Hindistan'ın Yeni Savaş Uçağı İhalesi

126 uçağı kapsayan ihale ile ilgili DefenseNews'da 6 Haziran'da yayınlanan makale... 9 milyar dolarlık projenin sebebinin LCA projesindeki gecikmeler ve hava kuvvetleri stratejilerindeki değişimler olduğu belirtilmiş. Orijinalde tüm hava kuvvetlerini Su-30 ve LCA ile donatma planı, bu sebeplerle değiştirilmiş...

Makalede yer alan Hint Hava Kuvvetleri komutanı Pal Tyagi'nin ifadesine göre Hindistan ağır, orta ve hafif olmak üzere üç türde savaş uçağına sahip olmayı hedefliyor. Su-30, Mirage-2000, LCA ve ihalesi yapılan MRCA bu planın sacayakları...

İlginç bir sürpriz yaparak bu ihalede boy gösteren F-16'nın seçimi ise, bölgede yeni jeopolitik ilişkilerin ve dengelerin kurulduğunun göstergesi olabilir..

India Plans To Buy 126 Medium-Range Fighters


Instead of depending entirely on the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to upgrade its aging fighter fleet, the Indian Air Force is pressing ahead with plans to supplement its indigenous jet with 126 new medium-range combat jets under a program valued at some $9 billion.

Senior leaders want a mix of LCAs and new medium-range planes to complement heavy aircraft like the Su-30MKI built by Russia’s Sukhoi, now being produced under license in India.

Originally, the Indian Air Force wanted a force composed entirely of LCAs and Su-30s. But delays in LCA production and change in Air Force strategy are driving the service toward a medium-range aircraft as well.

The medium-range program is now the Air Force’s top acquisition target to fulfill its goal of a mixed fleet of multirole combat aircraft.

Guided by Staff Qualitative Requirements (SQR) the service issued in 2000, the Defence Ministry announced in December that it was asking leading aircraft makers to submit technical information for the purchase of the 126 medium-range, multirole combat aircraft.

The 126-aircraft purchase is necessary, said Air Chief Marshal Shashindra Pal Tyagi, because “the indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft [LCA] is still under development and is likely to be available for induction only by 2008 to 2010. Further, the LCA is a 10-ton class of aircraft, and as is evident from the name, it is a light combat aircraft. On the other hand, the 126 MRCAs [multirole combat aircraft] are required in the medium-weight category [20-ton class], and their procurement should not be compared with the LCA procurement.”

He added, “In the long run, we intend having a force structure for the IAF that is a mix of light, medium and heavy combat aircraft. The LCA falls in the light category, Su-30s in the heavy category, and the 126 MRCAs in the medium category. Hence, we are looking for a single type of aircraft capable of undertaking multiple roles in the medium category.”

So far, requests for information have been sent to France’s Dassault for the Mirage 2000-5, America’s Lockheed Martin for the F-16, Russia’s RAC MiG for the MiG-29 SMT, and Sweden’s Saab for the JAS-39 Gripen.

Currently, the Air Force has a limited number of multirole aircraft, including the Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000-H and MiG-29 aircraft. Most of the service’s combat fleet is composed of MiG jets, which are primarily used for point defense and therefore limited in their ability to destroy targets on low-flying missions.

The Air Force also has British-made Jaguar aircraft, but they are equipped solely for ground-attack missions.

The MiG series and the Jaguars were bought to counter the low-flying aircraft from Pakistan.

A senior Defence Ministry official said India will forge a new geopolitical alliance while finalizing the contract for 126 multirole combat aircraft.

He said an American defense firm has been invited to compete for the first time, and if India chooses the F-16 aircraft, the decision would be shaped by political considerations.

The Defence Ministry hopes to sign a contract within three years after issuing the formal limited global tender, expected before the end of this year. Once the companies submit their technical specifications in response to the Air Force’s request for information, service officials will prepare their global tender.

A draft paper is being prepared to finalize an offset clause for the program, said an official in the Defence Ministry’s Department of Defence Production. The Defence Ministry also is likely to include a clause under which the supplier will be asked to buy back spare parts and other related support systems up to the value of 20 percent of the entire contract, he added.

The draft paper also will demand complete technology transfer of all crucial subsystems, including engine, avionics, fly-by-wire systems, electronic warfare suites, communication systems and the source code of the aircraft.

The Air Force is expected to release funding for licensed production of the aircraft to allow Hindustan Aeronautics to create manufacturing facilities, the second Defence Ministry official said.

The defense production official refused to assess whether the ministry can finalize the contract within three years after floating a limited global tender.

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