Saturday, February 11, 2012

MMRCA, the Rafale long flight to India

A must read article from the Business standard News Paper about the MMRCA contest.

All the article is worth reading but below is my quote selection:

We needed to boost our fighter fleet really, really, urgently,” says a serving Air Marshal who prefers to remain anonymous. “And we were determined to implement an acquisition process which nobody in the ministry could fault or delay. Today, the IAF process has become the gold standard for fighter aircraft acquisitions worldwide. The Brazilian defence minister, who visited Delhi this week, has asked us to share details with his ministry on just how we did it.”
It was the next stage of evaluation — flight trials — that has put IAF’s testing process in a league of its own. Conducted by the Directorate of Air Staff Requirements, and overseen by the quiet and unflappable Air Commodore (now Air Vice-Marshal) R K Dhir, each of the six contenders was flight-tested by IAF pilots on 660 separate performance aspects. For example, the RfP demanded that the fighter’s engine should be replaced within one hour. The maintenance teams actually made each contender do that. If IAF demanded a “sustained turn rate” (the quickness with which a fighter can turn around in the air) of 24 degrees per second, each fighter was physically put through this manoeuvre to establish that it met this requirement. (Incidentally, both the US fighters failed to meet IAF’s “sustained turn rate” requirements)
Last April, the ministry “down-selected” the Rafale and Typhoon, which meant that only these two aircraft had passed the flight trial evaluation. Now the game had changed; with performance established, the cheaper of the two was going to be adjudged the winner. For the first time in India, costs were not compared on the ticket price alone, but on how much the fighter would cost to buy, build, upgrade and operate over a service life of three to four decades. IAF had clearly learned a lesson from the Russian MiG experience, where a cheap upfront price that seemed initially attractive led to enormous operating costs and a lower aircraft availability that meant that when IAF paid for six squadrons, it actually had just three squadrons to fly.
Air Marshal (retired) Padamjit Singh Ahluwalia, who brought the first Mirage 2000s to India, says, “Russian fighters like the MiG-29 are great for air shows but serviceability is often a problem. When you get airborne, the radar often becomes unserviceable… sometimes this happens between two sorties.”


  1. it is not only a victory for dassault and its et rafale but also mr kovy,who keeps on stressing rafale's capabilities in international forums. iaf iss a professional air force different from puppet forces around the world who chose f-15.f-16, doubt rafale is great,it has all capabilities ,aesa,hmd,fso,ew,dvi in cockpit,high agility etc.

    À la vôtre/à la tienne TO MR KOVY

  2. Mr kovy ........I'm still rafale has stealth capability or not..?