UPA’s proposed deal for 126 Rafale fighter jets ‘economically unviable’: Manohar Parrikar

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New Delhi: Terming the UPA’s proposed deal for 126 Rafale fighter jets as “economically unviable” and not required, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said the NDA government will buy only 36 of the French aircraft, to be used for strategic purposes, and no more.

Parrikar also raised questions on the tendering process initiated by former Defence Minister A K Antony and said his predecessor had “hammered” the tender in such a way that the Rafale deal would have never seen the light of the day.

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French fighter jets find takers in a worried world

View of the assembly line of the Rafale jet fighter in the factory of French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation in Merignac near Bordeaux

(Reuters) – After failing for years to win a single order for the Dassault-built Rafale fighter jet, France has scored a string of multi-billion-euro wins in recent weeks and is on a quest for more.

Global appetite for the jets has surged as a result of the United States’ diminishing influence in the Arab world along with wider security concerns over the rise of Islamic State insurgents – which Paris is more than happy to assuage. Egypt, India and Qatar have all just signed contracts.

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The mysterious Rafale riddle

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Rafale in IAF colours: artistic conception

When analysing a subject like India’s air force, it is important to rely only on facts. Thus an air force, which is one of the top five forces in the world, today has an ageing asset, with “some 500 fixed-wing operational aircraft, significantly down from the total of 850 in 2006”.

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India order for Rafale jets signals end of larger deal

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New Delhi: Any future Indian purchase of Rafale jets will come through direct talks with the French government, the defence minister said on Monday, effectively killing commercial negotiations for a larger deal with Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced a plan to buy 36 planes from Dassault through the government-to-government route, after three years of price negotiations for local assembly of the aircraft produced no results.

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Rafale deadlock gives thrust to Russian 5th-gen jet project

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NEW DELHI: Faced with continuing deadlock in the mega deal to acquire 126 French Rafale fighters, India is now pressing the throttle to seal the even bigger project with Russia for the stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA).

India has told Russia it wants deliveries of the FGFA to begin in 36 months after the main contract is inked, instead of the 94 months envisaged earlier, top defence sources said.

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Indian Budget Casts Doubt on Rafale Deal

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NEW DELHI — India may not have the funds to seal the deal with Dassault Aviation to purchase $12 billion Rafale fighter planes, according to an Air Force source.

While India plans to boost hike defense spending by almost 8 percent, defense analysts and military officers say it falls short of expectations and isn’t enough to buy fresh weaponry.

India will spend US $40.4 billion on defense in the April 1 2015-March 31 2016 financial year, according to the Feb. 28 proposal to Parliament.

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Renewed activities have begun at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd

After a series of serious tests and studies, in 2012, India selected the Dassault Rafale medium multicore combat aircraft as suitable for the Indian Air Force. Almost two years have passed in sorting out various issues on the project.

Originally, the project covered the purchase of 126 Rafale fighter jets from France and the tender had stipulated that the first set of 18 jets should come in “fly-away” condition. The remaining 108 were to be manufactured by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd) in Bengaluru by the Transfer of Technology (ToT).

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French Defence Minister to hold Rafale talks on Monday

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With final negotiations over the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal for purchase of 126 Rafale fighter aircraft remaining inconclusive, the issue will figure prominently when French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian holds talks with his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar on Monday.

“The MMRCA deal will be part of the discussions,” said Defence Ministry officials as France is eager to conclude the deal by early next year.

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