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25 Comments

  1. 1

    Kai

    Dear Shiv,

    You do realise that CPFH in Jane’s was in fact sponsored by Saab and thus is not independently verifiable..

    For your information.. the Senate reports of France makes CPFH of Rafale at 9800$

    And in aero india old video HAL guys said CPFH MKI 12000$, Mirage at 3000$.

    Thus the whole thing of pitching Saab as low cost does NT make that sense as depicted by Saab folks..

    Reply
    1. 1.1

      kirk

      Dear Kai,

      According to information from the French parliament CPFH of the Rafale is $ 27,000 (euros).

      $ 9,800 is a fallacy that the French Gvt offered in the Brazilian competition of the FX-2, however, for a short period of time.

      Sénat francese – It is the upper house of the Parliament of France

      Reply
  2. 2

    Dev

    So Lockheed basically says…hey if you will choose F 16 this plane won’t die ?. So please risk your security… ?.

    We have already seen how comfortable are Americans when it comes about giving sensitive information.

    We have also seen what happens when a plane being replaced in it’s home country gets a ventilator by other country. Remember Mig 29 (not wanted was the case I believe but still).

    GRIPEN is the only option.

    P.S.- If we do choose F 16 it would create a unique scenario with Pakistan that we already have with China (almost similar level Sukhois).
    Men behind machine would only matter.

    I know our F 16 (if we choose) will be better ( I hope) than that of Paki’s.

    Reply
  3. 3

    Venkat

    Vey shallow article. So many questions ;
    Once IAF rejigs its priorities! where did these planes stand ?
    Why is the light helicopter , a lifeline to our troops not in the lime light ? That should be highest priority as per common sense
    What about 100+ attack helicopters (Apaches, LCH and Rudra) Are they not force multipliers,is their procurement considered in air power of so many squadrons defined in 1960s ?
    Same with stand off weapons.
    What roles do we want these single engined planes to play ? meant for point defence , attack , SEAD , ground support ?
    What happens to MRO needed to be steup for these planes ?
    Will this manufacture be the most advanced screwdrivegiri or full ground up ? If full ground up then how come we expect indian industry magically to begin making advanced parts ?
    We expect Swedes/Americans to just throw away knowledge obtained by blood , sweat and tears , for a piddly amount ?

    Reply
  4. 4

    P C Chopra

    The US deal is better, if for nothing else but the commercial aspect.However it’s the devil in detail that will settle the contest.

    Reply
  5. 5

    J. SIRCAR

    We must not forget that ultimately the US calls the shots in this contest as the Gripen flies on an American powerplant. Have we forgotten what the USA did when India tried to choose the Viggen? The dependence on GE engines is a shortcoming that affects the Tejas as well.

    The USA is a deeply untrustworthy power which puts greed ahead of principles, and Trump is greed personified. We are seeing how all his tough talk about China proved to be flatulence as soon as Xi faced him down. Who is to say the USA will not turn it’s back on us if China offers sufficient inducements?

    The engine is the heart of the fighter, and realistically there are only three manufacturers fighter-quality turbojets – Russia, France and Eurojet. In case we fall out of favour with the USA, Eurojet will almost certainly give in to US pressure. France may or may not. Only Russia has the cojones to stand off the US and China. So our LCA should be looking at a alternative Russian powerplant just in case F-414s stop coming. Yes, Russki engines are less reliable than Western engines : but they are cheaper too, and we have lived with them long enough. I really do not know why we did not reverse-engineer and develop our own powerplants by incremental improvement like the Chinese did. Let us hope that Safran can make the Kaveri come good.

    There is one factor that no one is paying much attention to, and that is the time factor. During WW2 Churchill enunciated a principle that is nowadays forgotten : he said to his weapon designers and manufacturers SECOND BEST NOW. We are reaching that stage. What good will it do to us to order the finest fighter in the world for delivery in 2023 if we have to fight in 2018? From that point of view, it makes good sense to go for whichever, F-16 Block 70 or Gripen E, that can enter squadron service quickest. Buy a sufficient number to see the IAF through it’s lean patch, and then take ten years to consider whatever pie-in-the-sky proposals our overambitious airmen and shortsighted penny-pinching babus get involved with.

    Reply
  6. 6

    RB

    NO DOUBT A PAID ARTICLE.. Looks like SAAB’s paid handsomely to promote GRIPEN over F16.

    Reply
  7. 7

    [email protected]

    Why isn’t Tejas Mk2 AF allowed to compete in this? Let the SP collaborate with ADA to build an assembly line for Mk2 so production can start in parallel with Mk1A. No where is it mentioned the OEM must be foreign.

    Reply
  8. 8

    Parshu

    The million dollar question is – the F16 Production line is moving to Texas. That means Make In India is off the table. Do you really think Lockheed Martin can swing it?

    Between the two the one comparison I was looking for was ECM capability – who can sneak in closer without being detected if everything else is equal?

    India wins either way – that’s the good thing about two such matching choices. In the long run both will help create a vendor ecosystem.

    Reply
  9. 9

    Parth

    It makes no sense whatsoever to buy any of these. If light fighters are required, buy more Tejas expand production to 32 a year from 16. If longer range MMRCAs are required, more rafales can be bought.

    Reply
  10. 10

    kamikaze

    One of the biggest questions I always had about shifting the entire F-16 production line to India is: What happens when Pakistan needs parts? Or new fighters? Does this mean they can no longer buy new F16’s? Will India ever be in a situation where we will have to supply parts/fighters to Pakistan?

    It’s a ridiculous question, but one that exists since both countries will be fielding the same fighter (just different block versions).

    In an Indian F16 vs Pakistani F16 scenario, is there a possibility of the US having a killswitch?

    Reply
  11. 11

    Abhiman

    All this is a sheer abomination of STUPIDITY.

    Why oh why, do we need to buy an F-16 or a Gripen, when a plan to fit the Tejas with a bigger engine is already in the works ??????

    What’s more, the proposed engine, the GE F-414 is the same one that powers the Gripen being considered !

    The idiots in the IAF and Defence Ministry must be asked one simple question: If Sweden had a Gripen C and a newer Gripen (with F-414 engines) in the works, would they ever have considered a Tejas Mk.2 ?

    The answer is no. Their pragmatic Air Force, their (unbiased) media, and an informed public would shoo HAL officials from the airport itself. Its only here in India, that a biased media laps up everything that the IAF spouts, no matter how foolish it is. And an ill-informed public, blinded by Army worship doesn’t question anything.

    These Lockheed and SAAB officials must be sniggering behind our backs. Must be thinking they’ve really snagged a really good juicy one here.

    And don’t go by the tantalizing gizmos they’re luring the IAF with. India is not all that far behind in avionics technology that it was, maybe 20 years ago. The DRDO’s development of indigenous avionics for the Su-30 MKI are a case in point. The gap between India and the west has reduced considerably.

    More importantly, suppose a component for the Tejas is crucially needed, that it can’t be delivered by DRDO, then it can be bought off-the-shelf. AESA radars fall in this category. Even in data-linking ability, India has pretty decent data-linking suites that can match well with what the Swedes have on offer.

    Reply
    1. 11.1

      Sudip Das

      @ Abhiman: I agree completely . Whenever these questions have been raised , the folks in defense ministry, the IAF , THE STRATEGIC AFFAIRS EXPERTS and also defense journalists (including the website owner) prefers to keep quiet . I feel sad .

      Money has been spent on developing Tejas , why not develop it into a world class platform.
      If any DRDO & ADA (PRESENT OR RETIRED) PERSONNEL is going through this post should try to explain why all the technologies developed as part of project VETRIVEL for SU30MKI cannot be TWEAKED for LCA Tejas

      Reply
      1. 11.1.1

        Abhiman

        Sudip Das, the blog owner, Shiv Aroor, I’m afraid writes so triumphantly and excitingly about these fighter contests, that its hard to believe that an indigenous programme like the Tejas even exists in India.

        These contests must NOT be a matter of pride for India, but a matter of utter shame. Shame not for DRDO, but for the babus sitting in the Defence Ministry and the Air Force.

        I now fear that the Tejas will be inducted only in token numbers, with the Mk.2 version never taking off. Instead, the Gripen or some such foreign doo-dad will lord over it, much like how the Russian T-90 tank overwhelms the Arjun in the Army.

        Reply
      2. 11.1.2

        VICKY ROY

        We can target 200 LCA MK1A+MK2,200 GRIPEN E,200 F-16 BLOCK 70 by 2028 through Make in INDIA.IAF has been maintained atleast 5 type fighters to diverce tech superiority over enemies since 1960s.LOCKHEED NEEDS cheap but qualitive & quantities of spare parts and ASSEMBELLED F-16s to support & sell.If IAF choose F-16 first ,SAAB will be agree for $28 ml per GRIPEN.As of now IAF procuring LCH,RUDRA,MI-17V & HAWK armed version for CAS,GROUND ATTACK,COLD START.190 SUKHOIs enough atleast for air superiority.Interceptors which we lacking(Mig-21) until 2023 are being cover up by HUGE NETWORK CENTRIC AIR DEFENCE with latest added S-400,DRDO QRSM.

        Reply
  12. 12

    KPR MURALIDARAN

    TRUMP IS UNPREDICTABLE & WE WILL GET SCREWED UP IF WE BUY ANY OFFENSIVE WEAPON FROM USA. BETTER TO KICK OUT F-16 & GO FOR SAAB WHERE WE WILL GET ALL TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER INCLUDING SOURCE CODE

    Reply
  13. 13

    Sudip Das

    Why buy a light single engine fighter instead of TEJAS , has the IAF decided to dissociate itself from the LCA project ? If answer is yes then both the defense ministry and the IAF should disclose why ?

    Reply
  14. 14

    SuchindranathAiyerS

    Grippen vs F-16. A Good summary. Those who have followed my pages for years will know I back the Grippen now as then. Grippen is not just the future against F-16s past. It presents economy, value for money and by scale, is a redolence of India’s Foland (Gnat) deal.

    My real question is, “Why not the Mitsubishi”?

    Reply
  15. 15

    kapil

    its called money burning 20 billion for IAF and 10 billion for naval jets.

    if that 30 billion are infused to built airliners,large transport airlifters in india it will pay off.

    these jets will take another 4 years to be inducted by that time its already too late.

    Reply
  16. 16

    Sukh

    Rich industrialists never spent single penny of there money in DRDO r&d tejas,arjun,naval systems and now they want huge chunk of military production for profitability this is there natinality

    And why US is not offering F35 production in India and on what grounds f16 was invited for bidding why nobody asked IAF , they can point out million problems in LCA,sukhoi etc

    Reply
  17. 17

    Arman

    Why has the Author not come out with his own recommendation?

    Reply
  18. 18

    Akshay

    Our ex def minister was in thick of decision making …and his opinion was well accepted and well respected . A good idea would be to consult him . As for my opinion although f 16 is a formidable choice with a proven record . Gripen with its new features can work as a surprise to our enemies

    Reply
  19. 19

    Sunil

    With a shortfall in fighters India has diminished its perceived power. India has two large fronts to defend. China is way ahead in every way(numbers and tech) and Pakistan is catching up fast by numbers at least. India needs to build up its numbers fast to deter our neighbors ambitions. What is the point of holding another fighter competition when another long drawn out was held a decade ago with the same contestants, just decide on prices and procure the numbers fast. Even less capable fighters in numbers will be better in hand than a handful of supposed cutting edge fighters a decade from now. BTW a kind reminder to anyone who doesn’t already know, India is not buying Gen 5 fighters all these fighters are older, just choose the newest and cheapest one for god’s sake or invest in Tejas and churn out a thousand Gen 4’s fast.

    Reply
  20. 20

    B.k

    I agree with sunil, india need to hold 90 percent of combined number of aircrafts of china and pakistan. China will attack india along with pakistan and use their battlefields and sky.

    However. If india build up a large number of aircraft, the war will not happen. China has stock of ordinary aircrafts like J17 etc. and so called 5 th gen. chengdu j20 ( not war tested) but has an adament on their airforce and submarines. The number of arsenal has a vital role to decide Whether a war will happen or not. After all we have bramhos.

    The INDIANAIRFORCE seems TOO choosy and not bought russian mig 31, tu 22 m etc, whwereas China took mig31 and it an inrecepting aircraft. The government choose the price and settle the matter for early production and this will enable export to our friend neighbor, other wise they will knock door of China for cheap j17 etc.
    No party or citizen will question for early defence build up.

    Reply
  21. 21

    Gaurav

    Why not go for both! Like Lockheed and Boeing, we can have two competing companies trying to outdo each other making in India. That would be a win win for all! Only thing is India might have to increase its budget for fighter planes.

    Reply

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