3 minute readMMRCA officially dead

A French  Armée de l'Air Rafale at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (LIMA) in March 2015 | Photo: Shruti Pushkarna

A French Armée de l’Air Rafale at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (LIMA) in March 2015 | Photo: Shruti Pushkarna

The ‘Mother of all Deals’ is no more. After almost exactly eight years of ups and downs, surprise and intrigue, the demise of the Indian Air Force (IAF) tender for 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) has finally been announced.

Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar informed the Rajya Sabha in response to a question from Congress MP Ahmed Patel, “The RFP (Request For Proposal) issued earlier for procurement of 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) has been withdrawn.”

Check out all the drama of the MMRCA

Check out all the drama of the MMRCA

Parrikar also clarified that the India has requested 36 Rafale aircraft from the French government ‘in fly-away condition as quickly as possible’ and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President François Hollande ‘agreed to conclude an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for supply of the aircraft on terms that would be better than conveyed by Dassault Aviation as part of a separate process underway, the delivery would be in time-frame that would be compatible with the operational requirement of IAF; and that the aircraft and associated systems and weapons would be delivered on the same configuration as had been tested and approved by IAF, and with a longer maintenance responsibility by France.’

Ahmed Patel, MP

Will the Minister of DEFENCE be pleased to state :-

(a) whether Government has placed a confirmed order for purchase of Rafale Fighter Jets from the French manufacturer Dassault Aviation during the Prime Minister’s recent visit to France;

(b) if so, the details thereof including capability of the Rafale Fighter plane vis-a-vis other fighter planes;

(c) whether a number of tenders pending for purchase of fighter aircrafts by Indian Air Force have been withdrawn or cancelled as a result of the decision to buy Rafale Aircrafts;

(d) the total number of aircrafts agreed to be purchased in the coming years; and

(e) whether Dassault Aviation agreed to shift the manufacturing of these aircrafts to India for the subsequent tranches of the supply?

Answer

As per the India-France Joint Statement issued by the two countries during the Prime Minister’s visit to France, Government of India conveyed to the Government of France that in view of the critical operational necessity for Multirole Combat Aircraft for Indian Air Force (IAF), Government of India would like to acquire (36) Rafale jets in fly-away condition as quickly as possible. The two leaders agreed to conclude an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for supply of the aircraft on terms that would be better than conveyed by Dassault Aviation as part of a separate process underway, the delivery would be in time-frame that would be compatible with the operational requirement of IAF; and that the aircraft and associated systems and weapons would be delivered on the same configuration as had been tested and approved by IAF, and with a longer maintenance responsibility by France.

A Negotiating Team has been constituted to negotiate the terms and conditions of the procurement of 36 Rafale jets and recommend a draft agreement. The meetings of the Indian Negotiating team with the French side have commenced.

The RFP issued earlier for procurement of 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) has been withdrawn. In this multi-vendor procurement case, the Rafale aircraft met all the performance characteristics stipulated in the Request for Proposal (RFP) during the evaluation conducted by Indian Air Force.

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