Sunday, January 30, 2011

MMRCA Analysis

An extensive analysis on the current Indian Air Force competition to procure a Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA).

This 142 pages document, written by Ashley L. Tellis, a former Senior adviser at the US ambassy of new Delhi, reviews the Indian seclection process and try to make an objective technical and political comparison of the 6 aircrafts involved in the contest.(Mig-35, Gripen, Rafale, Typhoon, F-16E, F/A-18E)

Despite an apparent attempt to remain neutral, the author inevitably shows some biased tendencies in favor of the two US products.which are eventually described as far cheaper but technologically on par or more advanced than their european counterparts.

A rapid reading will also reveal several errors or approximation. Just to name a few :

  • The supercruise ability of the F-35, while the USAF doesn't advertise such a fact
  • The Gripen NG sustained turn rate asserted to be the best by a fair margin whereas the actual plane has never flown in its final configuration.
  • The RBE-2 AA of the Rafale supposedly still in developpement until the middle of the decade whereas the first serial units have been delivered in august 2010 to the French Air Force.
  • The comparative fly away prices of the 6 fighters which is a clumsy attempt to compare figures obtained from various sources published at different times and including different packages.
Still worth reading but with a pinch of salt though

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