SOURCE: ABHAY KESARKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Great Indian Tamasha is back again for its Second Season after running for decades in the first season without any success. After the cut-off date passed by media reports in India confirmed that same defeated Air warriors of the past tenders are once again entering the arena to battle it out among themselves to secure orders for 110 units of Make in India fighter which actually nobody knows how long this season will last due to India’s love for tons of paper works and hectic documentation which is common in all high budget Military procurement tenders .
Airbus Defence and Space is back with its Eurofighter Typhoon Combat jet which missed the bus last time after it was declared a winner on Technical rounds but failed to become an L1 bidder after Dassault Aviation reportedly offered their Rafale fighter jets at an even lower price than Eurofighter Typhoon. Airbus has participated in the tender without much buzz in the local Indian media circle indicating less expenditure was incurred on promotion on so-called Defence Journalists in India.
Lesser coverage by our mainstream media to Eurofighter Typhoon also makes you believe that Airbus Defence and Space is back in India only to complete its formalities and not actually to win the order. Airbus Defence and Space officials are not seen running around having multiple rounds of sponsored interviews nor are they indulging in product promotion in various newspapers and defense magazines like their competitors but silence on their part could be also an indication that they are back fully knowing that their product will make it to last round just on its technical merits and performance like it did last time and also be fully aware that their competition in the race have not suddenly developed abilities to fire laser cannons nor they are coming with any incremental improvements in their operational performance that they can surpass Eurofighter Typhoon in technical rounds .
Chances are high that it will again Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale which will make the final cut like they did last time. Indian Air Force is unlikely to pick up fighter aircraft based on the political leaning of the present or future government and merit over the political interface will see again two clear winners but will this time Airbus Defence and Space might have something in their sleeves to pull an upset ??
French aerospace company Dassault Aviation is confident that Dassault Rafale will be able to secure a follow-on order for 110 fighters and India placed orders for only 36 jets in a Government to Government deal after scrapping the previous tender. One of the major reasons why the previous tender was scrapped, was French aerospace companies ability to take the Indian government for a hike in fairyland where it refused to provide Transfer of Technology it promised in its own documents and also showed its inabilities to stick to the price it had mentioned for it to be qualified as an L1 Winner in the previous tender after years of negotiation it even refused to work with state-owned Indian Aerospace major HAL and promoted Billionaire owned Private defence company Reliance Aerospace which is yet to put even one screw in any aircraft in the world let alone manufacture full aircraft in its facilities.
Airbus Defence and Space with back-channel talks had promised India better price and better Transfer of Technology then Dassault Aviation to secure orders for 126 jet but unlike any other sensible government, the Indian Government decided to stick with rules and regulation over sensible choice and went on to scrap the tender and brought less than two squadrons of aircraft which has no Transfer of Technology nor with any logic how 36 aircrafts can fill in the requirement for 126 jets in the first place .
In MMRCA 2.0 Dassault Aviation will come aggressive and will come with leverage over Indian Government and it is unlikely they will offer anything new in the new tender that will be any different than the one they had offered in the past, Yes price of the product might go up due to inflation over the years which obviously will be paid by Indian Taxpayers .
In Short, In MMRCA 2.0 Dassault Aviation gets a head start in the race, while Airbus Defence and Space will run like it has no competition and others will run just for sake of running just to fiddle with the idea that their governments will have some leverage over Indian Government to pull an upset which will all know that it won’t happen and after 4-5 years down the line we will all know who won . Yeaahhhh