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India-France Sign Pact for 36 Rafales
Sep 26, 2016

On September 23, defence minister Manohar Parrikar signed an agreement with French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation.

  • The agreement also covers weapon systems for the aircraft, supply of spare parts and maintenance for five years and performance-based logistics.
  • Under India’s offsets policy, Dassault will have to procure Indian-manufactured components equivalent to a certain value of the deal to help local defence manufacturing.
  • These combat aircraft, delivery of which are expected to start in 36 months and be completed in 66 months, comes equipped with state-of-the-art missiles like ‘Meteor’ and ‘Scalp’.
  • Under India’s offsets policy, Dassault will have to procure Indian-manufactured components equivalent to a certain value of the deal to help local defence manufacturing.
  • These combat aircraft, delivery of which are expected to start in 36 months and be completed in 66 months, comes equipped with state-of-the-art missiles like ‘Meteor’ and ‘Scalp’. Scalp, an air-to-ground cruise missile with a range in excess of 300 km, will also gives the IAF an edge over its adversaries.
  • With the air-to-air Meteor missiles, Indian Air Force will be able to hit targets as far as 150 km away, compared with 80 km it has so far been capable of targeting. Scalp, an air-to-ground cruise missile with a range in excess of 300 km, will also gives the IAF an edge over its adversaries.
  • The acquisition will cost the exchequer €7.87 billion, or about Rs.59,000 crore, which is a high price compared to $10.5 billion approved for 126 fighter jets under the original MMRCA deal in 2007.
  • The basic aircraft costs about €91 million, which is high in comparison to other contemporary four-plus generation aircraft.

India started the hunt for multi-role fighter jets in 2007. It finally decided to scrap that tender and announced it will buy 36 Rafale jets directly from France under a government-to-government deal during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Paris last year.

Rafale has been used by the French armed forces in combat operations for more than a decade. It entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air Force in 2006. Some of the 152 planes delivered so far have been used in combat in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria.


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