White elephant — Rafale, and missed opportunity with Su-35 in N-role

The phrase ‘White elephant’ refers to an acquisition exorbitantly costly to buy, run, and upkeep and is derived from the story of a rare pachyderm that was acquired by the Thai court as a symbol of its Hindu power and religiosity and ended up beggaring that kingdom.

The 36 Rafales that the Narendra Modi regime is obtaining for the Indian Air Force are, collectively, the white elephant whose costs will sink India’s military power because there’ll be no monies left over after the full program costs (with steeply rising value of the euro) of US$30-$40 billion are borne by the luckless Indian taxpayer, to fund any other major military procurement for the next decade or so.

The Modi PMO is readying the cabinet note for approval of this buy by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which is a formality. With nobody of political weight among his colleagues to question the PM’s choice, CCS’ OK is a foregone conclusion. This is generally what happens anyway when a military hardware selection process gets to this stage. There’s no instance, as far as I can recall, where CCS has come up with a nyet.

This reduction of CCS to a rubber stamp is an attribute of the Westminister model of government the Constituent Assembly chose without pondering the practical consequences for the country and which the ex-colonial power, Britain, incidentally, long ago trashed as inappropriate for a time when there’s lots more and revealing information available to any concerned legislators for the asking to enable informed decisionmaking.

In the IAF’s medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) sweepstakes, the Rafale was shortlisted along with the Eurofighter — Typhoon, and won the race not for any technological or operational edge it provided, but because the French have been more diligent in nursing and nurturing a “support system” over the years that seamlessly servicing strategically placed personnel in the military procurement loop and within the Indian political class, Indian armed services, and Ministry of Defence (MOD), so when it comes to pushing their wares, the French items invariably come out on tops. After all, we Indians are only human and who can resist bank accounts full of euros, employment of close relatives in French transnational corporations in Europe, and crowned by repeated trips to, where else, Paris — ooh la la?

India’s national interest, in the event, cannot compete with the inducements France can so effortlessly summon. So India is the usual Third World state ripe for Paris’ (and, generally, West’s) pickings, whatever the political dispensation in New Delhi.

The Eurofighter was finding it difficult to find traction even within its primary market — the four main countries forming the EADS consortium that produced it, the plane being dismissed by the cognoscenti as something “Germany doesn’t want, Britain can’t afford, and Spain and Italy neither want nor can afford!”. And, mind you, this ‘Typhoon’ had virtues the Rafale doesn’t, especially in terms of its potential for future development as a weapons platform with its modular structure and engineering aspects (which, by the way, EADS has foresworn because of the financial unviability of a genuinely 5th generation fighter project).

If the Eurofighter lost out because of minimal price differential (and EADS’s lack in Delhi of the French-type “support system” owing to the more straight-laced dealings by Germany, the lead player), the more economical Russian MiG-35 was summarily rejected for no good reason at all. This even though as one of the foremost aviation specialists Dr Carlo Kopp of Australia said this in an extensive 2008 write-up in ‘Air Power Australia’ of the MiG-35 and the Su-35 Flanker E+: “Perhaps the most foolish of the popular misconceptions of Russian basic technology is that which assumes that the US and EU maintain the technological lead of 1-2 decades held at the end of the Cold War. Alas, nearly two decades later, in a globalised, digitised and networked world, the US retains a decisive lead only in top end stealth technologies, and some aspects of networking and highly integrated systems software. The Russians have closed the gap in most other areas, but importantly, have mastered the difficult embedded software technology so critical for radar and electronic warfare systems, as well as sensor fusion, networking and engine and flight controls. The Russians are working very hard at closing the remaining gap, with the planned PAK-FA fighter to be properly shaped for low observable and very low observable stealth capability.” (For Kopps’ detailed assessment of MiG-35, see his article at http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2008-04.html.)

Some eight years later, that gap in stealth has been closed, even as the US retains the edge in terms of wide aspect data fusion.

But with IAF sidelining the MiG-35 as MMRCA and, earlier, the request for the Su-35 aircraft by the Strategic Forces Command for manned delivery of nuclear weapons being also turned down, the IAF and GOI seem bent on switching the country’s critical military capabilities with Western hardware at a cost-prohibitive price and the loss of what remains of India’s balancing leverage in international affairs.

[The N-delivery system is not the subject here, but consider below the reactions to Su-35 by the US military to get an idea of just how potent Russian aircraft now are. The US Air Force as long ago as 2014 dubbed it the most serious challenger to its own fifth-gen JSF-35 Lightning-II. Regarding what the Su-35 can do consider the words of USAF pilots and aviation specialists, whose statements are reproduced from a 2014 story published in the ‘National Interest’ (http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-russian-bear-roars-the-sky-beware-the-deadly-su-35-11799): With, as the story says, the Su-35 launching its weapons from “high supersonic speeds around Mach 1.5 at altitudes greater than 45,000 ft”, and the “F-35 primarily operating in the 30,000-ft range at speeds around Mach 0.9”, the Russian air-superiority fighter’s “major advantages are its combination of high altitude capability and blistering speed—which allow the fighter to impart the maximum possible amount of launch energy to its arsenal of long-range air-to-air missiles.” Or as an USAF officer put it, “The Su’s ability to go high and fast is a big concern, including for F-35”. The Su-35 builds on the already potent Su-27 Flanker airframe, superior to the F-15 Eagle, and “adds a lighter airframe, three-dimensional thrust vectoring, advanced avionics and a powerful jamming capability.” As as an USAF pilot says “Large powerful engines, the ability to supercruise for a long time and very good avionics make this a tough platform…It’s considered a fourth gen plus-plus, as in it has more inherent capability on the aircraft [and] possesses a passive [electronically-scanned array and it] has a big off boresight capability and a very good jamming suite.” The addition of the electronic attack (EA) capability, according to the story, “complicates matters for Western fighters because the Su-35’s advanced digital radio frequency memory jammers can seriously degrade the performance of friendly radars. It also effectively blinds the onboard radars found onboard American-made air-to-air missiles like the AIM-120 AMRAAM. But even the addition of AESA radars does not really solve the problem for F-35. “We—the U.S. Department of Defense—haven’t been pursuing appropriate methods to counter EA for years,” per a senior Air Force official with experience on the F-22 Raptor. “So, while we are stealthy, we will have a hard time working our way through the EA to target the Su-35s and our missiles will have a hard time killing them.” The Su-35 also carries a potent infrared search and track capability that could pose a problem for Western fighters. “It also has non-EM [electro-magnetic] sensors to help it detect other aircraft, which could be useful in long-range detection,” a Super Hornet pilot said. Another of the Su-35’s major advantages: “One thing I really like about the Su-35 is that it is a high-end truck: It can carry a ton of air-to-air ordnance into a fight,” a US Navy pilot said.]

Even if one were to disregard the MiG-35 as that option is gone, Rafale will face similar kind of trouble against the Su-30MKI, leave alone the upgraded “super Sukhoi” version of this aircraft, and which was part of Parrikar’s thinking when he talked of inducting more Su-30s rather than buy the Rafale.

So some Qs about the Rafale for IAF & GOI:

1) Consider the mismatch if the strictly 4.5-gen Rafale has to do battle with huge, unending, numbers of the Chinese Air Force (PLAAF) Su-35s being acquired on a priority basis, and even then India will not have the full complement of 36 Rafales until the mid- to late-2020s by when the PLAAF will have transitioned fully into the 4.75-gen Su-35 and its own 5th-gen Chengdu J-20 and the Shenyang J-31. So, great strategic forethought and force planning Vayu Bhavan?

2) How does IAF reconcile its stress on the dogfighting capability of its fighters with its reliance on BVR 100 km range AAM Meteor, while falling in with the French with their Hammer ASM at the expense of the indigenous more advanced version of the lightweight Brahmos ALCM for ground attack as part of the “multi-roles” it is supposed to pull? Especially because with the procurement of the Rafale armed with Meteor AAMs & Hammer ASMs, IAF will succeed in killing off the locally-made Tejas LCA and Brahmos ALCM by starving these programmes of desperately needed funds. Even if this isn’t the plan, that will be the desired outcome. No?

3) Lacking numbers and in the “best case” context, no more than 23 Rafales will realistically be available to IAF at any given moment in time. How will these 23 be deployed, if in concentration — will they be enough to defeat the more numerous and swarming PAF or PLAAF aircraft, and if singly — again quantity pitches in against supposed quality — so what use will the aircraft be in single sorties?

4) It is a recipe, of course, for the Rafales being safely quartered, held away from harm’s way in war — considering they are simply too expensive to lose. Hence, another useless showpiece in the inventory, like the EMALs-equipped Indian super-aircraft carrier?

5) Because there’s virtually no commonality in spares and upkeep regimes and protocols between the Mirage 2000 and the Rafale, entirely new and more expensive servicing training and maintenance infrastructure will have to be built up at enormous cost. Because whether IAF buys 6 Rafales, or 36, the investment in this aspect is the same! And as I have argued it will result in IAF making the case in the future that with these sunk costs, IAF should be allowed to import 60 or 100 or whatever additional number of Rafales the IAF brass of the day feels comfortable touting. That’s the strategy for upping the Rafale numbers is it not?

6) Dassault/France will milk recurring profits (to reach the $40 billion figure) from stocking the above infrastructure with the requisite spares and service support, and from stockpiling and purchasing when required untried and untested ordnance, such as the Meteor, each costing, what, US$2 million, and Hammer at around US$ one million a piece? That’s the French profit plan and the lifeline to keeping their combat aviation design and development industrial capability in tact and in good health. And India pays for this long term economic security of Dassault and France?

To paraphrase the quip by the great American comedian, WC Fields — suckers never get an even break.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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43 Responses to White elephant — Rafale, and missed opportunity with Su-35 in N-role

  1. Sonu says:

    Bharat, what amazes me is that you appear to be the only opponent of this deal (at least publicly), how can the conscience of the IAF and others involved in the decision making overlook the aspect you’ve discussed…..i think they must have measured all this already and took this step after due consideration only, also, in your earlier article on LEMOA you mentioned that Russians have derated their equipment by 33% so what good will it prove against a derated Rafael. Are all the decision makers lame duck to PM ?

    • There’s no guarantee the Rafale in IAF is the same as the one doing service in the French Air Force, because it is extremely unlikely that, assuming the latest F3R version is secured, it will have the same on-board avionics suite.

      • &^%$#@! says:

        True! The statement by the French during the competition to win the Australian submarine contract that they would never part with the latest technology to India holds true across the board. There is talk that the level of sensor fusion in the Rafale that India will receive is derated. This is certain to degrade the performance of the much vaunted Spectra. Note that even in it’s pristine state, the Rafale with Spectra will find it very difficult to penetrate PLA/PLAAF defenses. The small number of acquisitions will make it even more difficult. All told, its a pathetic joke, but there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

    • &^%$#@! says:

      @Sunu: There are plenty of highly skilled professionals who have been against both this Rafale dea and LEMOA, on technically sound grounds. The problem is they don’t have a voice or a forum where they can air their views without fear. Karnad is one of the very few that provides such a haven for free speech and expression. .

  2. Vivek says:

    Agreed.. But deal was done by upa . And successive govt cannot just revert back deal after coming to power. India is still not in state of making western countries upset. Bus yes su 35 specs are much better than Rafale

    • &^%$#@! says:

      This has nothing to do with the UPA. The MMRCA sweepstakes were done under the UPA regime. A deal implies a commitment/contract. The outcome of the MMRCA sweepstakes was cancelled by the equally corrupt and incompetent Modi regime. The current deal is the creation of Modi. And pray, why isn’t India in a state of upsetting Western countries, especially in a transaction as murky and tainted as the Rafale deal? Could you please be so kind as to elaborate?

  3. &^%$#@! says:

    There seems to be a disturbing silence on the issue of sovereign guarantees by the French, and concomitant fiscal penalties.

  4. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    Modi is equally as determined to turn us into a slave of his western masters. No point merely singling out UPA. The whole casino was started by Vajpayee when he abdicated his responsibility towards keeping India safe and decided to barter away Indian independence for some shahi tukde. UPA continued along a pre-established line, because by that time a whole new line of funding had opened up and made palatable for the country. Modi is only the best of this lot. In fact he quite feels entitled to do all this because after all it was due to his good fortune that the Oil prices fell and the surplus has to be properly squandered – Jio aur jine do :P.

    • The much-anticipated contract for 36 Rafale fighter jets will be signed on September 23 as both India and France have finalized the details for the deal, which will cost about Euro 7.87 billion.

      There was buzz that the Scorpene leak might affect the Rafale deal, but Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had assured that the leaked documents are not of concern.

      – Reports Indian Express

      Waste of taxpayers money an no tough questions being asked. No words can describe the ‘Modi phenomenon’. Salesman who blindly believes his own pitch. A few pats in the back massage of ego and pat comes the gift basket payer for by the tools of ordinary folks. I fully agree history won’t be too kind to these recent decisions by current central government.

      Bye bye Tejas.

      Who is partnering Rafael in its offset? Reliance?

  5. sandip says:

    Author Claims to be Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, But he still does not know the Difference between BVR Air to Air Missile & Bramhos ALCM. Further it must b clear that SU-35 was never in MMRCA Competition, it is Mig 35 from USSR. Su-35 is a heavy aircraft (Sae as SU-30 MKI) & hence cannot be MMRCA.

  6. andy says:

    Excellent post!Showing exactly why the super expensive Rafale is not a good deal for India.

  7. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    Re. “in your earlier article on LEMOA you mentioned that Russians have derated their equipment by 33% so what good will it prove against a derated Rafael. Are all the decision makers lame duck to PM ?”

    The decision makers are usually private citizens on public jobs, with private lives. They can and should be expected to have loyalties all over the place. They never in any case boasted about a Chappan inch ka seena nor did they seek votes for they oratory. The PM is responsible directly.

    Besides Modi did not become PM by being supported with inputs by decision makers. He is the main decision maker. All else can only follow orders. The decision tree has been there since before independence and better PMs like Shastri, Indira and Rao worked with exactly this structure.
    So did several mediocre PMs.
    And so did PMs like Morarji, V. P. Singh, I. K. Gujaral and now Modi.

    Regards, derating that is a very common feature with all suppliers and which is why it is important to develop indigenous R&D. Indigenous R&D even if done under tech-denial will at least be able to reach these de-rated levels, if it achieves limited success. And if successful then it will give exceedingly rich dividends. Deratiing is essential for supplier country because otherwise your best technology could get exposed to your enemies if the buyer country changes its strategies and becomes hostile. But the issue is not derating per se. You can always find other suppliers who will not derate the one aspect derated by your original supplier. There are always workarounds. The problem is that most of what is bought will be a black box item, designed to create dependencies.

    Nothing much can be expected from the Rafale deal that will be of use to us. Unless somebody is happy to just polish the equipment and find his pride doing that.

  8. andy says:

    Re:’even then India will not have the full complement of 36 Rafales until the mid- to late-2020s’

    If India commits itself seriously to the project, Sukhoi’s stealth fighter, the FGFA, in which India is a partner, will be ready to join the IAF around the same time as the Rafale. Why India is committing itself to a stopgap aircraft at such humongous cost is mysterious.

    In fact not only is the Rafale exorbitantly priced, it’s actually not needed at all.When the MMRCA tender was floated over a decade ago, it seemed like a good idea. One, it was aimed at lowering India’s overwhelming dependence on Russia for advanced weapons.

    Secondly, India wanted to acquire a medium aircraft that would fill the gap between the low-end LCA and the premium Sukhois.

    The third reason was to shore up the IAF’s depleting fighter fleet. The IAF’s sanctioned strength is 39.5 squadrons (an IAF combat squadron consists of 18 aircraft in service with another 3-4 in maintenance) but its current fleet is down to 33 squadrons. The air force says it requires 44 squadrons to meet a full-scale war with Pakistan, while also maintaining “a dissuasive posture” against China.

    Some time back, the IAF told a Parliamentary standing committee on defence that a “collusive threat” from China and Pakistan would be difficult for it to handle. This was played up by the media, which failed to see the fine print: the IAF admitted (in the same statement) China may not pose “a collusive threat” if hostilities were to break out between India and Pakistan.

    Really, why would the Chinese team up with a rapidly failing state like Pakistan,whose biggest export is IT (international terrorism not information technology) and attack India? Trying to contain India by using pakistan as a proxy is one thing,but going to war on their behalf is not only counterintuitive but also a ridiculous idea.

    As for the threat from Pakistan, it is really a joke. The arrival of the MiG-29 and the Sukhoi-30 in the 1990s has given the IAF a fearsome qualitative advantage over the PAF. This edge was demonstrated during the 1999 Kargil War. While a number of IAF aircraft took part in that campaign, it was the top cover provided by the MiG-29 that spooked – and demoralised – the PAF pilots.

    Says Strategy Page in a report dated May 20, 2005: “While PAF fighters did fly Combat Air Patrols (CAP) during the conflict, they stayed well within Pakistani air space. On occasions, IAF MiG-29s armed with the deadly R-77 BVR air-to-air missiles were able to lock on to PAF F-16s, forcing the latter to disengage.”

    So scared were the Pakistani pilots of the Indian MiGs that the “PAF simply refused to play any part” in the war.

    In the report “Airpower at 18,000 feet: IAF in the Kargil War” published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2012, Benjamin Lambeth says the Pakistani F-16s “typically maintained a safe distance 15 to 20 miles on the Pakistan side of the border”.If the MIG 29 can cause such fear,imagine what a Sukhoi 30 mki could do to the Pakistanis.

    Qualitatively, the IAF is on an upward curve. In fact, in an interview to the media in 2012, former air force chief N.A.K. Browne gave the lie to the claim that the IAF was becoming weaker. According to Browne, the IAF is replacing older MiG-21s with Su-30s. He said once older aircraft are replaced with brand new Sukhois the IAF will have “far greater capability than even what we have today”.

    Anyway you look at it the Rafale falls short of the SU 30 mki.As per Defence Industry Daily: “A combination of Thales/SAGEM’s OST Infrared Scan and Track optronics, and MBDA’s MICA IR medium-range missiles, allows the Rafale to supplement its radar-guided missiles with passively-targeted, no-warning attacks on enemy aircraft from beyond visual range. At present, this capability is only duplicated by Russian aircraft: Sukhoi’s Su-27/30 family, and advanced MiG-29s”.

    In another place Defence Industry Daily says about the Sukhoi 30 “These aircraft will be the high end of India’s air power, and can be expected to remain in the force past 2030, and are competitive with or superior to top-end European fighters and American F-15 variants.”

    Acquiring the Rafale is almost like buying a scaled down Su-30 MKI. Why pay more for an aircraft that is less capable than what India currently operates? And if the IAF wants more medium fighters, then what’s wrong the highly capable MiG-29, which is even flown by some NATO countries?

    So where is the need for such an expensive aircraft that is not only three times more expensive than the SU 30 mki,but is also less capable?

    Another angle to all this purchase of western military kit is that by buying from the west India is rewarding the very countries that are trying to destabilise it. An Intelligence Bureau report has identified several foreign-funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are “negatively impacting economic development”. The 21-page IB report reveals that “a significant number of Indian NGOs, funded by some donors based in the US, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries, have been using people centric issues to create an environment which lends itself to stalling development projects”.

    The report doesn’t mention France, but France is a Catholic country and the Roman Catholic Syrian Christian church of Kerala has at least on one occasion (in the 1950s) taken money from the CIA to destabilise a democratically elected government

    Military deals with Russia are finalised at the government to government level, kickbacks are ruled out or unlikely. That would explain the Indian defence brass’s penchant for ‘diversification’ and non-Russian purchases.

    All said and done the Rafale is really a poor choice and super expensive to boot!

    But the problem with some people is they are so full of themselves it’s impossible for them to simply accept the wrongness of their own ideas,if pointed out they feel offended.It’s basically their own mind games and beyond human capacity to make them see reason.

    • kaniskharsh says:

      The Rafale is a government to government deal. There goes your entire theory.

      • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

        Rafale is a Tribute-Payer-to-Govt-Deal.

        The tribute payer knows that the earlier testing was all sham. The tribute payer knows that his submarines have been exposed or are threatened to be exposed. The tribute payer knows he only has to order and the real pay up will be by the country and so he orders. Even by the admission of the tribute payer he is not planning beyond 2024. The tribute payer knows that LCA and AMCA will suffer still he must do it. These are characterstics of a tribute payers not of governments.

        Only summarizing for your benefit.

      • andy says:

        I am aware of the G to G nature of Rafale deal but the problem is whatever corruption had to happen took place during the tendering process itself for eg: MIG 35 was rejected for not having an operational AESA radar plus some anomalies in the engine(the Idian Navy during the same period had no such problems when selecting the MIG 29k,with the same RD33 engine ) The under development ZHUK-MAESA radar was showcased on the MIG35, while the Typhoons radar was demonstrated on a helicopter!The Rafale AESA radar was also not operational but their demonstration and assurance of early development of the same was accepted,while the MIG was rejected. Initial cost of the MIG was $40 million apiece while the Rafale was around $90 million at the time.

        The Rafale was eventually declared the winner on lower life cycle cost,some time later the Brazilian air force rejected the same aircraft because as per their calculations it cost $14000 per hour of flying time on this white elephant,so much for LOW LIFECYCLE COST and as the Mirage 2000 experience has shown French spares are atrociously expensive. India is upgrading the 30 year old M2K at approximately the same cost per piece as a brand new MIG35,the said upgrade is without new engines,it’s a joke really .So if you think that no corruption took place during the MMRCA competition,think again.

        I could go on and on labouring the same points again and again but it’s just not in my mentality to do so, because doing the same thing again and again,expecting different results each time is a definition of insanity. So try to come up with something new the next time around.

      • andy says:

        Just to elaborate on the so called low life cycle cost of the Rafale.

        As per Ajai Shukla of business standard, if procurement cost of 36 Rafale is ₹ 59000 crores then cost of operating the same over its life cycle of 30 years would be anywhere between 6 to 10 times the initial cost or ₹354000 crores to ₹590000 crores.Cost per year of flying these white elephants would be from ₹11800 crores to ₹20000 crores.India would end up spending about ₹413000 crores to ₹649000 crores(initial cost plus life cycle cost) by not scrapping this insane deal.In dollar terms $9 billion upfront cost ,$ 54 billion to $ 90 billion life cycle cost(6 to 10 times upfront cost) & $ 63 billion to $ 99 billion as total cost of operating 36 Rafale over 30 years.I am not sure about the figures put out by him but if he’s correct then we are looking at an average tab of $ 81 billion during the life of the 36 Rafale in the IAF

  9. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    Heh heh this is classic here so you know what is the next game in town to rob India (as if LEMOA and Rafale were not enough as it is):


    “This report is a clear victory for American solar manufacturers and workers, and another step forward in the fight against climate change,” US trade representative Michael Froman said in a statement.

    Indian officials made no immediate comment on the appeal outcome.

    “We strongly support the rapid deployment of solar energy worldwide, including in India,” Froman said.

    “But local content requirements are not only contrary to WTO rules, but actually undermine our efforts to promote clean energy by requiring the use of more expensive and less efficient equipment, making it more difficult for clean energy sources to be cost-competitive.”

    • As long as we keep exporting talent to west we will keep importing technology from them. We need to start by offering higher education in IIT, IIMs, NITs and AIMS in Indian languages too along with English that will allow a lot of talent access to higher education. Lure for west will reduce too.

      This has to be done now to bear fruit in 20-30 years. This is most important thing that HRD minister can do. Not just Hindi but as many official Indian langs as possible. Say Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Kannada,Bengali in IIT Delhi.

      Tamil,Hindi Malayalam, Bengali in IIT-Madras. 5 Indian langs in each IIT including Hindi apart from English. Technical vocabulary can be developed in Sanskrit or retained in English as practical.
      Once topmost universities offer opportunities others will follow schools will follow. Brain drain will reduce, more talent will be utilized.

      Research papers be allowed to be published in any official Indian language. Basic Sanskrit subject compulsory for teachers for BEd degree.

      Refer to http://www.bhashaneeti.org

      • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

        Beg to differ. But trying to retain people and allowing people back in is what got us into this mess in the first place.
        1) All countries who have not sold out their own interests, have allowed their people to leave should they feel the need to. Westerners were forced eventually to come to the negotiating table.
        2) Some countries were smarter, like China and they used these people leaving to seed spy rings in foreign lands. In that respect even Pakistanis have had their own ops going on inside foreign countries and have outsmarted Indians.
        3) Some countries like India were dumb to import back these people and install their fathers and grand fathers in sensitive positions. Result the economy is on way to being Greekified with the Indians holding either low returns businesses or very high risk businesses while all the Makhan Malai is sought to be handed over to the foreigners. The Indian on the streets who was earlier in close contact with his Indian employer is now forced into a foreigner’s employment which in turn puts his personal interests and national interests into conflict. Just look at the state of our army. Brave soldiers who keep dying, fighting the terrorists, supported by US props, are put to exercise with the US army, when the US president is supposed to land in China. Net result, Chinese still give a non-welcome to US president and Indian soldiers are reduced to the level of colonial soldiers working for a master they do not even know/care if he exists. And what happens to the terrorists. Well we have a lot of these very same people who were going out and who will have links with the Media, propaganding how it is understandable since US has interests in Pakistan that are part of some Great Game that lowly Indians cannot begin to fathom.

        What do you think was the need for Swatch Bharat for example. Some idiot in GoI needed a new gravy train – he dialed up some random Ex-Indian – so in comes Talgo Train. But who will buy a train that goes only 20 kmph extra. So this idiot makes sure that the Talgo just does not has to face the same hurdles as Indian trains would. If Indian trains have to be slowed down, well the whole ministry is there to take care of that. But what if the ticket prices go through the roof and people begin to figure out the differential route designs. Well ji fikr not European trains are clean, and Indians are not, ably supported by billions of INR worth of TV advertising to convince people that they are living in filth. They cannot use their expensive imported stuff on Indian trains. And again those people who ideally should have been kept out will not answer if those who can afford TVs are the ones deprived of Toilets.

        No sir, BJP is doing social engineering that is designed to throw the country into the ditch. Remember that islamic banker close to Modi. Well he is also close to other people in Sangh Parivar and these people know they just have to milk it for next 10 years before settling abroad.

        There main dhandha was getting apparent since long. There are more than enough evidence for those who have their loyalties screwed up straight – with the people of this country. Instead we have common resources being wasted on whims and fancies of those who have their loyalties with everything else but the people of this country. In my case LEMOA was the stop loss limit that I had fixed for myself. With other people its going to be other things.

        True it is sad that all people of this country do not react as fast and in the meantime those of dubious loyalties will sell out our common interests. But there is one finality in all this. People like Nehru and Rajiv with much bigger electoral majorities were treated like dirt, even within their own lifetimes and certainly so today. People like Morarjee who thought they would earn a cool retirement in foreign lands by being cooperative to their American masters and restricting Indian interests ended up with dirt on their faces, while in their cool retirement (dirt thrown by Americans and not Indians). Even people who were spying for Americans ended up with dysfunctional families made so by their masters.

        Best thing to do is to keep those going out, out and keep those inside, strong. This has nothing to do with whatever course structure is taught at IIT or IIM. Don’t we have hindi speaking traitors? Don’t we have English proficient patriots? Point is loyalty and that cannot be taught.

      • &^%$#@! says:

        @~!@#$%^&*()_+: Fine post and very astute observation: “[e]ven people who were spying for Americans ended up with dysfunctional families made so by their masters.”.

  10. andy says:

    ~!@#$℅^&*()_+ @
    Re:’Nothing much can be expected from the Rafale deal that will be of use to us.’
    You are absolutely right about this,it would take more brains than being exhibited by our pinhead to find anything useful in the Rafale deal.Streaks of narcissism and megalomania(delusions of ones own importance) are on display by going ahead with such insanity,as I said earlier the best place for such retards is an asylum.

  11. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    @Andy – Re. “The report doesn’t mention France, but France is a Catholic country and the Roman Catholic Syrian Christian church of Kerala has at least on one occasion (in the 1950s) taken money from the CIA to destabilise a democratically elected government”

    But what if France instead of threatening to give money to horny christians instead lets GoI know that even the Derated-Scorpenes of IN already have their specs out in the open without the few main numbers of a few main parameters. And these fill in the blanks may get filled in for those interested if the Rafale is not signed.

    What would an foreign funded leader of a third world country with FDI dependent jamaat of chamchas masquerading as political change agents do?

    I hate to rant against Modi. After all he has to carry the aspirations of 17 crore of his voters even if he abdicates on other 100+ Crores. Even 17 crore are substantial part of India. But he has forgotten so many more things that should ideally have been obvious. I kind of feel for him. I personally have it so much more easier. I supported him when he had promise and UPA-2 did not. I dropped him the day he dropped his promise. Its Black-and-White for me. I cannot support a system that has through ages sucked my people dry.

    I guess Modi, if he so chooses to, has a lot to learn from Congress. After all Congress played one group against the other for so long so successfully but without signing the LEMOA or Rafale type deals. Modi has already learnt a lot from congress, whether he admits to or not. But either he failed to learn this most basic political tactic or he played it wrong deliberately.

    Dear PM, Ravan too was very profitable for his country that did not stop his country or even his advisors, from abandoning him when he went wrong on the most important things.

  12. Rahul(kol)... says:

    Oh for gods sake, stop this cribbing against Rafales….this constant ranting against western and everything for russian does not prove that our servicemen and defense ministry babus enjoy the support system of westerners. By the way, 70% of all indian equipments is russian…so leaving alone the indigenous part, we can say 25% around equipments is Western make…so whose support system nurtured over the years is more visible? The Russian or Western? Why did we have to buy junk MiG 29s with Vikramaditya? The same MiG 29s which failed to eject a drop tank over Vizag a few weeks back nearly causing damage to the IAF pilot? And Mr Karnad constantly advises to buy its successor MiG 35? Oh, for gods sake, what kind of foolishness is this?

    • If a drop tank failure damns Russian aircraft, you may care to listen to IAF pilot experiences with critical failures when flying. The larger point is I crib against all imports, Russian included, complete with the “support systems” in place of all supplier states. Or haven’t you noticed? There’s irony here. India is, ironically, switching to Western mil hardware at just the time when Russian mil tech is matching up or exceeding its Russian counterpart tech and, keep in mind the fact that India can never access the topline stuff from any source for love or money. Hence my advocacy for indigenous development of all mil-use technologies at any cost.

      • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

        Who and What do you want to save @BK.

        The man who was at the helm at the time of acquisition and the man who will retire from CAG with honors, while Modi is in GoI, reports that nuts, bolts and mounting tray kind of stuff is wrong with Mig-29K. Besides that off course our Major Nato Allies had also banned a few things that needed to be installed.

        And a few months after the first such incident of explosive nuts of EFTs not blowing off happen.

        How many of the IAF Mig-29 experienced this. Even the godforsaken Sudanese never reported bolts failing with Mig-29s. This is crazy.

        See @BK, it is a virtue to speak softly to idiots but it is not a virtue to engage them in the first place. Would you mind reserving your strength for the benefit of the people of this country.

        Just go to DRDO, their missiles carry out jettisoning and explosive charge/bolts separation several times every year in much much demanding regimes. Even ISRO can do that.

      • Rahul(Kol) says:

        “IAF pilot experiences with critical failures when flying”: Yes, we all know Mr Karnad, 80% of our airforce is indeed equipped with Russian fighters…So it is quite logical what you are saying. You r advocacy of indigeneous manufacturing has remain limited only to Tejas in light fighter role, everything else, from Tu22 bombers to air defense systems, you have gone on lamely advocating Russian, Russian, Russian with all bullshit logic. For e.g., your constant rant against Rafale has included one point: that of the Russian ambassador to India mentioning Rafale will be gobbled up like a mosquito in an August night by Su 30…..Yes, as if, even one Rafale ever was indeed gobbled by the esteemed ambassador flying in a Su 30 on an August night with Mr. Karnad essaying the role of 2nd pilot(weapons programmer)…Have you understood where the hypocrisy of your logic is on your part Mr. Karnad?

        You may choose to edit whatever my views of you are before posting my initial comment, but trust me, any independent mind, devoid of clod war colours will consider you the same after reading your blogs for a long time what I have described and which you conviniently chose to hide from the public by editing my comment.

      • rahul(kol)@ — While there’s no bar to readers reacting in any way to my posts, I have drawn a line when it comes to name-calling, and did in fact excise some of your tendentious and abusive stuff. But do feel welcome to disagree with the views on this blog. A bit of civility is all I ask for. Yes, the Russian ambassador did liken the Rafale to a mosquito — but nowhere have I used that phrase. Please check and mention the post where it is otherwise. And, no, I don’t understand the supposed ” hypocrisy of logic” you accuse me of.

      • &^%$#@! says:

        @Rahul (Kol): The “second pilot” in a Su-30 you describe is known as a weapons systems officer (WSO) or weapons officer, and not a “weapons programmer” as you have erroneously stated. Your ignorance is touching!

    • andy says:

      FYI,it’s me who’s used the phrase by Alexander Kadakin the Russian ambassador and not @Bharat, because I feel it’s an apt summary of the SU35s capabilities vis a vis the Rafale.If it causes a bee in your bonnet it’s not my problem. If you are interested I can put out numerous links(not Russian in origin) to show that the SU35 is vastly superior to Rafale.

  13. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    17 soldiers killed in Uri today in a sneek attack.

    1) Zee TV and Bhajapa spokesperson and some government generals, will show how tough they can talk.

    2) India News channel will now hyperventilate about Balochistan soon. Soon because right now they are busy running a crawler “Jaab Insaan bun gaya bajrangbali”. And what is the reality. If we Indians who have voted for this govt. have been betrayed then should Balochistan count on this bunch of jokers.

    3) India TV is promising that “Pakistan ko ab nahi bakshenge hum”.

    4) DGMO is appearing tough. Must give it to this officer class they are real heir to the field marshal who set the standards with his Charleston Heston pose with his ‘Gurkha’ soldiers. Never mind that we have only Gorkha soldiers and not Gurkha soldiers which is a colonial epithet. But the ones responsible as Director General of Military Operations will not answer how the hell can 4 terrorists kill so many soldiers inside an Army Camp. Apparently the terrorists again took benefit of change in guard timings and ingress was using wire-cutters (Pathankot like). This excuse has been going on for so long now that its getting crazy. Is it so important to adhere to a bloody 8 hour duty timings in these places? Some 30-35 years back in civilian facilities we used to have simple Govt. Chowkidars patrolling the whole jungle in Greater Kailash, winding X hours into clocks to make sure the patrolling Chowkidar coming after would also then wind the same amount of time and keep the chain going. But you just wait, soon, we will be shown documentaries about how Israelis have developed a new motion sensor tech to do the same thing and how that will secure everything – till the next attack when a new documentary and new Israeli tech will be hawked.

    5) The emergency meeting is being held in Home Ministry with the thaka hua home minister and hyper NSA being telecasted for all to see, like these guys are all so serious. Yeh right! after you are done signing the annexures of LEMOA etc. I cannot believe this LEMOA signing NSA can be a Pahadi. Pahadis went to those difficult places after losing their wars, to save their remaining honours. Garibi and difficulties were preferable for them instead of giving long lectures about joining the mainstream and globalization.

    6) The usual characters will soon be telling us how our Major Nato Allies have genuine and understandable Great Game interests in Pakistan.

    7) The Army Chief, now that he is freed up from the onerous task of drafting Affidavits for Courts has visited Uri Army Camp.

    8) Congress as usual is busy attacking Bhajapa and Bhajapa as usual is busy reminding us how the biggest attacks came in Congress regimes. Reality is these amateurs have all but lost the war that a Woman had won in 1971. Today we are back to hyperventilating about Pakistan while simultaneously sucking upto the people who supported them through the ages. After 45 years of that war we are at exactly the point where Pakistan is in this war of attrition. Those who wanted to saddle us with Pakistan are unequivocally successful.

    9) PM must have tweeted something by now. He is probably waiting to give more assurances after things cool down a bit.

    10) MEA is not involved in all this. They are only for signing things told by others.

    Wake up India, this will not change till we become strong. Those who have died earlier were not unfortunate souls. They were brave people who chose their path so we could fight for our interests. Stop importing everything and crawling where you are asked to bend. Start making your own weapons. Start treating all outsiders as equal but most definitely as outsiders. Not as your internationalist fcuk buddies. Toughen up to take even more hits till we can ‘assure a complete kill for every mission kill that we experience’ across the world. Stop expecting anything from the officials they are mostly sell outs and stealthy slimy characters who simply must pay tributes to their foreign counterparts. Build up your businesses instead of towing the official line from WTO. Stop ridiculing yourself by watching token concerns like Swatch Bharat and Beti Bachao. A Frenchman will sell his dead frog and call it a delicacy. While Indians are asked to drink a complete food like milk with bournvita. Learn to give up dependencies and become dependable. Stop carrying your Hindu Dharma on your sleeves otherwise foreigners will use it against you and turn you into a religion crazed hindu-momin. Do something real with your Dharma – find some mathematics in it, some dhairya, some tutparta some bloody capacity, a song perhaps. Stop theorising on vain trivia about nushwar objects. Start with respecting your lay populations instead of abusing them with Oye Bihari and giving the Wasseypur attitude learnt from Bollywood. Then start making your own weapons and businesses. Then make sure the next generation learns the same from you.

    Bas yahi rah gaya tha – just now Jaitley too is threatening action. The same guy who said indigenous R&D is not under-resourced and then went on to finance Rafales. Hud ho gayi. The same guy who gave a budgetary raise in interim budget only to keep the proportional funding at exactly the level for next two years. Ok the whole Sarkar is covered. Anybody who needs to speak still?

  14. Venkat says:

    We can keep complaining , fact is our own manufacturing sucks . Forget design capability, that is in latency. We need to be thankful for these little mercies that something still comes out.

    Let us first conduct 10th standard exams without mass copying. Then have university that produce scholars not dominated by political unions. The education system is where west wins over the rest of world.

  15. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    The education standards of the west have enabled them to with millions of voters who elect nigam parshad stuff like Obama who promised this that and everything and did exactly the opposite. When not that the education standards have turned out ‘high technology’ the half life of which is like 1 year and the real utility is like that of a VCR or 2-in-1. When not busy with that it produces lawyers that are good at negotiating WTO drafts which simply must exist to help the ‘high technology’ have that 1 year half life. When not even that the western education standards help produce some really great hollywood artists who go on to fool little school children in third world countries with fancy pictures about that ‘high technology’.

    If India has problems with 10th class copy cats it can tap into patriotic IITians and IIMians which we produce in copious quantities and who do not copy stuff. Warna some really great padha-likha IAS stuff is always available. At least the armed forces Officer class is always going to be there, they too do not copy in exams.

    That Indian manufacturing sucks is perhaps the reason why so many countries are willing to launch their satellites with rockets made in HAL. That Indian manufacturing sucks is the reason why Indian armed forces rely on it when they do not have inflated budgets and are belabouring under Sanctions by our Major NATO Allies. That Indian manufacturing sucks is the reason why so many of our IITians have to migrate to western manufacturing companies for an industrial engineering career. That Indian manufacturing sucks is the reason why Rafale was to be made by Reliance.

    Get real. Indian manufacturing (whatever remains) has survived cheap imports, high interests and lousy WTO negotiations, worthless govt. that hires people from west to guide the Indian economy. Thank you but it will do better because it does not depends on others.

  16. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    For those who want to understand how successive western inspired fickle govts. and baboos, have ensured the death of our manufacturing from times immemorial you can refer to the following during early Liberalization years and today this is being done from within Govt. Advisor’s circles.
    The link covers electronics industry, fiber optics, TVs, power plant equipment. All of these were lost to global citizens. An industry killed by imports.

    The father of the man reporting very nearly saved our indigenous Nuke capability, single handedly. Otherwise our nukes would have had the same status as Paki nukes or North Korean Nukes or British Nukes. In 1961, Ambassador Galbraith and Kennedy had offered Nehru to blast an American nuke in Rajasthan. They claimed that they had come to know of Chinese progress in Nuke tech. Nehru liked the idea. His deputy in nuke matters Bhabha accepted. Even B. N. Mullick the super sleuth of 1962 (kind of like later day NSA) 😛 was for that proposal. Only one man needed more time and advised differently. Had that man also accepted our SFC, would have had a Britain like status. And mind you Galbraith was after Krishna Menon too because Krishan Menon wanted all westerners out of Goa. Had that not been done we would have had to host a Diego Garcia in Goa. It is another matter that Modi has enabled just that in 2016. And since that was not enabled, Bhabha and Shastri had to die and India was eventually sanctioned in 1974 for daring to test its own weapon. Some MEA baboos who lived on and were happy with that proposal eventually admitted to have loved the proposal with the promise that had it been accepted the 1962 war, the 1965 war would never have happened. And because that was not accepted Nehru ended up disgraced by his bhiksha patra to Americans in 1962. Off course that baboo never said that the Chinese eventually took the benefit of Cuban Crisis to attack us in 1962 and off course he never expressed his view if this too was deliberately planned to be so. Such matters an honorable MEA baboo would never mention.

    • &^%$#@! says:

      Mullick is widely believed to have been a CIA/MI6 “asset”.

    • ~!…@ — with all due respect, the story about the US offer of testing a nuke in India is disrespecting the great N-visionary, Homi J. Bhabha, and a wrong interpretation of events. As detailed with archival and other documents in my book Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security, US govt debated giving India a fission weapon design so India could configure the weapon, test it, and thereby claim the numero uno N-status in Asia, beating out China. The proposal went nowhere because Washington decided against following through on that option, but mostly because Bhabha and prime minister J. Nehru , who were aware of the Chinese nuclear developments, actually sought weapons-grade fissile material to craft a weapon and beat China to the Bomb.

  17. Avighne says:

    @BK, request you to kindly confirm for the benefit of all (I cannot because I don’t have access to almost any official).

    Do the officials cover COIN casualties from this fund too? Hope it is not restricted by some definition limitations to declared war time casualties only. There are a lot of gyanis in our systems.

    Army Welfare Fund Battle Casualties – Acc. No. 90552010165915
    IFSC Code: SYNB0009055
    Syndicate Bank, South Block Branch, New Delhi

    Click to access Army_Battle_Casualties.pdf

    Would be greatly indebted if you can help with this info/confirmation.

  18. Avighne says:


    I contacted the Accounts section number listed in the attachment and they confirm that it is also meant for COIN casualties.

  19. it is important to consider the core reasons the IAF needs these new aircraft, including traditional roles like air defence, close air support, and strike capabilities. Acquiring 4.5 Generation fighters at tremendous cost to the exchequer offers very little in the form of technology or combat capabilities in these roles for the IAF. With this in mind, it seems intuitive that India must consider a broader range of options better suited for its combat requirements and fleet standardisation. One potential option is acquiring an additional mix of technologically up-to-date Su-30 MKI and accelerating the development of the indigenous Tejas with requisite enablers like air-air refuelers and Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AEW&C), although there are certainly other options as well.

    Current plans of acquiring 36 Rafales and another similar performing aircraft like the F-16 or the Gripen would go against the standardization of the IAF fleet. Reducing the number of aircraft types by acquiring only one type, as opposed to two or more, will improve affordability by reducing acquisition, operating, integration, and training costs. This will result in a leaner, efficient aircraft fleet possessing the right operational capacity and war fighting capabilities for India’s needs.


  20. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    Our Sea based deterrent is on Russian crutches, our air based deterrent will be on French crutches, our networked war rooms are on American crutches. Only thing that used to be Indian is the finger on the Red button. Now with LSA signed, nobody knows what the hell will happen. Any and all crutches can fall anytime.

    Only the Chinese are left out. But if the red button is made in China then our deterrent will have a truly global reach.

    Modi roulette.

    Can kill Pakistan in one fell swoop, if it does not blows up India first.

  21. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    Rafale with subsonic Scalp will never be able to equal Sukhois with tweeked Nirbhays and Brahmos. Even stock LCAs can be used to carry shortened Nirbhays.

    So whoever suggested that the cost of this lame plane be amortized by using it for nuclear attack roles, should come out and identify himself. Let the country see who this man or group of men really are and what prior records these people have.

  22. Anant says:

    36 Rafales are no good without transfer of technology. The reason why the deal failed is because the French were not ready to guarantee aircraft produced by HAL. Not sure whether this is really true. But 36 Rafales in a GTG deal in a hasty visit is not a good sign.
    We should fill up the numbers by buying Su 30 MKI, upgrade the aircraft, buy Tejas and push for AMCA, including the Kaveri engine. The Su 30 MKI can be used in 2 variants. The current one and a higher upgraded near fifth gen version with improved radar, engine, avionics and electronic warfare suite. It needs to be evaluated whether we actually need stealth instead of numbers first. Stealth has its drawbacks. Israel is going for Boeing Silent Eagle which is not a full aspect stealth aircraft like F 35. If upgraded, the Su 30 MKI can prove to be Indian version of Silent Eagle.

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