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.
The price of the 36 fighter jets without weapons and support is around 3.42 billion Euros works out to US $106 million apiece. 710 million Euros would be the cost of the armaments and Indian-specific changes, which include integration of Israeli helmet mounted displays, will come at a price of 1700 million Euros. The remaining cost includes the price of spare parts and maintenance.
These Rafale fighter jets will come equipped with the latest missiles such as the Meteor and Scalp. Beyond Visual Range Meteor air-to-air missiles have a range in excess of 150 KM.The Meteor missile’s integration on the Rafale jets implies that the IAF can hit targets inside both Pakistan and across the northern and eastern borders, while still staying within India’s own territorial boundary, PTI reported Wednesday.
A single Air Force F-35A costs about $148 million. The US Marine Corps F-35B costs about $251 million and F-35C for the Navy costs about $337 million. If we look at the average generic F-35, it costs about $178 million with associated weapons and communication system.
"We are down 57 percent from the first aircraft that was delivered, and we're on a path to be down to a price of about $85 million per unit complete with engines and full mission systems by 2019, which is comparable to a fourth generation aircraft," Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson told CNBC's during Farnborough Airshow in July this year.
By the time the Rafales start arriving in India, the F-35 would already be cheaper by 15%.