So, finally we see a press article picking up on the rumor about the 200 Rafale jets for IAF and IN. Pure speculation still, but this isn't just a Twitter post by some unknown non-journo anymore.
If true, its tata bye-bye to the FGFA. This may well be plausible if the IAF replaces the FGFA with the Rafale in its plans. the costs for the FGFA were also being given in the $30 billion range for around 144 fighters. Now, if this is what is being negotiated, then the IAF may get close to the same numbers (114+36) of Rafale fighters and the IN gets its 57 Rafale M.
FGFA was supposed to cost $30 billion or so for 144 units.
France may offer 36 more Rafale to India but much bigger deal rumored
Russia announced in late 2015 that it would only induct a squadron (18-24 aircraft) of PAK FA fighter aircraft, and procure additional Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft instead. The original deal involved Russia procuring 250 and India 144 aircraft at a cost of around $30 billion by 2022.
NEW DELHI --- France is likely to offer additional Rafale aircraft to India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to the European country for the G-7 Summit on Thursday, sources told ET.
The French side, sources said, is set to offer an immediate sale of two more squadrons, which means 36 additional Rafale jets, to the Indian Air Force that has been grappling with depleting combat force levels.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Rumors from India claim that France and India are finalizing a much bigger deal, worth over 30 billion euros and covering up to 200 additional Rafales, which could be announced as early as this week, during Modi’s visit to France this week.
Dassault Aviation declined to comment, and these rumors have not been confirmed. However, we are reporting them because the details are very plausible, and lend a degree of credibility.
The rumored deal would cover 114 Rafales for the Indian Air Force, another 57 for the Indian Navy and possibly 30-40 more to ultimately replace the Indian Air Force’s fleet of upgraded Mirage 2000s.
India has already launched two RFPs, for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft and Navy carrier fighter requirements, but neither seems to have made much progress. However, both could be met by Rafale, which exists in both land- and carrier-based versions.
The structure of this rumored deal would substantially differ from earlier plans, which called for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), the Indian state-owned aircraft manufacturer, to assemble 108 Rafales that Dassault was required to guarantee. As the company refused to guarantee HAL’s work, that deal collapsed.
This time, if the rumors are to be believed, the deal would be a government-to-government agreement, and Dassault would establish a final assembly line (FAL) of its own in India by 2024.
This FAL would be operated by a new company (Dassault Aviation India Ltd.) in which the Government of India would control a 50% stake, with no role for HAL.
Deliveries of the additional Rafales would begin in 2022 and be completed 12-13 years later. All of the new aircraft would be to the latest F4 standard, which Dassault is developing under a €1 billion contract, and earlier aircraft would also be upgraded.
Dassault is said to have committed to increase local sourcing up to 75% of the aircraft’s value, beginning with the 150th aircraft.
Such a huge deal – it would probably be the biggest-ever fighter purchase by a single country – would make operational and financial sense for India, allowing it to reduce its fighter fleet to just two major types, Rafale and Su-30MKI, with proportionately big savings in training, logistics and weapons.
It remains to be seen what develops this week during Modi’s visit.
For the time being, however, these are only rumors, albeit plausible ones, and this report is highly speculative.)