Indian Air Force says Rafale still in fighter competition
By Siva Govindasamy
The Indian Air Force has denied reports that the Dassault Rafale has been eliminated from the country’s medium multi-role combat aircraft competition.
“We have not ruled anyone out yet in the MMRCA competition,” says an IAF spokesman, who confirmed that the service is responsible for evaluating the contenders. “All of the tests have not been completed. The technical evaluations are only just over and we are scheduled to begin the flight tests next month. Everyone is still in the competition.”
Last week, several Indian newspapers reported that the Rafale was eliminated after failing the technical evaluation. When contacted, Dassault said that it is waiting for information from the French embassy in India as negotiations are conducted on a government-to-government basis. The embassy had no comment.
The aircraft was not brought to the Aero India 2009 show in Bangalore in February, leading to speculation that it was in danger of being eliminated from the competition. A senior French official, however, defended the no-show at the time saying that the country’s aircraft were required for NATO operations in Afghanistan.
Apart from the Rafale (above), the other five contenders for the $10-12 billion contract are the Boeing F/A-18E/F, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-16, RSK MiG-35, and Saab Gripen. India is scheduled to begin hot weather trials in May, and the aircraft will be tested in cold weather and humid conditions later in the year.
This is not the first time that the Indian media have reported that an aircraft has been eliminated from this closely watched competition. Early this year, it was reported that the Gripen had been knocked out but this was later proven untrue.
sailor why nitesh sir told to close the thread was that the total news about rafale been eliminated seems to be untrue as confirmed by the AIRFORCE itself so the point of mere speculation does not arise ....
A French company offered to sell 40 of its state-of-the-art aircraft Rafale fighter jets to India for a bi-lateral air exercise on Friday. An Indo-French joint exercise is to be held somewhere in India in 2011 – 12. The offer was made by the maker of the Rafale and Mirage fighters, Charles Edelstennie, who is also the scion of the Dassult family. Dessult is a multi-billion French military and civil aerospace company.
The chairman and chief executive of Dassult said, "We know the Indian Air Force, with which we have a decade-long close association, is facing force depletion. So we are ready to supply 40 Rafales, the world's first omni-role fighters to India, in a short span of time."
The officers of French Air Force discussed the idea with the Indian Air Force team, which is now in France for a tri-lateral air exercise in which the Singapore air force is also involved. According to Edelastennie, Rafale fighters could be an interim sale to India to acquire 126 Multi Role Combat Aircraft at cost of Rs 40,000 crore. He said, "It is fulfilling the needs and tasks of the French air force and navy globally.
An Indian Air Force officer, who is the part of the Indian continent for Garuda-2010 exercise in Istres air base in France, said, "At present, the talks for the next Indo-French exercise are also on and the French officials have expressed their desire to bring the Rafale aircraft for the next joint air exercise likely to be held in 2011-12 in India." The current exercise also reached its final stage and exercise will be finished tomorrow. K K Nowhar, Air Marshall of Indian Air Force, who visited the Indian contingent said, "Our participation in the exercise has reinforced the manner in which we conduct our operations."
Read more: France offers to Indian Air Force for purchasing 40 Rafale fighters -
they made this offer earlier as well in jan 2009 and was rejected and so will it happen this time as well. decision will only be made through the mmrca, and not otherwise so its better they concentrate on the on going mmrca contest.
i suspect what is happening here is the need on part of iaf to fill up some numbers for which they had previously hinted at procurement of 40 additional su30MKIs on fast track basis, the decision on which i am sure will be made just a few months prior to the announcement of the final winner of mmrca (a decision which can still take 2 years), and may be the french are trying to position themselves for this need on part of iaf, but if at all we have to go the french way on this then that wont be rafale but certainly mirage the possibility of which as of now is minimal compared to that of su30s.
french are trying to kill two birds with the same stone, fill the immediate need of 40 odd jets, and as yusuf said preempt the mmrca, but then rafale is certainly not happening prior to the announcement of the final winner of mmrca.