Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Indian Cinema About Combat Aircraft-MMRCA

by  Konstantin Bogdanov

India has once again postponed The tender MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) to supply air force of 126 fighters. Meanwhile, its main participants, hoping to win time and time again to trot out a variety of means, either by taking impressive steps, or walking on candid tricks.But Delhi, experiencing powerful political pressure, it seems, no longer greatly he does not understand how to now disentangle the welded porridge.

Pampered Customers

And so tender MMRCA again extended.The chief players on the market for aviation equipment first breathed out with the lightening, not that heavily they sighed: indeed to current April was precisely assigned the official forming of short list of two-three main aspirants to the multibillion contract.

All in all, I remind you, these do six. Old World brought to the competition three machines: a joint euroconsortium Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Rafale French and Swedish JAS-39NG Gripen concern SAAB. The Americans offered two aircraft: F-16IN Super Viper production Lockheed Martin and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet - the product Boeing. And, finally, Russia, the tender is RSK MiG MiG-35.

In general, the plot is twisted, the intrigue continues unabated, and the nerves are pretty spoiled. Indians too long portrayed spoiled customers trying to bargain with a maximum capacity with a minimum price (in the broad interpretation of the word "price"), then one, then other applicants order. Such behavior, coupled with potential cash transaction volumes to come (about 10 billion dollars) and major requirements of offset location (50 per cent of the contract), provoked a reaction which is in Delhi, perhaps, not quite expected.

Opponents have begun to engage in negotiations "guns" all the heavier caliber, multiply by strengthening lobbying pressure. But India is famous for its consensual form of government with the broad elements of democracy, there is close and there is no single point through which you can once and for all "solve the problem" - and politically, this become more interesting. Pressure increases, and the Indians are forced to desperately maneuver between the heavyweights of world aviation industry.


The main arguments for and against

Our aircraft in Indian Air Force is very much one might even say - the vast majority. Judge: seven planes four tactical aircraft - the MiG-21, MiG-27, MiG-29, Su-30MKI - Russian-born (and even the Navy will soon have MiG-29K/KUB). The remaining trio includes a light fighter Tejas own design, has only just started coming into trial operation, and fighter-bomber SEPECAT Jaguar, a couple of MiG-21 is designed for gradual withdrawal from the Air Force, which in return will be to adopt a winner MMRCA. Throw in a promising project of Indian fifth-generation fighter FGFA, created on the basis of the Russian T-50 platform in close cooperation with Sukhoi.

Some experts argue that it increases the chances for MiG machine because the Indian military are familiar with our technology, resulting in the Air Force and the Ministry of Defence has a pro-Russian lobby operators. Nor must it be discounted rooted, and growing on Indian soil industrial localization. Long-term engineering and technological and commercial cooperation with aircraft manufacturers in Russia and developed communication through the PTS seemed to push India toward another fighter from the northern partner. The more so because for nearly a hundred "big brothers" of the MiG-35 - MiG-29 worked well. And the fleet late 80's has some good prospects for the radical modernization.

However, according to other experts, here lies the weakness of the Russian position. I repeat: our aircraft in India is very much, even too much. It would not make any difference if the Indian leadership has systematically focused on levels of procurement of military equipment from one major supplier.

However, Delhi has long surpassed this milestone, if ever it was delayed. Even during the very warm friendship with the Soviet Union, India, in parallel actively bought British and French weapons to the extent in which only the political conditions permit.For example, even now, among the Indian military has a powerful lobbying group associated with a line of "Mirage" (the last plane out of the seven above-mentioned machines) and configured for cooperation with France. Which seriously supports from a political point of view the not completely durable operational- technological position of Rafale.

But now with the growing influence of the world's regional superpower in South Asia is on the market more and more "equidistance" - in proportion to the size of the queue lining up eager sellers. Too highly valuing yourself, the national economy, its geopolitical situation and issues of its own scientific and technological complex, New Delhi does not put all eggs in one basket. The more sources of innovation transfer is available, the better it is reasonable to believe the Indians.

Which of these approaches will outweigh? If the second, the chances of success in the RAC bid against competitors could raise only one - the transfer of technology.


You know how - Share

Issues of technology transfer at the tender remain if not quite unanswered. On the one hand, India - this is not dumb mode of the third world, which can be God knows what - a colonial version and oppressive conditions of use. On the other hand, this is what alarmed: transferred technology may be the key to breaking the military-political balance in this sensitive region like South Asia, including plans for a potential salesman.

For example, Russia is quite prepared to share with India the secret of making the individual parts and systems of its fighters. The history of Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation does not doubt it - enough to consider the organization of licensed production T-90 tanks and rocket engines RD-33series3 for the MiG-29, large-block assembly of Su-30MKI fighters.Russia as a whole is ready to organize assembly manufacture components in India. So it was before - with the Soviet MiG-21 fighter-bombers, MiG-27, T-72M1 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles BMP-2.

In terms of innovations in aircraft design, it is enough to recall the joint program of the fifth generation fighter FGFA, under which the mining Delhi likely to get a very tempting package of technologies that are directly related to the Russian platform, T-50 Sukhoi. But this program will pull a still a huge offset, in fact, represents a significant localization of "exclusive" version of our export PAK FA on Indian territory.


The same future…

In the case of all Americans to as less benevolently. Indian military has repeatedly stated that with the Yankees to work very hard: they are set to fight for every inch of technological documentation. (As an antithesis to such behavior, by the way, Indians love to cite as an example is Russian.) And if the corporate governance of companies, suppliers sometimes willing to promise the customer a bird's milk, golden mountains and all the secrets into the bargain - only to transform it from a potential customer in real buyer, then the military and U.S. policy hold radically different views.

Pentagon, believe the need to give as little as possible. In this case, the methods are not particularly shy, comes almost to a sharp disavowing promises made in the margins of the representatives of the United States military-industrial complex. For example, there is considerable doubt that India is a case of choosing an American plane on the tender received from his onboard radar that something other than the actual radar itself as a "black box" equipped with a manual. Issues as the transfer of U.S. technical documentation and OEE algorithm software (remember, it's creaking at the ready to go, even the Europeans) is highly problematic.

Politicians play their games, starting from one of obvious reasons of balance of forces and interests in the region, often at the same time linking the composition and volume of technological packages PTS with marks on the behavior of the customer country in the international arena.

The Europeans, as noted earlier, does not go away in a few more technological transfer of the Americans. Either of the total export hopelessness (hard to call their planes the joint development of the last generation that would enjoy even if not panic, but at least in steady demand as Russian or American). Whether the attempt to somehow justify the extremely high prices for their products. Thus, the Rafale is probably the more expensive "Super Hornet", but a thoroughbred  Eurofighter Typhoon goes around in this regard and the first and second - over 100 million dollars per plane. However, the irony lies in the fact that it often comes to promises to sell the skin of the bear has not killed as in the case of not fully exhaust with AFAR radar for Rafale and Typhoon, which vowed to Indians in the best shape. However, as soon as ready.

Americans are also not without feathers in the nose radome. Some observers after the show Aero India 2011 in Bangalore, returned with great doubts about the show; there latest version of the Super Hornet F/A-18 International Roadmap Platform, also received in the press the name of Silent Hornet. No, no mystification: it's hard to argue with the fact that the above package upgrade to the integration of conformal fuel tanks on the wings and outboard compartment URO with radar stealth and complex optical-electronic warning is quite capable developer Hornet - Boeing Corporation. However, at this point, apparently, we are dealing with, at best, with weight and size plastic models of external aerodynamics, and as is the case with the actual development of equipment i.e technology transfer is the question of questions. Suitable for full operation of the flying F/A-18 board with an embedded "silent" packet, apparently, not in now. This, again, does not negate the fact that it was this version and will be actively marketed in India.

Fate of F-16's is under a lot of doubt: this platform has already delivered to Pakistan and its chances to take place in the Indian Air Force are negligible. Who knows, however, Lockheed using Indian competition to ‘push’ beneficial package enhancements (Super Viper) to Islamabad - in order to enhance military-technical cooperation on the F-16?


Allow me to use?

Transfer of technology - it's not so bad. A disaster can be covered in the selection of packages for weapons supplied equipment and modes of use.

India - a country of concern in the military-political plan. One of its immediate regional opponents - Pakistan - traditionally a close ally of Washington, including in the sphere of military-technical cooperation. What will be the composition of weapons transferred Delhi along with fighters, what would be the conditions of its production and procurement? Impose any restrictions on the modes of use or maybe even a store?

Here, of course, the Persian Gulf and to dictate the Indians, where to keep and how to use purchased on their own real money missiles and bombs, it will be extremely difficult, but few Americans know, we can assume that they will make such attempts - with negotiations suspended in carrot as a something modern in the case of consent.

This political tie complicates everything. Suppose Obama goes configured sympathetic to cooperation with India, will come more rigid isolationist Republicans - and then act like Delhi?Because the U.S. Congress in fact at any time under one pretext or another is able to amend the beatific image of military-technical cooperation.

The European proposal in this regard and looks promising and problematic. For the multi-composition of the euroconsortium multiply complicating the formulation of common policy framework for the use of the supplied equipment, and this in turn facilitates the achievement of agreements. But at the same ambition on such a framework (especially against the background of vertigo from the Libyan "success") can also occur dire hell for European sales.

The chances of the Russian proposal on MiG-35 can be treated differently, but certainly on this side India is least troubled & has convenient time.

A passion for tender abound. Literally just that the French concern "Dassault" a heap of trouble on the history of bribing Indian military for "prime" location of exposure at the Bangalore air show. Indians have, it seems, and do not pleased to scale, which takes a tender, a few years ago called the American press "aviation deal twenty years." (There are doubts about the correctness of such an epithet, given the domestic supply line fighters Su-30MKI/MKK the same China and India, but certainly will be lenient.)

The fourth-generation fighter goes down in history in the wake of tight competition for a place in the sun next day. And MMRCA tender will be among the final battle that will determine the pattern of world market of military aviation in the coming decades. Now we need to - take the last decision.


Post a Comment

Have a say...