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Author Topic: Rafale Still Chasing Indian Fighter Deal  (Read 4373 times)

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Rafale Still Chasing Indian Fighter Deal
« on: May 14, 2009, 02:22:47 PM »
Rafale Still Chasing Indian Fighter Deal
By Robert Wall

The Rafale strike fighter industrial team says it remains in the Indian fighter competition even though an Indian defense official has said it was kicked out.

“We are still preparing, actively, technology demonstrations for later this year and early next year,” says Jean-Noel Stock, who leads Rafale efforts at Thales, which is responsible for around a third of the weapons system. He stresses that Rafale is still in competition for the 126 fighter deal.

Meanwhile, Thales, Rafale prime contractor Dassault and engine supplier Snecma are preparing to submit a best-and-final offer to Brazil for its 36 fighters program. An updated initial offer was made a few weeks ago, Stock says. The offer, which has to spell out offset plans, is due June 8, according to the executive.

In February, the Rafale team hosted 55 Brazilian companies to help find industrial partners to meet technology transfer demands. Stock says the French government has okayed Thales sharing source code with partners.

Brazil, India and Switzerland - where Rafale also is competing - would receive the Thales active electronically scanned array radar. A demonstration version recently concluded flight trials. The first production-representative AESA is due for delivery to Dassault in mid-2010, before the aircraft would go to the French air force in 2011.

Two of the prototypes are being built, says Jean-Marc Goujon, who oversees Thales product policy for surveillance and combat systems.

By year’s end, the company expects the first full-production contract for the AESA in France as part of that government’s purchase of the next batch of fighters. Around 60 fighters are being bought. The radar would also be retrofitted on current aircraft.



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