France’s Dassault Aviation will require an order of 200 Rafale fighter jets to transfer technology to India, its CEO Eric Trappier said during the Aero India show.
An order of 200 jet would be ‘ideal’ to transfer high-technology associated with the Rafale program ‘at a competitive level,’ Trappier told Indian journalists. We would like to continue beyond the 36 aircraft order to meet the projected needs of the air force and navy for 200 jets, he said.
Dassault has won a 36 aircraft order from the Indian MoD with the Rafale aircraft to be delivered in a fly-away condition starting 2018. As part of the offsets associated with this project, France and Dassault are holding discussions to assist India in the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA).
Tappier asserted that his company would bid for the Indian Navy’s carrier-based fighter requirement, a request for information (RFI) for which has been sent out to fighter jet manufacturers in Western Europe, Russia and the US.
He said, having one aircraft fulfil needs of both the Indian Air Force(IAF) and the Navy would bring economies of scale. The Rafale already has dedicated versions for both air force and navy with a high degree of commonality.
India has sought interest from foreign manufacturers for manufacturing both single engine and twin engine fighter jets under the ‘Make in India’ program. The idea is to meet the requirements of the IAF as well as exports.
Meanwhile Dassault and India’s Reliance group announced the launch of a joint venture, Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited to execute offsets associated with the Rafale project which calls for 50% of the value of the aircraft ($4.5 billion approx) to be invested in India.