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Friday, February 08, 2013

Transfer Of Some Critical Technology Being Negotiated For As Part Of India's MMRCA Contract [Illustration]

The upwards of $10 billion USD deal with France for the acquisition of the Rafale fighter aircraft would involve local assembly, manufacturing offsets & Transfer of Technology [ToT].

This screenshot of the presentation slide, used by HAL's Chairman, during his talk at the Aero India 2013 International Seminar shows some of the critical technologies & sub-systems for which India is negotiating with France to be included as part of its Rafale acquisition.


In its mind, India would want France to hand over all the technologies used, with no restrictions on where it applies them subsequently. Realistically, it would start off with a position, whereby some hardware sub-systems could come directly from France, some that would be assembled in the country, sourcing the components & raw materials from original vendors, while some in which France would have to part with sufficient information for India to be in a position to make those components/sub-systems completely independent of French involvement, save for its certification - ToT. This position would be challenged by the French who'd be willing to offer less, asking for more. This back and forth would continue till they reach a mutually agreeable position, upon which the contract would be signed. Even after receiving the ToT, contractual obligation would dictate whether the same tech or manufacturing process could be applied in other projects - the case in point being the ToT received for growing Single Crystal Blades [SCB] used in the twin AL-31FP Turbofan engines powering the IAF's Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs1. While SCBs are being made for the Flanker engines, the Kaveri has not been able to reap the benefits.


With respect to the MMRCA contract too, as understood from the Chairman's response to a query, he does not seem very hopeful about France permitting spin-off use of any ToT for other Indian projects - contractual agreement is yet to be signed. Whatever may be the case, the fact remains that MMRCA agreement would bring in technologies and capabilities, however may its extent, that are currently absent within the country. It is therefore up to its new end-users to figure how best to leverage it to leapfrog and make up for lost time, and not let it become a 1:1 affair.


Related: Imported components used in the Light Combat Aircraft [LCA] Tejas, to be taken up for indigenisation

1 = "As HAL will do 80 per cent of the manufacturing, it will acquire new technologies like the directionally solidified blades, which will give us the technology for the future engines. Similarly, from the Sukhoi (Su-30 fighter deal) we acquired the single crystal blade technology, which will be the basis for all future turbine blades. This way, we get to master these technologies and meet our own requirements and exports, which is the thrust at HAL," Mr Mohanty said.

- HAL sees major spin-offs from AJT deal

"The aircraft engine has single crystal blades which are capable of withstanding very high temperatures. Considering that the aircraft is huge and has to operate in hot conditions, and its twin engines have the 11,500kg thrust each, the single crystal blades ensure that the thrust remains optimum. The Russians have given this technology to us for the first time."

- Force Magazine, October 2009

Dear members of the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fan page on Facebook, I would greatly appreciate it if you add the URL of the blog post when you reproduce the entire content of my posts on your page, which you have been doing for some time now. It is only decent that you acknowledge the content creator, no? Else your conduct is amounting to plagiarism. Thank you.