India and France have inked Euro 7.8 billion deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighters, the first fighters are expected to arrive in 36 months from today.
French Defense Mininster Jean Yves Drain who is in New Delhi and his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar signed the deal Friday.
India’s cabinet had okayed the contract signing yesterday. The 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 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 nuclear weapons delivery capability of the Dassault Rafale and France shifting this year from Mirage 2000 to Rafale for its strategic strike role might have helped clinch the aircraft deal in India. “The deciding factor in buying the Rafales, even though in such small numbers was its ability to be used as airborne strategic delivery system,”
The French Defense Minister Jean Yves Le Drian is likely to visit India to conclude the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between India and France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets next week. Le Drian is expected to arrive on September 23 in Delhi to conclude the IGA,
India has sought a waiver of $151.7 million advance guarantee from France in Rafael deal
France has selected Heckler & Koch HF 416F assault rifle to replace its domestically-produced bullpup-styled FAMAS. The Directorate-General of Armaments (DGA) announced last week that it awarded the contract to a consortium formed by Heckler & Koch France SAS and Heckler & Koch GmbH on September 22, 2016 for the Future Individual Weapon (AIF) program
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
Thales welcomed Indo-French signing of the deal for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighters asserting the equipment used in the fighters made by the French company. Thales provides radar, electronic warfare systems, optronics and communication navigation and identification system (CNI) and other components to Dassaults Rafale fighter aircraft
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