No Buyers For Rafale Jets: Why did every country dump French Rafales except India?

Experts are also raising questions about why the Rafale jets failed to compete in the international markets and were dumped by many countries.

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India Rafale jet

As India continues to celebrate its Rafale jets’ arrival, military experts are questioning its capabilities against the United States aircraft.

Experts are also raising questions as to why the Rafale jets failed to compete in the international markets and were dumped by many countries.

According to International media reports, Dassault’s Rafale was not India’s only choice, as many other global firms showed an interest in the MMRCA tender. Six renowned aircraft manufacturers competed to bag the 126 jets contract, which was hailed to be the largest-ever defense acquisition deal of India.

The initial bidders were Lockheed Martin’s F-16s, Russia’s MiG-35, Boeing’s F/A-18s, Eurofighter Typhoon, Sweden’s Saab’s Gripen and Dassault’s Rafale.

The IAF tested all the aircraft, and after a detailed analysis of the bids, The Eurofighter Typhoon and The Dassault Rafale were shortlisted.

Dassault received the agreement to provide 126 fighter planes, as it was the lowest bidder. After Rafale won the deal, the Indian side and Dassault began discussions in 2012. However, the initial plan was to purchase 126 jets, but India scaled it down to 36.

Rafale jets fail to attract clients

Despite boasting capabilities and India’s selection after a mammoth testing & bidding process, the French origin jets did not attract many clients. Besides France and India, only Qatar and Egypt are using Rafale jets and that too in minimal numbers.

The Russian aviation experts had claimed that The Rafale jets would have been useless against the Chinese Air force (PLAAF). The maximum speed of the Rafale is nearly Mach 1.8 compared to the Chinese J-16s at Mach 2.2.

The Rafale’s solid roof is lower than the J-16s. Even in engine thrust, the Chinese J-16s is far better than the French combat aircraft. Also, if the Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed all 36 of its newly received jets, the technical perfection would still be on the side of China, claimed the Russian expert.

The Rafale is one of the most costly aircrafts  in the global market. India’s deal of 36 jets is worth Rs. 60,000 crores.

The aircraft is priced very steeply, and most nations prefer to buy US jets because of technical superiority.

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