Modi govt offers to buy 200 ‘Made in India’ fighter jets from foreign manufacturers

Lions Of Punjab

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Source: AP
The Narendra Modi government has expressed its willingness to buy 200 ‘single-engine’ fighter jets from foreign manufacturers if they are willing to produce these planes in India with a local partner.

According to news agency Reuters, the number of fighter planes, to be purchased by India, can go up to 300 as the Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to phase out all ageing Soviet-era aircrafts.

According to experts quoted by the agency, the deal could be anything from $13-$15 billion, making it one of India’s biggest aircraft deals.

Indian Air force is desperately trying to speed up acquisition of fighter jets in view of its depleting strength of ‘squadrons’.

The IAF does not want any further delay after the deal to buy high-end Rafale planes from France's Dassault was scaled back to just 36 jets from the original deal of 126 fighter planes.

According to media reports, the Narendra Modi govt wants any further military planes to be built in India with an Indian partner to kick-start a domestic aircraft industry, and end an expensive addiction to imports.

Lockheed Martin has expressed its interested in setting up a production line for its F-16 plane in India for not just the Indian military, but also for exports.

Similarly, Sweden’s Saab has also offered a rival production line for its Gripen aircraft. It has also reportedly offered to help India in developing its indigenous ‘Tejas’ fighter jets.


Ministry of Defence (MoD) is reported to have written to several companies asking if they would be willing to set up an assembly line for single-engine fighter planes in India and the amount of technology transfer that they are willing to offer.

"We are testing the waters, testing the foreign firms' willingness to move production here and to find out their expectations," an Air Force officer was quoted as saying by Reuters.


http://m.indiatvnews.com/news/india...ighter-jets-from-foreign-manufacturers-354389
 

AmoghaVarsha

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300 Fighters?What do they plan to replace or is this a replacement plus expansion plan?
 

Certified Gipsy

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The usual F16-F18 and Rafale media agent jokers at work again. They are cooking the same story and twisting it with different add ons. Read these tweets!
 

dineshchaturvedi

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Well there is something cooking for sure. They had discussion with Gripen and F16. If you remember Parikar cut down Rafael because he thought it was pricy and we do not need that many specialized planes. I will not dismiss it simply. However, we need to see how it impacts LCA.
 

Certified Gipsy

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^^

IMHO, I think the govt is planning to buy the complete technology of a proven platform of the 1990s, make it in India by customizing it with our own avionics that we have developed in LCA and use it as a low cost, but potent MRCA replacement for Rafale. Their current choices are MiG 29M/M2 or MiG 35(Both are twin engine based), Gripen E and F16 if we go by the embassies of three countries that are reported to have received this request.

http://www.defenseworld.net/news/17...In_India____Fighter_Jet_Program_#.WBUD4ByKTIV

I believe the govt will go for the one which is the cheapest and has the best value for money. Again my biggest worry is about the engines. Will LHM & Saab agree to a complete ToT? I think the Russians may, but their engines RD 33 had MTBO issues and were unreliable.

1) If SAAB agrees to the full ToT, AESA radar, make in India and if GE manages to set up an engine manufacturing plant in India, that would be tempting. But unit cost of Gripen E, without arms is $85 million. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...-522-mph-improved-sensors-weaponry-range.html Also Gripen E is a latest from SAAB's stable and they have just set up a production line in Brazil. Furthermore, neither has SAAB shown any Gripen jet so far with a functioning AESA radar nor do we see a proof that they actually have one. Gripen deal will be a slippery road, gives us no complete control and it is better avoided.

2) MiG 35 promises to have sorted out the problems with MTBO on their RD 33 engines and it costs just 30-40 mil/unit. They just sold 16 MiG 35s for $475 million to Egypt (30 mil$/unit). They are still not sure how Egypt will pay.
https://in.rbth.com/blogs/2014/05/30/mig-35_the_plane_that_wont_die_35625

The export version is with Zhuk AESA radar.
http://defense-update.com/features/du-1-07/aesaradar_zhuk_AE.htm

Can Indian negotiate hard and get a complete transfer of technology and full production & control rights of MiG 35s, including the engines and produce it at a cost of 30 mil$ per unit? If that happens, it would be a great deal.

3) I am personally not a huge fan of F16s. I still cannot find out what the full specifications of the block 70/72 F16s that LM is planning to give us. One interesting opinion on why India should accept this offer is here!

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/th...ns-bid-build-lethal-f-16-fighters-india-17329

The text in quotes below is very tempting, but can we really trust the US and invest on a very old tech? What would be the total cost?

The deal opens the door for India to be the only vendor in the world that can acquire the expertise and infrastructure to integrate and upgrade existing Russian, European, and American platforms. The technical and logistical challenges are formidable, and India will likely require external assistance. However, a well-integrated Indian air defense system built around numerous and inexpensive pre-5th generation aircraft, appropriately upgraded, together with a few indigenously developed items will be sufficient against likely Chinese and Pakistani threats for decades. Will India step to the challenge? Successfully fielding this capability would give India leverage in many areas.
In any case, this new Make in India jet is probably to fill the shortages caused by purchasing only 36 Rafale , instead of the originally planned 130 Rafales and this will hopefully be a 4+++ to 4.5 gen MRCA, with advanced technologies like AESA radar and not necessarily a MiG 21 replacement.

I am inclined to place my bet on MiG 35, but I am not underestimating the power of US lobby.
 
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AmoghaVarsha

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MIG 35??Really?Dont think MIGs have a chance.It will be F 16s or FA 18.
 

Shashank Sharma

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The F-16 seems like a safe bet, but without a future and the Gripen is risky but futuristic.
I think we should buy the Gripen. No risk, no rewards!
 

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