IAF Chief Sounds First Anxious Note On MMRCA

He’s been known to be unequivocally optimistic about the $20-billion M-MRCA fighter competition so far, but IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne sounded anxious and uncertain over the deal, currently still in negotiations.
“We have no back-up plan. We need to get the deal going, or we’ll face a big shortfall of fighters in the 2017-22 period,” said Browne at his annual press conference ahead of Air Force Day on October 8. “The deal has to work. There’s no other option.”
The IAF chief rued the death of MoD Joint Secretary (Acquisitions) Arun Bal, saying his demise was tragic and a setback to several acquisition cases, particularly the MMRCA, which he handled directly.
“Negotiations on the MMRCA are still on. Cannot place a timeline on when the deal will be signed,” the IAF chief said, marking the first time when he’s left the timeframe open. In the past, Browne has commonly put down a specific time by which he said he expected the deal or paperwork to be complete.
Dismissing speculation about exchange rate fluctuations jeopardising high-value acquisitions like the MMRCA, the Chief said such contingencies had been accounted for, and wouldn’t impact the acquisition decision.

26 thoughts on “IAF Chief Sounds First Anxious Note On MMRCA”

  1. Would love to know if there's any meat behind rumours that the IAF is looking to the Israelis or others and not MBDA to provide missile systems for the Rafale . . .

  2. Would be interested to know if there's any meat behind the rumours that the IAF may look to the Israelis or others and not MBDA for missiles for Rafale. . .

  3. We should have ordered Gripen NG long time back. Gripen NG is having a common engine with Tejas. ( F 414) Maintenance cost would have been less. Now in my mind there are few options to replace Mig 21s. Considering Tejas is a stillborn child.
    1) Buying 2nd hand Mirage 2000-9 from UAE. and France.(Immediately.)As UAE. is a willing seller and IAF. is very pleased with Mirage 2000.
    2) Ordering more MKI 30.

    Anyway unless until we are making our own fighters we have to face this type of problem. We are going to spending 20 Billion on new fighters but not willing call a reputed manufacturer like Saab or Dassault to look into our failed Tejas project.

  4. No back up, no ToT, no upgrade, no time frame, no money, now this was not expected from the defence forces. Now we will hear that the migs will undergo 'major upgrade' or 'deep upgrade' to serve till 2050.

  5. If you buy Rafale, but 400-500 of them and retire every other fighter in the IAF over the next decade or more and cancel FGFA.

    Else, Buy 500 F-35 and retire all other aircraft. In either case, make sure we have source code and copyrights to modify, upgrade and develop the platform independently over the lifetime. Then make sure during the MLU in 2025 timeframe, we have Indian radar, EW, sensors and weapons.

    Meanwhile focus on AMCA and AURA. Redefine AMCA as a 6th/7th generation fighter that must be competitive with what the americans and europeans pull out at the time. Which can then go on to replace 500 Rafales/F35s.

  6. @Parthasarathi
    Our airforce will be very pleased with any weapons system as long it is foreign and generate oodles of kickbacks.
    Anybody who has flown the Tejas has only praise for this aircraft. And those very same people behind Mirage and Rafale have helped develop the Tejas in no small way. The IAF like Indian Army keeps making changes at the very last moment thereby prolonging the induction of such indigenous weapons system.
    We need a defense minister with more spine and morals to pull the ears of IAF and force them to induct indigenous products.

  7. Why are both parties to this deal dragging their feet wrt inking the final contract? MMRCA competition went on for few years and the French knew very well all the terms and conditions for this deal. If they had reservations, they shouldn't have participated.
    They are acting like the Russians. They've already screwed us on Scorpene deal which is again plagued with corruption charges.
    If this goes on any longer, India must walk away from this deal and award the contract to Typhoon or scrap the entire MMRCA and opt for 5th Gen strike fighter like F35 which now cost almost as much as the 4.5 gen Rafale.
    The F35 strike fighter will complement the air superiority FGFA.

  8. There is no money for anybody with tejas and 20 plus billion in purchase and lot of money on spares and upgrades and so lot of malai for everyone and so lot of people are so restless to get the project signed. What is logic in Mirage upgrade at 41 million a piece on an old plane with old body and outdated engine which costs more than brand new Tejas mk2 . The selection of substandard hawk and pilutus itself proves the point and 10 billion MMRCA project suddenly became 20 billion. At this cost F 35 can be bought with seven year service contract.more the money in contract more malai for everyone.if someone who loves the country would develop tejas mk3 and would not allow the country be cheated.


  9. Ok good, leave everything behind and concentrate on improving our LCA Tejas to Rafale's level. By looking at how much self-reliant we are at our Missile program, I believe if we try, we can succeed fighter development too. IAF please start to look at indigenous programs.

  10. The f-35s would be flying for many asian countires like israel turkey singapore southkorea in a few years from now when iaf would be receiving their first lot of Rafales if there was no cold war or arms race between the USSR and USA indian-af might have been flying the largest fleet of f-16s and f-15s flying outside america .it is immiment that indian airforce may have to buy more supersukhoi30s if the rafale deal doesnt go through or is further delayed.It is too late now to buy used planes from any country although used F-16s from the US could have been a possibility. Gripen NGs would have been an excellent choice untill the LCAs mark II became operational.

  11. UPA is dragging its feet in concluding the MMRCA deal. Policy paralysis is well known with this government. Everything haphazard and messy.

  12. i would love to pay double the tax for rest of my life, if my govt clears all projects and brings the force up to good standards. Enough waiting, we are willing to work extra hours to protect our home, jago politicians, before it's too late to fly these jets home

  13. The Rafale selection beats me on logic. I am not Indian but I still say India should have put its money into Tejas. Look at the delta winged US X-31 of the early 1990s. I would put paddles (thrust vectoring) and canards so Tejas Mk2 can have superb maneuvrability. The X-31 did maneuvers that Rafale can only dream on. I would invest in stealth coatings to render Tejas more stealthy. Tejas is already small so with coatings and carbon fuselage, ts detection will get harder. Let's talk straight. By the time Rafale gets into IAF, what is its chance against a stealth plane. If you can't see and lock on, you are basically dead. Just as the Iranian F4 never saw the F22.

  14. 20 Billion Dollars and more!!

    Wouldn't it be wise to order More Su-30MKIs and MiG-29Ks instead, since we are already too late… But if Rafale is still required due to some of its technologies, wouldn't it be better to just order 40 odd Rafales off-the-shelf, like the French have already offered? Order more if really needed…

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  16. You won't get any source code with the F-35.
    Not even the British are getting that.
    Gripen NG is not ready until maybe 2018,
    so it won't help short term needs.
    Gripen NG instead of Tejas Mk II may make sense.

  17. You won't get any source code with the F-35.
    Not even the British are getting that.
    Gripen NG is not ready until maybe 2018,
    so it won't help short term needs.
    Gripen NG instead of Tejas Mk II may make sense.

  18. Now that the production version of the LCA has flown, we should order more of them and cancel the Rafale proposal. Buying the Rafale will lock us in with Dassault for the next 50 years. That's not wise.

    Moreover, missiles such as Agni, Prithvi, Brahmos, Pechora and Akash have replaced fighters. The alleged shortage of fighter squadrons is a myth.

  19. I think if this deal fails after so many years, Dassault will never come back. Just as they now do for countries like Taïwan/South-Korea: They have probably the best (and only) up to date multirole fighter in the world. They win all the evaluations for these trials and the plane was in all last decade conflicts and did benefit from experience returns. What price can be put on that?

    F35 was called a big thanksgiving turkey by F18 (now a bit outdated but still a good concurrent) and F16 conceptor. Furtivity (that never lasts longs toward radar evolution) added too much complexity (no armament outside…) and cannot evoluate a lot during aircraft life as it's shape is frozen. Countermeasures can. Add the maintenance/daily care problems linked with the coating, this start to be a very bad benefit/induced problems balance.

    As well, too much versions/clients added complexity in the program. Just what made Eurofighter a big fail, but much more worse for F35. And if it's not engaged in current conflicts (as Eurofighter: Germans and others only did turism with this one compared to Dassault baby and they now have less than 10% ready for flight! Recently, until their june 14 retirement, they were still using tornadoes for air police!), that proves the level of confidence.

  20. We should consider buying su 35 instead of Rafael . Chinese airforce Plaaf is ready to order su 35 because of its powerful engine but russians wont give it to china because they just want the engine for their j20 and jh 31 stealth fighters . Su 35 is faster and more better than Su mki. In 20 billion dollors we can easily get more than 200 Su 35 fighters. Along with more than 200 S 400, S 500 Surface to Air missile Systems which can kill any thing in the sky even steath aircrafts. S 400 has a range of more than 300 km. If we aquire and install S 400 along the borders with pakistan we can save our country from any pakistani missiles. We share a boundary of little more than 2000 km with pakistan. Considering S 400 Sams range we need only 10 systems but we can install 50 systems to get layers of protection from missiles. I suggest India should aquire 200 Su 35 , 150 S400 Sams and 100 S 500 Sams in 20 billion dollors.

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