India and France comes closer to the Rafale deal as Egypt gets first set of the aircrafts

Defence Minister Manohar Parikar stated that India is in the final stage of negotiation on the Rafale deal. France has sold three Rafale fighter aircrafts to Egypt yesterday. This was the first foreign delivery of the aircraft and Egypt deal was signed early this year. India, the first country to come into an agreement with Dassault is yet to finalize it.

New consensus has been reached between India and France for the direct or fly away mode of delivery by Dassualt- the constructor of Rafale.

The aircraft and associated systems and weapons would be delivered on the same configuration as had been tested and approved by IAF, and with a longer maintenance responsibility by France, the Defence Minister has said.

The Rafale deal got progress during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France earlier this year. This was the first time that the government hinted about the direct purchase of the aircraft rather than opting for its partial construction domestically under the Make in India initiative. Defence offset policy of the government also stipulates to make at least 30% value addition domestically for bigger defence imports.

Defence analysts observe that the country needs dozens of aircrafts to meet the challenges from China and Pakistan. Most of the existing aircrafts are to be phased out soon. This has forced the government to go for direct purchase of the aircrafts abandoning the Make in India objectives.

The deal between France and Egypt was a quick execution. Agence France Presse has reported that the transfer has taken place in a Southern France air base. Egypt will purchase 24 Rafale in a deal amount of $ 5.6 bn. Qatar is another country that signed to purchase the Rafale.