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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Decoding The IAF’s Latest RFI On MRCA Requirement

RFI: The proposal is to procure approximately 110 MRCAs (about 75% single seat and rest twin-seat aircraft). The procurement should have a maximum of 15% aircraft in flyaway state and the remaining 85% aircraft will have to be made in India by a Strategic Partner/Indian Production Agency (SP/IPA). The aircraft are intended as day and night-capable, all weather MRCA which can be used for the following roles: (a) Air Superiority (b) Air Defence (c) Air-to-Surface Operations (d) Reconnaissance (e) Maritime Strike (f) EW missions, Buddy-Buddy Refuelling etc. The selected MRCA would be required to be integrated with weapons/sensors/systems of Indian origin/any other origin, at any time of its service life. The vendor is to provide the user the capability to unilaterally upgrade/integrate such systems, weapons or sensors. The vendor would be required to integrate certain Buyer Furnished Equipment/Buyer Nominated Equipment (BFE/BNE) and it is essential that test pilots and engineers of the IAF or their assignees be involved in flight-testing of such equipment during integration and certification phases. The transferred technology should be state-of-art to ensure rapid build-up of indigenous design & development, production and maintenance capabilities for the aircraft, its sub-systems and support equipment. Transfer of Technology (ToT) should encompass transfer of know-how/know-why and should be comprehensive, covering design, manufacturing know-how and detailed technical information, which will enable the Indian Production Agency(ies) to manufacture, assemble, integrate, test, install and commission, use, repair, overhaul, support, obsolescence management, life extension and maintain the aircraft, including the capability for future integration of systems and weapons.
Analysis: Firstly, licence-producing MRCAs like the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block-70 or Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet or the Saab JAS-39 Gripen NG or MiG-35 right down to the component-level will hike the cost of procuring such MRCAs by 2.5 times, just as was the case with the Su-30MKI. Secondly, MRCAs like the Eurofighter EF-2000 and Rafale will be IMPOSSIBLE to licence-build in In dia simply because of the cost of setting up a local production line, which will work out to be up to 5 times more expensive than procuring such MRCAs off-the-shelf. As for buddy-buddy refuelling, only the MiG-35 and F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet are qualified for such a role.
RFI: The transferred know-how/know-why should contain possibilities for design/development/sourcing/integration/production/maintenance (O, I & D levels)/upgrade, as applicable. Further, the transferred capabilities/technologies should be capable of being utilised/implemented across platforms, more significantly, in the ongoing and futuristic programmes.  The arrangement ToT shall be such that the Indian Production Agency(ies) are able to procure components/sub-assemblies/raw material/test equipment directly from OEM’s subcontractors/vendors. Is the OEM willing to transfer design data (for stress, fatigue, performance, qualification, environmental test, life (calendar/total/overhaul), where applicable), development, manufacturing and repair expertise within India?
Analysis: No OEM will ever share the design data of its MRCA, period. The only time when the IAF had obtained such data was when India procured the Folland Gnat in the late 1950s and the UK had then agreed to transfer the Gnat’s entire design data because that aircraft was rejected for service-induction by the Royal Air Force.
RFI: It should be possible to indigenously integrate new weapons and avionics of Indian, Western and Russian origins.
Analysis: This again is another impossibility now, since in the aftermath of Russia’s April 2014 invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent annexation of Crimea, Western sanctions were levied against Russia and since then it has become impossible for Western aerospace OEMs to share design/engineering data with their Russian counterparts, which in turn rules out integration of Western weapons on Russia-origin platforms and integration of Russia-origin weapons on West-origin platforms.
RFI: The Government of India invites responses to this request only from Original Equipment Manufacturers/ Government-sponsored export agencies (applicable only in the case of countries where domestic laws do not permit direct export by OEMs).
Analysis: This is specifically meant for accommodating Russia’s Rosobopronexport State Corp, since Russian Aircraft Corp cannot bid independently as an OEM for any procurement contract outside Russia.
RFI: Is the aircraft and its systems tropicalised?
Analysis: Except for the MiG-35, all other prospective contenders are tropicalised.
RFI: Can the aircraft fly in excess of 10 hours with air-to-air refuelling (AAR)? How many AAR engagements would be required to accomplish this duration of flight?
Analysis: This is an absolute physiological/biological absurdity, since the aircrew of both both single-seat and tandem-seat MRCAs can at best function optimally only up to six flight-hours.
RFI: Does the engine/s have life monitoring mechanism such as Health Usage and Monitoring System (HUMS)?
Analysis: All turbofans barring the Russia-origin ones have this capability as standard fit nowadays.
RFI: Are the refuelling couplings/adapters of NATO Standard?
Analysis: This means the IAF wants the MRCA to be compatible with Cobham of UK’s Type 754 aerial refuelling pod, which is already in service with the IAF’s Su-30MKIs. What it also means is that the MiG-35 will not be compatible with this pod, thanks to the Western sanctions imposed against Russia, due to which the Russian and British OEMs will not be able to jointly undertake systems integration flight-trials.

RFI: Is the aircraft integrated with a NATO-standard buddy refuelling pod? What is the minimum refuelling rate from this pod?
Analysis: Barring the MiG-35 and members of the Su-30 family of MRCAs, all others can easily make use of the Type 754 AAR pod. What this also means is that by specifying its preference for a NATO-standard refuelling pod, the IAF is rejecting the Russian UPAAZ-1 pod, which is used by the Indian Navy’s MiG-29Ks.

RFI: Would it be possible for the production agency/user to upgrade/integrate the MFD, HUD and HMSD display symbologies without the help of OEM?
Analysis: It will be impossible since such software algorithms are proprietary and their IPRs are never shared with anyone else. And more importantly, such a capability is simply not an operational necessity.

RFI: Does the aircraft provide adequate clearance between the pilot's Helmet-Mounted Sight and Display (HMSD/Night Vision Goggle (NVG) and the canopy, during movement of pilot's head to either extreme?
Analysis: With the advent of holographic HUDs into which night vision imagery from target acquisition/designation pods can be superimposed, the usage of NVGs by MRCA aircrews has been done away with.
RFI: What is the type and capacity of integral onboard oxygen system? Does the system have Onboard Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS)?
Analysis: Barring Ruissia-origin MRCAs, all other contemporary MRCAs have OBOGS.
RFI: Is there a facility to allow the crew-members to relieve themselves and take provisions in-flight? Is there a specific stowage area for carrying provisions on-board?
Analysis: Again, a needless absurdity. While on-board provisions can be carried, where’s the need for built-in toilets?
RFI: Does it have a provision to carry a Personal Rescue Beacon (PRB)/Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)? Would it be possible for vendor to integrate PRB/PLB specified by the IAF? Does the PRB offered by vendor have search-and-rescue (SAR) and combat SAR (CSAR) mode?
Analysis: This capability is available on all Westsern MRCAs. However, the IAF’s UK-origin PRB/PLB systems can no longer be integrated with the MiG-35 or Su-35.
RFI: Does it have Non-Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR) capability? Can IAF-specified NCTR data be integrated?
Analysis: The NCTR mode is available only on those MRCAs that are in service with the NATO member-states. But if the Govt of India is unable/unwilling to sign on to the CISMOA agreement, the NCTR mode will be unavailable to the IAF.
RFI: Does the aircraft have a computer-based health monitoring and maintenance management system for comprehensive management of maintenance activities for the aircraft?
Analysis: All MRCAs have them, but the Russia-origin MRCAs have yet to demonstrate the reliability of such on-board systems.
RFI: Does the MRCA have provision to support integration of user-specified air-to-air missile?
Analysis: Only is the user-specified BVRAAM is the Astra, since both Western and Russian OEMs are now barred from seamlessly integrating their AAMs with one anothers’ MRCA platforms.
RFI: What is the flight envelope with the deployed towed decoy? Does it restrict the aircraft manoeuvrability or the operational envelope?
Analysis: Aircraft manoeuvrability will definitely be affected as dictated by the laws of physics, but not the operationbal flight envelope.
Conclusions: The insistence on licenced-manufacturing will make the entire procurement effort cost-prohibitive. The concept of Make-in-India cannot at any cost supercede budgetary realities. The IAF’s preference for NATO-standard hardware performance specifications will definitely make any Russian offer the underdog. And since it will be financially impossible to licence-build the EF-2000 and Rafale, that then leaves only the F-16 Block-70, F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet and JAS-39 Gripen NG in the fray. From these three, only the F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet offers a decent buddy-buddy aerial refuelling capability. But will the US State Department allow non-US avionics and weapons to be integrated with the Advanced Super Hornet when it has never done so?


Kaustav said...


The taking down of the RFI shows that it was a brochuritis case of delirium inspired PDF.

On an unrelated query, was it not possible or practical to liberate the Gilgit Baltistan areas in 1947-48 itself due to difficult logistics? Or was it felt necessary for Pakistan to keep control of these areas just as was done in Aksai Chin. Is it because of the lack of Indian Map Reading Territorial frame of mind? Or rather the realization that our forces were not in a position to liberate and hold on to PoK and Aksai Chin.

Pawan said...

Dear Prasun da,

Thanks for posting this analysis of RFI.

I wasn't expecting much but after reading your analysis its seems absurdity and nonsense know no bounds when it comes to our MoD. I mean what kind of experienced airmen has drawn this Aladdin's wishlist! Its reeks of non-seriousness & utter disregard to fact that needs of IAF are urgent and critical.


RJS said...

IAF to launch war games to hone fighting skills on Pakistan, China fronts -

Dear Sir ,

Is this what we think it is ? Is this summer going to be hotter than usual ?

Your comment .

Thanks in advance.

Warm regards ,

joydeep ghosh said...

@prasun da

looks like i was absolutely right when i said the in previous thread

the new RFI makes me feel that this government has lost its mind and had cancelled the previous Rafale jet deal just for political one-upmanship and few brawny points. the new RFI makes me believe the Rafale may well be out of race and there is no possibility of F16/FALCON21 either

from whatever you said looks to me IAF is looking for Su34 fighter bomber and use it as Advanced MRCA, why bcoz the points below (as menmtioned in RFI) are only available with Su34

1. 10 hr flight envelope
2. in built toilet
3. buddy refuel

your view


Joydeep gHosh

buddha said...

When ministry of defence and air force desires 2nd and succeeding trance of rafale MMRCA and prospect of tejas ..There window of this confusing RFI for 110 MMRCA looks dismal and would have been better if they go for F16 procurement as you proposed early on emergency basis.
With my very limited knowledge this RFI and their vision of procurement looks absurd and lacks strategic and financial standpoint.

blackurrant said...

Dear Prasun,

Your thoughts on the article by Amb P Stobdan:


Ludwig said...

Sir, it looks like very little has been learned from the tragic mmrca competition. if the issue is of tot for AMCA wouldn't Rafale be the best option. Would Boeing be willing for such partnership.II don't think anyone in MOD understands India's limited industrial capabilities

Ved said...

Hi Prasun,
What do you think will be the outcome of this RFI? Or do you think it will be close fight between Rafale and F18E/F?

john said...


Read your analysis. Another useless RFI meant for cancellation ( May be after 8-10 years time)

Hope India will place order for 40 Rafale as early as possible. Then another 36 by 2022.


just_curious said...


Will take the honor of being the first to ask :):).. what is wrong with the MOD??? :O ... why the RFI that too in a election year.. is this like the scorched earth policy for the next govt? it certainly looks to be going nowhere.. why not simply order more rafales for twin engine aircraft & build f16 blk 70 with Tata's.. I hope this has no impact on tejas & AMCA..

Pierre Zorin said...

I can understand the civilian members of the GOI making absurd propositions, but the IAF? I mean relieving oneself in flight in operational state so gel bags or toilets are accommodated aka dunny seats? On long endurance planes such as C-17 or C-130 may be yes, but MRCA? Do these people think the world is so serious they need a solid belly laugh? Why waste everyone's time and money, lose valuable time? Simply get the remainder of Rafales, upgrade the MiG 29s and implement the super sukhoi upgrades. I reckon that is enough - plus fast track the AAC equipment requirements.

Vikram Guha said...


Are foreign small scale, medium enterprises from the defence sector allowed to become vendors for DPSUs and Pvt Indian defence companies ? If yes, do they simply need to register themselves with the companies in India?

Thanks & Regards,

DAshu said...

IAF is not this stupid. They must be eying something else through this process

anmol chaudhary said...


I have an audience with LT GEN D.B. Shekatkar tomorrow. Could you suggest some important questions that need to be put before him or any suggestions that could be brought to his attention ?

1. you would recall that a member of the Para regiment plummeted to death when his parachute simply failed to open.


The US Navy secretary has clarified that THEIR existing parachute systems are inadequate to meet their requirements. The new hybrid parachute systems that are being tested by them will have among other things, reduced logistical footprints, altered standards of supporting weight, altitude deployment ranges, the glide ratio and horizontal travel.

So my point is if the most advanced avilable parachute systems are being dumped (by the most advanced military) to pave way for future innovative products, where do WE stand ?

Should a Public-Private programme be set up to look into these requirements and prepare a roadmap to fulfil them ?

Rajesh Mishra said...

Will the things get rectified at the RFP stage?

Otherwise US and Russia will have to form a consortium and will have to strap up a F-18 on the back of a Su-34.

Anonymous said...

Good, incisive analysis!�� The RFI provides comic relief after a long day.��

Regards, Anand

Narayan said...

@Kaustav go through Gen Panag's stories in newslaundry he's explained everything in detail including the siege of Skardu.


Prasun Da,

(1) In India, is the MRO of foreign helicopters like Mi 17 etc carried out by the end user (Indian Army, Air Force, Navy) themselves or is it outsourced to private companies ?

(2) Is the MRO industry for aerosapce & defence, in the private sector, making any progress in India ?

Thanks, Sujoy

Shantanu kumar said...

After this RFI I exactly thought this,

Rajesh Mishra said...

How many seconds you took in completing this analysis?

Defense Asia. said...

Hello prasun sir, today I spoke to defense journalist amartya Sinha. According to him ghatak & trichy rifles has been rejected by Indian army.
So ak-103 is coming up for army. The contract maybe finalised by next month. Sir what your take on it.
And trichy & ghatak rifles won't even enter in service with paramilitary forces as threats face by army & paramilitary forces are of same nature so no chances of ghatak & trichy rifles.

Sir what happening with the new 30mm air defense gun of ofb some info on it by you.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To KAUSTAV: These should provide some answers to you:

To ANAND: Here’s some more for your weekend’s laughter quota:

To VIKRAM GUHA: Yes, they are reqd to do so & they also have to undergo vetting by the Union MHA first in order to secure a NOC.

To RJS: No, because Pakistan has already been informed about it in advance, as has been the norm as per the 1989 CBMs that were inked between the two countries. As for the situation along the LoC, do read these:

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: How can the Su-34 be used as MRCA when the Ruskies themselves had deployed both the Su-34 & Su-35 to Syria? Clearly the Ruskies themselves don’t regard the Su-34 as MRCA, so why should you or anyone else regard it as such? And don’t forget that the RFI mentions several times that the preference is for NATO standards. Even the existing F/A-18E/F can do buddy-buddy refuelling. But in practice, MRCAs are not expected to do such AARs because it eats into the exploitable service-life of the MRCA. If any MRCA is meant to act as an aerial refueller, then why equip it with avionics capable of launching weapons?

To BLACKURRANT: His inferences & conclusions are spot-on.

To SUJOY MAJUMDAR: 1) It is done by the Chandigarh-based BRD of the IAF. 2) No. That’s why the mid-life refits of the T-72M, BMP-2 & T-90S are way beyond schedule.

To ANMOL CHAUDHARY: He is now retired & therefore has no say in the matters of the MoD or the armed services. Indian parachutes now in usage are just fine & those mishaps that occur are all due to faulty rigging/human error & not due to hardware malfunctions. For specialised applications, the parachutes are imported.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To PAWAN, BUDDHA, LUDWIG, VED, JOHN, DASHU, RAJESH MISHRA & JUST CURIOUS: The absurdity makes sense only if the idea is to add value to the licenced-production option & if that’s the case, then only Lockheed Martin’s offer of F-16 Viper Block-70 makes sense since it will enable Indian vendors to become part of the F-16’s global supplier chain for at lerast another 2-3 decades for supplying spares to Lockheed Martin for airframes, accessories & some avionics (since the weapons & engines will all have to come imported without any local industrial inputs). Numerically, the F-16 fleet worldwide is presently the largest & therefore huge volumes of spares are reqd globally. In addition, since Lockheed Martin has already amortised all its financial investments made into the F-16 programme, it can offer the cheapest quotation for setting up a final assembly/integration line with an annual output of up to 36 aircraft. No one else, be it Boeing or Saab or Dassault or Rosoboronexport can make a matching financial offer that promises huge paybacks to Indian aerospace vendors.

If the idea is to just procure additional MRCAs to lessen the IAF’s MRCA fleet shortfalls, then the off-the-shelf procurement option must be the only one to be considered & in that case additional Rafales ought to be ordered, with the 50% industrial offsets clause being maintained for each successive tranche being ordered from Dassault Aviation. And these offsets can easily be transferred for applications on projects like the Ghatak stealthy UCAV & AMCA. Dassault can also be roped in to co-develop with HAL a 30-seat widebody version of the Falcon 2000 bizjet to serve as a regional commuter jetliner meant for servicing India’s Tier-3 cities & as well as the north-eastern states where the existing ALGs can be used. Such regionbal jetliners will also be useful for catering to commercial aviation routes to neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Bhutan, Maldives & Srfi Lanka.

It therefore is all about creativity & strategic visioning. If the MRCA procurement effort is looked at with purely military optics (as is now the case), then no wide-ranging or financially viable solutions will emerge. On the other hand, if it is viewed upon as being part of a comprehensive financially value-added developmental plan for India’s aerospace industrial prowess, then far-reaching results can be obtained over the next 15 years. Unfortuinately, due to the absence of an Aerospace Commission (like the Space Commission attached to the PMO), no all-inclusive aerospace industrial can be done & consequently, ministries like the MoD & Civil Aviation Ministry & Ministry of Road/Water Transportation are all working within isolated silos & hence are often working at cross-purposes.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To DEFENCE ASIA: Trichy SLR was never offered to the IA & is instead being used by some state police forces. Ghaatak’s 7.62 x 51 version is still under development & it was the earlier 7.62 x 39 version (already being used by some CAPFs) that was rejected NOT BECAUSE of inferior quality, but because the IA changed its reqmt to 7.62 x 51 from the earlier 7.62 x 39. As for AK-103 SLR, almost everyone is assuming that since the OFB has selected the AK-103 for licenced-production, then the IA must be going for it. This is a TOTALLY WRONG assumption. In fact, the AK-103 is only one of the foreign contenders for meeting the reqmt of the armed forces & the competition phase involving in-counbtry fierd-trials has yet to begin. Therefore, it is best not to spread any rumours about the AK-103 being ordered for India’s armed forces. At this stage, it is just an offer from an industrial partnership formed between OFB & its Russian counterpart. The only air-defence gun being built under licence by OFB is the AK-630M 6-barrelled system from Russia’s Tulamashzavod JSC.

To RAJESH MISHRA: About 40 minutes.

To JOYDEEP GHOSH: Reasons explained for the inability to make use of truck-mounted howitzers in Arunachal Pradesh:

So, as you may now realise, there’s no other option but to use heavylift helicopters for ferrying ultralight field artillery howitzers.

To BUDDHA: How China Uses Spies, Lies & Blackmail:

And finally, after years of petitioning, it now looks as if the Govt of India is at last paying heed to my suggestions for upgrading the CIQ facilities & rail connectivity between Nepal & India:

In fact, the Govt of India needs to be pro-active & offer full economic integration of the economies of Nepal, Bhutan & Sri Lanka with that of India, now that the GST scheme is operational in India. This wasn't possible earlier because different border-states of India had their own Customs & Octroi duties to be levied. But now border-states like UP, Uttarakhand & Bihar can be connected by road & rail to Nepal & Bhutan & this in turn will lead to increase in industrial activities in northern UP & northern Bihar, especially if food processing & POL stockpiling/distribution industries are encouraged in those areas.

Lastly, the US has begun making noises about Maldives. Next, expect some collective pressure from Europe to pile up as well:

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

US DA's limousine in Islamabad Knocks Out Pak Motorcyclist:

How CPEC is now Pakistan's 21st century East India Company:

Kaustav said...

Prasunda and Mr.Narayan, thanks for confirming through that excellent link for NEWSLAUNDRY. Ofcourse the link to Ambassador Stobdan's article is another spot on correct analysis of India's core interest in recovering Kailash Mansarovar areas and securing Tawang (AP). Tibet has made it's own bed but getting China to accept our claim and ensuring border sanctity is the real deal and would require some clean thinking and hard negotiations with the Chinese.

Pierre Zorin said...

That Chinese control video proves if you are able to project power everyone turns a blind eye. See how the Skripal case is used to unfairly attack Russia and yet with hundreds of dissidents living in the West FROM China able to testify against the evil dictatorship not one country takes a tough stance. If NOKO is evil China is even more evil. By supporting financially the West is creating a Frankenstein that soon will swallow them up.

Senthil Kumar said...

Dear Prasun,

Turkey combat aircraft

Last 5 to 6 years there is much talk about turkey going for their won combat aircraft named as TF-X.

Already Recep Tayyip Erdoğan once came to power in 2002 told turkey will develop its own battle tank and they did it.

Now same guy is telling that turkey will go for their own combat aircraft. I suspect they are secretly developing without big sound like India. Already they progressed well in UAV development compared to India.

Once they develop it, Turkey & Pakistan will become undisputed leaders of Muslim world.

Only hope is US & Israel will try to sabotage the development.

Is there any news about TF-X development.

S.Senthil Kumar

Ved said...

Dear Prasun,

How many pages are there in this RFI?
Have you been able to get a copy of the same?
As you said above the F16 is the best option in terms of cost. But considering that aircraft has to be relevant for next 30 years, In my opinion the option mentioned for purchase of Rafale by you makes much more sense with 50% offsets. In the long term perspective we need these offsets in our AMCA and other programmes.

Is this RFI cofidential or can be accessed by all?

Ludwig said...

Sir, if we for once consider that they do indeed end up buying F-16s, will they buy more Rafales off-the-shelf? Or will F-16 will be able to take over all the roles needed to be completed by the MRCA. And what of Tejas then, because under this situation, wouldn't numbers of Tejas reduce, since HAL has not been able to produce it in right numbers, wouldn't IAF be tempted to order an arguably more potent aircraft that is not only cost-effective but also 36 of them are being produced in the country every year.

financeblogger said...

The youtube link regarding "How CPEC is now Pakistan's 21st century East India Company:", is not working.
If possible, kindly share youtube link which is working.

Unknown said...

Dear prasoon

Given the bajwa doctrine of not discriminating between good and bad terrorist, present government's philosophy of reply bullet with bomb, does it appear that border crossed any time thus year. What's the probability given the ground realities. Please advise.



TheHundred said...

Recently, the Russian government submitted a proposal to sell 21 used MiG-29 combat planes which will cost India between $ 25-30 million (Rs 170 crore-Rs 200 crore) per aircraft which is almost 30 per cent cost of any new aircraft in the class of the MiG-29 planes.

"The government will go through each and every aspect of the proposal to ensure that there are no hidden costs that we may have to pay for the planes after acquiring them from the Russians. The experience gained during the Admiral Gorshkov deal would be avoided," government sources told Mail Today.

Pierre Zorin said...

News that Pakistan is planning to buy T-90 tanks, air defence systems and su-35 - are these fake news to stir up India OR are they really true and Pakistan has obtained some form of assurance from its Saudi and Turkish banks to bankroll such purchases? Will Russia now be such fools as to throw India fully into the US camp by abandoning its long term no weapons to Pakistan policy?

just_curious said...

what has currently been floated by IAF /MOD is just an RFI not an RFP, is it worth the hype??You mentioned India need to opt for f 16 & have a deep upgrade to F 16 falcon 21 in the future? why not opt for it now will it not be costly to upgrade later? Also if f16 is chosen can it be built with the carbon composites used on tejas to have some inherent stealth?

My take would be buying @100 F16's + more rafales in G2G deal with 50% offset[@90 total, 54 more]+ su30mki upgrades[@ a later date when the sanctions are lifted] .. pls share your views on the same

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To FINANCEBLOGGER: Here's the videolink:

To PIERRE ZORIN: Do you really think China will allow or bankroll Pakistan to go for Russia-made weapons like these?

To THEHUNDRED: The logical option is to go for additional Su-30MKIs in order to bring the fleet strength to 350 aircraft.

To UNKNOWN: The so-called 'Bajwa Doctrine' is the figment of a Pakistani journalist's imagination & the DG of ISPR himself had confirmed this. Why should any border be crossed when the operational reqmts call for crossing only the LoC? The LoC isn't any border.

To VED: I had already shared the weblink of the RFI in the previous thread.

Anup said...

Dear sir,
As per your expert review, which aircraft IAF should select?
As per current news INS Airhant suffer accident.
Any news about Augusta heli?

Anik said...

Have a look at this video Prasun Da, Another undated video of Chinese national working in Pakistan surfaces, purports to show Chinese national holding gun and forcing pakistanis to work.

Any details of the area this article mentions about?

Pakistani media has again imposed complete blackout of ongoing #PashtunLongMarch2Peshawar .

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SENTHIL KUMAR: All such claims must be taken with a fistful of salt. For i8nstance, does Turkey have the ability to develop indigenous new-generation turbofans at a time when even China & Japan are struggling to do so? SDame goes for the T-129 attack helicopter, which is powered by US-origin LHTEC CTS800-4A engines. Does anyone seriously reckon that Pakistan will procure such platforms powered by US-supplied engines?

To LUDWIG: The reqmt for 110 MRCAs is for tactical air superiority & tactical interdiction. The Rafale is for dedicated deep-strike plus tactical air superiority. If the 110 MRCAs like the F-16 are procured, this will automatically deprive the LCA-AF Mk.2 project of developmental funds. HAL hasn’t been able to increase Tejas Mk.1’s production rate because of an acute shortage of skilled technicians. And this same problem will confront any private-sector aircraft manufacturer as well.

To JUST_CURIOUS: Yes, it is because it provides a window into the thought-processes of both the Govt of India & the IAF. And the insistence on purely military-related ToT is a no-brainer to begin with. Hence, the ToT clauses should focus strictly on qualifying Indian vendors to become part of the global supplier chain while at the same time playing catch-up on the development of a family of commercial air transportation aircraft, as both Japan & China have done to date. Hence, craving for ToT just for the AMCA project is un-doable from both industrial & financial standpoints & India certainly cannot succeed when even China & Japan have avoided taking such a route. The Falcon 21AT deep-upgrade option will take at least 3 years to emerge as a fully certified solution & the developmental costs will have to be borne by India from the very outset. Hence, the Falcon 21AT option must be part of the mid-life upgrade schedule, so that the Indian vendors can first master the licence-building of the existing F-16 airframe & its accessories & avionics. Composites-built structures don’t offer any stealth characteristics. It is the radar-absorbent materials & coatings that do. If money is spent on 110 MRCAs of an imported design other than the F-16, this will automatically eat into the finances reqd for developing/procuring the LCA-AF Mk.2 as well as the 83 Tejas Mk.1As.

To ANUP: Procurement of additional Rafales & Su-30MKIs is the only logical option. And the industrial offsets from the Rafale procurements should be channeled into the co-development by HAL & Dassault Aviation of a family of regional jetliners. There was no accident involving INS Arihant. The HINDU-origin story was FAKE NEWS.

To ANIK: Asaphila is in the Upper Subansiri Division. Here are the latest updates on the on-going Pashtun protests:

To RAD: Those are all fine on paper, but as long as the frequency spectrums are not resolved (and they cannot be resolved for as long as the tactical comms system is not selected by the IA), such solutions cannot be used.

Senthil Kumar said...

Dear Prasun,

Thanks for your reply


There is a rumor in gulf countries that Saudi Plan to split Qatar by Canal Project.

Before attacking Iran, Qatar vs Saudi+UAE+Egypt+Bahrain war will erupt.

Please comment.

S.Senthil Kumar

rad said...

hi prasun
drdo claims a truck mounted gun has been developed, whom have they copied??
they seem to have mounted it on a tatra truck.
I dont understand why on earth we are not producing tatra trucks locally in spite of the the large no we have .
though composites are not radar absorbing material can we assume that they are less reflective adding to a lower radar signature of the LCA?

will you be there in the defexpo in Chennai ??

Prranshu Yadav said...

Sir, if it is so cost prohibitive to licence produce these aircraft than how did we manage to licence produce aircraft like Su-30MKI, jaguar and mig-21?


Prasun Da,

This India Today article explains why self reliance in defense is a mirage (for India)


Anik said...

I think we lack proper covert operation capability to ensure deniability in these type of operations::

It is clearly visible that Indian Coast Guard and MARCOS were involved in this operation and the victims have not only confirmed to have seen ICG vessel but have also mentioned Penant number of the ship involved.

varun said...

sir, why is IA authorized only 353k bullet proof jackets...i think it is enough for deployed soldiers but not enough to equip all combat arms.
also what is difference between recently ordered smpp jackets & this jacket worn by jkp - looks light and nice..+ stops ak rounds.

john said...


MRCA Procurement Process.

1. RFI - 2 Months
2. RFP - 6 Months
3. Waivers - 1 Year
4. Finalsing spec - 1.5 years
5. TOT Discussion - 1.5 years
6. Offset finalisation - 1 Year
7. Price Negotiation - 1 Year
8. Corruption Allegation - 6 Months
9. CBI Probe - 3 Years
10. Black Listing the selected firm
11. Cancellation Of the RFP
12. Re-tender - 2029

Is there anything else to add ?


Jay said...

It is extremely well known how the previous Govt tried to strangulate Defense procurement and the present Govt had to make several emergency procurements and deployment decisions. Can you highlight that??

Kaustav said...


Do we have two competing consortiums to manufacture MMRCAs, the models being ofcourse the F18 and Rafale, being respectively led by HAL-Mahindra-Lockheed and Dassault-Reliance ADAG

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

Just got back to command & control centre after attending DEFEXPO 2018 from April 8 till yesterday. Will start posting updates from tonight.

Senthil Kumar said...

Dear Prasun,

Another FALSE FLAG attack in Syria

Using this US+UK+France starts attack

Everyone is waiting for Russian response.

Is it possible for NATO Russian war. Please comment.

S.Senthil Kumar

Abhay Jain said...

Thanks Sir

you are back, I was concerned about your health.

Intolerant Person said...

"India’s political environment is no longer that friendly to Russia”, says a top Russian executive.
I feel sorry for them.This is not fair,IMO,her act was immature.What's your take Prasunji?

Vishu Kayh said...

Prasun Da,

To this comment - don't forget SU-34 fullback

RFI: Is there a facility to allow the crew-members to relieve themselves and take provisions in-flight? Is there a specific stowage area for carrying provisions on-board?
Analysis: Again, a needless absurdity. While on-board provisions can be carried, where’s the need for built-in toilets?