MUMBAI --- A lot has been written and spoken about the 7.878 Billion Euros deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets that can even fire strategic weapons. It has been drawn into a political slugfest with the opposition, led by Congress and the ruling NDA government led by BJP indulging in a war of words almost every day.
In between all this, the IAF had been maintaining a steady silence. However, it chose to break its silence this week and surprisingly swayed into the controversy. So even while the government said the 36 Rafale fighters were 9 and 20 percent cheaper than UPA deal (something which never saw the light of the day), a senior IAF officer came up with the figure of it being 40 percent cheaper.
Since a lot has been speculated about the pricing, here is the break up:
-- The '[plain] vanilla price' (just the aircraft alone) will cost about 91 million Euros each for a single seater and about 94 million Euros for a two-seater trainer aircraft which works out to be about 3.42 billion Euros.
-- The armaments cost about 710 million Euros, while Indian-specific changes, including integration of Israeli helmet-mounted displays, will cost 1,700 million Euros. Associate supplies for the 36 fighter jets will cost about 1,800 million Euros while performance-based logistics will cost about 353 million Euros.
Keeping politics apart, the fact is that the IAF desperately needs fighters as it stares at a bleak future. The 36 Rafale fighter jets are not sufficient and the IAF will need much more of the MMRCA and lightweight kind to keep its upper hand over Pakistan and to be prepared for a two-front war.
The 36 Rafale fighter jets being procured by India is the most potent Rafale to be manufactured ever. Even the French Air Force will have to wait before it gets its hand on a similar configuration.
The Indian Rafale comes with 13 India-specific enhancements and includes Israeli helmet-mounted displays, ability to start at cold bases like Leh, better radar, better detection and survival features among others. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Republic World website.