Monday, 11 February 2013

Details of some ToT's that are being negotiated in India's MMRCA program

Transfer Of Some Critical Technology Being Negotiated For As Part Of India's MMRCA Contract
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.

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