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SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

With Alleged corruption claims in the procurement of 36 Rafale combat aircraft long-buried now, IAF is presently preparing its self to take deliveries of the first batch of four aircraft next month in France comes unconfirmed reports of Dassault Aviation and Indian Ministry of Defence in discussion for procurement of a bigger deal which involves 114 units of Make In India Dassault Rafale gathers pace.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Dassault Aviation has agreed to transfer production line to Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited manufacturing facility in Mihan, Nagpur located in India’s western state of Maharashtra, once it finishes the last batch of the order form French Air force in 2024, while DRAL will in charge of manufacturing components for the Dassault Rafale thus will become part of its Global Supply Chain and even export orders .

French, Germany, and Spain have joined hands to develop the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program which developers describe as 6th generation program which will also have unmanned wing men program along with Next-Generation Fighter to replace the bulk of Dassault Rafale and Euro fighter already in service with airforce of French, Germany, and Spain.

Dassault Aviation will be in charge of the program and will also be the main contractor to do most of the design and development work so that a working prototype is ready by 2026. Dassault Aviation already has been awarded F4-standard development contract for the Rafale combat aircraft so that it will guarantee that Rafale will remain at a world-class level combat platform for the next three decades to come.

Dassault Aviation wants to shift focus from Rafale combat aircraft to FCAS program in next few years as the program goes critical and make it subsidiary DRAL where Dassault Aviation owns 49% of the company center for production, upgrades, the supply chain for the Rafale combat aircraft in service with French, Egypt, and Qatar. Combined Rafale combat aircraft fleet worldwide is of 257 jets if we minus Indian order of 36 jets and if we add future orders of 114+57 ( Indian Navy) then India lone will have the biggest fleet of 207 jets more then that of 180 Rafale aircraft which will in service with French Air Force and Navy.

Reliance Infrastructure owns 51% share in DRAL but Anil Ambani Group has been struggling financially and had to face multiple attacks from India’s main opposition party congress for getting around 800 crores worth of Offset contract for the previous 36 Rafale jet ordered by India. Unconfirmed reports suggest that bulk of the Shares of Anil Ambani is likely to be brought out by multiple other Private companies and a Private Consortium of companies will own the bulk of 51% share in DRAL if a deal goes through, while Anil Ambani Group will be a minor stakeholder in it.

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