Decision on $10 billion MMRCA deal soon

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Galaxy

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RAF Typhoon leads the race to secure £7 billion arms deal

RAF Typhoon leads the race to secure £7 billion arms deal


The "flawless" performance of the Eurofighter Typhoon in the Libyan war has catapulted the aircraft ahead of its main rival to win one of the most lucrative of defence deals in recent times.


The Indian government has shortlisted both the Dassault Rafale and the Typhoon, both veterans of the Libyan campaign, for a planned £7 billion order of 126 jets for its air force.

The Typhoon was already leading the pack after the jet scored highest in a technical assessment by Indian pilots who flew the aircraft in a series of exercises in 2010.

But it is believed that it will be the Typhoon's performance in the Libyan conflict, where it completed more than 600 combat missions, that will help to clinch the deal, the result of which will be made public before Christmas.

A successful deal would boost Britain's beleaguered defence industry and help stave off job losses, although it will not save any of the 3,000 posts cut last month by BAE, which has a 33 per cent stake in the Typhoon programme.

The competition became a two-horse race earlier this year after the Indian government rejected two hugely successful battle-proven combat jets, Boeing's F-18 and Lockheed Martin's F-16, much to the chagrin of the US Department of Defense.

Both the Typhoon, which is jointly built by Britain, Italy, Germany and Spain, and Rafale have performed admirably over the skies of Libya, enforcing the no-fly zone, launching air to ground strikes and conducting reconnaissance and overflight missions, and many observers believe there is little to separate the capabilities of the two jets.

But the Rafale has so far failed to sell overseas because of its high cost and technical complexity – a marked shift from France's last successful fighter jet, the Mirage.

Ironically, in 2007, Col Gaddafi began talks with the French government to buy 14 jets, a deal which collapsed following the rise of the Arab Spring and the enforcement of the Libyan arms embargo.

India is an attractive target for all international defence companies because it is currently the world's biggest arms importer and it is looking at replacing its obsolete Russian fleet with a world-class multi-role combat jet.

One senior defence source said: "The Libyan war has presented an unexpected shop window for potential buyers for countries, such as Brazil and India, looking at upgrading their air forces.

"Both the Rafale and Typhoon have performed well but Typhoon is the popular choice because it offers so much more. It might be more expensive but offers much more bang for your buck. It's performance in Libya has been flawless."

Wing Commander Jez Attridge, the officer commander F Squadron, during the first three months of the Libyan Campaign, said: "I was deployed for the first three months of Typhoon's involvement with Operation Ellamy (the Ministry of Defence's code name for the Libyan conflict) and flew 27 missions over Libya protecting the civilian population.

"The RAF Typhoons are already proven in the air-to-air role protecting UK airspace every day, but our deployment in the air-to-ground role over Libya demonstrated the flexibility of the aircraft and the people.

"It was decided at a very early stage to team Typhoon with Tornado, whose crews were battle-hardened from numerous similar missions over Afghanistan.

"It made sense because we could benefit from their combat experience whilst complementing each other with our mix of weapons. Similarly, our advanced array of sensors and defensive aids provided the Tornados with significantly enhanced self-protection and situational awareness.

"The resultant combination was powerful, effective and the primary choice of the Nato HQ for dynamic, challenging missions."

The multi-role Typhoon, which entered service with the RAF in 2003, many years late and billions of pound over budget, is in service with Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy, as well as the Austrian and Saudi Arabian air forces. BAE is also pursuing sales in Japan, Oman and Malaysia.

Both the French and the manufacturers of the Typhoon are aware that time is running out for the sales of their aircraft.

The full-scale production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is looming and its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, has already received huge orders from the US Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps who plan to buy nearly 2,500 F-35s over the next 40 years.

The jet has also proven to be the aircraft of choice for the Royal Navy and will fly from at least one of Britain's two new aircraft carriers when they eventually enter service.
 

nrj

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Yeah ofcourse Telegraph knows RAF Typhoon is leading the race :bored:
 

A chauhan

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Armand2REP

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Dear Armond: sorry I did not search but ask -- since you raise this, care to let us know a grand comparison between the performance of EF & Rafale in Lybian conflict, please? Will appreciate that...
Rafale M = 1100 sorties and 2200hrs
Rafale B/C = 1200 sorties and 5000hrs

A2G = 1000 sorties
A2A = 110
Recon = 1000
Buddy tank = 190 * Rafale M only

* All Rafale missions -tankers ready for A2A if needed

Ordinance expended:

225 AASM Hammer
15 Scalp EG
325 Paveway II

95% availability

___________________

Typhoon = 600 sorties and 3000hrs

A2G = 40 sorties
A2A = 560
Recon = 0
Buddy tank = 0

Ordinance expended

18 Enhanced Paveway IV/II

Availability = ? lack of trained pilots
 

ace009

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Hmmm - it seems like the EF and the rafale were complementing each other - EF doing the Air defense role while Rafales were dropping the ordnance.

Anyway, we all know that EF tranche 2 is not really there in terms of A2G - also, Libyam conflict will have very little to do with the MMRCA - if IAF/ MoD is to be believed. The choice will be based on the test performances and price only.
 

Armand2REP

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M2000-5s with the Qatari M2000s were running most of our A2A. Typhoons were escorting Tornadoes half the time. If Libya is a test Rafale easily wins it. It is L1 bidder so according to Air Chiefs it should win.
 

weg

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Using Armands logic, it looks like the Rafale isn't suited to A2A.
 

Armand2REP

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Using logic period, every aircraft running recon and ground strikes also participated in the the A2A role. Since it is an Onmi-Role aircraft it can walk and chew gum at the same time.
 

ace009

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Ohhh - is that the definition of "omni-role"? I thought it was just recon, air-defense and bombing! What else does an "omni-role" fighter do? Take my phone calls and seduce my secretary too? :D
 

utubekhiladi

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Ohhh - is that the definition of "omni-role"? I thought it was just recon, air-defense and bombing! What else does an "omni-role" fighter do? Take my phone calls and seduce my secretary too? :D
Omni fighter will do anything that armed are expecting it do. mostly destruction in land, air and in sea(possibly space in future). it can also conduct recon. in modern warfare it will be foolish to put 80 million dollar plane for merely recon. we have satellites, UAVS, chopper/helos for that.

armed forces is not interested in your secretary.
 

ace009

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Omni fighter will do anything that armed are expecting it do. mostly destruction in land, air and in sea(possibly space in future). it can also conduct recon. in modern warfare it will be foolish to put 80 million dollar plane for merely recon. we have satellites, UAVS, chopper/helos for that.

armed forces is not interested in your secretary.
Space? Now is that not asking a little too much? I mean a turbojet flying in "space"?
IMHO before a "space-faring" omni role fighter arrives there will be 6th gen drone combat aircraft taking there place.

As for my secretary - don't discount her before you have seen her - she might be the next hit / pinup model for IAF men after Karina Kapoor ... A bombshell - and that's with clothes on!

Here's are a couple of true Omni Role fighter ...



 

Galaxy

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End this MMRCA hara-kiri

End this MMRCA hara-kiri

IAF must frankly tell MoD that national security demands scrapping the overpriced MMRCA procurement and buying F-35 through a single-vendor contract


Ajai Shukla / November 1, 2011, 0:09 IST

Knife-edge tension is guaranteed as senior executives from Eurofighter GmbH and Dassault assemble on Friday in the office of Vivek Rae, Director General (Acquisitions) of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The purpose of the gathering: to open commercial bids for the world's most ill-conceived and biggest international arms purchase. I refer to the Indian Air Force's harebrained proposal to buy 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) that will be outrun and outgunned by Chinese fighters soon after they enter Indian Air Force (IAF) service.

The opening of bids in any big contract is a tense moment. Eurofighter's and Dassault's inordinate anxiety also stems from the fact that the IAF buy is crucial to their future. Eurofighter GmbH faces serious internal problems with partner nations scaling down their orders. India is desperately needed to restore the economics of production. Britain's Royal Air Force has already slashed its order for Typhoons. And, last week, The New York Times reported that Germany's Luftwaffe (which ironically spearheads the Typhoon campaign in India) is trimming its purchase from 177 to 140 Typhoons. Dassault is in even direr straits, with Rafale having failed to find a single international customer; there are just 180 Rafale fighters on order, all for the French military, which hardly has a choice.

The only relatively carefree man at the start of that meeting on Friday might be Mr Rae himself, who will be sitting on the defence ministry's war chest of Rs 42,000 crore. But his good cheer may not survive the opening of bids because the MoD's estimate – arrived at some six years ago – will almost certainly be dwarfed by the lower bid. Last month the MoD revalued its original estimation in a process called "benchmarking". But Mr Rae knows that if the winning quote emerges significantly more expensive than the MoD's "benchmarked" figure, the process will begin anew.

Such an eventuality would be a blessing in disguise; and the best way to sidestep this cockamamie purchase of overpriced fighters that will take heavy casualties in any future conflict with China. Both the Typhoon and Rafale are "4th Generation-plus fighters", inferior in crucial aspects like stealth to the J-20, China's "5th Generation" (Gen-5) stealth fighter that took to the skies this year. Admittedly the J-20 would need a decade of flight-testing before it enters operational service, but the first MMRCA would only be delivered to India by 2015-16. Five years after that, operational J-20s, of the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), will be dominating the Himalayas. The IAF MMRCAs, already outclassed by 2020, will limp around the skies till 2050 since the MoD will rightly protest that Rs 42,000-84,000 crore have been spent on them.

The IAF sadly is shutting its eyes to this even as China's rising aerospace profile informs the security calculus of other regional air forces. Japan, South Korea and Singapore are realising that a Gen-5 fleet is needed for a credible defence capability against the PLA. South Korea is set to choose Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightening II, the only Gen-5 fighter on offer in the global market. The Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) too is veering around to the F-35 after Lockheed Martin was denied export clearances to supply Tokyo the F-22 Raptor, unarguably the world's most advanced fighter. In 2003, Singapore invested money into the F-35 development programme; it is on course to buy the aircraft.

Given that a rising China makes choosing Gen-5 a no-brainer, why then is the IAF (presumably a rational actor) inexplicably buying Gen-4+ fighters? The reason, sadly, is the political-bureaucratic stranglehold over procurement in which any IAF re-evaluation carries a penalty of years of delay. In the early 2000s, when the IAF framed the case for buying an MMRCA, no Gen-5 aircraft were available for sale. The F-35 was under development but was not ready for flight-testing, an essential part of India's procurement process. Unwilling to wait for a Gen-5 fighter, the IAF scaled down its requirements and initiated an impartial multi-vendor contest for whatever Gen-4+ fighters were there in the market.

Years later, as the IAF finds itself choosing between two Gen-4+ aircraft, it must also note that the F-35 is on the cusp of operational clearance. It's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, has signalled in multiple ways that it would supply the IAF that fighter at a fly-away cost of $65 million per aircraft (significantly cheaper than the Rafale and the Typhoon) with deliveries beginning by 2015. Washington has indicated that any F-35 sale to India would be expeditiously cleared. But for an insecure IAF, used to being shoved around by the MoD, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. The MMRCA purchase would bring in six squadrons of reasonably good fighters, even if they were outclassed by the PLAAF in war. Any change at this state, or so the IAF believes and accepts, would require fresh MoD clearances and financial sanctions that could take another three years.

But there is an alternative. The IAF must frankly tell the MoD that the situation has changed, and that national security demands scrapping the overpriced MMRCA procurement and buying the F-35 through a single-vendor contract. The defence of the realm cannot be held hostage to the procedural requirement of multi-vendor bidding; nor is overpaying justifiable if it was done through competitive bidding. New Delhi has recently procured several fine aircraft on a single-vendor, government-to-government basis: the Sukhoi-30MKI from Russia; and the C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft from the US. The procurement of a new fighter that will form the backbone of the IAF for decades must be treated with the same urgency.

Ajai Shukla: End this MMRCA hara-kiri
 

p2prada

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I can't believe he was once a colonel. He expects the US to deliver by 2015 when Australia will start getting full scale deliveries only in 2017.
 

Zebra

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MRCA suppose to replace old migs .

Than why they are crying for ?

May be old US slogan - Buy MRCA now and Later on JSF . :confused:
 

Zebra

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JSF cost has several estimates, none solid .

By Dave Majumdar - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Sep 11, 2011 10:15:07 EDT

What is the true unit cost of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter?

Although both the JSF program office and the Pentagon's Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation have estimates of what a production F-35 will eventually cost, they cannot share those data because the two estimates have yet to be reconciled, a JSF program official said.

Moreover, because the Defense Department is looking at various total production numbers as the Pentagon develops its fiscal 2013 budget, those estimates could change.

And this is happening while the Pentagon weighs several possible program cuts that could emerge during budget deliberations.

The official also said that while they have estimates, there is no way to know the real cost of the aircraft until the program starts to build the jets.

One thing is clear: The price tag for a production model of the Air Force version, the F-35A, is not necessarily $65 million in 2010 dollars, as Lockheed Martin officials have repeatedly asserted.

"The average estimated unit recurring flyaway cost for the F-35A is about $65 million in 2011 dollars," said Lockheed spokes-woman Laurie Quincy, reiterating the company's claim in an email Aug. 31.

"This is in line with current fourth-generation fighter costs which do not include targeting pods, jammers, decoy systems, [electronic warfare] equipment, fuel tanks, infrared search and track, night vision devices, helmet and other systems," she wrote.

However, according to a report by the Teal Group of Fairfax, Va., as of 2011, the Pentagon's cost assessment office was estimating a unit cost of $92 million in 2002 dollars, which would amount to about $111 million in 2011 dollars.

An official at the JSF program office said Lockheed's $65 million price tag claim is "disingenuous" because the figure does not include the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that powers the jet.

Further, he said that the program office has repeatedly asked the company to stop using the $65 million figure.

But an industry source denied the JSF official's statement and said Lockheed's $65 million figure does include the engine but is averaged over a projected U.S. buy of 3,163 aircraft.

The engine costs roughly $11 million once in full-rate production, Teal Group analyst William Storey said.

"The goal is to get unit prices down to around $10 million, so $11 million seems reasonable for the long run," he said.

In the fiscal 2011 budget, the engine cost is $13 million.

Pratt & Whitney spokeswoman Stephanie Duvall declined to confirm the price of the engine, saying that the data are "confidential information shared between [Pratt & Whitney] and our customers."

JSF cost has several estimates, none solid - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times
 

p2prada

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I would prefer the Navy opts for the F-35 because it suits their time line for induction. The F-35 simply does not suit the MRCA timeline.

It is only Shuklaji's assessment that MRCA will not have a place once the J-20 comes in. Perhaps he does not know USN is still buying Super Hornets, PLAN will still be buying J-15s and PLAAF will still be buying J-10s and J-11s while IAF is inducting MRCAs.
 
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