"Contract of the Century" 2.0. Is there a chance for the MiG-35 in India?


Started for health



Indian contest Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) not in vain called (and continues to call it) the "contract of the century", despite the fact that initially at stake was a modest at first glance number of 126 multirole fighters of the 4+ generation. Everything, as you know, is known in comparison. If the international market for passenger aircraft is estimated at thousands of aircraft, then in the case of combat aviation the score goes rather by the tens. The fifth-generation American F-35 stands out separately, but this is a completely different topic for communication: the program initially had many US allies, and the F-35 is now the only fifth-generation mass fighter on the planet. You don’t have to choose.

India has never been the main ally of the United States, relying heavily on military-technical support from Russia and France (although Americans are more and more represented on the Indian arms market every year). Recall that the long-standing basis of the Indian Air Force is the Russian Su-30MKI generation 4+ fighters. These aircraft were quite modern at the time of the middle or even the end of the 90s, however, in India they understand that it is high time to supplement them with something more advanced.

Six vehicles took part in the first part of the MMRCA: Boeing F / A-18E / F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, MiG-35 and Saab JAS 39 Gripen. Then the Russian car dropped out long before the end of the competition, and in the final battle the European Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon met. Perhaps the old connections affected, but somehow the Indians chose Rafale.


Presumably, the French soon regretted the “victory”: there were so many difficulties and contradictions that in fact made Rafale a kind of anti-advertisement. Ultimately, the number of purchased cars was reduced to 36. On the other hand, since Dassault Rafale can hardly be called commercially successful (as of 2019, just over 170 such machines were built), even these few dozen aircraft for the French are not so small.

Self-reliance?


A fundamental turning point in the program occurred already in 2018, when the Indian Air Force launched a new tender for the acquisition of 114 multi-role fighters. This project, worth about $ 20 billion, was essentially a reboot of the failed Indian MMRCA program: it is sometimes unofficially called MMRCA 2.0. Earlier, the Indian Air Force issued a preliminary information request (RFI) on 72 pages for foreign suppliers. Potential candidates were the new version of the F-16, Boeing F / A-18E / F, Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Gripen E, as well as, probably, the Russian MiG-35 and Su-35.

"Dark spots" appeared long before the first conclusions were reached. On May 18, Defense Security Monitor announced that India intends to abandon the planned acquisition of 114 combat aircraft in favor of HAL Tejas national combat aircraft. This project is a separate issue. We are talking about a light fighter of either the fourth or third generation with a combat load of 4000 kilograms (that is, like the early MiGs) and eight suspension points. Perhaps this project is important for the development of the Indian aircraft industry, but it is significant that the plane that made its first flight back in 2001 built a modest series of several dozen aircraft, including 16 prototypes. At the conceptual level, what happened often happens with Asian military projects: the machine managed to become obsolete long before it became truly serial.


Therefore, it is not surprising that the Indians decided not to bet on him. Recently, Indian Air Force commander Marshal Aviation Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria said that MMRCA 2.0 remains valid. “This project is in the middle weight and belongs to the same class as Rafale, but in this case we will deal with it in the field of Make in India, with an increase in foreign direct investment, with the support of the private sector. I think that in the future this should provide the technologies that are necessary to support the aviation sector. I think that it is important to have a new generation of aircraft in terms of capabilities and technologies so that we can move forward, ”quotes the Indian military blog of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies bmpd.

What can Russia offer


The chances of success for the Su-35, which initially did not even make it into the first MMRCA, are very small. As follows from the words of the Air Force commander, the car does not fit “in class,” and in addition, unlike the same Rafale, the 35th still does not have a radar station with an active phased array antenna (AFAR). And not the fact that he will ever receive it: his full-time radar, recall, is the H035 Irbis with a passive phased antenna array.

The new Russian MiG-35 is much more likely to win. This machine is conceptually close to Dassault Rafale and (ideally) should have a Zhuk-A radar with AFAR. Among other features are the integrated and container optical radar stations, relatively small (against the background of the Su-35 and Su-30) radar visibility and a relatively low cost of operation.


All this does not mean that the MiG-35 is “better” than the Su-35S: it just looks more advantageous in this case. Indirectly, interest in the novelty from India was demonstrated by the events of 2019. Recall that last year, Indian military pilots made two sorties on the MiG-35 fighter during the MAKS air show in Zhukovsky near Moscow. “Given the economic situation associated with the well-known pandemic, the completely updated MiG-35 has every chance of winning - we offer the most favorable conditions. Moreover, I’m sure that if the corruption component of the tender does not intervene again, the MiG-35 will become the fighter that completely closes Indian airspace from all attacks along with the Su-30MKI, ”said Konstantin Makienko, deputy director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, not so long ago. .

However, one thing is the advantage over the Su-35, and another - over the new Western aircraft. In this case, the assessment looks somewhat hasty. To begin with, both Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon (even American cars aren’t talking about) are built in series of dozens or even hundreds of cars, and have been used for many years by different countries of the world.

In the case of the MiG-35, everything is different. At the Army-2018 forum, MiG signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense for the supply of only six MiG-2023s until 35. And long before that, the Ministry of Defense made it clear that it relies on Sukhoi fighters, which is generally reasonable from the point of view of unification of the air fleet of the Russian aerospace forces. The MiG did not cause much enthusiasm in other countries. All this will probably scare off Indians who expect to get a more proven device. On the other hand, this fact does not put an end to the commercial potential of MiG.
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  1. svp67 26 May 2020 05: 21 New
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    "Contract of the Century" 2.0. Is there a chance for the MiG-35 in India?
    There are chances, of course, but they are so "illusory" that it’s better not to talk about them ...
    1. pmkemcity 26 May 2020 05: 27 New
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      Quote: svp67
      There are chances, of course, but they are so "illusory" that they don’t speak better of them.

      Our menagers do not know how to enter, they only know how to endure.
      1. svp67 26 May 2020 05: 52 New
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        Quote: pmkemcity
        Our menagers do not know how to enter, they only know how to endure.

        I beg you, they knew how to do this, but then forgot how ... Just the amounts and volumes of what our and American "managers" can bring in vary by an order of magnitude ...
        1. pmkemcity 26 May 2020 07: 16 New
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          Quote: svp67
          It’s just that the amounts and volumes of what our and American “menagers” can bring in differ by an order of magnitude ...

          Americans are more likely to ask themselves than bring.
          1. silver_roman 26 May 2020 08: 19 New
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            they will bring it in, but in the end, the rollback will also be included in the cost of production with an extra charge of x2. Rafali 200 lyam is just a masterpiece of marketing. and Indians generally children remind about, which are conducted on booklets and at the same time not at all in the subject mate.
    2. Ilya-spb 26 May 2020 06: 19 New
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      And if the Indians are "brought" greyhound puppies?

      I agree, chance is a probabilistic category. It is equal to zero if you do not submit an application.
      1. Pete mitchell 26 May 2020 12: 24 New
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        Quote: Ilya-spb
        It is equal to zero if you do not submit an application.
        One of the reasons for the failure in the first part of the competition was that they were so sure of success that they did not prepare the car for an exhibition in Bangalore: there was a precipitate .... At about the same time there was a scandal: the transfer of money from India to Russia disappeared, the Indians sent, but the recipient not received....
    3. Civil 26 May 2020 07: 24 New
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      We must persuade the elephants in every sense
    4. Bar1 26 May 2020 08: 51 New
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      already said that the Indians will buy rafal, what articles to produce?
    5. knn54 26 May 2020 09: 58 New
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      Indian tenders are akin to Mexican / Brazilian TV shows.
      So you have to prepare for a new fight
    6. avg
      avg 26 May 2020 12: 21 New
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      Quote: svp67
      There are chances, of course, but they are so "illusory" that it’s better not to talk about them ...

      In fact, if you recall, they bought our Su-30 and T-90 raw and literally "twisted their arms" forcing them to finish to their requirements. And what is interesting, subsequently, it benefited us. Perhaps something similar will happen with the MiG.
    7. TermNachTer 26 May 2020 19: 37 New
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      there are always chances, there are just a lot of things mixed up, so, as the blind man said, “wait and see.”
  2. Vladimir_2U 26 May 2020 05: 30 New
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    F-35 is now the only fifth-generation mass fighter on the planet
    And exactly in all respects it is the 5th generation?
    1. svp67 26 May 2020 05: 53 New
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      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      And exactly in all respects it is the 5th generation?

      And who else has a mass fighter which has more of these parameters?
      1. Vladimir_2U 26 May 2020 06: 27 New
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        Quote: svp67
        And someone else has a mass fighter which has more of these parameters

        Was the question about the number of aircraft? The question was about the number of parameters of the 5th generation, and here the pair of at least F-35 is not enough.
        1. svp67 26 May 2020 06: 33 New
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          Quote: Vladimir_2U
          The question was about the number of parameters of the 5th generation, and here the pair of at least F-35 is not enough.

          What is it for?
          Quote: Vladimir_2U
          Was the question about the number of aircraft?

          It’s just that now there’s nothing to compare it with at all ... only the Chinese are close to producing a 5th generation light aircraft, but they don’t have it yet
          1. Vladimir_2U 26 May 2020 06: 37 New
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            Quote: svp67
            What is it for?
            Cruising supersonic, super-maneuverability, more precisely, their absence.
            1. svp67 26 May 2020 06: 41 New
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              Quote: Vladimir_2U
              Cruising supersonic, super-maneuverability, more precisely, their absence.

              The last is the item we introduced. The tactics of the Western fighters is designed to ensure that the enemy will be destroyed from such a range that super-maneuverability is not needed.
              And even then, that Our Su-57, that Chinese aircraft in general, cannot be attributed to the 5th generation
              1. Vladimir_2U 26 May 2020 06: 48 New
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                Cruising supersonic is generally Western fiction
                Quote: svp67
                And then, that Our Su-57

                But this is why?
                1. svp67 26 May 2020 06: 58 New
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                  Quote: Vladimir_2U
                  But this is why?

                  At least for engines that do not correspond to the 5th generation
                  1. Vladimir_2U 26 May 2020 07: 20 New
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                    Quote: svp67
                    At least for engines that do not correspond to the 5th generation

                    Is it really so? Already about AL-41F1 (product 117):
                    This is an aviation turbojet dual-circuit engine with an afterburner and a controlled thrust vector, created by NPO Saturn by order of Sukhoi Design Bureau, it allows you to develop supersonic speed without using afterburner, and also has a fully digital control system and a plasma ignition system
                    This is written, but this is the first stage. But if you are talking about "infrared visibility" then yes, its exhaust can be seen a little further than from the flat Sopelny engines.
                  2. missuris 26 May 2020 12: 09 New
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                    generally correspond to AL41F1 quite an analogue of F119 from F-22
                    and the F-22 is the only real 5th generation mass fighter
      2. 5-9
        5-9 26 May 2020 10: 40 New
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        Mass is a criterion of belonging to the 5th generation? And F-22, F-22, a darling in the amount of 167 pieces - mass or also that does not hold out?
    2. Pessimist22 26 May 2020 05: 54 New
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      He is invisible smile
    3. bar
      bar 26 May 2020 07: 06 New
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      And exactly in all respects it is the 5th generation?

      Stripes write the rules themselves and compose these parameters. What you need - will be added. Which ones are not needed are crossed out. Here they do not have normal supersonicity and maneuverability - it does not matter. They will say that they are not needed for the 5th generation. But there is stealth. Well, great, so this will be the main parameter.
  3. Dmitry from Voronezh 26 May 2020 05: 35 New
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    MiG has no chance in this tender. Who will make a choice in favor of a machine that has not yet gone into production when there are proven production models? If our leaders have a desire to promote the MiG-35 on the international market, you need to buy it in a decent series of 35-40 pieces, at least for our Air Force. Then the chances will appear over time, provided that the “Beetle-A” will bring to mind. MiG-35 for our Air Force would not be an extra machine, in close combat it is, perhaps, even better than the Su-30/35. So, buy for Russia, then there will be buyers on the international market.
    I also do not agree with the somewhat dismissive assessment of the Irbis radar, which was voiced in the article. H035 - this is a very decent radar, even to this day, even if PFAR. Many AFAR are inferior to it in terms of range.
    1. arkadiyssk 26 May 2020 09: 45 New
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      It is not at all a fact that our own series will help sales of the MIG-35. The same thing was said about the SSJ-100 and neither 100 cars nor 200 help sales either. A series of cars can play in the opposite direction, because the buyer can visually evaluate the technical reliability of the machines.
    2. codetalker 26 May 2020 11: 45 New
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      MiG has no chance in this tender

      And if, all of a sudden, it is the MIG-35 that will be chosen?) Are you plagued by a respectable public? Or at least stop your assumptions (possibly quite justified) to pass off as facts?
  4. Revolver 26 May 2020 06: 01 New
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    Turkeys they are such turkeys. Even if they buy, they will endure the brains of sellers. Although it is likely that the brains will endure, and not buy nichrome. And about the fact that the MIG-35 was not in the series, then count how many 29x have been made, and how many of them are still flying. Square glasses on the headlights and taillights, tricked out at that time, did not make the VAZ-2106 a fundamentally different car in comparison with 2103, although in the plant’s reports they released a new model for the anniversary I don’t remember what, either October, or Vladimir Ilyich, or Leonid Ilyich . Here, probably, on the contrary, the turkeys had to argue that the tested and tested type 29 was specially upgraded for them steeper than steep eggs and the Himalayan mountains. However, sellers know better.
  5. codetalker 26 May 2020 06: 16 New
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    Any chances in this case no longer depend on military-technical aspects, but on the situation in the administration of India. It is necessary to decide, in the end, the interests of the country or who will bring more.
  6. Zaurbek 26 May 2020 07: 16 New
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    Without AFAR and modern ammunition in stock, the fighter is no longer for sale.
    1. V.I.P. 26 May 2020 09: 08 New
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      Well, Americans make good planning bombs with long range, and Europeans (Meteor) make long-range missiles ... How can I choose here?))) Moreover, they refused F-16 ...
      1. Zaurbek 26 May 2020 09: 39 New
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        But both there and there are AFAR .. that to shoot, you must first see. The same goes for hanging containers. Indians integrate bombs and a container onto the Su30mki .... with missiles and radars it is more difficult.
    2. Yeraz 28 May 2020 22: 09 New
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      Hello Zaurbek. You do not know by chance, when selling aircraft, does it make a prerequisite that only Russian weapons should be put in or the buyer can fasten any weapon ??
      1. Zaurbek 29 May 2020 07: 56 New
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        As far as the experience of India with the Su30MKI shows, they have put Israeli sighting containers and can use air-to-surface weapons, KR BraMos missiles. But to the radar and missiles air - our air is not letting anyone in. And it depends on the production license.
        1. Yeraz 29 May 2020 13: 22 New
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          Quote: Zaurbek
          can use air-to-surface weapons

          i.e. NOT Russian? Then, that Bramos joint development.
          1. Zaurbek 29 May 2020 13: 31 New
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            Israeli and French
          2. Zaurbek 29 May 2020 13: 55 New
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            And, in the end, “stupid” Indians have under 300 pcs Su30MKI, which can perform the functions of 300 Su34 or 300 Su30SM or, to some extent, Tu22 (as a carrier of anti-ship missiles Bramos. And all this is one plane with only pilots and infrastructure. Which they want to upgrade to the level of Su35.
  7. Sancho_SP 26 May 2020 09: 34 New
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    And again ... Mig-29 and Su-27 are conceptually identical machines. Mig does not have the main advantage of a lightweight car - the price (of both an airplane and flight hour).
  8. steelmaker 26 May 2020 10: 16 New
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    Russia India has never been deceived. India needs less crap. "They do not seek good from good!"
  9. 5-9
    5-9 26 May 2020 10: 47 New
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    In this situation, when a tree called Rafal has already climbed up and scratched, then getting off it and climbing onto another is idiocy ... I think they squeeze galls out of the way (price and technology transfer, offset delivery).
    The Mig-35 can have only one argument - the price well, and more - the transfer of technology .... but for this you need to really buy a minimum of 114 cars ... that is. step over centuries-old traditions and mentality (stop fucking the participants and extorting bribes) .... which is on the verge of fiction. Other participants in addition to Rafal are simply not needed.
  10. Phoenix 26 May 2020 10: 53 New
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    Comrade author forgot to mention that the deal does not take into account the quality of the aircraft, but only the size of the rollback. Dasso was offered the biggest rollback, about which the price shouts at the sky-high 200 lyam apiece, without weapons. A certain Hindu is building himself the tenth palace of gold bars, he does not know about the differences between the PFAR and AFAR and favorably looks only at the rustling currency. Until the Russian military-industrial complex learns to do business as dirty as other competitors, they will not achieve greater success in the Indian market.
  11. camo ridges 26 May 2020 10: 54 New
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    Someone explain what inspired the author to write
    this article? What was your goal setting? Or
    he thinks that repeatedly chewing one and
    Does the same material help a better perception? Well
    if there’s nothing to write about, smoke, cut onions in the kitchen,
    drink tea, fix the iron, as one once advised
    famous comedian ...
  12. shoroh 26 May 2020 13: 05 New
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    India will not take our fighters. Stop counting on it. If it comes to buying exactly our aircraft, the Americans will begin to give the A-35 Indians a loan, if not for nothing, just to squeeze us out of there.
    1. Courier 26 May 2020 13: 37 New
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      F 35 Indians no one offered
  13. strelokmira 26 May 2020 16: 21 New
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    But did Mig-35 have a working afar not in the final stages of development?
  14. Blackgrifon 26 May 2020 16: 52 New
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    Sad, but true and expected. Unfortunately, the MiG took too long to "laurel" on its laurels (even if such a wording is not fully accurate).
  15. FRoman1984 26 May 2020 19: 36 New
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    The chances are minimal, IMHO. If our VKS are in no hurry to buy it, preferring the SU-35S and SU-30SM, then why should India take it?
  16. Jack O'Neill 26 May 2020 21: 50 New
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    They will not take the MiG-35, there is Rafal, and if he does not enter, they will take the F-16.
    Initially, it was necessary to push the MiG-29M with AFAR or MiG-29K. The MiG-35 is painfully greasy. How much is the 35th? Isn't it easier then to take the Su-35? And this is much more opportunities!
    Hindus need a light fighter.
    I don’t know what kind of cancer F / A-18E / F flew into, apparently the same as the MiG-35. Wrong cars.
    Although, for avik F / A-18E / F is good. Here, by the way, the MiG-29K can compete if the radar is updated.
  17. The comment was deleted.
  18. Non-fighter 27 May 2020 10: 59 New
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    The author does not take into account one small detail: any purchase by the Indians of military equipment necessarily involves the transfer of technology. That is, we will buy the first consignments from you, but we will do the latter ourselves. On which Rafal burned.
  19. Vladimir SHajkin 27 May 2020 20: 00 New
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    Everyone has chances and they always have, but the only question is how to use what goes a little ahead of chances, which forces us to turn chances into success.
  20. Sarkazm 29 May 2020 14: 25 New
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    The deeper the crisis in the global economy, the more chances our MiG-35 will have, the Swedes will compete with it, and then if they return once again to participate in the continuation of a long-running tender.

    It is foolish to compare our MiG-35s or Swedish Grippens with the French Rafale, the latest and newer and more advanced fighter. The French rightly inflate the price of their aircraft, in the world, in the conditions of the notorious cooperation and the ability of the United States and other countries to block the supply of a particular arms and equipment system including aviation, only Russia, China and France remain the choice. It is clear that China and India are rivals, if not opponents, so we remain the French, and the Swedes should take into account only the theoretical one, remembering that the Americans have the goal of knocking us out of the Indian market at any cost and in any way.

    The Hindus simply have nowhere to go and our rights are that despite the small needs for it our Air Force brought the MiG-35. Rafal Indians simply can not afford, well, three, well, four dozen will buy, and then? Their rival China and his partner Pakistan leave the Indians no choice. China overcame most of the problems and began to put its own engine on unlicensed copies of the Su-27 and its modifications, and on the latest modifications of the J-10, "C", its own single-engine fighter created on the basis of the documentation transmitted by the Israelis on its Lavi, plus no but the production of 5 generation fighters has also been deployed. Pakistan is already producing the next and more advanced version of the JF-17, plus despite the economic problems, the issue of buying and the Chinese J-10C will be finally resolved.
    Under these conditions, the Indian Air Force, where the most advanced aircraft are our Su-30MKIs, which are already inferior to the Chinese copies of the Su-27 in avionics and weapon systems, can hardly oppose their potential “friends”.