline implying the new school is given more preference.
  • The issue in the hand also is about cancellation of multi billion dollar tenders of acquisitions and mdoernisations which has left a significant gap in our planning and preparedness.
Is the head ache enough?


  • Contender Gripen E/F has sweetened the deal with almost 53% tech transfer agreement (47% with USA entities unclear as of date and likely to be outside the scope)
  • Gripen has also stated Gripen M under MII with Indian not being its launch customer rather IN being its 2nd customer.
F16 Block 70
  • F16 Block 70 comes with full localisation and transfer of F13X engine and upgrade to India under TASL.
  • Also plan is for just first 90 and option is given to India to upgrade the line and next produce F35 but under limited technology transfer using Israeli modifications.
  • The F16 MRO and part facility will continue supporting global needs as well under export and MLUs
  • Government favours the G2G deal for this particular case with line being setup for 36 F16 per year to begin with and later changing to 16 F35s and 16 F16s (exports, MLUs and if needed more Indian orders)
LCA MK2 based on SE fighter Choice
  • LCA Mk2 will share interiors, upgrades and almost many subs systems with the SE winner.
  • There are two possibilities - One which is now under consideration for TASL to make LCA Mk2 completely and make HAL consider only Mk1A and other Russian fighter projects (if TASL wins)
  • But accessing tech and engine from other project (DRAL based components and Safran for engines including upgraded ones) is still an issue under consideration and a proper evaluation will be done.
  • Second to DRAL for LCA Mk2 if Dassault takes the quality and performance guarantee which enhances the product portfolio of Dassault globally with the retirement of Mirage production line and also enables to make a deeper systemic impact to Indian MIC.
  • This is a keen new outcome to watch out for especially since LCA ecosystem will get a tremendous boost via this method.

2. The TE Fighter Saga
  • With a clarity that IAF wants Rafale in requisite numbers from Merignac and from DRAL, the scope of conflict has increased a lot more within MOD.
  • In one side is the continuous emphasis of SE being "Cheaper" then TE and other is the need for TE fighters in Medium role for extended emerging environment.
  • The failures of cost and performance of SE vs TE expected and reality scenarios have hit MOD hard.
  • With the advent of F35 coming to India in TASL, the TE fighters itself now faces a bigger challenge to justify why they are needed if a 5th Gen Western SE fighter is available for India.
  • Of course this kind of puts indigenous program in TE category to a delay mode for subsequent quiet burial or a TD program.
  • Also IAF and IN must club their requirements for the TE need and their joint selection will form the basis of the second MII.
  • The selection to be used will be basically the OEM which helps finish Kaveri Engine and use it in MLU planes. This puts Safran and Rafale in pole position versus F/A-18 SH block 3.
  • But problems are plenty with emphasis on associated cost for IAC1 modification and subsequent overall costs that will be included under customizations head.
  • Still a independent nation like France supporting India at all times, goes a long way, especially if they are able to make Safranised Kaveri power the LCA Mk1A.
  • The thought process includes not depending on only one nation but to widen the whole program and use maximum localisations.
  • There are already discussions on Rafale M not suitable for LPD/LHD operations which the policy makers estimate 3+1 to be in place in coming decade or 2, right in time for a F35 variant to use that platform as well.
  • The other challenge being the emerging AD environment which needs a more sophisticated technical evaluation of the planes.
  • The other challenge being super high maintenance cost of a 5th gen, which IN wants to avoid at all costs and wishes a 4.75 Gen fighter and has made an internal choice of Rafale -M as per their submissions.
  • Obviously IAF fresh 36 requirements talks about a base and needs of specific "things" for their AD/SAM needs, implying the number of Rafale base will rise to 3 (if approved), sufficient to house minimum of 108 Jets easily.
  • With advent of new threat perception and limited access to F35 tech, a hard bargaining will be initiated with French Dassault and DRAL for a hi intensive tech transfer to DRAL for Wings, RAM coatings, Engines, embedded Skin Antenna, recon pods, Aerodynamic 3D systems designing and active cancellation+ many other areas.
  • Most of these will be used for LCA Mk2 as well and hence the offer to make the same in DRAL plant and use DRAL as integrator for LCA Mk2 will be explored.
  • The key challenge for Eric Trappier is the limited Time Dassault has .. Same next year end 2018 before code of conduct comes online.
  • Bcz DRAL factory comes online by 2022, the order must be secured to ensure a 3 year lead time before DRAL made Rafales assembled for first lot from Merignac plant CKD/SKD Units can come together with Indian made components.

3. Russia - The 5th Gen heavy Fighter and MKI Upgrade

  • Well Russia has its hands full. On one side is the MKI upgrade plan (7+ years since first pointed and till now now finalised) and IAF wanting the matured PAKFA product for FGFA..
  • As such FGFA is officially delayed and pushed for later part of 202X (closer to 2030).
  • Also its main purpose is to replace first the Mig29s and requirements are pegged at just 3 squadrons to max 5 squadrons.
  • The other includes the Mig35 being offered aggressively, even considered from financial perspective and helps bring down other for margins of negotiations.
  • Yet IAF is not even considering Mig 35 inspite of high promises from Russian side
  • Good news is second SSN under lease will join in next 2-3 years and S400 (450 MKI) will be finalised as well within similar time frame (before code of conduct). So plenty of more deals as well with Russia which needs to be finalised.
  • But the prime Super upgrade and FGFA needs a final push.. again 2018 end is the key deadline.

Final Words
Nothing changed much.. The circus continues,, We are yet not clear what we will do but what is clear in the minds of policy makers is there must be 2 private sector behemoths to manufacture western and Indian homegrown fighter project. and 1 public sector HAL which will continue MKI, LCA Mk1A and in future FGFA (when signed).

With the need of a 6X squadron fighter fleet with transport and UAVS above this and a separate dedicated IN 10 sqds, the requirements are huge.. But with fractured way of decision making, and limited time of action left, will the present government able to take the final call before the election code of conduct kicks in?

What will happen to LCA Mk2 which hinges on the SE fighter and borrows from TE fighter program as well?

The closeness to USA, the issues with Russia, the time taken for a French Wine to ripe and Indian jet home program going a bit slow.. Plenty of headaches for our new DM NS .. right away in hot seat. Coupled with neighbourhood issues, modernization needs of plenty more stuff and same countries connecting other critical systems with bigger deals of IAF...

Next one year should see the Merry Go round of IAF acquisitions either ending or spiraling to a much bigger one. Lets hope sanity prevails with all...

Will update when i hear and see some progress

Thanks for reading.. please feel free to comment and vote as well.

Picdelamirand-oil said:

How is it possible that F-35 is considered? They believe Lokheed propaganda?
So look at just a small computation.
Total cost of US F-35 program is said $ 1500 billions, where 400 is for procurement of 2443 F-35 and 1100 for operational life of the same plane. Now I suppose the operational life to be 60 years (we suppose they fix structural defaults
). It means that you will spend $ 7.5 Millions by year and by plane! Suppose that was the same for Rafale the cost for 5 years and for 36 Rafale would be minimum $ 1350 Millions. One Billion more than the cost in the Dassault deal!​
The chief problem being
  1. The believe LM presentation even if they are in-accurate can help make TASL a aerospace behemoth (a hope for sure).
  2. Challenges of understanding of also plagues our MOD - one section who wishes to have more of superficial effect like a F35 in IAF making adversaries clear of India - USA- Israel - Japan axis and dissuading them of any mis-adventure
  3. Neglect of roles is a prime challenge.. the role of F35 gets complemented with a large numbers of F16, F15 SE and F22 .. Thereby the F35 comes into mission much later which is not going to happen in Indian scenario as the MMRCA requirements includes specific mission which are not best suited for F35 (at present state)
If we see whats the chief criteria for the SP to be selected, few pre requisites include
  • Availability of hangar and land space
  • Experience in production of system/components
  • Availability of machining/processing facilities for composites
As you see these are more of industrial nature and is basically tailor made for one entity.

Moreover, the OEM selected must focus on the following points of evaluation
  • Range, depth and scope of tech transfer
  • Indigenous content proposed and localisation plan
  • Extent of ecosystem development proposed for Indian MIC
  • Measures to support SP in establishing systems for integration of platforms
  • Future R&D planned in India
  • Plans to train skilled manpower

In all these cases @Picdelamirand-oil inspite of other options like future Gripen M, the whole circus of show based effect of a american warplane in subcontinent with India creates fear in China and Pakistan.

For Rafale the IN order is as important as IAF. Unfortunately, DRAL is not making too much noise as Dassault is not PR savvy.

Also as i have always suggested to you and @halloweene , DRAL and team Dassault should have tied up with LCA program by Eric Trappier directly requesting MOD and French Prez telling Indian PM about the same. That would have helped a lot. with Indian DRAL making components and also supporting LCA ecosystem.

This trick was done by LM and suggested that internally LCA Mk2 will be modelled and made better and Indian MOD fall for the same.
Some buzz from James Mattis Meeting (first few points)

  • Guaranteed sharing of approximately 70% components commonality between F16 Block 7F and F35s with a intended target to make it 75%.
  • This is the chief challenge as the specification of Block 7F is getting further upgraded for Indian needs and the sharing of technology for commonality parts is a challenge.
  • Rest of the technology which can be shared without any hassles is submitted by LM for due consideration which includes all present tech upto UAE block 60 and classified tech not pertaining to F35s.
  • The CFTs are getting further enhanced to reach a combat radii as needed by IAF
  • Globally F16 availability rate is around 70% (just a tad below it actually).
  • For India specifically a 75% availability rate as advised will be undertaken and a Performance based Logistics and Support deal is also being planned to meet it stringently.
  • About Investments for full fledged Line transfer (every process) from Fort Worth to Indian TASL, some suggestions include
    1. Sharing costs between two parties GOI-IAF & TASL-LM for full line transfer and the whole chain
    2. This will lead to minimum production rate of 3-4 F16s per Month from TASL
    3. Also it will showcase commitment from India and its seriousness to facilitate full transfer of the ecosystem
    4. Need to strengthen the IPR regime and the proprietary tech to certain vendors who are part of teh supply chain,
    5. In such places, a 74% stake to be held via US entity is envisioned
    6. Technology for local MIC includes -
      • On board Central Pedestral Display
      • Improved Programmable Display Generator
      • Common Color Multifunction Displays
      • CPU and core technology behind them
      • Slots kept free for more core additions which can enhance and give additional performance of the system upto 50% based on multiple new scan systems taken from F35s
      • APG-83 SABR Air cooled AESA radar with terrain following, Radar common data link and ISAR (inverse SAR)
      • APG-83 is Northrop product so can be shared completely if the commitment for India is clearly there. (including all codes and software behind)
      • Complete software codes for all hardwares onboard
      • Targeting system for A2A and A2G - whole process of hardware, software and countermeasures
      • etc
  • Mattis also stressed this whole F16 ecosystem will become global hub for all spares, upgrades and orders and USA will leave the whole F16 ecosystem with India only.
  • Mattis also stressed that owing to commonality of 70% between F16 Block7F and F35s and targeted 75%, it will lead to easier transition to F35s at a later stage.
  • Mattis also clarified that Block 7F is superior to Block 60 by a big margin owing to F35 tech. The block 52s that IAF knows inside out of Singapore AF is further behind.
  • Mattis also emphasized that PAF operated F16s is entirely different and generation behind the Block 7F. In terms of capability, the present 7F is more than twice then what Block 52 so PAF F16s are further beyond the curve.
  • Its also added by a LM representative later that A2G mode of APG 83 can scan upto 290 kms and A2A mode is roughly 180 km for a 3m2, ~120km for 1m2 based on various factors and IRST will track in the range of ~80km
  • DM NS said the same will be evaluated and considered as per the quick process planned

Source Based IAF Update as on 30-09-2017
30th September has come and its time for an updated buzz in the corridors of power.

Lot of focus has been on SE so will start with the other competitor in SE Jet fighter plan

Gripen E Update

Last Saab news in the main SE thread was here

  • As of today Gripen E is in 2nd position but its an open option.
  • The deal structure and the whole program offered inclusive of all direct technology, licencing and integration is more complicated and highly expensive
  • IAF evaluation based on responses in MMRCA and as of new documents submitted by Saab shows Gripen E/F has drawbacks with engine power to weight in straight line.
  • The second problem is Gripen E fully eating out the program of LCA. Contrary to the belief that Gripen E will might be renamed as LCA Mk2 or position itself as Mk2, its threat is actually directly to MK1A.
  • There were two papers about Gripen internally and if Gripen comes the Tejas Mk1/Mk1A "All" orders will be certainly reduced.
  • The reduction will be based on non performance of HAL - Inability to deliver the aircraft on time and unable to meet certain quality parameters+ performance specifications.
  • There is a report submitted from HAL as well which has opposed Gripen E in similar language and has expressed great concern for LCA Mk1/Mk1A program curtailment scope.
Tech Integration from 5th Gen platform
  • To a direct query of a possibility of integration of F35 sub systems into Gripen, James Mattis has formally declined any chances.
  • In a candid view, he expresses strong reservation against continuing USA support for Gripen for long time and has said if a threat comes to US MIC and figher ecosystem, preferential treatment will be given to American companies only.
  • There is another challenge of Saab offer comprising of future integration of systems bought off teh shelf which are basically part of 5th gen systems research.
  • Its on paper as of now and would take a long time (at least a decade plus) before any successful integration and matured 5th gen tech from 3rd party system will be available for Gripen
Integration of Indian Engine - the Safranised Kaveri option
  • The SE fighter has a clear cut one agenda point - integration of Safransied Kaveri and its variants
  • Beyond a particular number, there is a clear understanding that Safranised Kaveri will be the preferred option for the Fighter
  • In MLU, the more powerful version of Safranised Kaveri will be used to upgrade the planes further.
  • Dimensions will remain same with only metallurgy and components/ compression/ stages change. Teh core is M88 core only for all these engines
  • The aim is to increase Dry thrust to 6x-7x-8x and AB to 9x-10x-11x-12x
  • Emphasis is on Dry thrust of course and a regime for max SFC around 0.8M-1.2M
  • The chief challenge here is
    • Gripen E will need re designing for the engine.
    • F16 needs no such changes
    • LCA Mk1A/Mk1X also no changes
    • Rafale (all variants) also no changes
  • This is a big let down for Saab and Gripen E and internal studies have revealed any such fitment comes at a much higher cost, and re certification much beyond just engine and flight performance and goes deeper into the airframe and entire EW + systems
  • Talks were still held for the fitment and a solution has already been proposed and for all intensive purposes it would be easier to take out the engine in all other crafts mentioned above as per the internal study than in Gripen E.
Chances of Gripen -
  • Tough chance inspite of Gripen E being far more newer aircraft program
  • In terms of assessment it has reached almost 60-65% of its potential as part of program development.
  • In terms of maturity versus F16 which is almost 100% of program development and integrating further newer tech from F-35, the assessment of overall proposal of Saab is weaker as detailed above.
  • Especially the Engine thing is a big let down inspite of being talked about many times on this by indian officials
  • Meteor integration and 5 meteor config is a big hit among the IAF people who already are over the moon with Meteors in Rafales (max 4 as of now but study underway to make it 6 under a deep upgrade proposed later in F4/4.2 - not sure if the cost is practical as it will involve heavy modifications).
  • Commonality of Meteor and ability to take out HV targets right from FW bases and taking out AWACS /AARs /Force Multipliers without extra mobilization is a big advantage.
  • There is another reason for Gripen E to be still in race as explained below in threats to F16 and its regarding software codes
F16 and USA
  • The points have been made before in the main thread
  • AIM 120D and a new variant is proposed
  • All the top missiles which can go in F35 will be available.
  • A new program under Raytheon and analogous to Meteor is also proposed as Future AMRAAM.
  • Its a necessity as detailed above in case of Meteor integration in F35 as well as in Gripen E
  • In A2G - AGM-65 Maverick/laser Maverick, AGM 142B - HaveLite, AGM-88 HARM is offered.
  • IN A2A- Iris-T, AIM 7F/M Sparrow, AIM 120 A/B/C/D AMRAAM, AIM 9 N/P/ L/ M/ S/ XSidewinder are proposed.
  • The A2G General weapons - 500lb and 2000lb bombs and Mk82,83,84 and GBU - 15/22/24/27/32/31/38 - JDAM is also on offer.
  • In Decoys - MALD and towed Decoy is offered
  • In ECM - ALQ 131 ECM Pod/ ALQ-211 AIDEWS POD and ALQ 119/184 ECM POD is there.
  • In Targeting systems - Sniper, Litening, HARM targeting system R7 and Integrated FLIR targeting systems is offered.
  • CFT in wings and 1100L center tank + 1400L under wing tank+ 2200L under wing tank options are there.
  • JHMCS 2 is offerred as well with GPS integration to local Indian system.

Threat to F16 / American political deal
  • USA- India relation is on upswing post Bush and Obama and now mainly due to Trump who is taking it forward with a greater emphasis on powering up India Militarily for the USA-India-Israel-Japan-Australia axis creation.
  • But there are certain deals where we dont see eye to eye like Climate Agreement deal
  • Also there are Information warfare and hacking issues in USA planes which have been bought by some of the countries who sabotaged and changed teh source codes to modify and better certain specs
  • Sub system hacks for F16 are still present and are mostly denied by USA people but they are there only very few can review it.
  • India has a powerful software community so that might be uncovered and reversed any threat and potential damage
  • But USA wants a "user agreement" to be agreed on before any MII absolving of any such damage caused which is why Gripen E is not already off the table.
  • There is also a sizable cost of sharing F16 line+ ecosystem completely to India and thats going to play a decisive role with overall costs budgeting.
FGFA status
  • As mentioned before there has been numerous points pointed by LM and Boeing about PAKFA program.
  • FGFA is stuck because the USA has shown several problems in stealth and engine output with framework issues for higher mach speed.
  • Right now its being noted as very low probability to make such extensive changes under the price given by Russia
  • MOD believes the price offered to us is a bait when compared to other such projects R&D costs.
  • The report says cost to be too low and is certainly a ploy as in to bait and then ask for money again in future.
  • The report also says based on experience and post MKI deal, the tech share status is better in Russia than in USA but the linking of missile system and the the new Nuclear link which has come up is a problem
Rafale - More orders and the biggest threat to come - F35 after 2020 +
Main thread
- Rafale deal signed
  • The next tranche of 36 is progressing well but it seems a strong idea is mooted by MOD to see if Dassault and France is serious about MII or not right at this stage.
  • There is a strong view of assembling these 36 at DRAL facility to showcase their real commitment for MII with standard localisation as possible under present deal offset conditions
  • If they accept such a proposition, it becomes easier for more orders with better localisation phase wise and is much easier than minimum 90 Rafales order.
  • The chief problem being TE MII is seen with Mig 35 as a competitor owing to the Russian offer in the hands of MOD
  • The chances of Rafale order curtailment is growing ground for one bigger reason -F35
  • The political side of the SE USA deal and with a possibility of buying out support from overall F35 consortium with the help of USA is gaining at a rapid pace.
  • With priority delivery from USA line for India its becoming extremely lucrative for New Delhi
  • 2020 or afterwards is said to be when India can get a taste of the F35 if India chooses too and with certain pre conditions.
  • Thus team Dassault needs to move in pretty quick. The USA ally and F-35 scope has actually put the ball back in France's court. Will they move in and accept assembling 36 at DRAL India - thats the big question.

Overall comment-
  • GOI needs a showcase MII program which can show tangible results and can be used as poster presentation for 2019 elections.
  • As of now no program has a head start except DRAL implementing offsets but it more hinges on Safranised Kaveri and its success
  • A successful Kaveri powering Rafale to be made/assembled in India will go a long way forward compared to other SE deals.
  • A successful Kaveri powering LCA MK1A is also highly needed to safeguard our own MIC.
  • It would be wise to see which LRUs and parts/systems can be made in DRAL as part of HAL outsourcing if French side seriously wishes to help LCA program as LCA ecosystem is struggling to make enough numbers for 24/year production limit.
  • About USA jets well, there are lots of pros and cons..But a political deal is what PM NM is looking at and it makes sense to be on USA side versus Sweden side especially if the deal leads to the consortium of countries under F-35 program
  • As usual, the headaches are way too many for GOI. MOD and IAF. But modernization is highly needed and its not just LCA but many other places as well.
  • Like it or not we have to import for next decade. Even if we cry a lot and make noises , the fact remains present MIC is not in a stage to deliver whats needed.
  • Its better if we focus on getting the jets and upgrade our MIC ecosystem to support LCA program first and then think about other programs and say no completely to Imports.

Air Vice Marshal PK Srivastava (retd) had collated with Ernst and Young for this below representation
AVM is a holder of Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM).

The Grand Plan


Few of his points
  • Future wars will be fought with intelligent weapons that would exploit medium of air and are operationalized through the medium of networks.
  • This has led to enhanced requirements of air assets for other two sister services too.
  • A conservative estimate puts total requirements of three Services at nearly 150Bn USD in next one decade.
  • This requirement coupled with GoI initiatives and emphasis on "Make-in- India" creates big business opportunity for own industry at all levels of manufacturing and services viz. platform level, Tier I/II/II and MRO inclusive of operational logistics.
  • Market Size and Revenue Segments MSMEs, may especially view potential market size as three revenue
  • generating segments viz. Offsets & Tier I, PBL/MRO and Make programs.
  • These opportunities may then further be distilled into opportunities, wherein, MSMEs may leverage the
  • existential technical, financial and relationship assets to their advantage.
  • This may considerably be a CAPEX non-intensive approach to enter into capital intensive industry of defence aerospace. MSMEs can then build growth profile over it.
  • GoI will be procuring aerospace assets worth nearly INR 8, 26,480 crores in aircraft domain alone.
  • Taking 50% as either offset obligation or Indian content as prescribed by DPP- 2016, this translates into an opportunity of approximately INR 4 lakhs+ crores for Indian industry over one decade.
  • An analysis of worldwide aircraft manufacturing eco-system indicates that nearly 70-80% of this value is executed at TierI, Tier II, Tier III and material suppliers of aircraft manufacturing industry.
  • This figure at mid value of 75% of potential defence aerospace market size works out to approximately INR 3 Lakh Crores over one decade for MSMEs.
  • This is a conservative estimate since we have not taken other flying assets of inventory like UAVs and missile systems (another big ticket segment) into account.

I believe DRAL could well become SI in the top part of the pyramid by doing only SI work in India and doing Tier 3 job already via offsets and move towards Tier 2 based on orders step by step. Initially With components and wings assembling a small part of work of Tier 2 will be there in DRAL

Later if a Rafale NG can be planned with new Safranised Kaveri (uprated) in the lines of Rafale Heavy Config, it can migrate to OEM part and also fill in the gap of Tier 2 as well.

Its important for all to understand why this diagram is important. As such getting any line like F-16 /Gripen E needs all such tiers.. One has to understand even in Tejas context what challenges in Industrial side we face when we see this pyramid. Its lot more detailed then ADA pyramid of earlier times.

Its here one must understand how MII will be manipulated by all sides

Next Post - I will post details of what India wants in DTTI and what we have got so far. The Indo US relationship upgrade and potential as well

So far most newspapers have carried this many fields over last 3 years as detailed below
  • Hot engine technology for indigenous light combat aircraft
  • Raytheon-manufactured Signature Aperture Radar
  • Stealth-coating technology
  • Long-endurance high-altitude UAV - the Global Hawk
  • Textron-manufactured Scorpion mutation bomb
Now the background of why this focus on DTTI
  • During the Indian PM's visit to the US last time, the US State Department issued a DSP-5 license for the export of 22 Sea Guardian UAVs to India.
  • A DSP- 5 category license is issued for permanent export of military hardware as found in the US Munitions List which is defined by the International Traffic Arms Regulations.
  • So 22 Guardians are coming to India soon.
First thing first - most of these sales will be a G2G and under FMS route

Secondly, the projects which are under ongoing discussion - FMS program includes the following
  1. Hawkeye E-2D aircraft
  2. Self-protective suite
  3. Additional C-17s (whatever available)
  4. Additional Harpoon Block II missiles
  5. Additional Apaches for the Army
  6. Special operating forces unique equipment
  7. Aegis Missile Defence System
  8. Multi-role helicopters for the Navy
  9. NG carrier-based fighter aircraft competing with Rafale-M
  10. Submarine deep sea rescue vehicle case
  11. Engines for the Jaguar aircraft
  12. MH-60R helicopters
  13. Javelin infra-red guided missile
  14. Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS)
  15. Advanced Tactical ground combat vehicle
  16. Future Vertical Lift program
  17. Vehicle-based mines scattering system
  18. HALE -UAV - the Global Hawk
  19. Scorpion mutation bomb
  20. F-16+ F-35
A lot of these will be fitting with offsets into the pyramid as detailed above.

Thirdly the pathfinder projects -
"Pathfinder projects" includes co-development +co-production and will be under MII directly
  1. Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources (MEHPS)
  2. Next Generation Protective Ensemble
  3. Digital Helmet Mounted Display (DHMD)
  4. Joint Biological Tactical Detection System (JBTDS)
  5. Atmospheric Sciences for High Energy Lasers
  6. Cognitive Tools for Target Detection
  7. Small Intelligent Unmanned Aerial Systems
  8. Blast and Blunt Traumatic Brain Injury
Fourthly, more working groups were announced to cover Naval Systems, Air Systems and other Weapons Systems which are deemed strategic in nature and outside the purview of this post. (Underwater Strategic Fleet related+ SOSUS + Aerial Surveillance+ Satellite Surveillance + Missile Defence+ etc)

  • Most of these programs meetings are going on as per schedule.
  • The prime challenge being at least one big deal with all foundation agreements and response of US MIC is required to be seen before the rest of the FMS deals go through....
  • Helo fleet Deals are actively pursued with LM for MH-60R under a giant MII program implementation via TASL
  • A big push will needed from POTUS, PM NM and USA Senate to exempt many of the systems which will make many neighbors cry hoarse.

Personal Comment -Walking the talk needs to be seen. If we do get all these what we are discussing espeically a majority of these systems- we are talking about a massive shift in Indo USA relationship...

EXCLUSIVE: IAF flags concerns about Fifth Generation Fighter deal. Can India cancel it?
Updated: Oct 17, 2017 | 16:02 IST | By - Srinjoy Chowdhury

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government now has a problem on its hands. The Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Programme (FGFA) was planned about a decade ago and several billion dollars have been spent by both the countries for its design and development.

As far as the Indian Air Force is concerned, the FGFA was part of its future. But with the IAF giving the government its doubts about the project in writing, the Modi government will have problems on its hands. Will it accept the IAF's point and close the programme it has heavily invested in for years? This becomes tricky as the Russians are still India's closest military ally and a decision to not go ahead with it could strain ties. There will also, most certainly, be pressure from the Russians. Going ahead with it would also make the Air Force unhappy.

Along with a report by Air Marshal S Varthaman (retired), the Air Force has sent a note to the Defence Ministry. The note is written by Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Plans) Air Vice Marshal BV Krishna. But while the Varthaman report appears to support the project, the Krishna papers raise doubts. Naturally, the government will have to go by what the Air Force wants and at this point, the IAF does not seem very keen.

Arun Jaitley, the then defence minister, has already sat through a presentation on the subject. At a recent press conference, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa refused to speak about the subject, saying it was classified. But several points about the Air Force's dissatisfaction with the plane have emerged.

1. The radar cross-section surface area, according to the Russians, will be less than 0.5-metre square. The IAF isn't quite sure that will be the case. In any case, there is a belief it should be 0.2-metre square, comparable with the F-35, the American fighter plane. The higher the cross-section, the more visible the plane to radars, making it easier to track it down and fire missiles at it. A higher cross section makes it more vulnerable.

2. The IAF seems to have doubts about the performance of the engine. An engine is easier to maintain if it follows the "modular concept". There appears to be no certainty if that will be so.

3. There is also the issue of maintenance. The Russian aircraft are usually cheaper but they cost more when it comes to maintenance. The FGFA, however, has been an expensive plane to develop and it is still far from ready. Initially, it was felt the plane would be ready by 2017 and then, 2019. That seems unlikely now.

The note has come in the wake of the Varthaman report which has given the fifth generation fighter the go-ahead. The Air Force apart, the DRDO, the ADA and the HAL were part of the study.

Now, high-level sources said a political decision has to be taken.

India and Russia were close military-strategic allies and this programme was part of the future as far as the two countries were concerned. Russia has supplied India with a nuclear-powered submarine, a point its officials often make. But with the Air Force not very happy with the FGFA, it will be up to the government to do decide whether the deal goes through or not. The decision will also have to be taken at the highest level. There are some concerns about what happens if the deal falls through. Would the Russians play hardball on the S-400 air defence system deal? That is something India wants.

Tomorrow is Diwali and i wish to bring you few positive news coming from corridors of power.
  • Even though DM NS has been touring multiple places, there has been hectic discussion on Fighter jet procurement between PMO, MOD officials, IAF and DM on phone.
  • NSA Doval is actively involved as well and has given inputs which may tilt the jet deal purchase.
  • Numerous attempts has been made by PMO to get a approval from IAF for F-16 and a total USA shift with F-35 coming in place of FGFA program
  • PAKFA Stage 2 limited 4 squads to be procured off the shelf to pacify Russia in lieu of the FGFA "frozen" status.
  • BUT here comes the BIG TWIST - LUCK & PERSISTENCE won the day for IAF
  • Few News that will find way to main stream media over time is
    • POTUS Trump has done numerous U Turns and latest seems to have taken the air out of PM NM confidence levels on growing USA India relationship.
    • POTUS Trump wants America first and wishes maximum jobs in America and limited work in India TASL for MII Program
    • In reality he wishes to meet MII terms in a way which benefits his America first campaign more.
    • He wants F-16 program shifted to India superficially as long as things are produced in America and generate American Employment.
    • POTUS has expressed dis-satisfaction via Embassy officials for non cooperation in Afghanistan front where POTUS wanted India to commit at least 5000 boots officially.
    • On Top in a big shift POTUS also explained that India can be member of Security Council but without any Veto Power and this is what China and Russia also wants personally.
    • NSG deal is still under consideration but India needs to demonstrate the USA shift before any more "hard work" is to be done by USA for making other members agree on India inclusion.
    • To further the cause, POTUS sanctioned EMALS tech to India for its IAC-2 carrier but wants F-18 SH selected for IAC-1 (57 MRCBF) with minimal offsets.
    • There are more strategic issues as well with emphasis to contain Pakistan verbally but doing limited work in reality.
    • For Gripen as well POTUS made it clear that he will actively discourage personally all American MIC for any deal but in media he will do a PR work and say otherwise.
    • All this discussion over last fortnight with US officials and PMO has dented PM NM confidence in a big way.
  • This body blow has come in a bad time when FGFA deal is becoming increasingly difficult and also Russia wants more of deals without any offsets.
  • Russia has now offered Mig-35 for IAF again in 1st week of October with revised offer of Engine tech like MKI deal and have asked India to look at this deal if FGFA falters.
  • In lieu of all this PM NM has gone soft and said go slow with LM and Boeing deals till he gets more clarity and avoid U Turns from POTUS.
  • This is a marked shift from earlier G2G route he wanted to take and close out things asap for a concrete media blitz before 2019 polls.
Now where is the good news ? here comes the good news...
  • French Safranised Kaveri is on track and a report has been submitted of the progress.
  • The Dassualt Team and French government has submitted a list of possible systems which they want to integrate into LCA Mk1A and make it far more portent deriving from Rafale and Mirage experiences and feedback from IAF who had given detailed feedback on M2Ks
  • Their plan is to make LCA Mk1A far more modular internally and ease of systems integration for a growth potential upside.
  • MII offer has been sweetened in a big way via these integrations and DRAL becoming a player in LCA Ecosystem.
  • Rafale Program is further boosted with a hybrid new Engine boost- amalgamation of Kaveri variable cycle with M-88 core to create a family of engines is now official and on black and white.
  • Same size, same core, same modularity and similar tech powering both LCA Mk1A and Rafale India
  • This engine will also be Made in India.
  • Officially the Rafale M wingtip is now getting tested with a mechanism to disintegrate in 5 minutes and fit into <10m span and re attaching the same in max 15 minutes with another 5 minutes for a full system check.
  • This system is planned for IAC-1 deployment and is part of the offering under "further research point" in naval tender.
  • The MII plan is further accelerated with French side clearly saying UAE and another order amounting to almost 78 Rafales in total will be supplied via DRAL when MII factory is up and running as well.
  • These Export Orders and their MRO will be DRAL India only as per French officials.
  • French state visits and Team Dassault will be strong in next 4 months with a emphasis to seal the deal asap on Rafale MII.
  • In civil side, Falcon Jet production is also given a go ahead to give more value for DRAL India.

And lastly, in lieu of all these discussions and PM NM reluctance to sign F-16 deal, there is one another good news.

NSA Doval has emphasized on fast tracking Rafale deal for MII over SE deals and any other order.

Personal Comment
So Diwali has been good for IAF.. Now i hope the rest of the things gets done as well on time.

French side has a small window of opportunity and a big winner by their side. They should contact NSA and IAF and close this MII deal out soon..

A full detailed public information dissemination of LCA Mk1A with proposed French systems and how they plan to add and benefit LCA Ecosystem will go a long way..

Hopefully if i get more information on this, will share it here as well.....

For now PMO dream of USA shift is on hold.. Cant blame PM NM.. POTUS Trump is inconsistent with his views.. That will be a big challenge for India for any concrete move...

Vive la France Inde ..
Oct 18.2017

Indigenous in terms of parts and value will be demonstrated as Kaveri Metallurgy is further improved and technology of existing kaveri is used as well .. This means Present MIC will become part of Safran ecosystem for this engine program. The core tech research will be accessible for further development programs and the metallurgy behind the same will be in Indian MIC.

There wont be imported parts... Safran Engines for Fighter jets and Helos will be fully made in India. There is a bigger facility coming up in Goa where they forsee a total of 10K + engines supply potential to Indian Military Programs.

Kabini core has certain challenges which does not enable it to go beyond 8X Kn consistently. The errors and stability is beyond rectification unless internally the systems are redesigned from ground zero up. Certain metallurgical changes needs time and industrial techniques. The M88 core and certain parts into Safranised Kaveri comes more of a plug and play for the last mile approach for Kaveri Program success. It needs to be seen if kabini is further developed or not. As of now emphasis is on Safranised Kaveri Engine family ..

Since Kaveri is variable cycle and its rating is better than European and American counterparts, French side plans to use these engines and tech for future Rafale fleet back home as well. Perhaps a global fleet MLU if India agrees. Implying a further pathway of development for Safranised Kaveri program and its heavier iterations.

The Rolls Royce Offer of development was in counter to this as it was already known in defence circles that Safranised Kaveri success will aide India more by freeing up its dependency on other Engine makers..
Kaveri being variable cycle will aid in present combination with M-88 core in the following fields. There will be a direct impact in
  • SFC with a reduction in fuel consumption (planned for a phase wise quarter percentage down from present level subject to maintenance pack evolution similar to ECO pack)
  • Higher specific thrust at flat rated conditions with lower SFC.
  • Decrease in Noise levels
  • Improvement in Range of the Aircraft in different conditions like subsonic, trans and supersonic
  • More mission and loiter time
  • The increase in air flow and decease helps in thermal signature management
The research in VCE or variable cycle engine is endless.. If a hyper sonic plane needs to be developed, the only efficient design will incorporate a Variable Cycle Engine ... That is the potential of this technology..

Lot of work was done by GE in 80s and 90s .. there was a time when F-22 Engine could have been variable cycle till Pratt and Whitney got it bcz of limited research on this and design maturity issues..

Its one of the biggest gem India has in terms of a technology. We need to fully mature the stuff.. its functional usage is way too immense.
Oct 19, 2017

Source confirmed Safranised Kaveri is going to France for advance testing.. the approval for the same is through..... There are some niggles which require testing in France and then the advance testing in a test bed..

The dispatch will happen within next 30 days to France for work to start...

Will share more details when received..
oct 19, 2017

Few more pointers
  • Gripen E chances are far less from the acquisition perspective
  • IAF was more keen on readily available Gripen C/D which was bypassed for LCA MK1A.
  • Gripen E brings limited things to table contarty to popular belief.
  • There are more indications within MOD papers that operational GaN based radar and EW system will be first with Thales than with any other European country.
  • The same will be available to customised Indian standard for the fleet of Rafale.
  • That has dented a lot of confidence among the Gripen E acquisition coupled with a lead time which is very prolong.
  • The PR campaign of India getting GaN tech with Gripen E is as of date "unsubstantiated" as per reports with MOD and "awaiting follow up evidence" asked few months back
  • The scope of G2G deal for SE is still not fully ruled out as the whole process has more scope of Single Vendor situation owing to many of the technicalities being not met by SAAB and the process fine tuned to suit the choice of PMO.
  • The LCA Mk1A with French help is now taken as plan B subject to France delivering what it says in true essence and spirit.
  • There is additional pressure on France as the window of opportunity might get limited with Mk1A program getting delayed.. for all the systems to be in place.
About FGFA
  • Negative report emnates from multiple things including the issue of PAKFA Stage 1 being crude from inside.
  • PAKFA Stage 2 will require more time to mature.
  • A total of 275+ modifications have been talked about FGFA over PAKFA Stage 2 in the file report.. cannot quote details in public...(earlier I said 150+ here but told correct figure to many in private)
  • The aforesaid details is going to cost additional investments which Russia won't share and will be under Indian Customization head from Day1.
  • But bigger challenge is HAL will not get anything above MKI level work for PAKFA Stage 2 to FGFA plan.
  • Certain Key research areas will be outside the scope of India unless India coughs up additional funds.
  • There are reports indicating that J-20 might be able to do more damage than previously indicated and in next decade it's maturity will outpace PAKFA program considerably.
  • There is a confidential report shared by LM needing more investments in F-35 program to bring it to quicker maturity.
  • It talks about a potential scenario where J-20 versus a certain USA Ally (India's very good friend as well) is getting hammerred a lot and this is alarming to the whole NATO.
  • In the same paper, the assessment of PAKFA stage 2 is shown from American perspective and they certainly believe the present Fleet of 4.5 gen planes like F-18 ASH , F-15 SE and European Duo Rafale F4 and Gripen E FOC standard will make a strong match to this bird.
  • Their contention states that European aircrafts are evolving fast and will soon out match Russian planes completely and will rival LM F-35 program unless F-35 is speeded up.

What PM Modi wants from F-16 deal ?
  • Beyond what is written before, what PM NM wants us priority weightage for ordering F-35.
  • The second thing which PM NM wants is also termed top priority - transformation package of F-15 To F-15 SE.
  • PM NM and MOD/PMO realises that 272 MKI will be there for another 20+ years easily.
  • Their planned MLU can be uplifted further if the "SEMI STEALTH" features of Silent Eagles can be incorporated into MKI.
  • The systems may not be directly USA MIC based but a spin off using Israel and French systems with Russian tech in Indian MIC is looked at for achieving a transformation package.
  • This also provides a breathing space in Heavy Category Fighters which needs a upgrade.
  • It is this aspect where PM NM had got disappointment with refusal coming from various USA officials including POTUS citing "difficult to get a deal with Senate"
The same will be asked again soon.. for one more push..

In the meantime, on the insistence of NSA Doval ,French officials have been contacted to take their inputs and possible solutions.. if French team Dassault can provide some credible solution, there is a stronger possibility of looking at a better deal in numbers and fleet optimization.

Of course it's for a competitive price and considerable usage in other Indian products in planned future.
Oct 21, 2017

Synthesis F-16

  • The F-16 is below the needs clearly stated by the IAF, it can not be used at high altitude and has a low range (650 - 800 km) which can be increased with a refueling (1000 - 1100 km). CFTs are not interesting because you have to put more powerful engines to compensate for extra weight, and the most powerful engines available are those with the worst specific fuel consumption.
  • The IAF said they would not take the F-16 and that if the MoD wants a political agreement then it must also speed up and command more Rafale in the volume that the IAF wants.
  • The F-16 has stability problems at high and low altitude, maneuverability problems in heavy configurations, interference and electromagnetic compatibility problems, non-detection of events involving safety. As a result, air-to-air and air-to-ground mission configurations both limit the ability to take G. Thus, survivability decreases severely in environments where threats are unveiled.
  • The F-16 has a radar detection zone well below that of the Rafale (from 40 to 50%). The BVR capabilities are limited due to the range of the Radar and the difficulty of refreshing at mid-course given the available power. In no way can the present configuration use the AIM120 and the Meteor satisfactorily. A2G mode of APG 83 can scan up to 290 kms and the A2A mode is about 180 km for a 3m2, ~ 120km for 1m2 based on various factors and IRST will follow in the range of ~ 80km.
  • The F-16 is highly vulnerable to piracy. It is only suitable for conventional attacks without hardening. The engine of the F-16 is a huge source of IR which is problematic for the Infrared Signature.
  • The IAF criticizes the quality-price ratio of the F-16: if the standard is given to 100 by the Rafale, respectively at the operational level and at the price level, then the promised quality-price ratio was 80/66 and that which was offered was 60/80 without customization and 66/90 with customization. So we go from a favorable 1.21 ratio to an unfavorable 0.75 - 0.73 ratio. The MII Rafale and the MII F16 have almost the same price.
Courtesy @Picdelamirand-oil
Some pointers..
  • Tillerson gave full support for F16 deal but still did not comment on F35 priority transfer saying he would need approval from congress.
  • As a bonus he has also offered F18 in a non MII deal but F18 is not the VFM plane thats needed.
  • French has offered a lot under the Tejas program including every part of the plane that is imported as of date.
  • These parts are to be made in DRAL, BEL, Safran India and supports the ecosystem by amlgating present LCA ecosystem with DRAL underdevelopment MIC.
  • The take away is off course that everything offered is combined developed for current and future part.
  • Based on NSA Doval Initiative beyond the 36 Rafale next set, discussion are more into a joint pact for Make In India Rafale and a scope of AMCA collaboration. A platform jointly developed for both France and India incorporating evolutionary aspects of Rafale NG and Indian AMCA.
  • This is contingent on LCA MK1A/B/X success based on new MIC plan.
  • On LCA improved version, not everything will be made public owing to nature of this deal and extensive negotiations.
  • India has said it wants to portray MII image so things are waiting for that.
  • The limited changes that are happening in MK1A is more to do with serviceability/operations qnd improving the radar, avionics and engine perspectives then anything else
  • Also it gives the french a foothold.
  • Another point being new Safranised Kaveri has passed semi cold start test and further points are being tested.
  • Otoh USA has relaxed because they know they have influenced IAF against the T50/ FGFA for now and only work left is to see the F16 being made here.
  • About FGFA - HAL are after MOD because of order book issues in future and the Russian side have expressively stated that sensitive info will only and only be shared with HAL and no private players in India.
  • Technically T50 Stage 1 is a a good product but is rough and unrefined.
  • Based on the discussion of overall changes and requirements , India needs to invest a good overall sum to bring it to it's expectations under FGFA. This sum is large and beyond the sharing of costs with Russia and that's a dampner for MOD as of now.
  • In the meantime, J-20 is termed as Pantanal Jaguar and it's through to be used as DPSA for various missions including nuclear bombing.
  • Ironically in Russian context, S400 and our requirements of S"450" is our only ally for all sort of 5th Gen planes in vicinity.
  • The Prometheus component of HTK missiles are awaiting few more tests and need a special approval from Prez Putin. But Indian Missile orders consider them as well.
  • This will be the 3rd TEL attached to each battalion.
  • The MKI update is also open ended and it's requirements have not been closed as of now.
  • Awaiting more clarification on Super upgrade based on IAF requirements from Russian side.
Oct 28, 2017

ource Based news
  • DM Florence Parly had conveyed that France will officially support India in it's Anti China Build up.
  • In this regard, the military pact is further enhanced with access to all technology from France without any restrictions including Nuclear tech.
  • Also the fleet of Navy will now do joint ops as and when required.
  • It is now official from French side that France will join India Israel Japan USA Australia group.
  • In return , France seeks to deepen all types of strategic relationship with India in order to ensure Both nations stand together for every geo political challenge of today and coming tomorrow.
  • It will be made public soon via official channels.
  • Architect of this whole dialogue, decision and deal making is NSA Doval
Nov 2, 2017

Source Based News

First Rafale News

  1. With the DM Florence conveying France's open endorsement of India's Anti China Stand and unlimited help in Modernisation and access to all technology point, many things have changed rapidly in last 2 weeks.
  2. The biggest first change has come from Indian Navy.
  3. IN has recommended France as a partner for Rafale program under MRCBF and beyond.
  4. The MRCBF offer from France included giving a training squadron on lease right now itself for SBTF.
  5. These planes will not be changed at all including whatever customisation they had engraved for N role except absence of the delivery system.
  6. This was suppose to train us for the similar system under plan as well (to be used by selective IN and IAF pilot coming under Strategic Command)
  7. IN has recommended a joint development role for India and France for Rafale program in it's report.
  8. IN has recommended this joint development program rather than outright lease to incorporate "certain tech advancements further to IAF customizations leading to more evolved version of F4/4.2"
  9. IN wants such standard planes from DRAL India under MII ONLY.
  10. IN has also offically endorsed and recommended France for technology participation and active role of Naval group and Dassault Rafale Air Wing for all it's aircraft carrier - present and future.
  11. IN has also recommended suitable studies for basically either complete replacement of older airwings or mixing them up with more potent Rafale Ms to boost their area of operation, roles and responsibilities.
  12. The exact phrase and open recommendation from IN for joint program and studies "Was not expected" by bureaucrats of MOD and the ministers.
  13. IN recommendation follows the open endorsement of IAF and it goes in line with the strategy of NSA Doval thereby opening up the TE MII under a expedient process of decision making.
  14. This all was after a two hour long telephonic meeting between naval chiefs from US, IN and France along with representatives of parties with NSA Doval for this deal to come to conclusion.
  15. This means the new aircraft carrier from India will have French elements instead of American ones since those are a bit on the heavier side and is costly with operational issues.
  16. This Carrier option of EMALs might come from USA if EMALs power surge and maturity of systems can be augmented by the Naval Group from operational stability perspectives..
  17. The Rafale M was already a strong contender for IN and pairing it with this makes it offical choice No.1.
  18. This new carrier will have many elements of proposed carrier program of France (as of now frozen but revival plan is underway with Prez Macron looking into it actively).
  19. Offically the aircraft carrier talks mentioned about an endorsement from French Prez Macron and a representation of a joint program with India from French citizens ( @halloweene
  20. The TE MII aka Rafale MII with these endorsement will now be pursued independently and SE deal won't get priority treatement over Rafale MII due to any reasons (including finances as FM AJ is on board as well)
@Picdelamirand-oil @BON PLAN @Vergennes @CNL-PN-AA

FGFA - Russia and other Russian deals
  1. FGFA program freeze conveyed to HAL and this will be a huge loss for HAL order books.
  2. The contours of FGFA deal is being studied for a graceful exit for both sides.
  3. It seems that this will either be cut down PAKFA Stage 2 off the shelf procurement post 2022+ timeline or turned into a different deal altogether.
  4. Russia had linked FGFA with S400 and it's 450MKI version evolution with Prometheus HTK components but India has resisted a lot as of now.
  5. Russia has indicated now about linking S450MKI with N Sub lease deal.
  6. India requested for Yasen Class beyond the Akula 2 and Russia has said no to advanced class sub lease and will not lease anything above Akula 2 class of what India was leased already
  7. There is a deep crisis with US inspection based roles which Russia is not comfortable with at all.
  8. There is a expectation that further road blocks will be cropping for closing MKI Super upgrade program with the Russian Sukhoi unable to revert back on IAF points especially on Airframe optimization for RCS reducation perspective with usage of advanced materials and increasing payload with better engines.
  9. The new UL-BVR program is also not reverted for the so called Super Upgrade.
  10. IAF has red flagged this concerns to MOD in it's reports.

  1. Israel's name will again come to the limelight soon with firmed up deals in missile defence and offence systems.
  2. In a rare occurrence PM Netanyahu had promised PM Modi technology for Missile Guidance systems when PM Modi visited Israel
  3. These guidance systems will help everything from missiles to drones to SAMs.
  4. These are to be technology transferred to an Indian entity and made under MII and available for all indigenous, Joint developed and 3rd party systems which are built in India.
  5. Actions taken by Israeli MIC indicates that PM Netanyahu is living up to his promise for close friend PM Modi.
  6. It's also known that French connection to LCA systems and DRAL to ecosystems has jolted the Israelis.
  7. With LCA systems potentially now with proposed French solutions, Israelis have realised that Price hiking confirmed 200+ 2052 orders is now up in dust completely. And so also WVR and BVR missiles tongo with it.

  1. F16 is still on top in that MII deal and it can only be dethroned if F35 ETA turns out to be more than 10-15 years. (Due to revoking of.priority transfer by moody POTUS)
  2. USA still is seeking active mediatory role of India in Afghanistan and Afganistan has also asked India to consider this actively.
  3. This has made the planners look for options which can go well with India's stance so far about Afganistan.
  4. A small window in next 60 days has opened up and it's there for a deal for the F16 to be signed but a big wig from Sweden is also said to arrive during that window to try and bat for the Gripen.
  5. Since the Swedish person has dual loyalties with the US and Sweden he is reported to tell the DM that the F16 deal is difficult to be done because it has a lot of strings attached but if it does happen Sweden will be happy but its growth is limited for future.
  6. He is also to convey that if F16 deal does not happen india can still have Gripen which has more ability and can grow in accordance with skill and tech.
  7. He will also propose a 3-5 year trial period for "assembly ckd" version of Gripen E in Adani JV plant before full shift to MII.
  8. His contention is localisation should happen only post 5 years and use first 5 years of CKD to smoothen out assembling infrastructure.
  9. He has already been conveyed that India wants localisation from Day 1 but Saab has indicated it's inability to do so for various reasons including Adani having no experience at all in aircraft component making.
  10. MOD has conveyed to look at DRAL example which Saab and Sweden not wanting to follow for commerical reasons.
Nov 6, 2017

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba has begun a six-day visit to France to explore new avenues of cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries.

Admiral Lanba will meet French Defence Minister Florence Parly and will hold talks with Chief of Defence Staff General Francois Lecointre and Chief of French Navy Admiral Christophe Prazuck, the Navy said in a statement.

"The visit aims to consolidate cooperation between the armed forces of both India and France and also to explore new avenues of defence cooperation," it said.

Admiral Lanba, during his November 5-10 visit, will also visit the French Airbase at Landivisiau where he will be briefed on the operational employability of the Rafale aircraft by the French Air Force.

In September last year, India had signed an Euro 7.87- billion (approx Rs 59,000 crore) deal with the French government for the purchase of 36 Rafale twin-engine fighter jets.

The supply of Rafale jets is scheduled to start from September, 2019.

Admiral Lanba's visit to France comes 10 days after the French defence minister visited India during which both sides had decided to expand their military cooperation in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region, besides resolving to further ramp up the overall defence and security ties.

Admiral Lanba is also the chairman of the powerful chiefs of staff committee (CoSC) which comprises the Army, Navy and IAF chiefs.

He will also be visiting the Maritime Prefectures at Brest and Cherbourg, and the French submarine facility at Cherbourg.

Defence and security ties between India and France have witnessed an upward trajectory in the last few years.

The two countries established a strategic partnership in 1998, enhancing bilateral cooperation in strategic areas such as defence, nuclear energy and space.

The Indian Navy cooperates with the French Navy on many issues, which include operational interactions such as the Varuna series of bilateral exercises.

French shipbuilding major Naval Group, formerly DCNS, is part of the Indian Navy's project P 75 under which six Scorpene submarines are being made in India with the transfer of technology from the French firm.

Warships from Indian Navy have been regularly visiting ports at France.


Always knew this is how it would end up. France offers a much bigger strategic partnership than the US can (at the moment) due to trust issues along with meaningful and efficient ToT. In the above article, they talk about 'new avenues of defence cooperation' that could include future developments of Rafale, collaboration in aircraft carrier development and even offering a scaled down 'Baracuda' SSK (notwithstanding their current stand w.r.t. the Australian apprehensions).

Also, Adm Lanba being the chairman of CoSC will sign-off on the final decision on the IAF-IN cooperation for developing and synergizing Rafale procurement, operation and developments.​
Some small snippets

Nirbhay Missile
  1. I had written here about the new guidance system work by Israel given to India with full TOT.
  2. The first trial of that was done in a limited test of Nirbhay Missile at 0.6M (much lower than 0.8-0.85M ) for a ~650km
  3. Israel worked on nirbhay in secret, guidance operations and targeting sensors were changed among other things.
  4. This was a sample work for them the work was done along with Indian scientists.
  5. In total the work to be done over multiple tests will catapult Nirbhay to a flight time of approx 90 Minutes and sustained speed of 0.8M over 80% of the flight.
  6. The targeted range is approx 1500km to be tested step by step.
  7. Proposed Cruising mode over 70 Minutes is targeted to cover approx 1150+ km other than boost and final engagement phase covering other 20 minutes.
  8. Warhead design is further minutarised for more mission specific needs.
  9. There are small changes in the body of the missile as well with trimming of wingspan marginally and optimising certain other aspects.
  10. Now the whole missile and canister together is just under 1500 kg.

  • MOD had suggested a CBU completely Built Unit procurement for Rafale M owing to time needed to operationalize the DRAL facility.
  • IN is insisting on MII proposition for additional benefit for MIC.
  • IN has also written that beyond MRCBF it's looking at additional Rafale Procurement as well.
  • In the discussion, IN clearly said it has the capacity and need of Rafale numbers which can standalone warrant a MII line for itself.
  • MOD will internally discuss and call IAF and IN for joint discussion on the same.

Safranised Kaveri
  • The present Safran core installed had given Safranised Kaveri an unstable thrust of 6x/9x.
  • The step 1 is stable 65/98 and step 2 which is to be officially targeted to be deployed is 72/110.
  • A further discussion with Saab on fitting this engine on Gripen E had resulted in a mixed response.
  • Safranised Kaveri is much too large for unmodified Gripen so major modification is needed.
  • When asked for the same , saab said it will take time.
  • It has requested India to first finalize the design and operationalize the engine and then give us 5years to modify the bay and equalize the weight, etc etc to start certification process for the Safranised Kaveri Gripen E
  • OTOH F16 is indeed a better host for that engine since the engine willcome with stealth features"Lower IR read" among other features.
  • The F16 has enough space to play around and let that engine breath properly, the air intakes are big enough for uprated Safranised Kaveri engine also.
  • F16 design is said to be an easier integrator for the engine where as the Gripen would need years and years of testing and redesign.
  • The target rate for the engine is 110 with Afterburner but it has not yet reached that.
  • Its high altitude testing will be done in France but stall test here in India.
  • The engine is expected to have similar life values as Russia engines in 72/110Kn format and 65/98 is targeted to be at par with ECO pack like features.
  • It's said that both these engines are targeted to be like M88-4 and M88-3 like needs, life and serviceability.
  • A separate ECO pack for each is planned to enhance its life , serviceability and maintainence perspectives as much as possible.
Nov 9th 2017

The unstable nature is talked in two places -
  • low speed
  • Flameout.
There is a increased NVH detected at low speed resulting in requirement of more parts inspection and possibly replacements.

The Flamout talked about 3 point check of sufficient Fuel and oxygen intake for combustion, compressor zone issues and mechanical design or material failure. On this it ahs been narrowed down to Compressor zone issues.

Bcz of this the Engine bench results is deemed unstable and undergoing refinements to solve the issues and attain stable thrusts under all standard conditions.

The Step 1 and 2 pertains to two thrust categories being planned for 65/98 and 72/110. The targeted result is 72/110 Kn which is basically planned for future AMCA program. The cross usage is envisioned for the F16 engine of F100 family. Thats the eventual target.

In the interim the Step 1 is the stable 65/98 Kn thrust family of engines to power the domestic LCA Mk1A. In case the LCA MKXX family is further upgraded, an option of heavier engine is always there via Step 2 72/110 Kn Engine.

Now why these 2 steps?
The original plan of 65/98 Kn and increase thrust requirement made Indian researchers see a decrease in engine life, increased maintenance and limitation of time needed to perfect the same. The 72/110 engine simulation seems to put the engine to be better than Chinese "RD33 based" Engine but not as good as Russian engines presently. This simulation was done with teh aid of Safran who deemed it similar to M88-3 with requirement of better air intake and limited life and increased maintenance. It is for the same reason, this engine needs further time and a better new standard similar to ECO in order to make it better than Russian Engines and move it closer to M88-4E kind of stable regime.

In short, Step 1 can be attainable within a much shorter time frame and Step 2 in build on that in a medium time frame.
he initial agreement pertained to F16 with proper technological absorption over TASL chain but when USA folks hard pressed PMO officials , the deal started getting skewered. First the tech absorption rate and scope was reduced, the entities were asked to have 74% stake by OEMs from USA and finally it was said they want a 100% control over such entities as well.. Even to the extent that certain relaxations were "u turned" and said to be now under Senate Approval only.

It was at this point Doval changed tactics with French side stepping up for the LCA Ecosystem and support for operationalising the LCA, all present day imported systems of LCA offered from Dassault chain, DRAL making LRUs and components and even redesigning a part of landing gear for more optimized under carriage load out.

But PMO folks have moved ahead a lot with USA India relationship from security perspective. Doval was in favor of USA security outsourcing policy with a carrot of F-35 procurement but the U turns have made him look at French more closely. It is for the same reason Tillerson went frustrated back bcz NSA doval had not given his consent to PM Modi for the letter of endorsement.

One thing is clear, with thsi India Today news report, PMO/MOD achieved what they wanted and IAF has relented on SE.. Surely IAF had got their pound of flesh.. and that means 36 more Rafales is done and over with and focus will shift to Macron visit where MII talks on further batches will be key with French involvement in other defence programs.
We wanted to have 2 private sector entities which can become our own LM and Boeing. We created DRAL via offsets and hoped that SPM will create the other one.. This will free up our present major player HAL who will move up the ladder in the pyramid and use the benefits derived from ecosystems established via this path.

Unfortunately the contours of F16 Block 70 at present levels wont help much in our MIC as sufficient work of the same will be kept back home in USA (USA First of trump) implying a limited real transfer and absorption and entities in India under more direct control of USA then India itself.

There was a discussion where at one point of time the same LCA internal re organisation was suppose to be like F16 internal and this was the main basis of a limited order of 90 F-16s (they wanted 200 F-16s order) and 60 odd F-35s to go through the deal. The deal was further augmented by Trumps "priority order status" to Indian F-35s before the whole deal contours started changing and Americans pressing us hard for more orders of F16s, issues written a lot in this thread and POTUS going back on priority treatment.

Unfortunately Gripen E package also is inferior as of date when compared to whatever F-16 Block 70 has been offered with (contrary to popular belief thats its better). Most folks dont know for example that Gripen E Cost per Flying Hours in present form pre IOC is expected to be above $9k and a planned reduction of 50% is envisioned upto FOC to bring it down to $6K. And all such claims in the papers presented to MOD remains unsubstantiated as the program is in way too early stage.

To be honest DRAl is recognized as a special factory under Dassault chain and Dassault plans to use it irrespective of Indian orders or not to make parts and bring down cost of Rafale. and Falcon. The same wont hold true for TASL at the present from of the deal.

Then again Security outsourcing to USA and focus on Economical revival is the main agenda. so we have to be happy with Engineers working in a AC environment doing some part of assembling.. with access to certain portions being restricted and biometrics being a popular item .... something like that only max for our MIC...
Nov 10,2017

Thats quite correct but there is one more aspect which i wad willing to hold back due to the nature of negotiations,

Its now very clear that there are only 2 MII cases .. one of Rafale and other of impending F-16.. the third one of FGFA or Heavy category is more or less is clearly under frozen state with path for graceful pullout/curtailment.

What India Today published has made me finally say a little here..
  • There are a total of 13 files pertaining to deep upgrades and modifications proposed by French Dassault & co team for LCA Tejas Project.
  • Of course this is subject to GOI/MOD accepting it officially.
  • The chief among that is
    • Aerodynamic Improvement
    • Internal Re-Arrangement and Main System Architecture
    • Avionics
    • Radar
    • EW
    • Landing Gear re arrangement
    • WVR and BVR Missiles
    • Safranised Kaveri two phase plan
    • Maintenance and Quality Parameters and a system to efficiently plug and play support monitoring
    • Component and LRU for all imported systems /subsystems of LCA to be produced in DRAL
    • Total Overhaul improvement with similar timelines as Mirage and Rafales for mission maintenance pre and post.
    • Collaboration with India for a 5th gen project based on Rafale Evolution
    • Other Services deals
  • French side has clearly said about MK1A and retrofitting Mk1 into new standard for all LCAs
  • All that comes at the cost of accepting one bitter pill - an SE choice of PMO - F-16s
  • Russia is getting compensated via a Missile Defence Deal (with TOT for a premium price) and a new N Sub lease deal which is far more costly than original $650Mn lease of Chakra 2
So essentially this washing the dirty linen and cornering opinions against IAF is wrong and possibly scandalous in nature.

The LCA Mk1A and MKXX program under French help is touted as a proper replacement of Mirages and is a cheaper LWF option for many Airforces which can act as a great export revenue potential for joint India and France Marketing and geo political deals. backed by Line of Credit, it helps expands spheres of influences quite rapidly.

Its time possibly for GOI to take a more concrete decision without using Services to become villains for agendas which basically are governments actually. And its perfectly all right to look at military deal for geo political reasons.. But a bit of transparency will serve a long way.

Of course HAL must pull up their socks as well bcz Private sector will get the share of Defence modernization and procurement Pie.. And with changing times, they must up the competition to remain competitive in the game and more importantly for relevancy purposes

PS: 40 armed Avengers -- thats besides 22 Guardians.... that file is with POTUS.. it might increase or decrease.or deferred...
Nov 10, 2017

IAF never supported SE deal over LCA.. IAF had asked for Rafale and French association to make LCA a grand success..
It was always PMO who wanted a USA political deal..

TBH PMO wanted both F16s and F-18s..F-18s Rhino and SH for IAF and IN was proposed.. @Hellfire spoke about Boeing deal almost 1.5 years back to few of us and it was IAF who resisted this very hard.. IN supported IAF on this as well...

It was known for sometime (last few months) that the compromise between MOD and IAF/IN would need IAF to accept Govt wishes for SE jets with endorsement and GOI in turn accepting want of Rafales.

Luckily Boeing package over time of these negotiations were way too inferior (superiority complex perhaps) and Rafale deal further evolved for LCA and DRAL factory setup date being finalised.. these events helped IAF and IN to firm up its stand and GOI also forwarding the TE deal to priority status.. Of course USA helped it as well with their U turns making it easier for Services to negotiate hard.

The article today and iAF wordings even if it remains unconfirmed is basically showing F16 being better and building the opinion for wider acceptance.. and in the process painting IAF as villains.. in reality, its a turf war for fighters of their own choices between gov and services..
There is no curtailment process as such for LCA. What transpired over last 3+ years is the mechanism of review for LCA project has become far more stringent. It was done by DM MP to keep a tab over the program delays due to unforseen challenges..

Unfortunately what followed is a typical review mechanism where every meeting and review note carries a feedback and a line from a bureaucrat criticizing the issues plaguing the whole project.. One of the biggest challenge was the ecosystem support for LCA and it will remain so even now inspite of HAL outsourcing a major part of the work slowly.. The stabilisation of such a support system takes time to evolve and so far the LCA made are also limited in number.. The line is not dependent on order number for stabilization but rather order execution to remove the teething issues. So i believe and i am certainly hopeful based on past supply chain efficiencies seen in every other sector of this country that Tejas program will see a upswing for sure in a short time period.. perhaps upto the first 20-30 birds of production.

OTOH for the FW bases, the footprint and associated infra for the missions, LCA MKXX is the best bet. Its role envisioned is for a point defence fighter and thats good enough from the FW base perspective.. For it to be thought as multi role will require some tweaking and that is for a better version which unfortunately is no more funded as of date. That does not mean we have killed the so called evolution program rather reviews showed the division of resource pool which now is concentrated on the MK1A being operationalised before embarking on MKXX program.

Does IAF want LCA in versions? As far as i had checked , it does.. i still stand by what originally IAF wanted .. a 15 sqd of LCA with 7 sqd of Mk1X and 8 of better MKXX version. Their logic was clear that a low cost fighter for FW base enables them to concentrate resources on the medium and heavy category of only Rafales and MKIs. IAF discounted Jaguars a lot in last 2 years owing to limitations it has seen in terms of life of the bird and already even the 60 planned Dariun 3 is not going ahead much (contrary to popular opinions). The Jags and other old workhorses like Mig29 UPG and M2Ks with reduced workload can be stretched at best by a decade plus 2-3 years. With our style of jugaad and not letting go 15 years max for a ancient plane.

Unfortunately the review remarks show cased lots of issues faced by Mr raju who had worked very hard to change the working style of HAL and bring them upto speed with the changing time and philosophies.. An example I repeatedly heard is that No 45 Squadron based on first 2 aircraft, IAF folks did give a small feedback about improving approach to certain parts and the HAL representative politely told that they have been making planes for decades and they know what is right for LCA, completely ignoring the feedback. Its such incidents which are in the review files showing their perception of not to change at ground level. Mr Raju otoh took that feedback and implemented it subsequently but he had to force his way through to get this done.

Times have changed as well for HAL with now fully bar coded and identifying techniques of parts upto manufacturer level and composition level to know what is going where and all such synergies are slowly coming up to efficiency level as said above.

The stall of MKXX program if HAL is not able to do much will result into those 8 squads going to a foreign SE fighter and its here Governments choice internally is F-16. Does IAF want that? The answer is NO. Inspite of what Media reports IAF does not want foreign fighters in SE category for the FW base footprint.

IAF wanted only Rafales as the last aircraft to be imported for the single reason of localisation and transferring technology for local MIC and have left the crucial negotiations part to government. Its IAF who suggested MICA EM/IR combo in case the french radar comes in for LCA with meteor and network linking to IAF main network of ADs and AWACS. IAF also had commended Uttam radar in its reviews as well and hopes it meets the performance parameters in order to take it for operational deployment.

We may see this so called wars if words and painting the services as the main issue for indigenous products. The hit jobs will continue and public opinion will be swayed to point that its teh services which are import hungry...

What MOD and government wont say is that even GE-404 engines have limited life (much lower than advertised), frequent breakdowns and issues which has plagued the whole LCA program over last 7 years. That part of IAF reports is covered up and not revealed. IAF insistence of looking at another engine to speed up the program fell on deaf ears ... It was only in Parrikar time , when IAF sat and presented all the evidences and filed reports, the Kaveri was re-looked as the best option.. It was again the IAF who suggested that Safran is given this job due to amazingly 90% availability of Mirages without much maintenance downtime seen over years.. Amazingly Parrikar got that deal through and today MOD same babus negotiate with the SE folks of F-16 and Gripen E for the Engine replacement by Kaveri Version to power them up. Amazingly the credit of persisting with this basic foresight based on user experience is not given to IAF and rather IAF is ridiculed.

When Parrikar was given reports of AAM inventory, performances and failures , it was evident which OEM were upto mark..Again in that list Python 5 issues were there,,, ASRAAM fared marginally better.. and IAF wanted a more potent system in LCA for its role.. It was never revealed the "limitations of hybrid 2032" which caused issues in LCA missile tests in both BVR and WVR category.. It was nicely covered up due to relationship importance between two countries..

The list goes on...

Instead of being honest and saying how our tri services folks have been fighting with not upto mark equipments over decades due to hollow decision makings by past and present government, all we sit is hit jobs against the services..

I still believe LCA project will fly may be with a Israeli, French or Indian radar, EW, RWR etec etc and may be with a US engine for sometime.. But if the files are de-classified (which i hope someday it will be), the whole country would come to know how these classical choices only delayed this project.. and how IAF inspite of being a hard nut to crack gave the most meaningful feedback which was royally ignored, painted in different light and were made scapegoats.. After all bashing the services is the easiest job.. and btw before someone says IAF can report to parliament committees, please look into those committees as well.. the constituents of those belong to same entities who have rule this country directly or indirectly..

lastly a small note..
The same government should also reply why it was actively considering Mig35 as FW base aircraft as well and even sent a financial study comparing teh same to MoF and PMO.. And why when PMO asked for IAF chief recommendation, he outrightly rejected it and appraised the PMO about the issues plaguing the whole Russian fleet and steely approach of Russian OEMs who are dead against of solving it.. perhaps MOD should also reveal why now the MKI availability has dropped down from Ex DM Parrikar's departure time..

There are way too many closets of skeletons.. army and navy suffers as well.. first clean out the bureaucracy.. its here the main issues lie.. the review comments and feedback needs to be looked at rather than just keeping it for filing purpose.. The agenda of successive governments are their own.. IAF and other services are just scapegoats.. and in this whole drama.. indigenous projects gets the worst treatment..
Our @Abingdonboy in a candid chat with his connect in Dassault got the following snippet
  • Recently, DA re-submitted an offer to work with ADA to come up with a comprehensive design and production plan for AMCA
  • This was done based on consultations that team Dassualt had with ADA over the last 18 months.
  • DA is the only entity outside of India to have been shared raw technical data and design plans for AMCA as well as IAF/IN requirements.
  • Based on intended class and role DA feel that they are the best option for AMCA given that the Rafale will be continuously developed for the next 20+ years and much of the tech that is coming to India can be leveraged into AMCA
  • DA also keen to use AMCA as a test bed for tech and design cues for their own upcoming next gen fighter
  • Also, DA has worked with ADA to already come up with a comprehensive tier 1/2/3 supplier list in India based on the work being done on LCA.
  • Target for private contribution on AMCA is >80% (LCA is >70% currently)
  • Engine choice is planned from Safranised Kaveri family only and needs inputs to lock in the same fro further design maturity
  • Decision now in MODs hands to take it fwd.
The views emerging from Delhi seems to suggest the following
  • Le Drian and PM Modi talked on various subjects including Rafale.
  • PM Modi sounded very positive to JYLD during the discussions.
  • PM Modi also conveyed happiness on the pact and technological access by France.
  • The meeting and various other things were discussed leading up to Prez Macron's visit.
PMO/MOD Stand on the Rafale MII and IAF discussion seems to be very clear now
  • MOD/PMO wants to define the extent of any contract for purchase of a jet fighter irrespective whether its a CBU or a MII plan
  • IAF is required to remain within the extended purview of the contract signed and not demand upon additional things without taking government into confidence.
  • The French Rafales purchase and extent of contract into numbers and MII is a government decision and IAF should not get stuck on MII for these French machines exclusively.
  • MII is a tool for the government as a tactic for relation building not for giving IAF any particular edge.
  • If Edge is the primary concern more G2G deals on priority transfer of Completely Build Unit route can be taken.
  • Government views MII as relation building at one side and accessing + procurement of next gen tech and thus it wants exclusive control over the MII domain.
  • So government may look for other avenues of MII as well for relationship and may chose another fighter in a separate category for strengthening relationship .
In a separate point,
  • HAL has open a official protest against IAF treatment of PAKFA and FGFA- program, technical performance and effectiveness.
  • HAL has been informed that there is a high degree of cooperation between Russia and China in recent years.
  • Due to economic dependency, there are unverified reports of Russian help in Chinese 5th gen program, Engines and Missile Shields
  • The matter is far more sensitive and HALs protest cannot be considered more important than national security.
  • In the letter HAL also pointed limited order book issues and said IAF and other services are not giving enough orders to HAL for fighter and helicopter fleet.
  • MOD has emphasized on order execution and performance deadlines adherence as key to such repeat orders.
  • MOD will take opinion of all the services on this matter.
18 Nov 2017

I wish to point out a certain flaw in both SE prospective candidates - F16 Block 70 and Gripen E and also point to some more pointers in various discussions.

The term technology transfer whether its 100% claimed by Saab or issue with LM bickering of transfer due to proprietary nature both actually point to same challenge.. Conveniently one side shows glass is full and other glass is empty..

Based on discussion what i had , my understanding about TOT part is like this

"Full technology transfer is offered limited to in house components without encompassing 3rd party Intellectual Property Rights"

Here you go with the most honest assessment and what both Lockheed Martin and Saab has been playing with - words to show glass is empty and glass is full

For Saab a large portion is 3rd party and US centric which makes the Gripen E deal a lot unsuitable for planners.. Inspite of a much better chance of platform evolution, Saab has limited inhouse technology and integration role of Saab is unbeatable, bcz Gripen has a lot more 3rd party systems whose IP is non transferable.. A fact that came out from the day Ex DM Parrikar questioned Saab on the details of the 100% transfer part and wanted the parties to give a letter stating they are willing to transfer the rights to India. Unfortunately Saab has till date not been able to give and has to eat its words on this propaganda.

Yet it has continued the marketing style of "Glass being full" successfully with the Indian public.

Not to say LM is a saint by any means. LM has been hiding behind the US government and shielding a lot of information sharing about sub systems and its IP related transfer subject to Senate approval clause too. Its talk on "proprietary technology" is somewhat true as well owing to two main reasons.
  1. Make in America for complicated sections
  2. Security problems with bits common with F35 in both Software and Hardware level
The commonality of certain systems which are used and are evolved going into F35 program is a well known undeniable fact. Thus the proprietary technology sharing difficulty statement is seen with Glass being empty perspective.

Yet the in-house components technology for F16 Block 70 is significantly larger than Saab program for Gripen E.

Planners perspective

The view of New Delhi is pretty clear.
  • Without a significant military deal, the oral commitment of PM Modi wont translate into a proper alliance with USA and till that time the QUAD itself is only a paper talk.
  • Next what comes with such a QUAD is the inter operatically challenges which needs commonality of communication and doctrine which implies the need of common pacts like foundational agreements
  • Without F16s order, the F35 will take time and will depend upon the benevolence of USA and its future Geo strategic challenges.
  • The only alternative left would be to buy it per unit under FMS deal and without any scope of alterations and limited self funded customization,
  • The time frame itself for such a Jet for India will remain unknown and incase the views change within USA for India, this deal will never see the light at all
  • Saab Gripen otoh with numerous discussions had still not been able to satisfactorily reply what it plans to offer and is very adamant with a inflexible approach towards MLU stuff of Indian origin.
  • Partly Saab is correct as well as Gripen E frame cannot accommodate many things which we wish to accommodate over time due to design constraints.
  • Their perennial reply comprises of two lines
    • Difficult to alter original stable design under testing
    • Any such fitment will need significant time for research and testing and then certification.
  • This has put basically Gripen E almost 99% out of contention and has been kept in the table as the last mile option if everything fails.
  • OTOH LM and F-16 has twin advantages of a
    • Large frame with flexible options
    • Sufficient space in nose cone
    • Large space for air intake
    • Sufficient space available for inside system integration
  • The reason is simple.. We plan to integrate few primary things in this F-16 over time
    • Safransied Kaveri
    • A New Radar and related System (joint development as part of offsets with BEL doing back end)
    • Integration of Indian Missiles
    • Communication linkages and access to C2 and Infra
  • These commonality portions are what LM has advertised as a possible easy solutions which will also go in their planned help and assistance in LCA Mk2 redesign program enabling all such things to be common and LCA Mk2 being part of the network centric warfare system involving F35s as well.
Now i am not the best judge here and i certainly infer based on the accessed information that
  • IAF interest is in another platform with far more robust assistance to LCA program and joint development of AMCA program later.
  • What IAF also has been very much interested is a network centric warfare infra and capabilities being developed similar to its interested platforms country of origin.
  • The planning is in line with many components as seen in Airbus 5th gen components which IAF wishes to accommodate and build up over next decade and move towards the transition of realizing a joint command system.
  • The plan is with real time information access and multiple mediums/platforms of Tx/Rx at various ground based, aerial, high altitude, sub orbital and orbital nodes.
  • It also envisions a hi end data processing and decision making scenario for joint command for evolving situations and change the strategies at realtime with zero lag.
  • Its at this point the choice of platform was hoped to be Rafale versions for IAF and IN and country for cooperation + joint development as France.
  • Many adjoining nodes and components are getting prepared in Israel allowing the integration of many new platforms IN and IAF and in future IA will have with this plan including ISR, ELINT, etc and Comm + Multiplier Platforms
  • Thus irrespective of the SE deal and ironically Rafale 36 jets offsets only going to power SE choice in MLU, the choice of Rafale remains centric to National importance.
  • Its quiet abundantly clear that this whole infra setup and its components has been denied throughly by USA and the same has been agreed by France during several discussion meetings and conveyed in person by JYLD to Indian PM.
  • So Rafales will come, whether immediate or may be delayed a bit is immateral.
  • The choice of platform and adjoining benefit has moved to far more strategic level that PM Modi, MOD, NSA and all planners cant ignore unless the other side aka USA agrees to share at similar level directly or via Israel
Nov 23, 2017

My view :

  • Rafale MII should become top-most priority for PMO/MoD. If not for any other reason, then simply because this is the deal on which we have already made the most progress. An off-the-shelf batch of 36 are already on their way, the local offsets are being sorted, and DRAL is coming up to capacity. First component-production for Falcons is scheduled to start early next year.
  • The Rafale deal, the infrastructure & facilities DA is already building in India, together with the peripheral items of any deal (missiles, simulators, base infra etc.) are already sorted with the Rafale.
  • This puts them minimum 3 years ahead of any US/Swedish SE offer
  • The progress we've already made with the French should not be squandered.

  • We cannot let the US blackmail us into buying the F-16 first if we want to pursue any possible cooperation with F-35 in distant future.
  • We need to be in a position to say "Either give us F-35 directly post-2020, or leave us"
  • USA cannot build any viable anti-China alliance in this region without India. We are the only friendly Nuclear-armed state that's willing to confront China, and already working toward achieving a sizable MAD capability vis-a-vis Beijing. No one else in the region has that, or is even looking to get it. Not Japan, not Australia, not Vietnam. This is a very crucial point - and something we need to make the US realize that we realize.

  • We can fulfill both SE and TE requirements via the French alone. Let's not ignore the cards we have in our deck.
  • HAL is sulking because FGFA has flown out of window. We can't keep HAL happy with just small batch orders for additional MKIs.
  • Let HAL form a full-blown JV with Dassault to develop LCA-AF Mk-2....the Mk-2 can become like a 'single engine Rafale' which puts it firmly in the Gripen E/F-16 Blk.70 territory. This will keep HAL happy for forseeable future, and will have the double-effect of fulfilling any SE requirement. It's not like we'll be getting any SEFs in this decade anyway...it's just not gonna happen. So better wait a little longer and get an Indo-French solution which can heavily draw upon IAF's Rafale techs and weapons (alongside future versions of Safranized Kaveri as well) instead of introducing a completely alien tech-base to IAF.
  • In my honest opinion, the US does not have any attractive 4.5 Gen jet offer. Engaging with the Americans in this category will be baloney and a waste of money (not to mention waste time).

  • The US should offer an 'F-35IN' as a potential swingrole fifth-gen fighter for IAF. But this will put it directly in conflict with AMCA.
  • LCA-AF Mk-2 should be the last fighter that HAL produces. After that, it should be good-bye to state-run fighter aircraft production agencies.
  • Let there be a consortium of DA (French side R&D and production), ADA and DRDO (Indian side R&D) and Reliance (Indian side production) to build the AMCA

Which plane we choose for 'swingrole' 5th Gen requirement -- AMCA or F35 --, I don't want to speculate now. Too much depends on geopolitical developments and Govt. decisions that are to happen between now and mid-2020s.

+++ Courtesy @Parthu
News emerging
  • SE jets plan put for review and given a time extension for various discussions.
  • Based on this week discussion between NSA Doval and IAF, Doval has agreed to IAF view points.
  • IAF has contended the need of only Rafales and said no to F16 and Gripen E both.
  • IAF again had put fwd their views of French help in LCA project and planning a Mk1A./MkXX variant with successive blocks concept.
  • The discussion hovered around the fact that SE F16 was a stepping stone for F35.
  • IAF had contended that since there is no assurance from USA in written form, the whole argument of stepping stone is invalid.
  • If F35 is offered then its so restrictive that a FMS route with limited quantity at a later time can always be explored...
  • Just for F35s, the F16 deal will be costing in the range of ~ $17 Bn plus standalone and is practically non feasible.
  • On Gripen E, the discussion did not move ahead much as it was clearly said it will be more costly than F16s and terms are less favorable.
  • IAF also pressed for a joint effort for accessing tech from Rafales to LCA program and joint development tie up for AMCA.
  • With all facts and opinions, NSA Doval informed PM Modi about his views which is in line with IAF
  • USA will be compensated as well with some other deal or else if they offer F35 upfront, it can be a FMS deal..
  • For the main plane- its Rafale both for IAF and IN
  • PM Modi and DM NS decided to push the discussion time frame and has indirectly put things on "hold"
Nov 26, 2017


Well-Known member
Nov 30, 2017
1,096 173 0
The problem of lift is not such a big issue as the non folding wings are. The space inside the hanger and on deck is limited which must be utilised most effectively with each aircraft taking lowest amount of space inside the hanger and on the deck.
Rafale takes a lower amount of space compare to F-18 SH



Because its width is not very different and it is 3 meters shorter.

Bon Plan

Active member
Dec 1, 2017
346 88 0
When Australia selected the Barracuda Shortfin, there were mentions that they got an exclusive claim on it -- the design couldn't be exported to other countries. (Which was accepted because that design was created for France's own needs anyway.) If India is looking at it, does that mean there has been an agreement between India and Australia to allow it? Or were the claims of exclusivity wrong?
Are India and Australia in bad terms?
So I would be very surprised to see a refusal from Australia to give the same boat to a partner in countering China expansion. Maybe with AIP ?

The pb would have not been the same if the 2nd customer was called Pak.


Staff member
Nov 30, 2017
1,650 9 0
Strong Murmur

- MRCBF official selection docs to be out in H1 Next Year

- A senior Navy officer who took a sortie in Rafale was shown low altitude flight mode and how Rafale M were able to do inbound in such mission roles carrying a "very heavy" package. The drop was shown in combat environment with all coastal radars and detection systems switched on in a live situation. The performance of the mission made the Navy officer gave the best possible feedback for Rafales.

- Navy plans to propose accelerating shore based protection and over sea lines of communication role based air wings soon as part of long term plan formally. Also in that LPD/LHD are to be mentioned.

- Otoh Navy Chief Lanba have met many officials during his visit and discussions with naval group hovered on many things including carrier compatibility fitment for Rafale M in IAC1.

- The IAC 1 now expected to join in end of 2020 if all things go on time or else may be delayed by a year for such fitment.

- Also a lot of Anti Ship Weapons are planned with Exocet from Subs, Coastal batteries (again Exocet extended Block), Torpedoes, MBDA based solutions with CAMM are under discussions. A approval on the same will arrive soon.

@Abingdonboy @Ashwin @Hellfire @Picdelamirand-oil @halloweene @Bon Plan @vstol Jockey @randomradio @nair @GuardianRED @zebra7 @Ankit Kumar


Well-Known member
Dec 2, 2017
572 158 0
Strong Murmur

- Also a lot of Anti Ship Weapons are planned with Exocet from Subs, Coastal batteries (again Exocet extended Block), Torpedoes, MBDA based solutions with CAMM are under discussions. A approval on the same will arrive soon.
what advantages will it hold over our Brahmos missile ?


Staff member
Nov 30, 2017
1,650 9 0
what advantages will it hold over our Brahmos missile ?
780 kg missile weight.. Sub sonic.. length less than 6m and diameter of 350mm


The EXOCET MOBILE COASTAL DEFENCE SYSTEM provides rapidly relocatable, vehicle mounted capabilities to deny access to surface threats in littoral and strategic areas. The system is based on the latest version of the EXOCET MM40 BLOCK 3 missile in operational service with several navies around the world. EXOCET MM40 BLOCK 3 provides enhanced operational performance utilising advanced technologies.

EXOCET MM40 BLOCK 3’s mission planning automatically computes the required engagement plans to support firing decisions.
• 200 km class effective operational range.
• Anti-ship (as well as littoral and coastal operations).
• Outstanding penetration capability against enemy air defences

The EXOCET MOBILE COASTAL DEFENCE SYSTEM comprises its own sensors (radar, EOS, AIS) for autonomous operations and/or connection to a wider C3I system.

The basic system architecture comprises:
– 1 x Mobile Sensors Unit
– 1 x Mobile Control Unit
– 2 x Mobile Firing Units each with 4 missiles

Weight : 780 kg
Diameter : 350 mm
Lenght : less than 6 m
Speed : high subsonic


Brahmos is bigger , bulkier, has longer range but size is bigger constraint

another pic
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Well-Known member
Dec 2, 2017
572 158 0
Doc, you are on right track, just don't ease off in your thoughts.

It is easy to supply answers but that deprives you of adding facets you discover in your own search for answers and adding on :)

Was just pulling you ;)
Thanks, I ve got your meaning from your Smile in the last post.

Every time i ask my doubts regarding any anomaly in deals , Parikrama comes up further infos which makes it interesting ..

You are just like an external examiner , who smiles at everything we answer, always keeping us at a guessing state of whether we are right or wrong.. o_O

Your answers & hint are always highly indirect ones , like the western textbooks after reading we wont know the clear facts except the general idea.:unsure:


Active member
Dec 1, 2017
Gods Own Country
171 12 0
Are India and Australia in bad terms?
So I would be very surprised to see a refusal from Australia to give the same boat to a partner in countering China expansion. Maybe with AIP ?

The pb would have not been the same if the 2nd customer was called Pak.

We have a mutual dislike for each other from the period of Menziz and Nehru.. Their personal ego and hatred for each other affected the relationship between the countries.
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