Now Dassault Filches Gripen’s Line, Declares Rafale’s ‘Independence’

If the gloves weren’t off all along, they are now. Just weeks ahead of a final decision on the MMRCA competition, Dassault, which doesn’t usually bother with adaptive advertising, has a slew of brand new print ads that tell you a great deal about what they’re seeing as the deciding factor in the Indian government’s final decision. First off, it must be said, they’ve pinched the whole “independence” theme from Saab, which pitched its Gripen as the “independent choice” or “choice of independence” ever since it entered the multi-billion dollar competition (and after it was eliminated).

The advert above, appearing in show dailies at the ongoing Dubai Air Show, makes Dassault’s so far implicit view of things, pretty plain. “When a single country makes your aircraft from nose to tail, you know what you’re getting into. Rafale is not subject to multinational controls.“, the copy begins — a direct swipe at the Typhoon’s four-nation heritage. It’s the elegance of the business that EADS Cassidian trumpets this very multi-nation backing as a potential coup de grĂ¢ce in the final stretch. With the commercial offers of both firms understood to be far less disparate than many expected, both firms clearly believe other considerations will come into play. And let’s not miss the fact that both have made it utterly plain with their new adverts and statements that they believe, ultimately, in the political decision.

15 thoughts on “Now Dassault Filches Gripen’s Line, Declares Rafale’s ‘Independence’”

  1. Wow, it just couldn't get better than this. Just at start of Dubai air show, UAE issued an RFP for Eurofighter & in came this advertizement. Now, how will the Indian result of MMRCA will affect this will be interesting to watch. The competition is sure getting hot up.
    Time for ladies (read eurofighter & rafale) to perform some sexy moves……………

  2. Given that both Rafale and EFT are almost equal, the "Independence" slogan of Rafale can turn out to be the winning trump card.

  3. I agree with [email protected]:13PM. The advertisement posted above is part of a quite old PR campaign (back in the mid-2000s, I'd say) which opposed all of Rafale's many merits to the known weaknesses of an undisclosed but clearly alluded to competitor :-).

    Rafale was conceived with independence as a critical design requirement. Not out of abstract political motivations, but because, as the Mirage IV (mid 60s) and the Mirage 2000N (mid 80s) before it, the Rafale will be the mainstay of France's airborne nuclear deterrent for the coming four decades.

    The "nuclear capable" argument has been made in India already. This is not just about stores, wiring, and other hardware considerations. Credible deterrence requires a highly survivable platform, hence Rafale's well balanced mix of stealth, peerless self-protection EW suite (SPECTRA) and day and night, all weather, fully automatic terrain following mode. I.e., the autopilot is hugging the planet at a few 100 ft above ground and close to supersonic speed while the pilot keeps his hands off the controls and monitors the systems.

    It also requires an uncompromising approach to sovereign employment (the inertial navigation system and terrain following can remain very accurate without GPS thanks to contour matching and radar) and sovereign design and production (none of the aircraft spares are exposed to the risk of an embargo which would stop the plane from flying).

  4. Doesn't matter what we buy…it is going to be a white elephant. 10.4 billion would merely get us 80-90 of these planes sans weapons and spares.
    Total cost of this tender will hit over $15billion plus cost of weapons,spares etc. I hope we have enough wars to fight to justify such a huge expense. Indian economy is on rise at present and nobody feels the pinch but when it plummets as all economies do eventually, these $15bil will sorely be missed.
    Weapons are sinkholes. There is no upper limit to how much we want or need. US and USSR never satisfied their need for weapons during cold war and kept amassing tremendous amounts of weapons. What was the end result? Total waste. India, being the largest importer of arms, needs to re-evaluate its priorities

  5. @DJ
    Agree with you. However, we can at least force our friendly neighbor to the west to empty their coffers trying to keep pace with our defense investments. We've forced them to build up their nukes which is attracting universal condemnation. I'm sure those nukes aren't coming cheap, and when a natural disaster strikes them (and boy, aren't they frequent!), the already fatigued world is balking at funding relief activities when the country is so clearly wasting so many billions of aid. We may never match China's military strength, at least not for several foreseeable decades, but trade and commercial interests will prevent any outright conflicts. We're no pushovers and China knows it too. It will however do its best to choke our growth – economic or military and that's frankly, natural.

  6. @DJ- I understand where you come from. But there definitely is a need to amass such weapons platforms for our country. It has long been the law, survival of the fittest. The weak will always be hunted. If India takes a back seat in the current arms race against China and Pakistan, we, once again and very soon, could be slaves to another country. Its a matter of prefrence actually. As you rightly said, a rising economy will eventually fall. I dont mind surviving in a depleting economy rather than a foreigner telling me what to do.

    The arms acquisition ensures our freedom at many levels AND also prevent war. Its paradoxical situation.

    The Troy was known to be a docile empire as compared to its neighbors, but still it had the highest unscaled walls!

  7. @DJD again- Thanks to the arms race of the cold war we have inventions that could have still taken a longer time to come by. Thanks to the arms race, there wasnt a nuclear war! The sheer might of USA n USSR cancelled each other out!

  8. [email protected]:

    Saudi uses Eurofighter Typhoon…then joint exercise with Pakistan. Why should India buy a plane which our prime enemies shall have a very clear insight into…including digital signatures etc. Rafale is the best, cause what ever be the situation on earth, French will always deliver if the price is correct in front of them…leading to less risk.
    Naval model ready in Rafale…not now then 5-10 years down the line we will need to replace the Mig29s of our Navy…unless we are already in sync of buying SU-33s from Russia.
    More so EFT is better, but only in air superiority…with SU-30mki we dont need more air superiority. Rafale can do both air & ground role to the core…proven track record in Libyan war.
    EFT was also used but for monitoring the air control and tornados were required for ground power.
    It will be sad if so much money and so many years of efforts goes into the wrong hands.
    Hope INDIA selects the RAFALE.

  9. As usual, Dassault lies. Its aircraft is not far from "independent" of the non-French. As an example, the main processor, which is manufactured by IBM (U.S.), the data link, which is Swedish (Ericsson). And so on …

    On the other hand, is not very complex to make a modern fighter aircraft deliver a nuclear device compatible size safely. Without a doubt the Eurofighter Typhoon is capable of this feat …

    Moreover, as a foreigner I wonder why India is so concerned with independence, if the only fighter local manufactured (Tejas) uses American turbines. What is the concern for independence, if the attack helicopter recently acquired by India is 100% American? Indians really believe the U.S. will be next to Pakistan, which unceremoniously houses members of the Taleban and Al Qaeda near its center of power?

    The fact is that both aircraft have U.S. components. And those who do not want Americans in their weapons components will be required to purchase only two countries in the world: Russia and China.

    Greetings from Brazil.

  10. Dassault is not use to lie.. The US do not oppose any Rafale sales….

    Neither the use of the Rafale or Mirage 2000 as a nuclear strike fighter.. Strange isn't it ? Think about that.

    On the other hand, it is well known that the UK needs the "authorization" of the US to use its nuclear missiles… Independancy ? But all this is well known from India.

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