Rafale fighter jets Current Affairs

Reliance, Dassault Aviation ink deal to set up joint venture

Anil Ambani led Reliance Group and French aerospace giant Dassault Aviation have signed deal to set up a joint venture called Dassault Reliance Aerospace.

The Dassault Reliance Aerospace will execute offsets for the recently concluded India-France deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets.

It will be the largest offset contract to be executed by any defence company in India. The contract value is estimated up to Rs. 30,000 crore.

Key Facts

  • The proposed strategic partnership between Dassault and Reliance will also focus on promoting research and development (R&D) projects under the IDDM program.
  • IDDM stands for Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured. It is programme on the lines with the new provision introduced in Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016.
  • The JV will focus on aero structures, engines and electronics and intends to infrastructure and supply chain in India for the aerospace sector.

Background

In September 2016, India and France had signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for 36 Rafale multi-role jets in fly-away condition worth €7.87 billion (about Rs. 59,000 crore). The deal has a 50% offset clause to be executed by Dassault Aviation and its partners in India. Through the offsets, government seeks to bring in much needed expertise to build the domestic defence and aerospace industry.

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India, France ink deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets

India and France has signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of 7.87 billion Euros.

The deal was signed by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian. Eric Trappier in New Delhi.

This is the first fighter aircraft deal signed by India with other country since the purchase of Sukhoi aircrafts from Russia in the late 1990’s.

Key Facts

  • The defence deal includes the aircraft in fly-away condition, simulators, weapons, spares, maintenance, and Performance Based Logistics support for five years.
  • The Rafale is a twin-engine fighter, multi-role fighter aircraft manufactured by French aviation company Dassault.
  • These aircrafts is capable of carrying out all combat missions such as interception, air defence, in-depth strikes, ground support, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.
  • They will come with various India- specific modifications including Israeli helmet mounted displays, low band jammers, radar warning receivers, infra-red search and tracking, 10 hour flight data recording, towed decoy systems among others.
  • The weapons package of deal includes Meteor radar guided Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile which is considered the best in the class with range of over 150 kms.
  • It also includes Scalp long range air to ground missiles. Meteor missile has a superior BVR than any of its competitor in the South Asia region.

Comment

  • The Rafale fighter jets are likely to succeed ageing fleet of Indian Air Force (IAF’s) Mirage fighters for nuclear warhead delivery as part of India’s nuclear doctrine.
  • They will be stationed at two IAF bases, Sarsawa in Haryana and Hasimara in West Bengal.
  • Integration of Meteor missile on Rafale jets give IAF air superiority to hit targets inside both Pakistan and across northern and eastern borders while staying within India’s territorial boundary.

Background

The deal comes after 17 months of tough negotiations since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision for direct purchase of the Rafale fighter jets in fly-away condition in April 2014 citing “critical operational necessity” of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

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