Dassault plans to double production of the Rafale fighter expecting early conclusion of a contract to supply 36 fighters to India.
The French government and Dassault have contracts in hand From Egypt and Qatar for 48 fighter planes, but with India the contract negotiations for the supply of 36 aircraft are yet to commence.
The Dassault group could easily double the production of the Rafale in case a third contract(with India) was signed, emphasized CEO Eric Trappier, in a report quoted by Reuters.
Meanwhile, a French delegation has arrived in India to start negotiations for the purchase of 36 Dassault Rafale fighters, Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar said in in Panaji, South India, yesterday. The delegation is expected to start talks with its Indian counterpart anytime now.
Various figures have been quoted in the media as to the price India would have to pay for the 36 fighters in a fly-away condition. Some claim that the aircraft under the new deal would be three times as expensive as under the earlier licence-manufacturing contract.
While no official figure has been forthcoming as to the price, Parrikar was quoted as saying by an Indian news agency, “The signing of agreement for Rafale purchase was one of the bold decisions taken by the government. We signed the deal for better price, better than earlier."