Journal : Journal Not Selected Date : Author : Huang Guozhi, columnist of The Paper Page No. : NA
URL : http://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_1419095,

印法敲定36架阵风战机大订单,印度又当了回冤大头

 

作者:澎湃新闻特约撰稿人黄国志

Author: Huang Guozhi, by special arrangement with The Paper

 

据英国《简氏防务周刊》网站1月5日报道,印度已经就购买36架“阵风”战斗机与法国完成了全部谈判和手续。法国总统奥朗德将于1月25日开始访问印度,在他访问前或期间,两国可能签署政府间协议,其中就包括印度向法国购买“阵风”战斗机的内容。

A January 5th report of the official website of Jane’s Defense Weekly says  that India has completed all negotiations and procedures with France for procurement of 36 Dassault Rafales. Francois Hollande, President of France, is scheduled to visit India on January 25th. During his visit, the two governments are likely to sign several inter-governmental agreements, including on a deal for purchase of 36 Dassault Rafales by India.

这一消息也标志着自2001年起印度空军开始的中型多用途战斗机(MMCRA)项目终于尘埃落定,长达15年的招标历程也创造了世界军火采购历史上的一项新纪录。

The news also notifies completion of the Indian Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) bids, a project started by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2001. IAF breaks the world record of military procurement with its prolonged bidding process of 15 years.

难得一见的百亿大单  A rarely-seen mega deal of billions 

20151123日,地中海东部,法国阵风战斗机携炸弹从戴高乐航母上起飞,将打击叙利亚和伊拉克伊斯兰国目标。  视觉中国资料

On November 23rd, 2015, in the Eastern Mediterranean, a Dassault Rafale was taking off with bombs from Charles de Gaulls Aircraft Carrier. It was taking the task of combating the targets of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Photo by CFT.

当初印度空军提出进行新型战斗机招标时,主要针对的是用于代替米格-21的第三代轻型战斗机,参与竞标的包括法国达索公司“幻影”2000-5 Mk2、瑞典萨伯公司JAS-39“鹰狮”、俄罗斯米格-29M2。当时印度空军只是将这一招标作为应急措施,以填补老旧的米格-21机队大批退役造成的战斗力缺失,并且为国产LCA战斗机研制完成、量产服役争取时间。然而,印度唯一的军用航空研发企业——印度斯坦航空有限公司的表现令人失望,LCA战斗机研发进度一拖再拖,短期内根本无望定型,更不要说投入批量生产(事实上,直到2013年LCA战斗机才实现批量服役,但是由于性能无法达到印度空军的要求,订货量只有象征性的区区20架)。

When IAF first invited bids of new fighter aircraft, it was preparing to replace the third generation of jet fighters of MiG-21. The competitive bidders include “Mirage” 2000-5 Mk2 of Dassault Aviation, Saab JAS 39 “Gripen” and Mikoyan MiG-29M. At that moment, IAF was starting the bid as an emergency measure, in order to fill up the deficiency of fighting capacity of the fleet after retirement of many jet fighters of MiG-21. On the other hand, IAF was trying to buy time for India-made LCA (Landing Craft Assault) fighters which required a long period to complete the R&D process, commence volume production and be available for active service. However, the performance of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited – the only state-owned aerospace and defense company for R&D of military aviation – was quite disappointing. The R&D process of LCA fighters was delayed again and again, and it was virtually impossible to finalise a model in a specified period, let alone volume production. (As a matter of fact, LCA fighters weren’t put on active service until 2013; however, the order quantity was only 20, as the performance of LCA fighters failed to meet with the requirement of IAF.)

另一方面,印度空军的招标也不顺利:印方最为心仪的是法国达索公司的“幻影”2000,但一直无法与法方就采购数量以及现役机队的升级方案达成一致。最终,印度空军在2006年决定不再继续等待LCA战斗机的定型量产,而是将原来的轻型战斗机招标升级为更加先进、战斗力也更强的中型多用途战斗机招标。

On the other hand, the bidding process of IAF didn’t go smoothly either. “Mirage” 2000-5 Mk2 of Dassault Aviation was the favorite choice of IAF, but it failed to reach agreement with the French side with regard to the procurement quantity and upgradation of current fighter models. In the end, IAF decided in 2006 not to wait for the laggard process of HAL with ICA, and changed the previous bid for LCA to MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft), which is more advanced, with stronger fighting capacity.

由于招标机型规格的升级,采购数量和合同金额也随之大幅上升,即以102.4亿美元的价格订购126架新型战机。这一招标方案在2007年一公布,便立刻引来世界各大军用航空巨头的激烈争夺,参与竞标的多达6个型号,分别是F-16IN、F/A-18E/F、EF2000、“阵风”、米格-35和JAS-39“鹰狮”NG。此后,经过将近五年的遴选、测试和淘汰,2012年1月,法国人迫不及待地宣布自己笑到了最后,斩获这笔国际军售市场上难得一见的百亿美元大单。

With the IAF upgrading the models it called for bids, the procurement quantity and the contract value witnessed a sharp increase accordingly. Specifically speaking, IAF planned to order 126 new aircrafts at a price of 10.24 billion US dollars. The new bidding plan was announced in 2007, responded by  almost all military aviation magnates of the world in fierce competitions with each other. 6 new aircraft modes participated in the competitive bidding, including F-16IN, F/A-18E/F, EF2000, Dassault Rafale, MiG-35 and JAS 39 Gripen NG. After a prolonged process of selection, testing and elimination that lasted for 5 years, the Frenchmen could not wait to announce  their final victory to the world upon selection in January of 2012. And it turned out to be a rarely-seen big deal in the field of arms procurement worth billions .

挥之不去中国之阴影  Lingering shadow of China

法国空军阵风战斗机。  图片来自网络

Dassault Rafale of French Air Force. Photo from uncredited internet source.

如果将世界比作舞台,那么印度和法国在“阵风”战机采购中上演的就是一出既有合作又有博弈、同时角色不断“反转”的“喜乐街”。

The world is a stage, and the dramatic play of India and France in the Dassault Rafale deal combined both cooperation and competition, with their roles rotated more than once – a “Joy Street” indeed!

起初,如果说印度扮演的角色是“女神”,那么法国则是“宅男”。

In the initial stage, India was playing the role of “goddess”, and France was merely an “otaku”.

由于此前“阵风”战机一直未能打开国际军售市场,使得法国政府在为本国空海军采购该机时不得不忍受高昂的采购成本,而达索公司也因为订单不足无法释放产能。因此,法国政府迫切希望能够以印度此次招标为契机,实现“阵风”战机出口零的突破。在与其他5个机型竞争的过程中,法国政府不遗余力,其表现出的推销能力丝毫不亚于英国政府,不仅全盘答应了印度提出的在本土装配108架战机的条件,而且主动降价,一架“阵风”战机的报价仅为6720万美元。法国人还利用印度空军装备有36架“幻影”2000H/TH战机这一有利因素,大打关系牌,为最终赢得胜利奠定了基础。

Dassault Rafale failed to break into the international market of military procurement before the deal, and the French government had to bear very high procurement costs for producing the proto-type for the French Air Force and Navy. As a result, Dassault could not work to its full production capacity with only a small amount of deals. The French government was in urgent need of achieving breakthroughs in export of Dassault Rafale at the time of bidding in India. In the competition with other 5 types, the French government spared no effort to promote Dassault Rafale, and its sales capacity could even match that of the British government. Not only did the France accede to India’s demand for assembling all 108 fighters in India locally, it also offered a reduced price at its own initiative. The price of one Dassault Rafale was settled at 67.2 million US dollars. France also played the affiliation card in view that IAF was equipped with 36 Dassault Mirage 2000H/THs, and finally achieved victory by fully exploiting its advantages.

然而,当双方真正坐下来开始进行合同具体细节的谈判之时,其相互的地位已经悄然发生改变。

However, their positions in the negotiations shifted subtly when both countries sat down face to face  to settle all the details of the deal.

法国人认为已经胜券在握,于是亮出了真正的底牌:首先,6720万美元的单价只是友情价,如果加上配套设备、零备件、训练、保障服务等,那么126架战机的总价应当是150亿美元(单架1.19亿美元)。其次,达索公司同意向印度斯坦航空有限公司转让技术组装108架“阵风”战机,但不对这些战机出现的任何问题负责。

Frenchmen believed that they had already secured victory, and called the bluff too early: first, they were offering a “ friendship price” by setting the price of one Dassault Rafale at 67.2 million US dollars.As a matter of fact, the total price for 126 Dassault Rafales were supposed to be 15 billion US dollars (119 million US dollars for each) with ancillary equipment, spare and accessory parts, training programmes and safety services. Secondly, although Dassault consented to transfer the technologies of assembling 108 Dassault Rafales to HAL, it refused to take any responsibility in case of any technical problems.

事实上,此前印度斯坦航空有限公司组装的战机服役后失事率之高,在世界航空业界已是臭名昭著,达索公司自然不愿意背这个黑锅。

As a matter of fact, the accident rate of fighters on active service assembled by HAL was extremely high, and HAL was already notorious in international aviation industry. Obviously, Dassault was not so stupid to take the blame for HAL.

面对这一情况,印度内部产生了分歧:一方面,印度政府不愿意再为MMCRA项目追加资金,不断用国产LCA战斗机的研制进度作为与法国谈判的筹码,甚至还一度拉拢其他竞标失败的公司,威胁要重新进行招标;另一方面,印度空军很不满意政府如此“抠门”的做法,希望尽快得到“阵风”,而不是“扶不起”的LCA。正如一位印度空军高官所说:将继续支持国产LCA轻型作战飞机,但它不能取代中型多用途作战飞机。这种轻型作战飞机的作战半径不到200公里。如果与中国发生冲突,印度的空中作战力量将面临重大威胁。印度空军需要的是一种作战半径至少为1000公里的作战飞机,比如“阵风”。

In view of the changing situation, the Indians differed and held their own opinions. On one hand, the Indian government refused to provide additional funds for the MMCRA program, and used the R&D progress of India-made LCA fighters as the chip in the prolonged negotiations with France. The Indian government even cozied up to those companies who failed to win the bid, and threatened France with a rebidding process. IAF, on its part, was evidently displeased with the “miserliness” of the Indian government; the primary concern of IAF was to settle with the deal of Dassault Rafales as early as possible, and it had obviously lost confidence in India-made LCA fighters. An anonymous senior officer of IAF revealed that although India-made LCA light fighters had been endorsed, they could never replace MMCRA in actual combat. The operational radius of action of LCA lighter fighter is no more than 200 kilometers. In case of military confrontations with China, IAF would face serious threats with its limited combat power. IAF was in urgent need of a new model of fighter whose minimum operational radius of action reached 1000 kilometers, like Dassault Rafale, for example.

为此,印度空军提出了一个折中方案,即先行采购36架“阵风”战机,以便尽快使该机服役成军。但是,每架战机的价格,双方依然谈不拢,就这样,三年的时间又白白耗费掉了。

In light of that, IAF proposed a compromise plan. IAF suggested procuring the first batch of 36 Dassault Rafales from France, so that they could be on active service and form a battle squadron as early as possible. However, India and France couldn’t settle the price of even a single Rafale, and 3 years glided away with no progress achieved by either side.

进入2015年之后,备尝艰辛的法国人终于得到了幸运女神的青睐:2月,埃及与法国正式签署采购24架“阵风”战机的协议;5月,法国又与卡塔尔签订了出口24架“阵风”战机的协议,并且卡塔尔保留了增购12架战机的权利。此时,手握两个订单的法国政府与一拖再拖的印度政府之间的地位则完全“反转”过来了。

After 2015, however, France seemed to win the heart of Lady Luck after years of strenuous efforts. In February, Egypt and France signed the formal deal for procurement of 24 Dassault Rafales; in May, Qatar and France signed the formal deal for procurement of 24 Dassault Rafales, and Qatar reserved the right to procure 12 more of them. At that moment, France had two finalized deals in her hand, and India kept delaying with the unfinished negotiations – their roles were switched all of a sudden.

原本印度政府想利用买家市场的优势地位让法国压价,但是,印度国内及周边形势的发展对其愈发不利:一方面,俄罗斯T-50战机研发屡屡遭遇状况,印度希望在其基础上与俄罗斯联合研发第五代战机的计划则更是遥遥无期,而国内组装的苏-30MKI亦无法让空军满意;另一方面,中巴联合研制的JF-17“雷电”战机不仅已经批量装备巴空军,而且巴基斯坦也具备了组装甚至改进该机的能力,对印度空军构成了实质性的威胁。

In the early stage, the Indian government schemed to reduce the prices once again with the advantage of buyer’s market. However, the domestic and foreign situation of India became worse than ever for India. On the one hand, the R&D process of Sukhoi T-50 by Russia met with serious obstacles, and India could only wait indefinitely for a joint R&D plan with Russia for fifth-generation fighters on the basis of T-50. Not to mention the Su-30MKI fighters, which were assembled in India locally but failed to meet the standard of the IAF. On the other hand, JF-17 Thunder Fighter Aircrafts, which were born with the joint R&D efforts of China and Pakistan, were produced as batch equipment for the Pakistan Air Force. Therefore, IAF had to cope with the substantial threat from the Pakistan Air force, as the latter was not only able to assemble JF-17 Thunder Fighter Aircrafts on its own, but also could improve their functions.

更为重要的是,中国近年来推出的一系列改进型第三代战斗机和第四代隐身战斗机,让印度真真切切地感受到了两国在空中力量建设上不断拉大的差距。在这一背景下,印度不得不在谈判中彻底妥协,以求尽快得到“阵风”战机。

The primary concern of IAF is China, of course, as PLAAR (People’s Liberation Army Air Force) has launched a series of improved versions of stealth strikers (third and fourth generations) in recent years. IAF has to envisage the awkward fact that the gap between Chinese and India Air Force with regard to air power construction is ever widening. Under such circumstances, India had no choice but to make necessary compromises in the negotiations with France, so as to secure the procurement of Dassault Rafales.

未来仍有诸多变数 Uncertainties in the future

2015927日,法国政府发布的照片显示,法国空军的阵风战斗机现身波斯湾军事基地。  视觉中国 资料

The photo release by the French government on September 27th, 2015 shows 3 Dassault Rafales of French Air Force in the military bases in the Persian Gulf. Photo by CFP.

根据目前公开的消息,法国政府已经将“阵风”战机的单价提到1.3亿美元,36架战机的总价为46.8亿美元。再加上维护、训练飞行员和技术人员、购买武器装备和备用零部件的开销,以及将印度本国机载武器,如正在开发的“阿斯特拉”超视距空空导弹集成到“阵风”战机上的改装费用,预计合同总价将高达90亿美元,也就是说每架“阵风”战机的实际售价为2.5亿美元,比美国F-35隐身战机还贵。

Open sources reveal that the French government has raised the unit price of Dassault Rafale to 130 million US dollars, and 36 Dassault Rafales will cost Indians as much as 4.68 billion US dollars – not including the expenses of equipment maintenance, training programs for pilots and technicians, weapons and military supplies, and spare and ancillary parts. India also has to take consideration the  expenses on modification and integrating India-made carrying arms on Dassault Rafales. For example, the BVRAAM (Beyond Visual Range Air To Air Missile) known as Astra, which was in the development phase. The cumulative price is estimated to reach 9 billion US dollars, which means that the actual selling price of Dassault Rafale would be 250 million US dollars – even more expensive than US-made F-35 stealth jet.

除了价高,更让印度人欲哭无泪的是:原本印度可以成为第一个得到“阵风”战机的国外用户,但是随着埃及和卡塔尔后来居上,印度只能等到达索公司完成前两个国家的订单,才能为其安排生产。而目前达索公司由于长期保持“阵风”战机的低速生产,其每年的产量只有11架。即便是达索公司现在就着手提升产能,那么最乐观的估计也是到2018年印度才能接收首架“阵风”战机,全部36架战机的交付周期可能长达两年半。到时,法国人会不会再漫天要价,亦或印度能够获得更好的战机而放弃“阵风”,都存在太多无法预知的变数。

Apart from the high price, the Indians may feel wronged for another reason: India was supposed to become the first foreign user of Dassault Rafales, but was soon surpassed by Egypt and Qatar. That means Dassault has to finish the deals of Egypt and Qatar before it can produces Dassault Rafales for IAF. Dassault can only produce 11 Rafales every year, and even if it increases its production capacity immediately, India cannot receive the first Rafale until 2018 – a most optimistic estimation. Furthermore, it’ll take two years and a half for India to get all 36 Rafales according to the deal. It remains a mystery whether France will charge far more than the deal, or India will abandon Rafales for other better types of warcraft.

反过来看,如果当初印度能够与法国尽早达成采购协议,那么到2016年其第一支“阵风”战机中队很可能已经成军,如此,对印度周边局势还能产生一定的影响。毕竟“阵风”战机的综合性能在第三代战机中是非常出色的,尤其是换装RBE-2主动相控阵雷达和M88-3增推型涡扇发动机的F3改进型,再辅以法国种类齐全的机载制导武器,其战斗力不可小觑。

Onthe  contrary, if India had reached the deal of Dassault Rafales with France as early as possible, IAF could have its first battle squadron composed of Dassault Rafales in 2016. In that case, India could have exerted her influence on neighborhood situations and regional politics. To be frank, Dassault Rafale boasts outstanding comprehensive performance among all third-generation fighters, especially with the improved hardware of the F3 standard, notably the RBE2 AA active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, and two Snecma M88-3 engines. Armed with various kinds of airborne precision guided weapons produced by France, the combat effectiveness of Dassault Rafale surpasses all expectations.

但按照目前的进度,印度第一支“阵风”战机中队最快也要2020年左右形成战斗力。届时,不仅中国空军已经开始大批量装备歼-20隐身战斗机,巴基斯坦空军也很有可能装备中国研发的FC-31外贸型隐身战斗机。这种第三代战机与第四代隐身战机之间的代差,恐怕无论什么“风”都弥补不了。

Per current schedule, IAF’s first battle squadron composed of Dassault Rafales cannot contribute to its fighting capacity until 2020. Till then, PLAAR will already have been equipped with large batches of J-20 stealth fighters, and the Pakistan Air Force will possibly have been equipped with FC-31 stealth fighters exported by China. India should be aware that the gap between third-generation and fourth-generation stealth fighters can never be filled up even with 36 Dassault Rafales.

 

print
Share now