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Eurofighter typhoon vs dassault rafale

French Dassault Rafale, Photo taken by AereiMilitari.org

Dassualt Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon, two state of the art combat aricrafts were competing against each other not in a battle sky, but on papers. India had declared the requirement of 126 MRCA as a replacement for its ageing combat fleet for which Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale along with other aircrafts ( Swedish Saab Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon, French Dassault Rafale, Russian Mikoyan MiG-35, and the American F-16IN and F/A-18IN) Super Hornet were competing.

Along with Indian Air Force’s technical requirement, another major criteria was also the cost, including the acquirement cost, production cost, operation and maintenance cost. India is already struggling maintaining its fleet due to high operation and maintenance costs. The cost issue is not only in the military, but also in the civilian side. Although Defence aviation industry functions quite differently than Civil aviation industry, today flights to Sydney from India costs nearly the same as the cost of standard Air India flight from New Delhi to Bangalore on a busy day.

Eurofighter Typhoon, photo taken by Contando Estrelas

Out of six competitors, Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon had made up to the final round, Dassualt Rafale being the lowest bidder winning the deal [Read: Dassualt Rafale Wins 126 MMRCA Jet Fighters Deal With India].

It would be the first sale of Rafale outside France once the deal is finalized. Officials here said that the representatives of Dassualt Aviation have been informed of the results and development and soon  talks could be held for further negotiation on the price of the aircraft.

According to the agreement, the company who wins the contract will have to provide 18 aircrafts from their manufacturing facilities within 3 years or 36 months. Rest of the aircrafts will be manufactured at home facilities within India by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) under license.

Now that a new Aircraft will join the Indian fleet very soon, there is a big curiosity all over the world about how much India gained or missed choosing Rafale over Eurofighter.

Little Bit of History

The Eurofighter Typhoon, designed by a consortium (Eurofighter GmbH, formed in 1986) of three companies: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems, is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter.

In 1971, the UK had issued a requirement for a new fighter jet. According to the specifications issued by the Air Force, a new conventional ‘tailed’ design was formed known as P.96. Although the design was on par with the requirements, UK’s air industry felt that it did not appear disparate to McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. By that time F/A-18 was already in the advanced stages of the designing, and the UK industry believed by the time their aircraft will be ready, F/A-18 would have already captured major markets. Meanwhile, West Germany was also in the race to design a fighter jet.

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It was in 1979 when Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB – Germany) and British Aerospace (BAe – UK) jointly presented a formal proposal to their respective governments for the ECF (the European Collaborative Fighter) or European Combat Fighter [Source: Buttler 1990, p. 134]. In the very same year, French major manufacturer Dassault joined the ECF team in October 1979, bringing the concept of Eurofighter. The initial idea was that each country would individually present their design of the aircraft and the best one will be selected to go with. France produced the ACX. The UK produced two designs; the P.106 was a single-engined “lightweight” fighter, superficially resembling the JAS 39 Gripen, the P.110 was a twin-engined fighter. The P.106 concept was rejected by the RAF, on the grounds that it had “half the effectiveness of the two-engined aircraft at two thirds of the cost” [Source: Boot 1990, pp. 229–233]. West Germany continued to refine the TFK-90 concept.

However, the project collapsed just after two years in 1981 because of various technical and political reasons. Each country had different requirements. Also, French insistence on leadership in the design phase and UK’s stipulation for their RB199 engine to power the aircraft instead of French Snecma M88 kept the project from running [Source: Butler 2000, p. 135].

As the project collapsed, the requirement for a new aircraft was still on high priority; as a result, in April 1982, the Panavia partners (MBB -Germany, BAe – the UK and Aeritalia – Italy) launched the Agile Combat Aircraft (ACA) programme [Source: Buttler 2000, p. 137.]. Although, it was a joint project, the British dominance could be easily seen in the ACA project, as the design was very similar to the BAe P.110, having a cranked delta wing, canards and a twin tail. One major external difference was the replacement of the side mounted engine intakes with a chin intake. The ACA was also to be powered by a modified version of the British RB199. Such a dominance by the UK resulted into the recantation of The German and Italian governments funding.

In 1983 Germany, France, UK, Italy and Spain launched the Future European Fighter Aircraft (FEFA) programme. The aircraft was to have short take off and landing (STOL) and beyond visual range (BVR) capabilities. In 1984, France reiterated its requirement for a carrier-capable version and again demanded a leading role. The West Germany, UK and Italy opted out and established a new EFA program. In Turin, on 2 August 1985, West Germany, UK and Italy agreed to go ahead with the Eurofighter; and confirmed that France, along with Spain, had chosen not to proceed as a member of the project [Source: Lewis, Paul. “3 European Countries Plan Jet Fighter Project.” The New York Times, 3 August 1985, p. 31]. Despite pressure from France, Spain rejoined the Eurofighter project in early September 1985 [Source: Eurofighter: Spain joins the club.” The Economist, 17 September 1985, p. 68.] France officially withdrew from the project to pursue its own ACX project, which was to become the Dassault Rafale.

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By September 1985, foundation of Eurofighter and Rafale had been laid and France and other European countries went on their ways to prove their technical leadership and making their version as successful. Today, both the aircrafts are reality out of the paper. While Eurofighter has already made its way into Austrian, German, Italian, Saudi Arabian, Spanish and United Kingdom’s Airforce, Rafale has shown its capability in Libyan war last year.

But the most high profile battle which they fought was in the files of Indian selectors and at Aero India 2007 Airshow in Bangalore. Shortlisting of both the aircrafts to the final round had toughened the rivalry between France and European nations even more.

The European nations got their biggest blow when the got the news of Dassualt Rafale grabbing the deal with India. France, blamed for being over confident, dominating and demanding, was pushed out of the joint development of Eurofighter. And the same France had defeated the European group with its version of the design, which it was proposing then.

While it was the moment of rejoice for France, leaders of the UK, Germany and Italy were deeply hurt and indicated that they would talk to Indian government to convince them to have a re-look at Eurofighter. So far the Indian government’s decision has remained unchanged.

This would be the first sale of Dassualt Rafale outside India, which is considered to be one of the biggest defence deal in the world.

Little bit of Numbers

Figures and Comparison according to official data from Austrian Air force, Eurofighter.com and French Navy.

(Coming Soon: Figures Updating..)

What India will Gain and Lose

India has had good strategic relations with French Dassault Aviation. Dassault has provided the aircrafts as well as the technology to manufacture at home, in India. India has already tested the capability of Dassault Mirage 2000 in Kargil war. Indian pilots and manufacturing companies are familiar with Dassault products and hence not many efforts will be required for pilot training and setting up of the assembly and manufacturing line when compared to a totally different platform of aircraft.

The place where Typhoon clearly beats the Rafale is the thrust. Dassault has not given any reason why such a less powerful engine is used for a 4+ generation fighter, though the company has maintained that it is working to replace the current engine with the more powerful one. However, Thrust to weight ratio of both the planes are similar and Rafael has more capacity of take off load.

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The Rafale is much more fuel efficient, but the EJ200 retains its power in high mach numbers, giving the Typhoon superior acceleration post Mach 1.5. Even though the M88s can function in limited airflow at high altitudes, they loose some of their punch, which limits the Rafale to speeds of Mach 1.8-1.9, while the Typhoon can go well past Mach 2.

If an Air Force is buying MMRCA in this decade, after so much spending and thinking, then it must be AESA ready. In this case Rafale is already AESA ready and will be equipped with the AESA radar this summer [Source: First Rafale To Be Equipped With AESA This Summer], whereas Eurofighter Typhoon might not see AESA radar before 2015 [Source: Eurofighter Typhoon to fly with AESA radar by 2015].

Also India may expect Rafale delivery sooner than Eurofighter Typhoon, since Rafale is not gone for export yet. Typhoon already has lots of pending orders from export and consortium customers. Some unconfirmed sources are also indicating that Rafale has offered India fourty fighters in fast track mode for early delivery.

The former Red Arrows team leader – Peter Collins – stated Rafale as a “war-fighter par excellence”. He added that he deemed the Rafale to be the best and most complete combat aircraft that he had ever flown. He concluded in saying that if he had to go into combat, on any mission, against anyone, he would, without question, choose the Rafale.

In another aircraft exercise in the UAE, even the F-22 Raptor, a fifth generation fighter, could hardly do anything to “tame” Rafale. According to Jean-Marc Tanguy’s information, defence journalist, the balance sheet lies in the figures hereafter:

Dogfighting (with Rafale weapons system’s performance lowered on purpose):
FAF Rafales vs RAF Typhoons : 4 – 0

Dogfighting with further Rafale weapons system reduction:
FAF Rafales vs RAF Typhoons : 3 – 1

Final balance sheet (in both scenarii the Rafales did not have full weapons systems…):
FAF Rafales vs RAF Typhoons : 7 – 1

However, the final ratings reporter were:

  1. F-35 = 6.97,
  2. RAFALE = 6.95
  3. Eurofighter = 5.83
  4. F-16 Block 60 = 5.80

[Source: RAFALE vs Typhoon/Eurofighter]

Some analyst also believe that these aircrafts may not be compared as they belong to different categories, Typhoon is air superiority fighter with limited multi-role capabilities, whereas Rafale is a true multi-role aircraft.

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Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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China

A Lovers’ Quarrel: What Now for India and China?

Manak Suri

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India China Border

When China’s Consul General to India Zheng Xiyuan addressed a gathering in the city of Mumbai earlier in the week he made an interesting comparison on the relationship between the two Asian giants. “Relation between China and India is just like the monsoon season,” he said. “There are different levels of rainfall in different years. And sometimes you have clouds as well.” It is not surprising how apt the statement is especially with regard to the past three years which have seen the tiger and the dragon compete for geopolitical influence in Asia and beyond and tussle over longstanding territorial issues. The latter of the two culminated in the 70-day long military standoff in Doklam/Donglang, which has since then deescalated. However, the monsoon sometimes surprises with a few delayed showers, and so has Beijing with a sudden change in its rhetoric towards New Delhi, from one of visible aggression to one which is seemingly cooperative.

Clashes between the two kept analysts across the globe busy, with the possibility of a full-scale military conflict a favourite topic of discussion for the political enthusiasts among the uninitiated. The Doklam episode was the final among a series of recurring conflicts. The most prominent among them included India snubbing China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) summit in May flagging sovereignty issues due to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC); a key portion of the OBOR which runs through a region of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan and claimed by India, and China’s repeated blocking of India’s move to get the chief of Pakistan based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed listed as a global terrorist with the UN. The relations had already taken a downturn with India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group being blocked by China on a consistent basis. Added to that, tensions reached a high with India’s decision to allow the Dalai Lama, seen as a separatist by China to visit the Tawang region which is claimed by China as Southern Tibet and by India as a part of its state Arunachal Pradesh. This happened despite repeated warnings from the Chinese that the visit would cause serious damage to diplomatic ties between the two countries. Did it?

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The action-packed episodes are in the past now and recent developments on the world stage are worth a second look. With no new conflicts brewing for the time being and a precarious lid on the existing ones, it has been nothing short of intriguing to see the evident tone of cooperation between the two frenemies since the Doklam issue has been resolved. China seems to have made good, even if ever so slightly, on blocking the move to designate the JeM chief as a globally designated terrorist by condemning the Pakistan based terror group along with the Haqqani Network and Lashkar-e-Taiba at the recent BRICS summit held in Xiamen. While the move has likely and arguably been made to protect its own investments in the country and doesn’t have any visible bearing on India’s repeated efforts as yet, the step is significant in projecting Beijing’s new viewpoint on the fight against terror based outfits on a global level which previously was limited to vague statements sighting requirement of solid evidence and further communication and coordination between the involved countries. Beijing has also snubbed Pakistan in its effort to internationalise the issue of Kashmir, maintaining its position that the matter is for them and India to resolve on their own. While there has been no change of position on the issue from before and there is no strain of ties between the two ‘all-weather allies’, the tone of the statement is a change to be welcomed by New Delhi in its prominent stand against terrorism on both the national and international level.

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Speaking of change, India along with Japan remained relatively quiet in the South China Sea conflict, making no explicit mention of it in their joint statement when the Prime Ministers of both the countries met earlier this September. Improvements in ties aside, another likely reason could be that the issue has taken a backseat with the focus of China, Japan as well as that of the United States on the heightening tension in the Korean Peninsula.

However, with Trump’s undiverted attention on Kim, the South East Asian countries involved in the conflict may find it difficult to stand up to the Chinese on their own, should Beijing choose to push even further with its activities in the contested waters. Therein lies an important lesson for India. “The Chinese have demonstrated a pattern of creeping encroachment”, India’s former Ambassador to Beijing Ashok K. Kantha has said, and India would do well to remember that. Indians may see the disengagement from both the sides in Doklam as a diplomatic victory over the Chinese but the conflict is not yet resolved. China’s perceived soft behaviour may merely be an understanding on their part that perhaps the time to act is not now, more so that cooperation is the way ahead; something which has continuously and explicitly been implied by both the sides over and over considering what else is at stake.

As two large and quickly growing economies, India and China’s relationship with each other has been heavy enough invested in by both the countries for them to know different. This is not just evident from the business end, but also from the mixing of the two cultures as well. Bollywood movies are enjoying huge popularity among the Chinese audience. At the same time across the border, Mandarin as a language has acquired more importance over the years, with schools offering the same as an optional language growing in number. Opinions of the people on each other may change every now and then from favourable to not as much in polls, yet there is no denying their mingling.

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In this lovers’ quarrel, as is with any other, while the occasional bickering is unlikely to give way (at least in the foreseeable future), reconciliation is perhaps always the key and a quick one for that matter. This is known by both, even if they may forget from time to time.

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Get Acquainted with Mumbai Through its Diverse Food

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Popularly called India’s financial capital, Mumbai is known for more than just Bollywood and its stock markets. It is one of the more famous cosmopolitan cities in the country with a brilliant mix of people from all over. This eclectic combination of a variety of people from different places across the country has ended up creating a paradise for the food lovers in Mumbai.

A variety of edibles in the Maximus City

Named after Mumba, a Goddess and patron deity of the Kolis, Mumbai is a mixture of people from different religions as well. The ethnic group of Kolis are made up of Christians and Hindus and have provided the world with the finger-licking ‘Prawns Koliwada’ famous in Mumbai. Taste this deep fried Prawn dish for a mind-blowing experience. The people of the Konkan region have brought Malwani food to this city in all its spicy glory. Wash down this delicious food with Sol Kadi, which is a refreshing after-food beverage drunk after a heavy meal of Pomfret masala or crab masala.

Mohammed Ali Road

Mumbai is famous across the country for its outstanding street food that makes exploring this city an interesting feat. Experience every flavour of the city soon as you land and board the Mumbai airport cab, and drive towards the active Mohammad Ali Road. Experience the buzz of activity in this area, which plays home to several important mosques and is also the heart of all Ramadan celebrations in the city. Try out the Mumbai classics such as pav bhaji and bhel puri, unique to this area’s busting khao gallis (food streets).

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Chowpatty Beach

A food lover’s visit to this city is incomplete without making a stop at Mumbai’s Chowpatty beach. Considered to be the best place for vegetarian food items and street foods such as pani puri and pav bhaji. Sit on the sandy shores of this beach and watch the picturesque sunset while munching on some sev puri, which is Mumbai’s classic street food. The combination of herbs, sev and chutneys over the potato makes for a scrumptious snack. Sample some kulfi sticks while at the beach. Kulfi is a frozen dairy dessert that is more creamy and dense than ice cream is. Pick your favourite flavours from mango, rose, cardamom, pistachio, and saffron.

Indian Sweets

For those of you who have a sweet tooth, try the hand-churned samples of ice cream in strange yet delicious flavours in Mumbai. Close to the markets of this city exists a 120-year old shop that also serves bright orange jalebis and sugary sweet goodies popular in India. If you’re flying into the city, you can pick out self-drive Mumbai airport taxi service such as Zoomcar and explore the food joints of this exquisite city.

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It’s Been 70 Years Since India Became An Independent Nation: What’s Changed?

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It has been 70 years since India became independent and a lot has changed. On the 15th August 1947, India finally won its independence, after a long struggle for freedom. The road to freedom wasn’t easy; it was a long struggle and one that cost them thousands of people. The country was partitioned, and Pakistan was created, and along with it, a new India was born. India may have lost some of its people, but it gained a brand new identity.

Since then, India has adopted a democratic path and has developed in many unexpected ways. Wondering what’s changed in the past 70 years – then read on for a guide to the ways in which India has advanced over the past seven decades.

Equality comes before law

In 2017, India treats everyone equally when it comes to law. All Indians are equal and subject to the same authority when it comes to law and jurisdiction. There is no special treatment based on eligibility, income or gender – everyone is treated fairly. Birth is no longer seen as a basis for choosing who should and shouldn’t be powerful. Social privileges are not based on gender, religion, caste, or ethnicity – everyone is equal. Each citizen carries an Aadhar card or can use an Aadhar card download instead. This states their name, contact details, and holds a range of information about them. Despite these laws around equality, discrimination does still exist, but the government and local authorities are working hard to stamp this out.

Education has significantly progressed

Today, more than 100 million children go to school in India and complete their primary education, which includes learning to read and write. The number of children going on to secondary education and higher education is also impressive. There are now over 300 universities in India that children can choose to attend. At secondary school and in higher education, children are encouraged to learn skills that will aid them in later life and make the process of getting a well-paid job easier. There is a lot of emphasis on educational equality, with girls being encouraged to attend school just like boys are.

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Socio-economic changes

In terms of industry, India has also made some incredible advancements since 1947. In the 50s and 60s, heavy industries became big business in India and received a lot of government attention. Today, smaller scale industries are receiving the same attention, helping to make startups more successful. There have been a lot of community development programs bringing schools, medical facilities, and clean water to communities across the country.

Since it gained its independence in 1947, India has come a long way. There have been a lot of changes that have taken place within the country, from how it is run and governed, to how important education is for children. India is slowly but surely changing for the better, with more and more emphasis put on helping to grow and develop poorer communities, improving the way of life of the masses, rather than just the few.

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