Rafale Deal confirmed, Contract Papers shared
Sources from both India and France confirms that India orders the first batch of 36 Rafale's from Dassault, The details of the agreement already shared with French and Indian authorities respectively. Sources close to France said, The actual contract value is some €5 billion which include spares, support systems, Base modification and Missile systems. IAF yet to select the Air bases who hosts the Rafale squadron.
It's highly unlikely the first two squadron could be placed close to New Delhi, where future orders may deployed close to borders, The 36 numbers are very small when comes to operating manner, Maintaining 70% of service availability also a major problem. As IAF also pushing the government to buy more number of Rafale platforms in future under make in India program.
The total deal value is still under the first negotiated price of $ 5.7 billions and there is no price escalation on it. Each Rafale aircraft negotiated at some €70 millions in fly away condition. Half of the deal value is spend on buying missiles and spare parts to keep the Rafale running for next 40 years without ant shortage of supply.
The Rafale is obviously a costlier plane, same like other European products, So the missiles also costs too much. IAF is so much impressed with the performance of MICA missile series. Each MICA missile costs around some $3 millions. Earlier in 2012 IAF bought more than 500 MICA Missiles under some $1.3 billion deal.
Those 500 new missiles are brought to equipped in the newly upgraded Mirage fleet. IAF operates nearly fifty Mirage 2000 aircraft. Each mirage can carry nearly six modern MICA Missiles. MICA comes in two modes one is IR- for WVR another is EM for BVR mission.
The Rafale also carry the same MICA Missiles, IAF may spend some $1 billion for MICA missiles and another $1 billion for Meteor long range BVR missile, Meteor is known as one of the best available long range BVR missile.
India may also buy some hundreds of Exocet anti shipping cruise missile along with Rafale, However there is no information of that purchase. Since IAF uses the Russian Kh 35 missile on it's Su 30 MKI and Harpoon missile on its Jaguar fleet.
Also It's clear India may purchase thousands of AASM guided bombs along with the Rafale purchase. Rafale's superior ground attack performance is scored by those guided bombs with Damocles NG pod, With the addition of more number of guided bombs may increase the IAF's option of providing effective fire support to ground forces and ground targets.
Sources also confirms the official contract signature between the Indo French authorities will be signed day after the Republic day celebration and within a week IAF will send it's team to France to get hands on experience and training on the Rafale aircraft.