India’s 36 rafale fighter deliveries may be delayed further if Egypt opts to purchase 12 Rafale optional under the contract signed with France in February 2015.
In the wake of the visit of French President François Hollande in Egypt in April this year , negotiations between the Egyptian army and Dassault Aviation have started to purchase twelve Rafale optional under the last year’s contract, La Tribune reported quoting sources as saying last week.
French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, had formalized the first sale of Rafale combat aircraft for export (24 in total) in February last year.
“The number of annual Rafale deliveries would increase from 2018, adding that the rate could at least double from a current 11 in anticipation of further export orders, Chief Executive Eric Trappier had said in April this year.
Even after increasing production of the Rafale Fighter from the present 11 a year to three a month, Dassault may find it difficult to commit early deliveries to India. Dassault may not be in a position to start the Indian deliveries in the 2017 timeframe as originally planned.
The Indo-French rafale deal negotiation has hit a roadblock with the French government rejecting New Delhi’s request for a sovereign or bank guarantee. The French Defence Minister on April 1 wrote to Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar saying that Euro 7.8 billion for 36 jets is the best deal his country can offer. India asked for a 30% cut in the Euro 10.8 billion deal. India is yet to reply.
The first jet will be delivered in 36 months after the signing of the deal and the last will be delivered over seven years.
Apart from the additional 12 fighter jets order from Egypt, the deal with India could get further delayed given Presidential elections in France next year.