The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed the order for Rafale combat aircraft with France’s Dassault Aviation.
Under the terms of the contract, Dassault will supply 36 medium multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA) aircraft to the South Asian Country.
The move is part of the nation’s decision to upgrade the inventory of the Indian Air Force (IAF) with focus on domestic manufacturing.
However, India was originally expected to buy 126 Rafale aircraft.
Dassault Aviation has previously delivered its Mirage 2000 I / TI fighter aircraft to the IAF. The IAF currently operates 51 Mirage 2000H fighters, which are known as Vajra in the Indian service.
The new contract is believed to be on the same lines as the Mirage 2000 aircraft contract signed in 1980’s, reported Indo-Asian News Service.
In February, the Egyptian Government selected the Rafale for its national air force in a deal valued at more than €5bn.
The Rafale programme is supported by Dassault Aviation’s partners Thales and Safran, along with 500 other companies.
Rafale combat aircraft is a twin-jet combat aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of short and long-range missions, including ground and sea attacks, reconnaissance, high-accuracy strikes and nuclear strike deterrence.
Powered by two SNECMA M88 engines, the aircraft is capable of carrying anti-ship, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. It has respectively been in use with the French Navy and Air Force since 2004 and 2006.
Image: Rafale – Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2009. Photo: courtesy of Tim Felce (Airwolfhound) / Wikipedia.