India on Friday inked the deal for 36 Rafale fighters with France. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his French counterpart Jean Yves LeDrian signed the contract in Delhi.
India will pay about ₹58,000 crore or 7.8 billion Euros for 36 off-the-shelf Dassault Rafale twin-engine fighters. About 15 per cent of this cost is being paid in advance.
India will also get spares and weaponry, including the Meteor missile, considered among the most advanced in the world.
The first Rafale warplanes are slated to be delivered roughly within 18 months of the signing of the final contract.
The deal comes with a saving of nearly 750 million than the one struck during the previous UPA government, which was scrapped by the Narendra Modi government, besides a 50 per cent offset clause.
These combat aircraft, delivery of which will start in 36 months and will be completed in 66 months from the date the contract is inked, come equipped with state-of-the-art missiles like ‘Meteor’ and ‘Scalp’ that will give IAF a capability that had been sorely missing in its arsenal.
The features that make the Rafale a strategic weapon in the hands of IAF is its Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Meteor air-to-air missile with a range in excess of 150 km.