Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ooops! As expected, indian fighter jet buy saga not over yet

Indian defence minister has ordered an enquiry into allegations of irregularities and manipulation of the selection process for the MMRCA fighter jet which saw Rafale being chosen over Typhoon as preferred bidder. 
The enquiry follows a letter written by MP M.V. Mysoora Reddy, who voiced his suspects and noted, as many others have done in India and elsewhere, that the choice of the Rafale is weird, considering that the performance of the french airplane in Libya has not been entirely shiny, and that the plane has never fared really well in comparisons and evaluations made in India and elsewhere (possibly with the exception of Switzerland, where the air force evaluation of Rafale, Typhoon and Gripen saw the Rafale victorious in all mission types, with Typhoon a close second and Gripen a distant follower).

The hope of the UK is that this process will help making the case for a new review into the selection, with the UK government confirming to Parliament no later than March 7 that Cassidian, representing the Eurofighter consortium, is ready to bid a new, revised price as soon as India wishes for it.

Keep your eyes open and wait for the next episode...! 


  1. o0Oopss... Even if things goes wrong British media and politician unbridle tongue has damaged any chance for Typhoon come back, so most likely benefector will be F-35 OR Su-35, hahaha.

  2. A famous quote regards the TSR.2 in the 1960's.......'military aircraft programs have 4 dimmensions...length, breadth, height and politics!!!'

    Obviously mass undercurrents regards this purchase and quite probably a bit of intrigue!!

    I wouldn't bet against a 'Typhoon-turnaround'!

    Then again, the supposed Oman deal has never yet transpired either!!

  3. BAE said at the start of the year that negotiations in Oman weren't going to be over before year's end, so it is still early to be worried.

    But that famous phrase said back in the TSR.2 times is even more true today, on that you are entirely right, to say the least.

  4. Gabriele,

    As an Indian who has observed the MMRCA deal for close to a decade, I'm sorry to say that you have misread the situation. Firstly, what the Defense Minister has done is nothing sensational or out of the ordinary; it's standard procedure in parliamentary proceedings to vet concerns of legislators or parties and then provide replies. This is not the same as an 'enquiry' or 'probe' which would have led to negotiations or the tender itself being suspended. As has happened in India in the past.

    And if you noticed, only one newspaper is playing out these claims. That's strange given the level of media scrutiny over this deal. And to make matters interesting, this newspaper happens to be based out of the same state, which is represented by this MP. Unless you believe that the media is totally independent of political colours and influence, you can connect the dots without my help. If you read his claims, I'm sure even you will agree that it's illogical. The Typhoon wasn't brought in to Libya to compensate for the rafale's flaws!!

    There was a similar claim by just one newspaper on 'opposition' to the Rafale's lifecycle costs. What was peddled as breaking news was a routine bureaucratic practises of noting dissent. And the IAF itself dismissed those rumours.

    So the long and short of it is that the Rafale is still L-1 and negotiations are going on. Anyone who thinks that the Eurofighter automatically gets an advantage if allegations are raised on this process, is deluding themselves.

  5. It might very well be all normal, but then again, in any country this kind of things happen and are normal.

    They just have a tendency to get out of control and bring big changes.
    Personally, i think the story is not over. But of course, we'll see in good time.

  6. Gabriele,

    A lot of foreigners have looked at only the international political dimensions of the MMRCA deal. What you don't see is the domestic dimension; the current ruling dispensation in New Delhi is has been severely undermined by graft allegations. The last thing they would want is a major scandal in a high profile deal with only 2 years to go for the next general election. Such as the MMRCA.

    All the major vendors, including EADS have claimed that the MMRCA was among the most transparent and professionally run tenders in recent years. So the government and MOD have been perceived to have largely played by the rules. And despite attempts by foreign and local media to try and sniff out irregularities, nothing of substance has come about. India is not like Saudi Arabia or the UAE, where one vendor automatically becomes the frontrunner if another is thrown out. If I were with EADS, I would pray that the Indian MOD finish the course of negotiations with Dassault unsuccessfully rather than have allegations determine the proceedings.

  7. Not to mention that corruption is endemic in the whole of the Indian political system,now tell me that's not true.

  8. Endemic corruption is one of the reasons why the government and air force kept harping on transparency and performance.

  9. British are just jeleous because they lost to French, sorry folks but Britian is neither a big power(except for what they think about themself) who have influence nor have technological know how to built a decent plane of their own, german technology, Italian radar and American missiles. French have everything of their own their own plane,missiles, radar etc.

  10. Actually the Typhoon is mostly a child of british engineering, and good part of the electronics is italian just by name because the companies making the parts have been bought by Finmeccanica... You've got it quite wrong. Nor do i want to get into a dick waving contest.

  11. OOOOOPS! Rafale beats Typhoon in every single competition they were pited together. OOOOPS! This "News" is a bogus as Typhono cao called superiority. OOOOPS! Rafale won the Swiss evaluation too...

  12. "The French have everything of their own" do they? Look up how many parts on this "Frog" fighter then come back and claim its "all Froggy".

  13. "as many others have done in India and elsewhere"

    Many other? Sources please.
    Elsewhere? Ah yes, surely the sore losers from UK (politics/tabloids) and Germany (tabloids) claiming Eurofighter is the best plane in the world.

    "considering that the performance of the french airplane in Libya has not been entirely shiny"

    L.O.L !! Funny joke! In lybia, Rafale's performance was just brilliant (CAS/SEAD/AI/ELINT/IMINT) unlike a certain Eurofighter limited to air policy job and just one type of LGB (without Litening).

    "and that the plane has never fared really well in comparisons and evaluations made in India and elsewhere"

    In all competitions, Rafale has ALWAYS beaten Eurofighter and been finalist:

    Korea: F15/Rafale (2002)
    Singapore: F15/Rafale
    Netherland: F35/Rafale
    Brazil: F18/Gripen/Rafale
    And of course Switzerland and India.

  14. Calm down, fanboy. UAE asked to have the Rafale upgraded and re-engined, then asked for Typhoon and called the terms of the Rafale deal ridiculous.

    At one point, Rafale was written off of the indian competition.
    In Singapore, Typhoon was the only fighter who beat the F16CD in the simulated battle, and was not a finalist specifically for problems in the production schedule and for financial reasons.

    You are way too high on your Rafale obsession.

  15. "Calm down, fanboy."

    Coming from a fanboy, it's priceless.

    "UAE asked to have the Rafale upgraded and re-engined, then asked for Typhoon and called the terms of the Rafale deal ridiculous."

    Just wait few weeks, you may be disappointed. And UAE has no more desire for a new engine.
    I think that Eurofighter should rather be concerned about the Oman deal...

    "At one point, Rafale was written off of the indian competition."

    Supposed only and for a administrative problem (files missing).

    "In Singapore, Typhoon was the only fighter who beat the F16CD in the simulated battle, and was not a finalist specifically for problems in the production schedule and for financial reasons."

    Source please not just a anonymous leak/fantasm.
    The fact is: F15 and Rafale was finalist, not Eurofighter.

    "You are way too high on your Rafale obsession."

    What? Sorry to burst your bubble and correct false claims (I know EF2000 brigade like that) with real facts.

    1. Fredo, what is a Frog worshiping moron like you doing on a UK website anyway? Just crawl away and masturbate over videos of your world beating Raffy you pathetic, delusional little turd.

  16. Why are all these Limeys going ape shit ?

    As an Indian tax-payer (and a life-long fan / admirer of the IAF), I am delighted that the Rafale was selected for final contract negotiations. It was an absolutely fair, objective and transparent evaluation process. Even the Limeys (notice I am not saying Brits.) and their Kraut paymasters admitted this was so. Why are they now whining like petulant school kids ?

    Basically, the Limeys just shrivel up when they confront the French. Sorry, get over your 1066 obsession.

    The Rafale is the best choice for India and the IAF. If you don't like it, lump it.

    1. 1066 obsession? Don't make me laugh. If anything your knowledge of history is weaker than your self appointed status as aerospace expert. 1066 was the last time we were invaded and since then have whipped the arses of the French from Agincourt to Waterloo and saved them in two world wars too. I dont think that we exactly "shriveled up" when we beat them at rugby recently on their own stadium in Paris. Let's see what India can teach us ....how to waste billions of dollars on a contract that was stolen through the corruption of politicians ...and on a blatantly inferior plane that will be obsolete almost before the final one will be delivered off the HAL production line. All this at a time when millions of your own countrymen are starving to death. But never mind as long as you can have your wet dreams over all those shiny new Raffies !!!
      Stick with your juvenile chums on your Raffy blogs ..you are way out of your depth here.

    2. I'm sure louts like you would be lauding the very same Indian politicians if they had selected the Typhoon. Not that it would have been unopposed....afterall the French are not trying to offload their Rafales the way the four main Typhoon users are.

    3. I like the "All this at a time when millions of your own countrymen are starving to death" part.
      I wasn't aware that the typhoon was able to perform feeding missions and carpet rice bag bombings.

    4. No the French are not looking to offload Rafales because they are making so few of them. No other country had ordered this plane before India selected it!! Of course Eurofighter nations are looking to reduce their numbers ...we are in the grip of a financial crisis for God's sake.
      By the way the MMRCA tender was an elaborate hoax. There was an obsession about the PROCESS. We are supposed to be impressed by the fact that there were over 600 technical measures. But since the results are not in the public domain it serves only to identify the methodology that was adopted, not the comparative performances of the various planes.
      The already discredited outcome was, therefore, in the hands of your notoriously corrupt politicians.
      "Carpet rice bag bombings." Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and I am appalled by your use if it in connection with a serious humanitarian issue.
      Oh please ...not still blaming all of India's problems on British shoulders after all these years of independence. Sovereign nations need to start exercising some responsibility of their own. Seems to me that you are suffering from a post colonial inferiority complex. By the way don't believe everything that you read in our "red top" tabloids. Most Britons don't hate Indians. I have recently retired from working in a Leicester office where almost 50% 0f workforce was Indian; all very nice people. Not one of them ever accused me of creating poverty in India just as I would never accuse a young German of being responsible for the Holocaust.

    5. Do you have any proof it was an elaborate hoax or did you pull that out of your rear orifice? The Indian process was no more classified than those used by other nations. Few nations if any release the methodology used to downlist or qualify weapon systems.

      The Eurofighter nations have been trying to reduce their orders for more than a decade before the economic crisis started, so let's not go down that route. And The Brits are still fully committed to the F-35. All we hear are 'negotiations/intentions' to integrate full multirole capability to the Typhoon? Exactly what stand-off munitions does the Typhoon carry? Does it carry any anti-ship missile? Has it yet flown with an AESA radar?

    6. Haha you are so naive if you think that this process was anything but floored. Already your own Defence Minister has ordered an enquiry. Dassault has a bribery track record that makes BAE look like a bunch of virgin choirboys.
      The point is that the economic crisis has accelerated the Typhoon consortium members' need to reduce or postpone their orders. OK the French government has demonstrated an admirable level of support to Rafale despite its failure to attract export customers. But haven't you got the intelligence to appreciate that this doesn't equate to Rafale being superior ...it just means that the French have been more supportive through their tax payers because they could't afford for their plane to fail.
      You know very well that all the upgrades such as AESA radar required to meet the tender requirements were built into the bids to make the planes fully compliant when they entered service with the IAF.
      On the subject of rear orifices what does it feel like to be a rent boy for the Frenchies? What a sad life, spending your time swatting up on all the Raffy propaganda from Dassault (I'm mildly surprised that you haven't come up with the UAE War Games Kill Ratio garbage yet)and then engaging in endless blogs because outside your own cosy little Katrina club you are exposed as intellectual minnows.
      Still, no more 1066 nonsense and no attempt to defend the obscenity of those wasted billions on fighters and space programmes whilst your rural masses starve. And we appear to have quietly dropped the quasi racist accusation that the British are responsible for poverty in India. So we are making progress I think. Just be sure to stay in the comfort zone of your technobabble.

    7. On a point of accuracy "floored" on line 2 of the above should have been spelled "flawed." Same sound, different meaning ...I was too embarrassed to let that one slip by and spell check was no help !!

    8. The Limey fellow above who initially replied to my March 17 post has really touched new lows. Lower than the Mariana Trench. Not only is he woefully ignorant about India / the IAF / international history / military history / national psyches etc., he is equally lost when he uses his mother tongue. And then, he puts forward excuses that are even more pathetic.

      Come on, boy, "floored" and "flawed" don't sound the same, even in your demented and delusional mental state.

      English people like this writer are now a subject of ridicule everywhere. Their northern neighbours are soon going to give them a solid parting kick in the derrière when they declare their independence. Will this jerk then advocate using the Eurofighter over Scottish skies ?

      I think Gabriele is entirely justified when he says he is scared. Scared because of the atavism displayed by a lot of the English participants in this debate.

    9. So you delayed your reply so that you could claim a moral victory ...how pathetic but entirely predictable. You accuse me of being ignorant in a number of areas but provide no chapter and verse except my advanced warning of a spelling mistake. Is that the best you can do? By the way "flawed" and "floored" DO have identical sounds but different meanings. If you think differently then it's back to "Teach yourself basic English" for you tonight.The rest of your comment was peppered with your usual racist bile against the English. By the way I hate to disappoint you but the Scots won't cut themselves off from the English taxpayers when it comes to the crunch. You try to occupy the intellectual and moral high ground and then conclude by calling me a "jerk." Tut, tut.You disappoint me and make yourself appear rather foolish.

  17. This Mysoora Reddy is a street fighter ....No back ground!!!! I am surprised such ppl are trying to scuttle defence deals with out any back ground !!!! He is just a petty politician fighting for his own survival!!!! somebody is feeding him!!!!

  18. And here i thought my passion for military matters was not very healthy.

    You fanboys scare me. And at the same time relieve me. Compared to you, i'm entirely sane.

    Now cut it short with the rambling and with the insults in particular, or i'll start indulging with the delete button.

    1. Hahaha

      Fair comment. Truce announced from the UK !!!

    2. Wasn't for the fact that i'm italian and i write from Italy, anyway...

    3. Hello Gabriele, Fascinated to read your profile and learn about your interest in British aviation. Did you ever read up about the advanced strike plane TSR2 that was cancelled by the Labour government in the 1960s? It was a beautiful plane, destined to be a world beater, but was sacrificed for political reasons. It's a shame that you haven't had the opportunity to visit the UK yet. You would be most welcome. I have been lucky enough to visit Florence, Pisa and the ski resort of Champoluc. Hope to keep in touch in the future.

    4. Of course i know about the TSR2. A sad saga that was.
      As for my first UK visit, i'm hoping to come to the UK in time to conclude my travel by going to Rosyth to see Queen Elizabeth coming out of dock. That's the dream, at least!

    5. Well I hope that you manage to live the dream. There are two remaining TSR2 on static display in the UK. One I think at the Duxford Museum. I can't understand why the order went out to destroy the jigs, prototypes and plans ..in fact anything to do with the project. The rumour was that the Americans were putting financial pressure on the Wilson government because they considered that TSR2 posed a threat to the success of their rival, the F111. I dont know about that but it just adds a bit of intrigue to the story.

    6. Thank you, i'm definitely hoping to be able to reach the UK and spend some time in the country. There is so much that i'd like to see, after all...!

  19. Hi Gabriele,

    Can you say why you think the rafale hasn't been "shiny" in lybia condisering it has drop more bombs and performed more missions than any other plane by a large margin (2500 bombs dropped vs 600 for EF 2000, deep strikes with scalp/storm shadows, longer range bombs (AASM), reco missions etc ...,)
    Why do you say Rafale didnt fare well in competitions considering in all competitions, it has recieved higher scores than EF 2000 in technical evaluations ? (can you name an open competition where it wasn't the case ?)

    Thank you

  20. Chill down boy- an enquiry means nothing, it is just a fact finding exercise to determine if there are grounds for a judicial exercise.
    I like your optimism though - contagious atleawst with the native british

  21. As i had promised, i've used the delete button and got rid of the worst insults and absurd rambling and idiotic accuses.
    And i will not allow this absurd story to continue. Next move will be to block you people directly from making these absurd, ridiculous comments.

    Message ends.

  22. Gabriele,

    Another suggestion-lock this thread. For a website which is highly informative and usually berefit of partisanship, this post sticks out like a sore thumb.

    1. I did not like having to use these methods and never had i thought i'd have to.
      But the flame war of ridiculous accuses and insults that has been going on on this post lately is something nothing short of shocking.

      I'm not letting my blog become a fighting ground for fanboys screaming nothing but insults. There was absolutely nothing informative, useful or interesting in the comments i've had to delete.

    2. Gabriele,

      To be honest, your post itself was part of the problem since a solitary newsreport was blown out of proportion. The Indian press has hardly paid any attention to it-

      Here is the government affirming the Rafale deal remains on track-


      You can expect flaming and counterflaming if all we have to go by is unsubstantiated innuendo.

  23. Sincerely, that is just your view of the matter. This tiny article reports a news and says that it represents a new hope for a second Typhoon attempt.
    That's it.
    You are the one who is trying to see way too much into it.

    As to government announcements about "deals remaining on track", frankly, they tend to have zero value 99.9% of the time.

    Besides, there is a french side to the Rafale-India deal, that i haven't yet brushed here, but which is worth a thought:
    France is heading for political elections, and Sarkozy is not a likely winner. The other parties, from which the possible next president will come, are less than thrilled by the price that has been offered to India as they fear that, in the current terms, the contract might well turn out being a loss for France.
    Again, they are also far less ready than Sarkozy about supporting the massive technology transfer currently being offered.

    With just 18 planes to be built in France out of 126, they are more than slightly unhappy with the marginal benefit that France and its industry get from the deal.

    You might not like it, but there are problems on both sides.
    I'm not saying Typhoon will eventually win: i'm saying that this story is far from over.
    And you might want to remember that the announcement of the winner of this tender, born to replace the ancient Mig 21 fleet which is literally falling out of the sky due to obsolescence, is a good some 10 years late, with the Mig 21 replacement having once been expected for 2001.

    I say, watch out: it is not over yet. A lot can still happen.

  24. Gab,

    Do you think that the French didn't know what industrial arrangment for the MMRCA has been? All the vendors knew the 18:108 arrangment for close to a decade, so that's not exactly breaking news. And do you honestly think the Typhoon manufacturers would have been able to offer the same or more lucrative industrial terms without opposition? Get real-leaving aside aircraft capability, the Typhoon is hobbled by its multi-partner, bureaucratic approach.

    I happen to be sitting here in India and have been watching this deal closely for several years and all I will say, along with numerous other industry observers here, is that you are being way too optimistic. The government and IAF had gone out of their way to insulate this process from the usual allegations, which is why you only have one dodgy MP offering pretty weak claims. The Typhoon's chances have already been hurt by the crass sniping by the British press following the initial announcement.

  25. Thanks for bringing up the Mig-21 replacement. It's one reason why the government/IAF has stuck to schedule for most of the past 2 years. Anyone can understand what the delays will be like if initial L-1 negotiations break down with the possibility of prolonged wrangling, if not a new competition. It's not like Eurofighter will suddenly parachute down to the altar to steal the bride.

  26. Frankly, that is your opinion. It does not reflect mine. You are free to think what you want and bash in your optimism about orders placed in six months and all that. You might well be right.

    But you should really respect my pessimism about it actually happening. And, said out of the teeth, calm down some and lose some of the arrogance you are putting in making your points heard.

    1. It's not exactly arrogance to define reality as it is and not be swayed by iffy 'reports'.

      By the way, I'm not optimistic, I'm being realistic.

    2. Again, my friend, that is your feeling about things, nothing more. You can't expect everyone to think of it as you do.
      I've got different impressions about the matter. Accept it, and move on.

    3. Congratulations Gabi for spelling out the rules of engagement to these Rafale fanboys. They export their biased opinions to a UK website but show no respect to alternative points of view. No doubt their mission was to deliver a knockout blow in the discussions but they failed to deliver ...hence the frustration and arrogance.

    4. Burp,

      There is no need to deliver a knockout blow when the arguments themselves are comatose.

    5. Gabrielle,

      Seems like what was being touted as an 'explosive' revelation by a lot of folks has been reduced to a whimper-


      This is the twitter page of Shiv Aroor, an Indian journalist who extensively covers MMRCA related isues. He claims that the defense ministry has addressed the queries of the MP as many posters on here claimed they would. Is it ironic that journalists like Aroor and others didn't bother to pay much attention to this issue?

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