Friday, July 15, 2011

POLL: Is The IAF Mirage 2000 Upgrade Too Expensive?

This is something that has been debated by the IAF and the MoD, which have considered all options before making a decision to upgrade 51 Indian Mirage 2000 fighter jets to the -V standard. Since there is still a lack of clarity about the value of the upgrade contract, let me put down what best I know at this stage (the figure in the infographic below is a consolidated figure that includes the cost of weapons and infrastructure). The cost of upgrade contract is understood to be $2.7-billion. The cost of the weapons component is $700-million, and the cost of infrastructure between $500 too 600 million.


59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another Congress Scam is in the offing.

Anonymous said...

I would give the upgrade contract to Israel, which is almost half price of what the French are charging and would plough the savings into buying 40 brand new Rafales for the strategic air command as a dedicated nuclear delivery platform. The MMRCA contract more than likely would be signed with the Eurofighter. French could be given some more subs contract. They are still playing games with the TOT transfer related to scorpenes

Rajan said...

without engine upgrade 4billion $ are too much expensive you can have much more advanced planes in this buget

Cirrus said...

Please Shiv, give a realistic quotation instead of this exagerated one. You're smart enough to avoid this kind of basic French bashing.

The upgrade is a great chance to have great ToT for HAL and maintain the Mirage in the race.

Is someone complained when IAF decided to upgrade SU30 for a higher price and without ToT????? Is soemone complained when we bought C17 from the US (without any ToT or job's creation for us)at a 20% higher rate than Australia ??

Shiv Aroor said...

@Cirrus: Good points, but there's no bashing here. I for one believe that while the French demand top dollar, they deliver some of the finest, most reliable equipment available today. Nobody is here to do India any favours -- certainly not Russia or the U.S., so you're completely correct when you suggest that acquisitions of follow-on Su-30MKIs and proposed upgrades (incidentally, something I'm working on for a post here), and the acquisition of American-built aircraft are exhorbitant deals. The reason for this post is the debate that exists about this contract. And please be informed that this isn't a debate that has sprung up now that the deal's been cleared. It has existed since 2009 when the two countries agreed on a price.

So please have the basic intelligence to know what bashing means.

Anonymous said...

Agree with these 2 inputs from Cirrus and Shiv. However, a bit doubtful about what you say: why would the deal be cleared only in 2011 if both countries had "agreed on a price in 2009"?

Anonymous said...

Well, Indians were missing their opportunity when Dassault offered them the whole line for Mirage 2000.

That would be much cheaper then LCA development + now Mirage upgrade. Probably they would get also license for the fighter, so they could develop what ever they wanted.

Anonymous said...

The only peice of contention is that if Israel offered it cheaper, then we should have looked at it seriously by putting them both in an MMRCA like tender.

Though I feel if that was done the French may have felt slighted, and who knows maybe pulled out of the MMRCA altogether in an impulsive fit. We also might have lost a dependable and strategic ally.

Hard call I guess, so I would stick with what was done.

Anonymous said...

@Cirrus

When C17 were bought, India bought a brand new aircraft with spares, training on usage & maintenance. That is not the case with Mirages and that too we are just upgrading that.

Point is that when India plans to buy 128 Rafale for $10b, $4b is way too much for the 51 mirage upgrade unless, all of them upgraded to nuclear capable Mirage 2kN.

Angle of Attack said...

Very good points by mr Cirrus but the basic fact remains that a $78 million per aircraft is very near to what the Rafael is sold and nothing justifies it.

Artanis said...

@Shiv Please stop spreading misinformation. Many reports have pointed that the price is 2.4 bn.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/2-4-bn-Mirage-2000-upgrade-approved/H1-Article1-720763.aspx

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2224277.ece

http://tribune.com.pk/story/209638/india-approves-2-4-bn-french-mirage-jet-upgrade/

The 4 billionn confusion is caused by people who didn't properly read this news.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110714/jsp/nation/story_14238040.jsp

Telegraph reported that "The 2.4 bn deal for upgrading 51 Mirageswas signed" and it was further stated that "Total costs will reach 4 billion as India will buy missiles worth $900 million and build facilities in HAL Banglore worth $500 million"

So in short, deal is worth 2.4 bn. While 1.4 bn will be spent on buying missiles and infrastructure. Please amend the article. Even though I prefer Typhoon over Rafale I cant just watch blatant mis-information.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Cirrus@4.09PM: The Super Su-30MKI upgrade package comes with uprated AL-31FP turbofans and an avionics package that is 15 years ahead of what THALES will install on the Mirage 2000H/TH. So don't compare apples with oranges. The C-17A acquisition is a turnkey project under which brand-new MRO facilities will be built for the IAF from scratch, instead of converting an existing BRD. The high-altitude engine test facility will also follow as offets. All this will not only create more jobs, but also bring in new skills and expertise.

Shiv Aroor said...

Artanis: First, breathe. Now, is the upgrade in any way complete without the weapons and the infrastructure required to upgrade/maintain the aircraft? If the cost of upgrade per se is $2.4-billion (the most commonly quoted figure), does one de-link the cost of infrastructure and advanced weapons capability? Not rhetorical questions. How does one look at it? Is this a package upgrade, or are we to treat the price of each component separately, and therefore make each dispensable in a worst case scenario?

Tako Nada said...

Better to go with Israeli offer,cheaper but same or more deadly then Mirage complete package.

Article said...

@Shiv I meant no dis-respect and I highly admire your work. I simply wanted to point out that almost an billion that is going in buying MICA missiles shall not be included as Upgrade Cost as they IMHO are separate from upgrade deal.
In case I offended you then I offer my humble apology. Keep up the good work and thanks for promptly correcting article.

Artanis said...

@Shiv I meant no dis-respect and I highly admire your work. I simply wanted to point out that almost an billion that is going in buying MICA missiles shall not be included as Upgrade Cost as they IMHO are separate from upgrade deal.
In case I offended you then I offer my humble apology. Keep up the good work and thanks for promptly correcting article.

A.X360 said...

Now that is what is called being expensive.Upgrading 50 odd mirages for 4-5 billion dollars is simply ridiculous.One can make that out from the fact that the IAF purchased 140 4+generation sukhois way back in 2001 which are still getting manufactured under HAL.Plus it's not just about the price but the equipment that the french are installing in our Mirages.RDY-2 is not an AESA but a pulse doppler multi mode passive electronically scanned array unit and the only thing that it can do is to fire Multiple mica missiles at no more than 4 targets simultaneously.Comparing it to what IAF has shortlisted for it's MMRCA requirement for which they are going to shed 12 billion dollars or even more than that we do se that be it technologically or aerodynamically the aircraft are way to ahead than the 3rd generation mirages.Let's take the Rafales only.In a period less than 3 years they will b installed with RBE2-AA AESA with two plane electronic scanning which means that the radar can generate highly accurate maps and fire air to air or air to ground munitions.Same goes with the Captor-E AESA radar on the Eurofighter.The french themselves have closed the production line for mirages and equipment designed for them.Instead we could have bought 40 odd rafales or eurofighters depending on whether dassault or consortium clinches the deal and could have invested this heap of money in giving it worthy and hefty upgrades in future.Plus like shiv stated that the aircraft is 78 million dollars a piece by comparison rafales flying cost is 90 million dollars a piece.Add 12 million and u get a rafale in flyaway condition.Calculating in the same manner we could have bought 50 more rafales at 5.1 billion dollars and what do we get in that are as follows:
AESA RADAR
Best electronic warfare suite
Glass Cockpit
HOTAS
STEALTHY airframe
Advanced weaponry
M-88 snecma enigines producing higher Thrust levels than mirages.
Quite sad to read shiv's post.
:((

kris said...

look at it this way.. if u think the mirage upgrade is too costly and it would be better to buy more aircraft in the mmrca deal.... this could mean that this deal is a consolation prize to france and the winner in the mmrca is going to be euro typhoon.. i think i would like to bet on this.

Anonymous said...

IF THIS IS WITH TOT AND MICA ITS OK IF NOT HEART ATTACK.

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER IF IT WAS INVESTED EITHER ON GTRE OR LCA ANY WAY IF IT HELPS APART FROM MIRAGE ITS WORTH IT.

joydeep ghosh said...

@ Shiv, Artanis

Lets just wait and see what the official communication states, till then lets not talk about the price but lets talk about the lethality it will give to the Mirage 2000

Thanks

Joydeep Ghosh

Anonymous said...

Some of the finest equipment in the world comes from Israel. The French are getting greedy and this is way too much to pay for upgrading jets that are already obsolete.

Its like spending "Rs. 10 Lakh" on pimping my premier padmini...

Well Congress has sold the whole of India away another scam in the offing.

joygoswami said...

I totally agree with ShivJi, the French produce expensive yet one of the finest products one can offer. I am not sure if its a good deal or bad, just that its seems too costly and only time will tell if we did the right thing. We all remember, Bofors did serve us a lot in Kargil.I would wait for ShivJi to get us more news on upgrades and every other component involved. Also, I think this clears the path for Eurofighter for MMRCA ;)

Anonymous said...

I am almost certain that Rafael will not be selected for the MMRCA. This deal is to appease the French. Typhoon will take it away. Our deals with US is an indication of things to come. Once they won C-130 contracts and additional contracts for the additional transports, it was clear that NG and LoHeed would not win the MMRCA race. The Russians are being pandered through the development of the fifth generation aircraft, they will make their money there.
Final word - the European consortium and the Typhoon will take this cake!

Mr. Ra said...

We may come to know the real price implications of this Mirage upgrade order when the scope of work and the price break-up are clearly known. It will be further understood in most unambiguous terms once the winner of MMRCA is declared.

I also do not get the idea that why Israeli offer was not accepted.

Till such facts are available I am left to assume that the prices may be OK, may be there some nuke capability angle.

sanketkingkong said...

that's roughly $4 billion Well in that much money we can buy same amount of new planes with better capabilities, like 50-60 f18 super Hornet, or even 50-60 Dasault rafales will fit in that price range...
think on it

Anonymous said...

Wrong figures lead to wrong poll. But who cares since the CCS does not yet base its decisions on Internet votes, fortunately.

@A.X360: the French will deliver what the IAF requested! IAF never requested an AESA radar for this upgrade. If they had, the price would have been higher and you would have shouted even more "Oh my gosh the price is so exorbitant, IAF should better buy this or that". As the UK Defence Secretary recently said here, quality has a price.

Anonymous said...

I propose polls on:
- Is the C17 purchase too expensive
- Is $100M a single Su-30MKI purchased from HAL too expensive
- Is 50.000 crores INR for 6 P75I too expensive
- Is the defence of India too expensive

Anonymous said...

Nice powerpoint but useless poll, as an exception for a very good blog.

Anonymous said...

@Prasun K Sengupta: comparing an upgraded Mirage+9 MICA+TOT with MMRCA without weapon package or TOT is also a comparison between apples with oranges (9 MICA = 450 missiles for 51 aircraft).

BTW I thought that the Su-30MKI avionics is also from Thales. Will the upgraded avionics come from elsewhere, perhaps Russia? Never heard that the Russians are 15 years ahead of the French in avionics technologies.

Raghav said...

Since we are giving everyone a share in our defense industry, we should even let Pakistan and China some contracts. Infact, we can give Pakistan $80 million to upgrade all the public and railway lavatories in India.

Anonymous said...

Yes France produces some of the FINEST equipment and we produce some of the FINEST IDIOTS who splurge money when it can be done cheaply.

4 billion$ my God! Just imagine if we had invested that money in Kaveri engine,LCA and got a cheap upgrade of Mirages from Israel.

Anonymous said...

even if u take it that the french do the best work ...the cost comparison with the rafale price does leave some Qs....or was there something hidden in the rafale cost

Anonymous said...

All said and done if something is fishy about the high price, my first thought as an Indian would be - Hmm... possible after all its Congress Rule. They are famous for kick backs.

Anonymous said...

In six months time the CAG will issue its report and then AK Anthony and PM Singh will have to face the music about this deal.

But as usual for Indians, we will make a lot of noise but in the end nothing will change.

We need to kick these criminals and buffoons out of Delhi. They are writing checks this country can't cash.

Anonymous said...

You have to remember that close to 800 million will be reinvested in terms of offsets to India. Who knows what the offsets will include, they might make the deal worth it. MICA's cost a little more than 1 million a piece, they are incredibly expensive but very lethal. The weapons package is worth the price.

Litmus said...

Yes its way too much but its also the need of the hour for IAF...If IAF had opted for new jets then it will have to wait another decade until all of them are operational but in this case, better capabilities can be acquired in less amount of time.

Anonymous said...

India should have sold Mirages to a third country and bought say 80-100 Rafales! Get rid of the old inventory and buy new. 15 years from now, Mirages would be legacy fighter like what Mig 21 is today, now do we need that?

Cheers,
Bharath

Anonymous said...

If the total cost, after weapons and infrastructure costs, is indeed $80million a plane, then I believe India would have been better served buying 3 squadrons of F-35 to replace the Mirages.

This way all 50 or so Mirages would be operational over the next decade until the F-35s were inducted. The F-35s would have at least 40 years of life in them, as opposed to an additional 10-15.

This is assuming India would be allowed to deliver nuclear weapons on that platform (which I believe is one of the directives of the M2K).

Or, as others have stated, they could have just purchased 3 additional squadrons of MMRCA.

Shailendra said...

Seems like French will loose in MMRCA. GOI is pleasing French by giving them some donuts.

The Cartoonist said...

The cost is on the high side, mostly because the deal was delayed to the point that an increasing number of obsolescent components had to be reengineered. Would have been sweater a few years back (not to mention buying new Mirage).
MICA deal shouldn't be counted in the overall price, assuming MMRCA is Rafale. Then common AA missile makes perfect sense. Otherwise, you add cost and complexity to the supply chain, not to mention strategic dependence to US AMRAAM.
Liam Fox said 'you seldom get the best quality at the cheapest price'.
- This is pure BS cum spin regarding EF: money was put in inefficient program management (e.g. multiple productoon lines and protoyypes) and in developing, but far less successfully, technologies that FR already had (notably FBW). So Rafale for MMRCA accounts for the "seldom" :-).
- This is absolutely true regarding the M2000-5/-9 upgrade: the airframe and engine remain the same, far from obsolete (in my view: Gripen class, slightly better), but the system is a formidable leap forward, no relation to the "block" increments known to the F-16 world. The mission computer and weapons are the same as Rafale. By comparison, Israel is unproven, "cheap and nasty". Ask Macedonia about crash of Israeli upgraded Mi-7, or Romania about it's catastrophic Mig-21 "Lancer".

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 9 29 PM
You said " IS defence of India expensive "

Very well said mate

It is true that People just talk talk and talk when not knowing the full details

And why shud the Indian Govt INDULGE these IDIOTS anyway

Pakistan was willing to pay 1.6 Billion for upgrading 50 JF 17 at 32 MIlliON a piece to the French

I am Sure at 40 Million we are getting a better deal and better equipment

When C 17 was bought India got very good offset deals

I am sure HERE ALSO we have got MORE than what is being Disclosed

GOI is aware of the defence needs and the LIMITED resources

The First squadron of MMRCA will be available by 2016 that too the planes bought OFF the shelf

By 2020 we will have ONLY 3 Squadrons of MMRCA

The Indian made planes will be made very slowly only 6 to 8 per year

This is because a lot of facilities have to be constructed
And TOT takes TIME

Anonymous said...

Hey Shiv,do you have any info about the length and weight of tungsten rods of FSAPDS rounds used in Arjun tanks????ungsten rods of FSAPDS rounds used in Arjun tanks????

Anonymous said...

Well the problem which is being overlooked by commentators is that its just not an matter of price but Maintaining an adequate force and retaining pilot experience. I agree the cost is on higher side but the upgrades are really extensive and encompass everything except engine. Mirage engine is capable of pulling Mach 2.2 one of the fastest jet around. And I agree that wepon price shalln't be included in upgrade as it is upto us how many MICAs we buy. We could use other missiles in our inventory but MICA is considered one the best and we are paying good money for an good system.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7.35 AM: good points. Nobody has a clue here about Israeli offer (cheaper but same capabilities? Very doubtful), not mentioning bad experiences with ISR for our Sea Harrier upgrade or tough difficulties with MRSAM and other programs. Liam Fox's words made sense.

Sudheendra Singh said...

Am not sure..

JAS gripen cost as per wiki is stated between 40 - 61 million dollars(this figure might be bit old). It must be without any weapons package i believe which we are getting in this mirage deal. This deal is worth ~52 million dollars per aircraft (correct me if am wrong on this including weapons package)

Let me list out 3 categories in evaluating the cost of a fighter aircraft.

1. Avionics
2. Engine
3. Fuselage (body) with ejector seats and other stuff.

How much fraction would this fuselage take when compared with the first two. It may not be that high!. It is avionics, engine and weapons which would take the major share as far as the cost goes.

As long as we dont have the breakup of cost for fuselage, avionics, engine and weapons of another aircraft (western origin), it would be hard to conclude i think.

Kumbhakumaran said...

Just why don't they buy Mirage designs...and made them up in India...

Anonymous said...

Nothing can be done in MMRCA so they are going for this deal. Anna ji should look into this upgrade package deal, may be he will get another chance to fest.

IAF should sell their Mirage aircraft's and buy 50 F18 or Rafales.

Shive you need to ask some BJP MP's these questions;

- Is this deal really worth paying so much money?
- Is this deal another scam of Congress party?
- Is India matured to stop a scam from happening? If 'yes' can this upgrade deal be checked thoroughly and stopped if it turns out to be a scam?

I already know that these questions will not be asked to any officials, but still I would like Shive to answer this!

Abhishek Bannerjee said...

I am not particularly sure about this upgrade. I think 50-60 mil.$/AC is too costly for a 25 year old aircraft. But then we do not have much options as of now.

Prasun Sengupta told me that AMCA (which was supposed to be a replacement of Mirage, Jags and Migs) is no where in sight. IAF is unsure about that aircraft and HAL & ADA are at loggerheads regarding AMCA and FGFA. According to Prasun Sir, the aircraft might not see the light of day anytime before 2035. So in that circumstances we have no other choice but being continuously bullied by such high-priced phoreign deals for next few decades.

Incidentally, DRDO officials had already said that FGFA and AMCA would be analogous to F-22 and F-35 respectively and hence FGFA won't affect AMCA's development and even the IAF seemed - or at least claimed - to be supportive of the program. And now they have allegedly lost interest.

Anonymous said...

Former IAF CHIEF Fali Major has said in an interview that Mirage 2000 is the SECOND MOST important aircraft in IAF inventory

Obviously IAF chiefs KNOW what they are talking about

If IAF is so keen on this deal then it means that we are getting a GOOD OVERALL PACKAGE

Since most of the work is being done in India ; India stands to gain a lot in terms of TOT and INFRASTRUCTURE

Anonymous said...

people who are thinking that this deal is going to bring any ToT are living in a world of smokey hallucination. There is no such thing as tot, it is just a scam to create nothing out of something.

Anonymous said...

Looks like this poll is rigged !
The % votes in each category has remained the same since there were a 100 votes total. That is crazy !

Sriram said...

Hey guys,

I just would like if Tejas (Mk1/mk2) will be better than the M2K after its upgrades.... strictly on the EW & other Avionics front...

Your views please.

Anonymous said...

@Abhishek FGFA is right on track. Deliveries are expected from 2015-17. We will buy 214 fifth gen by 2017 which is an huge number.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone found out how much would 51 new Mirage 2000 costs??

A.X360 said...

@anonymous:with due respect i just want u to throw light on what i wrote once again.Ur interpretation missed its mark to what i wanted to convey.If u had to chose between two commodities having the same price but one having superior characteristics in comparison to the other wat will u chose....That's what i meant to say nd thnxx for taking out ur precious time to go through my post!!

Cheers:)

Anonymous said...

Yet again the Un Progressive Alliance (UPA) has proved that they rather splurge on phoren maal rather than indigenize. What is the necessity to spend $4 Billion on an outdated platform if you can invest the same in making the LCA much much better and build indigenous infrastructure for the future. Another "Bofors" type scandal. Money going to Madam Sonia and her son-in-law Vadera's coffers.

Anonymous said...

@Anon-7:56 True indeed. We need to give more love to Tejas and I agree 100% to placing orders for more MK-II. But we face an dilemma, we cant produce Tejas fast enough and though new manufacturing facilities are being constructed for helicopters, jets etc but that will take time. During that gap we cant let our 50 jets to become outdated. We definitely should support indigenous weapons but we cant let our guard down while doing it.

Anonymous said...

its better to award the french a deal of 6 new conventional subs on fast track basis at same price rather for going for the old mirage 2000 upgrades

ultimate fighter said...

Well to me it seems another 'please all' policy of the Indian government. Awarding the upgrade deal for such an astounding amount is indeed ridiculous, but i think it paves the way for the EF in the MMRCA. Looking at the brighter aspects of the deal, it will be an advantage for the air force,in that the fighter pilots are well acquainted with the aircraft so will not have to spend a significant amount of time in traning with an all new platform. Moreover they will be able to operate it in a much more efficient manner with an advanced version of the same machine that they have been operating for years. Another factor is the dwindling numbers of the aircrafts in the iaf, if a new plane is bought then it may take another 10 years to operate the machine as effectively as the mirages. India is already operating a huge variety of planes so adding new platforms will only add to the problems of managing such diverse fleet. On the contrary if the engines are not being modified then the govt should take a serious look at the deal again. Modifications of the avionics is a must, and the price that they are charging for the weapons are way too high, even if they offer the best weapons in the planet it does not mean that they can charge any price as they like. Having said all these things the upgrade for mirages are a must for keeping check at the depleting levels of the fleet and increasing its capabilities but the price paid should not exceed the value that can be derived from this aircraft.