Saturday, August 26, 2017

After first batch of 36, IAF wants 36 more Rafales

New Delhi: The IAF is now strongly pitching for acquiring another 36 Rafale fighters after it gets the first 36 jets under the mega Rs 59,000 crore contract (7.87 billion euro) inked with France last September, stressing that the “followon“ deal will cost just over 60% of the original acquisition and induction price. Defence ministry sources say the IAF has made “some presentations“ on the operational need to procure 36 additional Rafales as part of its long-term plans, with the force contending the French fighters will prove to be much cheaper than the proposed fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) to be developed with Russia.

“But no final decision as yet has been taken on either the 36 more Rafales or the FGFA project,“ said a MoD source. Citing IAF's “critical operational necessity“, the Modi government had last year inked the deal for the 36 Rafales, with their weapon packages, associated supplies and logistics, after scrapping the long-pending and deadlocked $20 billion MMRCA (medium multirole combat aircraft) project for 126 fighters.
26/08/17 Rajat Pandit/Economic Times