India’s long-awaited MMRCA project with Dassault could be affected in the wake of New Delhi’s decision to stay all future projects with Finmeccanica, its subsidiaries and affiliates.
Finmeccanica holds a 25 per cent share in MBDA, a joint venture with EADS (now Airbus) and BAE Systems, which is pitching its Meteor air-to-air missile to India as a weapon for its planned fleet of 126 Rafale fighters.
“This is ideal for the Rafale,” an MBDA official told Aviation Week last year. “It’s already part of the French fighter. India will just need to plug [it] in.”
The missile is in its preproduction phase and has been designated by the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Spain for their future beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile requirement, the report added.
The Meteor deal is only one of many projects MDBA is hoping to nab in India.
Earlier this year, India signed a $428 million contract with MBDA to equip its Jaguar aircraft with MBDAs ASRAAM short-range air-to-air missile.
The ASRAAM has been designated as the “new generation close combat missile” (NGCCM) by the Indian air force. MBDA says the weapon “will provide both close combat and near beyond-visual-range capabilities” for the aircraft. “Part of the Jaguar upgrade programme involves integrating a HMD [helmet-mounted display], and here ASRAAM can offer proven digital interface and functionality.”
Meanwhile, it’s unclear how the ban will affect the IAFs Mirage 2000 upgrade. In 2012, MBDA won a $1.3 billion contract for 493 Mica air-to-air missiles, which are to be delivered between 2015 and 2019 as part of the upgrade.
To replace life-expired Matra Super 530D and Magic II missiles, the new weapon has a key advantage over the earlier systems due to its 112kg (246lb) weight. This means the upgraded Mirage can be configured to carry four radar- and two infrared-guided missiles.
“MBDA has been working closely with Thales, which has been responsible for the integration work on the first Mirage upgrades carried out at the French air force base in Istres, and [is] training HAL engineers in readiness for carrying out the integration work on the remaining Mirage aircraft in India,” the European guided weapons manufacturer was quoted as saying last year.
Britain still eyeing the MMRCA fighter jet deal.Britian still believes it can override the Frances Rafale multi-billion dollar combat jet bid with Eurofighter
Indias $20 billion deal to buy Rafale fighter jets may not conclude this financial year as negotiations are still to be completed without which budgetary provision cannot be made. The Indian budget for fiscal 2014-15 is scheduled for July during which a higher allocation for defence as compared to last year could be made
Ahead of the conclusion of the financial negotiations in the MMRCA deal, Dassault has pulled out all stops in raising its sales pitch to the Indian government. Showcasing its full might, the Rafale is participating for the first time in the Garuda V exercises against the Indian Air Forces Su-30s
India may review the process of arriving at the lowest bidder in the MMRCA fighter contest which could open the door for Eurofighter to re-enter the competition. Media reports today said that Indian defence minister AK Antony had recently ordered the process to arrive at the lowest bidder in the multi-vendor tender be reviewed after completion of the whole procedure as questions had been raised over it and the minister had taken cognizance of ‘concerns
Dassault may have reached a deal with Indias state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited over the contract to supply 126 Rafale jets. The aircraft-makers CEO Eric Trappier today hinted that its problems regarding manufacture of the Rafale jets in India may have ended
Dassault Aviation will handover the two upgraded Mirage 2000 aircraft to India on March 25 in Istres Dassault Aviation Flight Test Center, PTI reported Today. India had in 2011 signed an upgrade programme worth over US$1
India wants closure on the MMRCA deal to buy 126 Dassault Rafale fighters before Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits France and Germany in April. The deal is struck over price and performance guarantee issues which the Indian MOD claims is not in compliance with the original Request for Proposals (RFP) based on which the French company was selected as the lowest bidder
In his first meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar raised the MMRCA deal with Dassault and said it would be "resolved in a fast-tracked manner". This is the second visit to India by the French defense minister in the past six months and the first since Manohar Parrikar became the defense minister
The Indian MMRCA deal with Dassault is expected to be concluded by the end of this fiscal year, according to Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier. The final phase of exclusive negotiations on the contract, estimated at $15 billion, should conclude within India's current budget year ending in March 2015, Trappier told reporters in Paris, according to local media
Finmeccanica plans to restore ties with India after an Italian court acquitted former CEO Giuseppe Orsi and former CEO of AgustaWestland Bruno Spagnolini of alleged bribery charges. “The verdict will allow us to reopen dialogue with Indian institutions, which was interrupted as a result of the investigations linked to supply of 12 AW101 VVIP helicopters to the Indian MoD,” the CEO and General Manager of Finmeccanica Mauro Moretti said in a statement
Finmeccanica today clarified in a statement that it has not received any official communication from any relevant authorities from India regarding the recent media reports on decisions made by the Ministry of Defense pertaining to its existing and future contracts in India. Local media reported Monday that Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries will be allowed to continue doing business in India and will not face blacklisting
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