Home » Air » Air-to-Air Combat » Rafale Wins in India

Rafale Wins in India

by John Reed on January 31, 2012

France finally scored an international customer for its Rafale fighter jet. After years and years of fits, starts and frustrations, India’s medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) contest ended this morning with a French victory.

Remember, MMRCA pitted the Rafale against everything from the Eurofighter Typhoon and Mig-29 to the American made F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-16.

Now that the Rafale has been declared winner, officials from Dassault and India will hammer out the price for the 129 fighter deal.

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{ 108 comments… read them below or add one }

Black Owl January 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Huh… Didn't expect that to happen. I would have put money on the MiG-35 Fulcrum when this thing started. Looks like their going French…

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Yawn January 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm

The only folks who would have put money on the Mig-35 are those who had no clue about defense procurement and policy in India.

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Black Owl January 31, 2012 at 4:55 pm

You should note that I said, "when it started." India's Air Force already operates the MiG and has the pipeline for parts set up so that's why it would have been more convenient for them to operate it when the competition started. Yawn, thank you for giving yet another useless comment that does not make a point.

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Yawn January 31, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Black Owl,

Try using your grey cells once in a while. Why would India invite FAR more expensive aircraft like the Super hornet, Rafale and Typhoon if it wanted the Mig-35. Do more expensive aircraft increase your coercive capability vis a vis a cheaper product? why is South Korea pitting the F-35 against (similarly priced) aircraft like the typhoon and F-15SE?

If you ever followed this competition, it involved wanting advanced technology as well as a mature platform (which is why the Gripen NG lost); the Mig-35 has neither.

Indian defense analysts have said that Mig was informally requested by the IAF not to bid for the MMRCA since it never wanted it. Lobbying and technology upgrades (since used as spin-ofs for the Mig-29K) helped change that-
http://livefist.blogspot.in/2010/08/mmrca-buzz-mi

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Yar Yar February 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

It's true that the Mig-35 never had a chance from the start due to the lack of new techology albeit being touted as "available". When faced the real competition, they lacked both equipment and support line that India asked for, thus sent the Mig-35 packing. India learned the hard lessons from Russia's reputation, or lack thereof, spare parts and supports through the Mig-29K purchase. Not to mention is the goofy deal of leasing the nuclear submarine, which at the end cost more than building a brand new one.

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Black Owl February 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Oh my god… You guys are all doing something too easy: stating the blatant obvious after the fact. I meant the day that the fighter contenders were announced I would have almost put money on the MiG before the competition got deeper. You're article was released well into the competition and it even says that nothing was official from the Indian Government in the first sentence. The MiG-35 does have advanced technology since it is the first Russian fighter with an AESA radar, spherical IR scanning OLS-35, and it also was the only fighter in the competition with optional TVC. The Russians had the best technology transfer deal and the Indians knew that. It was also the cheapest.

All you have just shown is that you are picking the side that has already won long after the battle is over in this argument, which is all too easy to do. I had the guts to say my immediate thoughts the day I learned the competition was out and admit that I was wrong. I wasn't trying to antagonize anybody about it or say they were stupid if they thought otherwise. Thanks for proving you chose to do things that are too easy.

blight February 2, 2012 at 12:03 am

They have MiG-29, 21, 27. Do they really share that many commonalities with the -35 that would give it a leg up?

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TribulationTime February 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Boys I say Ask Poland (50 f-16-52) for the best?. Noooo Ask for Uncle Sam Toy. The big contracts have ALWAYS POLITICS MIXED!! ALWAYS. For Example: KC-X Who hell wants put 150000 M$ in european hands? If I was american i take the Made in America. What I mean: If we put the 5 planes of MMRCA side by side we would not get a Winner out of 5. The five will have pros y contras.

Commisar12 January 31, 2012 at 9:33 pm

well, the reason the Mig lost is because 1. Buying the Mig-35 would have made 1 nation, Russia, the supplier for about 75% of the Indian AF. 2. The Russians always have spare parts supply issues and their prices fluctuate. 3. The Mig-35 isn't even out of prototype. Also, the Indians are already operating the Mirage 2000 which has preformed quite well. Also, the French are prepared to give the Indians alot of help with their Tejas's Kaveri engine. Lastly, the Rafale is about 15 milion or so cheaper than the Typhoon and isn't subject to any sort of export restrictions and it has an AESA radar.

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TGR February 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Russia is also not known for their support after purchase. Just look at their parts supply issues for the existing/previous fleet.

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Lance January 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Sad day the Griphen and Typhoon and even the MiG-35 are better than the French plane. As well as better looking the Rafael is ugly!

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tiger January 31, 2012 at 4:48 pm

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
History is full of ugly ducklings that perform like swans. The Stuka, The Huey, Honda Civcs, Glocks.

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Lance February 1, 2012 at 12:20 am

The Stuka wasn't a BIG success look what happened to them in the Battle of Briton.

I do say I thought the MiG-35 would have been a better pick but All I said its just a ugly plane compared to the Mirage 2000 and Mirage III.

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joe February 1, 2012 at 4:44 am

Not a lot. Most of the luftwaffe's battle of britain strike aircraft were multi-engine bombers. Besides which, take an A-10 up against a contemporary fighter in a dogfight and see how far that gets you – that's not the same as saying the Warthog is a bad aircraft.

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Riceball February 1, 2012 at 11:05 am

Not to mention that it was handicapped by limited loiter time due to spending a good deal of fuel crossing the Channel and needing enough to cross back over again. This meant that they really couldn't afford to spend much time (which equals gas) trying to dodge British fighters and AAA.

Btw, Lance, it's the Battle of Britain not Briton.

Jay February 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm

The A-10 can carry anti-air missiles as well, during red flag it took down a F-16. Yes neither aircraft is "contemporary" but you could do worse.

tiger February 5, 2012 at 2:40 am

The Stuka had success in the Anti Ship role attacking Channel shipping. They were also so go on point targets like the Radar sites. But it really earned it's worth in the anti tank role vs the Soviets. It did well in ship attacks in the MED also.

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Atomic Walrus January 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Funny that you say that. I've always thought that Dassault fighters were among the prettiest out there. Too bad they never have a big enough radome for a decent radar antenna, though.

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kim January 31, 2012 at 5:46 pm

The plane is just part of the deal. If the Rafaele is – say – 95 % as good a plane as the others (how on Earth does one measure that anyway?), but come with a noticably lower price and an offer to have India build some themselves, it can still be a better deal.

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V.A. January 31, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Between the Typhoon and the Rafale, the Dassault offer was apparently cheaper by €3.8 million/US$5 million. So yeah, you're right: noticably cheaper.

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brok3n January 31, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Let’s keep in mind the Indians are picking a plane that’s already better than its surrounding competition i.e. Pakistan/China. It doesn’t need to be the best fighter in the world and with the PAK-FA moving along it will have a strong, diverse, and very expensive mix of fighters in its inventory.

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Marie January 31, 2012 at 11:24 pm

cheaper for its life lenght maintenance

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Galathorn February 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

http://airforces.fr/2009/12/20/rafale-vs-typhoone
hope it will answer to your ignorance

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Sanem January 31, 2012 at 4:08 pm

couldn't believe it, I would have expected for India to choose a more spread out, supported Typhoon deal

but after the operational succes of the Mirage and France's dependable political support, it seems they choose certainty

congrats to Dassault, they certainly deserve it

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mhmm... January 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

The Rafale is carrier based correct?
Or is there a convential only version?
Any chance they bought it in case they wanted an option to put it on a carrier, or at least the follow up for a navy purchase, commonality and streamlining training and all that?

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gloup January 31, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Rafale M has a significantly different landing gear (quite stronger + with a jump strut) + stronger forward gear fuselage cell.

You definitely cannot convert a C to an M.

Unclear what variant they're actually going to buy/build (B or C, perhaps M), but IIRC where Rafale shone most was on the "combat take-off" tests up in Kashmir. I don't see them trading mountain bombload for the ability to arrest. Should they want carriers later, they probably can prolong the line for "M" models, a lot of parts beyond basic cell / landing gear are indeed common.

Most of the birds will be "built in India" (not quite sure this will hold for the business end of SPECTRA, OSF & radar, though…)

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Praetorian January 31, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Well, India would have to cancel the Mig-29K then.

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blight January 31, 2012 at 6:15 pm

What's interesting is the Rafale carrier variant does not have folding wings, in the interest of commonization. It might stand in the way of procurement, especially for India's legacy carrier…

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Jack January 31, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I've never understood what the Frogs have against installing a retractable fuel probe. The Rafale would look so much cooler without that permanent probe in it's nose.

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gloup January 31, 2012 at 4:54 pm

drag tax was less than weight tax. And you've got to make space to retract the "retractable probe" into. Extra space, larger cell, heavier. This simple ☺

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David January 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm

The permanent prob cannot breakdown unlike the retractable probe and it's a lighter system for an unimportant drag. (This is the official position.)

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tiger January 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Well, Congrats to Dassault. I guess those Ops over Libya sealed the deal? Anyway, The various Plane Fan clubs will now begin their posting.

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Tad January 31, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Anyone know if military considerations were a big/small part of this decision?

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gloup January 31, 2012 at 5:01 pm

For a fighter/bomber jet, military considerations important ? Naaw. They asked Justin Bieber's great-auntie which one looked cuter..

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Tad February 1, 2012 at 8:45 am

So you're saying that all fighter/bomber jet procurements in India are based solely on performance, logistics and maintenance, survivability, …? And nothing on sweet kickback deals in the corrupt Indian procurement system? Or which company will hire the most locals?

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Yawn February 1, 2012 at 10:45 am

If there was corruption involved in this deal, how come rival vendors, the press and political opposition parties haven't said anything? It's not like they will stay put-for every defense deal signed by India in recent years, two have been stalled by mere claims of irregularities.

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blight February 1, 2012 at 11:37 am
Yawn February 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I asked specifically about corruption related to the MMRCA deal-have any vendors complained about it. Thank you for bringing up Bofors-if you read up on how the Indian government has responded in the decades after that-it has often preferred inaction rather than proceed with contracts which could be accused of graft.

Chimp February 6, 2012 at 1:27 am

It's actually a good question. This is the country that equipped its soldiers with the INSAS.

Where's the pork?

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Belesari January 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I'd say it was probably down to what the different nations/companies were willing to put on the table. Looks like the french were willing to share more were the US and others weren't.

Of course Indian defense procurment is pretty damned corrupt so theres no telling

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Marie January 31, 2012 at 11:29 pm

but Dassault would nver be able to reach the US ability on the table

It seems that that were technological and geopolitical reasons that made the difference

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joe February 1, 2012 at 4:47 am

Depends what 'export version' the US were offering. ITAR is causing a lot of tensions recently and the French have a good history of offering weapons that aren't restricted by it.

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tiger February 1, 2012 at 10:41 am

Buying American comes with Congressional strings attached. Pakistan waited for years for jets tied up over politics.

kim January 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I once had a chat with a gentleman from Boeing (trying to sell F-18s to Denmark) about what proportions of an fighter sale were technical, economic and political respectively. In his opinion the latter was the major factor.

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blight January 31, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Considering Lockheed has been chastened by the bribery scandal of the '60s/'70s…

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Len January 31, 2012 at 5:43 pm

The Rafale with an AESA would be a very strong multirole fighter. Remember it's already got a built in IRST similar to what the Typhoon carries.

Btw, when is the US going to make IRST standard equipment on fighters? The only fighter that came with one was the F-14D. Kinda dump not to put one on the F-22 being that a radar, even one like the F-22 has is possible to detect.

Not a big fan of putting the IRST on a centerline tank ala what the Navy is doing with the F-18E/F.

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WulfTheSaxon January 31, 2012 at 6:42 pm

The F-35 has it, and it’s being worked on for the F-22.

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Commisar12 January 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm

the F-35 has an IRST all over the airframe, with a IR camera and a laser targeter built into the nose. Also, the F-16 Block 60 has an IRST system.

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V.A. January 31, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Its 126 aircraft, plus an option for 74 more to push up the numbers to an even 200.

The Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen, and Super Hornet are also competitors for India's planned 2nd indigenous carrier, which is going to be built with a CATOBAR arrangement. Given that Typhoon and Gripen don't really have naval versions, the competition mostly between the Rhino and Rafale. I'm guessing this MRCA tender win will do a lot for Rafale's case in the Naval Air Arm procurement tender too. Unless the US decide to ease up on the CISMoA/INFOSEC or India decides to accept them.

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brok3n January 31, 2012 at 6:57 pm

The reality of it was that their was only two real options that made the most sense from the get-go, the MiG-35 and the Rafale. History, politics, and existing supply lines we’re really the deciding factor here. The rest of the competition contributed to valuable technical intel for the Indians and nothing else. It will be interesting to see how the Indians cope with higher operating cost and R&D cost for AESA and other ‘stuff’ the French promised them.

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brok3n January 31, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Wow, looks like the IAF/Rafale fan boys are out in full force

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V.A. February 1, 2012 at 4:36 am

Yeah, well, after 10 years of waiting, and about 100 aircraft crashes (mostly MiG-21s) later, they've finally got results from their government. Can't blame them for being extatic over that…

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Pedro January 31, 2012 at 7:17 pm

It hasn't been declared the WINNER. It has been declared the CHEAPEST.
Good luck to anyone negotiating with the Indians on price and I hope they enjoy reading 'Le livre d'insrtuction"

We need to offer some Eurofighters to Pakistan, that would focus some Indian minds on what counts outside of air-shows.
Hot and High ? – what does that mean?

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blight January 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Hmm. Wonder if we'll find out how well export-grade F-16's do against Rafale?

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Praetorian January 31, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Was thinking the same thing, also what about the J-20 Vs PAK-FA

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brok3n January 31, 2012 at 7:54 pm

At this point the U.S., EADS, and Saab are better off in terms of keeping its technological secrets behind closed doors by 'losing' this deal.

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blight January 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm

It would be so awkward to see F-16's fighting each other in Indian and Pakistani Air Force colors in the next shooting war…

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Ben January 31, 2012 at 8:55 pm

"Hot and high" refers to the fact that air tends to be thinner at high altitudes and high temperatures.

It requires greater aircraft performance.

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Pedro February 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I know what "hot and high" means.

I meant to point out that the Rafale failed that test, was excluded from the competition and then was re-instated shortly after the "European Trade Commissioner" (who is Italian) phoned Sonia Ghandi (who is also Italian).
Alledgedly.

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Yawn February 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm

And what proof do you have to say that it failed it? There are lots of sites which claimed that the Rafale passed those trials. So whom should we believe.

Thanks for stating the Italian connection. Do you think Silvio Berlusconi who is also Italian, wouldn't have used his influence for the Eurofighter-see the fallacy in that logic.

The Rafale was never "excluded" from the competition.

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Yawn January 31, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Hot and High means aircraft performance in hot climates and at high altitudes. An aircraft taking of in a desert or a Himalayan airbase loses a lot of power compared to sealevel takeoffs.

Sure you can offer Eurofighters to Pakistan-question is do they have the money to buy it?

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sdog January 31, 2012 at 8:23 pm

wow unexpected

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Muhammad Imran February 1, 2012 at 12:01 am

Basically its simple… Pakistani F16 pilots are so darn trainined on it and have counted every single pimple and mole on sexy bodies of F16s that they will rape to death any wannabe american plane from other side. Now Russians tech is all reversed and cloned in chinese Jxx series even WS10 engine is reversed from russian tech. So only European tech is "somewhat" left from Pakistani experience.

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Andrew February 1, 2012 at 12:15 am

As simple as trying to understand what it is you just said?

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V.A. February 1, 2012 at 4:38 am

I think what he said was an unnecessarily convoluted way of saying "I hate India, they suck".

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PMI February 2, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Lighten up, it's hard to talk with a neck beard.

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kim February 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Nah, knowing how an opponent's modern jet fighter performs is just a small part of the equation. While the Rafaele is indeed too new compared to what Pakistani Air Force pilots might have acqainted themselves with, a battle outcome will still be determined in large part on pilot experience and the tactics decided by the air force commanders.

@ V.A.: Muhammad merely wrote – in colorful language somewhat unusual for this forum – that Pakistani pilots know their planes very well, and that it would give them an edge over others flying the same type planes. Didn't see any hatred towards India, though – if you're looking for hatred, then check the comment treads for their occasional vitriolic references towards France or POTUS.

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Guest February 2, 2012 at 10:42 am

Kya Imran mian, gaand me khujli ho gaya? You know the Rafale is bigger, faster, more powerful and more agile than your latest F16 Block 52. Rafale is also a LOT stealthier and has one generation more modern electronics and weapons.

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blight February 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Depends on what variant India gets. If it's an export grade model, then the contest might be closer than you think. If this was Israel, they could count on Elbit snazzying up the hardware.

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OMEGATALON February 1, 2012 at 1:27 am

Dassault will probably be taking a manufacturing lost at selling their Rafale for the equivalent of $80M USD; but fortunately, some of the manufacturing will be done in India where labor is cheaper and this will allow Dassault to keep their company intact long enough to possibly develop a 5th Generation variant of the Rafale.

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hussain March 11, 2012 at 8:34 am

i don't think so.

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TonyC February 1, 2012 at 7:05 am

Rafale can fly from carriers and is newer technology than the MIG-29, that makes it more interesting for India. The F-18E/F is slow and probably couldn't export the AESA technology. The Typhoon is land based only, but has supercruise. India obviously wants a true multirole fighter.

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Sev February 1, 2012 at 7:28 am

Wow. France actually won something? lol

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Mike February 1, 2012 at 10:45 am

Just like everything French, it will quit shortly after they get them.

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duuude February 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

if it weren't for the french navy interdicting the brits during your war for independence, there wouldn't even be a USA to begin with. Goddamned ingrates.

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RBlake February 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm

General Rochambeau was the last of the heroic French – make no mistake the French hated the British 10 times more than than any charity toward the Colonies.
Over the last 100 years the French have had a propensity to quit. So he is correct. Ingrates?? You mean because the French were given multiple German citizen deferments is what you refer.

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blight February 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

In the end, France had realpolitik motives for aiding the United States: nothing like ripping thirteen profitable colonies out from underneath the United Kingdom. However, Washington's neutrality alienated the French, and XYZ validated the avoid Europe approach, though Britain was the industrial powerhouse most likely to need American raw materials, thus the commercial relationship between ex-Colony and Britain continued along pre-Independence veins.

blight February 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Kind of liked Napoleon and Napoleon the Third. Napoleon didn't quit until he was severely outnumbered and uable to win at Waterloo (and before that, he escaped "exile").

Napoleon III did alright in Italian Unification against Austria, and in the Crimea, then lost because he was captured with his army. Knowing how much some people on DefTech whine about leaders not having military experience, he went the extra mile and got captured for it.

Against the Germans though: few could've stood in their way effectively at the time. Austria did even worse, and threw in the towel a heck of a lot sooner.

SXO February 1, 2012 at 10:04 am

Yea, this one was a surprise to me, but some good points have been brought up in the comments that I hadn't considered, like the export restrictions they would face with the Typhoon if they upgraded to an AESA radar (which is the choice I thought would win).

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bbb February 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm

The USA will not win a bid for aircraft sales because— congress will cut off spare parts on a whim, making the USA unreliable .

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blight February 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Republic of Vietnam, we miss you.

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passingby February 8, 2012 at 7:40 am

Totally agree. The US has proved to be the most unreliable partner/weapon source in the entire industrialized world.

More importantly, the US really has nothing of value to offer – the teen-series legacy jets are rapidly becoming useless against 3rd gen Russian and Chinese fighters. The F-35 is a big joke / junk while the F-22 is expensive, unproven, and DEAD.

I'd love to see a dog fight between Rafale and Raptor but I'm pretty sure the US will decline, like it did with the Russian Su-37.

The interesting question for me is how Rafale compares to Su-30MKI in dogfight. China's J-10B is reportedly more maneuverable than even the Su-30s. China's biggest weakness is its engines. Anyway, I suspect Rafale is among the best 3 dogfight a/c in the world right now (my speculation based purely on its large wings, canards, twin engines, a tight/small design).

That said, I doubt that India will benefit much because of its notoriously bad pilots and support/maintenance crew.

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Usmc February 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Finally the French won something lol

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Galathorn February 10, 2012 at 9:22 am

stupid ignorant!

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passingby February 8, 2012 at 7:52 am

I agree, mostly on the ground that the US is a totally unreliable weapon source and has nothing of real value to offer. The Eurofighter is still under development and is vulnerable to US political pressure for embargo during conflicts. As for Russian jets, India's need to diversify its weapon procurement sources alone would be enough to eliminate them from competition.

I do believe that Rafale is a far better deal than anything the US and the UK have to offer.

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JOHN February 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

THEY(the frence)HAD THE GETS TO GO IT ALONE

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passingby February 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm

would you please translate that into English?

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Robert A. Fritts February 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Funny the Indians made their choice a few weeks after the Swiss MOD leaked the reports from their 4 plane evaluation(Super Hornet, Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale). Unlike other countries the Swiss no how to evaluate a aircraft. No tech reps, no politicans visits, no cost analysis, no foreign Air Forces pilots. Just give us 3 of your aircraft for 90days. Our pilots will evaluate the them on the missions we need. The pilots make their choice then the bean countersgo to work. 38 Swiss pilots flew all 4 types. Rafale was selected first by all 38 in every mission profile. Typhoon was good at Air to Air still behind Rafale. Super Hornet was did not meet minimum standards in 8 of 9 profiles. Swiss pilots did not know how the Gripen passed the minimum tech inspection, it also failed to meet minimum standards in 8 of 9 profiles. So after the pilots finished the Swiss agreed to give Dassault one chance(only one) to make a set cost offer. Maybe the US DOD could study this method.

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passingby February 19, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Same method for the US? NOT A CHANCE! US DOD is NOT exactly independent – it may be considered a (compromised) client, if not part of the military industrial complex, which in turn may be considered an owner of the US government. Its single most important goal is to keep the US in perpetual warfare so as to extract as much money as possible from the government, even if it means that they have to covertly fund and execute false flag operations against US military personnel/installations, or create chaos/civil unrest/military coup/mass murder etc in other countries (e.g Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq).

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yawn February 20, 2012 at 12:01 am

Robert,

Boeing withdrew its bid for the Super Hornet very early in the Swiss competition since they understood that as a rather 'heavy' aircraft, it was not in the niche that the Swiss were looking for (medium, high performance aircraft).

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Robert A. Fritts February 20, 2012 at 9:10 am

You are correct. I re-read the actual Swiss report. Sorry my high school french was 37 years ago. The mission profile scores for the Super Hornet were projections from a 4 day test in Switzerland and a 2 week evaluation in the US. Boeing left early. Was it because (1) they felt the Super Hornet did not fill the Swiss "niche" or (2) they feared a all square extensive evaluation.
I guess it did not hurt Rafale that Dassault already employs 1200 Swiss making Rafale components.

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blight_ February 20, 2012 at 9:37 am

You mean letting the actual users have input? God forbid, that only happens when things get desperate.

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Yawn February 1, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Err,

I think you are missing the whole point-if you are familiar with Indian defense procurement over the past decade, you would never have bet on the Mig. For a host of reasons-complaints over Russian support, over-reliance on one supplier and the fact that the Mig had nothing to offer.

You talk about the Mig having an AESA radar-so what, the rest of the contenders were offering them (with most being much better. Same with the IR sensor. Best technology transfer deal-again what do you gain by it; gaining technology for a fighter with a base design from the 70s is not exactly something to look forward to. Was it the cheapest-but it would likely have the highest lifecycle costs-probably greater than the bigger SU-30.

I began following the competition when I was in school when it started in 1998 as a plan to buy/make 126 Mirage-2000s. The project went through at least twol iterations (from looking at only the mirage and mig-29 in 2002 to expanding the field in 2004) to end up as the MMRCA as is known now. I and many other observers of India would say that while we didn't know which one would win (favouring a Super Hornet/Rafale), we were sure that the Mig had no chance.

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Black Owl February 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Well when the competition started you certainly knew more about it than I did . You could have told me that without being an @$$hole about it you know.

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Yawn February 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Or you could have started applying a little more logic.

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Black Owl February 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Unless I personally met you when the competition started and heard you say that you thought the Rafale was the winner there is no way for me or anyone else to know if you actually knew what you just said during the beginning of the competition. You can't even give me a big "I told you so." You are still taking the easy way out and picking a winning side in a battle that is long over. Good job showing you have no back bone. I'm done with this thread.

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Yawn February 1, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Umm, I didn't know that you were neurologist to check mt spine.

Did I ever say that the Rafale would win-no? If you read that post, I said I didn't know who would win but favoured the Super Hornet and Rafale but like a lot of India watchers were certain it would'nt be the Mig. Did I pick the winning side-umm no.

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George February 2, 2012 at 3:33 am

I lol'ed so hard

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Guest February 2, 2012 at 10:44 am

Imran mian, the incestuousness of your inception has been documented on Bharat Rakshak.

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V.A. February 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

The Indian Naval Air Arm has its own MRCA tender, independent of the IAF decision. It is true that the MiG-29K will form the core of the air arm for the two new aircraft carriers being acquired, but the planned 3rd carrier, a CATOBAR 60K+ tonne ship, is expected to carry an entirely new aircraft. The Super Hornet is still in play: preliminary RFIs have been sent out to 4 makers (Boeing, Dassault, Saab, Eurofighter). Given the Super Hornet's record, it could very well be the next Indian carrier fighter, but with the Rafale being locally produced, it will be interesting to see where the decision swings. The IN Air Arm has historically kept itself independent of the IAF.

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blight February 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm

If it's a fair trade for the best hardware, then the military doesn't mind.

If everyone develops "local" thinking the American arms industry would wither on the vine overnight. So we stop using Carl Gustav and the M249, but lose out on potential sales of AFV's and aircraft if other nations decide to not buy American.

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passingby February 8, 2012 at 7:03 am

If you had actually used logic, you wouldn't have put Super Hornet and Rafale in the same category. India's got Su-30MKI which is superior to the Super Hornet. US teen-series jets are legacy items and are no longer competitive.

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Yawn February 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm

passingby,

The Super Hornet would made sense for political and economic reasons. The only area where it would lag behind is in kinematics, so take your head out of your rear end.

It's got a lower RCS, operating costs, advanced radar and strike capability than the SU-30MKI-so go figure.

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passingby February 16, 2012 at 10:35 am

LOL. Utterly delusional comment. First off, India is trying buy capable fighter jets at the lowest possible cost (i.e. a high performance to cost ratio). That alone eliminates all US teen-series platforms, including the over-hyped F-15 & F-18. Second, Su-30MKI has a more powerful radar than even the F-15, let alone the F-18. You don't even have the facts right. Third, learn to read properly – I was comparing Rafale to SH, not Su-30MKI to SH. Rafale has lower RCS than SH. That's just basic knowledge – not for you impostor, obviously. Finally, strike capability is a function of stealth, speed, lifting power, and maneuverability – a weak spot of F-18 compared to Su-30MKI. You are the one that needs to take your head out of your rear end. Seriously.

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passingby February 16, 2012 at 10:48 am

As for your clowning "political reasons", I don't even know why any country, or any mentally sound decision maker want to waste a second on the US, by far the most unreliable, whimsical, treacherous, hypocritical, interventionist weapon supplier in the world.

And remember, kiddo, the value of expensive fighter jets lies in their capability to fight in a war, NOT to send any so-called "political message", or buy any "political favor". Did you come up with such moronic reasoning on your own, or did you get it from some moronic teachers in American schools?

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Yawn February 20, 2012 at 12:06 am

Burp,

The US fighters offered the best bang for buck with fully integrated systems and multirole capability. If the SU-30MKI has the best radar, why isn't the Russian airforce buying it? It's not like they are banned from doing so. They are going directly to the IRBIS PESA and Zhuk AESA derivatives.

I know your head is stuck in your rear orifice since you seem to ignore the RCS reduction measures in the Super Hornet. One on one, there is very little to choose between the two on account on RCS.

Lifting power of the SU-30 vs Super Hornet. Try comparing their maximum payload. Stealth? Oh please, the SU-30 has never bothered about stealth. The Super Hornet and most newer aircraft will detect it long before the Sukhoi comes within R-77 range. Even the IAF will say that.

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Yawn February 20, 2012 at 12:07 am

Know I got that from you mom.

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passingby February 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm

LOL!!! What else are you good at beside regurgitating Boeing/LMT sales brochures and posting your wild hallucinations? Boeing and LMT must have coated their brochures with some seriously potent good stuff before mailing them to the regular loyal sniffers.

You obviously don't have the slightest clue what you are talking about.

I don't want to waste any more of my time on impostors and ignorant wannabe amateurs.

Feel free to make things up. It's free anyway. LOL!!!!

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