This was our great pleasure to learn earlier today that India eventually chose the Dassault Rafale (also known as Katrina in the Indian internet community ;))
We would like to congratulate the Rafale team which despite many disapointments during the last 10 years, has never stopped believing in the Rafale potential. Their tenacity has finally paid off.
The Indian decision is the reward of more than 20 years of very hard work done by some of the most talented aerospace technicians, engineers and pilots in the world.
Today's victory is even more valuable as the MMRCA contest was probably one of the most challenging of the decade because of the extensive technical evaluation brilliantly performed by the Indian Air Force between 2008 and 2010
Below is the official press release of Dassault aviation :
Following the announcement of the final selection of the Rafale in the frame of the MMRCA program, Dassault Aviation and its partners are honored and grateful to the Indian Government and the people of India to be given the opportunity to extend their long-lasting cooperation. Dassault Aviation and its partners reiterate their commitment to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force and underline their pride in contributing to India’s defence for over half a century.
French Presidency Press release :
The President of the French Republic has learned of India’s selection of the Rafale for the acquisition by the Indian Air Force of 126 fighter aircrafts. France is pleased with the Indian government’s decision to select the French aircraft to enter into exclusive negotiations with Dassault. This announcement comes at the end of a very high-level, fair and transparent competition involving two European finalists. The Rafale has been selected thanks to the aircraft’s competitive life-cycle costs, after the April 2011 pre-selection on the basis of its top-level operational performance. The negotiation of the contract will begin very soon and has the full support of the French authorities. It will include important technology transfers guaranteed by the French government. The realisation of the Rafale project will illustrate the depth and scale of the strategic partnership between France and India.
A Brief history oh the MMRCA contest :
- 2001 : The MMRCA RFI is initiated by the Indian government
- August 2, 2007 : the RFP is sent to the 6 contenders : Boeing (F-18E), Lockheed Martin (F-16E), Dassault Aviation (Rafale F3+), EADS (Eurofighter Typhoon), SAAB (Gripen NG) and Mikhoyan (Mig-35). The Indian request was for 126 multirole fighters, 108 of which would be built in India whith numerous transferts of technology..
- August 8, 2008 - May 27, 2009 : Technical evaluation of the 6 aircrafts by the IAF
- August 1, 2008 : Offset proposals are provided by the 6 contenders
- August, 2009 - Dec 18, 2010 : Flight evaluation of the 6 aircrafts by the IAF
- April, 2010 : Indian MoD requests updated bids
- April 27, 2011 : The Rafale and the Typhoon are shorlisted based on the results of the IAF technical evaluation (All other contenders are eliminated)
- November 4, 2011: The financial bids of the 2 remaining contenders are officialy opened
- January 31, 2012: The Rafale is officially selected by the Indian Ministry of Defense