The French Dassault RAFALE multirole fighter aircraft should be omnipresent at Le Bourget PAS 2011 as it has been shortlisted as a final competitor versus the Typhoon Eurofighter for the Indian MMRCA tender which will make a decision on the purchase of up to 126 multirole jetfighters. Furthermore, the French aircraft is still a contender in the Brazilian bid request, and it has been shortlisted in the Swiss NAC tender.
Nonetheless – and maybe « thanks » to some media always « forgetting » to state the outstanding results of the RAFALE in theaters of operations as well as in exercises and evaluations – this state-of-the-art fighter has never been exported so far… Watch the video – First comments in French, then in English:
The Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) should be a European fighter jet. India shortlisted the Eurofighter Typhoon and the French Rafale for a $12 billion fighter jet deal. 126 fighter aircraft are to be ordered! As controversial rumours have spread for months through the Internet and the Indian channels, nobody could be certain of the sort of decision that could be made. For instance, remember this idea of purchasing two different combat aircraft that was issued a few months ago. Then, the news came right out of the blue yesterday April 28, 2011. Indeed the American, Russian, and Swedish jetfighters have been discarded.
According to the video hereafter,
The high-flying American campaign to win the $10 billion multirole combat aircraft tender has crashed.
The Indian Defence Ministry confirmed that the F/A-18F Super Hornet and the latest F-16IN were out of the race. Neither of these U.S. fighters would have met the Indian Air Force’s technical requirements during the trials that were also submitted to the JAS-39 Gripen; the MiG-35; the Rafale; and the Typhoon.
One may wonder why the Gripen was not selected in this competition. Well, this excellent aircraft is not equipped with any arrestor hook, and that is probably why it has not been kept in the race for this tender.
It is important to notice that the Rafale purchase is a rather expensive option. However, it should also be noted that, in spite of the modest political clout of France in India, as well as its price tag – $90 million – the Dassault Rafale remains in the final competition. A transfer-of-technology amendment might be added to the contract.
As the Super Hornet and the Super Viper have been rejected, this is a deep disapointment for Lockheed Martin; McDonnell Douglas; Boeing; General Dynamics; as well as a real watershed in the geopolitical approach in Asia.
According to Le Monde, and Reuters the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff would much rather have American F/A-18 Super Hornets than buy French Dassault Rafales to upgrade the FAB – Força Aérea Brasileira, the Brazilian Air Force.
Mrs Rousseff would have stated that the American fighter aircraft would be superior to the Rafale when she met with Timothy Geithner current United States Secretary of the Treasury.
One may wonder why as the Rafale is almost superior to the Super Hornet in almost every skill as far as performance is concerned.
Last but not least, the radius of combat of the French fighter is far longer than its rivals. The Brazilian president is to make a decision presently.
However, and particularly because of the range difference, it would not be wise to reject the Rafale in a country as vast as Brazil. Anyway, everybody knows that wisdom has nothing to do with such decision 😉
The Russian MiG-35 multirole fighter was expected to take part in the Bangalore airshow this month.
However, her mysterious absence has been noticed by the journalists and the other 5 participants of the MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) tender. The F/A18F Super Hornet; the F-16IN Super Viper; the Rafale; the Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon; the Gripen NG; and the MiG-35 are in contention to win the $11 billion tender. The Indian Air Force will then enlarge its fleet with up to 126 multirole fighter aircraft.
After starting this video on the MiG-35, the Russian voice is dubbed in English with a delay of a few seconds:
The Aero India airshow expects to display the 6 MRCA contenders – the French Rafale; the Russian MiG-35; the U.S. F-16 & F-18; the Swedish JAS 39; and the European Typhoon which all compete for a big tender to propose the Indian Air Force a new multirole fighterjet.
The show will take place near Bangalore at the Yelahanka air force station from February 9th.
Enjoy this video shot during the Paris Airshow 2009: