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An alternate view on the Rafale Deal
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Wg Cdr Ravindra Parasnis | Date:23 Apr , 2015 23 Comments
Wg Cdr Ravindra Parasnis
Former Pilot of Indian Air Force and Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies.

On March 06, 2015, Mr. Bharat Karnad wrote in the New Indian Express (NIE) an article demanding the termination of Rafale Deal between India and France. It was shocking to note that in this article this columnist of stature and the said respected national daily descended to a level of launching a mean personal attack on an officer of the stature of the Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF). In the lead article on the edit page in the ‘Opinion Column’ of NIE, Mr. Karnad also demanded that Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha be dismissed from service, accusing him of gross incompetence, lacking in leadership and for failure to anticipate the unexpected and be prepared for it (meaning absence of an alternate plan for MMRCA purchase). Readers may like to note the contradictions as given below.

Air Chief Marshal Raha reached the topmost position in his Air Force career purely on merit through proper selection process, proving himself not only in flying and air strategy but also administration and personnel management.

Air Chief Marshal Raha is a specialist flyer and a professional air warfare strategist par excellence. He has reached the topmost position in his Air Force career purely on merit through proper selection process, proving himself not only in flying and air strategy but also administration and personnel management. His abilities in both command (leadership) and staff jobs are well proven over decades of his service in the Air Force in a highly competitive atmosphere.

It is not comprehensible as to with what knowledge, experience and authority can a mere educationist cum analyst assume himself to be capable of judging a specialist flyer, professional air warfare strategist, proven leader of men and a great administrator in such degradable terms. Likewise, it is impossible to comprehend as to with what justification can the popular Daily publish such utter non-sense. Freedom of expression doesn’t mean crossing limits of basic decency and good manners. Traditions of good journalism frown upon pontification and judgmental writing as also personal attacks, but the author has brazenly indulged in the same and the paper has proudly published the article in their most respected column. These wrong, revengeful and irresponsible remarks have the potential to shake the faith of Air Force personnel in their highest commander, affecting their morale. These men are required to obey his commands without question at a risk to their life in the defence of the nation. Wars are not won by soldiers in poor morale.

Reason given by Mr. Karnad for his extra ordinary outburst is the Air Chief’s reply to the Press during a casual discussion in an Aero-India 2015 event that there was no Plan B to the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) Deal, it being in its final phase of negotiation with Dassault Aviation of France. To me this statement simply means ‘we are not considering other alternatives at this point of time’.

Rafale is omnirole by design

As MMRCA Rafale fighter aircraft is designed for omnirole. It is capable of carrying out a wide range of missions. It can switch roles mid-air while airborne for a different mission. Rafale is designed for the following roles:

  • Air Defence / Air Superiority
  • Area Denial
  • Reconnaissance
  • Close Air Support
  • Dynamic Targeting
  • Interdiction
  • Anti-shipping Attacks
  • Nuclear Deterrence
  • Buddy-buddy Air to Air Refuelling
  • Aircraft Carrier Capable for Sea-borne Operations

The MMRCA proposal itself contains six alternatives, out of which two have been recommended for selection by the IAF. That apart, the options of Su-30 MKI and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) have been adequately discussed within themselves by the IAF and Ministry of Defence (MoD) and even commented upon in passing references by them. Thus the conclusion that the Air Chief had failed to prepare an alternative plan is patently wrong.

Surprisingly, the Government doesn’t appear to have considered some serious action against this act of gross misdemeanor against their Air Chief.

The writer has also accused the Air Chief of pressurizing the Government to accede to IAF’s desire for getting the ‘Rafale’ aircraft into their inventory by using the absence of a fallback scheme as a ‘ruse’. This implies that the IAF and its Chief are pursuing their own agenda at the cost of national interests. Besides, the esteemed columnist ridicules the very process of selection of the best among six finest fighter aircraft of the world, carried out rigorously by a whole lot of competent flying and technical professionals over two years. Worse, he declares that the requirement of the Air Force for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) itself as dubious. Under the circumstances, it is high time the Government sacked the entire Indian Air Force and put the country’s air warfare in the able hands of Mr. Bharat Karnad.

Will our contract with Dassault Aviation and the French Government be so loose that Dassault will supply to Qatar superior Rafales than what they will supply to India?

I am perplexed at the proclamation by this columnist that the older Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft beats the Rafale (more modern and omnirole by design) by any performance standard. It will be interesting to study the data used by the learned columnist to arrive at his conclusion. Worse, the very fighting qualities of the Rafale fighter aircraft have been questioned by him. The esteemed journalist needs to learn that Rafale has proved itself in various war theatres (2007 onwards-Afghanistan, 2011-Libya, 2013-Mali, 2014 onwards-Iraq etc.) and also in combined exercises with the best of the world’s fighters for comparison, with outstanding results.  In depth research is not required. Any simple search on this subject on Google will prove this famed Professor wrong.

Su-30 MKI is a great aircraft in her own right, but there is another side too. It appears that the author is unaware of the poor serviceability record of our Su-30 fleet, regular engine problems occurring in flight and repeated auto-operation of its ejection seats or that the Su-30 is not a MMRCA.

Does the esteemed newspaper realize that their noted columnist is authoritatively and adversely commenting on the performance of the proud product of a leading, highly reputed and successful fighter aircraft manufacturer of the world? Are their columnist’s conclusions backed with proper research and study? The damaging and overly adverse comments made by the columnist and published by the popular Daily in their opinion column on the Edit Page could be questioned in a Court of Law.

The respectable author has accused the French vendors of delaying supply of material for our Scorpene Submarine manufacture in Mazgaon Docks in order to raise direct and indirect costs. This discovery is worth further investigation. The author and his publication must disclose the basis for such a serious accusation.

The noted columnist informs the readers of NIE that the French have hinted at further escalation of Rafale deal cost beyond US $ 30-35 billion. I wonder whether he has some foundation for making such a statement or an authority to speak on Dassault’s behalf!

The author asserts that Dassault won’t permit India to integrate our Brahmos missile with Rafale. Has Dassault authorized him to make such a statement on their behalf?

I question yet another group of ridiculous points raised in this article. Wherefrom has this noted journalist collected information that the Pakistani Air Force is running the Qatar Emiri Air Force itself as claimed in this article? Training, yes, not running! Would the Hon’ble Professor be generous enough to teach us, his readers, as to how can the employees of the defence services of one country operate the defence services of another country as easily as that without a treaty to that effect? There may be retired PAF personnel employed by Qatar not serving.

Also, can Qatari Rafales really be switched to Pakistani Air Force to fight against India in case of India-Pakistan hostilities? Is there any such understanding between these two countries? This secret is perhaps known only to the author and his esteemed publishers. Lending fighter aircraft to Pakistan to fight against India would amount to an act of open war between India and Qatar. India is not a banana republic to be treated like that. In my analysis, Qatar may give some covert support to a fellow Islamic nation but will not openly join Pakistan in war against us.

Will our contract with Dassault Aviation and the French Government be so loose that Dassault will supply to Qatar superior Rafales than what they will supply to India? The writer appears to be oblivious to the fact that manufacturers of class and status follow and practice proper business ethics. Contrary to his flawed conclusion, there is no likelihood that Dassault will ever give their biggest customer cum co-producer and a country which has a proven record of air combat victories, an inferior product, Saudi financing notwithstanding.

Can Qatari Rafales really be flown to Pakistan for disassembly for the purpose of scrutiny by Chinese engineers and/or flown to Chengdu in China for reverse engineering at will as stated in the said column? Will France permit such non-sense? There are international laws, regulations and contractual obligations. Qatar and Pakistan will not be permitted to act so rogue by France, the international community and UN.

Contrary to the esteemed analyst’s assertion, the survivability of Rafale is found to be excellent as proved in many wars and exercises involving aircraft like the top of the line…

The author asserts that Dassault won’t permit India to integrate our Brahmos missile with Rafale. Has Dassault authorized him to make such a statement on their behalf? Alternatively, on what grounds does he attribute such anti-Indian intentions to Dassault and in turn to France?

Before commenting on the survivability of Rafale against Chinese sophisticated air defence, it would have been more pertinent for the learned  Professor to have studied the various aspects of the Rafale fighter aircraft such as :  omnirole by design appreciated by experts and countries worldwide, superb & integrated avionics: excellent long range Thales RBE2AA Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar & passive OSF visual & infrared wavelengths sensors, state of the art SPECTRA Electronic Warfare Suite, world’s latest and finest weaponry that includes beyond the visual range stand-off guided missiles, nuclear capability, stealth features, hands off fully Automatic Flight Control (AFC) system, which is extremely useful in final attack run in hostile air space and/or get away mode at ultra low level under hot pursuit. AFC is available in Rafale in two alternate modes: digital terrain following and radar terrain following.

An intelligent use of offensive & defensive weapons, active & passive electronic warfare measures/counter-measures, long range total situational awareness advising the pilot well in advance to timely choose and fire appropriate weapons/counter-weapons as also when to turn round/get away and rapid changes in tactics suitable to changing battlefield situations, all put together contribute to survivability. Contrary to the esteemed analyst’s assertion, the survivability of Rafale is found to be excellent as proved in many wars and exercises involving aircraft like the top of the line F-22 Raptors and older but proven F-16s, F/A-18s and modern Typhoons, Grippens as also Sukhoi-30s. Take it from me, Rafale is indeed designed for penetration into hostile air space defended by sophisticated modern air defence systems.

I wonder if this article of Mr. Bharat Karnad published by the NIE is a scholar’s thinking gone haywire or whether it was done with a specific ‘motive’ to get the Rafale deal terminated! I hope vested interests are not at work. I rest my case.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

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23 thoughts on “An alternate view on the Rafale Deal

  1. Apologies in advance if my writing seem like propaganda for French. To The Author, while all gallant pilots of IAF flew AN32s ( mechanically unreliable) Mig 21s ( rocket strapped to your back) and so an so forth, you all must have come across French equipment. Giving examples of its proficiency IA originally selected Euro Millan HOT as its primary ATGM in early 1980s but Soviet equipment was thrust down our throat, even then the Millan SR ATGM has been the favourite ATGM wrt performance, uptime, soldier friendly. I know a few officers who hated the reverse engineered soviet AT4 Fagot & its cousins. These guys were up-against TOW2 missiles of PA supplied by US. The only counter to it was EM HOT units.. Yes new Russian ATGMs are good but not a 1 knife that cuts all solution. Let me give another example, in 1991 gulf war, the most critical sites of Iraq were defended by Roland, Crotale, Hawk SAMs and not Soviet equipment and they caused the maximum concern to coalition folks. Something to think about. I am not saying Soviet Russian is junk, but they never export anything, even to India which is not downgraded at least by 2 notches. I am sure each IAF pilot knows this. Many writings have been circulated on infectiveness of Soviet SAM systems in face of modern EW,ECM,ECCM of the West, how much will Russia give as technical knowhow is suspect. Sadly if you ignore them, then you are in for regional blackmail by Moscow- Sale of Gunships, Aircraft, Helicopters etc to Pak. French equivalents may not sound or look as dangerous but there capability as a combined arms eco system speaks volumes. Check there performance in north Africa, Mali, Libya and other western regions of French intervention and in the 1980s French forces against soviet supplied Libyan AF & Army. In short, its never just one equipment that’s a game changer though it may be a force multiplier, it is always the eco system which gives resilience, scalability & sustainability instead of piecemeal approach..

  2. Agree with you, so many arm chair tabloid specialists consider themselves “experts” on subjects of war fighting and war fighting assets. Had this gentleman been in China, Pakistan, Russia, he would have been behind bars in a Gulag never to be seen or heard again.
    Having Said that the French eco system of air-war and assets were and are potent enough that they never really needed Anglo Saxon systems based out of there soil or in there missions except large battle fleets. If IAF had chosen to pursue a comprehensive mix of French only Air, Ground and rotary wing assets with closed data bus and soft-wares, even in the current size the combat capabilities would have been much more potent. I am talking about Mirage F1C series instead of Mig 21 and 23, Mirage 5V instead of Mig 23, 27 series, Mirage 2000-5/7/10 Instead of Mig 29s( most are grounded), Raffles instead of Su 30. IAF already has Jaguars, so all that was needed was upgrades by the French. In the rotary wing, Tiger, Super Puma, Gazelle, Naval Aviation, Super Entendards, The complete array of French SAM systems. Make in India production lines could have been opened up long back to sustain all this. HAL does it for Russian stuff, they could have easily done for French instead.
    To read performance statistics please visit on the Chad Libyan Bush wars, Arab Israel Wars, other conflicts wherein French equipment has been resilient and has outperformed eastern block stuff.
    Having said that French also never have backed down on supporting India in-times of crises. They have a mind of there own which is why Rafael scores over the rest. Even apartheid SA used French equipment and easily customized the same, you cant do much with US, or Russian stuff. At least our crew wouldn’t have been flying air coffins.
    Most of the whining are by lobbyists who got coffers to fill. They comment on stuff they don’t know about. Even I can read statistics and tell the RBI governor what to do, it doesn’t make me competent. Enough Said

  3. It apears that an influential group including knowledgeable but misdirected persons of high intellect have been hired by rival arms lobbies to scuttle the Rafaele deal, or at the least make the same appear inferior ! What is more important consideration which has been given the miss is that India required to have a fleet of 200 modern MMRCA by 2015. We have missed the target date putting national security at great jeopardy and foreclosing the national goal of winning any War which may get thrust n us. While indigenous manufacture is highly desirable, India’s political and defence ministry bueaucratic set-up has failed to deliver because of managerial incompetence or deliberate will to maximise kickbacks which can be camouflaged in so called ‘TOT’ Indigenous Manufacture deals. To meet time deadlines and uncompromising ‘Quality’ standards of costly equipment and the valuable lives of the Armed Forces personnel who operate them, as well as costs of such deals and thir effect on diplomatic relations, we have to exercise the sensible option for off the shelf purchase. it does not mater whether they are of Rafaeles or Block 60 F-16s, or Viggens or Tornados or Mig 39s… as long as the best electronic warfare suits, armaments and life cycle costs are worked into the deal. It is the same situation as Nehru going in for massive Army build-up after the Chinese had taught us the telling lesson of 1962 !

  4. @Wg Cdr Ravindra Parasnis: Re THIRD AND THE LAST PART
    Sir, how are you so sanguine about the US taking a neutral stand at the worst in the event of war with Pakistan ? I refer you to an interview by the ex-FS Sibal that appeared in IDR in the past :
    http://www.indiandefencereview.com/interviews/a-diplomatic-view-of-the-mmrca-deal/
    where he categorically stated :
    “… But then, the record of the US in imposing sanctions not only on India, but also a host of other countries, cannot be ignored. Even if today India’s relationship with the US Administration is better than ever before, there is no guarantee that differences on some sensitive issue in the future will not push the US political process towards sanctions, or a threat to impose them, in order to constrain India’s freedom of choice. A conflict with Pakistan could be an example,…”.
    Anyway, these are political issues for which nobody can see the future. But I hope the military takes into account every possible contingency to prepare for defence.
    And for the “look down and shoot down” capability of Rafale, my understanding is this is even an unsolved problem technologically for the USAF in the open sky without mountainous terrain below. This falls under their STAP program (Space Time Adaptive Processing) for which DARPA has been funding millions of dollars in their laboratories (e.g. Lincoln Lab) for a number of years. Even then forgetting this technological difficulty, PAK F-16s are equipped with ALR-67 (supplied by the US) which has inbuilt missile warning in receiver system. As soon as a missile gets locked on, the fighter pilot in F-16 will get a terrible ringing in his ears to drop down several thousand meters for evading the oncoming missile, a situation which you are more familiar than me. Apart from that manoeuvre, F-16 pods will eject chaff (fine strips of aluminium cut to match a quarter wavelength of the carrier frequency of the guiding radar) creating a false target to deviate the attacking missile.

  5. THIRD AND THE LAST PART

    Under the present state of our relationship with the USA achieved by Mr. Modi vis-a-vis the US-Pak relationship I doubt if the US will enforce any embargo on France to disturb their supply of this radar on the Rafale aircraft meant for India, even if hostilities were to break out between India and Pakistan.

    RBE2-AA radar has look down and shoot down capability. Such a radar should be capable of cancelling out the noise or echos from the mountain peaks which are stationary. However, I have no information on these technical aspects, yet.

    I see no reason to doubt the technology transfer in the manner suspected by Mr. Sankar. By itself no one likes to transfer crucial technology and it is to be seen how much we can manage to get from Dassault and Thales, nevertheless, if they deny the transfer of working technology to their customers they will simply have to forget about their sale to any country whatsoever. No, they are not so foolish and nor are we.

    I wish the comments on Modi Raj being oblivious on the subject of technology transfer (which the Govt. is not; they are very much alive to the situation), the comparison between the purchase of fighter aircraft and buses and also fighter pilots and bus drivers were best avoided. The scam-ridden days are past. Mr. Modi’s agenda appears a lot more nationalistic. The Govt. has also displayed its ability to take difficult decisions. Therefore, let us give the Government a chance to work and prove itself before passing judgements based on incorrect assumptions and unjustified suspicions.
    -Ravindra Parasnis

  6. SECOND PART

    Coming to SPECTRA SUITE, it is an integrated electronic survival system introduced for the first time in aviation history and includes a software based feature called virtual stealth technology meaning stealthy jamming modes for reducing the apparent radar signature of the aircraft. The active cancellation is carried out by sampling and analyzing incoming radar energy and feeding it back to the hostile emitter slightly out of phase thus cancelling out the returning radar echo or part thereof. This is yet another and a revolutionary addition to the advancing stealth technique, introduced by Rafale. This will be in addition to the other stealth measures giving a reduced radar signature of 20+% to Rafale.

    SPECTRA SUITE is one of the Unique Selling Points (USPs) of Dassault. Therefore the author’s apprehensions that France will sell us Rafale but withhold the technology to use the SPECTRA SUITE appear illogical to me.

    Mr. Modi has managed the first 36 Rafales at a very reasonable price. That makes the author’s remark “Modi’s White Elephant” patently wrong. Mr. Modi knows how to do business. I don’t think he will permit France to fleece us one way or the other.

    I don’t keep the breakdown history of the AESA pod of Rafale, but the concerned people are working on it and may have already removed the flaws.

    The radar offered with Rafale to India is RBE2-AA, which is the latest AESA radar under development by Thales and their pedigree is unquestionable. The reports on this radar’s performance are very much positive. It has an estimated maximum range of detection of 200KM and it can track 40 targets and engage eight targets simultaneously. If Thales has purchased some component for this radar from the US or Israel, it is their business. Their guarantee of supply to us stands independent of their understanding with their vendors.

    Continue reading to PART THREE (last part)

  7. This reply is made of many parts because of the length. Please start reading from the First Part at the bottom and continue reading to the top.

    This is the First Part.

    It is heartening to read some informed comments. However, the old maxim is true. “Half knowledge is dangerous.” Assumptions galore and overly fertile imagination coupled with such assumptions is dangerous too.

    My rejoinder to Prof. Karnad’s article was mainly to clear the fair name of the Air Chief and then to correct what was wrongly stated about Rafale and Sukhoi. Mine was not an independently researched article on the technical aspects of Rafale.

    Be as it may, I am thankful to the learned writer for informing us about the fundamentals of EW, radar receivers and RWRs. I agree that the battle between radar detection and countermeasures has been on right from its very inception and will continue to the end of the world. If Mr. Sankar has any answer to that he may like to suggest the same.

    Dassault has been rather secretive about the stealth measures used to reduce the radar signature of Rafale. Along with the radar absorbent paint quoted by the writer, the stealth features of Rafale include the shape of its fuselage and composite materials used in building the airframe. Possibly, they have camouflaged the jet turbine also. To my knowledge the radar signature of the aircraft stands reduced by about 20% approx. I have no exact figures to give.

    The terrain of the Himalayan region varies from place to place and in Tibet it is mostly a plateau land. The air warfare and the use of airborne radar over the Himalayan terrain and the performance of the Air Force during the Kargil operations including the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ … not the subject of my article please. No further discussion is, therefore called for.

    Please refer to my ‘Second Part’ for continuation.

  8. In my post here I wrote ” by smearing with radar reflective materials on the body” which was a slip. “radar reflective material” needs to be replaced by : “radar absorbing material or paint”, also known as RAM, a term not to be confused with computer usage random access memory or dynamic ram. To my knowledge, the reflectivity could be reduced by at most 6-8%, which is negligible. If you redesign the air craft’s frame to reduce radar cross section for the platform, you sacrifice the performance and weapons load for the aircraft. Anyway, these are technical stuff not known widely. The “stealth” characteristics is just selling tactics, not to be taken seriously.

  9. Respected Wg Cdr has quoted “state of the art SPECTRA Electronic Warfare Suite”. The question is who is going to prepare the Emitter Library for the de-interleaving suite in Rafale – IAF or Dassault ? And without technology transfer in that area, how could IAF set up the library, Sir? Remember, that library is the most secret component in your radar warning receiver set for final output. And that library needs to be updated a few years regularly. If IAF contracts out that job to Dassault, the French could fleece India financially. And there could be every chance the Pakis could get hold of that secret dossier. In that event, it will be a futile exercise to deploy Rafale against the Paki. And Sir, do you know how often the AESA pod breaks down in Rafale, and whether that component is US supplied technology to France ? Without technology transfer to IAF in these crucial electronics components you will never know that. Remember, all the intelligence in modern armaments reside in their electronics. And if AESA has some component sourced from the US, the US could suspend supply to France of that hardware for delivery to India in the event of war with Pakistan. The bottom line is without some crucial technology transfer, IAF will be always in uncertainty in many regards about this state-of-the-art armament. I am afraid this is like a wild goose chase and Modi’s white elephant..

  10. This article raises a few points regarding military technology that needs to be resolved in right places in IAF. Hopefully commanders in India do not go by reading glossy brochures splashed with technical jargon for impressing the uninformed. It is not clear how Rafale could perform against the Chinese in Himalayan terrain since its radar transmission will get strong reflection in bouncing off the mountain peaks. This is known as multi-path effects (echos) in signal processing. The builtin radar receiver in Rafale must resolve the echos to provide the fighter pilot a clear picture of the environment. My point is nobody in this world knows how to analyse such a dense signal environment scientifically. Hence, although equipped with excellent avionics, Rafale’s receiver set could end up with misleading reading of the battle field sky. This was not the case for Kargil operation since the Mirages and Migs were flying high above the peaks there and in complete freedom without being intercepted by the Paki Air Force. Had the PAF intervened, who knows what the success IAF could have achieved then. Dassault needs to divulge to IAF what sort of direction finding techniques they have programmed their AESA for, in other words what is the sensor array technology they have implemented for their AESA. Only then IAF could ascertain the validity of claims by Dassault. But this implies technology transfer of which Modi Raj is oblivious. Buying modern fighter-interceptors is not about buying buses or a modern Audi or Porsche car where off the shelf purchase is admissible without technology transfer. Otherwise, fighter-pilots would be reduced to the level of bus drivers. I am afraid, Modi Raj is naive here to take that perspective..

  11. I fully agree that it was an uncalled for attack on the Air Chief that needs to be condemned. But I have a few reservations on technical points raised here with respect to Rafale. For “stealth features”, that is a sales tactics. Fighter aircrafts in the sky are detected by RWRs (radar warning receivers). As the “detectability” is suppressed by reducing radar cross sections (redesigning the air frame, or by smearing with radar reflective materials on the body), the sensitivity of RWRs are also increasing year by year by advance in technology. Hence, what could be stealth today, is easily detected in tomorrow’s RWRs! Mind you, radar receivers are not RWRs. RWRs operate passively, intercepting the radar pulses emitted by an on coming air craft – this is EW in its fundamentals.

  12. I joined the Air Force to be an Air Warrior. Fighting is my profession. Therefore silent protests, ignoring such vicious and unjustified attacks and that too on an officer of the status of the Chief of the Air Staff, turning the other cheek etc. are not a part of my nature.
    As for the ‘No smoke without fire’ theory, I would be obliged if any one can show me a single defence deal (Purchase of Pillatus was an exception) of present times without smoke.
    That Rafale flies above this smoke is a fact and I am in agreement with Mr. Bailur that the IDR should treat the subject a bit more seriously. I am ready to send an article on the subject to them, if they would publish it.
    -Wg Cdr Ravindra Parasnis (Retd)

  13. I congratulate the author of this article for bringing out the utter callousness of Mr. Bharat Karnad in launching a mean personal attack on an officer of the stature of the Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

  14. There is no smoke without Fire-Even a man of stature & proven integrity like Mr.Subramanium Swamy has advocated Cancelling the Rafale deal…P.S. However, The Personal attacks on the Air Chief should have been avoided. Something similar happened in the Mirage-2000 deal in the 80.s & ultimately no manufacture & Transfer of Technology was done & IAF had to be satisfied with outright purchase of around 50 such aircraft.

  15. men are known to loose there mental balance with age,.mr.bk is a fit example, otherwise man who has never fiown a fighter ac, or ever been close to any aircombat situation dares to write about military aviation.he should have been ignored long back,

  16. I am a bit surprised that Indiandefence Review has not taken a more serious view of this issue. You have confined yourself to quoting an article that criticises the deal written by Mr Karnad as though one article in one newspaper by him will have any impact on the Rafale deal one way or the other. His criticism about ACM Arup Raha even if it is “wrong” is irrelevant to the issue. What is relevant is the Rafale Deal itself and what it has become. There have been two views on this matter; there is no question about that. I myself have veered from a pro-Rafale to an anti-Rafale view over time. My judgement is based, not on the competence of the aircraft, but on the changing goalposts which Dassault seems to be manipulating regards the price and the agreement on manufacturing the plane in India. I think a serious negotiation conducted between an internationally recognised plane manufacturer and a recognised middle power like India should always be with goalposts firmly set within which the negotiations are conducted. We cannot allow a virtually bankrupt (even if it is internationally recognised) plane manufacturer to take India for a ride, which it seems to be doing. If it does so the best thing would be to call it all off altogether and go for the Eurofighter either with the original conditions laid down by us or even if we are buying it off the shelf. Also I feel with three countries owning EADS, there is less likelihood of attempts at manipulation of the sort Dassault is indulging in.

  17. Mr Karnad better get himself checked medically for any psychological disorders. I have known Air Chief Marshal Raha personally since last 45 years …. his professional track record is something Mr Karnad would never dream of, forget about touching him. Typical mould of Bharat i guess … Presstitues or its original word, they prove themselves over and over again. Surprised that the likes of IDR find space to mention folks of his stature….

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