Field evaluations of Six Fighters begins July

The stage is finally set for the long-awaited field evaluations of India’s Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition. In July, it all begins, as LiveFist reported in February. The six fighters taking part, for the sake of record, are the Russian UAC MiG-35, the Swedish Saab JAS-39 Gripen NG/IN, the French Dassault Aviation Rafale, the multi-nation EADS Eurofighter Typhoon, the American Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the American F-16IN Block 60 Super Viper/Desert Falcon.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, has been quoted by India Strategic as saying that the no-cost-no-commitment Field Evaluation Test (FET) period will begin with visits by an IAF/ASTE team to each country of origin to inspect the manufacturing and testing facilities. This will be followed by the crucial flight evaluations in India. Each contender is expected to fly in three aircraft for this phase of the trials, which involves test evaluations in Bangalore, Jaisalmer and Leh. According to the Chief, this involves “Bangalore for performance, systems and humidity trials, to Jaisalmer for hot weather and weapon trials, and to Leh for high altitude and cold weather trials”.

In India, the aircraft will undergo handling and aerodynamic performance trials, “takeoff and landing characteristics, aircraft maneuvering, and checks of critical systems in the air, an evaluation of its maintainability, mission support equipment, operations at high altitude and in specific environments will also be conducted”. Following the India phase of the FET, evaluation teams from the IAF will visit the country of origin of each competing fighter for systems trials, which includes demonstration and testing of radar, EW suites, avionics, cockpit gear, countermeasures, weapons and weapon systems (at designated firing ranges) and communication integration.

26 thoughts on “Field evaluations of Six Fighters begins July”

  1. inspect the manufacturing and testing facilities. This will be followed by the crucial flight evaluations in India. Each contender is expected to fly in three aircraft for this phase of the trials
    its farce ,what india has to do with manufacturing facilities of other countries only 18 to be built in foreign countries rest in india

    and bringing 3 aircraft for evaluations cost in millions and its obvious that only one contender will win,so whos going to pay for this

    just like 197 helicopter deal scrapped even fields rails were over and contract reissued then again fields trails and these fields trails cost hefty amount of money

  2. this deal is biggest drama of azaad india

    and IAF already knows what each fighter can do or can't do.

    so whats the reason of conducting fake trails

  3. Bangalore for Humidity??? it is not even close to a sea for any sort of humidity.. I would say Mangalore or Chennai should be locations for humidity checks..

  4. @annoy above me

    you just to make sure that they do what they say they do….

    I agree with your comment on biggest drama of azad India.

    MIG 35 MIG 35 MIG 35 MIG 35 MIG 35 MIG 35 MIG 35 MIG 35

    Am I the only one who wants the MIG 35 to win here?

  5. The six fighters taking part, for the sake of record, are the Russian UAC MiG-35, the Swedish Saab JAS-39 Gripen NG/IN, the French Dassault Aviation Rafale, the multi-nation EADS Eurofighter Typhoon, the American Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the American F-16IN Block 90 Super Viper/Desert Falcon.
    F-16IN Block 90 Super Viper?

    I think latest block operating by UAE is Block 60. F-16 Block 70 is offered to India.

  6. It's interesting to see the reactions of all the Russia bakhts regarding the MMRCA. The Russia bakhts can sense the Mig-35 slowly slipping in its chances to win, so the Russia bakhts make up lame excuses like how the competition is rigged and how the money can be better spent on the domestic industry, blah blah blah…

    I will certainly be rejoicing when the Mig-35 is not chosen and the MiG corporation slowly fades into oblivion. Even the Algerians didn't want MiG's junk. The Russian AF doesn't want the Mig-35, just like they don't want the Mig-AT trainer. MiG has nothing left in its order backlog other than a few IN orders. Its factories are decades old and haven't been upgraded recently.

    Death to MiG! It was once a proud company that made good stuff. Now it's a shell of itself and should be allowed to die a natural death.

  7. Logically speaking F16 has got no chance of winning this competition even though it a formidable piece of machine and the biggest reason to everyone’s interest is already known.

    What if the Americans offer to upgrade the paki F16 to the F16in standard in the future….
    IAF will be left in the middle of nowhere.
    And the big question here is that can we really rely on the AMERICANS considering the nature of the deal.

  8. Experts, gentlemen please hold your horses. This drama is the only way to know what the manufacturers dont tell. You cant really know the shortcomings of a jet from its brochure.

  9. the terminator

    Whichever fighter aircraft India chooses for its needs, I fervently hope it is not from the US or Russia.

    Americans are only for themselves.They won't hesitate to invoke sanctions if and when they choose to punish India for whatever their foreign policy and end-user agreements dictate.

    Moreover they would not hesitate to arm Pakistan with whatever offensive weapons they demand just to keep them happy and not let the Taliban mujahideens get the Pakistani nuclear arsenal.

    The Russians of late have become greedy and unpredictable. They are not the USSR that was a real friend to India. Now they will sell not only any weapon to India's enemies, China for instance, but will demand more than a pound of flesh for their friendship and assistance.

    India would be better off buying from the Swedes, French or even the European consortium.

    What India gets finally would depend on how prudent its technocrats are in the process. They should read the finer print, especially on TOT and after sales support at agreed upon prices if they do not want to drag India into another Gorshkow price and delivery schedule scandal.

    If money is not the only criterion for the above purchase, now is the time to remove the clutches of the Russian bear. Go ahead and buy from whoever gives the best equipment for the money that is being spent.

  10. Eat it Russia bakhts!
    u western a**hole

    u are shouting for LM,BOEING,IAI,EADS all these going to arm pakis as well

  11. If only the aircraft's merits are being evaluating(rather than the cost-benefit equations), expect it to be a throw up between the Typhoon(dark horse) and the Shornet.

    Both would be good choices. Expensive, but well worth it. Especially considering deliveries wouldn't start till 2012.

    With regard to sanctions, I believe US-India relations are well past that stage now. Even in 1998 had Pakistan not followed with their tests, India would most likely have got away with a slap on the wrist. Today, we're shaping up to be too big a player in global affairs to be sanctioned without adverse consequences. This fact is borne out by India's recent orders for the C-130J and P-8I.

  12. Gripen-NG MKI is the first, obvious and only choice. The rest are in contention only to drive the price down.

    No US aircraft should be used. Not until we have ICBMs capable of covering US.

    Russians are acting up too, they feel that they need to recover all the aid they gave to India in soviet commie days. While the feeling is understandable, the way they are recovering is not making friends here.

    Rafale has too low thrust for a twin engined a/c. Needs better engines before it can live up to its promise. Eurofighter is a four country mess, worse than buying from USA. So Gripen it is.

  13. "I believe US-India relations are well past that stage now."

    You "believe"?!

    Boss, the terms of relationship are decided by USA. India has no say, accept behaving a good girl so that the pimp wont slap hard. Look at our collective reaction to Mumbai massacre. That's the reality of our "relationship" with USA.

    I like the western solutions too, since they are superior to Russian stuff. But there are alternatives which should be considered first, and domestic capabilities that need to be developed even more quickly.

    A 'partially sanctionable' Gripen-NG MKI is better than F-16 or SubparHornet anyday.

  14. Which Gen 4.5 multi-role fighter should the Indian Air Force select, and the winning contender will have 126 of them built by HAL under license in India with full tech transfer.

    The Typhoon is a pricey rip-off, the Pakis already operate Vipers, and the Rafale has bugged out because of the Froggish arrogance.

    So that leaves the Superbug, Gripen and Super Fulcrum.

    I'd settle for the Super Fulcrum, because the Superbug has higher wing loading and the Gripen looks too similar to the HAL Tejas.

    Anyway, the IAF is the largest operator of MiG jets outside Russia.

  15. the terminator

    US-India relations may look hunky dory now with MMS at the helm but the Pakistanis are getting similar nuclear deal from the French. Moreover they can get whatever nuclear knowhow from the Chinese. What about India? Only after the US-India nuclear deal, other countries are willing to do nuclear business with India.

    Pakistan is known the world over as THE nuclear proliferator but what sanctions has US imposed on Pakistan. The Pakis are known for their madrasas spawning terrorists and exporter of the same. Yet, Uncle Sam is the main supplier of offensive weapons to Pakistan. What has the US done about the Pakistani hand in the Bombay massacre of innocent civilians? Pakistan is still not ready to remove known terrorist camps and they will NEVER hand over a muslim jihadi to majority Hindu India.

    If the US does not try to impose its will on India under the guise of end-user agreement and other strings attached to its defense sale, I do not have anything against US or European defense armaments.

  16. US-India relations

    US france germany selling to pakis as well

    pakis have many terrorists in their land but what is the use of US indo relation here for helping in this regard

    why doesn't US bomb POK to kill those anti indians terrorists

    DAUD is in pak so are others well known terrorists is US indo relations helping in this regard

    US wants india just to buy their military equipment. thats all

  17. Hello Mr. Aroor. In my view, it is extremely unfortunate that despite having the indigenous Tejas under development, the IAF has chosen to opt for foreign fighters for the 126 tender.

    The Tejas Mk.2 is also estimated to be introduced by 2012-13 by the IAF Chief himself. This timeframe is the same as that for introducing the MRCA in the IAF. It's range-payload specs shall rival those of Gripen – NG and F-16 in the "normal" configuration (Tejas can't carry nukes, that's all). Thus, the IAF's invitation to hitherto unknown Gripen and F-16, while ignoring the Tejas is not only "baffling", but may also point toward an age old "penchant" for foreign weapons.

    Unfortunately, the MRCA 'circus' has been progressed too far to be reversed in Tejas' favour. However, it may be hoped that IAF must induct atleast 400-450 Tejas units to bring it to it's logical conclusion.

    Thank you.

  18. And the lowest drag profile, too. Carry on.

    The aircraft will never fly in clean configuration to accomplish its missions. As soon as it will be loaded with armaments and fuel tanks, its drag profile will increase.
    Lowest thrust, lowest T/W ratio, lowest payload, still a prototype, it is unclear whether Sweden will buy this aircraft or not, Sweden is a political lightweight….
    It is the least credible aircraft in the tender.

  19. Abhiman you are right. If the money that is being allocated for MRCA was invested in Tejas Mk II development, we would have a terrific aircraft in our hands in two years. At worst we would have to use US or French engines, but that is still better than buying entire aircraft from west.

    Sadly no such 'vision' exists in New Dilli. These people only know how to take bribes, so by overpaying with this contract they hope to bribe USA and bring them on India's side. Idiots don't understand US will always pursue its own intersts, and for them it means castrating India.

  20. Hi

    Well lest leave the Americans out of the competition.They ahve been seen pressuring Israeli and Swedish companies to back out and have been pushing their own F16's and F 18's instead.
    The Americans have been traditionally very hostile to India and should not be trusted with the supply of spare parts also.The same goes for Russia also.

    We need a serious partner who would sell us a top line fighter and also stand up to be counted when we need them the most.

    India must not be seen to fitter away billions of dollars to an arms exporting country and then have the liablity to pay again for late delivery's and cost overrun's not to metion the political price and freedom it may have to compromise with later.

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