India, Take Note: Ditching the Rafale for the Su-30MKI Would Be A Grave Mistake

Défense et Géopolitique

As mentioned here previously, and as reported already by DefenseNews, India is considering breaking negotiations to buy the French Rafale fighter and buying more Su-30MKIs instead. This is supposedly due to both budgetary reasons and heavy Russian lobbying.

If India were to do so, this would be a grave mistake that would cost India dearly in the very near future. Here’s why.

The Su-30MKI, as I have demonstrated earlier, is DECISIVELY inferior to the Dassault Rafale on all counts:

  • SIZE: The Su-30MKI (like all other Flanker variants) is much bigger and hotter, and therefore much easier to detect visually, with infrared sensors (such as the Rafale’s OSF), and with radar, than the Rafale, which is a small aircraft with a wingspan of just 10.8 m. In confrontation with the PLAAF’s J-7, J-10, and J-31 fighters, or the Pakistani Air Force’s J-7, Mirage 5, F-16, and JF-17 fighters, Indian Su-30MKI…

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44 thoughts on “India, Take Note: Ditching the Rafale for the Su-30MKI Would Be A Grave Mistake

  1. India’s grave mistake is spending 20 billion on a weapon system that is not needed when thousands of kids roam the streets homeless and hungry.

    It seems that every time that Rafale losses a competition its because the other side lobbied the buyer? Maybe France should put more effort into lobbying. Or maybe most airpower professionals dont really think as highly of Rafale as you do?

    I like Rafale but, I dont know that its worth that much more money than SU-30MKI.

    India should stick with HAL Tejas or if they have to have better, than Gripen.

    India is not fighting anyone with anything better than an SU-30MKI. Pakistan has a hanful of downgraded F-16’s and old Mirage III’s. China has nothing better for at least a few decades.

    • “India’s grave mistake is spending 20 billion on a weapon system that is not needed when thousands of kids roam the streets homeless and hungry. ”

      True. But they see China as threat, so they are going to spend these 20 billion USD on fighters.

      “Or maybe most airpower professionals dont really think as highly of Rafale as you do?
      I like Rafale but, I dont know that its worth that much more money than SU-30MKI. ”

      One for one, Rafale is significantly superior to Su-30MKI. But Su-30MKI is cheaper to buy, though it is likely more expensive to operate. So in the end analysis, it could go either way.

      “India should stick with HAL Tejas or if they have to have better, than Gripen. ”

      Agreed.

      “India is not fighting anyone with anything better than an SU-30MKI. Pakistan has a hanful of downgraded F-16’s and old Mirage III’s. China has nothing better for at least a few decades.”

      Modern fighter aircraft are more often seen as a symbol of prestige than as a weapon. Why do you think so many countries want the F-35?

      • Rafale is superior dogfighting airframe but, SU-30 due to its size can hold more and more powerful radar & avionics and maintain cooling properties. Especially if India upgrades with worldwide equipment.

        Really, I do agree with you Picard but Russia is more ready to sell SU-30 at near cost than France is. Maybe France needs to reconsider the short-term price and look at long-term benefits.

        Russia is looking at the long-term gains of ensuring they maintain control of Indian market.

        I do hope Rafale wins out. It would help French Military industry and help maintain Rafale factory humming. All good things for NATO.

        Rafale is (in my current opinion) the best WVR (WVR is were a large part of AA kills will happen) dogfighter in NATO (I know you think its the best in everything but i’m not of that opinion) and its a key to NATO airpower.

        India needs to control its birth rate. Not enough resources for that many Indians.

        • “Maybe France needs to reconsider the short-term price and look at long-term benefits. ”

          Agreed. Maybe it should take a look at how Sweden does with Gripen – though Gripen is not as expensive as Rafale is.

          “I know you think its the best in everything”

          Not really. I do believe that it is the best when it comes to killing enemy fighters, but for bomber interception I’d still rather take F-22 or Typhoon, and for ground attack A-10.

          “India needs to control its birth rate. Not enough resources for that many Indians.”

          True. Maybe West should donate few million TV sets.

      • It does seem like no nation has perfected getting their populations stable.

        The West, with its neoliberal policies and very family-unfriendly (for a lack of a better term) seems to suffer from birth rates that are below replacement rate.

        The US too is not immune:
        http://www.prb.org/Publications/Datasheets/2014/2014-world-population-data-sheet/us-fertility-decline-factsheet.aspx

        The biggest decline is in the HIspanic population’s fertility.

        Anyways, looking at the fertility charts, India’s fertility rate is declining.

        https://data.oecd.org/pop/fertility-rates.htm

        The nations that seem to be near replacement:

        1. The developing world (not a surprise as women’s empowerment and better education are correlated with lower birth rates)

        2. The Anglo nations generally have higher birth rates, but that may be a function of their higher poverty

        3. Among the other nations, the nations that do well are the ones with very “family friendly” policies (ex: Iceland, Sweden, Norway). They’re below replacement but near replacement. France too does very well.

        4. If I remember correctly, Israel’s rise is due to the Arabic population. The only other nation with rising rates is Russia, which are way below replacement rates.

        This would suggest to me that a Scandinavian social democracy is the way to go.

    • “Rafale is superior dogfighting airframe but, SU-30 due to its size can hold more and more powerful radar & avionics and maintain cooling properties. Especially if India upgrades with worldwide equipment. ”

      Funny piece of information that I stumbled upon. When picking the radar, the French air-force went with a lower ranged option despite having access to a higher ranged air-to-air option (they could have went with mechanical scanned radars like the Gripen and Typhoon which both had longer ranged radars in air-to-air mode). They did this because they wanted a agile radar capable of tracking both ground and air targets at the same time. Basically they wanted a Radar that would allow the Rafale to perform ground attack while at the same time being able to engage an aircraft that surprised it. Basically the french air-force dose not consider the lower air-to-air range of the radar a disadvantage as the Radar is not meant as a the main sensor for air-to-air work (IRST and RWR are used there) but it’s mainly a sensor for ground attack and close range, low altitude air-to-air combat where stealth is not an issue due to small range and infrared sensor might be confused by the ground clutter. So the fact that the Su-30 can carry a bigger Radar is not a disadvantage for the Rafale on the contrary it is a disadvantage for the Su-30 because, Rafale’s RWR will pick up the radar emissions from a longer range and will have more time to discriminate and identify the target.

      • Maybe Picard. If you have better technology. Using RWR to guide missiles is still beleived to be unreliable due to abilities of LPI AESA radars. Its an on-going battle of the geeks.

        I have read some opinions that say that IRST’s are very unreliable and slow to aquire targets. Although, that may have been early versions.

        Just found out that US Navy will be installing IRST on its F/A-18E/F’s

      • First off all I’m Andrei not Picard 😀

        Second of all in regards to this: ” be unreliable due to abilities of LPI AESA radars” I will answear with this Brochure: http://www.saabgroup.com/Global/Documents%20and%20Images/Air/Electronic%20Warfare%20Solutions/CIDAS/IDAS-CIDAS%20product%20sheet.pdf of SAAB integrated defensive aids suite which has MAWS, Laser Warning Receivere and RWR. the RWR entry starts like this:
        ” Radar warning function, RWS-300
        The Radar Warning Function features a compact, wide band, high sensitivity with high probability of intercept, POI, solution. The addition of an optional Digital Receiver, DRx, transforms the Radar Warning Functionality into a full-fledged ESM system ”

        I would like to draw your attention to the phrase “wide band high sensitivity with high probability of intercept”. Basically with this phrase the manufacturer states that it’s RWR receiver will be capable of picking up a wide range of radar wave lengths ” wide band ” , even at long range or if they emit with low intensity ( “high sensitivity ” ) and even if they employ LPI tricks such as narrow scanning beam or switching bandwidths ( “with high probability of intercept” ). Basically RWR technology is advancing at the same pace with Radar technology. If radar develops LPI techniques RWR will develop HPI techniques. And the advantage is to the RWR even at the same technology level, because of simplicity. For example the software of an LPI radar will have to emit several narrow beams, of short duration and of different wave-lengths and then receive the return signal, which might come at different wavelengths. So it needs a lot of processing power to store the characteristics of every beam emitted and then compare them to every beam received and then compute based on this information, size, shape, heading, speed of target. The software of RWR of the same technology needs only to receive emission in wavelengths possible for radar, store them based on origin, compare them to other emissions that have the same origin or origins on a possible flight path and discern based on the pattern of repetition both-in time and wavelengths if it’s a Radar or accidental. Basically all an RWR needs is good precision to locate the origin of a very tight radar beam and follow it. The following part will be very easy, even if the beam changes wave length it maintains the same intensity, so the software needs a very simple algorithm which stores informational and sorts it. Which is much more simple then the algorithm for Radar which in addition to storing and sorting needs also integration and derivation and another part of storing and sorting.
        So the advantage will always be to the RWR, because it’s and has at least for times the range of radar, because RWR intercepts the emitted signal while Radar needs the return signal which has traveled twice the range.

    • First, I think India needs the Rafale. It is actually one of the very few countries which can justify to by this bird, because they need its specificities. Rafale is offering tactical flexibility to strike at medium to long range (depending on your tanker fleet, size and availability), whilst efficiently ensuiring its own protection, and is even able to perform credibly SEAD / DEAD missions. So it is a weapon you need if you have agressive military ambitions, such as fighting in ennemy territory, away from your land. (which means Brazil would have been wrong to select the Rafale, although the Gripen selection at Rafale’s price is even more contestable…)

      If you look at a world map, there are not hundreads of nations who need (or can afford) such a long arm. Leaving the middle-east apart, I see USA, Canada, Russia, UK, France, China, India, and Australia. Now USA, Russia and China are working with their own production. Then you have USA vassals (Canada, UK and Oz), who will work with American products, no matter the cost or efficiency.

      So if India can ink the deal they will be soon armed with a tactically very capable fighter, whch in turns allow for more strategical options in their posturing toward both Pakistan and China. Plus, it is a weapon that neither of their opponent will have, and is not submited to american veto (quite a rare feat).

      Secondly, in my opinion the worst flaw in India’s decision process is not about which plane they will get in the end, but rather if they are able to have one. Remember, the IAF emitted it’s URGENT need for 126 fighters in 2001! Now even if they sign this year, they won’t have any new squadron before at least 2018…

      When you have two ennemies at your door, and express urgent need for weapons, it’s quite worrying IMO that fifteen year later you still haven’t reached a decision.

      • “When you have two ennemies at your door, and express urgent need for weapons, it’s quite worrying IMO that fifteen year later you still haven’t reached a decision.”

        INCREDIBLE INDIA.

      • Starting to be more convinced about the intents here.

        India does not have any real threaths that cause it to need Rafale or more SU-30MKI’s. Pakistan’s airforce is vastly inferior even without any further Indian aquisition. China’s is not threatening India Militariliy. They just care about stability and maintaining their economic prosperity. Disputed Kashmiri areas (other than for pride) are not all that important.

        The only real enemy India has is its own economy and poor infastructure. Millions of Indians can’t even get clean water!

        India has tens of thousands of kids running around homeless, sick, and starving and someone has the audacity to say they need to spend $20 billion on a fighter plane program instead!

        You should be ashamed!

        I hope you can forgive yourself at an old age when you look back at what you were.

        • US are throwing trillions into military while infrastructure is literally falling apart, Europe doesn’t have as high defense spending but it still has way too much redundancy in key weapons systems that decreases cost efficiency, Russia, India and China are increasing defense spending while having major issues with economy and living standards… stupidity seems to be the norm, especially seeing what weapons they are spending money on.

        • I totally agree. I have never disagreed.

          I have said many times if it were my call I would slash US defense spending to 1/4 of current budget.

          Also, there are no kids in US (or Western Europe I bet) that are running around homeless, hungry and without medical care. Only exception might be if parents are complete trash or mentally ill. But those usually have kids taken from them by courts.

          I live in US and infastructure is far from falling apart but, I would prefer to spend 3/4 of the defense budget on upgrading schools, airports, seaports, railways, bridges, roads. Broadband networks, medical research, etc.

          I have never lived in India either so maybe reports of poverty in India are overblown too??

        • “I have said many times if it were my call I would slash US defense spending to 1/4 of current budget.”

          Yes, I’d say it is a proper level. But I don’t see it happening as long as defense budget remains in service of corporate welfare.

          “I live in US and infastructure is far from falling apart but, I would prefer to spend 3/4 of the defense budget on upgrading schools, airports, seaports, railways, bridges, roads. Broadband networks, medical research, etc.”

          I was referring to these reports, though maybe I have overblown it a bit:

          http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/g85/4257814/

          “I have never lived in India either so maybe reports of poverty in India are overblown too??”

          No idea, but I doubt they are.

      • “The only real enemy India has is its own economy and poor infastructure. Millions of Indians can’t even get clean water!

        India has tens of thousands of kids running around homeless, sick, and starving and someone has the audacity to say they need to spend $20 billion on a fighter plane program instead!”

        – So, India is wrong to spend billions $ in it’s defense, because it have huge amounts of poverty among its population. OK.

        I don’t think you’re naive enough to believe that, should this MMRCA budget be cancelled it would translate in more schools, hospitals, and services for the poors, isn’t it? It’s very rare for peoples money to be invested in they’re own benefit. Money is usually invested where it can bring back more money, more exactly where it can bring back more money for the richs.

        Actually defense spendings is one of the rare case where money spent CAN benefit to the people. That is of course if there is a real need to aquire something in the first place, and then if the choices made in aquiring the stuff are the good one (choice of the material itself, its provenance, its inherent conditions, its impact on local industry…)

        Now is India fitting to the first part? In other words, is it in deep need of jet fighters as it pretends?

        Out of 722 fighters (supposed to be) in operational service, 241 are Mig-21. Since we are on a blog dedicated to warplanes, I think there’s no need to explain in details why it is unreasonable to base a third of your Air Force on the Mig-21, with all due respect for that legendary jet (unless your neighbors and only potential threats are Ghana, or Gambia, or Lesotho, but here it ain’t like that.)
        Then another 30% (roughly) are composed of ageing Jaguars (117 units) and Mig-27s (87 units). Both airframes reasonably good for ground attack purpose, but reaching the end of there life, as well as being more and more obsolete against ennemy aerial defenses.
        This means IAF credible forces (and only AtA defense platform) is composed of 161 Su-30MKI (plagued with lots of engine issues and strange incidents), 66 Mig-29 and 44 Mirages 2000 (slowly modernised). basically 261 aircrafts (36%) of its fleet. Now, what is their respective level of availability? You’ll soon understand that IAF isn’t scary at all, if you’re either China itself, or China assisted Pakistan. As a reminder, Chinas PLAAF currently counts 272 of just Su-27 family aircrafts (J-11, Su-27 / 30 / 35), plus 994 units of other airframes (indigenous or Russian copies), which worthness I agree is hard to asset. Pakistan on its side, if we put off rusty platforms as we did for India, still counts 45 F-16, and 189 chinese aircrafts.
        From that short summary it appears to me India is right (and quite late) to worry about the state of it’s air force.

        “India does not have any real threaths that cause it to need Rafale or more SU-30MKI’s. Pakistan’s airforce is vastly inferior even without any further Indian aquisition. China’s is not threatening India Militariliy. They just care about stability and maintaining their economic prosperity. Disputed Kashmiri areas (other than for pride) are not all that important.

        – You seems to believe China’s not a real threat, but that opinion is not the one of China’s neighbors, which can feel the pressure of the giant. A quick look at China’s foreign policy in the region will show you that EVERY piece of terrain that once was / would / should / could have possibly been part of Chinese Empire is systematically deemed chinese by China govt. Talks about a peacefull policy. Just have a look at how many territorial conflicts they have with Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Philipines, India… And how they behave when confronted to such conflicts.

        Let me ask you, do you think Taiwan would still be independant if they hadn’t been supported by occident, and hadn’t invested billions $ in their defense?

        Also, I think you know the sentance “To live in peace you have to prepare for war.” I believe it illustrate well the bottom of the problem, for India: Only way to not consider China a threat, is to be well prepared against it. That suppose lots of defense spendings, including pertinently selected and sized Air Force fleet.

        “You should be ashamed!”

        Now I strongly hope this wasn’t directed at me for daring expressing my opinion about one of Indias key military contracts on this blog. If it was, shame is on you, really…

        • 271 (you miscounted) SU-30MKI, Mig-29K, and Mirage 2000 is not a force to take lightly.

          20 Billion is too much for India.

          I know that this is a defense blog (that a participate in often) but, regardless of my childish fascination for military equipment and tactics I do beleive that spending in defense is inflated world wide.

          Having 126 Rafale will only increase chances of some limited fighting as India will want to try out its 20bill toy.

          India is a nuclear power. Why mess with India with all the low lying fruit out there.

          For example, Nato would walk over Russia militarily today but, just the chance of a nuclear incident makes a war with Russia out of the question and we all know it.

        • “but, regardless of my childish fascination for military equipment and tactics I do beleive that spending in defense is inflated world wide.”

          Indeed it is. Especially in the West, but rest of the world is spending a lot as well. Seems like a lot of it – for example, procurement of aircraft carriers and stealth fighters – is done primarily as a status symbol.

        • Unfortunately, we are still living in a world were armed forces are required.

          I don’t doubt that having 100 or 10,000 Rafales will make India safer from foreign powers. But, the clear and present danger is not China or Pakistan. Its India itself. I can say the same for most nations.

          In rich nations I can accept the spending a little more. Especially when its own industry.

          Maybe I am being naive. And Vyse is correct in that those savings will probably be blown in some other wasteful expense. I just dont feel right advocating for (even in this fantasy world that i travel to when I visit this and other blogs) a 20 Billion program knowing the level of poverty that exists in India.

          On a side note but still talking about India: Man I recently went to an Indian restaurant and I think Tika Masala is my new favorite dish. Thai food just went to second place.

        • “Unfortunately, we are still living in a world were armed forces are required. ”

          Indeed, but as far as I can see, in many cases military effectiveness – or even requirements of the country – seems secondary in deciding which weapon system to procure.

          “I don’t doubt that having 100 or 10,000 Rafales will make India safer from foreign powers. But, the clear and present danger is not China or Pakistan. Its India itself. I can say the same for most nations.
          In rich nations I can accept the spending a little more. Especially when its own industry. ”

          Agreed. BTW, NATO requirement for 2% GDP minimum defense spending is idiotic. Defense spending should be decided on the basis of requirements, not economic power.

          “And Vyse is correct in that those savings will probably be blown in some other wasteful expense.”

          Yes and no. Fact is, spending does help in creating jobs, and without spending there is no economy. But military spending is the least effective when it comes to job creation or boosting the economy.

          “I just dont feel right advocating for (even in this fantasy world that i travel to when I visit this and other blogs) a 20 Billion program knowing the level of poverty that exists in India.”

          True.

  2. While your arguments on why spending USD 20 bn on new fighters instead of building schools or hospitals talk to the heart, they also strike as either very naive or condescending… Or both… Especially coming from the US, a country not especially well known for its achievements in terms of social and income inequalities. Just look up Gini coefficient rankings from the UN or the World Bank. And the US has always had a very high military expenses to GDP ratio, especially compared to other “advanced” countries.
    Vyse made a strong point when mentioning the specifics of Indian geopolitics, and how the purchase of a capable multirole fighter is more than justified in a context of ever increasing military build up in the region. Unfortunately, the old motto si vis pacem para bellum is as valid as ever…

    • Well, this is not the post I wrote – I simply reblogged it – and you should have read it more carefully anyway. I agree with what you said, but:

      “India is considering breaking negotiations to buy the French Rafale fighter and buying more Su-30MKIs instead”

      In other words, in Indian view it is not a choice between Rafale and social spending, but between Rafale and Su-30MKI. Rafale is significantly superior to Su-30MKI, and while Su-30MKI is cheaper when it comes to one-off acquisition, it will be more expensive in overall lifecycle costs due to significantly higher maintenance requirements, fuel expenditure and having only a two-seater version.

      • My mistake, I was not referring to your post, but Duviel Rodriguez previous comments. Agreed on Rafale vs Su-30, and more generally with your views on military budget.

  3. @Duviel
    With radar warning vs radar, it is going to be like active sonar.

    The detection range of the source emitting the signature is always going to be longer than the detection range from emitting the source. For that reason, attack submarines rarely “go active”, unless they are in combat and need pinpoint accuracy (it helps with torpedo guidance and plotting a firing solution). Basically the submarine sends a “ping” and listens for the response from reflected waves. The big disadvantage with this ping is that it reveals the submarine’s location (and the fact that there is a submarine out there) to pretty much everyone else in the vicinity in a range greater than the submarine’s active detection range.

    Radar works in a very similar manner. The only thing AESA brings is that it “frequency hops”, which means that it emits radar pulses in many different frequencies. That’s not a bullet proof solution for avoiding detection and anti radiation missiles (whose technology will also advance).

    Also in real life, the RWRs like in sonar tend to have a longer detection range than the radars. The ALR-94 on the F-22 for example has a longer detection range that the radar, the APG-77.

    Going active is like a guy with a flashlight, while going passive is like having a detector that detects light – what would you rather be? What you’re trying to argue is that having different frequencies (say different colors – as an analogy for human eyes) will evade detection. That’s good for imaging on the radar, but so long as the RWR can detect a wide range of frequencies, that will not work.

    There has been some pretty aggressive improvement in the field of passive sensors – and RWR is no exception. QWIP IRST is another example of advancing passive sensors.

    @Picard

    Agree with the others that defense spending is a drain on society. It’s a problem in the US as well – the real budget is more than $1 trillion USD, yet it has the highest Gini index, and tends to do the worst among the Western nations on a variety of indicators. A simple comparison of things like inequality (rising everywhere but worst in the US), obesity, and so on give an idea of which nations do best and which do worst.

    The irony here is that a cheaper military might prove a more effective one.

    • The real US military budget – even if one were to count the entire DHS, VA, and DOE – is nowhere even close to one trillion bucks a year. Your claim is a blatant (and already disproven) lie propagated for many years by the CDI.

      As for America’s real (and imaginary) social problems like education, obesity, the state of infrastructure, etc. … you guys are still peddling (and trapped by) the decades-old (and already utterly discredited) idea that more government spending on these issues (financed by deep defense cuts and/or higher taxes) will solve these problems. No, it won’t. It will only make them worse.

      Poverty and inequality? Since 1964, the US has already spent TENS OF TRILLIONS of dollars fighting them – with no results to show for it.

      Education? The US ALREADY spends far more on education – both in absolute numbers and per capita – than any other country in the world, again with no results to show for it.

      Healthcare? Again, the US spends far more on healthcare than any other country in the world – both in absolute numbers and per capita – over 2 trillion dollars a year, in fact – more than the entire economies of almost all countries around the world.

      Infrastructure? Show me countries that don’t have potholes in roads, collapsing bridges, old railroads, and overcongested airports. I can show you my photos of potholes in Paris – yes, Paris, the capital of France. But the US at least has the world’s most extensive highway network by far, while 40% of cargo in the US is carried by railroads (vs only 8% in Europe).

      Medical research? Last time I checked, Americans had won more Nobel Prizes in science than any other people in the world.

      Throwing more money at a problem won’t solve it.

      • “Throwing more money at a problem won’t solve it.”

        Correct. Problem is the extreme neoliberal approach US have taken, where there is little oversigh. As a result, most of that money ends up in some capitalist’s pocket as opposed to being used to develop a useful service/capability.

        IMO, ALL portions of US budget – healthcare, defense, etc. – could easily be halved without any loss of capability, if only a more rational approach was taken.

        (This is also partly applicable to Europe, especially where defense is concerned. Just NATO European countries field three different fighter aircraft, four different MBTs, and that is just counting new developments. Too much is also being spent on corporate welfare – propping up banks that got themselves into trouble, for example).

        • Most of these issues result from a problem in our democracies that Allows special interests to use their $$$ to lobby our government and related institutions.

          How many billions do US presidential candidates now spend to get elected?

          We need to prohibit lobbying by institutions. We need to prohibit political donations in all its forms. Politicians need to have public fund with limited resources to use for election campaign. All get same amount.

          We need to have new FBI section going after institutions and persons that try to currupt public institutions. With people actually going to prison.

          Etc.

        • “Most of these issues result from a problem in our democracies that Allows special interests to use their $$$ to lobby our government and related institutions. ”

          Agreed. Lobbying should be at least strictly regulated, preferably eliminated, but I don’t think politicians will allow either to happen.

        • The honest one’s can’t get elected! They can’t get funded well enough to run an extensive media campaign. To win (other than local municipal offices in small cities) nowadays you need funding from corporate and special interests, without it the apponent will slander you all over the media and you will not have money to get your message out. In order to get funded you need to sell yourself to the big funders.

          We need to prohibit all these PAC’s and prohibit political donation from firms and other entities. Individuals are limited to $1,000 donation per candidate per election.

          Even entities representing foreign interests (Israel most notorious, China starting to do it too) are being allowed to throw millions into lobbying US politicians. This is not good for the interests of the American people and should be illegal.

  4. About Rafale’s price told to be too expensive:
    Totaly wrong.
    It’s an ruban legend created by french non-spécialists journalists themselves.
    A sort of self bashing common in french medias.

    Rafale is less expensive than Typhoon, and much more capable, except in air to air combat at high altitude/high Mach number, maybe.
    And Rafale is much more versatile than Typhoon, as a consequence, Rafale’s price is even lower from a subjective point of view.

    • Relative to a single engined fighter, I suppose you could make that argument. In the case of the Swiss, cost was one reason why they opted for the Gripen.

      Picard’s FLX design should have similar advantages.

      But yes, compared to the SU-27 variants, Eurofighter, or anything the US has (save maybe the F-16 earlier variants), the Rafale is a very cost competitive fighter.

  5. Off course. You can only compare something similar!

    What i wanted to point exactely, is the fact that the urban legend of Rafale being too expensive (for a moderne twin engines fighter) was falsely deeply anchored in people minds.

  6. Don’t underestimate the self bashing inside France, Picard!
    Even if french people are seen as arrogant outside France, in fact, we are a kind of depressive nation. 😉
    I would say that the only thing we are proud of, is the 1789 revolution testament:
    “Liberty, equality, fraternity.”

  7. Finally, India ordered 36 Rafale instead of 126. As I heard at french tv news 20:00, it was said that France seems to agree to technology transfert.
    http://www.opex360.com/2015/04/10/linde-veut-commander-36-avions-rafale/
    India is chieflly searching technology transfert, and they fed up with the price. France, in other hand, needs urgently money, and needs urgently credibilty after the disastrous Mistral contract, froze thanks to US lobbies too.

    • Actually the deal is 36 planes to be built in France and delivered ready to fly, with the rest (90 planes or so, more if Indian Navy buys it too) still on the line for licensed production. So no, it is not 36 instead of 126, but 36 “off the shelf” and the rest to be manufactured by HAL once an agreement is reached

  8. The big problem that I see these days is that cost to capability ratio is not the dominant procurement metric.

    Often political matters and in many cases, corruption become the dominant influences.

  9. Every western war game that the SU-30MKI enters in handily defeats ther western fighters, also SU-30MKI you can buy 4 fighters for 1 Rafale….

    • Latter comment may be correct, former is not… I’ve seen comments that say the complete opposite as well. Only Western fighters I know for certain got defeated by Su-30MKI are F15s.

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