Saab AB Gripen E smart fighter aircraft
A Saab AB Gripen E smart fighter aircraft on display during the Aero India air show at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru in February, 2019 | Karen Dias | Bloomberg
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New Delhi: As India looks to acquire 114 new medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) to shore up its depleting strength, Swedish defence major SAAB has pitched for a complete Transfer of Technology (TOT) and local production of its Gripen fighter jet at “half” the cost of French alternative Rafale.

SAAB India’s chairman and managing director (CMD) Ola Rignell made the cost claims in an interview to ThePrint, but added that he wouldn’t be surprised if India went in for additional 36 Rafale fighters in the coming years, circumventing the ongoing process to acquire new jets in larger numbers.

“India bought 36 Rafale fighter jets from France off the shelf. SAAB and Brazil also signed a contract in 2015 for the sale and local manufacturing of 36 Gripen. The cost was half of what the value of the Indian deal was,” said Rignell, referring to Brazil’s $4.68 billion deal with SAAB to manufacture the Gripen locally.

“We are setting up an entire aviation ecosystem in Brazil. And the experience and knowledge that Brazil is gaining from this manufacturing is being used by them to design their indigenous fighter aircraft,” the SAAB India CMD said.

In 2012, EADS’s Eurofighter and Dassault Aviation’s Rafale had emerged as the winner of the 2007 MMRCA bid, with the latter being the lowest bidder. But the contract negotiations got stuck over prices. Three years later, the Modi government cancelled the protracted talks and decided to buy 36 Rafale fighters in fly-away condition in a €7.87 billion deal.

Now, France is offering another 36 Rafale fighter jets in a government-to-government deal. But these numbers will not suffice in view of the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s MMRCA requirements.

During the interview last week, Rignell spoke about what the company is offering to India, his expectations, and the issue surrounding its sales to Pakistan.


Also read: Swedish major SAAB pulls out of P75I race, cites ‘unbalance’ in strategic partnership policy


‘Gripen cheaper than Rafale’

Speaking to ThePrint, Ola Rignell highlighted the efficiency of SAAB’s single-engine multirole fighter aircraft vis-à-vis the Rafale, which is being called a game changer for the IAF in the region due to its weapons package.

Gripen has the same weapons package as Rafale including the Meteor air-to-air missile, said Rignell.

“All NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) missiles are integrated with the Gripen. The only one which is missing is SCALP because it is a French missile. But if India wants, we can integrate the SCALP also though Gripen already has a substitute,” said Rignell.

He pointed out that European missile manufacturer MBDA, which makes both Meteor and SCALP, actually found Gripen as the most mature jet to test their missiles on.

“MBDA ‘test beded’ the Meteor on a Gripen. They found the Gripen to be the most mature. Eighty per cent of Meteor firing tests took place from a Gripen,” he said.

Rignell added that Gripen will always be cheaper in comparison to Rafale in life cycle costs as well because of its single-engine build.

‘Would not be surprised’

SAAB’s India chief said the defence major is offering the best deal to the country, but he won’t be surprised if India opted to buy another 36 Rafale jet from France.

“I would not be surprised,” said Ola Rignell. But he noted that the additional 36 jets will not fulfill the IAF’s requirement.

“The original 36 Rafale was bought when the IAF needed 126 MMRCA. Now there is an RFI (Request for Information) for 114 aircraft. Additional 36 Rafale would still not fulfill what the IAF actually not just wants but needs,” he said.

India and France have already spoken about the latter’s proposal for 36 additional Rafale jets, but New Delhi hasn’t disclosed any information about such a move.

No fresh deal with Pakistan

While Saab is offering the Gripen fighters to India, it is also providing the early warning aircraft system to Pakistan — an issue that has upset the IAF.

Pakistan used the SAAB-manufactured early warning aircraft system to coordinate its attack on an Indian military installation in Jammu and Kashmir a day after the Balakot strike earlier in February.

During his visit to Sweden in June this year, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa had expressed his displeasure with the defence major for supplying Pakistan with early warning systems and also offering Gripen fighters to India.

New Delhi is of the view that it will be difficult to do business with a country that also arms the enemy.

In a bid to pacify the IAF, Ola Rignell persisted that SAAB is not selling any new products to Pakistan.

He also pointed out that every contender has dealt with Pakistan, and other assets were also used in the post-Balakot action.

Pakistan had used French fighters Mirage as well American F-16s.

However, Rignell remained non-committal on future sales to Pakistan, saying the Swedish government decides on such matters and not the company.

“As far as I know, we are not selling any new products to that country (Pakistan). There is an old order and we are fulfilling our contract obligation,” Rignell said.

The Pakistan Air Force had ordered three new SAAB 2000 early warning aircraft in 2017 to supplement the ones that were destroyed in a terror attack on Minhas air base five years before that.

Rignell added that he was part of the meeting in Sweden when Dhanoa raised the issue and this is exactly what he had told him as well.

“We are trying to sell the latest AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) — Golden Eye — to India. We have sold them to UAE. (But) India is already working on its indigenous systems,” he said.

India operates the IL76 ‘Phalcon’ AWACS as well as the Embraer ‘Netra’ early warning aircraft.


Also read: Pakistan knows we’ll retaliate, they should remain in fear: Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat


 

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32 Comments Share Your Views

32 COMMENTS

  1. Bro izzy, i appreciate ur knowledge, but u cant satisfy everyone, especially in this comment section, every jets have some pros and cos, final decision will be made by government and companies, u have really deep knowledge about it, its now in the hands of future whatever jet comes to india

  2. 36 more Rafale wouldn’t fulfil what IAF needs/want, but …
    72 + 114 would stat being nice! Moreover, INAF needs 57 Rafale-M as MiG-29K is a catastrophe on aircraft carrier : it breaks its landing gear every time it deck-lands and a 2nd aircraft-carrier is nearing completion… 243 Rafales starts to look pretty good, isn’t it?
    Be it for Rafale or Gripen, starting an assembly line and delivering the 1st aircraft, IF you fast track the building of the assembly line takes 4 years.
    When it comes to ToT, Dassault CEO made it clear : 100% ToT free of charges if contracts reach 200 orders.
    My personal analysis is that IAF needs at least 14 Rafale squadrons = 252 units, and even 266 if one considers attrition (no Rafale was ever lost to technical failures, but there were a few collisions and human errors).
    So, reaching 200 is not a problem. I consider that the DRAL factory should be asked to put up 2 assembly lines, but unless Indian govt passes orders

    I consider that IAF also needs 14 squadrons of Tejas, but, again, the Tejas program is very mishandled!
    Even the Mk1 can be made more effective than a Gripen-E and very easily!
    India has ALREADY bought a hundred GE F414 engines as the primary idea for a Tejas Mk2 was to elongate it just like Saab did from Gripen-C to Gripen-E, in order to put more internal fuel. F414 is simply a more powerful F404 which is the Hornet and Gripen-A/B/C/D and Tejas Mk1 while F414 is for Super-Hornet and Gripen-E/F… The interesting point : both engines have the same size and piping, F414 is only 75kg heavier (and more thirsty being more powerful). Rather than doing like Saab and ending with a Gripen-E even more heavier than a Mirage-2000, with the already built Mk1, why don’t you act clever by simply adding F414 and conformal tanks?????? My 2c the Rafale’s conformal tanks may directly fit! Why? Remember that ADA bought the Tejas blue-prints from Dassault, Tejas was initially dev’d to Replace Mirage-2000, would France reject Rafale like Mirage-4000. ADA error was not pursuing further than the initial 1 year assistance from Dassault coming with the ToT : a definitive Tejas using the M88 engine would be available since end 90’s/early 00’s!
    Moreover, Thales already fields a version of Rafale’s RBE2/AESA modified to fit in Tejas’ nose! It’s already validated by DRDO and flight tested, and will allow to easily integrate Meteor on Tejas too!
    Thales has also prepared a standalone version of SPECTRA’s active stealth for Tejas. This is ALSO already validated by DRDO.
    Here you have already a Super-Tejas Mk1 at hand…
    Considering the number of F414 in storage, it’s enough for 4 squadrons of 21 and keeping 16 spare-engines.

    Now, for Mk1A, HAL is f*cking kidding!
    According to the 1st Rafale-contract offset, the Rafale-team also prepared improvements to finalise Tejas! These have leaked on French aviation forums and are simply gorgeous. Estimated flyaway-cost per unit is $45-46M but… such a Tejas would outclass a much heavier MiG-35 or even the on-steroids Emirati Mirage-2000-9 as much as a F-16/21!

    Dassault-recommanded mods for Tejas (all blueprints are ready since summer 2017!):
    – Same baked-in radar absorbent materials as Rafale
    – Rafale’s active stealth [DRDO-validated]
    – 98kN version of Rafale”s engine (as powerful as Mirage-2000-9, the Emirati on steroids version with 6.8t payload or as GE F414). Advantages : IR stealth, much smaller than F414 => 1.1m^3 less => room for fuel, 200kg lighter. Note : M88 is the only engine allowing 5-6 missions per 24h in normal use and no less than 1 week of intensive use with 10-11 missions per 24h (wasn’t tested further : after 1 week operations, Rafale-M faced a problem : lack of targets : Gaddafi’s army was totally fucked up) [DRDO-validated]
    – As much internal fuel as Mirage-2000
    – Rafale’s AESA radar : much more powerful than Elta EL/M2052, serious ECM features [DRDO-validated]
    – Reinforced airframe to take 11G
    – 500kg lighter than Tejas Mk1 => 1,800kg lighter than Mirage-2000-9 with the same thrust => Payload and speed affected… And since M-2000-9 has 6.8t payload and is Mach2+ capable…
    – Safran has created a joint venture with HAL to make the 98kN M88/K9+ (Kaveri 9+) in India
    – BRS (balistic recovery system) parachute : in case of critical failure, the aircraft can be saved, and likely pilot’s life too : ejections are still a pretty risky thing, and you may never pilot a jet-fighter after such event, in fact, in IAF, except for Abhinandan, you normally say goodbye to the job after an ejection, as a result, pilots often try to land an aircraft with critical failures and so they die trying….

    It seems strange to me that nobody seems to speak about this in India, maybe because it’d make a Tejas Mk2 a totally futile project and HAL hopes to syphon more money from tax-payers? Just consider how they asked $67M per Tejas Mk1A while there are only a few improvements to avionics and an AESA radar!!!! Another point : F404/414 allow 2-3 flights a day and to be pushed to 4 in intensive use, intensive use for a Flanker is 3 flights per 24h. Now you get the interest of equipping Tejas with Rafale’s engine!

    IMHO, HAL being a state-owned company, considering how productive they are and that, just for assembling Su-30 in kits, the aircraft’s flyaway costs doubles compared as if assembled in Russia. Dassault reviewed HAL for a potential Rafale production and concluded that building Rafale at HAL’s would cost 2.7x more per unit than if built in France where you have 10x Indian salaries (and life is 20x more expensive too, so don’t dream too much, it’s not a paradise : in hard-discount supermarkets, you’ll spend 1.5-2 crore/month just to feed yourself with junk-food!).
    It’s obvious that HAL needs a serious audit : there is serious dysfunctionality and a word stinks big league : boondoggle….

    Considering the numbers of Tejas needed, IMHO, 4-5 assembly lines should be built (32 or 40 units/year) while two would be necessary for Rafale (36 units/year).

    AS A CONCLUSION :
    IAF doesn’t needs Gripen AT ALL : Tejas can absolutely do the same job on condition to take the right decisions…
    And this is where the big problem is when it comes to Indian MoD, including with BJP, although it was MUCH worst with Congress. If a 1st batch of 36 Rafales was ordered, it was due to PM Modi bypassing MoD. Parrikar wanted to sink Rafale purchases and to buy more Su-30 while don’t ask Su-30 to do low altitude penetration and I doubt an active stealth system like the Rafale’s one would be great on it : it needs passive features to work great, you just don’t need these to be as much pushed as on a F-22, the direct view on engines fans seriously ruins such hopes.

    Oh, 1 last point : during Vietnam era, F-4 Phantoms has hardpoints with 2 lateral attachments for Sidewinders and you could attach a TER for 3 weapons or a drop-tank or a big bomb while keeping your 2 AAMs. Having such thing made the NG way would allow to carry 5 Meteor per 1000kg- rated hardpoint. We now also see pictures of F-15X with hardpoints for 2 and 4 AMRAAMs (w. Meteor : 400 and 800kg). Maybe hardpoints for 6 Meteors (1200kg) would be feasible too.
    http://i.imgur.com/rcxQxGI.jpg
    With such a configuration per hardpoints, although I’m not sure the central station may carry a multiple AAM rack due to landing gear, carrying 16 if not 18 Meteors at once wouldn’t be an issue, added with 2x e.g. Mica-NG/IR or eventually 2x I-Derby ER (IDK its weight) : the F414 or M88/98kN would do the trick, even while having conformal tanks.
    A Rafale with conformal tanks would have no problem at carrying 36 Meteors and 2 Mica-NG/IR at once, using such kind of multiple hardpoints.
    If such config of hardpoints are introduced, despite being outnumbered in case of a Pak+Chin joint invasion, both Tejas, especially if fit with M88, and Rafale, both become serious force multipliers. Another point : if Meteor misses, it can be re-locked on target. It’s likely the case with Mica-EM which shares its seeker with Meteor (and Aster SAMs, which can also be re-locked), but I can’t confirm this, neither for Mica-EM or IR. Mica-NG receives a new engine and ranges 120km.

      • Maybe… Thus, I’d surely be more useful at helping Indian MoD at doing the right choices with weapon procurement… Unfortunately, I”m not Indian. I have a bizarre relation with weapons systems : My dad was fighter aircraft tech in our AF, so… I learnt to read -alone!- in his documents… And I understand this stuff like very few do.

  3. GRipen may have its good points but some real problems are as below:

    1. It’s a single engined plane and for deep penetration missions, you need survivability, which can’t be offered in such a plane. Overall power and range will be severely limited. IAF must not mix up single engined and twin engined bids , and hopefully they have their priorities clear.

    2, Gripen has many electronics systems of US origin and each will need US export clearance. After supply, the US could place an embargo on spares , if their interest demands. In contrast Rafale has an all-French design and France will be a more reliable partner in case of emergencies.

    • Especially if you do a thermonuclear test one of these days 😉 US have serious delayed Tejas by blocking the deliveries of GE F404 last time you did a test… Thus, maybe some secret arrangement may get you an access to our MegaJoule laser : it allows us to design nukes without doing a nuclear test-blast 😉 But shhhh, don’t go public about it 😉

  4. It is so easy to fool indian readers, just because they are not always interested in researching the truth by themselves, but they need the truth served to them on a platter by some biased news agencies.
    There basic differences in SAAB Gripen and Dassault Rafale, IAF has decided to buy daasault based on their basic requirements.
    We are not thinking about only pakistan as an aggressor but also China. We would have to travel large distances over Tibet and Himalayas.
    Grippen has payload carrying capacity of only 5300kg and rafale has 9500kg.
    In case of aggression from China we would have to traverse back and forth large number of times to drop specific payload, by then would have lost element of surprise..
    Gripen is a single engine aircraft so it’s power output is low and so is the payload carrying capacity. Moreover as it is single engine it requires long runways which is impossible on an aircraft carrier.
    On the other hand rafale is double engine jet, with almost double payload capacity and short take off.
    So basically you don’t want to buy a Honda City if you want to travel on sand Dunes, you would always buy a JEEP instead, as simple as that.

    • Sujeet bhau, while I take some of your arguments, there are some basic clarifications you should consider. Rafale and Gripen are two different classes of aircraft (single or twin-engined is only the beginning). Gripen is a lighter aircraft (MTOW 16,500kg) while Rafale is almost 8,000kg heavier (MTOW 24,500kg). The Gripen was designed at the outset to have excellent STOL characteristics, essentially being able to take off and land on snow covered highways, can take off within 500m and land within 600m. Single engine doesn’t mean longer take off; the Gripen’s GE414 engine produces 98kN (22,000lbs) of thrust while Rafale’s M88-2s produce 75kN (16,860lbs) of thrust each (afterburner). So on one hand you have 22,000lbs of thrust propelling 16.5 tons of aircraft vs. 33,000lbs propelling 24.5 tons – the thrust to weight ratio is nearly identical of both aircraft which is why they are both super manoeuvrable. The internal fuel capacity (since you talk about long distances over Tibet etc) of the Rafale is 4700kg, while the Gripen carries 3,400kg. The weapons load of Gripen is 6,000kg on 10 hard points compared to 9,500kg on 14 hard points for the Rafale. The Gripen today carries almost the same air-air load out of the Rafale with 2 IR AAMs and 7 BVRAAMs (which, with the Raven AESA radar and Meteor is superior to the IAF’s Su-30MKI at the moment, till they get the Rafale). So, in my opinion, Gripen punches way above its weight and is an excellent low cost alternative to fill out the IAF’s squadrons as it phases out the legacy MiGs. Instead of wasting time and resources over 35 years with Tejas, we should have collaborated with the Swedes from the beginning and fielded at least 10 squadrons of Gripens, complementing the Su-30MKIs and Rafales. As for the issues with American engines someone else has made here, we have made the last few big ticket purchases from the Americans only : P-8I, C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster, CH47 Chinook, AH-64E Apache, M777 howitzers. So while we have the Fortuner (Su-30MKI) , we are looking for JEEP (Rafale), there is no reason we shouldn’t look at Gypsy class light 4x4s for the desert as well!!!

      • M88 is also available in 91kN version (M88-9) and now, on Indian demand, 98kN too. And the 75kN engines can be upgraded, but it need slightly larger (2-3cm more) air intakes. Upgrades of engines is planned with the upcoming F4 upgrade. Make-In-India Rafales will be F4, so prepare for up to 12t payload… In fact, M88 can be pushed to 115kN without changing the core and such a version is on the way for AMCA use (!)

        BTW, even w. the 75kN engines, Rafale can already take off with 12t payload, you just need to take off with half internal fuel, then complete once airborne. The central and the two inner-wing stations are all rated for 4t, this would allow to e.g. carry the Aldebaran trimaran space-launcher, or 3 of its single-body versions. I feel the project may have been stopped : nothing new since it was transferred to DGA (French DRDO) in 2009, while it was a Dassault civilian project… Who knows, maybe do we have secret air-launched ICBMs ? When you know that in the 80’s, DGA’s Falcon-50 used for integration of weapons on Mirage-F1, carrying 2 Exocets, sunk 58 Iranian ships to avenge the 58 French Blue-Helmets killed by a Hezbollah SVBIED in Beirut, 1983 (this was made public recently), with DGA, anything is possible!

        I recently spoke with a Saab engineer and at his personal level, he said he’d had preferred to collaborate with the French, thus, Saab would have made a Tejas with a M88 engine, likely M88-9.
        Tejas ain’t bad at all, but ADA did a terrible mistake when they bought the blue-prints with 1 year assistance from Dassault: they overestimated their capabilities and experience! They should have prolonged the Dassault assistance until completion. Just take a look at the Dassault proposals they did in 2017 to finalise Tejas : it becomes a Rafale-Junior, a bit like Mirage-2000 is nothing else than the single engined version of Mirage-4000 which’s only flaw was not having been bought by French govt. on cost grounds : it was better than a F-15.

        You may not know it but… Gripen project is older than Tejas! Look for Hawker Siddeley P.106!!! Sweden bought a 1980 design, and it’s only since June 2018 that an effective version, the Gripen-E, which is 200kg heavier than Mirage-2000-9 with less payload than it (M-2000-9 : 6.8t) is available.
        If you read my comment in another post on this page, I expose both the Dassault proposed mods which would make Tejas simply the best single engined jet-fighter available on market, but also how to EASILY improve the actually fielded Tejas Mk1 to make it more interesting than a Gripen-E.

  5. How saab will do full TOT? They themselves don’t have the full tech. Even the engine is not their own, including many other major components.

    • Even worst : look for Hawker Siddeley P.106… In fact, Gripen is the single engined version of what UK initially proposed for the Eurofighter program!

  6. Defense Dealers when come to know that India is not likely buy their defense equipment , they resort to quote half price & other freebies to misguide & create doubts on India’s buying from other countries. They catch a Journalist from India Media & even some time pay money to give publicity to their product & create doubt in the mind of Public. SAAB will give Air Crafts to India & sell radars to Pakistan & that is how they make money..

    • Another way to mislead : they base on the 1st Rafale contract, but… half of the contract is an offset and the 6th of the contract is MILCON, weapons, integration of dozen weapons (Germany pais $175M to integrate Meteor on Typhoon), etc etc!
      So they would come with an €3.935BN contract for 36 Gripen-E at flyaway cost while, considering the Rafale’s flyaway cost, India pays about €2.6-2.65BN.
      In fact, if you take a look at Brazil’s contract, Brazil pays $9.1BN for 28 Gripen-E while offset is only 25%. Former Brazil’s president Lula Da Silva is now serving a 9.5 years jail time linked to corruption in the Gripen contract… In fact, it’s BAe who is building half of the airframe, which is in charge of the Gripen sales… UK law protects UK’s arms companies doing briberies abroad… BAe’s standard is a 7.25% kickback on the total value of the contract. All Gripen foreign sales are tainted with corruption scandals, and so is it for Typhoon. Now you know why Brazilian AF chose Rafale and ended with Gripen-E which is VERY late since after 5 years, not a single Gripen-E has been delivered and Gripen-E’s prototype only had its 1st flight in June 2018! Actually, Saab wasn’t even able to send any Gripen-E to Switzerland to pass Swiss-AF comparative tests last spring…
      So, don’t hope much from it, it’d be faster and cheaper to buy the Mirage-2000 assembly line dismantled by Dassault which is stored in a warehouse and start building M-2000 in India, directly fit with Rafale’s full combat systems (these were designed to fit in M-2000 as upgrades!), and a M-2000 is at least as capable, if not more, than a Gripen-E 🙂
      The good point with Gripen or Typhoon : EZ kickbacks…

  7. Commentators here are probably paid by Gripen competitors or are simply the usual armchair experts. Gripen is definitely the best choice for IAF as it is cost effective over the life cycle. SAAB has proven a reliable supplier to its customers and the plane flies in a number of air forces across the world. Sweden has indeed proven to share and transfer more of its technology than any other foreign partner. If India wants to build up its own ecosystem of aerospace manufacturing, Gripen and Sweden would be the clear choice. Together with the Rafales, the Gripen would give IAF a clear edge over Pak and some semblance of parity with the Chinese. At a reasonable cost.

    • No.
      India directly rejected SAAB Gripen due to it’s reliance on US technology, mainly F16.
      Saab is a highly modified (Swedenized) version of F16. It has great capabilities in terms of every aspect but most importantly it’s electronic warfare technology is one of the top classes.
      The reason India can’t buy that is due to it’s reliance on US engine and other key design features, US can effectively dictate India when to use the aircraft and when not to.

      • Gripen is Hawker Sideley P.106.
        The engine on Gripen A/B/C/D engine is the same as Hornet, the Gripen-E/F is the one on Super-Hornet.
        Tejas also has Hornet’s engine.
        After tests on Rafale, Typhoon, Super Hornet and Gripen, Swiss concluded these classed in this order and… Gripen ended with inferior results to their old 80’s Hornets!!!!!
        Gripen is nicknamed “the Ikea aircraft”

    • No.
      India directly rejected SAAB Gripen due to it’s reliance on US technology, mainly F16.
      Gripen is a highly modified (Swedenized) version of F16. It has great capabilities in terms of every aspect but most importantly it’s electronic warfare technology is one of the top classes.
      The reason India can’t buy that is due to it’s reliance on US engine and other key design features, US can effectively dictate India when to use the aircraft and when not to.

      Reply

      • There’s not only it : Gripen-E is no better than an upgraded Mirage-2000 and flyaway cost ends over Rafale while being nowhere near its capabilities.
        In fact, even with a few basic mods I expose in another post on this page, Tejas Mk1 can EASILY become on par with a Gripen-E. If the full Dassault-proposed mods are applied, Tejas would outcompete F-21, J-10, MiG-35 and would become a serious issue for J-20/31 and, unlike Gripen-E, there wouldn’t be a need to take years on prototyping.
        The main issue is the lack of governmental decisionship.

        • honestly you sound like a dalit cheap rat. No wonder street poopers like you have ruined India with your monkey level intellect giving advise to the Indian government. Shameless dalit

  8. Joker Alex don’t know that gripen is not a war proven machine and it was congress who halted the purchase for 12 long year . Why congress was so late and lazy .. how come modi government got modi for rafale . Fact is that modi has less courption unlike mujheed e congress .

  9. The only solution is indigenous technology. As long as we are dependent on foreign firms for our defence requirements they will take advantage of the Indo-Pak rivalry. The only entities which gain from this rivalry are the foreign private firms which make billions of dollars worth profit from each contract.
    Besides, Sweden cannot be trusted as a defence partner. In fact, the Indian govt would do well to downgrade ties with Sweden. The Swedish foreign minister has completely toed Pakistan’s line on Kashmir. It has traditionally been a supporter of Pakistan and Pakistani sponsored cross border terrorism. On international platforms such as the UN, it supports Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir and has repeatedly voted against India.
    In such a scenario, it hardly makes sense to procure sensitive defence technology from a Swedish firm.

  10. Rafale has been purchased principally on the strong preference for it by IAF. Which other aircraft could have qualified for our requirements is another issue for which there is no clear answer. thanks to delay and improper handling by UPA, there was a big delay in finalizing the MMRCA order. That left the government no choice but to have a government to government deal without much TOT. But having gone ahead with the preference of the IAF, now we will have to go with additional Rafales and make the overall cost economical. Therefore, chances of any other aircraft being selected now are minimal. Further, we should not worry much about 42 squadron strength as the quality of the air crafts is better (4++) and insist on MWF and AMCA getting rolled on soon and with full force. Gripe or F-21 or MIG-35 will be in news on and off but will have no material impact on the decision.

  11. Whenever any nees are seen here, Pakis shows their desperation and use vulgar langaguages against Indian PM etc. These guys are illiterate and do not have even food for their survival.. shame on them. Begging porki country will get eliminated from the world map soon.

  12. Indian government high value technical industries under DRDO, BELIEVE ect. must feel ashamed of their delay in delivering the finished products in time. They have brought their organizations to a level of State PWD’s. If India is to do anything of its own, all these organizations must be overhauled to meet the present day competition. Recruitment of personals in the position must on the basis of very good academic career, research publications & qualifications. We must feel sorry as well as ashamed of our inability to manufacture sophisticated Aircrafts in 21st. Century !

    • F-16, JF-17 and antique Mirage-5 were used on Feb 27th 2019
      AMRAAM were shot towards Su-30MKI, their wreckages were found. Only F-16 uses AMRAAM in Pak.

  13. The hard fact is that modi govt is running out of money after its extravagant election give-aways and unnecessary salary increases to govt staff. This is coupled with financial and economic mismanagement and a recession is coming which will destroy the taxation and dramatically increase NPAs. Govt banks have not been privatized and there is a socialist russian command and control economy due to modi.

  14. Flying the Rafale may feel like driving a Mercedes, but it is frightfully expensive. No way India can think of acquiring 42 squadrons at these price levels. Egypt flying the Rafale does not suggest it is at the cutting edge of technology.

    • You’re wrong! On the €7.87BN of 1st contract, 50% is an offset to create a private aerospace industry with JVs, thus since Indian private sector will have 51% of JVs, it will create many jobs, thousands of personnels are being trained, factories have already been or are being built, etc etc etc.
      Thus, the 1st arms contract is only €3.935BN.
      This also includes €710M in weapons, integration of a dozen Indian/Israeli/Russian weapons incl. Astra, Brahmos, Spice, etc (note : Germany paid $175M to integrate Meteor on Typhoon! Any integration by Boeing is billed no less than $100M, Dassault did the cheapest price ever seen on market), added with the Elbit HMD, custom hardpoints for Russian weapons, 2 simulators, maintenance facilities, preparation of 2 airbases, MILCON, training, guarantee for a 75% availability (serious penalties if fail at it), etc etc etc!
      Integration of any weapon is done once and for all.
      In the end, the Rafale’s flyaway cost is UNDER F-21 or Gripen-E, about the same price as a Super-Hornet while being on par with a F-22

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