French ambassador expects Rafale contract within 4 months - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Wednesday 27 January 2016

French ambassador expects Rafale contract within 4 months

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 28th Jan 16

In the first time a senior official has publicly announced a time line for wrapping up negotiations on India’s proposed purchase of 36 Rafale fighters, France’s ambassador to New Delhi says he expects the price to be negotiated and agreed to within four months.

“It will be too long if it goes beyond that”, said Ambassador Francois Richier, speaking to journalist Karan Thapar on India Today TV on Wednesday evening.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President Francois Hollande of France signed an inter-governmental agreement (IGA), agreeing that India would purchase 36 Rafale fighters from French company, Dassault Aviation. However, both leaders admitted that the price of the contract continued to be a sticking point.

Richier said France was hopeful that, eventually, India would buy more than 36 Rafales. He said that if the contract were extended beyond 36 fighters, there would definitely be a “Make in India” component to the deal.

It has been reported that the deal for 36 Rafales, in flyaway condition, could include an “options” clause of 50 per cent of the contract size. In that case, New Delhi would decide whether or not to buy an additional 18 fighters.

Aerospace industry experts unanimously agree that very little “Make in India” would be possible with just 18 additional Rafales. At best, they would be assembled in India from knocked down kits.

Richier also confirmed in the interview that the Rafale offset agreement had been finalised. However he refused to confirm whether 50 per cent offsets would be imposed on Dassault and Thales, the main Tier-1 supplier to the Rafale programme.

In 2012, Dassault was declared the winner of India’s global tender for 126 medium fighters. However, with price negotiations deadlocked, Modi and Hollande agreed last April that India would buy 36 Rafales on favourable terms. However, these price negotiations too have not made headway.


  1. The four month expectation to conclude the Rafale deal; highlighted by the French Ambassador, should be factored into the negotiation. It appears the French are expecting Iranian orders for the Rafale; at which point they may become intractable on price discounts. India may as well open negotiations with Boeing on its offer to manufacture F-18 in India.

  2. Why is Indian AIr force so hell bent on rafale? Does it have some unique technology that gives it edge over Su30s?
    I say, India should scrap investing on aircrafts.. so called delivery platforms; we should focus on the better missiles. Better air defense, cruise, ballistic missiles and laser based weapons.

    should make floating radars with advanced weapons integrated into it.

  3. where are the Tejas obituary writing "courageous journalists" after Bahrain blastoff
    seems to have gone back to their woodwork

  4. The full text is not visible in chrome for this particular article. Other articles are fine. The text in the left 6 columns is masked with the blue strip. Please rectify.

  5. What are the chances of the Rafael getting derailed ? Heard the Russians haven't given up yet on MIG 35 ?

  6. "where are the Tejas obituary writing "courageous journalists" after Bahrain blastoff
    seems to have gone back to their woodwork"
    The Bahrain blastoff happened on imported GE F404 engines. We've seen than movie before. It was called HAL Marut. Tejas enthusiasts should return to their woodwork and reemerge only when Kaveri engine becomes capable of powering Tejas.

  7. @GuyFromCampus
    "Why is Indian AIr force so hell bent on rafale? Does it have some unique technology that gives it edge over Su30s? "
    The Rafale works more often than not; the Su30 likes to spend more time in repairs and servicing.
    And while it may be a bit too early to scrap investing in aircrafts; I believe the Indian Air Force has been remarkably shortsighted at not pursuing the emerging drone technology or worse treating it as a threat to their 'job security'.

  8. 18... rafale Ms...

  9. Ajai sir there is some problem with the formatting of this article. Cant read the left colns as they are not coming into the view. Could you pl rectify the fault. Regards. Joshua

  10. The alacrity and assiduousness shown for the Rafale deal is in sharp contrast to the hardened stances and stand-offs regarding the Tejas.

    Why don't we ever read a news article titled, "IAF top-brass negotiates hard with ADA and HAL to freeze performance parameters of Mk1" ? Or something like, "IAF Chief and HAL Chief say Tejas deal in a few months." ?

    Instead, all we hear about is disappointment and accusations.

    On a side note, NONE of the mainstream newspapers like Times of India (Rajat Pandit), The Hindustan Times (Manu Pubby), Reuters (Miglani) and others have even whimpered about the Tejas' historic show at Bahrain. NDTV (Sudhi Ranjan) copy-pasted a PTI article. Only small-time news portals like One India and some others have extensively reported on it.

    Do we need any more proof of a biased and ergo, a purchased media?


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