India, New Delhi, Sept 23: On Friday signed the long pending deal of bought 36 Rafale fighter jets worth Rs 58,000 crore with France. The Rafale jets will be equipped with cutting-edge long-range missiles including 'Meteor' and 'Scalp.'
France defence minister of France, Jean Yves Le Drian came to New Delhi to sign the deal with the CEO of Dassault Aviation. The deal was signed between defence minister Manohar Parrikar and Le Drian.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to France before a year, that india would buy 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from the country.
Parrikar said today the deal, which a defence ministry official said was valued at 7.8 billion euros ($8.7 billion), would "significantly improve India's strike and defence capabilities".
The BJP government has managed to save nearly 750 million Euros as compared to the deal made during UPA regime, scrapped by PM Modi later. The delivery of Rafale jets will begin within 36 months and will be completed in 66 months.
The Rafale will turn out to be an absolute strategic weapon in hands of the Indian air Force because of its Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Meteor air-to-air missile with a range in excess of 150 km. This will mean that India can hit targets inside both Pakistan and across northern and eastern borders while staying within Indian territorial.
Meanwhile, Pakistan only has a BVR with 80 km range. When the Kargil war had taken place, India has used a BVR while Pakistan had none and later acquired one. However, with India getting its hands on 'Meteor' now, the balance of power in the air space is favoring India once more.
According to sources, the deal of the 36 aircraft is about 3.42 billion. The armaments cost about 710 million while Indian specific changes, including integration of Israeli helmet-mounted displays, will cost approximately 1,700 million.
India says its locally made Tejas fighter, which took to the skies in July 33 years after it was cleared for development, will form a major part of its future fleet, but Parrikar has also said that India needed 100 new light combat aircraft by 2020 to replace Russian MiG-21s.
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