Originally posted by IAF101
The political ramifications of the contract will also come into picture. With the injection of 126 advanced F-16 to India there would a dramatic power
change. We would have to sell Pakistan similar planes or their equivalent. Also, the Russians and the Chinese will react adversly to the deal with
India. Their safest bet would be to go for an European aircraft which is capable of handling their Soviet AA missiles and is familiar enough for their
ground technicians like the Rafael or the Grippen.
The dramatic power change that you refer to would happen irrespective of fighter involved here. They're all Gen 4+ a/c and I don't really see how
that would cause issues. Pakistan 'can' figuratively purchase the Rafale, Gripen or the Typhoon too. So there is no real pressure on the US to
equate sales here. There is no monopoly either.
Finally, the actual upset of balance in air power scales in the subcontinent was initiated twice by the Americans themselves:
1) Selling F-16s to Pakistan in the 80s shook an aerial force balance that had existed between the countires since independance.This was only
corrected when the Indians, closed the Su-30 deal.(over corrected actually due to the immense capabilities the Su-30 brought into the region)
2)Selling more F-16s(blk 50) to Pakistan just a year or two back, under the excuse of increasing the Pak ability to fight Osama & Co.
Osama, my ass. The F-16 sale included BVR(500 AIM-120 C5) and offboresight HMCS capability with the AIM-9L. Osama(or any terrorist org) does not have
an aerial force that needs to be dealt with such advanced a2a weaponry.
Indian aerial force abilities cannot be compared with that of the Pakistanis at a face value because it structures its aerial ability cater to two
fronts: Paksitani AND Chinese.
If the Indians go for the Mig-35 they would be putting themselves up for a lot more delays, lack of parts and the whole routine all over again. They
might be smart enough to avoid it again.
The only issues here(in the minds of the Indians) would be the intentional arm-twisting tactics of the Russians(a commonplace nowadays) in order to
limit growing military relations with the west. I do not think the MiG 35 is a bad a/c for the role.
Russian support for the Su-30MKI has been satisfactory so I don't see a general "Russia=bad" perception in this particular case at least.
I do think the Typhoon or the Rafale are too expensive for the fit.
The Rafale may have an outside chance but I think the Typhoon for the IAF is as unlikely as the F-22 for the RAAF/JASDF, [read: not impossible
I think the F-18 is a non-contestant too.
The Grippen is a good fit for the job IMHO. It fits the price AND the role quite
So that leaves the MiG-35, Grippen and the F-16... and maybe the Rafale.. and maybe maybe the Typhoon or F-18.
Here's another thought. The Indians 'might' not choose an aircraft that will also be available to the Pakistanis as well(logical and emotional
So that undermines the F-16, Rafale, Gripen (and Typhoon?).
I'm not so sre about the Typhoon because I don't think the Pakistanis can afford it. Neither can the Indians actually, but I just don't think the
Pakistanis have that much cash on them.
Maybe thats one of the reasons the F-16 was really revamped to give it a new look?