50% offset in India's 36 Dassault Rafale order

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In New Delhi, on September 23 India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, signed a longnegotiated 7.8 billion euros (US$8.7 billion), contract for the acquisition of 36 Dassault Rafale 4th generation fighters. The contract comes with a 50% industrial offset agreement, which will give a high tech boost to Indian industry. . Dassault must sign up offset partners for the work within 12 months, and it is particularly interested in developing India’s advantage in the development of software. It also requires Dassault to guarantee a 75% availability for the aircraft which will form two squadrons. Eight of the 36 Rafales will be twoseat trainers to be used in pilot conversion work. . The Indian aircraft will also require modification, worth 1,700m euros, to install an Israeli-built helmet sighting and targeting system. The aircraft was first selected by India in its ill-fated MMRCA competition where the ability to take off with an operational load from the high altitude Himalayan air bases like Leh was a requirement. The Super Hornet, which is now on offer by Boeing for manufacture in India, will require new engines to meet the demand. It was reported the Indian’s have an option to buy another 18 Rafales at the same unit price, but Indian officials say it is not intended to expand the fleet beyond 36 included in this order. Dassault has so far delivered 152 Rafales. It has also so far scored export orders for another 48 aircraft with 24 each to Qatar and Egypt. It is also on offer to Malaysia as a MiG-29 replacement. Kuala Lumpur says the amount of work for its factories that is offered with the various deals that will be on the table as MiG replacements will be a driver in the selection process. The first Rafale entered service, with the French Navy in 2004.