Rafale Deal Simplified

rafale deal

About Rafale aircraft?

Rafale are jet aircrafts powered by twin-engine. It is a Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) designed and manufactured by DASSAULT AVIATION, a French company. These fighter jets are ‘omnirole’ machines which can perform a variety of combat roles such as air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike, and nuclear deterrence. Rafale aircrafts are fast, versatile, inter-operational and can provide a good edge over enemies in the warzone.

How the deal was placed?

Till 2001, the IAF fleet mostly consists of heavy and light-weight combat aircraft. So the need for intermediate medium-weight fighter jets was proposed by the IAF to strengthen its power and to achieve the proposed strength of 45 squadrons. Each squadron has 18 Aircraft. Hence, the need for 126 Aircraft was felt to complete the sanctioned number of squadrons.

The Defence Ministry acknowledged the need and began working on it. But the actual process began in 2007. The bidding for the same was made open to field player companies. The companies who participated in the bidding were Lockheed Sweden’s Saab’s Gripen, Rafale, Martin’s F-16s, Boeing’s F/A-18s, Eurofighter Typhoon and Russia’s MiG-35.

The aircraft of all the bidder companies were examined and tested by IAF.Out of six, Rafale and Eurofighter were shortlisted.

Dassault won the contract to supply  126 fighter jets, because of lowest bid and easy maintainability of Rafale jets.

This deal was worth  Rs.54,000 crore which involves acquiring of  126 aircraft out of which 18 will be in flyaway condition and other 108 will be manufactured by HAL using the transfer of technology method.

But due to elections on both side and change of government delayed the deal. Hence, it was renegotiated and was finalized in September 2016 with some changes.

In September 2016, the Indian government and France government finalized the deal with some changes in numbers, offset partner and pricing.

The finalized deal involves demand of only 36 Rafale jets by India with the same budget. Thus increasing the price of per Rafale jet from 428 cr to 740 cr.

According to finalized deal, the Rafale will be delivered in flyaway condition. The delivery of jets was meant to start from September 2018. But to some Technical Issues, it is now estimated that India will get it’s first Rafale till September 2019. Defence Minister Sitharaman said that the 36th Rafale will be delivered to India by 2022.

Controversies related to this deal are:-

1) Reduction in Numbers of Rafale jets.
2)Many believe that India is paying more price for each jet than usual.
3) Involvement of Reliance defense as Offset partner for the deal.
4)No proper justification from the government on the mentioned issues due to the involvement of secret pact has also fuelled the issue.



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