INDIA’s Fighter Aircraft Deal – RAFALE & TYPHOON still incompetition

The Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) should be a European fighter jet. India shortlisted the Eurofighter Typhoon and the French Rafale for a $12 billion fighter jet deal. 126 fighter aircraft are to be ordered! As controversial rumours have spread for months through the Internet and the Indian channels, nobody could be certain of the sort of decision that could be made. For instance, remember this idea of purchasing two different combat aircraft that was issued a few months ago. Then, the news came right out of the blue yesterday April 28, 2011. Indeed the American, Russian, and Swedish jetfighters have been discarded.

According to the video hereafter,

The high-flying American campaign to win the $10 billion multirole combat aircraft tender has crashed.

The Indian Defence Ministry confirmed that the F/A-18F Super Hornet and the latest F-16IN were out of the race. Neither of these U.S. fighters would have met the Indian Air Force’s technical requirements during the trials that were also submitted to the JAS-39 Gripen; the MiG-35; the Rafale; and the Typhoon.

RAFALE aerobatics at La Ferté Alais Airshow 2010
RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 - Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

One may wonder why the Gripen was not selected in this competition. Well, this excellent aircraft is not equipped with any arrestor hook, and that is probably why it has not been kept in the race for this tender.

According to previous articles in this very website, the assumption that a Rafale might have shot down an F-22 Raptor plus some other rumours about the French combat aircraft performance left my readers in utter disbelief two years ago.

It is important to notice that the Rafale purchase is a rather expensive option. However, it should also be noted that, in spite of the modest political clout of France in India, as well as its price tag – $90 million – the Dassault Rafale remains in the final competition. A transfer-of-technology amendment might be added to the contract.

As the Super Hornet and the Super Viper have been rejected, this is a deep disapointment for Lockheed Martin; McDonnell Douglas; Boeing; General Dynamics; as well as a real watershed in the geopolitical approach in Asia.

Photo courtesy: Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

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AERO INDIA 2011 without MiG-35 fighter aircraft!

The Russian MiG-35 multirole fighter was expected to take part in the Bangalore airshow this month.

However, her mysterious absence has been noticed by the journalists and the other 5 participants of the MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) tender. The F/A18F Super Hornet; the F-16IN Super Viper; the Rafale; the Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon; the Gripen NG; and the MiG-35 are in contention to win the $11 billion tender. The Indian Air Force will then enlarge its fleet with up to 126 multirole fighter aircraft.

After starting this video on the MiG-35, the Russian voice is dubbed in English with a delay of a few seconds:

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RAFALE or EUROFIGHTER to become next Indian Air Force fighter jet according to Indian media – Russian and US media deny

Rafale fighter aircraft aerobatics at La Ferté Allais airshow in 2010
RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 - © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

Amazing rumours have spread for a couple of days regarding the MMRCA (Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) or the MRCA Tender which is an ongoing competition to supply the Indian Air Force with 126 Multi-Role Combat Aircraft maybe up to 189 fighter jets.

The Indians have considered 6 bidders so far:

Typhoon (European Eurofighter Consortium)
Rafale (French Dassault)
MiG-35 Fulcrum-F (Russian UAC subsidiary RSK-MiG)
Gripen NG/IN or JAS 39 (Swedish Saab)
Super Hornet F/A-18 E/F (US Boeing)
F-16IN Fighting Falcon (US Lockheed Martin)

As you can watch the video below, two fighter aircraft have been quoted as finalists for the last stage: The EUROFIGHTER-Typhoon and the RAFALE.

However, American and Russian media deem that such statement cannot be true. Official results should be announced soon. Well, wait and see…

Photo above: RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 – © Xavier Cotton PASSION pour l’AVIATION

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