Modi v/s. Congress Rafale :-What is the technical difference between the Rafale aircraft
Rafale deal is a defence agreement signed between the governments of India and France. The deal was after long-drawn talks. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently claimed that the Rafale deal has its origin in the NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which in 2000, emphasised the need to mordernisation of the Indian Air Force.
As per records, the procurement of Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircrafts (MRCA) was initiated in 2007, when the then UPA government issued a Request for Proposals. Proposals from the six contenders – Boeing’s Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-16IN Super Viper, RAC MiG’s MiG-35, Saab’s Gripen C, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Rafale – were examined by the Indian Air Force.
In 2011, the IAF narrowed the focus on the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale in the fray while rejecting the other contenders. In January, 2012, the IAF identified the Rafale as the winner following which negotiations over the cost began But UPA Rafale Deal was never actually Signed
After 2014 Election, Modi government placed an order for 36 Rafales from France in fly-away condition,i.e these are fully built fighters that will be sent from France to India,no HAL or Ambani involved,as much as Congressis and allied Media outlets and Academics would have you believe
the order also included Meteor BVRAAM’s(Beyond Visual Range Anti Air Missiles),Magic II short range AAM’s and AASM-Hammer precision guiden munitions for every plane.
Includes spare parts for 5 years or so,and associated training for the technicians who will be maintaining Rafales in the IAF
Difference Modi v/s. Congress Rafale Deal
The new Indian Air Force Rafale DH/EH ( Single Seater Version is EH while Dual Seater Version is DH ) features a lot of Indian-specific customizations catering to Indian Air Force needs and demands which it will be inducting freshly. I have tried to detail some of those customizations to highlight how the new Indian Air Force Rafale has been improvised :
A. LITENING G4 Target Acquisition Pod from Rafael.
B. Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) from THALES.
C. TARGO-II Helmet Mounted Display Systems from Elbit.
D. Upgraded SPECTRA Electronic Warfare System featuring capabilities in low-, medium- and high- band apertures along with highly optimized threat llibraries depending upon mission requirements.
E. X-Guard Towed Decoy Systems from Rafael.
F. Quad-Pack Ejectors for DEW EMP being developed by India-Israel as a Stand Off Weapon.
G. Standby Radar Altimeter from RAFAEL .
H. Onboard Oxygen Generating System ( OBOGS ) capacity has been beefed up for increased endurance for pilots who might pass out due to hypoxia due to loss of oxygen.
I. Sigma 95N INS has been coupled by a GPS transreceiver to receive accurate coordinates from India’s own NAVIC IRNSS Positioning Satellites.
J. Weather Mapping Mode added in RBE-2 AESA Radar of Rafale.
K. New Weapons : Rafale DH/EH features many Indian Air Force specific weapons. These include the new BrahMos-NG Supersonic Cruise Missile , ALARM Anti-Radiation Missile , Kh-31P “Krypton” Anti-Radiation Missile and SPICE-1000 Guided Precision Munition.
L. M88 Fuel Jet-Starter has been optimized to take off smoothly and work from high altitude sub-minus temperature regions so that IAF’s operation in Himalayas from high altitude bases is ensured.
Indian Rafales will also be a part of IAF’s AFNET & Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS) which is a military grid to allow command and control operations which will allow Rafale to inter-connect to other Indian assets through a secure data link like Airborne Early Warning & Control , Communication Satellites , other Fighter Aircrafts and also ground assets like Air Defense Batteries and C4I Command Centres.
TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY
The Congress has claimed that under the UPA deal, the Rafale had agreed to transfer of technology while under the Modi government, there is no such bounding on the French company. Nirmala Sitharaman, rejecting, the charge said that transfer of technology will happen as 126 Rafale fighter jets would be manufactured in India.
Reports suggest that the need for reworking the Rafale deal arose as the French company refused to share its technology with the HAL saying that it was not equipped to transfer its technology on the fighter jets. This happened after the exit of UPA government.
The new Modi government insisted that Rafale Dassault took responsibility of the quality standards of the fighter jets. Rafale was not ready to accept the condition necessitating a revisit of the terms and conditions negotiated during UPA government.
Now, IAF chief Dhanoa has said that “technology may not be going to the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) but it is coming to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and then to a lot of Indians.”
What is the difference between the Rafale aircrafts dealt and negotiated for under UPA and NDA regimes ?
The Rafale dealt for under UPA regime was a watered down-version of Rafale F2 variant carrying no Indian-specific enhancements like those mentioned above. In military jargons , such export models are referred as “Monkey Models” ( originally referred to Soviet Military Equipment meant for exports ; This policy is now used by many nations who omit some advanced features from their export models to not allow their export partners to get hands on Top-Tier Military Equipment ) and inspite of all that , the cost of each Rafale is just Rs.59 crore higher that in UPA’ case compared to NDA.
NDA Regime vouched for the F3R standard with many Indian-specific enhancements which added more to its overall capabilities and made it more combat effective. Even though these enhancements , which are the need of time , added some $2 Billion extra in NDA deal saved some Rs.12,600 crore in total on Rafale deal. Rafale F3R added some extra leap-aheads like METEOR Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile and Software updates.
This makes the whole case clear that , atleast on technological terms , the NDA deal was much better than UPA deal which was just a non-existent delusion as it wasn’t even on papers. Comparing the UPA and NDA deal is akin to comparing a dead lion to a living donkey. UPA deal which was not only higher priced also lacked the combat effectiveness IAF needed which was delivered by NDA regime in its own re-worked dealings which vouched for 36 Combat-Effective Rafales with much more maintainability , offset investment and other intensive procedures which makes the present deal to be light years ahead of what UPA could muster up at that time.