Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.
New Delhi, 23 September 2016
India and France on 24 September 2016 signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of €7.87 billion, the first fighter aircraft deal. The deal includes aircraft in fly-away condition, weapon systems, simulators, spares, maintenance, training of 3 pilots, 6 technicians and 1 engineer besides Performance Based Logistics support for five years, which can be extended upto 12 years later.
The two squadrons of Rafale will add strength to Indian Air Force’s deep penetration strike capability at a time when number of squadrons fallen to just 33 against an operational requirement of 42 squadrons. The Rafale fighter would include the meteor and scalp missiles and 11 India specific enhancement including cold start at less.
The first delivery of Rafale fighter will be in 36 months and all fighters have to come in fly away condition with 67 months. Government sources claimed to have saved euro 328 million in hard negotiation. There is provision of strict penalty. Top defence sources informed that the Dassault Aviation has to maintain 75 percent serviceability at a given point of time.