Rafale RB of Indian Air Force : News and Discussions

Picdelamirand-oil

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That's the main roadblock. We can't afford financing R&D programs with companies where a janitor gets paid as much as the DRDO chief.

An engine development program in France with 5000 high value employees getting paid an average of $100000 for 10 years is $5B. That amount's twice the funding we need for the AMCA program, including salaries.

The only way we can afford an R&D program with France is if the joint budget caters only to the R&D component and not all the other anciliary costs like salaries and benefits. The French and Indian govts will have to pay all the other costs separately.

There's no problem with India's financing of R&D. In fact, lack of money is the one of the few things DRDO has never complained about. What they have complained about is the lack of money for test facilities, which has largely been resolved since the last decade. We couldn't afford infrastructure when the alternative was we could rent them out for cheap in more advanced countries. But the funding necessary to complete a project was never an issue.

The sanctioned cost for LCA Mk1 was 2839Cr and for Mk2 is 5777Cr. That's a combined $1.15B today. It's more than enough. AMCA's projected R&D cost is merely 2-2.5 times that value. We can't afford a $100B project with France, with $50B of that just going into French salaries.
The simplest way to cooperate in this case is to define a division of labour not in terms of value but as a percentage of the goals to be achieved, and for each party to finance the tasks for which it is responsible under the economic conditions of its country.
 
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_Anonymous_

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The simplest way to cooperate in this case is to define a division of labour not in terms of value but as a percentage of the goals to be achieved, and for each party to finance the tasks for which it is responsible under the economic conditions of its country.
Ideally such tech collaborations should be for less valuable & prestigious projects whose success can then see a graduation in such efforts over time.

More than the AMCA, I'd be interested in seeing such a collaboration for the nEUROn. In any case, barring the engine the rest of the tech for the AMCA or it's maturation & degree of maturation would be visible once they start undertaking the said project.

The moment the cry for tech consultation goes out for a barrier they've been unable to surmount should be a clue as to the depth of their achievement or the lack of it.
 

randomradio

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The simplest way to cooperate in this case is to define a division of labour not in terms of value but as a percentage of the goals to be achieved, and for each party to finance the tasks for which it is responsible under the economic conditions of its country.

I have already thought of that. But it won't work out because the testing portion of the R&D phase is very expensive.

Even if we each work independently on our R&D workshare, which won't be in India's favour in the first place, flight testing will require the French taking an even greater lead and French costs will be massive.

Any cooperation will instead have to be like the one between US and UK for the F-35. So the bulk of the R&D budget has to come in from France, with India taking a secondary position with limited workshare. In exchange, India will compensate with numbers ordered. But you can imagine that our scientific community will be against this the same way they objected to FGFA. And we will naturally progress to a more advanced aircraft after AMCA in 2030.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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I have already thought of that. But it won't work out because the testing portion of the R&D phase is very expensive.

Even if we each work independently on our R&D workshare, which won't be in India's favour in the first place, flight testing will require the French taking an even greater lead and French costs will be massive.

Any cooperation will instead have to be like the one between US and UK for the F-35. So the bulk of the R&D budget has to come in from France, with India taking a secondary position with limited workshare. In exchange, India will compensate with numbers ordered. But you can imagine that our scientific community will be against this the same way they objected to FGFA. And we will naturally progress to a more advanced aircraft after AMCA in 2030.
So there's no need for me to write to the President again on his next trip. :p
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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I have already thought of that. But it won't work out because the testing portion of the R&D phase is very expensive.

Even if we each work independently on our R&D workshare, which won't be in India's favour in the first place, flight testing will require the French taking an even greater lead and French costs will be massive.

Any cooperation will instead have to be like the one between US and UK for the F-35. So the bulk of the R&D budget has to come in from France, with India taking a secondary position with limited workshare. In exchange, India will compensate with numbers ordered. But you can imagine that our scientific community will be against this the same way they objected to FGFA. And we will naturally progress to a more advanced aircraft after AMCA in 2030.
In France for 225 Rafale until the last standard development cost roughly the same as production. I propose the majority of development in line with what you have described and majority of production in India in a JV 50/50.
 

suryakiran

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So there's no need for me to write to the President again on his next trip. :p

Joint project scope exists for unmanned drones for the Navy. With the next IAC being still on the drawing board, the time is ripe to start planning for a unmanned naval arm for the Indian Navy. Each destroyer can have couple of rotor drones functioning and another acting as wingman for the Rafale / other IN fixed wing aircraft. One can also look at forward look out drones which can work from the naval choppers. They can also function from the planned LPDs.

With a sizeable fleet between the 2 countries, the volumes for naval aviation will make sense.

Another area, which I think will develop in the future will be nanosat for tactical missions. These should be capable of being launched from the VLS of the ships.
 
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randomradio

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So there's no need for me to write to the President again on his next trip. :p

:D

You are free to do it. The MRFA RFI comes with a requirement to assist in the development of AMCA anyway.

The 114 MRFA project is currently at the RFI evaluation stage. While the entire process will be executed under the provisions of the DAP 2020, the selected OEM will have to comply with our requirements of Transfer of technology and Make in India that would aid in our indigenous fighter aircraft development plan.

The IAF doesn't want to depend on foreign powers after MRFA.

FCAS is so far away that at best it can serve as a stop gap for whatever Indian jet will come after AMCA. While there is some room for import, I don't think India will look to France beyond Rafale.

Look at it this way. We solved our immediate problems with the induction of Rafale F3R. By 2030, we will begin inducting F4.2 and that will serve our high end needs until 2040, when AMCA will come in. And by 2050, we should get our post-AMCA jet that will replace the MKI. So we have planned for a major induction a decade until 2050 that eliminates the need to import after Rafale.
 
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randomradio

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Joint project scope exists for unmanned drones for the Navy. With the next IAC being still on the drawing board, the time is ripe to start planning for a unmanned naval arm for the Indian Navy. Each destroyer can have couple of rotor drones functioning and another acting as wingman for the Rafale / other IN fixed wing aircraft. One can also look at forward look out drones which can work from the naval choppers. They can also function from the planned LPDs.

With a sizeable fleet between the 2 countries, the volumes for naval aviation will make sense.

Another area, which I think will develop in the future will be nanosat for tactical missions. These should be capable of being launched from the VLS of the ships.

I don't think there's much scope for drone development unless we fail. This is one area where full indigenisation is a priority.
 

randomradio

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In France for 225 Rafale until the last standard development cost roughly the same as production. I propose the majority of development in line with what you have described and majority of production in India in a JV 50/50.

That will be way too much in France's favour too. AAE/MN will want their jets to be fully made in France, ie 100%, due to strategic considerations. So France benefits from most workshare during R&D, to the detriment of DRDO, and will still make all their FCAS in France. While India will only end up license producing FCAS with a bit more ToT. So, you can see that simply license producing the FCAS once it's ready will be a better alternative, pretty much a reason why FGFA was junked.

I don't think a $50B R&D bill, with most of the output in France, will be acceptable to India.

The only workable alternative I can think of, regardless of whether it's realistic or not, is India does most of the R&D using Indian manpower at significantly lower costs, and India and France produce 100% of their own jets, 50-50 workshare on export jets. So the bulk of the manpower heavy work where most of the salaries go will have to be carried out in India, including writing most of the source codes, the production of TDs, prototypes and LSPs, under a JV company based in India, followed by years of flight testing and debugging. Work on the engine obviously, and exotic electronics and software, which is not as manpower heavy, can be carried out in France. This will ensure the greatest of cost efficiencies.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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The MRFA RFI comes with a requirement to assist in the development of AMCA anyway.
Yes I know
and I have since noticed that this possible help was one of the questions asked in the MRFA's RFI.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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That will be way too much in France's favour too. AAE/MN will want their jets to be fully made in France, ie 100%, due to strategic considerations. So France benefits from most workshare during R&D, to the detriment of DRDO, and will still make all their FCAS in France. While India will only end up license producing FCAS with a bit more ToT. So, you can see that simply license producing the FCAS once it's ready will be a better alternative, pretty much a reason why FGFA was junked.

I don't think a $50B R&D bill, with most of the output in France, will be acceptable to India.

The only workable alternative I can think of, regardless of whether it's realistic or not, is India does most of the R&D using Indian manpower at significantly lower costs, and India and France produce 100% of their own jets, 50-50 workshare on export jets. So the bulk of the manpower heavy work where most of the salaries go will have to be carried out in India, including writing most of the source codes, the production of TDs, prototypes and LSPs, under a JV company based in India, followed by years of flight testing and debugging. Work on the engine obviously, and exotic electronics and software, which is not as manpower heavy, can be carried out in France. This will ensure the greatest of cost efficiencies.
Would it be possible in this case for some high level people to come from France to India to direct and control some research? Also it would be more advantageous to use existing expensive testing facilities in France rather than building new ones in India (the facilities can be rented, but the researchers would remain mostly Indian).
 

Hydra

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In France for 225 Rafale until the last standard development cost roughly the same as production. I propose the majority of development in line with what you have described and majority of production in India in a JV 50/50.
Why dont you propose joint development of smart bomb, sensor fuzed clusters,new EW podes & targeting podes with India? I beleive it has more potential to became a reality.

Regarding FCAS, yeas it will be good if two nation collaborate, but i fear ADA is now on high. They beleive that LCA is successful, and anticipating TEDBF & AMCA will be successful.
 

suryakiran

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Would it be possible in this case for some high level people to come from France to India to direct and control some research? Also it would be more advantageous to use existing expensive testing facilities in France rather than building new ones in India (the facilities can be rented, but the researchers would remain mostly Indian).

Before the pandemic, I think there were a few Dassault chaps staying in the same society as my friend. Or at least he said they were from Dassault.
 

randomradio

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Would it be possible in this case for some high level people to come from France to India to direct and control some research?

Since it will have to be conducted under an equal partnership JV company between DGA and DRDO, half the high level people will be from France. So French companies will have equal opportunity in picking and choosing project leaders.

AMCA to post-AMCA fighter will be an evolutionary transition for India, since our "family of systems" concept will begin implementation from LCA Mk2 and will be fully established before the post-AMCA fighter even begins flying by the mid-2030s. It will also be a 1st gen stealth to 2nd gen stealth transition for ADA.

But FCAS is a big bang transition for both India and France, from nothing to everything all at once. The sheer size of the project with multiple types of aircraft would require an unprecedented amount of integration between the workforces of both countries. Especially if the bulk of the program is to be conducted in India, which will require both Indian and French experts leading and supporting the extremely large workforce both actively and as consultants.

Also it would be more advantageous to use existing expensive testing facilities in France rather than building new ones in India (the facilities can be rented, but the researchers would remain mostly Indian).

I don't know how much we have already built to date for AMCA, IUSAV and FUFA, but we have built a lot and are still building. I'm sure workshare will be worked out based on availability of the facilities and cost of using those facilities. The JV management will have to work it out with cost-benefit in mind rather than using nationalistic sentiments. The program with its multiple drones will be vast enough for everybody to get the chance to participate anyway.
 
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Picdelamirand-oil

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Since it will have to be conducted under an equal partnership JV company between DGA and DRDO, half the high level people will be from France. So French companies will have equal opportunity in picking and choosing project leaders.

AMCA to post-AMCA fighter will be an evolutionary transition for India, since our "family of systems" concept will begin implementation from LCA Mk2 and will be fully established before the post-AMCA fighter even begins flying by the mid-2030s. It will also be a 1st gen stealth to 2nd gen stealth transition for ADA.

But FCAS is a big bang transition for both India and France, from nothing to everything all at once. The sheer size of the project with multiple types of aircraft would require an unprecedented amount of integration between the workforces of both countries. Especially if the bulk of the program is to be conducted in India, which will require both Indian and French experts leading and supporting the extremely large workforce both actively and as consultants.



I don't know how much we have already built to date for AMCA, IUSAV and FUFA, but we have built a lot and are still building. I'm sure workshare will be worked out based on availability of the facilities and cost of using those facilities. The JV management will have to work it out with cost-benefit in mind rather than using nationalistic sentiments. The program with its multiple drones will be vast enough for everybody to get the chance to participate anyway.
So I have something to write my letter about
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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Assuming Macron will be elected this summer. Otherwise you'd have to start from scratch.
There is a file number referenced on the response letter I received. I will keep this reference and I am sure that my new letter will be taken seriously even if there is a new team after the election. But the most likely outcome is the re-election of Macron.