Indian Air Force poised to receive bids: Rafale, Typhoon or (surprise!) F-35?

Update:

“”Negotiations with the firms will start after opening the bids on November 4,” Air Marshal D. Kukreja said. “Whatever is beneficial to the country, we will choose.” India in April pulled a surprise by cutting out U.S. bidders Boeing and Lockheed Martin, much to Washington’s disappointment, as well as dropping Sweden’s Saab AB and the Russian makers of the MiG 35 from the race. Lockheed still are hoping for a reversed decision. “The final outcome will not be known immediately except perhaps an indication of whom we may prefer,” retired Gen. Afsir Karim, an expert on Indian arms procurement, said Nov. 3.

“A price negotiation committee will finally determine the winner,” he said.

Dassault’s Rafale plane and the Eurofighter Typhoon have both been in action over Libya in recent months during the international operation to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians from Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.””

When the Indian Air Force announces the winner of the medium multi-role combat aircraft contract on 4 November, there will be only two options: A (Dassault Rafale) or B (Eurofighter Typhoon).

But the US government apparently still hopes the Indians will pick option C: the Lockheed Martin F-35.

Months ago, I wrote a piece on Hilary Clinton’s Pitch to India back at the beginning of the year. More to follow…


New Brain for the Raptor? Plug and Play Technology on the Cards

The F-22 Raptor is in need of a system upgrade which allows it to incorporate other technologies in the future – U.S. Air Force says. Service officials hope to make it much cheaper and easier to provide modifications to the F-22 in the future, including the option of cross-integration with technology already developed for the F-35.

The fact is that the next-generation fighter has a very highly integrated avionics system already, but one that is closely knit and proprietary. This has created a monopolized structure where most improvements would be reliant on the aircraft’s design companies, Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The F-22 SPO (System Program Office) would like to see an Open System Architecture employed, and are willing to contract another company to do so.

“We are highly reliant upon Lockheed Martin and Boeing to do any kinds of modifications to the Jet” says David Weber, Deputy Director of the F-22 SPO. “The open-architecture effort is meant to allow the Air Force to open upgrade work to competition”.  Weber goes on to state that Boeing and Lockheed would be welcome to bid on the demonstration contracts in the future, and that this is one of several alternative directions for the programme.

For more information on this article, I recommend DefenceNews.org

Images courtesy of geekosystem.com