Is India ready to buy 171 Rafale fighters for a whopping $30 bln?

Unconfirmed reports from India indicate that the country’s government will soon conclude negotiations with France over the bulk purchase of more Rafale aircraft for both the Indian Air Force and the Navy.

It must be noted that the two Indian equipment programs relate to the purchase of 114 and 57 aircraft respectively and according to information from India which – it is stressed – has not yet been confirmed, both the Navy and the Air Force wish to acquire the French fighter.

According to their analysis, this is an aircraft that can operate from land bases and aircraft carriers, is a newly designed and constructed fighter, with significant upgrading prospects, has been operating successfully with the French Navy and the French Air Force for many years, while the industrial cooperation proposed by Paris in New Delhi is important.

In particular, the French proposal includes the establishment of a new DAIL company (Dassault Aviation India limited) where the Indian state will have a 50% share, while the Indian defense industry will account for 75% of the value of the fighter for 150 of the total of 171 aircraft to be ordered. The program is set to begin in 2022 and will last 13 years at a total cost of $ 30 billion.

Finally, the French company Dassault is going to help the Indian aerospace industry develop the new Indian GHATAK strike aerial vehicle and the new 5th Generation AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft) two-engined fighter program for India.