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View Poll Results: Which is your favourite jet fighter?
JAS 39 Gripen 9 36.00%
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet 4 16.00%
Eurofighter Typhoon 2 8.00%
Lockheed Martin F 16 IN 2 8.00%
Mikoyan MIG 35 5 20.00%
Dassault Rafale 3 12.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 29th October 2009, 00:26   #16
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I personally rank the Rafale as most suitable for the MRCA job. It's among the more expensive , but has a good mix of air-air , air-surface weaponry and avionics/ECM package . Needs gutsier engines though, under development . Though France too have been escalating prices, they're least finicky about EUL and sanctions.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is superb air-intercept fighter but it's air-ground abilities are much underdeveloped as of now, it's expensive and we have to contend with 4 Euro nations - politically sticky.

The Russians have been sloppy for some time now, with reports of poor quality production and spares , of late also escalating prices . MiG-35 is a gen 4.5 upgrade for the MiG-29 , an excellent air defence fighter but not very suited for ground-pounding . Now it's larger, heavier and techier , but I quite liked the slim MiG-29 pure air defence fighter.

The Gripen ( NG ) is good , but rather close in size and role to the in-house Tejas ( LCA ), that makes it a bit of a pariah . And it's not the only jet than can operate out of highways ! Also brings in US role as it's got many US components .

The F-16 is excellent as a multirole fighter, proven and flexible but the fact that PAF can already operates F-16s and can get their hands on late model F-16s ( block 60 of UAE ) , makes that strategically unwise.

The Super Hornet is a bomb+electronics truck . It's most maligned by USN pilots, for it's less than impressive flying qualities and lot of jugaad fixes , though potentially has the best avionics suite here , in original USN form , I bet IAF won't get the same standard but a reduced capability export version. Possibly the most agile inflight refuelling tanker around !
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Old 29th October 2009, 08:27   #17
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Not diving much into the specs. From some of the video's i have seen online the Rafale is one of the best aircrafts, overall.

F16s & F22s are are pretty much still the best mid air.
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Old 29th October 2009, 17:38   #18
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I think what is needed is a heavier aircraft, something that can be on the upper tiers of medium range capability. In that situation the Rafale and the Super Hornet are strong contenders.

Agree that the JAS by virtue of being small and nimble comes very close to the Tejas, but then thats a very big plus in its favour. The engines being offered on the JAS are the GE 414's. Compare that to the GE F 404 engine that is being used on the Tejas (India's indigenous Kaveri engine has failed) and bang. You have an engine which is very similar for an extended version of the Tejas. Reversing the logic, an older version of the Gripen used the GE F 404 as well. Plus, the fact that it is one of the few 4.5 Gen planes available in the market.

Me thinks that India should actually split the order. We're not comparing similar machines here but rather two different classes of machines. One a true upper tier medium range aircraft and the other a lighter one.
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Old 18th February 2010, 06:30   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
IMO, forget the MiG. It is not a stable or proven platform yet. Apart from just 2 or 3 aircraft all the remaining are just prototypes. The Russians have no ethics and spares/service are going to be tough.

Do we need such deep penetration range when we can deploy airbourne BrahMos missiles?
FYI. Mig 35 is a variant of Mig29MKI which is already purchased by India for the Aircraft carrier Vikramaditya. We have firm orders for 29 a/c plus options for the navy. It is a proven aircraft with proven technology and in India, HAL manufactures them. The advantage with Russia is the technology transfer we get, try asking the europeans or the big fat americans for that!!!!
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Old 18th February 2010, 06:41   #20
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I would pick the Rafale.
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Old 18th February 2010, 10:49   #21
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First they sell Pak F16s, then they offer the same to India. And then they complain that both neighbors should hold restraint. Good business strategy. Get lost i would say. Both F16 and F18s is due upgradation in near future. If India buys F18s, I am SURE F18s will be sold to PAK and neighboring countries. The vicious cycle continues.

We can talk all we want here but we have no say in this matter because our democratic country does not function like a direct democracy (like Swiss) where citizens get to vote in govt decisions.
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Old 18th February 2010, 10:59   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
FYI. Mig 35 is a variant of Mig29MKI which is already purchased by India for the Aircraft carrier Vikramaditya. We have firm orders for 29 a/c plus options for the navy. It is a proven aircraft with proven technology and in India, HAL manufactures them. The advantage with Russia is the technology transfer we get, try asking the europeans or the big fat americans for that!!!!
Exactly what I feel. For me it would be the MiG 35 anyday. In fact we should stick to Russia for all our defence requirements.
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Old 18th February 2010, 11:17   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
Rafale has the best combination of speed and range. Range because of threat from China.

Mig-35 has max speed but less range.

I think this order must be split into tow halves, one for Rafale and other half for mig-35.
Firstly, is not speed that matters the most.

Transfer of technology, maneuverability,weapons, lesser radar signatures, lesser operating costs and availability of spares/upgrades decides which contender wins the deal

Even the range of the aircraft isn't as critical, even though its an added advantage to have the aircraft with biggest range.

Each aircraft has its own role.
IAF will not use LCAs/MMRCAs to perform deep penetration attacks as we have the Su 30MKIs(and FGFA,MCA projects on the pipeline)
It would be like using a stealth bomber against a hostile mig

IAF WILL NOT split the deal between multiple contenders. We already operate a wide veriety of aircrafts, making it a nightmare from IAF's point of view namely Mig21/23/25/27/29/30/Jaguar/Mirage and the countless different versions based on upgrades

In the near future,we will operate LCAs and Mig 21Bisons among the lighter aircrafts, Mig 29 and MMRCA in the medium class and SU30MKI in the heavier class with FGFA(Indo Russian 5th gen) and MCA to follow


Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
IMO, forget the MiG. It is not a stable or proven platform yet. Apart from just 2 or 3 aircraft all the remaining are just prototypes. The Russians have no ethics and spares/service are going to be tough.

Do we need such deep penetration range when we can deploy airbourne BrahMos missiles?
Russians have stood by us under all circumstances. It will be absurd not to consider their deal considering the pros no other contender can offer:
Full transfer of technology
A very satisfied client in the form of IAF with the SU30 MKI
Greater degree of trust than the Americans
The Su30MKI in its decade+ service in IAF has crashed fewer than F22 Raptors
Not to mention the constant upgrades
Finally, other contenders like Gripen depend on US industries in some way or the other and are susceptible of US sanctions(although an unlikely scenerio)
Only Russia has an aircraft manufacturing industry that is 100% independent of Americans

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliAtenza View Post
Now is the time to go American i believe . Plus i believe Lockheed will offer HAL liscensing rights for home production.
The frequent changes in their foreign plicies leave a lot to be desired although its presently better than ever before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
1) India and Russia are doing arms business since long. And are you sure that Russians dont provide parts and service. I think the Mig 21 problem came up when we attempted to be self sufficient for spares.

And why not have that deep penetration ? Can always be helpful, isn't it ?

2) India has obtained license to locally produce around 120 Su-30. But Su-47 is I think just a demonstrator prototype and is not fully operational fighter. I think Sukohi's latest offering is Su-35 and not beyond that.




Saab Gripen can take off from public roads too. It was designed that way. Its biggest advantage although India does not have good roads, but it pretty quick to get this machine rolling.

The main advantage of Mig35 is speed. Its damn fast as compared to others that are on the list. This can be a great advantage.

France's offering have been traditionally good for us. Mirage2000 are relatively less trouble prone than Migs.




The reason why F-18 and F16 considerations are hot is this : Obtaining rights for local production.
But both of them are somewhat old as compared to competition.
The main advantage of Mig is not the speed
Its the thrust vectored engine that makes it highly maneuverable(like Su30MKIs) and already existing system to train our pilots

Since only French and Russian contenders have their products operated by IAF at the moment, the other contenders will have to build it from scratch

What makes Rafale less attractive is their policy of ripping us apart when it comes to spares and upgrades. IAF is evaluating whether to call off Mirage 2000 upgrades due to the exorbitant quotes make by Dassault, the parent company.
We can rather make brand new LCAs for the quoted upgrade cost per Mirage
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Old 18th February 2010, 11:42   #24
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Calling the Mig-35 an "upgraded" Mig-29 is like saying that the 737-800 is basically an advanced 737-200 made 40 years earlier!

the Mig-35 doesnt have many of the features that I was hoping it would have like TVC. But it does have AESA radars (unlike the Zhuks on the older Mig-29's). It also features a highly advanced avionics suite and digital FBW controls.

The US offerings for this requirement are a joke: the over-hyped F16's are multi-role only in name and are primarily suited for an area-interceptor role, while the Mig-29's have shown that they can fly circles around FA/18's, top gun hype not withstanding. India will insist on a license production agreement, where the first few units are bought in flyaway condition, with the remaining manufactured under license locally in Nashik or Kanpur. The yanks are hesitant to entering deals like these.

Perhaps the US participation is just a formality and they realise they have little chance of making a breakthrough.

Considering all this, i think the Mig-35 is a shoe-in for this role.

Last edited by COUGAR : 18th February 2010 at 11:46.
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Old 18th February 2010, 11:57   #25
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If I am to rate the contenders, I'd say the Eurofighter and Mig35 are the best among them

Eurofighter is a very modern aircraft and EADS has offered to add India as a partner. The thrust vectored engine could very well make its way into the LCA Mark II as well
It is probably the most expensive as well

F18 can carry more payload than any other in the list. It also has an operational AESA radar, which only the Americans can boast(Its under development for Mig35,Gripen and Eurofighter)
However, its unlikely for Uncle Sam to transfer tech. Deals with US defense companies are always a headache with countless clauses and end user agreements.
A recent bid won by an American firm to supply gas turbines for Navy was halted, awaiting the Govt approval

F16 has the least chance with better spec aircrafts, more attractive TOT etc
Not to mention the Pakistani F16s(although quite inferior)

I dont see any particular USP in Gripen
Does it really make a difference whether or not it can land in normal roads??
Whats the point in upgrading airbases in all parts of the nation if thats the case???
Gripen is a very light aircraft
In fact, the LCA will probably outdo the Gripen once it gets the engine upgrade and AESA radar, making the deal pointless

IAF is probably inclined to choosing an aircraft that will replace the present medium class fighters that we operate.

I'd put my money on one among Mig35,Eurofighter and F18
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Old 19th February 2010, 00:59   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athul_S View Post
If I am to rate the contenders, I'd say the Eurofighter and Mig35 are the best among them

Eurofighter is a very modern aircraft and EADS has offered to add India as a partner. The thrust vectored engine could very well make its way into the LCA Mark II as well
It is probably the most expensive as well

F18 can carry more payload than any other in the list. It also has an operational AESA radar, which only the Americans can boast(Its under development for Mig35,Gripen and Eurofighter)
However, its unlikely for Uncle Sam to transfer tech. Deals with US defense companies are always a headache with countless clauses and end user agreements.
A recent bid won by an American firm to supply gas turbines for Navy was halted, awaiting the Govt approval


F16 has the least chance with better spec aircrafts, more attractive TOT etc
Not to mention the Pakistani F16s(although quite inferior)

I dont see any particular USP in Gripen
Does it really make a difference whether or not it can land in normal roads??
Whats the point in upgrading airbases in all parts of the nation if thats the case???
Gripen is a very light aircraft
In fact, the LCA will probably outdo the Gripen once it gets the engine upgrade and AESA radar, making the deal pointless

IAF is probably inclined to choosing an aircraft that will replace the present medium class fighters that we operate.

I'd put my money on one among Mig35,Eurofighter and F18
Actually, i believe Lockheed has offered HAL licensing for production and it could be an opening for a future F35-JSF purchase by India. The Pakistani F16s are teh suck...India would be getting more advanced versions. I dont mind either the F18 or F16 being in India's inventory; if its American, its all good (Hey i gotta represent my home country's interests here ).
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Old 19th February 2010, 07:19   #27
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While US defense companies are more than willing to transfer tech/enter joint production etc, the deal breaker in most cases is the clauses that the Govt attaches to the deals.

Since its a mammoth deal,GOI and IAF will certainly ask for maximum TOT


While F35 will definitely sound good to most nations with large wallets for defense equipments, India has already gone a lot further with the fifth generation fighter aircraft program along with Russia.The medium combat aircraft with certain degree of stealth is also under development.

This is probably why we never joined the F35 project as a partner. So,there is no reason why we should buy them once the R&D is completed
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Old 18th May 2011, 19:07   #28
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Default Re: India's Multi Billion Dollar Medium Range Combat Aircraft Order

Guys,
Update, we gonna get either eurofighter or rafael unless something drastically goes wrong.
Well nobody is talking about eurofighter. its a potent aircraft and i have had the first hand experience of flying with and against it.

cheers
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Old 18th May 2011, 19:56   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheelz View Post
Guys,
Update, we gonna get either eurofighter or rafael unless something drastically goes wrong.
Well nobody is talking about eurofighter. its a potent aircraft and i have had the first hand experience of flying with and against it.

cheers
Thanks for the update sheelz.

A few questions (probably quite stupid)

Both Rafale and Eurofighter seem to have similar profiles and shape however I see that the Rafale is lighter than the Typhoon , yet can carry more payload and has more additional wet stations (one more) and a better combat radius.

Admittedly it is slower - top speed and rate of climb. Should it not be the better buy ?

Can either of these deliver a nuclear warhead ?

I guess the previous experience with the Mirage 2000 in Kargil should tilt the balance in favour of Dassault ?

Finally kitna deti hai ?

cheers

Last edited by indivic : 18th May 2011 at 20:02.
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Old 18th May 2011, 20:16   #30
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Default Re: India's Multi Billion Dollar Medium Range Combat Aircraft Order

Some of these decisions are so policy driven, expecting AF to pluck a craft based on our short-sightedness is really unrealistic expectation.

We need to get our foreign policy and Defense doctrine established and some cadence supplied to our forces to aid these decisions.

Usually a ranked star becomes the fall guy once these decisions unfold unsavory results. Going by our past, though future holds promise. We arn't cunning as a nation so repainting a White, Blue and Red flag is all I see.
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