SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Dassault Aviation seems to be on a slippery slope when it comes to the Rafale Marine jet due to severe limitations that have made the F-18E/F Super Hornet much more attractive while the Indian Navy brainstorms which aircraft will suit its operational requirements. French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu who was in India and even visited the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant hinted at providing various concessions to the Indian side.
idrw.org has been told that Dassault and France will be offering Rafale Marine at a much more discounted price and have offered to upgrade it to the same standards as IAF’s Rafale fleet with more Indigenous Indian content.
Rafale Marine is available only in a single-seat version for which France is ready to offer 3 used Twin seater Rafale, an Ex-French Air force variant to be used as an advanced training aircraft at a discounted price, even though it doesn’t have reinforced undercarriage to carry out carrier take-offs and landings.
Rafale Marine is also incapable of folding its wings which could have huge ramifications for the Indian Navy due to limited space on the aircraft carrier. Dassault and France have highlighted commonalities between the air force and Marine variants due to which India could save a lot on the infrastructure needed to support the F-18E/F Super Hornet fleet.
Indian Navy is likely to take a final decision after studying both the proposals and after going through the evaluation report that was done off a ski-jump facility in Goa earlier this year.
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