The Rafale fighter aircraft built by France's Dassault Aviation has emerged the lowest bidder in the contest to sell the Indian Air Force (IAF) 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft. According to sources in the defence ministry, the Rafale has emerged marginally cheaper than its rival fighter, the Typhoon, fielded by a four-nation consortium, Eurofighter.
In reaching this conclusion, the IAF has calculated the Rafale would be cheaper than the Typhoon to buy, manufacture and fly over its entire four-decade service life. No prices have been made available, but MoD sources say the Rafale would cost some Rs 25 crore less than the Typhoon apiece.
The ministry did not respond to phone calls, an email and an SMS request for official confirmation.
Image: In this June 21, 2001 file photo, a French Air Force Rafale manufactured by France's Dassault Aviation speeds above Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, during the 44th Paris Air Show, in France.
Text: Business Standard