India to get 36 French Rafale jets for $7.5 billion
India is doubling the number of Rafale jet fighters it intends to buy from France, increasing the quantity of aircraft built in France from 18 to 36. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and French president Francois Hollande have reached the agreement during their summit meeting today in Paris.
The procurement will be part of a government-to-government (G2G) deal worth $7.5 billion, rather than the commercial sale by the manufacturer Dassault Aviation, that would have cost over $20 billion which has been dragged along for three years.
This decision represents the second win for Rafale this year, following the Egyptian order for 24 aircraft that could be built within two years. Qatar and UAE have expressed interest in buying the French fighter (UAE is in for 60 jets, Qatar has a requirement for 36). Dassault is currently producing about one aircraft per month (the minimum rate designed to fulfill the deliveries for the French military by 2018). The company said it can increase production rate to 2.5 aircraft per month, which could deliver the Egyptian, Indian and remaining French orders by mid 2017.