A couple of weeks back, French business publication Usine Nouvelle published a report on the anticipated workshare of Dassault’s Rafale fighter aircraft, in the context of its selection as the preferred, lowest, technically qualified bid in the Indian Air Force (IAF) tender for 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA).
The report, titled, Le Rafale indien resterait largement produit en France or Rafale said to remain largely made in France, by Hassan Meddah, has an insightful review of the French side of the negotiations with the Indian Ministry of Defense for the IAF procurement of 126 fighter aircraft, and seems to demolish some long-standing assumptions regarding the MMRCA tender.
Before we look at the substance of the report it is important to note that the publication, Usine Nouvelle, is generally considered a respected and credible publication that has been around since the year, 1891.
What follows is an edited gist from a reliable English translation of the report sourced by StratPost to try and make sense of the MMRCA negotiations currently underway, from a French perspective, for the largely English-speaking Indian readership.
While care has been taken to ensure the correctness of the English version, it is possible that some language-specific nuances may have been lost in translation. That notwithstanding, this translation is something that can be confidently relied upon.
Note the general silence on progress with the deal and the repeated Indian pro forma insistence of confidence in the selection.
Then note the British, German and Russian statements that the negotiations were troubled, with one German leader even pointing to the number of pages of the French proposal, as indicative of the trouble with it.
Usine Nouvelle may have revealed more than it corroborated.