Much wailing and gnashing of teeth today about the ‘win’ of the Dassault Rafale in the Indian Multi Role Combat Aircraft competition. In all fairness, one can see the advantages of the Rafale for India, they have a fleet of Mirages and a long track record of working with the French, plus of course it is obvious that the technical specification has been met.
When one digs into the detail of the announcement it would seem that it majors on price, the Rafale package coming in cheaper. Now, given the track record of the Rafale and its development background it would seem on face value to be quite surprising, I haven’t seen any allegations of subsidy but no doubt someone will.
Alternatively, it could simply be a bargaining device to get the price of the Typhoon down.
From the BBC
Dassault Aviation will now enter final negotiations before any deal is signed for supplying India with 126 Rafale aircraft. Officials at the British High Commission in Delhi said they were disappointed with the decision and would now study the details. A statement read: “It was expressly said this was about the cost of the contract, not a reflection on the health of bilateral relations between India and the countries.” The officials said they “genuinely believed the [Eurofighter] Typhoon offered the best capability now and in the future”. They also said it was “not beyond imagination” that India might decide the Rafale was not the right option as it continued the process.
Who knows where this will end but I don’t think the rotund lady has sung just yet.