India’s MMRCA deal which is considered has Mother of all Deal, Due to sheer size of the aircrafts which will be purchased from a single vendor and the potential growth of orders which normally comes with Indian contracts is also large. And then Indian Navy too interested in a Carrier borne aircrafts, just sweetens the deal.
Dassault Rafale which has struggled until now to find an export customer is counting big on Indian order, since other potential export customers are watching Indian MMRCA contract very carefully, Particularly Brazil which Favoured Rafale in their quest to purchase 36 fighters in their F-X2 program. But seems to be holding back just long enough to see who will be winner in Indian MMRCA deal.
India has tested all six aircrafts for more than 650 parameters and defence experts believe that the Indian test carried out by its experience test pilots, was extensive enough to be a used has a hand book for other air forces around the world, which are looking at currently purchasing aircrafts based on Technical performance.
CEO also informed press that Rafale has part of NATO air force over Libya, were able to operate more than two dozen of its fighter, without having any operational difficulty, taking a pot shot where serviceability of Rival Eurofighter Typhoon in Libyan operations has been in question, due to shortage of spares.
Ceo also confirmed that the Production variant of RBE-2 AESA radar for the Rafale, which has already been successfully integrated and tested, will be ready for export market from 2013 onwards; Dassault is also considering upgrading the engines of Rafale’s to add higher thrust, currently Dassault Rafale is powered by 2 × Snecma M88-2 turbofans generating 75.62 kN of thrust with its after burner, but French are already working on a higher thrust engine, which is known has Snecma M88-3 which will have 91kN of thrust on its after burner , this has been developed in connection with the sale of Rafale to the United Arab Emirates considering the fact that they will operate in a hot weather countries and will be for interception operations.
Rafale might have struggled to bring export orders even after 11 years been inducted in to French air force, but the majority of the upgrades and operational issues seems to be taken care of by this long time of operational use in the French armed forces, where else in Partner countries of Euro fighter Typhoon have struggled to maintain a steady supply of spares and serviceability of Typhoon in their respected air force.
Indian air force which is retiring its current fleet of Mig-21 and Mig-27 from its service will definitely want to have a fighter aircraft with steady supply chain and not repeat whole Bae Hawk experience again, where due to loop holes in contract British firms not only supplied old worn out spares, but also effected serviceability and the production of the aircraft in the Hal Facility in India.
Rafale upgrades are already in the pipeline, which means further Reduction in RCS, Engine upgrades, integration of a Limited production AESA radar, and improvements in Avionics package has already been taken care by Dassault keeping in mind its Primary customer , that’s French Air force , while EADS is counting on Indian funds for the future upgrades on the Eurofighter Typhoon .