Senior Dassault officials in France briefed visiting Indian Air Force AOC-in-C Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal KK Nowhar, about the Rafale and reiterated the company's willingness/ability to rapidly supply 40 Rafales to the IAF as a stopgap ahead of the MMRCA competition results. Dassault's pitch plays on the IAF squadron depletions, and the assertion that none of the other MMRCA contenders can deliver new jets as quickly as it can. The offer is a reiteration of what French prez Nicolas Sarkozy brought with him when he visited India in January 2008 -- ostensibly to help the IAF maintain its combat edge in the face of a possible delay in the outcome of the MMRCA competition. French Air Force Rafales did not participate in the just concluded Garuda-2010 air exercise, though it has been decided that four Rafales will fly to India at the end of next year for Garuda-2011.
Photo by Juan Antonio Cifuentes
Labels: AIR FORCE, Aircraft And Helicopters, Diplomacy, Exercises, M-MRCA Competition