SOURCE: VINAYAK SHETTY / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Last day to respond and submit Request for Information (RFI) on Indian Navy’s Multi-role carrier-borne fighters (MRCBF) tender might have passed quietly (24-May-2017) but Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier seems to have fired the first salvo while speaking to local media some time back on the high prospect of Dassault Rafale.
Trappier has reportedly has said that Indian Navy knows exactly what it wants and it wants Dassault Rafale and MRCBF RFI issued by Indian Navy to multiple foreign vendors to Supply 57 carrier-borne fighter jets to equip its aircraft carriers with is perfectly tailored made for Dassault Rafale.
Under MRCBF Tender, Indian Navy intends to procure 57 Day and night capable, all-weather multi-role deck based combat aircraft which can be used for Air Defence., Air to surface operations, buddy refuelling, reconnaissance, EW missions etc from Indian Navy aircraft carriers.
US aerospace giant Boeing also has submitted its proposal to compete for the naval programme with its F-18 Super Hornet and SAAB reportedly has sent proposals for its Sea Gripen Concept fighter jet, while another US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin didn’t participate in the tender for unknown reasons even though it had F-35B and F-35C Naval Carrier-borne 5th Generation fighter jets in the offering.
Early last year, a team from France had given a detailed presentation to senior navy officers on various aspects of the naval version and the benefits it would offer with two arms of defence forces using Rafale fighter jets.
Trapper previously had said that ” It makes sense to have the same jet used by Indian Air Force also for Indian Navy ” and had cited an example of Indian Navy procuring Naval Carrier-borne Mig-29K based on an extensive experience gained by IAF operating Mig-29A fighter jets in its fleet.