confirmed ? I don't see other sourcesRafale wins the race for supplying foreign fighter jets to the Indian Navy
Boeing and Rafale were neck and neck to grab the contract for supplying 26 new deck-based fighters for INS Vikrant — India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier. However, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale-M was found to be “more suitable in meeting the operational requirements and criteria” of the Navy as compared to the Boeing-manufactured F/A-18.
The dogfight for the Indian Navy’s foreign fighter jets has ended with French Rafale F-18 scoring over the American F/A-18 Super Hornet. Rafale has now secured the multi-billion contract to supply 26 jets for Indian aircraft carriers.
Boeing and Dassault were neck and neck to grab the contract for supplying 26 new deck-based fighters for INS Vikrant — India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier. The fighter jets of the two makers were being trial-evaluated earlier this year by the Indian Navy, which has since then submitted its report to the Defence Ministry to go ahead with the government-to-government deal.
As per a Times of India article which quoted defence sources, the Indian Navy’s report on these two fighters said that Dassault Aviation’s Rafale-M has been found to be “more suitable in meeting the operational requirements and criteria” of the Navy compared to the Boeing-manufactured F/A-18
The fighters reportedly underwent operational demonstration trials to assess their “suitability and capability” at the shore-based test facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa in Goa. The SBTF has a ski jump to resemble an aircraft carrier’s deck, as per the TOI report.
While the Boeing fighter might not have been as suitable as the Rafale, it is also true that the French fighter had a logistical and operational head start, to begin with, considering it is already a massive part of the Indian Armed Forces.
In accordance with the Centre’s Atmanirbharata guidelines, these 26 fighters from Rafale are an “interim solution”. It is only till the DRDO-developed indigenous twin-engine deck-based fighter (TEDBF) is ready and fully operational. The first prototype is likely to be ready by 2027 and be operational by 2032, after which the fighter could be with the Navy. The Indian Navy hopes to be totally indigenous by 2047 — in another 25 years.
Indian Navy has been rapidly fast-tracking the procurement of the fighters. This has become imperative after the new INS Vikrant was commissioned in September. The 45,000-tonne INS Vikrant is India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier. As of now, all the Indian Navy has is 40 Russian MiG-29K, which arrived for the INS Vikramaditya. These were purchased from Russia from 2009-10 onwards, at a cost of $2 billion. Only these could be operated from the deck of INS Vikramaditya — formerly Admiral Gorshkov. The 44,500-tonne aircraft carrier, again purchased from Russia, cost the Indian coffers $2.3 billion. In all, it was a total bill of nearly $4.5 billion.
However, it was not a very well-spent $4 billion-and-something, considering that the operational serviceability of the MiG-29K fighters has been a big menace for the Navy for quite a few years now.
The Rafale deal is the first step towards making INS Vikrant operational. And then, if all goes as per the plan, India could be making its own fighter jets for the Naval forces in another 25 years.
Boeing and Rafale were neck and neck to grab the contract for supplying 26 new deck-based fighters for INS Vikrant — India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier. Dassault Aviation’s Rafale-M has been found to be “more suitable in meeting the operational requirements and criteria” of the Navy as...www.timesnownews.com
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