Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Rafale deal sealed at last


Rafale deal sealed at last

In the wake of India's deal to acquire 36 Dassault Rafale fighters, NEELAM MATHEWS analyses this key defence procurement.
A new dawn for Indian air power? (Dassault Aviation) 
Four years after Dassault Aviation’s Rafale was chosen for India’s 126 Medium Multi Role Aircraft, India and France have signed a watered down deal for 36 aircraft valued at €7.87bn. It includes 28 single seaters at €91.7m each and eight twin seaters at €94m each. India has become the third international customer to buy Rafale after Qatar and Egypt.
India will receive the first Rafale fighter within 36 months of signing the agreement while the remaining jets will be delivered in the following 30 months. “We have requested them to (deliver it) as fast as possible,” said defence minister Manohar Parrikar. Analysts view this in the backdrop of increased cross border tensions following numerous alleged Pakistan Army supported terrorist attacks on Indian military bases.

The contract

India's Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, has praised the Rafale (Neelam Mathews)
“With the Rafale deal, plans to purchase up to 500 utility helicopters, armoured infantry vehicles, artillery and warships can also expect concrete funding commitments,” said Bharat Dogra, Partner at consultancy, Khaitan & Co.

“Rafale is definitely a very good fighter. It is considered as four plus generation or four and half generation, just maybe slightly behind the fifth generation, particularly in terms of stealth. But, we have a lot of India-specific attachments or additions to it, which would ensure that it virtually matches almost any fifth generation aircraft,” said Parrikar in an interview to a TV channel.

The Rafale package includes the cost of 36 Rafales (€3,402m, associate supplies (€1,800m), India-specific enhancements (€1,700m), performance-based logistics (€353m) and the weapons package (€710m).

The Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) pending since January due to a divergence on price, was inked between the Indian and French defence ministers in New Delhi on 23 September, a confirmation of the MoU signed between the two Heads of State, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President François Hollande in January. The IGA specifies details of the contract including timelines. However, the support, logistics, and 50% offsets package will be signed in a few months, a senior MoD official said.
Unlike the Foreign Ministry Sales (FMS) of the US government, under the IGA, the French government does not negotiate on behalf of the company (Dassault). In addition, the IGA does not benchmark French firms to guarantee (India) the lowest price offered to a similar contract anywhere in the world. The US government does.

“This contract will assure the global aerospace and defence industry that India is open for business,” Rahul Gangal, Partner Roland Berger told Aerospace. The procurement will increase the strength of the Indian Air Force (IAF), which is currently down to 34 squadrons as against a required 44, by two and a half squadrons.

Capability boost

The weapons package includes MICA, Meteor and SCALP missiles. (Dassault Aviation)
The weapons package gives the IAF a capability that has been missing in its arsenal. For instance the beyond visual range air-to-air missile 190kg Meteor with around 150km range has a ramjet propulsion system and a solid fuel, variable flow, ducted rocket. The missile is equipped with both impact and proximity fuses and a fragmentation warhead that detonates on impact or at the optimum point of intercept. The package also includes the 1,300kg, 250km range SCALP EG (Système de Croisière Autonome à Longue Portée – Emploi Général, General Purpose Long Range Standoff Cruise Missile), the French designation for the MBDA Storm Shadow precision strike missile. The missile is equipped with an imaging infrared seeker that is activated during the final target approach phase. Fitted with the ‘BROACH’ penetrator and warhead, and with the ability to select direction ......
- See more at: http://www.aerosociety.com/News/Insight-Blog/4860/Rafale-deal-sealed-at-last#sthash.fIs2oKhg.dpuf

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