India has finally sealed a work share agreement with the French-firm Dassault Aviation for building 70 per cent of the Rafale fighters domestically, according to New Delhi Television.
India will acquire 18 of the 126 Rafale fighter jets it is buying from France in "fly away" condition, and the rest will be manufactured by the local firm Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The final contract, though, is still far from being signed. For one, India's Ministry of Defence has no money in the current financial year that ends this month, for initial payment. Also, general elections are due by May and the final contract will only be signed by the next government, if it chooses to go ahead on the same terms and conditions.
Dassault Aviation had won the contract to supply 126 Medium, multi-role combat aircraft or MMRCA in 2012. The -massive contract is pegged anywhere between $12 billion to $15 billion.
Dassault has had reservations over HAL's capacity to absorb complex technology and wanted to rope in other private sector companies for manufacturing the jets in India. The Defence Ministry, however, told the French company that HAL would remain the lead player.
According to the report, the deal is complex and requires both sides to be in sync on commercial factors, logistics and HAL's ability to assemble the Rafale.
For instance, the radar on the Rafale jet is to be manufactured by Bharat-Electronics Ltd (BEL) in Bangalore. The Radome (the protruding snub nose on the aircraft) would, however, be manufactured by HAL at its Hyderabad facility. Dassault wanted clarity on how the two units would coordinate their activities.
Now, HAL has apparently agreed to set up a new facility close to the one that BEL has in Bangalore.
Dassault's officials are simultaneously negotiating with different divisions of HAL based in cities like Lucknow, Nashik, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
The French and Indian governments are also working on an agreement for a sovereign guarantee that Dassault will supply, service and maintain the Rafales over the next 40 years.
This is an important provision in the Indian defence procurement procedure, designed to ensure that manufacturers don't renege on their commitment.
As Indias negotiations with Dassault for the sale of 126 Rafale Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) drag into its third year, questions are being raised if the Indian MoD had all aspects of cost covered before selecting the French aircraft manufacturer as the lowest bidder or ‘L1. At the time of announcing the final winner, the Indian MoD had said that both the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon had met the technical qualifications as outlined in the Request for Proposals (RFP)
India will not sign a $20 billion deal to acquire fighter jets for the Indian Air Force till the next fiscal year, Defence Minister A.K
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Dassault Aviation has won the “F3 R” standard development contract for the RAFALE combat aircraft, during French Defense Minister Jean- Yves Le Drian visit to its main facility today. Negotiations were finalized with the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) on December 30, with the contract estimated about 1 billion euros
The Indian Air Force is negotiating with French aviation major Dassault Aviation's Rafale for 126 medium fighter jets in a multi-billion dollar deal, Chief of Air Staff of IAF, Air Chief Marshall N A K Browne was quoted as saying by Business Standard. A new Joint Secretary has joined last week to take the negotiations forward, Browne said
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