France offers to Indian Air Force for purchasing 40 Rafale fighters
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.”