India shortlists Rafale, Eurofighter for jet deal

Published: April 28, 2011
A Dassault military jet Rafale in Le Bourget. On April 28, 2011 India has shortlisted Dassault's Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon for a 12 US billion dollar fighter jet deal, cutting out US giants Boeing and Lockheed, sources said. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

A Dassault military jet Rafale in Le Bourget. On April 28, 2011 India has shortlisted Dassault's Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon for a 12 US billion dollar fighter jet deal, cutting out US giants Boeing and Lockheed, sources said. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

NEW DELHI: India has shortlisted Dassault’s Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon for a $12 billion dollar fighter jet deal, cutting out US giants Boeing and Lockheed, sources said Thursday.

“Only France’s Dassault and Eurofighter have been requested to extend their commercial bids,” a defence ministry official, who declined to be named, told AFP.

One of the most valuable and sought-after military contracts of recent years, the deal for 126 fighters has witnessed fierce competition between defence majors like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Sweden’s Saab AB and the Russian makers of the MiG 35.

It was also the object of intense lobbying during a series of high-profile visits to India last year by US President Barack Obama, French President Nicholas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Reports that a final shortlist had been drawn up were borne out by a statement Wednesday from Saab AB that its JAS-39 Gripen fighter had fallen out of contention.

“Gripen has not been shortlisted for the Indian Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) programme,” the statement said.

The Indian defence ministry refused immediately to confirm that the US and Russian bids had also been dismissed.

A statement from Lockheed Martin said only that it had been informed by the US government of a “letter from the Indian ministry of defence concerning the MMRCA competition”.

It gave no details of the letter’s contents.

“We understand that the US government is working on a response,” the statement said.

The Eurofighter is made by the four-nation European Aeronautic Defence & Space consortium, representing Germany and Spain, Britain’s BAE Systems and Italy’s Finmeccanica.

The long-delayed contract includes the outright purchase of 18 combat aircraft by 2012 with another 108 to be built in India.

India, the biggest importer of military hardware among emerging nations, issued the request for proposals to the six firms in 2007 and trials of the aircraft competing for the deal began a year later.


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Reader Comments (71)

  • Ganesh
    Apr 28, 2011 - 1:31PM

    Good deal!!Recommend

  • joy
    Apr 28, 2011 - 1:41PM

    Its good not to put all eggs in one basket…..after all India is buying the c-130 heavy duty transport planes from the USRecommend

  • aman
    Apr 28, 2011 - 1:42PM

    Rafale and ET would make good option with AESA radars in them,they are perfect 4.5 G aircrafts !!

    Although india was only looking for 130 aircraft,officially it would be increased to 250!!

    130 ET and 120 Rafale would make indian airforce very strong!!
    Tejas will form the major bunch of our fighter by 2015-17 where we will have 500 Tejas aircrafts with indigenous engine and radar!Recommend

  • Aamer
    Apr 28, 2011 - 2:01PM

    Good choice India, US will just push and shove once you confirm the deal with them. Euro-fighter all the wayRecommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Apr 28, 2011 - 5:09PM

    thank god our govt is not relying only on US alone!!Recommend

  • singh
    Apr 28, 2011 - 6:27PM

    We are buying about 10 billion$ weapons from usa in next 2 years

    $5bn order for ten Boeing C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft with an additional order for a further six aircraft, both being placed through the negotiated government-to-government foreign military sales (FMS) route without competitive tenders. Lockheed is also expected to receive further negotiated orders for its C-130J Hercules transport aircraft, six of which are already contracted

    but who wants to buy cheap F16 and F18 which were costly and old technology!!Recommend

  • GK
    Apr 28, 2011 - 6:52PM

    Such aircraft will not protect India from Pakistan’s Mumbai style attacks. They will still send thier Kasabs across the border to maim and butcher us. We should spend more on tactical quick response teams rather on such ultra -expensive jets – after the nuclear tests full scale war is not an option. Remeber how Reagan won the cold war for the US over the Soviets – they accelerated economic growth and when Soviet Union tried to keep up, it imploded. Winning wars in today’s world is about economics not military might. India should concentrate on its 8% + economic growth with its ongoing massive expansion of rural development, health and education. In time, with all the bombs going off in Pakitan (navy hit three times this week by the Taliban) either they will understand that they are thier own worst enemies, or they will implode. Recommend

  • Hasan
    Apr 28, 2011 - 7:59PM

    They may be a way to get more from US suppliers.Recommend

  • Khalid Masood
    Apr 28, 2011 - 8:51PM

    These Jets are not meant for Pakistan only. These are meant to flex muscles beyond Sub Continent specially towards north of India. These are to fulfill Indian dream to become something beyond regional power.

    USA must have been disappointed but Russian could be extremely furious on this short listing. Russians were expected to get some, badly needed, hard cash by selling their state of the art Mig-35 to India.

    I feel that IAF top brass have kept their eyes on their share – that is Kick Back. Europeans and Israelis have legalized such kick backs – so soon some high ranking officers of IAF are going to be filthy rich.

    If you think otherwise – plz go through the contents of latest Wiki-leaks. Which nation has toped the race of depositing money in Swiss Banks.

    On long term maintenance of Rafale and Eurofighter is likely to be expansive and difficult for IAF as well.

    As Pakistani I am happy on 2 accounts. First I do not expect Euro Fighter to do well in Sub-Continent due to climatic difference. This machine is specifically designed for Europe low temperature environments only – well….do not believe if they tell you otherwise for selling purpose. Second, Rafale is an old bird and can be taken care of by our latest F-16 aircrafts easily comparing with the US or Russian planes offered to India.Recommend

  • sharjeel
    Apr 28, 2011 - 9:33PM

    rafaele looks very much like j 10/ FC 20 to me,,,,,,Recommend

  • Rify
    Apr 28, 2011 - 9:59PM

    @khalid : do u know anything abt fighter jets? so as per ur agreement, typhoon can work only in low temperature, so which means germany & uk can go to war with country that have low temp.rofl dude..typhoon is one of the most successful during recent libyan conflict. it was tested in desert region of rajastan and as well siachen, and proved its mettle.

    u think ur f 16 can take care of rafael..f 16 is 4th gen with passive radar, rafael is 4++ with aesa radar,means can track atleast 10 enemy at the same time at longer the way, we have mig 29 is equivalent to ur f 16, which can do enough damage. other than that, we have su 30mki, mirage fighters,mig 29,jaguars,mig 21s..keep it in ur mind, we are 10 times bigger than paf, and paf is no where match to iaf. we belong to different league.we dont look upon western border, we look upon norther border for competition. and for pakistan, you shouldnt look at ur eastern border, but rather ur western border(afghanistan).

    if you think russia is furious, get a life.we have signed 10 billion, joint development of 5th generation stealth fighter..we are co developing medium lift military aircraft, plus we will buy nuclear technology,and few more transport & attach we keep all our friends, russia, france, israel…we give them what they want and we access their technology.oh! we dont steal other hard work technology like ur all weather friends. we work with mutual respect and friendship, thats every big defence company like boeing, eads, bae systems want to co develop future weapons and set up its footprint in india.

    what u need to notice here is, despite obamas personal letter, and heavy lobbying by washington, we decide what we want. no one dictate terms , we dictate terms. period !!!!Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    Apr 28, 2011 - 10:31PM

    What happend to LCA tejas not good or very expensive or not technically advance?Recommend

  • Raman
    Apr 29, 2011 - 12:06AM

    Are you that naive to think that another terrorist attack from Pak will ever happen in India?!! That was a once in a lifetime event. We have a more proactive terrorism defense and termination program in place.Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    Apr 29, 2011 - 12:12AM

    @Khalid Masood:
    LOLS F16s? Man, the technology is 30 years old. The US might have given you guys a repainted version, that does not make it state of the art. Recommend

  • Arindom
    Apr 29, 2011 - 2:17AM

    This is going to be very tricky!!

    India has still not paid back US for the Nuclear deal – all nuclear plant orders have gone to non-US companies and the US had expected to snare this jet deal at least!!! But they did get other deals like the C130…

    Russians are not going to be happy too as we are buying lesser and lesser from them now – but it serves them right for increasing the Adm Gorshkov price every year after the deal was struck!! And it was time to diversify away from Russia

    Finally – what have the Europeans done for us? They donot support us on AfPak, donot support us on UNSC seat – some of them were also against the nuke deal!!! Besides It will cost hell of a lot to get support infrastructure re-jigged to European hardware and the plane is expensive.

    On the whole, it is good that India is independant in it’s decision making and not sucking up to anyone. Now the task is to get the struggling Dassault ? Europeans to transfer all the technology and knowledge and get them to invest in India ( 50% ploughback clause should be implemented strictly)Recommend

  • DIG
    Apr 29, 2011 - 7:05AM

    Its the man behind machine counts conspirators do not make good fighters! Very soon India too will have Islam as the fastest spreading religion!!Recommend

  • navtej
    Apr 29, 2011 - 7:44AM

    Well done Indian defence ministry not taking any pressure from US and Russia and accepting Indian Air force recommendations.
    Future wars between countries will be fight mainly through air force and this deal is very important for Indian national security and will help to improve Indian nationan security for next three decades.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 29, 2011 - 9:08AM

    @DIG: ” …. Its the man behind machine counts conspirators do not make good fighters! Very soon India too will have Islam as the fastest spreading religion!! ….

    Why do you guys think we can not fight ?

    What according to you makes you better fighters ? Islam ? If so, point me to a war that Muslims have won in recent history. Recommend

  • maynotmatter
    Apr 29, 2011 - 10:55AM

    @Fahad Raza: No kick backs on those planes :) They will still be included. Current estimate being 250. I guess it will be more of a force multiplier rather than primary frontline plane.It is just first iteration of a plane and until it proves it’s mettle no government will just make it a frontline fighter while they have variety of proven fighters. Well that plus feerangee deals is always a good chance for many people to get rich :)Recommend

  • Manoj
    Apr 29, 2011 - 11:13AM


    You have unique Pakistani mindset, which has capability to link discussion on any subject with the religion.
    Just to answer you, may I submit that religion and nationality are two different thing. Religion is personal choice of an individual living in a particular country.

    Even if all of Indian Population converts itself into Islam still the they will remain and will be called as Indians.

    Religion does not break the barrier of nationality, otherwise Pakistan and Saudi Arabia would have been one country and natives of Saudi would not have treated migrant Pakistani as animals.

    Dear Friend, ultimately in this world, your knowledge and financial power determines your status not the religion.Recommend

  • GK
    Apr 29, 2011 - 11:49AM

    Has anyone on the website commented on the fact that India is actually paying from its own pocket for its jets – No aid etc. They have the right and the capability to choose. When was the last time Pakistan had the right to choose !

    The reason the Europeans have won it is that 100 of these aircraft are to be built in India – there is transfer of technology. Americans did not agree to tech transfer and Russian tech the indians already have. Add Israeli avionics to this deal and it is a win win. Recommend

  • MHJ
    Apr 29, 2011 - 11:57AM

    @all indians:

    Dear its not machine but the man who operates the machine counts more! Have you forgotten past of PAF v/s IAF. Here are some facts :

    Mohammad Mahmood Alam, who was born in 1935 is the top scorer fighter pilot of PAF. In the war of 1965, he shot down nine Indian planes (five in one sortie) and damaged another two. On September 6, 1965, during an aerial combat over enemy territory, Squadron Leader Mohammad Mahmood Alam, in an F-86 Sabre Jet, shot down two enemy Hunter aircraft and damaged three others. For the exceptional flying skill and valor displayed by this Squadron Leader, Alam was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat [The Star of Courage]. On September 7, 1965, Alam have destroyed five more enemy Hunter aircraft in less than a minute, which remains a record to this today. Overall he had nine kills and two damages to his credit.

    Some other facts:

    UK – Air International – November – 1991
    ” the average PAF pilot is almost certainly possessed of superior skills when compared with, say, an average American pilot. As to those who are rated above average, they compare favourably to the very best ”

    Encyclopaedia of Aircraft printed in several countries by Orbis publications – Volume 5

    “Pakistan’s air force gained a remarkable victory over India in this brief 22 day war exploiting its opponents weaknesses in exemplary style – Deeply shaken by reverse, India began an extensive modernisation and training program, meanwhile covering its defeat with effective propaganda smoke screen.

    If you feel more at ease with German and French, then also checkout the followings
    Air Action (France) December 1988 and January 1989
    Flugzeug (Germany) February (2) 1989

    In addition to this, PAF put on show for inspection, its entire fleets after BOTH of the wars in presence of world dignitaries and aviation community. The five times bigger IAF should have annihilated the tiny PAF to prevent such displays!!!!!!

    Now these are FACTSRecommend

  • singh
    Apr 29, 2011 - 12:29PM


    LCA tejas is 4 G technology .it will form the maximum no of fighters in our airforce in next 5 years!!
    They are all into production and will have 1st squadom by end of this year

    Typhoon and Rafale are 4.5 G technology aRecommend

  • Khan
    Apr 29, 2011 - 12:55PM

    Hey Indians! don’t you have any of your own Newspaper which you can read and give comments on news concerning India??Recommend

  • Apr 29, 2011 - 1:44PM

    @Arijit –

    Don’t remember Kargil? How naive of you!Recommend

  • Saeed Irfan
    Apr 29, 2011 - 2:19PM

    It is time Pakistan also orders for some serious fighters. Not some Chinese untested cheap technology. India now has hundreds of Su-30 which after F-22 is the most advanced fighter plane. They have Mig-29, Mirage 2000 and now Rafale which is the newest most modern European fighter jets. In addition to these India is on schedule to take delivery of over 150 of most modern Russian stealth fighter the PAKFA equivalent to F-22’s Raptors. Already India has S-300 PMU-2 airdefence systems with Tunguska and God knows what. We have only 50 F-16’s which is by the way an aircraft with a design from 1970’s. The rest is not even worthy of mention since it is either 1950’s designs or doo number Chinese maal. It is time for Pakistan to demand from US for 300 F-35 fighters and Patriot PAC-3 air defense systems to be delivered to Pakistan within no time as price for Pakistan help in war on terror. When US leaves Afghanistan and Americans are done with us then Pakistan is going to have to leave with India and US is going to forget about just like they did in 1990’s. Pakistan should prepare now for those days. Indian airforce is growing. Indian navy is taking deliveries of aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines. Pakistan can not sit idle and watch all this development. Neither a weak Pakistan can live with an Indian super power. Time is running and out and our government must start doing something.Recommend

  • Arshad
    Apr 29, 2011 - 2:19PM

    @Fahad Raza: for your information tejas LCA is only for training purpose.Recommend

  • Apr 29, 2011 - 2:31PM

    @Arijit Sharma:

    Mr. Sharma – You think we the Muslims are incapable of fighting ?

    It is joke rather ignorance.

    Who defeat former Soviet Union that crumbled later under the load of that defeat. Handful of Afghani and Muslim fighters from other countries.

    Why you Indians have deployed 700,000 military troops in Indian Occupied Kashmir ?

    Did you ever met someone from Indian Army who was part of attacking waves on any of Kargil Heights ?

    Have a life……… Recommend

  • Maria
    Apr 29, 2011 - 3:08PM

    @Manoj: I agree that if all Indians convert to Islam they will still be Indians. It wouldn’t make a difference to the fighting ability of the Indian army. But I would dispute your contention that the man behind the machine doesn’t matter- it does. There is a reason why your native Pakistani man is a better pilot and soldier. I am not talking about religion but of culture and stock. There was a good reason why the British chose the native Pashtun, Punjabi and Baluch to be fighters for native regiments. You can buy all manner of expensive plane or tank but in the end, the guy operating the equipment has to have the ability and mind set to fight.Recommend

  • Manoj
    Apr 29, 2011 - 3:43PM


    A good leader wins the war, even if he has to loose few battles here & there. A short sighted and boisterous leader celebrate win in small battle and lives in fools paradise.Recommend

  • GK
    Apr 29, 2011 - 3:55PM

    @Maria: So Maria effectively you support racism based on the above. Every race thinks it is the best and every race cringes when they are the target. As you sow so shall you reap – this is one of the few laws common to all religions. Those who think they are racially superior, are condemned by thier own beliefs (do not blame others !) to be victims of racism. Recommend

  • william kane
    Apr 29, 2011 - 3:59PM

    @maria,this martial race superiority attitude has cost u 4 wars and half of ur country,modern battles are fought with technology,not some jingoistic hullahoo,underestimating the enemy’s fighting capability has and forever will be the bane of ur country.Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Apr 29, 2011 - 5:55PM

    @Khalid Masood: and Maria
    What is there to remember from Kargil?
    1. That initially Pakistan denied its the Pak Army which intruded into Indian space?
    2. That 4000+ PAk Army soldiers died and the Pak top brass took several years to acknowledge that
    3. That Nawaz Sherif (the then Pak primeminister) went to Bill Clinton to ask India to stop slaughter of Pak “superior Army”?
    4. That on American request, the Indian Primeminister ordered the “inferior Indian” Army not to kill the fleeing Pakistan “Superior Army” thus saving lot of deaths in Pakistan “Superior Army”
    The above facts are stated by Rand Coropration in their paper on analysis of Kargil war.
    If you have doubts on the above, google “Limited conflict under nuclear Umberella” Rand Corporation.
    And don’t you guys strange that dispite your “Superior Army”, “Superior AF”, maybe “Superior Navy”, “Superior Nukes”…… your Army has lost every war that they have fought, external and now internal.
    “Maybe the providence always sides with the truth”Recommend

  • GK
    Apr 29, 2011 - 6:14PM

    @Khalid Masood: On Kargill, you could also read the book by Strobe Talbott – “Democracy, Diplomacy and the Bomb”. It gives full details of the conversation between Nawaz Shariff and Clinton on Kargill – never refuted by either.

    The Pak soldiers who died in Kargill have now been officially accepted as Pakistani army regulars as thier names are on the deceased soldiers website and on the regiment names. Remember that Pakistan refused to even accept thier bodies back at that time. Recommend

  • Sukhvidar
    Apr 29, 2011 - 6:20PM

    It is not possible to have a purely fair deal (without Kickbacks here in India)… Recent Figures from Credible Sources say it…

    But in general, it looks a better deal.

    Americans are super arrogant; let them learn a lesson :)

    Russians have pathetic technology

    Israel is too sharp to handle; there is every doubt that they would back stab us Indians as per their history… In ki dosti bhi buri aur dushmani bhiRecommend

  • Najib Khan
    Apr 29, 2011 - 6:23PM

    @MHJ:bravo bro, a lid needs to be put on their big Indian mouths which u have done very effectively . they can only talk & show their frustration of beating Pak & its ready for martyrdom soldiers in their dirty cheap war movies, tell them if they are man then what the heck have they done in the last 65 years .

    Just frustration venting movies nothing else , cowards & conspirators, they boast about East Pakistan , that was due to their combined effort with USA & USSR .

    tell them to come alone with out the support of their cronies USA , , Israel & Russia & man to man & we will show them what we are .

    They forgot that after Kargil conflict their own Army Chief recommended to our Army Chief to decorate Major Sher Khan Shaheed with the highest valour & military award for his bravery he showed during the conflict .

    Which was duly done.

    The statement of their ex Army Chief is on record. Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Apr 29, 2011 - 6:29PM


    Can I bother to remember you that US fights the war on terror with drones operated remotely as the primary weapon. Don’t always be under false pride, world is marching miles ahead of you. You know, future wars will be fought between machines.Recommend

  • Biswas
    Apr 29, 2011 - 6:30PM

    When will this race end???Recommend

  • Najib Khan
    Apr 29, 2011 - 6:37PM

    To all Indian day dreamers dreaming to beat & defeat Pakistan in a battlefiled , take an example of US army engaged in Afghanistan , with their best equipment & military hardware what the heck have they achieved in 10 years . Embarrassment, insult & dead bodies.

    U will get the same at the hands of Pakistan , pile up whatever u want , Rafale or MIGS or F16 but get the GOORDA & JIGAR to fight us & the Muslims.

    Like Americans the way they do it in Hollywood movies , u can just fight in your dirty Bollywoood movies & that is a fact . Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Apr 29, 2011 - 6:54PM

    @Najib Khan:
    At least our Army Chief knows the sign of a brave man. What can any soldier do, but to obey unquestionably the stupid order of the higher ups. (in this case your brave “Superior General Gen. “u turn” Mushraff). The soldiers can only give their best shot at the task at hand. It makes me proud that Our then Chief of Staff could recognise the bravery of an enemy combatant. (unlike your establishment which refused to recognise them for a long time)Recommend

  • Neeraj, India
    Apr 29, 2011 - 7:06PM

    Think twice before saying or boasting about anything. Your ‘brave’ army is huffing and puffing to defeat even an ill-equipped rag-tag army of illiterate rustic Hakeemulla Mahsud and you are bragging about defeating world’s second largest and third most powerful Indian Armed Forces, that too with the old junkyard worthy F-16s.
    Wake up! It is an age of star wars!Recommend

  • macro
    Apr 29, 2011 - 7:11PM

    Pakistan could use some MIG-35sRecommend

  • Krishn Malhotra
    Apr 29, 2011 - 7:21PM

    India has gone crazy and insane to keep following this indefinite path leading to no good for slums of India and yet our Big B has the audacity to dislike SlumDog MillionareRecommend

  • macro
    Apr 29, 2011 - 7:29PM

    Manoj…you sound like a sensible Indian, why don’t you and I sit down and hammer out the entire Pak-Ind issue…Recommend

  • Aish
    Apr 29, 2011 - 7:31PM

    @ashok sai:

    Can I bother to inform you that you are taking out the distance between near future and far…

    people will talk like anything… uhhh’

    Maria is right in stating, ‘its the man behind the machine that matters’; this is true even for drones or for that matter any other machine in war…

    I mean… come on… Have some brains before you speak…Recommend

  • HW
    Apr 29, 2011 - 9:09PM

    @ Rify: My friend congrats for having an airforce 10 times the size of PAF. PAF according to stats from sometime back fielded 400- 450 aircraft. IAF= 10 *PAF makes it about 4000+ Fighter aircraft. it must be hell of a job keeping them in hiding for so long :-)

    And for your competitions in North, sure your fighters will be useful but try taking those 3,500 bhisma’s, T-72 and others across the Himalayas. Similarly I am sure your akulas, other subs and Viraat will also travel all the way to South China Sea (being the closest) to fight Chinese!! :-P

    Please dont become a victim of your own blind patriotism. we all have been there once :-P

    Being the strongest proponent of iron fisted approach with india all my life, i think it is time both our countries back down. we have too many hungry, sick, illeterate etc people. We have enough to kill each other over and over again and thats not going to happen in our lives.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 29, 2011 - 9:33PM

    @Najib Khan: ” They forgot that after Kargil conflict their own Army Chief recommended to our Army Chief to decorate Major Sher Khan Shaheed with the highest valour & military award for his bravery he showed during the conflict . ”

    Indians respect the fact that Pakistanis are excellent fighters and where in comments made by Indians has there been denigration of the fighting abilities of the Pakistani armed forces?

    One of the first rules in armed conflict – never under-estimate your adversary or over-estimate yourself.

    As far as Major Sher Khan is concerned, no dis-respect intended, he wanted to be Shaheed, as in he wanted to die in the battle-field – i.e he had a death wish.

    Hope sanity prevails.

    But from an Indian point of view, Pakistan is preparing to initiate the next conflict, so we must be ready.Recommend

  • maynotmatter
    Apr 29, 2011 - 9:42PM

    @sharjeel: Yep , two wings, cockpit, tail fins and they both can fly. Yes it very much looks like J10, funny how airplanes resemble each other. I bet for you all chinese looks the same , isnt it :)Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    Apr 29, 2011 - 10:38PM

    India should opt for the Eurofighter Typhoons. It is the latest and the most advanced fighter jet in the market and its German technology is a class apart. Plus the company is also ready for technology transfer. India also has the advantage of fitting it with Israeli avionics, again unbeatable in the world. I cannot believe that Pakistanis see F16 as a superior jet. Gosh! at least compare the price. The unit cost of an F16 is somewhere around $19 million. The price of Su30 is around $40 million and for Typhoon, it is around $95 million. F16s is a cold war era fighter introduced in the 70s to counter the Soviet jets. It had its time in the 70s and 80s, but no more. Even the Su30s introduced in the late 90s are far far superior to f16s, let alone the Typhoons and the Rafales introduced in the 2000s.Recommend

  • Rify
    Apr 29, 2011 - 11:32PM

    @HW /Others pakistanis : again, i never mean that buying weapons are meant to kill.these are for adversary to keep the political balance in the region. let me ask you to look at country that spend money on defence. we are just placed at 9th, even though we are fourth largest economy.

    why germany and italy has to spend that much of money when most of their borders and eurpean nation are peaceful. its just a status in global arena and keep the political balance, and keep remainding others they are still powerful.

    no one in the world are born to kill other. i dont want to die on bullet, and see the end of this life. but u never know. today friend could be tomorrow enemy and today enemy could become friend of tomorrow.

    and being patriotic is not such a bad thing. but certainly i am not jingoisitc. i am tech savy ,follow world politics and understand strategy and analytics, plus i follow avionics development.

    beleive me,from what i read and understand indian defence strategy, i could say with my hand on my heart, that with all those modern defence equipment, india could least offend pakistan, unless otherwise india is provoked. afterall, who want war ? the reason for india going gaga over defence shopping, is some who india and indians get a sense that if inevitably a war brokeout between either with pakistan or china, the other might join,and india might have to face two side war.with the fleet that we have, we cant manage it.and i am sure neither our russian friend nor our new poster boys americans, could come out for our defence.

    so i fully support india defence purchase for some years to keep asia pacific power equation intact. and i pray that we should never see anymore war not just in subcontinent but through out the world ! peace out!!!:)))Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Apr 30, 2011 - 12:02AM

    “Paisa feko tamasa dekho”.

    India bought 126 of them ! I am sure Pakistan can buy more … it is just a market place friends …

    Is there anything to cheer about ?Recommend

  • M.A.S
    Apr 30, 2011 - 12:47AM

    ashok sai
    6 hours ago
    Reply @Maria:
    Can I bother to remember you that US fights the war on terror with drones operated remotely as the primary weapon. Don’t always be under false pride, world is marching miles ahead of you. You know, future wars will be fought between machines

    Pakistan is ahead in drone tech. Many private firms are manufacturing uav’s here.
    PAF has started manufacuring drones 3 years ago.

    Drones operated by cia are for pro-Pakistani jirgas now a days.

    kargil conflict was failed by nawaz shareef under us pressure since Pakistan army was at the striking distance of invading kashmir. Pakistan army only incurred casuality when the army started withdrawal. india incurred more then 4k loss of men, not Pakistan………… Pakistan’s stands around 800. Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Apr 30, 2011 - 1:20AM

    Smart. They don’t want a cut-off of spares and an embargo if tensions heat up in the sub-continent. Recommend

  • WTF
    Apr 30, 2011 - 5:36AM

    Bravo India, all this is going to solve the poverty and illiteracy in your countryRecommend

  • bvindh
    Apr 30, 2011 - 10:03AM


    Mohammad Mahmood Alam, who was born in
    1935 is the top scorer fighter pilot
    of PAF. In the war of 1965, he shot
    down nine Indian planes (five in one
    sortie) and damaged another two.

    As per Alam’s claim, he needs to be a time traveler to do what he did.

    A nice video of the explanation can be seen here.

    Alam’s claim is in the same class of claims that state that one believer is equal to thirteen non-believers in battle or that all Pakistani’s are of Arab descent or how A Q Khan “invented” the islamic “aitum bumb”Recommend

  • bvindh
    Apr 30, 2011 - 10:36AM


    There is a reason why your native
    Pakistani man is a better pilot and
    soldier. I am not talking about
    religion but of culture and stock.
    There was a good reason why the
    British chose the native Pashtun,
    Punjabi and Baluch to be fighters for
    native regiments. You can buy all
    manner of expensive plane or tank but
    in the end, the guy operating the
    equipment has to have the ability and
    mind set to fight.

    It’s acknowledged worldover that the bravest, toughest and most trustworthy soldiers are Gurkhas and Sikhs. BTW Gurkhas are Hindus.

    I am eagerly wainting for your reply.Recommend

  • Easy peasy
    Apr 30, 2011 - 11:09AM

    What sort of non-sensical argument is this – man behind the machine is important. Look you don’t get enlisted in forces if you are incapable of fighting. If you are in the defense then it means you have earned the right to be there. F-16s are no match to Eurofighter or Rafale. Lets just accept the facts for what they are. Pakistan got beaten black and blue in in every single war that they have fought with India. The myth that Muslims are better fighters blew up in Pakistan’s face on more than one occasion. If you still believe that non-sense then get ready for another thrashing. If I go by Maria’s argument, then Muslims are only good to be foot soldiers. There hasn’t been single leader from the land of pure of repute. They can be manipulated and used by other people. The shear number of puppet leaders and the in-fighting in your country is testimony to that fact. They simply don’t have brains. So, man behind machine logic is in fact bad news for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Nirmit
    Apr 30, 2011 - 12:33PM

    Friends the whole debate is about the jet purchase and its correctness…..we are talking about India pakistan battles…..

    Let me put few things from the discussion exactly in line with the subject….
    1. Khalid Masood…jets are flying at an altitude where the temperature is less than -40: how does climate matter while buying jets!!!! please correct and be logicals while bashing India. This forum means logic;
    2. Let us not look at historical aspects while deciding who is the mightier; This is 21st century and here it is not the war (as used to be in the past) but will be decided by over all prosperity, ingenuity, the quality of life, national stability, mutual respect for human values by the governing authority and overall respect a nation commands on the platform of the whole world;

    Now please go ahead on the mentioned indicators and carry on the debate; most of the rhetorics sounds like hindi movie dialogs and is missive of the basic sense this news paper intends (as have read in their moderation policy and intention to allow such comments):Recommend

  • saad
    Apr 30, 2011 - 2:32PM

    good breakfast for our JF thunderRecommend

  • Apr 30, 2011 - 3:37PM

    Guys, let us not make this another India vs Pakistan match. It is good that finally India is buying these darn aircrafts, I have been seeing this news of 120+ aircrafts since even before 2007 and couldn’t help but wonder when will it finally be done.
    Eurofighter is good choice although it’s short range than most modern aircrafts might pose logistic problems for IAF. Also its maintainence will be a nuisance since India mostly uses Russian and French technology and a whole new setup will have to be put up care for Eurofighter.
    Rafael is in a class of its own, though I don’t know which version of Rafael will IAF be going for. Since it’s pure French technology, it should fit right in with current infrastructure with some adjustments. From what I see, the long term costs for Rafael should be lower compared to Eurofighter.
    Also it is to be understood that Indian airfields are more distant to each other, so long range is needed for aircrafts in order to patrol and respond in case of emergency to northern, eastern as well as western borders.
    At the same time IAF needs to speed up its pilots training program. What I remember, if I recall correctly, that IAF has a ratio of 1.1. pilots for every aircraft, making it difficult to have superior quality of pilots per percraft while in case of Pakistan this ratio is 3 pilots to an aircraft.
    All in all it’s good for IAF.Recommend

  • Apr 30, 2011 - 4:34PM

    @Tony Singh, GK& Rest of Indians:

    Since I was personally present at Kargil at Point 4875 and witnessed everything from own eyes – I do not need to read books written by people who were never there, rather never visited Kashmir or even Sub-Continent. Most books are either written by Indians working in western think tanks so they are biased.

    On my personal account I assure you that things were different and extremely difficult for Indian Army.

    ThisPM Nawaz Shrif once assured Indians PM that Pak Army will never open another sector along LOC, Working Boundary or International Border – Then Indian brought all their might of BOFOR guns and aircraft upon us. It is fact that softening up our positions by BOFORS and IAF was very brutal but we did survive that and killed hundreds of Indian infantrymen who tried to scale those heights towards us – each and every time. There was an Indian officer captain butra who was awarded param veer chakar later was killed by one of my jawan with straight bullets in his chest and head.

    We taught a very good lesson to Indian Army. However, we did loose due to blunder of Nawaz Sharif. Recommend

  • Maulana Diesel
    Apr 30, 2011 - 6:55PM

    European jets are crap….they can’t even beat the Libyan airforce. Go India buy please buy as many as you can.Recommend

  • whyamireplyingtothisbuffoon
    May 1, 2011 - 2:58AM

    @Khalid Masood:
    By your own admission, you guys sneaked into our territory (with sinister designs!!) and seemed to perched on top. Still Indian jawans were able to evict you… What could have been better proof of cowardice from your side and what could have been a better proof of raw courage and valor from indian side!!
    I am still in awe thinking about the guts needed to fight intruders on freezing mountain peaks and who knows there might have been cases of hand-to-hand combat. We indians are forever indebted to our army men for this act of bravery and will always be proud of them.
    You guys need to learn a lesson or two about strategy. Don’t dig a hole so deep that if by any chance you fall into it, you are unable to come out.Recommend

  • May 1, 2011 - 3:49AM

    Thank you for the remarks, I am just a realist and no longer fancy Indo-Pak wars (whether real or words) as I used to. There are many problems that need attention without further wasting energy by hurling abuses.

    Let’s see now. I will not call F16 and F18 as obsolete, at least not yet. An aircraft becomes obsolete when it is unable to keep up with average quality of aircrafts in the region. Take for example The Vampires that IAF had during 1965 war that were shot down by PAF fighters on the morning of 6th of September (a national holiday is celebrated here in remembrance of that day). The Vampires were OBSOLETE. They were WW2 aircrafts facing against PAF’s Sabres that were Jet engined with heat seeking sidewinder missiles. It was like Shoaib Akhtar bowling at full speed against 8th grade students.
    Until IAF has aged aircrafts like Jaguars, Mig-21s and the likes, PAF will continue to benefit from F16s because they are a stop gap measure against the bulk of IAF. Once this bulk of IAF starts to be replaced by more modern, 4+ generation fighters, only then PAF will start considering better replacements for the Falcons.
    As far as Thunder is concerned, understand that it’s the first design and is about 4th generation category because of avionics (not the design, the design is still 3rd generation from what I know). There is potential for improvement and future variations might go in 4++ generation depending upon changes and choice of avionics. I can’t say that it can be molded from a look-a-like of F16 to look-a-like of Rafael, but further improvements might bear fruit because it is indeed another stop-gap aircraft with BVR capability. China doesn’t need Thunder because they already have plans for its elder brother, J-10, which is better option to replace many of the aging aircrafts in the fleet.
    As I said before, Eurofighter aircraft has short range which would be a disadvantage for IAF. And I agree with other points you raised that multiple countries have stakes in Eurofighter, complete ToT, no end user monitoring etc makes it an excellent choice. I, however, still see the lack of range as a major obstacle for its choice. And yes, the competitive advantage is to be considered because if too many countries already have it, then ofcourse the flight capability cannot be kept hidden. It is also to be noted that the gulf countries who bought Eurofighter also have PAF pilots as trainers and they can relay the information about Eurofighter’s abilities back to PAF (I assume it has already been done), so that will remain a disadvantage for India.
    Rafael is an aircraft to fall in love with and I agree that it will blend it with the current setup IAF has of French aircrafts. It will require little up gradation and training compared with Eurofighter, bringing down acquisition and long-term costs to more manageable level. However I still do not see the right role for Rafael despite it being a good choice. First, there are two versions of Rafael. The first is Air Superiority and the second is as a Bomber. Now IAF already has a couple of Air Superiority aircrafts, as you have already mentioned. I don’t see Rafael’s place solely as a Bomber because that, I feel, would be a waste. Unless IAF plans to use Rafael as multi-role (both as Air Superiority and Bomber) aircraft, it won’t be fully utilized as per its capabilities and in case of multi-role, it may even be under-utilized.
    Also as I mentioned, IAF still needs to improve and speed up pilot training programs. Indian Airforce is in desperate need of more pilots for its aircrafts in order to have quality control. As I mentioned, PAF maintains a ratio of 3 pilots for an aircraft, which means only one-third of pilots are able to fly all aircrafts PAF has and these are the best pilots of the lot. IAF doesn’t have that luxury and majority of the pilots still suffer from anxiety when they are forced to fly Mig-21s and Jaguars. Until that gap in quality is controlled, even best aircrafts can only go so far.
    Gripen, as you mentioned, is a good aircraft but assembled from many countries. It could have been a good option for PAF considering that PAF doesn’t need long range fighters like IAF do and Gripen has a lot of potential. The reason I see for not acquiring Gripen is that its maintainance costs were higher compared to F16s that PAF recently procured and the funding as well. When it comes to defence purchases, Army has the largest share followed by the remaining two wings, Navy and Air Force. That always creates shortage of funds for PAF and they are forced to look for stop-gap measures and choose aircrafts with minimum training and maintainance costs. F16s required much lesser pilot training compared to what Gripen needed and infrastructure was already there that needed minimal up gradation. Also, the funding came from US military aid which lessened pressure from already scant resources PAF has, so for the time being the Falcons were the ideal choice despite the fact that Airforce enthusiasts in the country have been drooling over Rafael since last 8 years.
    I would say we don’t need neither Gripen nor Rafael. If PAF had enough funds, then aircrafts like Mirage 2000-5 and even Mirage 2000-9 were excellent choices. But everything boils down to funds and how can they be best utilized for stop-gap measures.Recommend

  • Maria
    May 1, 2011 - 4:45AM

    @bvindh: You are sure an eager beaver waiting for a reply when you already know the answer. Just remind yourself that Sikhs are Punjabi- granted their dialect is a bit different than that spoken in Pakistan and that Gurkhas come from Nepal. Sure the Tamils in Sri Lanka are good fighters who did well against the Sinhalese but they too are Sri Lanka.Recommend

  • May 1, 2011 - 6:59AM

    Go for Eurofighter! Much better machine than the Rafale!Recommend

  • maynotmatter
    May 1, 2011 - 7:20AM

    @Khalid Masood: You are not even original in lying, haha :)Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    May 1, 2011 - 7:52AM

    Sikh are Punjabis and Indian. So are the Jats of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The Indian Punjab was divided into these three states after independence. The Tamils of Sri Lanka are migrants from India who went to work in the British companies and Plantations in India. Ghoorkahs are a tribe like the Pashtuns. They are found both in india and Nepal like Pashtuns are there in Pak and Afghanistan. The Gorkhas of India are found in mountainous areas of UP and West Bengal.Recommend

  • Maria
    May 5, 2011 - 5:45PM

    @Cherish Raj: Regardless of the debate as to which races are better warriors in India and Pakistan, ask yourself what percentage of Indians are Gurkhas or Sikhs, then compare to native Pakistanis such as Pashtuns, Baluchis and Punjabis who form the majority of the population of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Haytt
    May 29, 2011 - 9:07AM

    before getting such technologes , get a Newspapers like ET in India , Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Jun 15, 2011 - 3:41PM


    Pakistanis lost all wars and battles till date since their formation …
    This is the situation even if Pakistan had a lot of supirior technology and the backing of US in all its wars.
    The largest surrender in the morden history was done by Paksiani Army and none other.
    Who calls you a better fighter ? Any why is a Pakistani proud-off it at the first place?Recommend

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