|4 Rafale alongside a Su-30MKI - Red Flag 2008/09|
To explain its decision, the Indian MoD asserts that the shorlist has been made based on the IAF evaluation results only, thus excluding political or economical aspects. In 2009 and 2010 the IAF has indeed conducted one of the most extensive field trial campaign ever made during an international contest : no less than 640 technical points were assessed on all 6 contenders, including the now famous high altitute take off tests at Leh Air base, as well as weapons trials in the countries of origin of each plane.
The fact that the Rafale and the Typhoon emerged as the 2 best planes on technical merit only and after such a comprehensive evalution could become a valuable advertising in other international contests. The first choice of the IAF which has a requirement for 126 of these planes (extensible to 200), will most probably influence the established perception on the respective capabilities of the fighters available on the market : Indeed, US aircrafts are often seen as more capable, no mater what (this MMRCA Analysis by Mr. Tellis is a very good example of this state of mind).
As far as the Rafale is concerned, the F/A-18E elimination by the IAF is a very good news for Dassault as it might facilitate the French company resistance to Boeing's aggressive marketting in the UAE, Qatar and Kuweit.
This is also true for Brazil : The rejection of the Gripen NG and Super Hornet in India is a big setback for Saab and Boeing and one more argument in favor of the Rafale in the FX-2 contest when it will restart. We should not forget that the US ambassador in Brazil was thinking of using the (bogus) Rafale elimination in India, back in 2009, in order to discredit the French plane (as revealed by Wikileaks). The situation is clearly reversed now that the Rafale has received its "approved by the IAF" stamp.