Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sale of 126 Rafale to India: signature in the coming weeks?

We always stage of good intentions, soundbites encouraging. But the sale of 126 Rafale to India for an amount of € 9 billion is accurate every day (photo AFP, a Rafale operation Serval N'Djamena). The Chief of Staff of the Indian Army said Thursday expect a signature "by mid-2013."

The President of the Republic, Fran├žois Hollande, will be in India on an official visit on 14 and 15 February. We will discuss this contract, but it should not be officially signed ... Patience has become a talent at Dassault Aviation.

Indians fans seem suspense for a year and a victory against the Rafale Typhoon Eurofighter. January 10, 2013, on a visit to Paris, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Salman Khurshid, had mischievously played with the perspective of the sale of 126 Rafale: "Good French wines take time to mature. It is the same for good deeds. A decision has already been taken.'s contract details are being discussed. Wait a little jump the plug and you will enjoy a good wine. "

This time, Thursday, February 7, at Airshow Bangalore, the Chief of Staff of the Indian Air Force, NAK Browne, went a little further: "The project is on very track. Hopefully, we will be in a position to sign the contract before mid-2013. "

According to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Committee of contract negotiations (CNC) has completed most of the work. Discussions are now underway between Dassault Aviation and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), a set of state-owned enterprises will be the prime contractor for the Rafale assembly in India. In principle, the first eighteen Rafale will be built in France, the remaining 108 in India.License agreements must be found with Indian suppliers. This contract will be executed between fifteen and twenty years.

"We hope that at least by April-May, the CNC has completed its work for the contract to go to the Ministry of Finance, where it will be reviewed before going to the government for a final agreement," said the General.

Dassault nerves must be solid. The same place in Bangalore, CEO of Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier, was confident but slightly more cautious: "The ideal would be to sign in 2013."

Nothing new, though on a possible extension of the contract for the purchase of three additional tranches of 63 Rafale. Let's start with 126. Nobody forgets, especially not at Dassault Aviation, it would be the first export contract for the French fighter, which entered service in 2001.

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