Rahulji keeps on asking question why 36 and why not 126?
I am asking Rahulji, why Congress wasted so many years in negotiation, and why A K Antony, decided to “postpone” the purchase of aircrafts to next financial in 2014 year citing lack of money, when the winner was announced in January 2012 (as if price would not increase, what sense did it make)!
Why didn’t we scale down our requirement to 54 or 72 with some “options” to be acquired in future at the same price?
126 numbers would have not mattered anyway, as we would be getting only 12 jets per year on an average which is “insignificant” to arrest our falling squadrons numbers.
Why did we kept on insisting 126 jet fighters? Why not spread out our budget, why waste precious years?
Congress has made the whole negotiation process a gimmick, and a laughing stock. It is obvious that Congress is really bad at negotiations and gives secondary importance to the security of the country. It pushes the country upto the wall, making it bleed in paying up more.
Would we loose Technology Transfer if we had gone for less jets?
Dassault CEO Trappier recently said – that India should order at least 200 aircrafts for feasible technology transfer. But this is he saying in 2018.
In 2012, things were very very different. Dassault was so desperate to find an international buyer that it was ready to do a complete Technology transfer to Brazil for as little as 36 jets! Not only Dassault, even Boeing F/A 18 Super Hornet and SAAB Gripen were ready for technology transfer. So if India would have reduced the requirement to 54 or 72, it would have still got the “technology transfer”.
Now in 2015, when Modi was looking at deal, Dassault had a confirmed order for 48 jets – 24 each from Qatar and Egypt (with possible 24 more as options) from international market enough for next 4-5 years, while India had no room to wait, its desperation was known to international sellers – we had wasted a hell lot of time under Congress. Anybody with little idea of negotiation strategies knows that now Dassault had an upper hand, and can stretch the negotiations for another 2-3 years causing India to bleed even more, thanks to Congress myopic vision.
36 in “flyaway conditions” made more sense so that we at least have some numbers and then work on a new deal without pressure.
Does the Congress deal of Technology Transfer really matters?
This is the most “misused” term used by Rahul Gandhi and media to fool the people of India. This has been advertised as – oh wow we would have been able to “manufacture” jets and get “latest technology”. Check any news sources and you would see a term- “progressive” transfer of technology. It means we would get hand on technology progressively in small units by 2023. We would continue to get the important piece of technologies in Complete Knock down (CKD) or Semi KD to be assembled here. Even Brazil would not have been able to produce own jets for their own country unless paid a license fee to Dassault, and able to manufacture and sell similar jets to another country till 2030, and the same was true for India. By the time we receive the “complete technology transfer”, the technology transfer would have been obsolete. (Dassault also offered Indonesia technology transfer in 2015, but even then lost the contract).
Indian HAL has been assembling Sukhoi for decades in similar manner.
And if you think, by getting a technology transfer for Maruti Suzuki, you would be able to build Tesla from next year itself- fat chance. You would be producing Maruti Suzuki only. (I don’t mean Maruti Suzuki is a bad machine, it is most suitable for India and most developing countries.)
So what does India needs?
India needs to upgrade to Tejas MK2 as fast as possible, which is now being fitted with General Electric F414-GE-INS6 engine. Meanwhile India is working with France on reviving the Kaveri Engine to be fitted in Tejas MK1 (On 20 November 2016, DRDO Director General for Aeronautics Cluster C P Ramanarayanan confirmed that DRDO and French Snecma have tied up to revive Kaveri Engine as part of the offsets deal for 36 Rafale jet). Now this is real technology transfer, as one of the areas we get beaten is the engine, and not the. design or parts. As part of 36 Rafales deal, India does have technology transfer in terms of offsets investments, AESA Radar tech, and capability to arm the jets with indigenous missiles like Astra BVRAAM.
India needs to ramp up its production and include more LCA Tejas in our fleet.
India has launched a new tender for 110 fighter aircrafts. The Congress deal was very ambiguous and had “progressive transfer of technology”. The new RFI to which six global companies have responded, is clear that the entire thing end-to-end would be “Made in India” with no parts to be imported in CKD or SKD conditions in partnership with a “Strategic Partner”. This also includes HAL as a strategic partner, with Tata, Reliance, Mahindra being others.
If HAL looses, so be it may the best aircraft wins. In meantime DRDO form a collaboration with a country to develop fifth and continue to work on sixth generation fighter aircrafts. A collaboration with Russia has fallen through though on a fifth generation fighter craft, due to DRDO claim that it has the technology or is working on it indigenously.
Next Part- How Rahul Gandhiji is lying when he says India paid more than Qatar and Egypt for Rafales?