The serviceability rate of the Dassault Rafale fighter jet in service with the French Air Force is 48.5%, according to information given to a French lawmaker by the government.
The serviceability rate or the availability rate is the number of aircraft ready for missions at any given time. In the case of the French Air Force’s Rafale jets, nearly half of the fleet is on the ground undergoing repairs or maintenance, Jane’s reported on 24 November 2016.
According to the Janes report, the official record for France's Dassault Rafale fighter fleet in 2015 (93 aircraft in service with the air force) with a budgeted maintenance cost of EUR343.90 million ($364.56 million). This information was given to a lawmaker which Jane’s did not identify.
The figure presents an interesting proposition as Dassault, through the French government is reported to have promised in its deal with India that it will ensure that there is 75 percent serviceability, i.e 27 aircraft are operationally available at any given time of the 36 that India has orders. “There will be steep penalties if they don’t adhere to timelines,” unnamed sources were quoted as saying by the Hindu on 23 September this year. India concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of €7.87 billion on the same day.
In contrast the Su-30MKI fleet with the Indian Air Force has an operational availability between 55-60 percent which gives it a higher serviceability than the Rafale jets in service with the French AF. The Indian MoD has been in negotiations with the Russian manufacturer of the Su-30 jet to raise the serviceability to 70-75 per cent.
Dassault will begin aircraft deliveries after 36 months and complete in 67 months.
The deliveries of Dassault Rafale fighter jets India ordered will commence from September 2019 with the French government and Dassault committed to providing depot-level maintenance during the pendency of the contract to ensure a high serviceability rate.