India’s cabinet last night okayed the Dassault Rafale fighter jet contract signing which the French Defence Minister Le Drian is expected to witness together with his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar on Friday.
The Euro 7.8-billion deal for 36 Rafale fighters is the biggest ever single country deal for France topping off 24 aircraft each to Egypt and Qatar. Heavily customised for India, it will get 14 India-specific enhancements.
The Indian deal is expected to remove French state subsidies for the Rafale program in the form of French MoD orders and create some 7000 jobs.
The French fighter will be fitted with the 150-km range Meteor missile which is is a Beyond Visual Range missile providing a no-escape zone three times greater than that of a competing missile such as the American AMRAAM missile. The Meteor can hit farther and with greater effectiveness than missiles in the arsenal of Pakistani or Chinese air forces.
The Rafales will also be fitted with MICA missiles, an Air to Land precision missile of more than 300 km range.
The French will also guarantee performance-based logistics support which means that 75 per cent of the fleet will be airworthy at any given time. This a first ever for India where the air-worthiness is part of the purchase agreement
In comparison, the airworthiness of IAF’s f Sukhoi Su30 fleet is around 50 per cent and efforts are being made to increase it to 65%.
India negotiated hard over the price and terms. The French had made an opening offer of Euro 12 billion in May last year when the negotiations began. The French offer came down to Euro 8.6 billion on the midnight of 25-26 January, when French President François Hollande was in India as a chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations.
But the Indian side wanted the price to be reduced further. It was in May this year that the two sides finally agreed at a price of Euro 7.87 bn. This includes the cost of 36 fighters, weapons package, performance-based logistics, India-specific enhancements and associated supplies.
French aircraft manufacturer, Dassault is hoping that a forthcoming signing of a contract with India to sell 36 Rafale aircraft would boost its revenue for the financial year 2016. Dassault published on July 21, interim results for the first six months of 2016
Dassault Aviations nEUROn unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator was presented for the first time at an air show at Istres organized by the French Air Force. The presentation, which was carried out by the Dassault Aviation flight test center, lasted about 15 minutes
France has “greatly” lowered the price of the Rafale fighter jet for India and all requirements (concerning technical, financial and offsets) have been met, CEO of Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier said today. In an interview to French publication Les Echos, Trappier said that we (meaning the French government which is negotiating the government-to-government deal) are ready to enter at any time (to sign the contract) since the ball in the camp of the Indian government
We will be well positioned to provide additional 90 aircraft, if New Delhi confirms its need for 126 combat aircraft, Dassault CEO Eric Trappier said. In an interview with French news daily,
UAE is likely to defer a decision to procure 60 Rafale jets from France to 2017 or 2018. The order could also be divided into three tranches of 20 aircraft each
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The Chinese PLA Navys first home-made aircraft carrier is likely to be seaworthy by the year end and play host to 40-50 aircraft and an Active Phased Array Radar (APAR) radar, Chinamil website reported today. The official website of the Chinese army quoted western media and a local military expert to provide details of the aircraft carrier and not any authoritative Chinese government source
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Fresh from signing a contract to supply 36 Dassault Rafale jets to India, France is looking at Malaysia as the next possible buyer of its multi-role fighter. Malaysia and Canada have competitions to acquire new fighter aircraft in which Dassault is a bidder but Dassault CEO Eric Trappier is more optimistic on the Asian country
India has bought 36 Rafale fighters for $8.8 billion costing an average of $240 million apiece with weapons, spares and support which is in comparison to the price of a fifth generation F-35 fighter aircraft
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