BI INDIA BUREAU SEP 24, 2016, 06.26 PM
Come 2022, France will be delivering all 36 Rafale fighters to India and that would be a mjor game changer in India’s defence sector. Rafale fighters have a state-of- art 150-km range Meteor air-to-air missiles and this will definitely be some edge over Pakistan’s F-16 .
The deal signed on Friday is a much awaited one for the IAF, and the delivery would of the first Rafale would start in three years from now. Till then, in the event of a conflict, India will have to deploy two Sukhoi-30MKIs to tackle each Pakistani F-16 due to the latter’s superior weapons package, including 80-km range missiles. But once the Rafales are inducted, Pakistan will have to deploy two F-16s for each of them.
“Rafale is a very potent fighter that will add to the IAF’s airpower and deep-strike capabilities,” India’s defence minister Manohar Parrikar told the Economic Times. Le Drian added, “The Rafale is really the best fighter jet in the world. It is an omni-role aircraft capable of all kinds of missions.”
French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation’s CEO Eric Trappier said the Rafale was more in competition with the American F-35 fifth-generation fighter because it was “a generation ahead” of the F-16. But the Rafales do cost a packet. The fighters themselves may cost around Rs 700 crore a piece. But the per unit cost zooms to Rs 1,640 crore if the overall deal is taken into account, which includes a decidedly deadly weapons package, all spares and costs for 75% fleet availability and “performance-based logistics support” for five years.
Moreover, the Rafales will be tweaked to specific Indian requirements, which range from the capability for “cold start at high-altitude regions like Leh” to Israeli helmet-mounted displays, advanced missile warning and synthetic aperture radars.
“The Meteor missile is superior to any such missile in the region. The over 300km Scalp air-to ground cruise missile also has two-metre precision capability. Rafale also has a faster turnaround time, capable of undertaking five sorties in a day. The other fighters we have can do only three sorties at the most,” a source told the ET.
The Rafale deal also has a 50% offsets clause, under which France will have to plough half of the actual contract value back into India. “This has huge potential to generate direct and indirect employment opportunities in India,” he added.
Original post @businessinsider.in