US fighters lost MMRCA contract due to technical faults

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by A.V., Jun 9, 2011.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    Both US bids for a major Indian Air Force fighter contract lost because of technical faults - not US export control policies or corruption in New Dehli, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholar Ashley Tellis said in an interview.

    The former American diplomat in New Dehli arrived at his conclusions after a three-week trip to India that included meetings with top Indian government, military and industry officials. The IAF selected the Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon as finalists for the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA).

    By excluding the Boeing F/A-18E/F and the Lockheed Martin F-16 - as well as the Saab Gripen and MiG-35 - the Indian government angered Washington DC, as well as set off a wave of speculation that the decision was based on concerns in New Dehli about overly restrictive US export policies.
    But Tellis believes that interpretation of the MMRCA downselect is incorrect, while providing the most detailed assessment of the factors that led to the final decision.

    According to Tellis' sources in the IAF, thenks. F-16IN bid received low marks in the technical evaluation for a slow turn rate and poorer handling performance due to the addition of conformal fuel tanks

    Those deficiencies made the F-16IN less competitive in dogfights against older F-16 Block 50s, which are operated by Pakistan.
    The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet was the US government's best shot to win the contract, but it was also hampered in the Indian evaluation by poor manoeuvrability compared to the European fighters, Tellis said.

    Boeing's bid proposed to improve the Super Hornet's power by introducing the General Electric F414 enhanced performance engine (EPE), with 20% higher thrust.

    But the Indian evaluators refused to credit the EPE because it is a developmental item, Tellis said. This contrasted with India's acceptance of active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar technology by the European bidders despite its developmental status.

    "They just gambled on the fact that they were going to get an AESA by the time the airplane was going to enter the force," Tellis said.
    The decision also reflected the IAF's preference for an aircraft with strong dogfighting performance over a combat style emphasising beyond visual range engagements using long-range sensors, Tellis said.

    Indian officials expressed no concerns about the US government's export policies, which would have required heavy monitoring by US officials if certain sensors and avionics systems were included in Boeing's or Lockheed's bid, Tellis said.

    "What they would have done in this case was demand that the vendor [substitute] equipment that did not have [monitoring] constraints," Tellis said. India had agreed to a similar arrangement with the acquisition of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon.

    Despite the initial reaction by Washington officials, both sides are cooling off since the announcement, he added.
    "The damage was certainly serious," Tellis said. "But both sides have understood how this outcome came out and both sides have made efforts to get beyond it. The US is going to win many more competitions in India."

    http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/...-technical.html
     
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  3. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    I don't believe it was merely due to technical failures. It had to be "US government's export policies" too.

    India goes to war with Pakistan and US says "Sorry guys, but you cannot use US weapons". India uses bows and arrows and gets nuked in return. BS.
     
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  4. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    yes... even i feel the way .......................
     
  5. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    The point is that US was crying about the reasons and its provided in a technical analysis , whats the US response.?
     
  6. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    "I don't believe it was merely due to technical failures. It had to be "US government's export policies" too."

    What's with this stubborn insistence on refusing CISMOA? Unless, India wants to copy the tech of US weapons? BTW, when you buy a BMW do you ask for the whole plan of the car, how its made and its techs? Would BMW give these things to you? I thought India is different from China on this copying thing?
     
  7. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    A very poor argument. Did the Chinese need CISMOA or any other export agreement to copy stuff which they have mastered now? No. But the Chinese still did it. MoD and IAF did select 2 of the best fighters according to their specifications. So, how does the question of copying technology of US weapons arrive here, unless you wanted to troll or a propaganda poster for LM or Boeing.

    The "had to" was my POV, if it is not clear enough to you.

    And why the hell should India buy weapons that has strings attached. France and Europe does not mind. And also India is paying cash for that, not getting them in military aid. It's our money, and it's our choice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  8. MMuthu

    MMuthu Regular Member

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    Transfer of Technology is a part of requirements. Who asked the US Companies to participate?
     
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  9. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Dude, you dont go to war on a BMW car do you? :D

    Neither do you spend 11 billion dollars on a car? The reason nations always ask for ToT(Technology Transfer) is because during the time of war and sanctions, you must be able to build your own aircraft's or systems in large numbers. Its a matter of national security and thats why when they make multi-billion dollar deals they also ask for ToTs. These are strategic assets we are buying and not a personal luxury car.
     
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  10. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Actually, the more compelling reason behind this insistence is the need to "advance" India's own industry, in other words, to copy, or okay, "study" these techs to apply to future Indian products. You're dreaming if you think these Europeans have no strings attached to their weapons. Look at what France just did to Pakistan: it limited the upgrades it can make to the weapons it already sold to Pakistan. If it happened to the Pakis it could also happen to India anytime.

    Therefore, if you keep on insisting on the blank sheet thinking about Europe then you're naive.
     
  11. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    ^ Were paying and we'll do what we want...unlike pakistan which sustains itself on aid money.
     
  12. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    "^ Were paying and we'll do what we want...unlike pakistan which sustains itself on aid money."

    Is this the only thing you can say when you're tall claim of Europe not attaching strings to their products is busted? I'd say its a rather disappointing defence. What if China spend more money on French weapons, as obviously China has more money to burn than India, would you feel secure in your Rafales come crunch time?
     
  13. prototype

    prototype Regular Member

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    Thats ridiculous argument,first of all when i am the one buying the BMW with my money I may even ask the plan of the car with it.

    Its the choice of the car makers to supply me the car or not,I am not pointing any gun on their head.

    Now come to real fact,after paying heavy money to US if we still need american permission to take on Pakistan,we are not that fool to waste our money,and when we are the investors with the money as big as $ 12 billion we afford to be stubborn.

    besides why are American's crying after losing the deal,if all the loss was our due to stubbornness.

    Finally how you are claiming that Europe also have strings attached to the deal,on what grounds,do you have inside information,any relevant source or just vague assumption's.

    Your comparison of India with Pakistan against loose ground because of the quantum of money involved,infact the pakistani deals are not even one fourth of ours.And specifically the relation's also.

    Finally those people sitting in the MoD are not some bunch of fools as you think so much that they cant see hidden strings,they had made their condition's clear,our money,our demands,give it or get out.
     
  14. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    "Finally how you are claiming that Europe also have strings attached to the deal,on what grounds,do you have inside information,any relevant source or just vague assumption's."

    Please read the earlier posts dear. I'm sorry to break to you the sad news but Europe also attach strings to their products, who doesn't? Havn't you read the news lately? France very vocally announced that it will be selective in supplying upgrades to Pakistan for the weapons it sold to the latter. Don't you think these are the dreaded strings? And yes, this could also happen to India given the right circumstances.

    "Your comparison of India with Pakistan against loose ground because of the quantum of money involved,infact the pakistani deals are not even one fourth of ours.And specifically the relation's also."

    I'm referring to the action of France, the comparison is insignificant. Whatever the country is if it suits the interest of any supplier country, even Europeans, it will deny the client country service or upgrades to its supplied weapons. This is a fact. In international relations nothing is rigid or sacrosanct, what matters most is national interest. If it plays into France or any other European country's national interest to deny India access to upgrades or support for its supplied weapons it will do it. Believe me.

    "Finally those people sitting in the MoD are not some bunch of fools as you think so much that they cant see hidden strings,they had made their condition's clear,our money,our demands,give it or get out."

    I didn't say the MOD people are a bunch of fools." You're the one who said it. :)
     
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  15. ace009

    ace009 Freakin' Fighter fan Elite Member

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    Actually, the problem with CISMOA was more to do with command and control issues than with "tech transfer". With CISMOA in place, every live mission IAF does may be registered in the US millitary database. theoretically it should not be a concern since IAF is not going to fight the USAF/ USN, but strategically, it is a big concern. A Pakistani spy in the US millitary agencies might get access to the data, a rogue US agent may sell the data to Pakistan or China, or the US govt might try to arm-twist GOI to stop a live mission before it reaches it's objectives. Information after all is vital for national security and no millitary wants to have an avoidable chink in it's armor, knowingly.
    Now as for European powers selling to India, they are powerful nations with large millitary-industrial network. But compared to the USA, they are puny. India can think of thwarting the millitary objections of France (or UK or Germany) and still have sellers, but an US embargo will scare others away too, leaving India high and dry. On the other hand, if India does not sign the CISMOA, then a lot of this uncertainty is nipped in the bud, while still leaving the US millitary market open.
    As for not selecting the F/A-18 or the F-16, I am pretty sure technical reasons were central, but also political and strategic resons were there. The Rafale and the EF are after all newer airframes with a projected longer lifetime compared to the decade or two older F-teens.
     
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  16. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    "The Rafale and the EF are after all newer airframes with a projected longer lifetime compared to the decade or two older F-teens."

    Aren't all these aircrafts supposed to be brand new when delivered to India? Their airframes lifetimes therefore can't be that different?
     
  17. ace009

    ace009 Freakin' Fighter fan Elite Member

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    The F-16 was first flew in 1974, the F-18 in 1978 - their airframe design is from the 70's. Even with all the upgrades in avionics, weaponry etc, the airframe design will still be limited to a 40-50 year lifecycle, so by the time it is 2020, most of these fighters are obsolete in terms of their basic designs.

    The Rafale was built in 1986 (first flight), The Eurofighter was built in 1994, so their airframes are from the 1980s and 1990s - with more advanced designs, advanced materials etc. So, these fighters have 10-15 years more in their lifecycle than the US fighters.
     
  18. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    I am with you on the age of the US designs. What I am confused is on the age of the airframes that India will recieve in case it buys these designs. What I understand from you is that US planes will be of older frames than European planes when delivered?
     
  19. Suryakiran

    Suryakiran Regular Member

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    Mate.. it is not about the age of the metal frame which will be delivered, it is the age of the air frame design we are talking about..
     
  20. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Two things you forget here.

    1- France is doing this because what peanuts Pakistan can offer them, we can offer them a whole bloody factory. And Rafale just made it to the final round. $ 12 billion is a good incentive.

    2- To Pakistan, a limited upgrades deal is a serious threat as they rely on Chinese know how and call it a "joint venture" compared to our industry which is much ahead of theirs. We've done it in the past and we'll do it in the future: in case of war, we will use to make as many of these locally made IF AND ONLY IF the supplier country fancies an embargo.

    China can be our guest and try offering French more money. Till now, offering Chinese any western weapons is out of concept. We're just making hay while the sun shines.


    Certainly and I completely agree with you here. Defense industry is not built up on conscience.In fact it is quite the opposite. There are absolutely no points where France or for that matter EU is on a collision course with us. That way, no supplier country is reliable unless one's own and we are working on that problem already, albeit slower than what should be. The only thing Europe would gain is the loss of hefty revenue if they fancy embargo. Normally booming economies are not embargoed unless they seriously threaten the supplier country.

    They see China as a threat; not us. I know we are the "NEXT" potential threat if we outshine Chinese, but our approach to geopolitics is more than visible to them long since. Trust me, this might be the first time West is coming close to us, but it has been at loggerheads with us in the past. Nothing really happened and only the giant corporates regret not siding with us instead of Pakistan. :lol:
     
  21. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The airframes for F-16 and SH have not changed in 20+ years, while EF and Rafele are newer designs.
     

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