In what seems like a never-ending saga, India and French aircraft builder Dassault are to close a deal for 126 Rafale fighter aircraft in Spring 2015. Details over the delivery schedule of license produced Rafales are being worked out, as well as payment of 18 initial Rafales to be produced in France. The deal is worth an estimated 12 billion USD.
On Monday, India’s and France’s defense ministers talked about the progress made. It’s been close to three years since India selected the Rafale as its next fighter aircraft, but an order has been hanging in the balance ever since. Earlier this year India said it had no funds available for the French 5th generation fighter jet.
The first 18 Rafales will be manufactured by Dassault in France, with the remainder produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in India. Negotiations on bringing down the costs of local production are ongoing.
Only last week, rumours of a pending Rafale deal in Qatar emerged.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editors Elmer van Hest