Updated: Aug 18, 2021
The Rafale is a twin-engine fighter, multi-role fighter aircraft.
it is capable of carrying out all combat missions: air defence, interception, ground support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.
Rafale deal cleared, to be signed tomorrow.
The Union government on Wednesday cleared the deal with France for buying 36 Rafale fighter jets in flyaway condition at a cost of €7.878 billion. The deal will be signed on Friday, in the presence of French Defence Minister Jean Yves Le Drian.
What is Rafale aircraft? Rafales are twin-engine Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by Dassault Aviation, a French firm. Rafale fighter jets are positioned as ‘omnirole’ aircrafts that capable to perform a wide-range of combat roles such as air supremacy, interdiction,aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence.
Why has India opted for Rafale?
Rafale was not India’s only choice. The Initial bidders were Lockheed Martin’s F-16s, Boeing’s F/A-18s, Eurofighter Typhoon, Russia’s MiG-35, Sweden’s Saab’s Gripen and Rafale.
All aircraft were tested by the IAF and after careful analysis on the bids, two of them — Eurofighter and Rafale — were shortlisted. Dassault bagged the contract to provide 126 fighter jets, as it was the lowest bidder and the aircraft were said to be easy to maintain.
When did the actual procurement process begin? 2001-2007.
How many Rafales are we buying and what’s the cost involved? The deal was initially estimated to be worth $10.2 billion (Rs.54,000 crore). The plan included acquiring 126 aircraft, 18 of them in fly-away condition and the rest to be made in India at the Hindustan Aeronautics facility under transfer of technology.
How important is this deal to both India and France?
France: Rafale jets are currently being used mostly by France and also by Egypt and Qatar. Dassault is hoping that export of Rafale jets will help the company meet its revenue targets. India was the first country that agreed to buy Rafale, after it was used in Libyan airstrikes. If India inducts these jets in its military fold, other nations could express its willingness to buy Rafales.
India: India chose Dassault over its traditional partner Russia’s MiG. It also ignored U.S.’ Lockheed, at a time when India and U.S. were aiming for closer ties. Procurement of combat aircraft is long overdue for the Indian Air Force. Further delay can only make things worse. This deal is India’s biggest-ever procurement. In the effectiveness of the Rafale deal lies the future of other defence procurements.