Friday, April 1, 2011

MMRCA : Rafale would (still) be in pole position for the final run

According to Indian defense journalist Shiv Aroor who was apparently one of the selected journalists briefed by the Indian MoD , the Rafale would be the favored aircraft among the 6 MMRCA contenders, closely followed by the Eurofighter :

"As the decade-stretched competition plods toward a decision, tentatively scheduled in the next few months, the near unanimous sense -- from rumours, reports, leaks, hearsay, background briefings -- is that the big European twins, the Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon -- are the IAF's two most preferred aircraft, and in that order"

IAF ranking would thus be : Rafale >> Eurofighter >> Gripen >> F-18E >> F-16I >> Mig-35
If true, this would be a tremendous victory for the Rafale, as a fighter jet, because the MoD insists on the fact that the selection process has been 100% professional and independant from external pressures :

 "There is no political pressure. This is such a large deal that it is apt for showcasing the excellent and professional job India has done in making an informed decision which is independent of any factors, including strategic and geopolitical. The air force is the customer, not the Ministry of External Affairs."

This sounds like a warning shot to the US manufacturers which are usually keen to put all the diplomatic weight of the White House in their bids. 
However, it remains to be seen if the recent blacklisting by the IAF of the Dassault representative in India will affect the Rafale status for the last stage of the contest. . Also, it is now most probably, that Dassault will be the target of all the other contenders.... 3 of them being huge defense conglomerates that are not famous for their fair play.

Another card that France and Dassault may play to secure the deal, would be to link the Mirage 2000 upgrade with the MMRCA. After the failure of the Mirage 2000 bid back in 2001, such a proposal has been pushed by the French several times without success as India would rather keep the 2 project (Mirage 2000 retrofit and MMRCA) separated.

Anyway, With the Rafale brilliantly demonstrating its multirole capabilies daily in Libya while the Eurofighter has merely a token role,  this remains a very good news for Dassault 3 months before the 49th Paris Air Show (June 20th to 26th).


  1. Excellent. Rafale surely performs well alone & with Mirage 2000 during Operation Harmattan.

  2. Keep in mind that this info is coming from someone who got special favors from Dassault:

  3. He had the favors of every single MMRCA contenders but EADS. Lockeed Martin, Boeing, Mig and Saab, they all have offered him a flight in their jet.

  4. According WikiPedia Site, French Daasault Rafale is the winner of MMRCA Deal, and it also confirmed that Deal is extended for 200 Jets instead of Earlier 126 Jets.

    This below article is there in Wikipedia- Future of indian Air Force
    " Under procurement[edit] Fighter aircraftThe IAF has issued a Request of Intent (RoI) for the procurement of 126 multi-role combat aircraft. Contenders for the $10 Billion contract are the MiG-35 from Mikoyan of Russia, the Rafale from Dassault Aviation of France, the Eurofighter Typhoon, from EU, JAS 39 Gripen from Saab of Sweden, the F-16IN Super Viper from Lockheed Martin and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from Boeing.[12] Report suggest that the Rafale has won the contract and the order has been increased by 200 aircrafts.[13]

    Further information: Indian MRCA Competition"

  5. Here are links to the articles in question. Would have been nice if the news come from an official news release; cautiously optimistic.

  6. Yes optimistics but Rafale is not bad either, we can trust French as they are our allies from past.

    Even after India modified Mirage jets during Kargil war according to their requirements, which is outside the original contract between India and France, but France let India do it. as they felt rules are meant to be broken in friendship. which has given India an added advantage in Kargil War.

    If you compare with other MMRCA contenders, Rafale is the only Omni Fighter, which can take all missions instantaneously either A2A, A2G & reconnaissance. it can act as both defence and offense in a single mission.

    And it fits beutifully between upcoming Tejas MKII and Sukhoi 30 MKI.

    The price is on higher side, but at least 90% of Rafale is French made so US can never interfere in between, and can never try to play spoilsport.

    And in many ways Rafale is better than F 16 and F 18. infact F16 is no match to Rafale, not even in dreams. and F18 could not lock Rafale in its radar, not even once in their joint excercises.

    By the time F 35 is ready, India will also be ready with PMF(Sukhoi SU50 - Perspective Multi Role Fighter) which is far superior to F-22 & F35.

  7. My wish is RAFALE should win this MMRCA Deal and there are 3 reasons why i say is.
    1) First of all Out of 02 Top contenders left in Competition are EF Typhoon & Rafale. EF is already over burdened and unable to sustain cost and demands of its own requirements. already several Typhoon jets are grounded and virtually out of service only to provide parts to other working typhoons. Situation has become canibalistic, where some planes have to be grounded to run other planes. and their price is also very high at least by 20% compared to Rafale.
    2) Saab Gripen is actually the jet which should have got this deal but, right from Engine to Radar they are dependent on US, and US being jealous, and undependable natured we cannot suffer indirectly, as US itself pitched their own jets, we cannot expect them to support Saab to get this deal.
    3) Rafale is far superior to all other jets in the competition, eventhough EF Typhoon is More powerful and capable to Rafale in A2A, supercruise, but they are second to Rafale in A2G, Reconnaissance operations and Rafale's AESA Radar is also ready.

    And Rafale is the only OmniFighter available at world stage, not even the USA F22 is called omnifighter. And India never dealt with European union when it comes to Defence, but French, they are our friends from past.

  8. Dassault is Planning to uprate its SNECMA M88-2 Engine to M88-3 class, which is more fuel efficient and more powerful.

    This improved engine SNECMA M88-3 will produce 90KN Thrust compared to 75 KN produced by M88-2. that is for each engine. that makes total Thrust of 180 KN against 150 KN Thrust. which inturn improves W/T ratio significantly and jet will cruise effortlessly at supersonic speeds.

  9. Hi guys !
    Rafale is also attractive to Indian Air Force ,because have and navy edition.

  10. A great informative post, Thankz for sharing such valuable information.
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