Rafale aboard US aircraft carrier:
From (hi-res pics):
The most ironic part is Shiv Aroor, one of the journalists who has spent years on the MMRCA, works for the same HT and he didn't bother to comment on this item in the media or on his blog!!
Google translated from:Combat Aircraft: Maurer did not get political concessions
Romandie News, Feb 18
Maurer has tried unsuccessfully to link the purchase of fighter aircraft for the Swiss army to political concessions, he says Saturday in the NZZ. Discussions with France, Germany and Sweden have not been successful, according to Federal Councillor.
During the many meetings with his French counterparts, German and Swedish, with whom "we conducted a thorough job policy", "it was not possible to link the aircraft to another package," said Maurer.
"The three states were willing to discuss cooperation in the military, but not in other areas, such as taxes," he recounts.
For the record:
Rafale: Switzerland remains open to new offers from States
Clear as crystal , we know what Switzerland waits for ...
Google translated from: http://www.tdg.ch/suisse/Le-Conseil-...story/20875929The Federal Council does not question the choice he made to equip the Swiss Army combat aircraft Gripen. This was said Wednesday at a news conference Simonazzi, spokesman for the government.
Google translated from: http://www.onz.ch/artikel/112298/You were from 2007 to 2010 project manager of aviation for the Evaluation Partial Tiger Replacement (TTE). So you're the fighter jet Gripen C / D flying, how was that?
It was very interesting and instructive. We are all three candidates, so the Rafale from France, the Euro Fighter from Germany and even the Gripen of Sweden flown for testing. In each case, all the pilots were flying on airplanes all the same tasks, and so the fighter jets could be compared uniformly. We tried to provide the most accurate and reliable assessment.
Can you stand as an expert in the Air Force after the final round for the Gripen, Type E/F?
Yes, 100 percent. It meet all three tested types identified by the military requirements of Switzerland. It depends on what you need and how much you are willing to pay. There are Ferraris, who can not drive off-road, and trucks that are just too slow. The Audi quattro is fast and affordable. And in this case even more money for the army, which indeed still waiting on new purchases. The Gripen can be for the air policing and air defense used in all weather conditions. He can fight ground targets and be used as a scout. The Gripen C / D is robust, is for relatively low operating costs and has proven itself in the Swedish Air Force and the best international standards.
Could you discuss the decision with Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer?
Yes, I think it's good that Ueli Maurer will consult with various experts. Decisions and the political responsibility but must ultimately own the Federal Council.
Can you understand that there is now a media circus is coming?
Partly. There are some who doubt whether everything is up politically and technically correct. Since I can only say that I am fully committed, even though I am no longer responsible. I put my hand into the fire, that's what I'm headed and what we did, was made possible. The three candidate countries have confirmed that we have the most challenging but also a fair evaluation conducted. The more it is now a mess, that recently reached an interim report to the public. This interim report is taken out of context and does not show the context of the overall evaluation. Finally, we were obliged to discretion. As someone has acted criminally. The report is subject to military Vertaulichkeit.
Why are these reports are subject to the confidentiality level?
The present provider fillet pieces on their aircraft. You must disclose all the technology behind it, the used system services and computer programs, everything. Since it is understandable that these secret data should be treated as confidential. There are trade secrets as elsewhere. However, the standstill agreement and promise was unfortunately injured, has been abused. This confidence in Switzerland has been weakened even more, as with the banks. That annoys me. Which is to say, that this is an early 2008 report concerns that arose before the first full report.
Switzerland is not buying now, but the aircraft that are flown. What's the difference?
There are four points that have been improved. These include, first, a more powerful engine, the 33-percent more power than that of C / D.The plane was modified so that it can accommodate a larger tank. In addition, 46 percent more kerosene to be carried in the aircraft. It has two other Waffenaufhängestationen. Fourth, a very modern radar was installed, the Aesa radar. This radar does not work mechanically, but with an active electronic beam steering.
Google translated from: http://www.jungfrauzeitung.ch/artikel/117062/Samuel Gunter: Is the discussion about the performance of the Gripen for you a surprise?
Peter Merz: That it is in defense deals, and especially in aircraft purchases to discussions and Störfeuern is not surprising to me. Where there's a lot of money, too many interest groups have their hands in the game. On the other hand I am surprised and disappointed that confidential reports are the way to the public.
If the decision and the discussion directly or indirectly impact on Meiringen?
The Federal Council and Parliament are expected to decide this year whether and when a new aircraft will be purchased. By the end of year is also the question of deployment of military resources - including the Air Force funds - to be clarified. So that way all decisions have an impact on the airfield of Meiringen.
Is the current debate those who oppose a new Jets most lift?
I do not hope and believe that a majority of the population will support the purchase of the Gripen, because she knows how important and indispensable an air umbrella for Switzerland's security in any position.
How do you rate the three pilot jets evaluated in comparison?
As a evaluation pilot of the three aircraft will not and I am not in the public about the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates express. It's about personal privacy and our country has committed against the manufacturers and the Air Force to maintain confidentiality. I assure you, however, that the evaluation was carried out very serious and professional. I stand fully behind the evaluation and data behind the decision of the Bundesrat, that the Gripen fight federaler jet is the right for Switzerland.
New leaks published today about the swiss evaluation:
From:[...] In this new section of the report of the Air Force in 2009, we publish this Sunday on the Internet, Gripen MS 21 is rated 2 (high risk), while the Eurofighter PE1 has an overall score of 6 (medium risk) and Rafale Lot 4 is estimated at 8 (low risk).
Le Matin also reveals that there has been no test or evaluation done since the 2009 report, even on paper.
For the record:
From:Smaller French Firms Feel Offset Heat
DefenseNews, Feb 19
PARIS — Industrial offsets demanded in arms export deals by emerging-market countries are a source of harm for small and medium-sized companies, said Patrick Colas des Francs, chief executive of Coges, the trade show organizer for the Eurosatory land systems exhibition.
“Offsets are a threat to small and medium-sized companies,” Colas des Francs told the French defense journalists’ press club Feb. 15. “This is a real problem.”
Technology transfer and offsets are increasingly standard requirements of emerging markets, which seek to build up their defense industrial bases as part of economic development plans.
Demands by countries such as Brazil and India for the transfer of technology to set up local assembly of the Rafale may be acceptable to large companies such as Dassault, which builds the fighter jet, Colas des Francs said.
About 10 large companies, such as EADS, Nexter, MBDA, Safran and Thales, dominate the French land arms industry, but about 4,000 small and medium-sized companies depend on them for work.
The United Arab Emirates demanded a local investment offset of 120 percent of the value of an unspecified French arms contract, Colas des Francs said.
Offset deals not only take production work away from French subcontractors and suppliers, but also provideaccelerated access to knowledge and skills that allows companies in the client country to compete in world markets, he said.
For instance, Renault Trucks Defense sold the Véhicule Avant Blindé armored troop carrier to Indonesia. Despite a no-export condition on that deal, the Indonesian model was found for sale in foreign markets, Colas des Francs said.
Offsets are common on civil contracts, such as China’s demand for an Airbus 320 final assembly line.
Producers in countries such as India, which has a pool of information technology engineers, are building high-quality weapons, rather than cheap and basic products. The Indian variant of the Mi-24 attack helicopter was equipped with a thermal imaging camera and other sophisticated onboard equipment absent from the original Russian aircraft.
Turkish industry also is producing increasingly sophisticated arms, Colas des Francs said.
‘Do You Want To Sell or Not?’
It is no longer possible to export a sophisticated weapon system without an offset and technology transfer arrangement, an analyst here said.
“The question is: Do you want to sell or not?” said Loïc Tribot La Spière, chief executive of think tank Centre d’Etude et Prospective Stratégique.
But even with the setting up of a foreign production line, not every subassembly or component part will be sourced from abroad, so there is a case-by-case approach. For the parts that will be made overseas, time is needed to establish the new supply lines, Tribot La Spière said.
The offset requirements should be seen as a “stimulus for innovation,” pushing the supplier to climb the value chain and stay competitive, he added.
Even without the demands of a foreign offset deal, prime contractors would be pushing subcontractors in that direction, driving suppliers to “a pursuit of technological excellence,” Tribot La Spière said. That pressure forces the supply chain to look for tomorrow’s technology to stay in business.
As technology transfer is a standard requirement, the difficulty for exporters is to “play the game” while retaining control of key technology, particularly in the design area, which allows their customers quickly to become competitors, said research fellow Hélène Masson of think tank Fondation pour la Récherche Stratégique.
Offset agreements require prime contractors to get close to local subcontractors, or create a supply chain from scratch by bringing in local partners, she said.
“It’s in this context that established subcontractors find themselves effectively excluded from the benefits of export con-tracts, unless they follow them abroad and create a local subsidiary,” Masson said. “That’s possible for large equipment makers, but a lot more difficult for small and medium-sized companies.”
The demand for technology transfer in export markets is part of the “rules of the game,” Thales CEO Luc Vigneron told journalists Feb. 16 at the company’s technology day, a showcase of some 100 research and development projects.
“Accepting the rules of the game means we have to innovate further,” he added. “We at home have to work on the next generation.”
Asked if India could build an active electronically scanned array radar, Thales chief technical officer Marko Erman said, “Not in the very near future, but who knows?”
Erman later added, “To our knowledge, only France and the United States have operational actively scanned radars, but studies are being done in India.”
India seeks 50 percent industrial offset and is in exclusive talks with Dassault to buy the Rafale, which operates a Thales RBE2 active scanned radar, to fulfill its multibillion-dollar program for a multirole fighter aircraft.
Export markets offer alternative sources of research and technology funding, given the defense budget cuts in European markets, Erman said.
The European Commission is working on a regime aimed at discouraging offset requirements among its member states. Poland, Spain and the East European countries still require offsets in foreign trade deals.
Arms manufacturers such as General Dynamics European Land Systems, Panhard and Rheinmetall are members of the European Club for Countertrade and Offsets, which acts as a forum and think tank on industrial offsets.
I think this is wrong-the upgraded Indian Hinds use Israeli avionics and optronics; that's not a result of offsets. Offsets are a fact of life in arms-sales now and can also be seen as a game of prudent give-and-take. Like the way Lockheed Martin did with helping South Korea develop the T-50 trainer, which could well be selected by the USAF.
Switzerland: The last statements of the chairman of the PDC, Christophe Darbellay, must be put in evidence . Why ? Because in the National Council of the Swiss parliament , his party occupies a pivotal role between the right (CDU, FDP ...) which "should" favor the purchase and the left (socialists, green ..) which "should" oppose it.
What did he say ?
Which is the case until now, the purchase of the Gripen must be financed by increasing the defense budget with the help of savings made in other departments...The President of PDC Christophe Darbellay said he was ready to vote against the acquisition if it meant to save money on the backs of agriculture, education, infrastructure and especially transportation.[...]
Is this going to boost a "low cost" Rafale offer ? Not really...
Google translated from:Christophe Darbellay, the president of the PDC, a pivotal party in the federal parliament, just fired a violent shoot at the French president. "How Can Sarkozy believe that we will buy planes from France, when he attacks Switzerland for no reason" [...] "Even if [the Rafale] was the best airplane in the world, with the best price, I would not approve such a purchase"
Google translated from:Brazil does not discard the purchase of fighter this semester
La Nacion , feb 19
Between 4 and 7 billion dollars is what the Brazilian state will spend to purchase their military equipment.
Brasilia. AFP. - The Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim said recently that Brazil could decide in the first half about the billions dollar purchase of supersonic fighters, with competing models from France, USA and Sweden, although government sources and Analysts say the winner will not be known before May. [...]
A Brazilian government source told AFP that the decision will likely not be taken before May, after presidential elections in France. He also recalled that Rousseff will travel to U.S. in April to meet President Barack Obama, after the trip he made to Brazil in March 2011.
May is also the date on which the General Staff of the Armed Forces must complete a plan that will define the priorities of military procurement, which may further postpone the decision on the fighter, told AFP the Defesanet's expert Nelson During.
Full article:New horizons
The Week, Feb 21
The main challenges in inducting the Rafale to the IAF will be training and infrastructure
It was after a long selection process that the French Rafale emerged as the aircraft that will be inducted into the Indian Air Force from 2015. The 052,000-crore Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft deal involves the induction of 126 fighter aircraft, with an option to induct 63 more, if required, at a later stage. Apart from the huge money and the leap of technology involved, what does the deal mean from a fighter pilot's point of view?
The air force is more technology oriented than the army or the navy. In a combat scenario, all other factors being the same, the air force with better technology will come out ahead. With two nuclear-armed neighbours, and given India's political relationship with them, it is imperative that the IAF has the best technology that the country can afford. The MMRCA deal is about induction of such technology.
In 1985, I joined the newly inducted Mirage-2000 fleet. The aircraft was a technological marvel. What surprised me the most was the ease with which you could adapt to and assimilate these new technologies. I think it was the way in which it was presented to the pilot in the cockpit. It all seemed so natural and logical, and left you wondering how you managed without these technologies so far. While the aircraft performance was in a different league, mainly because of the innovative fly-by-wire system, basic flying was extremely simple. It was the management of the onboard systems that required skill. The availability of onboard systems like the multimode radar and the navigation and weapon-aiming systems made it possible to exploit the aircraft operationally for tasks limited only by your imagination. Also, the Mirage-2000 has an exceptionally good flight safety record.
As I went up in the hierarchy of the IAF, I got to see these aircraft from a different perspective. As the chief operations officer of a flying base, and thereafter as a base commander, I realised that the MiG-21 and other Soviet/Russian aircraft were not really maintenance friendly. Keeping these aircraft fly-worthy was a challenge. Compared with them, the Mirage-2000 was in a totally different league.
The Mirage-2000 is built on a modular concept. Most modules had built-in test equipment. If the test showed ‘no-go', the faulty module just had to be pulled out and replaced with a functional module, and you were good to go. Even the engine was a module. Replacing an engine, which is required at times, took a little more than an hour. In the case of the MiG-21, an engine change was a major job which took significantly longer time and more effort to accomplish.
In 1993, I was part of the team bringing in more Mirage-2000 aircraft from France. Dassault, the manufacturer of the aircraft, made it a point to show us the Rafale, which was in the process of being operationalised for induction into the French air force and navy. The aircraft embodied an extension of the Mirage-2000 philosophy, but was more than a generation ahead in technology.
My association with the Mirage-2000 fleet included a fair amount of interaction with the French representatives, especially from Dassault. They are hard-nosed businessmen. If you have the money, and are willing to pay, they will deliver the required service. They did not seem too concerned with matters like foreign policy. However, like any businessmen, they will not waste an opportunity to exploit the customer if the opportunity arises.
In 2006, I was part of a delegation to the Farnborough Air Show. The Indian delegation was in demand because of the MMRCA deal. We were given briefings by all vendors in the fray. One common point about the two American vendors, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, was that, when queried about specific equipment or weapon options for the F-18 and the F-16, the standard reply was “We will have to check with the State Department”. I do not think Dassault does business under such constraints.
The induction of the Rafale will pose challenges to the IAF. In my opinion, the main challenges will be training and infrastructure creation. The assimilation of these new technologies will not pose much of a problem, but the volume of personnel to be trained, especially for maintenance, will be a challenge. Induction of such high technology will also require the creation of dedicated equipment servicing and repair bays, and other allied infrastructure. This is a mammoth task.
The author has flown more than 3,500 hours on various fighter aircraft, including the MiG-21 and the Mirage-2000.
Google translated from:France will not improve the fighter offer
Tagesschau, Feb 21
In the dispute over new fighter jets, Switzerland can not expect new offerings from France. French Defence Minister Gérard Longuet told the Swiss television that the French Government in the matter would not be active.
The procurement of new combat aircraft is a matter between the Swiss government and the Rafale manufacturer (Dassault). Although France supports its industry, but is not pursuing trade in aircraft, the French Defence Minister Gérard Longuet said on request of SF correspondent Adrian Arnold.
Longuet thwarted any hopes that the French government could improve the existing offer of the manufacturer Dassault for its Rafale combat aircraft.
No political concessions to Switzerland in exchange of a Rafale order. (I think it could have been different if India had not selected the Rafale)
For the record:
For the first time in history, the UK seem to show some interest in the "European Rules":
Mr Menzies called for an EU probe to ensure that the Dassault bid had not been supported by the promise of French government subsidies or other breaches of Brussels competition rules.
He said: “We play by the rules.”
Another MP who attended the *meeting said: “There does need to be full scrutiny of this process. This is something our Euro MPs should be *raising in Brussels.”
Sources at BAE Systems insisted there was still a chance of the decision being overturned.
Dassault had won the first stage of the contract process by offering to build the fighters at a lower price than the four-nation consortium.
But the next decisive stage would focus on aircraft quality and capability.
I wouldn't give this article too much credit...:
Under the British joint bid, 126 Typhoons would be assembled at BAE Systems’ plants in Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire.