Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. It is also referred to as an “omnirole” aircraft by Dassault.
Amidst the ongoing political controversy over the Rafale Deal, three Rafale jets arrived in Bengaluru today to take part in the biennial five-day Aero India Show that begins next week. Out of these three aircraft, two will be used for flying exercises while the one will be used for static display. According to reports, the French-made fighters landed at the Yelahanka Air Force Station on the outskirts of Bengaluru in the evening. Rafale Deal Controversy: A political fight to demoralise our forces.
The fighter jets which landed in Bengaluru are not the once that have been made for India by Dasssault Aviation. The Rafale fighter jets will take part in the rehearsals on Thursday for the five-day 12th edition of Aero-India beginning on February 20. The show will conclude on February 24. Top IAF officers including IAF Deputy Chief Air Marshal VIvek Chaudhari will fly the plane during Aero India show. F-16 Block 70 or Gripen E for Indian Air Force.
Video of two of three Rafale jets landing in Bengaluru:
#WATCH Two Rafale fighter planes (total 3) of the French Air Force land in Bengaluru for the Aero India show. Top IAF officers including IAF Deputy Chief Air Marshal VIvek Chaudhari to fly the plane during Aero India show. pic.twitter.com/i4e42pQKVI
The first batch of four Rafale jets will be delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in September this year. Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. It is also referred to as an “omnirole” aircraft by Dassault. Will India buy 36 more Rafale Jets?
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the Narendra Modi government tabled the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the Rafale Deal in the Rajya Sabha. The report revealed that the Rafale Deal concluded in 2016 was 2.8 percent cheaper than the previous UPA government’s proposed deal. The report also said that India managed to save 17.08 percent money for the India Specific Enhancements in the 36 Rafale contract as compared to the proposed deal of 2007.
Amidst the political controversy over the Rafale deal, the Indian government has made 25 percent payment to the French government for purchasing the Rafale fighter jets. The entire deal is worth Rs 59,000 dollars (Approx). In September 2016, the Indian government signed a government to government deal with the French Government to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation of France.
The Indian Air Force is expected to get the delivery of the first aircraft by September 2019. Meanwhile, the sources told news agency, ANI that the first batch of four aircraft will be delivered in 2020 fully equipped with weaponry.
After coming to power in 2014, the NDA government signed a deal to procure 36 fighter jets in ready to fly condition scrapping the proposed deal of the UPA government to acquire 126 fighter jets, out of which 108 were to be made in India.
Amid political chaos in India over the Rafale deal, the first jet manufactured by Dassault Aviation as per the requirement of the Indian Air Force (IAF) took its first flight in France on October 30. The two-seater variant aircraft is designated as RB 008. According to sources, RB stands for Air Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria as important role was played by him in negotiating the deal. Air Marshal Bhaduria was the Deputy Chief of the IAF during the contract negotiations for procuring 36 Rafale jets.
He is currently serving as Air Officer Commanding-In-Chief of the IAF’s Training Command. India signed Euro 7.87 billion (RS 59,000 crore) Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with France in September 2016 for procuring 36 multi-role fighter jets in fly-away condition.
Meanwhile in September this year, a six-member crew team of the IAF was sent to France to get trained on the Rafale fighter jets. According to media reports, the team was comprised of a fighter pilot, an engineer and four technicians. The crew was trained at the Saint-Dizier airbase in eastern France. The first lot of Rafale jets will be delivered to India in September 2019.Rafale Deal Controversy: A political fight to demoralise our forces
Last time India imported any foreign jets was Russian built- Sukhoi 30 fighter jets in 1997. Almost after 22 years, the country is now procuring the Rafale fighter jets to upgrade its fighter jet sqaudrons. The IAF also issued a request for information (RFI) to acquire 110 fighter jets in April this year, to get rid of shortage of fighter jets. The force received response to the RFI from six global aircraft manufactures – Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Fighting Falcon, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab’s Gripen and Russian United Aircraft Corporation’s MiG-35. The entire deal will be of worth Rs $15 billion.
Russia offers India to sell 21 used Mig – 29s at a very cheap price. The Indian government would be very cautious to take a decision of purchasing these 21 fighter jets. India needs to draw parallel from the deal of buying aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov. Russia offered this aircraft carrier free of cost to India, only refurbishment cost was there, which was decided at $950 million. But as soon as the work started, the cost also kept on increasing. Finally India had to pay $2.4 billion, so India ended up paying almost $1.3 billion more than the decided cost. The aircraft carrier was delivered almost five years after the scheduled delivery time.
India will be deeply analysing the proposal of Russia. The Russian government offered a price of $25 million- $30 million for each aircraft, which is almost 30% of the new aircraft. The Indian government would also be considering the hidden cost. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is having Mig -29 UPG in its inventory, but The Russian Migs are different from the one’s the IAF is possessing. India has also rejected the Russian offer to co-develop fifth generation fighter jet because of the high cost involve in it.
Currently The IAF is facing shortage of Fighter squadrons. The Indian Air Force has only 34 fighter squadron against the authorised strength of 42 squadrons. It will reduce further as Migs will be retiring over the next few years. To tackle the shortage and to encounter the joint threat from China and Pakistan, the IAF has initiated a process on Friday to buy 110 fighter jets. Request for Information (RFI) was issued to seek tenders from the companies interested to sell fighter jets to India. Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70, SAAB’s Gripen, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale and Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet are the main contenders in the race to get $15 billion mega defence deal.