|Aero india 2011 web site|
It is the first time that the Rafale will be presented to the indian public. Indeed, at the last edition of the Indian Air show in 2009, Dassault had only sent a Falcon 7x but no Rafale. An absence which had provoked many critics in the Indian media and led to persistant rumors about a possible elimination of the French fighter from the MMRCA contest. However, these rumors were quickly denied by the Indian authorities, and 2 Rafale of the French air Force flew to Bangalore in September 2009 to performed the MMRCA trials as plan.
In July 2010, the Indian SU-30MKI pilots had the opportunity to confront the Rafale F3 for the first time during Garuda IV in France. Last week (Jan. 7-14), the Indian and French Navies have conducted the bilateral exercise Varuna 2011 involving the Rafale M of the CdG and the Sea harrier of the INS Viraat.