Home » Weapons » Arms Trade » U.S. Jets May Be Out of India’s Fighter Contest

U.S. Jets May Be Out of India’s Fighter Contest

by John Reed on April 27, 2011

FYI, it looks like European aerospace companies are set to build India’s next crop of 126 fighters if what several Indian defense blogs are reporting is true. Apparently, the Eurofighter Typhoon and France’s Rafale fighters have been shortlisted for India’s Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft contest.

This knocks Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Lockheed’s F-16IN out of the running along with Saab’s Gripen and Russia’s MiG-35. Those jets didn’t pass the “technical evaluation conducted by the IAF,” according to StratPost.

Boeing officials are tight-lipped so far. “We have seen the media reports coming out of India. We’re waiting to hear directly from the Indian Government before make any further comment,” said company spokesman Damien Mills in an e-mail to DT.

If true, the effective loss of the MMRCA contest is a pretty big blow to Boeing’s fighter business. Yes, the U.S. Navy is buying 124 Super Hornet’s and EA-18G Growlers over the next four years, but after that we’ll see. Boeing may be able to win the (potentially) 120-jet FX-2 contest in Brazil where it faces off against the Rafale and Gripen. But the Brazilian competition has been mired in controversy for a while now. I suppose the future of the Super Hornet depends, in part, on how the F-35 program comes along and whether it can get its costs under control in the next few years.

Maybe the Chicago-based company can make some headway with this version of the jet or its proposed F-15SE Silent Eagle.

As for the two remaining MMRCA competitors, Teal Group aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia tells DT:

If real, it’s potentially very good news for either plane, but I’d give Eurofighter the edge.  Partnering with BAE Systems sounds easier for HAL and India’s Air Force than partnering with Dassault and France.  The Eurofighter upgrade roadmap is a bit more comprehensive than Rafale’s too.

Good on Steve Trimble for spotting this story.

Share |

{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

usa power April 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

u have to think about it the f/a 18 is for ground and sky and india probaly dosnt have the mony for the f 18 and they r probaly wanting a air to air (manly) plain

Reply

Swagato Mondal June 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm

hahahahah.are you kidding me.you seem to know nothing about the plans for our air force.india has opted out from the americans coz the yankees have not promised to supply with the aesa radar without signing the memorandum.india has the money for buying sukhoi 30 mki s which will be costing around 110 million dollars for the strategical forces,so you think that the f a 18 cannot be bought by us coz of money.think it again.check out wikipedia on su 30 mki.you will get confirmation.

Reply

vikram November 5, 2011 at 6:00 am

recently yours president obama came in india and begging for jobs for their country
and you r saying they dont have money to purchase your aircrafts
its quite amazing………………….foolish

Reply

rajan November 5, 2011 at 8:09 am

:) ha ha haaa…….. F 18 is an old air frame and needs to be replaced …. India has the money and can afford to to buy the best……

Reply

brok3n April 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I’m sure its the technology transfer issue that’s stopping India from going the American route.. regardless I’m sure the Indians derived a lot of technical intel from the competition.

Reply

Belesari April 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I've heard from many sources asome of them even losely involved in it that yes that is the hang up.

Of course we keep giving arms to the pakies! GREAT IDEA!

Reply

asdf April 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm

why doesn't EF participate in the brazilian contest, if it's really for 120 fighters?

Reply

Felipe Koch April 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm

That is what I'm not understanding here.

I know (it was publicized) that the EF is out of the bid in Brazil because the consortium does not want / cannot do a full technological transfer (which is a requirement).

Someone mentioned here that this is what ruled out the F-18 from the Indian bid, but I don't think that is true since, AFAIK, Boeing/USA were willing to do an almost full tech transfer (at least for Brazil).

Reply

William C. April 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Actually it seems that French Rafales are only now just being fitted with AESA radars too.

Reply

asdf April 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm

but they have a small diameter so they are not that good in range. it also has a poor selection of missiles, but i'd say that is a non-issue.
it will be interesting to see the result for sure. a win on any side could provide new options for a midlife upgrade for example along with possible new export orders.

Reply

asdf April 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

it is actually quite likely that the rafale will win, since the rfp is first-hand for a strike aircraft.
much to the dismay of rafale-bashers on the various blogs and sites…

Reply

reader April 27, 2011 at 6:31 pm

The untold story here is how Mig-35 never even was properly in the running.
http://livefist.blogspot.com/2010/08/mmrca-buzz-m

Reply

Shivani Shivani Rai April 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm

F16 is outdated technology and F18 is more for naval missions,it failed tests in High altitude region of himalayas!!
Gripen doensnt have good avionics and its radar sucks!!

So only Typhoon and Rafale were the ones which were really 4.5 Fighter!!
i wish indian govt negotiate the price of ET typhoon or ask for complete technology transfer!!

Coming back to usa,india is buying a lots of defense equipments from them,so they will not need to worry(although usa is one of the least reliable country and indian company had to manufacture its own electronics on p8I maritime patrol aircraft due to american spoofing in electronics!!
So we better to have complete TOT with an european company than go for naval F18 which is not even a complete fighter aircraft!

Reply

citanon April 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Hmmm, a fighter aircraft designed to fly at 30,000 to 40,000 feet fails "high altitude tests" because there's a mountain range under it at 20,000 feet.

A likely story.

BTW, I have this beautiful bridge out on the West Coast that needs a buyer. It will be highly profitable and I'm sure you'd be interested. =)

Reply

Justin April 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Err no. That's not what high altitude tests refer to. Being able to take off from a high altitude airfield/base/airport with a significant payload is what is being referred to here and that's different from taking off from sea level.

Four of the six contenders reportedly failed the high altitude trials which were conducted at the Leh airfield in Jammu and Kashmir, which is regarded as the highest military airfield in the world at approximately 10,500 feet. Aircraft with substantial thrust to weight ratio such as the Eurofighter or F-22 could in theory carry strike missions from such air fields while less powerful fighters such as the Mig or Super Hornet can only carry limited air to air munitions and fuel.

Reply

Shivani Shivani Rai April 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Rafal is cheaper of two and its likely to get an order of 130 aircrafts and ET would be getting 120 !!

So most likely india govt is going ahead with 20 billion dollar purchase(2times of current deal)

India is already working along with Russia on 5th Generation ( Pak Fa)

Reply

Stratege April 29, 2011 at 4:41 am

Pak-fa is domesic Russian project.

Reply

Sean April 29, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Pak-fa T50 is a joint venture between the Russians and Indians I believe.

Reply

Stratege April 30, 2011 at 4:04 am

Wrong. T-50 is sukhoi's company internal designation. The PAK-FA is domestic Russian program.
FGFA would be join Russia-India venture. Search FGFA on wiki.

Reply

reddy October 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm

i think pak-fa is a joint research project where as pakfa t20 is russian domestic and fgfa is an indian domestic

OMEGATALON April 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm

India had no real intentions of buying a fighter jet from the US and the answer is price as the Boeing F-18 Super Hornet or Lockheed F-16IN Super Viper would have cost between $105-125Million per aircraft while the Sukhoi 5th Generation fighter that India is co-developing with Russia is expected to cost $50Million each; you don't pay twice the price for something when you can get something better for less.

The Indian Government should talk to the Obama Administration about proper finances as the US keeps buying F-18 Hornets which are already obsolete while continuing to push back the buy date for the F-35C.

Reply

MeKnowsAll April 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Don't forget that the Russians are also horrible at supplying parts after you purchased their products. You get what you pay for!

Reply

citanon April 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm

The reason why the US government keeps buying F-18s, might be that it actually exists today. The Russian aircraft, in its current state, is still a science project.

Reply

Stratege April 29, 2011 at 4:46 am

No. Actually, PAK-FA / Sukhoi T-50 is domestic Russian aircraft for RuAF and its almost nothing to do with India.
But FGFA WOULD BE joing Russian-Indian project. Yes, it would be based on some PAK-FA technology and T-50 basic airframe.

Reply

Swagato Mondal June 13, 2011 at 10:21 pm

you are terribly misinformed.you dont know about your own technology.the fa 18 s has a cost around 55 million as flyaway cost while the sukhoi fgfa /pakfa has a cost of beyond 100 million dollars.

Reply

ROUGE June 19, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Sorry you got the price wrong. F/A 18s cost US$86 million each (and some reports say could be dropped to US$70 each) and the F16s cost only US$50 million each (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_MRCA_competit…. I read a report recently out of Washington that a retired senior IAF officer commented that India could have easily got 400 F/A 18s and solved their acute shortage of aircraft and had a cheaper fighter with good strike capability and therefore air superiority in the region. The F/A 18 has proven strike capability which the Typhoon may not have. The Typhoon is more of a superior air to air fighter. I think the IAF will need more like 10 -15 squardons (rather than 7 proposed) to make up for their shortage of fighters and the F/A 18 would have been a good buy. Note that strategic parameters were not considered in the drop-select.

Reply

common sense June 20, 2011 at 7:46 am

Rouge,

your point would have been accurate if we were talking of the the 1990s. 400 Super Hornets won't offer air superiority against a China armed with several hundred Flanker series and J-10 fighters. That's Madrassa Math logic at work. For one, offset packages and technology transfer agreements would lower over-all costs for the European contenders.

People keep talking of the strike capability of the Eurofighter-I only have one question. Which is easier to do-improve the strike capabilities of a fighter (the F-15E, Mig-27, SU-30 and Mirage-5 all evolved from pure fighters) or improve the air to air capabilities of a strike aircraft. You would need to do the latter with the F-18 and that is just not feasible. Turn-rates, agility and top-speed are all attributes of design and no-amount of engine-tweaks will yield significant improvements on those parameters. And by the way, the Eurofighter can carry a hefty payload (of almost 8 tonnes) while the Rafale can carry over 9 tonnes, so in theory they have great potential in the strike role.

Reply

brian April 27, 2011 at 8:25 pm

All the other fighters are not combat proven, so lets knock out the ones that are. Brilliant!

Reply

Oblat April 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Must be living in a box

Reply

brian April 29, 2011 at 10:41 am

So I take it you could list the successful A2A engagements of the other fighters then?

Reply

Justin May 9, 2011 at 8:50 am

May be you need to ask yourself which of these "combat proven" fighters has a higher chance of winning a duel in 2030? Since combat proven is so important to you, get rid of the F-35 and F-22.

Reply

brian April 27, 2011 at 8:30 pm

It is surprising that they would be so tightfisted like that. The F-18/16 have been under development for 30+ years with input based on actual combat experience. the others, ummm never. Sure the french have lobbed a bomb here or there, but the last time french fighters met a challenge, say back in the falklands, they failed miserably compared to the VTOL Harrier, which is quite embarrassing for a fixed wing aircraft.

Reply

gildasd May 2, 2011 at 3:07 am

- 5 super Etendard in the Falklands: 2 attacks, 2 ships sunk, no losses.
- Best mission results of all aircraft used against Serbia (including F16 F18 and A10).
I could go on and on, and that's only the slowest and oldest… Mirages have been used all over the place to great results in many wars not featured on Fox. But luckily for the Brits during the Falkland war, the Argentinians were flying beyond max range, with no drop tanks and no AA refuelling capacity into a comprehensive air defence system of which the Harrier was only a part. By the time the AAF got the AS30's to operate at stand off ranges, the English had won the war on the ground.

War is complicated, and you can't resume it to a "score" like a baseball match, if you want to know what the Brits thought of the Mirages and their pilots fighting lopsided odds, read what Admiral Sandy Woodward had to say.

Reply

Indian April 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm

France can be trusted in a war against PAKIstan or china but when it comes to war against America's "non-nato ally, the islamic PAKIstan", you don't want no surprises :-) from USA. F16 is no doubt the most lethal flying machine but the PAKIstan has them too (and them looser moslems got the F16s for free).
Unfortunately, America has a history of pulling a fast one on it's non-euro allies and that's the truth.
Euro fighter has a lot of American components which can be a subject to American embargo, again, in case of war with PAKIstan.
India's fight with PAKIstan is for one reason only, they have been fighting against the terrorist islam for almost 1000 years rather than accepting it.
lookin' at all these odds French Dassault Rafale will most likely win or if not than probably the euro-fighter

Reply

TLAM Strike April 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm

The IAF doesn’t want them? Fine go call the Indian Navy, I bet they would love to have a true multirole carrier fighter for their next flattop.

Reply

Hale April 27, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Well, they're about to sign a deal with the Russians to buy 29 Mig-29Ks for their the new Vikrant class carrier. They are also going to navalize their own HAL Tejas. Pretty sure US fighters were never part of the plan for the new Indian carriers. Plus the Vikrant is a ski-jump type carrier, which is something that Russian planes have far more experience with (do we even have a ski-jump carrier?)

Lastly, if they were to buy a new US carrier fighter for their brand-new carrier, why the hell would they buy an old F-18 when they can buy an F-35C? They obviously have the money and the tech capability to run them since they're co-developing the PAK-FA/T-50 and it's not like they haven't run carriers before.

Reply

William C. April 28, 2011 at 1:10 am

I think their air force flying the F/A-18IN would have certainly gotten their navy interested. The Super Hornet isn't perfect but it has an excellent reputation in terms of being "easy" to operate from a carrier.

It is no older than the modernized MiG-29s they are buying anyway.

Reply

Justin April 28, 2011 at 12:07 am

People seem to talking about being battle-tested as being the primary criterion here; if that's the case how come the USAF has stopped buying the F-16???? The F-16 is a great fighter but it's more or less flying into the sunset; the USAF has not indicated any more plans for the type other than upgrades. So why should a country choose it for deal worth 126-200 aircraft. India buying the F-16IN now would be like Italy choosing the F-104S. A somewhat similar situation exists for the Super Hornet.

The Euro-canards are more expensive but are newer and are likely to last longer than the American teen series. That counts a lot especially if you plan on having technology transfer programmes.

About playing all sides and getting tech info, how much can you glean from a few hours spent on flight trials? Besides if you offer your product for competition, you are expected to part with information. You need to play to win-that's the risk. About buying American, India has brought more weapons from the US in the past four years than from Russia, Israel or Europe. The C-130, P-8, C-17 deals are either ready or have been cleared along with a number of smaller deals for munitions and subsystems (engines for Jaguar fighters).

Reply

brian April 28, 2011 at 11:03 am

The USA is going the F35 route, its not that the F16 is a bad airplane, and granted its an old design, but its been updated regularly for 30+ years and has an excellent technical bin to draw from all the people and institutions that have deployed it. Aside from the Harrier, there is no other plane that matches that depth. You may not consider that to be much of an asset, but in the real world where finding parts, components as well as people that can use them expertly is generally the biggest reason why any organization buys any platform. I can say from my own personal experience about trying to design projects that can scale, I select technologies that workers are familiar with over the latest/greatest/best/cheapest just because I will have to do more work myself finding/training workers and building more components than I can just drives project and maintenance costs sky high. There is something to be said about being penny wise and pound foolish.

As for the F16-IN, it is an excellent state of the craft on par with any of the other aircraft, and they are all great fighters, but I would most likely go with a mixed F16/35A buy. F35A for air Supremacy, F16 for routine missions. But I am not Indian and have no idea whats going on in their heads. Overall, when you are plunking down money on something, you want to go with the sure predictable thing, and that is not the Rafaele or the Euro fighter

Reply

Justin April 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Are you telling me that a country would have to buy two different generation of fighters with diverse logistical chains?? The F-35A was not designed for an air to air role. It was designed to replace the F-16 which is why some European nations retained the Eurofighter while the US has the F-22 and F-15.

Reply

Tim April 28, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Battle-tested means just that. Politics aside and the notion of USA sanctions, blah-blah… It's unwise to go to a fight, especially against China with a bunch of jets that never had much depths to begin with, much less the range of available weapons, avionics, and most importantly… available parts. Which of the contenders actually had such experiences as the F-16s and F-18s? None. That's a fact!

Reply

Justin April 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Will the F-16 and F-18 be able to match the J-11, J-10 and other toys that China throws at them for the next 30-40 years? Aircraft age and that is precisely why countries from Japan to India to Denmark are looking to replace aircraft like the F-16 with products such as the F-35 or Eurofighter.

You talk about availability parts. The USAF will begin retiring the F-16 in the next 15 years or so which means that parts and spares will become more expensive and match or exceed the cost of later fighters available in that period.

About weaponry and avionics, while the European planes are without doubt more expensive, they have upgrades slated in the next five years. The Meteor missile and AESA radars are due to be integrated on all three major European fighter types-the Eurofighter, Rafale and Gripen.

Reply

roland April 28, 2011 at 12:08 am

We should have sent our F-35 B

Reply

MCQknight April 28, 2011 at 1:22 am

Why anyone would pick the Eurofighter over any modern fighter aircraft is beyond me. Look up the definition of a turkey and it simply says "Eurofighter".

Reply

TribulationTime April 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Why it´s a turkey?. Right, performance aside because it isn´t fair for Hornet, I think it all about politics. EEUU is NOT a current reliable partner and India like other (Poland, Chile, Arabia Saudi, UEA) want make friends with their money and get a plane. I believe what the Bigger problem with F-16/F-18 is they are "All American" systems and the other side europeans builders are easily suggest to adapt Israeli or Russian or Indigenous weapons for commonly with SU-30/Mig-29/HAL Tejas and for maintenance too, add tech transfer and plus They have C-17, P8I…Not all eggs in 1 basket. Make sense for me.

Reply

TribulationTime April 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Ha Ha Ha, must be approved….I´m a big mouth i dont wan hurt anyone but there are others points of view, not easily to hear… sometimes

Reply

brian April 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm

- There are a lot of planes that cannot super cruise but are still front line fighters.
- Yes A2A is a primary role for the F35, although its not a dedicated air supremacy fighter
- Every country is different and has different aircraft configurations. The US will have both the F16 and F35 in service at the same time for the next 15 years, not to mention the air national guard.
- The F35 + F16 combo makes more sense than a Griffin + Super Hornet combo
- If I were india, I would take a serious look at the F35 as a state of the art obtainable front line fighter that will have tremendous industry support, unlike the foreign alternatives.
- Take a wild guess at how really good the stealth capabilities of say Russia's newest fighters are. I am willing to best its not as good as the F35 as the Russians are well over a decade behind us in Stealth

Reply

Justin April 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm

A2A is a primary role though its not a dedicated air supremacy fighter?? Is'nt that a contradiction. You can't undo limitations in airframe design merely by sensors. Which is why there have been concerns in partner nations such as Australia and Canada.

How exactly does the F-35/F-16 make more sense?? The Super hornet and Gripen share the same engines for common sense sake. There's little commonality between the f-35 and F-16; which is why you would have to be deluded to buy both at the same.

The question to be asked about the F-35 is will it be available in the time frame that the Indian air force wants in the configuration it requires with optimal industrial participation????

All three of those parameters are open to question. Delays in the programme will result in a significant backlog; look at the expected timelines for the USAF. About industrial participation, would the JSF partner nations be happy with a new country getting to generous offset arrangements after all they paid for???

You talk about stealth capabilities-ever seen the F-35's rear end?? There's only one state of the art stealth solution out there-the F-22 and that's not for sale.

Reply

OMEGATALON April 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm

This tells you a lot about how India thinks as they trashed the Boeing F-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed's F-16IN Super Viper in favor of British and French jets which are used by NATO that don't have all weather or night capability. Haven't the Indian government been paying attention to what was going on in Libya as NATO had jets that couldn't hit their targets and pleaded for the US to return. Additionally, why aren't they buying Russian fighter jets when they're partnering with them to build the Sukhoi stealth fighter. This sounds a lot like a technology transfer more than anything else.

Reply

gildasd April 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Rafale does not have "all weather and night capacity", you must be talking about the first 4 prototypes? And you must have missed the result of the Nato raids, the ones of the destroyed Lybian armor before the US had a plane in the air…
But I agree on your last point, very suspicious.

Reply

Rohan Sharma November 14, 2011 at 7:43 am

India is investing about 40- 50 billion dollars in pak fa and @70+42 sukhoi 30mki with mig29k and likely to go for mig1.44 fifth gen fighter jet. But these mmrca are just a stop gap measure until India's own AMCa and the mentioned jets come in the sky as IAF is operating with already depleted squadrons and there is clear tension b/w china and India over Tibet's independence and on border too.

Reply

Mastro November 14, 2011 at 10:03 am

Most of the current Typhoons flying for NATO don't have much in the way of ground attack- (the RAF has some )

But I'm sure the Indian bid has the full attack capability of the later Tranches.

Reply

jamesb April 28, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Simple….
With the other guys a/c you buy it….it's yours…
With the US…
It's Congress….
Half a loaf….
And people looking over your shoulder….

Reply

YGBSM April 28, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Cept Russia doesn't give you the spare parts to keep flying the planes you bought from them. Hence why the Rafale is being given the nod currently. The French will sell you anything.

Reply

guydudebro April 28, 2011 at 10:13 pm

The f-18 and 16 do look dated compared to the stuff coming out of europe.

Reply

David April 29, 2011 at 12:54 am

Indians don't believe American arms are good in real combat. They had faced american arms in all their wars and trounced them. In the 70s they shot down the Sabres and swatted the PAttons like flies and raccoons. This is the real story

Reply

troop April 29, 2011 at 4:47 am

I don't believe that. I heard a Indian Admiral speaking of american arms. He said that India believes american arms to be the best available on the market.

Reply

Sean April 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I remember reading about Indians destroying 50-100 American made tanks in wars against Pakistan. The tanks were the best at the time but the Indians made a whole graveyard out of them. Also read that, the American govt had to plead with the Indian authorities to not publish pictures of these destroyed tanks as it would lead to bad reputation and no one would buy these tanks.

Reply

asdf April 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm

that was because of tactics (hiding in the grass and waiting for the tanks, that apparently had no thermals). the indians don't want ONLY us weapons so that they can copy more and are not limited to us pressure in the case of war.
the planes can't fly very well without the spare parts.

but the main goal is tot, so that they can move from 30yrs for a tank or a bad aircraft (tejas) that is a mirage copy.

Reply

Rohan harma November 14, 2011 at 6:46 am

Well is a true story where sikh regiment of 120 Indian finished of a pakistani battalian comprising of 2800 soldiers Battle of longewala it is called. a movie named border is based on it.
Jai hind

Reply

guydudebro May 2, 2011 at 1:12 am

Equipment only carries you so far.

Reply

Swagato Mondal June 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm

no no.we have full faith in the american technology but not the politics.

Reply

Rao July 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

Sabres and Pattons story is different. It is not machine it is man and machine combination. Only 120 Indian soldiers with just guns were able hold 2000 Pakistani soldiers with guns and tanks during 1971 conflict… plase check "Battle of Longewal".

Reply

Stratege April 29, 2011 at 4:49 am

No. Typhoon is joke compared to Su-35 BM, the latest "Flanker" based Sukhoi aircarft.

Reply

gildasd April 29, 2011 at 8:31 am

Americans weapons systems are very good. Often the best available, but they have a tendency to be maintenance heavy and sometimes with weird set-ups that have more to do with lobbying on the hill than real life in the trenches.
But the US is not the only country with that problem, in SA I discussed rotor-crafts with ground crews and personnel. And they said if they could chose, they would fly a mix of Gazelles, Hueys, Pumas and Rooivlaks… And get rid of the rest.
Why these rotor-crafts? Easy to fly, easy to maintain, easy to patch up/repair, easy to weld in whatever weapon system you have handy in it, easy to operate in the field, cheap parts that you can make yourself in an emergency and in the right hands,very very good at killing people and equipment.
But politicians just want to look good and get a kickback, not getting the most cost efficient solution.

Reply

arindam kusum bose April 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm

i think the sukohi -30 maki upgaded with aeser rudder and the eary maufacturing of t-50 super egle is the laest chance of becaming the leathl air force

Reply

asdf April 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm

i thought english was one of the primary languages in india…

Reply

Indian April 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm

that is your fallacy. it is not the primary, not even 2ndary. only 3 to 4% of the billion plus population reads, writes and of course speaks with the 'funny accent'

Reply

asdf April 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm

any idea when will they announce the winner?

Reply

John Abbas May 1, 2011 at 1:10 am

What ever the fighter jet outcome…on thing is clear..India is not a banana republic nor it is likely to toe US rules by book..by now Americans know this. Despite Indians being the biggest supporters of American Supremacy and Democracy whether anyone in this blog agrees or not! US cannot fool Indians with F-16 or F-18…it is utter foolishness to get these planes and hope to win the deal with one of the best airforces in Asia. F-16 and F-18 are not a patch on Sukhoi 30-MKI which India already has…. it is highly delusional to think otherwise.

Reply

Indian May 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm

well folks!

Indian gov made it clear that US fighter jets are out and closed the chapter. Though not a wise move, but I think the grudge from a history of sanctions against India from USA might have been a contributing factor.
It was the lack of trust which made America loose this deal.

Reply

ALEX May 7, 2011 at 3:30 am

FUCK OFF !
ANY WATCH INDIA WHAT DO IN NEAR FUTURE

Reply

NSG June 3, 2011 at 6:31 am

Why should India buy F16s when the aircraft is being supplied free to Pakistan? That would be like financing the Pakistani Airforce… F18 … well in a few years the US will be providing them free of charge to the Pakistani Airforce… I feel India has taken the right choice ….

Reply

ROUGE June 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I very much doubt the US will consider enhancing their ties with Pakistan in the long term. India is the better partner by far in terms of longetivity in the region. India is by far stronger economically and in terms of military strength and is will be a good counterforce for the US against China. Further, India is a proven democracy over many decades whereas Pakistan has struggled in all areas. The US would be foolish to continue supplying Pakistan with arms. Perhaps it is for this reason that Pakistan is looking to China as their military partner.

Reply

Swagato Mondal June 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm

eads has promised to supply aesa radar to us and they have also promised us with the united partnership with the eurofighter consortium.

Reply

Swagato Mondal June 13, 2011 at 10:24 pm

no this is bullshit.how can you be this dumb to think this.india had opted for a fair and decent competition.the americans failed to supply us with a proper comppetitor.wheres our mistake in that.the americans did not allow the aesa radar without the memorandum being signed.we asked for a complete fighter not different spare parts deals.and the eurofighter typhoon is also a battle tested one.it has flown along with the american boys in operation freedom.

Reply

mikeb August 30, 2011 at 7:48 pm

haha. The reason the American fighters lost is because they are useless. They look nice but useless at anything else. Indians have consistently knocked out American made junk for years. American made weapons are for the rich to look pretty in. Thats all. They suck at warfare. It is as simple as that. Yes they are expensive and a headache to maintain. Nothing to do with technology transfer or anything of that sort. The technology in American made weapons are too complicated in the first place. Even American engineers cannot figure out what they create half the time. So once these things break they are impossible to fix. Stay away from anything that is made in America especially weapons. All the countries who bought these weapons or bought into them are now regretting because they have a poor product and they have invested into something that they may never see.

Reply

Jack Ellis November 29, 2011 at 2:44 am

India and America both are probably a strong and friendly nations. No one is less than one another

Reply

Plagio December 30, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Okay all you fighter pilot wannabees,
Which of these two steeds would you choose to protect your country in?
(All specs from Wikipedia)

F-35A Euro. Typhoon

Speed (max) 1200 mph 1550 mph

Range 1200 miles 1840 miles

Weight (Empty) 29,300 lbs 24,250 lbs

Thrust (dry) 1 x 28,000 lbs 2 x 13,500 lbs

Thrust/Weight .87 1.15

Wing Loading 446 kg/m2 312 kg/m2

Service ceiling 60,000 ft 65,000 ft

Rate of Climb classified 62,000 fpm
(surprised?)

Reply

Justin April 28, 2011 at 11:21 pm

If the F-16/F-15 are so capable how come folks like the South Koreans and Japanese are all evaluating fighters such as the F-35, F-15SE or Eurofighter? I'm saying again no one is dissing the F-16 and F-18, but an airframe can only go so far. The F-16 has gotten heavier in recent years while the Super Hornet was never very agile to begin with-these are facts. If you still think whatever comes outside of Russia/China is junk, you are free to think so.

Reply

Chimp April 29, 2011 at 8:47 am

Dassault products and clones (especially Mirage III's and the Dagger / Kfir variants) would probably have the overall lead in terms of air combat victories by jet powered fighters. Must be damned close, if they aren't actually the top on kills.

Friend of mine in the RNZAF swore by A-4's… said they were good to work on. I believe the Israelis got good mileage out of them, too.

Any airforce that was Western aligned could, I reckon, get by with modernized A-4's and some old generation Mirages. Cheap to buy, cheap to maintain, and good enough to handle the chimp model stuff the Russians sell abroad, while at the same time doing reasonable ground attack.

You could probably buy an entire airforce worth of these aircraft for the price of a single F-22, and still get the job done.

Of course, it would be rough if you were up against a tooled up and trained opponent…

Reply

Justin April 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Establishing two separate manufacturing lines (in India or anywhere else) and building logistical facilities for two different generations of fighters at the same time or within the a period of 10 or even 15 years is sheer stupidity. I repeat sheer stupidity because the F-16 WILL BE REPLACED by the F-35. If you think there's synergy there, can you explain how?? The F-35 and F-16 fill the same niche. Which is why the F-35's design parameters emphasised manoeuvrability similar to the F-16.

Buying the F-22 and F-35 creates synergies, same applies to the F-15 and F-16 or even the Chicom J-11 and J-10. There's a degree of commonality of engines and electronics between these aircraft but diference in missions. There's is no difference in missions between the F-35 and F-16 and no commonality in systems.

Can you name any other country committed to or examining the F-35 planning to buy the F-16 in the coming years. It is a fact that the F-16 has lost traction in the past five years.

About penetration missions, that's not the only thing on a military's mind especially if it has the world's second largest air force on it's borders.

Reply

brian April 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm

- 1 country that is buying F35's and F16's, Israel. Its not that it matters, most countries into F35 already have F16's so they will be replacing them with F35. You really can't compare apples with oranges.
- Each nation has its own unique situation and needs it must fulfill. This is just my suggestion given India's unique security requirements. If they had F16's already, I would say forget it and just replace them with F35, but its not the case
- building 2 assembly plants in a country of 1 Billion people, really isn't that big of a deal, its rather trivial compared to building and designing a plane from scratch
- the F-16 and the F35 are completely different beasts,with different strengths and weaknesses, like any other fighter out there. They certainly have synergies. Having planes share parts isn't a great thing. The F22 for instance does not share an engine with any other fighter, yet its still pretty useful.
-I think you have "Shiny ball syndrome" where you equate newest with "toss out all the old stuff". Just because something new and "better" comes along doesn't mean you toss the old stuff out. You notice that treads came after tires, yet we still use tires?

Reply

WIlliam C. April 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm

You check your facts. The version of the Super Hornet pitched to the IAF has been referred to as the F/A-18IN.

Reply

Swagato Mondal June 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm

i understand lance but our politics has changed now.we no longer support the russians blindly.we are now a major developing country and if we keep on buying unorthodox technologies then we will never change our image to you guys so we atre opting for better technologies,really worthy.

Reply

blight November 29, 2011 at 3:19 am

I imagine the United States is more interested in leapfrogging to hypersonics. For strike capabilities, TERCOM TLAMs are sufficient, but all missile systems depend on intel to maximize utility.

I'm not sure what is meant by twelve, comma, zero, comma zero "U.S armies", but the casualties in /Iraq/ didn't even approach ten thousand, and the war in Afghanistan has been relatively quiet by comparison. Besides, Afghanistan is in bed with Pakistan anyways, didn't you get the memo?

Reply

Phi February 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm

This is one stupid guy. As an Indian i am pretty sure this fellow is neither 'Indian Army' nor Indian.
'WORLD'S POWERFUL MULTI-TECHNICAL MISSILE' !! what does this even mean.
Brahmos is a very capable missile. Agreed. But it will never be truly effective against any blue water navy, thanx to the MTCR limitations. ( That India can learn from the experience is another matter.)
Frankly, after replying to this post I forgot what we were discussing about till now.
Just in time: I remembered about the MMRCA. Its a good deal for India (Rafael) just taking into account the TOT, everything else is a bonus. And it will give us some breathing space while we put our house (read aircraft manufacturing lines) in order. sad.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: