Speculation is rife in New Delhi that India will sign a contract with France to purchase 36 Dassault Rafale aircraft during the visit of French President Francois Hollande for the Republic Day celebrations in January next.
Informed sources told defenseworld.net that the 36 Rafales for which an inter-governmental memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed early this year during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Paris, will cost $5-$7 billion at the final contract stage.
A top Industry source, meanwhile, said that a 50 per cent offset on the contract is an overestimation. The 50 per cent figure was applicable when the contract was being negotiated for 126 aircraft. Now that the final figure is only for 36 aircrafts, the offset figure will naturally be less.
Finally, they say that Dassault, the manufacturer, is talking to various Indian corporates about being possible offsets partner at this stage. The offsets partner, out of the main contract, will only be decided upon after the final inter-governmental deal is concluded.
Meanwhile, Indian Express newspaper reported:
India and France are set to sign the deal for 36 Rafale fighter aircraft on the eve of French President François Hollande’s visit to India for the Republic Day celebrations. The draft contract, which envisages supply of the first fighter within 36 months of signing the deal, has been finalised.
The supply of full complement of 36 fighters to the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be completed within seven years of signing the deal.