First Rafale will land in India by 2019
Eric Trappier , chairman of the €3.6 billion Dassault Aviation, was recently in India to lay the foundation stone of Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL’s) manufacturing facility at Mihan in Nagpur. With production from DRAL expected to start as early as 2018 and the first Rafale expected to land in India in 2019.
What is Rafale aircraft?
- Rafales are twin-engine Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) .
- 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.
- All aircraft were tested by the IAF and after careful analysis on the bids, two of them — Eurofighter and Rafale — were shortlisted
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.
The Rafales will give India greater “potency” to fight Pakistan as they can carry nuclear and other missiles. The strategically located Ambala base is just 220 km from the border.
Currently, the base has two fighter squadrons of Jaguar and and one of the MiG-21 Bison.
In September last year, India signed a €7.87-billion (approx ₹59,000- crore) deal with the French government for buying 36 Rafale jets in flyaway condition.