Admist the political clutter let’s get to business and understand what has happened and why it is happening.
REAL HISTORY OF THE DEAL IS NOT FROM 2001 BUT FROM MUCH BEFORE
The current Rafale mess is a result of long vision less and rudderless control of aerospace and defense industry of this country and it’s leadership. This mess has it’s roots in long 4 decades tenure from 1960s to 2000.
Will go in form of a timeline:
- 1958: First batch of GNAT aircrafts are inducted.
- 1961: India buys first batch of Mig-21 from USSR which went as high as 1200.
- 1961: First super-sonic jet of Asia, Indigenously developed HAL HF-24 takes first flight.
- 1962: Indo-China war. Indian economy in shackles after war.
- 1971: HF-24 Inducted and takes part in ’71 War. Zero Casualties. Flawless performance.
- 1977:First HAL modified GNAT called Ajeet inducted.
- 1978: JAGUAR BOMBER SELECTED.
- 1981: FURTHER RESEARCH ON HF-24 TERMINATED ONCE AND FOR ALL IN FAVOUR OF JAGUARS.
- 1982: Mig’s closes retirement age, IAF wants replacement. First Mirage-2000 order placed of 2 Squadrons.
- 1984: ADA(Aeronautical Developement Agency) is formed and preliminary study of Indigenous fighter was started, meanwhile HAL not roped in despite having technical know how.Next Blunder.
- 1985: Orders for 50 Mig-29
- 1993: First full funding for LCA is released [after 10 years]
- 1998: SU-30 deal sealed
- 1999: Nuclear test embargo placed all research on LCA going on in US stopped and researchers were deported. Estimated delay was 4–5 years. Next Set back.
- 2001: First LCA test flight. Meanwhile Mig’s have crossed their age, undergoing life extension. First MMRCA deal conceived.
- Henceforth ,rest is known.
So what’s wrong here?
- Too many eggs in one basket: 1200 Mig-21 alone from USSR in name of friendship.
- No balance between research for aerospace and aircraft purchase Mig-21 and HF-24 shared common timeline had there been a fewer number of Migs been purchased and rest money spent on HF-24 and Ajeet’s research, entire scenario would have been different.
- Blatantly terminating the entire HF-24 programme despite scientists and engineers being confident of doing it in matter of months. HF-24 was established platform a war hero and a mature one it was killed and murdered brutally hence thereby we lost entire ecosystem in a single blow.
- Not involving HAL in preliminary stages of LCA and setting up entirely new ADA thereby reducing HAL into a license manufacturer and making ADA a newbie in aircraft developement created a hotch potch. Hence a golden decade is lost due to poor decision making and planning. HAL got castrated in these years from a sword to a mere knife.
Somebody has to be blamed, somebody has to take up the responsiblity for this mess? Pick up your names.
What is happening in name of Rafale is not an event, it’s the consequences of events that took in past, this is just the result.
Further what are the issues in the deal?
- Rafale is overpriced, UPA deal was cheaper than NDA deal.
- Why was HAL Rejected?
- Why was Anil Ambani’s company selected?
- There is no Technology Transfer.
INC’s Deal never happened, so they technically don’t have any right to ask for costs nor are they citing their sources, but general public may compare our deal to other customers via a simple google search.
Here we find that:
- Rafale has 3 Customers:
- Each Country has bought
- 36 Pcs
- 36 Pcs
- 24 Pcs
- Deal for each country was sealed in (Bn Euros)
- Cost per piece for each country( million euros)
So considering the fact that each country has different requirement hence different customisations therefore fully furnished aircrafts final cost may vary BUT from which angle does it looks that there has been a huge difference between us and other customer’s deal . There is only a mere difference of 6.3% on cost per piece at the two polar ends.
This effectively and brutally demolishes RaGa’s and INC’s hullabaloo claim of the deal being over priced. It’s a complete lie.
But merely dividing the total cost of deal by total number of aircrafts Further now to real facts:
- The figure of Rs.525 crore or €79 million per A/C, which the INC has been citing, is based on Dassault’s 2007 RFP response at the then exchange rate (€I = Rs.66) and that too for only the 18 Rafales that were to be delivered off-the-shelf .
- The 2007 price for each of the 18 Rafales would have cost in 2015 to €100.85 million (INR 765.4 crore at 2015 exchange rate of €1 = Rs 75.90).
- In comparison, the average price of each of the 36 Rafales bought in 2016 is €91.7 million (Rs.670 crore at the 2015 exchange rate), lower than both the earlier 2007 Rafale and Eurofighter EF-2000 RFP responses.
Also this is evident from a Rajyasabha reply on 19 March 2018, when the basic price of aircrafts was tabled albeit no media house covered it.
To understand the offsets crystal clear we need to get the one fact clear
“DASSAULT ALONE DOESNOT MAKE ENTIRE AIRCRAFT”
The major companies invloved are:
- Dassault = Aero-structure and Final Assembly
- MBDA= Weapons
- Rheinmetall= Weapons
- Snecma = Engines
- Thales = Radar and Avionics
Now when it comes to offsets in India
- Dassault has tied up with Reliance.
- Snecma has tied up with DRDO.
- MBDA has tied up with L&T.
- Thales already has several tie ups in India with BEL(DPSU) being one of the major partners.
- Rheinmetall is a black listed company so no JV can be formed with it as of now.
So if somebody says Dassault and Reliance looted us, sorry to say that neither even Dassault nor Reliance won’t gets to eat the complete pie it has to be distributed accordingly with other biggies and then with thousands of MSMEs involved on Indian sides.
The Customer specific modifications of India are as follows:
- RAFAEL- LITENING target acquisition/designation pod
- Spice-1000 standoff PGM
- MBDA- Meteor BVRAAM and ALARM anti-radiation missile
- RAFAEL- X-Guard towed-decoy
- SPECTRA EW
- TARGO-2 HMDS supplied by Elbit Systems
- THALES- traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS)
- THALES- standby radar altimeter
- Optimisation of the M88 turbofan’s jet-fuel starter for operating in sub-zero temperatures at altitudes above 9,000 feet ASL
- Increase in the capacity of the on-board OBOGS
- Inclusion of weather-mapping mode of operation in the THALES-supplied RBE-2 AESA-MMR
- Development of quad-pack ejectors for the DRDO-engineered and Spice-250 PGM-derived SAAW EMP-generating standoff PGM
- JV in flight-qualification of DRDO-developed 450kg laser-guided HSLD bomb and integration of the bomb’s FOG-based inertial navigation system with the Rafale’s on-board Sigma-95N RLG-INS through a MIL-STD-1553B interface
- Modification of the Sigma-95N RLG-INS’ coupled GPS transceiver in order to receive MIL-STD PY-code coordinates from India’s NAVIC/IRNSS constellation of GPS satellites.
THE KAVERI ENGINE SAGA
GE’s CEO once said regarding aero engines tech that: One need to go back atleast 25 years ago and make an investment of 2 Bn$ and after 20 years or so he MAY be successful, still doubtful.( Summary of what he said).
A little bit history about the kaveri engine:
- The GTRE GTX-35VS Kaveri is a turbofan project developed by the (GTRE), a lab under the DRDO
- The Kaveri was originally intended to power production models of the Tejas LCA fighter.
- This was approx 202 mn $ project which after many revisions and delays went on to become 640mn $ .
- Later on the project was divided into two category: K9 and K 10
- K9: Will be completely indigenous with only foreign consultation and certification.
- K10: Will be a joint venture with a foreign partner, probably rolls-royce.
- Problems that occured:
- Kaveri engine in its present form uses directionally solidified blade technology which is rather an old tech and it couldn’t tolerate the high temperature in its combustion chamber called “Kabini”. The solution was “single crystal blades”
- The thrust generated was nearly 65 to 70% of what was needed.
- Performance decay at high altitude.
- A peculiar noise when in after burning mode.
Here comes the Rafale deal which many think was a corrupt decision by the current leadership as it just bought 36 rafales. But if we look closely to the offset, it was boon to us as under the offset:
- Snecma which manufacture the Rafales M-88 core agreed to help and certify the engine in 18 months.
- DRDO has been given a virtual blank check to channelise offsets from the Indian Rafale deal to resurrect the Kaveri.Snecma, a partner in the Rafale programme, builds the Rafale’s twin M88 turbofan engines. Under the terms of the partnership , Snecma is working to modify, certify and integrate the Kaveri on a Light Combat Aircraft airframe before 2020.
- The Off-set worth to DRDO alone is 9000 Crs INR. That lefts only 21000 Crs of the alleged 3000 Crs INR given to Ambani as being cried by RaGa.
- A later phase in the partnership will involve modifications on the Kaveri for a twin configuration on India’s AMCA fifth generation fighter concept and an altered non-reheat version for the Ghatak UCAV.
- According to DRDO chief the kaveri engine will be ready by next aero india 2019.
- Another good news is that altitude test and flying test bed trials have been completed. Official statement of MoD in Parliament” In a written reply to the Lok Sabha in December 2016, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre had called the effort of the GTRE in developing the engine as “an attempt to mastering one of the most complex technologies”. The minister said the altitude test and flying test bed trials for the engine had been completed and other developmental problems were being addressed to make the engine flight-worthy through in-house efforts as well with assistance from abroad”.
- The engine will be first used on Tejas PV-1.Other uses will be
- Ghatak UCAV(Dry variant or w/o afterburner)
- Tejas Mk2
- Also, Rolls royce has collaborated with DRDO on developing the K10 engine. This engine’s first prototype is to be expected in 12 month. The news was broken out in Aero-india 2017 in february.
This is where the biggest ToT will take place and as Air Marshal B.S Dhanoa said the ToT is now to DRDO instead of HAL but it comes to “Indians”.
WHY NOT HAL?
DRDO has been quite honest with R&D despite hiccups but when it comes to manufacture en mass which is supposed to be done by HAL, there work ethos has been questioned for many years both by Air force and the government audit agencies and committees.
Let’s have a look on some of the recent events:
- 15 December 2018: Now Kharge is a key member of INC. Yes the same INC whose president shows sympathy to HAL in rallies while his key minister scre*s them in Parliament.
You want to see more proofs why Dassault was hesitant to go with HAL?
Here it is:
- Wanna have more? This same congress during it’s tenure set up a Standing Committee to review HAL and made 88 page long report rebuking it left and right. Here is the proof[http://126.96.36.199/lsscommittee/Defence/14_Defence_17.pdf]
These are some vital excerpts from the said reports. These go on to reinstate two things:
- Neither HAL is a victim, it’s history would make any foreign company think twice before collaborating, otherwise they may permanently loose market as big as India like Denel did . No body wants that.
- Nor Congress is a Saviour. It has roasted HAL while in tenure today Kharge roasted whilst in opposition. So RaGa’s HAL visit is a mere farce nothing else.
Further several more questions arises here and ought to be asked to congress and it’s highly knowledgeable supporters
- In 2010 INC signed a $4.1 Bn deal for C-17 Globemaster with US, what stopped them from going for offset programme and include HAL as beneficiary if they were so concerned about it?
- In 2011 C-130 Hercules were inducted in IAF, but the off set was given to TATA, why was HAL kept out?
- During the Rafale’s offset why was Mukesh ambani’s company allowed to be offset partner, what experience did he have, however the pact expired dassault finally collaborated with Anil Ambani RDEL to form RADA which was 49:51 sharing between Dassault and Reliance hence Ambani don’t owns the entire company. Therefore even if “Modi ji puts 30000 Crore in Ambani’s pocket” Ambani still actually gets 14700 Crs but that’s not possible as said DRDO, BEL, THALES etc wanna have their share too, How do you justify his 30000 Cr jibe? BS again!
- What was the total value of deals given to HAL during UPA tenure?Don’t know.
But here are some hard and cold facts regarding the same during Modi’s regime:
- LCA MK-1A: 123 (Biggest Order book)
- LCH: (65 + 114)Pcs (IOC granted, first batch of 15 purchased for user assisted trials[UAT])
- ALH Dhruv: 33Pcs
- DO-228 for Civil use under UDAAN scheme.
- HTT-40 : 100 Pcs (DAC cleared, but order only when project completed on time else opt for Pilatus trainer further.)
- Drones for CRPF in Naxal regions.
- Formed a collaboration with Boeing and Mahindra for taking part in Naval MRCBF tender for 57 fighters.
- Modi regime re-started the NAL-HAL Saras aircraft programme after 9 years whose potential order will go upto 70, if HAL and NAL completes the project on time.
That’s a failrly well order book as well as prospect for a company . How many solid orders did congress give?
5. INS Vikramaditya, we bought earlier negotiated 800Mn$ carrier for navy from Russia finally in 2.5Bn$, Why?
6. FGFA(5 th generation aircraft),T-90 deals were very faulty:
- we are the co-developer of FGFA we paid for it’s R&D we got nothing but only the disappointment, our pilots and engineers are not even allowed to get near to it.Project started in 2007(Congress), we were almost 40% financing the project, but our workshare was below 15% of this project.
- T-90: Deal was signed in 2007, Transfer of Technology was agreed upon, but never happened, all this has to be replaced by modifying technologies developed from our very own Arjun Tank. T-90 never had a crew cabin cooling system(curse in desert area), Night vision, thermal vision, all are modified tech from Arjun and produced by BEL. T-90 even lost against Arjun Mk-1 in comparative trials which eas later re-iterated by CAG but but but again second batch was ordered of the same loosing T-90 sidelining arjun for reasons of being “Heavy” when it has a ground pressure lower than T-90, when it is not night blind and when IT HAS WON IN A FACE TO FACE TRIALS. WHY?
ANIL AMBANI’S FIRM INEXPERIENCED IN DEFENSE BUSINESS
That’s the most immature allegation one can make.
You see this big boys here? Guess who is it?
United States Navy 7th fleet [USS 7th fleet]
It’s based in Japan and it’s sole purpose is to maintain power balance in Indo-Pacific region along with other allies including India against any Chinese domination in International waters. At present, it is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with 60 to 70 ships, 300 aircraft and 40,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel.
Now it’s certain these ships requires lot of maintainance and it can’t be done by some Joker, guess who is the maintainance contractor?
ANS: RDEL [Proof: Reliance Defence to maintain USN’s 7th Fleet ships]
Perhaps this alone is sufficient to settle down the fact that “AMBANI HAS NO EXPERIENCE IN DEFENSE BUSINESS”.
Now let’s come to said deal
It remains a no brainer to say Ambani has no experience or even background of Defense sector or knowledge about it, that’s a utter crappy logic let’s take an solid example:
Ever heard of Lockheed Martin?
Yes the one which has churned legends like F-22, SR-71. It’s the biggest arms manufacturer on this planet
Who is it’s CEO?
Marillyn Adams Hewson
You know her education?
It’s nowhere closely related to the field concerned neither engineering nor applied science.
She is a BBA and a Master of Arts in Economics.
Anil Ambani is a BSC and MBA.
Education wise their is not much difference albeit Anil Ambani does have a STEM background.
Now he is not going to have to go to the factory personally and personally make those products, he has the finacial resources with which he can hire appropriate people who can get his job done same stands with him buying out Pipavav Yard same applies to him joining hands with Dassault albeit this time Dassault shall provide the technical know how and Know-what and Reliance will be the Indian host to Dassault to enter Indian Markets as DPP only allows foreign company for 100% FDI only under automatic route which is not the case here.
Here several points are to be remembered:
- Rafale will be bought off the shelf from France and all of it will be completely manufactured by France and In France.
- Reliance doesnot have any job to do regarding Rafale.
- Reliance will not alone be benefited by offset clause, it is JV of Dassault and Reliance called DRAL in Nagpur that will cadre to the offset clause.
- DRAL will manufacture composite nose cones for Dassault’s Falcon passenger jet, which has lucrative market in India keeping in mind the UDAAN scheme that requires smaller chartered flights.
Now I will debunk the exprience lie further?
Let’s get into some technical detail.
The nose cones are a composite material made of various kinds of composite.. These materials are fiberglass, quartz, honeycomb and foam cores; as well as various chemical resins. All comes under various types of Composites.
Further divided into A-Sandwich and C-Sandwich, Sandwich radomes tend to offer better performance over narrow frequency bands, making them the preferred option for military and scientific applications. A-Sandwich radomes are comprised of low-dielectric foam or a honeycomb core between two slender laminates.
A C-sandwich radome is made up of three skin layers and two foam layers. The solidity of each foam layer can be tuned for ideal RF performance, allowing for many probable constructions that offer high-quality RF performance and mechanical strength. C-sandwich also provides better performance than A-sandwich radomes.
Now since same RDEL is related to ship business for a long while here comes the next part how even ship building has composites manufacturing and application playing vital part.
Composite materials have been used in the marine industry for a number of years. The more traditional applications for composites include gratings, ducts, shafts, piping, hull shells, etc for several decades. Wood and ferrocement are some of the other composites techniques that are still being used for marine applications.
So if RADA is making composites part for aerospace they are not completely new to it ,they have been in composites application, Defense Business, but in marine defense application here they just stepped in aerospace composites application. Hence they are new to aerospace but neither to defense nor to composites technology.
WHY SPECIFICALLY RELIANCE AND NOT SOME OTHER FIRM?
Whenever we think of some of the biggest Indian companies invloved in infrastructure, Automobile etc TATA, Mahindra, L&T, Punj-Lloyd, Bharat forge, Ashok Leyland are the major names that come to mind.
As I have shown in the documents earlier related to HAL, it is clearly mentioned that private firms can’t be kept out from defense business. When deal was negotiated most of the companies expect Reliance had tie ups with major foreign defense firms to take part in various defense deals.
- TATA already had tie up with Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, Boeing of USA to make parts of helicopter, C-130 Super Hercules aircraft and now Apache helicopters.
- Mahindra had tie up with BAE systems to jointly manufacture M-777 Howitzer for Indian army.
- L&T had tie up with Samsung Techwin of South Korea to manufacture K-9 Vajra SPH for Indian Army.
- Bharat Forge itself is a well known and new Indian company in Artillery system business. It also had tie up with Israeli company to make Bharat-52 Artilley system.
- Ashok Leyland had tie up with French firm Nexter to take part in Indian Army’s Mounted Gun System artillery program me , which is yet to take place.
That lefts only one company to make a possible tie up with Reliance.
And if a company can handle a nuclear power construction project we can surely trust it with making just a nose cone for a passenger jet!
WHY ONLY 36?
Rafale was made in emergency purchase, hence a IGA route was taken. Most air force aircrafts under IGA are always bought not more than 2–3 squadrons under usual circumstances and without any tender and this is not the first time. Other deals include:
- P-8I Poseidon: USA, 8 in 2009 then 4 in 2010.
2. C-17 Globemaster: 10 C-17s in 2010.
3. C-130J: First batch in 2011.
4. SU-30 MKI: 272 fighters
5. Mirage-2000: 3 Sqaudrons in 1982
6. Mig-23 BM
7. Mig-29: 3 Squadrons in 1980
8. S-400 Missile defense System: There was no tender for this as well?
9. Also India uses Mi series helicopters from Russia, infact most of our millitary helicopter especially trasport are of Russian origin, all were bought under G to G deal and no tenders.
DISSECTING THE COURT JUDGEMENT
The Para 25 despite it’s grammatical error, clearly states two points:
- CAG has been given the pricing details.
- Only a part of that pricing detail will be given to PAC and Public domain. in form of final CAG report.
Now here comes the kicker which no pseudo liberal is talking about:
The last line of Para 25 clearly says: “Despite this reluctance, the material has still been placed before the Court to satisfy its conscience.”
That clearly tells that SC has gone into pricing deatils of the basic a/c as further made clear in Para 26.
The court was given the details as asked in a “CLOSED ENVELOPE” which is given to CAG and will be presented to PAC henceforth. Hence it is and won’t be made public except court and as been given in excerpt from judgement given by SC and only part of it will come to PAC and CAG as well.
Atlast all I can remember is a quote from Legendary Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw:
That’s the condition of most People on side of Congress including RaGa who just utters whatever comes to their mouth and same is the reason why BJP is not able to put a proper defense to it. Meanwhile the so called intellectuals be it on social media who comes to spread even more of Mis-information.
Picture Credits: Respective Owners
Literature References : Trishul Blog, Google Search, Rajyasabha and Loksabha reports and replies.