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Which fighter would be better for IAF?

Discussion in 'Defence Analysis' started by Sancho, Aug 17, 2017.

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Which fighter would be better for IAF?

  1. LCA MK1A

  2. Mig 35-I

  3. Rafale F3R

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Interesting, more and more LCA votes coming in.
     
  2. kurup

    kurup 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    I vote for LCA ........ LCA in large numbers is an absolute necessary so that 20 years from now when such a question is again asked .... there be no foreign fighters in the option list .
     
  3. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Now with more than 30 votes and many statements, we have a good idea why people prefer 1 of the options and I can tell more about my intentions with the poll / thread.

    As I said in earlier posts, it was no fighter comparison, that looked at the difference in overall capability, or the suitability for specific roles. I wanted to see the personal preference for a specific fighter, especially if some of them have some tweaks, the indigenous content!

    That in fact was the prime focus of the poll, since you had the option between 1 fully indigenous LCA, the Mig with high indigenous content for a foreign fighter and the Rafale a foreign fighter with no meaningful content at all.
    To my surprise, at the beginning most people went automatically for the "best fighter", the Rafale. Which of course was the most capable choice, but the weakest in terms of benefits for Indian developments and the Indian aviation industry. By the fact that we often hear criticism and complains about India being only an arms importer, the clear preference for Rafale was kind of strange and unexpected.

    The votes for LCA however picked up later, although still behind Rafale. I would have expected far more LCA votes, especially since I purposely added an Indian radar and engine to it, to make it look better, with indigenous content in mind.

    The Mig was a choice in between and actually is the one that offered IAF and India the most advantages. @Golden_Rule analysed it at best, since it offers a platform with higher performance than the LCA and clearly more indigenous content than the Rafale, at relatively low costs and the most ease of induction.
    The indigenous content here, offers even more advantages than in the LCA, since the Mig has more space for a larger Uttam AESA, while Kaveri could have gotten TVC technology.
    But still, most people disregarded the Mig, because of past experience, without taking a deeper look at the benefits this custom version would have given, but that was not too surprising though.


    So the conclusion of the voting seems to be, that most of us are actually ok with India being an arms importer, as long as we get the "best fighter" in return. While it was obvious, that if we go for indigenous content, we prefer the fully Indian option, even if it comes with performance shortfalls.
     
    TrueGR!T and Golden_Rule like this.
  4. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    There are two factors to consider when choosing a weapon system:
    • Effectiveness of the system for use in war
    • Strategic independence allowing unrestricted use of the system.
    There is no point in having a very efficient system if it use is decided abroad, and there is no point in having an independent system if it is not effective.

    Building a national armaments industry is important. But it is a long-term task that must be well-planned and requires a lot of consistency. We must start with simple systems and increase the complexity of the achievements gradually and above all always produce systems that correspond exactly to the operational needs of the country.

    You have to make custom and not copy others. This makes it possible to compensate for somewhat worse performance by better adapting the product to the needs. This is what France has done, and that is why export is desirable but is not the purpose of our developments.

    The Rafale is efficient and allows you independent use, it is a short-term solution until you have built a leading aerospace industry.

    The LCA is a program that allows you to progress industrially. Together these two planes allow you to achieve the objectives I mentioned at the beginning.

    But what strikes me in the case of India is that you do not seem to have realized the price of independence.

    The Rafale seems expensive to you, but it has cost much more to France, and if you do not spend large budgets on your developments you will never achieve the independence you want.
     
    Shekhar Singh and Ved Mishra like this.
  5. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    That's a strange statement to make to a country that suffered 100s of years of colonialism. But even if you refer it only to arms and techs, India is well aware of overdependance on a single source, because that makes us vulnerable to price escalation and after sale issues.
    In fact, because we seek independent solutions, we want more customizations. Be it French, or Israeli parts in Russian fighters, or Israeli and US parts in French fighters.

    But as you correctly said yourself:
    Which I can support to 100% and that's exactly, why I would "prefer" LCA or a customized Mig, over a Rafale with no benefit for Indian developments. It might be the best fighter of the three, but certainly not the best choice for the indigenous arms industry.
    Sometimes you don't need the best fighter, or sometimes it's not the capability of an LCA that is important, but what you get out of it in the long term.
     
  6. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    My point of view is that Rafale is the best choice for Indian arms industry. Even if there is no obligation for France to transfer technology, Dassault, on its own initiative, does so with the offset of the contract, and there is no reluctance fromFrance and Dassault about "Make in India" and the ToT that goes with, unlike other countries. The only reluctance we had was the working conditions with HAL who did not agree to apply the ToT we wanted to transfer to it, and I think this problem is now solved.
     
  7. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    An Indian solution doesn't mean it's a war winning solution.

    You should have added Gripen instead because we are buying Mk1A anyway.
     
  8. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Not "India" but "IAF". The IN is open to buy Russian aircraft because they don't have proper choices right now.
     
  9. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Actually, this is important for India. It's just that we are terrible right now, so whatever we do will seem like we like depending on foreign aid.

    Take AMCA and IUSAV as examples. ADA/ADE/HAL want to develop these aircraft with as little foreign involvement as possible. We may take design help, consultancy etc, but we want to hold IPR on all the critical systems on these two aircraft, including the engine. Whether it is possible or not, only time will tell.

    But at the same time, IAF will look at other options because they want a war winning military. India has been in a "psuedo-state of war" for decades, so they will obviously take minimum risk options.

    As we grow financially, we will be able to afford taking minimum risk options as well as develop our industry, which is happening now.
     
  10. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    My choice is Rafale.

    The biggest reason is the other two options are paper aircraft while Rafale is production ready today. This is what the IAF wants first and foremost.

    The quality of technology that the French are handing over is excellent. We are getting what we actually want, not what others think we want. Out of all three jets, only the Rafale benefits both the IAF and the industry. LCA benefits only the industry while the Mig-35 really benefits neither.

    The Rafale is obviously far more capable. No questions about that. It can make it over the border, finish its mission and return. As for the other two options, one won't even make it across the border, the other can go across but will not come back.

    Considering these three reasons, I don't know why anyone would vote otherwise.
     
  11. Ved Mishra

    Ved Mishra Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Bang. What a statement.
     
    Shekhar Singh likes this.
  12. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Because there are reasons like costs, dependency on foreign weapons and techs, limited to no use for the Indian aviation industry, since you only licence produce...

    As pic said himself, in a short moment of telling the truth :mrgreen::

    If that's the case for France, why should it be different for India?
    So it's not about the capability of the fighter that is in question here, but what is more important for India? Pushing own development till we get them right, no matter in which available platforms, or continuing to remain a licence producer for more decades to come.
     
  13. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    You mean to say we are getting engine technology including IPR and that has limited to no use for the aviation industry? Really? Only the French have offered engine technology from the west. No one else has.

    As I already said, we are buying the LCA anyway, so it's not Rafale or LCA, it's both.

    And what does Mig-35 offer that the FGFA isn't offering? The Mig offers considerably less and for no extra capability gain. And we have to pay a lot of money for it.

    The first and foremost requirement is capability. What is most important for India is capability. You want something that can kill the enemy on their home turf. This is a war machine we are talking about, not a circus performer. The other two options are fine for air shows, not for battle.

    Rafale obviously helps create our own aviation ecosystem.
     
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  14. defc0n

    defc0n 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Mig-35 is out of the question, it should not even be on the discussion table!
    As far as Rafale is concerned, I am not sure about its role after we get FGFA. Given the number of aircraft, we will get (probably 36), it will be used in a multi-role mode (A2A and A2G).
    FGFA is also suited for the same roles.

    I, therefore, think concentrating on LCA is a better option as we can gain valuable experience by developing our own jet, something that will not happen if we purchase the jets.
     
  15. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Yup. We are actually planning on replacing our Mig-29s with FGFA. There is no reason to go for the Mig-35 when we are getting superior capability, better ToT, IPR etc from FGFA.

    The point of going for a new 4th gen aircraft is to get our hands on proven capability that the IAF can bring to bear at the earliest because of our depleting numbers, that's it. Neither LCA nor Mig-35 have proven capabilities.

    If we get Rafale in 2019, it can be fully integrated by 2022. But if we get FGFA, it will take 8-10 years to fix design issues, teething issues, prove it in exercises and then fully integrate it. The same for LCA and Mig-35. The IAF's experience with Mig-29 counts for little because the Mig-35 is a new airframe.

    The rule of thumb for the integration of any new weapons system is 8-10 years. The Rafale can cut that short to just 3 years because it has no design issues, will have very minimal teething issues and is already proven in battle. All we need is experienced crews, which will take about 5-6 years, and their training has already started.

    LCA isn't giving us the technology that creates an aerospace industry, it's coming through the French in the form of a JV for Kaveri. Without an engine, an aerospace industry is nothing.
     
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