Rafale Draft Contract Sent to French, Indian Governments For Approval

  • Our Bureau
  • 01:14 PM, January 6, 2016
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Rafale Draft Contract Sent to French, Indian Governments For Approval
French Rafale fighter jets

The draft contract on the purchase of 36 Dassault Rafale fighter jets for India has been sent to both Indian and French governments for approval.

The government-to-government deal is expected to be signed during the visit of French President Francois Hollande to New Delhi where he will be chief guest for the Indian Republic Day celebrations on Jan 26, according to various media reports.

Reports coming out of New Delhi and Paris in the past couple of days have been abuzz about the draft contract having been concluded between the negotiating teams of both countries comprising government and industry representatives.

According to media reports, the Indian government returned the documents required for the finalization of the contract worth more than 5 billion euros to France on December 31. The signing could take place on January 25 or 26 during the visit of Francois Hollande in India.

Deliveries of the aircraft are expected to take three years. After an initial announcement in April, the Indian government had backed off due to a waving political debate on the need to focus on "Make in India”. According to Les Echos, negotiations on industrial offsets requested too the most time.

According to the Indian press, New Delhi would get 50 per cent of the contract value as offsets granted by France through technology transfer or pilot training. A recently included clause in the Indian defence offsets policy has added "services" as among the offsets discharge components. Pilot training fits into the ambit of services, sources told defenseworld.net.

France is understood to have been most liberal in its negotiations with the Indian government expecting a follow on order of 150 or more fighters.  "There will inevitably be a second (contract), but it is not yet defined," said Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation to Echos news daily.

Unlike Egypt and Qatar, India is understood to have negotiated a transfer of technology (ToT) though it is not known for what part of the aircraft or its components, this ToT will apply. Some parts of the aircraft could be manufactured in the Indian Industry.
If this is true, then it would be a major victory for Indian Prime Minister’s Make In India program.

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