The 'race' for Qatar's Mirage-2000-5s

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http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=29795

Here is IAF’s most wanted aircraft

Pakistan also wants these Mirage-2000-5s, Delhi team back from recce in Qatar

Saikat Datta

New Delhi, August 16: Guess what the Indian Air Force’s new object of desire is. It’s a batch of Mirage-2000-5s, a multi-role combat aircraft.

The aircraft that Qatar wants to sell off have sparked off a race between New Delhi and Islamabad. The IAF has strongly recommended its purchase to the government beef up its capability.

The Qatari 10 nuclear-capable Mirage-2000-5s were discussed recently by the Defence Acquisition Council, the apex body for purchase of weapon systems in the Defence Ministry.

According to South Block sources, New Delhi is also trying to deny Islamabad the state-of-the-art aircraft, considered much superior to the present Mirage-2000 fleet that India maintains.

Meanwhile, India is also getting ready to receive its batch of an additional 10 Mirage-2000s from Dassault Aviation, the original manufacturers in France. While the delivery is expected to be made by December this year, it is the superior 2000-5 that has Air Headquarters interested.

Qatar bought the aircraft in 1998 but decided to sell them off as the country did not have any use or maintenance facilities.

Pakistan, which now operates the Mirage-III/5, lacks a credible nuclear delivery platform and is overtly dependent on the F-16 Falcons it acquired from the USA in the mid-’80s.

If Pakistan acquires the 10 Mirage-2000-5s, the equation could change. So, New Delhi has been making aggressive moves. It is learnt that Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani briefly discussed the issue with Qatari officials in January, en route to France. The IAF also sent a team to Qatar to evaluate the Mirages and, based on their reports, recommended that India pick up the aircraft. The team found the 2000-5s ‘‘nearly brand-new’’ and ready for picking.

However, with the controversy over the CVC report, officials are apprehensive. ‘‘With the muck over defence deals flying around, it will be difficult for the government to take a decision,’’ said a Defence Ministry official.

Air Headquarters has pitched for these top-of-the-line fighters with the Defence Ministry. With the acquisition council apparently in favour of purchasing these fighters, the ball will now be in the Finance Ministry’s court.

However, the security establishment in India as well as Pakistan seem to have similar worries. Sources say that the argument against acquiring the Mirage-2000-5 is the long-term financial burden.

While the IAF already has the maintenance back-up for its Mirages, it will need additional features for the 2000-5. For Pakistan, it is a bigger problem as the number of Qatari aircraft for sale don’t justify the cost of a Mirage maintenance plant.

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Why are these M-2Ks so special?

[i_] Very Advanced
[ii] Very New
[iii] These are the only second-hand M-2Ks available in the market anywhere in the world (maybe France, but their airframes will certainly be from the older lots)
[iv] Their delivery to the customer will be literally overnight

So here we have 10 very new and advanced M-2Ks that are available second hand, and at a more reasonable cost, and can be inducted without any sort of delay. Man, these are HOT PROPERTY!

Why does the IAF want them?

These 10 airframes will allow the IAF to:

[i_] Raise a 3rd squadron within a few months

[ii] Since it is not very desirable to have highly different versions of the same ac, the much anticipated Vajra upgrade will happen a lot sooner. Right now there are no publicly known plans.

[iii] The IAF would ideally like to have another 100 Mirages. Unfortunately, their civilian bosses dont seem to share their enthusiasm. This deal might just pursuade them to open up their purse a bit more!

IAF is among the world's best M-2K operators, and clearly this is one aircraft they would like to see in higher numbers.

It is important to note that by purchasing these airframes, not only does the IAF benefit, the MoD also ensures that the same are denied to Pakistan. 10 ac and a tap of technology will open for Pakistan from France.

The indian procedures are slow or very very slow, but this does not mean that the Pakistanis will clinch the deal even if they are the first movers. We are talking of stuff costing 100s of millions dollars - this is not a neighbourhood garage sale. India is definitely is in a position to quote a higher price, and that is what really matters.

Why does the PAF want them?

[i_] They already have some experience with the type.

[ii] The F-16s are off for the time being.

[iii] Just like in the the case of IAF, this purchase will have lead to more M-2Ks from France.

Only ten aircraft for starters is not bad, but it is not feasible in the longer run. Just one freak accident like a bird-hit will reduce the fleet by 10%. A second hand purchase must be followed up by more brand new pieces, and certainly it will be a lot easier for them. However, it must be noted that there are many small airforces in the world that operate less than 10 ac of a type (eg: SLAF), and I dont see why PAF cannot even if they to wait for a few years for more pieces.

I am just guessing, but one factor that might prove to be in Pakistan's favour is that they''ll also buy the entire ground-support equipment and both AA and AG ordinance, unlike the Indians, who might prefer to buy only the airframes, which would mean that Qatar would still have to hunt for more buyers...not sure how important this is though.

For now, only one thing is certain:

The Qataris are gonna make a killing in the resale price!

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I like the Mirage 2000 family. One of the more sensible planes from Dassault and a natural progression for the Mirage family.

The Mirage 2000-5 will complement the IAF well and there should be no difficulties in absorbing them.

But why are the Qataris selling them? Why did they buy something they didnt need in the first place? From all the above, I surmise the airframes are practically brand new, with less than 100hours on them. It is even more unusual to claim a lack of maintenance facilities. Major equipment buys normally comes complete with a ILS component to cover the operations n maintenance.

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Greece

My vote for who should get these birds goes to Greece.... Greece should buy these birds plus their armaments from Qatar and set up a new squadron on Cyprus.

Anywho, When is Greece suppose to receive their 15 new Mirage 2000-5 MKII and their 10 upgraded Mirage 2000-5 MKII?

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Pakistan won't spur arms race: President, PM briefed on PAF

Since this news is related I am posting it here

By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Aug 16: President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali said on Saturday that Pakistan was not involved in any arms race but would take all possible steps to maintain minimum credible deterrence which had been quantified in terms of comparative strength, weaponry and force levels.

They stated this during a briefing at the Air Headquarters, Chaklala, where they were informed about the medium and long-term requirements of the Pakistan Air Force.

The meeting decided to replace the existing 400 fighter aircraft of the PAF with a high-tech fleet to help meet Pakistan's defence requirements.

The meeting agreed that the existing fleet of F-16s, A-5s and F-7Ps should be replaced with the French-made Mirage 2005, Russian SU-30 and the Chinese-built JF-17 Thunder, also called Super 7.

It was decided that the existing fleet would be replaced in about a decade's time for which the government would make available all the required funding.

Sources said the participants of the meeting were of the view that Mirage 2005 was an expensive aircraft as a single plane cost $50 million but still it could very well meet the PAF requirements because of being high tech and having strong manoeuvrability.

The sources said the meeting was informed that India had already got two squadrons of SU-30 and was planning to buy another 100 aircraft of this type.

The meeting was informed that while Russia would not be averse to selling this aircraft to Pakistan, it would, however, be responsive to any opposition from India to the deal.

The president, the sources said, believed that without fulfilling the PAF demands for high-tech aircraft, it would be difficult to defend the country.

He said the government should look into these issues seriously. On this occasion, the prime minister directed the finance minister to consider the urgent requirement of the PAF.

The sources said the government could make available $2 billion to $2.5 billion immediately for the purchase of new fighter aircraft.

Primarily, the president and the prime minister were given a briefing on the operational preparedness and engineering aspects of Super 7 aircraft by senior PAF officials.

An official statement said the president and the prime minister reaffirmed maximum support to PAF's requirements of latest aircraft and equipment. They said the government was aware of the importance of air power as a vital component of the country's armed forces.

The president and the prime minister also witnessed the display of weapons and equipment.

The presentation was also attended by Defence Minister Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, defence secretary, finance secretary, defence production secretary and other senior officials.

http://www.dawn.com/2003/08/17/top3.htm

Given the reasons by members behind IAF & PAF need to buy these Qatari aircrafts I would add few more reasons behind PAF run for these aircrafts:

1- Until the arrival of Mirage 2000-5 in QAF, they operated Mirage F-1, btw which were prematuerly replaced because they also had a lot of airframe life and low flying hours. PAF had send close to 60 of their pilots on deputation to fly these aircrafts during the past 10 years or more.

2- Since PAF is all posed to buy 40 or 50 Mirage 2000-5 these aircrafts would fit very well in their inventory since they will be readily aviable.

3- Some of PAF pilots have already flown Mirage 2000 in UAE and some reports suggest that these QAF do have few PAF pilots on them.

4- As someone already wrote PAF might pick up everything on the ground in Dhaifa (Doha air base) rather than IAF only picking up the aircrafts and certain items they need to support them.

Question: What type of AAM and AGM do these QAF Mirage carry?

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Re: Pakistan won't spur arms race: President, PM briefed on PAF


The meeting agreed that the existing fleet of F-16s, A-5s and F-7Ps should be replaced with the French-made Mirage 2005, Russian SU-30 and the Chinese-built JF-17 Thunder, also called Super 7.

The Russians would never sell Su-30s to Pakistan. It would ruin relations with India, which is a far more important partner with whom they enjoy closer relations, economic and military ties. I find the article's assertion that Russia would not be averse to selling Su-30s to Pakistan quite strange when it admits this fact as well. Kind of like saying "well, it'd be good if it wasn't bad."

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The tiny differance is that while india can afford them, pakistan cannot.

I hope PAF officials are'nt seriously thinking about the Su-30. Which world are they in? Oops, what a question to ask! :D

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Hi Nelson

The first PA Mirage 2000-5 Mk2 ( 505 ) completed it sinitial flight testing phase in France. By late 2004 the deliveries would be completed. The first Mirage 2000 EGM ( 211 ) that will be upgraded by EAB to -5 Mk2 standard is also in the Tanagra hangar for its conversion as the programs prototype.

The Oman examples sure look "interesting"...

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‘‘With the muck over defence deals flying around, it will be difficult for the government to take a decision,’’ said a Defence Ministry official.

This is where the Indians are good in making raising dust but can't get the goods. PAF has been allocated $2.5 billion to buy a new generations of fighter. Basically, new fighter platform, be it used Qatari, or new Mirage 2000, or Rafale, or whatever. But this money is besides the PF-17 money or if they ae able to buy used F-16 from third party which was reported in news media recently.

Having all said, I would really like to see how Pakistanis and Indians play this game of Qatari Mirage 2000-5. This is first time they will be playing a military game not with live fire but with buying suaveness .

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Damn, $2.5 billion. That's the entire Pakistan's Armed Forces defence budget. The PAF will purchase the FC-1 for 2.25 billion and that is 150 fighters @ $15 million which should probably cost $17 million or even grater. With the PN purchasing Agostas for 1.2 billion, and PA purchasing tanks for +$800 million I really doubt they allocated that much money. We're talking about more then a 100% of their defence budget. This is why the French have never brought up Pakistan as a likely customer for the M2k. IAF will have the money to buy these fighters unlike PAF. I am quite sure IAF will purchase the Mk2-5 from Qutar unless they hand them out free to Pakistan.

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whats teh cost of a single Su-30MKI lik the one India has?

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Originally posted by bharat
Damn, $2.5 billion. That's the entire Pakistan's Armed Forces defence budget. The PAF will purchase the FC-1 for 2.25 billion and that is 150 fighters @ $15 million which should probably cost $17 million or even grater. With the PN purchasing Agostas for 1.2 billion, and PA purchasing tanks for +$800 million I really doubt they allocated that much money. We're talking about more then a 100% of their defence budget. This is why the French have never brought up Pakistan as a likely customer for the M2k. IAF will have the money to buy these fighters unlike PAF. I am quite sure IAF will purchase the Mk2-5 from Qutar unless they hand them out free to Pakistan.

You have all the math mixed up. Yes you are right with the defense budget is $2.3 billion but all new procurments are done separetly. When India bought Su-30 they did not pay all the money all at once because usually in the MoU the terms are defined which includes the payment which is based on loans and line of credit between either the governments or the the banks mostly it is all togather.

As the article says the GoP has allocated between $2-2.5 billion for new fighters which does not include JF-17 or more F-16 but specifically a new platform. Remember when Pakistan bought the subs and tanks in the 90's their Foreign echange reserve were a little less than $1.1 billion while now it is above $11 billion. The money will not come out of the foreign exchange reserves but these resevers are used to get betters terms on the line of credit.

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Originally posted by bharat
Damn, $2.5 billion. That's the entire Pakistan's Armed Forces defense budget.

No the entire armed forces budget is 4 billion if you dont include salaries or pensions then the defence bugdet is 2.3 billion that is for the maintinance of equipment and small acquisitions.

[QUOTE] The PAF will purchase the FC-1 for 2.25 billion and that is 150 fighters @ $15 million which should probably cost $17 million or even grater.[/QUOTE]

Ok what does that have to do with 2.5 billion today?? the FC-1 hasn't even left the ground yet and production will not start for years and its not like the Chinese want 2.25 billion today. They money for the FC-1 wont be allocated until they are ready for production which would be around 2007 at the earliest.

[QUOTE] With the PN purchasing Agostas for 1.2 billion, and PA purchasing tanks for +$800 million I really doubt they allocated that much money.[/QUOTE]

Let me tell you something the money for the agostas was allocated years back, we didn’t sign the deal last monday, two of them are already in service and I doubt the French would deliver them if had not paid them. I don’t think they are that nice.

As for the tanks same think we signed the deal in 1996 man! they are all delivered and again Ukraine didn’t give them as a gift, they delivered after we paid.
The only tanks the PA is acquiring right now are alkhalids and al-zarrars, which are being inducted in small quantities over a period of years. Again this does not warrant a down payment because we are manufacturing them locally and importing equipment as needed. And these tanks are pretty cheap.

[QUOTE] We're talking about more then a 100% of their defense budget. This is why the French have never brought up Pakistan as a likely customer for the M2k. [/QUOTE]

No the defense budget is completely separate and as I said big ticket items are allocated separately. Also there is a concept called credit. Every Pakistani acquisition has been financed by a Middle Eastern bank. UAE and Saudi Arabia have always financed these purchases because Pakistan didn’t have the credit rating to get financing from other sources. Now if Pakistan can spend 1.2 billion on agostas and 600 million on tanks while being under sanctions with foreign exchange reserves being less than 2 billion, what makes you think that Pakistan cannot spend 2.5 billion now when it has B long term international credit rating instead of a D+, with almost all sanctions lifted and 11 billion foreign exchange reserves. You just don’t get it, Pakistan has always been piss poor but has always been able to buy defense equipment and thats why its still here after three wars.

[QUOTE] IAF will have the money to buy these fighters unlike PAF. [/QUOTE]
I understand that India is an economic giant and can spend a LOT more than Pakistan but if you look at this in proportion to economic size How?? please explain can India get the money to buy hundred's of billions of dollars in equipment that includes 120 mirage-2005mk2, 150 Su-30 MKI, 9 scropanes, Talwars, 66 Advanced trainers, a Russian aircraft carrier, Phalcon Awacs, upgrade Mig-21's, build an indigenous nuclear submarine, build a local aircraft carrier, buy south African SP howitzers,buy 100 arjuns, build akash, build astra, build bhramos, upgrade Mig-27's, upgrade Jaguars, build more local destroyers, build 200 LCA, build the MCA, buy PAk-FA while at the same time buying a boat load of Israeli equipment and UAV's. I just don’t get it! if India can do all this with its 20 Billion dollar budget and also maintain its current equipment which includes 1000 aircraft, 4000 tanks 2000 IFV's, >20 major naval vessels, 8-10 submarines and an aircraft carrier, THEN why cannot Pakistan just spend 2.5 billion on the only big ticket item its gonna buy for the next 15 to 20 years???????

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Professor404,

President Musharraf says here that Pakistan spends 17% of GDP on defence according to latest numbers. This news report says that the budget is $14 Billion in total.

So 17% of $14 billion copmes to $2.4 billion and not $4 B. Who is correct here? :confused:

Also, most other countries' big or small acquisition comes from within the budget itself. So if Pakistan has the salaries/pensions and big ticket items separate, then does that mean that the Defene itself is around half of every year's budget :eek

Also there is a concept called credit. Every Pakistani acquisition has been financed by a Middle Eastern bank.

Sir, I believe the forex reserves alone don't determine what a country can afford or not. Pakistan did get a big boost in forex after 9-11 and that was likely due to expats sending their life savings back hime for security. That could change any day. Macro economically, things haven't changed much. The situation is definitely better, but not that much.

The deal that Dassault offered India for 126 M2K-5s was $8 billion in value. So for 45-50 M2Ks, Pakistan would need $3.5 Billion at least.

I think Pakistan can at most afford 30-35 M2K-5s and not more for the next many years.

120 mirage-2005mk2, 150 Su-30 MKI, 9 scropanes, Talwars, 66 Advanced trainers, a Russian aircraft carrier, Phalcon Awacs, upgrade Mig-21's, build an indigenous nuclear submarine, build a local aircraft carrier, buy south African SP howitzers,buy 100 arjuns, build akash, build astra, build bhramos, upgrade Mig-27's, upgrade Jaguars, build more local destroyers, build 200 LCA, build the MCA, buy PAk-FA while at the same time buying a boat load of Israeli equipment and UAV's. I just don’t get it! if India can do all this with its 20 Billion dollar budget and also maintain its current equipment which includes 1000 aircraft, 4000 tanks 2000 IFV's, >20 major naval vessels, 8-10 submarines and an aircraft carrier, THEN why cannot Pakistan just spend 2.5 billion on the only big ticket item its gonna buy for the next 15 to 20 years???????

We need to compare apples to apples. We are talking of one big acquisition.

That way, one can question how Pakistan can afford 4th Gen fighters when they will be buying 200 FC-1s, C-130s, P-3Cs, New tanks, Helos, Frigates, Agosta, SP Artillery systems etc.

MCA, Pak-FA etc. are Waaay in the future.

Only time will tell who is right.

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Professor,

So will you wager a beer or a coke ;) that Pakistan doesnt buy the Mirages?

cheers!

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Actually the defence budget is 20 percent of the total and yes the salaries and pensions are allocated seperately for all Federal gov emplyess that includes the armed forces. I stand by the 4 billion figure if you if add the military salary and pensions.


Sir, I believe the forex reserves alone don't determine what a country can afford or not. Pakistan did get a big boost in forex after 9-11 and that was likely due to expats sending their life savings back hime for security. That could change any day. Macro economically, things haven't changed much. The situation is definitely better, but not that much.

Sir anything can change anyday, including the economic situation in india. we have to talk about what is in front if us which is 11 billion for ex in pakistan with a stable long term credit rating and a stable local currency rating and 80 billion for ex in india with stable credit and currency ratings.

[QUOTE]
The deal that Dassault offered India for 126 M2K-5s was $8 billion in value. So for 45-50 M2Ks, Pakistan would need $3.5 Billion at least.
[/QUOTE]
Will you be willing to quote an independant source saying the french asked 8 billion from inda or that 40 mk2-5 will cost pakistan 3.5 billion. An m2k costs 50 million as stated here by the ACM: http://www.dawn.com/2003/08/17/top3.htm

and with 2 billion = 2000/50 = 40 M2k-5. And another 500 million for training and equipment.


I think Pakistan can at most afford 30-35 M2K-5s and not more for the next many years.

So we basically agree, I think we can afford 40 you say we can afford 35. That is all that I am saying.


We need to compare apples to apples. We are talking of one big acquisition.

I was talking about india's ability to purchaes defence equipment with its budget. India is acquiring more than one big item.


That way, one can question how Pakistan can afford 4th Gen fighters when they will be buying 200 FC-1s, C-130s, P-3Cs, New tanks, Helos, Frigates, Agosta, SP Artillery systems etc.

Lets see we just agreed above that pakistan can afford 35-40 mirage 2k-5, right? and that is a 4 gen fighter. As for C-130's, P3C, Helo's and SP arty that is or will be all aid money. We got choppers and survall planes and 6 c-130's through 70 mill aid. We asked for p3-c, helo's and used m119 etc which IF we get them would be through the 1.5 Billion part of the 3 billion package given by the us administration. So infact they will be free bee's.

I already posted above that we have ALREADY PIAD for the agostas and have taken delivery. Thats done with. Remain the 200 Fc-1 and 4 F22P frigate. Well let me tell you how we are going to get them. We are going to get them through generious Chinese credit and loans. Anything that China has given us, has been on very very generous terms. And China can certainly afford to give us a no interest loan to be paid 15-20 yrs later, just like they have done in the past.


MCA, Pak-FA etc. are Waaay in the future.

Yea but you will have to start paying R&D soon right?? it takes billions and years to develop planes like LCA,MCA and PAk-FA.

Also you quoted the Kansas city star as one of your sources, that just looked funny I had no idea that the Kansas city star followed pakistan. One more thing I dont think the budget is 14 billion, it was round 11 billion the last time i checked.

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Read my earlier post and understand that foreign exchange only make a country credit rating better so it can negotiate a better deal in the MoU of any deal. And mixing Agosta and other deals has no financial standings because some are bought locally, through aid, through grants and through barter trade and whatever you have. Restricting buying power on only cash bases doesn't work in this time and age.

Oman recently bought 10 or 12 F-16C and UAE signed $500 million loan to Oman, therefore, the financial backing for this was between the two governments based on their own understandings.

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Originally posted by V_S
Professor,

So will you wager a beer or a coke ;) that Pakistan doesnt buy the Mirages?

cheers!

Sure mate:)

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Do the indians actually need/want mirage2000-5 or is it that they are just doing all this to make the French think that they may place big order (100+) for Mirage2k5s. This hope of a big order would make the French reluctant to sell the Mirage2K5 to Pakistan.

I think that this hope of big Indian order is the reason that the French have not shown any great enthusiasm for selling mirage2k5 to Pakistan - though they haven't actually refused to sell it to Pakistan. Even though I am Pakistani I have to hand it to the Indians. They are playing a great game with the French. They are keeping French hopes just about high enough for them to not sell the mirage2k5 to Pakistan, but they are not actually commiting themselves to any purchase of mirage2k5. Once the French are sure that Indians are not interested in Mirage2k5 then I think the French could easily work out a reasonable deal with Pakistan.

Any potential Indian order would be worth around $8billion, whereas Pakistani order would be less than half that amount.

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Professor,

I think I can agree that Pakistan can afford around 40 Mirage 2000s now.

Just one more thing, I quoted Kansas City Star simply because they keep a free archive of Associated Press and Reuters news reports. Not that I think Kansas has a collection of Pakistan experts :D

Also, about the cost of M2K-5, I'm going by the package offered in Nov 2002 by Dassault to Poland, which Jane's says was around $4 Billion for 48 fighters.

I have to defer to you on the Pak defence budget numbers.

I think that Pakistan will probably soon order some 4th gen fighter, I'm not sure on the Mirage.

SAF2000,

My sources in India have told me that IAF is very serious about getting 110-120 M2K-5s and an additional dozen from Qatar. The issue here is that after the Tehelka scandal, people are afraid to pull the trigger on a $8 Billion deal.

I don't know how it will work out.

For the sake of India, I hope PAF goes ahead with the order. That is the only way Indian bureaucrats will wake up and move fast, like they did for the T-90s.