Only 1 Rafale fighter jet out of 36 will arrive in India custom-made: Report
As the political slugfest over Rafale deal continues, it is being learnt that only one of the total 36 Rafale fighter aircraft with India-specific enhancements will be supplied to New Delhi from Paris until the end of the contract period i.e. April 2022. According to a report published in IE, the other 35 aircraft will be delivered to India after September 2019. However, the aircraft will get with these specific enhancements in India itself following the contract period at the rate of seven fighter aircraft per month.
Responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha in the recently held Monsoon session, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the delivery of 36 Rafale aircraft in a fly-away condition along with associated equipment and weapons will take place from September 2019. The minister also added that the entire delivery will be completed in the next four years i.e. by April 2022.
As per the daily, Indian Air Force (IAF) will get the full complement of the Rafale aircraft only by September 2022. Sources quoted in the report said that the flight test and certification of the India-Specific Enhancements on one Rafale aircraft will be complete within the stipulated time of the signing of the contract. The source also said that till the time the first Rafale fighter aircraft is certified with India-Specific enhancements, the remaining 35 Rafale aircraft would have already been delivered to India. The report in the daily further said that these 35 aircraft would be modified in India in the next five months.
According to the report, one of the 36 aircraft, which will be delivered to India, was flight-tested last month. The testing was done in the joint coordination of IAF and French pilots. According to the report a team of four IAF officers were in France since August 2017 to test India-specific enhancements and to monitor the production of 36 Rafale aircraft.
During the UPA tenure, the IAF had given the requirement of 126-aircraft MMRCA deal with a list of 13 India-Specific enhancements. These ‘India-Specific Enhancements’ includes Helmet Mounted Display, radio altimeter, towed decoy system, radar enhancement, low band jammer and ability to start and operate from high altitude airfields. The report states that the inter-government agreement signed in 2016 does not make any additions to this list.
Source:- Indian Express