Rafale Fighter Deal In Final Stages, Future Procurement As Per New ‘Roadmap’: Minister Parrikar

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:41 AM, November 18, 2015
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India’s negotiations with the French government to purchase 36 Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft is in its “final stages.”

Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that issues that came up in talks with the French such as the 50 per cent offset clause have "almost been sorted out," and that the final price negotiations are on.

However, any further procurement of fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be based on a roadmap which was being drawn up. Once the roadmap is finalised and approved by the government, future procurement will be based on it, the minister told an Indian news agency.

The minister’s comment on the roadmap preclude any further orders for the Rafale after the 36 are purchased but that future orders will based on a thorough study of the IAF’s requirements as outlined in the roadmap. India may still buy more Rafale aircraft or go in for alternative fighters.

The Indian government is keen that the IAF buy the home-grown light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas of which it has ordered 20 and 100 more of an advanced version, the LCA Mark II are planned to be ordered.

Boeing is keen to partner India on manufacturing the F/A-18 since the aircraft shares its engine with the next version of the LCA. The GE 414 has been selected for the LCA Mark II which also powers the American plane.

India has a requirement of over 200 fighter aircraft over the next 10 years.

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